Registration of argots.

Michael Everson everson at
Mon Jan 6 13:08:46 CET 2003

At 12:28 +0000 2003-01-06, Jon Hanna wrote:

>The one case where I can see it being an issue is where the degree to which
>a something is argued by some to be a language or dialect, and by others to
>be a cant. Being Irish, and not very well-travelled, the only example I can
>think of is Shelta. It is often referred to as "the Cant", but that may be
>more because it serves the same purposes of privacy as a thief's cant than
>any other reason (making it no more a cant than Choctaw in WWI or Navajo in
>WWII). Shelta has a solution from an RFC3066 perspective though, since it's
>about the only language for which it could be argued that "cel" is the ISO
>639-2 code, and no other code is more precise.

As far as I can tell (from MacAlister) Shelta is grammatically 
English with a lot of interference, borrowings, and other inventions. 
There's more hearsay about this "language" than there is actual 
evidence for it.

>Polari has been called a dialect, or at least it has been argued that it is
>rich enough that it could serve as a dialect.

British gay slang? While I admit that there is a fairly large number 
of lexical items at and I would not think that it is a 
dialect, per se. One wonders if it is actually used regularly.
Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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