Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Languages

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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)

Valencian[edit]

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]

Merge-arrows.svg

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)
@Kwamikagami:: I'm not associated with the project itself but I know the prof and I think he edits Wikipedia sometimes. I don't know his username though, so I'll send him this thread via email and see what could happen. --Gretchenmcc (talk) 03:02, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi, my name is Lev Michael, and I’m in charge of SAPhon. Thanks, gretchenmcc, for bringing this discussion to my attention. I’m not sure whether this will fit the bill entirely, but the Language Lists page includes the ‘code’ for each language (with a link to the inventory). This code is typically the iso code, except in cases where we needed to make a finer-grained (typically, dialectal) distinction than given by the iso nomenclature, or in cases where a language lacked an iso code. I imagine that one issue for the systematic ingestion of SAPhon inventories into Wikipedia is that the URLs for each inventory do not include the above-described code, but rather a more human-readable abbreviated language name. (I had a recent-ish email exchange with another Wikipedian, who indicated the desirability of rationalizing these URLs to include the above-mentioned codes instead of the abbreviated language names. I agree, but being in the Amazon right now, and having no research assistants currently employed on the SAPhon project, this is beyond my ability to implement at this time.) Ldmanthroling (talk) 17:22, 19 August 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]

Information.svg

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)

(request closed with move back to Tagalog language and accompanying move of disambiguation page to Tagalog.)

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)

An article alerts bug was fixed, and now Wikipedia:WikiProject Languages/Article alerts, which shows all recent requested moves, is up-to-date again. This is transcluded at the top of Wikipedia:WikiProject Languages, and could easily be translcuded at the top of this talk page as well. Is the AA report sufficient, or do you still want the notices from RMCD bot as a supplement to that? Wbm1058 (talk) 14:41, 6 August 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)

WP:NCLANG[edit]

A discussion on the relevance of "primary topic" to language article titles has been initiated at Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(languages)#.22Primary_Topic.22. --Taivo (talk) 04:30, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

Request for Comment[edit]

A request for comment has been initiated at Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(languages)#RfC:_Should_the_NCLANG_guideline_include_references_to_PRIMARYTOPIC.3F. Your participation would be appreciated. --Taivo (talk) 20:57, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

Request for Move at Tagalog[edit]

Another request for move has been filed to move Tagalog to "Tagalog (disambiguation)" with a redirect at "Tagalog" to "Tagalog language". The discussion is here. --Taivo (talk) 23:16, 9 August 2015 (UTC) (Resolved)

Pending language RMs[edit]

The following requested moves have not been advertised here; they require expert input. Alakzi (talk) 00:51, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

Amami and Kunigami[edit]

I propose to:

  1. Rename "Amami language" (no glottocode) to "Northern Amami languages".
  2. Rename (1) "Kunigami language" (no glottocode) to "Okinoerabu–Yoron-Northern Okinawan languages" and (2) "Northern Okinawan language" (kuni1268) to "Kunigami language".

In short, my solution is to give preference to Ethnologue, glottolog and other linguistic literature over the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger.

As I reviewed at Amami–Okinawan languages, there are numerous theories on classification of the languages in the Amami and Okinawa Islands. What is worse, names given to proposed taxa are far from standardized. As for Amami, there are at least 4 distinct entities, three of which have their own articles:

  1. Northern Amami Ōshima (glottocode: nort2935) is spoken on the northern half of Amami Ōshima (a large island).
  2. Northern and Southern Amami Ōshima (sout2954) form Amami Ōshima (oshi1235), for which we do not have an article.
  3. Amami Ōshima, Tokunoshima (toku1246) and possibly Kikai (kika1239), in other words, the northern half of the Amami Islands (a group of islands), form Northern Amami (no glottocode), for which we have an article under the misleading title of Amami language.
  4. Northern Amami and Southern Amami (Okinoerabu (okin1246) and Yoron (yoro1243) and possibly Kikai) form Amami (amam1245), for which we have an article under the title of Amami languages.

The problem is that we currently give undue weight to the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger, which gives the name of "Amami language" to the third entity (no glottocode):

  • UNESCO only represents one of numerous theories on classification, the one proposed by Uemura (1972) and Karimata (2000).
  • The third entity (no glottocode) does not have a standardized name. Uemura (1972) and Karimata (2000) do not use the name of "Amami languages". The misleading name was invented by UNESCO. This is the main cause of confusion.
  • Moreover, recent publications such as Pellard (2009) and Heinrich et al. (2015) dismiss the classification UNESCO adopted. They re-evaluate an older theory.

