Re: [OT] Re: the Ethnologue

Date: Wed Sep 20 2000 - 13:58:06 EDT

On 09/17/2000 03:19:32 PM Doug Ewell wrote:

>Well, perhaps this is another, unintended example of a problem with
>incorporating the Ethnologue linguistic distinctions into other
>standards without serious review. If Spaniards consider their language
>sufficiently different from the Spanish spoken by Latin Americans,
>should there be separate codes for the two, or not?

The answer to such question must be answered in terms of a particular
operational definition of "language" for a given namespace of identifiers.
There is no one "right" answer.

>How does this map intelligently to the existing (like it or not)
>ISO 639 standard? Standards intended for widespread use should address
>issues like these explicitly.

And there is no way for standards to address such issues without
recognising the role of operational definitions.

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
E-mail: <>

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