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Lucas,

I have asked before, and have never gotten any response. So thank you for raising it again!

I think that interpreting the language family code element as containing the historical language(s) as well as all modern varieties of the family makes sense. The macrolanguages only contain only the modern varieties. This could apply to Armenian, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, and Japanese. The question of closely related languages for the Japanese, Chinese and Greek families seems less clear to me.

How Albanian (family) differs from Albanian (macrolanguage) is unclear to me. Likewise how Basque (family) differs from Basque (individual language) is not clear. The Ethnologue records for the two additional varieties of Basque are out of date. Basque community leaders and scholars submitted a change request to us to have them merged into a single Basque code element. (Ethnologue online has not been updated since 2005, so it has a lot of those; it will be updated soon.)

-Joan



Lucas Graves <[log in to unmask]>
Sent by: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee <[log in to unmask]>

2009-03-04 11:10 AM
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Re: Fwd: Re: Lower Saxon as a group





I do not fully understand the scope of some of the language families or groups that bear the names of individual languages or macrolanguages:
 
Albanian languages
Armenian (family)
Basque (family)
Chinese (family)
Egyptian languages
Greek languages
Japanese (family)
 
"Albanian languages" seems to cover the same ground as the Albanian macrolanguage.  
 
As for the Basque family, I find only Basque in the code table, but Ethnologue has two additional entries and codes for forms of Basque spoken in France.  In any case, unless it is felt that every language must be a part of some family or group, when would the code for "Basque (family)" be used?
 
The Armenian family has only one living member: Armenian.  Classical and Middle Armenian have separate codes in 639-3, but do the historical and modern forms of a single language constitute a language family?  Similarly, "Egyptian languages" seems to include only (Ancient) Egyptian and its late form, Coptic.
 
In the cases of Chinese (family), Greek languages, and Japanese (family), besides historical forms of Chinese, Greek, and Japanese, there are entries in the language-family index to Ethnologue for languages or dialects that are not covered by the Chinese, Greek, and Japanese languages or macrolanguages.  Some of those languages or dialects have very few speakers.
 
If you have gone over all this before, please forgive me!
 
Lucas Graves ([log in to unmask])
Cooperative Cataloging Program Specialist
Data Integrity Section
Policy and Standards Division
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540
 
(Nothing in this message is to be taken as a statement of official LC policy, etc.)

>>> Rebecca S Guenther <[log in to unmask]> 2/27/2009 2:11 PM >>>

To me the distinction between macrolanguage and group language gets very
blurry.
Perhaps the 639-5 developers can help.
I am afraid that I will have a hard time answering questions about
639-5 because it still isn't clear what these distinctions are and what
is encompassed by each language group.

Håvard, is there a list anywhere of what languages are included in what
639-5 language groups?


Rebecca

>>> Joan Spanne <[log in to unmask]> 2/27/2009 1:45 PM >>>
I have not studied it in any detail in this light, but I do not see any

problem with that approach at this point.

-Joan



Lucas Graves <[log in to unmask]>
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2009-02-27 10:18 AM
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Fwd: Re: Lower Saxon as a group






In my opinion, Low Saxon (Low German) would qualify as a macrolanguage.
It
is a member of the Low Saxon-Low Franconian group of the West Germanic

languages.  Its various forms are described as dialects or varieties.
Would it be possible to make "nds" the code for the Low Saxon
macrolanguage instead of the code for the German form?

Lucas Graves ([log in to unmask])
Cooperative Cataloging Program Specialist
Data Integrity Section
Policy and Standards Division
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540

(Nothing in this message is to be taken as a statement of official LC
policy, etc.)

>>> Rebecca S Guenther <[log in to unmask]> 2/24/2009 4:34:21 PM >>>
Some of you may be following this conversation on the ietf-languages
list.
I received our first request to add a language group identifier to
639-5.
Since we still don't have any set criteria it is a bit difficult to
respond. I do not quite understand the distinction between the
individual
language we have in 639-2 (and 639-3) as Low German/Low Saxon and what
he
is asking for. I am told that at LC we are using "Low German" and "nds"

for both the German and Dutch varieties. Is that to say that it really

should be classified as a macrolanguage? Or do we need the language
group
that is being proposed (see also the next message I will send with the

actual request).

Rebecca

>>> Gerard Meijssen <[log in to unmask]> 2/22/2009 2:22 PM >>>
Hoi,
If you ask me they are codes that need revision. I doubt very much
that
linguistically they are useful at all. I doubt also that the ISO-639-5

will
prove practically useful .. I hope I am wrong ..

As to the Low Saxon group, it is a group "Low Saxon" and a language
"Saxon,
Low" where it may be clear from the nds documentation that the Dutch
languages have been treated differently from the German linguistic
entities
when it was decided how to label them. The result is that the group
treats
the German and Dutch entities in the same way.

What I am looking for is a code that includes the German and the Dutch

"Low
Saxon" languages.
Thanks,
     Gerard

http://www.ethnologue.com/show_lang_family.asp?code=nds

2009/2/22 CE Whitehead <[log in to unmask]>

>  Hi, Gerard:
> I'm not sure where you mean to break the Low Saxon group up (and I'm
not
an
> expert on the Germanic languages anyway), but . . .
> I don't see anything else in the ISO 639-5 code list (
>
http://www.loc.gov:8081/standards/iso639-5/en.php); I myself would
like
a
> clarification though of what East Germanic Languages [gem], West
Germanic
> languages [gmw], and North Germanic languages [gmq] include.
>
>
> Best,
>
> C. E. Whitehead
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
> Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 16:27:22 +0100
> Subject: Lower Saxon as a group
> From: [log in to unmask]
> To: [log in to unmask]
>
>
> Hoi,
> When you read the explanation about nds on Ethnologue, it becomes
clear
> that the German linguistic entities that are encompassed in the nds
code
> include German linguistic entities that are on a same level as the
Dutch
> recognised languages. When you look further, nds is called "Saxon,
Low"
and
> the Dutch languages and the German nds are part of a grouping called

"Low
> Saxon".
>
> My question, is there a group for Low Saxon in the ISO-639-5 and if
not,
> what is the best way of acquiring one?
>
> FYI this is about a practical situation in the Wikimedia Foundation.
> Thanks,
>         Gerard
>