Talk:German language

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Mistakable sentence[edit]

Quote from the section "Noun inflection": Inflection for case on the noun itself is required in the singular for strong masculine and neuter nouns in the genitive and sometimes in the dative. Both of these cases are losing ground to substitutes in informal speech. The dative ending is considered somewhat old-fashioned in many contexts and often dropped.

One must distinguish here between the wide-spread loss of the genitive case in informal speech and that of the dative ending. The genitive is not much used in colloquial German (des Mannes > von dem Mann), but there is no tendency to avoid the dative. Only the noun ending (dem Manne) is usually lost, but the dative as such is stable because the article retains its dative form.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.83.226.12 (talk) 19 October 2012‎

Useful links[edit]

--Loup Solitaire 81 (talk) 14:46, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Top-importance, C-class article[edit]

I see this article is currently rated as a top-importance article by more than one WikiProject, and has most recently received a quality rating of C class from most of those projects. (I might rate this article today as a B-class article, but I will defer to the judgment of other editors on that issue.) I note that this article is very frequently read by visitors to Wikipedia, and I wonder who is interested in going over the article with fresh eyes and with sources at hand to see what needs to be done to bring the article up to good article status and then to featured article status? Who is interested in doing steady improvement work on this article about the German language for readers of English Wikipedia? -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 19:42, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

¿How do you nominate it then?
Sincerely, --Namlong618 (talk) 09:48, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
The good article nomination process is described in the good articles section in project space, especially the nominations page. I have taken one article, IQ classification, through the good article process, and I'm currently working with other editors on updating and revising English language with the same goal in mind. Some of the sources I'm looking up about Germanic languages for updating the article on English would of course also apply to updating this article about German. Are you interested in looking over this article together and seeing what can be improved? -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 14:22, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Bring this to featured article quality?[edit]

German isn't a language spoken only in the corners of the fringe of a very small nation. It is a remarkable language with a rich cultural heritage that is spoken by millions of people. It is a lingua franca throughout Europe. IMHO, it's a shame that it has just Class-C status. This article deserves more love, more edits.


And Wikipedia could do with another featured article :D

</peptalk>

I don't think German is the only lingua franca in Europe. Danotto94 (talk) 09:50, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

"Varieties of German"[edit]

The usage and primary topic of Varieties of German is under discussion, see talk:German dialects -- 65.94.43.89 (talk) 05:07, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Controversial dispute regarding general aspects regarding the categorisation of German languages and the {{infobox language}}[edit]

Please check the ongoing controversial discussion in Talk:Swiss_Standard_German#It_is_a_variety_of_Standard_German_.5Bcitation_needed.7Creason.3Dcontradicted_by_info_box.5D_.E2.80.93_Why.3F about general aspects regarding the categorisation of German languages and the {{infobox language}}! Thanks a lot! -- ZH8000 (talk) 19:05, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

infobox language/Infobox language family has a profound conceptual error?[edit]

The {{Infobox language}} and {{infobox language family}} tries to categorize language families, languages, dialects/varieties, regional/linguistical groups, historical languages. And fundamentally fails so in order to stay complaint with established linguistic concepts.

Keep in mind, the following categories are (somehow) orthogonal:

  • Language Family (Genealogy), e.g. West Germanic, of which german is a language (but itself not a language family!)
  • Linguistical categorization/grouping and subgrouping (within a language, obviously often equal to regional grouping), e.g. High German --> Upper German --> Alemannic --> Swiss German --> Zurich German
  • Periodisation (within a language, historical development!)
  • Variety of

But the language infobox mix them up and consequently produces confusion, and worse: contradictions.


A few use cases:

  • German language belongs to the West Germanic language family group. That's correct, but {{infobox language}} display it as Language Family: Indo-European --> Germanic --> West Germanic --> German, but it only should display Language Family: Indo-European --> Germanic --> West Germanic, since German is not a language family (but I could accept that single exception). However...
  • Swiss German is a group of dialects, which belongs to the German language, and therefore to the West Germanic family, so therefore the infobox should show: part of Language: German and Language Family: Indo-European --> Germanic --> West Germanic (that's redundant, since German belongs to this language family), and nothing more. The linguistical/regional grouping however should show: Linguistic classification: German --> High German --> Upper German --> Alemannic languages.
And the particular Zurich German would show then Linguistic classification: German --> High German --> Upper German --> Alemannic --> High Alemannic. And the historical "hierarchy" should show: Periodisation: Old High German --> Middle High German --> Early New High German --> New High German.
But (currently) Swiss German was classified as: Language Family: Indo-European --> Germanic --> West Germanic --> High German --> German --> Upper German --> Alemannic ... a mixture of rather orthogonal categories, IMO.
  • Standard German however is a standardized language, but is also part of the language German, of course, therefore: Language Family: Indo-European --> Germanic --> West Germanic and Language: German. Though major contributions were made during the era of 1650 - 1750/1800 by the High Franconian German (a linguistical/regional grouping), which belongs to the High German linguistical/regional group, you cannot really seriously claim that Standard German belongs to the: Linguistic classification: German --> High German --> High Franconian German (besides others), even though it is not totally wrong, neither (at least two centuries ago). And Periodisation: Old High German --> Middle High German --> Early New High German --> New High German.
  • Swiss Standard German would then be categorized the following: Language Family: Indo-European --> Germanic --> West Germanic and Language: German. Variety of: German --> Standard German


