Dear JAC members,
We have received a proposal to include the Germanic language Plautdietsch (no French name provided; no indigenous name actually provided, but the "English" name is the indigenous one). As an alternate English name is given Mennonite Low German. The entry is of course not to be confused with "Plattdietsch" or "Plattdeutsch".
The item is included in Ethnologue and ISO 639-3 with identifier pdt. It is included in Ethnologue under the countries Canada (main entry), Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Paraguay, USA, Kazakhstan, and Germany.
I am unable to identify the appropriate entry in Linguasphere.
Please see more information in the original submission below, as well as in correspondence, which is included following the original submission.
Discussion please (until 9 December 2005).
Best regards,
********** Original Submission **********

This data was submitted on: Monday, September 5, 2005 at 20:23:04

lang_in_eng = Plautdietsch

lang_in_fre =

ref_where_found_1 =

lang_in_vern =

ref_where_found_2 =

trans_lit =

evidence =

addinfo = Plautdietsch, or Mennonite Low German, is a language spoken by the Mennonites, who are ethnically Dutch, but who adopted a East Low German dialect while they were refugees in the Vistula delta area of Royal Prussia (later the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), beginning in the early-to-mid 1500s. Beginning in the late 1700s, when the region became part of the Kingdom of Prussia, many Mennonites left and created new colonies north of the Black Sea (present-day Ukraine), in an area that Russia had recently acquired in one of the Russo-Turkish Wars. Many Mennonites migrated to North America - especially Canada and United States of America - and Latin America - especially Brazil and Mexico, - most of them live as rural settlers and added some Spanish and Portuguese words to their own language.
Today Plautdietsch is spoken in Paraguay, Mexico, Ukraine, Germany, Canada (particularly Manitoba and Saskatchewan), Brazil, Belize and the United States. There are two major dialects which trace their division to Ukraine. These two dialects are split between the New Colony and Old Colony Mennonites. Many younger Russian Mennonites in Canada and the United States today speak only English. For example, Homer Groening, the father of Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons), spoke Plautdietsch as a child in Saskatchewan in the 1920s but his son Matt never learned the language.
Certain groups like the Old Colony Mennonites of Mexico have guarded the language better than others. However, as Old Colony Mennonites from Mexico resettle in Canada and the United States to flee the suffering Mexican economy, the stability of Plautdietsch in this group may be put to the test in their new homes, especially if the current stigmatisation of Old Colony Mennonites because of their poverty continues, as is the case in some places like Ontario by more prosperous neighbours. This may ultimately lead to an abandonment of the language by even this group in the future.

request_addition = ISO 639-2 only

2_code_suggestion =

3_code_suggestion = 639-2

submit_name = Dennis Quiring

submit_email = [log in to unmask]

submit_status = Speaker.

************* Additional communication: ****************

From: "Rebecca S. Guenther" [log in to unmask]
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, September 06, 2005 09:08
Subject: Re: New ISO 639-2 code

Thank you for your submission requesting a language code in ISO 639-2. Under evidence, the requirements are that there be at least 50 documents in one institution in that language or a total of 50 in at least 5 institutions. (Note "in" the language not "about" the language). See:
Could you furnish such evidence? You don't need to give titles, but names of institutions holding these documents with the number held in each.
Thank you for your interest in ISO 639-2.

*************** Response: ****************

Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 09:34:26 -0500
From: DDQuiring [log in to unmask]
Reply-To: DDQuiring [log in to unmask]
To: Rebecca S. Guenther [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: New ISO 639-2 code


Thanks for your response. I don't know if I personally can give you the 50 documents to substantiate the language. The historical library at Bethel College, N. Newton, KS would have hundreds and perhaps thousands of documents relating to the Plautdietsch language.
They would probably be able to give you an estimate of numbers of people who use this as a first or second language. (50,000 ? worldwide, a wild guess on my part)

Dennis Quiring
Newton, Kansas