From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Linguistics / Applied Linguistics  (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Linguistics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Linguistics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Applied Linguistics Task Force.

Sourced meaning[edit]

I've overhauled the article to reflect the only meaning of diasystem that I've seen in structural dialectology. Even if diasystem can be used to mean a language with multiple standards, our article on pluricentric language covers the phenomenon sufficiently. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 07:38, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Rewrite of article[edit]

This article was poorly researched. It contradicted the verdict of linguists. The notion of diasystem fell into disuse a generation ago. Another academic objection is that one poorly written sentence can be interpreted to suggest that the inventor of the concept himself, Weinreich, was inspired by generative phonology. Of course, when Weinreich published his paper in 1954, generative phonology did not even exist yet.

The immediate previous version was seven years in the making (it hadn't been edited in the last 13 months). In that version, there was a conspicuous failure to consult textbooks in the field, or (with the exception of a discipline dictionary) to consult relevant works more recent that 34 years ago, this in a young, fast changing discipline. (An article from 31 years ago was cited only to attribute the use of terminology, and a source from 22 years ago was a dictionary, not a linguistics research work). Moreover, half the article was taken up with a digression on the diaphoneme, although there is already a separate article on that. Dale Chock (talk) 06:55, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm a little confused by your effort. In the same breath that you argue that this article was "poorly researched" you removed over a dozen sources and replaced well-cited content with mostly uncited (or inappropriately cited in the case of Pulgram), vague prose. All of this seems to be based on one chapter in a book originally written in 1980, which hardly seems to escape the very criticism you've outlined. Similarly, you argue against the use of older sources while saying that the concept itself is outdated. If it's outdated, we would have to draw on older sources.
I have restored all of the content (including a detailed exploration of an actual example of a diasystem from Trager & Smith that you removed because it happened to be diaphonemic) and removed some of the confusing or especially controversial things you have added such as the etymological meaning of diasystem, Weinreich's inspiration from the diaphoneme concept, the overrepresentativeness of Chambers & Trudgill, and the use of Pulgram to back up a claim he most likely did not make (it's rather fishy that the Pulgram citation is identical to that in Chambers & Trudgill, especially since they point to the same page number; I'd be surprised if you actually looked at it).
You also say that it "contradicted the verdict of linguists," though the article had already alluded to the failure of scholars to come up with a cognitively real (and therefore appropriate) diasystem. I have expanded on this in my edit, though it draws on content from the relevant section at diaphoneme.
Also, you have implied here that the article you edited was seven years old. However, the form that preceded June of 2010 was completely different as it inaccurately defined diasystem as what is covered at diglossia. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 02:40, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Your confusion may be due to being better versed in the fields of creative writing and science fiction than in linguistics. Your objection consists of rhetorical flourishes. For example, the argument that the book I cited was "originally from 1980". Its second edition is from 1998. Sociolinguistic dialectology is a young and fast developing discipline, like computer science. Here, you refused to acknowledge that the book has seen a second edition, 1998.
The article was academically out of touch due to things like out of date references that moreover, as a group, dealt more with details that with the overall validity of the concept. Weinreich's proposal is in disuse. The terms diasystem and polylect are still in use, but diasystem is emptied of the content Weinreich was researching 57 years ago. Its meaning now is superficial, meaning a group of very closely releated dialects. Scholars no longer use it to denote a potentially powerful theory of dialect grammar. It seems to need repeating: the previous article was stuck on the state of the art in the mid 1970s, a generation before Chambers and Trudgill 1998. You seem unaware that Trudgill has to be one of the top few authorities in the field. Chambers and Trudgill is not overrepresented. Just counting citations is ignorant.
As I touched on previously, the lengthy discussion of the Trager and Smith example was editorially inappropriate. Not on its own merits, but because, in my judgement: (1) it constitutes a digression in this article, it wouldn't in the diaphoneme article; (2) it is too technical, we have to explain the issues at more length, even if it were placed in the diaphoneme article, in order for enable even a linguistically sophisticated reader to appreciate it.
No one should mislead themselves into believing that I believe that the form I left it in is final. Let editors with good knowledge of linguistics, and good research skills, add appropriate citations. Indeed, I intend to do so myself. And appropriate content: e.g., Chambers and Trudgill 1998 spelled out how Weinreich 1954 failed. Dale Chock (talk) 06:10, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
P.S. The diaphoneme concept, too, is not vigorous in linguistic theory. Dale Chock (talk) 06:22, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
P.P.S. Just to compare this article to average Wikipedia articles, the dearth of recent references is stunning and way out of the norm. Dale Chock (talk) 06:26, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Hello Dale, Aeusoes. I saw this exchange on my watchlist, and I thought I should intervene to calm things down. First, let's keep our comments focused on content, not on contributors. It doesn't feel good to have your competence disparaged, and things will go a lot smoother if we can avoid these kind of comments altogether. Second, it looks like we might have to find a compromise position here - we can't just keep reverting each other and hope that the other guy will tire out. The comments above cover basically the whole article, and I have found through experience that it is very hard to agree on everything at once in situations like this. A better way to do this is to take one point at a time (and it usually helps to start with the least controversial one). Would one of you like to nominate the first topic for us to discuss? I will be around to make sure things don't get out of hand. Best — Mr. Stradivarius 06:55, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Sure. If we're going to start with one thing, I would say the removal of the example of the diasystemic analysis by Trager & Smith (1951). Dale calls it a digression because it's diaphonemic, but a diasystem's normally are diaphonemic. If it's too technical, or if it isn't clear that the analysis has been dethroned, we can revise it rather than remove it.
With something as abstract as this, it's important to have a concrete example for readers unfamiliar with the concept. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 14:16, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
First, let me address two particular changes by me that Aesuoes objected to. (1) I deleted a table and two paragraphs devoted to Trager and Smith (1951). Well, the old text criticized Trager and Smith (1951) on two grounds (a) Weinreich in his very article on diasystem asserted their solution was not genuinely based on the diaphoneme concept, even if they thought it was; (b) 15 years later, a scholar supposedly proved that their solution was descriptively inaccurate, anyway. Therefore, it's foolish to go into detail about T&S (1951) in this article. Any dissenters? (2) I was chided for misattributing Pulgram. My response: (a) Now I agree. It was an honest confusion while dealing with all those citations. (b) Don't use that trivial mistake as an excuse for reverting me totally.
Second, the old Pulgram citation (before my changes) is one of two instances in this article of a mistaken citation practice. In this instance, somebody cited Naraja citing Pulgram, and included both as sources. Don't do that. Think of, "where did I get the information?". If you got it from Naraja, cite Naraja. Don't cite who Naraja says they got it from. It's OK to say what Naraja said: "Pulgram said X". The attribution for that statement will be Naraja. If you are bent on mentioning Pulgram, then you either should (1) find Pulgram's monograph and cite Pulgram and not Naraja; or (2) put Pulgram under Further Reading. This same mistake was made by citing "somebody citing Sledd (1966)".
Third, in response to Mr. Stradivarius. The scenario you advise is not the only one. I think you jump to the conclusion that Aesuoes will not eventually be persuaded. The point I made, that an article that is effectively devoid of citations from within the last generation is beyond unacceptable, is sooo obvious that it should eventually be persuasive. Moreover, there is the option of posting a Request for Comment. Dale Chock (talk) 01:53, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Darn, i forgot to mention. If one wants examples of the concept of diasystemic grammar introduced by Weinreich (1954), one would be well served to consult the chapter from Chambers and Trudgill 1998 that i rely on. One might also look for examples in, duh, Weinreich (1954). Just not Trager and Smith (1951). Dale Chock (talk) 02:03, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

