Talk:Silesian language

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Requested move2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus. With the discussion having gone stale for a few weeks, there's no clear consensus here. --BDD (talk) 18:54, 19 February 2014 (UTC)


- As per suggestion of filelakeshoe [1].

See also Dialects of Polish: [6] and Dialects of Polish--Sobiepan (talk) 11:39, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Most linguists writing in English, such as Alexander M. Schenker,(Alexander M. Schenker, "Proto-Slavonic," The Slavonic Languages (1993, Routledge), pages 60-121.) Robert A. Rothstein, (Robert A. Rothstein, "Polish," The Slavonic Languages (1993, Routledge), pages 686-758.) and Roland Sussex and Paul Cubberley (Roland Sussex & Paul Cubberley, The Slavic Languages (2006, Cambridge University Press) in their respective surveys of Slavic languages, list Silesian as a dialect of Polish, as does Encyclopædia Britannica.[7]

--Sobiepan (talk) 11:42, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

That is incorrect. The Slavic Languages does not list Silesian as anything, except for Texas Silesian (Polish?) and Lach (Czech). — kwami (talk) 22:16, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Texas Silesian is a dialect of Polish Silesians (one of the variations of the Silesian dialect)--Sobiepan (talk) 12:29, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Most? Around three old (before given the ISO 639-3 code) works in English (which are based on the Polish works)? This is not "most". Franek K. (talk) 12:20, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - bad and not neutral name, there is still controversy about Silesian language status. Better neutral name, for example - simply "Silesian" or Silesian (linguistics) or Silesian (West Slavic). Accordance with the fundamental principle of Wikipedia: Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia must to be neutral. If there is a dispute between (Silesian) dialect/s and language, we need to use a neutral name of "Silesian" (without any not neutral terms of dialect/s or language). Sobiepan, also, two your examples: German and Polish Wikipedia is nothing, most of Wikipedia versions use term of language in name or use neutral name of "Silesian". Also, suggestion of filelakeshoe is only the initial suggestion, Silesian has a more stronger status than Moravian (including ISO code). Franek K. (talk) 10:52, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Please see the discussion (last year) on: Talk:Slavic_languages#status_of_Silesian user Franek K. was involved.--Sobiepan (talk) 11:06, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
result of this discussion is introduced neutral paragraph to Wikipedia: "The standard linguistic sources about the Slavic languages describe Silesian as a dialect of Polish.[2][3] However, many Silesians consider themselves a separate ethnicity and have been advocating for national and international recognition of a Silesian language.[4] Also, the standard linguistic organisations describe Silesian as a language.[5][6][7] Ongoing debate over the granting for the Silesian of the status of a regional language in Poland[8][9]". Sobiepan, you must learn to be neutral. Again: if there is a dispute between (Silesian) dialect/s and language, we need to use a neutral name of "Silesian" (without any not neutral terms of dialect/s or language). Please stop pushing not neutral term of dialect/s. Franek K. (talk) 11:11, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. "Silesian (linguistics)" would be a very bad title: It is not a topic within the science of linguistics, akin to, say, phonetics. That said, the title "Silesian dialects" begs the question '(Dialects) of what?', unless the topic would be 'dialects of Silesian' (which it wouldn't). "Silesian" would have been nice if it weren't rightly a disambiguation page. --JorisvS (talk) 11:37, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
    Comment. You are right in the case of Silesian (linguistics). You said ""Silesian" would have been nice if it weren't rightly a disambiguation page" - this is not problem, move Silesian to Silesian (disambiguation) (what is interesting, currently Silesian (disambiguation) is redirect to Silesian) and Silesian page will be available for Silesian language. Franek K. (talk) 11:51, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
    For that to be possible, this article's topic must be established to be the primary topic, which would seem rather dubious. --JorisvS (talk) 12:20, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
    "Dialects of what?" is the very focus of the dispute, so the varying points of view can be given in the article, that's not a problem. - filelakeshoe (t / c) 12:37, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
    It still suggests that these are a group of dialects that are part of some language. It specifically does not mean there is a possibility that this group could be considered a separate language. --JorisvS (talk) 13:54, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. I'd support Silesian dialect, per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common name): Google Books search shows "Silesian dialect" beats "Silesian language" more than 10:1. I cannot support plural dialects, per JorisvS. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 14:20, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
    The whole problem is that "Silesian dialect" represents just one POV. --JorisvS (talk) 14:34, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • What about moving this to Upper Silesian? This article already mentions it as an alternative name (which is opposed to the Germanic Lower Silesian). That page is currently a dab page, but this article's topic clearly represents the primary topic. And most importantly, it avoids the terms "language" and "dialect". --JorisvS (talk) 14:34, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
    That I could support. I'm not convinced that "group of dialects" and "language" are mutually exclusive, all languages are groups of dialects (with armies and navies), and there's always a possibility any divergent group of dialects can be considered a separate language. Using google books to determine the common name isn't a good idea, because searching for "Silesian dialect" will also pick up individual dialects described as "a Silesian dialect" which few would claim to be a language by themselves. - filelakeshoe (t / c) 15:02, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

@Sobiepan: It is bad practice to display images like that on the talk page. Also note that your map includes even Kashubian as a "dialect" of Polish. --JorisvS (talk) 19:53, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Because Kashubian is considered both. See: Dialects of Polish--Sobiepan (talk) 11:39, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Please dont edit or change my comments. See: Wikipedia:Talk_page_guidelines#Editing_comments--Sobiepan (talk) 11:43, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
JorisvS is right. Editing_comments is one but you have no right to destroy the layout of page, too large graphics and separating lines are unacceptable. Size of your graphics have been reduced (graphics are not removed), separating lines can not exist because it is written posts directly to that text. If you ever restore large graphics and separating lines, I will inform administrator. Franek K. (talk) 12:04, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment Per E17, Silesian, Kashubian, and Polish (and presumably extinct Polabian) are Lechitic languages, and the Silesian language is distinct from the Upper Silesian dialect of Polish. Silesian is also recognized as a regional language by the Polish govt. The DK World Atlas counts Silesian as a distinct ethnicity. See also refs for the various lects called "Silesian" and the distinction between Silesian and Upper Silesian given in #Four Silesian ethnolects or tongues above. (There's also Silesian Czech, or Lach, and supposedly Germanic Lower Silesian is also called Upper Silesian, or at least Upper Schlesisch.)
    I oppose both "dialect", as being hopelessly ambiguous, and "dialects", as being a different topic (there are Silesian dialects of German, which are not the topic of this article, though Czech Silesian is, though AIFCT no-one, not even E17, considers that to be part of the Silesian language). Assuming E17 is correct that Silesian is distinct from Polish and German Upper Silesian, I'd oppose moving to that name too.
    CUP The Slavic Languages is of little help: they only speak of Czech Silesian and Texas Silesian. However, the West Slavic languages they cover are Polish, Sorbian, Kashubian, Polabian, Czech, and Slovak, suggesting they do not consider Silesian to be a separate language. They say that they consider Kashubian to be a variety of Polish, and an intermediate case, as it "lacks most of the linguistic and social determinants of language-hood", but even so, that appears to be a greater distinction than any form of Slavic Silesian. The Slavonic Languages treats both Silesian and Kashubian and dialects of Polish (also Silesian Czech), though they note that Kashubian is "often" considered a separate language outside of Poland.
    The apparent distinction in Ethn. may simply be the recognition of Silesian as a separate language, combining the Silesian dialects of both Polish and Czech, but not realizing that they were the same thing. Since Ethn. is not a RS, we really do need a good source that the Silesian 'language' is distinct from the Upper Silesian dialect of Polish, and from the Lach/Silesian dialect of Czech. Without that, we're not going to be able to make an informed decision on the name for this article.
    I've notified WP:LANG that feedback would be useful. — kwami (talk) 21:28, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: I will be watching over this page for behavioral violations; please remember to WP:AGF and such. Since this move request came from a situation where two people were about to be blocked to begin with, if any contributors commit significant violations of major policies such as NPA, I will be likely to block. I would also encourage people to avoid all capitalized posts - it's seen as shouting - although that's more a pet peeve than an outright rule violation. Kevin Gorman (talk) 23:46, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm all for maintaining the status quo. To be frank, I feel slightly disgusted by the fact that this most unpleasant discussion seems to have blown over from Polish WP now. It is not even about the content of the article, just about one word in the title, and the whole difference is merely about politics, not about linguistics. There are no objective criteria for distinguishing dialects from languages: it's quite possible that two languages, despite being nearly identical, are recognised as two separate languages, while regional variations, in spite of being not or hardly understandable to each other's speakers, are not. In other words, the question how different Silesian and standard Polish really are, is of limited importance. What matters is that Silesian has an ISO code and that it is officially recognised as a regional language in Poland. Frankly, I don't understand the attitude of those who have such a tremendous problem with that; it's not like the existence of a somewhat separate Sіlesian language undermines the greatness of the Polish nation in any way. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 01:41, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Comment: English Wikipedia is pretty consistent in following linguistic consensus regarding artificial linguistic separatism in the case of obviously "nearly identical" languages, as you say, i.e. that they aren't distinct languages. I don't have the stomach to fight these battles, but thankfully there are others that keep the discussion of the Serbo-Croatian, Hindi-Urdu, Romanian, Catalan, etc. languages consist with linguistic consensus that these are single languages and that e.g. Serbian vs. Croatian vs. Bosnian are standardized registers of the same Serbo-Croatian language, not distinct languages, regardless of what many Serbians, Croatians and Bosnians say. Benwing (talk) 07:15, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Moderate support. From what I can tell, the Silesian referred to in this article is a dialect of Polish, not a separate language, by the standard reliable sources. I've looked at this somewhat and none of the main linguistic sources (the RS's, not Ethnologue) describe Silesian as a separate language. Kwami above notes in more detail what the linguistic sources say. I do seem to remember Sussex and Cubberley including Silesian among the list of dialects, although I may simply have noted the fact that they note Kashubian as a separate language but don't do so for Silesian. In any case, it's pretty Silesian is clearly not as distinct as Kashubian and not in the same category as Kashubian, where there is some dispute as to whether it is distinct enough to quality as a separate language. The best that can be said is that there is a political movement that is trying to make Silesian a separate language because of the fact that some (perhaps the majority, perhaps not) of the Silesians consider themselves a separate ethnicity, and there's a stubborn belief in Europe that all proper ethnicities have distinct languages. IMO this is much the same thinking that causes Croatians, Serbians and Bosnians, plus Romanians, Moldovans and Transnistrians, etc. etc., to insist they speak separate languages. The Polish view is unfortunately of the same character, in trying to deny a separate Silesian ethnicity and still equating ethnicity with language. If we accept that ethnicity and language are not the same, I think it becomes less controversial that Silesian is a Polish dialect. In any case, the term "Silesian language" is less accurate per the linguistic sources than "Silesian dialect". I looked into why Ethnologue describes Silesian as a separate language and it seems to reflect simply a request by a pro-Silesian-language group to have Silesian included as a separate language in ISO 639-3, nothing more than that. No linguistic sources were cited in this request. This is one of the reasons Ethnologue is not a reliable source, and I am rather skeptical of the claim that there is such a thing as an Upper Silesian dialect of Polish that's distinct from the putative Silesian language. Benwing (talk) 07:07, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: Another possible title would be Silesian (Polish lect); this avoids the language vs. dialect issue and also avoids possible confusion over Czech or German Silesian. Benwing (talk) 07:07, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Except that this article includes Czech Silesian.
Agreed that the presence of an ISO code means nothing.
RSources disagree as to whether Kashubian is a "language", but none seem to consider Silesian to be a language.
"Silesian dialect" would seem to be more appropriate apart from the fact that it could refer to Germanic Lower Silesian. Not sure "Upper" vs "Lower" is unambiguous either, however. "Silesian Polish" would be the way to go if it were simply a Polish dialect (that the formula for many of our dialect articles), but then you've got "Silesian Czech" just across the border. Since Silesian (Lach) is one of 3 primary Czech dialects, this could be critical to naming: Is Silesian Czech part of the Silesian "language" or not?
kwami (talk) 07:16, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I think we should rewrite the section of this article that claims that Lach is a "dialect" of a Silesian "language". This isn't per the RS's, which disagree in describing Silesian (Lach) as either a Czech dialect or a "transitional dialect" between Polish and Czech, but recognize no such unitary Silesian language nor recognize Lach and Polish Silesian as belonging to the same language. Also, I never saw a linguistic source that said that Polish Silesian was a similar transitional dialect. So evidently the Lach-Czech distance is more than Silesian-Polish. (BTW, I wouldn't be surprised to find that Silesian isn't even the most distinctive Polish dialect (excluding Kashubian that is); some of the dialects in modern Ukraine may well have been more distinct -- although they may or may not still exist.)
This is all rather complicated. I think this article should cover Silesian, the Polish dialect, and nothing else; there's enough to say, esp. about the political issues, and we already have a separate article on the Lach dialects that does appear to comport with the RS's and disagrees with this article. Benwing (talk) 07:46, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I should add, this is of course rather complicated because of the problem of dialect chains. 100 years ago I think there would have been a genuine dialect chain straight from Polish to Czech but I rather suspect nowadays there's somewhat of a division at the border because of the pull of the standard languages and the influence of the media, which justifies keeping Polish Silesian and Lach separate. Benwing (talk) 07:49, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
The Cieszyn Silesian dialect still stands more or less on the border, because it's picked up more elements of Czech in the last few decades. If anyone can find these two sources by Kevin Hannan: "Borders of Language and Identity in Cieszyn Silesia" and "The Lachian Language of Ondra Lysohorsky" we'd have some decent source material on the development of the dialect continuum, including how the Lach dialect was more or less levelled into Moravian Czech. I've looked extensively in the past but only managed to find a short preview of the latter source online. In any case I'm still sure Lach as it was spoken (and written) a century ago is relevant to this topic, but shouldn't be presented as a dialect of Silesian/Polish. - filelakeshoe (t / c) 08:50, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Also, the reason I proposed putting this in the plural was because there are multiple Silesian dialects spoken in Poland. The reason the attempt to standardise Silesian as a language hasr run into so many problems with writing systems is that they've tried to write it in such a way that suits all of the dialects - and even then, aside from on Silesian Wikipedia I've only ever seen it written using Czech and/or Polish orthography (e.g. [8] ) - filelakeshoe (t / c) 08:58, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
The sources I've seen have Silesian as one of 4 or (if you count Kashubian) 5 dialects of Polish, so "dialect" sg. would be appropriate. Of course, dialects are often composed of further dialects, but that doesn't make them plural unless there's no unity to them, and per my sources there is. But "Silesian dialect" is ambiguous. If we exclude Silesian Czech from the article, as Benwing proposes (and per Ethnologue), then Silesian Polish would be a good name, analogous to Najdi Arabic, Wood Frisian, and Wu Chinese. It was once there, but was moved in 2008. — kwami (talk) 10:04, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - we follow the designation found in most reliable sources, not the minority.Volunteer Marek (talk) 09:02, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Do not forget one thing, this discussion has been advertised on WikiProject Poland, people from Poland (i.e. user Sobiepan, Volunteer Marek...) have already established opinion - "dialect". Point of view of Polish in this case is not neutral. For the uninitiated, Poland fighting with Silesian language, culture, nationality, identity and separatism. I think all users come from WikiProject Poland support not neutral "dialect". Maybe notify users of the Silesian Wikipedia, let's Silesians say its opinion? It is unfair for people who use the language, why people from Poland, have to decide about Silesian. Franek K. (talk) 10:46, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Through WP:AA, this discussion should be advertised in the news feeds for all WikiProjects included at the top of this article. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 14:17, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Whether or not something is a language or dialect, case concerns linguists, sociolinguists, linguistic organizations, people who use the language, politicians. Between them there is no consensus for status language or dialect. We all agree with the fact that the case of Silesian is complicated. Accordance with the core content policies of Wikipedia: Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia must to be neutral. Wikipedia can not show only one side. Change the name of the article on "dialect" violates the fundamental principle of Wikipedia. Wikipedia must to be neutral, we can not use the name of a dialect or language. We have to look for another name, without words "dialect" and "language". Franek K. (talk) 10:46, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

