printability and standardization

Alkistis Fleischer fleischa at
Fri Jan 9 02:25:50 UTC 2004

This is a very interesting discussion, but I am wondering:

Why should the Italian government utilize Ladin if it is not an official
language? It makes sense to use German: it is an official language of the
Trentin-South Tyrol Region along with Italian (since 1972); German speakers
form the numerical majority in the province of Bolzano-South Tyrol, etc. But
why should there be labels in Ladin? To return to the original article, why
should there be pharmaceutical products labeled in Ladin in South Tyrol if
the clientele for these products is less than 5% of the population?!

Alkistis Fleischer

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joshua Fishman" <joshuaafishman at>
To: <lgpolicy-list at>
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 12:08 AM
Subject: printability and standardization

> The discussion of (non-)Standardization of Ladin
> and the "reluctance" of the Italian government to
> utilize it in print should remind us that print
> and standardization are quite separate and
> independent of each other. Many languages have
> been printed (and, of course, also written) far
> before their standardization and, indeed, their
> use in print contributed greatly to their
> ultimate standardization (viz. D-B Kerler 2003).
> Of course, standardization did not rescue Latin,
> Greek, Hebrew, etc. from disappearing as
> vernaculars. It would be particularly
> "indelicate" for the Italian government to snub
> Ladin due to Ladin's lack of full
> standardization, given the lack of full
> standardization of Italian to this very day.
> English too is far from being fully standardized,
> which should lead most of us to be rather less
> dismissive of Ladin for this same very human
> "failing". All in all, "complete standardization"
> is a will-of-the-whisp and some small languages
> are far closer to this goal (acting on the
> mistaken assumption that it will promote their
> acceptance) than much larger ones who couldn't
> care less. Joshua A. Fishman
> =====
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