I have two possible solutions to the problem.

  1. Merge the third entity into the fourth entity. Both are higher-level taxa and all we can say about them is classification. But I don't like this option. I think the article-per-entity policy makes things easier to understand.
  2. Rename the third entity (no glottocode) to "Northern Amami languages" per Nakamoto (1990), or "Amami–Tokunoshima languages" per Karimata (2000). I prefer the former title.

As for Kunigami, we have two distinct entities.

  • Kunigami (kuni1268) is placed under the title of Northern Okinawan language because we give undue weight to UNESCO.
  • The title of Kunigami language is currently occupied by another entity (no glottocode). Calling this supergroup Kunigami is UNESCO's invention. Moreover, the existence of this taxon is dismissed by recent publications.
  • The solution is to rename the entity (no glottocode) to "Okinoerabu–Yoron-Northern Okinawan languages" per Karimata (2000) to give way to Kunigami (kuni1268).

Unfortunately, I don't have time to continue the discussion as my short vacation is almost over. But as a rogue is gone, there will be no disruption. --Nanshu (talk) 06:57, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

@Nanshu: the only disruption comes from when you make your sweeping changes to Wikipedia and expect no one to challenge you due to your near-divine wisdom.
I firmly oppose your first proposition. You've literally copy-pasted whole articles with minor changes to meet your agenda. I'm sure your next suggestion would be to rename the articles as "dialect clusters".
Your push for glottolog is laughable considering that it calls your "Amami–Okinawan" classification "Northern Ryukyuan". If you're willing to relent and give up Northern Okinawan language, why not that name change too? Besides, the UNESCO classifications are also based on Nakasone.
Kunigami is under "Northern Okinawan" not because of UNESCO, but because you created a content fork and put it there yourself. Now you may be right that the current article is about a "supergroup", but Nakasone also included Yoron, Kikai, etc as part of Kunigami. Your solution of introducing a taxon made up and supported by a single scholar is also laughable, especially considering there is no glottocode for it.
So here are my counter-solutions:
  1. rename Amami–Okinawan languages to Northern Ryukyuan languages.
  2. redirect Northern Okinawan language to Kunigami language.
  3. expand/rewrite all of the articles falling under Amami languages.
  4. rename Yoron language, Kikai language, etc to Yoron dialect, Kikai dialect, etc or classify them as Okinawan languages.
Do respond soon. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 08:55, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
Rather than just saying "Move X to Y", etc., etc., please post here a simple outline of how you see the finished language classification and compare it to reliable sources. That will make it a lot easier for non-specialists to look at what you have and what you are proposing. This is obviously controversial, so the easier you can make your presentation(s) for the rest of us, the better. --Taivo (talk) 13:28, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
@Taivo: here are my proposed classifications, in order of preference:
  • Ryukyuan languages
  • Northern Ryukyuan languages
  • Amami language
  • Okinawan languages
  • Kunigami language
  • Okinawan language
  • Southern Ryukyuan languages
  • Miyako language
  • Yaeyama language
  • Yonaguni language


  • Ryukyuan languages
  • Northern Ryukyuan languages
  • Amami languages
  • Northern Amami language
  • Southern Amami language
  • Okinawan languages
  • Kunigami language
  • Kikai dialect
  • Toku dialect
  • Okinoerabu dialect
  • Yoron dialect
  • Okinawan language
  • Southern Ryukyuan languages
  • Miyako language
  • Yaeyama language
  • Yonaguni language


  • Ryukyuan languages
  • Northern Ryukyuan languages
  • Amami languages
  • Northern Amami language
  • Southern Amami language
  • Okinawan languages
  • Kikai language
  • Toku language
  • Okinoerabu language
  • Yoron language
  • Kunigami language
  • Okinawan language
  • Southern Ryukyuan languages
  • Miyako language
  • Yaeyama language
  • Yonaguni language


