Leif Halvard Silli xn--mlform-iua at
Wed Jun 16 18:48:56 CEST 2010

Milos Rancic, Wed, 16 Jun 2010 17:56:05 +0200:
> 2010/6/16 Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua at>:
>> 'sh' *is* treated as macrolanguage, in the Language Subtag Registry:

>> Subtag: sh
>> Description: Serbo-Croatian
>> Added: 2005-10-16
>> Scope: macrolanguage
>> Comments: sr, hr, bs are preferred for most modern uses

> I know for this. This was the last time when I was frustrated with the
> fact that ISO 639 organizations don't quite understand the situation.
> And, of course, it was quite clear to me why it has been done.

So, if we rule out that 'sh' is a macrolanguage, according to your and 
mine perception of 'macrolanguage' (which may or may not be in tune 
with Paul and John's understanding of 'macrolanguage'), then what does 
'sh' represent now - versus then?

When I read the Serbo-Croatian (!) article [in Google translation] on 
the Serbo-Croatian Language [1] as well as the English article [2], 
then I get the impression that there was pressure/initiative to unify 
the Croat and Serbian standards into one. To put it another way, there 
were initiative/pressure to ignore (that there are) differences. 
According to the English article [2], the Croats/Croatia withing 
Yugoslavia used the name 'Croatian' until mid-1970-ties.

Today - as told - the Serbo-Croatian version of Wikipedia (Cyrillic 
version of that article: [3] and Latin version of that article: [4]) 
seems to use 'sh' (and then name 'Serbo-Croatian) as a way to signal 
that exactly the same thing: A strive and will to treat it as one and 
the same language!

So the 'sh' tag has *remained* an expression of an attitude towards the 
language that emphasizes that it is one and the same language.

> At the other side, the fact that Kaykavians and Chakavians identify
> themselves as Croats and Torlakians from Serbia as Serbs, has made
> possibility to call those languages politically Croatian and Serbian.
> For the time while common state was existing, it was [politically]
> acceptable to put them into the "Serbo-Croatian diasystem". Today,
> such political support doesn't exist.
> My point is not to that (2) is incorrect because of the term itself,
> but that we need a lot of imagination to treat such construct as
> reality, no matter of its name.

The very term 'macrolanguage' is used about languages that can be very 
distant. My point is that the tag we can ignore what Serbo-Croat has 
been used about and whether it it was correct or not. The important 
thing is that the language tag - sh - has never been used about 
anything other than Neo-Shtokavian. At the very least, this is the 
truth about the Language Subtag Registry.
>> However, the reason why I question whether it is correct to consider
>> 'sh' a macrolanguage, is based on the understanding that
>> 'Serbo-Croatian' refers to (1) - the standardized Neo-Shtokavian
>> form(s). It may still be correct consider it a macrolanguage - I don't
>> know - but it doesn't fit my understanding of how 'macrolanguage'
>> should be used.
> By all linguistic reasons (1) is a language, not a macrolanguage. But,
> again, Neo-Shtokavian or just Shtokavian are better terms.

So, there we can identify a proposal for 'sh': Add 'Neo-Shtokavian' as 
a name synonymous with Serbo-Croatian.

I would also suggest to the following synonym/name changes:

              'sr' = Serbian standard variant of Neo-Shtokavian
              'bs' = Bosnian standard variant of Neo-Shtokavian
              'hr' = Croatian standard variant of Neo-Shtokavian
Montenegrin subtag = Montengrin standard variant of Neo-Shtokavian

> The problem with "macrolanguage" tag is its ambiguity. Is it 
> (a) genetically related dialects; 
> (b) genetically related standard languages; 
> (c) genetically related language groups; 
> (d) genetically relatively close languages; 
> (e) genetically relatively close languages with the same cultural 
> (f) ... with different cultural background; 
> (g) ...?

If we added the synonym 'Neo-Shtokavian' then it should be clear.

leif halvard silli

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