Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Linguistics/Archive 6

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Proprioceptive language learning method

Hi everyone, what do you make of our article Proprioceptive language learning method? This article vaguely bothered me when I first saw it back in November 2010, and coming to look again I see that the entire premise of this being a language learning method is based on a book by Lundquist which appears to be self-published. (Working link here.) I've certainly never heard of the method outside Wikipedia, and I can't find it on Google Books. So I think the article should probably be deleted or merged, but does anyone think that there is anything that we can salvage from it? There does seem to be some good material on proprioception and language acquisition in there, but I'm not sure if it's too tied up with the material about the method, and I'd like a second opinion. Thanks — Mr. Stradivarius 21:25, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

And now I've nominated it for deletion, if anyone would like to comment. — Mr. Stradivarius 00:47, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Dead languages in phone tables

The guidelines here, which reflect the discussions regarding the format and content of tables in articles on specific sounds, say "only modern spoken languages" are allowed in the tables. This means that dead languages are out unless they have been studied and analyzed in the methods deemed acceptable by modern linguists. Currently, the article voiceless velar fricative has an example from Old English and my efforts to remove it have been met with resistance. In the article's talk page, two users, Selket and Wareh have argued that dead languages should be allowed in these tables (a discussion I have shamefully put off bringing up here till now). More recently, Erutuon has also expressed a desire to change this convention to allow dead languages in the tables. While I don't particularly care for changing the policy on dead languages, bringing it up here will help get a broader discussion on the matter. Some issues to cover

  1. Should dead languages be allowed in the tables?
  2. If so, is there a standard of inclusion? Or is any language allowed no matter how confident we are about its phonology?
  3. If not, should there be another table for dead languages?

My own opinion is that we should put information about a particular sound's distribution in dead languages in article prose. This would allow proper caveating to confidence of this distribution and would help turn the occurrence sections of these articles into more than just information pigeonholed and squeezed into tables. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 05:10, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

I think we should consider including "dead" languages if we have good sources to support the claim made in the table. If not, leave it out. If there are concerns that tables are getting "too crowded" then I think it would be reasonable to prune dead languages first. Why restrict ourselves to only "live" languages? en.wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopædia. bobrayner (talk) 13:28, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
The reason to restrict ourselves to living languages is that the precise phonetic realization of phonemes in dead languages is necessarily speculative. For example, at voiceless velar fricative, one example is Old English wealh [wæɑlx], but in fact we don't know for sure whether that sound was a true velar, a uvular, a palatal, or what. Angr (talk) 16:26, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Or all of the above. We are discussing phones, not phonemes (an equivalence class of phones). But this sort of uncertainty exists equally well for numerous living, if moribund, languages; it should be no more of a problem than (say) modern English phones, which can be different phonemes depending on dialect, and which can have half-a-dozen phones to a phoneme. I see there is a column for notes; surely it can be used to indicate uncertainty as well as dialect differentiation. Subnumine.

Please see my comments at Talk:Voiceless_velar_fricative#Old_English. An article on a phoneme should include coverage of what our (speculative) sources say about its occurrence in dead languages. When these are mentioned in the tables, that's legitimate article content, and if an editor objects to the formatting or placement of the information, I believe the right thing to do is to reformat. Unfortunately, what I saw happen at voiceless velar fricative was the removal of the information. It doesn't seem to be an issue about sources and citations, as no one is removing the entries for the umpteen modern languages that lack citations. So, I say, separate-but-equal treatment is fine (though frankly I don't see the point & doubt anyone really gets confused by seeing living and dead languages alongside each other), but the removal (as opposed to reformatting or moving) of dead-language content in these articles is troublesome to me, and I believe it violates the NPOV principle, which trumps desires for a tidier or more consistent set of tables. I would hope for a clear commitment from linguists here to including and retaining and even adding treatment of dead languages: it's simply part of the world of encyclopedic knowledge of human language. Wareh (talk) 21:22, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

(edit conflict)I agree that dead languages are still under the purview of an encyclopedia, which is why I think putting information on them, albeit outside the tables, is still appropriate. Some articles do this a little bit, such as the voiceless and voiced dental plosives, dental nasal, Voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant, and the voiceless and voiced pharyngeal fricatives. These articles have a little information not contained in tables, such as language-family distribution and historical occurrence.
Very few of these tables are rigorously cited in their examples, so I don't normally challenge uncited inclusions. The exception, though, is dead languages because, as Angr has touched on, "good" sources can only exist for living (or recently deceased) languages thereby excluding Old English and Latin, unless we redefine what "good" means.— Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 21:36, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand. Are you saying there are no RS on the phonology of Latin, ancient Greek, Old English? That historical linguistics by definition is an unreliable discipline? Cynwolfe (talk) 22:12, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Phonology, yes; precise articulatory phonetics, not so much. Angr (talk) 22:22, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
So all the tables in question occur in articles that deal only with articulatory phonetics in particular and not with phonetics or phonology as they might apply generally? And the scope of each article is circumscribed explicitly in just that way? Cynwolfe (talk) 01:44, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
What do you mean by general phonetics? — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 01:48, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, since phonology is a concern of historical linguistics that extends to so-called dead languages, then in order to exclude them from these sorts of tables, the scope of the article (or the specific table) would need to be established as dealing only with articulatory phonetics as it pertains to living spoken languages. The article on voiceless velar fricative doesn't seem to limit the topic anywhere either as a concern of articulatory phonetics in particular or as pertinent only to living spoken language. We regularly offer IPA representations of Greek and Latin words, so WP seems to recognize in general that dead languages can be represented phonetically. I'm just trying to get a more precise understanding of the grounds for exclusion, and how scope would be established clearly and consistently. Cynwolfe (talk) 02:07, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I see. These articles focus more on phonetics than phonology. I think that the lack of clarifying this in the ledes has more to do with the assumption by participating editors that readers would not be confused by the distinction. To me, it's obvious that it would only be tangentially about phonology since a phoneme is a group of related phones. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 02:31, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
SInce a table is a kind of list, the criteria for inclusion are supposed to be spelled out in an introduction to the section so that an editor knows whether a potential item belongs or not. From the perspective of the general reader, since Old English is the first language mentioned in the article as possessing a voiceless velar fricative, it wouldn't be clear to me why it would be excluded from the list, if you follow me. How is it logical to say that a given language, dead or not, exhibits this sound, and then exclude that language from the list of examples? I'm unclear about what criteria for inclusion. Cynwolfe (talk) 02:48, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Reconstruction of consonantal sounds in ancient languages is not exactly a pseudo-science, and many of these sources suggest that Old English is part of the phenomenon of sound produced by humans called "voiceless velar fricative." I still see it as partial and arbitrary to exclude OEng from an article on this sound that our scholarly sources claim features in that language.

The phoneme/phone distinction is not clear. (1) What is the name of the "group of related phones" that includes OEng's sound, and where is its Wikipedia article? (2) Why does the article voiceless velar fricative not clearly say, "Many scholarly sources use the title of this article to refer to a phoneme that is not this phone. If you're looking for all the languages that have it, see that phoneme's article."?

Two unadressed points of fundamental Wikipedia principles: (A) "I think putting information on them, albeit outside the tables, is still appropriate" I'm glad to hear this, but I only ever came into conflict because, instead of retaining information about OEng outside of the table, Aeusoes1 removed it entirely from the article. Am I mistaken or confused about this? A simple assurance that no article that ever mentioned RS-supportable sound/dead-language associations would have those references cavalierly stripped out would settle the issue for me. (B) "'good' sources can only exist for living (or recently deceased) languages" That seems a dangerous assertion from a Wikipedia point of view, where we rely on the conclusions of reliable secondary sources. You will never encounter an objection from me if qualifications are made about our imperfect knowledge of the ancient past. "Voiceless velar fricative" can simply not be redefined as "The subject of voiceless velar fricative, minus everything ever said about it by those who did not base their assertions directly on living (or recently deceased) speakers." Wareh (talk) 16:47, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

1 What is the name of the "group of related phones" that includes OEng's sound, and where is its Wikipedia article?
Phonemes are language-specific, so we would never have an article devoted to one. They may often be given the name of the most neutral, context-independent, or common phone so that Spanish /d/ is called the "voiced dental stop" even though it can be both that and a dental approximant. They can also be called other things, such as English /r/ which may be named after the letter that represents it.
2 Why does the article voiceless velar fricative not clearly say, "Many scholarly sources use the title of this article to refer to a phoneme that is not this phone."
Because it would be false. Since no one here is saying that, I'm assuming you mean a phoneme that may not have been this phone. In that case, it would be redundant since all sounds of reconstructed and dead languages are just as speculative without proper phonetic analysis. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 18:15, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Pardon me. This "guideline" appears to be a page in Ƶ§œš¹'s user space, which only he has substantively edited. Isn't there a template for personal essays? Subnumine.

