Talk:Abstand and ausbau languages

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Romanian and Moldovan[edit]

In case Decius still wishes to revert, I've decided to add something here in case a real debate should develop, with people who actually know anything about linguistics.

"An Ausbausprache (also called an ausbau language) is a language which has a standard spelling, a standard grammar and a relatively wide and clear vocabulary (and is thus almost identical with a standard language). Two language forms that allow easy mutual communication can nevertheless be regarded as two different languages if they are each an Ausbausprache according to this definition."

So, to fit the definition...

Does it have a standard spelling? Romanian -- yes. Moldovan -- yes. Does it have a standard grammar? Romanian -- yes. Moldovan -- yes. Does it have a relatively wide and clear vocabulary? Romanian -- yes. Moldovan -- yes.

Yeah - to all 3. It just happens that the spelling is identical, the grammar is identical, and the vocabulary is as similar as similar can be. And that the Moldovan Constitution says that 'Moldovan' is how it calls Romanian within its territory. So, I'll correct the article.2.80.220.87 (talk) 00:29, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

If you have anything to say to this rather than what you said before about me having to give a citation for Romanian and Moldovan being Ausbau languages (there's no citation for Bokmål and Danish, or Dari and Farsi, or any of the other examples, yet they are there because it's just common sense -- they match the definition perfectly), or that you don't give a "flying fuck" (your words) about whether my linguistic evidence is legitimate or not and demand obnoxiously that I provide a source for an example, when you refused to provide one yourself earlier, I would be happy to discuss this in more detail. However, as far as I can tell, you don't know anything about linguistics, and object to them being labelled as "languages" in even the most discrete way for nationalist reasons rather than linguistic reasons. --Node 05:16, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Well, whatever I know about linguistics, at least I don't spell ridiculous as rediculous (repeat offense on your part proves that it's not a typo). I'll get back to this later. Decius 05:56, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
A misspelling. How exactly is the significant to the topic at hand? Your English is certainly not perfect. --Node 06:59, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
And also don't forget that you are the one representing a fringe view here, not me. The Ethnologue report and the majority of linguists around the world do not refer to Moldovan as a language. In sight of this fact, my linguistic experience (though I'm sure you suck at linguistics) is not relevant here. ---Decius 06:06, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
These are the things which make our discussions hostile: "though I'm sure you suck at linguistics". Your linguistic experience IS relevant, because I've pretty much proven that you don't have the knowledge to argue against what I've said, except to tell me it's a fringe view. Do you have any better response? Or do you have no idea what any of it means?? --Node 06:59, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
I'd prefer to review more references than just a Wikipedia article before I begin my argument. And on that note I once again encourage you to find more references for your edits, which support the aforementioned fringe view. Decius 07:07, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

American English vs. British English[edit]

Ok node, can you tell us again why American English is not ausubau? It also "fits the definition", as you say, so what makes their situation different from the Romanian/Moldovan one? --Gutza 16:17, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

"tell us again" means I've already told you. Go read it again. I don't want to waste my time. --Node 11:56, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Oh, sorry, so then this quotation from your comments is supposed to be your demonstration?

I do not believe that there is an American language separate from English. Some people have in the past and still do today advocate for using different terms for English in America ("American language") and English elsewhere ("English language"). I do not hate the American language, or even the concept of a separate term or separate language. If somebody wanted to say Californians speak "Californian" instead of "English", I would think the idea was absurd, but I most certainly wouldn't go around beating people back and hating "Californian" like you hate "Moldovan". (Node on Talk:Moldovan language)

So you're advocating Californian=American English=British English=English, but Moldovan is ausbau. Care to explain? A citation would be best -- I searched the net high and low looking for anyone to say that, but found no reference, nowhere. --Gutza 12:59, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

