jcowan at reutershealth.com
Wed May 28 16:26:08 CEST 2003
Addison Phillips [wM] scripsit:
> I agree, but it violates the hypothesis I'm making about subsidiary tags
> (which, of course, could be balderdash).
Not balderdash, just malarkey. :-)
> IOW, you're treating zh-hakka *as*
> a language (or near enough to a language)
There can be no doubt that spoken Hakka is a language; if you understand
Mandarin and hear Hakka spoken, you understand precisely zero. Hakka,
like the other Sinitic languages other than Mandarin (and to some extent
Cantonese), isn't usually written, though -- people learn Mandarin
and write that.
> so the tag is really:
> lang = zh-hakka script = han(x) ortho = null
> rather than: lang = zh ortho = hakka script = han(x)
Yes. No way is Hakka an orthography.
> I mean, I'd guess you wouldn't have a problem with, say, en-latn-boont?
No, I still prefer en-boont-latn. En-boont is syntactically English, but
lexically it's very different. Look again at the two samples I posted
back when en-boont was registered:
# The eeld'm piked for the chigrel nook
# For gorms for her bahl beljeemer;
# The gorms had shied, the nook was strung,
# And the bahl beljeemer had nemer.
# You must do much graymatterin fore pikin for seekin Ite steaks
# to gorm, cause the sockers might not be bahlers, but nonchers
# with dusties dust, so deek your bok well.
How willing would you be to accept the latter rather than the former
if you were looking for a guide to mushroom collecting? Perhaps more
so than if the discussion were in ordinary English represented in Greek
or Cyrillic letters, but not much more, I bet. A transliterator could
help you with the latter, but hardly the former.
> But if zh-hakka is on the other side of the divide we ought
> to define the divide (and that may not be possible to do with any more
> precision than a "duck test").
"What is a language?" "A dialect with an army and a navy."
Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.
--Arthur C. Clarke, "The Nine Billion Names of God"
John Cowan <jcowan at reutershealth.com>
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