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CLDR Ticket #11281(new data)

Opened 4 weeks ago

Last modified 4 weeks ago

chn should be renamed to "Modern Chinook"

Reported by: Marcel Schneider <charupdate@…> Owned by: anybody
Component: main Data Locale:
Phase: dsub Review:
Weeks: Data Xpath:
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Description

Calling chn "Chinook Jargon" as in CLDR http://st.unicode.org/cldr-apps/v#/fr/Languages_A_D/9864f5b45c477f2 is inappropriate, applying a pointless discrimination to what is actually a plain language in its own right.

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comment:1 Changed 4 weeks ago by Marcel Schneider <charupdate@…>

See Philippe Verdy’s advice on the (private) French forum of CLDR:

What you describe (and what the Wikipedia article describes too) is the fact that Chinook is actually a macro language, containing the modern pidgin (Chinook Jargon) and the original native Chikook dialects described by linguists. I think that the "chn" code refers more precisely to the modern pidgin (that's why there's a word "Jargon" added which if a French term for a non-stabilized pidgin where people alternate freely between several dialects and another dominant language). I don't think that the original Chinook dialects have been encoded in "chn", which is then still not encoded in ISO 639-3 as a macrolanguage; the original dialects are also not normalized with an lexical, phonetic and orthographic system, as they are almost oral, and their "pure" oral form is almost extinct, replaced now by the pidgin (or "jargon"). So almost all written texts existing today and needed are for the modern pidgin/Jargon. encoding the dialects would require more extensive researchs by linguists (and it will be extremely difficult to reconstruct these dialects as they were not written and are almost extinct; they only exist culturally and ethnically as part of a lost culture). If these dialects are resurrected, I don't think they will ever be completely conforming to the original dialects, but may appear as a renewal of distinctive ethnologic identity between tribes (whose history has only been partly kept in English or some other European languages, or in some other Amerindian languages that have borrowed some distinctive signs) Languages evolve over time. But I wonder if it is correct now to refer to the modern pidgin as a "Jargon" whose original French meaning is pejorative. After all "standard" French appeared in France very late also as a jargon before becoming the rule, transforming the other original regional "oïl" languages (as well as other "oc" languages, Celtic languages, Basque, Alsatian, Flemish, Corsican, into pejorative "jargons" even though they were not pidgins. Today, Haitian is also a pidgin which was pejoratively coined in French as a "jargon", but now it is considered a plain language for itself. Modern Latin also is now jargon that has several forms (ecclesiastic, judiciary) quite far from the original Roman Republican language, and during the Roman Empire it developed lot of local vernaculary pidgins ("jargons") which became later lot of actual languages by borrowing terms and accents from lot of other local languages. Today there is also a new Latin jargon developed for biologists, made by inventing many new words by borrowing lexems from another language (any one) and simplifying it by adopting the simplified Latin orthographic system and some regular Latin derivations. I think that "Jargon" does not apply here because it is no longer for a specific use but for a language with general and respectable use. This term should better be removed from English, or possibly replaced by "Modern" if we want to keep linguists speaking about the original dialects and their history, and the possibly newly developed dialects from the base, using "Chinook" alone as a macrolanguage name for the family including the modern Chinook form and all other dialects largely intelligible with Modern Chinook with no clear distinction with it.

(For completeness, given the forum is private and cannot be publicly accessed, not even by submitters when Survey Tool is closed, here are the surrounding posts:

Rationale for change: “Le nom utilisé par les linguistes est « Chinuk Wawa » ou « Tshinuk-Wawa », qui sont orthographiés ainsi et combinent des formules « plus autochtones » que les autres orthographes, perçues comme trop occidentales et moins fidèles à l'esprit indien. Elles sont plus « exotiques » aussi, mais leurs systèmes d'orthographe et de vocabulaire sont plus complexes que le pidgin original.” <https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinook_(langue)>

[Translation:

The name used by linguists is "Chinuk Wawa" or "Tshinuk-Wawa", following more native spellings than other orthographies, perceived as too Western and keeping less with the Indian spirit. They are more exotic too, but their writing systems and vocabularies are more complex than the original pidgin.

]
[…] See above.

That is my opinion too, that "jargon" should be removed. Do we first have to file a bug ticket for English, and then change our votes to "chinook" in French, or vice versa?

comment:2 Changed 4 weeks ago by Marcel Schneider <charupdate@…>

Due to underlying layout issues on ST fora, paragraphs have been merged at copy-pasting. Here is the correct post from Philippe Verdy, timestamped "[v34] 2018-06-29 11:44" (with empty lines added to make sure paragraphs are separated here, and my apologies for duplicate posting):

What you describe (and what the Wikipedia article describes too) is the fact that Chinook is actually a macro language, containing the modern pidgin (Chinook Jargon) and the original native Chikook dialects described by linguists.

I think that the "chn" code refers more precisely to the modern pidgin (that's why there's a word "Jargon" added which if a French term for a non-stabilized pidgin where people alternate freely between several dialects and another dominant language). I don't think that the original Chinook dialects have been encoded in "chn", which is then still not encoded in ISO 639-3 as a macrolanguage; the original dialects are also not normalized with an lexical, phonetic and orthographic system, as they are almost oral, and their "pure" oral form is almost extinct, replaced now by the pidgin (or "jargon"). So almost all written texts existing today and needed are for the modern pidgin/Jargon. encoding the dialects would require more extensive researchs by linguists (and it will be extremely difficult to reconstruct these dialects as they were not written and are almost extinct; they only exist culturally and ethnically as part of a lost culture).

If these dialects are resurrected, I don't think they will ever be completely conforming to the original dialects, but may appear as a renewal of distinctive ethnologic identity between tribes (whose history has only been partly kept in English or some other European languages, or in some other Amerindian languages that have borrowed some distinctive signs)

Languages evolve over time. But I wonder if it is correct now to refer to the modern pidgin as a "Jargon" whose original French meaning is pejorative. After all "standard" French appeared in France very late also as a jargon before becoming the rule, transforming the other original regional "oïl" languages (as well as other "oc" languages, Celtic languages, Basque, Alsatian, Flemish, Corsican, into pejorative "jargons" even though they were not pidgins.

Today, Haitian is also a pidgin which was pejoratively coined in French as a "jargon", but now it is considered a plain language for itself. Modern Latin also is now jargon that has several forms (ecclesiastic, judiciary) quite far from the original Roman Republican language, and during the Roman Empire it developed lot of local vernaculary pidgins ("jargons") which became later lot of actual languages by borrowing terms and accents from lot of other local languages.

Today there is also a new Latin jargon developed for biologists, made by inventing many new words by borrowing lexems from another language (any one) and simplifying it by adopting the simplified Latin orthographic system and some regular Latin derivations.

I think that "Jargon" does not apply here because it is no longer for a specific use but for a language with general and respectable use. This term should better be removed from English, or possibly replaced by "Modern" if we want to keep linguists speaking about the original dialects and their history, and the possibly newly developed dialects from the base, using "Chinook" alone as a macrolanguage name for the family including the modern Chinook form and all other dialects largely intelligible with Modern Chinook with no clear distinction with it.

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