"American and British English are different in their official forms, as well. Are they ausbau languages? john k 20:40, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
They could be considered as such, yes, however 1) American English is not the official language of any country to my knowledge, rather it exists as an unofficial standard; 2) No country names "____ English" as its official language, similarly no country names its official language "Taiwanese Chinese" or "Colombian Spanish", but rather they will say "Chinese" and "Spanish", while in Moldova, the official language as named by the constitution is "Moldoveneasca", this is the official name of the official language, and 1/3rd of Romanian speakers in Moldova claim that as their mother tongue. This is, as I noted previously, similar to the case of Dari and Farsi in Afghanistan and Iran. --Node 21:11, 3 August 2005 (UTC)"
...so basically, American and British English could be considered separate languages under these criteria, but they are not because 1) There is no officially standardised American English, there only exists a widespread consensus because the US doesn't have something like "Academie Française" so whether or not American English can be considered an Ausbausprache on its own is debatable; 2) "American English" is not the official language of any country. 3) "American English" and "British English" imply a unity because they both use the same language name, but with preceding adjectives. 4) The terminology "American" to refer to the speech of the US, while becoming more and more common, is still not used even by perhaps 1%. Only a tiny group claims "American" as their language on census forms. This is not to say that American English and British English cannot be considered ausbau languages, but rather that they fit the criteria differently because in American English there is no authoritative standard grammar or spelling. --Node 21:19, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Ok, so basically you're saying "if they want to call it a different language, then let them?" Is this your view of things? For instance if people living in Bucharest decided they wanted to create the Bucharest Academy and name their language Bucharestian, would you be ok with an article on Bucharestian which would only note that "Bucharestian is considered by most people to be the same as Romanian" -- and then go on academically and note the "differences" between the "ausbau" Bucharestian and Romanian? Because they qualify, you know! And I mean now, today, not in a sci-fi future, or assuming a fantasy past. Would you accept that as a valid, NPOV encyclopedic article? --Gutza 21:37, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I've advocated that all along, as you would know if you'd been following the talk on mo.wiki. If there was really a standard Bucharestian language called by a different name than Romanian, I see no problem with an article as you mention, and I would certainly except it as a vald NPOV encyclopedic article. --Node 05:43, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Wonderful. Ok, by extension, I expect that if each of the 41 Romanian counties set up a regulating body for the language, and declare they each speak a different one (Albean, Aradean, Argesean, and so on), you'd also create straight-faced articles for each of them, wouldn't you? But how would you react to a similar, but politically loaded claim -- for instance, if the Romanian Government had the audacity to set up a Transylvan Academy, and that academy would regulate the Hungarian language spoken my the respective minority in Transylvania, claiming that ethnic Magyars in Transylvania speak Transylvan instead of Magyar? Would you still write the same kind of straight-faced article, just noting the differences between Magyar and "Transylvan"? --Gutza 13:42, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Oh, and another related question, when you say "Does it have a relatively wide and clear vocabulary?" -- what's that supposed to mean? That the two languages share a relatively wide and clear vocabulary, or that each of them consists of many words? --Gutza 18:01, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

I don't understand why that's in there, as there's not really such a thing as a "relatively wide and clear vocabulary". That is, a language won't be usable at all if it doesn't have a "wide and clear vocabulary". But what it means is that each of them consists of words for many things relating to many topics, and that the words have clear meanings. --Node 11:56, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Please Clarify Definition[edit]

Quotation from the article:

"An Ausbausprache (also called an ausbau language) is a language which has a standard spelling, a standard grammar and a relatively wide and clear vocabulary (and is thus almost identical with a standard language). Two language forms that allow easy mutual communication can nevertheless be regarded as two different languages if they are each an Ausbausprache according to this definition."