Found it. It seems to be called Template:Essay. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Subnumine (talkcontribs) 19:01, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
As I said above and as should be clear in there, the guidelines reflect extensive discussion. I've even gone as far as to mark the parts that don't reflect discussion but seem to be agreed on in practice. If there's a better place for the guidelines, I'm open to moving them, but they definitely are not a "personal essay." — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 19:06, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Then let's have a link to this "extended discussion", shall we? Subnumine (talk) 19:11, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
The link to the major portion of discussion is in the second sentence of that subpage and subsequent clarifications are in the footnotes at the bottom. You don't need me to duplicate those links here, do you? — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 19:56, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
It would have been courteous to do so; it would have saved clicks for all of us - and anybody else whose interest was attracted to this discussion. But the link is Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Phonetics/Archive_2#Proposed_style_guidelines; fortunately I have figured out how to make one. I would not call it extensive; it is a lengthy proposal with several comments by one other editor and one comment each by three or four more. This point does not happen to have come up. Subnumine (talk) 20:56, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Above, you argued that the guidelines are simply a personal essay because I created them. As a rebuttal, I referred to the discussions that they reflect. Whether these discussions, only one of which you seem to have looked at, were extensive to your liking is irrelevant to that point. The guidelines being in my subpage is a red herring. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 01:32, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
As a non-linguist, but a student of ancient languages, let me ask the question differently. If I'm a student of Old English, and the textbook or grammar I'm using speaks of the voiceless velar fricative, I should not expect the Wikipedia article to offer me any elucidation because ... ? I'm missing the "readers first" perspective. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:18, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is arguing that the information shouldn't be present at all. The kind of information is already present at, for example, voiceless alveolar lateral fricative, Voiceless alveolar retracted sibilant, and Voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant. The issue is more about how to include it. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 01:34, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

I appreciate Aeusoes1's informing me of this discussion, but otherwise I am concerned at the effectiveness of communication here. At Talk:Voiceless_velar_fricative, two editors raised the simple point that references to dead languages might be presented in or out of the table, but that they should not be deleted. The discussion ended there with almost nine months of silence. Thank you, Aeusoes1, for the responses to some of my questions, but I am still confused about whether you defend your simple deletion of the dead language mention from the whole article. In short, my "fundamental Wikipedia principles" points (A) and (B) are not getting any response at all, even though they would seem to be more important than the matters that have received response. In particular, please clarify whether or not your professed willingness not to delete now actually indicates a willingness to conserve dead language mentions in the articles (as it did not, in practice, before).

Subnumine is right that there was no "extended discussion" of the propriety of mentioning dead languages in articles on human consonantal sounds. Selket's characterization, "What I saw in the linked discussion was you proposing your template (a tiny part of which was the modern spoken languages only rule) and a couple other people not objecting," is accurate. Moreover, no extended discussion could get around the fact that, as Cynwolfe says, there is no end of RS's that clearly associate terms such as "voiceless velar fricative" with various dead languages. Are you saying that the books linked by Cynwolfe and by me using the term "voiceless velar fricative" in reference to Old English are in error? If so, it doesn't really matter, since these are not fringe sources subject to WP:UNDUE. Try, if possible, to address it in these simpler terms, since I think we confused each other with the phone/phoneme hatnote discussion; I should have written something like "Many reliable scholarly sources identify this phone as an Old English phoneme, to be named as the title of this article, but it is not covered in this article because XXXX, so please see article YYYY." I'm still not seeing how (A) what I write before "but" is incorrect; (B) what you may be proposing for XXXX and YYYY. Wareh (talk) 20:17, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

I would rather this conversation not derail over contentious personality conflicts. I've already said that information on dead languages is appropriate and your request for clarification on that comes off as an attempt to badger me into committing to keep information added on dead languages. Any further clarification on what I would or would not do really depends on the new consensus that is yet to be made. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 01:35, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

If I may bring this discussion away from Voiceless velar fricative, I would like to address the three questions asked by Aeusoes.

  1. Should dead languages be allowed in the tables?
  2. If so, is there a standard of inclusion? Or is any language allowed no matter how confident we are about its phonology?
  3. If not, should there be another table for dead languages?

I see no reason in principle to exclude dead languages from tables if there are reliable and widely (but not necessarily universally) accepted sources that agree on the reconstruction. Of course such reconstructions are necessarily speculative and generally relate to phonology rather than phonetics as such, but personally I don't see this as necessarily a disqualification. I would have no objection to, say, a footnote pointing out that the language is dead & its inclusion is based on reconstructed data.

The standard for inclusion should probably include multiple (more than two?) reliable sources for the reconstruction, and consensus among editors of the particular pages that inclusion serves some illustrative or instructive purpose. But of course, the latter is a question for editors of particular pages; I don't think it needs to be addressed in any relatively fixed policy.

In my personal opinion, the inclusion of Old English in the table at 'Voiceless velar fricative' doesn't seem to add much, since (Modern, Scottish) English is already included, but I haven't been a party to particular conversations there, and don't have an especially strong opinion. Cnilep (talk) 04:01, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

FWIW I agree fully with what I believe is the spirit of this suggestion. For the record, I have no particular interest in Old English or the voiceless velar fricative; rather as a classicist I want to be sure that scholarly researches into reconstructed ancient phonology (e.g. Greek and Latin) can be reported in phonological articles. I agree with the citability standard for inclusion, though I remain worried that citable but uncited (dead language) items could be removed while citable but uncited (living language) items were allowed to stay. My hope is that people would pause before removing content and take note if there is abundant scholarly support for something to mention. Wareh (talk) 20:02, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
This seems to be approaching a reasonable standard, but I want to clarify some issues i have.
  1. What is our standard of good sources? It apparently goes beyond basic historical linguistics. But I'm not sure what it is beyond this
  2. Why would we need multiple sources for dead languages but not others?
  3. Why would we need to get explicit community support that examples from dead languages "serves some illustrative or instructive purpose" but not for living languages?
These aren't rhetorical questions. I can agree with having such a standard and implementing such a policy, but I would like to be able to justify it to anyone who questions why we're giving extra scrutiny to examples from dead languages.
By the way, as an alternative to a footnote, including a brief mention about reconstruction/speculation could also fit in the notes column, which would make its speculative status more transparent to the reader. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 00:45, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
I take it that those questions are addressed to me and not to Wareh, right? In order:
  1. What are good sources? Scholarly sources per WP:SCHOLARSHIP. This would, I presume, be primarily from historical linguistics, but I wouldn't rule out, say, philology or classics out of hand if the sources are reliable, non-fringe, etc. Actually, I would guess that basic phonetics or phonology texts might be the best source of illustrative examples.
  2. Why multiple sources? I'm not married to the suggestion, but I thought it might help guard against argument over controversial, potentially WP:Fringe theories.
  3. "Why would we need to get explicit community support that examples from dead languages "serves some illustrative or instructive purpose" but not for living languages?" I think you've inferred (reasonably) something that I didn't intend. I think that all examples should be illustrative or instructive, whether they come from living or dead languages, whether in scholarly or "vernacular" articles (e.g. Eggcorn). Personally, I don't like "Hey, I've thought of another example!" types of example lists. YMMV.
Cnilep (talk) 04:24, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Comment I think that reconstructed languages such as proto-Indo-European or proto-Semitic should be banned. They are simply too speculative to be of any use, and would almost certainly be misinformative. I don't think anyone would attempt to add one?

There is general disagreement as to how to pronounce even extremely well-attested dead languages which were not transcribed in, say, the last century (and generally much less time than that). The pronunciation of Ancient Greek, for example, has sparked several edit wars here on WP. In most of these cases, the pronunciation is actually reconstructed rather than recorded, and where there is one reconstruction, there is probably another to contradict it. With less well attested languages of the same era, such as Etruscan, forget it.

