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Re: [Lingo] Bulgarian and Russian and Romanian (oh my?)

On 7 March 2011 05:12, Stephen J. Turnbull <> wrote:

> You mean like French-Italian-Spanish-Portuguese (which, like Mandarin
> and Taiwanese, are quite mutually intelligible as written languages)?

Mandarin and Cantonese would have been the better example, methinks. ;-P

Italian / Spanish / Portuguese, sure, but speakers of those don't get
French for free, sadly. French has a more complicated grammar, so
while native speakers of ISP (ha!) can understand many of the words, I
wouldn't go so far as to call French mutually intelligible with them.

> While mutual intelligibility is clearly an important criterion, and my
> examples are mostly frivolous, I really have to wonder whether it is
> either necessary or sufficient.

Well, as David is a linguist, we should probably take his word for
it... which *is* what I'd say when his pronouncements would seem to
make me right and you wrong. ;)

Seriously, language classification can be a hairy issue. Just ask a
Japanese linguist whether Japanese and Korean are related.


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