Talk:Czech language

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GA push[edit]

I've recently started working on this article in hopes of pushing it to GA status and, possibly later, FA. I don't think any articles on individual languages have reached either status within the past few years, so I'm taking a few liberties with the standards to account for escalating demands, but overall I'm basing it on Swedish language, Nahuatl, and Tamil language. Also, while the Czech ethnic group makes up the largest part of my heritage and I know the language to a moderate degree, my background on Wikipedia is in video games (particularly Sonic the Hedgehog articles), not linguistics, so feel free to correct me if I make any newbie blunders. Tezero (talk) 03:53, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

A noble endeavor! We definitely need more high-quality language articles. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Better figures and sources for total speakers. NE is not terribly reliable in my view. Some clarification about the sources used for the Texas Czechs would be nice too. Is it taken from the US Census? Ref is unclear. Statements like "12,805 Texans can speak the Czech language" should be avoided; opt for "According to Reference XYZ, c. 12,000 residents of Texas reported themselves as speakers of Czech" (assuming it's self-reported).
  • How is Common Czech actually different from "standard Czech"? Both seem to refer to the standard language, so how can there be two of them?
  • Keep phonology separate from orthography. Spelling and pronunciation are two very different things. IPA transcription should be added for phonology, not just plain Czech.
  • Harkins (1952) seems like a somewhat dated reference. It would be great if it could be complemented with more recent sources.
Peter Isotalo 11:00, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Standard Czech = the written standard language, Common Czech = the normal spoken language in most of Bohemia and some parts of Moravia where local dialects aren't spoken. Some declension and conjugation endings differ between the two, and there are phonological changes as well. Standard Czech can obviously be spoken, it is on TV and radio for example. I guess that is the real standard language. I will try to find some sources when I come back from holiday. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 16:15, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
That seems like a rather unusual way of dividing up a standard language. More details (and references) would be nice. But I'm quite skeptical to the idea that there would be a "spoken written standard". It sounds more like a simple formal register. Modern standard languages are all influenced by the written standards, but even formal speech is by definition very distinct from written language.
Peter Isotalo 18:31, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
FWIW, Dialects will be one of the last sections I work on, so you two will have time to decide how segmented we should represent Czech to be. Tezero (talk) 19:50, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm definitely not an expert on Czech language policies, just observing that it looks odd from what I've seen. Just make sure your sources are actual linguists or authorities like the Institute of the Czech Language.
Peter Isotalo 20:13, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree. Keep in mind that if a source isn't one of those in References (i.e. the actual bibliography), I haven't gone through it yet. I've already noticed, actually, that the 10.0 million figure's citation looks unsatisfactory, but I have not yet sought an alternative. Tezero (talk) 20:17, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Well it didn't take me long to find a usable source from the Czech language institute about "spoken written Czech" [1]. Actually this article discusses more registers (artistic, technical/non-technical etc), I'm not sure how many would be useful to cover on this page. As for dialects, most sources divide Czech into four main dialects - Bohemian, Central Moravian, Eastern Moravian, Lach/Silesian (see for example this. I've worked a fair bit on the article Moravian dialects representing the latter three in subsections, so we could probably just cover the differences between Bohemian and Moravian on here. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 05:28, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

