The message below was sent out on 2003-01-29. Since then one comment has
been received: from John Clews on 2003-01-29. I include his comment in full:
"COMMENT (JPC): regarded as a single literary language throughout the Soviet
There may be the option to have three codes, for Karachay-Balkar, Karachay
and Balkar, as for Serbo-Croat, Serbian, and Croatian.
One (Karachay, I think) also has a long history as a literary language in
classical times, which I don't think Balkar did.
In passing, as a librarian I know from British Library days that a lot of
books exist explicitly in Serbo-Croat, and not in Serbian or Croatian, so
deprecation was arguably incorrect, and it should no longer be deprecated.
Serbo-Croat was constructed by a major linguist in the 19th and 20th
centuries, as a language bringing together dialects from various parts of
the country, much as was probably done for Karachay-Balkar, and in may ways
what was done in Nynorsk (I forget the names of the linguists concerned).
That's rather a long winded way of saying that there's a reason to give a
code for Karachay Balkar, as requested: it wouldn't conflict with any later
request for providing further codes for Karachay and Balkar separately, if
such were requested. "
Personally I think that the main argument would be whether the present-day
users of "Karachay-Balkar", or of "Karachay" and "Balkar" consider it one
language (possibly with variation) or two. I am not able to access relyable
sources in this respect. Does anyone else? There are of course a number of
more or less parallel cases (as John Clews mentions), but none of them can
be used as an argument one way or the other.
I don't think it is correct to have a second ballot before we see more
evidence in this question. I ask all members to dig.
And while you are digging: Bring out whatever you find on the indigenous
* * * OLD MESSAGE (2003-01-29) * * *
The first ballot on this item has been completed. The original ballot form
is included below.
The item has NOT been approved for inclusion, and a second round is needed.
There is also a negative vote on the indigenous name.
The following comment was submitted relating to inclusion: "I am voting "no"
for Karachay-Balkar, because I feel that the doubts of Michael Everson have
not been clarified. If, however, this question has been clarified in the
meantime, you can consider my vote as "yes". I herewith ask Havard Hjulstad
and Michael Everson to clarify, whether "Karachay-Balkar" is one language or
The following comment was submitted relating to the indigenous name: ""Les
langues du monde" uses "Karacay"[with dot under K and small leter c with
caron] and Balkar [with dot under k]."
I invite members to discuss these issues.
* * * * * *
ISO 639 Ballot -- New item: Karachay-Balkar
Please vote by Friday 2003-01-24.
Please see additional information below the ballot form.
Submitted by (your name, please):
(A) -- Inclusion:
___ I am in favour of including the individual language "Karachay-Balkar"
in 639-2 (alpha-3 code)
___ I am opposed to including the individual language "Karachay-Balkar" in
639-2 (alpha-3 code)
(B) -- Identifier:
(Please vote even if you are opposed to the inclusion of the item)
___ I accept the alpha-3 identifier "krc" for Karachay-Balkar (if to be
___ I do not accept the identifier "krc" -- Comment:
(C) -- Language names:
___ I accept the English name "Karachay-Balkar" (if to be included)
___ I do not accept the English name "Karachay-Balkar" -- Comment:
___ I accept the French name "karatchaï-balkar" (if to be included)
___ I do not accept the French name "karatchaï-balkar" -- Comment:
___ I accept the indigenous name "qarachaj - balqar" [with dot over first
e] (if to be included)
___ I do not accept the indigenous name "qarachaj - balqar" -- Comment:
* * * * * * *
Background and additional information:
This is based on a proposal submitted on 2002-10-11 and circulated to the
JAC for comments on 2002-10-30. Feedback has been received from Michael
Everson only. He expresses doubt whether Karachay and Balkar should be
unified. According to his information the two languages have different
alphabets. However, other sources normally list this as one language (with
different spoken variants).
The source of the French name is http://www.eurominority.org/.
The source of the indigenous name is http://www.evertype.com/alphabets/