ISO 639-5 reconfirmation ballot (long)
Caoimhin O Donnaile
caoimhin at smo.uhi.ac.uk
Thu Jul 21 17:11:12 CEST 2016
Thanks for the explanations, Debbie. I understand.
I got interested in all this because of my own needs for sorting and
ordering languages by family:
and possibly this cognates project in the future:
So far, the best framework I have found for my own needs is the set of
Composite Trees at Linguistlist Multitree (thanks Anthony!). I took a
copy of that several years ago, tidied it up a bit, and laboriously add
ordering among sib nodes on an ad-hoc basis as I need them.
> the 3 letter code space is not large enough for both language and
> language variation and thus would cause considerable confusion.
I agree. That is very much the impression I have too. One of the big
advantages (at least for some people, some purposes, as Doug pointed
out) of going to a hierarchic tree of atomic codes is that it escapes
the difficulty and political arguments and potential instability of
deciding what is a language, or dialect, or language group. So you
might as well include major dialects in the system, and these are needed
for many applications anyway. With all the codes that will be needed
for major dialects, and languages, and language groups, and deprecated
language groups after theories are revised, you would be lucky to have
enough three-letter codes. And it becomes totally impossible if you
want the codes to be even semi-mnemonic.
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