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>From: Jonathan Chang <[log in to unmask]>

>In a message dated 2000/05/24 11:06:54 PM, DaW wrote:
>
> >Now I'll cut to the chase.  Should languages be split according to
> >political/ethnic and religious/sectarian divisions, even though the
> >languages on each side of the boundary are highly mutually intellegible?
> >(In other words, being a "splitter"; SIL is like that.)  Or should
>languages
> >be "lumped" together even if co-comprehension is very low -- even to the
> >extreme of saying Chinese is one langauge divided into five major
>dialects
> >(Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese etc.)

[...]

>     Purely from an ease-of-identification POV (Point-Of-View), I say -
>taking
>some of DaW's examples as stated in DaW's post:
>     - all Englishes should be identified if specified, i.e. whether it's
>Scots, Southern US, Australian, etc....
>     - Punjabi = Arabic and Gurmukhi Punjabi.
>     - Norwegian =Bokmċl and Nynorsk.
>     -Azeri = Latin (formerlly Cyrillic) & Arabic .
>     - Persian is Farsi, Dari/Afghani and Tajiki (the latter
>written in Cyrillic).
>     etc.,
>         etc.

I shoudl've mentioned this earlier -- SIL distinguishes North Azerbaijani
(my ex told me Azeri is the preferred term) and South Azerbaijani (spoken in
NW Iran concomitant with Kurdish).  Likewise Northern Uzbek and Southern
Uzbek (of Afghanistan).  Hindi and Urdu were separated, but grouped together
as the two sole languages in a sub-sub-sub (how many subs) group called
Hindustani.

Of course the three "Persian" languages are split.  SIL has everything
organized so that in individual Niger-Congo languages of the Bantu group,
you have to go down about six or eight levels!  They came up with over 6,000
languages, not even counting dialects, ideolects and sociolects.  (It also
lists languages of special interests like Lingua Franca, Shelta and Amerax,
as well as International languages like Esperanto, I think...)

Unfortunately, SIL only divides English into three languages: English
proper, Scots English (which is definitely a separate languages; hard enough
for me to understand as a form of English anyway), and Angloromani (a
"Gypsy" form of English).  French -- NOT Occitan, Provençal, Walloon -- is
split into French proper and Cajun French.  And German is split into about
ten different languages!  (Two of them are spoken in North America.)

>     my fav examples:
>     - China Coast Pidgin, Chinese Pidgin English (CPE), Nauruan Pidgin
>English, _Ham Soi_
>     - New Guinea Pidgin English, Neo-Melanesian, _Tok Pisin_

Oh yeah, SIL lists pidgins and creoles too I think.  You could split some
major hairs on these.  The name "Police Motu" for some reason struck my
fancy.  (You know, Hawai'i, the American State, has two official languages:
English and Hawaiian.  But WHICH Hawaiian?  The true Remote East Polynesian
language Olelo Hawai'i or Hawaiian Pidgin?)

Whoops, another form of English is spoken in Singapore and maybe Taiwan and
PRC as well.  It's the CPE you mentioned.

Another question comes to mind -- could one consider a creole or pidgin
another form or even dialect of the "pure" language?  Jamaican, Chinese or
the so-called "Gullah" of South Carolina, or even what I think is called
"African-American English" or "Black Vernacular Englsh" (which was once
called Ebonics).  (The last is definitely an ethnolect of American English,
not a pidgin or creole).  I'd list them in the chart with a footnote marking
them as whatever type of pidgin/creole the language is.

But how would you classify Papiamentu?

>     this of course puts more of a burden on the researcher(s) & printer,
>but
>reduces some of the confusion IMHO due to the proliferation of language
>names... till we can all agree to use the most common native names, i.e.
>Ham
>Soi, Tok Pisin, etc..

Researchers obsess with details; they can handle the burden.  I myself would
be pretty specific with describing languages.  Saying something like
Croatian Serbo-Croatian or Hindi Hindustani would be a bit silly though.

DaW.  (P.S. You can call me Danny ;)


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