Talk:Somali language

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Please see WP:CIV about cursing and WP:SHOUT for shouting. Moving on, the relevant Template:Infobox language indicates that the nativename parameter pertains to a "native or a second additional name". That would include the name for Somali in Arabic, which is an official language in both Somalia and Djibouti. Middayexpress (talk) 12:04, 13 September 2012 (UTC)


My edit a few days ago that I did not clarify--sorry, it was a conversion to Wikipedia:WikiProject Language Template and in the process deleted some irrelevant info. Sorry for scaring you people. Wikiacc 22:33, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)


Wikipedia is a great web site there is a lot of interesting information on it, but I would like to inform you that the Somali language is spoken in Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya. Please don't mislead people by writing that Somali is spoken only in Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia. Why did you exclude Kenya as north east Kenya is a purely Somali region

If you feel a change is needed, feel free to make it yourself! Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone (yourself included) can edit any article by following the Edit this page link. You don't even need to log in, although there are several reasons why you might want to. Wikipedia convention is to be bold and not be afraid of making mistakes. If you're not sure how editing works, have a look at How to edit a page, or try out the Sandbox to test your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. — mark 07:13, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

Somali organization names[edit]

can anyone provide full names (with English translation) of the mass organizations of the Barre period? Such as XGUSS, UDHIS, UDKS, XUSS, etc.? --Soman 21:38, 3 May 2005 (UTC)


User:Soomaali recently reworded the article so as to say that the parts of Ethiopia where Somali is spoken are 'occupied' by Somalia. Regardless of one's views on the matter, this does not comply with the NPOV policy. Just like maps can render actual boundaries without implying endorsement of them, the job of Wikipedia is to report facts without implying endorsement or indeed disapproval. — mark 10:07, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Mark, I, obviously, am the person that goes with user name--"Soomaali." I edited and wrote 'occupied Somali region of Ethiopia" because there was/is no official and clarified agreement the former or current governments of Somalia and Ethiopia. This dispute resulted one major war, plus another two minor unofficial wars regarding that region called "Soomaali Galbeed" (Western Somalia) by Somalis. It is still in official dispute, which most Somalis regard unsolved. So this justifies my reasoning of it being 'occupied.' Mind you the "border" between Somalia and Ethiopia isn't internationally recognized, and no body has an official agreement where to draw the line. Even the colonial powers who divided the Somali people let that "boundary" be vague, as it is today. It isn't a border per se as other international known boundaries are.

Thank you for your explanation. I must say that I'm not at home in the politics of this part of Africa, and I'm sure you know more about it than I do. However, I objected to the use of the term 'occupied' because it reflects a certain point of view — the Somali point of view, as I gather from your explanation. We should find a way to avoid making any statement of the sort, as using the term 'occupied' would imply endorsement of the Somali position. Is it possible to rephrase it in order to make clear that the boundaries in fact are not clear-cut and that there is disagreement as to which territory belongs to whom? — mark 11:52, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Chiming in, the word "occupied" carries the connotation of illegality or immorality and is almost impossible to use without taking Point of View. Adding details of disputes is welcome but, regardless of the existence of an administrative line rather than a border between Oromo and southern Somalia, "occupied" is not NPOV. By the way, please sign your posts with ~~~~; it makes it much easier to follow a discussion. Cheers, BanyanTree 14:38, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Mark, again, I have a little question for you: Why do you insist placing there "Somaliland" as though it is an internationally recognized country? If you add Somaliland, so would "Puntland" fit too? Every region in Somalia today in one way or another is declaring "autonomous" from somewhere or nowhere. Somaliland is thus among a host of these, an exception only being it to declare an unequivocal republic, with no other country recognizing to date. It is still officially the northern part of war-torn Somalia. And with Somaliland, some regions overlap Puntland, and are, in fact, controlled by Puntland "authorities," with a lot of unsolved disputes. The inhabitants of those two regions (provinces) within official colonial Somaliland border side with Puntland because of clan affiliation. It is a lot more complicated than it seems superficially at first.

PS, I, as a simple Somali national, am neither from "Puntland" nor "Somaliland," but I do know the facts at hand, which renders me not inclined to either self-declared autonomous identities.--Soomaali

Please understand that all I do here is object to the word 'occupied' on the grounds that it is POV (just like BanyanTree does). As I said before, I'm not at home in the geopolitics of this part of Africa. I'm not insisting on the use of any other term, as I quite frankly wouldn't know the best way to describe the situation. — mark 08:39, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

Mark, sorry not being able to clarify that much. I wasn't even faintly referring to "occupied" issue. I let that pass up, and I didn't re-edit. But I was talking about another whole new issue--the issue of Somaliland (which is Northwestern part of Somalia). I thought it was you who put Somaliland along with Somalia. It is this that I have a problem now.--Soomaali

Ah, OK. I didn't even notice you had edited out 'Somaliland' because directly after your edits there was an edit of someone else correcting a typo, which was the only one that showed up on my watchlist. I think I'm not committed to using 'Somaliland' — however, make sure that the article is complete and that everyone can understand in what territories, regions and countries Somali is spoken. Somaliland may not be a recognized country, but that doesn't make it impossible to refer to — see Somaliland, where the term 'territory' is used. But really, my knowledge is too limited at present to offer valuable suggestions. — mark 10:43, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, the discussion of the occupation of territories is explained on other pages, and as a knowledgeable user Soomaali's contributions on those pages would be most welcome. Since this is a page exclusively about language, perhaps Northern and Southern regions of Somalia, or an explicit listing from Regions of Somalia would be appropriate ? Mention Puntland by all means, but complete it by listing the other regions as well. We strive for consensus on these pages, and if there are inaccuracies, we are looking for help. Wizzy 13:02, May 9, 2005 (UTC)

Official status?[edit]

I just reverted a recent edit to this article. The edit was not so much incorrect as it was unclear. One assertion was that Somali is the most widely spoken language in East Africa. The numbers don't support this, and I wonder if the editor meant that it is the most widely spoken in a geographical sense (i.e. the most widespread language). If so, this is certainly notable, though a reference would be useful.

I'm also wondering about Somali as an official language. According to the Somalia article it is indeed the official language of Somalia (inasmuch as this may be "officiated"). But the Djibouti article says the official languages are Arabic and French, which is curious since the two main ethnic groups are Somali and Afar (the latter of which also has its own language). The Ethiopia article still says the official language is Amharic. I'm pretty certain that there are now multiple official languages. I assume Somali is one of these but don't know for certain. And according to the Kenya article, the official languages are English and Swahili. If we can sort all this out regarding Somali's official status, it would be helpful to update all of these articles at once. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 5 July 2005 19:23 (UTC)

I think the Ethiopia situation is that each region has its own set of official languages. - Mustafaa 5 July 2005 20:01 (UTC)
Somali has no official status in Kenya. The official languages of Somalia are Arabic and Somali. The situation in Ethiopia is not very clear to me. I though it was similar to Zambia: one official language (Amharic in the case of Ethiopia, English in Zambia) and a set of "national" languages in each region. But I'm not sure. Britannica 2005 says: Official language: none. Amharic is the "working" language. Concerning Djibouti, it is true that its official languages are Arabic and French (a relic of Arabization and colonization). — mark 6 July 2005 20:07 (UTC)

Consonant chart[edit]

I've just added the consonant chart but I feel a bit of a fraud. I speak no Somali at all. I came looking for the info but since I didn't find it, I added what I found elsewhere. Please go ahead and make corrections. Especially the digraph "DH". Elsewhere I read this was a post-alveolar ejective. I've copied from a chart that labels it as a postalveolar stop but uses the symbol for a retroflex stop. That can't be right! Also both my sources characterize the digraph "KH" as uvular but the text on the writing system shows it as velar. Thanks. Gailtb 23:26, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

From which source did you get the consonant chart? Hirzel 07:49, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, it was my first Wiki edit. One of my sources was "Concise Compendium of the World's Languages" by George Campbell. The other was
I hope to get to a decent library this week where I can get accurate info. Will cite my source properly if I manage it! Gailtb 20:32, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm about to start changing and adding phonology info. To clarify, it's all now based on Saeed (1999), already cited. --Gailtb 08:39, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

My questions about the writing system. What phoneme is represented by "Y"? Does "Q" represent [q]? Is there a written representation of [ʔ]? Gailtb 23:26, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

I am not that knowledgeable about phonics, so pardon my little tryings of helping you. "Y" in Somali does sound like almost exactly the English equivalent of letter "Y." The letter "Q" in Somali has no equavalent pronouncement in English, but closely resembles the letter 'Q' of English language, though in English it is pronounced more like "K." [ʔ] is represented by "C" letter in Somali, and there is no letter that is equavalent in English. It doesn't exist, and most English speakers can't pronounce it correctly. The closest sound would be saying 'ayn,' because that is also the Arabic letter which is the same. But the Somali one isn't pronounced 'ayn,' rather "-'a." Basically, the letter isn't there.

Your inquires about the letters "Dh" and "Kh," in letter "DH," it sounds more like the "D" letter of English. For example, "do" would be "dhu" in Somali. The letter "KH" and "Q" in Somali, even Somalis themselves confuse them about most of the time which one to use correctly. The letter "KH" is Arabic-based and is a more strong-pronounced letter than "Q" of Somali. As I wrote, "KH" is more stronger-sounding than its counterpart of "Q."

I might try to give you few examples in another time.

"Waa" in Somali is not like "Wa" in Japanese. "Wa" in Japanese is attached to the noun phrase and moves with the noun phrase. "Waa" in Somali is in the head of the lowest CP and it is not attached to a noun phrase, although the subject clitic pronoun cliticizes to it, perhaps as a result of affix-hopping from the specifier of AgrSP. Additionally, there are a number of forms such as the focus marker "baa" which could occupy this space instead. Unlike Japanese where multiple phrases in the same sentence can be marked with "wa", there is only one topic marker or focus marker allowed per sentence in Somali (presumably because there is only one lowest matrix CP per sentence).


It sounds like Somali waa is almost exactly parallel to Japanese wa. --JWB 06:12, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

"Waa" in Somali is not like "Wa" in Japanese. "Wa" in Japanese is attached to the noun phrase and moves with the noun phrase. "Waa" in Somali is in the head of the lowest CP and it is not attached to a noun phrase, although the subject clitic pronoun cliticizes to it, perhaps as a result of affix-hopping from the specifier of AgrSP. Additionally, there are a number of forms such as the focus marker "baa" which could occupy this space instead. Unlike Japanese where multiple phrases in the same sentence can be marked with "wa", there is only one topic marker or focus marker allowed per sentence in Somali.Linguistics4all (talk) 00:11, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Alphabetical order[edit]

I'm working on new text for the page. Could someone confirm that the order given for the alphabet is the "alphabetical order", ie what would be used in dictionaries etc? Gailtb 21:07, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

This is the aphabetical order, if I am not mistaken.

The consonants first:


And the vowels. The short vowels first: A E I O U

And the long vowels: AA EE II OO UU

Vowels aren't part of the traditional alphabet, but different set of alphabet. Soomaali Nov., 20, 2005

Thanks. Please could you explain a little more about how words would be ordered in a dictionary. (Note: I'm inventing words as examples since I don't know any Somali.) Where does ' come in the alphabetical order, eg how do you order da', dab and dah? For the vowels - does baa come after bu? Does baa come before or after bam? Please go ahead and update the article with more precise information. Gailtb 21:15, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

front and back vowels[edit]

This article says "front and back vowels are not distinguished" in the alphabet, while the article on the Somali alphabet says tense and lax vowels are not distinguished. Surely this article is wrong and the Somali alphabet article is correct?! Mcswell (talk) 00:30, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Sorry state[edit]

The sorry state of this page (by afyaqaan): I just made a few changes on this page on the 28 to correct some of its errors, and wow, on the 29th, it was changed back. It just shows that everybody when is the expert or the scientist on a project, ther result is not science but something more like a folk story. For example, the page says that Somali has been greatly influenced by Arabic; the fact is that Somali has not been that much influenced, if you compare it to English which has been greatly influenced by the French language (over 50% of the English vocabulary is traceable to a French borrowing); not so Somali vis-a-vis Arabic. So the correct statement should say something like 'Somali has borrowed the most from Arabic, in particular in the field of religious terms (well, like maybe most lanuages spoken by Muslims).

Another contention remains about Somaliland; well, it is true that Somaliland is not yet recognized, like Kosovo; but the place exists, and has been lately in much of the world's media because of the parliamentary elections, while Somalia proper has been in the news lately, well, because of the pirates, and warlords, etc. There is nothing wrong with saying that Somali is spoken in Somalia, and Somaliland---rabid nationalists should take a cold glass of water, and calm down.

I was hoping that this article may develop into more a scientific one, but I am giving my hopes for now.


