Re: [OT] Re: the Ethnologue

From: Edward Cherlin (
Date: Fri Sep 22 2000 - 02:59:50 EDT

At 6:24 AM -0800 9/21/00, Marion Gunn wrote:
>Arsa Antoine Leca:
>> <CITE>
>> Hindi, Hindustani, Urdu could be considered co-dialects, but
>>have important
>> sociolinguistic differences. Hindi uses the Devanagari writing system, and
>> formal vocabulary is borrowed from Sanskrit, de-Persianized,
>> Literary Hindi, or Hindi-Urdu, has four varieties: Hindi (High
>>Hindi, Nagari
>> Hindi, Literary Hindi, Standard Hindi)...
>> </CITE>
>> from the online Ethnologue database, 13th ed.
>Mm. Maybe a more polite (more PC) turn of phrase might be found than "could be
>considered co-dialects", which more than implies, it postulates the
>existence of a
>standard language referent of which the above "could" be considered dialects.
>Someone this week, I think it might have been on this list, spoke of
>languages as
>being "allied" to each other. I rather like that. Would it be acceptable to
>suggest replacing "co-dialects" with "allied languages"?

As long as nobody supposes that the speakers are supposed to be
allied. Consider

Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia (Serbo-Croatian)
India, Pakistan (Hindi/Urdu)
China, Taiwan, Singapore (Chinese)
North and South Korea
The many Arab countries and dialects
Iran, Afghanistan (Farsi, Dari, Pashto)

or the U.S. and UK in 1776 and 1812. Historical examples could be
greatly multiplied.


Edward Cherlin Generalist "A knot!" exclaimed Alice. "Oh, do let me help to undo it." Alice in Wonderland

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