I think it is therefore a good idea to forbid dead (< ca. 1950, say) languages from the phonetics tables. There is little benefit to adding them anyway. However, I could see making an exception for Old and Middle English sounds which do not occur in Modern English. Those have greater interest than other languages because this is English WP and they are the ancestors of our own, and most of us have been exposed to Chaucer and perhaps even Beowulf in school. It might be difficult to decide where to place the vowels, but the only new consonants to worry about would be [r, ç, x, ɣ] (and [ʝ]? is our OE article missing a palatalized /g/?). I'm not saying it's a good idea to allow in any, but I could see allowing OE & ME while keeping the door closed on other dead languages. — kwami (talk) 05:29, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your input. Just two quick suggestions. First, "where there is one reconstruction, there is probably another to contradict it" seems like an exaggeration for Ancient Greek; at least I don't think it applies to the majority of the consonants, if the goal is simply to reconstruct what was part of the history of AncGk phonetics over a broad period (as opposed to making more exact claims about changes or precise times/places). Second, the special-interest-of-English argument doesn't fly for me. The only NPOV/verifiability criterion I can see is whether scholarly sources discuss the phone in connection to a language (however ancient); in cases of imperfect confidence, clarification is easy enough to provide (footnotes, etc.).
I think the basic issue here is that some linguists (including contributors here perhaps) can legitimately have interests and pursue questions that only apply to 1950-present recorded languages. However, the limited-scope area of inquiry thus defined is not the general terrain of linguistic science, phonology, etc. These include ancient languages whose reconstruction depends on argument and inference, and (by NPOV) we can't wish that fact away. Wareh (talk) 01:57, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Considering these are phonetics articles, I think the limited scope of inquiry that Kwami has outlined is a fairly accurate outline of their terrain. What I like about what Cnilep has put forth (though I don't think this is quite what they were thinking) is that the higher standard of inclusion for dead languages would mean that we aren't significantly altering this scope because the examples would be few, illustrative, and most probably exotic. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 16:59, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
I appreciate Kwamikagami's suggestions, but I don't think it would be helpful for us editors to sit here and write a general summary of the extent to which sources support reconstructed pronunciation of dead languages, and then encode that summary into a guideline which will be applied on various topics even when sources say something slightly different on that particular topic. Can't we just stick to what sources say about specific sounds in specific articles, instead of second-guessing them? What's the point of writing a guideline that says "We don't know anything about sounds in languages which died < ca. 1950" if there can be current or future good sources for specific sounds in a language which died in 1945? (In most cases there wouldn't be good sources on that specific language, and in those cases the guideline would merely be redundant instead of harmful). bobrayner (talk) 02:31, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh, for a like button! Subnumine (talk) 21:28, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Linguistic Expertise Solicited

There are several discussions in progress at Talk:Campaign for "santorum" neologism which might benefit from some linguistic expertise. Observations/comments from this WikiProject's members are solicited to, hopefully, advance the ongoing discussions. Many thanks. JakeInJoisey (talk) 01:39, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Can you be more specific about which discussions you have in mind? The page currently has 14 sections and more than 135kb of comments, most of which seem related to NPOV more than specifically linguistic questions. Cnilep (talk) 03:30, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, perhaps Question: Which grammatical classification is the most appropriate for the word in question? might be a good place to dip your toe in the water (be careful tho, it's hot). Thanks. JakeInJoisey (talk) 03:36, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Alphabet article

I've made a move request, to make Alphabet into a disambiguation page. Please participate in the discussion there. Thanks! Mlm42 (talk) 18:08, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Task force importance ratings

I've been rating a lot of articles for the Applied Linguistics Task Force recently, and I admit to having a nagging feeling that I made things too complicated by setting up importance ratings for each individual task force. Cnilep has just now confirmed that this is in doubt, by reinstating the importance field for all WikiProject Linguistics articles. I originally set it up like that to keep the ratings system that each of the previous daughter WikiProjects had in place, but now I am actually thinking now of scrapping all the task force importance scales, and simply merging all the task force importance scales into the main WP Linguistics importance scale. For most of the task forces this would be no problem, but the Etymology Task Force presents a problem because of the unorthodox rating system that we inherited from the old WikiProject Etymology. In quite a few of those articles, the only relation they have to linguistics is that they have an etymology section. (See, for example, Macedonia (terminology) or 15 minutes of fame.) If we do decide to merge everything into one category, we have a few choices:

  1. Have articles with no obvious relation to linguistics alongside linguistics articles in the ratings.
  2. Rate all the non-linguistic articles with etymology sections as NA importance, thereby losing the old priority scale that the etymology project had worked out.
  3. Keep the task force importance scale just for the etymology task force, and just for non-linguistic articles with etymology sections.
  4. Create a new banner for the etymology task force, just for non-linguistic articles with etymology sections. {{WikiProject Linguistics}} would only be used for linguistics-related articles.
  5. Turn the etymology task force back into a full-blown WikiProject.

What do people think of merging all the importance scales, and of these four options? I personally think number three or number four might be the way to go, but what do others think? — Mr. Stradivarius 04:57, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

I restored the general importance parameter to {{WikiProject Linguistics}} since some articles (the particular one I was tagging at the time was Cryptotype) do not clearly fit the scope of one of the current task forces.
Regarding the etymology task force, since there is already a task-force-specific class rating (etymology-section-class= ), I see no reason not to include a specific importance rating, too. Therefore, Strad's suggestion 3 seems good to me. Cnilep (talk) 01:06, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I think I'll wait a week to give people time to respond, and then carry out the change. I should warn people that converting all the articles from |applied-importance= and |theoretical-importance=, etc. to |importance= will be easy to do with AutoWikiBrowser, but undoing the change would not be trivial. We shouldn't just change them over if we aren't certain.

On another note, I thought it might be nice to have a simple template for editors uninvolved with this project to use on articles that need etymologies. At the moment editors have to include the following on the article talk page: {{WikiProject Linguistics|etymology=yes|etymology-section=yes|etymology-section-class=missing}}. I thought something simpler like {{etymology needed}} could encourage other editors to use it. We could do it simply by using {{etymology needed}} as a shortcut to substitute the WikiProject banner text, or by making it a completely separate template that just uses the task force categories. (Hence my distinction between choices three and four above.) Which would editors here consider the more elegant solution? — Mr. Stradivarius 03:33, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

I can see no reason for rating the importance of the task forces. Tony (talk) 13:12, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough - that makes three of us, then. Do you have a preference as to what we should do with the etymology task force? — Mr. Stradivarius 14:23, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Added an SF-MDA suggestion

I proposed an article (or an expansion of the existing SFL article) to include a section on Systemic Functional Multimodal Discourse Analysis. Hope that's ok -- I'm new to WP, looking for projects that I might be able to help with. (I'm not an SF-MDA expert but have done some analyses with it...) aleighc 22:19, 3 February 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ana Cooke (talkcontribs)

Hi Ana! I say just go ahead and start a new section on systemic functional linguistics and/or discourse analysis - it looks like our coverage is very thin at the moment, so your contributions would be most welcome. Just make sure that you cite your sources, and be aware that standards for citing in Wikipedia are stricter than they are in academia - in our best articles, almost every sentence tends to be cited. (Have a look at the verifiability policy for more details here.) And of course, let us know if you have any questions - we'll be here to help. Best — Mr. Stradivarius 00:24, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Template:Varieties of Arabic

There is an edit war on Template:Varieties of Arabic about whether Maltese should be included. It would be great if anyone with a good background in linguistics could come and give an honest, unbiased opinion on the matter. Thanks — ABJIKLAM (t · c) 19:09, 6 February 2012 (UTC)


I would appreciate you expert participation regarding: Talk:Stenomask#Stenomask_developed_in_the_1940ies_-_Speech_recognition_added_later
Regards, --PutzfetzenORG (talk) 13:47, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Angle ‹quotes› or angle ⟨brackets⟩?

Most articles in English Wikipedia use Angle quotes ‹ › to represent spelling. But Kwamikagami (talk · contribs) in Pronunciation of English ⟨th⟩ used angle brackets, even in article's name, as you can see. I think that Wikipedia has to use some uniform system for this. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 10:40, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Brackets are correct. Quotes (many if not most of which I added, BTW) are a work-around from a few years back for folks w/o proper font support. That appears to be less of a problem now than it used to be, so I've been converting as I've come across them. — kwami (talk) 10:44, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
This is becoming less of a problem now, though it's still a problem for me. How do I fix that? — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 16:16, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
You need a font that includes (mathematical) angle brackets. On my comp these include Cambria Math, DejaVu, and many of the "Unicode Fonts for Ancient Scripts"[1] (presumably because they're used in philological transcription). Although I don't have them installed, from our Unicode font-support article (misc. math A) it looks like Code2000 and maybe Everson Mono also cover them, as well as a few others I've never heard of. — kwami (talk) 05:17, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I've added a redirect. The page can now be accessed via Pronunciation_of_English_⟨th⟩ (canonical name), Pronunciation of English ‹th›, Pronunciation of English th or indeed Then–thyn split, Thonne-thynne split and Voiced-voiceless th split. Such redirects greatly increase find-ability and reduce the chances that someone else will create a duplicate article with similar content. Stuartyeates (talk) 06:14, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
While brackets may be correct, they don't display for me on iOS with Safari, or on Windows XP with Firefox. It strikes me that this may include a significant percentage of our readership, so I'm not sure that converting all of them would be a good idea. I think it would probably be a good idea to bring this up at WP:VPT before converting more articles. — Mr. Stradivarius 07:32, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
It's a matter of font support. They display just fine with FF on XP, as well as with IE, Opera, and Chrome (and Chrome hardly displays anything). — kwami (talk) 07:43, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, well probably a large part of the reason I can't see them is that I'm using a standard Japanese installation of XP with no special fonts installed. Still, I think it would be good to get a clear idea of how wide the install base is of fonts that have the angle brackets before we convert too many pages. — Mr. Stradivarius 07:55, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree. I don't know if that's s.t. VPT can help with. — kwami (talk) 07:58, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Cambria comes with Windows products, but it looks like it started with the Vista OS, with Office 2007 for PC, and with Office 2008 for Mac, at least in English-language platforms. DejaVu comes with OpenOffice and several Linux OS's, including Ubuntu. (And is available for free download.) I don't know which other default math fonts on other OS's might support them. — kwami (talk) 08:03, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Linguistic Expertise Solicited - RfC

