User talk:Austronesier

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Archived discussions[edit]

Austronesian Languages[edit]

Regarding your message on my page about Austronesian languages,

Hi, I'm not too sure about the etiquette regarding this kind of thing, but how it was before seemed messy and almost misleading to me, as if the majority of Austronesian languages is composed of Taiwanese languages. all the previous sub-denominations are on the formosian page, so it seemed like an easier way of organising it. I put a question regarding this kind of thing here (I wasn't sure where to put it) thinking that maybe a drop-down menu or bullet point list under category "formosan" could be implemented, though I have no idea how to create such a function. Thanks for contacting me and sorry If I had done something wrong, I just thought this seemed easier to understand. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ihaasa (talkcontribs) 14:57, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

@Ihaasa: You certainly have a point that one should add structured info about the "uneven" geographical distribution of the primary branches. But I disagree with replacing the Formosan branches with a mere geopraphical grouping. After all, there is overall agreement among most Austronesianists that Taiwan is home to several primary branches of Austronesian which are coordinate to Malayo-Polynesian, even though there are different opinions about the details. Although there is no explicit policy on this, I think the infobox should list these primary branches as they are, regardless of any "imbalanced" geographical distribution. Nothing misleading here (IMHO), and having 10 primary branches in the infobox is far from being messy (Sino-Tibetanists have a bigger problem here!), but just giving due weight to the facts (read: the facts about the current state of research). So for these reasons, I will revert to the previous version. Probably you can come up with a solution using the "|children=" parameter to give some extra information. –Austronesier (talk) 17:14, 5 May 2019 (UTC)


Hi, I just want to ask whether or not you know how to refer to a specific edition of Glottolog (like, the 3.4 one instead of 3.0). Because in the newest edition, Glottolog follows Smith (2017) for the classification of Land Dayak languages. Or should I just remove the earlier Glottolog classification from the article? Wait, my bad, Glottolog only merged Banyadu to Bekati but changed nothing else. Masjawad99💬 22:54, 25 May 2019 (UTC)

Lampung language[edit]

Hi Austronesier, do you know if there is any way to denote intonation contour in sentence glosses? The one source I use for the Lampung language article has something like this but I am not sure if that can be done in Wikipedia. Should I just ignore those marks? Or is there any other way to denote that? I am not that familiar with symbols used to mark intonation etc. Masjawad99💬 23:11, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Hi @Masjawad99: I haven't come across intonation contour lines yet in Wikipedia. The article Intonation (linguistics) only has the rising and falling arrows. So you would have to covert the information in the paper for the WP article. To do so faithfully, there should be a one-to-one correspondence between the two transcription systems. Or maybe Uanfala has an idea about the contour lines? –Austronesier (talk) 00:29, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

I don't know of a nice way to do that. I can think of the following, rather inelegant solution:

 ________┌──   ──┐__
 Lamban hudi → balak ↓
 house  that   large
 'That house is large.

This takes advantage of the fact that in wikicode a line beginning with a space will be displayed in a fixed-width font, so you can align words by adding the necessary number of spaces between them, and you can build the intonation contour using symbol characters like _┌ ─ ┐ ⸜ ⸝ (most of them taken from here or here). It might be worth asking at the village pump though, in case someone there could come up with a better way to do that. – Uanfala (talk) 14:37, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Kinaray-a ethnonym[edit]

Hi Austronesier,

Would a citation of historical texts where karay-a was derived from the Kinaray-a word iraya suffice to keep my edit? They used to be predominantly upland Visayans, and have long been distinguished from their lowland counterparts (cf. Hiligaynon) whose ethnonym is from ilig meaning downstream. Spanish texts have called the lowlanders speaking Hiligaynon as yliguenes/hiligueina, while the Kinaray-a as haraya.[1]


Pansitkanton (talk) 13:54, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

Hi @Pansitkanton: Sure, anything from a reliable external source would be welcome, even if it is based on non-specialist folk etymology. Personally, I would stil contest the etyomolgy "karay‑a" < *daya because of the additional glottal stop. [-Cʔ-]-clusters are very stable in all Visayan lects and therefore the glottal stop should also show up in "irayá/ilayá". But again, if you have a good source, I won't meddle with the edit, because I don't do OR on WP. As for de Mentrida, on which page does he relate "Haraya" to "Iraya"? –Austronesier (talk) 14:32, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

Papuan language sources[edit]

Hello Austronesier, I have a question regarding some sources that I have used for a few Papuan languages. The web page offers a large index, with a wide selection of publications of the numerous languages of Papua New Guinea. The source can be viewed here: Many of these publications provide the phonological data, they are entitled as “Organised Phonology Data“ by SIL. Now are these sources from the site reliable sources that give a good explanation of the phonology of these languages? I would like to know your feedback and information. Thank you. Fdom5997 (talk) 19:28, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

Hi @Fdom5997: I am not fully familiar with the internal review process of SIL for these data sources, but I would consider them reliable sources.
Btw, /j/ appears in the Kol table in the velar column. A certain economy is fine, but in this case I would simply follow the source, even if it results in a single entry column. –Austronesier (talk) 10:18, 5 July 2019 (UTC)


Hi Austronesier,

Recently I am thinking of updating this map:

  • Malayo-Polynesian-en.svg

The current map obviously has many issues and should be replaced. However, I am not sure as to how. I think we should at least distinguish the boundaries of South Sulawesi, Celebic, and Northwest Sumatra-Barrier Islands subgroups. As for the rest of the lower level subgroups (including those in "Bornean" grouping), we can either display them individually (which will make it very messy) or perhaps create two versions to accommodate both Malayo-Sumbawan (version 1) and Greater North Borneo/Western Indonesian (version 2a & 2b) proposals.

