[Ltru] Re: Macrolanguages, countries & orthographies
petercon at microsoft.com
Thu Feb 15 16:20:14 CET 2007
From: CE Whitehead [mailto:cewcathar at hotmail.com]
>> This is absolutely abusing macrolanguage as defined and
>> intended for use in ISO 639-3. There is no scenario I
>> can think of in which users would want to consider
>> resources in English (i.e. what I'm writing in) and Tok
>> Pisin resources as being in the same language. That's
>> just silly.
> I have not studied Tok Pisin, and I can read it easily!!
Whether you can read it easily is completely irrelevant. Tell me one application scenario in which it would make sense to consider English and Tok Pisin to be the same language.
It's one thing to ask, "How should someone handle coding an Old Czech document at this point?" It's quite another to go off imagining all kinds of ways in which language varieties are related and suppose that we need to create coded entities for various partitions of interrelated varieties. "Let's have a macrolanguage for creoles and pidgins resulting from contact between English and Polynesian languages." "Let's have a macrolanguage for creoles and pidgins resulting from contact between English and West African languages." "Let's have a macrolanguage for all languages that have incorporated loans from Pali or Sanskrit." It's just crazy!
It's by no means clear to me that there are usage scenarios in which Modern English and Old or even Middle English should be considered the same language, but I have no question in my mind that you are completely ignoring the intended purpose of the notion "macrolanguage".
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