You are right, and I have reinstated your version, having made some minor corrections. (For example, I think we don't need to measure the extent of borrowing relative to the English-French percentage; it is more interesting to say in what domain borrowing has taken place.)
Thank you for your contributions, and please don't give up hope! In this case, I think the revert was made by another editor because this article is just too often targeted by anonymous vandals. In posting your thoughts on the Talk page, you did the most sensible thing you could do. I sincerely hope you do want to try to improve the article in the future. — mark 06:21, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

# of speakers[edit]

Where does the "15-20 million" come from? Ethnologue gives 12+ and a couple of language courses I browsed through gave 6-8 and about 10, respectively. --Lumijaguaari (моє обговорення) 16:00, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

It says it is 4th ranked but how is this possible when Swahili is no 1 and Hausa is no 2, there is no mention of swahili? --Halaqah 14:26, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Scouting in Somalia[edit]

Can someone render "Be Prepared", the Scout Motto, into Somali? Thanks! Chris 06:41, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

"Language" cut[edit]

There may be no WP format for articles about languages but most begin "XYZ" not "The XYZ language". However "Af Soomaali" (Somali language) seems appropriate as impersonal names are often qualified in Somali by a type word, as "Magaalada Muqdisho" (The town of Mogadishu) and "Waddanka Nigeria" (The country of Nigeria) and "Af Soomaali ma ku hadli kartaa?" (no quibbles about dialect, please) (Can you speak Somali?), an unlikely real question since few without the appearance can.--SilasW 11:32, 13 October 2007 (UTC)--SilasW 20:57, 13 October 2007 (UTC)


Google spell check stopped long before it got to my words (limit=100) so I presumed to correct mispellings without altering the sense or fury of some of the discussion. Excuse me if I've inadvertently changed your meaning. I hope that trying to add "Wikipedia" and "&mdash" &c to the dictionary has worked.--SilasW 11:48, 13 October 2007 (UTC) And some more--SilasW 12:02, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Somali Neologisms[edit]

Are Somali neologisms from Arabic, or from Somali? Le Anh-Huy (talk) 08:01, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Names in third languages.[edit]

Whatever affinities, religious, cultural or by putative descent, a people may feel for some third language, the en.WP language is not the place to list the name of their language in other languages. At the extreme we'd have a list of more than 6,000 in each such article.--SilasW (talk) 09:39, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

An anonymous nonce-editor reverted my deletion of the Arabic name for the Somali language and claimed that Arabic was an official language in Somalia. Maybe Arabic has a somewhat greater use in the religious doings of Somalis than Latin does in those of the English but that does not elevate it to "offial" but even then the article is about The Somali Language. not about languages used in Somalia or by Somalis. The article gives solely Somali as the official language. Who decreed other tongues as offical, and when?--SilasW (talk) 18:48, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree, if you want you can put the name in Somali using Arabic script, but writing language name in ARABIC LANGUAGE?

Northern Somali as basis for Standard[edit]

Can anyone give details of what was decreed when Standard Somali was established? By the map and Siyaad Barre's origin I'd guess it was Majaarteen. It is not the ex-British Somaliland variety in Bell.--SilasW (talk) 10:05, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Osmanya as official script[edit]

Is there a WP acceptable source for saying that Osmanya was the official script for a number of years? I can recall hardly any of the 50 or 60 Somalis with whom I worked at any one time over 10+ years, from Hargesa to Kisimayo, signing the payroll in Osmanya. Perhaps they were too influenced by our quasi-US environment. None of my saved bits and pieces, except a few kept specifically as examples of the rarely used Osmanya, use it. There was a group which seemed small whose name, translated, was something like The Somali Literature and Culture Society with an office in Mogadishu who had a few, maybe five, Osmanya typewriters made. The matter of which script to adopt (until Siyad Barre's imposition) gave rise to much heat. The Mogadishu daily paper with usually three pages in Italian and one in Arabic nearly caused a riot when it came out with a Somali page in European letters, the try was not repeated.--SilasW (talk) 14:16, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Deletion of essay on Waajid(+/-)[edit]

This addition had no relevance to the subject of the article.

Positions v position[edit]

Positions where R might replace Dh seemed to me to be in the middle and at the end of words while Dh seemed to tend to stay Dh at the start.--SilasW (talk) 16:22, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Accessible source[edit]

WP requires that an archived copy of the media must exist. Can any one give an accessible archive containing the quoted "Ministry of Information and National Guidance, Somalia, The writing of the Somali language, (Ministry of Information and National Guidance: 1974), p.5"? -- (talk) 08:53, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia does not require that an archived copy of the media must exist. It requires that editors use reliable sources, which the source in question most certainly is. It also indicates that "when there is dispute about whether the article text is fully supported by the given source, direct quotes from the source and any other details requested should be provided as a courtesy to substantiate the reference." That said, here's a relevant quote from the book, from the page you've cited above: "a well-known Somali scholar-educator named Osman Kenadid, invented a new system of script for the Somali Language, which having long lost its ancient script, is today spoken orally". Middayexpress (talk) 09:06, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Where can a member of the public read the original reference? Some subjects have an excessive cultural sensitivity with articles known to have strongly upheld false information and pictures. (Is it possible to speak a language other than orally?)-- (talk) 13:18, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
A member of the public can read the original passage that I just cited in the book above that you just cited. Since for whatever reason you refuse to avail yourself of Google, here is a link that can corroborate the quote above. I realize it's difficult for some to accept that Somalis did indeed have an ancient script, but alas, those are the facts. Middayexpress (talk) 18:23, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Alas, that's not what I call a fact. Your source doesn't seem to provide any evidence, only the unfounded assertion that Somali has long lost its ancient script. Would that be a script for Somali or for an older Cushitic language? Are there any historic accounts or other evidence that such a script existed? If there aren't, Wikipedia shouldn't state it as if it were a scientifically accepted fact.-- (talk) 14:40, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
The standard reference work on writing systems, The World's Writing Systems ed. by Bright and Daniels, makes no mention whatsoever of any "ancient script" for Somali. Besides a mention of using Arabic script for writing Somali, this is the only statement concerning Somali writing (pg. 580): "Mention should also be made of two scripts for Cushitic languages of the Horn of Africa: an Ethiopic-based abugida for Oromo, devised by Shaykh Bakri Sapalo..., and an alphabet for Somali, called Osmanya from the name of the inventor, 'Isman Yusuf, son and brother of the last two sultans of Olbia. The former has been replaced by a modified Ethiopic, the latter by Roman orthography." Is Osmanya what you mean by "ancient script"? (Taivo (talk) 15:26, 25 October 2009 (UTC))
I examined that "reference" to an ancient Somali script and it is not a WP:RS for that topic. It is probably a reliable source for other topics, but that doesn't make a throwaway subordinate clause justification for saying that Somali had an ancient script. A reliable source for claiming that Somali had an ancient script would be a source that says something like, "Somali had a script used between X and Y CE that is found on A, B, and C inscriptions at D location". That's a reliable source. I don't have any feelings on this one way or the other, but you cannot claim that the quote cited from the Somali Ministry is a reliable source for claiming that Somali had an ancient script. I also find no mention of it in Gelb, A Study of Writing; Diringer, Writing; Rogers, Writing Systems, A Linguistic Approach; Campbell, Handbook of Scripts and Alphabets; and Nakanishi, Writing Systems of the World, Alphabets, Syllabaries, Pictograms. (Taivo (talk) 15:35, 25 October 2009 (UTC))

(outdent) This source clearly states that Somali was written with the Arabic abjad in ancient times. That does not constitute "losing an ancient script". (Taivo (talk) 16:29, 25 October 2009 (UTC))

One final note: The Wikipedia article on Somalia mentions ancient inscriptions in an undeciphered script. This is not a reliable source for stating that Somali had an ancient script for two reasons: 1) we can't cite Wikipedia, you'd still have to find an original source; and 2) (more importantly) an undeciphered script means that you cannot call the language of the inscription "Somali". We don't know what language those inscriptions were written in. (Taivo (talk) 16:39, 25 October 2009 (UTC)) The expression "its natural script" indicates possession, meaning that the Somali language had its own writing script. If this were a script belonging to another Cushitic language as you claim, the book would have indicated this. But, alas, it didn't.
Taivo: WP:RS does not cover "subordinate clauses" or indicate that they are reasons for attempting to invalidate a perfectly reliable source as you have just done. Like it or not, that source is indeed reliable. It is from the Somali government itself, and who knows Somali history better than actual Somalis? Those two anonymous IPs? I beg to differ. There are many aspects of Somali history that aren't covered in Western books like the ones you have quoted above. This partly has to do with the fact that Somalia is still going through a civil war, and also because the military government that ruled Somalia for 22 years prior to the outbreak of the war discouraged foreign research/"meddling". Furthermore, that reference to a "lost" script is obviously not a reference to the Arabic script. There is nothing "lost" about Wadaad's writing; it is still very much in use in Somalia. Lastly, the passage in the Wikipedia Somalia article indicating that Somalia "had an ancient writing system that remains undeciphered" is sourced. And it is sourced not to Wikipedia as you have claimed, but to yet another reliable source. A third reliable source is also cited in that same article indicating that ancient inscriptions have been found in the Laas Geel caves in northern Somalia, but these characters too have yet to be deciphered. Middayexpress (talk) 20:36, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
The undeciphered script in Somalia may very well exist, but it is undeciphered, therefore it CANNOT be linked to the Somali language. That's my point. It may be appropriate at Somalia, but NOT at Somali language. It is NOT, and CANNOT, be linked to the Somali language. The national ministry source seems to refer to this script, and as such, is not a reliable source since it cannot link that script to the Somali language. Now, if by "ancient script" they are referring to the Arabic script used to write Somali, then that is already stated in the article. But the Arabic script is hardly "lost". (Taivo (talk) 04:59, 26 October 2009 (UTC))
And yet the national ministry source -- which, incidentally, is aptly titled The writing of the Somali language -- does explicitly link the ancient Somali script to the Somali language (what the Somali people speak): "a well-known Somali scholar-educator named Osman Kenadid, invented a new system of script for the Somali Language, which having long lost its ancient script, is today spoken orally". One doesn't have to like it, but those are the facts. WP:VER:

"The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—that is, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true."

And no, for the second time, the source is obviously not referring in that passage to the Arabic script as being "lost". Arabic is a co-official language in Somalia and its script is everywhere, as it has long been. Middayexpress (talk) 13:08, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
You are not understanding, that throwaway subordinate clause is not a WP:RS. A reliable source is verifiable. You simply have a national article that makes an unreferenced comment. That is not scientific and it is not a reliable source. The writing system that is referred to is undeciphered. Read that carefully: undeciphered. That means that no one, repeat no one knows what it says or what language it is written in. It cannot be proven that it is Somali. Find a source, find the original scientific source, that the national ministry used to make that comment. A national government document is only a reliable source if it is based on another scientific document. Encyclopedia Britannica is only a reliable source because it references the original scientific studies upon which it is based. Find the bibliography and references for that comment in the political document and find out who says that the ancient script is deciphered and you will have a point. But right now, you have no point--that ancient script is undeciphered so you cannot (and the Somali government cannot) claim that it is in the Somali language. Just because you want it to be true doesn't make it true. Find the source that says it's been deciphered because all the references that I've seen to those inscriptions say that they are undeciphered, and therefore no one can claim that they are in the Somali language. (Taivo (talk) 13:16, 26 October 2009 (UTC))
There is extremely little available on this subject, but every web site and Google Books reference I've located says that the ancient (pre-Arabic) inscriptions in Somalia are undeciphered. The Wikipedia article also states that the inscriptions are undeciphered. (I'm obviously not going to cite Wikipedia as a source, but it shows the pattern.) But I look at that little comment that you are focusing on in that document that is (as all government documents are) political propaganda and there is not a reference following the statement. There is no reference to any scientific study that says, "We've deciphered those ancient inscriptions and they are in Somali!" That's what is required for a Wikipedia reliable source--the underlying scientific study behind secondary sources. The other source is not even a complete reference in any stretch of the imagination! The Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London was published from 1856 to 1878--22 volumes. Just citing "p. 447" is absolutely, positively not a WP:RS! (Taivo (talk) 13:27, 26 October 2009 (UTC))

According Somalist scholars such as Mohamed Diriye Abdullahi Somali people are the aboriginal people of the region where those inscriptions were found i.e Northern Somalia . It's quite clear that the governmental source is referring to that specific ancient writing system of Somalia and not Wadaad's writing/Osmanya etc the former is still extensively used, while the latter enjoys small pockets of enthusiasts but is not ancient, so it's a perfectly good source. On page 1 it lists all the areas in Somalia where those inscriptions were discovered, i used to have the book on a interloan, but not anymore. The source stating its undeciphered is from the 19th century and far predates the revolutionary government and it's educational projects including literacy, archaeology, history etc and therefore it can be linked to the Somali language since they through research under the Somali National Academy of Culture came to that conclusion and there is not doubt amongst Somali academics that the latter institution was the single most credible authority on Somali heritage and culture. I will remove the reference about it being undeciphered since it's outdated --Scoobycentric (talk) 13:39, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

If that is the case, then please provide a verifiable source for ancient writing in Somali language and reword the old statement so that it sounds more neutral and less "governmental". That government document just isn't strong enough to be a solid reference. If the ancient writing was Somali, then a good scientific source needs to be provided. I'm sure you can find something since you seem to know the literature more thoroughly. Thank you. (Taivo (talk) 13:47, 26 October 2009 (UTC))

There is nothing wrong with the current source, this book is used in multiple Somali language studies[1]. You cannot dismiss the source simply because you feel it's not 'solid' enough, especially when considering the fact it's solid enough to be used in the aforementioned studies. --Scoobycentric (talk) 13:57, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

It would be nice to have a better source. I distrust most "revolutionary" government sources because their "science" is often more motivated toward political and propaganda ends than scientific ends. The source is OK, but not strong. (Taivo (talk) 14:02, 26 October 2009 (UTC))
This is too funny! You knee-jerk revert me within minutes of my edit without even bothering to read what I had written on this talk page much less respond to it. And when you do reply, it is only to state that the passage is a "throwaway subordinate clause" and therefore not covered by WP:RS?! Awesome! The fact is, WP:RS does not mention "subordinate clauses" let alone allows their putative existence to be used as an excuse to attempt to invalidate a perfectly reliable source as you have again done above for the second time. This argument is your own creation and a classic example of gaming the system. Furthermore, I don't need to "find a source" for what is already a reliable source, nor do Wiki policies indicate that I do. This too is your own invention, and another example of gaming the system. The book I have already cited from the Somali Ministry of Information -- which, again, is titled The writing of the Somali language because that is what it is exclusively devoted to, and written by people who actually know Somali history -- explicitly asserts that the Somali language itself lost its ancient script:

"a well-known Somali scholar-educator named Osman Kenadid, invented a new system of script for the Somali Language, which having long lost its ancient script, is today spoken orally".

