Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Languages

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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)

"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)

Personally, I'd rather keep it but simply provide very clear and consistent instructions about what kinds of subjects get what rating, like the Video games WikiProject, where most of my editing takes place, does. We could, for example, mandate that all national or de facto national languages of states recognized by the UN (not a perfect standard, but would help with disputes over, say, Montenegrin, Scottish Gaelic, and any number of Native American languages with their own tribal jurisdictions) be Top-importance. Tezero (talk) 03:21, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

When this parameter was introduced initially, after some pressure from an editor I don't remember, we had indeed agreed upon a number of criteria how to determine this importance. The criteria were more like a typologist might have set them, and not politically oriented like you suggest. After the parameters were established, nobody made any attempt to apply them, and when the importance criterion was applied (still hundreds of cases), it ended up in intransparent ratings I could not understand. Going for political criteria would be inacceptable for some of us, and both they or content-type criteria do anything for the work within WPLANG. Of the majority of editors of WPLANG does not feel the need to apply such a parameter, while externs ignore what our project might be suggesting, the potential to wreck havoc seems quite substantial, and the chance to add value around zero. G Purevdorj (talk) 08:20, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree that there's potential for abuse, but I'd like to nitpick something if you don't mind: How would a typologist's criteria for importance be any better? Remember, this is the Languages project we're talking about, not Linguistics. What, are we just going to give preference to head-marking languages? Are analytic languages inherently more important than agglutinative ones? Does ergative-absolutive alignment connote some kind of privilege? I don't see how we could define importance of a language discounting its prevalence or official recognition on Earth. Tezero (talk) 15:15, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I dont think there is any good reason for using the parameter at all. There is no objective way of ranking language's by importance, and no authority to defer to, so it would just be an editwar zone in themaking.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:45, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Inaccurate maps[edit]

Don't they speak english/scots in Western Scotland?

Please take a look at the maps File:Europe germanic-languages 2.PNG and File:Lenguas germánicas.PNG. They are made by a spanish contributor, and has recently been discussed at Commons (here, here and here), even as a deletion proposal.

Fobos92's maps have no given sources, and seem to build on "The general strategy of the map seems to be that a majority language is not shown in an area as soon as there is also some kind of other minority language there. In so far, the map might even be saved by giving the right kind of explanations, but the whole strategy doesn't make sense IMHO, and any explanations are going to look confusing." (as one user said in the deletion discussion) As far as i know, that is not a common method when mapping languages.

The remaining questions (after solving problems concerning Scandinavia) are: don't they speak english in Wales? Don't they speak scots/english in Western Scotland? My opinion is that these maps should show all of Scotland and Wales as scots/english speaking territory.

I invite other users to help me supply better maps, to add better sources to the discussion, or to help me to convince Fobos92 to make better maps. Bw --Orland (talk) 18:05, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

See also File talk:Europe germanic-languages.PNG where more discussions can be found about the original version of the map. De728631 (talk) 18:38, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Wikisource Latin textbook[edit]

There's a scanned copy of a Latin grammar book at Wikisource: s:en:Index:The New Latin Primer (Postgate).djvu It needs to be proofread and formatted. Proofreading at Wikisource isn't very difficult, especially if you're working on the yellow "proofread" pages, which just need a double-check. It's possible that someone who reads Latin would find that easy to do. I posted this at WikiProject Latin, but they're not very active, so I thought I'd look here for other people who might enjoy this and/or want to brush up on their Latin grammar. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:05, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Is there a better way to navigate this than the way I'm doing it? I've been reaching the pages individually from this checker. I'd prefer if there were a way to just flip from page to page and click a check mark or something when it's been proofread.
Also, is there a reason they brought over the DJVU instead of the EPUB or similar reflowing-text version? Surely breaking it up by chapter is better than arbitrarily by page...
Oh, and one other thing - when proofreading, are we trying to just verify that it's the same text as the original, or do a basic copy-edit. This guy uses a ton of abbreviations that I'm itching to expand. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 02:58, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Regarding the first one, I found it - arrows at the top left of the page. Sorry about that. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 03:02, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Content dispute on Spanish profanity[edit]

Greetings. There is an ongoing content dispute at Spanish profanity regarding the removal of unsourced entries. At the moment, there are very few editors involved, so assessing consensus is difficult. Your thoughts on the matter would be much appreciated. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 13:53, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

PR for Czech language[edit]