  • The odd thing is that Polish Wikipedia calls it an "ethnolect", which seems to imply that ethnically the Silesians are a separate entity, but linguistically they are not. In other words, Silesians are not Poles, but they do speak Polish. This is the dubious compromise that was cooked up between those in favour and those against recognising Silesian as a language. Like I said, there are no objective criteria distinguishing languages and dialects, and both linguists and other sources disagree. The mistake we all make, I think, is that we take the concept of language as a starting point and only from there we start thinking about dialects. In fact it would be a lot more logical to do the opposite: to take dialects as a starting point and see how they can be grouped into languages. Until quite recently, the generally accepted solution was quite a simple one: a language belongs to a state, and all the rest – give or take a few exceptions – are dialects. To such a degree that the language variety used at one side of the border was considered a dialect of language A, while the variety used at the other side was a dialect of language B, notwithstanding the fact that both varieties were nearly identical. Nowadays we think differently.
    The situation in Central and Eastern Europe, Poland being no exception, is that of a vast linguistic continuum. All we can say for sure is that Silesian (including Lach etc.) is (part of) a group of transitional dialects between standard Polish and standard Czech. Any choice we make regarding languages that are not state languages is arbitrary almost by definition. There are no objective linguistic criteria, so all we can do is resorting to non-linguistic criteria, such as there are: does the language have a written tradition? Does it have a standardised orthography? Does it have its own dialects? Is there any form of official recognition as a language? Does it have an ISO code?
    Another thing is that we cannot set the discussion about Silesian from similar cases, like Limburgish, Scots, Walloon, Galician etc. No mistake, if those four examples are to be considered languages, then there is no reason at all for denying Silesian the same "privilege", if only for the sake of consistency. The difference is merely in the heat of the reactions of representatives of the dominant language. Here in the Netherlands, the question whether Limburgish is a language separate from Dutch, a regional language within or without Dutch or simply a group of Dutch dialects is pretty much a non-issue, whereas in Poland the very existence of the concept of a Silesian language apparently causes many people to feel deeply hurt in their national pride. As a result, the discussion is a highly political one. Just compare pl:Dyskusja:Etnolekt śląski to similar talk pages about similar languages on their respective Wikipedias to get an impression. I would say: take a good look at the first paragraphs of Scots language and ask yourself the question if the title of the article is really so offensive. If not, it could perhaps serve us as a model for Silesian. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 10:59, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Except that linguists who note Kashubian might be considered distinct don't even mention Silesian, or only mention it as a Polish dialect. — kwami (talk) 11:17, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Actually, IJzeren Jan, one can easily quantify % of cognates and lexical distance. One can identify isoglosses and see if there are bundles of them within the continuum. One can compare the grammars and see how much they match (granted, quantifying this is less straightforward than for the vocabulary). One can also quantify (mutual) intelligibility, though one must be careful to avoid several pitfalls. At that point the decision of what to call a language and what a dialect becomes already far less arbitrary.
In the case of Croatian and Serbian, the number of cognates is >99%, the lexical distance is negligible, and the grammars match up 100%. --JorisvS (talk) 12:52, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Oh sure, nobody is denying that, but note that I didn't mention Kashubian in the first place. Kashubian's recognition as a language separate from Polish is much older than in the case of Scots, Limburgish or Luxemburgish. Although even today there are still lots of people in Poland, including linguists, who keep insisting that Kashubian is a Polish dialect as well. Every opinion has its own merits, and ultimately it is pretty much a matter of definition. And when it comes to definitions, let's face it, a lot has changed over the last 40 years. Since I was a child (blessed or cursed with a vivid interest in linguistics) the number of Romance languages has increased from about seven to over thirty. Same thing goes for the Germanic languages, too. And this is not because dozens of languages have suddenly popped up out of nowhere, but simply because our perception of a language has changed. Then how can you expect that the number of Slavic languages must have remained constant in the same period of time? That's my point: you cannot seriously argue that Scots, Limburgish, Galician and Sicilian are separate languages while similtaneously insisting that Silesian isn't. You honestly can't. The situation is pretty much the same, and the only difference is the amount of noise made by its opponents, which can hardly be taken for a serious argument.

One reason why Kashubian and Silesian are pretty much in the same boat is the fact that their influence on the Polish standard language has been minimal. The Polish literary language has come about as a mix of primarily the dialects of Wielkopolska and Małopolska, to a letter degree also of Mazovian dialects. Kashubian and Silesian dialects were excluded from the process and followed their own, separate, historical development, although obviously both have been heavily influenced by the standard language.

Now, I am certainly not saying that the opinion of linguists doesn't matter. But as long as there are no objective criteria for distinguishing languages from dialects, whatever choices they make remains an arbitrary one. That's why we have to accept certain non-linguistic criteria as well. After all, is it very possible for a language to be a language without being vastly different from another language. Other criteria are, for example:

  • In how far do speakers of the language/dialect use the dominant standard language as their written language?
  • Does the language/dialect in question have its own literary tradition?
  • Does it have a written standard?
  • Does it have its own dialects?
  • Does it have an official status somewhere (in a state or subnational entity)?

Another thing is the question: it is impossible to be a language and a (group of) dialect(s) of another language at the same time? After all, all the examples quoted above have elements of both. Today, we do not merely distinguish between languages and dialects anymore, we also have macrolanguages, microlanguages, diasystems, multicentered languages, umbrella languages and so on. Silesian is precisely what it says: a regional language. Just like a person can be a Pole and a Silesian at the same time, why cannot this person speak Polish and Silesian at the same time? If we could accept that, it would be a major step towards a solution. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 13:38, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Sobiepan: do not reinsert a page breaking graphic. Thanks, Kevin Gorman (talk) 17:54, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. It is about time to move the article name and its content to the form reflecting the majority of reliable sources. I'd support also the move to Silesian dialect but Silesian dialects is fine as well, as there are several varieties of Silesian depending on the region within Silesia. - Darwinek (talk) 19:39, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support This should be done. Every source apart from antipolish RAŚ scientists tells us that in the polish language there are many dialects such as silesian dialects or greaterpolish dialect. Alas in today's world many people tend to name a language almost everything that slightly differs from another language. Adam Lutostański (talk) 17:40, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Encyclopedic article about a language should respect the opinions of scholars - mainly linguists - and not only be a reflection of personal opinions of some individuals. Most of reliable sources list Upper Silesian dialects as dialects of Polish language. This not some new phenomenon, but is well established and respected for centuries. Furthermore Polish language always acted and still does as a standard language for all Silesian dialects because they greatly vary from each other. Recent attempts to create a standard "Silesian language" that would be a common talk for all silesian dialects speakers (that resulted e.g. in Silesian Wikipedia) is a modern attempt and due to many differences among particular dialects, an attempt rather unsuccessful. One of esteemed linguists had even called it - a creation of "Silesian Esperanto"[1] that is usually not understandable by the users of particular silesian dialects. Opole.pl (talk) 20:24, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Target name[edit]

It looks like most of us are coming to the conclusion that the article should be moved, but aren't so sure where it should be moved to. Here are some of the possibilities:

