printability and standardization

Christina Paulston paulston+ at
Fri Jan 9 02:12:52 UTC 2004

Of course it makes sense to use German. Ladin speakers are all bilingual in
one or the other lge and if there still, which I doubt, are any monolingual
Ladin speakers hidden away in any valley, they are likely to be illiterate.
I don't think linguists are always about making sense. Christina

>From: Alkistis Fleischer <fleischa at>
>To: lgpolicy-list at
>Subject: Re: printability and standardization
>Date: Thu, Jan 8, 2004, 9:25 PM

> 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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