Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Languages

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Reliable sources[edit]

Hey, all, I mainly work on video game-related articles and have gotten a number of GAs and FAs in that area. I think it'd be interesting to take a language article on as a project, though, as I've been interested in languages for a long time and, compared to the Video games project, this one has surprisingly few recognized articles (no offense, of course - it just depends on what users want to work on). Coming up with reliable sources is by far what concerns me the most about this endeavor. Any tips or general guidelines? Tezero (talk) 17:37, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Hi, you should probably look at the few GAs and FAs about languages to get an idea of what the standard is. You will find that it is quite different from articles on videogames in that we rely almost exclusively on academic publications such as articles from reviewed journals, published grammars and sometimes unpublished dissertations for some languages that have little published coverage. I think it will be very difficult to be able to bring an article to FA without having a sound knowledge of both linguistics in general and the linguistics of the language you plan to write on in general. That is the main reason there are few high quality articles on languages, they tend to be written by topic experts who specialize in one or two languages, but they generally dont venture to write about other ones. But you should definitely give it a try if you find the work interesting. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:44, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, that's the thing. I know they have to be from academic publications; I'm just not sure how academic, but I suppose just looking might really be the best idea. For example, biology articles, particularly those on diseases, seem to have rather confusing standards for what constitutes an acceptable source. I'm not hugely well-versed in linguistics, but I know my share about certain individual languages and families. Tezero (talk) 18:23, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
As for "how academic" the current standard is pretty much as academic as they get. You would for example not be able to build a GA article on a phrasebook, and newspaper articles about the language. I think the standard here tends to be stricter than in some other projects, and for example I think it is commonly accepted in the project that certain languages will never make it to GA because there are not enough high quality sources about them. This is a different philosophy to those who consider that if the article duly reflect the literature then it should be a GA inspite of the deficiencies of the extant literature. If you have a particular article in mind I would be happy to suggest some adequate sources. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:06, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm thinking of Czech language, which I expect there to be plenty about. I'm in college now, too, and my university library has a decent foreign language section. Tezero (talk) 23:55, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
How good is its linguistics section? The article on Czech would need academic sources discussing its syntax, morphology, and phonology rather than language-learning materials. And yes, for Czech we would expect high-quality sources, because Czech is a language about which a whole lot has been written in academic journals and monographs. Angr (talk) 07:08, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I wonder if relying almost exclusively on academic sources for everything, even very basic information, is best for our readers. Certainly we would want everything to agree with the academic sources, but providing some "lay-accessible" sources for basic information, might be very helpful to our readers. Consider the case of a teenager trying to write a paper for school. Is that student better off with an impressive-sounding list of highly technical graduate-level sources, or is that student better off with a couple of non-academic sources—sources that the student could actually understand—being thrown in the mix? For example, I think you could use a book like this one, perhaps to support specific examples about the slight, but important, difference in pronunciation between hot chocolate and bitter chocolate, without damaging an article on the Czech language.
I lean towards providing an occasional accessible source myself, even for medicine-related articles. I think that the reference list for a well-developed article should normally include a couple of sources that typical readers can easily access and read. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:05, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
That's actually a college text book. I used an earlier edition to teach a course for third-year anthropology majors. If that's the sort of material you have in mind, I think you'll be fine. It's work like this that is more of a problem, I think. Relying on Oppenheimer's general linguistic anthropology text for the grammar of specific languages is not likely to get you all the way to good article status, though. Cnilep (talk) 01:51, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
By itself, I wouldn't expect it to contain all of the relevant information. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:13, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't think you give teenagers enough credit. The student is better off with, and in fact deserves, the best possible sources we can provide. "...(N)on-academic source that the student could actually understand" makes it sound as if a high-school student is incapable of muddling through an academic text and I don't believe that is true. They may have to put down that iPhone or sacrifice some video game time, but with proper effort, I believe they will benefit from high-quality sourcing. If a particular student can't make heads nor tails of an academic source, perhaps they shouldn't be starting their research with an encyclopedia. In that case, a simple google search can provide them with plenty of "non-academic" sources. In order to make writing that school paper worthwhile, the student must put some work into it, which starts with tackling the research...in fact, that's usually the whole point of such assignments: to prepare them for the type of work they will be doing in college. That being said, as Cnilep points out, the source you specified is fine for our encyclopedia but using "non-academic" sources would amount to dumbing down and that's never a good idea. We should expect and demand the best from our young students.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 03:45, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
  • If post-graduate-level academic papers can be understood by average fourteen year olds, then one wonders why their authors spent another dozen years in school, instead of just putting in "proper effort" themselves and skipping all that expense and bother with finishing not only high school but also several university degrees.
  • Less than half of our teenager readers are headed to university, so that's probably not the point behind their assignments. (Even if it were, Wikipedia is a point of entry for most university students when they're dealing with an unfamiliar subject.)
  • "Dumbing down" is when you oversimplify or omit material because you don't think it's possible for the reader to understand it. Appropriately using a variety of types of reliable sources to support material is not dumbing down. Using academic journal articles to support basic information might look impressive at a glance, but it doesn't make the article any more verifiable or any better written. As WP:RS puts it, the source needs to be strong enough to support the material. Basic material needs only a basically reliable source. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:13, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
  • comment It says very clearly in TITLE that the interests of the general readership.should be put before those of specialists. While that concerns titling the same principle is inherent re content. While in a highly technical field like linguistices or pharmacolgy there is a necessary emphasis on academic-type sources, and articles are often highly technical in content and flavour, one issue towards FA for language articles could be more general interest content - common phrases, unique words and concepts etc. Instead of just phonology tables and points of grammar in technical-speak which are obscure to laymen (teenagers or not).Skookum1 (talk) 04:19, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Much later comment: For what it's worth, Czech language is at GAN now. I was worried about the use of things like Czech: An Essential Grammar (a widely known, commercially released Czech book that is nonetheless academic in tone and classed as a "grammar"), but now I've seen that Swedish language, an FA, uses a similar source. Everything else I think is suitably academic; I wouldn't have dreamed of anything like the Minnesotan book. Tezero (talk) 01:19, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

en:Languages in censuses[edit]

I invite you to help write Languages this article.--Kaiyr (talk) 13:50, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

I wouldn't mind helping, but it's an extremely long article, and that's just with the bare headings. Why not group it by something like region or language collection style, or turn it into a prose-based article rather than a list (i.e. grouped by topics related to language collecting rather than by country)? Tezero (talk) 01:13, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
    • It is like Race and ethnicity in censuses--Kaiyr (talk) 13:22, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
      • Oh. Well, that's an extremely long page and barely goes into any detail. Are you okay with that being the case for this article? Tezero (talk) 21:20, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Please help improve five articles that a few university students wrote about language use in Singapore[edit]

In 2012, a group of Nanyang Technological University students wrote five articles about language use in Singapore for an assignment. The articles (Languages of Singapore, Language education in Singapore, Language planning and policy in Singapore, Speak Good English Movement and Speak Mandarin Campaign) contain a wealth of well-referenced information, but need considerable cleanup. Would any members of WikiProject Languages be keen to collaborate with me to bring these articles to GA status? --Hildanknight (talk) 08:04, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

I've looked at the articles a couple of times thinking about reviewing them. But they are just too far outside of my area of immediate expertise, while not interesting enough for me to start delving into the literature. They've been GA candidates for a really long time and no one seems to be wanting to review them. This is sad.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:45, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
@Maunus: Instead of reviewing the articles, how about helping to copyedit them and clean them up (which would counter systemic bias)? You would learn more about a multilingual society and Asian cultures. Although I have made some headway into Language education in Singapore, the work is too much for a single editor to handle. --Hildanknight (talk) 11:13, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Nah, that is not my thing. I am a researcher and content writer. For that you could try the copyeditors guild. Or listing it for peer review.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:00, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I reviewed Speak Mandarin Campaign a few months ago. It was seriously deficient in citations, structure, and formatting. Not that it didn't represent good work in any way, but it wasn't GA material by any stretch. Tezero (talk) 21:43, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Linguistics vs. Languages[edit]

I've just realized something: Barring articles on individual languages and families, is there any rhyme or reason for what's in our scope as opposed to WikiProject Linguistics' scope - or both? For example, Fuck (film) is in both, while Chinese classifier is only in theirs. Tezero (talk) 16:31, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