  • "Silesian dialects" – but that could be understood to include Silesian German or Czech
  • "Upper Silesian" – could be understood to include Czech (or is that a good thing?), and there's German Upper Silesian as well
  • "Silesian dialect" – but there are multiple dialects with this name
  • "Silesian Polish", "Silesian Polish dialect", or "Polish Silesian dialects" – assuming the article is restricted to Polish Silesian

Any preferences? — kwami (talk) 21:24, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Between linguists, sociolinguists, linguistic organizations, people who use the language, politicians there is no consensus for status language or dialect. We all agree with the fact that the case of Silesian is complicated. This is fact. Accordance with the core content policies of Wikipedia: Neutral point of view, Wikipedia must to be neutral and can not show only one side. Change the name of the article on "dialect" violates the fundamental principle of Wikipedia and can not be changed. So, "Upper Silesian" or simply "Silesian" in this situation is only neutral names, the name does not refer to a dialect or language. Franek K. (talk) 22:00, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
No. You're completely misreading the relevant policies. NPOV means that the title of the articles reflects the mainstream opinion. Having the article titled according to the mainstream opinion rather than a minority fringe opinion is NOT a violation of NPOV. It is NPOV. You're flipping the cat on its tail. Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:01, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
How about "Silesian (Slavic)"? That should satisfy everyone. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:21, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Also good and neutral name without term of dialect and language. So, there are three neutral - impartial names to choice: simply Silesian, Upper Silesian and Silesian (Slavic). Franek K. (talk) 15:28, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Silesian dialect as first choice, with a "for other uses..." link at the top of the page which would take a reader to the appropriate disambiguation page. "silesian dialects" would be a distant second, followed by "Silesian Polish" and ... well, I haven't seen "Upper Silesian" used that much in sources though I'm sure the term exists. Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:01, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment Sorry, but I'm not impressed at all by the arguments given for "dialect". In fact, there's only one argument I keep hearing, namely that a majority of linguists don't consider Silesian a separate language. You won't make that argument stronger by repeating it fifty times. This is not a vote. Besides, I also notice that practically all those who advocate the dialect option appear to be Poles, which does not exactly enhance the objectivity of the discussion. At last, I have given several arguments for maintaining the status quo, and I find it slightly disappointing that nobody even cares to address them. Yet, you simply cannot ignore the fact that Silesian is recognised by Polish law as a "regional language", nor can you ignore the fact that Silesian is not an isolated case. The discussion about Silesian is utterly pointless without taking Scots, Limburgish etc. into account. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 03:13, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
    Actually, IJzeren Jan, I did address your arguments. I didn't come up with a definite solution, though, because the necessary research is (probably) not done. --JorisvS (talk) 09:46, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  • If the title Silesian language is really so extremely offending, then I move that the article be renamed Silesian (regional language) – because that's precisely what it is, and it's something nobody can deny. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 03:15, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Wow, I didn't know I was Polish. @Benwing, did you realize you were Polish? — kwami (talk) 04:11, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: I'm the person who more-or-less got this RM started by not blocking Franek and Sobie for editwarring and encouraging them to start this instead, and I expect that I'll probably be the closer here too unless another uninvolved admin volunteers. In making arguments one way or the other, I would highly encourage people to post policy-based rationales that draw off of what is found in reliable sources (preferably by linking or otherwise naming those sources, instead of just stating that they exist.) Best, Kevin Gorman (talk) 03:28, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Question: Are Upper and Lower Silesian mutually intelligible? --Iryna Harpy (talk) 04:23, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Lower Silesian is a Germanic dialect, so no. - filelakeshoe (t / c) 08:11, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
      • Ah, apologies. I've just noted that the issue is discussed earlier in the talk page. Given that it's a split dialect - as can be found in many, many regions of the world - what is the problem? There's plenty of room for dealing with both Upper and Lower in the one article. It would also serve as deterrent for excessive POV pushes. This smacks of building up to another excuse for an article split on the flimsiest of pretexts (a favourite tactic deployed by some nationalist/interest groups in Wikipedia). It doesn't wash with me. Wikipedia has ample articles 'split' as the result of gaming the system by ingenuously invoking policies and guidelines. Dependent on which version a reader lands on from their search, they come out with completely different understandings of the subject. It's a dialect and does not warrant two articles. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 09:42, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
        • Not sure what you mean here. Upper Silesian (which is West Slavic) and Lower Silesian (which is Germanic) are completely unrelated, apart from a few loanwords going either way. The only other thing they have in common is that they were spoken in the same territory. They definitely should not be merged into one article - that would be like merging Irish language with Hiberno-English. - filelakeshoe (t / c) 09:52, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
    • @Kevin Gorman:: The reliable linguistic sources are the ones mentioned by Sobiepan at the top. Although he clearly has a strong POV towards one side, he does correctly cite the primary RS's that I know of: Sussex and Cubberley "The Slavic Languages" (Cambridge University Press) and Comrie and Grenville (eds) "The Slavonic Languages" (Routledge). The latter is an anthology of various articles on various languages by various authors, who are consistent in not recognizing a separate Silesian language distinct from Polish (Sobiepan notes the primarily relevant articles). There's also a Britannica article that apparently describes Silesian as a Polish dialect. This is a RS but a tertiary one, and perhaps shouldn't be given as much weight. Ethnologue and ISO 639-3 have "Silesian language" as an entry but they aren't reliable linguistic sources. Ethnologue's listing is taken from ISO 639-3, and ISO 639-3 has a Silesian language entry because the entry was submitted by a pro-Silesian-language organization. In general, both Ethnologue and ISO 639-3 reflect political considerations as much as linguistic ones. As a good example of this, Ethnologue also has an entry for the "Croatian language" and "Serbian language", with the note that it was "formerly/previously considered part of the Serbo-Croat language". This reflects the Croatian and Serbian political POV, whereas the universal linguistic consensus is that the two are separate standardized registers of the same language (sometimes termed Serbo-Croatian, sometimes given a name like "Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian" or similar, because the term "Serbo-Croatian" currently has negative political connotations within Serbia and Croatia because it implies a political POV that is no longer in vogue). ISO 639-3 has the same separate entries for the same reasons. Benwing (talk) 17:58, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
      • @Kevin Gorman:, @Benwing:....but Croatian language and Serbian language has names of language, despite the fact that one language - Serbo-Croatian. Besides, some sources are less reliable, some sources more reliable but sources exist. For you Benwing, linguists sources are better than linguistic organizations, for me and (I think) for most peoples in the world, linguistic organizations are more reliable and official than few books by linguists. This does not change the fact, that Wikipedia should use few types of sources and show all options, not only one because it break the rule of Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. There is a proposal to change the name to neutral: Upper Silesian (idea by JorisvS) and simply Silesian (my idea), but few users will try to push not neutral version, which will create many conflicts in the future. So, Benwing do not waste time, let vote on neutral name or start new conflict between the two sides which never end. Franek K. (talk) 21:59, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
        • Presumably we have titles such as Croatian language and Moldovan language because that's what the whole world knows them as. I don't think that's always a good basis for naming articles when the "common name" is inaccurate. This topic seems too obscure to determine a common name so our title should be descriptive. - filelakeshoe (t / c) 08:10, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  • My preference would be for Upper Silesian or Silesian Polish, focusing the article on the dialects spoken in Poland, and keeping the lede as it is. That just seems more NPOV than prescribing it as a dialect when it is more a group of dialects or a variety. - filelakeshoe (t / c) 10:04, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  • IJzeren Jan wrote: "I also notice that practically all those who advocate the dialect option appear to be Poles, which does not exactly enhance the objectivity of the discussion" - exactly. About this I wrote earlier. This discussion has been advertised on WikiProject Poland, users from Poland (i.e. user Sobiepan, Volunteer Marek... and other) have already established opinion - "dialect". Polish point of view in this case is very not neutral. For people who do not know what's going on: Poland fighting with Silesian language, culture, nationality, identity and separatism. Poland on Silesia region imposes Polish culture, language, identity; polonization in a very perfidious form. Polish books about history, linguistic, ethnic groups (etc) are full of deceptions; many users from Belarus, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Germany is not able to communicate with users from Poland because Poles base their knowledge on propaganda. Look historical articles about Polish and neighboring countries, very many edit-wars between Polish users and others. I read the Polish school books of history, so extreme POV I never have not seen. According to Polish books, Silesia is eternally Polish land, Poland to Silesia is mother country, in Silesia living only Poles. It does not matter that from 7th to 9/10th century existed free Silesian tribes, later attached to Moravia, Bohemia, from 10 to 13th century in Poland, from 1332 - independent, later in Czech, Germany, Austria to ....20th century, in Poland only from 1920 to 1939/45 as autonomous province and rest (70%) of Silesia still in Germany. Only from 1945, main part of Silesia lies in Poland, rest in Czech Republic and Germany as Silesian-Lusatian land. History of Silesia (counting the Silesian Slavic tribes, after Silings era) has ~1300 years, total history of Silesia much more. Silesia in Poland was 300-400 years. For most of its history Silesia had nothing to do with Poland but Poles do not know it. This knowledge is perfectly camouflaged. This is just one example of Polish propaganda. I know, I'm Pole and I was also a victim but I opened my eyes I started reading historical books from other countries. A few years ago was a project to develop a common European history book but Poland was against, understandable. In the case of language, the majority of contemporary Polish books about Silesian language based on works from communists era (1945-1989). Current Polish linguists write the same propaganda which formerly. There are about three books in English but they are based on the rich Polish bibliography about Silesian. What should do? Burn all old books about Polish language who writes about Silesian and write a new, without basing on the old propaganda. At the moment, the book about Polish language who writes about Silesian are worth as much as toilet paper. Franek K. (talk) 10:53, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Franek, unfortunately, both you and IJzeren Jan (talk · contribs) are quite wrong here. Neither kwami nor I are Polish -- in fact, I'm not even European, and I don't think kwami is either. We both contribute to linguistics articles of all sorts. Also, filelakeshoe (talk · contribs) may be Czech (by his talk page), Iryna Harpy (talk · contribs) may be Australian, etc. Benwing (talk) 18:11, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
      • I'm neither Czech nor Polish for the record. And it doesn't really matter where we're from. What matters are the sources - ideally sources which are written by Polish nationalists or Silesian separatists or which are less focused on the topic should be given less weight, but I don't know how many that leaves us with. - filelakeshoe (t / c) 18:33, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
        • I (and IJzeren Jan) showed only that every Pole from WP:Poland will vote for dialect. First, second, third, fourth.... it does not make sense. Iryna Harpy did not vote, I hope will vote neutral, not a "dialect". Benwing and filelakeshoe, you are not members of the WP:Poland, I did not write about you. Franek K. (talk) 21:36, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
          • For the record, I am not accusing any of you (Kwami and Benwing) of being Polish, all I am saying is that the reactions of both Poles and Silesians in this thread are kind of predictable. Flies are likely to argue that spiders should become vegetarians, and spiders are likely to disagree with that point of view. From that point of view it won't help the discussion if more people from eiter side come here to make the same statement. This is not a vote, this is about arguments. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 00:12, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
IJzeren Jan, you are making an unfounded and very strong presumption here however, that the "Polish" editors here are ... not "Silesian". One can be both and in fact most Silesians in Poland think of themselves as both (there are fringe groups who believe otherwise, but they are just that, fringe). Likewise, it's entirely possible to consider oneself a Silesian, be of Silesian backgrounds, have great-great-great-great^10 grandparents from Silesia and *still* think that Silesian is a dialect not a language. Just because something is a dialect rather than a language does not make it any less "worthy" (by whatever standard), except perhaps in the mind of politically motivated ideologues with some chip on their shoulder.Volunteer Marek (talk) 06:02, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Fortunately, case concerns linguists, sociolinguists, linguistic organizations, people who use the language, politicians. Between them there is no consensus for status language or dialect. Franek K. (talk) 10:58, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
    • This isn't true. Wikipedia follows reliable sources, and in the case of languages prefers linguistic sources, not political ones. This has clear precedent in the handling of other disputed language/dialect issues. Benwing (talk) 18:14, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
      • This isn't true. Maybe Wikipedia prefers linguistic sources (maybe), this does not mean to exclude other for example eg. linguistic organizations or politicians. Franek K. (talk) 22:15, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I, Silesian can say that silesian language have to many differences with polish, german or czech language. Own words and construction of sentences. This plain language is on languages list ISO 639-3 and him recognizes SIL International. With the Kashubian language is the same situation and aren`t any dispute. Krol111 (talk) 16:05, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Comment - um.... this user registered in June of 2013, made a single edit to their user page and then... didn't make *any* edits what so ever until this discussion [9]. Fishy as hell. I hope no one's being naughty here and opening up that sock drawer or calling up the meat puppets. Volunteer Marek (talk) 23:51, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to see that this user is an administrator on the Silesian Wikipedia. Nothing fishy about that. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 00:02, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
One edit in 2013. No edits since then until now. Not fishy? Please. Volunteer Marek (talk) 06:02, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Somewhat prefer Silesian Polish: I don't object to something with the word "dialect" in it but this name will hopefully avoid as much conflict as possible, and as kwami notes it has precedents in names like Wu Chinese, which were specifically named to avoid the language/dialect issue. (In that case, the positions are reversed: linguistically, Wu Chinese is pretty clearly a separate language, but the political POV claims all Chinese varieties are a single language despite lack of mutual intelligibility.) We already have an article on the Lach dialects, and the stuff in this article that groups Lach and Polish Silesian speech varieties is not per linguistic sources. Benwing (talk) 18:11, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
