Registration request for new subtag
mats.gbproject at gmail.com
Thu Nov 21 17:26:06 CET 2013
>From my collaborator again:
"With regards to the orthographic, there is only a writing system which can
be used to write any dialect of the Capeverdean Creole - It was formerly
called ALUPEC (Alfabeto Unificado para a Escrita do Caboverdiano - "Unified
Alphabet for Writing the Capeverdean Language). Now it is officially called
Alfabeto Caboverdiano - "Capeverdean Alphabet".
The main difference between the two macro-dialect is the phonological realm
- mainly the syllabic structure - while in Sotavento´s group the main
structure is CVC, in Barlavento´s group there can be complex onset and
coda. For instant in my dialect, there can be an onset of up to 4
E.g in the word "Disgrasadu" in Santiago, the same word will appear as
dzgrasôd in the Island of São Nicolau, which is in the Barlavanto´s group.
There is an opened debate in terms of how to write like "dzgrasôd". Some
scholars propose there should a mute [e] after [d] in order to maintain the
same syllabic structure in both dialects. But I do not agree with this
So as you can see the issue is more complicated than one can imagine - the
two dialect groups are considered one language just because of political
and other reasons which you clearly pointed out in previous e-mails.
As for the terms, they are Barlavento and Sotavento, that is, ending in [o]
- their native terms used by the Portuguese, so it is good to keep them in
their Portuguese form.
In terms of lexical, there are some differences, but it does not pose a
There are no attested morphological or relevant syntactic differences
between the two dialects. These are ares yet to be studied.
Just pointing out again - the orthographic differences are not due to
different writing systems, but because of the syllabic structure
differences between the two dialects. And the orthographic system is not
based neither meant only for the Santiago dialect. This a myth that has
been created since most of the studies done in Capeverdean Creole centers
mainly on the Santiago dialect. There few studies for other dialects. It is
now that they are being studied. For instance, my dialect (Island of São
Nicolau), apart form my MA Dissertation (2012) the only existing study is
from 1980. There are other dialects that have never been studied."
2013/11/17 Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft.com>
> Thanks. This is useful.
> It would help if you could also say something about the nature of the
> differences needed for the two translations you are doing. E.g., are there
> orthographic differences? Limited lexical changes? Extensive lexical
> changes? Minor / extensive changes in inflectional morphology?
> *From:* Mats Blakstad [mailto:mats.gbproject at gmail.com]
> *Sent:* November 16, 2013 1:47 PM
> *To:* Peter Constable
> *Cc:* Michael Everson; ietf-languages at alvestrand.no
> *Subject:* Re: Registration request for new subtag
> In general you raise an interesting debate. What makes something "just a
> dialect" and when can we consider it as a different language? This
> questions is not only about mutual intelligibility, but also about history
> and identity.
> For orthography, many languages have ISO 639 code without having their own
> standard orthography, and it should be possible to register a variant code
> without having a standard orthography for it. We translated our project
> into Barlavente dialect as a gesture for people living in the Barlavente
> Islands. The main point is that we need to be able to have a tag to
> separate these two translations from each other (the alternative is that we
> make our own). If it should be variant code or language code is hard to
> answer - Do you have guidelines for this difference? It would make it
> easier to find out. Personally I think that this difference is not always
> that easy to make, there can be several borderline cases.
> I wrote to my collaborator in Cabo Verde, Francisco Lopes, that is a
> native Barlavente speaker and have studies the Sotavento dialect for more
> than 18 years, and he wrote this:
> "*In fact the Capeverdean language, just as any language in the world has
> its dialects. There are 9 inhabited islands, and each Island has its own
> dialect. A part from the Island dialects, there two macro-dialects which
> are: the Sotavento Dialects for the Islands in southern region of the
> country (Islands of Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava); and the Barlavento
> dialect for the islands of the Northern region of the country (Islands of
> Santo Antão, São Vicente, São Nicolau, Sal and Boa Vista). *
> *So both the Sotavento and the Barlavento dialects have sub-dialects. They
> are not two different languages at all. So I will advice a sub-code, just
> as you mentioned in your e-mail. This is the trend linguist authorities in
> the country is following - I was recently in Cape Verde, and October 19th,
> I attended a seminary promoted by the President of the Cape Verde, and Phd
> Manuel Veiga. And this very issue was discussed - in the process of trying
> to make Capeverdean Language as one of the official languages of the
> country, the idea is to use what they called The Barlavento branch (having
> the islands of São Vicente as the reference dialect), and the Sotavento
> branch (having the islands of Santiago as the reference dialect).*
> *So it will be a great mistake, as for now to consider the two dialects as
> two different languages*"
> So for me it seems clear that we only need a variant tag for this.
> 2013/11/16 Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft.com>
> Not being an expert in these varieties, I have no strong reason to believe
> that "dialect" wouldn't be correct. But there have been statements that do
> call this into question:
> - The registration request has the statement, "There is low mutual
> intelligibility between the dialects."
> - Mats indicated that content will have to be translated separately for
> two varieties.
> - Ethnologue indicates that there is a standard orthography for
> Kabuverdianu. That suggests that the distinctions in question are not
> orthographic alone, and that at least one or the other may not be the same
> language as that assumed in "standard" literature.
> Those statements, make me a bit inclined to take as the null hypothesis
> that these are separate languages and ask for explanation as to why that
> should not be the case. I'm reminded that just a few years ago the ISO 639
> JAC had to deal with splitting off Latgalian from Latvian. This was
> actually non-trivial. If this current case later becomes like the Latgalian
> case, with a request to split off another language from Kabuverdianu, then
> having that happen some years down the road after variant subtags are
> registered will make things far more complicated than figuring it out right
> from the outset. I realize that Mats may be looking to get a tag now, but
> doing it wrong might result in much greater costs later.
> Hence the questions I'm raising. I'm not completely satisfied simply
> because you're satisfied. I think it prudent to get more clarification on
> this situation before we rush in headlong.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no [mailto:
> ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no] On Behalf Of Michael Everson
> Sent: November 15, 2013 1:42 PM
> To: ietf-languages at alvestrand.no
> Subject: Re: Registration request for new subtag
> On 14 Nov 2013, at 17:44, Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft.com> wrote:
> > If there is low mutual intelligibility between the varieties, that
> raises the question as to whether they should, instead, be considered
> distinct, individual languages - in which case separate ISO 639-3 IDs would
> be more appropriate than a variant subtag.
> I'm satisfied that "dialect" is appropriate. I also would not want Mats
> and his colleagues to have to wait for ISO 639-3 to process their request.
> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
> Ietf-languages mailing list
> Ietf-languages at alvestrand.no
> Ietf-languages mailing list
> Ietf-languages at alvestrand.no
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