cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Thu Jun 17 01:36:46 CEST 2010
Leif Halvard Silli scripsit:
> This is exactly why I said that I and Milos perhaps understood
> 'macrolanguage' differently from Peter and John - I know that at least
> Peter took part in coining the term.
AFAIK Peter devised the term himself, so any use of it is secondary
to his usage, which has become ISO 639-3 usage.
You can see the evolution from his early papers on reconciling ISO 639-2
with the old Ethnologue codes; the earlier papers try to fit all the
639-2 into the straitjacket of individual languages or collections, but
later on macrolanguages are introduced, and the fit becomes much better.
> That said: The general problem perhaps more is that many tend to think
> that 'macrolanguage' is a term firmly rooted in linguistic theory. For
> example, the Serbo-Croatian article on Serbo-Croatian language says
> that "modern linguists" look at Serbo-Croatian as a "living
> macrolanguage".  And as basis for this claim, the article points to
> SIL. 
That's the problem with single-sourcing.
> What would be useful was an article that listed all macrolanguages and
> explained why each of them was considered as such by ISO 639-3.
Peter's detailed discussion of ISO 639-2 issues is at
http://tinyurl.com/3xs6u2f (PDF on scripts.sil.org site). That document
is obsolete, but still contains lots of useful information.
John Cowan cowan at ccil.org http://ccil.org/~cowan
The competent programmer is fully aware of the strictly limited size of his own
skull; therefore he approaches the programming task in full humility, and among
other things he avoids clever tricks like the plague. --Edsger Dijkstra
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