A fresh observation. Aesuoes (and every other previous editor) hadn't touched this article for 13 months. Yet Aesuoes responded to my reconception of the article within a day. Now, although the explanation for this contrast could be anything, a likely one is that Aesuoes actually thought the article was close to perfect, that every topic that needs to be touched on was, and that no topic was included that doesn't belong. The only appropriate changes would be more examples or better presentation. Dale Chock (talk) 02:15, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Dale is saying that the T&S example is not a good one because it's been shown to be descriptively inaccurate. But if the concept is outdated, that isn't a diqualifier.
To be clear, I didn't revert Dale's edit entirely. In fact, I did my best to include everything he had put in, the exceptions being what I had identified in the talk page. The particular statement that he had Pulgram back up, I felt, was better left uncited since previous cited statements established this sufficiently. What I reverted were his removals.
In addition, not only do I agree with Dale on the old Pulgram citation but I should add that what it said was entirely too speculative (diasystems could be something other than diaphonemic, not that any non-diaphonemic diasystems have been observed). That's why I removed it.
I've read a lot about Weinreich (1954) but I haven't actually gotten my hands on it. I picked the T&S example because it is the most notable one, being an analysis picked up and assumed by other linguists for some time before it was thrown out. Moreover, the T&S diasystem reflects the specific attempts by generativists to create an analysis that covers English dialects, an interesting phenomena somewhat separate from Weinreich (1954). Anyone interested can check out Harold Allen's 1977 article "Regional dialects, 1945-1974" in American Speech 52 (3/4), which covers American dialectology up to that point. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 05:24, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
". . . the T&S diasystem reflects the specific attempts by generativists . . ." T&S is from 1951, whereas generative linguistics dawned about 1960. The title of Weinreich's paper is "Is a structural dialectology possible?" Structuralism; the only significant theoretical perspective in linguistics in the 1950s was structuralism. That seals it: by this confusion, you absolutely demonstrate you are in over your head, while contributing to languages and linguistics articles profusely. A problem with Wikipedia linguistics articles that is not limited to one editor. I hope you know the difference between the Blue and the Gray in the American Civil War.
"Dale is saying that the T&S example is not a good one because it's been shown to be descriptively inaccurate. But if the concept is outdated, that isn't a diqualifier." Well, that is totally incoherent, which makes me suspect it's not what you meant to write. Vague, as well: which concept?; disqualified for what? You're making me repeat myself, which is not nice. IF the argument of T&S (1951) were accurate and were based on diaphoneme(s), then it would be an example of diasystem. Previous editors invoked citations arguing that it is inaccurate and that the coiner of the term diasystem himself deemed it not diaphonemic. Then of course it should be deleted!!!
It's pathetic that you've taken such an interest in this article for years and haven't read the founding article (Weinreich 1954).
Your assertion that the assertion you claim was attributed to Pulgram is too speculative, is invalid. The claim is just the opposite. However, i will have to have to finish addressing that later. It's a minor point anyway, and the article needs no mention of it from either point of view. Dale Chock (talk) 22:45, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough, we can replace generativists with American dialectologists. This is from Allen (1977)

Kurath (1957, 1961, 1964c) adversely criticized this BINARY analysis as well as the hypothesized /h/ offglide or semivowel and defended for the purpose of dialect representation his unitary system, but the Trager-Smith analysis found great acceptance among American linguists until James Sledd (1966) demonstrated the inadequacy of its nine-vowel limitation.

In other words, the T&S diasystem is a notable example, perhaps even the most notable example.
Prelude: We have to wonder if you meant to start a new paragraph at "This is from Allen", because the quoted passage does not use the words "generativ/ist" or otherwise allude to generative theory. (By the way, i just checked Allen (1977) and nowhere else in that article does he identify T&S (1951) as generativist.) Obviously, the passage is being submitted as support for the belief that Trager and Smith (1951) is a useful example of the subject matter of Weinreich (1954), and so would be well placed in the WP article. Now, let's move on. As i pointed out in my previous post, you revealed yourself as utterly ignorant of the difference between the two major theory perspectives in the history of linguistics. AS FOR the T&S issue: you seem to have lost track of the fact that an article on Diasystem should be more about what the inventor of the concept said (Weinreich in 1954) than what somebody else published--published before introduction of the concept. You certainly have lost track of the fact that superior examples of what Weinreich was addressing can be found in Weinreich's papers than in Trager and Smith (1951). Instead, you doggedly defend having discussion of T&S (1951) in the article. Finally, the quoted passage doesn't even support your enthusiasm for T&S. It does not mean what you think. "Linguists accepted the Trager and Smith analysis" is ambiguous, it's highly subject to interpretation, it does not patently state that all of T&S's presuppositions were widely accepted. AND AGAIN, why was this the ONLY example procured by the previous editors? Dale Chock (talk) 04:24, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry I wasn't clearer. I was under the impression that Dale would refer back to his own comments to understand my summary of what he had said:
Dale's rationale for the removal of content in this article has been that the concept of the diasystem is no longer in use. That doesn't justify removing content. In the same way that we can go into depth about disproven aether theories, we can go into depth about the diasystem. Even if it is a concept no longer in use.
The "depth" that you purport to see in it, isn't there. That's an inept comparison. The ether theory in physics was of much greater importance in the history of physics. It lasted a long time, it was of broad scope, it drove a lot of research and teaching. The diasystem concept was a detail in linguistic theory, and an ephemeral one. This comparison betrays lack of scholarly sophistication.
Dale implies that T&S would have to be accurate to be an example of a diasystemic analysis. This is false. Especially because, according to Dale, all diasystemic analyses are false.
Dale implies that T&S was not based on diaphonemes, though that contradicts his own statements and that of authors cited.
This preceding sentence is a total misrepresentation on the part of AEsuoes. I quote footnote 7 from the last version of the article before my participation (it's dated New Year's Day): "Stockwell (1959:265–6), citing Weinreich (1954:395), argues that Trager & Smith (1951) do not present a truly diaphonemic inventory of sounds because". AEsuoes is 180 degrees wrong, twice! (1) In that quotation from Wikipedia, the author Stockwell is cited as having said this about T&S. (2) On the matter of Trager and Smith (1951) being discussed in the article, I didn't imply anything, i made explicit statements. I did not declare that T&S (1951) was not based on diaphonemes, i declared that previous editors cited someone else declaring that! AEsuoes is not only unfamiliar with linguistics; he's being unscholarly in general. The most innocent explanations for doubly misquoting me would be carelessness and being scholastically unskilled. Dale Chock (talk) 04:24, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Clarification of date: above, where i referred to a version of the article dated New Year's Day, it was really New Year's Day of 2011, not this year. Dale Chock (talk) 20:48, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
I will not argue any further about a statement that we have both deleted. We agree it shouldn't be there and going any further is just beating a dead horse.
"Previous editors invoked citations arguing that it is inaccurate." Which previous editors? Perhaps Dale could look in the edit history.
The article reported, flatly (before i ever edited it, that is), that Sledd disproved it ("it" being, again, an analysis presented in Trager and Smith (1951))--the article said, "This system was popular amongst American linguists (despite criticism, particularly from Hans Kurath[12]) until Sledd (1966) demonstrated its inadequacy". What is AEsuoes's point in calling on me to identify who inserted it? It was there, therefore somebody inserted it. If AEsuoes is so interested in who, then let AEsuoes can search the edit history. Dale Chock (talk) 04:24, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Dale, have you read Weinreich (1954)? — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 01:28, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
You acknowledged (without prompting) you haven't read it. Why do you care who has?
Note to readers: above, I have replied to selected points in the previous post (01:28 o'clock, about three hours ago). However, I have placed each reply immediately following the related point, as opposed to collecting them. Dale Chock (talk) 04:24, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
I will be numbering my responses so that we don't need to reply inline and confuse future readers.
1) Dale says that "an article on Diasystem should be more about what the inventor of the concept said (Weinreich in 1954) than what somebody else published--published before introduction of the concept." Does it not matter that Weinreich discussed T&S in his article? This is from Allen (1977), which I recommend a thorough reading of for anyone interested in the topic:

