New AreaEdit

Hey, you're doing a good job out there. I am thinking about expanding the footprint of Wiktionary's English to more provinces or in more detail. Let me know if you are interested in any particular type of expansion or any region or have any ideas. Geographyinitiative (talk) 15:46, 13 July 2022 (UTC)

@Geographyinitiative Thank you! My current aim is to get every county-level division entered, as they're clearly of genuine importance (to some people, anyway). Where there are multiple places, I've been trying to list in order of importance.
One thing that would be good to have is a consistent way of dealing with ancient names that have described the same area for a long time, but may have been attached to several different administrative entities over the years. Grouping them all together isn't always appropriate, but equally it feels silly to list every incarnation, as that implies they're unconnected. Theknightwho (talk) 15:52, 13 July 2022 (UTC)

act of parliamentEdit

I reverted this move because that is obviously false. It is only capitalized in certain contexts, as the en.wp article clearly shows in its text. — SURJECTION / T / C / L / 23:09, 29 December 2021 (UTC)

It is not "obviously false". The proper use of the term is always capitalised, as is so by the official bodies that actually pass them, and the WP article has a lengthy discussion about this very point on the talk page. Theknightwho (talk) 23:10, 29 December 2021 (UTC)
Yet the text in the article clearly does not capitalize it every single time. There is also a past WT:RFC conversation about having it uncapitalized here. This is not an uncontroversial move by any stretch of the imagination and should never have been carried out without first achieving consensus. — SURJECTION / T / C / L / 23:12, 29 December 2021 (UTC)
You can't use WP to be prescriptive, especially not when there was no actual consensus on WP to use it that way, and it's something that appears to have just arisen over time. If you want sources for capitalisation, try Erskine May, the Parliament of Australia, the Government of Canada and the Parliamentary Counsel Office of New Zealand all using it capitalised. Theknightwho (talk) 23:20, 29 December 2021 (UTC)
I'm not using WP to be prescriptive, I'm using it to be descriptive. The main reason your move even caught my attention in the first place is because it smacked of prescriptivism ("the term is properly capitalized", as the summary said). Your comment now too tries to argue from a prescriptivist standpoint. Wiktionary is not prescriptive, but descriptive; we follow real-life usage instead of decreeing how things should be. The current wording of act of parliament does not even specify that it exclusively applies to Commonwealth countries. — SURJECTION / T / C / L / 23:23, 29 December 2021 (UTC)
No, the term is "properly capitalised" because it is used in a capitalised way in official sources. The term "properly capitalised" refers to how it should be written on Wiktionary, based on actual usage, which is a wholly descriptivist argument. You, on the other hand, are being prescriptivist by trying to use WP as a source. How many sources do you want? Here's one from India, and another from Pakistan... This doesn't feel like a point that you would conceivably concede on given enough evidence. Theknightwho (talk) 23:39, 29 December 2021 (UTC)
Surjection In any event, the current layout suggests that capitalisation is not a valid form of use at all, which is clearly incorrect. Theknightwho (talk) 23:58, 29 December 2021 (UTC)
"it is used in a capitalised way in official sources" is, again, prescriptivism, not descriptivism. I already clearly stated I'm not trying to argue this from a prescriptivist standpoint, because Wiktionary is not prescriptive. No, the current layout does not suggest that capitalization is invalid. English sentences tend to have the first word capitalized, but that is not a justification for having a "capitalized form" entry for basically every word. Likewise, book titles tend to capitalize most words. The case of Act of Parliament is not too far removed from either of these; they are honorific capitals. The community consensus, at least for this particular entry, is to not capitalize it. Thus, you shouldn't be here to convince me that the move was correct, but convince the community over at the Tea Room or a similar discussion venue. — SURJECTION / T / C / L / 11:16, 30 December 2021 (UTC)
  1. The statement that it is used that way in official sources is the precise opposite of prescriptivism. It is describing actual usage. I am genuinely at a loss as to how you could think it's prescribing anything, bar how Wiktionary should be presenting it. You seem to be arguing with a point of view that I simply do not hold.
  2. The current layout does not suggest that it is commonly used in a way that is non-standard for English nouns. Saying it is "not too far removed" from a book title would be tantamount to saying that it is a proper noun, which we would both agree should be capitalised. Except it is not a proper noun. It is just an unusual ordinary noun that happens to be used in a capitalised way in the middle of sentences, which is something that you would have noticed had you bothered to actually look at the sources that I provided. I don't see how you could possibly infer that that would imply we would need a page for every capitalised form.
  3. There is no community consensus whatsoever. Citing what amounted to a statement that the page would use non-capitalisation and a Wikipedia discussion that did not generate any consensus view is inadequate for establishing that.
Theknightwho (talk) 11:38, 30 December 2021 (UTC)
The sources you linked are not describing actual usage, but official sites using the term the way they are. It very much comes across to me as prescriptivism that you're arguing based only on those official sources, i.e. "the official sources capitalize it, so it must properly be capitalized, and not capitalizing it would be wrong". That is prescriptivism. In contrast, the only cite the entry in question currently has as well as the Wikipedia article I initially mentioned does not capitalize the term consistently and thus very much leads one to believe that it is not always, not necessarily even predominantly, capitalized. As for the community consensus, there definitely is here at en.wikt; as I said, there was an RFC and the decision was made to move the page under the uncapitalized title. Granted, it was a long time ago and only involved two people, but that still counts as the consensus.
Seeing as a separate entry exists for Parliament (as well as the uncapitalized parliament), what I see would the best solution in this case is to have a separate entry for the capitalized form and either make it an {{alternative case form of}} or write an appropriate definition. The uncapitalized form is definitely attested and shouldn't be removed or turned into an unceremonious redirect due to it being somehow wrong just on the basis that the official sources of some governments choose to capitalize it in their documents and on their websites. — SURJECTION / T / C / L / 12:01, 30 December 2021 (UTC)
Alternative case form of is fine. I would suggest:
  1. (chiefly formal) Alternative letter-case form of act of parliament
Acceptable to you?
Theknightwho (talk) 12:55, 30 December 2021 (UTC)
Sure (although I don't think the |id=formal has much of an effect). — SURJECTION / T / C / L / 13:41, 30 December 2021 (UTC)
I think it gets at the honorific point you made earlier, and although I don't have the time to look into it, I wonder if the difference is also to do with the parliament/Parliament distinction, where "Parliament" is used as a proper noun. Theknightwho (talk) 13:51, 30 December 2021 (UTC)
I was talking about the id parameter given to {{alternative case form of}}. The id= parameter in link (including alt form) templates is intended to link to a specific sense ID in the target entry. Since act of parliament does not have a sense ID named "formal" (it has only one sense either way so there would not be too much point in this case), it simply won't have any effect. The label ({{lb}}) is fine. — SURJECTION / T / C / L / 13:53, 30 December 2021 (UTC)
That was an error. I had intended to remove it after adding the lb template. Theknightwho (talk) 13:54, 30 December 2021 (UTC)