The Somali Ministry of Information does not indicate that the "lost" ancient Somali script it refers to is undeciphered. Actually, it doesn't even once mention that word in the entire book; only you have. It is you who has insisted that the undeciphered script found in Somalia by British expatriates in the "Royal Proceedings" source I've also alluded to and the undeciphered inscriptions in the Laas Geel cave complex which the other source indicated on the Somalia article also mentions all refer to the same script. The sources themselves do not claim this. In reality, these sources all have one thing in common, and that is that they all link their respective ancient inscriptions to the Somali people. And what language do the Somali people traditionally speak again? You got it: the Somali language. If this is not explicit enough for you, then you cannot complain about the Somali Ministry of Information's explicit attribution of the "lost" ancient script to the Somali language. That is, of course, without invoking non-existent Wiki policies on "subordinate clauses" and reliable sources needed to substantiate reliable sources i.e. gaming the system. Middayexpress (talk) 14:17, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Yawn. The difference is that Scoobycentric actually discussed the source, what it contained, the status of the "decipherment" issue, etc. It's clear that he has actually handled and read the source while you gave the impression that your only encounter was with the Googlebooks hit. That's not "gaming" the system. (Taivo (talk) 14:25, 26 October 2009 (UTC))

The 6th example of the Gaming article does seem to be similar to your line of argument for removing that legitimate source, and for which you tried to use the policy WP:RS, evendo there are plenty of scholars that used this same book, hence why its reliable. I don't believe 'distrust' of a certain form of governance is enough to warrant its removal. Similarly we can't dismiss the countless sources originating from Soviet academics used in multiple different articles just because of their form of government --Scoobycentric (talk) 15:44, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

At this point, Scoobycentric, I'm not advocating removing the source since you've demonstrated that you are familiar with the work and have read it and know what it contains. At the time that I was removing it, there was no evidence that Middayexpress knew anything more about it than the single sentence he had found on Googlebooks. Everything he was saying appeared to be supposition based on that single sentence. A single sentence from Googlebooks without backup does not constitute a reliable source. Since you have shown that you actually know the source and know its influence on Somali linguistic research, that is a totally different matter. I'm not a wikilawyer, all I care about here is accuracy. While WP:MMORPG is an accurate assessment of what Wikipedia tends to be, Wikipedia should be more. Without backup or the verification of someone who actually knew the source, all we were dealing with was a single, unverifiable, fragment of a sentence from what appeared to be a questionable government source produced by a revolutionary government intent on promoting its own self-interest versus all the other sources that I was reading that said the inscriptions were undeciphered. You have satisfied me that the source meets the requirements of a reliable source and that the "undeciphered" comment is based on 19th century sources. That's the end of the issue as far as I'm concerned. (Taivo (talk) 16:46, 26 October 2009 (UTC))

Fair enough. --Scoobycentric (talk) 03:12, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Afsoomaali and "Af Soomaali"[edit]

Some people write it as "Af Soomaali," but that does not mean it is a correct term. If one follows the Somali grammatical structure, when two singular words are combined to make a new noun word, both are therefore combined as a new standalone noun, as a new compound word. No hyphen separates the two words either.

Especially it is more true in the case of "af" word in the beginning of a newly combined word. This word, meaning "mouth" in Somali (and in this case, "language") has roots in several compound words and which are always not separated. For example, Afgooye (or Afgoye, a Somali town), Afmadoow (or Afmadow, a Somali town), Afdheer (or Afder, a Somali region). All do have their own articles in Wikipedia. There are numerous everyday Somali compound words where the word "af" starts in the beginning to list on here. And they are always compound words, not separated. - Soomaali (talkcontribs) 16:47, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

All linguistic sources in English spell this as two words, but since we're not dealing with the article's title, your explanation will suffice. Do not be rude and insulting in edit summaries. (Taivo (talk) 17:09, 23 November 2009 (UTC))
I just wonder how the Somaliland "Afka Soomaaliga" fits in this, that's surely two separated words. The web says "Standard Somali" is based on Northern Somali (does that mean Siyad Barre's from the very Horn?) but I see little of what Bell wrote (eg not "waan boodikaraa" but the continous "waan boodikareyaa" ((not even "karahayaa")). Boodimayo versus Ma Boodaiyo. Are place names relevant? Place names in England may follow "Camberwell" but most wells' descriptors stand alone. In any case isn't the current taste for non-prescriptive rules? - as it's said is how it is.--SilasW (talk) 17:35, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Taivo, it wasn't my intention to insult or being rude with you. If you felt I was unbecoming to you, my sincere apology.

Silas, Afka Soomaaliga is separated, not compound words. The grammatical reason is 'afka' has the definite article, which is ka, meaning the. Also the Soomaaliga has another definite article as well, the ga, meaning the as well. When one wants to join words as a newly noun word as a compound, neither of the joined words should not have definite articles, particularly the first word, in this case afka. It applies all over the board, regardless whether it is a place name, a new nickname, an event, et cetera.

Standard Somali is mainly based the dialect spoken in Central Somalia. Some also say it is based Northern Somali, but if you one reads professional written articles on the net, one can see it is mainly a Central Somali.

Disclaimer: As someone born and bred in Mogadishu, South Somalia, I am not from either of those regions, so no need for me to incline or favour one region's dialect from the other. - Soomaali (talkcontribs) 16:47, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Soomaaliyow, Mahadsantahay. Somali WP articles (not necessarily so in so.WP) tend to have a deal of unsourced sometimes quite opinionated matter. To avoid wondering if one word versus two words for the name of the language was merely something from Minneopolis I pointed out that in ex-British Somaliland by the book (and also by speech, which is what language is) they used two obviously separated words (both with a definite article firmly attached). Someone else proclaimed vehemently that the Mouth's name was one word. I've not spent long in the country since the Great Dictator came to power, who knows what he ordained? In that time all languages have changed (even French with its Academie of Canutes).--SilasW (talk) 11:54, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Silas, adaa mudan (you're welcome). After the colonial times, the Somali language had since been attempted to be standardized; however, there is a long way to go.

The last regime helped a great deal by standardizing the language, which this very Wikipedia article mentions. Also the regime tried its best to advance and modernize the Somali language, helping and facilitating the Somali language linguists to invent or coin new words each year, particularly scholarly and scientific words. Alas, since the civil war, what was gained during that time degenerated, in league with decline the overall of the Somali society and its distinct culture as well. - Soomaali (talkcontribs) 16:47, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

External links[edit]

The external link to Webster seems to be only to a definition of "Somali-English dictionary" an so no more than unhelpful padding.--SilasW (talk) 08:30, 14 June 2010 (UTC)


Ignoring the de facto independent state Somaliland is POV, but giving it full status as a recognized state is also POV. With the states with only limited or no recognition (Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, for example), it is fairly common practice for Wikipedia to take neither side by listing the unrecognized state in italics with a note on its status. See Ossetic language, Ukrainian language, Armenian language, and Abkhaz language for examples. --Taivo (talk) 00:52, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

There is literally no Wikipedia policy that indicates that "italics" somehow renders NPOV the juxtaposition of a territory (Somaliland) that is internationally recognized as a part of Somalia (an actual country). That simply does not exist anywhere in Wikipedia's rulebook, and is, in fact, the very definition of POV, as others have also pointed out (not to mention OR). Refer to Ethnologue as to which actual countries the Somali language is spoken in. Middayexpress (talk) 10:42, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Read the discussions in various places throughout Wikipedia and you will see this NPOV compromise in position. Look at the examples I have cited and you will see that this is widespread. (And that "others" you link to in your comment above isn't "others", it's you and me again. The only "other" comment I see in that conversation was Outback and he agreed with me.) This compromise is widely accepted in language articles throughout Wikipedia. You can look at a wide variety of language articles where this compromise has been successfully implemented (see list above for samples) and is accepted as NPOV (as well as above links, you can see it at Turkish language with Northern Cyprus. At Albanian language Kosovo is listed without italics, although at other locations, such as Ossetic language and Abkhaz language, the italics were important to reaching consensus. I'm not so interested in every field of endeavor throughout Wikipedia so when I say "widely" I mean throughout the articles on languages and specifically in the distribution statements and templates. It's a very useful, working, NPOV way to list states with limited recognition. --Taivo (talk) 13:30, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
You obviously didn't take a close enough look at that discussion because the very person who posted it did so because he was taking umbrage at your listing the Somaliland region of Somalia there too alongside the country the entire world recognizes the region as being a part of (based solely on a map of all of Somalia, no less). As he rightly pointed out: "the other reason the comparison with Ossetic, Abkhaz, etc., is invalid is that South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Northern Cyprus are recognized by some states (even Transnistria is recognized by other unrecognized states); Somaliland is not recognized by anyone. Somaliland in fact meets our definition of a micronation: "Micronations... are entities that claim to be independent nations or states but which are not recognized by world governments or major international organizations", and I certainly don't want people to start adding every English-speaking micronation to the infobox at English language."
I'm glad you have found someone in that discussion who agreed with you. However, that is not saying much since that person is an open advocate of the Somaliland region's independence, as a template on his own user page readily reveals. As I've asked you to do many times before, also kindly stop quoting for me whatever you or other editors decide on other articles as though they have any sort of binding power on this article -- they don't nor is there any Wikipedia policy that indicates they do. Refer again to Ethnologue as to which actual countries the Somali language is spoken in. Middayexpress (talk) 02:12, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
And Ethnologue doesn't list South Ossetia or Abkhazia either, but the consensus for these nations is to italicize and make a note in the language templates. --Taivo (talk) 04:01, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
This isn't a generic language template. It's an article specifically on the Somali language, and no such consensus has ever been agreed to here. As both I and Angr have pointed out before, such 'agreements' between Wikipedians on other pages have no bearing on what happens here anyway, nor are there any Wikipedia policies that indicate that they do. Quite the opposite; c.f. WP:RS/AC: "Individual opinions should be identified as those of particular, named sources. Editors should avoid original research especially with regard to making blanket statements based on novel syntheses of disparate material, and any statement in Wikipedia that academic consensus exists on a topic must be sourced rather than being based on the opinion or assessment of editors." That still makes your adding the Somaliland region of Somalia to this page redundant OR. Middayexpress (talk) 19:07, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
These is, indeed, a generic language template since it's used throughout Wikipedia for language articles. The discussion has been carried on at various language pages and the general consensus is list these "other states" found at List of sovereign states in italics with a note on their limited recognition. --Taivo (talk) 21:07, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
I still don't see this consensus you speak of. The Ossetia article, ironically enough has you of all people arguing against much of what you are claiming here:
  • "South Ossetia, like Northern Cyprus and Nagorno-Karabakh, is not internationally recognized. While these states may have legitimate complaints against the countries of which they are a part, they are not recognized as independent. Until they are, they have no place in the language infoboxes."
  • "The problem is that Wikipedia is not the place for every independence movement to project their claims. South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, etc. are not internationally recognized entitites---they are simply rebel provinces. South Ossetia is in Georgia."
As Angr has already rightly pointed out, whatever consensus you formed on that List of sovereign states geopolitical article's talk page also only applies to that article. It most certainly does not apply to this article nor is there any Wikipedia policy that indicates that it does; WP:CONSENSUS is quite clear that consensus is only formed on the relevant talk page ("When editors cannot reach agreement by editing, the process of finding a consensus is continued by discussion on the relevant talk pages"), which certainly is not the List of sovereign states geopolitical article. Middayexpress (talk) 21:36, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, at the beginning of the discussion at Ossetic language, I was of the opinion that South Ossetia should not be listed. But a consensus was formed and I now support that consensus in language articles, especially the templates. It's called compromise. The italics and note met my concerns about treating South Ossetia as an equal, but listing it met the concerns about NPOV from the other editors. And you are wrong about consensus being restricted in all cases. There is no need for multiple consensus-building arguments to be propagated across Wikipedia when a good, working consensus is formed and has a direct relevance at another place. --Taivo (talk) 22:25, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
That still is irrelevant. Consensus only applies to the relevant talk page in question (i.e. this talk page), not to other unrelated ones. The consensus policy I've quoted above itself makes this clear. If you disagree, by all means, quote the actual policy that indicates otherwise. Middayexpress (talk) 22:37, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
No, your wikilawyering aside, a consensus built is a consensus built and it can be effectively used in other places. We're not talking about all instances in all topics, but in language articles only. --Taivo (talk) 22:57, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Consensus is not set in stone and can change. But that doesn't really matter anyway since whatever consensus was established years ago on those other unrelated talk pages has no bearing at all on this talk page nor is there any actual policy that indicates it does. Even WP:TALK is clear that "Talk pages are for discussing the article, not for general conversation about the article's subject (much less other subjects)." This article is about the Somali language and which actual countries it is spoken in, not South Ossetia, Northern Cyprus, etc. Further, I've asked you to prove your repeated claims that those unrelated talk page discussions from years ago do apply by simply citing a Wikipedia policy that indicates this, but you have been both unable and unwilling to do so. Instead, you now accuse me of "wikilawyering" for simply having the audacity to ask you to put your money where your mouth is, as it were. This doesn't, however, obscure the basic fact that the material is still very much OR and certainly not supported by mainstream linguistic sources on the matter, most notably Ethnologue. Middayexpress (talk) 22:13, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

(outdent) Once again, you ignore consensus that has been working in Wikipedia. Read the discussions at Ossetic language, Abkhaz language, Armenian language, etc. and you will see a working consensus that is NPOV. You're consistently pushing your POV here and other places without working toward consensus and compromise. --Taivo (talk) 23:02, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Pot meet kettle. It's you that's pushing POV, not me. I've cited actual policies and sources, which you've of course ignored and removed, respectively. Whatever "consensus" you claim was formed in those discussions from years ago on other completely unrelated talk pages have nothing at all to do with this article on the Somali language. Matter of fact, the term "Somali language" wasn't even once brought up in them. And since you apparently never even bothered reading that link I supplied above indicating that even if a relevant consensus had been formed way back when (it hasn't), it is not binding anyway:

"Consensus is not immutable. Past decisions are open to challenge and are not binding, and one must realize that such changes are often reasonable. Thus, "according to consensus" and "violates consensus" are not valid rationales for accepting or rejecting proposals or actions. While past "extensive discussions" can guide editors on what influenced a past consensus, editors need to re-examine each proposal on its own merits, and determine afresh whether consensus either has or has not changed."

