Other dimensions besides locality/nativeness?
Could we add a bit to the first sentence of the definition, something on the order of "..., or the form of a language spoken by the common people as distinct from elites"? (Substitute whatever is the currently academically-accepted term for "common people.")
Classical Chinese and the version often called "vernacular" (bai hua, ordinary speech) Chinese, for example, were both "native to" China, but the former was mainly written, used by the elite, and stable over long periods of time; while the latter (which contains, among other things, much more useful redundancy) was mainly oral, used by common-people, and faster-evolving. In the early 20th century, for an intellectual to write in vernacular Chinese was among other things a political statement.
I know, a definition can't include all the nuances that a full-length article can, but maybe there ought to be some allusion to the social-class and oral/written dimensions of this term? Bruce M. Tindall 20:21, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
- Yeah, that's better. I was just taking an initial stab at it since it was on my mind. I'll put your words in. Feel free to develop my tiny stub without me! --Joe Quick 20:24, 24 January 2011 (UTC)