Principles of Operation (was: LANGUAGE SUBTAG REQUEST FORM,
randy_presuhn at mindspring.com
Mon Jan 28 20:47:16 CET 2008
> From: "CE Whitehead" <cewcathar at hotmail.com>
> To: <ietf-languages at iana.org>
> Sent: Monday, January 28, 2008 9:01 AM
> Subject: RE: Principles of Operation (was: LANGUAGE SUBTAG REQUEST FORM,Erzgebirgisch)
> the problem anyway with linguistic classification is that it's based
> in 19th century taxonomies
> However I think it's possible for languages to evolve this way as
> the result of close ties between groups with a high amount of
> intermarriage and strong trade contacts.
Two concrete examples: English. (West) Germanic core, but
with massive overlay of Romance borrowing. Vietnamese.
Austroasiatic core, but with massive overlay of borrowing from
In the case of Erzgebirgisch, where both the genetic and the
influencing sources are Germanic, figuring out what is "core" and
what is "loan" is much messier.
For this reason, I think it's good that we do *not* look at language
tags as being part of a taxonomy, except when there is a clear
use case in favor of considering "X" as a variety of "Y", where
the definition of "variety" is a bit fuzzy. (Witness the situation
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