Talk:Germanic languages/Archive 2

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Request for adding Älvdalsmål to the Vocabulary Comparison

Since both Scots and Low Saxon - both being dialects (of English and German, respectively) - I request to add the corresponding Älvdalsmål, lit. "Älvdalen speech" (also known as Dalecarlian) words to the list. The reason is that Älvdalsmål is mutually unintelligible with Swedish and Norwegian, has an official spelling system (since last spring) and is even taught at the oldest Nordic university. (There are many languages which are not taught there.) See the official course description: http://utbdatabas.uu.se/katalog/kurs.asp?kod=x5224 . Problems:

(1) The table is already quite wide, so adding another language would be rather painful for users of low-resolution screen configurations.
(2) I can not access my reference book (a Swedish-Älvdalsmål dictionary written by Lars Steensland) until late November.

What do you think? Jens Persson (130.242.128.85 19:21, 27 October 2006 (UTC))

Oh please no, let's not make that table even bigger. Its usefulness is questionable anyway, and it's already far too large for my feeling. From your comments above about Jamtlandic I take it that you were thinking of these things almost in terms of national proportionality: If German and Dutch "deserve" subdivisions, then so do Norwegian and Swedish. No, let's not go down that road. These tables should only serve to illustrate the major isoglosses within Germanic, and that means only as many as a non-expert reader can actually take in when reading it, otherwise it makes no sense at all. (And besides, Frisian is not a dialect of Dutch as you said above ([1]).) Fut.Perf. 19:31, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, Frisian may not be, but noone would ever consider Scots and Low Saxon to be anything but dialects (of English and German, respectively) anyway. Linguistically - at least for those old inherited words - Älvdalsmål would definitely serve better than any of Swedish, Danish, Nynorsk and Bokmål. Why not remove one of the two norwegian languages - preferrably Bokmål since it is basically slightly modified Danish - and replace it with Älvdalsmål, which shows much more interesting linguistical features?
Just so you get some idea of the Älvdalsmål's version of the words, I list some of them as I may remember them without my dictionary (English - Älvdalsmål):
'board' - buorð, 'beech'/'book' - buok, 'breast' - briuost, 'dead' - doð, 'die' - , 'enough' - nuog, 'finger' - fingger, 'give' - djävå, 'head' - ovuð, 'high' - og, 'home' - iem, 'hook' - atji/kruok, 'house' - aus, 'many' - maungger, 'night' - nåt, 'snow' - sniuo, 'stone' - stįe, 'that' - , 'two' - tuer (m)/twär (f)/tau(n), 'who' - wer/ukin, 'worm' - makk.
Note that I have used the official orthography.
Jens Persson (130.242.128.85 19:48, 27 October 2006 (UTC))
The table is already too wide. Being that by far the vast majority of speakers on this are going to be English speakers, presenting the nearest possible language to English would be intelligent, dispite people perhaps insisting that it is "just a dialect" whatever that is supposed to mean. --Puellanivis 21:16, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I definitely agree that the table is too wide. Thern I request the following instead. Since Low Saxon feels somewhat redundant in the context (it's basically a middle step between German. Dutch, Afrikaans and Frisian), it should be removed. I also strongly recommend to remove Afrikaans since it is basically Dutch with a slightly different spelling, at least it appears so in the table. In any case, at least one of Low Saxon, Afrikaans, Frisian and Dutch shoule be removed, and the only one of these I wouldn't remove is Dutch. So, at least one of Low Saxon, Afrikaans and Frisian, in that order, should be removed. What do you think?
(NB: Älvdalska does have a standardized orthography and is taught in local schools and at the university. So, since there are so many Western Germanic dialects with close-to-identical words forms in the table and Älvdalska can't be included due to the wideness of the table, why not remove one Western Germanic dialect? Preferrably Low Saxon, as said...)
Jens Persson (130.242.128.85 18:16, 28 October 2006 (UTC))
Why remove Bokmål for a language that almost isn't spoken anyway? And Bokmål is in no way just modified Danish, it's the Norwegian language as it developed naturally frome Norse, under the influence of, granted, many other languages including Danish. Nynorsk is a constructed language, more close to Norse than bokmål is, but still a well-used language in Norway. Maybe changing the examples from modern Nynorsk to old, maybe original Nynorsk would illustrate the differences between these two languages better.