The first is my preferred classification, the way it was before Nanshu created almost a dozen copy/paste articles. The second is a compromise with Nanshu, working with the existence of his articles but still favorable to my preference. I think the second classification is the best solution. The last classification is a further compromise with Nanshu and a better solution than his proposed "Okinoerabu-Yoron-Northern Okinawan languages" taxon. Besides, Kikai dialect/language shouldn't be grouped with Amami language because it is linguistically closer to Kunigami language. I will add reliable sources later today. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 15:43, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
Which articles are the "copy/paste" ones? If they offer no new content, but are just placeholders for names, their existence is questionable and they might be eligible for speedy deletion. --Taivo (talk) 16:10, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
@Taivo: Northern Amami Ōshima language, Southern Amami Ōshima language, Kikai language, Yoron language, Okinoerabu language, Tokunoshima language, Amami language, Amami–Okinawan languages, Amami languages, Northern Okinawan language. I'll add more or remove them after I recheck them (sorry if some of them had been reverted/redirected already). ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 16:33, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
@Taivo: The latest and most up-to-date source on the Ryukyuan languages, Handbook of the Ryukyuan Languages by Patrick Heinrich et al (2015), has a classification chart on page 15 very similar to my first proposed classification (the chart places Yaeyama and Yonaguni in a supergroup). It also uses "Northern Ryukyuan" as opposed to "Amami–Okinawan". Here is a link to the book in Google books. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 23:50, 18 August 2015 (UTC)