    • "Silesian Polish" - this extreme not neutral name. "Silesian dialects" is more neutral than "Silesian Polish". But, both is not neutral and will create many conflicts in the future. Benwing, only neutral name, the name which not suggesting status because status of Silesian is disputed. Between linguists, sociolinguists, linguistic organizations, people who use the language, politicians is no consensus for status of Silesian. Franek K. (talk) 21:26, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Comment: or "Silesian (Polish dialect)", like on the German edition.--Sobiepan (talk) 14:36, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: Perhaps we should reflect how Silesians named it? And they named it "ślůnsko godka" - exactly the same way as "polsko godka" (Polish language), "ynglicko/angelsko godka" (English language), "italsko godka" (Italian language), and other languages. And yes, we know the word "djalekt" (dialect). Polish and German sources are mostly biased for political reasons. The article which we are disputed about sources and proves that name for article is controversial matter. I hope you move it (or not), acoording to Wikipedia rules. But please, don't use "Silesian Polish", this is, in my opinion, as great POV as possible. Lajsikonik (talk) 10:12, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  • So much for neutral. Ever considered WP:Neutral? Self-designations are not neutral. Compare hrvatski jezik, which isn't a language, not even a dialect; just a standardized variety of Serbo-Croatian. --JorisvS (talk) 12:40, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
    No, it is not neutral. It's sugesting that Silesian is part of Polish, and this is not proved (and in my opinion not true). Lajsikonik (talk) 14:12, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  • As a note, due to repeated editwarring and WP:BATTLEGROUND behavior across multiple pages, I have blocked both Sobiepan and Franek K for a period of 72 hours. I understand that there are heated feelings around this issue, but please try to calmly discuss the issues involved. Kevin Gorman (talk) 20:13, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: Evidently people in the pro-language camp think that "Silesian Polish" implies that Silesian is a Polish dialect, which was not my intent. How about Polish Silesian? This should avoid this problem while still clarifying that we're talking about the Polish variety, not the Czech one (aka Lach) or the German one. Benwing (talk) 21:35, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
BTW, the corresponding German variety is termed Silesian German but is ambivalent in the article itself about whether it's a language or dialect, so I don't think the order of "Polish" makes all that much difference, but whatever. Benwing (talk) 21:37, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Suggestion: Given that 'Silesia' is in a region which has been under the influence of various Empires throughout history with disparate cultures living there, and that there is no one language/dialect, it would not be appropriate to develop a page entitled 'Silesian (language)'. None of these could be construed as being a pure form of any of the languages used in the region, therefore none could not qualify a language, per se. Therefore, the only alternative is to treat them as dialects.
This being the case, I would suggest that logic dictates that a top level page named 'Silesian (dialects)' be developed with a lead outlining a brief history of the region; an appropriate infobox listing the dialects; a WP:SUMMARY per section of the region, demographics and linguistic group plus any lingering cultural affiliations (with a Template:Main per section). In this manner, any splits are still traceable to a top level entry. Note that, in this case, I wouldn't advocate a a disambiguation page as a top level page is informative in providing a cultural and historical background.
While I dislike avoidable splits, I particularly dislike POV splits. It makes sense that subsections (or, if it comes to separate articles) reflect terminology actually in use. I agree with the use of 'East Germanic Silesian', according to WP:RS, the Slavic version is known as 'West Slavic Silesian' (not 'Polish Silesian') as it also includes Czech/Slovakian. (EDIT) Neither Both of the dialects/languages evolved prior the current nation-states of Germany or Poland, therefore it is untrue to associate them with current understandings of German and Polish. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:58, 26 January 2014 (UTC) --Iryna Harpy (talk) 23:59, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I can't follow your logic: "Given that 'Silesia' is in a region which has been under the influence of various Empires throughout history with disparate cultures living there" does not lead to "no one language/dialect", nor to "it would not be appropriate to develop a page entitled XXX language". Nor does "no one language/dialect" in the way your seem to have intended it (i.e. a dialect continuum) lead to "it would not be appropriate to develop a page entitled XXX language" (most of the Romance languages originally formed a dialect continuum, as do/did Dutch and German, for example). Many dialect continua are rightfully split up into multiple languages, because many intermediate points are too different from other intermediate points to be dialects of one another.
That said, the Silesian situation is not straightforward, and it is currently unclear if it can be considered a distinct language or not.
I would also like to suggest "Slavic Silesian" as a possibility: the "West" in "West Slavic Silesian" is unnecessary, because there is no, say, "East Slavic Silesian", and the parentheses in "Silesian (Slavic)" are unnecessary by changing the order . --JorisvS (talk) 07:58, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
No need for confusion. My main objective was to differentiate the names without the use of 'German' and 'Polish'. Romance languages evolved from local mixes of Latin. Germanic languages does not equal German exclusively, and Slavic doesn't equal Polish exclusively. That's known as reinvention/revisionism. I'm fine with 'Silesian (Slavic)' and 'Silesian (Germanic)'. The entire argument proposed by interest groups was a war revolved around Polish dialect and German dialect: I thought it might be useful to throw another perspective into the mix, as I oppose the idea of the subject being used as a nationalistic tug of war. Whatever decision is reached over the top level naming convention doesn't particularly concern me, whereas OTT conventions designed to sway the reader from the inception does bother me. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 21:54, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
So what does this have to do with what you said before? Also note that 'local mixes of Latin' is nonsensical. --JorisvS (talk) 07:48, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
JorisvS, you should be acquainted with the civility policy by now. I've already had dealings with you over content. Note that simplification in order to forgo diatribes on the evolution of Romance languages is not intended as a slight towards anyone. Taking a good faith simplification and trying to pick a fight over it is ludicrous and intentionally offensive. "So what does this have to do with what you said before?" (sic) Would you care to clarify 'which' particular 'what' are you're querying? --Iryna Harpy (talk) 02:19, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
What 'dealings over content' are you referring to? I'm not trying to pick a fight. I'm honestly not understanding your logic. And how is asking questions about that or pointing out that something you said is nonsensical "uncivil"? (That's something else that I honestly don't understand.) --JorisvS (talk) 07:52, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
And I seriously don't understand what it is that you don't understand. You haven't clarified what it is that you don't understand. "I'm honestly not understanding your logic. And how is asking questions about that or pointing out that something you said is nonsensical "uncivil"?" still doesn't explain which points I've made that are confusing to you.
A) "Given that 'Silesia' is in a region which has been under the influence of various Empires throughout history with disparate cultures living there, and that there is no one language/dialect, it would not be appropriate to develop a page entitled 'Silesian (language)'." Your response was an argument for dialect continua. Sorry, as an autodidact, your evaluation does not count. If Silesian 'dialects' were understood to be 'languages' in mainstream linguistics, 'language' could be applied. In concrete terms, top level = language group; 2nd level = distinct languages within language groups; 3rd level = dialects of any given distinct language. Please point to mainstream WP:V & WP:RS expressing that either form of Silesian is understood to be a distinct language. If it can't be backed up, then it is WP:OR and 'dialect' is as far as Wikipedia can push it.
B) "While I dislike avoidable splits, I particularly dislike POV splits." This means that I don't think it a wise move to split the article and be an enabler of nationalistic versions of "THE TRUTH". This ties in with the statement I made, which is:
C) "My main objective was (is) to differentiate the names without the use of 'German' and 'Polish'." These are terms used as a WP:COATRACK/WP:TROJAN. 'Germanic' is not 'German'. 'Slavic' is not 'Polish'. The best way to contain nationalistic fervour is to tighten the terminology up (see filelakeshoe's comment below for prime example of allowing room for POV pushes, "And the establishment of the current nation-state of Poland was the death knell for Germanic (Lower) Silesian dialects since almost all their native speakers were expelled and displaced.").
As regards previous encounters with you, this is not the time or the venue. Apologies for bringing it up.
If the points above haven't addressed whichever point it was that confused you, please let me know. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 04:14, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
I thought I had said it quite straightforwardly: "Given that 'Silesia' is in a region which has been under the influence of various Empires throughout history with disparate cultures living there" does not lead to "no one language/dialect", nor to "it would not be appropriate to develop a page entitled XXX language". Nor does "no one language/dialect" in the way your seem to have intended it (i.e. a dialect continuum) lead to "it would not be appropriate to develop a page entitled XXX language"
But I'll rephrase a bit then, so as to spell it out in question form (forgive my sarcasm here, I hope you'll understand after you've read this): How do you go from "Given that 'Silesia' is in a region which has been under the influence of various Empires throughout history with disparate cultures living there" to "no one language/dialect" or to "it would not be appropriate to develop a page entitled XXX language"? (Which did you intend?) How do you go from "no one language/dialect" to "it would not be appropriate to develop a page entitled XXX language"?
A): This is not about RS, but about your logic. For the article we use RS, but on the talk we should have coherent, logical arguments. What is your logic for distinguishing the 1st and 2nd levels?
B): I agree with that.
C): I agree with that, too. --JorisvS (talk) 08:54, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
"Neither of the dialects/languages evolved prior the current nation-states of Germany or Poland" is also absolutely untrue, the Silesian duchies in Austria-Hungary were home to a few people who also wrote in their dialects. And the establishment of the current nation-state of Poland was the death knell for Germanic (Lower) Silesian dialects since almost all their native speakers were expelled and displaced. - filelakeshoe (t / c) 09:29, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
That was a typo, although I would have thought it evident that there was something amiss with the observation given the context. Fixed to read as, "Both of the dialects/languages evolved prior the current nation-states of Germany or Poland". What that means, in real terms, is that 'Germanic' and 'Slavic' are appropriate usage, as opposed to 'German' and 'Polish'. They are not languages/dialects to be used as WP:COATRACK and WP:TROJAN on which to hang contemporary nationalist '-izations'. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:19, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Silesian dialect or Silesian dialects of Polish
There are few issues that need to be taken into account:
1)As many before have said - there is no standard silesian language that would be used among the inhabitants of Upper Silesia. In various counties and even communes different dialects are spoken, many of which are now heavily influenced by standard Polish, due to the fact that much of the land where it is spoken was united with Poland almost 100 years ago and natural process of cultural mingling had taken place.
2)Despite the long lasting period of separation of Silesia from the rest of Poland, Polish language remained the standard language for all Silesian dialects for hundreds of years - because, aside from a few linguists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries - there was never a serious and official attempt to create a standard language for Upper Silesian dialects that would be different from Polish. Naturally local dialects have certain characteristics of their own, yet almost all of former Polish dialects had such characteristic features which faded away during the last decades - mainly due to the strong effect of nationwide media. Silesian dialects did not loose as many of them as other Polish dialects, but still many germanisms were with time replaced by Polish words. The process was however a bit different in various parts of Upper Silesia, because in various parts different dialects are spoken. People from around Opole can easily communicate with people from around Katowice only because they both know standard Polish - thats how those local dialects can differ from one another.
3)There are many people that declare Silesian as their mother language, but due to those differences among the dialects, most of them when declaring it think only about dialects of their own.
4)Nowadays there are some efforts to standarize silesian dialects (there is even a Silesian Wikipedia) but that is an effort supported only by a part of the speakers of those dialects. Most of them still consider Polish as the standard language for Silesian Dialects. E.g. there were almost 850 000 people who declared Silesian nationality in the last Polish national census (most of them declared it jointly with Polish nationality) but there were only 510 000 people who declared Silesian language as their mother tongue. Most of the linguists are against creating an artificial standard Silesian language. The main reason for that is that it would be incomprehensible for most of the speakers of Silesian dialects. Prof. Halina Synowiec from the Silesian University in Katowice had compared such a language to Esperanto that has many features of different modern languages but is not a natural, spontaneously created langue in its own right. [2]
5)The idea of a different Silesian language is being pushed by organizations that consider that Silesians form a distinct nationality. A creation of an artificial standard Silesian, and various attempts to get it recognized abroad is their doing. By creating various pages (also on Wikipedia) about a Silesian nationality and Silesian language they try to create an illusion of its existence. There are even special editors who monitor pages such as Slavic languages, Silesian language etc, who activate mostly only in cases when other people change their want-to-be information. I myself, after checking most of the sources given on the page Silesians, had modified it several times so it would actually say what the sources tell.
6)Movements mentioned above advertise the idea of a distinct Silesian nationality with some success. The amount of people declaring Silesian nationality has increased substantially but despite that it is way above the half of the Silesian population. 3/4 of them declare themselves as only Poles or as jointly Poles and Silesians.
7)The dispute about this phenomenon is an ongoing one and it has a political background. In my opinion there is a need to emphasize this situation but not in the article's title. The current status quo is that there is no recognized Silesian nationality and no living and widely used standard Silesian language - just a group of very divergent dialects that very much differ from one another. In a dominant opinion of both Polish and foreign (including British) linguists a standard language for those dialects is still the Polish language (perhaps it will change in time, but such change did not take place yet). The dominant opinion should be respected on Wikipedia. The ongoing issue should have its own page e.g. Attempts of standardization of Upper Silesian dialects, Silesian language dispute etc.
Opole.pl (talk) 18:01, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Your text is meaningless,
Re 1). You wrote: "Support Silesian dialect" and wrote below: "In various counties and even communes different dialects are spoken" - so, this is not a one dialect, this is group of dialects. For you it does not matter, you prefer to push POV as polish dialect and dot.
Re 2) You wrote: "People from around Opole can easily communicate with people from around Katowice only because they both know standard Polish" - yes, so? Opole and Katowice currently lies in Poland.
Re 3) Nonsense. This is your guess.
Re 4) "Most of them still consider Polish as the standard language for Silesian Dialects"? Source please. Also, Kashubian language is native language for 106,000 Kashubians, there are 500,000 Kashubians. Your words do not prove anything.
Re 5) see wearing one of the examples, 21 minutes before your post, after two years of absence woke up user Adam Lutostański. Has a small amount of editing, and never edited this article but as every Pole has voted in support. Instead look elsewhere, look at your backyard.
Rw 6) Theoretically, according to the one source (the only available source of quantity of Silesians) in Poland living 2 million Silesians, including ~850,000 as separate nationality according to the census. In the census have not been asked all the people, ie. kids, other persons in the family; so the number is not complete. Others Silesians in Polish part of Upper Silesia are polonized Silesians. Besides, most of Silesians living in Germany (as germanized Silesians), speaks in German, and have a German citizenship.
Franek K. (talk) 18:39, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Furthermore, the further discussion about term of "dialect" does not make sense. Wikipedia does not tolerate pushing POV, regardless of whether or Polish, Silesian or other. Franek K. (talk) 19:13, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Utterly false. NPOV doesn't mean we make you happy, it means we neutrally reflect sources. — kwami (talk) 20:00, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Silesian Polish or Upper Silesian
The first would parallel Silesian German and is my first choice. The second is also common in the lit, but is not as precise, as Silesian German was also spoken in Upper Silesia, as are the Lach dialects of Czech. I oppose Silesian dialect(s), as IMO that is properly a dab page as it is currently (Silesian dialect). — kwami (talk) 20:00, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