What is meant by "standard spelling", "standard grammar" and respectively "a relatively wide and clear vocabulary" in this context? This is an all-inclusive definition, i.e. Birmingham English would qualify as an Ausbausprache, separated even from British English (Birmingham English has a standard spelling, standard grammar and a relatively wide and clear vocabulary -- true, all identical with British English, but the conditions according to the definition are satisfied). Same for my English, or your English, or my family's English, and so on ad nauseaum. This is certainly not what linguists had in mind when they defined these terms, so the definition, as it stands in the article, is certainly flawed. --Gutza 23:51, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Birmingham English does not have a standard spelling. You're referring to formal written British English, as used in Birmingham, rather than written Birmingham dialect (unless you're talking about Birmingham, Alabama, in which case it's formal written American English instead). "Moldovan", on the other hand, does have standards, which are regulated by an institution separate from that which regulates standard written "Romanian".
Incidentally, in books about language issues in Moldova, the trend seems to be to use the term "Daco-Romanian language" to refer to Romanian and Moldovan together, and to describe Moldovan as a "Daco-Romanian dialect" rather than a "Romanian dialect" because this has less of an implication of nation-state, and more one of ethnicity, historical affinities, or ancestry. --Node 05:43, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Look, I don't have any claims on the Moldovan nation-state, stop implying I would. I'd be quite all right with the Moldovan government claiming the official language was Daco-Romanian, because I also speak about ethnic continuity, I never raised the issue of Rep Moldova's legitimacy as a state. Apart from those, I don't think it's worth continuing this thread at this point, I'm much more interested what you think about the potential situation I described in the previous section. --Gutza 13:50, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Gutza, I never said you personally claimed anything. I was just noting that using the words "Romanian dialect" to describe Moldovan, is to use loaded words, and most the the literature says "Daco-Romanian dialect" (or occasionally "Daco-Romanian language") instead.--Node 04:10, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Realized that I didn't clarify why I didn't remove the dispute notice: I do not believe that it can be scientifically acceptable for anybody to create a regulating body for a language, assign that body the task to write up a "standard spelling" and "standard grammar" identical to the existing language, and name it differently. While you personally can hold a libertarian view that anybody can call any language by any name they wish, I still have very serious doubts on whether this is actually how linguistics works (i.e. "What did they decide to call it? Californian? Great, Californian is a new language then, which happens to be identical to English -- and while we're at it, let's also invent this cool new term, ausbau, for such situations where people invent languages!"), it sounds way too dubious. --Gutza 00:26, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Gutza, while some linguists may not agree with this point of view, I think in sociolinguistics the idea is widespread that what is a language and what is not is 100% arbitrary, and depends mostly on social factors. Essentially, if somebody decides their language is different, then it's a different language. What other criteria would you propose to use? Currently, there are no widely agreed-upon criteria for the determination of what is a language and what is not. If you want to write up some criteria and try to get the linguistics community (or at least sociolinguistics) to accept your criteria and new definition, feel free. The primary usage of the term "ausbausprache" or "ausbau language" (not just "ausbau") is to refer to the varities with standard spellings and grammars themselves, NOT to a duality; thus Japanese is an Ausbausprache, Italian, French, German, and Russian are all Ausbausprachen as well, or at least their standard forms are (Milanese dialect of Italian is hardly an Ausbausprache, same with Koelsch German, Muscovian Russian, or Parisian French). However, as is noted on the page, if there are two very similar Ausbausprache, they may still be considered separate laguages. --Node 04:10, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Ok, then I'm ok with removing the dispute notice once you rewrite the definition for ausbau languages to include the necessity for differences in spellings and/or grammar. As far as I can tell, Moldovan doesn't qualify as Ausbausprache in this context -- the difference in ortography from current Romanian should not qualify, because it would imply that Romanians used to speak Moldovan until the change in regulations by the Academy in the 1990's, which wouldn't make sense. Are there any other spelling and/or grammar differences between standard Romanian and "standard Moldovan"? --Gutza 10:14, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Gutza, it remains that the definition does not include that these languages need to have different spelling and grammar. What makes a language an Ausbau language is that it has an official spelling and grammar. It may be identical or near-identical to that of another language, yet it is still an Ausbau language. --Node 23:28, 7 August 2005 (UTC)
Also, Gutza, as a non-linguist how can you possibly know "what linguists had in mind when they defined the term"? --Node 09:50, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

I don't. That's why I asked. Don't cease every opportunity to insult and imply things about me, I never insulted you, and I tried to be quite candid about this entire thing, in spite of your claims of nationalistic rage on my part. --Gutza 13:50, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

'factual accuracy' and 'relevant discusion'[edit]

I read the 'discussion' above and it has nothing to do with the content of the article as such, which is based on broadly accepted scientific terms. The Ausbausprache - Abstandsprache - Dachsprache concepts have been developed by sociolinguists, I don't see why there should be a problem of 'factual accuracy'. The concept of Ausbausprache refers to the construction of a 'national language' from hitherto 'dialects' in order to reinforce national identity. The question is not if this new 'national language' has a 'scientific legitimity' to exist as a separate language or not: it exists, it has his grammatical rules, syntax, vocabulary, written texts. So, I remove the 'factual accuracy banner' that could lead uninformed readers to think Ausbausprache, Abstandsprache, Dachsprache don't have a scientific legitimacy. --Pylambert 18:24, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

I never intended to contest the legitimacy of the concepts, I was contesting the data in the article, which I hoped I made clear in the comments. As a matter of fact it's quite perplexing to me that by "accuracy dispute" anyone could possibly infer "legitimacy dispute". An accuracy dispute essentially means that someone is disputing the representation of real-world objects (all-inclusive "objects") within Wikipedia, not that the real-world object's own existence and/or legitimacy is disputed (we don't have dispute notices on Scientology, although its legitimacy is potentially disputable, because contributors believe that it's properly represented in Wikipedia).
Back on topic, your changes do help, but there still is one last confusing point left: "An Ausbausprache [...] is a language [...] with [...] a relatively wide and clear vocabulary". A language without a relatively wide and clear vocabulary would be pretty much useless, that sounds like "kids inventing languages" to me. In other words, I expect that any language or dialect has "a relatively wide and clear vocabulary", because otherwise it would be dysfunctional. However, it may well be that the current meaning is the proper one, as to distinguish the very "kids inventing languages" from "proper" languages, and exclude kids' invented languages from the Ausbau languages category. But it could also mean that the Ausbau language needs a relatively wide and clear distinct vocabulary from the standard language to be considered an Ausbausprache.
Thank you for your changes! --Gutza 23:16, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
Kids' invented languages such as Nicaraguan Sign Language? Ejrrjs | What? 23:29, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
Interesting. Would a similar language, but with slightly distinct signs which hypothetically evolved (or was exported) in Honduras be considered an Ausbau language or not? How would that fit the definition? --Gutza 23:34, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
As long as it serves nation-building purposes I think it would. For example, there are both a Spanish Sign Language (Confederación estatal de personal sordas) and a Catalan Sign Language (ca:Llengua de signes catalana) User:Ejrrjs says What? 00:14, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I know, this discussion has been over since long. Just wanting to clarify on one point: Is not a language without "a relatively wide and clear vocabulary" dysfunctional?
I believe not so, because a narrow vocabulary, which should be clear though, does serve to increase specialist technical communication quite often.