Oxford stuffEdit

Hi. Good to see someone touching these :) I would like to suggest to you that it isn't always appropriate to add an "Oxford English" gloss. I mean, what is Oxford English? The glosses are supposed to describe the language usage, not the location of the referent. I'm a dirty Reading rat but I still call it "the Bodleian". And indeed an American who studied at Oxford and moved on to Facebook would probably do so as well. The Oxford gloss should be used for any strange local language that isn't used outside of that region: I can't think of any example, lol. Maybe Norwich I could think of one or two. Equinox 17:40, 27 January 2022 (UTC)

Thanks - and that's a good point, and one which is quite difficult to get a sense on given they're not really recorded very well. I created that category for Carfax, which is definitely used in the city as a whole beyond the context of the University, but would draw blank stares in much of Oxfordshire without additional clarification. Hence why I felt the need to create an intermediary category. You're right about the various university institutions, though. I suspect this would primarily apply to cuttings. Theknightwho (talk) 17:48, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
Amusingly the reason you've been popping up in my watchlist is that I imported (with some sane curation, I hope) a bunch of old slang, 18th century etc., and of course Oxford and Cambridge were there. It does mean we probably ended up with a lot of "Ox uni slang" that hasn't been used since 1799. I put "archaic" if I'm sure nobody uses it any more, but let's be fair, there are places that trade on their age. Hahaha! Anyway. All good, I just wanted to raise the point. Equinox
It's been fascinating to see how little much of it has changed, actually! Sconce is a good example. Really, it's only the "-ers" that have fallen out of use, but a few seem to have developed a bit since those definitions were written. This has been mostly working from my own knowledge (which is a half a decade out of date by this point anyway), so there are probably a few things I've added that are going to be difficult to actually find sources for, even though I'm certain they're correct. For example, the pronunciation of OUDS. Thanks for the message, anyway - glad to know someone appreciates me adding these :) Theknightwho (talk) 17:57, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
We don't usually do "place names" but (especially when it's a single word) it's not the hill I will die on. I do love Oxford, it's probably the only city in the world that is beautiful. (Or I'm showing my parochialism. Whatever.) I was talking to someone about the botanic gardens the other day and saying "YES, you can grow oranges in Britain, but it's really difficult". Do you remember when the.. um forgotten the name of the place. something green? GLOUCESTER GREEN... was a goth/rock bar. I was really sad to go back and find that it was a pizza restaurant. But they kindly allowed me to sit in the front with a drink, and I got talking to some economist who is smarter than I will ever be. OH but I miss that rock bar. Okay enough out of me. Equinox 18:08, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
I think it's one of those places that's much nicer to visit than to actually live in haha. I moved away a couple of years ago after 8 years in the city, and I think I'd definitely had enough Oxford for quite a long time when I left - but it's one of those places you can never quite get away from! I actually dont know which bar you mean - I always used to go to the goth nights at Cellar til that shut down about 3 years ago, but when that went there was basically nothing left! Glad they let you have that drink, though. It's a real shame how much of the Oxford nightlife has basically just disappeared in the last few years. Theknightwho (talk) 18:18, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
Carfax Tower is there so that the cops can tell who is punting into the botanic gardens without paying. Equinox 18:12, 27 January 2022 (UTC)
You're thinking of Magdalen! Theknightwho (talk) 18:19, 27 January 2022 (UTC)


Before you even think about experimenting again with coding in a module like this, I have an assignment for you: follow the link in the in the header of this comment, and page through to the end. Spoiler alert: it may take you a while. there are 925,526 pages in that list, according to Link Count. Even a very minor error can easily break all of them.

Worse, when you make an edit to a module, it isn't like editing an entry. The change has to be propagated to every single page that transcludes it. If there are lots of transclusions, the changes go into the job queue for an automated process that does this for every single Wikimedia project. I've seen it take as long as a week for all the module errors to clear from CAT:E. What's more, the order in which the pages are processed is impossible to predict. You may see the numbers at CAT:E start to go down after you fix an error, then go up again because the bad edits are still making their way through the queue. For any one page, the bad edit has to happen first before the fix can reach it. Even perfectly harmless or beneficial edits should be done with caution, because all changes have to go through the same job queue and you don't want to delay more urgent or important changes.

