Template talk:Lexical categories

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Problems with this template[edit]

I see some issues of concern with this template. First of all, it lists a lot more than just "lexical categories"; it is listing every variety of each lexical category. In generative grammar (and most other theories I know of, although generative is the one that's most relevant to the idea of "lexical category anyway), only the things on the left-hand column (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.) are really "categories"; the others are just features of that category. For example, under the noun heading, "animacy" and "count/mass" and "common/proper" and "concreteness" and "agentivity" are no more separate categories than "transitivity" is for verbs. Plus, the many things listed under each row are not mutually exclusive; rather, they are just laundry lists of random features. For example, common and proper nouns can both be animate or inanimate, can both be mass or count, can both be concrete or abstract; no word is going to fit into just one link in this template.

Finally, the template is a bit anglo-centric. The rows it lists are pretty much the "typical" categories in an English school textbook. Other categories, such as classifiers (which are typologically pretty common), are relegated to an "other categories" row for no clear reason.

For these reasons, I don't think the template is really ready for inclusion yet, as it is not yet a useful or well-organized navigational aid. I have already removed it from Lexical category, and would like to remove it from the other pages in which it is transcluded as well. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 01:17, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

This is initially a default organisation suggested by the names of the articles. Please feel free to reorganise the list if you can see a better way of doing it, or a less anglo-centric way; in fact, some expert input on this would be very useful. The links in the template all correspond to Wikipedia articles (or very occasionally to sections within an article), so if they appear like a "laundry lists of random features" then perhaps the article organisation itself needs looking at. I think it's quite obvious that it's categories and then types within that category, so I don't feel that particular crticism is valid. It also is not the intention (and never could be) that every word fits exactly one categry/sub-category. Finally, remember that nothing in Wikipedia starts out perfect, or as the finished article, so don't be too hasty with deleting stuff straight away. Let's see if we can improve it instead. 86.146.47.248 (talk) 01:41, 26 December 2009 (UTC).
First of all, the fact that it's a "laundry list" doesn't mean that the article organization needs to be improved; the articles themselves never purported to be "all the articles about lexical categories". It is only this template that suddenly tried to take a slue of articles and organize them as "articles about lexical categories". The article organization is not a problem; trying to force a new organization onto them by shoehorning them into a template is the problem.
Secondly, I never said it should be deleted. I said it should not be transcluded in article footers yet. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 01:45, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Do you not agree that all the articles linked to have a common theme? 86.146.47.248 (talk) 01:49, 26 December 2009 (UTC).
No. Things like "abstract/concrete" for nouns and "stative/inchoative/telic/etc." for verbs refer to semantic features, whereas lexical category is a phrase structure issue. Separating telic from atelic verbs (for example) is quite different than separating verbs from adjectives. To put it another way: "noun" and "verb" are lexical categories. "Count noun" and "mass noun" are not lexical categories, they're just subtypes of the noun category. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 01:53, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
I thought it was obvious what the template was trying to show and didn't imagine anyone getting tied up in this way. How about we change the name to "Lexical categories and <something>"? I'm not sure what the best "something" would be... 86.146.47.248 (talk) 02:23, 26 December 2009 (UTC). Or, if you prefer, remove the phrase "lexical categories" altogether and think of a completely different title?
Also, just a side note...some items seem to appear in more than one place in the template (for example, I see Copula (linguistics) linked twice). rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 01:54, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I know. I tried to avoid them but one or two crept in! 86.146.47.248 (talk) 02:23, 26 December 2009 (UTC).

notes[edit]

I am thinking we should keep it as this version and make it have a expand section on pronoun and adverbs. Any ideas or thoughts on this? (Note that Template:pronouns already exist)

Further on syntax of the template I really oppose we keep the template as vertical, it is overstratifying things and making it harder to read and see faster connection. (70% of navboxes are written in horizontal, not in vertical, mainly because they aren't a listing of things such as system science president (people, objects...etc), but definitely not in content template. Even if you want to use the vertical method you should using {{nowrap|text}} parameter not just linebreaking them for no reason. --173.183.102.184 (talk) 01:07, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't really care about the wrapping, but there are a lot of other problems with your edit. First of all, you made some inexplicable capitalization changes (you made some of the group names lowercase but not all, and did the same with some list items). Secondly, "Lexical Category" is a strange title for the template when it actually includes a list of categories (and a bunch of other irrelevant stuff, see the discussion above). Most seriously, however, some of your categorizations are inaccurate. You put "adverb" under verbs, which is totally wrong—many syntacticians consider adverbs a subset of adjectives, but certainly not of verbs. You merged pronouns with nouns, which in of itself might be ok, but it is controversial (while traditional generative syntax considers them both NPs, pronouns have much different binding behavior than nouns). rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 01:18, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Explain to me why is there a need for capitalization and pluralization. I think capitalization is appropriately used if the subject is at an upper hierarchy, whilst lower hierarchy can be at lower hierarchy (optional). Also for starters why are you being cynical, about the style changes, I didn't suggest we must keep it that way. Please behave yourself, I can already see from you grammar that you are commenting from impulse without a clear point of indication of intentions from your sentence "Most seriously, however,". Anyhow, I agree with the adverb edits may not be the best choice part due to the Adverbs#Adverbs as a "catch-all" category, but disagree on the pronouns. Binding in linguistics is still an unproven theory. If it were then the article would namespaced as Binding (terminology). Basing and citing contents on theory is synthesis WP:SYN. --173.183.102.184 (talk) 05:15, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
In retrospect, I don't think merging the pronouns with nouns was a serious problem (I misread the edit and thought you had mixed the pronoun and noun attributes together, but now that I look again I see that you had them on separate lines), but putting adverbs under verbs certainly was. And if the pronouns and nouns are merged together, that row should probably be renamed "nominals" or something like that. As for "Lexical categories" vs. "Lexical Category": well, the capitalization issue has to do with Wikipedia's WP:Manual of Style, and it is already widely accepted that we don't capitalize in this way. Whether it's a singular or plural is a stylistic issue, and you are welcome to apply for a WP:third opinion if you like, but personally I think it makes more sense to use "categories" since this template includes a bunch of them.
As for capitalization of the list elements themselves, that's a stylistic issue and I couldn't care less about it, but whatever capitalization there is needs to be implemented evenly. Like I already said, in your edit you capitalized some and not others, for no discernible reason.
As for your other comments ("please behave yourself", "I can see from you [sic] grammar", etc.), I don't really have any idea what you're talking about. If you're saying that calling a serious error a serious error is 'bad grammar', then I don't know what to tell you. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 05:42, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Well this is a navigational template not a documentation template, that is why I thought it shouldn't be pluralized, but I think it is necessary to capitalized the title as Lexical Categories if pluralization is considered. --173.183.102.184 (talk) 05:54, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
If that's how you feel about capitalization, then you ought to read Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters), or look at Category:Navbox (navigational) templates to see examples of existing templates and see that we do not capitalize that way. (For some random examples, check out {{Wikipedia template messages}} and {{World's most populous urban areas}}.) rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 06:26, 25 January 2010 (UTC)