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In Wikipedia today it reads:
"Swiss German (....., SchwyzerdŁtsch, .....) is any of the Alemannic
dialects spoken in Switzerland. Occasionally, the Alemannic dialects spoken
in other countries are called Swiss German as well, especially the dialects
of Liechtenstein which are closely associated to Switzerland's.

Linguistically, Swiss German forms no unity. The linguistic division of
Alemannic is rather into Low, High and Highest Alemannic, varieties of all
of which are spoken both inside and outside of Switzerland. The reason why
"Swiss German" dialects constitute a special group is their almost
unrestricted use as a spoken language in practically all situations of daily
life, whereas the use of the Alemannic dialects in the other countries is
restricted or even endangered.
.....
Swiss German is a regional or political umbrella term, not a linguistic
unity. For all dialects, there are idioms spoken outside Switzerland that
are more closely related to them than some Swiss German dialects. The main
linguistic divisions within Swiss German are those of Low, High and Highest
Alemannic. Low Alemannic is only spoken in the northernmost parts of
Switzerland, in Basel and around Lake Constance. High Alemannic is spoken in
most of the Swiss plateau, and is divided in an eastern and a western group.
Highest Alemannic is spoken in the Alps."

While "Rumantsch" is recognized as one of the official languages of
Switzerland, SchwyzerdŁtsch is not. It may be worth mentioning, however,
that SchwyzerdŁtsch in one of its many variants is used ".....in small local
and regional parliaments, as well as in early primary education, and in some
fiction literature; it is also, of course, the primary means of everyday
communication between citizens of all classes. It is interesting to note
that while in Germany itself, the use of dialect may be diminishing with the
ever-expanding influence of radio and television, the place of dialect in
Switzerland is on the whole increasing."

Rgds
Christian

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-----Original Message-----
From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Peter Constable
Sent: Montag, 4. Dezember 2006 18:24
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: (iso639.2308) RE: [Ltru] Alemanic & Swiss German

Rebecca:

Since the JAC has voted on the names, I'll bring this to the JAC.

The debate is over the English name "Alemanic". The identifier "gsw" denotes
a single language, the common English name for which is "Swiss German"; the
Germanic name is "SchwyzerdŁtsch". 

Ethnologue claims that this same language is also spoken in Austria, France,
Germany and Lichtenstein, but that the name "SchwyzerdŁtsch" is not used in
those places ("SchwyzerdŁtsch" is understood as meaning the Germanic variety
spoken by peoples of *Switzerland*). In those other places, the language us
referred to as "Alemannisch"; but that is also the label for the
higher-level classification of a group of languages that includes the one in
question and others (e.g. Swabian).

Here's a hypothetical analogy. Suppose the name "franÁais" was understood
with a very strong association to one country, France. Yet the language, we
know, is also spoken across the border in Switzerland and Belgium. Since
"franÁais" is tied to France, that name doesn't get used in those other
places; i.e., a person growing up in Switzerland speaking that language
doesn't say they speak "franÁais" because they don't live in France.
(Remember, this is hypothetical.) Instead, in those other places people are
said to speak "Romance". That makes "Romance" ambiguous, because it is also
the name for the family of languages.

When Karen Broome requested an ID for this language, she wanted to make sure
that it encompassed this language in all countries in which it is spoken:
Austria, France, Germany and Lichtenstein, as well as Switzerland. Since the
name "SchwyzerdŁtsch" is so strongly tied to the country Switzerland, she
asked for the name that is used in reference to the language as spoken in
those other countries to be listed as well. Thus, we list as English names,
" Alemanic; Swiss German".

The problem is that "Alemanic" is likely to be understood by English
speakers to refer to the high-level classification, making it seem that
"gsw" is used for either the individual language we call Swiss German or for
the collection of Alemannic languages.

I guess I'm inclined to agree: at least for English users, "Alemanic; Swiss
German" is probably misleading, and that "Swiss German" alone would probably
be better. (I can't comment on French-language names for this language.)