Please, this is only a very rough, preliminary approach by me in order to try to cicumvent some problems with the language infobox. And eventually, I just produce here WP:OR, I am very aware about it, but the current situation is not satisfiable, neither. – That's the way I so far understand the situation (I am no expert and do not claim it). TBF -- ZH8000 (talk) 22:35, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

I fear it would be extremely difficult to root out these simplistic language taxonomies, all with Wikipedia’s computer bias and with Wikipedia’s Google bias. Tree structures are omnipresent in computers and proper WP:SOURCES for linguistics consist mainly of paper and are hard to get on a computer.
An important source for the language taxonomies on Wikipedia might be glottolog.org. On that webpage, you will find that the “Subclassification references” for West Germanic are Harbert (2007) and Stiles (2013). They must have used other sources for the subclassification, though. They use outlandish subclassifications such as Middle-Modern High German which does not occur in either source. On Wikipedia, we could easily trash something like that as WP:OR, but we are at loss when someone uses this as a source on Wikipedia. And of course, glottolog does exactly what Stiles (2013) warns of: “overstrict adherence to the ‘family tree’ model, and a monolithic approach that can only acknowledge clean divisions of an original unity – and insists that intermediate proto-languages also have to be uniform – is unrealistic and does not do justice to the data”.
Maybe instead of running against the windmills of the Wikipedia biases, it might be easier to replace the label “Language family” in the infobox by a slightly less utterly unacceptable “Classification” or “Taxonomy”? We should point out that putting the label “language family” on entities such as Swiss German is WP:OR. If someone claims that the glottolog.org is a WP:SOURCE for this labelling, we can easily show that there is no basis for it in the sources glottolog.org claims to be following, which means that glottolog.org disqualifies as a reputable source for this question.
BTW: I am not disputing that glottolog.org has its merits for the lesser known languages. It is only with regard to the well-known languages that its standards fall well below what is “broadly supported by scholarship” (see also WP:FRINGE). --mach 🙈🙉🙊 11:18, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
No-one ever claimed Swiss German is a language family, AFAICT, but I'd have no problem changing "family" to "classification" in the info box if you think that would be clearer. It should be proposed on the template talk page, though, rather than here.
Not sure if you're objecting the the branching of German on Glottolog, or to the name. They have said they could care less about names, which are just labels. There are odd branchings for chronolects, maybe due to the format of the trees. — kwami (talk) 02:14, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree that such a change should be discussed on Template talk:Infobox language. I want to hear ZH8000’s opinion first.
Glottolog not only uses strange names, but also strange branching. Why is there a node for Frankish, when there is already a node for High Franconian? Why is Palatinate not under the same node as Middle Franconian and Rhine Franconian? Why is there the rather sociolinguistical node for Swiss German, instead of dialectological nodes such as High Alemannic and Highest Alemannic?
Glottolog’s assignation of “dialects” and “languges” to the different nodes is even worse. Schleswig-Holstein Low German is not a direct descendant of the node West Germanic, but a Low German dialect. Old Low Franconian is certainly not a descendant of the node High Franconian, but of the node Low Franconian. Walser should either be a sibling to or a descendant of Wallis. The choice of Swiss German dialects is extremely unbalanced, with major dialects such as Zurich German and Bernese German missing while some very small dialects such as Obwalden German are included. I can only hope that the choice of dialects for other regions is more representative.
If such a sloppy classification were presented in a linguistics exam, you would certainly fail. The ethnologue classification is a bit less unacceptable, though it is not free of what Wikipedia considers to be WP:FRINGE. Due to the strange decision to make the ethnologue codes into an ISO standard (for valid concerns see ISO 639-3 § Criticism), we have now some outlandish codes such as gct or wae. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 09:53, 21 May 2015 (UTC)