Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Linguistics

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Welcome to the talk page for WikiProject Linguistics. This is the hub of the Wikipedian linguist community; like the coffee machine in the office, this page is where people get together, share news, and discuss what they are doing. Feel free to ask questions, make suggestions, and keep everyone updated on your progress. New talk goes at the bottom, and remember to sign and date your comments by typing four tildes (~~~~). Thanks!

Earliest attestation of term "cannabis refugee" or "marijuana refugee"?[edit]

I'm working on Draft:Cannabis refugees for the 420 Collaboration for WikiProject Cannabis. The earliest attestation I've found of the term is a 2012 mention of "marijuana refugee" is a 2012 NYT article about a "cannabis refugee" who moved from Norway to Netherlands. Is anyone here skilled at finding earliest attestations so I can help suss out when this term appeared? Goonsquad LCpl Mulvaney (talk) 23:02, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Wouldn't we want to shy away from making claims of an attestation being the "earliest" unless we find a source that says as much? — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 16:56, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
I should clarify: I don't intend to make any OR academic declaration of a "first" attestation, but rather whatever is the earliest attestation that I/we can find I'd like to include it in the article as part of the general chronology of the term. But not declare it anything definitive, just make sure to include whichever early examples we find. Goonsquad LCpl Mulvaney (talk) 23:05, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Sorry to misdirect from the original question, but it doesn't seem like an article about a neologism is going to withstand scrutiny from deletion/merge squads. Articles on terms aren't particularly notable in themselves. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 23:41, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm carefully watching WP:NEO to make sure I'm on the right track, but since it's a term that isn't simply used, but is actually explored/developed in secondary sources, I think my Draft will eventually be in good shape. If it was just the NYT tossing out the term "marijuana refugee" that'd be one thing, but there are a number of major media articles discussing the whole concept of what makes one a "cannabis refugee", what issues led them to that situation, etc. Goonsquad LCpl Mulvaney (talk) 00:24, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

Two consonant articles[edit]

@Numberguy6: has just created two articles: labiodental trill and voiced retroflex lateral fricative and has linked to them from template:IPA consonant chart, to which he added the symbols representing these sounds. Do these sounds occur in any language? I thought our policy (at least an unofficial one) was to wait with creating articles about sounds until it can be proved that they occur in at least one language. This is why voiced uvular affricate redirects to affricate consonant. Mr KEBAB (talk) 23:53, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
There's another article: bilabial ejective fricative. Mr KEBAB (talk) 23:56, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

As a non-participant in phonology editing, I'm not acquainted with current practices, but my opinion is that an article would be warranted even for a sound that doesn't occur in any natural language provided there is literature about it, for example in the context of general speculation (not very likely) or in the area of speech pathology (more probable). Neither of the two recently created articles have any sources though. If editors wish to create new articles about sounds, I suggest they might want to focus on the more obvious gaps we have, for example the aspirated or breathy voiced consonants. – Uanfala (talk) 02:17, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

California Proposition 63 (1986) English CA's official language[edit]

  • hey, I started an article on California Proposition 63 (1986), but I'm busy a the moment. Heads-up for anyone interested in bilingualism etc.[And yes, CA is one of 6 or 7 states that have designated English as its official language; one of only two by constitutional amendment].   Lingzhi ♦ (talk) 03:16, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

4 new vowel charts are available[edit]

See mainly File:IPA vowel chart.svg, but also File:Cardinal vowels on a vowel chart.svg, File:Primary cardinal vowels on a vowel chart.svg and File:Peripheral and central vowel space.svg. If you think that they're a useful addition to certain articles, don't hesitate and use them. I'm posting them here because I can't think of many articles that would need them, so perhaps you can choose them instead. Mr KEBAB (talk) 14:21, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Would linguist be shocked?[edit]

You are kindly invited to visit us at WikiProject Mathematics#A linguist would be shocked. In particular I wonder, how strange (or normal) it is, when an adjective extends (rather than narrows) the class of objects. Boris Tsirelson (talk) 05:53, 5 March 2017 (UTC)


