Peter Constable petercon at
Wed Jun 16 21:28:38 CEST 2010

John Cowan wrote in two separate messages:

> "Macrolanguage" is not a Platonic category, but a rough and ready accommodation 
> to the design of different coding standards, which reflect the different needs of 
> various groups (very roughly, bibliographers vs. linguists).

> A macrolanguage is a group of language varieties which are treated as a single 
> language for some purposes and as multiple languages for other purposes.  That 
> definition is intentionally broad so that it can cover many particular cases.

These are very good characterizations of what "macrolanguage" is ISO 639-3 is all about.


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