* may not appear as they are either too small or out of map boundaries

What do you think?

Another thing: regarding "Bornean" languages, I am not sure whether it merits its own article, even as a "geographic" group, since I am not aware of any scholar who groups them together (Alfred Hudson (1978) does refer to something that he calls "Endo-Bornean", but it is in no way a cohesive group). Perhaps "Languages of Borneo" fits more, but then it would be pointless since we already have Languages of Indonesia (plus Languages of Kalimantan) and Languages of Malaysia covering the topic. I am thinking of repurposing the article for the Greater North Borneo proposal. Or should I just create a new one from scratch?

Masjawad99💬 07:51, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

Hi Masjawad99!

  • Yes, the map is definitely outdated. The two-maps approach is a good solution, since Malayo-Sumbawan and GNB/WI are irreconcilable at the current stage of research. Maybe Malayic should be shaded in both maps (respectively with the same colour as GNB and Malayo-Sumbawan), since it is geographically and numerically the most important "microgroup". Btw, Hammarström has found a "solution" in the shape of a lame compromise in the Glottolog, where he creates a "North Borneo Malayo-Polynesian" subgroup claiming Smith's thesis as source, but achieves this essentially by doing cherry picking so as not to withdraw from the acceptance of Adelaar's Malayo-Sumbawan.
I agree that a conservative map won't do either, since it will pretty much look like a map of Germany in 1700. The only other alternative would be a Blust-ian map with a single WMP slice and an appropriate legend, but this would be potentially misleading.
  • The concept of Bornean languages is clearly obsolete, and only existed in Merrit Ruhlen's Guide to the World's Languages (1987). It survived in WP because it was part of a problematic subgrouping scheme that overemphasized NMP – which btw made me rather annoyed than flattered ;-) – and included some clear OR (I am not sure if you are aware of this discussion). I think, the best way to rescue this article is to re-purpose it as you suggest and move it to "Greater North Borneo languages".
As for Languages of Kalimantan, this is actually a blatant piece of plagiarism from the Ethnologue that goes way beyond fair use. IMO, it should be moved to "Languages of Borneo", which should give a short overwiew of the languages of the whole island, with or without map, and with pointers to the relevant main articles. The section "Austroasiatic substratum" in "Bornean languages" can be moved here, but we should give credit to Adelaar as the real author of the idea, rather than to Roger "Jack of all trades" Blench, who is clearly overcited in so many articles about SEA languages (probably because his stuff is mostly open-access).
We should go to the talk pages of Bornean languages and Languages of Kalimantan first, since this involves major restructuring and potentially a massive cleanup of links because of the redirects. –Austronesier (talk) 10:58, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
@Austronesier: So, I have tried to draw the basic version here. Surprisingly it is still pretty visible, although it'll need a lot of colors. The Malayo-Sumbawan one will combine the Malayic+Chamic, Sundanese, Madurese, and BSS in the map, while the GNB one will combine Malayic+Chamic, North Bornean, Land Dayak, Rejang, and Sundanese. Btw, I just realized this, but should I draw Melanau-Kajang boundaries in the Malayo-Sumbawan map as well (ofc it would be combined into GNB in the other version)?
As for Languages of Kalimantan, it seems like the creator wanted to make it more of a list article, although the texts are indeed copy pasted wholly from Ethnologue. If we want to repurpose it as Languages of Borneo, though, I think some of the content (at least the language names and number of speakers) should be moved to something like List of languages of Indonesia. But maybe we can think of it later. My plan is to expand the Languages of Indonesia article first, and then develop the list article from the redirect page. Masjawad99💬 01:48, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
@Masjawad99: With the larger number of subgroups, the broken borders look somewhat strange. I don't know of an alternative yet; maybe black borders with full colored shading of the areas (on land only)?
Agree with the second part. Btw, I will initiate a discussion about nomenclature of Indonesian ethnic names, because we need a consensus about things like "Toba Batak" vs. "Batak Toba", "Ngaju Dayak" vs. "Dayak Ngaju". There is a tendency to replace the established and syntactically correct English forms with the Indonesian ones. Another point is the inflational use of "-nese" (Bataknese etc.), which makes me cringe, but I don't want to guided by my personal aversions. More on that later, I will ping you for the discussion. –Austronesier (talk) 08:33, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

@Austronesier: Btw, I just realized that the discussion on AA substratum covers languages that are part of GNB anyway. I think we can retain it. Also, I am not sure which Blust (2010) is referred to in the Melanau-Kajang article. My suspicion is that this scheme was taken from somewhere else (not even Ethnologue uses this classification). And one more: Blust (2010) GNB article only mentions Melanau and Kajang casually when discussing about North Sarawak. Should I just list them as separate branches within GNB (in the earlier Blust's version)? My understanding is that Blust assumed that all languages of Borneo other than Greater Barito languages are part of GNB, but he doesn't make a clear-cut internal division other than outlining North Borneo and including well-established subgroups like Malayic and Land Dayak. Masjawad99💬 13:36, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