With the recent improvement in Sen. Rick Santorum's candidacy for the GOP nomination, the "santorum" discussion I referenced above has become somewhat more pressing yet still remains unresolved. I have elevated it to an RfC in the pursuit of resolution and am re-soliciting comments from any resident linguists within this Wikiproject. Thanks in advance for your consideration. JakeInJoisey (talk) 22:08, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

As user Rjanag points out, it is entirely possible for a word to be a noun, a euphemism, and a neologism. I would add that the very same word can also be a derogatory term, a coinage, and an eponym. As I see it, this is a question of style and point of view, not of linguistic terminology per se. Cnilep (talk) 03:14, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
...this is a question of style and point of view, not of linguistic terminology per se.
Thanks for, again, offering your viewpoint and I believe, having been privy to the mess in that article for longer than I care to remember, your observation here might represent a step forward...but that's just my .02 If you've read the most recent comments by Stuartyeates, the apparent conflict (at least to a linguistic neophyte like myself) between Partridge's cite and the OED example presented is a rather interesting question in and of itself independent of this "santorum" hullabaloo.
While I understand fully Rjanag's position, I don't think it really represents the contextual arena in which this rhetorical wrestling match is being conducted. For example, were "neologism" to be established as legitimate and consensus-acceptable, the long-discussed discomfort with "campaign" in the title would be mitigated exponentially. JakeInJoisey (talk) 03:35, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

List of English irregular verbs

I'm of the general impression that this article needs some serious help. There are two recent discussions that may be of interest:

Thanks. (Note that the page's history will show a few new edits of my own.) Milkunderwood (talk) 00:38, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

I also note that this list article is rated as being High-importance.
An issue that I had not previously raised other than perhaps tangentially with my reference to American Heritage's usage notes on wake is the distinction between whether a verb is being used in a transitive or intransitive sense, which may sometimes affect the better of two alternate forms given. Milkunderwood (talk) 01:52, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Keep in mind also that the American Heritage Dictionary is controversial and extremely POV-pushing. It was created by a rich, ultra-conservative who was pissed off at Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary. After his bid to literally buy Merriam-Webster so he could undo their work failed, he blew a lot of money funding the AHD, with the specific intent of contradicting all of 3NID's descriptivist facts with prescriptive Victorianesque browbeating. Exercise caution and seek other reliable-source opinions any time citing the AHD as a source for general practice as opposed to for conservative, prescriptivist American practice.
All that said, I concur that List of English irregular verbs is in bad shape. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒〈°⌊°〉 Contribs. 17:41, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I think I would phrase this differently; the above comments appear to be somewhat POV themselves. The history and original motivations of AHD may have been as stated here, but as far as I'm aware their entries are widely regarded by professional lexicographers as authoritative, and their usage notes can be invaluable, particularly for ESL speakers. Perhaps AHD is best used in conjunction with MW3, or as it is represented online as Milkunderwood (talk) 23:27, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Ideal language

Ideal language, an article I've just discovered, used to be a redirect to philosophical language, but in 2009, an IP user changed it into a (sub)stub treating Chomsky's term ideal language user. This (sub)stub (which still is in serious need of cleanup/copy-editing just for faulty grammar) would be appropriate under ideal language user, but certainly not under ideal language, which should be a redirect again. That said, I suspect the (sub)stub is redundant anyway, as Linguistic competence covers the subject well enough already. However, I'd prefer if someone more competent in theoretical linguistics could take care of that article, or offer an opinion on what to do with it. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:26, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree with you, and have restored the redirect. I don't see a need to create 'Ideal language user' or 'Ideal listener/speaker', but other users are free to do so. Cnilep (talk) 11:20, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
That was a quick reaction. Great! --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:33, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

what is a 'numeral'?

What is a numeral? I learned that it was a part of speech, and the normal use of the word in linguistic texts seems to assume that (nouns may be modified by adjectives, numerals, determiners; numeral order vs. adj. or det. order, etc.). However, I'm having a hard time pinning it down. For example, the Routledge Dict. speaks of "indefinite numerals" like all, some, few, but this contradicts their definition of mass nouns as nouns that do not occur with numerals. (Most other sources contrast "quantifiers" like all, some, few from "numerals", but fail to actually define "numerals".)

Is it generally accepted that numerals are a part of speech? Or does that depend on theory, with some approaches distributing them among adjectives and nouns? How do we determine whether a word like "dozen" or "first" is a numeral? (Yes, I understand that we can't always determine whether a word is a noun or adjective either. I'm looking for a general approach.) Is there a distinction between a "numeral" and a "number"? (That is, should some of our "language-X numerals" be moved to "language-X numbers"?) Or is a distinction only made in some approaches to grammar?

kwami (talk) 05:03, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm neither mathematician nor linguist, but any good dictionary will tell you that "numeral" as a noun is a symbol that represents a "number". I had never heard of numerals as being a part of speech, but now searching Google Books: Routledge dictionary of language and linguistics for the words "numeral" and "numerals", it seems clear they're using these terms in a specialized sense. Milkunderwood (talk) 06:22, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, written numerals are another thing entirely, like vowels vs. vowel letters. — kwami (talk) 07:05, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
(ec): In [Anthony Burgess's A Mouthful of Air], he says (p.121):
  • When symbols are used to express ideas rather than to represent objects in the external world. we have ideograms ("idea drawings") or logograms ("word drawings"). With some of these (Chinese pu is a good example) it is possible to see vestiges of picture writing; with many the pictorial origins are obscure and the shapes seem quite arbitrary. Thus, the Arabic numerals that we use seem (except for the first) to relate to nothing pictorial: 2, 3, 4, 5, and the rest are arbitrary characters that, in all countries, carry the same arithmetical meaning. The Roman numerals seem to come closer to pictograms, especially as they appear on a clockface - I, II, III, IIII, V. They are drawings of fingers, except for V, which represents the space between index finger and thumb and thus stands for the whole hand. Signs like +, =, and % have clear meanings to the world, but they perform neither a pictorial nor a phonetic task. They are pure ideograms.
Milkunderwood (talk) 07:13, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Take a look at the article type-token distinction. A number is an idea, concept or abstraction. The marks of ink on a page, and powdery lines of chalk on a board are numerals. The straight line with a little flaggy thing at the top is the numeral one. The idea that describes how many people I am is the number one. A numeral is a token instance of a number. Greg Bard (talk) 07:16, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the interesting pointer. I assume then that kwami's distinction is a "vowel letter" as a token for a spoken vowel. It's the concept of a "numeral" as a part of speech that's throwing me off. Milkunderwood (talk) 07:29, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I'm not concerned about writing, but grammar. When we speak of the "numerals" of a language, what do we mean? Are they different than "numbers"? Of course, many of our articles will conflate grammatical numerals with written numerals, just as we often conflate phonemic vowels with vowels letters, but that's a side issue. (And of course I'm not speaking of grammatical number as in sg/pl either.)