That's yet another direct refutation of your claims by actual policy (not me). And none of this, of course, obscures the basic fact that the material is still very much OR and certainly not supported by mainstream linguistic sources on the matter. Middayexpress (talk) 10:21, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
If you actually read any of the discussion at those other language articles, you'd see that the discussion was not "years ago". NPOV doesn't mean "Middayexpress' viewpoint". Somaliland is a de facto sovereign state (see List of sovereign states for the criteria used). To not list it at all is POV (your position). To list it as a fully recognized state is POV. NPOV is to list it, but italicize it and make a note. --Taivo (talk) 11:54, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, at least one of those discussions you allude to took place almost two years ago. But that's not particularly relevant anyway since it had nothing to do with this linguistic article on the Somali language to begin with nor are either NPOV or any other Wikipedia best practices determined by what you or other like-minded Wikipedians personally decide. Only actual Wikipedia policies determine those. As that quote above I've posted from WP:CONSENSUS likewise makes clear, consensus is neither immutable nor binding. So your arguments to the effect that "according to consensus" and "violates consensus" or some variation thereof (and linking to completely irrelevant geopolitical articles) are not valid editing rationales. This is actual policy I'm paraphrasing here, not me. Kindly stop removing sources until you at least locate a policy that actually supports your edits for a change because I've quoted several now that very clearly don't, including the very consensus policy you keep alluding to. Middayexpress (talk) 22:57, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
This is just another of many demonstrations that you are incapable of reaching a compromise or following consensus on a compromise. It is the same intransigent position that you have taken elsewhere against the majority of editors. Consensus is consensus and you are editing against consensus to push your own intransigent POV. As I stated above, the compromise is to mention Somaliland, but footnote it. Ignoring Somaliland is your blinded POV. Listing it without note is POV. This is the NPOV version that you are editing against and is the consensus on many other articles. --Taivo (talk) 23:36, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Unclear matters are to be resolved in WP by good references, not by reams of polemic, but to throw a spanner into the works: How would all the above "It is"/"It isn't" handle Wales?--SilasW (talk) 16:22, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Wales is not an independent, sovereign state (see List of sovereign states), so the UK should be listed. Somaliland is a de facto sovereign state without international recognition as such. While Wales ultimately looks to London as the highest authority, Somaliland looks only to itself. --Taivo (talk) 16:34, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Assorted phonemes[edit]

The article says:

  • "The coastal dialects have additional phonemes which do not exist in Standard Somali."
  • That languages of the Digil and Mirifle differ from Somali in that the retroflex /ɖ/ is also replaced by /r/ in some positions.

Could someone give examples of the first statement?
And for the second, agree or disprove that replacement of /ɖ/ by /r/ occurs in other Somali speech: to quote Zorc and Osman's Dictionary "The sound dh in Northern Somali is replaced by r in Standard Somali except at the beginning of words or where the dh is double"; and it adds that gabar is becoming standard usage in place of gabadh--SilasW (talk) 16:22, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Rough translation??[edit]

Well, at least it reads like this. According to Gordon (2005), approximately 13 million people speak Somali, but upwards of 25 million individuals are commonly estimated to speak the language. "Upwards of"? Sounds totally odd in this context. I can't seem to believe a native English writer has written this article. -andy (talk) 22:33, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

A native speaker may not have :p --Taivo (talk) 23:05, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Somaliland and Puntland[edit]

Somaliland as well as Puntland are both not recognized by anybody in the entire world. Therefore they should not be considered in the "official" section in the sidebar. It can be mentioned that they are both spoken their but it has no importance whatsoever. Djibouti is a recognized sovereign state, Somaliland is not.[1] 26oo (talk) 21:47, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

English-Somali, Somali-English free online translating mechanisms[edit]

What free mechanisms are online for translating phases, sentences?... for a) English-Somali?... , b) Somali-English?... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:57, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Somaliland (but not Puntland)[edit]

Per long-standing consensus in articles relating to the Horn of Africa, we list Somaliland in italics per List of sovereign states. While it is not recognized, it functions in all other ways as an independent, sovereign state. --Taivo (talk) 17:28, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Somaliland has the exact same legal status as does Puntland. Both are internationally recognized as autonomous regions (Federal Member States) of the Federal Republic of Somalia. They are allowed a degree of autonomy because the Provisional Constitution permits it, not because either is a country unto itself. You also did not have an absolute consensus but a rough one, if that. That was also years ago. Somaliland has since been repeatedly removed from the country parameter by multiple different users, so that should tell you something about how solid that consensus was to begin with. Also, have a look at WP:KOOLAID ("consensus can change"). Middayexpress (talk) 17:48, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Actually Somaliland and Puntland are in different situations. Puntland is not claiming complete independence, only autonomy within Somalia. Somaliland, on the other hand, is claiming complete independence. That's the difference between the two. Wikipedia is NPOV in these situations and lists Somaliland, but in italics to mark its special status. We do the same for Palestine, Abkhazia, etc. See List of sovereign states for the details. And it doesn't matter if the original consensus was "years ago", a new consensus has not been worked out. You are just editing on your own without building a new consensus. If you wish to change the consensus, then initiate a discussion to do so. But until there is a clear "changed consensus", then we still work with the old one. --Taivo (talk) 18:30, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Actually, per WP:SILENCE, "consensus can be presumed to exist until voiced disagreement becomes evident". Also, "consensus is assumed when there's no evidence of disagreement." There is evident disagreement here, and well prior today too (e.g. [2]). As for Somaliland, the only thing seperating it from Puntland is indeed its internationally unrecognized declaration of independence (which has zero legal bearing or validity). That and the fact that it doesn't actually control much of the territory it claims. Placing that subnational region alongside Somalia -- which it is constitutionally a part of -- is not npov, regardless of whether or not it is rendered in italics. It is also contrary to Wikipedia:WikiProject Country subdivisions. Middayexpress (talk) 19:10, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
No, Middayexpress, Wikipedia treats Somaliland as an unrecognized, but sovereign state. That is the NPOV position that Wikipedia has taken. See List of sovereign states and try your arguments there if you disagree. --Taivo (talk) 20:27, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
No, Taivo. That is your personal position, definitely not that of Wikipedia's actual policies and guidelines. See above. Middayexpress (talk) 20:31, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
It appears that this argument is more appropriate for the article list of sovereign states than this particular article. I can't comment on the validity of the information in that article itself, but we ought to be consistent. Mo-Al (talk) 23:39, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, Mo-Al. The point for this article is that in order to maintain NPOV, we mark Somali being spoken in Somaliland, but italicize "Somaliland" in order to indicate that it is not a recognized state, although it is a sovereign state. To clarify the Somaliland situation, I have added a note. --Taivo (talk) 01:21, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Whether Somaliland claims independence and sees itself as a sovereign state has no relevance to its international status as a part of Somalia. It does not control nor is it safeguarding the sovereignty it purports. This is because its sovereignty is in dispute. See Somaliland-Puntland dispute and Khatumo. Both Puntland and Somaliland are internationally recognized as autonomous regions and the latter, an unrecognized non-UN member state is not recognized by a single member of the United Nations.
If we document a similar debate, we can see that it has been settled in the Africa talk page where consensus was met not to include Somaliland in the Territories and regions of Africa template. Therefore I do not see it fit either to place an autonomous region alongside internationally recognized sovereign states, which isn't a NPOV. 26oo (talk) 09:03, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Taking the view that Somaliland is not a separate de facto sovereign state because of international recognition is POV. Somaliland is not a de jure sovereign state and we recognize that with the note, but it is, indeed, as much of a de facto sovereign state as Somalia is. Indeed, if you take the view that "protecting its borders" is the key factor, then Somalia itself is not a sovereign state. Read the arguments at List of sovereign state. And you continue to confuse Somaliland and Puntland, they have different situations. Take the matter up at List of sovereign states if you don't like Wikipedia's neutrality on the de jure arguments. Wikipedia maintains NPOV by listing Somaliland as a sovereign state, but noting that it is not internationally recognized. International recognition itself is POV. --Taivo (talk) 10:34, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
And I read your link, 26oo, but there is no consensus there. There is simply Middayexpress making the same anti-sovereignty arguments that he/she is making here. That's not a consensus. Read instead List of sovereign states. There a consensus was actually reached to include Somaliland as a sovereign state in Wikipedia's listing. --Taivo (talk) 10:43, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
The difference between the self-proclaimed sovereign state of Somaliland, and Somalia is that one of them is recognized as such by the international community, and the foremost international authority United Nations. This same international community recognizes Somalia as being the sovereign of both former colonies British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. If Somalia is posted in the template, then it would be unnecessary to post Somaliland, as it is internationally recognized to be part of Somalia. As for the link, I stand corrected that a consensus is not shown to be met, but it is evident in the Africa topic that Somaliland was not included, as it is not a recognized sovereign state, regardless of its self-proclamation, that's the point of view I want you to see. So to maintain a NPOV, Somaliland should either not be in the template or it should be in brackets after Somalia such as "Somalia (including Somaliland)". 26oo (talk) 15:41, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
As a neutral source, Wikipedia is not bound by the UN or UN recognition. Somaliland exists whether the UN says it does or not. That's the difference between de facto (in fact) and de jure (by law). Somaliland is a de facto sovereign state and Wikipedia recognizes that by listing it separately at List of sovereign states. The fact that it is not recognized by the international community does not change its de facto status. That is its de jure status. As I have said over and over, if you don't like Wikipedia's definition of what does and does not constitute a sovereign state, then discuss it at List of sovereign states, although I assure you the discussion there has reached a hard-fought consensus on the issue and you are on the "losing side" of that consensus-building process. "UN membership" is a POV just like "Somali national" is a POV. Wikipedia must remain neutral in all such matters. We show Somaliland as a separate entity from Somalia, but note that its status is not internationally recognized. That is NPOV. --Taivo (talk) 16:04, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Actually, taking the position that Somaliland is a so-called "de facto" sovereign state is pov as well because its secessionist administration doesn't in fact control much of the territory it claims. The Puntland and Khatumo authorities control most of the disputed Sool, Sanaag and Cayn/SSC regions. Somaliland just lays claim to those territories. Per the declarative theory of statehood, the four criteria for de facto statehood are that a polity must have 1) a defined territory; 2) a permanent population; 3) a government; and 4) a capacity to enter into relations with other states. Of those, Somaliland only has a government. It has neither a defined territory nor a permanent population since it doesn't control the bulk of SSC (i.e. 40%+ of the former British Somaliland protectorate). It also cannot enter into sovereign-level relations with actual countries since it is internationally recognized and dealt with as an autonomous region of Somalia. For example, Ethiopia has consulates in both Hargeisa (Somaliland) and Garowe (Puntland), Somalia's two largest autonomous regions. Its actual embassy, however, is in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. You can keep arguing otherwise if you wish, but these are the facts on the ground. Middayexpress (talk) 16:12, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't recall whether or not you were involved at the discussion at List of sovereign states, Middayexpress, but if you were then you know that this argument was unsuccessful and that Somaliland is included in the list along with several other unrecognized states. And if you think that "control its own territory" is a sine-qua-non of statehood, then remove Somalia from the list as well. If you refuse to remove Somalia from the list of states (even though it doesn't control its own borders) because it is internationally recognized, then you have shown that "controlling its own borders" doesn't matter to you and only "recognized by the UN" matters. Therefore your argument about "controlling its own borders" is null and void as only "recognized by the UN" matters to you. Again, if you have a problem with Wikipedia's listing of sovereign states, then go to List of sovereign states and discuss the matter there. All these issues were discussed ad nauseum during the creation of that list and you can read them all at your leisure. But it was, very clearly, determined there that Wikipedia NPOV is not based on UN recognition. Finally, Somaliland does, indeed, have the capacity to enter into international relations. It is quite willing to do so, but the fact that other states have not chosen to enter into relations with Somaliland doesn't change its capacity to do so. And, in the end, you simply keep going back to your UN/Somalia POV. Wikipedia NPOV in this matter is well-documented in this matter at List of sovereign states--Somaliland is a sovereign state, although unrecognized. We mark that NPOV in this article by italicizing Somaliland with a note as to its lack of international recognition. --Taivo (talk) 16:21, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Pov? lol Somaliland is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia. Fact. Only the secessionists themselves and their sympathizers assert otherwise. Somaliland also does not have the capacity to enter into relations with actual countries because actual countries don't regard it as a country to begin with. They regard it as an autonomous region of Somalia and deal with it accordingly i.e. as a sub-national entity. Per Somalia's new Federal Constitution, its Federal Member States are also legally allowed to maintain foreign relations. This makes Somaliland's dealings with foreign governments sub-national in nature and identical to Puntland's dealings with foreign governments. You keep linking to that List of sovereign states page as if it has any bearing on Wikipedia's actual policies. I'm afraid it has none to speak of. Claiming that "consensus" was reached there means little since a completely contradictory consensus was reached elsewhere, as 26oo has pointed out. Consensus is also mutable. At any rate, 26oo has proposed above a compromise. It is certainly more neutral than the current infobox formulation. Is it or is it not acceptable to you? If not, why? Middayexpress (talk) 16:34, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
You simply keep going back to the same illogical argument that you have made before--that the international community determines who and who is not "sovereign". Somaliland, indeed, has the capacity to engage in foreign relations. Capacity is an internal measurement--is the state willing to engage in foreign relations? It is not an external measurement--does anyone else engage it? The Constitution of Somalia is immaterial to the issue if the government of Somaliland does not recognize it. Until Somalia can actual enforce its constitution and government on Somaliland, then the self-determination of Somaliland takes precendence. While 26oo was sincere in his/her desire to offer a middle wording, the phrasing "including Somaliland" still implies that Somaliland is functionally a part of Somalia. It is not. Somalia has no control over Somaliland. And List of sovereign states does, indeed, function as a moderator of WP:NPOV for Wikipedia. It is the place where this specific question has been asked and discussed and a consensus built. --Taivo (talk) 17:27, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Illogical you say? Ok, explain this then: "even a decade and a half after the area's so-called independence, no country in the world recognizes it as such. The African Union, which is made up of all the countries on the continent, does not acknowledge a Somaliland nation, nor does the United Nations[...] The Somaliland president, Dahir Rayale Kahin, is regarded more as a governor by other nations, even though he considers himself to be as much a president as, say, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Mwai Kibaki of Kenya or Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, three prominent presidents on this continent" [3]. As I said, Somaliland does have relations with actual countries. But those dealings are on the same level as those which the Foreign Ministry of Puntland (another one of Somalia's Federal Member States) maintains with foreign governments.
Your assertion that the Mogadishu government doesn't have control over Somaliland also could not be more mistaken. In reality, Somaliland is bound to the rest of Somalia by all sorts of strictures, both legally and in practice. This basic fact would remain true even if the secessionists did control most of the SSC regions, which they do not. Somalia's longstanding arms embargo demonstrates this reality. It was recently lifted for Somalia's central government, the only recognized national authority. It is, however, still very much in place for the country's regional governments in Puntland and Somaliland since they are subnational entities. This lack of recognition is also why 252 remains the country code for telephone numbers in the Somaliland region, as in the rest of Somalia, and why the Somali federal government-owned .so extension is Somaliland's country code top-level domain (ccTLD) on the internet, like in Puntland and other subnational areas. These are just a few of many facts on the ground which preclude claims of even "de facto" statehood for the region. Middayexpress (talk) 18:28, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
You keep talking only of external factors, not internal ones. The fact still remains that Somaliland considers itself to be a sovereign state. Again, I direct you to the extensive discussions about what is and is not sovereignty at List of sovereign states, which is as definitive a source as there is for what Wikipedia considers to be "sovereign". You keep ignoring the issue of self-determination and cloak your objections in the UN and international recognition POV. That is not the core of the issue in Wikipedia terms. If you disagree with Wikipedia's determination that Somaliland is a sovereign state, although without international recognition, then take it up at List of sovereign states. --Taivo (talk) 19:23, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Sorry to bump in, but why do we add Somaliland, if Somalia itself already encompass the Somaliland region? I'm not questioning the political status of Somaliland, but to add both Somalia and Somaliland is just a form of pleonasm. Mentioning both "states" to refer a similar geographic area. Runehelmet (talk) 14:20, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Because if Somaliland is considered sovereign (as Wikipedia considers it), whether disputed or not, then "Somalia" does not include it. If Wikipedia automatically included Somaliland in Somali, then we have taken the stand that Somaliland's declaration of independence is invalid, which is not a neutral point of view. If we mentioned Somaliland without mentioning the fact that its independence is disputed, then we have taken the opposite point of view. To maintain a strictly neutral point of view in the matter, we mention Somaliland, but italicize its name with a note about its lack of international recognition. --Taivo (talk) 14:37, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Okay. Runehelmet (talk) 19:46, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Re:Somali language[edit]