You know, that article isn't bad, filelakeshoe. If you trimmed down the intro significantly, corroborated a few unsourced statements, and formatted a few of the sources, it would look like GA material to me. Anyway, this page is definitely coming along, if I do say so myself. Are you still interested in contributing/correcting information about Czech dialects here, or should I handle that myself? Tezero (talk) 19:52, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Just so you all know, I'm gonna put this up at GAN as soon as everything's cited and looks reasonably nice, which should be either today or tomorrow. Other changes can still be made after the fact, of course. Tezero (talk) 18:58, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Oh, snap. Tezero (talk) 21:02, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks very much for your work on this, I'm back home now and have had time to read through. Just a few questions:
  • Do East Slavic languages not distinguish between hard and soft consonants, moreso even than Czech and Slovak?
  • I don't know. Why does that matter? Tezero (talk) 17:07, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
  • It was the second paragraph in the "classification" section which said Czech is different from East and South slavic in that it distinguishes hard and soft consonants. As far as I know, all Slavic languages do this to some extent, South Slavic very minimally, but East Slavic and Polish use it more than Czech (and the ref says so about Polish) – filelakeshoe (t / c) 16:06, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Czech and Slovak speakerrs understand each other "more so than speakers of most pairs of languages within the West, East, or South Slavic branches." – is this explicitly stated in the source? I find it questionable - with East Slavic, most people in Belarus/Ukraine have the advantage of knowing Russian as well, and it depends on how much we're segmenting South Slavic, whether Bulgarian and Macedonian are really separate, etc. (I think Wikipedia rightly takes the general stance that BCS is one language) – filelakeshoe (t / c) 10:25, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Here's the source; go to page 58, specifically the part about Polish and Sorbian and the surrounding few sentences. I may have been reading too much into it; can't be sure. Tezero (talk) 17:07, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the ref, I have fixed it to something we can assume from that source, which is that Czech and Slovak are the closest two West Slavic languages. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 16:06, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "Czech is one of the most highly inflected languages in the world" - again, is that explicitly stated in a source which discusses "world languages?" It sounds like the sort of thing a Czech person would say but I find it dubious, even in Europe, Finnish Estonian and Hungarian have a whole load more cases and verb forms than Slavic languages, and I'd wager some of those Native American languages and Georgian outclass even them. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 10:25, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Regarding "most highly inflected": it's your basic native speaker focus on stressing uniqueness. It's probably been a part of virtually every language article by now. Czech grammar seems no more complicated than Russian or Polish, so this is clearly dubious. The statement be removed or toned down until there's a source that can actually confirm it. Peter Isotalo 11:57, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
      • You know, it's easy to miss, but this is cited in he body text of the article. The source is academic, too. I'm on my iPod now, but I'll take a look at the other complaints a bit later. Tezero (talk) 13:33, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
        • Right you are. It's in Qualls (2012), p. 5,[2] but it says that "[t]he most widely spoken highly-inflected Indo-European languages are members of the Slavic group (Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Serbian. etc.)." That's definitely not the same as saying that Czech specifically "one of the most highly inflected languages in the world". Peter Isotalo 13:45, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
        • And I should add that this is The Qualls Concise English Grammar. It's an English grammar focused on North American English.[3] It is definitely not a work that is focused on comparative linguistics. Peter Isotalo 13:52, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
          • Fair enough. I'll remove/reword it in both locations in a few hours, or you can now. Tezero (talk) 13:55, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
            • Alright, done. Tezero (talk) 17:07, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, filelakeshoe! So, if you haven't seen, someone's picked up the review and, while he likes it overall, he's made kind of an odd complaint: that there aren't enough sources numerically, not specifying that anything in particular needs further corroboration. Any ideas on how I might deal with this to his liking, while we wait for a native speaker to chime in on the way aspect is described? Tezero (talk) 16:18, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

I guess use more specific sources? I found an old copy of pravidla českého pravopisu lying around the house (which is the Czech Language Institute's authority on orthography) and just double checked the whole orthography section against it and added a few more cites from it. All I have time for tonight I think. To be honest I don't think we need to do this for the whole article :) – filelakeshoe (t / c) 18:36, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Note on GA-status[edit]

Noticed the GA. I don't feel I have time to do a full review, but I noticed that the phonology section is still based on Czech orthography, not IPA. This really needs to be fixed. Referring to phonemes with normal spelling is not appropriate. It should always be with proper linguistic notation so that it is unambiguous.

Peter Isotalo 11:59, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Peter Isotalo, I believed I've fixed it. Is it better? Tezero (talk) 17:04, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

By the way, I hope I'm not being annoying with all of this. I just want to be sure I know pretty well how to write language articles, as there are others I'd like to work on. Tezero (talk) 17:09, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Well, I suppose I'm somewhat of a stickler when it comes to phonetics... But I should stress you've done wonders with this article. There's a world of difference between that and this. Keep up the good work!
Peter Isotalo 18:41, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Hi, just a quick question on the phonology section: hard consonants may not be followed by y or ý, nor weak ones by i or í. Should it be otherwise?--Ludwigzhou (talk) 18:52, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Apparently yes. I hadn't noticed. Tezero (talk) 22:07, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Aspect[edit]

The stuff about aspect in the verbs section needs attention from a learned native speaker and possibly better sources. I'm not sure it's as simple as all verbs coming in pairs with either prefix or suffix. One imperfective verb often has many perfective derivatives, for instance "dělat" has "udělat" and also "dodělat". One thing I can be sure of is that -ovat, -ávat verbs are imperfective, not perfective, so the longer infinitive ending is added to the perfective stem, e.g. koupit, prodat (perfective) become kupovat, prodávat (imperfective). Imperfective verbs can also have these stems added too, e.g. dělat → dělávat, as can perfective verbs with prefixes e.g. "vyhledávat", which has a different meaning to both "hledat" and "vyhledat". I'm not sure how best to explain it. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 08:54, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

