Addition request: alsatian

Doug Ewell dewell at
Wed Jan 9 07:19:28 CET 2008

Nicholas Shanks <contact at nickshanks dot com> wrote:

> This response seems to neglect temporal considerations. You also have 
> to guarantee that there have not been any other Alemmanic dialects 
> previously spoken, and that there will not be any in future.

What Michael said.  Not only is this clearly impossible, it's also 

> Population movements (forced or otherwise) to increase non-alsatian 
> gsw speakers in FR, and future border changes (maybe France will give 
> Alsace to Germany in exchange for Wollonia?) could easily make gsw-FR 
> change in meaning, unless the date it was tagged was also known and 
> respected when interpreting tags.

I think this assigns way too much precision to the notion of subdividing 
language variation by region.  It's well understood that country names 
change, parcels change ownership (though not nearly as often as they 
once did), and speakers relocate.  This is inherent in the entrenched 
usage, which we did not invent, of appending a country code to a 
language code to narrow down the variation.  No other similar mechanism 
is as simple, as commonly understood, or as free from charges of bias.

"en-US" and "en-CA" mean, roughly, English with specific features 
generally thought to be characteristic of the United States and Canada, 
respectively.  They do not imply that there is a significant dialectical 
boundary between, say, Detroit and Windsor.

Doug Ewell  *  Fullerton, California, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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