Hi Kwami. A few authorities call the Cushitic group of the Afro-Asiatic family a "phylum". But since we're talking about raw numbers here, more refer to it as a "group" [4] than as a "family" [5]. "Family" is usually reserved for the Afro-Asiatic major language family itself (c.f. [6]). Please also see the map on language family. Regards, Middayexpress (talk) 15:01, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

All levels are families, and all but the largest are branches of families. The Germanic family is a branch of the Indo-European family, which some claim is a branch of the Nostratic family. But when family and phylum are differentiated, the family is a branch of the phylum, not the other way around. They can all be groups, but "group" doesn't necessarily mean that they're related. I'm not sure how you're judging the numbers: mentioning the South Cushitic group of the Cushitic family does not establish that Cushitic is more commonly called a group, nor does saying that the Somali people are a Cushitic group. Nor have you established that "family" is reserved for anything; you've just shown that the term Afro-Asiatic is more common than Cushitic. See also Cushitic phylum. — kwami (talk) 15:12, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
The Google hits linked to above for "Cushitic family" turn up a little over 2,000 results, while the Google hits for "Afro-Asiatic family" turn up just shy of 200,000 results. So yes, "family" is by far usually reserved for the Afro-Asiatic major language family itself. Regards, Middayexpress (talk) 15:22, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Or people write more about Afro-Asiatic than they do Cushitic. — kwami (talk) 15:25, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
The "Cushitic branch" it is. It too has exponentially more Google hits than "Cushitic family" [7]. Regards, Middayexpress (talk) 14:47, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
It's both. Which you use depends on the perspective you're writing from. This is a bit like arguing over whether the US is a state or California is a state: The US is a state from the perspective of the UN, California is a state from the perspective of the US. Google hits aren't going to help you. If you're looking at Cushitic as a group of related languages, then it's a family; if you're looking at it relative to Afroasiatic, then it's a branch of that family. Same diff. — kwami (talk) 06:58, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Understood. But note that per Template:Infobox_language_family, "sub-group" is perfectly valid for Lowland East Cushitic. The fam1 parameter should also go before fam2. Middayexpress (talk) 15:24, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
That doc is not an excuse for bad writing, or any of the other problems you're ignoring. — kwami (talk) 15:29, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
You replaced the page title "Somali language" with "Somali", removed the Arabic transliteration of Somali, and overlinked "Oromo". You also removed the fam1 Afro-Asiatic parameter, when the language family template stipulates that all of the other sub-classifications should come after it. In any event, that template shows what are the relevant best practices and conventions. Please note that Bernd Heine and Derek Nurse also refer to Lowland East Cushitic as a "group of languages" [8], so the expression has currency among linguists as well. Middayexpress (talk) 16:13, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Yes, I copy edited the article a bit (saying "X language is a Y language" is silly), and as for the template, no it doesn't say that, and 8,000 articles to the contrary is a good precedent. Arabic does not belong in the box, only Somali and English. I take the point about overlinking. Do you have any other points? — kwami (talk) 16:21, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Care to explain your knee-jerk revert? Middayexpress (talk) 16:21, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Care to explain yours? You're inventing ways we're supposed to write articles. Perhaps you should get consensus about them? — kwami (talk) 16:24, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
I just explained mine, but you knee-jerk reverted without even bothering to first respond here. In any event, per WP:LEDE, the first sentence should have the actual page title in bold. That's "Somali language", not "Somali". Template:Infobox_language_family also certainly does indicate that the third tier linguistic subdivisions are the "most specific sub-group of which this family is a part". That would be Lowland East Cushitic. You also removed the source from Heine and Nurse (linked above), which clearly describes Lowland East Cushitic as a "group of languages". Middayexpress (talk) 16:26, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
LEDE makes specific exceptions for phrasal titles like "Somali language". The template indicates the 15th tier is the sub-group, but that's irrelevant, because it's not a guide to linguistic terminology. And cherry-picking sources to justify your preferred wording is not appropriate. You said above you understood the point, so why are you still arguing it? Of course it's a group of languages. All families are, but so are groups which are not families. — kwami (talk) 16:30, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
When I said "understood", it was strictly in response to the contextual application of "family" vs. "branch" with respect to Cushitic and its parent Afro-Asiatic. WP:LEDE also says nothing about phrasal titles like "Somali language". What the aptly named WP:BOLDTITLE actually states is that "if an article's title is a formal or widely accepted name for the subject, display it in bold as early as possible in the first sentence". Per website best practice, the actual page title "Somali language" should thus be bolded. Heine and Nurse are cited as a reference on the main Afro-Asiatic language page itself (where I got it from), so I don't see how I could be "cherry-picking". Middayexpress (talk) 16:39, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
"Remember that the title need not always appear in the lead if the article title is descriptive, and in any case the statement relations are relations does not help a reader". "Somali language" is a descriptive title: the COMMONNAME is just "Somali". We have lots of language articles with just the simple name bolded, and no-one else has a problem with it.
Using the ref to support an argument for wording, when it has nothing to say about that wording, is, well maybe not cherry-picking so much as simple misrepresentation. — kwami (talk) 16:48, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
So it's "mispresentation" now? lol You claimed that Lowland East Cushitic was not a "group" and I provided a source from respected linguists -- taken from the Afro-Asiatic main page no less -- which explicitly describes LEC and the other subdivisions of Cushitic each as a "group of languages" (c.f. [9]). You can say that you personally do not agree with this (which is evidently the actual situation), but not that I made it up. That's reaching, to put it mildly. Middayexpress (talk) 16:54, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Where did I claim that? — kwami (talk) 16:59, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

In one of your edit summaries, you asserted that ""group" is meaningless: we're talking about genealogical relations here". [10] Middayexpress (talk) 17:09, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
So you were wrong: I didn't claim it was not a group. — kwami (talk) 17:23, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
You claimed that it was "meaningless" and had nothing to do with genealogical relations. That was your original pretext for removing "Lowland East Cushitic sub-group". Now you're claiming that Berne and Heine don't even describe Lowland East Cushitic as a "group of languages" (!), when they clearly do. Middayexpress (talk) 17:32, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
I didn't claim that either. You don't seem to be reading very carefully. — kwami (talk) 17:35, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Is that the situation now? lol Then what, pray tell, are you claiming? Middayexpress (talk) 18:04, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Since you're being openly disdainful and assuming bad faith, read it yourself. It's simple enough. I'm done wasting time with someone who's too ignorant to even recognize that he's ignorant.
One final point: Would you open Somali people by saying "The Somali people are a group of people in Somalia"? That wouldn't be incorrect, but it's utterly uninformative. — kwami (talk) 18:08, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Your point with regard to the opening phrase was taken, which is why I have not pursued it further. However, the classification matter certainly is not. Your own words are quoted above, yet you claim you didn't state that. Anyway, just answer this: if I indicate with regard to the Somali language that "it belongs to the Lowland East Cushitic group of languages", what is the problem? This is precisely how Heine and Nurse describe Lowland East Cushitic, and they include Somali within LEC on the following page of that same link [11]. Middayexpress (talk) 18:35, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You have a history of quoting things and then claiming they mean the opposite of what they say, even insisting on it when your error is pointed out to you. Please take some care. It really is inconsiderate to waste other people's time because you can't be bothered to understand what you read.

I'm sure I could find a book that says the Somali are a group of people. So what? It's not informative. Heine and Nurse are addressing an audience that has at least a rudimentary understanding of linguistics. We are not. You've spelled out things quite clearly, I assume on the belief that many of our readers will have no idea about this stuff. But to do that, we should use simple and precise language. "Group" is a generic term. It may mean a family, but it could be anything, related or not, so in this context it's essentially meaningless. I don't like using meaningless words when we're trying to be meaningful. You're also restoring other infelicitous wording and implying that the native name is Arabic. — kwami (talk) 18:51, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Your words are right there in italics and linked to, so I don't see how I'm mispresenting them. If you disagree with them now, just say "I retract my statement because...". No ad hominem necessary. Anyway, here's the full passage:

Somali is classified within the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. It belongs to the Lowland East Cushitic group of languages, along with Afar and Saho.