(1) Though neither internet cranks, medical doctors, nor lawyers, etc., refrain from using standard language, they in addition do use their specialist language, which certainly Mr. Normal never really and fully understands, while colleagues almost always do. Often they even do, if they are using a different standard language for their everydays lifes, in which they embed their techno-babble. In other words, some technical jargon, to a wide degree, is a sublanguage, or a language domain, under many different dachspraches.

A quite different example of this relation between wide and narrow vocabularies of related languages can be observed with local languages, or dialects, too.

(2) The abovementioned Kölsch for instance has hundreds of words, and even grammar, concerned with peculiarities of practical life, which cannot be adequately translated to the enveloping language, Standard German (although they can be explained, according to Lützeler); while at the same time it lacks hundreds of words concerned with scientific and modern technologial subject matters, German State, and European, law and Government bodies, etc. Of course you talk about those in Kölsch, but you borrough the words from German. Nevertheless, Kölsch of its time in history has been the only language spoken by common men in Cologne in their daily lifes, for 200 to 300 years, despite a comparatively narrow vocabulary in some fields.

Even without "a clear vocabulary" you can have useful languages.

(3) There is a niche population of several thousand in Cologne, (-: while we're at it :-) that is offspring from immigrants, predominantly from Turkey, and, less so, from few other muslim areas of the world, that use a mix of bits of German, Kölsch, Rheinisch Regiolect, Turkish, English bits, and (as percieved by others) "non-words" like "Ey", and "Waaa", "Booh", put together in (as percieved by other) pretty grammar-less ways, creating an in-group language, or Sociolect, which is usually hardly understood by outsiders, but apparently working for insiders. Such in-group speech exists in other socially isolated groups elsewhere, too, e.g. blacks in USA, among women of a specific age in Saudi-Arabia, and Irak, etc. to some extent.

(4) Another example, though artificial and not truly a living language of use beyond fun and limited academic interest, Europanto, also does not have a clear vocabulary. Due to its origin, there are always many words at hand expressing the same concept. Usually you have a choice of far more than a dozen, and noone can expect others to understand many, or most, leave alone all, of them. Nevertheless it is an astonishing proven fact that, with Europanto, Brussels Eurocrats and their staff have a language which is more efficient than any single official language of Europe.

Greetings. -- Purodha Blissenbach (talk) 14:54, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Sources for "Dachsprache"[edit]

Could someone please provide a source where the term Dachsprache was introduced? Only the terms Ausbausprache and Abstandsprache were coined by the sociolinguist Heinz Kloss. If there will be no source, I will request this page to be moved to Ausbausprache - Abstandsprache. The term Dachsprache is not mentioned by either of the weblinks, nor does it occur in the Metzler Lexikon Sprache ISBN 3-476-01519-X, one of the major German linguistics dictionaries. -- j. 'mach' wust | 10:28, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

It is mentioned in the German wikipedia, as you seem to understand German you should ask them at the discussion page of de:Dachsprache. All these terms are anyway used in sociolinguistics, a subdivision of sociology, not in linguistics.
There are few scientific occurrences of the term attested on the Net, but this is not a criterion, there should be a word-search in sociolinguistics scientific magazines:

"Serbocroatian" - Dachsprache or Ausbausprache of Croatian and Serbian[edit]

Is Serbo-Croatian actually a "Dachsprache" or an "Ausbausprache" of the Croatian and Serbian language? It would be perplex to assume that Croatian and Serbian are "Ausbausprachen" of the Serbo-Croatian language. Serbo-Croatian is actually a "Dachsprache" of the Croatian and Serbian language, as the name already says, if I assume right. From the mid 19th century there have been attempts about moving these two languages closer to each other. Systematic linguistic policies have been used to achieve this goal, supported by political and linguistic unification tendencies. The Croatian standard e.g. already existed before the creation of a so-called "Serbocroatian" language. Please provide an answer and change existing definition. --Neoneo13 23:46, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

