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WikiProject Linguistics (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject iconThis page is within the scope of WikiProject Linguistics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of linguistics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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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!

Request for commentEdit

  Request for comment on removal of prefix "Islamic" from "Islamic death penalty"
Contested and attempted removal of the prefix "Islamic" from "Islamic death penalty", which is construct used as a pipe for the wikilink Capital punishment in Islam and as phrase remains unreferenced. Please participate in the discussion at Talk:Page Thanks.--౪ Santa ౪99° 22:04, 17 February 2022 (UTC)
I am pretty sure this is completely unrelated. JanKeso (talk) 00:53, 15 April 2022 (UTC)

FAR for TruthinessEdit

I have nominated Truthiness for a featured article review here. Please join the discussion on whether this article meets featured article criteria. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. If substantial concerns are not addressed during the review period, the article will be moved to the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Delist" the article's featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. – Kavyansh.Singh (talk) 08:52, 23 February 2022 (UTC)

Scope of projectEdit

I am wondering if {{Anthony}}, which is a template of names derived from the Latin Antonius and its Anglicized variant Anthony, is within the scope of this project. I have worked on a few name origin tree templates like this and when I was checking the tags on Antaine, I noticed this project. Should this project be tagged on this type of template.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 23:55, 10 March 2022 (UTC)

There's the subproject Wikipedia:WikiProject Linguistics/Etymology which deals with etymologies, but it's so broadly defined that potentially millions of articles could fall under its scope. I don't think the linguistics projects is interested in articles about personal names (any more than it's interested in articles about places). Maybe we should remove the project tag from the half a dozen or so given name articles currently tracked [1]? – Uanfala (talk) 00:05, 11 March 2022 (UTC)
Feel free to remove it in the interest of your project where it is at issue. I was just checking in. Thx for the prompt reply.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 00:11, 11 March 2022 (UTC)

What is the difference between Performative text and Performative utterance?Edit

I couldn't discern a significant difference, but I don't know a lot about the subject matter.

I wondered if Performative text and Performative utterance should be merged. But I defer to those with expertise. :0) Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) [he/him] 02:23, 31 March 2022 (UTC)

It looks to me like the topics could be merged. Most of the sources on Performative text (Austin, Searle, Derrida, Foucault, Butler) are studies of the performative as such, which is covered in Performative utterance and Performativity. I don't know the work of Schechner or of Skinner, but Schechner likewise seems to be talking about something like performative utterances. Skinner seems to be the only scholar cited who treats text as such, but even in that case there is reference to Austin. Perhaps others know this work better, but to me it looks like the concepts are closely related and the articles are relatively short (~10 kB each), so that they could be merged. Cnilep (talk) 03:22, 31 March 2022 (UTC)

An academic you might be interested in - Allen Walker ReadEdit

Hello WikiProject Linguistics! If you're ever in the mood to write about an engrossing academic personality, check out Allen Walker Read. He was an American linguist and etymologist who, among other things, studied bathroom graffiti and the origin of "ok." He was really more of an etymologist than a straight-up linguist, but contributed a ton to the study of American and British English.

I've been intermittently expanding the article for a couple months and have assembled a bunch of high-quality sources on the talk page here. There's tons of material there that could be used to expand the article. Happy editing! Ganesha811 (talk) 19:13, 5 April 2022 (UTC)

Borrowed words in EnglishEdit

I am looking for opinions on how best to view foreign language words used in English. At what point does a foreign word become an English word of foreign origin? The relevance of this distinction relates to how that word should be treated when used in English - should the word follow English norms of usage, spelling, grammar, pronunciation etc, or should it follow the norms of the lending language. For example, is troika an English word or Russian? Or the phrase 'à la carte', English or French, and should it be spelt with or without the accent? Some might say that if a word is used in English and especially is in an English dictionary, it has become an English word that has begun undergoing assimilation, and that assimilation will vary and be changing depending on many factors. The words troika and eureka would presumably have been written in the Roman script from the start, beginning the assimilation process immediately. This question has come from an extensive debate around the use of Maori words in English. There has been a trend in the last few years to use Maori words more regularly in written and spoken English, such as tīpuna. Some of these words would rarely have been used before, if at all. This therefore goes beyond usage of the well assimilated Maori words that have been used for decades in English, particularly in NZ English, words such as pakeha and kumera. This change is part of the Maori renaissance begun roughly fifty years ago and specifically after legislative and policy changes in the last decade or so. Should the word pakeha, for example, that has been used in NZ English for a couple of hundred years, have its spelling 'corrected' to pākehā. Is it an assimilated English word that does not need to be altered or is it a Maori word that must follow Maori language rules even when used in English, such as its spelling? This NZ example is complicated because nearly all the sources available are subject to legislative changes and official policy directives that require the new Maori spellings to be used and, on national TV and radio, the 'correct' pronunciation. This compromises the independence and hence the reliability of otherwise reliable secondary sources. The implications of using the 'correct' form of a word that has been borrowed has wider implications than just Maori words. For example, is anyone pronouncing the '-t' at the end of 'trait' open to correction? Roger 8 Roger (talk) 21:33, 11 April 2022 (UTC)

