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Naming and terminology[edit]

the article is confused now. "Sippe" is the German for "clan". "It" (the German word) never referred to anything else. The remainder of the article isn't about German Sippe but about the Proto-Germanic sibbja. --dab (𒁳) 06:55, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Do you have a source for that? All of my information ("the rest of the article"), I think comes from Herlihy's Medieval Households, though some of it may come from The European Family. Both are scholarly texts by Medieval Historians. The Jade Knight (talk) 08:59, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

You did not get my point. The point is, Sippe is a Modern German word. The article discusses the meaning of the word ancestral to "Sippe". Do I have a source for what? Do I have a source for what this article is about? (huh?) That Sippe is Modern German, or that Sippe is not Proto-Germanic or Old High German? Are you sure you have a clear idea of what you are talking about? --dab (𒁳) 12:37, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

See below; "Sippe" is a term used in English by Historians of the early Germanic period. I am talking about that usage. My question is: do you have a source for the usage you describe in English? And yes, I have a clear idea of what I'm talking about. The Jade Knight (talk) 14:10, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
According to WP:NAME, we are to choose the name that is most easily recognizable for the readers. Wikipedia determines the recognizability of a name by seeing what verifiable reliable sources in English call the subject. This is an important point. So far I have encountered all terms between Proto-Germanic *sibjō to modern English sib, and I must admit that I am not sure what to think. As I have not got an adequate overview, I cannot give an expert statement on the terminology, but I believe the choice lies on Sippe when it comes to greatest usage. Sippe has gone from solely representing the German clans to become a general term that scholars use.
I agree with dab when he says that using the German word Sippe may cause both confusion and incorrectness. *Sibjō might be the most appropriate and neutral when discussing the pan-Germanic concept. But it this in line with WP:NAME?
The concept is reflected in (nearly?) all the Germanic languages by derivatives of the Proto-Germanic *sibjō. The concept of sibjo has developed and split into all the nuanced customs of the Germanic peoples and their descendants. Choosing Sippe to represent the concept could be interpreted to favour the German branch, choosing sib(b) would favour the Anglo-Saxon one, etc.
Personally, I think we should either use the modern English term sib, or the Proto-Germanic *sibjō to maintain a pan-Germanic perspective.
All this should of course be thoroughly explained in the article. It is hard to understand for the uninitiated. Sections for every branch would be ideal. –Holt TC 16:01, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Holt. I don't think a merge is appropriate, but I do think a change of name is necessary - moving it to the Proto-Germanic would be the wisest move, and then discussing the derivatives based off of that. Let's go with "sibjo". :bloodofox: (talk) 16:40, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Why Sibja , as opposed to any other form? The Jade Knight (talk) 00:02, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

We want an article on the topic of "confederations in early Germanic society", not a WP:DICTDEF of the Proto-Germanic term. --dab (𒁳) 18:22, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, of course, neither I nor bloodofox disagree with that. Do you agree upon moving this article to Sibjo when the time is ripe? There is no rush, it is just important for me to know so that I can make an etymology section. –Holt TC 19:04, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
You have totally misunderstood what I intended with this article; my description of the Sippe is not a dictionary definition, but an article about a historical institution; a dictionary definition would not, for example, include a cited source stating the function of an institution, what sources are available in discussing it, as well as its general size. You may want to refamiliarize yourself with the difference between an encyclopedia and a dictionary. Though, I must say, the exhaustive etymological section gives this article more of a definition feel; at the same time, it appears that such a section is necessary. The Jade Knight (talk) 00:02, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

This whole disaster is the result of the undiscussed, ill-advised split, paired with general semantic confusion. Yes, this should be an article about a historical institution, this is what I have been saying all along, and this is why I opposed the split. Let me just merge stuff back together and compile a discussion that is actually informed and encyclopedic. --dab (𒁳) 06:56, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

German source[edit]