@Masjawad99: Melanau-Kajang is from an older version of the Ethnologue. It's quite interesting to see how much progress has been made in the last 15 yrs, if you look at the whole classification scheme (don't wonder about the messed tabs when you click on individual subgroups). For the synopsis of Blust (2010), I'd suggest you add an "unclassified" branch, which lists Melanau and Kajang separately. It's actually quite hard to extract a comprehensive classification scheme from that article. –Austronesier (talk) 15:01, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
@Austronesier: Hm, the internal classification of Melanau-Kajang in that older version of Ethnologue doesn't differ much from the current one. In contrast, the article includes a separate "Outer Central Sarawak" branch which doesn't appear in Ethnologue. That's why I asked whence the scheme came. Masjawad99💬 22:13, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
@Masjawad99: I have seen you have already done a lot with GNB since our last discussion. I will also have a look at the whole complex of related articles. At the moment I have little time for productive work on WP, except for short discussions and patrolling my watchlist. Btw, I have seen the Ponosakan article. Good job! –Austronesier (talk) 09:17, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

@Austronesier: Sorry for another ping, but I just want to say that I will start a discussion on the restructurization of MP languages articles in the Indonesian Wikipedia. Take a look at the draft here; I will perhaps put it in the talk page of id:Rumpun bahasa Melayu-Polinesia Inti and ping everyone who might be interested. Masjawad99💬 01:52, 19 July 2019 (UTC)

@Masjawad99: That's fine, I haven't been aware to which extent NMP is present in the Indonesian WP. Not as much as in the English WP (before my cleanup), it seems? I just checked at random id:Bahasa Tolaki which was created in 2010 with a "flawless" classification.
Btw, can you have a look at this discussion (so far it'a monologue): Talk:Austronesian languages#Inflated "Comparison charts"? I want to add a concise and representative table, and need a consensus in case it will be flooded by additions from users who feel hurt because their language was neglected. –Austronesier (talk)

Problem with the gene flow between the Ainu and “lowland East Asian farmer populations” (represented in the study by the Ami and Atayal in Taiwan.[edit]

Look at this genetic chart which is from the same study that you used as a reference. It is a autosomal DNA study

You can clearly see Ainu are 100% colored in gray showing they have their own independent genetic. The Japanese would seem to have around 15% (or 10-19% ) of it but you can clearly see the Ami, Atayal, Lahu, Dai have none of that admixture.

My problem is the misinterpretation saying there is gene flow on those populations like they have intermixed with Ainu when you can clearly see there is none at all. –DerekHistorian (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:25, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

@DerekHistorian: What about the passages which I recommended to read first in my last edit summary? I simply rephrase what the authors say in their article. The verbatims are:

"Surprisingly, we also find extra genetic affinity between the Ainu and lowland farmer populations in comparison to the Sherpa (Figure S14 and Table S5), indicating gene flow between these two groups of populations" (p.269, left column)
"Even though we find strong evidence of gene flow between the Ainu and lowland East Asian farmers, it is hard to establish whether migrations were mainly unidirectional and, if so, which direction was predominant. One possibility is that Ainurelated populations, probably hunter–gatherers, once occupied mainland East Asia preceding the expansion of farmers and that they contributed to the gene pool of the latter" (p.269, right column)
"The Ainu are more closely related to lowland East Asian farmer populations (Ami, Atayal, Dai and Lahu) than to the Sherpa or to Tibetans, suggesting gene flow between the two groups after lowland East Asians split from the high-altitude East Asians." (legend to Table S5)

You shouldn't be fixated on the ADMIXTURE K=8 diagram alone, especially since the authors also rely on other other methods to find gene flow events that occurred after the primary splits. They explain it on pp.266-267 in the section headed "The Ainu share more ancestry with low-altitude than with high-altitude East Asians".

Btw I would advise to take this discussion to the Talk page of the article itself, so other interested editors can contribute as well. Is it ok if I copy our main arguments to Talk:Ainu people, before proceeding? –Austronesier (talk) 15:55, 9 August 2019 (UTC)


Hi @Austronesier:, it appears there's an edit war going on on the Paleo-Sardinian language page involving an unregistered user who appears hell bent on adding hypothetical language family affiliations to info-boxes, I've reverted their edit for now and your justifications sound fair to me (fringe theories about possible language family placement do not belong in the info box), however thought you should be made aware of the edit note left by

Reverted edits by "Austronesier". "Austronesier guy do not come to Europe, stay in Oceania with the other Austronesians".

Hedge89 (talk) 14:50, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

Hi @Hedge89: Thanks for handling the revert and for your sensible edit summary. This is still below the report level I guess. In fact, I have reverted two more edits by the same IP editor, for similar reasons. Generally, WP is a microcosm that is overall way more civil that the rest of the web. For the small fraction of exceptions, I stick to WP:DFTT, and keep calm and bone dry. Again, thanks, much apreciated!– Austronesier (talk) 15:31, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
@Austronesier: Fair enough, I presumed you'd see the edit anyway but I thought it polite to make sure you're aware. As it stands, I agree you're right, should just ignore it for now. Meant to add, looking through the edit history for that IP and for other IPs that were making the same edits on that page before, I rather think it's one person who's IP keeps changing. I'll have a read through WP:DFTT now actually as it looks useful, thanks. - Hedge89 (talk) 10:23, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
@Hedge89: Judging from earlier edits from the same IP range, that editor's interest has a considerable overlap with my watchlist. In spite of this agreement, we apparently disagree on such fundamentals such as WP:reliable sources and WP:Due and undue weight, which almost inevitably ends in a revert, due to consistently low quality standards from their side. A wise editor once said: "The joy in editing wikipedia is inversely correlated with the size of your watchlist." So, what I make myself see is what I get. ;-) –Austronesier (talk) 15:26, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