I suppose the original intent was that "languages" would cover individual languages, while "linguistics" would cover the scientific field itself? There is a lot of overlap of course, so maybe they should be merged. CodeCat (talk) 17:44, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
CodeCat is right, but a suggestion to merge the two is misguided. Those interested in languages might not be interested at all in HPSG or chain shifts. If it's a suggestion to try and increase participation, trust me, merging won't work, that's a problem of WPs in general. ALTON .ıl 15:07, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
No, it's not a suggestion of that. But look at the GA lists for Languages and Linguistics - what hard-and-fast patterns do you see there? This is about the projects' seemingly arbitrary scopes; it has nothing to do with participation. Tezero (talk) 16:00, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Since no one's given a suggestion, I propose that articles not explicitly related to individual languages or language families be removed from this project's scope, e.g. Fuck (film), and that articles related to individual languages or language families be added, e.g. Chinese classifier. Is that alright with everyone? CodeCat? Alton? Tezero (talk) 01:59, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree with your change but I would still rather see the projects merged. CodeCat (talk) 11:50, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I would, too, but that depends chiefly on whether they're okay with such a merger. Tezero (talk) 14:52, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I like the change. As a long dead user I have no dog in the fight w.r.t. merging, just sharing my reaction. ALTON .ıl 16:40, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Alright, I'll begin to switch project banners accordingly. If someone objects later on, we can always reopen the discussion. Tezero (talk) 17:16, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

US English Dialect Page Titles (revived?)[edit]

Disclaimer: I'm not sure how to revive an archived page--which "template: archive" says is feasible, recommending that course of action, yet then gives no explanation on how to do--but here is what I'll assume the template means...

Users in the past were having discussions (and the exact same kind of discussion appears on several other pages) about perhaps coming up with a uniform way to title pages related to English dialects. mnewmanqc, for example, posed "Should there be a common form for pages dealing with the varieties of English spoken in a US region? [...] Note the two predominant forms are PLACENAME dialect as in Baltimore dialect and PLACENAME English as in Pittsburgh English. My own impression is that the latter is tending to predominate in the dialectological literature."

Users tended to agree (as on some specific dialects' talk pages, etc.) that we should use a standard format but that it would be an arduous task to attempt as people would have an array of opinions. Apparently, the topic was then soon forgotten. However, I think the point of the general agreement that we could try for a standard format is that we should continue having this conversation, and see if we can get to any productive conclusions. Let's see if we can make that standard form, even if it requires some more in-depth discussion.

I'd personally argue in favor of the use of the format “PLACENAME English.” The term “English” covers a broader scope than “dialect” (just as “dialect” covers a broader scope than “accent”). For example, there are instances (such as with New York City English) where it is not clear to linguists that a language variety or dialect category can be considered a single, clear-cut, uniform-throughout dialect when there is such a great deal of intra-local variation (sometimes known as sub-varieties, sub-dialects, etc.) in terms of class, ethnicity, and so on. According to mnewmanqc on the NYC English talk page (many of whose points I’m repeating here), “NYC English” is the primary term preferred by all recent research on the topic due to its ability to cover such an expansive relevant area. The term “English” neatly includes either or both “accent” and “dialect,” allowing a greater diversity of ideas on the page, and bringing seekers of the accent and the dialect all to one convenient article, without excluding either topic. Since “English” allows for more or less broadness, it can be used to characterize what may still be defined uncertainly or without consensus by linguists, considered by some linguists a single dialect and by others a whole broad class or category of dialects, such as Inland Northern American English. The term "English" is also the predominating term as it now stands.

The user who moved the article “New Jersey English” to “New Jersey English dialects” (in order to, in good faith, emphasize the plurality of dialects in the State of New Jersey) seemed to miss the point that the original title already allowed the article to encompass multiple dialects and sub-dialects. Other thoughts? I would love the idea that we could agree on a standard format, rather than seemingly arbitrarily having articles with inconsistent names like these: Philadelphia accent, Central Pennsylvania dialect, Pittsburgh English, Boston accent, New York City English, Tidewater accent, etc. Wolfdog (talk) 14:37, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

I agree and reiterate that the convention among specialists is increasingly PLACENAME English, which avoids confusion over of dialect status vs. accent. mnewmanqc (talk) 15:08, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
The older discussion is here. Wolfdog's argument that "PLACENAME English" is a useful cover term for "PLACENAME dialect" and "PLACENAME accent" is well-taken. An objection raised in the 2010 discussion relates to cases such as Scouse, where the nickname is fairly standard both in local and scholarly usage. I have no objection to standardizing "PLACENAME accent/dialect/English/etc." to "PLACENAME English", but would find it hard to support moving pages such as Scouse to Merseyside English (or what have you; Liverpool English is currently a redirect) or Geordie to Tyneside English. I don't have the same scruple about Baltimorese, but on the third hand I think Pittsburghese is becoming more widely used (e.g. Johnstone 2013). Cnilep (talk) 04:47, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I would absolutely agree that we could make exceptions for names such as Scouse, Geordie, Received Pronunciation, General American, etc. that virtually all the literature already recognizes by a standard name that has no need for a clarifying tag of "dialect/accent/English," etc. However, I would say that while terms like Pittsburghese may be becoming more common, again, it is certainly not the indisputable standard and so "Pittsburgh English" is better for covering all facets of that variety. Even if we do agree on this, however, it does of course cause some hassle. How could we standardize this as a guideline for Wikipedians to follow in the future? Even now, it will (apparently) take revived talk-page discussions to revert/move back, for example, "Boston accent" to "Boston English" or "New Jersey English dialects" back to "New Jersey English," etc. since such articles have already been moved from the "PLACENAME English" titles in the past. Anyone more well-versed than I am in the Wikipedia policy-making arena? I think we could bring this discussion to that level, if feasible. Wolfdog (talk) 15:07, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Navajo language[edit]

By any chance, is anyone knowledgeable about this language? I've been working on it a little in hopes of GAN while Czech's article gets reviewed, but the Grammar section (and particularly its Verbs subsection) is absolutely enormous and I don't feel I'm educated enough to know what's vital and what can go. Tezero (talk) 22:01, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Eh, never mind. I deleted the huge majority of it yesterday (well, migrated to a separate article) and I'll be building it from the ground up. Tezero (talk) 15:17, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Language templates[edit]

FYI, several lang templates are up for deletion at Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2014 August 13 -- 65.94.169.222 (talk) 08:05, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Template talk:Lang-de[edit]

Anybody interested in merging Template:lang-de-AT into Template:lang-de? Please join discussion by clicking the above heading. --George Ho (talk) 20:33, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Bahasa Indonesa & Malay Language[edit]

Hi everyone. I'm new here, but I want to raise a question about Bahasa Indonesia & Malay language. Despite this language is combine into one for their similarity, I'm shocked to find out the numbers is far from reality. For example, Bahasa Indonesia is a compulsory to be learned by all citizen of Indonesia from the very young age of 7 years old (when you enter primary school at 1st grade) or younger, if you started with Pre-school or Kindergarden. This is a compulsory language that every citizen must able to speak and use officially to communicate with anyone else within the country. Knowing this, I wondered how come the population of nearly 250million as per Wikipedia estimation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Indonesia#Population)with a note of literacy level of 92.81% (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Indonesia#Literacy) of the population, which means those are individuals age over 15 and can read and write. What language are they reading and write, other than Bahasa Indonesia? This is the only and main language being taught in all the school all over Indonesia, with additional English, Mandarin or Arabic being taught individually as per school preference. It is a compulsory for all Indonesian citizen to go through the basic 12 years education, and even if they are unable to finish their basic education, they at least able to learn and converse fluently in Bahasa Indonesia as this is a common language use among all Indonesian, besides their own race language (e.g Javanese, Bataknese, Manadonese, etc). Based on this information itself, the number is already exceeding the 250million marks, and it is not yet includes Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and part of Thailand where this language is also used by the locals there. Therefore, I would like to question this information, as it is totally an error that needs to be replaced immediately, considering that Bahasa Indonesia & Malay language by native speaker is already more than the 6th language position in this list. And we are just base on the number of Bahasa Indonesia native speaker only. Thank you all for the assistance and I look forward to hear from you. Cheers. David.sinsuw (talk) 15:05, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

If you have a look at Languages of Indonesia, you may find that the situation is not quite as easy as you seem to perceive it. There are countless other languages spoken in the country. Although they do not have an official status, many of them are actually written, and for many Indonesians they maybe the only languages they speak with any confidence. I do not pretend to have any actual knowledge of the language situation in Indonesia, and I am aware that a Wikipedia source should not be the basis of any statement we make elsewhere on Wikipedia, but your statement seems to reflect the official language policy of the country, and that may be quite off the linguistic reality. Landroving Linguist (talk) 18:42, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes indeed, Indonesia have many different local language. Some of them is big enough to be mentioned in wikipedia, such as javanese or sundanese. However, Bahasa Indonesia is widely used by every citizen of Indonesia to communicate between the tribes and race in Indonesia. That is why we called it the uniting language, as everyone is speaking and understanding this main language as a common ways of communication above our own local dialects and tribe/race languages. You will be surprised that some part of Indonesia also speaks chinese, dutch, portuguese very well, but they also a native speaker of Bahasa Indonesia which is the national language. That is why I raised the question in the 1st place as I'm new in here and noticed that this information is not being updated for years, despite the other part of wikipedia are providing the facts that supporting my statement and questions on Bahasa Indonesia being spoken by more people than what is originally written in this wiki.David.sinsuw (talk) 15:21, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

A couple of horror stories needing attention[edit]

First of all, there's the article on the Proto-Philippine language, which is a strange jumble of Old Tagalog (in Baybayin script!) and bits and pieces of information about the real Proto-Philippine language. The Old Tagalog article has some of the same issues perpetrated by the same contributor.