Scots and Low Saxon aren't dialects of English and German, the table is large enough as it is and according to the (very short) article Älvdalska it has no standard form as of now, has only a few 1000 speakers and is considered a dialect of Swedish by a considerable amount of people. I don't think this should be added, but you could try to get an extended version of this comparison on wiktionary ... 18:27, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Äldalska actually does have a standardized orthography. Just look at the link to the text in Swedish where this is announced! (March 2005.)
Well, Älvdalska may be considered a dialect of Swedish, but nevertheless the difference between Swedish and Älvdalska is comparable to the difference between Dutch and German. (I would actually call Dutch a dialect of german if it were not for the fact that Dutch has a long history on its own since Netherlands has been politically separated from mother Germany for a very long time now.) Low Saxon kind of is redundant if one has both Dutch and German. I say this only in a relative manner comparing Älvdalska-Swedish and Dutch-Low Saxon-German.
If there were more space in the table, Älvdalska would definitely be represented. And Gutnish as well, of course, since it is even in the tree in the article.
Jens Persson (130.242.128.85 21:49, 28 October 2006 (UTC))

Mother what now? Alright for the sake of the linguistic discussion I will not respond to the mother Germany thing or Dutch dialect claim. Anyway, I seriously doubt the differences between Swedish and what some consider a Swedish dialect are as big as or even bigger than the differences between a High and a Low Germanic language. The article does not speak of a standard form, instead it denies its existance. A text, does not conclude a standared form. Rex 23:51, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

I definitely believe that the degree of difference between Älvdalska ("dialect" of Swedish) is comparable to the degree of difference between High and Low German. At least what I have seen of Low German so far.
Ironically, Älvdalska is considered by some to be the core Swedish dialect, i.e. the ultimate pure Swedish. Of course, it's mainly due to the Low German influence on Standard Swedish which makes Älvdalska differ so much from Standard Swedish. Älvdalska is simply Old Swedish (e.g. having preserved nasal vowels) together with some very unique novations (e.g. two added cases making it a six (6!) case language).
Jens Persson (130.242.128.85 17:39, 29 October 2006 (UTC))
I would probably say that Low Saxon should be removed also, the link on the page does not even reference only one language/dialect!. As for Dutch, and Afrikaans, I would remove neither. Dutch is most certainly considered a "full-breed" language, and Afrikaans despite occational complaints from some people is still considered a language in its own right both officially, and by general concensus. The situation being that Afrikaans and Dutch share a large portion of their words does not alter the situation that Afrikaans has borrowed many words outside of official Dutch, and unlike, say, Moldovian, linguists outside of South Africa are not calling Afrikaans "Dutch". As for Frisian, like, what are you thinking? Consulting the family heritage of Frisian and Dutch, Frisian is a language more related to English than Dutch. To claim that Frisian is simply a dialect of Dutch is to assert something against all evidence to the contrary.
Just because the word list prestented is highly similar between many of these languages does not diminish the status of those languages. I could easily present a word list, where you could support the claim that English is simply a dialect of French, or that Portuguese is just French with different spelling. (Hint, take every French word that ends in "-tion", and replace that with "-ção" (I think that's it) and you have a word that is almost perfectly portuguese.) The idea of this word list should be to present languages that are both representative and of interest to a native English speaker (and in the case of America, typically monolingual English speaker) This means immediately including all recognized sublanguages in the Anglo-Frisian tree: Scots and Frisian. German and Dutch are certain, as are Danish, Norwegian (one entry, bokmål/nynorsk seperated by a slash when different), and Swedish. Having covered those, the minor languages of importance (as they are less likely to be well recognized by Americans) follow Afrikaans, and Icelandic. At the fringe, Faroese, and Low Saxon in order of importance.
I don't really have enough experience to say much about Faroese, but I'm fairly confident that Low Saxon is inappropriate to this list. First of all, clicking on "Low Saxon" brings up a disambiguation page with a list of three languages/dialects that it could refer to, "West Low German", "Northern Low Saxon", and in the Netherlands, it's used as a synonym for "Low German". So, which do we exactly refering to in our table, and what kind of standards are there regarding how its orthography should work, and does any country even recognize "Low Saxon" as a minority language? Heck, a better alternative to "Low Saxon" would be "Ebonics", except of course, Ebonics really only differs in grammatical structures and syntax, with a very high vocabulary match.
And as for Gothic, it's an attested only language, and thus it's slightly interesting, but we're stuck in that who is saying these forms are official, who is attesting that these forms are accurate? Of course, it is the only representative that could be given from the East Germanic Languages with any sort of confidence. --Puellanivis 18:51, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
The point is that the question whether these varieties are "separate languages" or "dialects" has nothing whatsoever to do with whatever linguistic value this table may have, illustrating - well, what exactly, anyway? The more I think of it, the less I'm convinced it illustrates anything tangible to the normal reader whatsoever... -- Fut.Perf. 20:02, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

I too would be in favor of removing the "vocabulary comparison" section. It serves no useful didactic purpose in this article. Vaguely saying "look how similar these languages are" without any linguistic analysis isn't actually particularly helpful, and adding the linguistic analysis would be original research, so I say get rid of it. —Angr 21:11, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

I support a complete removal of the vocabulary comparison too. If this is not possible, we should at least do something to make the table less wide. My proposition is to either remove "Low Saxon", shrink the two Norwegian colons into one unified ("Bokmål/Nynorsk" with "Bokmål" and "Nynorsk" examples on one row each if they differ) or remove "Faroese". As you say, I support the principle of having a comparison list both interesting to the generic English speaking person and readable. By removing less interesting languages/dialects, this is accimplished.
Jens Persson (130.242.128.85 17:39, 29 October 2006 (UTC))

Gothic language

some linguist and historicians argue that the gothic language evolved from old gutnish. this view should be represented in the table of languages that apears in the article.