I stumbled on the wrestling term "kayfabe" from a link in a Slate article and was surprised to see that the page has no Etymology section. Apparently, it has been the victim or some edit war or other. Given that it is the 70th most popular WikiProject Linguistics article for the most recent period, I think some attention to it is warranted. Already it has been marked as "needs attention" on its talk page, but no doubt everyone's been busy working on other things. Still, if someone could take a look at it and see if it can be improved, that would be most appreciated. Thanks, GentlemanGhost (converse) 03:20, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Scope of Dutch phonology - only for spoken Standard Dutch or not?[edit]

Hi. I'm currently debating CodeCat on whether we should include non-standard regional Dutch dialects on Dutch phonology or not. Anyone wants to join? We're kinda stuck. Mr KEBAB (talk) 19:37, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

One of your project's articles has been selected for improvement![edit]

Today's Article For Improvement star.svg

Please note that Synchrony and diachrony, which is within this project's scope, has been selected as one of Today's articles for improvement. The article was scheduled to appear on Wikipedia's Community portal in the "Today's articles for improvement" section for one week, beginning today. Everyone is encouraged to collaborate to improve the article. Thanks, and happy editing!
Delivered by MusikBot talk 00:05, 3 April 2017 (UTC) on behalf of the TAFI team

Upcoming "420 collaboration"[edit]

Cannabis leaf 2.svg

You are invited to participate in the upcoming

"420 collaboration",

which is being held from Saturday, April 15 to Sunday, April 30, and especially on April 20, 2017!

The purpose of the collaboration, which is being organized by WikiProject Cannabis, is to create and improve cannabis-related content at Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in a variety of fields, including: culture, health, hemp, history, medicine, politics, and religion.

WikiProject Linguistics participants may be particularly interested in the following articles: Etymology of cannabis and Marijuana (word).

For more information about this campaign, and to learn how you can help improve Wikipedia, please visit the "420 collaboration" page.

---Another Believer (Talk) 20:36, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

Northwest Caucasian languages[edit]

I have started a discussion here (permlink) that is pure linguistics. :) Please join the discussion.--Vito Genovese 13:47, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

To sum up the discussion, User:Listofpeople claims that Adyghe language, Kabardian language, and Ubykh language are all dialects of a Circassian language, and I claim that those three are typologically distinct languages, and the Circassian Languages is a subdivision of the Northwest Caucasian language family. I believe I have successfully demonstrated that the consensus among the linguistic community supports what I am saying, while Listofpeople relies mostly on the terms that are locally used in the region and cites non-linguistic sources. The discussion needs more input. Please come and join! :)
Vito Genovese 12:28, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Let me ping several people who hold advanced degrees in linguistics and could hopefully weigh in. @Angr, @Cnilep, @Matve, @mitcho, @N-true, and @Antony D. Green: I was wondering if you could help us out with the issue described above.
Vito Genovese 12:47, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

RfC on the WP:ANDOR guideline[edit]

Hi, all. Opinions are needed on the following: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#RfC: Should the WP:ANDOR guideline be softened to begin with "Avoid unless" wording or similar?. A WP:Permalink for it is here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:52, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Merging four vowel pages into two[edit]

Hi. Last month I edited near-close near-front unrounded vowel, near-close near-front rounded vowel and near-close near-back rounded vowel to show that the symbols ⟨ɪ, ʏ, ʊ⟩ are often (well, not in the case of [ʏ], which is a rare vowel anyway) close-mid, not near-close. Looking at their central equivalents (near-close central unrounded vowel vs. close-mid central unrounded vowel and near-close central rounded vowel vs. close-mid central rounded vowel), I'm seriously wondering whether we need four articles for two sets of non-cardinal vowels that are so similar (and you can't even write the near-close ones without diacritics, not with the official IPA) and that don't contrast phonemically in any language. If my proposal is unreasonable, then why don't we create near-open back unrounded vowel and list Danish, Leiden Dutch, Rotterdam Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Maastrichtian Limburgish and Luxembourgish there? It'd be the same thing.