And then there's Kolarian, whose only references are an 1878 work on languages of India and an encyclopedia of religion written by an author who died in 1922. Someone who knows something about the history of Austroasiatic-language studies needs to tie it in to all the developments that have happened since the days they were inventing things like the telephone and the automobile. Someone also needs to fix the article on Jharkhand, which links to it. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:19, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Help with checking Cantonese romanization?[edit]

Not sure exactly where I can make requests like this, but I'll take a shot here.

At Old Town Chinatown, Portland, Oregon § Translation of street names, I added Yale romanizations of the Cantonese street names. I used this tool to get them. But I don't know Cantonese, and I'm not sure my results are all that great. Some characters listed a couple different romanizations, and I don't know which ones are correct in the context. Don't know the locally preferred pronunciation either, if that's a factor. I'm not even sure Yale is the best choice in the first place. Help? — Athelwulf [T]/[C] 03:12, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Glossing in language articles[edit]

Could we decide to make Leipzig glossing rules the standard for glosses in linguistic examples in articles about languages? That would be a good step towards standardizing our coverage and making it coherent with the standard in linguistic description.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:17, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

What are the Leipzig glossing rules? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:06, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
These - look for the abbreviations at the end. Tezero (talk) 13:37, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
They look fairly reasonable. What other publications have they been adopted by? They look very similar to the glosses standardly used by Language; are they? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:13, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
I think they are generally used by most typologists and descriptive linguists nowadays. They are recommended in many text books for linguistic fieldwork. Here are some examples: Recommended for fieldlinguistsrequired by BrillRequired by John BenjaminsSuggested for Typologists.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:04, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree, it is a good idea. Landroving Linguist (talk) 11:31, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Comment on the WikiProject X proposal[edit]

Hello there! As you may already know, most WikiProjects here on Wikipedia struggle to stay active after they've been founded. I believe there is a lot of potential for WikiProjects to facilitate collaboration across subject areas, so I have submitted a grant proposal with the Wikimedia Foundation for the "WikiProject X" project. WikiProject X will study what makes WikiProjects succeed in retaining editors and then design a prototype WikiProject system that will recruit contributors to WikiProjects and help them run effectively. Please review the proposal here and leave feedback. If you have any questions, you can ask on the proposal page or leave a message on my talk page. Thank you for your time! (Also, sorry about the posting mistake earlier. If someone already moved my message to the talk page, feel free to remove this posting.) Harej (talk) 22:47, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Mass deletion of language articles by Ryulong[edit]

See also: Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Mass deletion of language articles by Ryulong

Hi. I'm asking for the community's assistance on Ryulong (talk · contribs)'s mass deletion of language articles:

where I contributed substantially, mostly on classification and phonology, using a dozen of published sources (some of which are available online). This is the most violent series of actions I have ever seen since I joined Wikipedia in 2003.

Ryulong sees Wikipedia quite differently from us. He believes that just labeling some edits as a "fringe theory" justifies mass deletion. There are so many factors behind his misconduct that there appears no hope that he would amend his behavior.

  • Knowledgelessness (or simply ignorance). It is an obvious fact that he is incapable of judging whether a linguistic theory is on the fringe as he knows too little about languages and linguistics. Anyone can edit Wikipedia, but we do not expect anyone to edit what s/he does not know at all. We have the Randy in Boise page but it tells us how to combat Randy in Boise when he edits 100 pages a day.
  • Rejection of consensus-building through discussion. Labeling some edits as a "fringe theory" alone does not justify mass deletion, but he does not (and cannot, I guess) list in the talk page exactly which points he would like to challenge.
  • Unteachability and unwillingness to cooperate. When Ryulong is involved, we have to start with Linguistics 101 exactly because he does not know what every participant is expected to know. The ironic truth is that knowledgelessness is power in this encyclopedia. But once explanation is provided, he labels as "semantic garbage" what he cannot understand[10] or declares too long to read[11].

This only happens in Wikipedia. In academics, he would never get his paper accepted in a peer-reviewed journal. In an OSS community, those who cannot write code are naturally excluded from decision-making processes. Wikipedia is the exception. However stupid things he does, no compiler or runtime automatically raises errors or exceptions. The only thing we can rely on is eyeballs. That's why I need the community's help.

The motivation behind his misconduct is unclear, but it is certainly related to his weird obsession with promoting his own amateurish romanization scheme in Wikipedia and applying it to spoken languages he does not know at all. He is doing this without even knowing how many vowels they have. He attempts to limit the development of related articles to the level that he can understand. By doing so, he tries to prevent readers from realizing that his romanization scheme is useless and rather harmful. Of course, he has no right to own articles. Besides, it poses practical problems as his level of understanding is miserably poor.

I feel sorry for embroiling experts into the trouble as things involving Ryulong are destined to be unproductive. Life is short. We would like to use our limited free time better. But it's time to end the disaster. --Nanshu (talk) 12:04, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

