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WikiProject Linguistics (Rated Project-class)
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RfC of interestEdit

The RfC located here may be of interest to the members of this project. Beyond My Ken (talk) 14:54, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Proposal to merge four articles into twoEdit

Hello. Last year we successfully merged near-front vowel with front vowel and near-back vowel with back vowel. I want to expand upon that (now implemented) proposition: let's merge near-open vowel with open vowel and near-close vowel with close vowel:

  • Pairs of the former type are hardly ever contrastive. In German, /ɐ/ is an unstressed-only vowel and speakers are unable to distinguish it from the ordinary short /a/, which suggests that the two vowels are not in real contrast (even if they were, the former can be safely regarded to be an open-mid vowel, like the long lax /ɛː/). Plus, /ɐ/ can just as convincingly be analyzed as /ər/. In Slovene, /ɐ/ (usually transcribed /ʌ/) can contrast with the open central /a/. This may be the only language in which that is the case, but I think that Slovene /ʌ/ can be safely regarded as an open-mid vowel. The Weert dialect of Limburgish is sometimes claimed to feature five phonemic vowel heights, with /iː/, /eː/, /ɛː/, /æː/ and /aː/ being genuine front vowels, but /eː/ is a phonetic diphthong [eə] and /aː/ is front-central, rather than purely front (Verhoeven (2007) analyzes /aː/ in the Hamont dialect, which has a similar vowel inventory, as a central vowel and considers Hamont Limburgish to feature four phonemic heights).
  • And so are pairs of the latter type. Danish doesn't feature phonemic near-close vowels - their [e̝ː] (conventionally written ⟨⟩) is phonemically close-mid, [] (conventionally written ⟨ɛː⟩) is phonemically open-mid and [ɛː] (conventionally written ⟨æː⟩) is a phonemic open front vowel that contrasts with the open central [äː] (conventionally written ⟨ɑː⟩), which is phonemically open back. Sotho and some other languages spoken in Africa may indeed feature genuine close/near-close/close-mid triplets, but they seem to only be front unrounded and back rounded.
  • Many of the near-close vowels (especially [ɪ] and [ʊ]) are phonemically close, just as [æ] is often phonemically open.
  • Near-open vowel is a completely unsourced article, whereas close vowel has only one source. By merging near-open vowel with open vowel and near-close vowel with close vowel we'd improve sourcing by doing almost nothing extra (the bit about German and Slovene would, of course, have to be added manually).

So: is Sotho, some other African languages and Slovene enough to keep those articles? IMO no. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 18:29, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

Phonemicity is all well and good, but these are phonetic articles. The better question, at least for me, is can we still cover all of the relevant information in just two articles instead of four? I think we can and I also think it's better to contain that information into fewer places so that we don't needlessly spread out the related bits of knowledge. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 18:57, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
@Kbb2: what is your brief and neutral statement? It's too long for Legobot (talk · contribs) to handle correctly, so nothing is showing at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Language and linguistics apart from a link. But in any case, RfC is not for merge requests, for which a separate process exists. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 14:36, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
@Redrose64: I've removed the RfC tag, thanks. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 16:44, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
What the hell? Some languages, such as English ;), contrast [ʊ] against [u]. Obviously near-close vowel may not be merged, especially if near-back vowel redirects to “back vowel”. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 16:57, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
@Incnis Mrsi: English /ʊ/ is a checked vowel, whereas /u/ is a free vowel and may be subject to diphthongization. This isn't a case of a near-close vowel contrasting with a close one but of a lax-tense contrast among close back vowels. I'm not aware of any English dialect that'd feature phonemic near-close vowels like Sotho. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 17:30, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
When a speaker pronounces both “fool” and “full” as /ful/, we can’t hear whether the vowel is “free” or “checked” if vowel length distinction is erased too. The back/near-back distinction alone is not phonemical… the close/near-close distinction alone is not phonemical… but, whenever all three are gone, how can Kbb2 tell which qualities of the three are not essential? Why namely lax/tense is important whereas close/near-close is not? Incnis Mrsi (talk) 18:03, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
@Incnis Mrsi: Hardly any dialect differentiates the phonetic backness of /ʊ/ vs. /u/ as near-back vs. back. You're mistaking the official IPA descriptions of the symbolsʊ⟩ and ⟨u⟩ with the English phonemes /ʊ/ and /u/ which have a number of their own allophones.
The free-checked (and, to a lesser extent, lax-tense) distinction isn't something you "hear", it's a type of phonological differentiation of vowels. In English, /ʊ/ differs from /u/ in a number of ways:
- /u/ is most often slightly (or more than slightly) diphthongized, whereas /ʊ/ is produced with the tongue slightly lowered (it can be as low as close-mid, so it's not necessarily near-close) and the lips not-quite-so-rounded as is the case with /u/.
- There may be some additional difference in backness involved, but not of the near-back vs. back type. It could be central /u/ vs. near-back /ʊ/, central /u/ vs. back /ʊ/, front /u/ vs. (near-)back /ʊ/ etc.
The full-fool merger is a lax-tense neutralization before /l/, yes. But it's not necessarily phonemic. In cockney, for instance, "full" is often neutralized with "fool" as [foʊ], but "fuller" is pronounced [ˈfʊlɐ] (phonemically /ˈfʊlə/) and "fooling" [ˈfʊʉlɪn] (phonemically /ˈfulɪŋ/). I wouldn't consider that a phonemic neutralization.
Also, don't forget that some dialects of English (RP, Australian) feature phonemic vowel length. In those dialects, /ʊ/ is the short counterpart of /u/ (typically written /uː/ or /ʉː/). Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 18:27, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
I don't see how the legitimacy (or lack thereof) of the categories "near-close" and "near-open" could be relevant here. The fact the IPA and some linguists have used the concepts is enough to discuss them on Wikipedia. The question is whether they deserve their own articles in view of WP:N—and I concur with the proposal, we might as well merge them with Close vowel and Open vowel. Nardog (talk) 18:42, 27 July 2019 (UTC)