Peter




> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rebecca S. Guenther [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 7:25 AM
> To: Peter Constable
> Subject: Re: (iso639.2308) RE: [Ltru] Alemanic & Swiss German
> 
> Peter:
> Please let me know when you can advise on what to do with the 639-2 
> documentation on this. Does any of this discussion need to be brought 
> to the JAC? I'm having a hard time following it (mainly because I 
> don't have time and am not a linguist). Thanks for any advice you can
offer.
> 
> Rebecca
> 
> On Fri, 1 Dec 2006, Peter Constable wrote:
> 
> > The claim in Ethnologue is that the language 
> > ‚EURoeSchwyzerd√ľtsch‚EURĚ (aka
> ‚EURoeSwiss German‚EURĚ) is also spoken in Austria, France, Germany 
> and Liechtenstein although the name ‚EURoeSchwyzerd√ľtsch‚EURĚ is not 
> generally used in those places; that the name ‚EURoeAllemanisch‚EURĚ 
> is sometimes used in reference to this language; and further, that 
> this language is distinct from languages known as ‚EURoeSwabian‚EURĚ and
‚EURoeWalser‚EURĚ.
> >
> > That is the semantic that ISO 639-3 and ISO 639-2 assume. I think 
> > this is
> consistent with your understanding and usage.
> >
> > Now, I hear Mark saying that the name ‚EURoeAlemanic‚EURĚ is not 
> > used to refer to
> Swiss German / Schwyzerd√ľtsch but rather is only used to refer to a 
> range of varieties of broader scope (a genetic sub-node, perhaps) of 
> which Swiss German is but one language. (Ethnologue shows 
> Schwyzerd√ľtsch as being classified genetically in a branch of 
> Germanic called ‚EURoeAlemannic‚EURĚ.) The ISO 639 identifier
‚EURoegsw‚EURĚ is *not* intended to refer to such a collection of languages.
> >
> > The only debate I see here is whether ‚EURoeAlemanic‚EURĚ is ever 
> > used to refer to the
> specific language denoted by ‚EURoegsw‚EURĚ.
> >
> > On the one hand, we see Ethnologue use ‚EURoeAlemannic‚EURĚ in 
> > reference to the
> genetic subnode. On the other, we see Ethnologue indicate that 
> ‚EURoeAlemannisch‚EURĚ is a name used to refer to the specific 
> language also known as ‚EURoeSchwyzerd√ľtsch‚EURĚ or ‚EURoeSwiss 
> German‚EURĚ. It appears to me that Mark‚EUR(tm)s comments amount to one of
the following:
> >
> > -         questioning the claim that ‚EURoeAlemannisch‚EURĚ is used as a
name for the
> specific language denoted by ‚EURoegsw‚EURĚ, or
> >
> > -         a request to clarify that, in listing ‚EURoeAlemanic‚EURĚ as
an English name for
> ‚EURoegsw‚EURĚ, the intended denotation does *not* encompass Alemannic 
> languages other than the one known as ‚EURoeSchwyzerd√ľtsch‚EURĚ or 
> ‚EURoeSwiss German‚EURĚ (and perhaps other names)
> >
> > If it is the case that ‚EURoeAlemannisch‚EURĚ is used in some places 
> > to refer to the
> specific, individual language denoted by ‚EURoegsw‚EURĚ, then this is 
> a good example for a problem that Gary Simons and I identified in a 
> paper back in 2000: the problem of clearly documenting what is the
intended denotation of a given language identifier.
> For, if ‚EURoeAlemannisch‚EURĚ is used in this way, then it would seem 
> that ‚EURoeAlemanic‚EURĚ might actually be used in two different 
> senses: one referring to an individual language, and one referring to 
> a collection of languages corresponding to a genetic subnode of 
> Germanic. But, ‚EURoegsw‚EURĚ does not denote either of those 
> semantics according to the whims of a given user; it denotes just one of
those semantics, viz. the former.
> >
> > (This is also a good example to show that the objects of 
> > codification are not merely
> names but rather specific concepts that are referenced by a given name 
> ‚EUR" terms, not lexemes.)
> >
> > So, then, how can the intended semantics of the identifier 
> > ‚EURoegsw‚EURĚ be clearly
> documented in ISO 639?
> >
> > In the past, for parts 1 and 2, all that was provided was a list of 
> > names. In
> developing part 3, the RA and I both felt that this was not adequate. 
> Formally, we could not include the various kinds of encyclopedic 
> information that might actually be needed to make it clear what the 
> intended denotation of a given identifier actually is 
> (machine-readable tables need to have a well-formed structure with 
> clear semantics for each data category). What we could add formally 
> are attributes, of which we added two: scope and type. So, the data 
> tables for 639-3 show in particular that ‚EURoegsw‚EURĚ has a scope of
individual language. That at least makes clear that the intended semantic
for ‚EURoegsw‚EURĚ is not a collection of languages.
> >
> > But even that is not sufficient: perhaps the range of language 
> > varieties under the
> Germanic/../Alemannic classification are being treated as a single, 
> individual language.
> >
> > To overcome such limitations and to provide clear documentation of 
> > the intended
> denotation for each identifier, the ISO 639-3 Web site gives, for each 