I know you mean well, but when you're editing a widely transcluded module, you're also editing every single page that transcludes it. I hope you will be more careful and responsible in the future. If you aren't, I can easily lock you out of the the Module namespace altogether- but I'd rather not have to. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:50, 10 February 2022 (UTC)

@Chuck Entz Yes, understood, sorry! I had thought it was an extremely simple addition, and stupidly made the function local, so it wasn't getting called by the submodule. Lesson learned, and I've set up the sandbox for that module for any future experimenting. It's been fixed and works correctly now, so should make it a bit more straightforward to add numerous aliases as and where necessary. Theknightwho (talk) 07:56, 10 February 2022 (UTC)

Latin template issueEdit

Hello. Could you take a look at WT:GP#Latin template issue? You've been the one most actively editing the la-verb module, so I figure this is within your wheelhouse. I have proposed a change that would remove undesired forms like *ingreditōte from ingredior. Since string:find(...) returns nil on failure, I think this is the right check to perform. (Note that, unlike the equivalents in a lot of other languages nil == false evaluates to false in Lua.) 05:46, 21 February 2022 (UTC)

Hi - this was absolutely right, yes. Thanks! Theknightwho (talk) 19:03, 21 February 2022 (UTC)

Unrelated, but praecognosco is throwing an error. I think it could be fixed by supplying the third parameter to the headword and conjugation templates (based on similar verbs, maybe it should be |praecognōv, but I'm not confident enough to make the edit). 05:38, 23 February 2022 (UTC)

That was correct. I had dealt with all of the other “nosco” verbs, but missed that one for some reason. Theknightwho (talk) 14:46, 23 February 2022 (UTC)


You need to fix Module:la-verb so it knows how to deal with someone leaving out the third parameter in a case like this. I'm not saying it has to come up with the right output- though that would be preferable- but any real error message is better than something cryptic like Lua error: bad argument #1 to 'sub' (string expected, got nil). Either way, something needs to be fixed either in the module or in the entry. There's no excuse for a module error going unattended this long- you should always monitor CAT:E for a day or two whenever you work on modules. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:48, 23 February 2022 (UTC)

I had missed one “nosco” verb when dealing with its special cases. No change to the module needed. Theknightwho (talk) 14:45, 23 February 2022 (UTC)

The naming and placement of Early ScotsEdit

I agree with you that treating Early Scots as a variety of Middle English is confusing, but it is more reflective of the linguistic reality than treating it as a variety of Scots. To avoid confusion, you could call Early Scots "Scottish Middle English", but I believe that would create confusion of a graver kind, because "Early Scots" is by far the most common term for this variety. Given this, I believe the best option is to put Early Scots sco-osc under Middle English enm; if it helps you, there's at least two clear-cut parallel situations in the system of linguistic nomenclature we employ:

  • Anglo-Norman (xno) is treated as a variety of Old French (fro), not Norman (nrf).
  • Palatine German (pfl) is treated as a variety of Rhine Franconian (gmw-rfr), not German (de).

If you believe you have a idea that can nicely resolve this knotty situation, I'll be happy to hear it. Hazarasp (parlement · werkis) 16:27, 4 April 2022 (UTC)

@Hazarasp So I agree with you that we need to sort this out, and I think much of this confusion is coming about because of the fact that Wiktionary uses "Early" as one of its standard qualifiers to denote a period within a particular L2, which doesn't apply to Anglo-Norman or Palatine German. There's also the fact that Early Scots is the direct forerunner to Middle Scots (which we definitely do categorise as part of Scots), which is another difference that doesn't apply to your two examples.
What you propose leaves us in the bizarre situation of calling it "Early Scots" and agreeing that it is the direct ancestor to Scots, while saying that it isn't Scots. I'm not sure that there are any other examples like that on Wiktionary.
I think a lot of this comes down to the fact that I'm not sure that I agree that Early Scots is simply ME as spoken in Scotland, as the cut-off we're using is 1450, but there was divergence well before this point. Theknightwho (talk) 17:08, 4 April 2022 (UTC)
Early Scots is a direct descendant of Northumbrian Old English. Why not treat such chronolects as part of an Anglic family instead of part of random fullfledged languages? ·~ dictátor·mundꟾ 14:58, 6 April 2022 (UTC)
@Inqilābī It is, just as Old French and Old Spanish are direct descendents of Vulgar Latin. It would be just as perverse to treat a term from the 9th century in either of those languages as Latin, though. The question is whether Early Scots should be treated as a chronolect of Middle English or Scots; I am not proposing that it gets its own L2.
This fundamentally boils down to the issue that the distinction between languages is not obvious because there is rarely a clear breaking point, but it is ridiculous to say that Early Scots only became Scots once it developed into Middle Scots. We don't treat any other language that way, or indeed anything else. Neither of the two examples given (Anglo-Norman and Palatine German) follow that model, as they are off-shoots rather than direct ancestors to the modern language.
(Maybe this issue is irritating more than it normally would because it's become frustrating to see people treat Scots as just a dialect of English, and while I appreciate that this is somewhat different, it's definitely adjacent to it.) Theknightwho (talk) 16:19, 6 April 2022 (UTC)
The treatment of Scots as a fullfledged language is itself a little controversial. Scots (whether Modern or it earlier forms) is basically the group of Anglic lects spoken in the territory of Scotland, a political division. It would make more sense either to treat Scottish and Northern English lects together as one language (following the isogloss of Great Vowel Shift), or to treat all Anglic dialects as English. The way we define a language on Wiktionary is influenced by the sociolinguistic factors: other examples include the treatment of ‘German’ Low Saxon and ‘Dutch’ Low Saxon as different languages based on political divisions, the treatment of some Eastern Indo-Aryan lects (Sylheti, Chittagonian, Chakma, etc.) as fullfledged languages and not part of (East) Bengali, etc. So, my concern is that until we abandon our sociolinguistic treatment of language in favour of a diachronic treatment, this issue shall ever remain.
I think we should start with the creation of Category:Anglic languages, and various chronolects (like Early Scots, Middle Scots) should be made subcategories thereof. Unifying modern Anglic dialects also solves the problem of the existence of the same word in the original lect and the acrolect, that is to say, the existence of the following two categories: CAT:Scots lemmas & CAT:Scottish English. ·~ dictátor·mundꟾ 20:20, 6 April 2022 (UTC)
@Inqilābī Certainly when it comes to the modern day, Scots and Scottish English are simply not the same thing. There is a very long history of Scots being erased with that kind of logic, and I would oppose any attempt to continue that here. Scots has only partial mutual intelligibility with English, and is about as distant from it as Ukrainian is from Russian, though I can't imagine you would support a similar merger of those.
It is important to remember that Wiktionary is descriptive, not prescriptive, and that the recognition of a language as a language is dependent on social, political nad historical factors as well as linguistic distance.
I also have no issue with the categorisation of language families, but that is something that should be done on a site-wide basis, and not as a way to euphemistically brush Scots under the rug. Let's just stick with the model used with literally every other language on the site: the early and middle forms of the language are either given their own L2, or are categorised as chronolects of the titular language. Theknightwho (talk) 20:48, 6 April 2022 (UTC)
Not ‘every other language on the site’: consider our treatment of Chinese for example, where all Sinitic dialects and even chronolects are treated under a single language header. Mutual intelligibility is not a necessary factor. If Scots is treated as a separate language, then Northern English should also have been treated as a fullfledged language, but it's treated as English. ·~ dictátor·mundꟾ 21:04, 6 April 2022 (UTC)
@Inqilābī There is lengthy ongoing project to separate out Chinese "dialects" (languages).
Plus you still seem to be under the impression that Scottish English and Scots are the same thing, but they aren't. Nobody is proposing that Scottish English should have its own L2. However, as before, I invite you to make a similar merger proposal of Ukrainian and Russian, because it makes about as much sense if you think that linguistic distance is all we should be considering. Theknightwho (talk) 21:08, 6 April 2022 (UTC)
I think you'll have better luck finding parallels on the Iberian peninsula, where you have languages that split, with one of the daughters becoming dominant. Really, though, the basic problem is that the terminology became set in stone before anyone took Scots seriously as a language. This would be solved by making Middle English "Anglo-Scots" and Old English "Old Anglo-Scots", but that has zero chance of happening. English is a massive and dominant world language, while Scots is a regional lect that's not taken seriously even by most of its native speakers. It may be unfortunate, but there's not much that can be done about it.
As for Scottish and Northern English: my take on it is that Scots had already split off, with its own standard orthography, but then it was forcibly dragged back into being a dialect of English everywhere except in some of the more remote or inaccessible areas that were out of reach. Sure, you can find isoglosses that unite Scottish and Northern English with Scots, but the bulk of the first two is more like the rest of English than it is like Scots. The only reason Scots-speakers understand it as well as they do is because they're all bilingual. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:38, 7 April 2022 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz I don't disagree with any of that, really! Theknightwho (talk) 14:13, 8 April 2022 (UTC)