@EmilJ:? – filelakeshoe (t / c) 09:03, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, I'm aware of this, but I'd forgotten about it and I don't believe it was mentioned in the source. I wrote it when I kept getting perfective and imperfective mixed up. Tezero (talk) 13:34, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Since we got no response on here, I asked my girlfriend what she thought and she thinks the explanation is more or less accurate and that I was confused - hledat/vyhledat are not a pair but different verbs and vyhledat has the imperfective form vyhledávat. Adding a prefix to a verb can also change the meaning of the verb which is something we should perhaps find a source for.
You can make -ávat verbs from imperfective ones like "kupovávat" and they denote repeated actions. There is a source on the cs.wiki article [4] here which describes this using the scale "durative - iterative - frequentative" (using "jít - chodit - chodívat" as an example, all of which are imperfective). I have summed this up briefly using the same example. I removed the "list of suffixes" and replaced it with an example since it's a bit confusing - all of those were just standard infinitive endings and apart from the -vat ones can denote perfective verbs as well. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 08:29, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Czech language/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Maunus (talk · contribs) 20:17, 29 July 2014 (UTC)


  • I'll review this article over the next couple of weeks. I work slowly so bear with me please. Looking forward to it.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:17, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
  • First impression: generally good, but I am a little worried about the very few references used. This may not be a problem if the handful of references used are the right ones and major sources are not being left out. Some of the references are slightly odd such as the use of Quall to source basics of Slavic typological classification. The reference to Mathesius needs to be fixed since it cites a 2013 edition of his book which was first published in English in 1975, and probably translated from a work originally in czech published before 1945 when mathesius died. Here we need to use good citation practice and give the full citation. I will be looking over the literature on czech to find the most significant works that should be cited in the article.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:05, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
You do that. I could possibly find other ones; I'm not sure what I'd use them for, though. Tezero (talk) 23:28, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
I give the bibliography very high priority in my reviews, a good article needs to build on the best literature available. ANd the quality of the bibliography shows the quality of the research that has gone into writing the article.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:48, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough. I went in with the attitude that the goal was to write everything important as long as it was sourced, not to specifically give full representation of all available sources. I think it comes from my background on Wikipedia: the articles I usually work on are significantly more obscure than the Czech language, so I will often have to rely on all available sources for the important facts anyway. (Like, for the Sonic X article, I spent hours and hours just looking for basic facts about its production.) Tezero (talk) 19:11, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, there are definitely topical differences like that, but for language articles I am pretty anal about using as high quality sources as possible and represent the literature on the language as well as possible. I don't think the article looks bad in that regard, but I was surprised at the small number of sources used for a language which must have a very large body of literature written about it. The reason I work slow in reviews like these is because I actually try to read and understand the literature to see how well it is reflected in the article. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:14, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Y'know, I'd wondered why this project's quality articles tended to be on obscure languages (besides Tamil and Swedish), and this could be a good explanation, if other reviewers take your same attitude. Tezero (talk) 19:24, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Nope, there just arent anyone working on language articles, thats why. And those who do work on languages they specialize in which tend to be obscure. Also I actually dont think Swedish or Tamil are obscure languages. I am not the harshest reviewer who reviews language articles. But being a linguist I do prefer an article that shows a thorough review of the literature. On the other hand I see a review as a collaborative process, and if you have objections to any concerns of mine I will be happy to discuss them and arrive at a result we both find reasonable. As a general rule on wikipedia it is a lot harder to write high wuality articles about broad topics with large literature than on tiny topics with only a couple of sources written about them (that is the key to the strategy of many FA collectors). That is probably another reason noone has brought English language or Russian language to FA.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:28, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, I don't see Swedish or Tamil as obscure, either; that's why I said "besides" (the argument could be made that if Swedish isn't obscure, neither is Nahuatl based on speaker pool, but Swedish is much more known in the Western world and much more has been written about it, so I gave it the leg-up there). Thanks for your accommodating attitude; some reviewers see their word as law. There's at least one other language article I'd like to work on (Korean Not enough sources I can access. Navajo), and maybe I can do that while you read up on Czech.
(Edit conflict) And that's been my strategy so far, haha. FWIW, Russian is a former FA. Tezero (talk) 19:37, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Mathesius was first published in 1961, and then translated by Libuše Dušková in 1975, and edited and annotated by Josef Vachek.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:11, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Maunus, have you gotten a good handle on the available literature yet? Tezero (talk) 19:02, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

I have started looking at it, but I had some work stuff pop up distracting me. I will take a start through the review today to give you something to work with.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:04, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Sections Classification and Mutual Intelligibility[edit]