Do you have sources? —Angr 15:29, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
I found a page on Germanic Languages that references to some degree the assertion mentioned here. Though, it does raise some good critical points. Gothic is the only reasonably attested East Germanic language available for analysis, and so East Germanic is just too much of an unknown to make any sort of firm theory about its origins. I would likely claim that any information that we represent here on the origins of the East Germanic branch would be speculative, and thus only have a relevance in heading that would specifically be talking about theories and speculations of the origins of Germanic languages. As such, the existence of an East Germanic branch is undeniable, and whether it need be rerooted at some later point is not immediately relevant to this article. --Puellanivis 16:03, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, the source you give doesn't sound particularly optimistic about a Gothic-Old Gutnish connection, and he doesn't cite his sources either. If published discussion of the possibility can be found, then it could be added to the article East Germanic languages, but I don't think this article really needs it. —Angr 18:42, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

I've heard a few arguments for the old belief that Gothic should derive from the language spoken on Gotland; IMO not very strong, but also not completely idiotic. However, if this indeed is true, then it would be so due to a migration long before the split of the Nordic languages into even a westerly and an easterly branch. This could mean that the east Germanic languages in some sense evolved 'from' the northen Germanic languages (althoug also the division between north and west Germanic languages would have been rather minor at that time); it could not mean that Gothic evolved from 'old Gutnic', which is a much more recent thing. There is no sense in calling the language spoken on Gotland more than two millenia ago 'Gutnish', in any reasonable sense.

(The arguments I've heard partly are based on old tradition and legends, partly on more or less sensible guess work. The preserved edition of the old Gutnic law has a kind of preface about the old history of Gotland; the 'Gotland Saga'; and this is said to contain a story about half the population emigrating at a time of hardship. Jordanes claims that the Goths originally came from the north. Neither the Gotland Saga nor Jordanes is a very reliable source; they both contain rather fantastic mythology. There also is the similarity of names, which the 19th sentury germanists found rather important. It is probably quite true that 'Got' in Gotland is a cognate to 'Goth'; but so are some other Germanic people denominations, like Geat. Another example of the etymological arguments from the 19'th century is provided by the Danish island Bornholm, old Norse Borgundarhólmr, the first part of which is cognate with Burgundy; yielding the opinion that the Burgundians derived from Bornholm or its vicinity. However, according to Hellquist the IE root meant something like 'steep, hihgh place'; later 'defended pace', which often was on high ground. This could be common at a designation of any more or less 'mountaineous' region. There are some linguistic arguments, too, I think, claiming that the north and east Germanic groups share features not shared by the westernly group. However, the same probably could be said for any other choice to compare two of these groups with the third one.)

The Map

I would argue that the map needs to be edited. India has a substantial population of English speakers, much more than ten percent. It is generally considered the second most widely spoken language in India, at least according to India. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.205.103.81 (talkcontribs) 03:07, 26 November 2006

Unfortunately the map doesn't indicate whether it's meant to show speakers of a Germanic language as a first language only, or whether it's meant to include second-language speakers. If the former, then India should not be marked, since the number of speakers of English as a first language is quite low in India. If the latter, then India should be marked (as should a number of other countries in South Asia, Africa, and Western Europe). —Angr 09:55, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
And the Phillipines then?

"Anglo-Frisian" vs. "North Sea", and the Diachronic Chart

The term "North Sea" Germanic seems to be in much greater use than "Anglo-Frisian".

"Anglo-Frisian" is also a problem for a historial description. If "Anglo" means Anglic it disregards (the original, West Germanic) Jutish. If "Anglo" means "England" it disregards the early historical period of the group on the Continent. (The association with "England" is also a problem vis-a-vis Insular Saxon, as I'll get to in a moment.)

The "Diachronic" chart also has a big problem in that it is folding together the separate Anglic, Jutish, and Saxon into "Old English".

And to get to a really knotted problem -- Old Saxon wasn't "Anglo-Frisian"/"North Sea" at all, but ordinary (what the chart calls "South") West Germanic. And this Insular Old Saxon was in fact the literary language we called (confusedly) "Old English".

So the chart needs to show literary "Old English" in the South Germanic section -- really as "Insular Old Saxon (literary Old English)".