We have a list of kinds of numerals in the article, but it's only ref'd to SIL, and I worry that they may have dumbed it down, or that there may be a diversity of theoretical approaches that is not being reflected. Certainly the list doesn't make much sense as a grammatical class, unless perhaps they're examples of the kinds of words which may be numerals in any particular language, just as 'lightning' or 'waterfall' may be a verb (though they aren't in English). — kwami (talk) 09:18, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Note. User:Michael Hardy has moved a number of "X-language numbers" articles to "X-language numerals". This list of moves might be of interest depending on the outcome of this discussion. --ἀνυπόδητος (talk) 14:02, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
He was just undoing me. That, and clarifying the article, are the main reasons I'm here. — kwami (talk) 17:43, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
I think numerals are just when numbers form a syntactic class or subclass of their own, and numbers are any quantifiers that denote specific quantities. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:47, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Would ordinals then not be 'numerals', since they are not part of the same word class? What of 'dozen'? etc. Perhaps some of these are ambiguous, but many of our articles seem to address more than just numerals. — kwami (talk) 22:25, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Syntactically "dozen" is just a noun, whereas true numerals in English can take the place of an article. That's why you can say 3 dozen, but not "dozen men walked down the road".·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:42, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

11 is a prime number; 9 is a composite number (i.e. an integer that is not prime because it factors as a product of smaller primes—in this case 3 × 3). Those facts do not depend on what symbols are used to represent the number. Whether you write "11" or "XI" doesn't alter those facts. "11" and "XI" are two different numerals, but they both represent the same number. That's why I undid the moves. The name of the number 23 in a language that uses a base-20 system for naming numbers necessarily differs from its name in a language that uses a base-10 system. But it's the same number either way; what's different is not the number, but the numerals. Michael Hardy (talk) 22:37, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

No, you are confusing the cipher for the word. XI and 11 and eleven are all different ways of writing the same numeral that represents the number after ten.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:46, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Disregarding for the moment that syntactic tests seldom work in all cases, here are the categories of "numerals" per our article:

  • Cardinal numerals (one, two)
  • Ordinal numerals (first, second, next, last)
  • Ranking numerals (primary, secondary)
  • Partitive numerals (whole, half, third)
  • Composite numerals (unary, binary)
  • Multiplicative numerals (once, twice)
  • Reproductive numerals (single, double, multiple)
  • Collective numerals (pair, triad, dozen, solo, duo/duet, twin, triplet)
The term is also used for a specialized type of numeral in the Russian and Polish number system.
  • Distributive numerals (Latin singuli "one by one", bini "by twos", terni "three each")
  • Morphological numerals (singular, dual)

It would seem that none of these apart from the first are actually numerals, with the possible exception of collectives in Slavic and distributives in Latin. They should all be "number", correct? — kwami (talk) 04:16, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes,they should all be numbers. Especially morphological!·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 04:42, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
I think they meant the words 'singular' and 'dual', not the grammatical categories!
Okay, that's what I thought. However, I wouldn't gotten compound numerals wrong, so I needed to check. — kwami (talk) 04:45, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
Whether it makes sense to speak of a separate word class "numeral" is quite uncertain and controversial, as apparently, lexemes serving numeral-like functions frequently, perhaps even usually (despite the suggestion at Numeral (linguistics)#Larger numerals), don't behave in any distinct manner morphosyntactically; instead, they may behave like nouns, verbs, adjectives or whatever. If anything, "numeral" is a class based on semantics alone. Where numerals require the use of numeral classifiers, however, presumably, they may be posited as a class.
I've chanced upon a couple of literature references on the problem here. They might provide a useful starting point. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 05:21, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
That gets us back to whether 'first' and 'once' are numerals, and whether there's any distinction between 'numerals' and 'numbers'. Perhaps some people feel such a distinction is useful, and others don't? — kwami (talk) 06:41, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
It depends on the level of analysis. On the (morpho-)syntactic level, first is clearly an adjective, and once is an adverb. Since they are paired with one, however, they are semantically numerals. You could even class to double, to triple, to quadruple etc. as numerals, even though they are morphosyntactically verbs, and their "numerality" has no real morphosyntactic consequences. English doesn't have lexicalised verbs which mean to be three etc., but I'm sure many other languages do. It's just like how, for example, English is semantically an ethnonym or glottonym, without that having any morphosyntactic relevance since ethnicity/language is not coded morphosyntactically in English; usually it's just considered an adjective. Likewise, Englishman is a noun, but also an ethnonym. It does have consequences on spelling, however. (That even though neither are proper nouns with a unique referent – English isn't even a noun, or only sometimes.) Similarly, numerals (not only cardinal numerals) may be expressed using numerical symbols (which are language-independent and can be considered logograms) in writing. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:47, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Does the test fail with 'hundred' and 'thousand', or are those technically nouns rather than numerals? — kwami (talk) 05:22, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Syntactically they must be nouns, since they can't appear without being preceded by a numeral or an article! ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 05:25, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's what we have in the article; I just wanted to check, since syntactic tests are seldom perfect. I've rewritten the beginning of the article, in case you wish to review. — kwami (talk) 05:50, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Pavey distinguishes numerals like 'one' and 'seventy-seven' word vs phrase. But I'd normally call the latter a compound; I'd think a better example of a phrase would be 'the two of them we saw'. Should we go w Pavey's terminology? — kwami (talk) 20:21, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

I think we should use the established terminology rather than make our own. The choice of phrase over compound only depends on how tightly joined you think of the two words as being.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:37, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
I was hesitant to use "phrase" because I was afraid it would be misleading. Corbett in Number uses the term for phrases like two pairs of socks or my three friends, which I would think would be considered noun phrases. But even if we consider a numeral phrase to be s.t. like 'the three of them', that's quite different from 'seventy-seven'. (And though that is of course a phrase, so is 'eleven'.) — kwami (talk) 00:12, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
It is a different distinction to make - in Danish 77 would be "syvoghalvfjerds" directly translateable to "seven and half a fourth (score)" - which is obviously a noun phrase originally and not a compound. The english example is a little harder to determine because of the lack of a connector. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:11, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Be careful of a few things. First, don't let this article or this discussion conflate linguistics with philosophy. In other words, there is number the idea which is simply using a symbol or a word or a sound or whatever to represent a mathematical quantity. Then, there is this discussion of how to classify such things that represent this idea within linguistics. Second, be very careful of the use of the term number as it already has an established use in linguistics with it referring to singular/plural/dual. Third, don't be in too much of a hurry to put everything into a single 'part of speech' box. Many words, in fact most in English, can function as more than one thing while having the same form.
When it comes down to it, these are all just words. These words are collectively referred to as numerals (although when properly prepositioned i.e. cardinal number, ordinal number, use of the term number is synonymous) which are considered quantifiers which is further generally accepted to be a type of determiner. Such determiners may function as nouns, pronouns, or adjectives depending on the syntax of the utterance in which they appear.
I recommend limiting the article to only those established views on numerals that are standard across the linguistic realm and avoiding any urge to assign specific part of speech categorization to them.Drew.ward (talk) 03:48, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Good points all.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 03:54, 6 March 2012 (UTC)


Hello! I'm not part of the Etymology Task Force but I did help to code {{etymology}}. I'm sure that I've mentioned this before (maybe it was somewhere else?).. Anyway, it seems like most instances of the template in articles have been added by myself or Si Trew (who also helped to code the template). Would it be possible to place a permanent mention of the template and how it should be used on the project page? That way we might see greater use of the template in articles and a more consistent etymology style across Wikipedia. Thank you in advance. Regards, nagualdesign (talk) 20:47, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

 Done, though I did not specify "how it should be used", as I'm not sure if there's consensus on that. Cnilep (talk) 00:45, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. I've also amended the template to cope with non-Latin characters (without italicizing them). nagualdesign (talk) 02:43, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Classifying words

One way to classify English words is to put each word in 2 groups:

  1. The first letter of the word
  2. The language the word comes from (being native to English is an example.)

Check out a sentence at P. It should reveal an example of such a statement.

In every letter article, Wikipedia should have a similar statement revealing how common English words starting with the letter are classified by the language they are from. Again, here is the same statement copied from P:

Most English words beginning with P are of foreign origin, primarily French, Latin, Greek, and Slavic. In these languages, words from Proto Indo-European have p at the beginning if they come from initial p. Such words native to English, which is a Germanic language, start with F.

Here is what a similar statement about T would be:

Native English words beginning with T but not the th digraph are from words from Proto Indo-European with initial d. Native words starting with th or words of French, Latin, Greek, or Slavic origin beginning with T but not th are from words from Proto Indo-European with an initial t.

Did I get the above statement right?? Georgia guy (talk) 13:05, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Nah there's far more to it than this. You might want to consider reading Historical Linguistics by HR Trask. It covers the sort of sound and spelling changes that have occurred in English fairly well.Drew.ward (talk) 14:19, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
I was doing examples for P and T. Similar statements can be made with any letter, but can you reveal that these statements are not necessarily true?? Georgia guy (talk) 15:12, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Sure. But it's not that simple. It's not that your observations are necessarily wrong. In fact they're quite astute but there is more going on in phonology than just the present spellings and the easily traced borrowings from say French or Latin. For instance, just as is mocked so often with Asian languages lacking differentiation between R and L (it's not that they lack one or the other but rather that these two related sounds are seen as the same thing), P/F/PF (even these versus B/V) and T/D/TH/th (voiced & voiceless TH) are or were often variants of the "same" sound in Germanic languages including many dialects past and present of English. So with this knowledge it's pretty easy to see that German 'pfeffer' and English 'pepper' are the same word.