spelling ? [edit]

there have been incessant discussions about spelling conventions at the WikiProject Indonesia noticeboard - and in many cases it appears to be exactly that - personal preferences, and done with no knowledge of attempts at standardising... sigh JarrahTree 12:55, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Hi JarrahTree! Thanks for dropping by. I have noticed that the article Indonesian language still contains some spelling inconsistencies, so it actually needs to be cleaned up. Is there any consensus about BE and AE spelling for Indonesia-related articles? Or just a consensus about having no consensus, as so often in WP? I personally write using AE spelling, but happily adjust if required, or already set out by the existing spelling in an article.
And by the way, I would to have your opinion about this matter: Talk:Ethnic groups in Indonesia#Terminology. – Austronesier (talk) 13:22, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
There are some systematic issues regarding the application of BE, and although a recent addition of a large number of AE added to the oz project, remained unchallenged by the main implementers of BE into the oz domain, the 'in' field has not had established standards, since I have been involved (circa 2007). Your request for my opinion, I am, for my whatever, a very large edit idiot when it comes to slowing down and comprehending the issues of such a discussion, my fieldwork in Java and my earlier hons degree was very yk and sk focused if you get my acronyms, and I frequently before fieldwork and after would have dabbled into the material available at that time in regards to the new order 'framing' of the world, and have really not made the effort to look at the 'frameworks' of understanding ethnicity in the current environment despite a short visit in country within the last 2 years. I could bore you silly with my opinionated understandings of the issues - for the 10 years of so of being involved in academic ways of looking at, and the subsequent 10 years + of this damned infernal goldfish bowl. Give me some time, real life jumps in at times making a considered response haphazard at worst. JarrahTree 13:37, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Also specifically locating - may be one thing, but then also the noticeboard needs something as well... JarrahTree 13:40, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
@JarrahTree: Actually, it is just about names for ethnic groups in English, not about controversies about sub-categorizations and stuff, so nothing really deep in spite of my lengthy introduction. And note you're talking to a real dummy...please show me the way to the next noticeboard ♫. You mean the project's Talk page, right? – Austronesier (talk) 13:58, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
nah, I self identified in Yogya as a 'londo', and most of my Javanese friends were horrified that I dare self identify in such a manner, I am sure the dummy is my claim ... - is the noticeboard... - my reply is somewhat close to the original points, the problem with english wikipedia, is that many south east asian editors find english wikipedia a place to either assert their national or ethnic pride (sigh) and this manifests in scripts, and terms that the average english speaker has no idea what is going on... Then there is the huge array of editors who find practising their english in wikipedia is that they bring rather astonishing notions of what wikipedia is about by creating articles like: - which used to leave me nothing short of flabbergasted until I checked that other countries do such a thing as well, so clearly out of the range of what WP:ABOUT is trying to grapple with in WP:NOT. I think it is all linked myself... JarrahTree 14:10, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
mohon maaf, and kalau saya kurang sopan - about this, my apologies - I could be taken for an outsider with a skewed view, I hope not JarrahTree 14:42, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
@JarrahTree: No, no, all is cool, and being an outsider (= non-Indonesian Eurasian, to give a bit away about myself) with a skewed view is my claim ;)
And thanks for bringing the discussion to the project Talk page! Basically, it is all about WP:ENG when not knowing for sure what the ENG-part is. When 42k Dayak girls add #dayaknese hashtags to their Instagram posts (just checked for it), will that turn it into common and accepted English usage? I have a young oz colleague in linguistics who has blended in so well with the "-nese" fad that he has adopted the term "Torajanese" which still makes me cringe. As for, having grown up in Europe, it doesn't really come as a surprise to me, notability-wise ( – Austronesier (talk) 15:17, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Ethnolinguistic group[edit]

Hello Austronesier. I think the article needs expansion. Adding a list of contemporary ethnolinguistic groups would be an improvement. I have been searching sources on the topic but there isn't enough info on the net - the definitions are quite vague. Could you link me if you have or find a good one? Cheers. Puduḫepa 13:13, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

