Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Languages

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#lingwiki editathons[edit]

I'm organizing a series of editathons to encourage linguists to improve linguistics-related articles on Wikipedia. Although many participants have been working on more technical linguistics topics (for which I've been posting on WikiProject:Linguistics), I've also been encouraging those with specific expertise on a particular language or family to add to those articles, especially for under-documented languages where the grammars may exist only in paper copy in academic libraries, so I thought I'd mention it here as well.

Here are some dates, if anyone wants to use them as an excuse to get some editing done, follow along on #lingwiki, or even organize a local meetup or satellite editathon (feel free to get in touch if you want editathon-organizing tips):

May 2015 - Editathon at Canadian Linguistics Association (CLA) annual meeting in Ottawa

July 2015 - 4 weekly editathons (Wednesday afternoons) at the month-long LSA summer institute in Chicago

October 2015 - Editathon at NWAV (Toronto) - main North American sociolinguistics conference & Editathon at NELS (Montreal) - large regional north-east theoretical linguistics conference

January 2016 - Editathon at LSA annual meeting in Washington DC

Also, if anyone has any particular pages or topics that you've noticed need attention but don't have time for/don't match your expertise, feel free to let me know and I'll try to find someone for them!

You can see lists of articles edited in previous editathons here and here. I'm also currently applying for a grant from Wikimedia to support these events, which you can see/comment on here. --Gretchenmcc (talk) 01:16, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Does this have anything to do with the multiple single-purpose accounts I've been reverting this past week? The edits are quite similar, but the articles have nothing to do with each other. The editor typically starts in a sandbox, but deletes a lot of stuff (e.g. glottolog links) from the infobox. There's usually a "general info" section containing an incoherent collection of factoids, some having nothing to do with the language, a "further reading" section full of refs that have little to do with the language (maybe it's mentioned somewhere), and a "see also" section that has generic links like "Africa" and "Christianity". A lot of the info is taken from sources like Ethnologue, so it doesn't appear the editor is an expert in the language, and the quality of the writing suggests high school students. At first, I tried to save the improvements, but after several articles edited this way, I'm starting to just revert them.
Some of the articles are Adi language, Twendi language, Somyev language, Tregami language, Xiri language (useful, but lead to a merger), Kiong language, Massalat (rd'd to the language article), Wancho (despite that already being a dab page to an existing language article).
kwami (talk) 21:54, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
Hi @Kwamikagami:, thanks for checking in and I had a look through some of the edits, but unfortunately I have no idea who these people are. (I've also been telling people to put something on their user page before editing, not to delete things, and my participants have been linguistics graduate students and profs who should be writing better than that and be aware of the pros and cons of Ethnologue.) The event that I'm organizing in May is the last weekend in May and I have not talked to or heard of anyone editing in conjunction with #lingwiki since the first weekend of April. It's possible that a few random people have seen a post I made about it on social media and just decided to "help", but I'm not sure why that would happen now when I've been posting about this in general since November and yet I haven't posted about it recently. Good luck in finding your high schoolers or pseudo-highschoolers, I wish I could help! --Gretchenmcc (talk) 00:00, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Gretchen. I suspect it might be a school project somewhere. There are so many similarities that I almost thought it was a single editor evading a block, but I can see individual differences. There is also an odd combination of knowledge and ignorance of how to edit WP, so perhaps they're working off a template provided by their teacher. — kwami (talk) 00:10, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
Ah, it is a school project. Last year the articles included Korku language, Puroik language, Bongo language, Kumzari language (maybe), Vafsi language, Tegali language, Homshetsi dialect, Kota language, Suri language, Neo-Mandaic. I'll let the teacher introduce himself. — kwami (talk) 02:11, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
83 articles to be revised tomorrow. The prof is upset that I'd criticize him for using WP as his personal writing tutorial, and seems to be about to walk off in a huff. Oh well. — kwami (talk) 02:41, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
This project may be well-intentioned, but it is leading to incredibly disruptive editing, as you can see from the revision history of Tregami language. An editor is now arguing on the talk page that her edits must remain in place for some arbitrary period of time, after which they may be reverted, which suggests a total lack of understanding of Wikipedia's purpose and normal editing processes. Something needs to be done about this. Suggestions? FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 06:34, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
They're just taking their lead from their prof. I invited him to introduce his project, but he thought that was somehow an affront to academia, and in upset that editors have been reverting the unintelligible writing, irrelevant material, and falsehoods his more clueless students have been adding. I created a template they can post on the top of the page, that will populate Category:Articles_in_class_projects/Rutgers. Wish we had a list of articles in the project, but I can scan for key words in the template he provided his students. — kwami (talk) 23:05, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Gutnish and WP:V[edit]

I have started a thread at talk:Gutnish about the fact that this article has been left uncited for over a decade. I urge anyone who wants to improve the article to join the discussion.