Here you are. No one gave any comments last time, so I'm taking another crack at it. If there's anything that would make you object to this being a featured article, please, say it now! Tezero (talk) 00:45, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Nyemba or Vanyemba[edit]

afternoon wikipediA, l am kawaya Anthony petulu one of those tribe called Ngangela or nyemba. first of all are found wrong information to explain to the world about our tribe, has lm speaking to you now lets me highlight some point. Who is Vanyemba or Nyemba. The Name Nyemba come from to our Dialect tribe called Vanyemba vamaxuaka,Then some Ethnic group like Kwangali people they fail to pronounce the word Vanyemba Vamaxuaka, Then what They did is they cut the name in half Vanyemba, then they leave maxuaka Out,Those days all of us we fall under one name Vambunda tribe but we have various cluster in Vambunda,Thats how our for father live up to were Portuguese colonial come in to Give us that Name Ngangela which it confuse every thing,Simple Question l have who is the king or the Queen of the Ngangela people, The answer will be zero,Then to comeback to the Name Vanyemba, Vanyemba is The name called the mbunda people who migrate from Angola in the time of Portuguese colonial rigime and the civil war of Angola which lead to independence of Angola, wereby a huge number of Mbunda or known by Nyemba cross to Namibia some to Zambia,Then come to Namibia this people of Namibia they cant call all Mbunda people or Vanyemba vamaxuaka to them is dificult wereby the choose to call us Nyembas,in didItalic text--Kawaya kawaya (talk) 15:38, 3 December 2014 (UTC) our parent they expt the name even us the youth we expt it,one Question you ask how many tribe is there in Vanyemba. in Vanyemba you found,Vambwela,Vambunda Nkangala,Vangojelo,Vasheya,Valuchazi,Vanyemba vamaxuaka, which mean this tribe just one they can understand each other without any translation when we talk to each other, Then Chokwe and Luvale when they Talk we can understand each other but l cant answer him in his language but l can respond him/her in any nyemba language he/she can here without translate, that's how we related, some Example among our self language in Mbwela we said; Ndjove,Nkangala said Ove means You, Then we go in Luchazi; mavu, in ngojelo Mavu too means soil, then in mbwela Livu, but we can understand each other without any doubt, therefore l hope those people who write those book which you hold in your office they conduct wrong people to give the the correct information. We are Namibia Nyemba no more Angolan people.

The meaning of grammar[edit]

I would like to propose that we stop implying on language pages that grammar includes morphology and syntax, and does not include phonology. I realise this was briefly discussed eight years ago, but I don't think it was exactly satisfactorily resolved. In linguistics, which is surely the relevant discipline, it is standard to regard phonology as part of grammar. And I disagree with the apparent assertion that the average reader has a strong sense that grammar includes morphology and syntax, but not phonology, and will be confused by seeing phonology included under it, or by seeing "morphology and syntax" instead of "grammar". If we were basing our policy on what the average reader understands by "grammar", then we should probably include all sorts of prescriptive beliefs, plus orthographical conventions. Thankfully we don't do that. Garik (talk) 13:41, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