Alright, if there aren't any objections I'll merge them in the next few days. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 15:28, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Can Kbb2 explain why should near-close vowel be merged namely to “close” not to “close-mid vowel”? Why should near-open vowel be merged namely to “open” not to “open-mid vowel”? Incnis Mrsi (talk) 10:06, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
@Incnis Mrsi: That's no problem:
The IPA used to consider ⟨i, y, u⟩ as best substitutes for ⟨ɪ, ʏ, ʊ⟩ whenever using the latter wasn't needed.
In English, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, etc. ⟨ɪ, ʏ, ʊ⟩ represent phonological lax close vowels (phonemic or allophonic).
ɪ, ʏ, ʊ⟩ do not represent sounds but a range of sounds in IPA ([ɪ] can be near-close front, near-close near-front or close-mid near-front, [ʏ] near-close near-front or close-mid near-front and [ʊ] near-close back, near-close near-back and close-mid near-back), but the close-mid realizations seem to be rarer than the near-close ones. The canonical values of ⟨ɪ, ʏ, ʊ⟩ (near-close near-front, ditto and near-close near-back) seem to be predominant.
æ⟩ represents a phonological open vowel in all languages I'm aware of. The near-open variants of vowels transcribed with ⟨ɛ⟩ are usually transcribed with, well, ⟨ɛ⟩, which is a correct transcription (if we were to ignore ⟨æ⟩ as a non-cardinal symbol, the near-open front unrounded vowel could be transcribed with either ⟨ɛ⟩ or ⟨a⟩. I imagine that the older IPA practice was to prefer the latter).
ɐ⟩ is usually treated as an open vowel in English, Danish, German, Luxembourgish, Slovene etc. In German dialectology this vowel is referred to as the a-schwa, among other names. Native speakers of German are usually unable to distinguish it from their open central /a/.
The articles about [ɶ], [ɑ] and [ɒ] already cover open and near-open vowels. I don't think that anyone would expect a separate article for them or for them to be moved to the articles about [œ], [ʌ] and [ɔ]. This is another proof that near-open is more of a type of an open vowel, rather than an open-mid one. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 10:28, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

Why don't we merge all these articles into just Vowel height and Vowel backness? These articles are bound to be stubs forever, while Vowel height and Vowel backness, despite being redirects, already receive quite a few incoming links and would make nice counterparts to Roundedness, filling the gaps in the concepts used to classify vowels. That would also make it easier to explain or introduce related phenomena like chain shifts. Nardog (talk) 13:09, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

@Nardog: That's probably a better solution. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 14:55, 12 August 2019 (UTC)


Could use more eyes. I'm trying to make the lede readable, accessible, and understandable. It's an already-confusing, neologism. A passionate editor is insisting on edit-warring to add comparisons to multiple languages in the second part of the lead, not all of which may apply, in exactly the order and presentation form they want. The article, and especially these sections, could really use input from those used to making linguistics accessible to the average reader. I'm really not interested in edit-warring with this person, but I don't think they're helping. Thanks. - CorbieV 23:33, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

[ɪ] needs attentionEdit

(Split from one of the discussions above - Kbb2)

As a related note: we see where [ɪ] points currently. At near-close front unrounded vowel #Features one can read: Its vowel backness is front, which means the tongue is positioned as far forward as possible blah blah blah (note that articles about rounded vowels have a disclaimer that “rounded front vowels are often centralized, which means that often they are in fact near-front”). Is Kbb2 aware that, in Ukrainian, /ɪ/ denotes something rather central (definitely not front)? And what do we currently see in Help:IPA/Ukrainian, indeed? Not a good thing, and IMHO fixing mistakes has higher priority than mergist stuff. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 14:27, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

@Incnis Mrsi: Near-close front unrounded vowel covers three varieties of [ɪ]: near-close near-front, near-close front and close-mid near-front. See the lede. As far as the "features" section is concerned, it probably does need fixing. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 15:21, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be better for the article to revert to near-close near-front unrounded vowel then? Incnis Mrsi (talk) 15:31, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
@Incnis Mrsi: It would, but for a different reason. See below. (By the way, "front" doesn't mean "fully front" but "more front than back" [rather than between fully front and fully back, which would be "central"). Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 17:09, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
Again, if “more front than back” (but not necessarily front sensu stricto), then “… the tongue is positioned as far forward as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction …” is a lie. Perhaps some parameter for {{front vowel}} should disable that “as possible”? Incnis Mrsi (talk) 20:56, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

Can Nardog report about recent changes in {{Front_vowel}} and {{Back_vowel}}? I made them to accept an option, whereas Nardog undone it. Is the parameter for switching not necessary anymore and why namely? Incnis Mrsi (talk) 05:20, 28 August 2019 (UTC)

@Incnis Mrsi: I didn't undo it, I just made them display simply "positioned forward/back in the mouth" instead of "as forward/back as possible" regardless. I made similar edits to {{Close vowel}} and {{Open vowel}} as well. The templates described cardinal vowels, which are merely reference points. Vowels actually spoken in languages, such as those listed in the articles that use the templates, are rarely made with such peripheral configurations, which would be at odds with language's general tendency to minimize required effort. Nardog (talk) 05:50, 28 August 2019 (UTC)

We probably have too many vowel articlesEdit

Hello. I think that we have too many vowel articles, and at the same time too few to be consistent in the way we represent vowels on Wikipedia. I'll explain what I mean.

The article open back unrounded vowel currently covers four variants of [ɑ]: open back (close to cardinal [ɑ] or identical), open near-back, near-open back and near-open near-back. That's four variants of [ɑ] in one article. The article about the open front [ɶ] also covers open and near-open variants. This is how it should be: the vowel articles on Wikipedia aren't about cardinal vowels but vowels in world's languages that are close to any given cardinal vowel (except for vowels like [ɪ]).

Also, we don't cover all combinations of height/backness/roundedness in separate vowel articles on Wikipedia. That's another inconsistency. Here's my proposal, divided into parts:

Regarding true-mid vowels

(1) Merge the articles about true-mid vowels with those about close-mid ones:

...and create separate sections for true-mid vowels that contrast with close-mid ones (or close-mid and open-mid ones) in those articles.
Reason: The true-mid [, ø̞, ] rarely contrast with their close-mid and/or open-mid counterparts. There are obscure dialects or languages such as the Amstetten dialect of Bavarian or Kensiu that contrast three heights of mid vowels. Danish contrasts close-mid /ø/ with true-mid /œ/ (which is lowered to open-mid or near-open when in contact with /r/). These contrasts seem to be much rarer than those between close-mid and open-mid vowels, as in French, German or Italian. The IPA recommends that in cases like this (where the quality of a vowel is in-between two or more cardinal values), the simplest symbol be used unless there are convincing reasons (a phonemic contrast, traditional transcription in dialectology, etc.) to do otherwise. ⟨œ⟩ and ⟨ø⟩ are probably equally "complex", but ⟨e⟩ and ⟨oare simpler than ⟨ɛ⟩ and ⟨ɔ⟩ because they're ordinary Latin letters. Furthermore, the mid back rounded vowel is probably more of a variant of the close-mid [o] than just a vowel in-between [o] and [ɔ], because like [o] and unlike [ɔ] it can contrast with the (near-)open [ɒ] (which can be considered a subtype of [ɔ] as they sound so similar to each other) by height alone - see this article by Geoff Lindsey and our vowel charts (Geordie is probably no exception - the contrast between /ɒː/, /ɔː/, /oː/ and /uː/ is rather unstable). Lindsey's research might be a proof that essentially all (or nearly all) contrasts between rounded back vowels are subtypes of a /u–o–ɔ/ contrast, not matter the exact height, backness, length, etc.
Neither close-mid front unrounded vowel nor close-mid back rounded vowel cover *just* vowels in the close-mid front/back area but also their centralized counterparts (near-front in the case of [e] and near-back in the case of [o]). Also, compare e.g. File:Estonian vowel chart.svg with File:Finnish monophthongs chart.svg. Neither Estonian /e, ø, o/ nor Finnish /e, ø, o/ are exactly in-between cardinal [e, ø, o] and [ɛ, œ, ɔ] but closer than that (closer to the close-mid cardinals), it's just that the Finnish vowels (listed in the true-mid articles) are a tad more open than the Estonian ones (at least that's what the vowel charts suggest). This might suggest that there are some WP:CONTENTFORK issues with those articles.
Regarding near-close vowels