Weinreich said that Trager and Smith had erred in proceeding with the construction of an overall system, a DIASYSTEM, before they had established the relevant component phonemic systems.

Furthermore, because the concept of the diasystem reaches beyond Weinreich, it doesn't make sense to limit the article to just what Weinreich said or just his thinking on the matter. This article also includes sources that talk about a "polylectal grammar" which certainly is not a term that Weinreich used. Even Dale himself has gone beyond Weinreich with his inclusion of information from Chambers and Trudgill.
2) Dale has not addressed the key issue: he removed content that is related. When he made the rationale that the concept is no longer in use, I used Wikipedia's coverage of aether (another concept no longer in use) to show that this is not an adequate justification. By focusing solely on where the analogy breaks down (aether is more notable), he fails to address the point of the analogy. Again, that the concept is no longer in use is not an adequate justification for removing an example in the very article that covers it. It is also nonsensical to say that the example was not very deep or that coverage of it lacked depth. Where is the sense in removing an example over lack of depth and, at the same time, not offering any replacement?
3) Dale has now accused me of misrepresenting the situation since, he says, he did not actually imply anything.
Here is what he said "IF the argument of T&S (1951) were accurate and were based on diaphoneme(s), then it would be an example of diasystem." The structure of this sentence (a conditional statement) shows that Dale thinks it is not. He then offers evidence to back up this belief, a further indicator that he accepts this inference. What is this evidence? A now-deleted footnote that he cuts off mid-sentence. If he had continued the quote in question, it would read:

...because it includes oppositions without considering the effects of phonetic context; in a diaphonemic inventory, a set of general rules should suffice to recover phonetic data so that there is a modicum of phonetic integrity. Few scholars make this distinction.

The last sentence is bolded to emphasize that the footnote says that the idea that T&S is not diaphonemic is an unusual idea. Also important is that Dale provides no evidence that a diasystem has to be diaphonemic in the first place. Diasystems do not have to be diaphonemic. They usually are.
4) I was being coy. I am the previous editor. Back in June of 2010, I redid this article even more drastically than Dale has. I only bring this up because Dale seems to think that they are separate from myself.
5) My question was two-fold. If Dale had had a digital copy of it, I would hope to procure it via email so I could read the direct source myself. Or, barring that, he could fill me in on important things I may not be aware of from only having read about the article in question. When Dale said "One might also look for examples in, duh, Weinreich (1954)" and I said I not been able to read it, he referred to my predicament as "pathetic." The second purpose of my question was related to this inflammatory judgment. If Dale really thinks that my predicament is pathetic, then it would also be pathetic for him to try to rewrite this article without having read the founding document. So, Dale, I ask again. Have you read Weinreich (1954)? — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 06:06, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
AEsos keeps replying to me with red herrings. More important are three points i've already made. (1) Weinreich's concept of diasystem is a relic in today's linguistics. The term only has vigor as a superficial, convenient generic term for "group of closely related dialects". (2) Regarding linguistics, over the last few days on this Talk page, AEsos has shown he absolutely doesn't understand what he's reading and what he's writing. (3) He made a false accusation about me AND the article. AEsos insisted that the article from before my rewrite did not cite criticisms which it obviously did cite, and i made mention that it did cite them. Again, here's AEsos's phony claim, which I already replied to 04:24, 25 Feb 2012 (i.e., yesterday): "Dale implies that T&S was not based on diaphonemes, though that contradicts his own statements and that of authors cited." The truth is (1) that there's a footnote saying that Stockwell and Weinreich refuted T&S's belief that their analysis was based on diaphonemes; and (2) that AEsos is claiming to be the editor who wrote that footnote. The phoniness of his accusation was readily disproved by quoting from the old versions, and he was the editor most involved in the article in the most recent period before my rewrite this month. AEsos's flailing response was to interrogate me, "who placed those edits?", which is a red herring. Now he's answering, "it was I!" AEsos still hasn't acknowledged the point of "coyly" (as he has just put it) asking, "who placed those edits?"
I will address just some of the latest five points. He keeps quoting passages (from Allen 1977, for example) thinking that they confirm his arguments, but in fact AEsos is just reading things into them. They don't because, variously: their content plainly contradicts him; whether their content is relevant to his opinions is impossible to determine from them alone, the reader would need much more context or much more specialist knowledge; their prose is obtuse. I addressed some of these futile quote citations yesterday. About today, two rejoinders. (1) He alludes to Footnote 7 of the version of 1 Jan 2012 ("the now deleted footnote . . . cut off in mid-sentence", which he quoted above, today). The second half, which he quotes--how is it relevant? It ends with, "few scholars make this distinction"--without a source, that is just AEsos's opinion. No, it hardly matters that Weinreich discussed Trager and Smith (1951). AEsos has a fetish about T&S 1951. AEsos edited our Wikipedia article here (or at least retained edits) to say that one linguist proved T&S 1951 factually false and that Weinreich disallowed T&S 1951 as an example of what Weinreich was advocating. Aesos keeps nagging, "why does any of that matter to our using it?" What more can i say to that? (2) After one year or two, AEsos has not found a PDF of Weinreich (1954) available online to the public. He doesn't know how to use Google to find academic publications! Yet he's editing academic articles in WP left and right! To get this particular article, you don't need to connect to a university library computer network, nor do you need access to a subscription only database, nor do you need to have a university affiliation.
Clarification of date: above, where i referred to a version of the article dated 1 Jan 2012, it was really 1 Jan 2011. Dale Chock (talk) 20:48, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
But again, the quality of our linguistics articles suffers from AEsos's edits. Dale Chock (talk) 06:52, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Hello again. It doesn't look like we are any closer to agreeing yet - how about posting this at the dispute resolution noticeboard? Best — Mr. Stradivarius 07:01, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

