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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!

Arabic names for the planets[edit]

Can anyone help with Planet#Mythology and naming? The article's currently undergoing FAR, and because of a remark about the citations, I just noticed that the listed etymologies for the Arabic names of the planets seem to disagree with Wiktionary, and there's a bewildering amount of different opinions from sources. I'd like to know what the current scholarly consensus is (assuming there even is one). Double sharp (talk) 15:02, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One problem I see, assuming I understand this correctly, is that the early Greeks (not sure of the timing) didn't realize that the morning and evening stars were the same planets. That was a historical discovery. Thus the Babylonians presumably also didn't know that. There were two Greek planets corresponding to Venus, and two corresponding to Mercury. I'd think that would have to play into the etymologies.
Should mention the Babylonian god for Saturn, even if it doesn't correspond to the Greek. — kwami (talk) 20:50, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Between you and I[edit]

I just realized we had an article on "between you and I" via the Reference desk and was surprised to find phrases such as "linguists [who] accept the grammaticality" and "prescriptive linguists". The article seems to engage in undue both-sidesism and conflate grammaticality (over which there is no debate) and acceptability, instead of discussing scholarly description and lay commentary separately. I might look into it when I have time but I'm leaving a note here so someone already familiar with the topic can tackle it. Nardog (talk) 05:43, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have shuddered to see that the article uses "error" 11 times, not only in quotes (which is fine) but also in wikivoice. Lots of work there to be done. Reminds me of the famous epitaph "Him as was has gone from we, us as is must go to he." –Austronesier (talk) 08:29, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Single straight quotes in glosses: Readability concern?[edit]

I'm fairly new here and noticed that many different styles seem to be used across Wikipedia for glosses. I enjoy consistency.

In 2015, MOS:SINGLE for glosses was added per discussions here and here. I find this rule lessens readability and without precedence elsewhere online or offline; I'm curious if others share the readability concern.

Here are the four options as I see it:

option appearance precedence downside
1 'single straight quotes' MOS:SINGLE apostrophe overloading, readability (?)
2 "double straight quotes" ? potential double quote overloading (?)
3 ‘single curly quotes’, widely used in print opposes MOS:CQ, harder to type
4 “double straight quotes” Wiktionary, MW online, LSJ online opposes MOS:CQ, harder to type

Two remarks:

  • If you like visual comparisons, you can compare the way Wiktionary looked in 2007 here (option 3) and how it looks today here (option 4).

Do you share the readability concern? 'wɪnd (talk) 13:28, 25 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is at least the third in a series of discussions on this topic. The others that I know about are:
Trappist the monk (talk) 13:51, 25 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This should just be closed as a duplicate dicussion of the one at WT:MOS, which is the correct venue already (for settling WP style matters; this wikiproject is for working on article content and categorization in a particular subject). It has already been explained to this user that we use single quotes because it's normal linguistics markup for glosses, and that we use straight ones for this purpose (and all other quote-marks purposes) because of MOS:CURLY, but the user is just not getting it and clearly wants to impose curly single or double quotes for this, which is not going to happen.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  14:14, 25 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Trappist the monk Thanks for the cross-linking (I was not aware of WP:MULTI). The reason I put it here is because a long-term user guided me to put it here. The reason I didn't post here first, was purely ignorance (not-knowing) on my part (WP:FAITH). Thanks to the previous discussions, I was able to sharpen my thinking and understand the core issue. My aim is not to impose curly quotes (I think straight double quotes can work too), rather I wondered if I'm the only one who sees readability as a concern. I believe in community consensus. 'wɪnd (talk) 14:45, 25 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd like SmcCandlish to hear me differently on: "we use single quotes because it's normal linguistics markup for glosses, and that we use straight ones for this purpose (and all other quote-marks purposes) because of MOS:CURLY, but the user is just not getting it". Yes, I hear this and agree with all of this as I believe I told you earlier: (a) the precedence in print is to use single curly quotes and (b) MOS:CQ is Wikipedia convention. The core point is that I find combining these rule leads to readability concerns and has no precedent elsewhere, and I wondered if others share this view? Also, I'd like to kindly ask you to assume good faith. I'm new to Wikipedia, and this kind of communication makes me feel uncomfortable. I do very much want to understand my mistakes and I believe I'm learning and adapting. 'wɪnd (talk) 15:37, 25 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
After three redundant threads of this stuff it should be clear that no, others do not share your view. You can stop asking over and over now.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:35, 25 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I share User:'wɪnd's concerns about readability, but agree with User:SMcCandlish that three having separate simultaneous discussions is counterproductive. Although, I like the nice box at the top of this discussion, I will comment at the more subscribed to and more appropriately located discussion at WT:MOS. —  AjaxSmack  15:10, 11 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Feedback requested at Template:Infobox language[edit]

Your feedback regarding parameter |ethnicity= in Template:Infobox language would be appreciated. Please see this discussion. Thanks, Mathglot (talk) 00:22, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Causative alternation and labile (ergative) verb merger proposal[edit]

There is a recent proposal to merge causative alternation and labile verb articles.