This section has some problems in terms of clarity. Some of it is due to using concepts that have not yet been introduced (such as hard and soft consonants), or being vague in the description of differences (possesses an initial glottal stop) and in terms of actually describing Slovak and assuming Czech as the implicit comparison (Slovak has no vocative case > Czech has a vocative case). I dont understand the run on sentence that links the fact that the language hasnt been endangered (which I think is incorrect depending on what we call recent) and the lack of nationalist separation between Czech and Slovak. Something needs to be done here to make this intelligible and clear. Also the section does not mention the internal classification of the two languages and the fact that they form a dialect continuum. Also it is confusing that orthography is mixed into the comparison since that has no bearings on intelligibility or classification. It might also be a good idea to mention the Indo-European language family somewhere in the classification given that Slavic is not actually a language family but a branch of the IE family. An illustration of the phylogenetic relations between the mentioned languages might be a good addition, and more relevant than the map in this section. Probably a better source than Sussex and Cubberley is available that should be used as supplement for sourcing in the section that relies on a single source. Several other of the sources used surely also have something to say about the relation between Czech and Slovak, and the place of Czech in the Slavic family, and the internal dialectal diversity of the Czech language. Here are some possible sources: Nábělková, M. (2007). Closely-related languages in contact: Czech, Slovak,“Czechoslovak”. International journal of the sociology of language, 2007(183), 53-73., Salzmann, Z. (1980). Language standardization in a bilingual state: the case of Czech and Slovak, two closely cognate languages. Language Problems & Language Planning, 4(1), 38-54. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:29, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

I'll start fixing up the section. Tezero (talk) 22:08, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "It might also be a good idea to mention the Indo-European language family somewhere in the classification given that Slavic is not actually a language family but a branch of the IE family." - Done. Tezero (talk) 22:40, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "An illustration of the phylogenetic relations between the mentioned languages might be a good addition, and more relevant than the map in this section." - Done. Tezero (talk) 22:40, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "Several other of the sources used surely also have something to say about the relation between Czech and Slovak, and the place of Czech in the Slavic family, and the internal dialectal diversity of the Czech language."/"Also the section does not mention the internal classification of the two languages and the fact that they form a dialect continuum." - Maybe so for the first, but what more is there to say about the place of Czech in Slavic? Also, the dialect stuff is covered later in the article. Tezero (talk) 22:40, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I think it is important to note that the two languages form a dialect continuum. This requires mention of the fact that some Czech dialects are closer to Slovak than others. Also the entire question of what "Czechoslovak" is seems to require some kind of explanation.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 04:59, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Done. Tezero (talk) 05:30, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "Some of it is due to using concepts that have not yet been introduced (such as hard and soft consonants)" - It would be going off-topic to explain what those are in this section, so I've added a note that they're explained in Phonology. Tezero (talk) 22:40, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "and in terms of actually describing Slovak and assuming Czech as the implicit comparison (Slovak has no vocative case > Czech has a vocative case)" - Done. Tezero (talk) 22:40, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "I dont understand the run on sentence that links the fact that the language hasnt been endangered (which I think is incorrect depending on what we call recent) and the lack of nationalist separation between Czech and Slovak. Something needs to be done here to make this intelligible and clear." - Done, hopefully. Tezero (talk) 22:40, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Now the endangerment issue is stranded as a non sequitur. It is not clear how it has any relation to either the topic of classification or czech-slovak relations.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 04:59, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I've removed it; it may not have been relevant in the first place. Tezero (talk) 05:30, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "orthography is mixed into the comparison since that has no bearings on intelligibility or classification" - Classification, yes, but different orthography can impede mutual intelligibility if writing counts (and if it doesn't, why do language articles cover orthography at all?). Tezero (talk) 22:40, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Generally in linguistics mutual intelligibility is spoken intelligibility only. There are some studies that I could find of mutual intelligibility of written czech and slovak, but they were about machine translation mostly.
Ah. I've removed the individual sentence about orthographies, but left in the brief mention of them in the context of the 80-percent vocabulary difference. Tezero (talk) 05:30, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "vague in the description of differences (possesses an initial glottal stop)" - I believe you've fixed this. Tezero (talk) 22:40, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Maunus, aside from looking up those sources I believe I've addressed everything. Tezero (talk) 22:40, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Yep. However, I read two new sources about the Czech/Slovak question both of which seems to either contradict or complicate the picture given in the article. They both make a point of stressing the limitations of intelligibility, noting for example that intelligibility was hig during the czeckoslovakia years because of the promotion of both in the media, but that particularly intelligibility of Slovak has declined among younger generations of Czech speakers. It also seems to contradict the idea that the languages havent diverged due to nationalism - they seem to have diverged somewhat though perhaps less so than Serbian and Croatian. The article also notes that for a long period slovak was in fact influenced by Czech, leading to convergence of the two languages and some resentment against czech from slovak speakers. All in all it seems the picture is somewhat more complicated than what is suggested in in the article currently. The articles Ive read are the following: Berger, T. (2003). Slovaks in Czechia—Czechs in Slovakia. Int’l. J, 165(2516/03), 0162-0019./Nábělková, M. (2007). Closely-related languages in contact: Czech, Slovak,“Czechoslovak”. International journal of the sociology of language, 2007(183), 53-73. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 04:59, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Would you be able to give me relevant facts to put in (or do so yourself) such that the coverage is appropriate in your eyes? Tezero (talk) 05:30, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Hmmm, I think a more appropriate approach would be to get the articles and read them and see how you think it would be best to represent the facts. How are you going to write a GA without reading the literature? User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 05:39, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't realize they were available online. Upon checking, Closely-related languages in contact is only available in Czech (unless I pay $42, which I don't have on hand for something like this). I can understand a lot of it when reading slowly, but it'd be better to have in English, unless there are specific facts I should be looking for. Slovaks in Czechia is in English, though. Tezero (talk) 05:51, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
If you are willing to use email communication I can send you the articles.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:10, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
That's fine; I set up an account just for Wikipedia because I'm not yet comfortable with giving away my real name. It's tezerowikipedia@gmail.com. For now, I'll look into what I can use. Tezero (talk) 18:40, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Good idea, I've done the same, you should have the files in your inbox now.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:29, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Section Old Czech[edit]

