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Re: A language by any other name

On Fri, Sep 28, 2001 at 02:25:31PM +1000, Craig Sanders wrote:
> > > >   therefore the alias for English should be en_US.
> > >
> > > en_GB is more appropriate - it is, after all, the home of the
> > > english language.
> >
> > So French, Spanish and Portugese should be fr_IT, es_IT and pt_IT,
> > because, of course, Italy is the original home of all the Romance
> > languages?
> if french and spanish were actually dialects of italian, then probably.
> but they're not, so it's a moot point. all three are distant derivatives
> of latin, not derivatives of italian. portugese is different enough that
> it really shouldn't be lumped in with french, spanish, or italian.

Huh? From what I've read, Italian, Spanish and Portugese are so close 
that you can speak Spanish or Italian to Portugese speakers and be 
understood without much problem. A language is just a dialect with
an army.
> a closer analogy is spanish as spoken in spain, and spanish as spoken
> in mexico. i don't think anyone would deny that spain's spanish is the
> original aka "real" version and south american versions of spanish are
> derivatives.

Why is Spain's Spanish the original "real" version? It's just one of 
a series of dialects deviating from the first Latin dialect spoken in
Spain that was different enough from Latin to be a distinct language.
What makes one dialect of medieval Spanish more "original", more "real"
than the next?

> british english IS "the" english. derivatives may be based on it, but
> aren't actually the real english - and that includes american english,
> canadian english, and australian english (amongst others).

Linguistically, English is a set of several hundred million dialects 
that can be roughly grouped into 2 or 3 major dialects and a number
of minor ones. Linguistically, modern British dialects are no more
"the" English than any other set of dialects. And which British dialect
would claim was "the" English? 

"It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making
some other Englishman hate or despise him." - Shaw

It's a definition argument, which means it's fundamently more hopeless
than an emacs versus vi debate. Ben Collins asked for consensus; there
is no consensus, and won't be.

David Starner - dstarner98@aasaa.ofe.org
Pointless website: http://dvdeug.dhis.org
"I saw a daemon stare into my face into my face, and an angel touch my 
breast; each one softly calls my name . . . the daemon scares me less."
- "Disciple", Stuart Davis

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