Looks like someone noticed youEdit

[1]. 03:05, 27 April 2022 (UTC)

I'll take that as a compliment, quite honestly! I didn't think anyone would care haha. Theknightwho (talk) 03:11, 27 April 2022 (UTC)

Tangut dataEdit

Hi, if it would be useful for adding Tangut entries to Wiktionary, you are very welcome to make use of my (currently private) Tangut database, which includes data on reconstructed readings, IDS descriptions, character constructions, etc. You may download the latest version from TangutDatabase.xlsx. BabelStone (talk) 21:30, 27 April 2022 (UTC)

@BabelStone Amazing - thank you so much. I've been compiling my own spreadsheet, but this is a massive step up so I can't thank you enough. It's so difficult to find quite a few of the source texts. Theknightwho (talk) 21:44, 27 April 2022 (UTC)
If you need any help with source texts just ask. I have quite a large digital collection of Tangut texts, and I have been slowly adding transcribed and punctuated versions of Tangut texts to Wikisource 𗼇𗟲 (see my user page for a list of texts that I have added). BabelStone (talk) 23:20, 27 April 2022 (UTC)
@BabelStone That would be absolutely wonderful - thank you.
Do you know if there's an English translation of Kepping's Тангутский язык: Морфология anywhere? I've been trying to get to better grips with the grammar of Tangut, but a lot of English-language papers assume knowledge that's locked behind a Russian language barrier for me. Theknightwho (talk) 13:27, 28 April 2022 (UTC)
Yes, Alan Downes translated it into English recently, as a follow-on from his PhD dissertation, but it is not yet ready for publication. If you ask him, he may let you have a draft version of the translation. In my opinion, Tangut grammar is by far the hardest aspect of Tangut language to master (or even get a basic grounding in), and none of the available overviews of Tangut grammar are terribly helpful in this respect. Other English language resources you could try include Nishida Tatsuo's "Outline of the Grammar of the Hs-hsia Language" (1964) and Shi Jinbo's Tangut Language and Manuscripts: An Introduction (2020). BabelStone (talk) 14:20, 28 April 2022 (UTC)
Thanks - I had found Alan's website, so that's very promising. I will drop him a message. Thanks also for the recommendations (and I will see if I can find a copy of Shi Jinbo's book).
Frankly, it feels like every aspect of Tangut is extremely difficult to get to even basic grips with! I still haven't really got my head around the verb system at all, particularly with the directional prefixes. Theknightwho (talk) 14:50, 28 April 2022 (UTC)
The price of the Shi Jinbo book is so exorbitant that it is out of the reach of most of its target readership, but if you email me I might be able to help out. BabelStone (talk) 16:45, 28 April 2022 (UTC)

Adding locative forms of Latin adjectivesEdit

Hi, I was curious about the recent addition of locative forms to the declension tables for some Latin adjectives, such as abrelictus. From what I can tell, it's quite rare in Latin when a noun is modified by an adjective for them to be put in the locative case: several grammars state that the usual construction is instead to put the noun and adjective into the ablative:

  • Latin Grammar, Albert Harkness (1881): "Instead of the Locative in names of towns the Ablative is used, with or without a preposition— 1) When the proper noun is qualified by an adjective or adjective pronoun: In ipsā Alexandrīā, in Alexandria itself. Cic. Longā Albā, at Alba Longa. Verg."
  • Concise Latin Grammar, Benjamin Leonard D'Ooge (1921): "The locative domi may be modified only by a possessive adjective or by a noun in the genitive; when it would be otherwise modified, the ablative with in is used instead."