You have never participated in this article. The dispute is less than a week old, there are only two people involved in it, and neither of us has acknowledged asking for coaching from or from anyone else. Now that you have tut-tutted twice, it is time for you to declare your motivations and intentions. Dale Chock (talk) 09:38, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Dispute resolution might be a good idea at this point. Dale has shown an unwillingness or inability to discuss the issue without hostility. It's hard to find consensus with two editors when one of them can't even bother to get the other's username right, much less resist the urge to browbeat those who might disagree with him. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 14:05, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
@Dale - I am heavily involved with Wikipedia's dispute resolution processes. I regularly assist at the dispute resolution noticeboard, and I am one of the coordinators of the Mediation Cabal. This situation is quite unusual in that I had this article watchlisted before the dispute even started, rather than becoming aware of it through a noticeboard post, but I am performing essentially the same role as I would at an official dispute resolution forum. (I haven't had much actual involvement here yet, however.) My motivations are merely that I don't like to see disputes escalate, and I wanted to calm this down while there's still a chance that you two can both work together. I've found that it is usually better to turn to dispute resolution earlier in cases like this one. More eyes will help us find the best solution according to Wikipedia policies and guidelines, and help us to create the best article that we can. And Dale, your expert knowledge of the linguistics literature would form an integral part of this process - conforming to the policies and guidelines won't result in an article that's "half as good", but rather in an article that is intimately based in the modern scholarly consensus on the topic. I hope this answers your questions, but do let me know if there's anything else you want to know. — Mr. Stradivarius 14:58, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Reply to declared dispute resolver[edit]

--To "Mr. Stradivarius", 14:58, 26 February 2012 (UTC): thank you for answering my question. For the moment, the only other remark i have to make about your insistent intervention is to repeat that by common sense standards, it is premature. For one thing, there's no edit war.
--Let me explain in general about when i intensively remove content from articles. There are two things I DO NOT start out intending to perform: (a) investigate the edit history to see whose fault the terribly wrong edits are; (b) go to the source texts and read every single passage that was cited in WP so that i can confirm the accuracy of every one of the article's citations in content and publication information. I only edit that exhaustively if contingent checking reveals a larger problem of awful editing, or because of vehement opposition.
--It has come to that now with this article. It is no exaggeration to say that the adversary editor, AEsos, is 99.9% the author of the version i undid. (He edited it 21 times in the summer of 2010. He encountered a one paragraph stub (which was totally inaccurate) and he undid that content. Every other human editor--all two of them--who contributed during that period made only trivial copy edits. From summer of 2010 to 19 Feb 2012, there has been virtually no change to this article (there were only four edits, three of which were bot edits or other housekeeping edits).
--Instead of taking responsibility for false accusations and ignorance, the adversary editor keeps trying to throw responsibility onto me.
--In the last 2 to 3 days in this Talk page section, he went so far as to deny the very presence (in a particular version) of one of his own old edits, in the course of accusing me of misrepresenting what was in that version. Oh, and then he requested me to help him do research for the article. It makes you wonder whether his aim was something other than defending his editing.
--I only just started editing this article. In contrast, he spent two months on it, a year and a half ago, and so has had all that time as well to ponder it and work on it, had he chosen to. He also keeps falsely insinuating that i think my current version is a finished product.
--AEsos has demonstrated lack of rudimentary familiarity with the general area this article falls into, linguistics. You might have no appreciation of that because being a language teacher and translator doesn't make one familiar with "Linguistics 101". To judge by a description at AEsos's User page, he has adopted a worm's eye perspective on the discipline of linguistics, editing articles on individual languages or their pronunciation systems, and picking up linguistics theory piecemeal as he goes along. (The only subfield of linguistics he seems to know is phonology.) Looking beyond his knowledge with this one discipline, his scholarly analysis judgements are poor. Above, i have discussed comparisons he made between disparate items, and his practice of taking abstruse paragraphs and reading into them either what the author didn't intend or what is not necessarily accepted by linguists in general.
--Particularly relevant to him being an editor of academic articles for Wikipedia, claiming 15,000 edits, he lacks some simple research skills. Let me give two specifics. (1) AEsos did not cite any textbooks or handbooks in dialectology--not the proper way to prepare to edit Wikipedia. Except he did consult a dictionary of phonology jargon, which is appropriate, but insufficient, even if the article were about phonology! Most WP articles i read or edit, the other editors consulted textbooks or handbooks in the specialty. (2) AEsos could not access what he felt to be a crucial paper on Diasystem. He tried to make up for that by reading other papers that cited it, from journals American Speech, Oceanic Linguistics Special Publications, Language. One way to access such publications is through JSTOR. You can visit JSTOR from a public Web connection, but that doesn't give you access to their entire trove. Even a university library usually doesn't have access to the entire trove of JSTOR. (I just tried to access the missing article through the JSTOR public connection, and zilch.) So, AEsos seems to have access to academic literature through some subscription database like JSTOR, but after all these years editing technical articles for WP, he apparently doesn't know about Google Scholar. (And if Google Scholar doesn't work out, try general Google.)
--This dispute is one sided: i am not the one who limited my research to literature a generation out of date, i have not denied the presence of certain content in a given article version when that content was present. As just proved, editor AEsos knows every jot and tittle of the old version's contents. (That is, assuming he hasn't developed an organic brain impairment or other derangement in the meantime.) Even if he didn't remember every jot and tittle, if he wants to engage in new discussion about the article's text, it's his duty to refresh his memory. Dale Chock (talk) 20:31, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Because I am less interested in participating in a discussion exclusively with another editor who continuous to insult my character and my intelligence, I will either wait for other editors or solicit input from those I know who are knowledgeable in the field. In the meantime, Dale, you might want to take a fresh look at WP:CIV and WP:NPA. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 21:44, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