Check out Sound_change and Grimm's_law.

It's a really neat field of study but at the same time one that becomes difficult to make generalizations over.Drew.ward (talk) 15:32, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

I've gone to Wiktionary's pepper article and it reveals that this word is of Latin origin. Georgia guy (talk) 15:36, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
You'll need a more reliable source than Wikipedia or Wiktionary to effectively research this sort of thing. The OED entry for pepper shows the following:

pepper, n. Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈpɛpə/ , U.S. /ˈpɛpər/ Forms: OE peopor (rare), OE pipcer (transmission error), OE pipor, OE pipur (rare), OE–15 piper, ME papeer, ME paper, ME papere, ME papire, ME paupere, ME peopur, ME pepir, ME pepire, ME pepre, ME pepur, ME pepyr, ME pyper, ME–15 papur, ME–17 peper, 15– pepper, 16 peppr (transmission error), 18 pipper (Irish English); Eng. regional (E. Anglian) 18– pupper; Sc. pre-17 pepar, pre-17 peper, pre-17 pepir, pre-17 peppar, pre-17 peppir, pre-17 pepyre, pre-17 piper, pre-17 17– pepper. N.E.D. (1905 ) also records a form ME pepyre. Etymology: < classical Latin piper , a loanword < Indo-Aryan (as is ancient Greek πέπερι ); compare Sanskrit pippalī long pepper. Compare Anglo-Norman and Old French, Middle French, French poivre (c1140 in Old French as peivere : see poivrade n.), Old Occitan, Occitan pebre (a1126), Catalan pebre pepper (1249), Spanish pebre (1291 or earlier), Italian pepe (a1262), †pepero (mid 15th cent. or earlier; also as †pepere , †pipere ), (now regional (northern)) pevere (13th cent. as peiver ). The Latin word was also borrowed into other Germanic languages at an early date; compare Old Frisian piper (West Frisian piper ), Middle Dutch peper (Dutch peper ), Old Saxon pepar , piperi (Middle Low German pēper , pepper , Low German Peper , Pepper ), Old High German pfeffar (Middle High German pfeffer , German Pfeffer ), Old Icelandic piparr , Old Danish piber , pipær (Danish peber ), Old Swedish pepar , pipar , piper (Swedish peppar , †pepar ). Middle English forms in pep- probably reflect an unattested later Old English form *peper with -e- for Latin -i- , although perhaps compare also very occasional occurrences of peper for piper in post-classical Latin (probably 9th cent. or earlier).

eOE Bald's Leechbk. (Royal) i. i. 24 Meng pipor wiþ hwit cwudu. eOE Bald's Leechbk. (Royal) ii. xxxii. 234 Wyrc him sealfe þus wiþ wambe coþum of cwicum swefle & of blacum pipore, & of ele. OE Ælfric Gram. (Durh.) 44 Piper, pipor [OE St. John's Oxf. pipcer]. c1150 (OE) Peri Didaxeon (1896) 21 Eftsona nim piper and alewen and sealt‥and meng eal togadere. ?a1300 Dame Sirith 279 in G. H. McKnight Middle Eng. Humorous Tales (1913) 13 Pepir nou shalt þou eten; Þis mustart shal ben þi mete. c1330 (1300) Reinbrun (Auch.) in J. Zupitza Guy of Warwick (1891) 632 Gingiuer and galingale‥gren de Paris, Pyper, and comyn. ?a1425 (1400) Mandeville's Trav. (Titus C.xvi) (1919) 112 And þere is iij maner of peper alle vpon o tree: Long peper, blak peper, & white peper. The long peper men clepen Sorbotyn.‥ The long peper cometh first whan the lef begynneth to come.

As you can see this is a word that starts with a P and is an original word of English. If you are actually trying to only leave words that are not at all derived originally from non-Brythonic sources, then you'd end up with a list of words that would be only 50 or 60 long at the most and even that would be a stretch.Drew.ward (talk) 17:33, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

(But isn't that because it was loaned from Latin after Grimm's law had stopped working?)·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:34, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Grimm's Law has never 'quit working'. It's a constant of language change and continues today.Drew.ward (talk) 15:57, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Huh? Grimm's law quit working long before the attestation of individual Germanic languages. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:03, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I think he is confusing Grimm's Law with the general process of consonant chain shifts (or the processes of devoicing and spirantization) - which are of course not universal but something that does happens every now and then. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:34, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Please note the word most at the start of the sentence in P. Georgia guy (talk) 17:41, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
It's still a generalisation and one that's not linguistically sound. Putting something like this on WP runs the risk of a reader incorrectly concluding that such a generalisation is correct and then even worse, extending it to other similar situations. Also, such a statement could violate WP policy regarding original research.Drew.ward (talk) 01:24, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm sure that in the case of P, my statement is correct. Any verifiable info that it is wrong?? Georgia guy (talk) 01:27, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
It is true that there are virtually no words reconstructed for Proto-Germanic that begin with p. The only two I know of are the ancestor of path and the ancestor of plow. Path is believed to have been borrowed from an Iranian language into Proto-Germanic (which seems pretty wild until you consider how close the Scythians and Sarmatians were to Germanic speakers). Plow is of unknown origin, but it's still a loanword in English because English apparently borrowed it from Old Norse (the original Old English word for plow was sulh). So yeah, it may well be the case that every English word starting with p is ultimately a loanword, although some of these loanwords are so old that they were borrowed into an ancestor language of Modern English and not directly into Modern English itself. (Coincidentally, it may also be the case that every Irish word starting with p is ultimately a loanword as well.) Angr (talk) 01:37, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Research into the use of registers on Wikipedia?

Does anyone know of any published research into the use of linguistic registers by Wikipedia editors on Wikipedia, please? --Harkey (talk) 12:06, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

I seem to remember something in a recent issue of The Signpost about users emulating the interaction style of administrators. Not sure if that's the kind of thing that you're looking for, but I'll try and dig up the link. — Mr. Stradivarius 06:03, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Ok, found it. There might be more studies out there too. — Mr. Stradivarius 06:09, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, that's exactly the type of thing that I was looking for. --Harkey (talk) 12:01, 13 March 2012 (UTC)


Should referent be

  • (a) improved or
  • (b) deleted and redirected to reference?
  • (c) something else..

In ictu oculi (talk) 10:30, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Merge to reference.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:26, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Dynamic and static passive

Could someone more knowledgeable than me please comment at Talk:Passive voice#Dynamic and static passive, or better yet, edit the relevant section at Passive voice? Thanks, Cnilep (talk) 02:20, 14 March 2012 (UTC)


There appears to be a gigantic hole in project coverage of articles on grammatical structure - for instance grammatical tense, sentence, plural, gerund, and many other articles lack any tag at all. A project taskforce should be created and these articles tagged, because they really are important. ResMar 02:34, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Mario, could you be a bit more specific on what you would like to see changed and what sort of tagging you are talking about? I'm guessing you mean wikipedia tagging and not linguistic tagging?

One thing along these lines that I've thought about in the past is that we should at some point try to get together and start culling out duplicate categories and such so that not only are things properly tagged but rather also universally tagged the same way.Drew.ward (talk) 17:26, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