@Puduḫepa: Greetings to the Hittite royal highness! I am a bit unsure about your question, since ethnolinguistic groups are more or less the default case of ethnic groups. Before proceeding, do you mean ethnic groups which are distinct from other groups solely (or mainly) because of having a distinct language, similar to the case of ethnoreligious groups? –Austronesier (talk) 16:48, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Greetings Austronesier:) See the old discussion here. A clear definition of ethnolinguistic group would help to resolve similar content disputes re: ethnolinguistic group vs. ethnic group. Puduḫepa 16:56, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Oh yes, now I get it, I forgot how far the definition of ethnolinguistic group gets stretched. Look at the pains kwami and I had in Talk:Indigenous people of New Guinea with an editor who couldn't understand the difference between genetic/linguistic relations and the basic definition of ethnicity. I only accept the proper definition of "ethnolinguistic group", so any attempts to define macro-ethnicities solely based on linguistic relationship are pseudoscience, and unfortunately quite rampant, even in WP. Ethnolinguistic groups in the scientific meaning of the term are ethnic groups, albeit just a subset of the latter. Albanians, Croats, and East Frisians all are ethnic groups; Albanians are an ethnolinguistic group, Croats (roughly speaking) an ethnoreligious group, whereas East Frisians historically were an ethnolinguistic group, but with the decline of the East Frisian language have become an ethnic group that is solely culturally distinct (a fate shared e.g. by the Manchus). I can try to add some clarifying examples and counter-examples to the article "Ethnolinguistic group" to unroot some common misconceptions. For the former, the sources in the article are already perfect, but for the latter, I will try to find a good source which specifically deals with the topic of "abusing" linguistic findings. –Austronesier (talk) 17:57, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
If I am not mistaken, "ethnolinguistic group" is broader (e.g. Slavic, Turkic, Iranic,...) while "ethnic group" is more specific (e.g. Russian, Turkish, Persian, etc.) Puduḫepa 18:22, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
An ethnolinguistic group is defined by common ethnicity and language, so Russians, Turks (in the narrow sense), Persians are ethnolinguistic groups, whereas the Slavic-speaking peoples, Turkic-speaking peoples, and Iranic-speaking peoples are not. Slavic peoples and Turkic peoples will be acceptable for some scholars as ethnolinguistic macro-groups, since the ethnolinguistic diversification happened quite recently in historical times. But the article Turkic peoples has the correct definition (emphasis added): The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethno-linguistic groups.... So again, the broader usage of "ethnolinguistic group" in the singular to comprise people from several distinct ethnic groups which happen to speak mutually related languages is simply incorrect. – Austronesier (talk) 18:40, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
It seems that the word comes from ethnology + linguistics (see ethnolinguistics). "Macro-ethnolinguistic group" makes sense. Pointing out the difference between "ethnolinguistic group" and "macro-ethnolinguistic group" in the article would reduce the confusion. Because we need a proper term defining the groups like Slavic people. X-speaking would be an insufficient definition in my opinion, as there are also other stuffs relating these people besides the common language group. Puduḫepa 19:06, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
By the way, have a look at articles like Germanic peoples, Iranian peoples, etc. "Ethnolinguistic group" is widely used in WP. Puduḫepa 19:53, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

I'm not sure it's all that clear cut, but the problem is the blurring borders get stretched to the point of abuse. There are Pan-Slavic, Pan-German, Pan-Arab etc. conceptions which are ethnic, and the sense of common ethnic identity depends on language (also history in the case of the Arab). What of the Chinese, who are an ethnic group that claims to speak a "language", even though they speak hundreds of different languages? Are there set terms for such cases?

Also, I wouldn't call the Croats an ethnolinguistic group. They don't have a distinct language, but are defined by history and religion. — kwami (talk) 19:59, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

