Re: Latin digraph characters (was: Re: Klingon silliness)

From: Lukas Pietsch (
Date: Wed Feb 28 2001 - 03:22:23 EST

Doug Ewell wrote:
> Aren't Serbian and Croatian the standard example of two "languages" that
> really the same language but are treated separately

This question about languages being "really" the same or no turns out to be
a rather moot one from a linguist's viewpoint, even more so once the issue
gets burdened with national feelings. I mean, are English and Scots the
same? Are Bulgarian and Macedonian the same? Are Rumanian and Aromunian the
same? Are Ancient Greek and Ancient Macedonian the same? Are Upper German
and Lower German the same? Are German, Schwitzerdytsch and Letzeburgsch the
same? Are Dutch and Flemish the same? Are British and American English the
same (that was an issue at one time!) -- There are probably as many such
issues as there are nations in the world, or more, and as a linguist you
get weary of getting asked what the "real" answer is in each case.

> Are there any linguistic or vocabulary differences between them?

Well, there are bound to be, at some level, and if not in the normative
standards, then in the actual spoken varieties of relevant population
centers. The question is just, how big are these, and--different and much
more important question--how big do people *want* to *perceive* these
differences to be?


(P.S.: Sorry Doug, I meant to send this to the list in the first place.)

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