Principles of Operation

Kent Karlsson kent.karlsson14 at
Thu Jan 24 23:29:53 CET 2008

> > Skanska/Scanian
> > is most certainly a dialect of Swedish. It is very far from being
> > "Eastern Danish" (though someone might have described it like that
> > *for fun*).
> Before 1685, it most certainly was so described, and quite 
> seriously too.
> Scania and Bornholm once spoke the same language (though the local
> dialect is dying out on Bornholm), as ample historical records prove.
> What would you call that?

*In that time* they spoke some dialect of Danish in those regions, yes.
But it was not what is *now* referred to as skanska ("Scanian").

(And I'm sure the transition was gradual, and I know it was sometimes
opposed to. But now since long done.) What it was referred to in those days,
I don't know (I'm not a historical linguist). It may well have been "Scanian"
too, but what is referred to as skanska/Scanian *today* is a dialect of
Swedish. Covering historical languages is a different matter.

"Fornskanska" (approx. "old Scanian") appear in

> > And there is no such thing as "Scanian vs. a Scanian accent of standard
> > Swedish",
> I can't prove otherwise.  All I can say is that it would be extremely
> surprising if this pattern, common throughout Europe and indeed India
> as well, somehow exempted Sweden.
> > All Swedish dialects, as most other dialects, are much older than
> > the standard language. 
> Quite so.  And you are claiming that all Swedes who speak the standard
> language speak it with the identical accent, and with no substrate
> influence from the other dialects of Swedish?

The dialects are fading, much due to the influence of radio and television.
And the fading is gradual. However, standard Swedish with a dialectal
accent, isn't really counted as a dialect. Still dialects do, over time,
move closer to the "standard" (radio and tv has lots of influence).
And "standard" Swedish (originally a dialect from the Stockholm region),
is moving too. Listening to radio programs from 50 or more years ago
sounds strange today. Dialects aren't that common in media. gives the name P1-skanska
to standard Swedish with a Skane accent ;-) [P1 is a PBS radio channel].
This is not what is usually meant by skanska/Scanian.

> > If one were to give Scanian a separate code, there are several tens
> > of Swedish dialects that differ about as much, in some cases more
> > (out of which I can speak one), from (modern) standard Swedish as
> > Scanian, and should also be given separate codes. Arbitrarily
> > picking three and misclassifying them will not do. (As I noted,
> > none of those three actually got language codes in 639-3, though
> > Ethnologue erroneously states that they do. 
> Don't be disingenuous.  Scanian lacks a 639-3 code element because
> the representative from SIS (who would that be, hmmmm?) to ISO TC37

Not me, if that's what you think. (I don't know who that was/were, but
we appear to agree.)

> threatened to veto 639-3 if it were not removed forthwith.  In the
> interests of getting 639-3 passed, the committee bowed to the will of
> Sweden in this matter.

Thankfully! (The only other reasonable alternative would be to give
codes also for several tens of other dialects of Swedish alone,
and many more for other languages. The scope of 639-6, I think.)

		/kent k

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list