Taivo, this proposal is not about choosing one classification. This is clearly against our NPOV policy. The problems and solutions are actually simple if you are not fooled by User:Sturmgewehr88's attempt to dodge the questions.
First of all, as I reviewed at Amami–Okinawan languages, there are numerous theories on classification of the languages in the Amami and Okinawa Islands. In our terminology, there are multiple POVs. It is clear what we should do in such a case: representing all of the significant views, fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias. This is the very point Sturmgewehr88 is trying to obscure. He is trying to push one POV and kill anything else.
Before going into the controversial part of the story, we need to review what are not controversial. We are talking about taxonomy. Near-top and near-bottom taxa are relatively stable. Near-bottom taxa are:
  1. Northern Amami Ōshima (nort2935, ryn)
  2. Southern Amami Ōshima (sout2954, ams)
  3. Tokunoshima (toku1246, tkn)
  4. Kikai (kika1239, kzg)
  5. Okinoerabu (okin1246, okn)
  6. Yoron (yoro1243, yox)
  7. Kunigami (kuni1268, xug)
  8. Central Okinawan (cent2126, ryu)
As you can see at Kikai language and Okinoerabu language, there are non-negligible variations within these taxa, but they are well established. They can be found even the old Okinawa-go jiten (1963). Also note that they are given ISO 693-3 codes by Ethnologue.
The near-top taxon is
  1. Amami–Okinawan languages (nort3255) aka Northern Ryukyuan
Again, this taxon can be found even the old Okinawa-go jiten (1963) and can be found in Ethnologue's classification.
Interestingly, Sturmgewehr88 and Ryulong (now blocked indefinitely) tried hard to delete articles for these taxa, and they failed:
  1. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Tokunoshima language
  2. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Okinoerabu language
  3. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Yoron language
  4. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Northern Okinawan language (Kunigami (kuni1268, xug))
  5. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Amami–Okinawan languages
You can also see that Sturmgewehr88 has weird notions of WP:SYNTH, WP:NOR and WP:CFORK, that are very different from ours. Do not take these labels seriously.
This month I created missing pieces: Northern Amami Ōshima (nort2935, ryn), Southern Amami Ōshima (sout2954, ams) and Kikai (kika1239, kzg).
Next, what are controversial? All intermediate taxa are more or less controversial.
  1. Amami (amam1245)
  2. Northern Amami (no glottocode)
  3. Okinoerabu–Yoron-Northern Okinawan (no glottocode)
  4. Okinawan (okin1244)
These are products of comparative linguistics starting from the 1970s. If we chose some taxa, others will be displaced. For example, if we follow the two-subdivision hypothesis, which is recently re-evaluated by Pellard (2009), Okinoerabu–Yoron-Northern Okinawan (no glottocode) becomes an invalid taxon.
What should we do to maintain NPOV? There are two options:
  1. Keep articles for intermediate taxa even if they are invalid in some theories.
  2. Merge controverial taxa into higher-level ones (i.e., Amami–Okinawan languages (nort3255)).
I prefer the former option. But if you really wish to choose the latter, I will not object strongly. A top priority is given to NPOV.
Now you can see why Sturmgewehr88's personal classifications above are meaningless and rather harmful. By posting multiple classifications, he gives a false impression that he seeks compromise. Don't be fooled. Sturmgewehr88's true objective is to kill POVs he doesn't like. Specifically, he is trying to push a minority view presented by UNESCO.
Because his objective is clearly against NPOV, he is trying to obfuscate the situation. For example, he still refuses to accept the simple, clear fact that there are two distinct taxa for Kunigami
  1. Northern Okinawan (kuni1268), a well-established taxon. Kunigami usually refers to this taxon.
  2. Okinoerabu–Yoron-Northern Okinawan (no glottocode), a controversial taxon. The name of Kunigami is only given by UNESCO.
He made blind reverts[2][3] to keep you away from the reality. He made groundless accuations against me, such as content fork and copy/paste, to dodge the point.
Now go back to my first post in this thread. We must adhere to NPOV, but we sometimes need to choose one among several for technical reasons. Title is the case and we have policies on this. My proposals are a variant of the non-neutral-but-common-names policy.
  1. The basic policy is to give preference to the two-subdivision hypothesis, in consideration of latest publications in which Thomas Pellard, a vocal critic of UNESCO's classification, re-evaluates the two-subdivision hypothesis.
  2. We implement this policy by not using common names reserved for other taxa in the two-subdivision hypothesis:
    1. In the two-subdivision hypothesis, Amami refers to Amami (amam1245). Fortunately, UNESCO's "Amami language" (no glottocode) is still a valid taxon under the two-subdivision hypothesis but should be referred to by Northern Amami per Nakamoto (1990).
    2. In the two-subdivision hypothesis, Kunigami refers to Northern Okinawan (kuni1268). UNESCO's Kunigami (no glottocode) is an invalid taxon under the two-subdivision hypothesis. It should be referred to by Okinoerabu–Yoron-Northern Okinawan per Karimata (2000).
These names are more descriptive too.
  1. Northern Amami (no glottocode) is spoken in the northern half of the Amami Islands, not in the whole island group.
  2. Okinoerabu–Yoron-Northern Okinawan (no glottocode) is spoken not only in the northern portion of Okinawa Island (aka Kunigami) but on Okinoerabu and Yoron Islands.
To summarize, I'm discussing how to implement NPOV while Sturmgewehr88 is trying to push a minority POV. Nanshu (talk) 14:28, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
You're accusing me of POV pushing? You're one to talk. You've cherry-picked bits of reliable sources that support your position and ignored what contradicts you, and then synthesized them to create your own classifications. And you created Northern Okinawan language, which is literally just your version of Kunigami language, a textbook example of a content fork. So maybe your definition of these policies are one thing, but they are definitely not what the policy actually says.
As for Nanshu's claim of me trying to supress the other classifications, he obviously doesn't understand. The infobox for languages doesn't support more than one classification, let alone three. The same goes for the article titles. I'm not at all objecting to mentioning the various classification theories within the article, however, my above proposal is for the classification used for infoboxes and article titles on Wikipedia, which is supported by the majority of reliable sources. Also, most reliable sources don't recognize Kikai, Tokunoshima, Okinoerabu, and Yoron as independent languages, and Heinrich et al (2015) are more inclined to recognize dialects of Yaeyama as independent.
As for the AfDs, per WP:FORK the Northern Okinawan language article rightfully needed to be deleted. Amami–Okinawan languages, in retrospect, should be renamed instead of deleted. The other AfDs were only supported by Ryulong.
I wouldn't oppose Nanshu's edits if it weren't for his policy violations, and the fact that he keeps degrading these articles to nothing more than arguments about the classification of "dialect clusters". He also repeatedly removes the native name of these languages and claims that the speakers have no self identity (you know, because 国頭口 Yanbarukutuuba was just made up by someone on Wikipedia). ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 00:56, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

Break[edit]

My problem is that the organization is completely incoherent. Ignoring Kunigami for now, we have

  • Amami
    • N. Amami
    • S. Amami

Currently, we have both Amami language and Amami languages, also Northern Amami Ōshima language, Southern Amami Ōshima language. Now, the Amami languages are a dialect of the Amami language, and N. and S. Amami are dialects of the Amami languages but not of the Amami language. The Amami language family is equivalent to the northern Amami dialect. Or so it seems. What I'd like to see is a list of uncontroversial clades followed by their ISO or glotto codes and links to their articles.

