“Depending on whom one asks there are app. 5000 to 6000 languages spoken worldwide currently. The Germanic languages are a small subset (depending on the counting 15 languages). The problem is the distinction between language and language variety (e. g. varieties of Frisian). According to Max Weinreich a language is a dialect with an army and a navy. According to this “definition”, Swiss German would not be a language. That the Swiss army has a bicycle group instead of a navy does not help.”

source: http://hpsg.fu-berlin.de/~stefan/Pub/germanic.pdf

Advertisements