I can certainly see not having a content fork with diaphoneme, which was one of Dale's objections. Other than that, Ƶ§œš¹, what would you have restored to the article? Dale, I didn't bother to read your diatribe. You might try discussing content rather that making personal attacks, as Stradivarius has requested. Otherwise I'll conclude you're being a WP:DICK and revert you. WP is a cooperative enterprise. — kwami (talk) 15:51, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

If you carry out your threat, you would only be interested in imposing a punishment, without regard to the integrity of content. The idea of reverting an article because you are annoyed with the editor, not because you object to the content!! You would be indulging yourself in the sort of emotionality you accuse me of indulging myself in. It is arbitrary of you to assume that I did not address content. It is arbitrary of you to dictate that we are forbidden from calling an editor on recklessness or carelessness. After seeing your name all the time, but almost exclusively in connection with noncontent edits, I have to wonder how well you understand the academic content problems of AEsos's work on this article. After all, the genuine problem with this article it has been written by people who were ignorant of linguistics and who didn't come close to properly researching it. Dale Chock (talk) 23:58, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
After Dale's edit, I restored just about all the content he removed while keeping most of what he had put in. That's represented in this version, dated February 19.
There is some natural overlap between this article and diaphoneme but, from my perspective, the inclusion of Trager & Smith (1951) is simply presenting an example of a diasystem. I'll let Dale's words speak for his own perspective, though the arguments he has presented so far seem to contradict each other. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 16:48, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Dale, I see you're still ranting, rather than presenting a rational argument. When you rant, I assume you are irrational and not worth reading. I'll give you some time to actually address the issue. — kwami (talk) 00:10, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

The latest edit of the article should be enough to keep you busy. For more discussion of the content of this article, then you can study the list i see you've already taken notice of at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Linguistics. If all that doesn't answer all your questionsread the contents of this talk page, eleven days' worth. Dale Chock (talk) 06:45, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Wow, look what I found at Diaphoneme. "Weinreich (1954) argued Trager (Smith) fell short in accurately representing dialects because their methodology involved attempting to create a diasystem before establishing the relevant component phonemic systems.[1]" That is very clearly phrased. Even better than i phrased it. That statement was inserted into the diaphoneme article on 14 July 2010, by AEsos, the same period (summer 2010) in which he was rewriting this article. Here in the Diasystem article, in the end, he didn't phrase it so clearly, and he just quoted Stockwell citing Weinreich. The thing is, though, that in the last eleven days, when i said this criticism of Trager and Smith was present in this Diasystem article, AEsos denied it! At 01:28 25 Feb 2012 (above), he wrote, "Dale implies that T&S was not based on diaphonemes, though that contradicts his own statements and that of authors cited." But in the Diaphoneme article, as we see, he says just the opposite: he says that is what "Weinreich argued". Dale Chock (talk) 11:39, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I don't understand the contradiction. Are you saying that "accurately represents dialects" and "is based on diaphonemes" means the same thing? If not, what exactly is the difference to you?
By the way, I think you've done a good job of expanding this article, especially because you've more clearly outlined a distinction between this article and diaphoneme, but I still think that much of what you took out has a place here. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 15:17, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Your question of 15:17 does not relate to anything *i* said. You quote yourself from different passages and ask me about it. I did not compare those two passages. You are really disoriented. Dale Chock (talk) 15:36, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
I must be disoriented. I really don't get how this is a gotcha moment. Stockwell is the only author making the claim in question, not Weinreich. He himself admits his position is rare. Do you think we should take out Stockwell and duplicate the wording you found at diaphoneme? — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 16:08, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
No, Stockwell isn't the only one. He says he's seconding Weinreich—that's written in your own footnote. After 10 days, you're still disputing me as to what you put in black and white. And what Stockwell is quoted as saying Weinreich wrote, that is correct, that is what Weinreich wrote. Not only that, Weinreich implied that Haugen was in agreement. That's two of the leading structuralist dialectologists ever, plus Stockwell, all agreeing that T&S didn't finish establishing the multiple phonemic systems. When you protested that you had not written that these men raised that criticism, that something i said "contradicts . . . [the statements] of the authors cited", you were talking nonsense. You had written, "Stockwell, citing Weinreich said that T&S do not . . .", and you had paraphrased it in another, related article. Even if Stockwell said "few make this distinction", it's a throwaway line from half a century ago. If those three guys are just a few, each of them was at the top of the profession. Again, you have an agenda to write about T&S's scheme at length, a scheme of no importance. It wasn't important to Weinreich. It was phonemically unfinished in 1951 and it was deemed descriptively unsatisfactory by the mid 1960s. You have a fetish about it. You falsely throw the burden of proof to demand that others prove why *not* to use it. You won't explain yourself, as you generally don't offer explicit reasons to defend your edits. Dale Chock (talk) 18:39, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
This is from Stockwell (1959):

[Trager and Smith's] is not, as Weinreich has pointed out, a diaphonemic inventory because it includes only oppositions without regard for their relative phonetic position in any pair of dialects.

This is from Weinreich (1954)

[Trager & Smith] violates the principle advocated here that the phonemic systems of the varieties should be fully established before the diasystem is constructed… For reasons of this type, the system has been criticized as providing not a phonemic description or a set of descriptions, but a 'transcriptional arsenal.'

Stockwell is attributing the claim that T&S is not diaphonemic to Weinreich. Weinreich does not say this. I think maybe Stockwell meant to say something like "T&S is not diaphonemic because, as Weinreich has pointed out, it includes…" If he didn't, then he is misattributing an idea to Weinreich.
If it's a question of "is it diaphonemic" this is backed up by McDavid's review of T&S. If it's a question of "is it a diasystem," this is backed up by Allen (1977). — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 20:33, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Stockwell and Weinreich's evaluation of Trager-Smith[edit]

This subsection refers to AEsos's comment of 20:33, 3 March 2012 (UTC). That's the comment immediately preceding at this moment. Trager-Smith (or T-S) is the analysis of American English dialectology by GL Trager and HL Smith, Jr. in a book from 1951. Much of the Talk page up to this point has been about that.

The history of the term diasystem starts with a piece of theorizing by linguist Weinreich. Wikipedian AEsos insists on “illustrating” the topic by inserting a (lengthy) presentation of T-S, despite simultaneously reporting that Weinreich rejected it AND reporting that another linguist Sledd “demonstrated [its] inadequacy”. This preposterous insertion went unchallenged, however, for a year and a half. He's been sticking to it for two weeks now. This is likely a case of WP:OWN.