Meanwhile "Insular Jutish" and "Insular Anglic" replace "Old English" in the (hopefully renamed) "North Sea" section.

Then ideally some kind of special lines or color blocks join "Insular Old Saxon (literary Old English), and "Insular Jutish/Insular Anglic", to meet at Middle English. (This might not be possible with a text chart. I have simpler suggestions toward the end of this post.)

Because there really is no such animal as "Old English" -- as a language distinct from continental forebearers/cousins -- and as a unified merger of Anglic-Jutish-Saxon.

This brings us to the final classification/organization/presentation problem: "Middle English" and "Modern English" are actually (I assert) mixed languages resulting from the merger of two North Sea languages and one South Germanic language. So Modern English doesn't fit nicely in the "Anglo-Frisian"/"North Sea" category after all.

If you're going to disagree, and claim Middle English is (primarily) a continuation of Old Anglic, not Old Saxon, then you can't call Beowulf "Old English". You have to have the Insular Old Saxon of Beowulf going extinct and being replaced by the expanded Old Anglic, now Middle Anglic or Middle English.

Traditional classifications are confusing geography (and national cultural inheritance) with linguistic geneticism.

Well I've rambled on confusingly.

I would like to specifically and practically request:

Change "Anglo-Frisian" to "North Sea (Germanic)" throughout the article

In the Diachronic chart --

- move the Frisian column to the right of English
- divide the Old Saxon cell with vertical line into "Continental Old Saxon" and "Insular Old Saxon (literary Old English)"
- divide the Old English cell with vertical line into "Old Anglic (vernacular Old English)" and "Old Jutish (vernacular Old English)"


Sorry not to do this myself but I'm hopeless with Wikipedia charts. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 75.6.239.45 (talk) 11:59, 20 December 2006 (UTC).

North Sea Gmc, in Maurer's original formulation, includes Old Saxon. Actually the 3rd and 4th rows of the table are shambolic: South Gmc is a marginal synonym for WGmc and shouldn't be there; the consensus (everywhere except here!) is that Lombardic is an OHG dialect; it is absurd to date OHG from 200AD; there is no sense in which Old Frankish and OHG can be separated until the sound shift. I corrected it all few months ago, but couldn't be bothered to persevere when this version was reinstated. Utter nonsense. --Pfold 13:39, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Chart Problem -- East Germanic Column

The "South Germanic" row currently extends under the "East Germanic" column heading!

There needs to be a cell there beneath the one containing "East Germanic".

As there are no East Germanic subdivisions, it would be best if the current "East Germanic" cell and the new blank one beneath it were merged, so that there is a taller East Germanic cell, and directly beneath it the "Gothic" and part of "Lombardic" cells.

(I am the aforementioned Wikichart hopeless one.)

"South Germanic" as Terminology?

I've never seen the general, non "Anglo-Frisian"/"North Sea" West Germanic Group described as "South Germanic".

This term seems easily confusable with High Germanic.

Is it in widespread use?

If not, I am at a loss myself how to identify this group -- I think it is commonly been called "Continental West Germanic" but that is not accurate even today (vs. Frisian) let alone historically (vs. North Sea development on Continent).

"Non-North Sea West Germanic" seems to be the (highly awkward) answer.

Status of North Sea in Relation to West/North Germanic... and "Northwest Germanic"

Over at Encyclopedia Britanica in the "Germanic Languages" article, they are heavily stressing that North Sea Germanic (as they call it... hint hint hint) should be just about considered an independent 3rd division of "Northwest Germanic".

That is, they have Proto-Germanic, splits into East Germanic and Northwest Germanic, the Northwest Germanic splits into North Germanic and West Germanic -- with North Sea Germanic participating in both West and North shifts, and therefore just about qualifying as a 3rd co-equal branch of Northwest Germanic, or as a "transitional area".

They leave it categorized in West Germanic after stressing all that.

So maybe all I want is some discussion of this nature of North Sea Germanic.

I've accidentally brought up another point for the whole article and Diachronic chart -- this initial East Germanic/Northwest Germanic split.

Interwiki Siberian Link

Relevant discussion here

I personally feel that the removal of the interwiki link to the Siberian article is inappropriate at this time. As my supports:

  1. No decision has been reached in closing that wiki.
  2. Under a presumption of Good Faith, we should not judge the wiki until a judgement has been reached
  3. The interwiki link appears to be non-contraversial, treated seriously and is in the same quality group as the version.
  4. The position that the wiki itself is controversial is using Guild by Association in order to condemn this particular interwiki link. The link should be judged solely on its own merits.
  5. Assuming Good Faith an argument should be presented here detailing why the Siberian article is inappropriate.
  6. Removing an interwiki link merely because it links to a stub, is not an appropriate reason to remove it. (I might be warning people not to stuff beans up their nose here, but really... it is a stub, and numerous stub files are already linked to.)
  7. At this time, the only motive I can see behind the removal of this link is a political one. Politics alone is not a good enough reason to remove this interwiki link. Not liking the wiki, is not a good enough reason to remove this interwiki link.