Based on these statements, I'm confused about the reasons to include locative forms in the declension table of normal (non-possessive) adjectives. Are words like abrelictus attested in the locative? If so, where?--Urszag (talk) 15:26, 5 May 2022 (UTC)

@Urszag - Wikipedia has quite a good explanation here (though admittedly it doesn't deal with adjectives directly). I have noticed a tendency (particularly in 19th century academia) to generalise over Old Latin. You see the same sort of issue with the sigmatic forms of verbs, too, where they get (incorrectly) described as future perfects. Theknightwho (talk) 15:40, 5 May 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for the link! As you say, that section doesn't talk about adjectives ... it says "The Latin locative case was only used for the names of cities, 'small' islands and a few other isolated words", indicating a limited use, as reflected on Wiktionary by the locative case row only appearing for certain words, not all. To clarify my question, I think it's clear that we can apply the regular rules of locative formation to derive the locative forms abrelictī/abrelictae/abrelictīs; but it's not clear to me whether these are purely hypothetical, or actually attested in use as locatives. If they are attested, in whatever stage of the language, I'm hoping we could add some cited examples of how they are used. If they are hypothetical, I don't understand the point of including them (and why for this adjective but not others): is the envisioned use case something like "abrelictae Rōmae" to mean "at abandoned Rome"? From what I can tell, that is either outright ungrammatical, or at best, dispreferred in comparison to the alternative construction "(in) abrelictā Rōmā". Therefore, I think a user of this dictionary is unlikely to either encounter a locative form of "abrelictus" or be in a situation where it will be advisable to use one; so I can't figure out the benefit of having the form listed. (Anyone who for some reason really needs to know what the locative of abrelictus is would be able to follow the same rules the inflection module does to derive the correct form.)--Urszag (talk) 16:19, 5 May 2022 (UTC)
@Urszag I do agree with you that it would be ungrammatical in the Augustan period, and our coverage of Old Latin is pretty patchy in general (arbitrarily covering some endings but not others etc.). I'm fine to remove them except for the handful of possessives and alienus. Use in Old Latin needs a bit more careful thinking, as I've come at this in a far more piecemeal way than I did with the sigmatics, which I made sure to only add where I could see a clear attestation, and the verb conjugation table has an explanation. I'd need to do something similar here. Theknightwho (talk) 16:24, 5 May 2022 (UTC)
An approach like that would make sense to me. I'm not familiar with how the locative was used in Old Latin, or how it may differ from other periods. (I know that the locative was more widely used in some other Italic languages, such as Oscan and Umbrian.) If there are Old Latin uses of adjectives in the locative, it seems valuable to mention them in the entry for that adjective; but given that Old Latin spelling and grammar may be different from that of later periods, giving a citation of the specific form and context where it is attested seems useful.--Urszag (talk) 16:39, 5 May 2022 (UTC)
@Urszag - What do you think of the approach at facio? Theknightwho (talk) 16:43, 5 May 2022 (UTC)
It looks good! I appreciate the work you've done to add more documentation of Latin verb forms to Wiktionary. I believe forms spelled with "cs" such as "facsint" are also found, but I'm not sure what the best way to handle spelling variants is here or in general (from what I understand, pretty much any Latin word containing "x" could potentially have a spelling variant with "xs" in some texts).--Urszag (talk) 18:12, 5 May 2022 (UTC)
@Urszag You may be right, though facio is hugely overrepresented in mentions, and quite a few of the others are seen only a very small number of times (though the form no doubt existed in more widespread use, just before most Latin was written down). We only have 4 verbs with known sigmatic future passive forms at all (plus the deponent mercor which uses it in the active), so we can only hypothesise that there must have been endings such as -ēssor (2nd conj.) and -īssor (4th conj.) to complement -āssor (1st conj.) and so on.
In any event, I'll do something more rigorous with the locative at some point. Theknightwho (talk) 18:33, 5 May 2022 (UTC)

Formatting for Latin words with multiple pronunciationsEdit

Hello again! It looks like there are currently different methods being used to indicate multiple pronunciations for Latin forms with distinct vowel lengths, such as the nominative and ablative singular of first-declension nouns ending in -a, so since you have been editing this type of entry, I wanted to bring that to your attention and discuss which method you think is preferable.

After I made a request for cleaning up definition lines of the form "vocative of X" (where the nominative and vocative were completely the same in both spelling and pronunciation), This, that and the other kindly created and worked on a list of entries where this applies and formatted them as seen in the current revision of summa. As I said in that discussion, I think that the declension table probably provides sufficient indication of the form of each case-number combination that shares its spelling with the lemma, without noting that anywhere else on the page. However, the declension table only provides spellings, not pronunciations. The differing pronunciations corresponding to the spelling have been indicated in this entry by placing them both under a single "Pronunciation" header that has multiple bullets (I don't love the way that this formatting uses up four lines of vertical space when the two lines for Ecclesiastical pronunciations will always be the same for nouns of this class, but I'm not sure I can think of an improvement--it would be more technically difficult, but maybe it would be better to display both pronunciations on the same line? E.g. something like

  • (Classical) IPA(key): summa /ˈ [ˈs̠ʊmːä]; summā /ˈsum.maː/ [ˈs̠ʊmːäː]
  • (Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): summa, summā /ˈ [ˈsumːä]

?) Do you think that the current format or something like the suggested modification above seems sufficient to convey all necessary information, or do you think it's better to instead have a separate line lower down on the page that uses the inflection-of template to generate "ablative singular of X", as in the current entry for acceia?

If it turns out that there is a consensus for the second option, there could possibly be an advantage to adjusting the headers used. Apparently, multiple pronunciation headers can be difficult for formatting bots to handle. I think it may be worth asking the Beer Parlour for advice, but I'd guess it might be more convenient to use an empty Etymology 2 header with a second "Pronunciation" header beneath it.