@Puduḫepa: Maximal reduction of confusion will be achieved if people would stick to the proper definition of "ethnolinguistic group", without trying to strech it to macro-groupings like Slavic peoples (plural!). "X-speaking..." is fine, and there is no need to invent terminology (like "macro-ethnolinguistic group"), or use an existing term improperly, which I have found does happen in several articles here. The definition in the article Ethnolinguistic group should not be altered just because of rampant improper usage of the term, maximally we could point out by examples and counter-examples what an ethnolinguistic group is, and what it is not.
The whole concept floating around in WP of lumping together people based on linguistic families does not really reflect modern scholarship. This kind of thing was popular in the 19th and to a lesser degree in the 20th century. But it needs more than linguistic affiition to turn these collections of ethnic groups into proper ethnological entities. – Austronesier (talk) 20:18, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Due to the language barrier/my poor English, I have difficulty in expressing my arguments well. Anyway, thanks for the friendly conversation. Happy editing. Puduḫepa 20:44, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
@Puduḫepa: You have presented your arguments well enough, don't worry. It is just that I can be very uncompromising when it comes to terminological rigidity. I apologize if this may appear stubborn. Anyway, thanks for dropping by and happy editing too! –Austronesier (talk) 21:15, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Hi @kwami: Good you wouldn't call the Croats an ethnolinguistic group, because I haven't either (I said ethnoreligious group). And while most "ethnic groups" are "ethnolinguistic groups" at the same time, there are counterexamples of ethnic groups that are not ethnolinguistic groups: Chinese are a single ethnic group that speaks many related languages, because historically they have diversified linguistically, but not culturally (at least not in the same degree). On the other hand, there are ethnic groups which have given up their language, but maintained the cultural identity. But my main point is which I am sure you'll agree with: by definition, there cannot be an ethnolinguistic group which comprises several ethnic groups. "ethnolinguistic" is a Boolean AND of "ethnicity" and "language".
I know it is not a simple as this when it comes to sub-ethnicities of an ethnolinguistic group, but certainly applies when you go higher up in the linguistic "taxonomic" tree. Pan-Slavic, Pan-German are ideological constructs, while Pan-Arab is real because of historical continuity of using the fuṣḥa next to the increasingly diversified vernaculars which resulted in diglossia. –Austronesier (talk) 20:39, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Ah, yeah, I didn't notice you wrote 'religious' rather than 'linguistic'.
If you accept the Arabs because of diglossia, wouldn't you have to accept the Chinese? In many Sinitic languages, there is parallel vocabulary derived from standard readings of characters. Even for those who aren't literate or bilingual (as many Arabs aren't, or at least weren't until recently), that strongly affects the languages. Certainly Finno-Ugric ethnic identity is a modern invention, but what about German or Italian? They aren't all that much closer to speaking a single language than the Slavs or Turks. — kwami (talk) 21:11, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
@kwami: These are the fuzzy borders where emic and etic distinctions don't overlap. German and Italian are quite special cases in Europe, because in these areas linguistic diversification could thrive due to political circumstances, while people maintained an awareness of common ethnicity and cultural heritage similar as in the case of Arabs and Chinese. In Germany, Luther's Bible translation played an important role (at least in the Protestant parts), while in Italy, Tuscan Renaissance poetry had an impact on literary forms of vernaculars. But in Swadesh counts of the spoken lects, figures can drop way below 80%, and lack of mutual intelligibility has given rise to tons of "dialect" jokes. But I would still say that diversity of High German lects does not match Slavic diversity. High German lects form an unbroken L-complex, whereas within Slavic, there are many clear-cut borders.
But then, these are all about the bottom end of taxonomy, where borders between dialects and languages, and between languages and closely-knit language families can indeed be fuzzy and sometimes even arbitrary and simply a matter of convention. All of these can comprise ethnolinguistic identities. But for Germanic languages, Semitic languages etc. the ethnic concept simply fails. The Germanic-speaking tribes may have been close to an ethnolinguistic group at the time of Tacitus, but the fallacy that many fall for is to project historical unity to the present. Just as you said on a different occasion about "Austronesian people"; the term makes sense when you talk about the prehistoric speakers of post-PAN lects migrating from Taiwan to SE Asia. But today, you can maximally talk about "Austronesian-speaking peoples". –Austronesier (talk) 21:53, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Still reading your TP...Based on this point of view, one can dispute the term "ethnic group" as well, i.e. "Germans" vs. "German-speaking people". That point of view undermines many terms that are still in use. Puduḫepa 22:34, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
@Puduḫepa: Why, don't confuse German and Germanic. Germans are an ethnolinguistic group, just like Cherokee, Hausa and Khmer. German lects form an L-complex with a common literary standard, and German people precieve themselves and are percieved by their neighbors as an ethnic group, and not just based on language. On the other hand, Germanic languages are distinct, and their speakers belong to different ethnic groups. This by definition precludes talking about Germanic-apeaking peoples as an ethnolinguistic group. – Austronesier (talk) 22:57, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
I am not confusing German with Germanic. What I am trying to point out that the arguments above could be applied to Germanic people as well (e.g. Swedes are perceived as a "Germanic" subgroup by their neighbors and by themselves). Also, if we dig up "Germans", we can conclude that they are also conglomeration of different ethnic groups. I think Slavic people, Germanic people, Iranic people, Finnic people,...are not incorrect terms. It is not only about the language, but also common culture (see Slavic mythology, Germanic mythology, etc.), common history, and to some degree, common ancestry. Puduḫepa 23:20, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
You are pointing out that that some of the arguments above could be applied to Germanic people as well, but you are missing two crucial points: Germanic peoples speak several distinct languages and each have distinct ethnic identities, whereas an ethnolinguistic group is defined by speaking one language and having a single ethnic identity. You are correct to note that e.g. Germanic peoples beyond their common linguistic ancestry also share cultural traits etc., but even then the term "ethnololinguistic group" does not apply here. It is a group/collection of ethnololinguistic groups at best. As for the Germans, Germanic Franks, Saxons, but also Slavic Wends converged into a single ethnic identity in the course of the first half of the second millenium. – Austronesier (talk) 23:58, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) No, they don't have to speak one language (see ethnic group). As for having distinct ethnic identities, yes, but many, if not all, have upper identities, like Slav, Finnic, etc. Russians and Serbs have two distinct ethnic identities but they also perceive themselves as Slavs. Puduḫepa 00:17, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes, there is a Pan-Slavic identity. That's part of what I was getting to above. But there are relatively few such cases. Most of these supposed pan-identities are based on linguistic theories. But what happens when the linguists discover that they got it wrong? Do people's ethnicities magically change? What if here were a resurrection of a Pan-Romance identity? What would it take for us to decide that 'French' and 'Spaniard' were just part of a larger nation? And would Mexicans and Cubans be included because they speak Spanish? Ethnicity is primarily about identity. Language can play a big part in that, but you need to be able to show that the ethnic identity exists without having to rely on linguistic classification.
If you can show that there's a Slavic nation, and don't need to rely on linguistics to do so, that's one thing. But just taking a branch out of someone's language classification and saying "we'll call these people the X" is not ethnology. It's not any kind of science, just authors being sloppy because they're lazy or because they're dumbing things down for their audience. — kwami (talk) 00:29, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
@Puduḫepa: I'm confused. Are we still talking about ethnolinguistic groups or rather about ethnic groups? Yes, ethnic groups don't have to speak one language, but ethnolinguistic groups definitely do so by defintion. –Austronesier (talk) 00:38, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── But Puduḫepa, it's not a common culture. I was playing devil's advocate above. There are plenty of borderline cases. But the Germanic peoples aren't a people or a culture. Certainly not in any way that would exclude non-Germanic peoples. I'm not sure how much you can even lump together the Germans and Dutch, but the English and Swedes don't feel a unity with the Germans that would exclude the French or Poles. People reify linguistic groups by projecting them onto ethnicity. That's because there's a relatively objective way to classify languages, but no objective way to classify ethnicity or culture. So for simplicity's sake you substitute language for culture. That works for books, but isn't real. I suppose that if people became conscious enough of language classification, they might invent an ethnic identity out of it, but that would be an exceptional case. In China, being "Chinese" doesn't even correspond to which language family your language belongs to, or at least it didn't before the govt started reclassifying people by language. The Zhuang, for example, spoke Chinese dialects even though they were Tai languages. Or take the She. 90% of She speak a Sinitic language, and 10% speak a Miao language. But there's no connection between the Chinese She and the Miao She except that the govt calls them both "She". During the end decades of the Ottoman Empire, there was all sorts of head-scratching as to what a 'Turk' was. There were Albanian-speaking Turks, Greek-speaking Turks, Bulgarian-speaking Turks, and of course Turkish-speaking Turks. (There are still Greek-speaking Turks, BTW. They call their language 'Roman'.)