You know, it's unfortunate, but this is what happens when we have something like WP:N. Topics have to have several in-depth secondary sources from multiple publications written just about them (or at least mainly about them) to be notable, and if they're not notable they have to go. That's the rules, and honestly, I don't feel bad about the rules being consistently enforced, as much as I like languages and would ideally have as much information as is available on them be accessible to everyone through Wikipedia. Tezero (talk) 13:11, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree that Ryulong's stated reasons for blanking and redirecting the articles were completely spurious. We do not remove content simply because it describes a "fringe theory". Many fringe theories are easy to verify and well covered in reliable sources, and the mere fact that Wikipedia articles on them exist does not constitute an endorsement of their views or findings. That said, I haven't gone to the trouble of verifying in detail whether or not the articles he blanked pass our notability and verifiability requirements. (A cursory inspection suggests that they do, though—I see at least some coverage by the indisputably reliable ISO, SIL, and MPG.) Similarly, I haven't checked whether the text you yourself added misrepresents a fringe theory as being mainstream. Nonetheless, if the attempted deletions on spurious grounds are typical of Ryulong's editing, as you say, then I'd support appropriate action to prevent future disruption. —Psychonaut (talk) 13:24, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Nanshu is simply acting as he always does when he is challenged on his actions on these articles. The bulk of these pages concern dialects of other languages, and not languages unto themselves. That is why after I raised these edits up for debate at WT:JAPAN, as well as receiving no answer from Nanshu on another issue I raised to him, I simply restored the articles to their original states before Nanshu split apart Amami language and Kunigami language into all of the pages he describes. He has consistently removed the langauges' names in their native (or rather borrowed) written forms and has refused or outright slandered me whenever I challenge his supposed expertise. I have restored the articles to the original states once more so an actual discussion can take place instead of Nanshu asserting that he is correct and I am a buffoon for doubting him. To be quite honest, Nanshu has been warned in the past for being unnecessarily attacking towards me and this is no exception.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 14:48, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
If that's the case, then your edit summaries should have at least linked to the discussion rather than offering a completely fallacious rationale. (Mind you, now that I've actually read the discussion, I'm not sure I see much policy-based reasoning there either.) What you say about Nanshu may be true (again, I haven't checked), but that's no excuse for failing to providing sound reasons when you blank entire articles. —Psychonaut (talk) 15:09, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps I should have, but it's not a mistake that can be fixed. The fact is that Nanshu split up Amami language and Kunigami language into three separate articles each on the fact that he found some sources that describe what the majority of sources refer to as just dialects of those two languages into articles on completely separate languages, with the vague backing of the ISO standard. After first expanding both articles last month (which both include sections that he's labeled "citation needed" and messages saying "since the so-called Amami language is in reality a highly diversified group of languages that are known for phonetic innovativeness, it must be clarified which language is to be described in this section", he created his own divisions of the languages which as far as I am aware are not accepted by the linguistic community at large. They may exist in the ISO, but there is nothing online about them until Nanshu's pages got indexed by Google: "Tokunoshima language" gets 14 hits, "Okinoerabu language" is 9, "Yoron language" is 80 for some reason (some appear to be false positives), "Northern Okinawan language" is 11 hits. There is nothing about these languages except in the mostly same references he cites on the four new languages he made pages for. Being listed as separate in ethnologue and the ISO is not a suitable reason when prevailing theory suggests that what is defined by the ISO as ams (Southern Amami-Oshima), kzg (Kikai Island), ryn (Northern Amami-Oshima), and tkn (Tokunoshima) are all dialects of one "Amami language" and okn (Okinoerabu), xug (Kunigami), and yox (Yoron) are all "Kunigami language". Whatever he's pulling from the minor publications he found to justify creating separate pages on Tokunoshima, Okinoerabu, and Yoron, completely changing Kunigami to be "Northern Okinawan", and consistently removing the Japonic text names of the languages and dialects involved (島口/シマユムタ from Amami and 山原言葉/ヤンバルクトゥーバ from Kunigami) does not have consensus and is not justified.
Also, Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive829#Ad hominem attacks for the previous discussion on Nanshu's behavior.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 15:47, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
When I saw what Nanshu had done, I was appalled. He literally made up his own grouping of the Ryūkyūan languages based off of a non-mainstream source and his own "expertise". Then he made articles about them and majorly rewrote existing articles to fit his new grouping. If I wasn't pressed for time at the moment, I would have reverted his edits myself on the same grounds. Ryulong had also noticed, as he also has contributed significantly to the Ryūkyūan language articles. He posted on WT:JAPAN, and there I advocated him to take action. Nanshu believes that Ryulong had reverted him out of their feuding, however that is not the case. The three points that Nanshu makes in his complaint are all incorrect:
1) Knowledgelessness: Ryulong has made significant contributions to all of the Ryūkyūan language articles and to Ryūkyūan subjects in general. It is obvious that he has a strong understanding of this subject, and Nanshu's attack on this is just him saying that he "knows more".
2) Rejection of consensus-building through discussion: first-off, Ryulong attempted to discuss this on WT:JAPAN. After I suggested that Nanshu's edits be reverted, he took action. Nanshu on the other hand, didn't respond there and instead went straight to AN/I.
3) Unteachability and unwillingness to coöperate: Ryulong, while blunt, is usually reasonable and coöperative. I've had many experiences where we've opossed each other yet found consensus. However, it's hard to coöperate with someone who won't coöperate. Nanshu believes that he is right and everyone else is wrong, period. Arguing with him does nothing constructive, as he refuses to listen to your side of any debate. He gets angered by opposition and criticism, and more so by reverts, yet he has no desire to find consensus.
If anyone else had reverted his edits, we'd still be here to talk about their "misconduct". ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 16:27, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Also see this. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 16:53, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
In my analogy, you are a guy in an OSS community who cannot write code but tries to control decision-making processes. How can you judge whether a paper you have never read represents a fringe theory. Of course, you may help Ryulong (if you can) as he must do a lot to fill the huge logical gaps. --Nanshu (talk) 11:33, 7 October 2014 (UTC)


Key points first:

  1. I feel sorry for the community as the discussion is going unproductive as predicted. What is going on here is that two guys who do not know the spoken languages in question at all attempt to control a key decision on language articles. That's why I chose this page for discussion and I need help from linguists.
  2. Ryulong habitually carries out his purpose by reverting more often than others, but I don't like revert wars. I ask for the community's support for choosing my informative versions of the articles as working versions. When we have two competing versions of an article, article with and without information (blank page in our case), it is reasonable to choose the former as a working version. I have never heard of any restrictive policy in Wikipedia: we can add content only if we reach consensus to do so. Quite the opposite. We can freely add content and remove it only if we reach consensus to do so.
  3. Ryulong made an astonishingly bold claim: Ethnologue/ISO 639-3 is unreliable. Since this has broad implications for this WikiProject, I also ask for your opinions as to this point.

Back to the discussion. Since we discuss mass removal of language articles by Ryulong, the correct way to read Ryulong's comments is to repeat the following question for each statement: does this justify mass removal? Mass removal of content with reliable sources is a serious action. He must demonstrate a lot to fill the huge logical gaps. For example:

  1. He must prove that I misrepresent a fringe theory as being mainstream.
  2. Even if I misrepresent a fringe theory as being mainstream, why must the content be removed completely (instead of merger or other operations)?

Unfortunately he didn't.

You may also notice that he cites no reliable sources to support his bold claim (except the stupid Google test for minority languages with virtually no English sources). He believes that his personal, unsourced opinion overrides reliable sources. This clearly violated Wikipedia's key policy. For the sake of convenience, I list the sources I cited below. To demonstrate that I misrepresent a fringe theory as being mainstream, Ryulong must proves that each of them or my citation represents a fringe theory. Also, following Wikipedia's normal process, he is obliged to show the community why each of them must be removed completely. He has a lot to do to defend his violent action.

  • Classification
    1. Ethnologue
      "Amami-Okinawan". SIL International. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
    2. Glottolog 2.3
      http://glottolog.org/resource/languoid/id/amam1245 and other pages
    3. Karimata (2000) and papers he cited: Nakasone (1961), Hirayama (1964), Uemura (1972) and Nakamoto (1990)
      Karimata Shigehisa 狩俣繁久 (2000). "Amami Okinawa hōgengun ni okeru Okinoerabu hōgen no ichizuke" 奄美沖縄方言群における沖永良部方言の位置づけ (Position of Okierabu Dialect in Northern Ryukyu Dialects)". Nihon Tōyō bunka ronshū 日本東洋文化論集 (in Japanese) (6): 43–69. 
    4. A section of the Okinawa-go jiten (1963) written by Uemura Yukio
    5. Nakamoto (1976)
      Nakamoto Masachie 中本正智 (1976). "Okinawa hōgen no on'in 沖縄方言の音韻". Ryūkyū hōgen on'in no kenkyū 琉球方言音韻の研究 (in Japanese). pp. 275–311. 
    6. Nakamoto (1981)
      Nakamoto Masachie 中本正智 (1981). Zusetsu Ryūkyū-go jiten 図説 琉球語辞典 (in Japanese). p. 26. 
    7. Shibata (1982)
      Shibata Takeshi 柴田武 (1982). "Amami Ōshima no hōgen kukaku 奄美大島の方言区画". In Kyū gakkai rengō Amami chōsa iinkai 九学会連合奄美調査委員会. Amami 奄美 (in Japanese). pp. 150–156. 
    8. Pellard (20102009)
      Pellard, Thomas (2010). Ogami: Éléments de description d'un parler du sud des Ryukyus (Thesis) (in French). Paris, France: École des hautes études en sciences sociales. 
    9. Lawrence (2011)
      Wayne Lawrence (2011). "Kikai-jima hōgen no keitōteki ichi ni tsuite 喜界島方言の系統的位置について". In Kibe Nobuko et al. Shōmetsu kiki hōgen no chōsa hozon no tame no sōgōteki kenkyū: Kikai-jima hōgen chōsa hōkokusho 消滅危機方言の調査・保存のための総合的研究: 喜界島方言調査報告書 (General Study for Research and Conservation of Endangered Dialects in Japan: Research Report on the Kikaijima Dialects ) (in Japanese). pp. 115–122. 
    10. Nishioka (2011)
      Nishioka Satoshi 西岡敏 (2011). "Ryūkyūgo: shima goto ni kotonaru hōgen 琉球語: 「シマ」ごとに異なる方言". In Kurebito Megumi 呉人恵. Nihon no kiki gengo 日本の危機言語 (in Japanese). 
  • Phonology
    1. Hirayama et al. (1969)
      Hirayama Teruo 平山輝男, Ōshima Ichirō 大島一郎 and Nakamoto Masachie 中本正智 (1969). "Gengo 言語". In Hirayama Teruo 平山輝男. Satsunan shotō no sōgōteki kenkyū 薩南諸島の総合的研究 (in Japanese). pp. 235–478. 
    2. Hirayama et al. (1986)
      Hirayama Teruo 平山輝男, ed. (1986). Amami hōgen kiso goi no kenkyū 奄美方言基礎語彙の研究 (in Japanese). 
  • Folk terminology
    1. Iwakura (1977)[1941]
      Iwakura Ichirō 岩倉市郎 (1977[1941]). Kikai-jima hōgen-shū 喜界島方言集 (in Japanese). p. 119.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
    2. Osada et al. (1980)
      Osada Suma 長田須磨, Suyama Nahoko 須山名保子 and Fujii Misako 藤井美佐子, ed. (1980). Amami hōgen bunrui jiten gekan 奄美方言分類辞典 下巻 (in Japanese). pp. 387–388. 
      partly available online as Amami Dialect Dictionary
    3. Okinawa Nakijin hōgen jiten (1983) by Nakasone Seizen
      partly available online as Nakijin Dialect Dictionary
    4. Ebara (1987)
      Ebara Yoshimori 恵原義盛 (1987). Amami no hōgen sanpo II 奄美の方言さんぽII (in Japanese). pp. 10–11. 
    5. Yamada (1995)
      Yamada Minoru 山田實 (1995). Yorontō-go jiten 与論島語辞典 (in Japanese). 
    6. Kurai (2004)
      Kurai Norio 倉井則雄 (2004). "Shimayumuta imamukashi シマユムタいまむかし". In Matsumoto Hirotake 松本泰丈 and Tabata Chiaki 田畑千秋. Amami fukki 50 nen 奄美復帰50年 (in Japanese). 
    7. Kiku and Takahashi (2005)
      Kiku Chiyo 菊千代 and Takahashi Shunzō 高橋俊三 (205). Yoro hōgen jiten 与論方言辞典 (in Japanese). 
    8. Takanashi (2006)
      Takahashi Takayo 高橋孝代 (2006). "Okinoerabu-jima no gaikan 沖永良部島の概観". Kyōkaisei no jinruigaku 境界性の人類学 (in Japanese). pp. 65–111. 
  • Linguistic map
    1. Shibata et al. (1984)
      Shibata Takeshi 柴田武, Sanada Shinji 真田信治, Shimono Masaaki 下野雅昭 and Sawaki Motoei 沢木幹栄 (1984). Amami Ōshima no kotoba 奄美大島のことば (in Japanese). pp. 53–55. 

