[Ltru] Ltru Digest, Vol 44, Issue 15

Lang Gérard gerard.lang at insee.fr
Fri Oct 3 16:41:11 CEST 2008

I do not think that all variants of "Sign languages" taken care of inside ISO 639 and IANA's Registry could enter under the"means of verbal communication" that are described as a condition for a language by UNGEGN.
This question of definition of "languages" is clearly linked with the fact that the english word "language" has two possible interpretations in french:
-(i) "langue", that is linked whith "tongue" (that has the same translation "langue" in french), evidently connected with "verbal communication" and oriented on the semantics (this interpretation clearly excludes all forms of signed or only symbolic languages);
-(ii) "language", that is more extensive and more oriented on syntax, and allows to take care of sign languages as well as many sorts of artificial and symbolic languages, like informatics, or "chess game description", ......

The french title of ISO 639 is "Codes pour la representation des noms de LANGUES" that , in principle, does not include Sign languages (that are not "verbal communication means").

Gérard LANG

-----Message d'origine-----
De : John Cowan [mailto:cowan at ccil.org] 
Envoyé : vendredi 3 octobre 2008 16:18
À : Lang Gérard
Cc : ltru at ietf.org; ietf-languages at iana.org
Objet : Re: [Ltru] Ltru Digest, Vol 44, Issue 15

Lang Gérard scripsit:

> 0-Let me suggest that we should adopt a precise, uniform and 
> recognized terminology when discussing about transformations between 
> languages and/or scripts.

As far as I can tell, we are currently using the terms "transcription", "transliteration", "romanization", "language" (except that we do not require a language community to be large), and "script" in the same senses as UNGEGN.  We have not used the broader terms "transformation" (meaning translation, transcription, or transliteration) and "conversion" (meaning transcription or transliteration), but they are reasonable additions to the toolkit.  The term "translation" is not relevant to our work.

We also use a different taxonomy of scripts, dividing them into alphabets, abjads, abugidas, syllabaries, and logosyllabaries: see http://www.unicode.org/glossary for terse definitions, or Section 6.1 of the Unicode Standard for detailed explanations (available online at http://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode5.0.0/ch06.pdf .

John Cowan    http://ccil.org/~cowan  cowan at ccil.org
'Tis the Linux rebellion / Let coders take their place, The Linux-nationale / Shall Microsoft outpace, We can write better programs / Our CPUs won't stall, So raise the penguin banner of / The Linux-nationale.  --Greg Baker

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