> entry, a ‚EURoemore‚EUR¶‚EURĚ link to a page that shows additional 
> information for the given identifier, and that additional info 
> includes not only the formal attributes of scope and type but also 
> links to external sources, including sources of an encyclopedic nature
such as Ethnologue, specifically for the purpose of documenting the
denotation.
> >
> > So, if you want to know an ID in ISO 639-3 is intended to mean, 
> > don‚EUR(tm)t just look
> at the list of names associated with that ID since names alone cannot 
> guarantee that the intended semantic is clearly communicated. Rather, 
> go to the ISO 639-3 Web site, get a report listing the given ID, 
> follow the ‚EURoemore‚EUR¶‚EURĚ link to the documentation for that 
> particular ID and look at *all* the information provided there, 
> including the links to external sources. (You can get to these
documentation pages directly using URLs such as the following example, for
‚EURoegsw‚EURĚ:
> http://www.sil.org/iso639-3/documentation.asp?id=gsw.)
> >
> >
> >
> > Peter
> >
> >
> > ________________________________
> >
> > From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> > Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 5:55 PM
> > To: Peter Constable
> > Cc: Håvard Hjulstad; [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]; 
> > iso639-
> [log in to unmask]; LTRU Working Group; Mark Davis; [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: RE: [Ltru] Alemanic & Swiss German
> >
> >
> > Are we reading the same Ethnologue page? Ethnologue seems to include 
> > the
> Austrian forms and mentions that certain dialects within this language 
> family may not be intelligible to speakers of other dialects.
> >
> > I'm not trying to be difficult  -- today :) -- and certainly 
> > appreciate your previous
> help in sorting out these issues, but I have circulated the codes 
> gsw-CH and gsw-AT to a fairly wide audience based on assumptions that 
> seem to be fairly well- documented on Ethnologue, my application, 
> ISO's approval, and various other resources that lump these regional 
> dialects together. Does 639-3 should have a macrolanguage for this? If
not, should it?
> >
> > I'd appreciate it if you could review your notes before acting on 
> > this suggested
> change.
> >
> > Best regards,
> >
> > Karen
> >
> >
> >
> > Peter Constable <[log in to unmask]>
> > 11/30/2006 05:34 PM
> > To
> > <[log in to unmask]>
> > cc
> > Håvard Hjulstad <[log in to unmask]>, <[log in to unmask]>, 
> > <ietf-
> [log in to unmask]>, <[log in to unmask]>, 
> <[log in to unmask]>, ISO
> 639 Joint Advisory Committee <[log in to unmask]>, LTRU Working Group 
> <[log in to unmask]>, Mark Davis <[log in to unmask]>, 
> <[log in to unmask]>
> > Subject
> > RE: [Ltru] Alemanic & Swiss German
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > I‚EUR(tm)ll have to check email to be sure, but my recollection was 
> > that I had suggested
> to you that the category that was already in the draft table for 639-3 
> might meet your need, and that category was the one coded 
> ‚EURoegsw‚EURĚ with semantics defined in Ethnologue. Definitely the 
> JAC was incorporating into part 2 the item in the draft code table for 
> part 3; I believe that all along the JAC understood that to have the 
> semantics of ‚EURoeSwiss German‚EURĚ (or ‚EURoeSchwyzerd√ľtsch‚EURĚ) ‚EUR"
certainly I did, but again I‚EUR(tm)d need to review discussions to be more
certain.
> >
> >
> > Peter
> >
> > ________________________________
> >
> > From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> > Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 4:51 PM
> > To: Peter Constable
> > Cc: Håvard Hjulstad; [log in to unmask]; ietf-languages-
> [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]; ISO 639 
> Joint Advisory Committee; LTRU Working Group; Mark Davis; 
> [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: RE: [Ltru] Alemanic & Swiss German
> >
> >
> > Peter,
> >
> > I'm not quite sure your take on this represents what was on my ISO
application.
> The application draws attention to other regions where Alemanic 
> dialects can be found
> (see: "addinfo" section). I believe the French name typically 
> indicates a broader range of dialects as well:
> >
> > > > This data was submitted on: Wednesday, June 15, 2005 at 19:08:00
> > > >
> > > > lang_in_eng = Swiss German, Alemanic lang_in_fre = alémanique
> > > > ref_where_found_1 = http://www.ethnologue.com lang_in_vern = 
> > > > Schwyzerd√ľtsch, Schweizerdeutsch, Schwiizerd√ľtsch,
> > > Schwyzert√ľtsch, Schwizertitsch
> > > > ref_where_found_2 = ISO 639-3 DIS, http://www.ethnologue.com,
> http://www.wikipedia.com
> > > > trans_lit =
> > > > evidence = AGICOA, the Association of International Collective
> > > Management of Audiovisual Works (Association de Gestion 
> > > Internationale Collective des Oeuvres Audiovisuelles); 428 
> > > documents (audiovisual)