If the name with the words of dialect, language, Polish are POV, what the name of the target[edit]

  • We can not use the names of the "dialect", "Polish" and also "language" because it violates the principle of core content policies of Wikipedia: Neutral point of view.
  • We should not use these terms because will create many conflicts in the future.
  • I analyzed the sources, even if source when writing about the dialect or language, appeared mostly single word - "Silesian". The simply name of "Silesian" is also consistent with Wikipedia:Common names. Google Books search shows "Silesian" beats "Silesian dialect" or "Silesian language" more than 100:1, even if source writing about the dialect, in the text most often occurs as a single word - "Silesian". "Upper Silesian" in good name, but only partially meets the WP:Common names.

In this situation, the supporters of "dialect", "Polish" or "language" are users who want to push own POV, in the case of the Poles - Polish POV, in the case of the Silesians - Silesian POV. Name of "Silesian" is completely neutral, there are plenty of sources who use this word. To sum, in this discussion were two examples of names satisfying the above rules: simply "Silesian" and "Silesian (Slavic)" by user Florian Blaschke. Which the name of the two you choose? Franek K. (talk) 19:13, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

This is all either untrue or irrelevant: (1, 2) NPOV does not mean we avoid conflict, but that we neutrally present the POVs of reliable sources. If they call it a dialect, then so do we; if they call it Polish, then so do we. (3) Of course X has more hits than any sequence of X and another word, but that's true for any X and so is irrelevant in deciding the name of an article. — kwami (talk) 19:42, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
You are completely wrong. I know, that NPOV does not mean we avoid conflict, I did not wrote it. Neutral point of view is neutral point of view, if there are sources of both, Wikipedia must show both versions, both point of view, not only one. Also, you proposed "Silesian Polish", please specify the sources using the name of "Silesian Polish". This is not reliable and Original research. Franek K. (talk) 20:27, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Under the MOS, variety X of language Y may be called X Y, as in Silesian German, Egyptian Arabic, or Mandarin Chinese. It's a descriptive format and what you're calling "OR" is irrelevant, since the preponderance of sources state that Silesian is a dialect of Polish. As for sources, do a Google search and you'll find plenty. — kwami (talk) 20:59, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Poll[edit]

Currently Silesian and Silesian dialect are dab pages, and Lower Silesian is at Silesian German. RS's give Silesian as one of ≈5 dialects of Polish and a different Silesian as one of ≈3 dialects of Czech, but the two are currently conflated in this article. Below are the names that people have suggested in the discussion above. (Feel free to add additional suggestions.) How about we rank them per 1st & 2nd choice, and then we can have a run-off poll for the more popular choices? (Remember, WP is not a democracy, so the final choice will need to be supported by the linguistic literature, but there's leeway in how we dab an ambiguous name.) — kwami (talk) 20:25, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Silesian dialect
1 (Piotrus)
Silesian Polish
1 (Kwami, per Silesian German), 3 (Opole)
Upper Silesian
2 (Kwami), 3 (Piotrus), 1 (filelakeshoe)
Silesian (Polish dialect)
2 (Piotrus), 2 (Opole)
Polish Silesian
Silesian dialects of Polish
1 (Opole)
Silesian language
3 (filelakeshoe), 2 (Franek)
Silesian
1 (Franek)
Silesian (Slavic)
2 (filelakeshoe), 3 (Franek)
Silesian (regional language)
1 (IJzeren Jan)

Also, do we want to restrict this article to Polish Silesian, on keep Czech Silesian (Lach) as well?

Polish only
Kwami, Piotrus
Polish and Czech
filelakeshoe

Signed my preferred options. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 14:49, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Note[edit]

NOTE: Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a democracy and also, Wikipedia:Neutral point of view is one of three main rules of Wikipedia. Come here twenty Poles and vote for "dialect" option, it will not do anything. If there are sources for another point of view than "dialect", Wikipedia must to be neutral and show both point of views. This pool may have only nature of indicative. Franek K. (talk) 21:06, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

Comment on "Polish Silesian": "Polish" can indicate ethnicity or nationality. Ethnically the Silesians are not Polish, while nationally the German Silesians are Polish, so either way IMO this name does not work. — kwami (talk) 20:29, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