Maledictology and ScatolinguisticsEdit

Is there a reason to have both Maledictology and Scatolinguistics? They seem to cover the same material...although the articles as written suggest the former is under the purview of psychology? I'm also not sure how notable either of these are qua subdisciplines of linguistics..., like there's certainly research about profanity, but are there enough sources about this as its own field to warrant a Wikipedia article? Umimmak (talk) 07:49, 18 April 2022 (UTC)

Also Maledicta, Reinhold Aman... AnonMoos (talk) 17:00, 18 April 2022 (UTC)
@AnonMoos: I'm not sure I get what you mean when you say Also? Both Maledicta and Reinhold Aman seem notable for Wikipedia? Umimmak (talk) 20:03, 18 April 2022 (UTC)
They're further Wikipedia articles in the same area. I agree that Reinhold Aman is certainly notable. AnonMoos (talk) 21:08, 18 April 2022 (UTC)

Standardise voiced/voiceless over fortis/lenisEdit

Fortis and lenis are both terms that have inconsistent definitions and are rarely used in comparison to voiced/voiceless in every context, it seems, other than Wikipedia pages for phonology; this is needlessly confusing and voiced/voiceless should be enforced over them. There are two different reasons one may argue against this proposition. Firstly, one might say that fortis and lenis mean voiced and voiceless themselves. In this case, fortis and lenis, as the rarer terms, should not be used for the sake of recognition. Otherwise, one may propose an alternative definition for fortis and lenis; it is the strength of a consonant, or the length, possibly something even more exotic. These simultaneous arguments, when viewed together, show why this fails; there is no consistent definition of fortis and lenis! In fact, there exist consonant inventory tables which use fortis and lenis in place of voiced and voiceless, despite the fact that plenty of pages for phonology, including Portuguese phonology and Spanish phonology, are entirely comprehensible without mentioning either word once, even in their many sources. In conclusion, fortis and lenis are dated and ambiguous terms that should be replaced with voiced and voiceless. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:36, 21 April 2022 (UTC)

Fortis and lenis are not synonymous with voiceless and voiced. It is true that they don't have agreed-upon phonetic correlates, but it is also true that there are phonological units, like English /b, d, ɡ/, that contrast with their voiceless counterparts but are themselves also often voiceless. Calling them voiced phonemes would be misleading if not inaccurate. This is why the terms are used in the first place and they remain useful as phonological concepts. We use whatever terms reliable sources use, and not doing so is original research. Nardog (talk) 05:27, 23 April 2022 (UTC)

Regular sound correspondences between Hungarian and other Uralic languages‎Edit

The page Regular sound correspondences between Hungarian and other Uralic languages‎ strikes me as a problem. Leaving aside the weirdly long name, the page is unreferenced and the topic seems unencyclopedic. We generally don't have articles on cognate sets, and nothing about these cognates strikes me as being the subject of major coverage. I considered taking it to AfD, but I'm interested in whether other editors think there's value in keeping this around and how we might be able to improve it. Wug·a·po·des 03:35, 27 April 2022 (UTC)

We have a handful of articles of the type "Phonological history of...", so it might be worth considering to remodel the article along these lines (with sources, of course), as a subpage of History of the Hungarian language. –Austronesier (talk) 14:06, 27 April 2022 (UTC)

User script to detect unreliable sourcesEdit

I have (with the help of others) made a small user script to detect and highlight various links to unreliable sources and predatory journals. Some of you may already be familiar with it, given it is currently the 39th most imported script on Wikipedia. The idea is that it takes something like

  • John Smith "Article of things" Accessed 2020-02-14. (John Smith "[ Article of things]" ''''. Accessed 2020-02-14.)

and turns it into something like

It will work on a variety of links, including those from {{cite web}}, {{cite journal}} and {{doi}}.