--Nanshu (talk) 11:33, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Just because Ethnologue decides to divide up Amami into Amami and Tokunoshima and Kunigami (not Northern Okinawan) into Kunigami, Okinoerabu, and Yoron does not mean that you have a consensus to do that on the English Wikipedia. I challenged your edits. And the first thing you did was call for me to be banned and treat me as an inferior rather than present your argument properly.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 12:47, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
And also your sources use "方言" which you know means "dialect".—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 16:07, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not really inclined to participate in this rather wearisome discussion, as I know nothing about the situation at hand. But directed at Ryulong I'd like to point out that Ethnologue in itself does not decide anything, but bases its classifications on existing primary or secondary sources. I tried to look up the Ryukyu situation there and found that mostly Wurm and Fukuda were cited as sources. I don't know what they are, I hope that both of you know better what these are and what they say. They seem to have come to the conclusion that all the Japonese varieties are separate languages, or Ethnologue would have classified the situation differently. In any case, elsewhere on Wikipedia a separate entry on Ethnologue usually justifies a separate entry in the encyclopaedia. Landroving Linguist (talk) 17:54, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I was just aware of UNESCO's classification, and the current state of Ryukyuan languages (which Nanshu has not touched) which classifies the separate languages in Ethnologue as dialects of the closest larger language, because, again as far as I know, each island claims its own language due to the isolation. Yaeyama language has the Taketomi Island dialect that gives itself its own name separate from the others. Same goes for everything in the Amami chain. I added something to Ryukyuan languages about a "commemorate the island language" day that on Amami Oshima is "Shimayumuta no Hi" (or "shimakutuba no hi"), on Kikaijima is "Shimayumita no hi", on Tokunoshima is "Shimayumiita no Hi" (also "Shimaguchi no hi") which are all similar, but on Okinoerabu is "Shimamuni no hi" and Yoronjima is "Yunnu Futuba no hi"; Kunigami (or as the Ryudai library's dictionary seems to call it the Nakijin dialect) also has "futuba" for "kotoba" as seen here (amongst other variations). I also contested his edits because they contradicted nearly everything else we have on the project on the languages of the Ryukyu chain and he cobbled together sources that explicitly call them dialects to support the separation on Ethnologue and the ISO, while for some reason excluding Kikaijima's dialect/language, amalgamating the Northern and Southern Amami-Oshima dialects/languages into one subject when on ethnologue they are separate, and completely renaming the Kunigami language into the "Northern Okinawan language" for his content forking. Despite Nanshu's constant ad hominem attacks towards me, I would be glad to admit a mistake and have the articles restored if it's clear that the content he cited (most of which appear to be Japanese language books or research papers on dialects) supports separate articles on the three new language pages he made (excluding the "Northern Okinawan" one because that's still a content fork of Kunigami) and his new sub-family page (the Amami-Okinawa one).—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 20:04, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Ethnologue says ethnologue has grown to become the world's most complete and authoritative survey of the world's languages and it's the reliable secondary source to which we defer on smaller languages. It's not an encyclopaedia's place to argue the calls that reliable secondary sources make, except when they are at odds with each other (when we report this disagreement). Following ethnologue is what we need to be doing. Stuartyeates (talk) 20:46, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
We don't defer to the Ethnologue if there are better more specialized sources that make a different classification and that classification is more commonly adopted in the literature. Ethnologue frequently have odd and controversial classifications, that are not generally followed in the literature.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:07, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. I'm not sure that this is the case in the situation at hand, though. It could also be that there may be a significant discrepancy between Japanese-written articles on Ryukyu languages, which are mostly cited by our two combatants here, and the English-language literature on the matter, which was probably best known to the Ethnologue editors. Landroving Linguist (talk) 11:58, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, it indeed appears that among English-writing linguists there is a consensus that the Ryukyuan languages are not dialects of each other, but separate languages. DeGruyter (one of the most reliable linguistic publishing houses) is about to publish this book, whose entire point it is to establish this fact. Also looking at Ryukyuan languages on Wikipedia, it appears that the word dialect has severe political undertones in the history of the relationship between Japanese and the Ryukyuan languages, and that the word was more a tool of sociolinguistic oppression than a description of linguistic facts. Based on all that I would move to stick to separate articles on each Ryukyuan variety. It appears, though, that the DeGruyter publication only recognizes 5 separate languages, not all the languages found in the Ethnologue. So this may be a good example of following Maunus's caveat above. Landroving Linguist (talk) 12:19, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
The current status on the English Wikipedia and other language Wikipedias (for the most part) is that there are 6 Ryukyuan languages (in order from north to south in the Ryukyu Islands chain): Amami language, Kunigami language, Okinawan language, Miyako language, Yaeyama language, Yonaguni language. Nanshu's edits split up Amami into Amami (North/South) and Tokunoshima and split up Kunigami into "Northern Okinawan" (instead of Kunigami), Okinoerabu, and Yoron. UNESCO classifies Amami as having 4 dialects (Northern, Southern, Tokunoshima, and Kikaijima) and Kunigami 3 dialects (standard Kunigami, Okinoerabu, and Yoron). No other language project has an article dedicated to any of the languages Nanshu created articles for. Yoron is really the only one that stands out (in a Google search), but there are plenty of sources that say it is just a dialect of Kunigami. Ethnologue, being separated in the ISO, and bare listings in oxford's linguistics encyclopdia are all these really have for each other.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 14:05, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
5 languages is currently the most accepted consensus in Ryukyuan linguistics, as the distinction between Central Okinawan and Kunigami (aka Northern Okinawan) is no longer considered notable in recent sources, and Yoron, Okinoerabu and Tokunoshima are considered part of the Amami branch. See, for example, An Introduction to Ryukyuan Languages, which is currently one of the most expansive sources, and whose classification follows Pellard 2009. That said, whether some of the Ryukyuan variants are dialects, subgroupings or languages of their own right isn't exactly an issue for Wikipedia, as we could still easily create articles on these variants and mention sources that support other classification. This would be the best way to go since none of them besides Okinawan are standardized, so we still end up having to talk about dialects. — Io Katai ᵀᵃˡᵏ 22:20, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
The classification in that English one seems to contradict much of what is on Wikipedia and what I've gleaned from other sources. It doesn't appear to be a complete study of the languages, but rather case studies in 6 locales throughout the chain. They don't even touch Yonaguni. Ryudai's e-dictionary at least splits up "Nakijin" (Kunigami) from "Shuri-Naha" (Okinawan).—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 22:36, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
You have to consult Pellard 2009, which does cover the data for Yonaguni and numerous other areas and explains the methodology. The first document is merely a linguistic introduction to several Ryukyuan variants, but it's backed by reputable Ryukyuan linguists, reiterates the same classification scheme, and represents a precursor to the book Handbook of the Ryukyuan Languages, which also proposes the same 5-language division (assuming that didn't change since the book proposal). As for Ryudai's classification, it doesn't provide any proper comparative data and just inspires itself from a collection of other works, so it shouldn't be considered a direct authoritative source. — Io Katai ᵀᵃˡᵏ 00:18, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
