Variant subtag proposal: Høgnorsk variety of Norwegian
thorgeirholm at yahoo.no
Sun Dec 27 23:30:33 CET 2009
<hermer Doug Ewell frå 27.12.2009 18:48>
>> I'm not quite sure about that one. Maybe someone would claim that
>> 'hognorsk' is so unlike ordinary 'nn' that it would be better to use
>> it with the macrolanguage subtag 'no' (although 'hognorsk' must no
>> doubt belong to 'nn' and not 'nb' if these two split all variation of
>> 'no' between themselves).
> That's the problem: not all Norwegian is tagged as either 'nb' or 'nn'.
> This is partly because of inertia, and partly because it really is
> useful sometimes to tag content as "Norwegian," the macrolanguage,
> rather than specifically Bokmål or specifically Nynorsk. This is the
> nature of macrolanguages.
> The statement that Høgnorsk "is so unlike ordinary 'nn'" is an
> interesting one. Thorgeir's proposal presents Høgnorsk as simply an
> orthographic variant, not a basic language difference, but the (very
> brief) English-language Wikipedia article refers to it as a dialectical
> variety of Nynorsk. When vocabulary and grammar are involved, the
> variation is no longer just one of orthography.
The whole Norwegian language situation is rather complicated, maybe not
so much by its own merit, but because of the political naming of the
language varieties. If IETF had been at hand some 100+ years ago, the
obvious naming would be 'no' and 'da-NO', and that would be it.
I'm afraid Wikipedia is not very informative on Høgnorsk. Maybe the
German article has some potential, but the Norwegian ones are mostly
Now, the thing is that common 'nn' vocabulary and style is so little
fixed that it can be said to vary somewhere between the two extremes
'nb' and 'hognorsk'. There are also a few grammatical differences
between 'nn-official' (if I may say so) and 'nn-hognorsk', but you can
write really a lot of Høgnorsk before you will encounter those. That is
why orthographical difference is the obvious shibbolet. Høgnorsk
orthography is clearly non-official in a lot of common words.
On the other hand, most 'nn' texts today use a vocabulary and a style
that is clearly not 'hognorsk', and that is why I made the remark that
some people might claim that Høgnorsk "is so unlike ordinary 'nn'." But
the use of 'no-hognorsk' would be political, I guess, and I see no
reason the mention it in this form.
As for the usefulness of the 'no' tag, I'm not so sure. If you have a
text mixing 'nn' parts with 'nb' parts, yes, but wouldn't the same
situation be at hand with a text mixing, say, 'en' parts with 'nb'?
(Both situations can be seen at Norwegian universities.)
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