At 23:20 +0100 2006-03-23, Håvard  Hjulstad wrote:

>The concept of a "compromise dialect between a 
>number of other languages" (as stated in the 
>proposal) is quite interesting from a linguistic 
>point of view. Does it mean that N'Ko is some 
>sort of macrolanguage?

No. It's a literary language. Imagine that there 
were a Runic orthography that people who spoke 
Bokmål, Nynorsk, Danish, and Swedish all used. Or 
just imagine English. Many English-speakers' 
spoken language is very far indeed from the 
written standard. (A favourite example is the 
word "pedal" as pronounced by an American, which 
rhymes perfectly with the word "pearl" as 
pronounced by a Scot.)

>The use of "literary dialect" may possibly 
>misleadingly suggest that N'Ko isn't an 
>individual language in its own right.

People speak Bambara and Mandinka and Djula. 
Those languages may be written (in Latin for 
instance), but N'Ko is also a language and it 
differs from them. It's probably originally a 
"trade dialect", that is, a compromise that 
people speaking those languages made for mutual 
intelligibility. Now, however, it has its own 
script and orthography, dictionaries and such. 
It's a entity in its own right, distinct from 
Bambara and Mandinka and Djula and the other 
languages in the family.
Michael Everson *