To me, reified linguistic, faux-ethnic groups like "Germanic" or "Cushitic" are a bit like Social Darwinism. You take a scientific theory or model and apply it to a different situation where there isn't a good theory or model. But it doesn't work, and the result isn't science. Faux macro-ethnolinguistic groups are pseudoscience. — kwami (talk) 00:03, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

Maybe, but what about micro-ethnolinguistic groups? They don't have the same culture either (e.g. culture of Balkan Turks is quite different from the culture of Turks from Gaziantep). They are also conglomeration of different/distinct groups/tribes. By the way, I am very sleepy right now. It is better to discuss this stuff on an another day. Cheers. Puduḫepa 00:39, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

From the Ethnolinguistic group: "An ethnolinguistic group (or ethno-linguistic group) is a group that is unified by both a common ethnicity and language. Most ethnic groups have their own language.[1][2] Despite this, the term is often used to emphasise when language is a major basis for the ethnic group, especially with regards to its neighbours.[1] " Macro groups like Slavic people, Finnic people,...are defined by the language rather than the ethnicity (as you pointed out above, there are multiple distinct ethnicities under the umbrella terms like "Germanic", "Iranic", etc.). The language does not refer to a "single language" here, but probably a language family. This is not the case for more specific groups, e.g. Armenians, as they can't be defined merely by the common language - there are other stuffs relating them to each other (and this is the case for many contemporary ethnic groups). That's why I think the categorizations like Russian (ethnicity) and Slav (ethnolinguistic group) make sense. Puduḫepa 10:34, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

"The language does not refer to a "single language" here, but probably a language family." No. Don't twist a crystal-clear definition just because it suits your wishes and preconceptions. A "common language" is a language, not a language family. Please take a look at the sources in the article, further at this link or here on page 15. In each of these sources language means language, not language family (otherwise it would say so). If you still insist on redefining "ethnolinguistic group", I'd suggest we agree to disagree. –Austronesier (talk) 11:26, 8 September 2019 (UTC)


Interesting, I would leave it. I had been through Indonesian history and anthropology studies in the 80s and 90s, and 'Pembangunan' was the national ideology of the new order, and this is simply a re-hash, in current circumstances... It is in itself an important snapshot of attempts at a national ideology/plan. Bit like Brexit, and life by twitter, in other places, the attempts of nations to define themselves was a major struggle for Ben Anderson and others to understand where and how Sukarno and Suharto eras had ideas to try to hold everything together against the odds... Nah, dont let me start, noting that Afd is not the place for such a thing. JarrahTree 09:59, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

@JarrahTree: Thanks for your input. It gives indeed a very new order-ish impression. Ok, keep, but then probably it would need better sources, and to be rewritten in a more descriptive tone. As it stands now, it rather sounds like a proclamation of an ideology. –Austronesier (talk) 10:41, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
studying about and living in Suharto era Java, most public text was either lists or proclamations, it all fits... JarrahTree 10:44, 13 September 2019 (UTC)


Although the theory described by Areddu is certainly interesting, I don't know how Wikipedia handles self-promotion of one's particular opinion, especially if they state them as indisputable facts that would make them fall within a violation of the neutral point of view. Moreover, I am afraid that such theory suffers from quite a few problematic assertions. I am certainly not an expert on population genetics, but research on the matter as well as the work of the dearly departed Blasco Ferrer seem to point to a Pre-Indo-European origin of the Sardinians, especially those from the interior areas that A. Areddu consider instead to have originated in ancient Illyria and, thus, to originally be of Indo-European stock. Unfortunately, we know very little about the linguistic affiliation of Paleo-Sardinian, and most of what we do know is effectively based on archaeolinguistic speculation. For example, some scholars also posited a Berber-related influence on the Sardinians, even, from which they further proceeded to analyze a common North-African and Sardinian substratum of Vulgar Latin. Saludos!--Dk1919 (talk) 10:21, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

@Dk1919 Franking: Thank you for your response. Akerbeltz has come in to handle the case in the meantime, summing it all up perfectly in his reply to Sig. Areddu. Adding one's own research results actually is not an issue as long as the editor sticks to WP:NPOV with all its facets (notability, weight). Unfortunately, most researchers (both amateurs and academics) lack the required modesty ;)
Paleo-Sardinian is indeed a complex topic, and I think we should add a short second paragraph as in the Italian and French articles. Also the work of the late Blasco Ferrer needs a Reception/Criticism section, since his findings were met with mixed result among academics. But yes, a Pre-Indo-European affiliation of Paleo-Sardinian is much more likely than an Illyrian and thus IE origin. As for Sardinian, if I remember it correctly, Lausberg proposed that it had lost the Latin vowel length contrast at a very early stage together with North African Vulgar Latin, predating and independent of the collapse of vowel length in the remaining Romance languages (we call it Quantitätenkollaps in German). –Austronesier (talk) 14:32, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

