Re: what is Latn?

From: Mark E. Shoulson (
Date: Mon May 23 2005 - 10:49:00 CDT

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    Erkki Kolehmainen wrote:

    > JFC (Jefsey) Morfin wrote:
    >> I will give you an image. "I saw Jefsey and his woman". This may
    >> usually imply the you saw my wife with me. But you cannot tell it for
    >> sure and document there is such a relation. This "woman" could be a
    >> partner in a bowling game, and actually Peter's wife.
    >> jfc
    If I'm understanding this analogy right (and I may not be), it still
    works out fine. See, when we say that a document is written in fr-Latn
    (or whatever the convention for it is), we mean that we're seeing
    "French" together with "Latin." That doesn't mean that Latin is *the*
    writing system for French; we're not claiming it's the wife, only that
    we saw them together. As a general rule, we know from other evidence
    (ref. terabytes of written data throughout history) that French is
    usually (nearly always) seen in the company of Latin script, but that's
    something else entirely. The claim about whether or not a document is
    in Latn is a claim regarding a document, not regarding a relationship
    between a language and a writing system.

    Do we have similar problems with language tags? Do I have to worry if I
    use words like "naïve" or "sprachgefuehl" or "halleluyah" in my speech,
    that I need to tag it as being "en+fr+de+he"? (This leads into the
    question of when exactly a word ceases to be a foreign word and becomes
    a true "borrowing", which question is best not tackled here). This
    seems like hair-splitting.


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