From what the relevant wikipedia articles say, there seems to be little doubt that currently the Croatian language and the Serbian language are to be considered independent Ausbausprachen (though very definitly not Abstandsprachen). I have to admit that I'm only familiar with the concepts of Ausbausprache and Abstandsprache (see my above question to the respect), whereas I'm not so certain about Dachsprache (basically, I fail to see the difference between the concepts of Ausbausprache and of Dachsprache), but from what I understand, the Serbo-Croatian language was indeed intended to be a Dachsprache for all of Yugoslavia. However, the attempt has failed, and Serbo-Croatian is widely believed not to exist any more, if it ever has. Croatian and Serbian are closely related languages, but not the same language in terms of Ausbausprache. ― j. 'mach' wust | 10:11, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Amen to that. I'd say that the Serbocroatian/Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian situation is the classic example of the framework, so much that the article seems like written to describe it exactly. Duja 20:34, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Page name[edit]

Should this page be split out into Ausbausprache, Abstandsprache and Dachsprache? I know they are all related, but the title is definately odd in Wikipedia terms. - FrancisTyers 00:09, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

I support it. While it's ok to have all the stuff on one place, it's goddam difficult to link to, and the title is plain ugly. I'd prefer having three separate articles, even with the same intro word for word. Autonomous language should also find its place somewhere in this category. Duja 20:36, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure - it seems to me that the concepts can better be explained together, so any split-up article would contain a hell of a lot of duplication. As for linking, I think all the three terms currently have redirects, and redirects are cheap, so you can simply say "[[Ausbausprache]]" (Ausbausprache) anywhere in an article; there's no need for a clumsy piped "[[Ausbausprache - Abstandsprache - Dachsprache|Ausbausprache]]" (Ausbausprache) or anything like that (although that too does work). Fut.Perf. 07:43, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I've heard the concepts in general being referred to as Ausbau linguistics, perhaps this could be the name for the page. I think Ausbau is the most frequently reference term (at least in the Abstand/Ausbau pair). - FrancisTyers 08:40, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
"Ausbau linguistics" would be okay, although it doesn't seem all that common as a collocation (actually has 0 google hits). "Ausbau sociolinguistics" is a label used by Trudgill in two or three articles, and as such it has some currency. I'm not aware that others (including Kloss himself) ever coined a name for the approach as such. I agree that "ausbau" is the more prominent member of the pair - it's just the more interesting from the sociolinguistic perspective, I guess. Fut.Perf. 08:51, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, you're right Ausbau sociolinguistics, obviously not got my brain on this morning... :) - FrancisTyers 09:19, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

request for further explanation of the terms[edit]

I would like to request that there be further explanation of the three terms - Asubauspache, Abstandsprache, and Dachsprache. I am thinking of explanation in the form of more examples, and specifically examples constrasting each term against the other two, as much as possible. My reasoning is that even after reading the whole page, and looking through some of the examples given, I was still confused on how each term relates to and constrasts each other. For example, there's the section on 'Interrelation of Ausbausprache and Abstandsprache', which I found helpful because it contrasted Ausbausprache and Abstandsprache. But I'm confused on where Dachsprache fits into the continuum. Thanks. Jclu (talk) 19:36, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Article not clear[edit]