The script is mostly based on WP:RSPSOURCES, WP:NPPSG and WP:CITEWATCH and a good dose of common sense. I'm always expanding coverage and tweaking the script's logic, so general feedback and suggestions to expand coverage to other unreliable sources are always welcomed.

Do note that this is not a script to be mindlessly used, and several caveats apply. Details and instructions are available at User:Headbomb/unreliable. Questions, comments and requests can be made at User talk:Headbomb/unreliable.

- Headbomb {t · c · p · b}

This is a one time notice and can't be unsubscribed from. Delivered by: MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 16:01, 29 April 2022 (UTC)


I'm concerned about the number of multi-word phrases that have been placed in this Category -- particularly in subcategories such as Category:1950s neologisms. Many of them are catchphrases from popular culture, advertsing slogans, quotes from movies, passages from literature, etc.

Examples: Charlie Brown, you blockhead; Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids; The name's Bond... James Bond; Have you no sense of decency; Nadir of American race relations; Do not go gentle into that good night; What's good for General Motors is good for the country.

Those were just a small sample. I just don't see how these phrases can *properly* be considered neologisms -- they are merely phrases (consisting of commonly-used words) that happen to have become popular during a certain period of time.

Frankly, it is incomrehensible that so many of these phrases have been added into Categories intended for neologisms. I am happy to do my share of the work removing these improperly categorized articles, but I can't take on the whole job myself. Can I count on folks here to help out in a big way? Regards, Anomalous+0 (talk) 06:29, 8 May 2022 (UTC)

@Anomalous+0: FWIW, the incorrect categorization is the outcome of this unfortunate CfD: Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2020_October_4#Neologisms,_words_and_phases_introduced_in_time_periods. The original categories for phrases were good and precise. –Austronesier (talk) 07:35, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
What a shame. Clearly not a neologism. It's been over a year, maybe it's time to overturn that Cfd.Mathglot (talk) 10:25, 10 May 2022 (UTC)

Question regarding usage of language comparison texts/sample texts on WikipediaEdit

Around two weeks ago, I asked a question at the Teahouse regarding whether there is any "official Wikipedia policy" regarding the selection of comparison texts or sample texts for different languages (e.g. Lord's Prayer, Article 1 of the UDHR, The North Wind and the Sun etc.). I was redirected to WikiProject Languages where I asked the same question again on the talk page. Since it's been, well, a bit over two weeks and I haven't got any response, I thought I'd ask here.

The question is this: on the Wikipedia articles on different languages, there are often example texts or language comparison texts that are used to give a brief idea of the character of the language and to compare it with English. However, as far as I can tell, the selection of these texts is not consistent: for example, Latin uses a sample of De Bello Gallico, Esperanto uses a sample text about dragons in China and Article 1 of the UDHR, French language also uses Article 1 of the UDHR, and so on. Is there any specific Wikipedia policy regarding what text to use as a sample text/comparison text, or is it down to editor judgement? If there is an official Wikipedia policy regarding this, could you please provide a link to the corresponding page?

Thanks — MeasureWell (talk) 09:57, 10 May 2022 (UTC)

@MeasureWell:, to my knowledge, there is no such policy at Wikipedia. It's pretty much up to the editors contributing the text, although if anything turns out to be contentious, in the end, it would be up to consensus, just like pretty much everything else here. Does that answer your question? Mathglot (talk) 10:18, 10 May 2022 (UTC)
@Mathglot: Yes, thank you, this hits the nail right on the head. Also, thanks for the (for Wikipedia, extremely) quick response :) — MeasureWell (talk) 10:28, 10 May 2022 (UTC)

Joshua Katz, linguistEdit

I recently created a draft for Joshua Katz (classicist). Does he appear to meet notability for his academic work? Thank you, Thriley (talk) 16:55, 20 May 2022 (UTC)

The page Wikipedia:Notability (academics) describes generally accepted standards for academics. As the draft stands, it is not obvious to me that Professor Katz meets the standards.
  • I don't see significant coverage in independent sources
  • The article doesn't mention a national honor, named chair, or election to a highly selective society.
  • The article doesn't indicate that Professor Katz has been editor of a notable journal or has served in the highest level position of a university or academic society.
Happy editing, Cnilep (talk) 09:50, 22 May 2022 (UTC)