Sorry to bother you about this kind of technical nonsense, but I hope discussing it now will help to save work later if one or the other set of pages need to be redone.--Urszag (talk) 00:54, 11 May 2022 (UTC)

@Urszag Hiya - thank you for raising this, as I think we probably do need to have a discussion about how these are handled, as it's a quirk of Wiktionary's approach to Latin that they aren't hived off to separate pages and treated in their own way there (which I agree with, for the record).
In an extremely formal sense they do technically have separate etymologies, because it is merely coincidental that the nominative and ablative forms happen to be spelled with the same letter. However, if I were to apply that logic to its extreme, the same argument could also be made for the nominative and vocative endings, which are completely identical. The appropriate place to deal with that issue is clearly -a.
I like your suggestion of keeping the pronunciation section on two lines but placing them side by side (though I'd suggest the tiny change that the Eccelsiastical line should display "summa and summā". The template already does something similar when a macron and caron are both used on the same letter (when pronunciation is uncertain, such as with acadēmī̆a):
  • (Classical) IPA(key): /a.ka.deːˈmiː.a/, [äkäd̪eːˈmiːä] or IPA(key): /a.kaˈdeː.mi.a/, [äkäˈd̪eːmiä]
I do, however, think we need to put two different noun headings under that etymology, because otherwise we aren't actually giving the form a definition at all. Of course it's there in the declension table, but it's very easy to miss. In any event, we should retain consistency with the approach on non-lemma forms, where we already do this.
Theknightwho (talk) 14:28, 13 May 2022 (UTC)


Since I noticed you were making non-lemma entries for Latin verbs recently I thought I'd mention that this one has little or no form entries created yet, so you can go ahead and tackle that if you want. Acolyte of Ice (talk) 08:31, 20 May 2022 (UTC)

A belated thanksEdit

I just now noticed you were responsible for adding the parameter to Template:zh-forms for second-round simplifications. Thank you so much! It makes the template so much cleaner than with the ugly little labels that were otherwise required! 05:20, 30 May 2022 (UTC)

No problem at all! I've been meaning to work on that a little further at some point, as there are some other forms that could probably do with their own treatment as well. Theknightwho (talk) 09:51, 30 May 2022 (UTC)

ISO 3166-2Edit

I noticed that you've recently done a lot of good work regarding language ISO codes including ISO 3166. What do you think about my proposal to include ISO 3166-2 (subdivision) clippings? See User:Fytcha/FR for an (outdated) sample. — Fytcha T | L | C 〉 16:11, 21 June 2022 (UTC)

@Fytcha Hiya - I'm supportive of this. The template {{ISO 3166}} has room for expansion to deal with this, as the first parameter specifies which part you want to refer to, so it could take the format e.g. {{ISO 3166|2|CH|Fribourg}}. I need to draw up proper documentation, because there are various parameters to deal with certain oddities, but I agree that it would be good to tap into WP's ready-built redirect system. In fact, I was dealing with that exact issue with ISO 639 (language codes) when you wrote your message.
My medium-term aspiration is to create {{ISO}} with a module behind the scenes, because that would allow us to be much more sophisticated in how we deal with these. For example, having look-up tables for country names, which would circumvent having to update every entry if it changes and so on. Theknightwho (talk) 16:21, 21 June 2022 (UTC)

Have you documented all your fancy templates yet?Edit

love, -- your mum. Equinox 20:29, 21 June 2022 (UTC)

Ugh. Sorry mum. Theknightwho (talk) 01:16, 22 June 2022 (UTC)
That nice American young man, Charles, came over the other day and he was telling us all about his botanical interests, it was very nice. Did you know there are plants that smell like high schools, to attract incels, which they eat? Oh I hope you'll be home for Christmas. (P.S. I spent the entire afternoon documenting my database schema for my client, and I've only done about a third of it. You finally start to value yourself...) Yep do your documentation, I won't forget. Equinox 02:29, 22 June 2022 (UTC)

Theoretical IssueEdit

Hey! I want to sincerely thank you for all your recent work on transliterations. I have been trying to work up to getting something like this set up for years and years. Thanks so much for your work. I would praise you more, but I don't want to seem silly. Also, you don't want to be associated with a crazy person like me.
Now, I was looking at diff and I just wanted to comment that IF (if) Shanghai is derived from Wade-Giles (it may be, idk-- I haven't looked into the oranges of this word in particular) THEN I would say that Hanyu Pinyin is not the origin point of the word. Neither is Tongyong Pinyin. To me, the origin, the etymology, is telling us "where it came from". So if- if- the word 'Shanghai' is from Wade-Giles, then Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin and etc. are irrelevant to the origin of the term. My guess is that the term 'Shanghai' will predate the earliest form of Wade-Giles (the 'Wade'-only era of Wade-Giles) which reaches back to 1868ish and hence neither Wade-Giles nor Hanyu Pinyin nor Tongyong Pinyin are part of the origin of the word- they are all "johnny come lately" systems piggy-backing off of the ancient romanization systems. idk bro --Geographyinitiative (talk) 19:15, 25 June 2022 (UTC)

@Geographyinitiative You make a good point, and I did think about this. I suppose it's one of those strange situations where we can assume that it is very likely that if Hanyu Pinyin differed from Wade-Giles that the common English spelling would have followed suite - just like with Beijing. Then again, you're right that it may be that the direction of causality is in the other direction, with spellings such as Shanghai affecting what decisions were then made about the later romanisations. Theknightwho (talk) 19:19, 25 June 2022 (UTC)
That's exactly what happened- Wade-Giles is just as much a "new" system as Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin. Early Wade was playing into the pre-existing mélange of the early 19th century, which is borne out of French, Portuguese, etc transcriptions. They are all stacked on the original romanizations done by some ancient Jesuit priests. Nanchang and Yunnan are some other examples. Idk. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 19:23, 25 June 2022 (UTC)
I think with Shanghai it's probably best to simply mention Hanyu Pinyin without actually saying that the term is derived from it (though I'm unsure when the term what actually adopted and whether WG is the origin). There's probably scope for doing something more extensive, but it would involve digging into the origins of the romanizations themselves, and I don't have the expertise to do that. Theknightwho (talk) 19:28, 25 June 2022 (UTC)


