Sunday, October 29, 2006

Some more on non-standard orthography

Many languages do not have a standardised orthography. The variation that can be found is often quite specific for a specific location and also, the variations that can be found is often shared between different localities.

When there is no single biggest resource of what is considered to be standard for all these variations, we cannot use the strategy in WiktionaryZ like we do for English, French, German.. We need another strategy to make this work.

I had a long talk with Purodha just about this. The idea that we came upon is to accept all spelling variations for a word and have the "locations" subscribe to one variation. Our expectation is that there will be some regularity to be found; rules for writing that are always just so even when this rule is limited in it's scope.

The question we have to ask ourselves is how applicable this is and, it it does not make people come up with how they think "their" language is written. One thing I learned is that accepting this is not always the most reasonable thing to do. Yes, people may come from a certain area but that does not make them necessarily qualified to pronounce on the subject of their language. It often goes wrong because these people cannot and will not take some needed distance from the subject resulting in either a wish for the past or a wish for a new orthography or because of their politics.

Thanks,
GerardM

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