I am not at all opposed to you citing a German source. That said, please read Wikipedia:Verifiability#Non-English_sources, and consider facilitating verification of your source; my German is quite elementary, and not to the point where I can read your source very well. The Jade Knight (talk) 09:24, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Jade Knight, this is not just "a German source", it is the German dictionary. We should cite the DWB as authoritative for German language word meanings just as de-wiki would cite the OED for authoritative English language word meanings. Also, you don't need to know a single word of German to verify that Grimm translates Sippe as pax, foedus, affinitas, propinquitas. I fail to see the problem. --dab (𒁳) 12:34, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Two questions: Does the dictionary cite its sources, and how old is it? BTW, "Sippe" is a term used in English (though derived from German); I am describing the English meaning of the word; this may or may not correspond to current German usage. The Jade Knight (talk) 14:06, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
I will not answer your questions: click on the link I provided. Also, Grimm is a source. What source that would give him any more authority could he possibly cite? As for the loan into Engish, the burden is on you to provide a source for that. The OED is not aware of an English word sippe. It does have sib as "now rare", last attested in 19th c. Scots poetry. --dab (𒁳) 18:20, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
"I will not answers your questions": does this mean you are flat-out refusing to engage in discussion about the article? As for the loan into English, I have provided a source, being Herlihy's Medieval Households, a scholarly treatise on family structure in Europe, published by Harvard University Press. It was written by an esteemed Medieval historian, contains scholarly references, and was published in the late 20th century. Now that I have provided evidence, the burden is on you to show that the DWB a) reflects more recent English usage, and b) is more reliable or better sourced. The Jade Knight (talk) 00:10, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm hoping that the page-referenced citations I have provided in the article will help clarify exactly what I'm talking about. The Jade Knight (talk) 01:09, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
JK, this is futile. I am not refusing to engage in discussion. I am refusing to take you by the hand and spell out the content of a link I have just posted. Pull your own weight. If you don't know what the DWB is, I am really at a loss why you think you should or could contribute to this debate. Your questions were "Does the dictionary cite its sources, and how old is it?" My answer is, read the bleeding article. What kind of question is ""Does the dictionary cite its sources" in the first place? Please go and read WP:RS before taking this any further.
Also, do you know what a loanword is? Herlihy is discussing the German term Sippe, consistently italicized. A German term discussed in an English language text doesn't establish the German term as an English word. Duh. I am sorry, but this "discussion" is so abismally below par even for Wikipedia standards that I am not really sure what you are trying to do here. Yes, I am saying you are not making any sense, and you'll tell me I'm violating AGF next, sigh. Now can you PLEASE tell me what your problem with Grimm is? It's used to establish the meaning of the German term. What the hell is the problem with that? The meaning is even given in Latin, for crying out loud, you don't need to condescend to read a single word of German (in an article on a German term at that). Will you now ask for an English langauge source giving the meaning of the Latin terms? I am sorry, this is too silly. I have no idea what you are trying to achieve here, but do go ahead, I suppose I there are a couple of more interesting debates on my watchlist. --dab (𒁳) 08:06, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I know what the DWB is, but I have no idea how well-cited it is, nor how recent its entries are. I've read the article on the DWB. I've read WP:RS. You may stop being condescending now. You may also want to consider reviewing WP:CIV if you have not done so already.
For what it's worth, I minored in Linguistics; I should hope I know what a loanword is (something like déjà vu, perhaps, or coup d'état, or maybe taco? Funny, Wikipedia seems to have articles about all those loanwords. Is that a problem? You might also want to note that Wikipedia provides English language sources for all three of those articles, despite the fact that the words themselves are borrowed from French and Spanish.)
Now here's my problem: My problem is that you tell me that my usage of the term Sippe, derived from Herlihy, is incorrect, and the citation you give me to show me that my English usage is incorrect comes from the DWB, a German source (as you so cleverly point out). I fail to see how the DWB is a more relevant and reliable source to the institution of the Sippe as presented in the English language Wikipedia than a recent scholarly text published by an accredited historian at a prestigious university press (in English). In other words: my edits about the institution of the Sippe are backed up by serious, modern, scholarly research. If you are going to disagree with them, please provide serious, modern, scholarly research which contradicts this. I asked my questions about the DWB to try to ascertain whether it is a) modern, and b) historiographically sound. Hope this clarifies? The Jade Knight (talk) 12:14, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
you are serious, aren't you? Funny, Wikipedia seems to have articles about all those loanwords. Is that a problem? {{huh}}? (why should it be? why should it be if they weren't? what has this got to do with anything?) You might also want to note that Wikipedia provides English language sources for all three of those articles {{huh}}? (yes? I just argued that Sippe is not a commonly encountered loanword in English? Nor did I object to using English language sources in general?) you tell me that my usage of the term Sippe, derived from Herlihy, is incorrect {{huh}}? (I told you no such thing. I never contested the Herlihy source at all) You are so far removed from making any kind of coherent sense, that I cannot call this a discussion. We aren't even disagreeing over anything, you just have me stunned by your impression of Monty Python's "Argument Clinic". --dab (𒁳) 19:22, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Dab, you are escalating the temper of the discussion. You are in no ways, whatsoever, being civil. You are not assuming good faith. I do not want to peck on you, but there is a minimum of politeness and wikiquette that one can generally expect from any editor, and not least an administrator. –Holt TC 19:59, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
