Geocoordinates (was: Re: Proposal to remove Preferred-Value field for region YU in LTRU)

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Tue Mar 10 01:36:45 CET 2009

I like Tex's approach to description--start with the name and define it in terms of geocoordinates (including a radius; problem is dialect does not disseminate in a completely circular manner & that is a problem indeed here; a visual map, a series of geocoordinates specifying overlapping elipses might be better but of course more complex & this is all getting to be a bit wild . . . too)


I also agree with Mark Davis that we do need to include altitude, as we have cliff dwellers.


Finally I note that (as M. Gerard Lang has pointed out) -- these are not time independent; for example when I requested the 16th and 17th century French subtags,  I noted that the dialectical variant persisted in the 'Americas' long after all peculiarities (the form 'avoit' instead of the form 'avait' for 'he/she/it had;' the spelling of the past participles with the 'ez' ending instead of a simple 'e' with an accent grave) had been replaced by completely Modern French in France!


So it's really almost completely impossible to describe dialects, particularly historical ones, independently of time; indeed, I'm thinking that while such a system might be a useful supplement for describing historical variants, it can't at this point at least replace rich physical description of the variant and where it persisted.


For more modern dialectical variation, this is done all the time with dialect mappings; but alas, with jetliners and such, the dialect map of the U.S. gets quite interesting & my own dialect is strange too (somehow I learned to say 'warsh' for 'wash' the clothes, although I have no relatives from upstate New York; I had a friend I guess).


But still the dialect mapping is interesting, however much overlapping takes place . . . 




--C. E. Whitehead

cewcathar at 

 Tex Texin textexin at 
Mon Mar 9 06:38:57 CET 2009 

> You could add a radius around the point... location lat, long, radius 100km.

> A problem with this approach is that as research causes revision of the knowledge of language usage, these tags wouldn't be easily revised.
> Whereas a named entity gets remapped without changing the tag.
> So it might be better to choose a variant name and describe it as language or dialect used at lat, long, radius, etc. and if the understanding of the usage changes, then the definition can be revised.
> tex

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