In his latest move, he refers us to four citations; two he used in the past, Allen 1977:224-225 and Stockwell 1959:265, and now Weinreich 1954:394-395 and “McDavid’s review of Trager-Smith”. He doesn't bother to quote McDavid, he doesn't give a citation for McDavid, but no matter, because (a) McDavid was a critic of T-S, anyway; (b) enough sources have been read on this matter.

For a year and a half, AEsos maintained that Stockwell and Weinreich found T-S to be not diaphonemic. Now he’s singing a different tune: Stockwell did, but Weinreich didn’t. That’s balderdash about Weinreich.

As for Weinreich, pp. 394-395, one needs to understand that a diaphoneme is a component of a phonology diasystem. Page 394: "In the study of language contact and interference . . . a clear picture of differences in inventory is a prerequisite." In the context, like page 393, "inventory" refers to inventory of phonemes. Page 395: "Recent descriptive work on American English phonemics has come close to" — tactful way of saying 'has not arrived at'! — "treating the language as a 'diasystem' without, however, satisfying the requirements set forth here." — Yo, like on page 394! — "The widely adopted analysis of Trager and Smith . . . violates the principle advocated here" — here, i.e., by me, Weinreich, in what you're reading! — "that the phonemic systems of the varieties should be fully established before the diasystem is constructed." yo, the two portions in green are equivalent!

AEsos just doesn't comprehend these words. Moreover, here's Stockwell 1959, five pages before the passage AEsos has cited.

“[T&S’s] analysis has been the focus of violent partisan controversy[fn 9], of casual disdain,[fn 10] and of total rejection[fn 11] entirely or in part by several linguists of great competence.” fn 11: “. . . Weinreich [in The field of Yiddish, 1954:1-27], [and others] all rejected the Trager-Smith analysis completely, but without anything that might be called partisan controversy.” Stockwell 1959:260.

There you have it: the second time in one calendar year that Weinreich explicitly rejected T&S’s analysis of American English dialectology in the academic literature.

As for the Allen citation (p 225), this is more quote scavenging. Because what Allen wrote is, “Weinreich said that Trager and Smith had erred in proceeding with the construction of an overall system, a diasystem, before they had established the relevant component phonemic systems.” AEsos goes:

  • “Look! One source ‘backs up’ that it’s a diasystem!” I refer you to WP:WEIGHT.
  • Allen isn’t even backing up that it’s a diasystem. They didn’t really “construct a diasystem”, they only attempted to do so, because—at least in the view of Weinreich—they hadn’t finished the preparations. Next, AEsos will insist that it still was a diasystem, just an unsound one, an invalid one! Dale Chock (talk) 08:54, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Here's another botch in former footnote 7: "Few scholars make this distinction". Unfortunately, to explain it, we need to disentangle paraphrasing by the old editor and we need to read the source for ourselves. That's why this comment is so long. The topic of this talk page subheading used to be addressed in footnote 7 of the since 'reverted' versions (through 18 Feb 2012). Let us consider the entire old footnote 7:

"Stockwell (1959:265–6), citing Weinreich (1954:395), argues that Trager & Smith (1951) do not present a truly diaphonemic inventory of sounds because it includes oppositions without considering the effects of phonetic context; in a diaphonemic inventory, a set of general rules should suffice to recover phonetic data so that there is a modicum of phonetic integrity. Few scholars make this distinction."

(Stockwell, in American speech, 34(4):258-268) [Grammar note: for consistency our editor should have worded this either "T-S doES not present . . . because it includes" or "T-S do not present . . . because THEY include".]

"Few scholars make this distinction"; it is in fact unclear what that is supposed to refer to in the preceding words of the footnote, and "distinction" seems to be an ill chosen word. Moreover, it seems to be the editor's own opinion. AEsos since has explained (on this page) that it's really meant to be a continuation of the citation of Stockwell. Here's the original passage from Stockwell (minus footnote indicator numbers). Notice how much paraphrasing there is by editor AEsos. In this regard, i have highlighted matching portions in matching colors.

"The diaphonemic inventory is a composite of all the idiophonemic inventories. It can be reached, however, without passing through them, if one assumes that a partial phonemicization of idiolects is sufficient grounds to eliminate from the phonetic inventory all those slots which cannot be shown to contrast in any dialect. Such an assumption is certainly dangerous, and yet in practice most linguists operate as though it were quite safe. It is not uncommon, for example, to read that a dialect has such and such contrasts among the front vowels, without evidence that these also contrast with back vowels. Quite certainly, it was by some such procedure that Trager and Smith arrived at their analysis, since they acknowledge that they did not have full phonetic details for every dialect they proposed to include; but theirs is not, as Weinreich has pointed out, a diaphonemic inventory because it includes only oppositions without regard for their relative phonetic position in any pair of dialects.[new paragraph] An example will serve to clarify this difference. . . . The crucial difference between a diaphonemic transcription and an over-all pattern phonemic transcription is that for the former only a set of general rules (see footnote 16) is needed to recover the phonetic data, whereas for the latter a set of specific rules about skewing is also needed. The former gives priority to phonetic integrity; the latter, to contrastive relevance." [Two points of terminology: (a) the 'idio-' of "idiophonemic" refers to individual dialects that the analyst intends to construct a common analysis for; (b) "over-all pattern" was Trager and Smith's term for their conception of the common analysis, while "diasystem" was Weinreich's term for his conception of the common analysis.]

Inserting: (Stockwell, in American speech, 34(4):258-268). I matched up this citation to the wrong blockquote. The "two points of terminology" note was my own. Dale Chock (talk) 21:49, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Evidently, AEsos was trying to abide by the instruction to Wikipedians to say things in our own words. But he overdoes it: it's OK to quote short passages.

Back to my main point. Well, if you try to make sense of the whole footnote, it does seem to say that "few dialectologists besides Stockwell and Weinreich believe you must construct all your idiophonemic inventories before you construct the larger structure". When you check the source and recognize which part of the source "few scholars . . ." is supposed to be a paraphrase of — which is a challenging task — you confirm that "distinction" is the wrong word. I have used HTML DarkGreen to highlight that part. You confirm also that the whole footnote garbles the source. What Stockwell really meant was that most scholars cut corners when constructing phoneme inventories. They may agree with Stockwell on what needs to be done, but by cutting corners their result may be bad, because they may miss some of the phonemic contrasts.

Admittedly, Stockwell's paper is often written badly, so as to mislead even a trained reader. For example, the above passage contains two misedits: (a) "without regard for their relative phonetic position" probably should be "without regard for their relative phonemic position"; (b) by reading what Stockwell says four pages back (page 262), you confirm that "The former gives priority to phonetic integrity; the latter, to contrastive relevance" is scrambled: it should read "The former gives priority to contrastive relevance; the latter, to phonetic integrity". With regard to (b) AEsos's rendition, "modicum of phonetic integrity", unwittingly corresponds to my rewrite of Stockwell.