Not being a linguist, I had asked a question on the causative alternation talk page: how it this different than ergativity? Editor @AjaxSmack: considered the question, and proposed merging.

I figure that since few people seem to be minding those pages, it might make sense to post a note here.

Also: the labile verb article is not claimed by Wikiproject Linguistics, which looks like an oversight. I will add it. (Ergative verb redirects to labile verb, by the way.) -- M.boli (talk) 13:37, 11 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]



I just created the PHOIBLE article.

Feel free to review it and make changes and additions, as my English and knowledge of wp.en editing practices isn't perfect.

I also added it in the Lexical databases section of the Template:Cross-Linguistic Linked Data.

Regards,  Şÿℵדαχ₮ɘɼɾ๏ʁ 15:24, 17 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Target link for Template:lang-arc[edit]

The name for ISO 639-3 code arc changed in 2007. This should be reflected in the link of {{lang-arc}}. I started a discussion at Template talk:lang-arc#Change language link to Imperial Aramaic respectively Module talk:Lang/data#Template-protected edit request on 25 September 2022. I‘d be glad for your input. S.K. (talk) 21:06, 25 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


In June, I have substantially expanded and also updated the article about Slovene phonology and thus the help page is not in accordance with the phonology article and has to be updated as well. I have posted my thoughts on the talk page, but so far no one has commented. If you are interested, please visit the talk page and post your comment there. (I was directed here from the help desk) Garygo golob (talk) 15:32, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


There is a requested move discussion at Talk:Classical compound#Requested move 25 October 2022 that may be of interest to members of this WikiProject. Extraordinary Writ (talk) 17:49, 1 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Template consistency[edit]

I noticed that we don't have consistency among our templates about translation, e.g.:

Because of these different layouts' lack of consistency, using them in the same page makes it very confusing. We should set a norm, with an eye to the Manual of Style/Text formatting. IMHO the first layout is preferable, being already used by all lang-xx templates, but we must decide it together, so, in the end...

What's the preferable layout?

  1. lit. 'palace'
  2. lit.'palace'
  3. transl. palace

Let me know, thanks. Est. 2021 (talk · contribs) 10:01, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is all the labelling necessary? I'd personally just go for:
سرای sarāy 'palace'.
The label "Persian:" can be added if the language is not clear from the context, but the formatting should be enough to distinguish the romanisation from the translation. – Uanfala (talk) 11:17, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Est. 2021: it isn't necessary to copy the contents of the {{literal translation}} and {{translation}} templates into this discussion. Please don't do that; it just makes reading the wikitext that much more difficult. Because it does make reading more difficult, I have removed the template code from your post and replaced it with simpler examples.
{{lang|fa|[[wikt:سرای#Persian|سرای]]}} {{transl|fa|sarāy}} 'palace'. can be simplified:
{{lang-fa|[[wikt:سرای#Persian|سرای]]|sarāy|palace|label=none}}سرای, sarāy, 'palace'
Trappist the monk (talk) 12:28, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Uanfala:, yes, the labelling is necessary, otherwise the browsers don't automatically recognize the language, and vocal readers won't work correctly, as per the guidelines.
@Trappist the monk: I didn't copy anything, I subst'ed them to keep the examples unaltered, in case we edit or merge the templates. Besides that, the point is that the translation doesn't always follow the original term, but we need consistency anyway. For example:
The Italian Treccani dictionary gives two derivations: one via Turkish: seray or saray (with the variants seraya or saraya), which comes from Persian: سرای, romanizedsarāy, lit.'palace' or, per derivation, the enclosed court for the wives and concubines of the harem of a house or palace (see § Harem); the other — in the sense of enclosure — from Late/Medieval Latin: serraculum, derived from Classical Latin serare, lit.'to close', which comes from sera, lit.'door-bar'
Having completely different layouts for that "lit." is quite disturbing. Est. 2021 (talk · contribs)
Is stuff like "transl." and "lit." really needed for screen readers and the rest? I thought they worked off the markup in the html, and that you have in all the examples above (even the simplest ones use {{lang}} and {{transl}}, precisely for this purpose). – Uanfala (talk) 13:45, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
stuff like "transl." and "lit." are not needed for proper rendering and pronunciation. Browsers and screen readers use the underlying html for that. No doubt, the "transl." and "lit." (because they are marked up with <abbr>...</abbr> tags) are read by screen readers as 'translation' and 'literal translation' respectively.
Trappist the monk (talk) 14:31, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then you should have noted that. Perhaps a better way which avoids the clutter of a subst is to write this in a sandbox page:
{{code|{{literal translation|palace}}}}
Then, Show preview which gives you this:
<abbr style="font-size:85%" title="literal translation">lit.</abbr><span style="white-space: nowrap;">&thinsp;</span>'palace&#39;
copy-paste that result into this discussion:
That will show the current rendering without the unnecessary clutter of unused wikitext.
Why do we have both {{literal translation}} and {{translation}}? Surely we can make {{translation}} do the work of {{literal translation}}; it already has |literal= so:
{{literal translation|palace}}lit.'palace'
{{translation|palace|literal=yes}}lit. transl. palace
Slightly different renderings but that is the purpose of this discussion.
Trappist the monk (talk) 14:31, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Uanfala and Trappist the monk: So what about following the lang-xx standard, replacing lit. 'word' with lit. 'word'? Est. 2021 (talk · contribs) 14:49, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
PS. Note that the lang-xx standard doesn't make difference between translation and literal translation. Est. 2021 (talk · contribs) 14:52, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is Ethnologue a reliable source?[edit]