Conditions upon which I will not object to a removal of the interwiki link in question:

  • A persuasive argument is presented, which shows that the article is inappropriate, or would otherwise meet deletion criteria on the English wiki.
  • The link is render moot by either condition:
    • The Siberian wiki is closed.
    • The Siberian article is deleted.

Please address these concerns before removing the link in the future. --Puellanivis 02:34, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Your concerns are noted and respected; nevertheless, I stand by my position:
  1. As the discussion on meta shows, a decision to close ru-sib would have been taken long ago had it not been for a massive sockpuppet and disruption campaign by its supporters. If the behaviour of ru-sib's founder and principal contributor on meta is anything to judge by, assumptions of "good faith" are wasted on this project.
  2. I personally have no position on the legitimacy of the "language" as such. It's the blatantly unencyclopedic content pointed out by the delete voters on meta that marks the whole wiki as simply not a good-faith wikipedia project.
  3. Under these circumstances, to my mind it is really not just a judgment on this particular stub being objectionable or not. Linking to it, from in between the other wikipedias, implies an endorsement of the site as a legitimate wikipedia project - which it isn't. And while I respect the commitment to process shown by the meta admins in prolonging the debate there, I really don't need to wait for its finalisation to make this judgment.
Fut.Perf. 06:50, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I would like to very much thank you for addressing the issues of your position. Naturally, in any controversy there are going to be hard-headed individual that will attempt to enforce their position, without bothering to give any explanation.
While I wholey agree that it looks very much like the writing is on the wall for the Siberian wiki, I'd just like to reassert my position to stick to process, and not enforce a decision without due process. All of your points may be true, but that's why the issue is under arbitration, and being dealt with. Despite assertions of sockpuppetry on the vote, still no decision has been reached, and efforts are being made to ensure that the correct action is being taken. It may be that even despite sockpuppetry, there are a significant enough Keeps over Deletes to warrant it's position.
While I agree that linking to it implies an endorsement of the site as a legitimate wikipedia project, that at this time it is, and it will remain to be so, until arbitration decides otherwise. I have neither the time nor will to fight for an issue that shall become moot in a short period of time... I just hate to see the lack of due process in this whole event. Even if we have photographic, and video evidence of a murderer killing hundreds of people, they are still entitled to a trial, where the overwhelming evidence will be demonstrated and punishment directed. While I understand the desire to run out and enact punishment as soon as possible against an offender... how much greater are we for giving even the opaquely guilty with every bit of consideration that we would give any human being? --Puellanivis 23:13, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I see where you're coming from, but Wikipedia is neither a bureaucracy nor a democracy. When it's clear what the outcome of a discussion is going to be, it's really okay to go ahead and act on that outcome; see WP:SNOW. Adding it back in now will just create more work for someone to have to do once ru-sib does get deleted. And in the unlikely event that ru-sib survives, we can always add the link back in later. —Angr 23:27, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Contention Dismissed

I no longer have any contention regarding this issue, as a result of User:Angr's pointing to WP:SNOW, while I remain concerned that Wikipedia can be abused by a mob, I suppose that's not really a *new* perdicament.  :) Thank you all so much for addressing my issue in a respectful manner, rather than just devolving into an edit war. --Puellanivis 01:40, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

On the other hand, as long as ru-sib is still up and working, bots are going to add the link anyway, so there's really no point us arguing about it. —Angr 21:21, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, somehow it's like a fight against windmills. How many of those bots are there, and can they be configured not to do this? I've actually left the owner of that bot a friendly message too. The inventors of interwiki bots apparently weren't thinking of the problem that such links could ever get potentially controversial - which, to be sure, they normally shouldn't be. Fut.Perf. 21:24, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
It's just not worth worrying about one way or the other. Once ru-sib gets deleted, some bot will come along and remove all the links to it. Let's us humans worry about the content of the article, not what interwiki links it has. —Angr 21:28, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. :) --Puellanivis 22:56, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Centralized discussion?