I personally like the 'nonstandard' alt form stuff you are adding to the pinyin pages. Those pages are in dire need of a clean-up- many of them have characters that are not pronounced with the pinyin of the entry. This is some ancient problem that was never fixed. There ought to be a mechanized/programming way to fix it. cf. [[lū ]] --Geographyinitiative (talk) 16:49, 28 June 2022 (UTC)

@Geographyinitiative Thanks - I think what happened is that there was a mass import of the main CJK Unified Ideographs block back in the early 00s, which used Unicode's pronunciation data. Much of that Unicode data has since been deprecated, and a lot of it still contains errors. It's a complete mess. Theknightwho (talk) 16:54, 28 June 2022 (UTC)

Corr pinyinEdit

Re this edit, shōng is not correct pinyin (see pinyin table). That's what "corr pinyin" refers to in the edit summary. AjaxSmack (talk) 23:10, 30 June 2022 (UTC)

@AjaxSmack See Talk:Pinyin_table#shong. I'm the one who removed "shong" from that table in this diff. Theknightwho (talk) 23:15, 30 June 2022 (UTC)
Thanks. I think you made my case for me. AjaxSmack (talk) 23:34, 30 June 2022 (UTC)

嫇奵 and 方寧Edit

Re: RFVCJK. Are you just verifying the Mandarin pronunciations, or are you also doubting the existence of the word? Pronunciation verification should be done with {{rfv-pron}}, with discussion at WT:TR. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 16:35, 4 July 2022 (UTC)

@Justinrleung Just the pronunciations. I'll move them over. Theknightwho (talk) 16:37, 4 July 2022 (UTC)
Great, thanks. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 16:38, 4 July 2022 (UTC)


Since you are working a lot with Chinese languages, it would be much appreciated if you indicate your language level of Chinese varieties on your Babel box. — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 16:40, 4 July 2022 (UTC)

Nonstandard pinyin spellingsEdit

Hi, I see you reverted my entries for nonstandard pinyin spellings. Can you explain why they were removed? I looked at the wiktionary info page and it says "monosyllables with no tone mark" are allowed. I noticed that nonstandard spellings are included for many pinyin words and have not been removed. For example see these search results. OjdvQ9fNJWl (talk) 23:11, 9 July 2022 (UTC)

@OjdvQ9fNJWl You added mama and baba, which are both two syllables (i.e. not monosyllabic). The results you link are all monosyllabic, and a lot of them are standard entries that have links to the toneless form. There are also a handful of other entries that are nonstandard in other ways, but I don't see any polysyllabic pinyin without tones. Theknightwho (talk) 23:19, 9 July 2022 (UTC)
I just noticed it says monosyllabic. Thanks for the clarification. OjdvQ9fNJWl (talk)


You could simply revert because it's not correctly formatted and because we don't do reconstructions based on a single reflex - so that they don't continue to look embarassing.

This is unfair, because it does not look like OR and may very well be sourcable (texas' pie lexicon, maybe), but that's usually not enough to make a reconstruction entry, which is needed to format correctly and without permanent red-links. Even if it (the PIE rootz) needs to be there (in the main entry), it would be better served at the lower nodes. This resolves the stale mate. The rest of the entry is a mess as well.

If they, like me, don't have the material to deal with MHG, they have hardly any business adding etymologies from books that they can only judge by the cover. Needless to say I can't agree with the reconstruction. ApisAzuli (talk) 03:31, 10 July 2022 (UTC)

Cantonese readingsEdit

青陽 and 相山 are unlikely to be correct and do not inspire great confidence. Please stop. —Fish bowl (talk) 04:34, 12 July 2022 (UTC)

In addition, can you confirm that 凤台, 台江, 石台 etc. use 台 and not 臺 in trad. Chinese? —Fish bowl (talk) 04:38, 12 July 2022 (UTC)
I haven't done a thorough check, but those do seem to be the forms in use. I am seeing evidence for 臺 being in use with all three in some publications (though not so much 臺江區), but unsure if that should take the primary entry with any of them. Theknightwho (talk) 05:07, 12 July 2022 (UTC)


Hey, great work out there. My question for you is this: I noticed you made something special for Tibet where "ar:Suf/Tibet" produces "Tibet Autonomous Region". I'm thinking about working on expanding Ningxia coverage on Wiktionary, and I would feel better about it if ar:Suf/Ningxia produces "Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region" or similar. (1) I don't know how to do it but (2) even if I did know how, not sure if it will be a good idea. Let me know if you have any thoughts on this. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 13:43, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

@Geographyinitiative Hiya - so adding ":suf" after the entity type (i.e. "ar" in this case) adds it after the name, and putting ":Suf" capitalises it. ":pref" and ":Pref" work in the same way. You could put "p:Suf/Shandong" and it'd say "Shandong Province", for example. The tricky thing for Ningxia is that "Hui autonomous region" isn't a special entity type, and I'm not sure it's a good idea to add a bunch of special entities for all of the various ethnic minorities, as I wouldn't say those are the most common name. Tibet is a bit of a special case, as there is obvious and widespread international disagreement on the legitimacy of the Chinese regime there.
Is there a particular reason for wanting to do the same for Ningxia? Theknightwho (talk) 13:50, 21 July 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply & helpful explanation. I personally feel that merely writing "Ningxia" gives one the impression that "Ningxia" is just another province of China, like Shandong or Jiangxi, whereas writing the full official name (with "Hui") gives you the idea that this is a specially-designated place within the administrative structure of the PRC. If Wiktionary writes "Ningxia" only, it's just another cog, another geographical entity to fit into the cookie-cutter notion of "just another administrative division". Giving the full name feels more authentic, more interesting, more professional, and more respectful generally.
But maybe not. Anyway, I will proceed with what I was going to do regardless of this issue. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 13:56, 21 July 2022 (UTC) (modified)