The topic regularly comes back, so I started a discussion here, to assess Ethnologue in WP:RSP. Feedback welcome! A455bcd9 (talk) 07:37, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Feedback about "types" of Communication[edit]

Your feedback on "types" of Communication would be helpful at Talk:Communication#Types of communication. Thanks, Mathglot (talk) 19:51, 29 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion of interest[edit]

There is a discussion about whether the article Vowel breaking is at the right location/about the scope of the article at Talk:Vowel breaking#Page at right location?.--Ermenrich (talk) 20:39, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bengali-Assamese languages[edit]

Hello, I reverted a recent edit [1]. The edit claimed that Noakhailla language is not listed in Glottolog and therefore it should not be listed in Bengali-Assamese languages. It seems to me that this issue is better addressed in Noakhailla language first. Also that Dhakaiyya Kutti is a dialect of Bengali language. Since Dhaka Bengali is yet another standard of the Bengali language, I wonder how this can be best represented. Could some linguists please provide some inputs here. Thanks. Chaipau (talk) 16:47, 27 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I just joined the wiki project[edit]

Can you just walk in and join or there are requirements OSC221 (talk) 02:00, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You just walk in and add your userid here. Mathglot (talk) 06:43, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unreviewed Featured articles year-end summary[edit]

Restoring older Featured articles to standard:
year-end 2022 summary

Unreviewed featured articles/2020 (URFA/2020) is a systematic approach to reviewing older Featured articles (FAs) to ensure they still meet the FA standards. A January 2022 Signpost article called "Forgotten Featured" explored the effort.

Progress is recorded at the monthly stats page. Through 2022, with 4,526 very old (from the 2004–2009 period) and old (2010–2015) FAs initially needing review:

  • 357 FAs were delisted at Featured article review (FAR).
  • 222 FAs were kept at FAR or deemed "satisfactory" by three URFA reviewers, with hundreds more being marked as "satisfactory", but awaiting three reviews.
  • FAs needing review were reduced from 77% of total FAs at the end of 2020 to 64% at the end of 2022.

Of the FAs kept, deemed satisfactory by three reviewers, or delisted, about 60% had prior review between 2004 and 2007; another 20% dated to the period from 2008–2009; and another 20% to 2010–2015. Roughly two-thirds of the old FAs reviewed have retained FA status or been marked "satisfactory", while two-thirds of the very old FAs have been defeatured.

Entering its third year, URFA is working to help maintain FA standards; FAs are being restored not only via FAR, but also via improvements initiated after articles are reviewed and talk pages are noticed. Since the Featured Article Save Award (FASA) was added to the FAR process a year ago, 38 FAs were restored to FA status by editors other than the original FAC nominator. Ten FAs restored to status have been listed at WP:MILLION, recognizing articles with annual readership over a million pageviews, and many have been rerun as Today's featured article, helping increase mainpage diversity.

Examples of 2022 "FAR saves" of very old featured articles
All received a Million Award

But there remain almost 4,000 old and very old FAs to be reviewed. Some topic areas and WikiProjects have been more proactive than others in restoring or maintaining their old FAs. As seen in the chart below, the following have very high ratios of FAs kept to those delisted (ordered from highest ratio):

  • Biology
  • Physics and astronomy
  • Warfare
  • Video gaming

and others have a good ratio of kept to delisted FAs:

  • Literature and theatre
  • Engineering and technology
  • Religion, mysticism and mythology
  • Media
  • Geology and geophysics

... so kudos to those editors who pitched in to help maintain older FAs !