This section is not actually about the Czech language and fails to provide basic information about the earliest history of the czech language (as opposed to the history of the czech people which it describes in some detail). We have what seems to be a very good article on the History of the Czech language, and the section on history should basically be a summary of that article. Unfortunately, that article has very few inline citations and seems to be based on three czech language sources. This section need to be rewritten to actually focus on the topic of the early history of the language answering such questions as what caused Czech to diverge from Slovak and and the historical and sociolinguistic context of the earliest written sources in Czech. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 05:52, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

  • I wasn't able to locate any of those sources, nor did I know what to expect to find in each one (because no inline citations), so I'm unsure what to do. I wrote the best section I could given what was available. Or do you have access to those? Tezero (talk) 14:00, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
There must be some literature in English that we can use for this part of the article, I will take a look. Also, google scholar is your friend. So is the library and access to ejournals.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:10, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
My university library might have something, but I won't be back at college for about two and a half weeks. I'll see what I can cobble together for now from what you've given me and what Google Scholar can provide (Google Books wasn't helpful beyond what's already in the section). Tezero (talk) 20:18, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Just so you know, Maunus, I'm working on this now. I've trimmed away the details about the Czech people and not their language that aren't necessary for basic context, and now I can work on adding. (Just didn't want you to think I'd given up.) Tezero (talk) 00:02, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Of course not, if you need a break also please let me know. If we take it nice and slow and respect the fact that we both have lives outside of wikipedia I think we can get the article into very good shape though it make take a couple of weeks more than most reviews do.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:20, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
I've just found a couple of pretty invaluable texts to expand on Old Czech, and have expanded a little with what you gave me, though a lot of it's redundant. ...This is all kind of a pain, but it's nice to know that all the work I do here just lessens what will have to be done if/when I take this to FAC. Tezero (talk) 21:24, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
How about now, Maunus? I've gone through a few sources and summarized the basic points about Proto-Czech and Old Czech while trimming some unnecessary details. Tezero (talk) 02:29, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Much better, good work. I will move on to the next sections.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:10, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I do still think that the sections are too light on the question of the Czech-Slovak split and contact. Czechoslovak is not just an "affectionate" name but it was the actual name of the language during the time when Czecho-Slovakia was a single country in the mid 20th century. This period is not mentioned or described. The twentieth century is not even represented in the entire section. During this period the two languages were officially trated as dialects of a single language, and media used both languages. This is the reason czechs who lived through this period are miuch better at understanding slovak than the youth. Today Czechoslovak is still used to describe (pejoratively) registers that mix traits of Czech and Slovak - this shows that today the two languages has again begun diverging after a period of convergence in the Czechoslovak years. This is all in the Nekvabil, Nabelkova and Berger sources, and it is really interesting. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:44, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
To be fair, the "Czechoslav" part is in the source and is from before the unified Czechoslovak state. I'll take a look at what I can do with them, though. (I do remember seeing something in one of the sources you gave me about how Czechs can't understand as much Slovak as they used to [something like 70% didn't have difficulty?], but I guess I wasn't able to find a proper citation to that.) Tezero (talk) 04:08, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Maunus, how about now? I've added a lot, but I don't want to get too far into details that readers might not care about... Tezero (talk) 21:00, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Definitely better. I will move on to the next sections. :)User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:56, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Geographic Distribution section[edit]

No big problems here. Maybe a little bit about what other languages Czech speakers speak? And I assume that there is a Czech speaking minority in Slovakia as there is a Slovak minority in the Czech republic? Any other countries with minorities due to borders_ What happened to the Czech speakers in Germany? This section could be tied a little better to the history section I think.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:48, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm not aware that there ever was any particularly large Czech speaking base in Germany? Not recently anyway. I know the Czech lands stretched up along the Elbe during the time of Charles IV but I always thought the people living there were Sorbians. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 21:17, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Was there not a Czech speaking minority in Bavaria back before the establishment of the German republic?User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:07, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I couldn't find anything about one on Wikipedia or on Google Books I'm afraid. If there was then it is probably not crucial information. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 08:15, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Ok, I maybe thats not important. As far as I can find out now, the situation was basically the reverse with a large Sudenten German minority in Bohemia who were expelled after the war.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:57, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Dialects section[edit]