How is "Lowland East Cushitic group of languages" meaningless when the Somali language's Cushitic classification was just explained in the previous sentence? Heine and Nurse themselves do the same thing. With regard to Arabic, it is one of the languages of the Somali people and is official in both Somalia and Djibouti. Template:Infobox language also indicates that the nativename parameter is earmarked for "native name, or a second alternative name [most cases as of 2012 not actually the native name]", so that should cover it either way. Lastly, what is the infelicitous wording you're referring to (which specific phrase)? Middayexpress (talk) 19:19, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Heine and Nurse are addressing a linguistically more sophisticated audience.
This is an article about Somali in English. It should therefore be in English and about Somali. What's official in Somalia is irrelevant. If you look at our other 7,000 language articles, you'll see the names are in English or in the language in question. That's taken for granted; it never occurred to me to spell it out in the documentation.
Infelicitous wording: All the changes. "The Somali language is an Afro-Asiatic language". This kind of opening is even addressed in the MOS. "This feature is also found in some other Cushitic languages such as Oromo" and "it is also used as an adoptive language by" - minor, but the empty words "some" and "also" add nothing. — kwami (talk) 02:18, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
As quoted above, the relevant Template:Infobox language indicates that the nativename parameter is set aside for both the native name or a second alternative name, which the Arabic transliteration certainly falls under. The Heine and Nurse book is also described by the publisher as "the first general introduction to African languages and linguistics to be published in English" [12]. Middayexpress (talk) 16:42, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
An alternative name in English. Does that really have to be spelled out? This is English WP. We write in English. If you put in the Arabic, people will think it's Somali, because that's the only other language that's relevant. We don't put the German name for French in the French infobox just because both languages are official in Switzerland, or the Gaelic name in the English infobox because both are official in Ireland. Somali isn't just spoken in Somalia, so why not add the Amharic and Swahili names? What's the point?
Heine and Nurse is a general introduction to people who know something about language. Read it. Most people will have a bit of a hard time following it without some prior intro to linguistics. Plus your edit leaves the relationship between the various groups confused. What's the big deal about that word anyway? — kwami (talk) 15:18, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
The nativename parameter is for the native name or an alternative name, not the English name. The English name of the language is already included in the page title, under the name parameter. This is why Persian language has the Arabic transliteration under the nativename parameter.
In any event, I don't know why you keep replacing this (from Heine and Nurse):

Somali is classified within the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. It belongs to the Lowland East Cushitic group of languages, along with Afar and Saho.

with this run-on sentence:

Somali is classified within the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family, specifically as Lowland East Cushitic along with Afar and Saho.

As Heine and Nurse's own publisher indicates, their book is a general introduction. There's also no policy that states that sources must be directed at lay people to be admissible. On the contrary, WP:RS clearly indicates that "when available, academic and peer-reviewed publications, scholarly monographs, and textbooks are usually the most reliable sources." Heine and Nurse's book is certainly that. Middayexpress (talk) 15:54, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
In one of your edit summaries, you ask: "why are we promoting Arabic over Swahili and Amharic?". To answer your question, Arabic is the language spoken by many Somali forefathers (see Irir Samaale). It is also an official language of Somalia and Djibouti, and the Arabic script is an official orthography as well (e.g. on Somali Airlines). Amharic is related to Somali as a fellow Afro-Asiatic language, serves as a lingua franca for many Somalis in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, and certain Somali clans have Abyssinian maternal ancestors. On the other hand, Swahili is a Bantu language unrelated to Somali, no Somali ancestors spoke it natively, nor is it a primary language in any of the majority Somali-inhabited regions. Middayexpress (talk) 16:23, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── None of that is relevant, except in your mind, and now you're back to lying, claiming that the Arabic word is the native name of Somali. This is getting tiresome. Go peddle your BS somewhere else. — kwami (talk) 16:55, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Seems I struck a nerve someplace in my last comment... At any rate, the continued personal attacks and incivility are unhelpful and detract from whatever point it is you're trying to make. I'm afraid that Template:Infobox language and WP:RS also aren't "my mind"; they are actual website policy. Looks like I'll have to seek administrative assistance on this page as well. Middayexpress (talk) 17:05, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, when you start lying again, it gets annoying. Pointing out that you are lying is not a personal attack. And no, they are not policy. Yes, please get someone to help you. — kwami (talk) 17:10, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Accusing someone of "lying" and "BS" without even bothering to explain what sentence(s) is a supposed "lie" or "BS" is indeed a breach of WP:CIV (see "rudeness", "ill-considered accusations of impropriety", and "belittling a fellow editor, including the use of judgmental edit summaries or talk-page posts"). In future, please learn to communicate with others in a civil manner. Ad hominem is not an acceptable argumentative method, particularly when it is darn near impossible to credibly justify your edits. Middayexpress (talk) 17:26, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Middayexpress, you are confusing Arabic script and Arabic language. Visite fortuitement prolongée (talk) 21:21, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

The literal Somali language transcription for “Af-Soomaali” in the Arabic script is "بالعربية الصومالية" (c.f. [13]); the Arabic language translation of “Af-Soomaali” is “اللغة الصومالية”. The former is in the nativename parameter, as on Tajik language. Middayexpress (talk) 16:06, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
He's arguing that we should include the Arabic name because Somali is sometimes written in the Arabic script. That's like arguing that we should include the Latin name because it's written in the Latin script. We certainly shouldn't hide the fact that it's the Arabic name; with the latest edit, people will think that it's the Somali name. — kwami (talk) 22:08, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
The Somali name ("Af-Somali") in the Arabic script is noted above. Also, Somali isn't only sometimes written with Arabic script. It has traditionally been written with the Arabic script and since antiquity, well before the Latin script was adopted in the 1970s. Middayexpress (talk) 16:06, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
kwami, my apologies if i made a mistake yesterday. Visite fortuitement prolongée (talk) 20:38, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, sorry. I jumped on you because I was used to Middayexpress doing it on purpose. — kwami (talk) 22:42, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Scapegoating I see. Middayexpress (talk) 17:42, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, an apology shouldn't pass unpunished. — kwami (talk) 07:43, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Huh? Middayexpress (talk) 13:40, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Middayexpress, the language code for Somali language written in Arabic script is "so-arab" (case insensitiv), not "ar". "ar" is the language code for Arabic language. As wrote kwami, there is no need to put the Arabic-language name in the lead of the article. Visite fortuitement prolongée (talk) 20:38, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, there was, because it was the Arabic name, not the Somali name in Arabic script. It was coded properly, it just didn't belong. — kwami (talk) 22:55, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Visite, the Arabic language name actually wasn't transcripted. "بالعربية الصومالية" is the Somali language name "Af-Somali" written with the Arabic script, as on the Tajik language page with Tajik. Thanks for the coding tip all the same. Middayexpress (talk) 17:42, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
No, "بالعربية الصومالية" is not "Af-Somali". It says "in Somali Arabic", in Arabic, not in Somali. — kwami (talk) 07:43, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
See here [14]. Per Omniglot, an alternate Somali spelling in the Arabic script is (af Soomaali / اَف صَومالي˜). Middayexpress (talk) 13:40, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Now, that's an entirely different matter. Re. the question of whether the Arabic script is in enough use to justify its inclusion in the box, I doubt it. There are a couple other scripts which are just as common. But there's certainly no reason not to include it in the text somewhere. — kwami (talk) 19:37, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Where in the text did you have in mind? Also, what makes you think that it's not in enough use to justify its inclusion in the box? Note that the Arabic script is on everything from both Somalia's and Djibouti's national airlines to their national constitutions to the presidential letterhead. Middayexpress (talk) 14:05, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
But, Middayexpress, is that Arabic script in all those places being used to write Arabic translations of the Somali, or is it being used to write the Somali? That's the confusing part here. --Taivo (talk) 16:35, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
It's both. This is because the Arabic script has long served as an orthography for the Somali language, and Arabic is also an official language in Somalia and Djibouti. Omniglot's Arabic script above, however, is in Somali. Middayexpress (talk) 16:44, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm sure you're aware of the difference, but Arabic written in Arabic, even if it's a translation of Somali, is irrelevant to this article. Only Somali written in Arabic script is relevant. Sometimes the statements in the above discussion get fuzzy and it's easy to get lost. --Taivo (talk) 17:02, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. Middayexpress (talk) 17:21, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Italian language?[edit]

Why are the Somali numbers and days of the week given in English with Italian equivalents for comparison? I know there was some Italian interference historically in Eritrea, though even that seems a little tenuous. As far as I can see, the only similarity with any of the Italian names is sabato, a little like Somali sabti, although a Hebraic source would seem more likely for the derivation. And, incidentally, why are some of the Italian words given diacritics? These occasionally occur in textbooks teaching Italian, but only rarely in the living language. Nuttyskin (talk) 12:53, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, good point. It would make more sense for the Somali days and numbers to be given instead in English and Arabic since this is English Wikipedia and Arabic is an official language in both Somalia and Djibouti. Middayexpress (talk) 13:59, 31 October 2013 (UTC)


Please stop claiming Arabic is an official script for Somali without a verifiable ref. Our refs claim the opposite, and yours have not checked out. If it is official, where's the Somali Arabic alphabet? — kwami (talk) 19:38, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

(talk page stalker)I do not recognise "script" in this context ... please expand!
— | Gareth Griffith-Jones |The Welsh | Buzzard| — 19:52, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Besides the Latin script, Somalia uses Modern Standard Arabic in an official capacity (e.g. [15]). It is thus explained in the link that a) "Modern Standard Arabic [...] is the official language of the Arabi world[...] MSA is primarily written not spoken[...] The Arab World refers to the Arabic-speaking countries spread between the Atlantic Ocean and the Persian Gulf[...] The 22 members of the Arab League are Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen" [16]. For the Somali language specifically, Accredited Language Services also discusses the use of the Arabic script to write Somali [17]. Middayexpress (talk) 19:56, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
The source does not support your edit. At first I thought this was fraud, that you were lying about sources to get the edit you wanted, but maybe you simply don't understand that Somali and Arabic are different languages, or the difference between the Arabic language and the Arabic script. At least, I don't see how you could be honest and make these edits otherwise. Please take it to talk rather than edit warring, or I will ask to have you blocked for disrupting the article with spurious claims.
Just to clarify, the fact that the Arabic language is an official language of Somalia has absolutely *nothing* to do with whether the Arabic script is an official script of the Somali language. What you need is a source that the govt of Somalia has passed legislation mandating that the Somali language shall be written in both Latin and Arabic, or that they accept legislation written in the Somali language using either the Latin or Arabic scripts, or something like that. — kwami (talk) 21:19, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree; this discussion belongs on the article's talk page. The source I just added is also not any of the ones above. It's from Accredited Language Service, which has a section on Somali written with the Arabic script [18]. At any rate, I'm glad you finally spelled out what you mean. I'll try and find sources to that effect. In the meantime, I've changed the value judgement "marginal" scripts (which none of the sources make) to the neutral "historical", and also clearly identified the "official" script(s), with "Latin script" in parentheses per the example provided in Template:Infobox language. Middayexpress (talk) 13:59, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
That's fine. Latin is the script of education, which I suppose makes it official, but IMO it's easier just to list it as we do for all other languages. The others are mostly pretty marginal; Lewis notes that the second-most-popular script was used by a hundred people or fewer. Marginality is certainly described even if the word itself is not used. — kwami (talk) 17:10, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Osmanya ebbed in popularity following the arrest of its creator. It later became popular again and was in widespread use after Somali nationalists began championing it [19]. Marginal can also be interpreted as pejorative i.e. as signifying that something is "barely within a lower standard or limit of quality" [20]. Middayexpress (talk) 17:32, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, the "2nd-most" popular he listed was Borama. That's why I had Osmanya first. I can't see anyone reading it that way, but maybe we can come up with a better word that "marginal". Or perhaps we shouldn't include the marginal scripts in the info box. After all, there were dozens of them, and we have to cut them off somewhere. We could just give Latin, Arabic, and Osmanya as the three scripts that have had a national presence, delete the word "marginal" altogether, and go into detail in the text. — kwami (talk) 18:30, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, Latin, Arabic and Osmanya would work alright in the infobox. Middayexpress (talk) 18:37, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
One other point: Lewis describes "Wadaad"’s writing as broken Arabic with some Somali words. Or am I missing something? There have been various proposals for writing Somali in Arabic script, but I can't tell if any of them were widely accepted. Was there ever any widespread Arabic alphabet for Somali, or was it mostly ad hoc adaptations, varying from one person or town to the next? — kwami (talk) 19:06, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Lewis describes Wadaad's writing as both an "ungrammatical Arabic containing many Somali words", and as the "application of the Arabic script to represent Somali". The Arabic script was originally introduced in the 13th century by Sheikh Yusuf bin Ahmad al-Kawneyn in order to teach his pupils how to read the Qur'an and write in Arabic. Prior to that, most of the contacts between the Horn and the Arabian peninsula involved Himyarites and Sabaeans, who spoke non-Arabic languages and used different scripts. Fast forward several centuries and various Somali scholars made attempts to standardize the use of the Arabic script for representing Somali, including Sheikh Uways al-Barawi, Mahammad 'Abdi Makaahiil and Musa Haji Ismail Galal. Lewis discusses these major developments on pp.139-140 [21]. He notes there that Makaahiil "in his attempts to standardize 'wadaad's writing' published a most interesting little book, 'The institution of modern correspondence in the Somali language'[...] This comparatively unknown work consists of an introduction in which the suitability of the Arabic script for writing Somali is urged and a standard orthography is proposed." Additionally, Lewis writes that "it is not unreasonable to suppose that Somalis with a knowledge of Arabic have for many centuries written a sometimes ungrammatical Arabic containing many Somali words as they still do to-day." He also points out that "a considerable religious literature which must comprise several thousand poems (qasidas) in praise of the Prophet and the saints has been produced in Arabic, or a mixture of Arabic and Somali, by Somali sheikhs and wadaads[...] Some of these qasidas[...] have been written in good Arabic by Somali sheikhs with an excellent knowledge of the language acquired locally from especially learned teachers or studied in travel abroad in Arabia, Egypt, and the Sudan". The learned Somali sheikhs and wadaads Lewis is referring to there are men like Uthman bin Ali Zayla'i, Sa'id of Mogadishu, Ali al-Jabarti, Hassan al-Jabarti, Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti, Abd Al-Rahman bin Ahmad al-Zayla'i, Shaykh Sufi, Abdallah al-Qutbi and Muhammad al-Sumali. There indeed were many such historical works and scholars. Middayexpress (talk) 18:48, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I understand that there was much excellent Arabic written in Somalia, but was Lewis including that under "Wadaad"s writing, or does he simply call it "Arabic"?