(2) Rename the articles about the mid-centralized cardinals [i, y, u]:

...and move fully front and fully back near-close (un)rounded vowels to close front unrounded vowel and close back rounded vowel, respectively (we don't list any fully front variants of the near-close near-front rounded vowel on WP and the distinction between front and near-front rounded vowels is mostly meaningless anyway). The near-close near-front rounded vowels typically transcribed with ⟨y⟩ (those in Dutch, French and Hungarian) should be moved back to close front rounded vowel and we should specify their height there.
Reason: The articles about [ɪ] and [ʊ] shouldn't cover peripheral vowels but only the centralized ones, which means that we probably should rename near-close front unrounded vowel and near-close back rounded vowel back to near-close near-front unrounded vowel and near-close near-back rounded vowel, which are the official names of the IPA symbols ⟨ɪ⟩ and ⟨ʊ⟩. Fully peripheral near-close vowels, at least of the unrounded front and rounded back type, are just variants of [i] and [u]. The older IPA practice was to prefer the symbols ⟨i, y, u⟩ over ⟨ɪ, ʏ, ʊ⟩ and use the latter when necessary. Also, when a language contrasts near-close front/back with close front/back vowels based on height alone, the near-close front/back vowels are almost never written with ⟨ɪ, ʊ⟩ but ⟨e, o⟩. Near-close front rounded vowel should probably be renamed to near-close near-front rounded vowel for consistency.

(3) Merge the articles about the near-close central vowels with those about close central ones:

Reason: [ɨ, ʉ] are the closest cardinal vowels, and the vowels listed in close central unrounded vowel and close central rounded vowel may or may not be the same as the corresponding cardinal vowels. "Near-close" is just slightly lower than fully close and those vowels have never been assigned separate IPA symbols, unlike [ɪ, ʏ, ʊ].
Regarding schwa-like vowels

(4) Merge the articles about (often non-contrastive) schwa-like sounds into schwa:

Reason: Scholars have simply not caught up yet with the latest reforms of the IPA. In English, ⟨ɜ⟩ is used for a vowel that can be open-mid, true-mid or close-mid (it's often just true-mid) in accordance with one of the former IPA definitions (or the former definition) of ⟨ɜ⟩. In Swedish ⟨ɵ⟩ is true-mid rather than close-mid. The symbol ⟨ə⟩ does *not* denote a specifically true-mid unrounded central vowel but just a schwa, a vowel in the general mid central area that can be rounded or unrounded. English schwa is an unrounded close-mid-to-open-mid vowel. Romanian and Sindhi schwas are open-mid, yet they're most typically transcribed with ⟨ə⟩ which is supposedly a vowel between close-mid and open-mid (that's what the current IPA chart suggests, very falsely in my view). IMO we're giving WP:UNDUE weight to something that simply isn't distinguished that strongly in the literature. WP:CONTENTFORK might also be an issue.
Also, should we ever do that, we should move the open-mid central unrounded vowels that are typically transcribed with ⟨ɐ⟩ back to near-open central vowel.
Check User:Kbb2/Schwa to see how the table in that article would (or could) work.
Regarding open front vowels

(5) Merge the articles about open front vowels into one article:

Reason: A separate article for the open front rounded vowel might violate WP:UNDUE. It's an extremely rare vowel that doesn't occur as a phoneme in any language, it just happens to be one of the cardinal vowels (we already have an article about them). Plus, Danish [ɶ] (a canonical example of that vowel) is actually near-open, not open. Also, the distinction between [æ] and the front [a] isn't very clear as they sound awfully similar to each other. I think that as long as we differentiate [æ]/[a] from the central [ä] (which does sound different) that's good enough. [æ] should've never been assigned a separate IPA symbol by the way, and it was Anglocentric of the Association to do so. (EDIT: I've struck that out - it was an unnecessary personal comment). One of the reasons I'd like to see those three merged is that if we merged open front unrounded vowel with open front rounded vowel we'd have a discrepancy - the near-open variant would be covered in the case of the rounded vowel but not in the case of the unrounded vowel. Plus, the open front unrounded vowel might be transcribed with ⟨æ⟩ anyway.

Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 17:07, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly agree that our coverage of vowels, and perhaps even consonants, needs to be improved. Simply put, every symbol on the IPA chart does not need its own dedicated article because not every sound is notable enough to warrant its own article. This is especially true of vowels because outside the cardinal vowels, there's no firm boundaries for their categorization. Further, the depth of coverage we can go into on each vowel is limited, making many of these permastubs, but we can give far more comprehensive and helpful if we organize our coverage by broad natural classes rather than particular phones. I'd like to propose a far more radical scheme of 5 comprehensive articles:
Front vowels
Back vowels
High vowels
Low vowels
Central vowels
These, with some obvious overlap, will cover describing the vowels in their domain. Vowels which have substantial coverage in their own right, like schwa can be spun out and summarized in these articles, but in general individual phones would not have their own articles unless they're notable. I think these articles should not include the tables of languages which have certain phonemic sounds, and instead we should have those lists at a dedicated page such as Phonemic status of ɜ or List of languages with phonemic ɜ. This will help divide our coverage between generalist and specialist articles, limit the number of pages that need to be maintained, and maximize use for our readers.
All this said, I still support Kbb2's proposal as an improvement over the status quo. Wug·a·po·des​ 17:26, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm generally in favor of the proposed mergers but I would keep Mid central vowel. Schwa talks about phonological development rather than the phonetic sound(s), and the majority of its content is better merged with Vowel reduction or something rather than with Mid central vowel, and then Schwa can be turned into a redirect to Mid central vowel. Nardog (talk) 00:17, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support merging articles on similar vowels. Not every sound in every spoken language deserves an entire article on its own, partially as many really aren't that notable. If they do get their own articles anyway, we will eventually just end up with hundreds of permastubs. Geolodus (talk) 15:04, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Support per nom. —Yours sincerely, Soumyabrata (talksubpages) 14:34, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
  • (Mildly) support merging. The merger should not be used to dismiss well-sourced information accumulated in the individual articles, though. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 16:48, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Addendum: Oppose suggestions regarding open front vowels: I sympathize with the point of view that some of the IPA symbols may be questionable (I believe not only ⟨æ⟩ is Anglocentric and should never have been adopted by the IPA, but also ⟨ɪ⟩, ⟨ʊ⟩, and ⟨ʏ⟩). Nevertheless, Wikipedia is not the place for advancing such a point of view. I would much rather merge [ä] into [a], thus having one article per simple IPA symbol, and no additional articles with diacritics. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 19:18, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
@J. 'mach' wust: That's just a small portion of my argument. To quote myself, A separate article for the open front rounded vowel might violate WP:UNDUE. It's an extremely rare vowel that doesn't occur as a phoneme in any language, it just happens to be one of the cardinal vowels (we already have an article about them). Plus, Danish [ɶ] (a canonical example of that vowel) is actually near-open, not open. Also, the distinction between [æ] and the front [a] isn't very clear as they sound awfully similar to each other. I think that as long as we differentiate [æ]/[a] from the central [ä] (which does sound different) that's good enough. [æ] should've never been assigned a separate IPA symbol by the way, and it was Anglocentric of the Association to do so. One of the reasons I'd like to see those three merged is that if we merged open front unrounded vowel with open front rounded vowel we'd have a discrepancy - the near-open variant would be covered in the case of the rounded vowel but not in the case of the unrounded vowel. Plus, the open front unrounded vowel might be transcribed with ⟨æ⟩ anyway. I've now struck out that unnecessary personal comment of mine. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 04:27, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
I know what you have written. Whether or not you now retract a portion, my argument does not change: the IPA is the accepted standard in this field, and that we best represent the vowels by having one article for each simple IPA symbol. I think we should therefore discontinue the following articles (though without deleting the information they contain):
  1. [ɨ̞] (already discontinued, though information has been deleted)
  2. [ʉ̞] (already discontinued, though information has been deleted)
  3. [e̞] (already discontinued, though information has been deleted)
  4. [ø̞]
  5. [o̞]
  6. [ä]
I do not think a separate article for every IPA symbol is WP:UNDUE, since the IPA is the accepted standard in this field. To the contrary, I think what is WP:UNDUE is having separate articles for sounds that do not have their own IPA symbol but require IPA diacritics – especially when, as I fear, a majority of the sources never even uses these diacritics.
As to the discrepancy that you mention, it already presupposes the merger of [a] with [ɶ], which I would not support, and on top of that, an asymmetry in the open front vowels is inevitable since the IPA cover of the open front vowel is asymmetric (there is no rounded equivalent of [æ]). BTW, the canonical example of [ɶ] in my neck of the woods is Viennese German, though I have never researched it. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 12:28, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
@J. 'mach' wust: I don't think it's inappropriate to talk about information that has been deleted as if there was an option to retain it without changing the consensus that already exists regarding not listing more than one example per dialect. It was removed out of necessity.
We didn't discuss merging open central unrounded vowel with other articles. If, per current consensus, we merge the three open front vowels into one article, adding the open central one there could create some chaos, and I don't know a better way to get rid of open central unrounded vowel than to merge it with open front unrounded vowel. Perhaps open back unrounded vowel is the second best target for the merger. Dozens of millions of Americans think of their /ɑ/ when they hear the open central unrounded vowel. An argument against such a merger would be that only a minority of transcribers use ⟨ɑ⟩ for a central vowel.
We should add some Bavarian dialects to open front rounded vowel. I think that Traunmüller's Vokalismus in der westniederösterreichischen Mundart shows that the height of Bavarian /ɶ/ is variable and it doesn't have to be open-mid, as in Amstetten. It can be more open than that (then the same could apply to /æ/ and /ɒ/), but that could be just me misinterpreting the formant plots. I don't know. I'm out of my depth when it comes to formants, for the most part. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 08:47, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
I don't think it's inappropriate to talk about information that has been deleted as if there was an option to retain it without changing the consensus that already exists regarding not listing more than one example per dialect. – As I have explained in the very section you have linked to, there is no such consensus.
We didn't discuss merging open central unrounded vowel with other articles. – We are discussing it now.
If, per current consensus, we merge the three open front vowels into one article […]. – As this section shows, there is no such consensus either.