Peter Isotalo 12:09, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Dari language (Zoroastrian) listed at Requested moves[edit]


A requested move discussion has been initiated for Dari language (Zoroastrian) to be moved to Zoroastrian Dari language. This page is of interest to this WikiProject and interested members may want to participate in the discussion here. —RMCD bot 23:02, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Southern Kurdish dialects listed at Requested moves[edit]


A requested move discussion has been initiated for Southern Kurdish dialects to be moved to Southern Kurdish language. This page is of interest to this WikiProject and interested members may want to participate in the discussion here. —RMCD bot 23:03, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Romanian subdialects listed at Requested moves[edit]


A requested move discussion has been initiated for Romanian subdialects to be moved to Romanian dialects. This page is of interest to this WikiProject and interested members may want to participate in the discussion here. —RMCD bot 23:16, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Sama language listed at Requested moves[edit]


A requested move discussion has been initiated for Sama language to be moved to Sinama. This page is of interest to this WikiProject and interested members may want to participate in the discussion here. —RMCD bot 23:17, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Western Persian listed at Requested moves[edit]


A requested move discussion has been initiated for Western Persian to be moved to Iranian Persian. This page is of interest to this WikiProject and interested members may want to participate in the discussion here. —RMCD bot 23:17, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Modern Hebrew and the ELL2 as FRINGE[edit]

We have a debate at Modern Hebrew with some editors characterizing the ELL as WP:FRINGE and therefore to be disregarded when summarizing reliable sources. At issue is the characterization in the ELL and other sources of Modern Hebrew as a mixed, hybrid, or relexified language. (I suspect scholars are struggling to account theoretically for revived languages, as they did half a century ago with creoles, and it's rare to find two who use the same wording.) Other RSs characterize it as a simply Semitic language, though a revived one. The info box now says "mixed", which is one-sided, with people edit-warring to copy over the genealogy of Biblical Hebrew, which IMO is also one-sided. I would suggest "revitalised Mishnaic Hebrew or mixed Yiddish–Hebrew", which is pretty close to what we'd had before the current debate. — kwami (talk) 23:33, 15 June 2015 (UTC)


There is an edit warrior at Valencian (with no activity at other articles), who insists on removing that it is a variety of Catalan from the first sentence, instead calling it "a language spoken in ..." and saying it is a "glossonym for the Catalan of the area" (whatever that is supposed to mean). He refuses to take it to the talk page and just keeps on reverting. --JorisvS (talk) 09:31, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

@JorisvS: The user is back. Ogress smash! 02:25, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

ELCat student projects[edit]

There's the possibility that editors of the Endangered Language Catalog at Manoa will have WP class projects like the one we recently had thru Rutger's. This last time was a bit of a headache: there are still articles that have a "conclusion" section as if they were an essay on endangerment, and lots still have a "general info" section full of miscellaneous and unorganized information. Are there things we might do to make the process more productive and hopefully of higher quality in future years, such as a student sign-up sheet here? Could we maybe update or expand Wikipedia:WikiProject Languages/Template, say by adding a "Status" section for endangerment? — kwami (talk) 17:41, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Origins of Arabic[edit]

Just in case anybody with specialist knowledge in Semitistics reads here, I've started a discussion on Talk:Arabic language#Classification of Safaitic and Hismaic where expert input would be highly appreciated. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:55, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Copyright Violation Detection - EranBot Project[edit]

A new copy-paste detection bot is now in general use on English Wikipedia. Come check it out at the EranBot reporting page. This bot utilizes the Turnitin software (ithenticate), unlike User:CorenSearchBot that relies on a web search API from Yahoo. It checks individual edits rather than just new articles. Please take 15 seconds to visit the EranBot reporting page and check a few of the flagged concerns. Comments welcome regarding potential improvements. These likely copyright violations can be searched by WikiProject categories. Use "control-f" to jump to your area of interest (if such a copyvio is present). --Lucas559 (talk) 15:35, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Maps where a language family is official[edit]