Did any of these Arabic orthographies catch on? I keep seeing phrasing like "proposed" and "comparatively unknown work", which suggests that most of it was ad hoc, no more universal than Borama would be later, and that the well-thought-out proposals Lewis speaks of never caught on. If one of these orthographies did catch on at the national level, then IMO we should include it in the article, but if not I think we should be clear that there never was an established Somali Arabic alphabet, but rather a whole bunch of local and often temporary conventions, many of which probably had things in common but did not form a coherent system. — kwami (talk) 22:43, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Lewis refers to Wadaad's writing as consisting of internal varieties (e.g. Galaal's iteration), but which are essentially the Somali language written in an adaptation of the Arabic script. He explains this further in another work of his: "It is probably through the wadaads who issue from the jama'a communities that Sufism exerts its greatest influence in Somali structure[...] The parent communities themselves are essentially centres of mystrical devotion, and have produced a considerable Arab-Somali religious literature written mainly in Arabic (but in some cases in Somali transcripted in an adaptation of Arabic script)" [22]. Middayexpress (talk) 16:48, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
So it seems he doesn't mention any particular adaptation that we could present as the dominant Arabic Somali alphabet. — kwami (talk) 19:34, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Lewis notes internal varieties of Wadaad's writing, but speaks of the writing system overall as Somali written in "an adaptation [singular] of Arabic script". Middayexpress (talk) 16:21, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
It may have been a single adaption historically, but it would seem there's no one alphabet we can present to our readers. — kwami (talk) 20:33, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Wadaad's writing is a modified Arabic script, just as the Somali alphabet is a modified Latin script. Here are the vowels and consonants in the Somali scripts, compared side-by-side in Labahn (1982). Middayexpress (talk) 16:23, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
No, it isn't. Lewis is quite clear about that. Latin Somali is a Somali alphabet. Waddad's is a series of ad hoc adaptations of the Arabic alphabet. From what I could see, it doesn't look as if there ever was a set Arabic Somali alphabet. Compare that situation with Turkish, Persian, Urdu, Sindhi, Malay, Swahili, or Hausa in the Arabic script. Once they got established, AFAIK you didn't have different writers using different conventions, you had a single Arabic alphabet used by everyone. Arabic Somali strikes me as being much more like romanized Urdu: some letters will always be the same, but others will vary wildly and unpredictably. — kwami (talk) 01:27, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Lewis does assert as much, as demonstrated with quotes in my post above from 18:48, 1 November 2013 (UTC). So does Labahn (1982); he in fact shows all of the Somali vowels and consonants, including in the Arabic script [23]. The Somali Studies veteran Said Sheikh Samatar likewise does, explaining that the wadaad/cleric Uways al-Barawi was "one of the first Somalis of learning to write Somali in Arabic script[...] A great many of his Somali poems were transmitted, disseminated, and preserved in this manner" [24]. As Habeeb Salloum also notes, "soon after the First World War the Arabic script employed in a number of languages began to be discarded[...] It was replaced by the Latin alphabet in the Muslim lands under Russian rule in 1927-28 and Turkey abolished the Arabic script in 1928, replacing it with modified Latin[...] Somalia, in the last few decades, has followed a similar path[...] Its language, once written in the Arabic script, has been now Latinized" [25]. Middayexpress (talk) 18:43, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── None of those refs which I can access support your claim. Somali was written in Arabic script. That isn't the same as there being a set Arabic alphabet for Somali. Lewis gives several examples to show there was not such an alphabet. From all sources I have seen, there was no standardized "orthography" before 1972. — kwami (talk) 21:40, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

You asked for an alphabet we can present to our readers, and you got it. I've twice now linked to one such source above Labahn (1982), complete with all the vowels and consonants. Bottom line, the use of the Arabic script to write Somali has a long history, as Lewis notes (quoted above). It was also the script used by the various Somali Sultans to keep records. Osmanya, by the way, was not the most popular Somali script prior to the adoption of the modified Latin script; the longstanding Arabic script was. At any rate, this discussion isn't going anywhere, so I've asked for a formal Third Opinion. Middayexpress (talk) 22:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
I've already changed the last point. Upon rereading Lewis, it's clear he meant of the indigenous scripts.
The sample alphabet is good. When and where is it from? How widespread was it?
My objections were not to that alphabet, but to other claims you make when rewriting the section. Specifically, you claim that "Wadaad's writing" is not Arabic script, and imply that it's a single alphabet. Both points are contradicted by our sources. — kwami (talk) 23:26, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
The sample alphabet was originally published in Hussein (1968). Also, I never asserted that Wadaad's writing is not Arabic. I said that Wadaad's writing is a modified Arabic script, just as the Somali alphabet is a modified Latin script. Lewis is also not referring to any indigenous script when he speaks of "an application of the Arabic script to represent Somali". He's talking about Wadaad's writing. Middayexpress (talk) 23:39, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
You said, "Other orthographies that have been used for centuries for writing Somali include the Arabic script [...] as well as Wadaad's writing." That means that wadaad writing is an orthography, which is false, and that it is not Arabic, which is also false. — kwami (talk) 05:14, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
"Orthography" is often a synonym for "writing system" [26]. Wadaad's writing is a modified Arabic script, just as the English alphabet is a modified Latin script. Template:Infobox language draws a distinction between the latter two when it puts Latin script in parentheses after English alphabet. I was doing something similar. Middayexpress (talk) 14:20, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
(1) We should be more precise in an encyclopedia, (2) that's not how it read. — kwami (talk) 00:39, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Grammatical gender[edit]

«Changes in pitch are used for grammatical rather than lexical purposes. This includes distinctions of gender, number and case. In some cases, these distinctions are marked by tone alone (e.g. ĺnan, "boy"; inán, "girl").» It talks about grammatical distinctions, yet the presentation of the example shows a lexical distinction, having nothing to do with gender, number, or case... (Unless for Somalis a boy and a girl are the same concept, and a boy can be called inán when the word is placed in a certain grammatical position). How come? This needs to be corrected. If my guess in parentheses is correct, it needs to be inserted in the article; otherwise, the text must be rewritten. - Evgeniy E. (talk) 15:02, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

That is a distinction in gender; the former is masculine, while and the latter is feminine. Middayexpress (talk) 19:22, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
I am talking about the grammatical category of gender. Such grammatical distinction is perfectly shown only if the situation that I described holds, which is difficult to believe. If not, then even if these two words follow a regular pattern that belongs to the real grammatical category of gender in the language, that simply is not the best example, because it does not prove the point. The distinction that was presented, as it looks, is a lexical one, not a grammatical one. - Evgeniy E. (talk) 03:29, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Understood. However, the distinction here, while indeed a lexical contrast, is ultimately a by product of the main grammatical distinction of gender [27]. Middayexpress (talk) 08:21, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, but ragazzo and ragazza in Italian (meaning "boy" and "girl" respectively) are also nouns that follow a common pattern; what makes the grammatical category of gender exist in Italian is that adjectives have to agree with these nouns according to these nouns' gender (which may as well not be determined through morphological means, and usually it is not determined by the word's meaning). Otherwise, it'd be be just a lexical distinction with some morphological means to its creation. This way of creating a lexical distinction would of course belong to grammar, but it would not describe a grammatical category of gender, like in Spanish, Russian, etc… - Evgeniy E. (talk) 12:11, 10 September 2015 (UTC)


For some time, a single purpose account has been messing around with the linguistic varieties. He has been altering the fact that Northern Somali (or Northern-Central Somali) forms the basis for Standard Somali to read that Central Somali forms the basis for Standard Somali. Over the past few days, he has gone as far as to link to a non-existent work to that effect ("Gather around the speaker" by one Adam Suleiman). Middayexpress (talk) 21:42, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Problem with Infobox language for Somali in Djibouti[edit]

The infobox has Somali as a "Recognised minority language in" Djibouti. In fact it is statutorily recognized but is spoken by a majority. It really is not accurate to call it a minority language. The problem goes back to the Template:Infobox language, which appears to only have options for official language and minority language - which is a false dichotomy (languages don't all fall into one or the other category). In a number of countries in Africa there are languages that may be statutorily recognized, but not official, and spoken by a majority or plurality of the population. A third option in the infobox - or perhaps replacing the problematic term "minority language" would help in such cases.--A12n (talk) 12:33, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, the problem appears to be the minority parameter itself. Template:Infobox language's parameter usage equates a recognized language (which Somali is in Djibouti) with a protected minority language (which it isn't): "list of countries in which it is a recognised/protected minority language". The two parameters would perhaps indeed have to be disambiguated in the code itself. Another thing are the states and region parameters; the template instructs to use one rather than both. The region parameter is preferable here since Somali in Ethiopia and Kenya is only spoken in two specific regions therein. Middayexpress (talk) 19:58, 7 May 2015 (UTC)


This picture has nothing to do with Somali language page. Wikipedia is not a platform for advertising and it should be removed. Knfr44 (talk) 17:29, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

As explained here, it's a news broadcast in the Somali language on Horn Cable Television, as described in the text. The caption is now generic too, so it's not advertising. Soupforone (talk) 17:41, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with the somali language page. Is it so hard to understand? You might as well advertise CNN and NBC in English language page and see the reaction you get. Knfr44 (talk) 19:39, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Knfr44. Every picture in which someone happens to be speaking in language X is not suitable for an article about language X. Pictures in a language article ought to be more directly related to the language than that, as are all the other illustrations in this article. See French language for more examples of pertinent images. All the images there have to do with the distribution of French speakers in the world or parts of it, or show visual examples of French to illustrate the language itself and demonstrate its official use in far-flung parts of the world. A photo of a woman sitting with something in her lap and with her mouth open, presumably because she's speaking, but with no evidence of the Somali language anywhere in the image, isn't a helpful illustration for a page on the Somali language. I wouldn't be so concerned about the logo if the photo were helpful here, but it isn't. Largoplazo (talk) 21:39, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Might've been a bit late here, but here goes.

HCTV is a widely recognised Somali speaking channel in the Somali world (and one of the only ones known) and so it would be considered a part of Somali culture. Emphasis on the words 'Somali speaking'. It's on a page about Somali Language. Even though they're very remotely related, it still makes some sense for it to be there. And no, if you put CNN or NBC on a English language page, it would make sense for the reasons listed above. Discussion closed. Axcii (talk) 15:35, 17 August 2017 (UTC)


The table markup appears to be in spots depricated. Soupforone (talk) 18:00, 4 January 2017 (UTC)


The two language maps were user-made but not based on any linguist [28] [29], contra WP:OI. Soupforone (talk) 15:17, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Maps are based on the work of linguist Marcello Lamberti, the most respected authority on the subject, as cited in the article, not WP:OI. Kzl55 (talk) 15:55, 22 March 2017 (UTC)


User:Kzl55 as per stated somaliland will include regions, like NFD and Somali region, but not official language (this is only for nation). User:Soupforone add your thoughts on this as you are being long time contributor for this article.Somajeeste (talk) 10:23, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

Template:Infobox language provides instruction on what the infobox parameters are for. It indicates that the nation parameter is for "the list of countries in which it is an official language." The example therein is for English - the territorial entities where English is spoken are juxtaposed, with countries distinguished from non-sovereign entities. Hence, there is indeed a clear parameter distinction. Soupforone (talk) 13:58, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Please do not remove Somaliland. De facto indication included. Precedent includes Cantonese infobox. Kzl55 (talk) 15:22, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
WP:BRD we have to restore the page how it was [30] Kzl55 if you wanna add something you should explain and get consensus to solve unwanted misunderstanding, ( I genuinely believe you have good intentions) but Cantonese is not an appropriate comparison, and I have shared my reason above Template:Infobox language states "the list of countries in which it is an official language." and given English as example (Official language in 54 countries 27 non-sovereign entities) I think we should follow that example and and restore the thing how it was, WP:3O will be appreciated. Somajeeste (talk) 09:31, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
No we do not. Not until a consensus is reached here. Please respect the fact that the article is protected and do not start another one of your edit wars. Argue your case here to get consensus before editing. This is why protection was placed in the first place.
I have listed Wikipedia precedent in the example of Cantonese, which is a perfectly acceptable example, seeing as both are languages using the same language infobox. The Cantonese infobox lists both Macau and Hong Kong, neither of which have de facto status let alone de jure standing. They are autonomous territories of PRC, Somaliland on the other hand is an independent de facto sovereign state. The Somali language is the official language of the Republic of Somaliland, as stated in article 6 of the Somaliland constitution [31]. This is why you should leave the page as is and not remove Somaliland. Kzl55 (talk) 10:10, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
None of these have the same format. anyway considering the article was stable long time before you added your argument, To save further time being wasted here, I'm not going to agree to your proposed format, so let's see what other parties suggest and then let's move on please.Somajeeste (talk) 10:23, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
Its the exact same infobox. The different formatting is due to them being different languages. Whether you agree or disagree with it, the precedent is clear, I can provide other examples if needed. And I did not propose this edit, a different editor did, look through the history if you must. Kzl55 (talk) 10:37, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

