There are other cases that are parallel, e.g. Sanskrit, which has considerable variation over time. And the issue is by no means straight-forward. I see two possible ways to go: (1) grc is re-classified as a macrolanguage, and individual “sub-languages” are given separate identifiers; (2) grc is retained as an individual language, and “sub-languages” are encoded in 639-6.


One thing is clear: There exists no objective definition of “individual language” that states clearly which way we need to go, including how large variation is “permitted” within an individual language. When it comes to variation over time, we in addition have the problem that the notion of mutual intelligibility is even less clear than for modern languages.





Håvard Hjulstad

  (prosjektleder / Project Manager)

  Standard Norge / Standards Norway

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Fra: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] På vegne av Guenther, Rebecca
Sendt: 11. august 2010 21:26
Til: [log in to unmask]
Emne: FW: Very broad "ancient Greek"


Any comments on this request?



From: Henri de Solages [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, August 06, 2010 6:08 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Very broad "ancient Greek"



I'm very surprised that ancient Greek is considered as one language, covering 2 millennia, having been an international language during several centuries, having undergone serious phonetic modifications (to such a point that I doubt a late ancient Greek would have understood at all an audio record in early ancient Greek), and having lost not only at least one tense (the anterior future) but even a grammatical number (the dual).

If you really want to regard it as one language, then we need another standard to codify things like "Homeric Greek", "Egyptian Greek", "Cappadocian Greek", "Byzantine Greek" etc..

Yours sincerely.