Re: FW: The role of country codes/Not snazzy

From: Marion Gunn (
Date: Sat May 31 2003 - 11:52:51 EDT

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    Thank you, Peter - for the first time in years, I find we two share some
    measure of agreement. Perhaps this planet your people and mine inhabit may
    yet be saved.:-)

    >Brian on 05/29/2003 09:37:31 AM:
    >> Why is Ethnologue flawed?
    >1. research that has gone into it has only been going on for 50 years with
    >limited manpower, not 150 with unlimited manpower;
    >2. linguistic and sociolinguistic change is on-going, and it is difficult
    >to keep research current on all of the change that occurs (see 1); and
    >3. language as a phenomenon does not occur in discrete, sharply defined
    >categories, but involves a large number of possible parameters of
    >variation; hence, any attempt to enumerate "languages" must be the result
    >of a process of analytical abstraction that merely approximates reality
    >(but is still useful, and is done because in practical terms organisations
    >must conduct their business in terms of a finite list of entities rather
    >than an all-but-endlessly variable continuum).
    >As John Cowan said, any aspiration of a flawless catalogue of languages is
    >a pipe-dream; and I'd also add, it's naive.
    >- Peter
    >Peter Constable
    >Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
    >7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
    >Tel: +1 972 708 7485

    Marion Gunn * EGT (Estab.1991) * *
    fiosruithe/enquiries: * *

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