[Foundation-l] How to dismantle a language committee

Tim Starling tstarling at wikimedia.org
Mon Jan 12 06:18:22 UTC 2009

Mark Williamson wrote:
> Most of the grammatical features you cited are shared with Standard
> Arabic... that's not a list of differences, it's a general description
> of Egyptian Arabic with a couple of differences noted. Written in
> Arabic script, short vowels aren't distinguished most of the time, so
> that's irrelevant anyhow.

That may be so, but the rest of the linked page, and some other pages on
that site, did answer most of my questions. The fact that MSA exists as a
spoken form, and that standard written Arabic is an accurate rendering of
it, certainly puts to rest my comparison with historical spelling in
English. Also the fact that it has a different word order (SVO vs VSO)
suggests that characterising the differences as "spelling" is not
accurate. The section on literacy was also relevant. So my thanks to Milos
for pointing it out.

I think it sorts out most of the linguistic questions for me, so that just
leaves the political ones, which as always are more complex and
emotionally charged.

-- Tim Starling

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