PMC proposals/New naming of the Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian Sprachbund

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Revision as of 22:33, 20 February 2013 by Jimregan (talk | contribs) (→‎Comments: braino)
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To maximize the chances for the involvement of Croatian researchers and developers in Apertium language pairs involving Croatian as part of the European project Abu-Matran, Nikola Ljubesic (U Zagreb) has suggested the possibility of avoiding the name "Serbo-Croatian" to refer to the Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian Sprachbund. In fact, Apertium is currently using an ISO-639-1 code (sh) that has been deprecated (we should be using the inclusive macrolanguage code hbs).

The proposal is for all references to the Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian macrolanguage or Sprachbund to be made through this name, to cease using the name Serbo-Croatian to refer to it in official communication, and for the more inclusive ISO-639-2 code hbs to be used to refer to it in all language pairs developed inside Apertium for components of this macrolanguage.

Proposed by: User:Mlforcada Seconded by: Francis Tyers

In detail



I received quite a lengthy lecture when I unwittingly offended the nice lady from Institut za Hrvatski Jezyk i Jezikoslovlje when I used the term 'Serbo-Croatian', which was only the most memorable indicator that the term is, in fact, somewhat offensive, so I'm all for never, ever using it. -- Jimregan 03:40, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

I'm happy to consider Serbo-Croatian as a synonym of Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian, changing the code is fine. For personal use and in articles I may use "Serbo-Croatian" with a footnote. - Francis Tyers 14:42, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

As an addendum, I am categorically opposed to having separate modules for the different standards of Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian. - Francis Tyers 14:43, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
That sounds a little like advocating "one true way", and (on the face of it) a little off-topic, as there is no mention of such in the proposal, but as a group of Croatian researchers are unlikely to spend the time on anything other than Croatian, it perhaps is relevant. For me, the basic rule is "whoever does the work gets to choose the direction", and if that means two people working on competing implementations, so be it. The only serious impedance to multiple implementations is the maintenance cost, which can largely be mitigated through improved tooling. (IOW, learn from Linux, and don't fear forking). -- Jimregan 15:30, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
If people want to fork, that's their prerogative. I don't fear forks either --- the GPL permits them --- but in Apertium I suspect they would die fairly quickly. I am talking about within the Apertium project. - Francis Tyers 17:25, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but I mean within the project. As is, we already have one example of this - Prompsit es-pt vs. imaxin es-pt -- Jimregan 19:01, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Also, it would be good to have an opt-out for the Wiki (as opposed to the actual language pair data). Otherwise we're looking at page names like: Slovenian and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (compare Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian). - Francis Tyers 14:46, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
The proposal states "to cease using the name Serbo-Croatian to refer to it", which would seem to me to preclude this. I'd be more inclined to be swayed by the wiki article name unwieldiness if there were no such thing as redirects, but there is such a thing, so that rings a little hollow. Your addenda combined seem to me to be rather a counter-proposal. Perhaps, then, you should explicitly make a counter-proposal. To be clear, I am not particularly invested in one term over the other, but I am invested in this process being clear, consistent, and (if possible) transparent. Tacking on a rider to exempt the wiki in this manner seems anything but. -- Jimregan 15:30, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
That said, I suggest that we modify "to cease using the name Serbo-Croatian to refer to it" to "to cease using the name Serbo-Croatian to refer to it in official communication", or words to that effect: as currently stated, the proposal could be interpreted to have broader scope than (I presume) was intended: i.e., that we are not presuming to dictate to anyone which term they should use, except when writing on Apertium's behalf. -- Jimregan 15:42, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
I like the in official communication idea. - Francis Tyers 17:25, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Mikel confirmed that it's as intended, so I updated the proposal. -- Jimregan 19:01, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
What I meant really, is for this name not to be recommended in Apertium public documentation such as this wiki itself --Mlforcada 16:14, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, my fault - I should have drawn a line (or comment level) between the comments to show it was a separate thought, and not some sort of compromise towards exempting the wiki. I intended it to clarify that we are not presuming to dictate to contributors which terms they should use in their own writings, which is, I think, as intended. More specifically, regarding the wiki, I take this to mean 'avoid the term in the main namespace, but feel free to use what you please in the User: namespace and talk pages'. -- Jimregan 22:32, 20 February 2013 (UTC)



  1. Jimregan 03:41, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  2. Juan Antonio Pérez 08:30, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  3. Francis Tyers 14:41, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  4. --Mlforcada 16:14, 20 February 2013 (UTC)