H-Hold on...Edit

I edited the page prae- by analogy with sub- and I didn't think it was a good idea to have a duplicate identical etymology on two different pages. The pages mână and mwin was edited because there was no consensus between linguists beyond Latin (see discussion). Catonif (talk) 23:08, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

@Catonif To be fair, prae- the prefix stands on its own merits, though we should probably mention how it came to be. This kind of etymology duplication is pretty common, though there should be something in the works to automate a lot of it (as obviously the current situation is less than ideal when they can get out of sync).
I hadn't realised there'd been discussion re the reconstructed forms. I would suggest that we mention the different theories, rather than removing them altogether. Apologies for being a bit gung-ho with it. Theknightwho (talk) 23:16, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

Ah yes, we should mention the different theories. I thought that it would be better for a multiple possibility etymology to be written only once in the Latin and/or Proto-Italic page, instead of copy-pasting it to all romance terms. I wanted to write it but got lost in reconstructed languages dictionaries, and in the end decided to remove the inconsistencies from the Romance entries and left the Latin entry alone for future adventurers to decipher. Catonif (talk) 23:26, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

@Catonif Hopefully this will eventually iron itself out, once we can start pulling through etymologies into descendants, in any event. It's one of those things we just haven't got around to yet. Theknightwho (talk) 23:33, 21 July 2022 (UTC)
So, uhm, am I allowed to re-revert your reverts on the manus pages? As it stands the entries disagree on the etymologies, and some of them are just wrong. Some mention meh2- (which means "good" and is unrelated), some (s)meh2- (which means "to beckon" and is unrelated), some mon- (which de Vaan actually mentions, but it supposed to mean "neck" and here it links to "man"), and some meh2r (which is actually one of the theories, even though here it's a weirdly formatted redlink). Why keep this mess on the romance entries?
Oh about prae-, can't we do something like "Akin to prae. See there for more."? Sorry to bother you with these word-specific questions, I'm asking this to have an example on what I should do elsewhere. These repetitions get messy and gain incongruences, so I don't see why we'd prefer them. Catonif (talk) 14:13, 22 July 2022 (UTC)


Adding a ping after the fact is totally useless. See Wiktionary:Beer_parlour/2021/June#A Primer on Proper Pinging, where I explained it more fully. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:55, 6 August 2022 (UTC)

Doesn’t it work if you re-do your signature? Theknightwho (talk) 10:08, 6 August 2022 (UTC)
It does not. You can enable notifications for mentions (pings) if you want to know when it works. J3133 (talk) 10:14, 6 August 2022 (UTC)

Check this out- ShanghaiEdit

Hey, I'm trying to drum up interest in determining the origin of the English language word 'Shanghai' here: Scriptorium Thread, (see Citations:Shanghai for some early cites I found, as well as Citations:Shang-hai and Citations:Shanghae). Why? Because (1) it's objectively not Wade or Pinyin, (2) it's an important, interesting word known to most native English speakers, (3) we just do not even know when/where/how it came into English. If you have any thoughts or additional variants or similar, go for it my man. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 22:36, 10 August 2022 (UTC)

@Geographyinitiative Sorry for the slow response! I will have a think about this. Theknightwho (talk) 20:51, 3 September 2022 (UTC)


Hey! Your changes to Template:mn-proper noun have caused some errors on some Cyrillic Mongolian pages. — Fytcha T | L | C 〉 13:09, 19 August 2022 (UTC)

@Fytcha Hiya - thanks for the heads up. I had checked a few lemmas that would be affected, but a handful seem to have followed a different format for some reason. All sorted, anyway. Theknightwho (talk) 13:16, 19 August 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for taking care of it! — Fytcha T | L | C 〉 13:24, 19 August 2022 (UTC)

temporizedst, stumpedstEdit

Errrr I never thought I'd have to ask you this, but are these words according to anybody's standards, or are you just randomly attaching st to things? Equinox 14:13, 2 September 2022 (UTC)

I've been working on {{en-conj}} (see below). I've been taking the approach Latin does of not being super worried about attesting inflections so long as the word actually existed at the time - we can certainly attest temporizeth, for example. It's just weird to include some inflections but not all without any evidence to suggest it was defective, as that's just misleading. Yes, it's English not an LDL, but historical stuff is always a bit different.
Theknightwho (talk) 14:19, 2 September 2022 (UTC)
Template is nice. It's also quite possible to say "if anyone had ever used the past participle of the verb, it would have been this, but we cannot find it". I'm not gonna be so petty as to RFV these (probably) but I did wonder what you were up to. Equinox 16:00, 2 September 2022 (UTC)
@Equinox That's a good idea. Nightmarish for something like Latin inflections, but given the small numbers involved with English it'd work. Theknightwho (talk) 16:34, 2 September 2022 (UTC)
My only serious concern with automating this stuff at all is that we might end up creating archaic forms for verbs that didn't exist in that time (thou defragmentedst the hard drive). Equinox 23:50, 2 September 2022 (UTC)
Agreed - the old forms are opt-in with old=1, which should hopefully prevent that. Theknightwho (talk) 23:54, 2 September 2022 (UTC)

Admin (don't panic)Edit

As a follow-up to this discussion, really [2]: do you want the vote? You spend a lot of time around here, and you seem generally fair-minded and logical, and to know what you are doing. (I know you had an angry "Equinox moment" today where you yelled at Dan, but that's atypical. And nobody is trying to deop me yet. Ha.) Equinox 23:34, 16 September 2022 (UTC)

@Equinox I will think about it! I may have ruffled too many feathers at the moment, but it would certainly be very useful to be able to nab vandals, and there are a fair few templates I've needed permission for and so on. Theknightwho (talk) 00:52, 17 September 2022 (UTC)
Ooh, Eq, I wanted to nominate him! Almostonurmind (talk) 20:30, 17 September 2022 (UTC)
Uhoh. Theknightwho (talk) 20:43, 17 September 2022 (UTC)