Re: [OT] Re: the Ethnologue

From: John Cowan (
Date: Sat Sep 16 2000 - 20:42:23 EDT

> From: "John Cowan" <>
> > It seems clear from the detailed information that in all 14 cases,
> > there is only one language, known by different names in different
> > countries. Expecting the Ethnologue to solve this problem by fiat,
> > or even to openly prefer one name over another when nationalist sympathies
> > decree otherwise, is IMHO not reasonable.
> John, a solution must be acheived, nevertheless. If a large part or even all
> of the Ethnologue is to be used as a part of any of these standards, then it
> must be done.
> In a way, this is one of the only advantages to not giving locale tags any
> significance -- by assigning them numbers, you really are trying to stay out
> of the business of people who have very different ideas about names and
> such. In a world where countries can go to war over lesser matters then
> this, I prefer the numbers to having yet another tightrope to walk. :-(

It does not matter in this case whether the tags are meaningful or not.
Doug wants the Ethnologue to give each of its languages (uniquely tagged)
a single unique worldwide authoritative name. That's not reasonable
in all cases, though it is in 99.5%.

The issue is not about unique language <-> tag mapping, which we already
have. It's about a unique language <-> name mapping.

John Cowan                         
One art/there is/no less/no more/All things/to do/with sparks/galore
	--Douglas Hofstadter

On Sat, 16 Sep 2000, Michael (michka) Kaplan wrote:

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