In agreement with Kzl55, both infoboxes pertain to languages and since both Hong Kong and Macau were included in the Cantonese infobox, why do you oppose the inclusion of Somaliland in the Somali language infobox when Somaliland unlike Macau and Hong Kong is an independent de facto state? Please do not remove Somaliland. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ciiseciise007 (talkcontribs) 09:31, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

There is no need to politicise and edit war over every single article relating to Somaliland. Somajeeste, you have been disruptively editing on this project for quite some time now. As I have explained above the Cantonese precedent is very clear, neither Macau nor Hong Kong have the same level of sovereignty and independence as Somaliland, they are both autonomous territories of PRC yet both are included in the Cantonese infobox. Another example being Armenian language infobox where Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is included along with Armenia. Standard Chinese infobox includes Taiwan despite the lack of de jure recognition of Taiwan. Albanian language infobox includes Kosovo (Kosovo is not recognised by the UN despite many UN member states recognising it.) I hope that settles the matter and no more edit warring happens on this page. Kzl55 (talk) 12:04, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Someone could just as easily start arguing at the talk page for Cantonese that the Somali language page gives precedent for removing Hong Kong and Macau from the infobox for that article. Who decides which article sets the precedent? Largoplazo (talk) 12:16, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Good point. I am not entirely sure which of the articles sets precedent. I imagine given that there is a group of articles listing non UN recognised states, then one can infer some consensus/precedent on the matter?
I guess it boils down to what is more useful to the end user. Both Macau and Hong Kong are not sovereign states, but their inclusion in the infobox is useful seeing as they both have Cantonese as an official language. Kzl55 (talk) 13:10, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Somajeeste and Largoplazo, other language pages indeed don't determine what is the appropriate parameter format; actual website policy does. Template:Infobox language is the correct benchmark for the infobox parameter. Soupforone (talk) 13:12, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

The specific use in the other articles is identical to the use here. You cant have different language infoboxes having different parameter use. As Largoplazo suggested once could argue a similar case on the Cantonese page. Given that there are many examples of this specific use (Armenian language, Cantonese, Standard Chinese and Albanian language to name a few,) all including non UN recognised states, I do not see a reason why Somali language should be treated differently. Kzl55 (talk) 13:20, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Soupforone i see your point, but this guy is pushing is his POV, its not who determines what, adding regional Name on official language will have major mpact ( as other guy could easily argue that we should include Puntland too Per Somaliland capacity). i think its the best interest to reinstate how it was Wikipedia is built upon WP:NPOV Soupforone as you are being longtime editor of this page, I think you are the best position to solve this .Somajeeste (talk) 13:41, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
This is not how Wikipedia works. You are here to establish consensus not to force your point. Somaliland is an independent sovereign state, it has no international recognition, but it has been an independent de facto state for 26 years now, Puntland is an autonomous state of Somalia. Please do not conflate the two. Kzl55 (talk) 13:56, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
As Kzl55 mentioned, you cannot equate Somaliland's de facto independence to Puntland which has declared itself as an autonomous region of Somalia. If Puntland, the Somali Region, or NFD declare de facto independence then indeed they should be added to the infobox. If we use formal recognition as a benchmark for whether a region can be listed, then the infoboxes of many language pages such as Abkhaz language, Cantonese, Armenian language and many others would need to be changed. Koodbuur (talk) 15:27, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Protected edit request on 18 May 2017[edit]

In note [39]: Abdullahi, Mohammed Diriye. "Is Somali a Tone Language?" (PDF). Université de Montréal. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 

the URL for the link is dead. I looked on the internet archive, but all past archives are password-protected.

The URL should at the very least be tagged with {{Dead link}}.

But more to the point I can't find any evidence that a paper by this title by this author ever existed. I can only find information about the 1954 paper by Andrzejewski. The wikipedia page for Mohamed Diriye Abdullahi lists:

  • Denis Sinor, ed. (August 1954). "Is Somali a tone-language". Proceedings of the Twenty-Third International Congress of Orientalists. Cambridge: London Royal Asiatic Society: 367–368.

But that refers to Andrzejewski (1954), just not by name.

I propose deleting the entire sentence: "Abdullahi (2000), the most recent work exclusively on the subject, proposes that Somali is not a tonal language.", since there's no evidence for it. Plus, "most recent" shouldn't belong in an encyclopedia as new works can arise all the time. Umimmak (talk) 03:18, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

Most recent is indeed inapt. However, per Linguist List, the analysis does exist. It was presented at the 5th International Conference on Afroasiatic Languages [32]. Soupforone (talk) 05:45, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Well it wasn't included in the proceedings for that conference [33], so can we refer to a source that wasn't published and hence is unverifiable? Umimmak (talk) 06:23, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
That apparently contains selected papers from the conference, so that's probably why it isn't in there but is on the Linguist List program. Soupforone (talk) 16:25, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Okay sure but an unpublished conference talk is unverifiable for the readers and editors of wikipedia. There isn't even a way to verify if he thought it was or wasn't a tone language, let alone what his analysis was. Umimmak (talk) 19:23, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Frid indicates essentially the same thing, so the phrase should probably link instead to his analysis [34] [35]. Soupforone (talk) 03:57, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure if a bachelor's degree thesis is notable, but it's at least verifiable. If we were citing lots of papers in the debate then sure, but I'm not sure a 26-page BA thesis from over 20 years ago is important enough to be the sole viewpoint represented in the article. Umimmak (talk) 05:20, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The tone-accent analysis is actually from Hyman; Frid just alludes to it [36]. Anyway, G. L. Kapchits works alright [37]. Soupforone (talk) 15:22, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

I think it makes sense to have a statement about Hyman 1981 in that section -- that's also the source reference #38 refers to about the topic. But I'm not sure about Kapchits 2005 since it's not about phonology and just defers to Hyman. Umimmak (talk) 18:15, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
The tone-accent analysis itself is okay [38]. Soupforone (talk) 04:09, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at by calling it "okay". Hyman `1981 is an important paper in this discussion and it should be mentioned, but if we have a source saying there's a debate we should have sources representing various viewpoints. Umimmak (talk) 19:52, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
What I mean is that there are two main theories on this language's phonological system: whether it is a tonal language (the old theory), or whether it is a pitch accent language (the currently dominant theory). Both are already noted. The second was just attributed to that password file, but it should point instead to its originator Hyman. Soupforone (talk) 04:03, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
If Hyman (1981) is the currently dominant theory then it being the currently dominant theory should be stated and sourced. But it's unclear to me that that is the dominant theory -- it seems that Hyman (2009) [39] seems to go against Hyman (1981) and calls for phonologists to not classify languages as "pitch accent languages" -- Somali included -- and Hyman (2006) [40] says Somali is a language with tone and without a stress accent. At some point the debate isn't even about the facts of Somali phonology but rather about what it means to be a tone language or not. Umimmak (talk) 07:42, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Not done for now: Unsure what is being requested. Please continue discussing — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:40, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Umimmak, what Hyman means is that accents in the language are properties of morae, not of syllables as in actual tonal languages. That is, it is a pitch accent/tone accent language. This is why he indicates (2009) that this language is "far from anyone's ideal or prototypical tone system", and that "while other systems analyzed as pitch-accent clearly combine stress and tone, Somali and Japanese are best summed up by the following: "A pitch-accent system is one in which pitch is the primary correlate of prominence and there are significant constraints on the pitch patterns for words..."" [41]. Please see pitch accent for the difference. Soupforone (talk) 14:50, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

But he concludes: "The need for a third category of pitch-accent has not been established, and in any case, would seem more interpretive than demonstrable. [...] we would do well to avoid using the term ‘‘pitch-accent” as a catch-all in favor of direct reference to the properties of what we all recognize to be a diverse collection of intermediate word-prosodic systems." And in Hyman (2001) [42] he defines "tone language" in a way that was written in order to include Somali: "I propose that the final definition of tone be as follows: 'A language with tone is one in which an indication of pitch enters into the lexical realization of at least some morphemes.' The wording in this definition intentionally bypasses a problem which could arise if we required the pitch feature or features to be present lexically." In that same paper he writes "Although these are commonly referred to as 'pitch-accent' or 'tonal accent' systems, note that Somali and Tokyo Japanese — to which these terms have also been applied — are not included. (They are instead tone systems whose tones are severely restricted in terms of distribution.)" So it seems misleading to cite Hyman as someone who claims Somali isn't a tone language but is rather a pitch accent. Umimmak (talk) 20:37, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Yeah, Le Gac indicates that "regretting his own 1981 proposal, [Hyman 2007] claims that Somali is, in fact, a restricted tone system in which the high pitches are the phonetic realizations of H tones." Nonetheless, Le Gac acknowledges that "since [Hyman 1981]'s seminal paper, Somali has usually been considered to be a tonal/pitch-accent language" [43]. Therefore, it would make sense to point instead to the Saeed analysis for the pitch accent [44]. Soupforone (talk) 08:16, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

It seems to me that Saeed just notes Somali has a restricted tone system and then just mostly defers to Hyman 1981 and Banti 1988's analyses.
We have a source saying there's a debate, and Saeed [45] also says "The behaviour of tone in relation to accent or stress has been a difficult issue in Somali grammatical description." Given that, I don't think it makes sense to just pick one source and present that as the paper on the subject. I think what can be said is to say the uncontroversial facts: there are tonal minimal pairs, prosodic words can have at maximum one high tone, and the mora is the TBU -- I don't think there's a debate about any of those statements -- and then maybe provide citations to some of the important analyses of Somali tonology (e.g., Armstrong, Klingenheben, Moreno, Vycichl, Andrzejewski, Hyman, Banti, La Gac, etc...).
You seem to just want one reference there, and I think that could be okay, too, depending on how it's presented. But it's unclear to me what your criteria are for choosing which source to have. The La Gac paper you refer to [46] seems to be a good recent paper on the topic, having come out just last year, and it provides references to past analyses, so that might be a good paper to have if we just want a single reference, and then tell the reader to read the lit review? I dunno, this conversation got a lot more involved than I had expected :) Umimmak (talk) 09:11, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── La Gac is an unpublished conference paper, so per the same criteria above as Frid, it is ineligible. We also can't make any general pronouncements as to which grammatical points are uncontroversial among linguists, or for that matter which grammatical analyses are important among linguists, without explicit linguistic assertions to that effect. With that established, Saeed 2004 indicates that-- "Somali has been described as a tonal accent language, which is an attempt to distinguish the tonal system from true tone languages like the West African languages Igbo or Ewe (and outside Africa, Chinese) on the on the one hand, and from pitch accent languages like Japanese on the other" [47]. This would go well after the wiki-phrase on the pitch accent/tone dichotomy since it explains the tonal accent phonological system. Soupforone (talk) 14:49, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

But La Gac was published in the proceedings [48]? The main issue I had with Frid was that it was an undergraduate paper whose author didn't seem particularly notable in the field of Somali phonology. But people cite La Gac's work so that doesn't seem to be an issue. And when you say "We also can't make any general pronouncements as to which grammatical points are uncontroversial among linguists", well doesn't the article on Somali phonology basically already say what I was suggesting? Noted it's not up to us to decide which papers are notable, but Hyman 1981, La Gac 2016, and others I'm sure provide lit reviews -- can we defer to them and say that papers X and Y mentioned as background reading in the debate are A, B, and C? My worry about the Saeed quotation is that it seems to violate WP:WEASEL -- "Somali has been described as a tonal accent language", but it doesn't say by whom. And it also seems to me the article should cite something that's about tonology rather than something about information structure which briefly touches on tonology. In any event the article is editable again and I think we're both in agreement to remove the part about "the most recent work exclusively on the subject". Umimmak (talk) 21:09, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As indicated in the abstract, the focus of La Gac is actually its own tonal analysis. The paper also only appears in that conference's proceedings; it is little different in that regard to the Abdullahi work in the op, with neither conference paper having scholarly citations per Web of Science [49]. The main difference is that La Gac was part of its conference's selected proceedings, whereas Abdullahi was part of its conference's program. Saeed 2004 is a conference paper too, but unlike the foregoing it at least has one scholarly citation. With that established, the pitch accent and tone language associations should probably point to Banti 1988 (rather than Hyman 1981 given his later wavering on tonality) and Andrezjewski 1954, respectively. Soupforone (talk) 12:41, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

Well fwiw, La Gac's other papers on the subject have been cited. I think perhaps it's just too recently published for articles to have cited it yet? But yeah those work. Umimmak (talk) 22:20, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Ok great. As per the above, I've removed the Abdullahi phrase, and pointed the pitch accent and tone language associations to Banti and Andrezjewski, respectively. Soupforone (talk) 03:15, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Protected edit request on 21 May 2017[edit]

There is a mistake in the "Phonology" section where it says "The consonants /b d̪ q/ often weaken to [β ð ɣ]" The /q/ should be /g/. It also says /g/ weakens to /ɣ/ between vowels in the Somali phonology page under the "Phonological processes" section. I am a native speaker and know that it is /g/. Knfr44 (talk) 11:03, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

 Done. El_C 09:20, 23 May 2017 (UTC)