What is the difference between Standard and Common Czech? The term "Common czech" is introduced with no definition given. (Ok this appears subsequently, but the order of occurrence is confusing). Otherwise a nice section. Why dont we ever get examples on the difference between Czech and Slovak? It would be interesting to have the same phrase in Slovak as well to see how it fits in with the Czech dialects.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:53, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Done. Tezero (talk) 00:29, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Maunus, what do you think of the other sections? Tezero (talk) 01:41, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Phonology[edit]

This section has the basics, but I think very little else. No mentions of phonological processes or the history of evolution, no mention of dialect diversity, and perhaps most pressing is the lack of any mention of phonological processes. Ideally the article should be a summary of the article Czech phonology which has detailed information on processes such as assimilation andmerging, and which also has sections dedicated to morphophonology and prosody.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:24, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Vocabulary[edit]

Apart from an annoying misrepresentation of the Mann source which I corrected this section seems Ok. I would consider moving it to after the grammar section.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:24, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Grammar[edit]

The good thing about this section is that it summarizes three articles Czech declension, Czech wordorder and Czech conjugation. The bad thing is that the summaries lack coordination, and that those three articles summaries do not produce a coherent overview of Czech grammar. The lack of prose explanations tying together the three makes this worse, and a lot could be improved simply by adding more well thought prose that helps the read fit the three aspects of grammar together. The section on wordorder I liked a lot, but there is much more to say about that too and it does not constitute a full summary of the main article, but leaves out the objective/subjective word order difference, the question of adjectives, and the question of null subject phrases (this is a big problem because the section on conjugation doesnt mention the fact that verbs agree with their subject) Sturgeons book on the Left Periphery in Czech syntaxt might be a good place to look for additional information on word order, particularly the use of wordorder for pragmatic effects which is also missing except for the mention of word order used to form questions. The section on declension should give examples of the use of the seven cases, the simple listing of the cases and their names is a good illustration, but it doesnt help someone understand the language unless they are already familiar with case languages. You may want to look at the article on Greenlandic language to show how case is treated there. The section on conjugations include a lot of interesting information, which could be highlighted more, for example the part about verbs agreeing with the Gender of the subject which was new to me in an indoeuropean languag. BUt it also misses a lot of the most basic stuff, for example the inflection for person and number of subject, which is extremely basic and important and has huge syntactic ramifications. The focus on aspect means that it also doesnt give a full picture of tense and mood, and we also know very little about the role of verbal inflection in syntax, do we for example have an infinitive? Where is it used? Do we have ways of deriving verbs from nouns or nouns from verbs? The almost complete lack of examples of actual usage only makes it harder to understand how the different parts of grammar work and interact. I would suggest rewriting the grammar section, trying not to focus on the three main articles but on providing a full summary of Czech grammar. Not a detailed account, but a summary that at least mentions all the main aspects, and points to where one can read more. In addition, in order to make the summary accessible for a layreader, I would recommend focusing on usage, i.e. describing the categories that exist, then describing in prose how they work and then giving examples that illustrate how they work. Also I would try to avoid Qualls for information about linguistics, it seems that it is either pretty much wrong most of the time. Inflection is any process that modifies a word whether through fusion/flection or affixing. Also those categories are a not considered to be the most informative regarding typology, it is basically a very rough and impressionistic categorization of morphological typology. From a typological viewpoint it would be more informative to know that the language has accusative alignment, and allows pro-drop for example - those aspects are not mentioned. Maybe, look at WALS to find out what typological parameters they describe the language with. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:24, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Jesus, that's a mouthful. Alright, I'll see what I can do. Tezero (talk) 18:46, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Remember that these are my suggestions for how best to improve the article, if you disagree you should argue your case and well see what we arrive at. Also there is no hurry, if you need some time to read or think we'll just leave it stale for a a while. I am not going to end the review within the next couple of weeks if you need more time.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:28, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
It might do me well to think about Czech grammar as a subject and reorganize the material. I built the section as it is mostly by condensing and citing text that was already there and divided into copious subsections. Thanks for the time. Tezero (talk) 21:16, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Alright, Maunus, I'm kind of lost. How do you want me to organize the information? Is there even a problem with organization, or do you just not think there's enough detail and examples? Tezero (talk) 19:31, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