> > > >
> > > > http://www.agicoa.org
> > > > addinfo = 4,215,000 in Switzerland (1990 census). Population 
> > > > total all
> > > countries: 6,044,000. Central, south central, north central, 
> > > northeast, and eastern cantons. Also spoken in Austria, France, 
> > > Germany, Liechtenstein.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Karen Broome
> > Metadata Systems Designer
> > Sony Pictures Entertainment
> > 310.244.4384
> > Peter Constable <[log in to unmask]> Sent by: 
> > [log in to unmask]
> > 11/30/2006 02:59 PM
> >
> > To
> > Mark Davis <[log in to unmask]> cc LTRU Working Group 
> > <[log in to unmask]>, [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask],
> Håvard Hjulstad <[log in to unmask]>, ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee 
> <[log in to unmask]>, [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask]
> > Subject
> > RE: [Ltru] Alemanic & Swiss German
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > I can tell you that the intent of ‚EURoegsw‚EURĚ is specifically 
> > Swiss German, and that
> the assumption of having ‚EURoeAlemanic‚EURĚ listed as a name is that 
> some people use that label to refer to specifically to Swiss German. 
> If the latter assumption is incorrect (which appears to be what Mark 
> is saying, then that is a change that the JAC should consider.
> >
> > But if Martin‚EUR(tm)s comment is the supporting evidence, then I 
> > still find Martin‚EUR(tm)s
> comment to be unclear. It‚EUR(tm)s clear to me what Mark is saying; 
> it‚EUR(tm)s not clear to me if Martin is saying the same thing.
> >
> >
> > Peter Constable
> >
> >
> >
> > ________________________________
> >
> > From: [log in to unmask] 
> > [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
> Behalf Of Mark Davis
> > Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 11:07 AM
> > To: Peter Constable
> > Cc: Håvard Hjulstad; [log in to unmask]; LTRU Working Group;
> [log in to unmask]; ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee; 
> [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: [Ltru] Alemanic & Swiss German
> >
> > Alemanic refers to a broader group of dialects than "Swiss German" 
> > (aka
> Schwyzertuesch) does. So listing them as it does is problematic; it's 
> like listing
> >
> > ar Arabic; Egyptian Arabic
> >
> > Personally, I don't care whether it is resolved to be
> >
> > Alemanic (including Swiss German)
> > // which is what 639-3 seems to be pointing to
> >
> > or
> >
> > Swiss German (a particular variant of Alemanic) // which is what the 
> > code (gsw) seems to be pointing to
> >
> > But we need some clarity as to what is meant by the code.
> >
> > Mark
> > On 11/30/06, Peter Constable <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Martin's comment is somewhat vague: varieties spoken on either side 
> > of the border
> are very similar, et "as soon as you cross the border it's very 
> clearly no longer Swiss German". Does that mean that what is spoken 
> across the border is clearly a different language, or that the label
"Swiss German" is clearly not used?
> >
> >
> > Peter
> >
> > ________________________________
> >
> > From: Mark Davis [mailto:[log in to unmask] 
> > <mailto:mark.davis@icu-
> project.org> ]
> > Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 9:00 AM
> > To: Håvard Hjulstad; [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> > Cc: LTRU Working Group; [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
> > ; ISO
> 639 Joint Advisory Committee; [log in to unmask] <mailto:ietf- 
> [log in to unmask]> ; [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> > Subject: [Ltru] Alemanic & Swiss German
> >
> > ISO 639-2 (on 
> > http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/code_list.php
> <http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/code_list.php> ) lists the
following:
> >
> > gsw             Alemani; Swiss German      alémanique
> >
> > However, there is a "c" missing from Alemanic, and Swiss German is 
> > not the same
> as Alemanic: Swiss German is a type of Alemanic, but there are other 
> types that are not the same as Swiss German.
> >
> > Quoting Martin Duerst:
> >
> > "Yes, Swabian is clearly Alemanic. Alemanic and Swiss German are not 
> > the same. There are very close similarities between some dialects in 
> > the north of Switzerland and across the border in Germany, but as 
> > soon as you cross the border, it's very clearly no longer Swiss 
> > German. A label such as "Alemanic; Swiss German", assuming that both 
> > are the same, is clearly wrong. If it's something like "Alemanic; 
> > includes Swiss German", that would be okay."
> >
> > Can this be corrected so that it does not continue to mislead people?
> >
> > Mark Davis
> >  _______________________________________________
> > Ietf-languages mailing list
> > [log in to unmask]
> > http://www.alvestrand.no/mailman/listinfo/ietf-languages
> >