I think he means that the talk pages of those articles don't have WikiProject Linguistics tags. However, Sentence is a disambig and shouldn't be tagged for our WikiProject. Sentence (linguistics) is tagged for the WikiProject. Angr (talk) 09:44, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
Ahh...ya know one thing I've noticed and I think we should somehow come to a consensus on is that somethings are named and/or tagged as linguistics while others are listed as grammar. Also along those lines, some things that are filed under linguistics are not in line with the field of linguistics but rather reflect views of different grammars and very language-specific ideas and terminologies (like those along the lines of a given pedagogy). It seems to me that when an article begins with "In linguistics,..." the article should reflect the general consensus view or idea of a topic (or if it's not a widespread idea, the linguistics-specific meaning) whereas an article on a concept that's specific to a given field and although language-related, not a linguistic concept (or the linguistically accepted definition, or being given a definition or usage that differs from the one used in linguistics) should be listed as something like "In blankety blank pedagogy,...".
One example I can think of off hand is the article on 'do support'. This article begins with "In English grammar,..." and then goes on to define the concept as something that is set in stone, agreed upon universally, and an integral aspect of English grammar. In fact this particular idea is linguistically and grammatically absolutely incorrect and derives from the ESL teaching field and then made it into grammar guides first from works produced by ESL publishers and then applied into native-speaker oriented grammars. Because this topic is controversial and its accepted use limited to a specific field, the introductory statement / classification of it should reflect that rather than purport or infer its universality. Likewise, things such as this, even if well sourced that are proposals or theories or takes on a certain idea that are not fully vetted, be clearly stated as a proposed yet not accepted (or accepted/used only in a specific realm). This would allow wikipedia to still provide articles for things considered to have encyclopedic value yet maintaining neutrality and making sure that WP and its editors are not seen to be pushing a given agenda or some others. Drew.ward (talk) 16:26, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
When you say "listed as grammar", what are you referring to? Maybe you are talking about the category system? The original poster was referring to the article talk pages being tagged with {{WikiProject Linguistics}}, not categories. As for do-support, I agree that it could do with an update to show its controversial status. You're welcome to be bold and edit it yourself. And yes, we certainly do have a lot of articles on concepts that purport to be scientific, but aren't fully vetted - because of this, we have a guideline on fringe theories, which you might want to read if you haven't done so already. Best — Mr. Stradivarius 04:06, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Getting back to the original point, I think it is probably time for us to make a list of categories for the whole of WikiProject Linguistics, and ask User:DodoBot to tag them for us. I have made a start at Wikipedia:WikiProject Linguistics/Categories - could others add more categories that they think are appropriate? When we have a fairly definitive list, I'll submit it to the DodoBot page to be processed. — Mr. Stradivarius 05:39, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Labialization, Pharyngealization

hi all, The user Adamsa123 has recently started a number of entries about various phonemes that are labialized or pharyngealized. More recently, all these pages were blanked by Aeusoes1, and merged with the page for the corresponding mode of articulation. I understand this merger could be necessary if it were true, as Aeusoes1 himself argued, that these pages add no worthwhile information, and/or are only about phones rather than phonemes. However that is not true, and I think these speedy deletions were unfair to the considerable work that had been done by Adamsa123. Several (if not all) of these consonants are phonemes in some languages (from the Caucasus, or Oceanic family, or Semitic for pharyngealization), and this is valuable information that deserves to be stored somewhere on WP. Deleting these entries, as Aeusoes1 did, means losing these bits of information which may be valuable to some (e.g. phonological typologists), and I don't see what we gain in doing those deletions. Even when the info (on occurrence in languages) had not been entered yet by Adamsa123, there is nothing wrong in having these entries as stubs, leaving it to future contributors to add knowledge about each phoneme. Thus βʷ is a phoneme in Tamambo (Vanuatu): this is valuable information about this particular phoneme, not just about “labialization” in general. Phonemes have historical, geographical, typological properties that cannot just be assigned to the mode of articulation in general. I would like to ask people's opinions on the usefulness to come back to the version of these pages before they were blanked by Aeusoes1.

Thanks, Womtelo (talk) 00:02, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing this up, Womtelo. As far as I know there is no particular rule about having articles for individual phonemes or phones - rather, the criteria for whether a subject can have an article in Wikipedia is whether it has "received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject". (See Wikipedia:Notability for more details.)

Furthermore, Wikipedia usually follows the sources in its treatment of subjects. In this case, that would mean that if the sources treat all of these subjects as aspects of pharyngealization or labialization then that is what we should do too; however, if these topics are treated in significant detail in multiple reliable sources, there is no reason we shouldn't have an article on them.

I notice that none of the articles that Adamsa123 created had any references, so Aeusoes1's merge seems like a very sensible course of action. However, if (and this is a big if) you can find reliable sources which treat these subjects in detail, I think it would be entirely reasonable to undo the merge and add the relevant sources to the articles as references. Best — Mr. Stradivarius 06:27, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

I can get behind that criteria. We can even apply it to the series of ejectives and affricates that have also been created. This way, interesting or otherwise notable consonants can have their own articles, but Wikipedia won't be burdened with an increasing ballooning of every single consonant that could or does exist. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 14:33, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
I also agree with that criterion. But while published references are the norm on WP, we are all aware that many stubs exist that do not specify external references on day 1: instead, what happens is that a stub is created, and several weeks or months later, someone else brings in the references. For example, the /βʷ/ entry should be able to exist right now, even if it takes a while before someone finds the time to add a reference to Tamambo where that phoneme shows interesting behaviour. For that reason, I advise against deleting an entry straight away if it has no published reference. I consider that a wikilink to a language name, citing some specific languages where the phoneme can be found, is already a sufficient reason to keep the entry. A good example is /qχʷ/ with a link to Kabardian: the blanking of that page resulted in the loss of some potentially valuable information, and I still can't see what we gain with such a deliberate loss. It is not the spirit of WP as I see it. Womtelo (talk) 23:12, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, but them's the rules. If you feel strongly about it, how about digging up a few references? That should solve the problem a lot more efficiently than trying to work against Wikipedia's core content policies. — Mr. Stradivarius 23:31, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
p.s. and you can always create βʷ as a redirect to a more general article. Redirects don't have to be notable (but there are some criteria they need to fulfil - have a look at the page I linked to). Best — Mr. Stradivarius 23:38, 21 March 2012 (UTC)ii
Disagree. I never said we can have entries on topics with no third-party references. I just said that these references do not always come on day 1, and sometimes it takes a while to add them. That's why the Template:Unreferenced was created: if everyone followed the logic you seem to advocate here, this template would never be used, and pages lacking references would be blanked. I think that would be wrong. Just add the template calling for references, and perhaps specify a delay (a few months?) before deleting a page that contains information that's found nowhere else. — Womtelo (talk) 23:52, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
While there are many cases where there is a lengthy delay between when an unreferenced stub is created and when someone beefs it up with sourcing, this doesn't justify creating unreferenced stubs.
Editors can be given a reasonable amount of time to come up with sourcing, but there's nothing wrong with providing day-of scrutiny. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 00:20, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. I suggest Adamsa123 brings back his/her entries to the state they were before the blanking/merger/redirect; but to do so iff he can cite at least one language in which the consonant is a phoneme (rather than just a phone). At least a link to the language entry should exist (hoping the lgg entry in turn has its own references). Otherwise, publications targeting specifically that consonant are a plus, of course. If no reference or language exists for a particular consonant, then it is probably safer to leave it as a redirect for the time being. — Womtelo (talk) 00:27, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I think the criterion should be a little more strict than just if it exists as a phoneme in one or two languages. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 00:46, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
On the contrary. If a consonant is reported to exist only in 1 or 2 languages in the world, then that makes it a rarity which is certainly worth an entry! For the typologist, an entry on /qχʷ/ is much more valuable and worthy of description than one on /k/. —— Womtelo (talk) 01:16, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Then we would need to find a source that states that the sound in question is rare. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 01:30, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) If the sounds are verifiable, but don't have the significant coverage necessary to make them notable, how about creating a List of lablialized consonants and a List of pharyngealized consonants? This approach is often used in other places on Wikipedia. One that I came across fairly recently was the List of Space Invaders video games. Some of the games in that list are notable, but most are not; the pages for the latter redirect to their section in the list. Try clicking on Space Invaders Anniversary to see what I mean. — Mr. Stradivarius 01:41, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
hi Stradivarius, I think that would be a good idea. The essential thing is that we don't lose the information about, say, occurrence of the Consonant in some specific languages; or specific references that may exist. But it's true that those bits of info are often short, and could fit within a table like the one you cite. I wouldn't mind that at all. In fact - mind you - I essentially did the same last year on the French WP, precisely about the same consonants. — Womtelo (talk) 01:54, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Couldn't we fit said tables into Pharyngealization and Labialization? Those articles are short enough that they have room. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 04:51, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
That works for me. — Mr. Stradivarius on tour 06:30, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Sure, no problem. That is indeed what I had done in the French equivalent. Cheers, — Womtelo (talk) 06:43, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Second language and foreign language merge proposal

Hello all, I have just proposed quite an extensive merge, from second language and foreign language to multilingualism, second-language acquisition and language education. The merge discussion is at Talk:Multilingualism#Merge proposal, and if editors would like to comment I would be very grateful. Best — Mr. Stradivarius 15:34, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Good Article Review - Canada Education Program

We are working on the Joint attention article as part of the Canada Wikipedia Education Program and submitted for Good Article status on March 20, 2012. If anyone is willing to review our article that would be fantastic. The end of the semester is quickly approaching and any assistance would be greatly appreciated! Amae2 & NadRose & LianneAnna (talk) 02:04, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

 Done--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:04, 5 April 2012 (UTC)