I don't know a better way to get rid of open central unrounded vowel than to merge it with open front unrounded vowel. – I think we should respect the sources: languages where sources use [a], [ä], [a̠], etc. should be added to [a], languages where sources use [ɑ], [ɑ̈], [ɑ̟], etc. should be added to [ɑ], languages where sources use [ɐ], [ɐ̞], etc. should be added to [ɐ]. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 09:34, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
Maybe someone isn't paying attention here, but there most certainly is a consensus on one example per language/dialect. That's not something that you can "explain" away or ignore. It's there, backed up by explicit discussion and a decade of implicit consensus through editing by scores of editors across dozens of articles. If one wants an exception to this for a particular case, they should have a clear and compelling reason for it. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 15:28, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
I do not know who pays attention and who does not, but what I have seen is that this implicit consensus has exceptions for languages with more than one quality of the respective sound; and that in the current discussion, two editors are against the deletions and one editor thinks the deletions are “hasty and premature”, whereas one editor is in favour of the deletions and one other editor tends to side with the latter – rather a case of WP:NO CONSENSUS. And then there is yet another implicit consensus those who pay attention may notice: the implicit consensus that some languages have had two examples in the articles for [e] and [e̞], for [ɨ] and [ɨ̞], or for [ʉ] and [ʉ̞]. I do not understand how this implicit consensus should be canceled out by a merger of these articles. How do you weigh one implicit consensus against another? Do you have any clear and compelling reasons? --mach 🙈🙉🙊 18:09, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
I've already provided a link that directs to where the explicit consensus is (which you have acknowledged). If you want to make a case to change how we do this, then make it. But you're wasting your breath and trying the patience of other editors when you say there isn't a consensus for one example per dialect/language when there clearly is. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 18:40, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
We have three points. Why do you only acknowledge one of them?
  1. Your user subpage delineates the implicit consensus. If you read it carefully, you will notice that it allows exceptions in cases where languages have more than one quality of the respective sound.
  2. The languages in question used to have two examples before the merger. If you read the above merger discussion carefully, you will notice that nobody mentioned that this should be changed.
  3. If you read the below discussion carefully, you will notice that three out of five editors that have participated want to reverse the deletions until further discussion. Incidently, this is also in accordance with WP:BRD and WP:NOCONSENSUS, which kind of outweigh your user subpages. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 20:26, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
No, the user subpage delineates the explicit consensus and even links to the relevant discussions. It allows for a discrete number of exceptions, themselves based on explicit consensus for those particular cases. You generalizing from those cases goes against this consensus. Again, trying to come to a new consensus is fine. But calling what we've had for more than ten years something other than an established, explicit consensus is either gaslighting or sloppy reading. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 22:14, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
@J. 'mach' wust: WP:COMMONSENSE tells you that two examples per dialect should've been stated explicitly by me as a part of the merger. That is something I'd never do, because I was already aware of the consensus when I was posting the message. Are you really trying to tell me that you know better than me what I meant when I posted the proposal? Those users that are against the deletions are either unaware of the consensus or are against the deletions that aren't connected to the one example per dialect thing. Your message is an overgeneralization. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 00:08, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
If you put so much emphasis on the User:Aeusoes1/Phone tables consensus that it should overrule WP:BRD and WP:NOCONSENSUS and that everybody should know it, then why do you keep ignoring that it foresees exceptions for languages that have more than one instance of the respective sound?
You have merged [e] with [e̞], [ɨ] with [ɨ̞], and [ʉ] with [ʉ̞]. A number of languages have either sound. I fail to see any difference between this situation and the Basque or clicks situation: it is an unusual and highly notable situation. We should point it out to our readers, especially since we have sources and because we used to point it out to our readers before the merger, and especially since a majority of the editors on this page want to keep this information. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 05:16, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
This might sound really wild, but IMHO it would be an improvement to any of these articles to incorporate this kind of information in actual prose. I think that approach would be a better way of conveying the interesting outliers and representative tendencies of these vowels' relative distributions. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 05:34, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
I have thought of that, too. The downside is that we would loose the example words. After all, I would be very frustrated as a reader if an article mentioned the interesting information that a language had two qualities of the respective sound, but then only gave one example. I therefore prefer a combination: Use a common rowspan="2" prose description for both sounds, but still have two rows in the example columns, e.g. [1]. That is, if the sounds are allophones in complementary distribution. If however the sounds are phonemes on their own right, I would rather have them in different rows – similar to what we are doing _mutatis mutandis_ with the different phonemes in the examples for languages like English –, e.g. [2]. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 06:29, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand. Why would prose need to omit example words? Look at the second paragraph at Spanish phonology#Consonants. There are numerous examples in the prose and they're used to illustrate the kind of thing we're talking about. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 18:12, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Having examples within prose is certainly possible. However, it is not what we are currently doing in our “phone tables”, since these tables have three dedicated columns for the examples. I am all in favour of describing the sounds in the “Notes” column of the phone tables, but when it comes to providing examples, I think we better keep using the three dedicated examples columns. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 19:13, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
That's what I mean. There's information we want to convey and we're butting heads with the limitations in pigeonholing all information into tables. It's an encyclopedia and at some point we want to do more than just list examples and have actual encyclopedic content in the form of paragraphs. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 19:49, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────── But for the time being, would the following mixed prosa and examples column format be OK to you for conveying the information that languages like Nothern Welsh or Maastrichtian Limburgish have two qualities of the respective vowels (two allophones in complementary distribution in the case of Welsh, two phonemes in the case of Limburgish)?