Here's the classification in Pelland (2009), which was adopted by glottolog:

Which of these should we have articles on? We don't need an article for every lect that has an ISO code, nor every clade that has a glotto code, nor do we need to use the ISO or glottolog names or use their classifications. — kwami (talk) 00:50, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

Well, I agree with what Kwamikagami said. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 02:10, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
@Kwamikagami: so you're endorsing the Pellard classification correct? If so, (and by "we don't need an article for every [dia]lect") which articles do you believe should or should not have an article? ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 00:24, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
Sorry if I intrude in the discussion. We cannot endorse any classification as correct. The problem arises when we have to deal with the structure of Wikipedia articles, as noted: do we need one article for each languoid (be it a language, dialect, clade, group, lect, sociolect, doculect, etc.)? Well, maybe not an article each, but at least they should all be mentioned somewhere. Still, the problem remains how to structure articles, infoboxes and categories. I have no immediate answer for that, but it clearly creates conflicts. --SynConlanger (talk) 11:38, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
@SynConlanger: maybe we can't "endorse" any one classification, but we can only use one to organize/name these articles. Nanshu has been cherrypicking or making up his own taxa to create his own classification for Wikipedia to abide by, then he guts the articles and leaves them with 80% of the content being a rant about how no one agrees on classification as if the only significance of these "dialect clusters" is this "debate". Just look at the edit history for Amami language or Kunigami language. So, although you have no immediate answer, what would you possibly propose? ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 16:56, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
I'm with you in that. Regarding the infoboxes, one drastic solution would be to just give the highest level linguistic family. A moderate solution could be to give the lowest universally accepted classification level from the top: in some cases it could be just the top level. The problem with the second is that if you miss the one source that doesn't accept what the other 50 sources do, well, that's an issue. The same solutions could be applied to categories. As for the article content, well, as you have already said we report all the classifications proposed to date.
The problem with infoboxes and categories arises from when wikipedia was born and someone decided to provide a detailed classification there, probably without knowing that classification is highly problematic in most of the cases: not only which branch a languoid—in Cysouw and Good's sense—belongs to, but also how languoids could be nested (sorry for the terminology, but it's easier to keep track of what we're talking about). We are not obliged to give that kind of classification at the infobox and category level. We simply cannot accept one classification over the other based on acceptance rate among linguists (how could we even assess that? Moreover, the rate may and does change over time).
Which articles should we have? All of them, with a sensible redirect structure. See for example Mawayana and the Mapidian: classification is problematic, existence is problematic. According to some sources they are the same language but nonetheless we have both. According to some, Mawayana is unclassified, but according to others it is not: so what happened? Well, nothing... because I din't make any change so far regarding that. 😄 The same goes with romance languages of Italy (plus the useless debate language/dialect). But it would nice to discuss the general problem with you all, as we are doing. What are your impressions? --SynConlanger (talk) 18:05, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Personally, I'd only have articles on clades above the language level that are clearly valid, or are well-known in the lit, or have been reconstructed. When we have articles on nodes in a particular classification, we run into the question of whether we should delete those articles if we change classifications. A lot of wasted work. Something like Southern Ryukyuan languages, for example: Is there any info there that wouldn't be more convenient in the main Ryukyuan languages article? I suppose it's no problem as long as it is universally accepted, or nearly so, or if "Southern Ryukyuan" is s.t. a reader would often come by in the lit, but I wonder if the intermediate nodes of Northern Ryukyuan deserve articles when sources don't agree on which languages are Okinawan and which are Amami. I might be responsible for Amami language, as I wasn't going to bother with a stub for every ISO language just because it had an ISO code. The new N Oshima and S Oshima articles could be merged into Amami, or Amami could be deleted. I doubt we need both.
Re. SynConlanger's comments on the info box, I've often omitted unimportant intermediate clades and left established branches, except for the clades immediately above the language in question. Usually we've chosen a particular classification as best supported, in which case we give its details, but when we can't do that we can be agnostic by omitting questionable superior nodes, providing one with a question mark, or even providing two (X or Y?). — kwami (talk) 18:11, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
What is "above language level"? That's the problem: sources may be unclear. But I agree that in some cases (to be discussed on a single basis) we could do without an article about a branch. Or we could redirect the name to an article that states that classification is problematic and mentions that branch. I think it is not really relevant if there is a separate article or not: as long as there is that bit of info stated somewhere. The problem, again, resides in infoboxes and categories. Choosing to omit intermediate levels relies on the editor and that could lead to NNPOVs, IMHO. As for which of the two (or more) conflicting branches that can give the title to the article, I think we could initially choose the one that would have more content and give the other as a redirect or similar: we could always move it later if a proposed classification becomes obsolete. I see no problem with that. However, I would rather have a separate article stub if having e redirect would create problems (and viceversa). --SynConlanger (talk) 18:28, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
P.S.: as you say, we cannot use naming inventions by UNESCO (or whichever non- or near- linguistic association—I was just reading the "Interpreting Ethnologue data" section on this project, very well formulated. I think it applies in general to any world-wide classification initiatives.) 😊 --SynConlanger (talk) 18:37, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I threw that in to counter people who claim Ethn. as the end-all RS. It's mostly from discussions I've had with other linguists, as well as problems I've encountered using it on WP. I'm glad you don't think it's too POV. — kwami (talk) 20:36, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
I've made a start at cleaning things up, and also changing faux IPA into real IPA. The real question I see at this point is whether we wish to keep Amami language (presumably reducing its scope to Ōshima) or forego it for the two new articles. Don't much care, but for the latter we should probably move it to Northern Amami Ōshima language to preserve the page history. (We can get an admin to merge the histories.) — kwami (talk) 20:24, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