I find it odd that Yanbaru Kutuba and Uchinaguchi were melded into one language simply because they're both from the same island. UNESCO's classification seems to still be accurate though.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 00:28, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
It wasn't simply because they're from the same island. The methodology used found that Nakijin, Sesoko and Iejima shared more in common with Shuri than with Yoron. I'd also wager that Okinawa Island is host to a dialect continuum, where the differences get greater the further the distance between two regions, but we lack data on areas in-between. — Io Katai ᵀᵃˡᵏ 23:54, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
For your information, Pellard's thesis has already been covered by my version but was removed by Ryulong[12] I am unsure about the year of publication (2009 or 2010) but this is a minor problem. --Nanshu (talk) 01:47, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Ah, it was 2009. I accidentally used the online publication/upload date. — Io Katai ᵀᵃˡᵏ 23:54, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
The Oxford University Press International Encyclopedia of Linguistics classifies Toku-No-Shima, Yoron, Oki-No-Erabu and others as languages; as does Tomoko Arakaki (28 June 2013). Evidentials in Ryukyuan: the Shuri Variety of Luchuan: A Typological and Theoretical Study of Grammatical Evidentiality. BRILL. p. 7. ISBN 978-90-04-25340-7.  The latter source says, The contemporary regional varieties of Luchuan can be divided into two large major groups: Northern Ryukyuan, the varieties spoken in the north, and Southern Ryukyuan, the varieties spoken in the south (Uemura 1992). The Northern group is subcategorised into eight kinds of languages, and the Southern group is further subcategorized into three. The Northern varieties consist of Kikai-jima, North Amami Oshima, South Amami Oshima, Tokunoshima, Okinoerabu, Yoron, North Okinawan, and South Okinawan. The Southern varieties are: Miyako, Yaeyana, and Yonaguni (Uemura 1992[2003]; Shimoji & Pellard 2010). That makes eleven Ryukyuan languages. It's quite normal for language classification to be in flux, and for linguists' classifications to disagree with those of politicians; what's amply demonstrated though is that regardless of whether these are languages or dialects, they're notable enough for entries such as those Nanshu has been trying to write. Andreas JN466 16:41, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
What Landroving Linguist, Io Katai and I showed is that the external sources published in the last decade still disagree with each other. What I am trying to do is to reflect the very fact in articles and they can be improved with additional sources available to us. That's the point. Whether a lect is a language, language variety or dialect doesn't matter here.
What Ryulong does is the opposite. His position is that UNESCO is the bible and that everything else must be removed from the articles. He is challenging our NPOV policy.
Readers would notice that descriptive linguists identify the lects they study with shima or village communities such as Ura, Yuwan and Ōgami. It is because they are aware of the fact that these lects are different from those of neighboring shima. Ryulong is the opposite. He is a political activist promoting a fiction that there are Standard Amami, Standard Kunigami, etc. He is trying to remove materials that are at odds with his ideological agenda. He would never allow this linguistic map to be shown in the articles. --Nanshu (talk) 00:48, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
What an absurd accusation. I am not a political activist. I am an expat student who studies oceanography and has an interest in this topic area. I am doing nothing that you accuse me of. This is just getting ridiculous. Because you can't get me banned for daring to disagree with your research, you're trying to discredit me any way you can.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 00:55, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Where can I find your comment that formally acknowledges that removing content with reliable sources was a mistake? Have you formally dropped the "fringe-theory" accusations? Otherwise, we have no choice but to consider your action as NPOV policy violation. --Nanshu (talk) 01:47, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Given your increasingly obvious pattern, and your absolute refusal to just drop the stick and stop pushing for your own version of the grouping of the Ryūkyūan languages, I would almost say that you yourself are violating WP:Advocacy. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 01:58, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Yet I've pointed out that there are other sources that amalgamate the smaller languages, for which there is very little dedicated coverage, as dialects of geographically proximate and apparently phonemically similar larger languages. Not to mention Nanshu's sources classify them as "dialects" rather than "languages" and the sources constitute very few pages within themselves.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 20:48, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
    Agreed. Not only do languages have to prove notability, just like everything else; there's not even going to be much to say about them if there aren't secondary sources for them. See WP:Pokemon test. Tezero (talk) 22:37, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
There is no question in notability unless you challenge the importance of Ethnologue. --Nanshu (talk) 01:47, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Uh, yes, there is. WP:N requires significant coverage in multiple secondary sources, not a tiny, perfunctory page by one source. Video games aren't notable if they only have one barely filled-out page by IGN, even if it is IGN. Tezero (talk) 02:51, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
I meant Ethnologue alone is authorative enough for notability check. Of course, there are multiple secondary sources, as I listed above. For example, Yoron has two full-scale dictionaries.[13] --Nanshu (talk) 14:52, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
No Ethnologue does not show notability, because it does not constitute significant coverage. Being included in Ethnologue, even with an ISO code, does not guarantee notability.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:46, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Here is my view point: I think that the classification question is not necessarily the best way to decide how many articles to have. Afterall if there is sufficient literature on any given variety then it can have its own article, and many small languages with very little literature about them may not have or require dedicated standalone articles. So basically I would say that the usual and standard way to do this would be to have a mother article on Ryukyuan languages, that describes the classification and has subsections on the main varieties, and for those varieties that have sufficient literature to warrant a stand alone spinout article would have one and those for which there are too little literature to write a decent sized article can be covered in the main article. We dont have to make any general decision about all of the varieties, just do it by editorial decision in each separate case.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:05, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't know much of anything about the lects in question, so I can't judge the linguistic merit of the articles. Obviously both Nanshu and Ryulong have very low opinions of each other and have no qualms about saying so, and I wish they wouldn't. That said, what either party said, and their motivations, is of interest, but not important here. As I see it, it all boils down to process: how do you deal with articles that you believe shouldn't exist? It doesn't matter who wrote the article or what their motivation was- unless there's some urgency due to great immediate harm caused by the articles, deletion should follow the normal process. The one deleted version I looked at in the history said the lect was a dialect cluster and there was difference of opinion as to whether it was a language or not. That doesn't seem like something so massively deceptive it has to be deleted immediately. This should be hashed out through the normal process, not by mass deletion of content and by edit-warring. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:26, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
    It's not "Mass deletion". I turned everything into redirects because Nanshu made up a new classification scheme and then split up several articles and completely renamed a language in order to fit his scheme. None of his sources refer to anything as "language" unless they're the tiny single sentence entries in Oxford or Ethnologue.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 19:34, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