I just thought the authors of this article should know that it's not very clear for the un-specialised reader. I have an interest in languages but am far from being a specialist; after reading the article 3 times I was still unclear as to what the three terms mean and what exactly is the difference between them. --Maha Odeh (talk) 10:38, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Let me try.
This is all about the relationship of "dialects" vs. "languages". The neutral term "variety" is used for any consistent linguistic system.
"Dialects" are (primarily spoken, and typically unwritten or not regularly written) local/regional varieties. They are usually part of some dialect continuum. This means a continuum of closely related varieties with no perceptible breaks within, so that neighbouring varieties are always closely similar and easily mutually intelligible – in fact so closely similar that they differ only in details.
"Languages" are (primarily written) standard varieties, usually with an extensive literature, and essentially based on certain traditional spoken varieties. However, a standard language is used as vehicular language, or lingua franca, for a larger region, typically a nation-state. Hence, a standard language is not of merely local or regional, but of supra-regional, national, international or even global importance.
Is that distinction clear?
A Dachsprache refers to the function of a standard language to serve as written standard for a number of spoken varieties. These varieties may form a dialect continuum, part of a dialect continuum, or even several (parts of) dialect continua. (The translation "umbrella language" is quite apt.)
An Ausbausprache is a specific "dialect" which has been upgraded to a "language", usually through borrowing of words from other languages or even more or less closely related dialects (especially dialects for which the language is intended to serve as a Dachsprache), coining of new words (neologisms), borrowing (for example through loan-translation) and coining of phrases and idioms, and the choice between competing (for example dialect- or register-specific) alternatives/forms (for example, grammatical forms). That is, an Ausbausprache is a variety which has gone through a standardisation process, so it can be used to write (or talk) about anything. If you want to write an encyclopedia, you can use an Ausbausprache; if your own language is unwritten, you have to do all this Ausbau work to make it suitable for the task. The Ausbau process can also be used to create a new language from an already existing written standard language, usually mainly by changing the lexicon (the grammatical structure is often left essentially untouched), and having minor differences in pronunciation.
(The situation in Urdu and Standard Hindi is especially telling: Originally, common Hindustani was a dialect of the wider Hindi language augmented through Persian vocabulary. Remember that Persian was the language of administration in British India until 1832. Many Persian words have been used in India for many centuries, even by uneducated people in everyday conversations. In the spoken language, these are generally still used. Urdu retains these words. Higher registers of Urdu incorporate a progressively even higher amount of Persianate vocabulary, sometimes reaching extremes such as in the national anthem Pakistan, where only a single particle is not from Persian. This essentially continues the former situation in the whole are which now includes Pakistan and Northern India – the Hindi belt; note that Hindi refers to the wider language here, not Standard Hindi. However, in Standard Hindi, all or at least most Persianisms have been replaced by Sanskritisms. Not only the educated and technical vocabulary was replaced by Sanskritic words, many of them neologisms, but even everyday words which happen to be borrowed from Persian. Apart from that, and the different script, Standard Urdu and Standard Hindi are essentially identical: in morphology, syntax and phonology – i. e., in grammar and the sound system – as well as basic vocabulary; all aspects normally considered the essential core of any language, and used to classify them by descent. In fact, in 19th century Hindustani, differing amounts of Persianate and Sanskritic vocabulary could be used – and every script in use in South Asia, including the Persian alphabet –, according to the preferences and religious or cultural – or regional – allegiances of the author. Modern Standard Hindi as well as Urdu – with their different levels of intensity of Sanskrit or Persian influences – are largely just selections – for nationalistic and religious reasons – narrowing and limiting that former liberal practice, like points chosen out of a continuum, an amorphous mass of options condensed and rigidified into the choice between two main lines.)
An Abstandsprache is a variety which is clearly not a "dialect", in the sense that it is similar and therefore dependent on another, standardised variety (Ausbausprache). An Abstandsprache is clearly not a "dialect" of anything else, or specifically to its Dachsprache, because it is too different for that.
Note that these terms are all relative and describe different aspects (properties and functions) of written or unwritten languages, either inherent (Ausbausprache) or with respect to particular other languages (Dachsprache, Abstandsprache).
For example, Modern Standard British English is clearly an Ausbausprache, both in the sense that it can be used to discuss any subject and that it is an independent national (written standard) variety (compared to other national varieties of English). It is a Dachsprache for Scouse, Cockney and Estuary English (as well as many other language forms). It is also a Dachsprache for Revived Cornish. Revived Cornish, although remotely related to English, is an Abstandsprache with respect to Modern Standard British English. "Broad" Scots and especially Insular Scots is probably different enough from Modern Standard British English to be considered an Abstandsprache, too. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:45, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Need clarification on point regarding Abstandsprache[edit]

Hi, all - While I do not pretend to be a linguist, I have a definite interest in the subject so perhaps if my question has been thoroughly answered elsewhere, be patient with me.

My concern regards the term Abstandsprache as described on this page. Most of the examples of abstand languages given on this page (many in the section about Dachsprache) are languages that are not mutually intelligible to a high degree (Mandarin vs Cantonese, Low vs High German, etc.). However, in all cases but one mentioned on this page, the abstand languages described are at least closely related (I've never seen anyone argue that Mandarin and Cantonese are from different families). Also, the repeated use of the term 'variety' seems to imply a close relationship between the two (or more) languages in question.