The point of my comment here is to give yet another example that AEsos (AEusoes) totally doesn't understand what he cites, aside from where the source itself was obtuse. Dale Chock (talk) 21:17, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

That's the problem. You're devoting so much time and space to make the case that I'm an idiot that it derails discussion of article content. I'll make it easy for you to get back on track. The core of my support for covering T&S's 1951 analysis:
  1. It is an example of an attempted diasystem. Agonizing over whether T&S really was a diasystem/overall system because it wasn't successful or whether it really was diaphonemic kind of misses the point. As this article had already said, T&S was an effort "to construct an 'overall system' that represented the underlying representation for all dialects of English."
  2. It is a notable example, finding great acceptance among American linguists for at least a decade.
I don't dispute that Weinreich and others rejected T&S, but that only affects how we cover it, not whether we do so. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 23:51, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

New overhaul[edit]

I've incorporated the deleted content into what Dale has added. Past that, all of my changes may not be obvious from a simple reading of the new version or comparison of versions. Here are somethings I've done

  • I've removed mention in the article of Weinreich, Labov & Herzog (1968) since it was it cited inappropriately as backing up contemporary usage (a claim which isn't not even backed up the given section) despite being over four decades old.
  • I also removed a paragraph that says that the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics does not include the term diasystem, mostly because the claim is untrue. It also is a form of wp:weasel wording that attempts to imply something (that the term is irrelevant) without saying it.
  • I've also removed the characterization of Norwich as homogeneous. Trudgill does not make this claim and it is confusing to readers to say this in the same paragraph that it is made clear that there is linguistic variation within Norwich English.
  • I've also tagged a few phrases and references, which could do with some attention, mostly having to do with citations, though I don't understand what's being said about the Romani article and can't scrutinize it, since I don't speak French. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 04:52, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
I wrote that 'diasystem' and 'diaphoneme' were not in the index of that encyclopedia after looking in the index. For your counterclaim to have merit, you must disclose the pages of the encyclopedia where those terms are mentioned. Dale Chock (talk) 15:59, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Page 36: Diasystem A common system of linguistic relationships [structural, grammatical, phonological, etc.] established as underlying two or more dialects. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 20:49, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
You misread and misquoted me. I didn't post that they weren't in the encyclopedia, i posted they weren't in the index. And that's correct! The definition you quote out of the encyclopedia is in the Glossary, which — as you failed to mention — is included in the volume that contains the index. The terms are not important enough to the editor of that encyclopedia to mention in the index, let alone give them their own entry — which invalidates your 1.5 year project. By contrast, "DiaNa monkey" (near where "diaPhoneme" and "diaSystem" would be) is mentioned over a dozen times in the index. Dale Chock (talk) 04:39, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
I see I have misunderstood what you included in the article, though my mistake is likely to be a common one; the exhaustiveness of the index is such an irrelevant and nitpicky thing to focus on, that a reader is likely to (as I did) assume that "index" has been mistakenly used instead of "glossary." Moreover, since this mistake is obvious from the wording of my post above and you initially chose not to correct me as you have done now, I'm compelled to wonder if the potential for this (mis)reading is not by design. I stand by my assessment that this delves too far into wp:weasel territory as it does not back up or even illustrate the claim that the terms have limited currency in linguistics.
This, by the way, is not to deny this claim. If Chambers & Trudgill (1998) is insufficient to back up (or illustrate) the claim of limited currency, we may have to go with not out-and-out saying it or saying it without citation for the time being. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 05:26, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

It is bad for one to reinsert edits without replying to the objections to those edits. I intend to undo what AEsos reinserts whenever he doesn't face the arguments raised with arguments of his own. Dale Chock (talk) 16:08, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Certain edits were deleted for different reasons. I address deletions not explained in the edit summaries. The statement, "diasystemic representations are also possible in dictionaries" is silly. Dictionaries are written by scholars. Any representations are possible in dictionaries, whatever scholars choose to put in them. Scholars observe speech communities, but they create dictionaries. The "surge" in language teaching materials between 1954 and 1959 is not, in this context, a notable event. Again, language teaching materials are going to reflect scholarly fashions. Besides, the most crucial information turned up by my research was that Weinreich diasystem was debunked within about a decade. After another five years, the great majority of the field had definitely moved on. Dale Chock (talk) 17:40, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Censoring edit[edit]

AEsos made a censoring, pussyfooting change to my insertion in his first edit of 3 March 2012. In doing so, he clearly misquoted and misrepresented the source. I had written, "Weinreich further lamented that there was hostility between linguists and dialectologists: linguists found the current practice of dialectology "impressionistic" whereas dialectologists found linguistic theory "metaphysical"." AEsos made the silly tonedown: "In addition, there was some perceived incommensurability between dialectology and linguistics; linguists found . . . ." Not only is his tone inappropriate, but "incommensurable" is not even close to what Weinreich (1954) said. W said in his very first two paragraphs: "The stauncher adherents of each discipline claim priority for their own method and charge the others with 'impressionism' and 'metaphysics,' as the case may be; the more pliant are prepared to concede that they are simply studying different aspects of the same reality. This meight seem like a welcome truce in an old controversy, but is it an honorable truce? A compromise induced by fatigue cannot in the long run be satisfactory to either party." Catching the pointless edit five days late, I have reverted it. Dale Chock (talk) 14:53, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

One month later[edit]

It's been a while since User:Dale Chock or I have contributed to the discussion page. I think we've had time to clear our heads, though there is still dispute over content. Here are things that Dale has removed that I think are worthy of including:

  • The Trager & Smith example (discussed above without resolution)
  • Mention of a non-human diasystem
    • Dale says that these are a) off topic b) speculative c) one linguist's remarks d) in a book review and e) not part of linguistic research or received teaching.
  • Discussion of the issue of cognitive reality
  • The academic fields where the concept was used.
  • Mention of "polylectal grammar" in the lede.
    • Because Dale correctly says here that the comparison was unsourced, I have now sourced it.

There are also some things that Dale has included that I disagree with:

  • The claim that diasystem is used "as a convenient expression for multiple related dialects." I had tagged this claim for verification in February but verification has not come. Instead, an example from a French article is used as an example (though it isn't clear how representative this is) and an article from 1968 (hardly representative of contemporary usage) is cited as backing this up, though I already noted above that verification has failed.
  • The unsourced etymology of diasystem put in the lede
  • WP:Weasel wording, such as the statement that Weinreich et al. 1968 only use the term just once or that various relevant encyclopedias and dictionaries don't have the term in their indexes, that implies things without stating them.