There no sources for names of "Silesian Polish" and "Polish Silesian". This is not reliable and Original research. Rest are not neutral, with the exception of "Upper Silesian". Currently Silesian is disambiguation page, we can easily this disambiguation move to name of Silesian (disambiguation) and release the name for the article. Franek K. (talk) 20:34, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Your claims are, once again, demonstrably false. Repeating nonsense won't make anyone believe it. — kwami (talk) 20:53, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
The ethnicity of Silesians is a questions of dispute among Silesians themselves. As I mentioned above from a rough estimate of 2 million Silesians in Poland 817 000 declared Silesian nationality in 2011 national census but more than half of them declared it jointly with Polish nationality. The question of existence of a distinct Silesian language (naturally distinct from the Polish language) is being brought up to form an argument supporting a claim that a distinct Silesian nationality exists - a thing for which there is no consensus even among Silesians themselves. Opole.pl (talk) 20:41, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
As to the Poll - I vote for Silesian dialects of Polish. In my opinion the Upper Silesian dialects, which most linguists consider "Polish", should be grouped in an article with this particular title. A question of standard Silesian language that is being developed by Silesian activists in the region of Katowice deserves a section in the Silesian dialects of Polish article or even a separate article. Even if the efforts concerning its creation are a result of some separatistic political dealings they are a fact. This proposed section or a separate article could be titled Standardization attempts of Upper Silesian dialects. Opole.pl (talk) 20:53, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
My second vote would be Silesian (Polish dialect) though I'm not in favor of titles with brackets. My third choice would be Silesian Polish. Opole.pl (talk) 21:01, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
As everyone knows, Silesians declare different nationalities: Silesians, Polish, Czech, Slovak, German nationality, depending on where they live: Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and even USA and American nationality. Question of nationality is one, language it is another thing. Remember, Wikipedia:No original research. Franek K. (talk) 20:56, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
As most linguists say there is no standard SIlesian language that would be widely known and spoken in Poland - just a group of dialects. "Apart from the issue of Silesian nationality. Silesian dialect has - in my opinion - a long way to reach the status of a language, due to its considerable internal diversification (the Silesian dialect consists of several local subdialects which differ significantly from each other)" [3]. The fact that there are some aspirations among some (but only a minority) of self identified Silesians in Poland to upgrade this status does not automatically create a new language. Cieszyn Silesian is spoken on both sides of Odra river and is almost always classified as a dialect of Polish even by Czechs [4] (One of the reason for that is that Cieszyn Silesians are usually great Polish protagonists who distance themselves from any Silesian separatist movements). As to the Lach dialects: "In addition, there is the territory of the Lachian dialects spoken in Czech Silesia near Opava, Ostrava, and Frydek and extending into neighboring Moravia. Some Polish linguists have identified the Lachian dialects as "transitional" Czech-Polish dialects, though most linguists today view them as dialects of Czech"[5]. So the mainstream opinion is that Cieszyn dialects are Silesian dialects of Polish and that Lachian dialects are dialects of Czech though with some Polish/Czech transitional features. Opole.pl (talk) 09:38, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Comment: I'm not sure if "Czech Silesian" and "Lach" are synonyms. It depends from which point of view you look at it, but a lot of Czech sources I've seen divide the dialects spoken in Czech Silesia to further subgroups than just Lach. e.g. this map based on data from the Czech language institute mentions an "Opava subgroup" (4.1), which may be the "Opava Silesian dialect" redlinked in this article. It also calls the Cieszyn Silesian dialect (4.4) "Czech-Polish transitional dialect", which is perhaps more or less true nowadays although it has its roots more in Polish. Even if this article does end up being called "Silesian Polish" there is no denying that dialects spoken on the Czech side of the border are relevant. - filelakeshoe (t / c) 22:17, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't know. Silesian AKA Lach is one of 3 principal dialects of Czech according to the sources I've seen, but for all I know Silesian Polish extends across the border, or the distinction may be completely arbitrary. — kwami (talk) 22:23, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
The Cieszyn dialect is spoken on both sides of the border, possibly the Opava and Jablunkov dialects too. Lach dialects (spoken in "Prajzsko") are Czech for sure, but I'd be interested in how non-Czech and Polish RS identify those other three, if any exist. - filelakeshoe (t / c) 22:34, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Apart for some Moravians (Moravcy) near Racibórz there are almost no speakers of Opava and Jablunkov dialects in Poland. The borderline population of modern Polish Upper Silesia (with the exception of the region of Cieszyn and Racibórz) was mostly germanised long before the II World War and so it was transferred to Germany when the war ended and replaced by Poles from central Poland and former eastern territories of Poland (Kresy). Opole.pl (talk) 09:50, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Comment: I don't really have time to write much at the moment, but I'd like to note that if the title of the article is really such an issue, we should pick something NPOV. Still, I find it kind of surprising that nobody seems to have a problem with an article being titled Scots language, while the introduction already makes it clear that its status as a separate language is doubtful. But okay, we just have to face that fact that for some people this is a huuuuuge problem. Well then. The truth is that there are two camps throwing mud at each other: here we have the Silesians themselves who prefer "language", there we have the other (predominantly Polish) side that claims Silesian is a Polish dialect. Both orientations are supported by sources, and I don't see how a poll can solve this. The options Silesian dialect, Silesian (Polish dialect), Silesian Polish and Silesian dialects of Polish are heavily POV, and so is, apparently, Silesian language, so let's assume none of these are acceptable. Upper Silesian is not supported by sources AFAIK and besides, it has the disadvantage of not beginning with "Silesian". So I move that we give it a title that should be acceptable to both camps, namely: Silesian (regional language) (or perhaps: Silesian (regional language of Poland)). This should be a solution nobody can really contest, because it simply reflects the actual situation (see also: Regional language). —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 16:43, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
It wasn't granted the status of a Regional language in neither of the countries Silesian dialects are spoken. It does not solve the problem of its relation with Polish language, that is one of the main issues here. And again there is no widely known and used standard Silesian. There is just a group of dialects for which some local activists are recently trying to create some standard rules, but they are neither comprehensive towards Silesians themselves, nor regulated by any official body (hence its description by some linguists - "Silesian Espernato"). Opole.pl (talk) 17:03, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
IJzeren Jan, it wasn't granted the status of a regional language, yet. Ongoing debate over the granting for the Silesian of the status of a regional language in Poland[8][9]. Term of "Regional language" is a matter of official, political. Franek K. (talk) 17:52, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
As everyone sees, Silesian is a very complicated issue. Silesian dialect? Why? this is group of dialects. Silesian is Polish dialect? Why? There are Silesian dialects on both sides of the border and two to four are considered as part of the Czech language. It is dialect because typical linguistic sources considers it as dialect. Why? few linguistics and also sociolinguists, linguistic organizations, people who use the language, politicians considers it as language. Opole.pl say: "It does not solve the problem of its relation with Polish language, that is one of the main issues here" - problem concerns pushing POV. No one denies less or greater link with the Polish but nature of Wikipedia is neutral. Wikipedia must show neutral name and contents about Silesian. Previously existed compromise: "The standard linguistic sources about the Slavic languages describe Silesian as a dialect of Polish[2][3] (with the exception of a few dialects of Czech). However, many Silesians consider themselves a separate ethnicity and have been advocating for national and international recognition of a Silesian language.[4] Also, the standard linguistic organisations describe Silesian as a language.[5][6][7] Ongoing debate over the granting for the Silesian of the status of a regional language in Poland[8][9]". Wikipedia can not write that, typical linguistic sources considers it as dialect, so it is dialect or Silesians, linguistic organisations and few linguistic/sociolinguistic sources considers it as language, so it is language. Between linguists, sociolinguists, linguistic organizations, people who use the language, politicians does not exist one consensus. Opole.pl and other Poles can give additional linguists sources, trying to show Silesian as a dialect but this will not change anything, Wikipedia must to be show two point of views. I formerly supported the term of "language" but I not pushing this point of view. Now, I support neutral name. The only solution is to use a neutral name. As long as there is a more than one point of view, it is not possible to change the name to "dialect", "Polish" or "language" and as long as there is a more than one point of view, pushing one version is a disruptive behavior. Franek K. (talk) 17:38, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
reflist[edit]
  1. ^ H. Synowiec, Jeden śląski język odbierze Ślązakom ich godkę?, Dziennik Zachodni 2011, nr 35, s. 7 link
  2. ^ H. Synowiec, Jeden śląski język odbierze Ślązakom ich godkę?, Dziennik Zachodni 2011, nr 35, s. 7 link
  3. ^ Gerhard Stickel [in:] National, regional and minority languages in Europe, Dublin 2010, p. 191 Book
  4. ^ link
  5. ^ The Polish Review, Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, University of Michigan 2006, p. 140 Book
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
There's clear consensus to move, just no agreement on to what. If we assign 3pts for a first choice, 2 pts for a second choice, and 1pt for a third choice, then the proposed names rank as follows:
Upper Silesian: 6, Silesian Polish: 4, Silesian (Polish dialect): 4, Silesian dialect: 3, Silesian dialects of Polish: 3, Silesian language: 3, Silesian: 3, Silesian (Slavic): 3, Silesian (regional language): 3
"Upper Silesian" would appear to be a reasonable compromise name; if we're not completely happy with it, it's at least closer than what we have now. — kwami (talk) 02:56, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
But hang on. If you want to solve this issue by means of a poll, then it should at least be clear how to vote. I, for example, was under the impression that "1" means "first choice" and "3" means "third choice", but apparently at least for some people it's the other way round. Besides, I doubt very much if you can rely on a poll with only four or five participants. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 08:15, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Okay, let's poll again. I'll start below. Though I doubt we'll get more that 4 or 5 this time either. — kwami (talk) 20:25, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Note: at the end I will add that name of "Silesian German" is controversial and can be changed in the future, examples of change on name: "Silesian (Germanic)" or "Lower Silesian". Franek K. (talk) 21:06, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Discretionary sanctions, one revert restriction[edit]

Hi all -

This page falls under the scope of the |discretionary sanctions authorized by this arbitration committee motion. I will be adding a pageheader and editnotice to this talk page soon, as well as an edit notice for the article momentarily. Please note that although I will not be tagging every single page that has a 'Silesian language' vs 'dialect' issue, I am considering all of them under the scope of the sanctions, as I will be making clear when giving editors warnings. In addition to the standard behavioral scrutiny that goes along with discretionary sanctions, I am placing this article and related articles under a one revert restriction. Any properly warned editor who reverts more than one time in 24 hours except to remove obvious BLP problems or blatant vandalism may be sanctioned. Kevin Gorman (talk) 02:31, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Poll for name[edit]

We have consensus to move, but no clear preference on where to move it. There was also confusion over how to vote in the straw poll above. This here is just my suggestion; if y'all have a better idea, let's try it out.

A ranked voting system is the way to go if we don't want multiple rounds of voting, and I doubt we have the interest or stamina for that. Add your name with a "1" for your first choice, a "2" for your second choice, a "3" for your third choice, a "4" for etc. You can rank some or all of them, as you like.

These are the names that got votes last time. Add others if you like. You can rerank your votes if you like a new suggestion, or if you just change your mind before the count. — kwami (talk) 20:53, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Moving comments down: I noted that "Silesian Polish" parallels Silesian Germankwami (talk) 14:15, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Comment: Not quite. There is a very big diversity in "German languages", with High German being no more closely related to Low German than other West Germanic varieties. The same cannot be said for Polish. --JorisvS (talk) 09:16, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
I just meant the structure of the names are parallel. — kwami (talk) 14:15, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Note: Silesian German is a controversial name, opened the application for change of name: Talk:Silesian_German#Suggested_move. Franek K. (talk) 10:25, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Also noted that an admin objected to "Upper Silesian" as a violation of the MOS. "Silesian" would presumably meet the same objection. Not that that means we can't move the article there. — kwami (talk) 14:15, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

How would it violate the MOS then, in his opinion? --JorisvS (talk) 14:17, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Since an Upper Silesian is an inhabitant of Upper Silesia, we'd need language/dialect etc. as a dab, and that's what we do when a language and people share a name. Though possibly as a people they're simply "Silesian", so Upper/Lower Silesian would be okay for the lects? — kwami (talk) 14:42, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Not sure this is true, actually, the standard practice is to put articles about peoples/nations in the plural: Poles, Moravians, Silesians, so Upper Silesians would cover that topic. - filelakeshoe (t / c) 14:52, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Straight up voting is in no way an acceptable substitute for a move request. If you disagree with the results of the close, you can (a) start a Wikipedia:Move_review, (b) approach the closer of the previous move request explaining your problem with their close, and asking them to re-examine it, or (c) start a new move request. Kevin Gorman (talk) 17:06, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
We already have consensus on moving the article. The question is to where. There was not enough discussion to come to an agreement on that before the RFM was closed. You don't need to permanently block the move: no-one is move-warring here. — kwami (talk) 17:28, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
I haven't permanently blocked any move. I MP'ed a few pages, but that can be removed as soon as consensus to move to an appropriate name is established. For a lot of reasons, even though I would agree with you that the RfC above showed at least widespread sentiment that the current name is not ideal, a ranked voting system is not sufficient to establish consensus to actually move the page anywhere. There are lots of established mechanisms for renaming pages, but, for very good reasons, a ranked vote isn't one of them. Kevin Gorman (talk) 23:38, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
There is no consensus at all about moving the article. As I have already argued before, the discussion about Silesian cannot be treated separately from similar cases (Scots language, Bavarian language, Limburgish language, etc.). Nobody seems to have a problem with an article titled "Bavarian language" having the opening sentence "Bavarian is a major group of Upper German varieties spoken in the southeast of the German language area", so why should it be any different in the case of Silesian? Mind, nobody seems to dispute the concents of the article itself, this is only about the title. Instead of voting about individual titles or discussing individual languages, we better concentrate on developing a more general policy for these young languages whose status is still doubtful. My own point of view is that there are both good arguments for Silesian being a group of transitional dialects between Polisn and Czech, and Silesian being a language separate from Standard Polish. But one thing is clear: Silesian is not less of a language than the example I mentioned above. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 18:30, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Is it? If it is as distinct from Polish as Scots is from English, Limburgish from Dutch, and Bavarian from other Upper German varieties, I would support keeping it at its current location. This has not been established to be the case, but I'm all ears! --JorisvS (talk) 11:21, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Results[edit]

