dialects and languages

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Fri Feb 22 03:52:02 UTC 2008

>Here's the distinction:

I enjoy the fact that Weinreich (who says he didn't make up the
saying) originally said it in Yiddish, which is a language that has
never had an army or navy.

I agree that Cantonese and Mandarin could readily be called separate
languages, but they are conventionally called dialects, and if one
is, so is the other. (They do have sub-dialects, of course.)

But Benjamin is of course right: I should just ask her what her
definitions are. (What, and take the straightforward and easy way of
finding out?)

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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