There should be some centralized discussion on this vandalism/improvement on the English Wikipedia. This same group of edistors seems to have gone through all en: articles with sib: links. See also Talk:Ingria. -- Petri Krohn 01:21, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Removed new off-topic text

I reverted an addition to the main text because it was off-topic - relating not to the language but the people who spoke "proto-Germanic". I also objected to the use of abbreviations. The contributor Berig was offended that I did not simply move the text here to the talk page. He says, and I quote off of my own talk page:

"I think reversion is totally improper behavior unless you are dealing with vandalism. Next time, try seeing how the inserted information might be useful and if needed rewrite parts, or even move it within the article (or to the talkpage if it can't be moved within the article)"

If there is a Wikipedia policy which dictates when an editor may NOT revert an improper addition, I'd really like to know what it is so that I can avoid confrontations like this in the future. For the record:

  • I did not characterize the addition as being vandalism.
  • I wrote to the contributor and explained my reasoning.
  • I wish ALL contributors would take the time and trouble to cite their references, as this contributor did.
  • Before reverting the change, I read it carefully to see whether it could rationally fit somewhere in the article, and I concluded in good faith that it could not.
  • I myself have been summarily reverted - I know how it feels. All Wikipedia contributors are warned that if they cannot accept being edited mercilessly, they should not contribute. I don't revert lightly. When I see vandalism, I do it without explanation. For other edits, I try to explain myself.
  • Berig himself summarily reverted an edit to Proto-Germanic, the only explanation being that the addition had no source provided. I agree that unsourced contributions are weak, but that does not mean they should be axed immediately. Most articles started as unsourced stubs. This is weak. People are well known to have double standards, and complaining about one could make you sound like you're just being childish. --Puellanivis 19:14, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks - you're right, it does sound childish. People should be allowed to have double standards if they want. Sooner or later they will come around. But I think you should leave the strikeout text to me. I think I read somewhere that the Wiki community frowns on striking out other people's words. Am I wrong? Cbdorsett 07:13, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't know particularly. As for striking it out, it really did seem like the only thing that would make sense. I don't know what community feeling of what striking out someone else's text is, but I do know that it's considered acceptable to delete one person's personal attacks of another person. I didn't really think so much that you were attacking him, which is why I didn't feel that just deleting it would be appropriate. If you can think of any ideas for what I could have done different for the future so that I don't offend someone who may take it as a serious insult, that would be appreciated. --Puellanivis 09:33, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I think striking out other people's comments on talk pages is generally considered uncool. Even removing personal attacks is controversial. It would have been sufficient for you to just state why you disagreed with the comments, rather than crossing them out. —Angr 09:37, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I left the strikeout because I agreed with it in principle and substance. So i guess you could consider it removed and replaced. By me. :) Cbdorsett 12:51, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Here's what I deleted:

Belonging to the Indo-Eur. family of languages, they developed towards the end of the neolithic ctr. of Western Europe, incl. the Funnel-necked beaker ctr. and the Cord-impressed ware or Battle-axe ctr. They inhabited Southern Scandinavia and Schleswig.[1]

(Yes, the original text was indented - for no reason that I could see.)

I didn't take the time to research other pages where this might go. I thought the best person to do that is the original contributor. That's why I wrote a personal message.

Cbdorsett 16:32, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

As I was reviewing the edits, I was extremely concerned because I had seen you make a revert, which I had though included the two last edits, and as I was reading the first edit, I was concerned, because it seemed like it was in line with what the article is intended to be about. But was satisfied to see that it was only removing the section, that I too feel is not appropriate for any part of this article. Unless the editor intended to suggest these other cultures as part of the Germanic substrate hypothesis, but then that doesn't fit well with this particular page either. As a 3rd party to this edit/revert, I can say that Cbdorsett made a Good Faith assumption that the editor was contributing good material, but it just didn't fit with the article. As for copying out deleted paragraphs... they're stored in the history, and moving them to the talk page is typically entirely unnecessary. I had someone make the same "demand" on Talk:Jericho (TV series) about a piece of text that I copyeditted, as he objected to my copyedit, and wanted a copy of what I replaced. Less than a week later, someone deleted it as unnecessary text on the page.
Now, there are people who ascribe to the No Revert Rule, which basically means they don't feel that anything (except vandalism) should be reverted at all. And off-topic or whatever text should be reworked so that it is on-topic, etc. Pushing this view on other users, is however not appropriate, as NRR is not policy. --Puellanivis 19:14, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I personally think the removal was out of line, and if I didn't know any better might implicate WP:OWN issues. If you contest specific statements, specific sources or relevance use the appropriate tags in the actual article:

Sections which are totally unsourced or questionable can be pulled intact to the talk page to be discussed to gain consensus. Berig is an excellent editor, and rather than assuming good faith you reverted him as if he was a vandal. - WeniWidiWiki 06:15, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