The lone exception to the above is the pair actually mentioned in the Abstandsprache section of this page as a "typical" example of abstand languages - Basque vs. Spanish. My understanding is that Basque is a language isolate, and not related in the slightest to Spanish (or, for that matter, to any other known language, Indo-European or otherwise). Is the relationship between Basque and Spanish truly one to be described by the term abstand? Can two abstand languages be completely, utterly unrelated? Or am I misinterpreting something (quite possible)? beerslayer (talk) 09:58, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

"Abstand" just means that the languages are patently different from each other. One important consequence arising from this is that the standard language has to be acquired like a foreign language. Whether the genetic relationship is simply remote or nonexistent (or unrecoverable) is unimportant. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:08, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Tamil and Malayalam[edit]

In some instances, ausbau languages have been created out of dialects for purposes of nation building. This applies for instance to Luxembourgish vis-a-vis German. Other examples of ausbau languages are Persian of Iran and Afghanistan (cf. Dari), Serbian and Croatian, Bulgarian and Macedonian, Malaysian and Indonesian, Hindi and Urdu and to some extent Tamil and Malayalam.

I think the example of Tamil and Malayalam is somewhat misleading in this context. While Tamil and Malayalam are certainly very similar, Malayalam has significant differences with Tamil on all linguistic levels (not just lexical choices or minor differences in pronunciation), and its status as a different language does not ever seem to have been controversial. It also has a separate literary tradition dating back to the 12th–14th centuries, and started to diverge from Tamil in the 9th century (the beginning of the Middle Tamil period) according to Krishnamurti 2003, with which our articles on Malayalam and Tamil language#Classification agree. Therefore, Malayalam cannot be thought of as an artificial modern national standard. In fact, it cannot be the result of nationalism based on arbitrary colonial divisions in the first place, as the separateness of the Malayalis as an ethnic group (who are traditionally not only found in Kerala) has been long recognised before the modern state of Kerala was founded, and it was based on the distinct Malayali identity (which is in turn based on the use of the Malayalam language) rather than the other way round. While it is difficult to measure language similarity or mutual intelligibility objectively, Malayalam and Tamil are not extremely similar or even virtually identical at their core (grammar and basic vocabulary), just very similar, and Malayalam differs from Tamil in some significant aspects. Also, the long separate tradition has to be kept in mind. Compare Danish vs. Swedish.

Therefore, Malayalam is fully legitimate as a separate language, and its status as such is not doubtful due to its distinctive structure; hence listing it among these examples along with Malaysian and Indonesian (two different national) standards based on the same literary Malay variety, and more comparable to American vs. Australian English) misleads the reader into thinking that this example is just another division based on tiny or non-essential differences. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:31, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Ausbau = upgrade??[edit]

This does not seem like a great translation. Google Translate lists 10 translations including "elaboration" and "cultivation" but not "upgrade". --JWB (talk) 22:30, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

I agree it's not ideal, though upgrade is in fact a possible translation and I am not sure how to say it better. An ausbau language isn't so much upgraded (suggesting one discrete step) as developed continuously. But development doesn't come with the necessary connotations of improvement and extension. Elaboration obviously doesn't fit, and cultivation, while describing it quite well, has a very different tone. Hans Adler 23:07, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
What about "expanded" or "standalone"? I agree that "upgrade" is not the best, since it's somewhat missing the point of the ausbau language as an independent developing language as compared to a dialect. Kate (talk) 18:39, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Despite that 'upgrade' is one of the senses of the German word, it's a quite wrong translation in this context. A related observation is that this article was scantily sourced, and that includes the definitions of Kloss's terms. I have rectified this in large part. This is really shocking, that in over six years, a variety of editors, including native speakers of German, have not cited more sources. There are abundant expositions in English, Frnch, or German by Kloss, Goebl, and Muljacic. In general, this article was poorly researched and poorly composed. Also, the presentation of the German vernacular examples was careless, because German dialectology is complicated and obscure, so its presentation to a lay audience requires more — and better — explanation than was given before I started editing within the last several days. Dale Chock (talk) 15:14, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

What are the sources for Dachsprache fitting into Kloss’s ausbau–abstand language framework?[edit]

What are the sources for Dachsprache fitting into Kloss’s ausbau–abstand language framework? My understanding is that Kloss’s framework consists of ausbau language and abstand language, whereas Dachsprache is a different notion altogether and not a part of Kloss’s framework. The article’s introduction currently claims that the three terms “were coined by Heinz Kloss in 1967”. That claim cannot be true because Kloss (1967) speaks only of “abstand language” and of “ausbau language”. He does not mention Dachsprache at all.

I suggest that this article be renamed to Ausbausprache and Abstandsprache or – maybe preferrable – to Ausbau and abstand languages (for using Kloss’s original designations). The Dachsprache parts may be either moved to an article of their own or integrated into other articles such aus dialect.