you exasperate me by making no sense what so ever, and then, when the discussion is in shambles as a result, you wave around civility policy and blame it on me. Way to go. I would prefer some coherence. Wikiquette in my book includes "not wasting editors' time with surreal non sequiturs". Thank you, and have a nice day, Sir. --dab (𒁳) 20:11, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I do not think Holt deserves such flak from you, sir; he is only trying to keep things civil and encourage consensus. The Jade Knight (talk) 21:35, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Let me be more explicit, as it is evident I need to be so. Your very first comment on this page was: "the article is confused now. "Sippe" is the German for 'clan'. 'It' (the German word) never referred to anything else. The remainder of the article isn't about German Sippe but about the Proto-Germanic sibbja."
This was where you disagreed with me and Herlihy; Herlihy uses the German term "Sippe" (not Proto-Germanic sibjō) to refer to the cognatic familial institution practiced by early Germanic peoples. I believe that Sippe is the most prevalent modern term used to describe this institution, though it is not the only term used. So your initial post here clearly demonstrates you disagreeing with me and my Herlihy additions ("the article is confused now… It (the German word) never referred to anything else. The remainder of the article isn't about… Sippe").
Hope that helps. Oh, and please remain civil. The Jade Knight (talk) 21:47, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Dab is laying the sarcasm on pretty thick but I can appreciate that "Two questions: Does the dictionary cite its sources, and how old is it?" was a very tempting invitation for some snark. Haukur (talk) 20:53, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Consider revising your view of dictionaries; they frequently make errors. For example, M-W states that "Warranty" is of Anglo-French origin, when in fact the term is derived from Anglo-Norman; unsurprisingly, M-W does not cite any sources in providing this etymology. On the same note, the DWB is only useful in defining a concept if it has valid historical research supporting its statements; I wished to ascertain this. I asked about the age to find out if it discusses modern usage; a 19th century dictionary entry is hardly relevant to modern usage. You may wish to familiarise yourself better with the principles of historiography before thinking that serious historiographical questions deserve "snarky" replies. The Jade Knight (talk) 21:35, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
It's not that dictionaries don't make errors, it's that you have a certain knack for amusing wording. My dictionaries give Anglo-French as an acceptable synonym for Anglo-Norman, not an erraneous usage as you would have it.[1] Haukur (talk) 21:42, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Once again, you depend on dictionaries; using Anglo-French as an acceptable synonym for Anlgo-Norman is perhaps equivalent to using "English" as an acceptable synonym for "British". Oh yes, it happens, but it's terribly offensive to the Welsh and Scottish, and really shows a lack of understanding of the culture of the United Kingdom. Anglo-French actually properly refers to the French language spoken in England after the decline of Anglo-Norman. The article on Anglo-Norman language actually goes into a little bit of detail about the relationship between the two, if you'd like to learn about it (and it may comfort you to note that I've never edited those sections, so you need not worry about bias). The reason many dictionaries list this erroneously is the lingering pervasive (but now thoroughly debunked) perception many early scholars had that Norman and French were the same language. It is now eminently clear that the two were quite distinct by the 12th century. I could go into much more detail about this, but that, perhaps, belongs on our own talk pages, not here. The bottom line: take dictionaries with a grain of salt; they're not historiographically sound. The Jade Knight (talk) 21:56, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Dictionaries aren't meant to be historiographical, they're meant to describe the way people use words. Haukur (talk) 22:07, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
That makes them unreliable as sources for anything other than usage. The Jade Knight (talk) 22:22, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
OK, we agree that dictionaries should be used as sources for what words are used to mean. Now I'll have to backtrack to see what the point was. Ah, right, dab said "We should cite the DWB as authoritative for German language word meanings" - then you said something funny and he relentlessly made fun of you for it. But even the start of this conversation wasn't very auspicious. The most relevant question seems to me to be: Is "Sippe" used as a technical term in English? Haukur (talk) 22:39, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Not exactly (are you aware of the prescriptivist vs. descriptivist debate?). Perhaps it is pertinent to note that I'm not talking about using the DWB to look up the meaning of German words used in German? But to answer your "relevant" question: Herlihy is using "Sippe" to describe a specific early Germanic institution (ie, that which is described in the article). The same institution is called (less commonly, AFAICT) Geschlecht and fara in various sources, and who knows what else. So, whether it is used as a "technical term" depends on how you personally happen to define "technical term"; I'm discussing the institution much more than I'm discussing the word, but usage of that word to describe this specific institution in scholarly English sources is clearly attested, if that's what you're asking. The Jade Knight (talk) 02:45, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
It's "hard" to understand what you're "saying" with all these "quotes". Haukur (talk) 08:31, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
That's unfortunate, as citation is an important part of scholarship in History. Perhaps a different topic would suit you better? The Jade Knight (talk) 08:40, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
 :) Haukur (talk) 09:16, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
The Jade Knight (talk) 14:05, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
That section you're citing got rewritten earlier this year and now insists that quoting non-English sources is necessary every time someone might challenge a point. I think that's an awkard and impractical change which doesn't reflect any sort of consensus. Haukur (talk) 22:23, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of this. However, when a non-English source is used and challenged, I do believe it behooves the person supporting it to either provide a translation, or at least specifically attest to the exact attributes which make the source reliable. The Jade Knight (talk) 00:10, 10 September 2008 (UTC)