Celtic Macrolanguages in ISO 639-3?
jcowan at reutershealth.com
Wed Jan 5 16:31:43 CET 2005
Elizabeth J. Pyatt scripsit:
> Since I was away from e-mail for a few weeks, this may not be
> relevant, but I did want to comment on whether some Celtic language
> codes should be designated as a "macrolanguage" or not. Specifically
The term "macrolanguage" has a somewhat different sense in ISO 639-3
terminology; it refers to a cover term for language varieties that are
normally classified as separate languages but need to be treated as a
unity for certain purposes. The Sinitic languages are about as diverse
as the Romance languages, but share a common written standard form
usually called just "Chinese"; Chinese, therefore, is a macrolanguage
covering Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, Min-nan, etc. etc. (each of which has
many dialects, of course). Dungan, however, is a Sinitic language with
its own distinct written form, and it is not normally called "Chinese";
therefore, it is not part of the Chinese macrolanguage, even though in
some respects it is merely an extreme variety of Mandarin.
> Breton linguists distinguish a KLT ("standard") Breton from
> Vannetais/Gwened Breton [...]. Similarly, Irish differs significantly
> from Gaeltacht to Gaeltacht [...]. Finally, Welsh is in a diglossic
> situation [...].
These sound like dialect and register differences, which are most
appropriately handled using the "language variant" machinery of
the RFC 3066bis draft.
Ambassador Trentino: I've said enough. I'm a man of few words.
Rufus T. Firefly: I'm a man of one word: scram!
--Duck Soup John Cowan <jcowan at reutershealth.com>
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