And where is the {{irrelevant-to-this-article}}? The statement was already made that the edit has to do with the migration of people, and makes no connection to any language material, unless you already know about the Germanic substrate hypothesis, in which the people mentioned, become relevant. Not all reverts are because you think the editor is a vandal. You'll notice that Cbdorsett did not revert all of the edits, only the one that was irrelevant to the topic of this article. The reverted editor had just as much an opportunity to dig through the history, pull out his edit, and put it on the talk page, and ask "Why was this reverted", and sought community support for his position. Instead, he sends a message via Cbdorsett's Talk page, complaining about how Cbdorsett handled the whole deal. Could he have done it better? Yes, I could have not striked-through Cbdorsett's comment, and allowed him to do so himself. Did people come to my Talk page and complain that I had striken his text through? No, they addressed the issue in public, where the feedback was relevant.
Assuming Good Faith goes farther than just assuming that edits were done for a good reason, but it also applies to assuming that if someone reverted an edit, that he had a good reason as well. In this case, both people had a good reason, and placing any of the above tags suggested, would have been just as inappropriate as the edit itself. --Puellanivis 08:51, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Argh - lost a long addition I intended to place here. Got to save more often to avoid "edit conflicts".

The tags suggested by WeniWidiWiki are all inappropriate. Berig included a cite, there was never any question about the impartiality of either Berig or his source, and I doubt there was a mismatch between Berig's summary and his source's hypothesis.

WeniWidiWiki seems to be suggesting an extreme form of 'democratic' editing. Discussion is certainly warranted in connection with policy issues or major edits, but this was minor. I have the page on my watchlist, I saw something that needed to be cleaned up and I cleaned it up.

I was previously unaware of the NRR subculture. Now I realize that it is unwise to use the revert procedure for anything other than vandalism. I should have simply deleted the new addition and saved the change. No personal insult was intended, and I don't think Berig took offense. All this hullaballoo about "improper behavior," "serious concern," "out of line" or "as if he were a common vandal" could have been avoided. Mea culpa.

I likewise did not know about the semi-policy of moving deleted text to the talk page. It seems like a good idea, better than forcing people to scrounge through the page's edit history. It does not help to complain about the issue after the text has in fact been moved to the talk page.

I strongly object to the use of abbreviations in the main text and will stamp them out wherever I see them. I was faced with the choice of divining what the abbreviations stood for, or evaluating the contribution for substance. I evaluated it for substance and found that it did not belong. Today, after a week or so, I took a fresh look at it, and examined the two major cross-references in Berig's addition. I am now thoroughly convinced that the material does NOT belong on this page. At all.

Berig's source seems to be suggesting that the hypothetical proto-Germanic language was spoken by the Corded Ware culture people, who lived in the area about 3200 BC to about 2800 BC or the Funnelbeaker culture people, who lived there about 4700 BC to about 2700 BC. The Germanic substrate hypothesis article discusses this topic in detail. The problem is that the date posited for proto-Germanic is about 500 BC - more than a millennium too late. Berig's source should be listed as a See Also reference on that page, and it should have a proper summary, without abbreviations, so that people have some idea of the substance of Berig's source's hypothesis.

As for the elliptical quality of the text of Berig's edit, it looks to me like a good-faith "stub"-like addition, flagged with an otherwise bizarre indent, which Berig intended to expand later. If this was the intention, it should have been done on the talk page and moved when it was finished.

Cbdorsett 10:05, 23 January 2007 (UTC)


Necessary text revision

I am not sure your partial revert was well merited. Moreover, sensible or not, it was a half measure, leaving an impossible situation.

The deleted text was from a context explicitly dealing with the 'pre-Proto-Germanic speakers'. The migrations of the speakers is rather closely related to the spread of the idiom, if we do not assume the Germanic substrate hypothesis; and the theory of a Scandinavian origin ordinarily doesn't. Now, this context is set at the beginning of the section labelled History; but actually this is prehistory, which is the reason why it is dubious. I believe that there are several incompatible theories for this prehistory, and that no real consensus exist among linguists and philologists on this. This is a good reason not to retain the statements presented as the truth.

However, what you did was to delete some archaeological arguments in favour of the hypothesis of a Scandinavian origin of proto-Germanic speakers hypothesis, but at the same time leaving the map which describes the migrations of the 'Germianic tribes' southwards from Scandinavia in much greater detail, but without an explanation of what base these claims have. The text motivated the map; and if you should retain just one of them, you should have kept the text but let the map go.

My suggestion is: Make a separate section for Prehistory; start it by noting that this is rather unsure and debated; and then present current theories, if possible with some evaluation of how much or little support they have to-day. (I guess the Germanic substrate hypothesis should be presented as having rather little support.) Thus, the deleted text should be restored but as one alternative. Probably Colin Renfrew's 'antimigrationistic' arguments should be presented, too; I assume that they are not completely dismissed by the scientific world. and yes, this means that there will be some brief discussion of visible cultural changes (like different kinds of pottery), together with the questions whether or not this equals movement of people, and whether or not movement of people equals spread of langue. This indeed would be completely within the topic, since it describes what grounds linguists have for believing that the proto-Germanic language spread or didn't spread this or that way.