Let's take a look at near-close central unrounded vowel:

  • Amharic, Munster Irish, Ulster Irish, Mapudungun, Russian and Sema have near-close vowels (the sources contain vowel charts that confirm that)
  • Central Atlas Tamazight, Inland Southern American English, Southeastern English English, London English, South African English, Southern American English, Mah Meri and Tera may or may not have near-close vowels (the sources aren't specific enough)
  • When it comes to Northern Welsh, if File:Welsh vowel chart.svg is from that source, then we also can't know for sure whether the vowel is near-close or close-mid (it looks close-mid to me, but I can't read formant charts very well)

Now close-mid central unrounded vowel: I'll just list languages that are also mentioned above: Munster Irish, Mapudungun and Russian. We also can't be sure whether some of the vowels listed there aren't near-close themselves (some of them aren't, as vowel charts say otherwise).

Now near-close central rounded vowel:

  • Standard Northern Dutch, New Zealand English, Munster Irish, Standard Eastern Norwegian and Russian have near-close vowels (the sources contain vowel charts that confirm that)
  • Cockney English, Rural white Southern American English, Southeastern English English, Ulster English, Shetland English and Swedish may or may not have near-close vowels (the sources aren't specific enough). However, the Swedish vowel is almost certainly near-close.

Now close-mid central rounded vowel: I'll just list languages that are also mentioned above: Standard Dutch, New Zealand English, Munster Irish, Standard Eastern Norwegian and Russian. We also can't be sure whether some of the vowels listed there aren't near-close themselves (some of them aren't, as vowel charts say otherwise).

When it comes to the near-close central compressed vowel, close-mid central rounded vowel doesn't have a separate section for a compressed vowel, so we can move it just like that.

As you can see, this is hardly controversial or problematic to do. In notes, we can just write "near-close" wherever the source specifies the height as such, and in the lede of close-mid central rounded vowel, we can describe the situation with Russian, which has both close-mid and near-close vowels as allophones. Also, directly above the table, we can write a note that says that some of the vowels may be near-close despite the lack of a note that says so.

Unless someone disagrees, I'll do the merging in a few days. Mr KEBAB (talk) 14:58, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

The same applies to near-close near-back unrounded vowel, which should be merged with close-mid back unrounded vowel. Mr KEBAB (talk) 20:40, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Democrat Party[edit]

Opinions are requested at Talk:Democrat Party (epithet) regarding the reliability of a specific source (§ Lyman) for supporting a claim that Democrat Party was used in a non-derogatory fashion by Democratic Party members in Maryland, U.S.A. during the early 20th century. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 18:06, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

Southern Baltoidic languages[edit]

A subject-matter expert may want to check Southern Baltoidic languages, apparently created by blocked User:Wikinger evading his block. I'm tempted to simply speedily delete it given Wikinger's language-based shenanigans and will likely do so if I don't hear back here (ping me if I have deleted it and you want it reinstated). Huon (talk) 18:28, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

Move discussion at Talk:Answer[edit]

Your input is appreciated. Laurdecl talk 09:46, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

Citation overkill proposal at WP:Citation overkill talk page[edit]

Opinions are needed on the following: Wikipedia talk:Citation overkill#Citations. A permalink for it is here. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 06:45, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

Popular pages report[edit]

We – Community Tech – are happy to announce that the Popular pages bot is back up-and-running (after a one year hiatus)! You're receiving this message because your WikiProject or task force is signed up to receive the popular pages report. Every month, Community Tech bot will post at Wikipedia:WikiProject Linguistics/Popular pages with a list of the most-viewed pages over the previous month that are within the scope of WikiProject Linguistics.

We've made some enhancements to the original report. Here's what's new:

  • The pageview data includes both desktop and mobile data.
  • The report will include a link to the pageviews tool for each article, to dig deeper into any surprises or anomalies.
  • The report will include the total pageviews for the entire project (including redirects).

We're grateful to Mr.Z-man for his original Mr.Z-bot, and we wish his bot a happy robot retirement. Just as before, we hope the popular pages reports will aid you in understanding the reach of WikiProject Linguistics, and what articles may be deserving of more attention. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at m:User talk:Community Tech bot.

Warm regards, the Community Tech Team 17:15, 17 May 2017 (UTC)