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Welsh Northern dialects[1] llun [ɬɨːn] 'picture' Close when long, near-close when short.[1] Merges with /ɪ/ in southern dialects. See Welsh phonology
pump [pɨ̞mp] 'five'
Limburgish Most dialects[2][3][4] leef [leːf] 'dear' The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Maastrichtian[2] bèd [bɛ̝t] 'bed' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɛ⟩.

Of course, they would not actually be in the same table. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 20:16, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

I think the rule should be one example per phoneme, and one phoneme per dialect. I agree with Aeusoes1 in that these pieces of information would ultimately be better presented in prose. Nardog (talk) 16:52, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
So you would have something like the following?
Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Welsh Northern dialects[1] pump [pɨ̞mp] 'five' Close when long, near-close when short.[1] Merges with /ɪ/ in southern dialects. See Welsh phonology
Limburgish Most dialects[2][3][4] leef [leːf] 'dear' The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect. In the Maastrichtian dialect, this sound contrasts with a true-mid sound typically transcribed with ⟨ɛ⟩.
As I have already said, I think such a solution is very frustrating to readers: if there are two qualities of these vowels, then why do we only provide one example? --mach 🙈🙉🙊 19:08, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, scratch "one phoneme per dialect". What I meant to say is one dialect per phoneme, in that, as a general rule, there is no point in listing realizations of the same phoneme in multiple dialects if they all realize it with the same quality. Nardog (talk) 19:37, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
What I am talking about are only the cases where a vowel systematically has different qualities. As I have said before, I think it is interesting and notable information if a language distinguishes different qualities of a vowel that are so close to each other, whether or not they are allophones or phonemes. I think this is information relevant to our readers, and it is information that belongs with the respective vowel article because it illustrates the extent of possible differentiations. I am totally fine with such differentiations being mentioned in the “Notes” column, but I still think we must provide examples as a courtesy to our readers. It would be very frustrating to readers if we mention two qualities but only give an example for one of them (BTW, which one should we exemplify?). --mach 🙈🙉🙊 06:22, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
@J. 'mach' wust: I have fully reverted your reverts. You can't impose your WP:POV on those articles. We're supposed to reach the consensus here and then edit the articles accordingly. Your behavior is ridiculous. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 07:03, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
You are mistaken. Please read the policy WP:NOCONSENSUS: We are supposed not to make any deletions unless we have reached consensus here. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 07:50, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
Mach is correct. Again, it is BRD, not BRRD. Give the status quo precedence whenever a bold edit is challenged, especially if you're the one who went bold. Nardog (talk) 08:02, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
If a language contrasted close-mid and true mid, or two dialects of a language each realized phonemically distinct vowels as close-mid and true mid, then I think the inclusion of both would be warranted. Nardog (talk) 08:02, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
If I understand you correctly, you would include both qualities in a case like Maastrichtian because they are phonemes, and include them with example words in the appropriate example columns. But what about a language like Northern Welsh that has two qualities of a sound as allophones in complementary distribution? (As I have already said, I would include that information as well because it is relevant to the respective vowel, and I also would include examples because I think mentioning a sound without giving an example is pointless.) --mach 🙈🙉🙊 08:18, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
I'd say describe it in the Notes column, if at all. [ɨ] vs. [ɨ̞] is not a significant difference (precisely the reason we merged the articles). Nardog (talk) 08:43, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
I believe as Wikipedia editors, we should not be the judges of what is and what is not a significant difference. That is for the WP:SOURCEs to decide. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 09:21, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
I mean "significant" in the sense that it is enough to mention in the article (as a separate row in this case), nothing more. We make such judgments every day; it's called editorial discretion. Nardog (talk) 01:17, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
I don't feel comfortable making broad rules based on phonemes. These are phone tables, so we are talking about the actual sounds, not the abstract, language-specific conceptions of them. If we want to cover the incidence in Welsh of a phonemic contrast between two similar sounds (which I agree is notable), then we should do so in article prose, rather than in a table or a notes column. We're tying our hands by avoiding article prose.
It's actually kind of tiresome to see that every single person agrees that article prose would be an improvement, that it would be in reality the best solution here, but then no one wants to actually bell that cat. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 16:22, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
As I have said, I am all in favour of describing the sounds in prose, and I have twice posted proposals of how to do so, but both proposals have been met with utter silence.
And as I have said, I do not understand the point of describing two qualities of a sound in prose, but at the same time only allowing one example, or in other words, forbidding the other sound (which one?) to be illustrated with an example. That is how I understand your point of view, Aeusoes1, and it does not make any sense to me, so I sincerely hope I have misunderstood you. Therefore, I am asking you again: what do you propose we do? How would you include the Northern Welsh [ɨ] sounds or the Maastrichtian [e] sounds in the respective articles?
@Nardog: Have I understood you correctly: In the case of allophones like Northern Welsh [ɨ] and [ɨ̞], you would not mention them at all, not even in prose; but in the case of phonemes, you would mention them with examples? Just asking to be sure I have understood. (As I have said repeatedly, I would also mention allophones in prose, but with examples because I think they are interesting and unusual and noteworthy.) --mach 🙈🙉🙊 18:52, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Take a look again at the Spanish phonology example I gave. That's how I think you can have example words in prose. That way you have examples and you're contextualizing everything in ways that you can't do (or can't do very easily, at least) in a table. When you do that, then the pressure to have exhaustive examples in the table is greatly reduced.
If you've got an idea for specific article prose, I recommend either BRDing it (still leaving the tables alone pending consensus) or putting a sample in talk space for discussion if you think it might be too contentious. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 19:40, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
So you want to get rid of the phone tables altogether. I disagree. MOS:USEPROSE does not mean we should never use lists. Lists or tables are preferrable when we are putting together numerous items of equal importance that are comparable in one or several ways (cf. WP:WHENTABLE), like the phone tables.
I believe that Spanish phonology#Consonants would benefit a lot if it were converted into a list (or a table). It is a list in disguise, consisting of numerous items comparable in several ways: What sound, what varieties of Spanish, what example? The one-sentence paragraphs indicate bad prose. If the information would be organized in a table, it would be much more readily understandable to readers. With the phone tables, we have the same sitution. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 19:02, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
Not sure how you got "replace tables with prose" but that is not my stance. We can still have the phone tables, but article prose would be a better focus of our energies if we're trying to talk about distribution or languages that have phonemic contrasts of similar sounds. As another example of article prose, look at palatal approximant.
And no, the Spanish phonology article would not improve if we converted article prose into a list or table. Your comment is a perfect example of how a list or table would oversimplify nuanced information. That all you see is a "list in disguise" (which is a joke, particularly for the second paragraph that I was pointing to in the first place) prompts me to question your capacity to even recognize the necessary nuance to produce the relevant article prose in the first place. If all you want is a list, all you'll see is lists. But we need something higher order than that. It might make sense to augment prose with a table, but that table wouldn't be able to house all the information in that section, even if the prose could do with some cleanup. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 19:32, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
In the case of allophones like Northern Welsh [ɨ] and [ɨ̞], you would not mention them at all, not even in prose; but in the case of phonemes, you would mention them with examples? What? No! I meant: When multiple sounds with slightly different qualities which are discussed in the same article (like [ɨ] and [ɨ̞], and [e] and [e̞]) are found in the same language (or dialects of the same language), only one row need be dedicated to them in the occurernce table unless the sounds belong to different phonemes. This does not preclude mentioning the other allophone(s) in the Notes column. And I'm not talking about what to do in prose at all. In prose you can do anything so long as it enhances the discussion of the subject of the article. Nardog (talk) 23:58, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────── I am still not sure whether I understand you correctly. I see it is good that I have asked, so I will ask again: In the case of allophones, you would mention both sounds in the table, but give only one example? I think that is poor design and not helpful to readers. And how do hou decide what example to keep and what example to remove? --mach 🙈🙉🙊 04:49, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

Yes, give only one example. All sounds are allophones and are produced with a different quality in each and every phonetic environment. It is listing allophones of the same phoneme whose difference is so small they are covered in the same article that is not helpful to readers and impracticable in terms of deciding what to include. Keep whatever example that is considered a typical incidence of the phoneme.
As for Welsh [ɨ] and [ɨ̞ː] in particular, Welsh phonology treats them as different phonemes (which I assume is akin to positing different phonemes for [æ] and [ɑː] in RP-type English, which can be analyzed as short and long instances of the same phoneme just as plausibly), so that can justify listing both in separate rows. If we treat them as the same phoneme, then I don't think the difference is worth a mention even in the Notes column because, again, the difference is so small; if the difference is so significant the long one should be covered in the same article as [ɘ]. (By the way, the acoustic chart at Welsh phonology#Vowels shows both sounds at lower points than [i, u] and even [ɪ, ʊ], which suggests they are both better covered in the same article as [ɘ], provided the chart is representative of the "Northern dialects".) Nardog (talk) 05:45, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
All sounds are allophones and are produced with a different quality in each and every phonetic environment. – That is besides the point. It is obvious that there is an infinite continuum of phonetic realizations, and nobody has proposed listing each and every one of them. The point is that the reliable sources our material is based on single out some of them. They consider certain allophones worth mentioning and mention them, including examples. Our articles have had that information for many years. I still do not see any reason (or consensus) why we should now all of a sudden delete that information and deprive our readers of it. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 21:24, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

IPA/Lebanese ArabicEdit

Hi, could someone please create the page Help:IPA/Lebanese Arabic, along with the template {{IPA-apc}}? Thanks, Nehme1499 (talk) 00:41, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Created {{IPA-apc}} as a future IPA template. Creating the corresponding key would require being quite familiar with the language and its phonology, so, if you are, perhaps start with copying one of the existing keys for Arabic varieties (Egyptian, Hejazi, Tunisian) and adapting it to Lebanese Arabic. Nardog (talk) 21:39, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
Unfortunately I am not an expert on phonology or on the correct symbology. However, an article called Lebanese Arabic exists with various tables for the pronunciation of sounds, so I imagine that the information is there. I would create Help:IPA/Lebanese Arabic myself, but I'm afraid of messing something up. I'm not requesting it to be done ASAP, but still I feel it would be nice to add Lebanese Arabic to the IPA tables. Thanks, Nehme1499 (talk) 23:15, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Nomination of Portal:Language for deletionEdit


