Valencian Language Tag registration request

John Cowan cowan at
Fri Jun 19 16:49:14 CEST 2009

Lang Gérard scripsit:

> In fact, what would mean a concept of language without having a language
> name to identify the considered concept ?

It is quite common for minority communities to have no specific name for
their own language; to refer to it as "our language", or by the name of
their village.  It usually takes outside research to determine exactly
where language boundaries actually lie in such situations, and of course
the answer will never be perfect.  In terms of local varieties, there
is no linguistic boundary between French and Italian; one can walk from
Paris to Rome, avoiding cities, without ever encountering a place where
people cannot understand the language of neighboring villages.

As an extreme case, the Wu language of China is spoken by approximately
80 million people, rather more than speak French.  However, almost none
of them are aware of the fact.  They know that their local dialects are
not the same as standard Mandarin and in fact are mutually unintelligible
with it, and that they can understand people in other nearby cities more
or less well.  However, the consciousness of Wu as a language is simply
not present, even though by objective criteria Wu is as separate from
Mandarin as Spanish is from French.

Well, I have news for our current leaders       John Cowan
and the leaders of tomorrow: the Bill of        cowan at
Rights is not a frivolous luxury, in force
only during times of peace and prosperity.
We don't just push it to the side when the going gets tough.  --Molly Ivins

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