Also, we need a good phonetic description of what the glottalized stops are. Are they ejectives? — kwami (talk) 20:31, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

BTW, just found a very nice volume:

Heinrich, Miyara, & Shimoji eds. (2015) Handbook of the Ryukyuan Languages: History, Structure, and Use. Walter de Gruyter.
Yes, I linked to the Handbook in Google books above. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 21:39, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

I debated whether Ōshima should be one article or two. There was a lot of overlap, and the Northern and Southern articles were partly defined in opposition to the other and used many of the same sources, so it made more sense to me to have a unified article. But revert me (and please clean them up!) if you decide they should be split. As with other articles, I trimmed the classification section down to what was relevant per CONTENTFORK. — kwami (talk) 00:35, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

@Kwamikagami: I'm glad we're making progress. What about moving Amami–Okinawan languages to Northern Ryukyuan languages? I requested the page move already, per WP:COMMONNAME after browsing the sources. The only post-1970s English source to use "Amami Okinawan" is Ethnologue. On the Amami–Okinawan article itself, the only source besides Ethnologue to use "Amami Okinawan" is a Japanese source that uses 奄美沖縄方言群 (Amami Okinawa dialect family), but then gives the English translation as "Northern Ryukyu dialects". Most of these articles only discuss the Japanese classification theories and refer to these languages as dialects and need to be rewritten or added upon. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 04:26, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Fine by me. And IMO we can keep S. Ryukyuan for balance even though it has practically no unique content. — kwami (talk) 15:25, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

At Amami language, does anyone know where the village of "Ōshama" is? Is that just a typo for "Ōshima"? — kwami (talk) 15:58, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

@Kwamikagami: My gut tells me it's a typo. He typed it twice, but he refers to it once as "Ōshama (Southern)", which means it's probably a typo. It's definitely a village somewhere in Southern Amami Ōshima. ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 18:58, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Looks like there hasn't been any controversy to the changes. As for the question I missed above about endorsing Pelland (2009), I wasn't. I chose it as an example because it was convenient. Glottolog chose it, which likely means that the editors over there thought it was the best classification available (at least in a language they could read; that might not include Japanese). Ethnologue doesn't say where their classification comes from, though one of you can probably identify it. I have no problem using a different classification (if we have 2ary sources verifying that it's respected), and our articles don't follow blindly: lects between Amami and Okinawa currently list both as their parent node in the info box, for example, and a few others have question marks. That's from my clean-up efforts. If I've misread the lit, please fix. — kwami (talk)

@Kwamikagami: I think the lack of controversy is more due to Nanshu having not edited in a week than a lack of a challenge. I'll be honestly surprised if Nanshu doesn't throw a fit over these changes.
Anyhow, Ethnologue probably uses Karimata (2000), but I'd have to double check. Which classification did you use for those infoboxes? ミーラー強斗武 (StG88ぬ会話) 03:04, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Originally I used whatever we happened to be using on the Ryukyuan languages at the time. I changed things a bit to reflect the different classifications we now have there (like whether there's a third branch in N.Ryukyu), though honestly I couldn't see much difference between many of them except for the names. — kwami (talk) 04:45, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Ah, per Martin (1970), describing S. Ōshima but apparently for other N. Ryukyuan as well, the "glottalized" stops are actually just plain unaspirated, whereas the "plain" stops are aspirated. I assume the "glottalized" nasals and approximants are actually glottalized. — kwami (talk) 01:35, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