A discussion is taking place as to whether Portal:Language is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The page will be discussed at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Language until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the page during the discussion, including to improve the page to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the deletion notice from the top of the page. North America1000 23:04, 29 August 2019 (UTC)

Nomination of Portal:English language for deletionEdit


A discussion is taking place as to whether Portal:English language is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The page will be discussed at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:English language (3rd nomination) until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the page during the discussion, including to improve the page to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the deletion notice from the top of the page. North America1000 23:04, 29 August 2019 (UTC)

  • Concluded. From the discussion: "The result of the discussion was: delete." --Thnidu (talk) 15:44, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

IPA for how to pronounce Adut Akech?Edit

Hi friends. I asked this at the Reference Desk, but the team there is drawing a blank so I thought of asking here. Can anyone help with a sourced IPA for Adut Akech's name? It would be especially relevant in this article since there is a mention of her Australian teacher being unable to pronounce her name. Thank you, (talk) 21:23, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

Done. Although the newscasters and interviewers I found called her with the first name rhyming with boot, her own pronunciation clearly rhymes with foot. I couldn't find a source where she enunciates her last name, but the stress certainly seems to fall on the second syllable. Nardog (talk) 23:00, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
Thank you very much! (How weird an Australian couldn't pronounce that.) (talk) 17:54, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Comparative tables of sample wordsEdit

There are articles dedicated to language families which display tables comparing sample words in different languages of the language family (for instance, see Eastern Romance languages). Do members of this project think that editors are required to verify the list of compared words with references to reliable sources about the language family, or can we freely choose the words to be compared (and we should only verify the proper form in each language with a reference to a dictionary)? Thank you. Borsoka (talk) 02:21, 3 September 2019 (UTC) (I also raised this question on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Languages. Borsoka (talk) 09:33, 4 September 2019 (UTC))

There is no clear line. WP:V states it is "any material challenged or likely to be challenged" that requires citations. Of course there being citations is always absolutely better than no citations, but just because something isn't cited doesn't mean it's categorically unacceptable. Nardog (talk) 22:59, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Definitely not required but ideally these examples should be coming from some published source. I know that some families and areas have comprehensive tables of swadesh lists (Tryon published a really good one for Vanuatuan languages that was 400 pages long and covered around 200 languages) which can be drawn from and would be preferable to constructing our own. Nardog is spot on; while citations would be nice, unless there's a dispute about whether a word is actually part of that language or a dispute about what the transcription or phonemic analysis should be, I don't think a citation is required. It goes without saying that any entry on these tables should be verifiable in a dictionary of the language so unless there's some reason that isn't the case or there is some dispute or complex argument being made, I don't see a lack of citations for words as a huge problem for verifiability. Wug·a·po·des​ 02:31, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
@Nardog:, @Wugapodes:, thank you for your above comments. My main concern is that if we can freely choose the words to be compared (namely, without verifying the selection of those specific words), we are engaged in original research. Borsoka (talk) 01:43, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I would think these tables of cognates should be coming from published sources, not just synthesized from individual dictionaries of particular languages. The latter feels a bit too much like OR to me. Umimmak (talk) 01:57, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm not particularly concerned about OR in this instance. We don't need to cite obvious information like the fact that English house and German haus are cognates. In many cases these correspondences do not take an expert to decipher, and in the cases where that correspondence is not obvious it should either be cited by the person adding it or if it is not cited then removed or tagged with {{citation needed}}. There's nothing wrong with constructing our own tables since juxtaposition is not original research. If a particular row or entry in a table is disputed, then there should be a citation to a reliable source which states those entries are cognates, but I see no reason why our tables must be taken wholesale from a source. To some degree, having all of our comparative tables be copied from published sources may lead to plagiarism or copyright violations as it could constitute extensive quotation from a non-freely licensed text. Essentially, if you (or anyone) comes across a correspondence set you find suspect, handle it like you would any other unsourced claim: tag or remove the specific claim that is suspicious. But I don't think we need to enforce anything more stringent on tables as a whole. Wug·a·po·des​ 16:32, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
That English house and haus are cognates is definitely not SKYBLUE information. Even if it seems obvious, relying on OR intuition to identify cognates lends itself to all sorts of misstatements (due to false friends, etc.) that we should be relying on experts to confirm.
It's also a poor practice to preemptively put a citation needed tag on content that you yourself are putting up. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 17:33, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
The cn tag thing was poor phrasing on my part. I've revised it. Still mulling over your first statement. Wug·a·po·des​ 17:41, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

─────────────── Wugapodes, in support of Aeusoes1's first statement, I submit that your reply,

the fact that English house and German haus are cognates. In many cases these correspondences do not take an expert to decipher,

is irrelevant to the counterevidentiary facts that

the English word dog and the Mbabaram word dog have exactly the same meaning and very similar pronunciations, but by complete coincidence. Likewise, English much and Spanish mucho which came by their similar meanings via completely different Proto-Indo-European roots. [Quoting False cognate]

Much – mucho is as "obvious" a cognate pair as house – Haus, and as wrong as the latter pair is correct. (I assumed the "obvious" for many years before learning otherwise, despite my PhD in linguistics!) As aeusoes1 says, this is not a case of "obvious information" like "the sky is blue". The color of the sky is directly accessible to our senses; the cognate relationship of Haus and house is not. --Thnidu (talk) 19:38, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

(Thanks for the ping, I had forgotten about this thread) Yeah you're both obviously correct :) I've struck that part, but still don't think our tables need to be taken wholesale as long as there's a reliable source that verifies the set are cognates and not false friends. Wug·a·po·des​ 19:46, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
Wugapodes On that we agree. Each cognate relationship we assert must be cited to a reliable source, and there's certainly no harm in mixing data from different reliable sources in a single table. --Thnidu (talk) 23:29, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Articles with links to DAB pagesEdit

I have collected a batch of articles with language- and linguistics-related links to DAB pages which would benefit from expert attention. Search for 'disam' in read mode, and for '{{d' in edit mode; and if you solve any of these puzzles, post {{done}} here.

