Language attributes- what are they?

John Cowan jcowan at
Fri Dec 31 03:17:41 CET 2004

Tex Texin scripsit:

> I am surprised that sort order would not be considered part of language. I
> thought the ordering of the characters to be an important and distinguishing
> aspect of languages (At least some languages. Those with large character sets
> perhaps not.)

The point, as I understand it, is that when you sort something like a list
of names, you need to sort them according to the reader's expectation, not
according to the rules used in the language to which the names belong.
Thus an anglophone looking at a Swedish phone directory wants to see
å, ä, ��)B� interfiled with a, a, o respectively, whereas a suedophone wants
to see them after z in the given order.

"They tried to pierce your heart                John Cowan
with a Morgul-knife that remains in the
wound.  If they had succeeded, you would
become a wraith under the domination of the Dark Lord."         --Gandalf

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