Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Languages

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We need a new article on the "English languages"[edit]

The old one was moved to "Anglic languages" and then, under the guise of a "merge" to History of English, an editor simply deleted the entirety of its content (0 edits occurred to the new article at the time of the "merge") and replaced it with a bad redirect. I fixed that to at least point at the parent article (Anglo-Frisian languages).

If English is the single and only member of the "English languages" then the redirect should point to English language (not the history article). If there are several members, then there should be some article developed that discusses and links to them. — LlywelynII 03:22, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

I think an article on World Englishes and one on Old English dialects would make sense.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:24, 25 April 2016 (UTC)


Category:Indo-European-speaking peoples[edit]

Category:Indo-European peoples was deleted, but it is present in 49 other wikis. So i propose to create similar category, with more neutral name Category:Indo-European-speaking peoples. Discussion is here Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2016_April_28#Category:Indo-European-speaking_peoplesCathry (talk) 14:59, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

The largest section in the Modern Hebrew article describes the language as "non-semitic"[edit]

The largest section in the Modern Hebrew article describes the language as "non-semitic". This view is WP:Fringe, as confirmed by reliable sources, yet this view currently occupies the largest space in the article, going into extreme detail including a table for individual opinions, while everything else is presented at a broad/high level. In my opinion, and in the opinion of the majority of editors on the talk page, this is WP:Undue. Over the past year, six editors have expressed their view that the section should be removed or minimized, while only two have supported it. Despite this consensus, the section remains in the article in its current state, likely due to the slow nature of the subject. Any editors wishing to contribute are welcome. Drsmoo (talk) 17:17, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

Accents in language titles[edit]

Hi folks. Is there guidance on whether or not the article title for a language should be the latinized name (e.g. Xaracuu language) vs. the accented name (Xârâcùù language)? I looked in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (languages) but did not find anything dispositive. I suspect (based on other examples) the practice is not to latinize the name but I'd like some confirmation one way or the other. Thanks! Adam (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:10, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

I see some suggestion here that combining marks are to be avoided (though I don't know if the title includes them or they're on a keyboard somewhere). Adam (Wiki Ed) (talk) 17:39, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Maybe someone more knowledgeable should be able to point us to some guidelines somewhere, but until that happens here are my two pennies. I don't think there can be universally applicable guidelines about non-ASCII symbols in language names (and accents are just a subset of these). I think it's best if consensus about the title of a given language is reached on a case-by-case basis, as attitudes vary between (and occasionally within) countries and broad cultural areas. I think in any case, the wikiproject for the country the language is spoken in might be the most relevant. I can think of a couple of linguistic/geographic areas where special symbols are commonplace. In the Salishan languages of the US Northwest (see 1 and 2), none of the special symbols from the language names seem to have made it into the article titles. Maybe for all of them there just happens to be a common name in English and it's predictably a simple one. In another area: Category:languages of Brazil, the acute accent is ubiquitous in language names, but this is the case because it's ordinarily used in the dominant Portuguese language, which has probably been the direct source of the established names in English for these languages.
Do you have any specific examples in mind? Uanfala (talk) 15:16, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
The specific question came from a student working on Xaracuu language, which has used the unaccented title since the article was created in 2011, though the text of the article has (near as I can tell) always used Xârâcùù. Looking at Template:Languages of New Caledonia it appears that most of the southern language titles use accents in titles where present in the language. Adam (Wiki Ed) (talk) 16:04, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Xârâcùù seems to be overwhelmingly more prevalent in both French and English sources ([1] [2]). I've started a requested move, see Talk:Xaracuu language#Requested move 22 June 2016 (I'm prevented from moving it straight away by the extra edit in the history of Xârâcùù language). Uanfala (talk) 16:37, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for gophering. I can move it on Protonk. Adam (Wiki Ed) (talk) 19:45, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Linking of Open Access publications about linguistics[edit]

Open Access publications about a particular topic are a useful addition to articles as they are available to people outside of academia as well. I have held that conviction for a long time, but now I work for Language Science Press, which happens to produce Open Access monographs. This means on the one hand that I am very well informed about new open access books, on the other hand, it means I have a WP:COIN.

I have added some of these monographs to articles where I was sure that it was relevant (Gramars of Yakkha, Mauwake, Pite Saami); for others I have suggested inclusion on the relevant talk pages. Most of the smaller languages receive few edits and might not even have anybody watching them to whom I could suggest inclusion.

I am not very happy about this state of affairs. Technically, I am violating policies about conflicts of interest and paid contribution. I still think that for the coverage of linguistics, the inclusion of these books is useful, so I ignored all rules.

I would appreciate discussion about this issue and would be happy if someone could suggest a good course of action.