I understand, but there is no simple way that I can tell you how to do it. All languages are different, and so are the bodies of literature about each language. The article should represent the language and the literature about it as well as possible - a GA doesn't need to be comprehensive but at least "broad" and addressing the "main aspects". I think a general overview of the grammar is a main aspect of a language article, so that is what I would expect. Giving an overview of grammar means describing the parts of speech (word classes), and the grammatical categories of the language, and the way they work together to form clauses and sentences. I gave some specific comments about important grammatical categories and syntactic relations that are not covered in the article currently. The best advice would be to read more about Czech grammar. The second best advice which is more practical would be to build the grammar section with subsections for the main wordclasses (Verbs, Nouns, Adjectives, Adverbs), giving examples and descriptions of the main morphological processes that affect them and the way they are used in sentences (agreement and inflection are probably the most important processes to cover).User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:47, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
(sigh) Alright, is it okay if I segment up your giant block of text up above into tasks? "Representation" is a fine goal, but it doesn't really give me anything to work with. Tezero (talk) 20:05, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Of course you can separate it out in to tasks, no worries. I think my comment does give you something quite specific to work with if you read past the two first sentences.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:13, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Bullet points[edit]

I've separated the giant paragraph into these. If you think of more as I elaborate, tell me. Tezero (talk) 20:53, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

  • Add more well thought prose that helps the read fit the three aspects of grammar together.
  • Objective/subjective word order difference
  • After looking up what this is and puzzling over where to find an adequate citation, I realized that the page does have that; it just doesn't call it that. (See Pes jí bagetu.) Tezero (talk) 20:31, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The question of adjectives
  • Done. Tezero (talk) 02:53, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The question of null subject phrases (this is a big problem because the section on conjugation doesnt mention the fact that verbs agree with their subject) Sturgeons book on the Left Periphery in Czech syntaxt might be a good place to look for additional information on word order
  • (Added the part about verbs agreeing with their subjects.) Tezero (talk) 20:31, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Done. Tezero (talk) 02:53, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The use of wordorder for pragmatic effects is also missing except for the mention of word order used to form questions.
  • What pragmatic effects are you thinking of? I don't think there's anything in the word order article that isn't covered in this page. Tezero (talk) 02:53, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The section on declension should give examples of the use of the seven cases. You may want to look at the article on Greenlandic language to show how case is treated there.
  • Done with a table. Tezero (talk) 23:21, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The section on conjugations misses a lot of the most basic stuff, for example the inflection for person and number of subject, which is extremely basic and important and has huge syntactic ramifications.
  • That's covered. Anything else? Tezero (talk) 02:53, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The focus on aspect means that it also doesnt give a full picture of tense and mood.
  • ...What more should be covered? What isn't clear about either of those? I don't think of Czech as an especially mood-heavy language, anyway... Tezero (talk) 22:00, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
But it has mood no? If it doesnt that would be worth mentioning as well. How do you make a command in check? How do you make a subjunctive clause?User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:01, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Subjunctives are already covered. I don't remember offhand if Czech has anything that constitutes a mood other than the subjunctive, though, so I'll look that up later when I'm not on my iPod. Tezero (talk) 00:31, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Done with mood. Tezero (talk) 21:37, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
  • We also know very little about the role of verbal inflection in syntax, do we for example have an infinitive? Where is it used? Do we have ways of deriving verbs from nouns or nouns from verbs?
  • Infinitive: done. Tezero (talk) 21:47, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The almost complete lack of examples of actual usage only makes it harder to understand how the different parts of grammar work and interact.
  • Added a table that covers three things: noun declension, adjective declension, and use of prepositions with cases. Would a gloss of a full sentence be helpful? Tezero (talk) 23:21, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I dont believe in tables for this kind of thing. Articles should consist mainly of prose. Tables are good for illustrating paradigms, but not for explaining how grammar works.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:01, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
But the Greenlandic article, which you suggested, has a table for cases - sure, it's less complex, but Greenlandic relies mostly on affixes so there isn't as much to explain. With systems of declension and conjugation as complicated as Czech's, I really don't think it's wise to write all of that out in prose, though I can give an overview before each table you object to if you want. Tezero (talk) 00:31, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
I do think that the prose is more important than the table. The table is probably more necessary in the grammar article, but here you could get away with having only prose description of how case is used, without giving examples of all the cases and their endings. I don't think you can get away with having only the table though, if you get what I mean. I think tables like these always need to be accompanied by explicative prose. So basically I think an example of the use of each case (i.e. how it is used in a sentence) would be enough to satisfy me, and I dont think it is strictly necessary to show all of the case declensions for each gender.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:50, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
I've added a gloss for a sentence that uses three cases. Opinions? Tezero (talk) 00:15, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Don't focus on the three main articles but on providing a full summary of Czech grammar. Not a detailed account, but a summary that at least mentions all the main aspects, and points to where one can read more.
  • Describe the categories that exist, then describing in prose how they work and then giving examples that illustrate how they work.
  • Also I would try to avoid Qualls for information about linguistics, it seems that it is either pretty much wrong most of the time. Inflection is any process that modifies a word whether through fusion/flection or affixing. Also those categories are a not considered to be the most informative regarding typology, it is basically a very rough and impressionistic categorization of morphological typology. From a typological viewpoint it would be more informative to know that the language has accusative alignment, and allows pro-drop for example - those aspects are not mentioned. Maybe, look at WALS to find out what typological parameters they describe the language with. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:24, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I like including the "fusional" part because, even though I agree it's misleading (Japanese, for example, I think has a deceptive amount of fusion; it just tucks it in different places), it's widespread linguistic terminology. I elaborated on what was meant by "inflection" in this case, though. I just found WALS' parameters; which of these do you think are important other than the two you mentioned? Tezero (talk) 22:12, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I think probably for typological purposes the order of Adjectives and Nouns, and Relative clauses and their heads are more informative, because they tend to predict other factors.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:45, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Done both of these, Maunus, as well as a bunch of other additions for context recently - looking better yet? Tezero (talk) 02:53, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Bullet points 2[edit]