I dont have a strong opinion about this. If we start reorganizing article headers to include phonology under grammar that is fine, but I dont think it is necessary either.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:19, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
My views on the issue haven't changed in the past 8 years (actually, almost 9 now). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:50, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
I have just changed the layout of Nahuatl to try out the Grammar>Phonology>Morphophonology organization. Looks fine to me.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:19, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Great. I think the tricky part is whole articles like English grammar, which would either have to be renamed or have English phonology included in it. I'd suggest the former, but I suspect this is where there might be opposition. Garik (talk) 15:43, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I for one would oppose that. I think it is clear to everyone that grammar in that case includes morphosyntax and excludes phonology. That is a different use of the word "grammar" in my opinion, one that no linguists would have trouble with. Also article titles follow a different naming criterion - namely common usage. If I by a book called "Danish grammar" I dont expect it to include any more of Danish phonology than is necessary for me to understand the exposition of the morphosyntax. Even reference grammars frequently have minimal phonological information.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:21, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree. From a historical perspective, the meaning of the term "grammar", or the equivalent in Latin and Greek, has always been roughly as broad as its meaning in modern linguistics, encompassing the description of all aspects of the internal structure of language. Grammars from about a century ago, such as Joseph Wright's Old English and Gothic grammars, and Herbert Weir Smyth's Greek Grammar, included description of what we would call phonetics, phonology, and orthography, as well as inflectional and derivational morphology, syntax, and sometimes semantics. A much earlier grammatical work, Dionysius Thrax's Art of Grammar, also included many of these aspects. So since the historical usage of the term includes as many aspects of language as the modern linguistic usage, on what basis would we exclude some of these aspects?
Perhaps English grammar as taught in schools doesn't include phonetics, phonology, and orthography, but this is likely only for practical reasons. The subject of grammar in English-speaking countries is taught to children who already speak English and have already been taught how to spell. For "grammar" to include phonetics and phonology, which they have learned growing up in an English-speaking home, and orthography, which is taught as a part of reading classes, would be superfluous. Therefore, "grammar" is restricted to teaching the parts of grammar that English-speaking children lack, which are the prescriptive rules for formal English writing, including some aspects of things like syntax, semantics, and morphology.
So there's a theory as to where this restrictive usage of "grammar" comes from. And if it's right, then there's no reason why we need to have the same usage on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not fulfilling the narrow function of a grammar class, but rather the larger role of describing the whole of a language's internal structure (grammar), including those things that English speakers already know and do not need to be taught in a grammar class. — Eru·tuon 20:32, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, my view is that we should restrict it to the standard default view in linguistics (and I grant that there is variation among linguists), which is that grammar includes syntax, morphology, and phonology (but not orthography, phonetics, or semantics). I take Maunus's point, though, and I don't feel strongly about this to get into any fights. Garik (talk) 21:01, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Basically I think the case you are making simply suggests that grammar articles could or perhaps should have a section on phonology with a link to the main article on phonology. I wouldnt have a problem with grammar articles having that. And all it takes would be for someone to write that section. What I wouldnt want would be for all grammar articles to be renamed "morphosyntax", since that clearly would conflict with naming policy.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:16, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's not a bad solution. In fact, the ultimate ideal might be to have suitably detailed separate articles for a given language on syntax, morphology, and phonology, all linked to by a short summary article entitled "Xish grammar". Garik (talk) 22:07, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I think that should be the ideal, at least for languages that have enough literature about them to sustain three separate articles. For mkst languages we have better coverage of phonology, intermediate coverage of morphology and next to no coverage of syntax.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:15, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree in general; however, I would stress that "grammar" as it is used in section headings and article names is not quite equivalent to modern linguistic usage. Your clarification that it (as I would phrase it) primarily involves phonology, morphology, and syntax is correct, but doesn't go far enough. Grammar in modern linguistic usage is the internal rules followed by an individual speaker; grammar as it is being used in section headings and article names means "written description of a language". Grammar in the sense of internal rules involves phonology, morphology, and syntax only because those are the relevant categories when a person is converting thought into speech. Grammar in the sense of a complete description of a language will also include orthography, the structure of the written language, especially as this relates to the representation of phonemes (in a language written using an alphabetic or syllabic system) or morphemes or lexemes (in a logographic system); and phonetics, semantics, and pragmatics as they relate to phonology, morphology, and syntax; and perhaps other subfields under linguistics. The concept of generative grammar is probably closest to the usage of grammar as it occurs on Wikipedia, but grammar sections and articles are usually not quite linguistically rigorous enough to be considered generative grammars.
All this is to say: grammar sections and articles on Wikipedia are really language description sections and articles, and maybe they should not be recast to fit the modern linguistic meaning of grammar. If the usage of grammar as "linguistic description" is too objectionable, perhaps grammar in the article titles and section headings should be replaced with linguistic description; however, I think this would be a little too pedantic for Wikipedia. — Eru·tuon 23:04, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Your definition of grammar as "the internal rules followed by an individual speaker" seems theory specific. The last thing grammar articles or sections should be is generative grammars that would be useless for laypeople and for most linguists. They should be as theory neutral as possible leaning probably most closely towards so-called "Basic Linguistic Theory" and the concepts developed in modern linguistic typology. That is the only way they can be useful for a wide audience. That is certainly what I strive for when I write and review language articles. In descriptive linguistics there is a long tradition for considering grammar to be primarily morphosyntax and phonology to be sort of overlapping with grammar rather than a part of it. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:48, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I share the goal of making articles accessible to a wide audience. I wasn't aware of the tradition of descriptive linguistics (aside from what I gather reading grammars of ancient languages, which might count as coming from the very beginning of descriptive linguistics). I was responding not to you, but to Garik's statement that grammar is phonology, morphology, and syntax — this sounds reminiscent of Chomskyan theories that I learned about in my syntax courses, which are based on the "theory specific" definition of grammar that I mentioned, although I could be wrong.

