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Re:Language Identifier List up for comments

From: Elizabeth J. Pyatt <ejp10@psu.edu>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2004 14:46:45 -0500
Message-Id: <p06100500bde791df89f0@[128.118.8.31]>
To: www-international@w3.org

There are many ways to define different variants depending on how 
specific you want to get. As others have mentioned, there are many 
spoken varieties for each language used, but it may not be necessary 
to define them UNLESS you are archiving content for linguistic 
analysis.

As I have said before, I would  focus on written forms used. I would 
further stick to written forms used for business and professional 
purposes AT THIS STAGE. I suspect most internationalization will be 
focusing on translation of legal, news and marketing material and 
these are usually done in the standard languages.

I originally questioned en-PR because most commercial English used in 
Puerto Rico will be standard en-US with perhaphs a few vocabulary 
items and idioms which are different. In my interactions with 
citizens from Puerto Rico, the focus in learning to read and write 
standard en-US, even if the spoken form has a different phonology 
(i.e. an accent).

Another side issue is if you want to distinguish regional variations 
on regional vocabulary alone or whether further grammatical 
differences in the standard language would be required for it to be a 
variant. Again, places like Guam and Puerto Rico may have unique 
vocabulary items, but so do New York, Boston, New Orleans, etc. Also 
many professions will have a specialized lexicon.

One interesting approach could be to find "regional" writing manuals 
and use them as a basis. Do people in the Falklands use the UK style 
manual or do they have one of their own? Do students assume they are 
learning UK English or something else in school? The territories are 
the places I would check the most before assigning a regional varient 
code.

Chinese is kind of an unusual case, but I think the other languages 
could be handled with such an algorithm. There would only be one 
written Japanese recognized with the option for specifying additional 
spoken Japanese forms for dialectlogists and linguists. Latin 
American Spanish tends to have one grammar versus Castillian Spanish 
even though several countries are involved.

It's not that I don't want to ever define all the spoken forms, but 
it will require more of an effort than I think this project was 
designed for.

Elizabeth Pyatt



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Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Education Technology Services, TLT/ITS
Penn State University
ejp10@psu.edu, (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)

210 Rider Building II
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Received on Thursday, 16 December 2004 19:47:07 GMT

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