  • Ok, this is getting much closer.
A. I still don't like the tables or the way they are used. You could improve this by, 1. label tables with a title "E.g. Table 1" so that you can rfer to them from the text. 2. Make sure that there is no table that is not referred to from the text and its contents described in prose. E.g. "Table one demonstrates the paradigm of declensions blah blah" 3. See if you can float tables to the right, and have the text wrap arund them. This is particularly good for the small tables.
I've aligned some of the tables with the text by floating and adding titles. This should cover it. Tezero (talk) 21:12, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
B. There are some issues in the verb section. Particularly the order of the information, and more examples and glossed translations. 1. We need examples of an inflected verb up front, following the first paragraph. This is where the tale of conjugation by person should go. And there should be a reference to it from the text, including a mention of verb classes.
  • Done. Tezero (talk) 02:56, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
C. We need an example of the use of suppletive stems for perfective and imperfective.
Wait, I messed up. It's not suppletion; it's just inflectional variation. One example of suppletion that comes to mind is být (to be) into jsem (I am), but that's not aspectual. Tezero (talk) 21:18, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
D. Probably more subsections are required, I think first a general one introducing the classes and personal conjugations, then one on aspect and then one on tense (future, non-future infinitive).
Added subsections for current organization. To the extent that I reorganize, I'll alter the class divisions and names accordingly. Tezero (talk) 21:26, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
E. I do not understand what you write about the future or what the table with Budu, budeme, etc. illustrates. This needs to be clarified a lot for it to make sense, and probably the words in the table require trabslation.
Think I've fixed it; I've added an example and made the wording clearer. Tezero (talk) 21:23, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
The usage of more examples is great and really improves the article a lot. But there is a problem with the glossing of the sentences. You should probably use standard linguistic glossing, which is the Leipzig Glossing Rules which can be found here. Gloss and text should be aligned so that it is clear which word corresponds to which gloss. The underlining doesnt work well but gets confusing. And example of a simple sentence with nominative and accusative case would also be good.
The Greenlandic article doesn't use word-spacing; I use the underlining instead to make clear which word corresponds to which. And per this archived link, there are several options - Russian I don't think gives enough detail (for example, the city name isn't even given a case, nor is the verb given a person), so would you suggest another? Tezero (talk) 19:53, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
It looks extremely messy. Also some of your abbreviations are much longer than they need to be making the text poorly aligned. Please try to use Leipzing glossing, and find different strategy instead of underlining.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:42, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
See how it looks now; I've used tables to space the words identically. And I know you want me to use Leipzig glossing, but there appear to be several types of it on the page you linked and Russian, which would be the obvious choice, seems unsatisfactory as it leaves a lot of parameters (like case) unmarked. (The Greenlandic article does no such thing.) Tezero (talk) 02:50, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
No, you can use Leipzig glossing to gloss any language and any category, it is just a matter of using a set of conventional abbreviations for the gloss. Leipzig glossing is flexible, but uses standard abbreviations to make it easier for linguists to understand eachothers glosses. I'll give you an example, or maybe see if I can change all of them myself.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:11, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh, okay. I've done that for the glosses now. Tezero (talk) 03:14, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
A language being agglutinative or not has nothing to do with how relative clauses are marked. Ive fixed this.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:59, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

GA review[edit]

  1. Well-written:
    1. the prose is clear and concise, it respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct;
    2. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.
  2. Verifiable with no original research:
    1. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline;
    2. it provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines;
    3. it contains no original research.
  3. Broad in its coverage:
    1. it addresses the main aspects of the topic;
  4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each.
  5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
  6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
    1. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content; and
    2. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.