Straw polls[edit]

Ryulong made an astonishing assertion in the ANI: "There is also a growing consensus at WT:LANG that supports my actions"[14]. So let me check whether his assertion is true.

Question 1: Do you support Ryulong's opinion that we shouldn't have articles of their own for Tokunoshima, Okinoerabu, etc?

Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~
  • Oppose --Nanshu (talk) 14:52, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 15:01, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are sufficient sources to write these articles. The very fact that some sources classify them as (mutually unintelligible) dialects while others describe them as separate languages (note that scientific/linguistic and political classifications often differ) can be brought out in these articles, along with descriptions of their phonology, prevalence, relationships etc. Andreas JN466 15:48, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Support; having a lot that can be written about a language or dialect (which is not necessarily the case with these) does not constitute notability. For now, they haven't demonstrated significant coverage (ideally, full-length articles all about them) in multiple secondary sources. There's no reason to draw an exception just because they're languages. Do I agree with this? No, I think notability is stupid, at least in its current state, but it's the rules. Tezero (talk) 15:59, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
    • Well, User:Tezero, that pre-judges the issue, as you don't seem to know how much secondary-source coverage there is for each of these languages or dialects. Hence the idea to let Nanshu write them, and then subject them to an AfD once it's clear how much coverage there is (in English, French, Japanese etc. sources). I've certainly seen sources covering some of these languages/dialects in detail. We could of course ask Nanshu to list available sources for each proposed article somewhere here on this page, but that's a rather un-Wikipedian way of proceeding. Normally, Wikipedia encourages people to be bold, and if notability seems lacking, to nominate the relevant articles for deletion, which brings more eyes onto the issue. If in any individual case a standalone article is not justified, content can still be merged, but it seems not in line with project goals and customs to tell people that they should not create content if there are sources available. Andreas JN466 17:04, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. Depends on the amount of literature for each separate case.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:12, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose I went through the discussion and my impression is the following: there is some lack of consensus in the cited literature, and this should be reflected in the articles. The “Classification and varieties” section in the article on Ryukyuan is not at all informative to an interested reader. Having articles for many sub-varieties (be they called “language” or “dialect”, a distinction not soundly establishable by linguistic means anyway and definitely politicized within Japan) is not a problem as long as they somehow confirm to the standard classification scheme applied on Wikipedia. Even if the existence of multiple small articles might not ultimately be the most helpful way of representing the information in question, simply reverting what seems to be useful information (if taxonomically appropriate or not) doesn’t improve the informativity of WP and thus seems to be an inappropriate measure. Either at least some smaller articles should continue to exist, or the larger ones should receive some of the information formerly present in the smaller ones. (I would wish that Nanshu and Ryulong started a discussion based on lingustic details. Neither has done so so far, but Nanshu is at least suggesting sources, while Ryulong is not really taking this up.) G Purevdorj (talk) 18:54, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
    Nanshu's sources are minimal in content, define everything as dialects, and there is no (as far as I can tell) academic consensus that the critically endangered languages spoken by the elderly residents of Tokunoshima, Yoron, and Okinoerabu are unique languages, nor is there any evidence that the language spoken in northern Okinawa is "Northern Okinawan" considering it's been called "Kunigami" in the very sources (Ethnologue and the ISO) that Nanshu has been using to support the splits.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 19:37, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It would be like asking if I would oppose the creation of the articles Canadian English or Kansai dialect. Whether certain Ryukyuan variants are considered dialects or languages is irrelevant – if there's enough material to create articles on them, I see no problem. However, the articles should adopt the most accepted and conservative classification names in the titles (in English literature). Thus, "Okinoerabu dialect(s)" would have been preferable over "Okinoerabu language", but the latter name could have been mentioned as an alternative in the lead. Or we could have made use of a purely neutral name like "Okinoerabu Ryukyuan" to appease all parties. — Io Katai ᵀᵃˡᵏ 23:24, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose On procedural grounds, if the topics are not worthy of an article, the proper repose is a community WP:AFD not a unilateral deletion by redirect. NE Ent 02:08, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

Question 2: Do you support Ryulong's opinion that materials added by Nanshu should be removed?

Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~
  • Oppose --Nanshu (talk) 14:52, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - that's a very broad statement there. It reads more like this is a personal feud and that Ryulong removed the material just because you added it, which is wrong. This falls within violating WP:Gaming the system, as you know that such a broad statement will receive a consistent !oppose. Either revise, replace, or erase this question. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 15:01, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
    No. This question directly corresponds to Ryulong's assertion. Ryulong claims supports for his actions. So what did he do? He completely removed materials I added. So it's perfectly reasonable to ask whether you support Ryulong's opinion that materials added by Nanshu should be removed? --Nanshu (talk) 15:15, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
    He didn't revert you because you added the material, he reverted you because of what you added. So this question is absolutely irrelevant and unreasonable. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 19:17, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose As suggested at AN/I, the best way forward seems to be to let Nanshu write these articles and then submit them to an AfD if there is still any doubt as to notability. Andreas JN466 15:48, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per Andreas. If there is sufficient literature to write a separate article they can have their articles.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:12, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Regardless of the content added, it has to violate some policy or another to remove/revert content purely because of who added it. Tezero (talk) 16:26, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
    This is what I meant in my above comment. Ryulong did not redirect the articles simply because Nanshu made them, he did it because the articles create a content fork and are based on a fringe theory and his own personal research. This question is worded in a very gamey manner. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 19:17, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
    Oh. Well, then I'm uncomfortably neutral in the whole matter. Tezero (talk) 19:53, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. This is too broad of a question since Nanshu's edits covered a lot of different things. After reviewing some of the edits (not all), I thought it was interesting to read about some of the differing views on the subject of language classification and he did provide references. However, of what I read, it did stand out that some parts of what was written lacked a neutral tone and other parts were fairly confusing to read as they lacked direction. Though, this could have been solved with some copy editing and clarification. — Io Katai ᵀᵃˡᵏ 23:24, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

WP:NOTDEM. Straw polls should not stand in for proper discussion. This is ridiculous. Nanshu, just accept that your articles weren't up to par and your bold edit got reverted. Stop making this all about yourself and your "feud" with me. There are little to no sources supporting the existence or separate coverage of Tokunoshima from Amami, Okinoerabu and Yoron from Kunigami, or renaming Kunigami to "Northern Okinawan". You took 7 written pages per subject each and spun that out into lengthy articles that feature IPA tables that I cannot for the life of me figure out are even supported by some of the cited sources. Stop forum sohpping. Stop canvassing people to support you.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 17:20, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Straw polls are useful for gauging consensus - and since you made a claim about emerging consensus it seems reasonable to poll. The accusation of canvassing seems to be lacking some evidence.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:39, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Evidence.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 20:33, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
That does seem like a potentially problematic use of private messages for discussions, but on the other hand Purevdorj is a respected editor on langauge topics with no a priori interests in this particular topic. But if Nanshu did this selectively or on a large scale that does seem problematic.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:20, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
I invited Purevdorj to this dicsussion because (1) he got involved[15] and (2) I believe there need more eyeballs. I've never requested support for me. --Nanshu (talk) 01:10, 10 October 2014 (UTC)


Well, thank you for your participation. It's now clear that no one supports his mass removal of content with reliables sources is not supported. The remaining question is how to organize the content. Now I restored content removed by Ryulong. You may propose deletion per an ANI suggestion, request moves if you disagree with page titles I chose, question reliability of sources I cited, and of course, you can edit them. All these things can be done without mass-removing content with reliable sources. Follow Wikipedia's standardized procedures. --Nanshu (talk) 01:10, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

This is not a representative example of anything. You can't ask such a broad question against me and then restore every article to the way you and only you think is best. I am not going to sit through half a dozen AFDs because you think you're intellectually superior to me.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 06:13, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
I think this clearly will have to follow the standard AfD procedure, which has nothing to do with anyones intellectual qualities, but you are of course free to decine to participate.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:01, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
The issue is that Nanshu has consistently acted as a holier-than-thou intellectual and hierarchical superior to me in every single discussion I've had with him over these matters. He has been warned in teh past not to act this way but the fact that he barely ever edits unless there's some dispute he's created results in no useful punishment.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 14:08, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
But that is a conduct problem not a content problem. You cant "punish" someone for bad conduct by deleting their content. Usually when I run into people whose behaviors I find insufferable I just leave those articles and let them work on it. Cause honestly there is not that much one can do unless they start saying cuss words.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:12, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
His conduct and content are separate. But because Id ared to contest his massive and undiscussed changes that contradict most sources out there and what's already on Wikipedia, he turns venomous on me.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 19:14, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
I thought restoring every article is exactly what Nanshu should do, perhaps with a template saying it's a work in progress, and adding any other sources available that demonstrate notability. That's what Rdfox 76 suggested at ANI, and you actually agreed to. Andreas JN466 15:54, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Temporally added the {{Relevant discussion}} template to the talk pages as I cannot find a more appropriate one. Could you help me if Ryulong continues disruptive editing. He behaves as if he has a right to ignore the consensus as long as he expresses some kind of displeasure. --Nanshu (talk) 13:24, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Reorganization?[edit]

There seem implicit merge proposals in this discussion. For a constructive discussion, I request for a concrete alternative.

The following is my understanding of the current situation, which I outlined in Amami–Okinawan languages. There are two consensus trees (supported by multiple sources, I mean). I assign a unique number to each entity because terminology is far from standardized. [CONFLICT] indicates that the entity is not supported by the other hypothesis. Underlined are the languages with articles of their own in Nanshu's proposal.