Tireless Contributor Barnstar[edit]

Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
Good work on your contributions to articles on Austronesian languages, and beyond! — Sagotreespirit (talk) 12:51, 2 October 2019 (UTC)

Uralic and ...[edit]

I did leave Finno-Ugric peoples because of the recently formed sense of connection, but I wonder how much the 'Ugric' part of it belongs, and if it shouldn't be renamed 'greater Finnic peoples' or something. Also, there's Cushitic peoples, which at least is not trying to define people by language. That article's so well developed that I didn't just delete it. Anyway, I'm trying to think of more of these linguistic ideas masquerading as ethnography. If you run across any, please let me know. — kwami (talk) 03:25, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

Hi kwami! Occasionally these articles build on other tertiary sources, so the underlying concept (unfortunately) at times meets the WP:NOTABILITY criterion to some extent. Often linguists themselves are to blame for introducing such concepts, driven by the belief to hold the "key" to ethnographic classifications. Uralic peoples hardly is supported by any source, and I can't see any non-linguistic criterion by which e.g. Samoyedic peoples and Finnic peoples should be grouped together. And once the genetics cavallery comes in trolling ethnologic and linguistic articles, OR and synthesis are having a feast. I'll ping you once I come across unsupported material of the "X peoples"-type.–Austronesier (talk) 08:31, 7 October 2019 (UTC)


Why should country be first? Geography is more relevant to something that is fundamentally geographical. The country is just an organization that governs it at the moment. (talk) 20:10, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

Ethnolinguistic Groups[edit]

After reviewing our discussion about the use of the expression "ethnolinguistic group" and its debatable use at the front end of this article, I think I have to reverse my position based on your follow-up dialogue with Andrew. When you mentioned the designation between an "ethnolinguistic group" being dependent on emic and etic perception, and then the tendency for historians to conflate them as opposed to linguists, I am now seeing your point. For that reason, I support your initial argument to change the opening to read as you originally mentioned. My apologies for my outbursts, as I all too frequently encounter pseudo-intellectuals around here, who—as I am sure you've likewise experienced—pass themselves off as experts for having read one or two books on a subject. You won this argument brother and have earned my respect for standing your ground and for being right, while remaining civil.--Obenritter (talk) 23:22, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

Socratic Barnstar Hires.png The Socratic Barnstar
For your knowledge, civility, and competency in argumentation and logic—you are hereby recognized.--Obenritter (talk) 23:34, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
@Obenritter: Thank you! Concerning the civility: frankly, I had to bite my tongue way to the flesh at times. But then I understood that your zest is driven by a conviction we both share: to make information on WP as reliable and verifiable as in a scholarly-edited encyclopaedia and to fence off any attempt that could result in a lowering of this standard. I have to admit that I myself did the mistake of (additionally) playing the "expert card", instead of keeping to true wiki-expertise: select and cite sources in a balanced and non-cherry-picking manner in order to prove one's point. In other words, I might have fallen and still may fall in the future into the same trap as you unfortunately did in our exchange.
Going back to the actual topic, I am quite aware that some scholars—including historians—do employ "ethnolinguistic group" in a k.o. sensu lato manner (which an editor pointed out to me in a fairly similar discussion); it is nevertheless non-standard and potentially misleading: I want to see WP a place where only Ipomoea batatas is called "sweet potato", even when there may be other potatoes that are sweet... I'll handle the opening of Germanic peoples accordingly, and will proceed with other articles as well. –Austronesier (talk) 06:59, 20 October 2019 (UTC)
You are quite welcome and I am glad to see people of your caliber around here. Many scholars refrain from editing Wikipedia due to the fact that any dolt can edit the content. In many ways the project represents what's best about the human hive in the aggregate, while concomitantly demonstrating the worst part of humanity at times. My actual wish is that they would require only registered users with the ability to edit pages. BTW--Your expertise in linguistics and ethnic studies with regard to the use of the term "ethnolinguistic" should trump the contrary position, but like you mentioned, it will have to be accomplished in Wiki-fashion with sources. In the case of the Germanic peoples page, you may want to add an explanatory—academically substantiated—footnote where you deem best to explain the change. Keep fighting the good fight.--Obenritter (talk) 16:49, 20 October 2019 (UTC)

Austro-Tai languages[edit]

I saw your reversion of my edits on this page. Thanks for pointing this out to me. If the convention for expressing these is to use an asterisk and no italics, I think I can stick to it pretty easily. I will attempt again shortly, and please take another look, but the appearance should be the same. I'll be changing only those words that could be detected by spellcheckers, and won't bother with single letters. If there are any errors, just let me know.


Ira Leviton (talk) 00:11, 21 October 2019 (UTC)

I just finished the edit - can you please also check another word on the page - ablasion (toward the bottom, in the section on non-linguistic evidence). I cannot find this as an English word. I'm 99% certain ablation was meant because it's a dental procedure, although it abrasion might have been meant.


Ira Leviton (talk) 00:25, 21 October 2019 (UTC)

Thanks, Ira! Looks fine now, I have just fixed two double asterisks. I will check with other editors from the Linguistics project if there is a standard way of tagging reconstructed etyma so they won't show up as spurious errors. And yes, "ablation" is correct and also spelled as such in the source. –Austronesier (talk) 10:59, 21 October 2019 (UTC)

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