It's been eight days, and and voting is no longer active, so I closed the poll. The two winners, using the ranked-ballot voting calculator at the Dept. of Computer Science at Washington University,[10] are:

  • Silesian Polish (Baldwin & Raynaud methods)
  • Upper Silesian (Black, Borda, Copeland, Dodgson, Nanson, Schulze, Simpson, Small, Tideman methods)

Can we take it that this reflects our preferences? Can we maybe narrow our discussion down to these two names? — kwami (talk) 23:51, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Obviously not. A poll with only four participants can hardly be taken seriously, if you ask me. Even the previous one had more participants. I'd say, if there is so little interest in this discussion, then I can see little reason for altering the status quo. If the title "Silesian language" is really such a tremendous problem because it's kind of POV, then it should be a matter of narrowing down the discussion to solutions that are less POV. For me, "Silesian Polish" is unacceptable because it's even more POV than "Silesian language", while "Upper Silesian" is unnaceptable because the language or regiolect or whatever you want to call it, is commonly known as "Silesian". And frankly, I don't see why Silesian should be a problematic. It's current contents can be moved to Silesian (disambiguation), Silesian language can be moved to Silesian and Bob's your uncle. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 02:06, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Your suggestion makes sense, IJzeren Jan. It would be the cleanest way to avoid WP:OR regarding the language/dialect issue. The disambiguation page should exist for the purposes of disambiguation, not as a redirect to Silesian. It's quite nonsensical. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 03:02, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
You're not counting yourself as a participant. Of course you oppose it, Jan, since you're one of the few who wanted to keep it where it is. But we've already had consensus that it needs to be moved, an it's not considered a language in RS's. "Silesian" is unacceptable per WP conventions because it isn't the primary meaning of that word. You may not like "Upper Silesian", but that's a common name for it in English, just as "Lower Silesian" is a common name for Silesian German. So if we're going to move it, and we can't use ridiculously ambiguous names per WP guidelines, what's it to be?
Iryna, "Upper Silesian" also avoids the language/dialect issue, though we really don't need to, since our sources resolve that for us: Silesian is either a dialect of Polish, or a transitional dialect between Polish and Czech. — kwami (talk) 05:03, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Point taken, kwami. I've been at this for about 9 hours without a break and I'm not thinking straight. I can also see that Upper and Lower Silesian could be a useful, non OR distinction which might be worth voting on. Retaining 'Silesian language' as the title isn't appropriate. I'll pack it in for the day and revisit the entire discussion again tomorrow. Cheers. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:32, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
It's a bit sad that most of the people who opened the discussion, which resulted in this vote in the first place, are now not interested in casting a vote. Same goes to those who commented or voted for the move and are now reluctant to finish what they've started. I'm refering to: Sobiepan, Franek K., Kevin Gorman, Benwing, Volunteer Marek, Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus, Darwinek and Adam Lutostański. Perhaps It would be wise to inform those interested parties in the manner user Franek K. invited to the vote some other people (these are his invatations 1, 2, 3, 4)? His way was quite effective, as many of those informed are participating in the vote. What is your opinion? Opole.pl (talk) 09:17, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Last I checked in on this there was some discussion as to whether this vote itself is legitimate or not. Personally, I don't see why not, these kinds of votes have been used before. Still, I figured there was no point in weighting in until the situation clarifies itself. There's been a lot of just plain ol' unnecessary muddying of the issue and process, so if it's gonna get thrown out anyway, why bother? Volunteer Marek (talk) 10:22, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
A vote is not a substitute for consensus, but there's nothing illegitimate about them. I was hoping to narrow down the range of possibilities, since it would seem the reason the move failed was that we could not agree on a destination. Granted, there were only five participants, but it looks like "Silesian Polish" and "Upper Silesian" are the likely choices. Hopefully that should clear up some of the mud in the water. — kwami (talk) 00:11, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your hard work in tidying the page & trying to clear up the mud, Kwami. I feel less reticent about casting a vote (in as much as it really only represents having formed a consensus and argument for submitting for a move) with emotive arguments and what amounts to little more than OR picked out of the rationale. 'Upper Silesian' seems a better choice for reasons you've outlined above, and to avoid railings against whichever Slavic 'Cabal' is the evildoer and POV pusher du jour (taking into account that it is 'common knowledge' that all Slavs are psychotic, rabid and untrustworthy).
IJzeren Jan, could you please demonstrate which sources commonly refer to Upper Silesian as simply Silesian? I conducted ngram searches and checked over a variety of books in publication (in the English language) after signing off yesterday, only to find that Upper Silesian has definitely been used for well over a century, whereas Silesian may be more commonly used but in mainly accounted for in the adjectival form covering a wide number of topics, the least of which is anything pertaining to the region. Thanks for any additional info in advance. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 03:59, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
kwami, also option "Silesian (Slavic)" had three votes. Most likely, if more people voted for example: ten, would be more options of choices than these three. And also still, people vote for name of "Silesian language". It's not that simple. Franek K. (talk) 10:42, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Opole.PL, my notification related to the previous discussion and concerned the new neutral idea (see wikilink in this notifications). This not concerned to any voting (poll). So, stop trolling and stop watch and analyze edits by opposition.
And also, the biggest problem in this discussion is you: Wikipedians from Poland, which're trying at all costs to push no neutral option of "Polish Silesian". Option of "Polish Silesian" breaks main three rules of Wikipedia: Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:No original research; also Wikipedia:Do not create hoaxes and Wikipedia:Commonname:
  • between linguists, sociolinguists, linguistic organizations, people who use the language, politicians there is no consensus for status language or dialect
  • there are no sources that use the term of "Polish Silesian"
  • this name is hoax, this name does not exist in nature and would be used only on Wikipedia
  • even if some books define Silesian as a dialect, term of "Polish Silesian" is original research
  • name of "Polish Silesian" does not meet even a scratch of Wikipedia:Commonname
You must know one thing: this is not voting, can come 100 users from Poland and give vote for "Polish Silesian", only need two users who prove that it breaks the rules of Wikipedia and administrator can not move the article to this name. But, you Opole.PL and others from Poland still trying to push of "Polish Silesian". There are no words. The new name can not break any rules of Wikipedia, in particular if they are distinct opinions on this topic. Realistically, there is no chance to use words of "Polish" or "dialect" in the new name. Franek K. (talk) 10:03, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Personal attacks[edit]

No, actually, it's mostly just you stirring up trouble and throwing gasoline on the fire and preventing any reasonable discussion with your fanatical devotion to a particular POV (which you got blocked for already). Oh, and yes, it's usually the folks who have some genuine POV obsession that usually run around accusing anyone and everyone of having a POV. Because anything that doesn't conform to "THE TRUTH" as they understand it must be "POV". You also have a pretty poor weak understanding of "rules of Wikipedia" that "new name can not break". Those rules don't say "whatever Franek K says must be, all else is POV". That's sort of the recluse of those who are loosing an argument and can't get consensus for their viewpoint: "nobody agrees with me, and nobody understands me, but Wikipedia rules, they justify me gosh darn it!". They don't. Volunteer Marek (talk) 10:29, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
This is lies, attacks and nothing more.
  • "your fanatical devotion to a particular POV" - POV? I support neutral name of "Silesian". Where is POV? Whereas you pushing POV name of "Polish"/"dialect". You see the difference between us or pretend it does not exist. In any case, you can not accuse me that I push POV. I support neutral name, compared to you.
  • "...POV (which you got blocked" - lying, I had one block for edit-warring (not for POV) - see description of the block and you can ask the administrator who blocked me. Whereas you had many blocks for various offenses.
  • "Oh, and yes, it's usually the folks who have some genuine POV obsession that usually run around accusing anyone and everyone of having a POV. Because anything that doesn't conform to "THE TRUTH" as they understand it must be "POV"" - in this way, everyone can write to any matter. For you rule of "Wikipedia:Neutral point of view" could not exist because according to you anyone who relies on this rule is guilty.
  • "Those rules don't say "whatever Franek K says must be, all else is POV"" - yes, but no one in their right mind not write (if there is dispute) that "dialect" or "language" in the name is neutral. No matter what the truth is, if there is no consensus between all, not only between linguists, names of "dialect" or "language" not does not meet the requirements of Wikipedia:Neutral point of view.
Stop write ironic posts and offensive terms, further such posts will be treated as personal attacks.
I gave arguments in points, I proved that option of "Polish Silesian" break main three rules of Wikipedia: "Neutral point of view", "Verifiability", "No original research"; also "Do not create hoaxes" and "Wikipedia:Commonname". Franek K. (talk) 20:00, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Volunteer Marek, casting a vote would not hurt anyone, even if eventually the poll and its results would be anulled. Vast amount of sorces, supproting mainly the dialect theory, have been given and if you feel offended by some editors (e.g. just 3 hour ago user Franek K. described me and some other editors as "the biggest problem") just don't react, don't let them provoke you. I learned to do so - it saves a lot of nerve. :) But participating in a discussion and initial voting should indicate further activity in this issue. Opole.pl (talk) 13:22, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
In my opinion the biggest problem with this article is that it is completly in opposition to the reality. As I mentioned many times, there is no distinct Silesian language, dialect etc. that would be spoken by 500 000 people. This situation simply does not exist! That is why what we have here is very much different from the Serbian/Croatian dispute. There, we have Serbs and Croats who do use and speak (in the real world!) either one and the same language or two languages but the fact is there exists a spoken and populary used standard language (or languages) with of course a bunch of dialects. Here the situation is different - we have a vast group of local dialects that differ enormously and an attempt to create a standard version, which is however still only a project. It is not taught at schools, it is not used at home, it is not used in the streets. Why? Because it was created by a group of enthusiasts and local politicians as a project for the future. When, for many centuries, there was no standard Silesian speech (Polish language was always the standard - official - version used in speach and writting), how can there be now 500 000 people declaring Silesian as their mother tongue? The answer is - they declare their particular dialect, because in every region of Upper Silesia the regional dilaect spoken there is known as Silesian, but when it comes to comparing them they differ so much from each other that peple around my hometown - Opole can't understand people from around Katowice - they use Polish to communicate not the Silesian language project because this last one is unknown to them.
But those activists, enthusiasts and local politicians are trying to create a "virtual reality" in which there actually is 500 000 people that speak one and the same - standard Silesian language, so they create grammar rules, single vocabulary and send it around international linguistic organisations seeking their recognition. They also create a bunch of Wiki pages on which they claim there is a standard Silesian language spoken by 500 000 people. When someone tries to correct this misunderstanding he is called a "nationalist" or "the biggest problem". Resuming - in the real world there is no living and used standard Silesian - just a group of very different dialects. There is however a project (similar to the Esperanto project) that tries to create such a language. It deserves its own page but it should be titled - Project for creating standard Silesian or so. Opole.pl (talk) 13:59, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
My god!?! Pure nonsense. You're lucky that you wrote on top of your post: " In my opinion... ".
  • "we have a vast group of local dialects that differ enormously"? - nonsense, only borderline dialect (around Cieszyn Silesia) are slightly different than dialect from central and north part of Upper Silesia
  • "It is not taught at schools, it is not used at home, it is not used in the streets" - nonsense, in some schools there are lessons of Silesian, Silesians speak in Silesian in home and streets.
  • "When, for many centuries, there was no standard Silesian speech (Polish language was always the standard - official - version used in speach and writting" - nonsense, Polish language was always the standard? This is joke?
Many languages ​​do not have a standard form, many there is no written form, almost every language has dialects. Lack of a standard version does not mean that there is no language, linguists wrote this.
According to you and other Polish nationalists, half a million people setting out the Silesian as their native language and 0.9 million people who declared Silesian nationality has a collective hallucination. You insult half a million Silesians setting out the Silesian as their native language and 0.9 million people who declared Silesian nationality. You are insolent. You can have your own opinion but you have no right to insult other people and group of people. This is unacceptable. Franek K. (talk) 14:28, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Why were parts of Volunteer Marek's comments deleted? Can anybody just delete someones comment on a talk page or is that for an admin to decide? Opole.pl (talk) 17:19, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Second Volunteer Marek's post has been removed because it is personal attack and nothing more. Accordance with the guidelines, everyone has the right to remove it. In the event of recurrence of the personal attack, the administrator will be notified. Talk of article is not the place for such things. Franek K. (talk) 17:48, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
There is a difference between *criticism* of a user and their actions, particularly when these are disruptive, and "personal attack". You don't get to remove other people's comments from talk just because you don't like the criticism.Volunteer Marek (talk) 19:37, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
This is not typical "criticism", that are personal attacks, slanders and lies. Generally, tone of your post is not acceptable. If you repeat such posts, the administrator will be notified. Franek K. (talk) 20:33, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Dear people, personal attacks won't make this discussion fruitful. Let's just face the facts: some of you say "Silesian is a language separate from Polish", others say "Silesian is a Polish dialect". Statements like that won't get us any further. This is an encyclopedia, which means that we must represent the facts, including different opinions about them.