1. Two-subdivision hypothesis (relatively old but recently reevaluated by Pellard (2010))

  • 0 Ryukyuan
    • 00 Amami–Okinawan / Northern Ryukyuan
      • 000 [CONFLICT] Amami
        • 0000 Northern Amami / Amami
          • 00000 Amami Ōshima ? (this intermediate node may be unnecessary)
            • 000000 Northern Amami Ōshima
            • 000001 Southern Amami Ōshima
          • 00001 Tokunoshima
          • 00002 Kikai ? (membership remains disputed)
        • 0001 [CONFLICT] Southern Amami
          • 00010 Okinoerabu
            • 000100 Eastern Okinoerabu
            • 000101 Western Okinoerabu
          • 00011 Yoron
      • 001 [CONFLICT] Okinawan
        • 0010 Northern Okinawan / Kunigami
        • 0011 Southern Okinawan / South–Central Okinawan / Central Okinawan / Okinawan

2. Three-subdivision hypothesis (relatively new but now challenged by Pellard (2010))

  • 0 Ryukyuan
    • 00 Amami–Okinawan / Northern Ryukyuan
      • 0000 Northern Amami / Amami
          • 00000 Amami Ōshima ? (this intermediate node may be unnecessary)
            • 000000 Northern Amami Ōshima
            • 000001 Southern Amami Ōshima
          • 00001 Tokunoshima
          • 00002 Kikai ? (membership remains disputed)
      • 002 [CONFLICT] Okinoerabu–Northern Okinawan / Okinoerabu–Yoron–Northern Okinawan / Kunigami
        • 00010 Okinoerabu
          • 000100 Eastern Okinoerabu
          • 000101 Western Okinoerabu
          • 00011 Yoron
        • 0010 Northern Okinawan / Kunigami
      • 0011 Southern Okinawan / South–Central Okinawan / Central Okinawan / Okinawan

Note the positions of Okinoerabu and Yoron. Their lowest common ancestor among the two hypotheses is 00 Amami–Okinawan / Northern Ryukyuan. I think having separate articles for them is a much easier way to organize information than placing everything into the higher entity.

BTW, I'm a bit surprised by the fact that Pellard (2010) is supported by others. Is it only because he is one of two editors of the new book? I thought computational phylogenetics was extremely unpopular among linguists. --Nanshu (talk) 01:10, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

I have no idea what your numbering system means, or how to read the table above. The support and enthusiasm for computational phylogenetics is growing very fast among historical linguists. The initial attempts by non-linguists have been vbery unpopular, but I think most lingiusts recognize that the methods are useful when combined with an understanding of linguistics. Several former critics have recently published papers where they use the computational/statistical methods. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 03:14, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Non-linguists. You mean Atkinson's group? Anyway, we need to give more weight to Pellard (2010) in the article.
The two trees above show (1) all entities that potentially have their own articles and (2) those that currently have (underscored). When considering merger, they are useful for specifying the source and the destination because the destination of merger is usually an ancestor of the source in a tree-like classification. I assigned a unique number to each entity for disambiguation just because labels like Amami, Okinawan and Kunigami have multiple referents. Never mind.
When considering merger, we usually traverse a tree from top to bottom and decide where to stop (creating separate articles). But I would like to emphasize that this strategy does not work well in our situation because intermediate nodes (entities) like 001 Okinawan are fragile (their existence is challenged) while higher and lower nodes like 00010 Okinoerabu are stable. I do think lower nodes like 00010 Okinoerabu have potential for future development. They are the best places to describe phonology, syntax, etc. Meanwhile, all we have to explain regarding intermediate nodes (entities) like 001 Okinawan is classification. So I do not strongly object to the following mergers:
  1. 000 Amami -> 00 Amami–Okinawan / Northern Ryukyuan
  2. 001 Okinawan -> 00 Amami–Okinawan / Northern Ryukyuan
  3. 002 Okinoerabu–Northern Okinawan / Okinoerabu–Yoron–Northern Okinawan / Kunigami -> 00 Amami–Okinawan / Northern Ryukyuan
I'm aware that the first thing to do is to recover from Ryulong's total destruction, but I don't have enough time to do that this weakend. --Nanshu (talk) 17:29, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
Let me get this straight, so you're now proposing that we merge Amami language, Okinawan languages/Okinawan language, Okinoerabu language, Yoron language, "Northern Okinawan language", and Kunigami language into the Amami–Okinawan languages article you wrote? If so, I reject and totally oppose your proposed merger. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 17:50, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
I think he was implying that low-language-node articles like "Okinawan language", "Yoron (dialect)" and so on deserve their own articles, but that mid-node articles like "Amami languages" and "Okinawan languages" would be better described in the upper-node article for "Northern Ryukyuan" (aka Amami-Okinawan languages). The reasoning being that it would allow us to avoid the battle between the mid-tier classifications of Amami/Okinawan languages (cf. Pellard et al.) versus Amami/Kunigami/Okinawan languages (cf. UNESCO). If this is so, I think the idea is rather sensible. — Io Katai ᵀᵃˡᵏ 02:30, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
You are right. Remember that it's the second best in my opinion. I think one article per entity is the simplest solution. --Nanshu (talk) 13:24, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Stop calling it "Total destruction" FFS.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 09:19, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Nanshu, there is no consensus for your vast changes to these pages. Stop taking what has happened here (your carefully worded questions to get people to only have one answer) as an example as a consensus in your favor. Stop heavily rewriting Amami language, Kunigami language, and Okinawan languages to suit your agenda.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 13:28, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

I think Nanshu is justified in considering that there is a consensus that he should be allowed to write the articles and that if doubts about notability persists the correct venue is AfD. There certainly is no consensus that would allow you to order another editor to cease doing the work that they are doing in good faith.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:01, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes but he is not justified in heavily rewriting existant articles to suit his desires to present his own research on these subjects. I've sent Yoron language, Tokunoshima language, Northern Okinawa language, Okinoerabu language, and Amami–Okinawan languages to AFD but once again reverted Nanshu's massive changes to both Amami language and Kunigami language to the states before he edited them in September.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 14:03, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
When an edit is contested then of course there needs to begin a consensus building process on the talkpage. I imagine this will be rather difficult in your case, so probably you should make an rfC on the talkpage asking about how best to represent the divergent opinions on classification. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:38, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Regardless of that, Nanshu is still making this a personal dispute rather than one on content.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 18:32, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Peer review for Czech language[edit]

Hey, everyone, I'm not sure if anyone here keeps up with these things, but the Czech language article, which passed GAN last month and which I'd like to take to FAC before the end of the year (I have one FAC going on now, and I'm not sure if this article or a different one will be my next), has been at peer review for a while now with no comments so far. Here's the review; please give a few comments if you have time as it's the first language article I've seriously worked on. Tezero (talk) 19:28, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Could you maybe add the article milestones at the top of the talk page. Else, it is very difficult to access the GA review, which will be interesting to look at for any prospective reviewer. G Purevdorj (talk) 09:15, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

"Importance" in WPLANG template[edit]

A while ago, we had a discussion about adding the category of importance to WPLANG templates. Later, this category was removed from the WPLANG project page overview. Given that such a category is indeed difficult to justify from a typological perspective and is presumably more often used to express general conceit / deference than anything else, I propose that the template be reformatted in a way that "importance" is no longer shown on individual article talk pages. Moreover, I propose that a bot should remove the relevant text passage from every web page within the scope of our project, so that nobody can take offense from it (or resurrect it without some effort). I would like to know the opinion of the other editors involved. If there is agreement on this point, I'd also wonder who could take charge of the bot. G Purevdorj (talk) 09:16, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

A couple of notes:
  • You're not required to use this parameter at all. MILHIST doesn't.
  • You're not required to call this parameter "importance". WPBIO calls it "priority", which seems much better to me.
  • The main "external" (outside this WikiProject) user of this is the WP:1.0 team. They create offline (e.g., CD-based) editions of the English Wikipedia. Since they can't put in all the articles, they use various metrics to choose the right ones. The main metrics include quality of the article (most FAs are included), the number of page views, and—relevantly—a WikiProject saying that you couldn't possibly have a decent offline release without including an article about ________! The way that the WikiProjects tell the 1.0 team what to include (or not) on their behalf is by marking the priority/importance for articles on their templates.
  • There's already a bot (or perhaps an WP:AWB user) who spends a lot of time updating WikiProject banners. If you want it removed, then you could find that user and ask him to add it to his list. If you just don't want it to be displayed, then you can change the display of the template banner itself. The data would all remain, but people wouldn't see it unless they edited that section of the talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:38, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Japoñol[edit]

Opinions or comments would be welcome at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Japoñol (2nd nomination). Only two people – one is me – have contributed to the discussion, and we disagree. Cnilep (talk) 00:57, 15 October 2014 (UTC)