At the same time, the text which now stands under the heading Writing could be moved down. Recall that the existience of written records distinguish history from prehistory.--JoergenB 08:36, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

  • It sounds reasonable to me to put Prehistory in its own section, preferably before the section that mentions the first written attestations of the Germanic languages. It also sounds reasonable to list the competing theories and describe them briefly - they should each have their own link pages, right? At least, the Germanic substrate hypothesis does. As long as each of the theories seems to have adequate basis, they should all be listed. Armchair theories, being supported only by self-serving cites to uncriticized blogs, are out. I think that's even a Wikipedia policy.
  • I did not examine the map in any detail at all - although I really like maps, I tend to take "historical" maps with a grain of salt. I think they are relatively unreliable, being based upon some individual's interpretation of some written and other data. That's part of what makes archaeology so interesting. If we can write the prehistory section in a way that informs people of why there is a controversy, readers can form their own opinions. Our job is to inform, not to make choices about which competing theory is the right one. Cbdorsett 10:39, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I very much agree also. This is a very good idea JoergenB, and I think the ordering Pre-History, Writing, and History is definitely a good idea for the ordering, as this gives a chronological basis for the evidence, and it allows us to present views on the proposed/known migration of people and the proposed effects that these had upon the languages spoken. It also does give a better NPOV for presenting the various competing theories, that as is mentioned, are placed in Pre-history, and thus unavailable for the scrutiny available for attested History. --Puellanivis 19:58, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Why not consider this a moment? Nasz 03:00, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

qoute + comment

Some, like German, Dutch and Icelandic, have preserved much of the complex inflectional morphology inherited from the Proto-Indo-European language.

N: and its carier cary most of the ie marker R1a1. Acording to Cavalli-Sforza there is corelation betwen gen and language . Nasz 03:07, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Dutch has hardly preserved any of the complexity of PIE inflectional morphology at all, and even German and Icelandic haven't preserved much. Chromosomes have nothing to do with language; what Cavalli-Sforza does is pseudoscience. —Angr 07:03, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Angr's reversion went too far

You are right that a large section was cut and pasted from somewhere else, but not the section about the Germanic placenames. You feel up to fixing it? Cbdorsett 20:45, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Not really. The stuff about Germanic place names based on *walhaz "foreigner", while true, isn't really relevant to this article, and the part about Celtic names based on Gall "foreigner" being derived from Germanic via w > g just isn't true. —Angr 21:45, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

The map of Germanic languages in Europe

This is indeed a good map. There are some things I don't like about it;

  • 1 the Line dividing the North and West Germanic languages. this line is really unnecessary and misleading since it givs an impression of a huge division between the to language groups. I am a native Swedish-speaker and i find it much more easy to understand Dutch than Icelandic (probably due to the influences of Hanseatic Low German).
  • 2 The division between East and West Nordic languages is out of date and misleading. In my opinion, the division between Insular and Continental Nordic languages is better. I can understand the west Nordic language Norwegian to almost 100% but I find East Nordic language Danish quite difficult. Aaker 20:28, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
The line between North and West Germanic languages follows a genetic relationship, whereas your proposed alteration of the map would be more appropriate for intelligibility-based grouping. Since this article deals with the genetic relationships of languages, I think it's appropriate to keep the line as is, dividing Western Germanic languages from Northern Germanic languages. The same issue comes into play for point two. The graph is essentially showing a genetic relationship, not necessarily a similarity index. If it were based on intelligibility, I would say that English would be cut off from just about every other color in the map between Conservative and Nonconservative Germanic languages, as English has liberally changed more than any of the other Germanic languages and other Germanic speakers are entirely unintelligible to monolinguistic English speakers. Now, giving a map of the North Germanic languages in particular, representing the two categories one can use to distinguish them may be a good idea. --Puellanivis 21:49, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with one thing: the line is unnecessary. The color scheme makes the division completely clear. I would vote with taking the line out and otherwise leaving the map alone. There could also be other maps showing more detailed information, but it is fairly clear that this one illustrates the major genetic divisions. Cbdorsett 04:36, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
While the division of genetic relationships is clear, the division of north and west Germanic is not. would go for removing the line, as long as a header was placed in the legend specifying which are North Germanic, and which are West Germanic. While the color scheme does do a good job of seperating North Germanic (blues) from West Germanics (more conservative Germanic languages in Greens, less so in Oranges) it still would have special knowledge required to understand the map and the distinctions between the blues, greens and oranges. We're not writing this article for people who already know this material, but rather for people who can't list off the major genetic branches of the Germanic language tree off the top of their head. --Puellanivis 07:52, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
    • ^ The Penguin atlas of world history / Hermann Kinder and Werner Hilgemann ; translated by Ernest A. Menze ; with maps designed by Harald and Ruth Bukor. Harmondsworth : Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-051054-0 1988 Volume 1. p.109.