My point is to agree with including phonology in "grammar", along with several other elements of language description. To me it makes sense to group the sections describing the internal workings of a language together. That in my mind would include the writing system and lexical characteristics as well as phonology, morphology, and syntax, and some phonetics and semantics as they relate to the other parts of the system. Perhaps the sections could be grouped together under a different title than "grammar". My point of view is probably a bit atypical, though, coming more from familiarity with the grammars of ancient languages than modern descriptive linguistics. — Eru·tuon 02:31, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Conservation Status[edit]

Hello fellow linguists. I wanted to propose a change to the language infobox that adds a section concerning language conservation and vitality. I was hoping we could throw the idea around of making a language conservation template or diagram of some kind that could be used on each language's page in the infobox to help the reader visualize the vitality of the language, similar to the endangered species one. Each language in the world has a status and vitality, as do species.

Here is my current idea about language conservation statuses we could have in the infobox (I am always open to discussion and other ideas):

  • Global/Least Concern(for international or national languages used for wider communication like English and French)
  • Developing/Vigorous/near Thriving (for littler languages that still yield considerable vitality; children are still learning them but they are not yet widespread and may have limited official/regional status)
  • Vulnerable/threatened (the language is spoken by all generations but is a minority language, and its use maybe restricted to certain domains; perhaps the language community needs some kind of conservation to maintain their language)
  • Shifting/moribund (the language is no longer spoken/acquired by children as a first language, but is in use among the parent generation and older who could theoretically turn around and start speaking the language to their children)
  • nearly extinct (only a few elders remain)
  • dormant/dead (no known living first language speakers, but perhaps revitalization attempts)
  • extinct (completely gone)

Here is the endangered species diagram, which I was hoping the language status diagram might look like: Status iucn3.1 CR.svg

However, the problem with language conservation status is there is not a concrete source as there is for defining the conservation status of species (the Red List of Endangered Species). UNESCO can be reliable for language conservation status, but it appears to struggle with original research and has trouble differentiated between a language and a dialect. Ethnologue by SIL International is generally reliable and does provide a status for each language, but it is a missionary resource and is thus biased; some of the data is manipulated and linguists do not agree on its accuracy. I was thinking that the Catalogue of Endangered Languages by the University of Michigan and the University of Hawaii looks reliable, and well defines the various degrees of language endangerment/vitality, but I'd like to hear everyone's ideas. We need a source that linguists agree is generally reliable to prevent potential edit warring between users knit picking various sources.

~~user:Neddy1234~~

  • I think that in principle it is a good idea, and that the template should certainly support it if it oesn already. I am not sure I would want to make it a requirement however. Sometimes the status is controversial (for example calling a language dead when revival efforts are ongoing), or sometimes the authoritative sources are wrong (I have myself brought "dead language" back to life by writing to the ethnologue to tell them that I found speakers of a variety they listed as extinct). I also definitely think that we should not tie ourselves to one single source, but use which ever sources is best for a given language and use editorial discretion to do so. But having the option and making it the standard is a good idea.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:32, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
    • Having an infobox display discrete levels of language endangerment strikes me as unsupportable OR. Even Ethnologue doesn't divide all languages into seven neat categories, and neither (AFAIK) does anyone else. Therefore, neither should we. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 23:44, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
It is only OR if we require it in absence of sources. There are several resources that are attempting to make global endangerment indexes that we could use, ethnologue is only one of them. UNESCO is one, and the google based endangered language project is another. No reason we couldnt use those categorizations in infoboxes.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:51, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Thank you guys for all taking my idea into account! I'm very thankful for your feedback! As is the case of individual species whose conservation status is data deficient, we need not include such a template/diagram on every language article if there is nothing known. My vision is that if we have enough data from reliable sources like Ethnologue, the google-based endangered languages database, and UNESCO, we can make an accurate (and non-Original) conservation status evaluation. In describing the categories, I have incorporated the various guidelines for language health and vitality from Ethnologue, UNESCO, and Google's endangered language project. And, by the way, Aɴɢʀ, Ethnologue ABSOLUTELY DOES put languages in neat little categories concerning their vitality: http://www.ethnologue.com/about/language-status. So why should we not if we are using these reliable sources to make status evaluations based solely on the information found there? There is no Original research involved.
--user:Neddy1234

I see nothing wrong with it as long as the data is from a RS. What do ppl think of the Catalogue of Endangered Languages? I would oppose using Ethnologue, as SIL admits that the goal of their assessment is to make the lang look as vital as possible in order to facilitate funding for translating scripture, which you're not going to get if the lang is dying. The result is that non-missionary linguists have been denied funding for documenting endangered languages when the funding agency checks Ethn., which says the lang is not endangered. There are many more endangered langs in Africa than you'd understand from Ethn., compared to other continents, for example, with the result that Africa would be under-funded if ppl relied on Ethn. for funding decisions. Maybe our ref'ing some other source would help remedy that.

