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Den 12. mai. 2009 kl. 18.04 skreiv Mark J. Reed:

> Sorry, did I somehow come off as critical of any Eskimo language or
> touting English's superiority regarding niveal nomenclature?  I'm
> simply doing my part to halt the spread of linguistic disinformation!

Well, I have read some of these arguments debunking the Eskimo snow  
word myth, and they never convince me entirely. I was only trying to  
give it a bit of a humorous twist by using the word "unfair", etc. Of  
course, including inflected forms and words from different Inuit  
languages has lead to grossly misleading word counts in the past.  
However, if an Inuit word can express a concept that needs a whole  
phrase in another language, I think it's only "fair" that it should  
count for a word. It's "fair" to exclude forms that are only  
inflected in time, number, etc., but not to exclude derivations that  
introduce a significantly different concept. From the relatively  
limited evidence I have seen of Eskimo languages, it seems they have  
words for different types of blizzard and for different appearances  
of snow lying on the ground, for example, things that you need whole  
phrases to describe in English (for example).

Still, English probably have at least as many words, because of  
scientific and nonscientific loans and coinings. But if a word exists  
only to describe a phenomenon that doesn't matter for anyone outside  
the scientific community, or only to translate foreign materials, is  
it "fair" to compare it to a word in common use among people who need  
it to describe phenomena in their daily life?

Norwegian also has a lot of ice and snow words, many of which I had  
never encountered until I saw the list. Maybe these are going out of  
use, with the population growing more urban and everything, and maybe  
the same thing is happening among the Eskimo. Yet I remain somewhat  
skeptical towards the debunking.

LEF