Macrolanguages, countries & orthographies (RE: ISO 639 name change: Songhaila

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Tue Feb 13 22:25:28 CET 2007

>Thanks for this. I was just thinking about such higher level coding. I 
>think the dream for Fula and other cross-border languages has been that 
>each could have a common alphabet and that usage across languages be 
>similar - some progress toward that has been made (mostly in the wake of a 
>meeting in Bamako 40 years ago), but some country differences remain. I'm 
>sure these macrogeographical tags will come in handy.
Hi, you mean a single alphabet for a language that crosses a border?
Sounds o.k. but such a language might also have to sometimes be written with 
the alphabet peculiar to the country it is spoken in (this makes learning to 
write the other languages of the country easier) but I think the peculiar 
alphabet will better catalogue the sounds of the language that have meaning 
and make it easier for speakers to learn to write in it.

I agree that the various alphabets-orthographies should be as close as 
practically possible since people often have to study in not one language 
but a series of them, ultimately progressing to study inEnglish (for higher 
ed), so the best alphabet is one that uses as much as possible symbols like 
those in the alphabet we use.

--C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at

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