As for revitalization, IMO we should have a category for that. But even if ppl want to deny it, once a lang is gone, it's gone. If you are able to bring s.t. back, it won't be the same language. That's even the case for Modern Hebrew, which is arguably relexified Slavic rather than Semitic. And few revitalization efforts actually change ppl's native language like that. — kwami (talk) 17:39, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Kwami, do you have a reliable source for your claim that SIL admits cooking the vitality books to facilitate better funding of its activities? I guess you don't, and it is plainly not true. Just to the opposite, you could claim that many linguists classify a language as highly endangered in order to get access to grants from Rausing or other organizations who have an interest in endangered languages only. Just recently I was reading in an MA thesis about a language that it is "on the brink of extinction", when the writer as much as I know well enough that it is actually quite vital, and still generally being passed on to the next generation. It was written, because the thesis was part of a language documentation program, and they always should have endangered languages as their subject. Therefore, if there is any possible bias about language endangerment status, I would expect it rather from that side. SIL is not going to invest resources into developing a language that is dying, if they know it is dying. This is not to say that all of Ethnologue's vitality assessments are correct (I know they are not), but that there is no motivation to tampering with the status of a language. Landroving Linguist (talk) 08:47, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
I must admit that that is one accusation against the SIL that I also havent heard myself. And I have heard and read a lot. As I say I have myself had to correct languages listed as extinct that are in fact alive. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:50, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
That's what SIL said when I asked them, after I'd heard complaints. I am aware that there is a lot of exaggeration in the other direction too. These are largely subjective categories, so there could be bias in either direction even without intentional misrepresentation. And there's the anger we'd provoke by saying a language is extinct if there are attempts at reviving it. I guess we'd need to decide which POV we wish to represent, if we're going to add this category. — kwami (talk) 19:36, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it is entirely subjective - for most languages there is hard and fast data, such as whether the language is used in education, how many monolingual speakers there are, whether parents pass it on to their children, or whether there is any institutional effort for language development. In the case I mentioned above, the language in question is doing well according to three of these criteria, and any claim that the language is seriously endangered can be easily debunked, based on published sources. I agree that this kind of data may not be available for all languages, and then the situation may be more difficult. In any case, just like the similarly troublesome question about speaker numbers, maybe we can agree here to refer to the best published sources available, and only if nothing else is available default to sources like the Ethnologue. For reasons mentioned above, published sources may be in disagreement, and then this should just be mentioned. Landroving Linguist (talk) 21:48, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
I think the key is not to make the information obligatory but to exclude it on editorial discretion if there is reason so doubt the validity of the extant sources for any reason.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:02, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
I think that it's messy, subjective, and guaranteed to cause disgreements- but worth it, for the most part. Except for the absolute no-brainers like English or Sumerian, there should always be a link to the section of the article discussing the issue, and there should be a way of marking statuses as disputed and/or unknown (unknown as in "no reliable source has that information", as opposed to "no one at Wikipedia has checked"). It may even be worth it to have multiple statuses possible (with annotation) in cases where there are differences between reliable sources. At any rate, it should always be made clear that it's only a simplified graphical representation of potentially very complex and disputable facts. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:34, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Small caps in Latin[edit]

Hi! I started a topic in WikiProject Latin on whether small caps should be used for Classical Latin text in Latin spelling and pronunciation. Members of WikiProject Languages, especially (but not exclusively) those with interest in Latin, are welcome to head over there and comment if they have an opinion. The question needs resolving, and may warrant a poll, although I don't know how to start one myself. — Eru·tuon 23:58, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/IPA for X[edit]

Some Help:IPA for x pages have been nominated for deletion. I was not the nominator, but noticed the nomination and thought a link should be provided here. Visit the nomination page for more information. — Eru·tuon 00:17, 27 December 2014 (UTC)