request for subtag for Elfdalian

Mats Blakstad mats.gbproject at
Thu Feb 18 18:31:16 CET 2016

2016-02-18 17:42 GMT+01:00 Arthur Reutenauer <
arthur.reutenauer at>:

> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 05:18:49PM +0100, Mats Blakstad wrote:
> > I asked RA about the the 50 books, I got this answer:
> >
> >> Not all languages that have codes have 50 written works. However, the
> >> reviewers felt that this case, with strong objections from the Swedish
> >> government, should show that there would be serious separate language
> >> development, apart from that of Swedish. The number 50 is one used by
> part
> >> 2 of the standard as a minimum to create a new language, so that is why
> it
> >> was chosen.
>   But have they actually requested 50 documents in Elfdalian in support
> of the application?  I can't see that anywhere in the rejection
> comments, and in fact the second paragraph seems to imply the contrary
> (in the sentence starting "Beyond the Part 2 subset").  If they've done
> that it is indeed unfair (and even more so to not state it clearly).

It is not stated clearly anywhere what needs to be done for them to accept
a new application. However, the 50 books were the requierment in part 2,
now this part 3 application is considered to challange a part 2 language,
and therefore the requirements seems to be greater. If they really want the
50 books is not clear to me, but if not I don't understand why it is even
mentioned in the rejection statement.

> >>   They must mean that Standard Swedish is a Dachsprache of Elfdalian
> >> ([de] Dach: roof), it's a sociolinguistic concept.  I don't think that's
> >> particularly controversial; whether it warrants rejecting the
> >> application for a primary language code is another matter, of course.
> >
> > It is not controversial to say that Elfdalian is not a Dachsprache, but
> to
> > say that Elfdalian is not a language because it is not a Dachsprache is
> > harder to swallow...
>   I agree, that's more or less what I said.
> >                      and that we need to ask Sweden for permission to
> > recognize it for what it really is; that's an ethnic argument and not
> > relevant for ISO 639 which represent codes for languages.
>   I don't think ethnicity has anything to do with it (are there any
> claims that people in Älvdalen are different ethnically than the rest of
> Dalecarlia or Sweden?).  It's just political.

No, exactly, nobody claims that people in Älvdalen are different
ethnically, but what is happening is that compelling linguistic evidences
for their linguistic difference are rejected because they "fall under the
roof of Swedish" - and that roof is maintained by the Swedish government
that choose to recognize minority languages that have minority ethnicity,
but reject minority language without minority ethnicity. So ethnicity and
nationalism have everything to do with the issue - ethnicity/nationalism
are also political issues you know.

>         Best,
>                 Arthur
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