At Indo-European languages, Eurasiatic languages, and recently Turkic languages, the info box has/had a map of countries where a language from that family is official. I replaced them with normal language-family maps, but it appears we now have an edit war over it. — kwami (talk) 23:56, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

The normal language-family maps are much better and informative. The officialness maps may even be misleading with their distribution including countries where they have been imported over the last few hundred years. --JorisvS (talk) 08:47, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Merge discussion at WT:WikiProject Deaf[edit]


There is a discussion on merging Nigerian Sign Language, Bolivian Sign Language, and Ghanaian Sign Language into Dialects of American Sign Language. If interested, you can contribute to the discussion. Thank you. Wugapodes (talk) 18:52, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

South American Phonological Inventory Database[edit]

A linguist at UC Berkeley has put together an online database of phoneme inventories of over 300 South American Indigenous languages, with citations back to published grammars and other reputable sources, which seems like it would be good information to add to the Wikipedia articles of these languages. I haven't looked through it exhaustively but from a bit of clicking around it seems quite good, as many of these languages don't have a whole lot of information about them online. I'm planning on directing the attention of #lingwiki participants to it, but I thought that it might also be useful to other editors on WikiProject:Languages. Or if others have already been using this resource or discovered problems with it please let me know so we don't duplicate effort! Here's the link to the database. --Gretchenmcc (talk) 22:36, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

@Gretchenmcc:: Are you associated with the DB? It would be easy to have a bot link all of their entries if they were cross-linked by ISO code. If they had an index by ISO code as well, we could copy the list, and a bot would follow the individual codes to their WP pages, where it could place a standardized link (preferably using a template) to the ISO code in the DB, which would redirect to the proper page.
[1] is a start, but I don't know how we would automate a connection to the abbreviated names they use (like "TenaQ") except manually. Easier if they used ISO on their end. (Exceptions, where they use sub-ISO codes, we could enter manually.) — kwami (talk) 20:44, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Created {{SAPhon}} to format the ref. — kwami (talk) 21:58, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Do we want to list a family in the info-box genealogy of a language, when the language is the ancestor of that family?[edit]

This came up at Danish Sign Language, but would also be a question if we were to ever add language info boxes to proto-Indo-European etc.

Danish Sign Language is the ancestor of several other sign languages, which together constitute the Danish Sign Language family. I hadn't included the DSL family in the tree of DSL, as it seemed weird, as if we were saying DSL descends from itself. User:JorisvS wants to include it, thinking it weird to leave it out, and that seems reasonable too. Similarly, would we want to put Indo-European in the tree of proto-Indo-European? Or, should we maybe say "ancestor of the DSL family" or "ancestor of the IE languages" for the genealogy in the infobox?

We don't currently use infoboxes for protolanguages, partly for this reason, but maybe we should think about it. — kwami (talk) 20:51, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Requested move at Tagalog[edit]


A requested move discussion has been initiated for Tagalog to be moved back to Tagalog language. This page is of interest to this WikiProject and interested members may want to participate in the discussion here. — kwami (talk) 00:30, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Requested move at Tigrinya language[edit]

A move request has been initiated at Tigrinya language to move it to "Tigrinya". --Taivo (talk) 01:15, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

(request closed with no move)

Sinitic languages, Varieties of Chinese, Chinese languages, Spoken Chinese, and other titles[edit]

Your discussion is welcomed at Talk: Varieties of Chinese. Thanks. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 14:34, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Do we want automatic notification of all move requests on this talk page?[edit]

See discussion at User_talk:RMCD_bot#WP:LANG. — kwami (talk) 20:15, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Khoshey language[edit]

Information icon An article of interest to this WikiProject, Khoshey language, has been created without any references to reliable sources. I have been unable to verify that this language even exists. If you can assist, please see Talk:Khoshey language#Unsourced article. Thanks. Wdchk (talk) 02:17, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I think the creator is a sock of User:Najaf ali bhayo, the editor who vandalizes articles about Chitral and Khowar. Khestwol (talk) 03:57, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
@Khestwol: Please file a sock report so we can have it removed (assuming it gets no cites). Ogress smash! 05:00, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Were Bulgar and Hunnic the same language?[edit]

We have an edit-war at Bulgars and Bulgar language over citing a paper by a prof at U. Göteborg that *starts* by assuming that Bulgar and Hunnic are the same language. That strikes me as dubious. Is there anyone here who knows anything about this area and can evaluate the claim? — kwami (talk) 00:07, 31 July 2015 (UTC)