@Kwami. You are mistaken — I do not "want" Silesian language to be the title at all. In fact, I consider myself to be neutral in this matter. The reason why I don't have a problem with that title is simply that this Wikipedia is full of articles named "XXXXX language" containing text like "XXXXX is a language variety of YYYYY". And this is not a case of Wikipedia:Other stuff exists, because it is a matter of a certain amount of uniformity in the way we present our information. That's why I'd rather keep the current name — at least we follow the Ethnologue, which is at least one independent source for this sort of information. For the rest, the whole discussion doesn't make much sense as long as one cannot even tell what precisely makes a language a language and a dialect a dialect. Distinctness was raised as an argument both pro and contra, but it's quite obvious that merely counting words won't solve the issue. Besides, as long as we have both a Norwegian language and a Danish language, the argument seems moot anyway. Let me just say that I — being fluent in Polish — find Silesian harder to understand than for example Belarussian or Slovak.

As for "Silesian is unacceptable per WP conventions because it isn't the primary meaning of that word. I disagree with that. What is the primary meaning in your opinion, and is that really such a big problem? —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 18:45, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Jan, as you are fluent in Polish you must recognise the fact that there is no widely spoken standard Silesian language. If you, being fluent in Polish — found Silesian harder to understand, then you must have encountered one of many different Silesian dialects. As J. Stadniczko once wrote, describing dialects around Opole: "It was a very beautiful dialect, without the number of German expressions found in the eaastern Upper Silesia."[1] S. Ossowski wrote that sometimes "the amount of German in the local Polish dialect also varies from village to village."[2] Have you ever encountered a standard Silesian language spoken in the streets or at home, that would be used by people from different parts of Silesia as their everyday speech? Opole.pl (talk) 20:42, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Opole.PL, two your sources is old, data from first source concerns 1947, second sources is from communist-era. Today is 1 March 2014, so. Furthermore, lack of a standard version does not mean that there is no language, linguists wrote this. Many languages ​​do not have a standard form, many there is no written form, almost every language has dialects and probably every non official language do not have a standard form. Also, you wrote "Polish language was always the standard - official - version", so? Dialects of Polish language are not Polish language because according to you, language is only one standard. Thus, the Silesian can not be dialect of Polish language (as you wrote "always the standard - official - version). Aside from the fact that it is complete nonsense, deny himself. Franek K. (talk) 20:52, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
@Franek K.: Please desist from tampering with other people's comments on talk pages, particularly when invoking 'slanders and lies' as your rationale (see WP:LEGAL). You're not doing yourself any favours and will only end up being blocked. So far, if there is any merit to your arguments, it is impossible to determine what they are because all that can be established is WP:IDONTLIKEIT.
@Opole.pl: Like Franek K., your arguments are muddying the waters yet again. Quoting J. Stadniczenko to prove that it was a dialect does not ergo/ersatz prove that everything is Polish. "Polish language was always the standard - official - version used in speach and writting" (sic) is parallel to stating that Belarusian and Ukrainian did not exist because the official language was, dependent on which state was in power, always Polish or Russian. It merely demonstrates that a particular state power's bureaucracy functioned in this manner and pushed a particular line. It is not the equivalent of ethnic self-identity, nor is it proof of dialects over actual languages. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 21:54, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
If that was so I would not argue. But Polish language was for centuries a standard version for all Silesian dialects even though Silesia for many centuries lied outside Poland and the official language was e.g. Geramn. :) My point is that there is no widely known or used standard Silesian language that would be on top of all Silesian dialects. It is only a project - not a reality. Opole.pl (talk) 11:02, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
@Iryna Harpy:, many times I've seen that other users revert such posts (post containing personal attacks and nothing more, not about topic of discussion). If others do it, why can not me? Also, I have a right to defend itself against slanders and lies against my person. I do not use any legal threats compatible with WP:LEGAL. Surely I can not tolerate such post[11]. Ok, criticism but never ironic personal attacks, slanders and lies. Franek K. (talk) 22:23, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't know what the circumstances of the other reverts you are alluding to, nor whether they were removed for justifiable reasons or not. If you feel that it was a personal attack, it's better to let it stand for the record. I'm simply asking you to try to calm down and approach what you write on the talk page with a cool head. Any reasonable arguments you are trying introduce end up being lost. English Wikipedia policy is quite clear on the use of legal terms like slander. While you may not have intended to use the word in the legal sense, please consider yourself warned that it should not be used again as it is deemed to be a legal threat. Thank you for your co-operation. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:45, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Classification[edit]

I'm not a real expert in Slavic dialectology, but here are my two cents: Currently, this article says embarrassingly little about the differences between Silesian and Standard Polish. Even looking at Lach (judging from the sample given in Lach dialects, even if it is not representative of the whole variation within Lach), while it shares various traits with Czech, such as /g/ > /h/, it still shares several key traits with Polish, making me think that Lach (as the name implies) is Lechitic, only strongly influenced by Czech – but not as strongly as to lose all those typical, diagnostic Lechitic traits and features (especially innovations) given in Lechitic languages#Classification (remember that the region where Lach is spoken historically belonged to Silesia). It's unmistakably Lechitic, I think. And Silesian looks even closer to Polish.

Granted, being constantly influenced by the standard language will weaken the differences and cause convergence, but I don't think that Silesian is even as divergent as Kashubian, much less Sorbian. I'm not saying it's simply an "accent", like badly pronounced Standard Polish with German loanwords, but it's not a completely different Slavic language either. I'm sure Silesian is Lechitic, and specifically Eastern Lechitic.

If the last common ancestor of Silesian and Standard Polish was Old Polish, the separation would still be appreciably deep, and perhaps Silesian existed already in Old Polish times as a regional variety of its own. So it may have diverged from Polish 500–1000 years ago. For comparison, the East Slavic languages began to diverge in the same period, and North American English started to diverge from the rest of English less than 400 years ago. My impression is that the following classification is realistic:

  • West Slavic
    • Lechitic
      • Western Lechitic (Polabian)
        • (Drawehn) Polabian
        • Ranian
        • (various other long-extinct dialects)
      • Central Lechitic (Pomeranian)
        • Kashubian
        • Slovincian
        • (other long-extinct dialects)
      • Eastern Lechitic
        • (Greater) Polish
        • Lesser Polish
        • Masovian
        • Northern Kresy
        • Southern Kresy
        • Silesian (including Lach)
    • Sorbian
      • Lower Sorbian
      • Upper Sorbian
    • Czech–Slovak
      • Czech–Moravian
      • Western Slovak
      • Central Slovak
      • Eastern Slovak

Roughly like this. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:19, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Firstly, your classification is incorrect and very strange. Secondly: your opinion is original research based on conjectures. How can you create an article that is a comparison of two languages? Why comparison of two or more languages (Polish and Silesian and/or Czech)? Maybe comparison of two languages from your Czech–Slovak line eg. Central Slovak and Eastern Slovak? Kashubian and Slovincian is very similar languages but this is separate languages. See examples for Czech and Slovak - the same words, so? This is the same languages? No. Silesian has a different grammar (partly) and vocabulary and accent and also alphabet relative to Polish language and Czech language. It makes no sense to compare languages in a greater sense. All Slavic languages are similar, see Slavic_languages#Selected_cognates, the differences are small. Franek K. (talk) 22:03, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
The classification issue was the reason I didn't 'vote' in the first instance. When it comes policies and guidelines, everyone is capable of gaming the system and invoking what they chose to in order to get their way. The speed with which the same contributors have jumped on a second proposal, and the level of discourse, is already indicative of where this is heading: another impasse with more sanctions, blocks and antagonistic 'discussions' citing WP:OR, WP:COMMONNAME, plus anything else that can potentially be thrown into the mix.
While I don't see that 'consensus → no move' is a fair representation of the discussion – rather, it seems that there was consensus for a move but lack of consensus on qualification of WP:TITLE – this is already getting bogged down in the same circular arguments. My only suggestion is that it's not a matter of extreme urgency and would probably be best broached again after a longer breather than the one taken. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 03:51, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Glottolog has the following classification.[12] It appears that they're identifying Silesian with Lach, because there's still an Upper Silesian dialect of Polish (though dialects are inherited in Glottolog, and they often contradict themselves, so they're not a RS for them). They have:

  • Czech–Slovak
    • Slovak
    • Czech–Lach
      • Czech
      • Silesian

kwami (talk) 22:22, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Which brings me back to my primary concern: why was the article split in the first instance. The 'German' Silesian article is only just over stub size, and this article isn't very long. Rather than indulging in unnecessary WP:OR in trying to shoehorn 'language' into the equation, linguistic sources don't indicate recognition of variants of Silesian as languages. Merge + 'dialects', anyone? (By this, I don't mean that Western Slavic and Germanic don't get individual treatment, but it makes better sense in terms of the reader understanding that this is a defunct region and better understand the split in variants as being historical.) --Iryna Harpy (talk) 23:04, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
German Silesian is Germanic, but this Silesian is Slavic. Makes no sense to have one article covering both. --JorisvS (talk) 11:13, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Why does it 'make no sense'? --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:07, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Would you merge the biographies of two people because they have the same name? Should we merge the articles on the US state of Georgia and the republic of Georgia? It does make no sense. — kwami (talk) 07:33, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ J. Stadniczenko, Rok szkolny 1947/1948 na wsi opolskiej, p. 399.
    • ^ S. Ossowski, Zagadnienie więzi regionalnej i narodowej na Śląsku Opolskim [w:] Stanisław Ossowski: O ojczyźnie i narodzie, Warszawa 1984, s. 276.