Not all may be solvable, but every little helps. Thanks in advance, Narky Blert (talk) 19:51, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

Challenging IvanScrooge98 in the area of IPA transcriptions of Germanic languagesEdit

There's a thread on Administrators' Noticeboard regarding IvanScrooge98's contributions in the area of IPA transcriptions of Germanic languages. You might want to take a look at it. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 07:17, 13 September 2019 (UTC)

Unmerge all of the vowel articlesEdit

There are a lot of vowels, and as a person who uses them, find it unhelpful when they're merged away! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:57, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

We might be able to make these articles better without unmerging them. What is it that you're looking for that was in the separate articles that is currently missing from the merged ones? — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 15:31, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
We've never had separate articles for all of the vowels. I oppose this; in fact, we're gonna merge more articles as that's the current consensus. Please don't confuse cardinal vowels for vowels used in human's languages. They're not the same thing. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 06:09, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Then how about having a redirect for each vowel to the appropriate (sub)section of the appropriate article? That way we should be able to handle as many vowels as anyone wants. --Thnidu (talk) 15:13, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
Isn't that what we already do? Do you have any specific examples of pages which are not made to redirect to the respective sections of existing articles? Nardog (talk) 02:25, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
@Nardog: No, I don't. I don't recall seeing in this discussion any mention of what I proposed. I admit, though, that I could easily have overlooked it. --Thnidu (talk) 18:56, 21 September 2019 (UTC)
This merging by mass deletion perpetrated by @Kbb2: mostly, is resulting in a lot of info being lost. The examples from various languages of the vowels he's deleted, he hasn't added to a section under the "merged" vowel's articles. --Orenwatson (talk) 07:21, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
@Orenwatson: No list in those articles is meant to be exhaustive. We're not required to list any particular language and the tables should be short enough (40 dialects [not languages] is absolutely enough) as to be readable (I therefore strongly oppose blindly merging the tables). Plus, it should be our priority to list the main allophones of phonemes (e.g. the Bulgarian mid back unrounded vowel), rather than mere positional allophones that occur in some obscure dialect, not least when they're in free variation with other allophones.
Please don't mistake close-mid back unrounded vowel for Bulgarian phonology or any other similar article. In scholarly publications it's most usual to list one to three examples of a vowel that's closest to any given cardinal vowel. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 08:39, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
Absolute enoughness, readability, or main allophones are not criteria for deleting information on Wikipedia. Instead, our criteria are verifiability, NPOV, and NOR. While there was consensus for merging the vowel articles, there was no consensus, let alone discussion, for deleting information. I am going to review the mergers and I will add again the information that has been deleted. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 05:17, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
@J. 'mach' wust: This is just another chapter of your silly little private war with me. Obvious attempts at vengeance are obvious. I haven't performed half of the mergers, by the way. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 09:13, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
There is nothing personal about it. You have removed well-sourced material from Wikipedia without prior discussion. Please do not do this. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 09:18, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
@J. 'mach' wust: I guess WP:COMMONSENSE is alien to you. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 09:20, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree, the undiscussed removal of examples was hasty and premature. You'd be absolutely in the right restoring them, per WP:BRD. Nardog (talk) 12:08, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
Thank you. I believe it's important information to know which languages of the world have a given sound in them. --Orenwatson (talk) 20:51, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
I've performed an initial cleanup of your reverts. We don't list more than one example of a vowel/consonant per dialect in other articles, so those shouldn't be an exception to that rule (or a de-facto rule, an unwritten one). Having said that, I have more concerns regarding your reverts and I'll list them shortly. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 07:27, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
@Kbb2: Please stop your deletions. You are basing your deletions on a rule “one example per dialect”. Is there any justification for that rule? Has it been discussed? Is there consensus? All I can see is that three editors here have voiced their reservations against your deletions, yet you just ignore us and continue with your deletions. Unless you can show us a solid justification, I will revert your continued deletions. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 09:33, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
@J. 'mach' wust: There is an implicit consensus for that because nobody has challenged it. Check other articles. If you want to establish a new consensus, discuss it here. I'm strongly against listing more than one example per dialect. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 09:36, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
There is an explicit consensus hashed out by numerous editors over several months. You can see this laid out here. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 14:59, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
@Aeusoes1: That's even better. I remember that subpage of yours, yes. Thanks for reminding us of it. Kbb2 (ex. Mr KEBAB) (talk) 15:13, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
Taking a quick look at some of the edits, it seems as though the disagreement between Kbb2 and mach is more about how exhaustive the tables should be. I don't think there is an established explicit consensus on this question. At some point, I personally added an enormous body of examples at close front unrounded vowel and this seemed to have opened up a floodgate of adding as many examples as possible. But I tend to side with Kbb2 in that the tables should be illustrative, rather than exhaustive, per WP:IINFO. Thus, even if information is cited to reliable sources, it doesn't mean we have to put it in.
It's worth having a conversation about and achieving some sort of consensus on the principles by which we choose what to include and what not to. But mach, please tone it down a notch. Your comments and edit summaries are coming off as shrill and unnecessarily antagonistic and that's not helping the project. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 15:30, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
To me this pertains to the raison d'être of those occurrence tables. They should be "illustrative", sure, but of what? Should we list languages readers are likely to be more familiar with so they can have an appreciation of what the sound is, or should we cover a diverse set of languages so we can illustrate the distribution of the sound? Currently I'm ambivalent, but it might be a good idea to lean towards one or the other depending on the sound's prevalence.
I'd say the same thing you said about Mach to Kbb2. Nardog (talk) 15:42, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks Aeusoes1 for the link to User:Aeusoes1/Phone tables. It seems rather indeterminate as to whether or not Kbb2’s deletions are justified, since it shows we have previously allowed more than one example when languages have different instances of a sound.
Now when a language has two (or more) different instances of a sound, I think that is interesting and notable information. It shows how some languages systematically make subtle differentiations, whether or not the sounds are phonemes (e.g. Maastrichtian [leːf] vs. [bɛ̝t])[3] or allophones (e.g. Northern Welsh [pɨ̞mp] vs. [ɬɨːn]).[4] There have been numerous examples of allophones in the various sound article lists for many years. I do not see why merging two sound articles should result in deleting information we have kept for many years (how about that for an implicit consensus?), especially when no such deletions were mentioned when discussing the mergers.
I believe there is no practical criterion by which we can limit the number of languages on these lists. How could we possibly determine whether or not a language is noteworthy enough? Over all, the sound occurrence lists have a relatively high quality. None of the Wikipedia:Listcruft criteria seem to apply. The list items are thoroughly sourced. I suspect the only real problem with these lists is that we misrepresent many of the sources by using different signs from the ones used in them, but that is another question. --mach 🙈🙉🙊 18:21, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

One of your project's articles has been selected for improvement!Edit

Please note that Frenemy, which is within this project's scope, has been selected as one of Today's articles for improvement. The article was scheduled to appear on Wikipedia's Community portal in the "Today's articles for improvement" section for one week, beginning today. Everyone is encouraged to collaborate to improve the article. Thanks, and happy editing!
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Indigenous langauges edit-a-thon suggestionsEdit

Hi everyone! L235 and I are running an edit-a-thon focusing on indigenous languages to celebrate the UN International Year of Indigenous Languages. Since many editors in this wikiproject work in that area, it would be a huge help to get suggestions on what articles need the most attention, especially for things new editors could help out with like adding examples or information from well known but hard to access sources. There's a section on the event page where you can suggest articles for improvement. Thanks! Wug·a·po·des​ 20:15, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

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