ISO 639 and other language identifiers

John Cowan
Tue, 7 May 2002 09:04:51 -0400 (EDT) scripsit:

> Perhaps it might not be too controversial if only the lower family-tree
> nodes (i.e., those corresponding to more recent points in historical
> reconstruction) were included, and not the higher-level (more
> chronologically distant) nodes.

I think it is Tai-Kadai where there is pretty good agreement which
languages belong to the family and which don't, but there is a major
faction fight about how those languages are to be grouped.

Anyway, I doubt the utility of this whole effort.  Everyone (or
almost everyone) agrees that English and Frisian form a sister
group (there are no other languages at the same level, unless
you count Scots as distinct), but what conceivable audience
either machine or human would be indifferent as between English
and Frisian but absolutely exclude Dutch?

John Cowan <>
I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen,
han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith.  --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_