FAs reviewed at URFA/2020 through 2022 by content area
FAs reviewed at URFA/2020 from November 21, 2020 to December 31, 2022 (VO, O)
Topic area Delisted Kept Total
Kept to
(overall 0.62)
Remaining to review
2004–7 promotions
Art, architecture and archaeology 10 6 16 0.60 19
Biology 13 41 54 3.15 67
Business, economics and finance 6 1 7 0.17 2
Chemistry and mineralogy 2 1 3 0.50 7
Computing 4 1 5 0.25 0
Culture and society 9 1 10 0.11 8
Education 22 1 23 0.05 3
Engineering and technology 3 3 6 1.00 5
Food and drink 2 0 2 0.00 3
Geography and places 40 6 46 0.15 22
Geology and geophysics 3 2 5 0.67 1
Health and medicine 8 3 11 0.38 5
Heraldry, honors, and vexillology 11 1 12 0.09 6
History 27 14 41 0.52 38
Language and linguistics 3 0 3 0.00 3
Law 11 1 12 0.09 3
Literature and theatre 13 14 27 1.08 24
Mathematics 1 2 3 2.00 3
Media 14 10 24 0.71 40
Meteorology 15 6 21 0.40 31
Music 27 8 35 0.30 55
Philosophy and psychology 0 1 1 2
Physics and astronomy 3 7 10 2.33 24
Politics and government 19 4 23 0.21 9
Religion, mysticism and mythology 14 14 28 1.00 8
Royalty and nobility 10 6 16 0.60 44
Sport and recreation 32 12 44 0.38 39
Transport 8 2 10 0.25 11
Video gaming 3 5 8 1.67 23
Warfare 26 49 75 1.88 31
Total 359 Note A 222 Note B 581 0.62 536

Noting some minor differences in tallies:

  • A URFA/2020 archives show 357, which does not include those delisted which were featured after 2015; FAR archives show 358, so tally is off by at least one, not worth looking for.
  • B FAR archives show 63 kept at FAR since URFA started at end of Nov 2020. URFA/2020 shows 61 Kept at FAR, meaning two kept were outside of scope of URFA/2020. Total URFA/2020 Keeps (Kept at FAR plus those with three Satisfactory marks) is 150 + 72 = 222.

But looking only at the oldest FAs (from the 2004–2007 period), there are 12 content areas with more than 20 FAs still needing review: Biology, Music, Royalty and nobility, Media, Sport and recreation, History, Warfare, Meteorology, Physics and astronomy, Literature and theatre, Video gaming, and Geography and places. In the coming weeks, URFA/2020 editors will be posting lists to individual WikiProjects with the goal of getting these oldest-of-the-old FAs reviewed during 2023.

Ideas for how you can help are listed below and at the Signpost article.

  • Review a 2004 to 2007 FA. With three "Satisfactory" marks, article can be moved to the FAR not needed section.
  • Review "your" articles: Did you nominate a featured article between 2004 and 2015 that you have continuously maintained? Check these articles, update as needed, and mark them as 'Satisfactory' at URFA/2020. A continuously maintained FA is a good predictor that standards are still met, and with two more "Satisfactory" marks, "your" articles can be listed as "FAR not needed". If they no longer meet the FA standards, please begin the FAR process by posting your concerns on the article's talk page.
  • Review articles that already have one "Satisfactory" mark: more FAs can be indicated as "FAR not needed" if other reviewers will have a look at those already indicated as maintained by the original nominator. If you find issues, you can enter them at the talk page.
  • Fix an existing featured article: Choose an article at URFA/2020 or FAR and bring it back to FA standards. Enlist the help of the original nominator, frequent FA reviewers, WikiProjects listed on the talk page, or editors that have written similar topics. When the article returns to FA standards, please mark it as 'Satisfactory' at URFA/2020 or note your progress in the article's FAR.
  • Review and nominate an article to FAR that has been 'noticed' of a FAR needed but issues raised on talk have not been addressed. Sometimes nominating at FAR draws additional editors to help improve the article that would otherwise not look at it.

More regular URFA and FAR reviewers will help assure that FAs continue to represent examples of Wikipedia's best work. If you have any questions or feedback, please visit Wikipedia talk:Unreviewed featured articles/2020/4Q2022.

FAs last reviewed from 2004 to 2007 of interest to this WikiProject[edit]

If you review an article on this list, please add commentary at the article talk page, with a section heading == [[URFA/2020]] review== and also add either Notes or Noticed to WP:URFA/2020A, per the instructions at WP:URFA/2020. If comments are not entered on the article talk page, they may be swept up in archives here and lost. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:40, 19 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  1. Bengali language movement
  2. Gwoyeu Romatzyh
  3. Mayan languages