For the record and FWIW, my former job was the creation of Glottolog. This might or might not lend me some credibility

Jasy jatere (talk) 18:48, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

It looks to me like you are behaving properly: editing judiciously and being upfront about your potential conflict. If you plan to continue adding LSP citations or links, you might want to disclose the relationship on your user page. But I don't see any advantage in demanding strict adherence to the letter of the law. Cnilep (talk) 01:18, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

ISO 639 redirects & project tagging[edit]

I see there are ~8662 redirects (#Rs) of the form ISO 639:[a-z]{2,3} (like ISO 639:aa, etc.) which are missing a talk page, and so missing the {{WikiProject Languages}} banner and the corresponding talk-page #R (like Talk:ISO 639:aa to Talk:Afar language, etc.). Is there any desire by WP:LANG to tag these existing #Rs and to create talk-page #Rs? I did something very similar to this at WP:AST with our plethora of minor planet #Rs and can do the same here, if there's interest.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  17:52, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

Please verify[edit]

Old Štokavian Xx236 (talk) 11:12, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out. I've redirected it to Shtokavian. – Uanfala (talk) 11:27, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

Using UNESCO open license text to create Wikipedia articles about endangered languages and language groups[edit]

Hi all

I'm currently working with UNESCO to help find ways to make their content more useful for Wikipedia. I'm developing a way for text from UNESCO publications to be easily usable on Wikipeda, please see here for more details and instructions.

I think a very useful publication for Wikiproject Languages would be Atlas of the World Languages in Danger which is provides an overview of endangered languages within each region, perhaps the desriptions could be used to create Wikipedia articles for endangered languages within each area and/or endangered languages within language groups?

Please let me know what you think and if you need any more information, I'm also currently indexing all the languages listed in the world atlas into Wikidata which would provide an overview of what languages are not covered on Wikipedia already. I'm currently doing a project to create Wikipedia articles from official descriptions of Biosphere Reserves, here is a map of all the Biosphere Reserves in the world without English language Wikipedia articles generated live by Wikidata, something similar could possibly be created for languages.

Many thanks

John Cummings (talk) 20:22, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

That's a great project! You might want to also post at Wikipedia Talk:WikiProject Endangered languages (which has admittedly been rather quiet lately). Uanfala (talk) 22:34, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks very much @Uanfala:, I will do that now. --John Cummings (talk) 15:41, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Establishments/disestablishment categories[edit]

Should languages be organized with establishments/disestablishment categories? It would likely be vague, by centuries. They aren't created but a page like Meroitic language would be included in something like Category:Languages attested in the 3rd-century BC, Category:3rd-century BC establishments in Africa, Languages extinct in the 4th-century and finally Category:4th-century disestablishments in Africa. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 00:52, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

If at all, we should use these categories only for constructed languages where the year of first publication can be verified, and for extinct languages where the death year of the last speaker has been recorded. De728631 (talk) 01:05, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
That's kind of limiting isn't it? It'd basically be 20th century with specific years, wouldn't it be? If reliable sourced linguists can give an estimate on both the start and end period (within a century), why not include it? -- Ricky81682 (talk) 20:47, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────That's a big, somewhat dubious if. It's difficult and more-or-less arbitrary to date the establishment of a natural language. For example, Middle English is generally thought of as having arisen in the 11th century, but that is because that's the date of the Norman Conquest. I think it was Ed Finegan who pointed out that there never was a moment when Middle English speaking children could not understand their Old English speaking grandparents and vice-versa, so even that vague dating is something of an abstraction. It's virtually impossible to pinpoint when almost any natural language diverged from an ancestral form. Given that fact, I'm not convinced of the utility of categorizing articles in terms that are necessarily vague and somewhat arbitrary. Cnilep (talk) 01:40, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Absolutely agree with Cnilep: languages don't normally have beginnings that are pinpointable within any degree of vagueness. But there are small groups of exceptions: artificial languages, pidgins, maybe mixed languages and independently arisen sign languages (like Nicaraguan Sign Language). At any rate, I don't think this is what the OP's proposal is about. It's about having categories for languages that have been attested or extinct since a certain point in time. This would be a helpful category, wouldn't it? It's another matter if such categories will ultimately be placed within the subcategories of Category:Establishments by time, but it's worth pointing out that "establishment" seems to have a very broad meaning here: for example Category:5th-millennium BC establishments includes archaeological cultures. Uanfala (talk) 08:53, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
    • Yeah, I suggested "attested" and "extinct" (which probably isn't the best grammatically) as opposed to "established"/"disestablished" because those two only really work for things that were created. I think it would be interesting to have a category of all languages that attested worldwide around say the 3rd century AD. Again, this is something that there are reliable sources about and since Template:Infobox language uses "era" and "extinct" it's not like the information isn't out there. If it's disputed, that's one issue but it's just a question of whether the categorization seems useful. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 20:53, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
List of languages by time of extinction might be helpful if you haven't come across it yet. Given the sheer number of languages that have been going extinct in the last century, and the relative specificity of recent dates, I think it might be a good idea to have Languages extinct in the 20th-century broken up by decades. Uanfala (talk) 21:33, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Ok, that's good. The size of mergers and splitting is always a WP:SMALLCAT debate that can happen at WP:CFD in the future. It's an ebb and flow but it seems like the idea is at least understandable. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 04:35, 26 July 2016 (UTC)