Talk:Shinasha language

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language name[edit]

This page has now repeatedly been moved to the name Shinasha language, and although I requested the user who did this to not do so without a discussion, he did it anyway. The selfname of the ethnic group is Boro, and they call their language Borna. Shinasha is a name given to the group by outsiders, and therefore this name should not be used without compelling reasons. The Ethnologue also lists the language as Borna, so I suggest that the language will be presented under this name in Wikipedia. Can we agree on that? Landroving Linguist (talk) 11:10, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

"German" and "Chinese" are also names given by outsiders. That in itself isn't reason to object. — kwami (talk) 14:37, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
So far you have not explained why you made your move. In future, please make an announcement on the talk page first, and if nobody responds within, say, two weeks, then you can go ahead. A move is a major operation, and some people, like me in this case, appreciate discussion beforehand. For the matter at hand, luckily, the Boro do not consider the name Shinasha to be derogatory. I would still maintain that Borna language is a better suited namespace, as this is the name used in the Ethnologue and for ISO 639-3. Current publications in Ethiopia in and about this language all use that name nowadays, although Shinasha is admittedly still widely used. I see that Borna language still gets you to a disambiguation page, but the other language actually does not have an own namespace, but gets only referred to on a list of Spurious languages. I think this disambiguation can be easily removed, as long as no real page for this language exists. Therefore, I believe the disambiguation argument (if this is what drives you) should not trump the criteria of selfname and use in ISO639. So, to show you how I would like to see things done on Wikipedia, I hereby announce that I wish to move this page to Borna language (Ethiopia), and will do so if no good reasons against this will be presented here within the next few weeks. Landroving Linguist (talk) 16:52, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Because that's what we call the people at Shinasha people and that's the name our references use, both here and at Omotic languages: Rottland (1990), Lamberti (1993), Bender (2000), Hayward (2003), and even WALS all use "Shinasha" without apology. That's good reason to keep it where it is. Variants of the autonym are used in a few lists of languages which don't actually provide any info about the language: Ruhlen ("Boro"), Ethnologue, after Blench ("Borna"), Routledge ("Bworo"). Also, when sources do use a variant of the name "Boro", they explain that they mean "Shinasha", but when sources use "Shinasha", they don't explain that they mean "Boro". Per COMMONNAME, it's pretty clear it should be "Shinasha". — kwami (talk) 22:58, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
In cases like these it is usually not helpful to point to what other pages on Wikipedia are doing, as we are not allowed to quote Wiki anyway to make a point. I do not doubt that until quite recently the name of the language has widely been given as Shinasha, and that is still reflected in many places. But there is a strong trend nowadays to shift towards Borna, not just in Ethiopia itself, but also in academia, as this recent phonology by Idar Bergfjord may testify. Landroving Linguist (talk) 10:38, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Of course we're allowed to make a point with another WP page. Per our naming conventions, with the aim of increasing accessibility, the Shinasha/Boro/Borna articles should use the same name. — kwami (talk) 13:38, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Fine, I will change it there, too. Landroving Linguist (talk) 14:17, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
But the main point is that our sources use "Shinasha". You haven't provided a good reason to move it, just that "Borna/Boro" is used at ISO, and "Borna" at Ethnologue, neither of which are a RS, and that "Borna" is becoming more common in Ethiopia, so by WP:CRYSTAL it *may* become the common name in English. — kwami (talk) 21:46, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
I have provided you with the Bergfjord source, who, btw, also goes into the discussion of the name. This is a state-of-the-art, academic research published in 2013 that I have shown you, not crystal ball work. It is interesting that you claim that neither ISO 639 nor Ethnologue are reliable sources. I think the consensus among linguists on Wikipedia is quite different. Landroving Linguist (talk) 18:12, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, you have one very good source. Still, all our sources, and it would appear the large majority overall, use "Shinasha". If that changes for the language and the people we can certainly revisit the issue.
I think you'll find the consensus of linguists here is that Ethn. and ISO are not RS's. You don't have to work w Ethn. long to find it's an amalgam of some very good sourcing with some really, really bad sourcing, since if they restricted themselves to good sources there'd be huge gaps in their coverage. — kwami (talk) 22:08, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
Ok, having played all my cards, I will let it rest for now. Shinasha is not really a bad name, so I can live with it. On Ethnologue, you are doubtlessly right. There is a lot of bad information in there (some of it, thanks to me). But as you say, on some languages it seems to be the only source available, and where that is the case, most Wiki editors have resolved to accept that instead of having nothing at all. In any case, thanks for allowing me that discussion! Landroving Linguist (talk) 11:36, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Okay. Your ref seems worth mentioning, though, esp. since it's so readily available. — kwami (talk) 21:15, 17 February 2014 (UTC)