Wikipedia:HighBeam describes a limited opportunity for Wikipedia editors to have access to HighBeam Research.
Wavelength (talk) 16:10, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

requested move on terminology

Please comment at Talk:Pre-stopped_consonant#Requested_move. --Enric Naval (talk) 10:48, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Requested edit on Decline_of_the_Roman_Empire

I've requested a linguistically-relevant edit here; could someone kindly attend to it? Thank you. (talk) 06:48, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

PS: It obviously needs to go because it is entirely unreferenced original research, but that aside it's also one of the oddest things I've ever read. Apparently, the Roman Empire fell because the loss of Latin case endings made communication impossible. What's even stranger is that the author appears to be familiar with some linguistic terminology, but entirely unfamiliar with the mainstream consensus in the field regarding such matters. Obviously someone from the study of Classics who despite manifest interest in linguistics has had his understanding clouded by prescriptivist waffle about elegance and language 'decay'. (talk) 06:48, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
 Done (talk) 09:09, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Propose move of certain articles from Grammatical Categories to Lexical Categories

I would like to ask for input on moving certain articles from their current categorization under Grammatical Categories over to Lexical Categories or even if they don't fall under either of these to somewhere else entirely. Along these lines, there also seems to be quite a bit of swapping the terms semantic for syntactic in both the main Grammatical Categories article and in the various articles falling under that category. Compare the wording of the WP articles with their referenced sources. The wording is very similar in most but with that one change. I believe that by the very nature of being grammatical that the primary involvement of grammatical categories is one of syntax rather than semantics (and by semantics I think where it is being used not in place of syntax that that the editors are perhaps thinking of lexical qualities?). Some articles I think should be moved are:

  • Animacy
    • That article begins with "Animacy is a grammatical and/or semantic category of nouns based on how sentient or alive the referent of the noun in a given taxonomic scheme is." If it is a category/quality of nouns, it is lexical not grammatical.
  • Case
    • I would propose splitting this article into 'morphological case' and 'grammatical case' because this article itself seems half claiming that case is purely inflected and part of morphology and half dealing with what many would call syntactic roles. Again, if it's something that is expressed via grammar, its a grammatical category, but if it's lexical (and still conveys that information regardless of grammar, it's not.
  • Clusivity
    • I don't really think this belongs in either listing but if it needs to be in one, it's clearly lexical.
  • Definiteness
    • I'm not sure where this should go but it seems not to be a good fit for either. The article also seems to be English-specific.
  • Degree of Comparison
    • This seems like if anything it belongs somewhere under morphology and there is probably a general (not English-specific) article out there.
  • Evidentiality, Focus, and Mirativity
    • None of these seem to fit the qualifications defined by Grammatical Category nor are they necessarily lexical qualities.
  • Gender
    • This is a lexical quality (and that means the article name shouldn't include 'grammatical' either).
  • Modality
    • This is modality in general which can be expressed in a variety of ways including lexically and as part of grammar which is covered by Mood
  • Noun_class
    • Not grammatical, not really a lexical quality either but more a classification scheme that more likely belongs under syntax or semantics.
  • Number & Person
    • Again, not grammatical and could be either viewed as a lexical quality of nouns/pronouns or something in syntax of particular languages.
  • Topic
  • Transitivity
    • lexical quality of verbsDrew.ward (talk) 15:23, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
This is a quite peculiar and very narrow definition of what grammar is or should be. Basically i don't believe you are applying the most common definition of the terms "grammatical" or "grammar". I am very much against the proposed change - all of the mentioned topics are commonly described as grammatical categories in the literature - and they are all quite commonly grammaticalized in the languages of the world - even if some languages expressed them lexically or syntactically. And even if they weren't they would still be relevant for the topic of grammar, for which reason they should be so categorized. Also the purpose of categories is not to define what things are or aren't, but to help users navigate content. We would not be helping them by using a narrow technical definition of grammar to move exclude terms that even professional linguists are likely to search for with that term. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:34, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
The definition our article gives of a Grammatical category is "a semantic distinction expressed in a morphological paradigm". Obviously this definition is too narrow and doesn't include semantic categories expressed syntactically - a quite common way to use the word, but it still includes all of the categories you mention in many languages. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:16, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi, Being a grammar-writer myself, I stand here with Maunus in thinking that all those categories fit under the umbrella term of "Grammatical category" rather than "Lexical". I see nothing wrong with that categorisation here. I also agree with the other point Maunus makes, namely that grammar should include the semantics of syntax as well as morphology. — Womtelo (talk) 00:25, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Some of these are semantic as well as grammatical categories, but only a couple are lexical (noun class, transitivity), and then only in addition to being grammatical. — kwami (talk) 20:56, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Ok, I wanted wait for a few comments before I chimed in again, so here is my follow-on for this issue (and just for the record, I'm not arguing or fighting for these moves, but rather hoping to arrive at a consensus on how we are to handle (especially within the various cross-lingual articles) the label grammatical and for that matter how we differentiate grammar from morphology and such (especially with regard to things that are reserved (or seen to be reserved) to the lexical level versus those that require the use of some grammatical construction). Some points to consider:
  • The article Grammatical Category seems to define the concept of grammatical category in a way (possibly just someone having gone in and changed the wording after the original which drew on those sources was written) which conflicts with its cited references (and in fact generally with definitions elsewhere) especially in the use of the word semantic versus syntactic (see intro sentences to article).
  • This same article, whichever way it goes, defines grammatical category a given way. If this is the definition of what grammatical categories are on Wikipedia, then shouldn't those things included in the category meet those attributes as defined in the article? (or conversely, shouldn't the article make sure it reflects the qualities of everything within the category?)
  • In the recent debate (mostly between Kwami and myself) regarding Grammatical case, it was argued (and for the most part agreed upon by everyone but me) that case is defined by most theories as a morphological feature of lexemes rather than also via the syntax of the utterance in which those lexemes appear (as I was arguing). Calling something grammatical case by its very name includes the understanding that it is a feature of grammar (syntax) and not limited to solely morphology (lexical, especially as was argued to apply to case). If we go with the consensus among those of us discussing here, that case may not be determined at the grammatical level then we need to remove the label grammatical from case because case is being defined here in Wikipedia as lexical and independent of syntax. Thus, by this same consensus, it couldn't possibly be a grammatical category. Right?
  • Finally, when something is included in the Wikipedia linguistics articles but is limited in domain or application only to a specific language (and most often here it is English), then do those articles truly belong in a general linguistic list like grammatical categories?Drew.ward (talk) 16:51, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Your argument is based on the assumption that grammar=syntax. That is not the case in most grammatical theories but a specific feature of Generative theories. We should use the broadest definition of Grammar so that it includes everything commonly treated as grammatical phenomena including all of morpho-syntax, and grammaticalized semantic and pragmatic distinctions. You also base the argument on the assumption that wikipedia should aim for consistency - that is in conflict with our min policies - any topic should be described in the way that most reliable sources do - sources may be inconsistent, then so are we. We should never make a decision of definition or categorizatin that overrides the way found in most reliable sources.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:22, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
That's just my point, this approach (the one that is currently used, DOES run counter to that of most reliable sources, including the sources given as references for the article.Drew.ward (talk) 18:09, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Then why haven't you been able to produce one single source in support of your interpretation regarding case? Also when you say that we agreed that case is a morphological feature of lexemes that misconstrues our argument. What we said was that case is a morphological and grammatical not a syntactic or lexical category. You should know that in many traditions morphology is considered central to grammar - not syntax.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:22, 30 March 2012 (UTC) ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:19, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
OK first of all no one has mentioned need for any additional sources and second, there are sources listed in the article. It's those very sources that differ from the article which references them for its content.Drew.ward (talk) 01:41, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Which article and which sources specifically. I have personally asked you around five times now to produce sources in support of your claims that "dative-accusative" is the most common description of the English non-nominative non-genitive case. I would be very interested in seeing a source suggesting that all or any of the categories above are not Grammatical categories, and that "grammatical category" does not cover both syntactic and lexical/morphological categories.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:44, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
I believe that your argument is sound. If a category is purely morphological, why should it be called a grammatical category? I believe that morphological category would be a better term though. Count Truthstein (talk) 23:47, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Maunus, I just went to pull out the list of conflicting references and lines within the Grammatical categories article (this is the article I've been talking about the whole time) but I see that you've now made changes to bring the body of the article defining what grammatical categories are in line with those references and with the overall descriptions of the articles (except some of the ones which are lexical only or English only which is understandable) listed within that category.Drew.ward (talk) 16:10, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
The only reference in that article was a link to a SIL website.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:27, 2 April 2012 (UTC)