tcward wrote:Frank, you seem to be supporting the fact that they should be distinguished, then... ODIM? (à la Perry's signature)
Tim, you're American, if i'm not mistaken... Do you speak 'American'? If not, why not?
Since i really do experience problems in finding a clear way to explain my point of view, maybe you guys can help me with explaining why people in the US do(n't) speak American. (American English still is English
I do realise that the labels we give to languages are very, very flexible, depending upon the context. But still, i don't see any linguistic reason to distinguish between 'Flemish' and 'Dutch', meaning 'In Flanders people speak 'Flemish' in the context of talking about the standard language.
I can come up with some sound historical (and contemporary) linguistic reasons to say that Flemish is only spoken south and west of the river De Schelde.
The only reasons for making the statement 'In Flanders people speak 'Flemish' i could come up with are some local, small scale political ones. But looking at the political context of the EU -- whether we like that EU or not -- it would be quite a (silly) disaster to split up Dutch in 'Dutch' and 'Flemish'.
But it would be quite funny too: an extra translator for Flemish, besides Dutch, the very idea