I have restored content that Dale removed and tagged the article as having POV issues, since I'm assuming that Dale still has a problem with this content. I also removed the things I disagreed with but, after doing so, I realized that it might be a good gesture of good will to consent to restoration of these three items until the matter is discussed and we come to an agreement. So feel free, Dale.

As a related aside, I do also want to bring up this edit summary that states that text was "deleted without objection stated" but it's not clear what Dale is talking about. I had reworded and restructured prose he had included. I think I made it more clear and cogent; if I reworded it to say something false (I have since clarified what "other researchers, following Trubetzkoy" means), then it wasn’t worded clearly in the first place. What exactly is the issue? — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 17:18, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

In the latest remarks, AEsos has not even defended his judgements. He only listed them. In previous months also, he rarely defended his edits. Beyond that, he has demonstrated on this page and in the article utter ignorance of linguistics. Dale Chock (talk) 23:37, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
I was merely summarizing the points of dispute. Are you interested in collaborating? — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 11:55, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Three cases of failed verification[edit]

The discussion page is quiet, though I feel it is warranted that I make fuller justifications for the removals I mentioned above, should Dale or a third party be interested. These removals are based on failed verification

Claim: generative linguistics "rejects the positing of structural units of a higher order of abstraction than the phoneme"

This harkens to claims Dale has made here and elsewhere that it is the shift from structuralist to generativist phonology that is responsible for the rejection of diasystems and diaphonemes, rather than the issue of how representative they are of speaker-hearer competence. In the article, Dale cited Wells (1982) for this claim. In the relevant section on panlectal and polylectal phonology (or in the page range Dale identified, seemingly by mistake), Wells does not make broad claims about generative phonology rejecting diasystems/diaphonemes.
Wells quotes Luelsdorff (1975) in rejecting grammatical descriptions that are not "'representations of the linguistic competence of individual speaker-hearers...'" Wells also makes the case that panlectal and broad polylectal grammars should be rejected because they don’t represent speaker-hearer competence. However, he explicitly states "It does not follow that a degree of polylectalism is to be rejected" since there are speech communities where command of sociolinguistic variation is important.
Because even Wells acknowledges that there must be speakers with internal polylectal grammars that allow for style shifting or comprehension between varieties, Wells (1982) not only fails to back up the claim that generative phonology rejects diaphonemes/diasystems but explicitly shows this claim to be false.
Moreover, Wells's rejection of broad polylectal grammars is not to be taken as a neutral or uncontested stance of generative linguists. There is scholarly dispute amongst generativists over that very matter, something that I'm familiar with from editing the diaphoneme article and which is detailed in its cognitive reality section.

Claim: diasystem is now used just "as a convenient expression for multiple related dialects."

The first citation Dale used to back this up is Weinreich et al. (1968), specifically section 3.21. The term is used twice in this section. Neither time is this definition given:

 The multilayer conception can also be used for purely analytic purposes to represent a language as a “dia-system” composed of member dialects (Weinreich 1954). For the theory to be of significance to historical linguistics, on the other hand, we have specified that the layers which it encompasses, while functionally distinct, be nevertheless functionally available to a group of speakers.

Any pair of dialects can be brought under the heading of a single "diasystem"; the operation may be carried out even on areally noncontiguous dialects, and may serve a useful purpose in reconstruction. But it is only when a pair of dialects are jointly available to a group that switches back and forth between them — even if some members of the group only hear one of the styles and never speak it — that the multilayer formulation is relevant to an understanding of language change.

Usage of diasystem here is amid discussion of a "multilayer" conception of sociolinguistic variation where multiple systems coexist in a linguistic community. As can be seen here, diasystems represent an analytic process that unites multiple varieties.
Even if we were to twist what Weinreich et al. say to infer that they believe diasystem means merely multiple related dialects, it would only serve as an example of usage (and an old one at that), not a broad claim about usage. Especially considering that this definition is absent in linguistic dictionaries, an example would be insufficient to verify a broader claim about usage like this.
The next source used, explicitly cited as an example, is (Clouthiade 1997). Dale's edit described it as covering European Romani dialects, reporting "only an isogloss and a set of interdialectal sound correspondences, not first steps toward a common phonology of all European Romani dialects." I had trusted Dale's assessment on this summary but the failed verifications above prompted me to take a closer look. In the first page alone, Dale's claim about usage is blown out of the water:

Dans cet article, nous nous attacherons à décrire le mécanisme phonologique qui a conduit à la constitution du système dialectal rromani. En est évident que c'est dans la phonologie et la morphophonologie qu'il convient de rechercher la structure réelle du diasystème rromani car ces deux domaines sont bien plus indépendants des influences externes que ne le sont la phonétique et le lexique. [In this article, we shall describe the phonological mechanism leading to the formation of the Romani dialectal system. is clear that that the real structure of a Romani diasystem should be sought in phonology and morphophonology because these areas are much more independent of external influences than are phonetics and vocabulary.] (p. 113)

One does not talk of a "structure" of related dialects if they aren't attempting to unite them under one system. Indeed, Clouthiade even acknowledges Dale's position on the next page, making it clear that the article in question is deliberately contributing to the construction of such a diasystem:

Nous comparons au contraire ici des systèmes constitués — ignorant donc la réserve de plusieurs linguistes qui affirment que les systèmes phonologiques sont clos sur eux-mêmes et échappent donc à toute comparaison. [On the contrary, we compare here the constituent systems—thus ignoring the reservations of several linguists who claim that phonological systems are closed in on themselves and would thus eschew any comparison.] (p. 114)

If this isn't enough, the conclusion should vaporize any doubt with its discussion of a common orthography:

La presque identité phonologique des parlers de départ et de ceux de l'arrivée—en tant que systèmes, constitue sans doute une singularité de la langue rromani et la comparaison mécanique des deux pourrait inciter à bâtir une graphie commune sur ces systèmes formellement semblables... l'écriture diasystématique, dite 'de rassemblement', exprime le dénominateur commun de ces diverses réalisations et permet donc une communication aisée entre eux, chacun lisant selon les règles de réalisation (lecture) spécifiques à son parler, sans porter atteinte aux spécificités de chacun des divers autres parlers. [The close phonological similarity of these original varieties and later ones—as systems—is probably a peculiarity of Romani and a mechanical comparison of the two could lead to basing a common orthography on such formally similar "unifying" diasystemic writing expresses the common denominator of all these realizations and therefore allows easy communication between them, with each reading according to the rules of realization (in reading) specific to their variety, without prejudice to specificities of any other varieties.] (p. 119)

I could go on. Once again, the source Dale has used to back up a claim actually says the exact opposite. Moreover, the article's usage is so blatant that, given Dale's proficiency in linguistics, he could not have read the article and honestly misunderstood it. It's clear that Dale either did not read the article or deliberately misrepresented it. Both are untoward scholarly practices. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 17:33, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).