RfC: Are personal pronouns (including "who") to be avoided for fictional characters?[edit]

Please take part in the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#RfC: Are personal pronouns (including "who") to be avoided for fictional characters? Curly Turkey ¡gobble! 23:09, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

Flags in info boxes[edit]

A couple years ago we had a small response (positive) to a request to only allow flag icons in language info boxes where a language is listed as official (i.e., in the "nation" and "minority" fields); everywhere else in an info box, flags should be removed. This follows general MOS advice about not cluttering up articles with flags. I've been doing this manually, but this is about having a bot take care of it. I'm reopening the request, which got little feedback at the time. Please comment at User_talk:Anomie#Removing_flag_icons_from_language_info_boxes if you have an opinion. — kwami (talk) 01:57, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Modifying the IPA edit tool[edit]

You might have noticed that the IPA edit tool under your edit window has changed. We've gotten rid of those inconvenient carrier letters now that MediaWiki coding can accommodate bare diacritics. But I'm wondering if we might want to go a bit further, and mark off consonants, vowels, etc. into labeled subsections for easier access. (Also, should be bother to keep ɧ and ɶ?) Chime in at MediaWiki_talk:Edittools#Request_for_comment if you have an opinion. — kwami (talk) 23:28, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

FYI, this is what I'm proposing. Beside labeling subsections, it groups all the spacing diacritics together and all the combining diacritics together (but with tone set apart), adds {{IPA link}}, sub's the pipe so it works inside {{IPA}}, and restores the rhotic diacritic which got lost somehow:

'IPA': 'consonants: t̪d̪ʈɖɟɡɢʡʔ ɸβθðʃʒɕʑʂʐçʝɣχʁħʕʜʢɦɧ ɱɳɲŋɴ ʋɹɻɥɰʍ ʙⱱɾɽʀ ɫɬɮɺɭʎʟ ɓɗʄɠʛ ʘǀǃǂǁ vowels: ɨʉɯ ɪʏʊ øɘɵɤ ə ɚ ɛœɜɝɞʌɔ æɶɐɑɒ spacing_diacritics: ʼˀˤᵝᵊᶢˠʰʱʲˡⁿᵑʷᶣ˞ ˈˌːˑ‿˕˔ combining_diacritics: ̚ ̪ ̺ ̻ ̼ ̬ ̥ ̊ ̞ ̝ ̘ ̙ ̽ ̟ ̠ ̈ ̤ ̹ ̜ ̩ ̆ ̯ ̃ ̰ ͡ ͜ tone_&_prosody: ̋ ́ ̄ ̀ ̏ ̌  ̂  ᷄  ᷅  ᷇  ᷆  ᷈  ᷉  ˥ ˦ ˧ ˨ ˩ ꜛ ꜜ {\{!}} ‖ ↗ ↘ extIPA: ͈ ͉ ͎ ̣ ̍ ͊ ᷽ ̫ ͇ ˭  {\{angle.bracket|+}} {\{IPA|+}} {\{IPA.link|+}}',

kwami (talk) 18:50, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

+1 --SynConlanger (talk) 18:56, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

P.S. S.o. made a suggestion to mix up the stops and fricatives for s.t. like:

ɸβθð t̪d̪ʈɖ ʃʒʂʐɕʑ ɟɡɢ çʝɣχʁ ʡʔ ħʕʜʢɦɧ

kwami (talk) 01:33, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

ɧ was never anything more than a joke anyway. But why get rid of ɶ? Please {{Ping}} me to discuss. --Thnidu (talk) 01:51, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
@Thnidu: There was an admin suggestion that we cut the number of symbols. But cutting these has already been objected to, and wouldn't make much difference to the length anyway. — kwami (talk) 05:54, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Bhojpuri language § Politeness[edit]

Bhojpuri language §  Politeness gives several contradictory values for the number of levels of politeness. See Talk:Bhojpuri language §  Politeness for details. --Thnidu (talk) 02:13, 27 August 2015 (UTC)