I've received the following. Sounds like they'd prefer a code based on
Niedersassich or Niederdeitsch than on Plattdeitsch. "nds" or "ndd"?
>(1) There is no real difference between "Low German" and "Low Saxon,"
>though unfortunately some people want to pretend that there is such a
>difference. We are talking about the same language, the direct
>descendant of Old Saxon which used to call itself "saksysch" (Saxon)
>etc. The "Low German" thing is a result of Germanization attempts on
>German-administered soil, i.e., declaring that it is a part of German
>and thus denying its separate language status and the special
>considerations afforded an official language. However, also a minority
>of German linguists refer to it as "Low Saxon" as a technical term (the
>Saxon language of the Lowlands or Low Countries, as opposed to "Saxon,"
>the German dialects of the state of Saxony). "Low Saxon" is the proper
>name for the dialects of the same language used on the Netherlands side
>of the border, i.e., in the eastern parts of the Netherlands. It is
>the catch-all name for dialects that are usually named after their
>regions; e.g., "Tweants" of Twente, "Dreants" of Drente,
>"Stellingwarfs" of the Stellingwerven, etc. Speakers on the
>Netherlands side are quite aware of their dialects belonging to the
>same language with the dialects in Northern Germany, though many will
>refer to the latter as "Low German" to distinguish them as
>German-dominated and -influenced dialects. Unfortunately, most
>speakers in Germany don't even know about the dialects in the
>Netherlands, and now that both "Low German" and "Low Saxon" are
>officially recognized even many activists and institutions in Germany
>pretend that the dialects in the Netherlands consitute a separate
>language, as though the language abruptly ended at the border. As you
>can see, it's a complicated situation in a transitional period.
>Mennonite Low German ("Plautdietsch"), used especially in Siberia,
>Central Asia and in the Americas (being an important minority language
>of Canada) is a dialect group of the same language.
>(2) So far, there is no standard variety of the language and no
>standard orthography either. The dialects in Germany tend to be
>written using German-based orthographies losely following
>recommendations of various schools. Many use "e" and "–" with ogonek
>(the latter thus being language-specific) to distinguish long
>monophthongs from dipthongs. This is pretty much standard in "better"
>and scientific publications, but many writers do not use these letters.
> On the Netherlands side they base their orthographies on Dutch
>standards and add to these "–" and sometimes "”".
>(3) I do feel very strongly that we need a language code for the
>language, such as "ND" or "NS", and I know that virtually all users of
>the language share this feeling. This came out very clearly when we
>discussed this on Lowlands-L, and since then I have received supportive
>messages from many other users of the language. After all, it *is* a
>legitimate, officially recognized language with around 10 million
>users, thus, in terms of number of speakers, it is more "important"
>than Danish, Norwegian, Faroese and Icelandic. Therefore, it deserves
>the same considerations as do all other Germanic languages. Just
>because it is not a nationally dominant language should not lead us to
>neglect it within this context, and we don't neglect minority and
>regional languages such as Catalan, Galician, Yiddish, Uyghur, Bashkir,
>etc. There is a sizeable and fast-growing number of LG/LS web
>publications. I expect a bit of an explosion now that access to the
>Internet is finally becoming generally attainable and popular in
>Germany. Thus, the time has come where we need to be able to
>specifically mark and search for web publications in this language.
>Assigning it a code is a must.
>Please feel free to contact me if you need further information.
>Thanks for the great work you are doing.
>Reinhard "Ron" Hahn
Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta ** http://www.egt.ie
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
Vox +353 1 478 2597 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Mob +353 86 807 9169
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