If someone knows any source that cites the three terms as a triad framework, things are different, of course. However, at least the introduction needs thorough rewriting because the terms were not coined by Kloss, who only coined a dyad ausbau–abstand language framework. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 14:50, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

It seems to have been added by Muljačić, who says Kloss never used the term, but did speak of "roofing" (Überdachung) and of "roofless" languages. Kanguole 15:18, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
But do the three terms really fit together? The notions of ausbau and abstand languages certainly fit together, like two sides of a medal. Kloss has used the two notions as a pair. Sure, there may be roofing, but that is something different. I do not see how that could be fitted into the concept of ausbau and abstand language so that it would make a proper triad framework that would merit a single Wikipedia article.
I admit I have not read Muljačić (1993), Standardization in Romance. Maybe he really crafts Dachsprache into Kloss’s dyad framework, so it is a proper triad. If he does, then it is essential that this article reflects Muljačić’s reasoning so we can see why the three terms should share a single Wikipedia article. As it is now, I see no justification why Dachsprache should be integrated into the same article as Kloss’s ausbau–abstand language framework.
To my understanding, Dachsprache is just one possible aspect of an ausbau language, on par with other possible aspects such as standardization, use in schools, use in media, etc. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 16:21, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 13 May 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved, by unanimous vote. The article has been moved to the better new name abstand and ausbau languages proposed by User:Kanguole. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 17:04, 20 May 2015 (UTC)


Ausbausprache, Abstandsprache and DachspracheAbstandsprache and Ausbausprache – Kloss’s framework consists only of Abstandsprache and Ausbausprache. Kloss (1967) does not even mention Dachsprache. In later works, Kloss mentioned Dachsprache, but only as one possible aspect of Ausbausprache. Other such aspects include standardization or use in education (argumentum ad absurdum: if Dachsprache is included in the article name, why not Standardsprache, Unterrichtssprache, etc.?).

I think that we should only very sparingly use double titles such as Ausbausprache and Abstandsprache. Normally, an article should be about a single concept. Multiple concepts in an article title should only be used if there is no doubt that the concepts belong together. This is the case for the Abstandsprache and Ausbausprache concepts. They belong together, but the Dachsprache concept does not.

It is revealing that the introduction mentions only “two separate and largely independent sets of criteria and arguments”. The Dachsprache concept is not a third set of “criteria and arguments”, but belongs to the Ausbausprache criteria and arguments.

I suggest that the paragraphs pertaining to Dachsprache be moved to Dachsprache (currently, a redirect) after this article is moved to Abstandsprache and Ausbausprache. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 13:46, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Support (obviously), and some more thoughts: The following work has been cited as some kind of justification why Dachsprache should be included in this article: Muljačić (1987): “Über den Begriff Dachsprache”, in: U. Ammon (ed.): Status and Function of Languages and Language Varieties, pp. 256–277, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. However, Muljačić – while giving many insights about the notion of Dachsprache – does not set Dachsprache on par with the Abstandsprache–Ausbausprache dichotomy. Instead, he locates the notion of Dachsprache within “Ausbaukomparatistik”, thus effectively counting it among the criteria and arguments for Ausbausprache.

    And the only reason why I go into the troubles of making a formal move request for this renaming (which I consider quite uncontroversial) is that this article’s name has already had an impact on the internet. The three terms are often found together because of this article. This is the dangerous and damaging influence Wikipedia can have. I wish to root it out thoroughly. That is why I want to start with this formal move request even if it may seem excessive. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 16:17, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Comment. It would make sense to translate sprache to "language", as Kloss himself does in his English-language works. Kanguole 18:01, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
    I agree, so the new title will be abstand language and ausbau language – or would you prefer abstand and ausbau languages?
    And with regard to the split-off, would you use the article name Dachsprache or use another name instead?
    For the record: Only now I stumbled upon the relevant Wikipedia policy. It is WP:AND. According to it, multiple concepts connected with and need to be “closely related or complementary” – abstand language and ausbau language are, but Dachsprache is not. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 11:43, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support abstand and ausbau languages. The Dachsprache concept is a minor extension of this idea, worth a mention in this article, though not in the title. It's also not enough for a separate article (WP:NOTDICT). Kanguole 23:53, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

(non-admin closure)

lede=unclear:(([edit]

81.11.218.228 (talk) 20:40, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Enveloping language = Dachsprache?[edit]

Is enveloping language used as a synonym for Dachsprache in English? Purodha used it as such above and in this edit, but he was not a native speaker of German, so I hesitate ...

By the way, I wonder why Envelop redirects to Envelopment, as does Envelope (military), when envelop(e)/envelopment clearly has many more meanings than the military one, and Envelope (military) (or more correctly Envelop (military) or Envelopment (military), I'd say) would be a more logical title. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:34, 17 December 2016 (UTC)