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Welcome, all, to the Beer Parlour! This is the place where many a historic decision has been made and where important discussions are being held daily. If you have a question about fundamental Wiktionary aspects—that is, about policies, proposals and other community-wide features—please place it at the bottom of the list (click on Start a new discussion), and it will be considered. Please keep in mind the rules of discussion: remain civil, don't make personal attacks, don't change other people's posts, and sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~), which produces your name with timestamp. Also keep in mind the purpose of this page. There are various other discussion rooms which may serve the idea behind your questions better. Please take a look to see which is most appropriate.

Sometimes discussion identifies an issue as an idea for policy development or rewriting. Such discussions may be taken out of the Beer parlour to a relevant page, or a brand new page may be created. Usually, the active policy pages will be listed in one of the sections below. See also the policy development page and the votes page.

Questions and answers will not remain on this page indefinitely, as it would very soon become too long to be editable. After a period of time with no further activity (usually a couple of weeks), information will be moved to the archives. We make a point to preserve all discussions that were started here in the archives. However, talk that is clearly not intended for this page may be moved and will not end up in the archives. Enjoy the Beer parlour!

Beer parlour archives edit


July 2019


C'mon guys, it took us 12 days to revert a page move from español to Español. That's really lame. --I learned some phrases (talk) 21:23, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

I agree. Idea: most pages should be move-protected (admins only), seeing as they should never be moved. Any "basic" word in our best-covered languages (various online wordlists can supply these) or page with multiple languages on it ought to be protected this way. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:54, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
You may recall that I recommended this a while back, but no one with a bot thought it was worth the trouble. Every now and then I remember to do this when I visit an eligible page, so there are a few hundred done, at least. I added "Well-attested spelling, should not be moved" to the protection-reason menu, so it's really quite easy for any admin to do this while they're doing other stuff on a page- if everybody does a little bit, we can get a lot done.
My philosophy regarding this kind of thing is that you don't need to make everything vandal-proof (if that's possible): the idea is to do lots of little things to make vandalism more of a chore and less rewarding. Extreme countermeasures just increase the emotional rewards to getting around them- subtle and boring is the way to go. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:00, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
This was not a move out of vandalism but out of ignorance. Looking forward to little things we can do to make ignorance more of a chore and less rewarding :).  --Lambiam 18:05, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
It seems like some Wikipedias have a feature where edits must be verified before being shown. Could we enable that here? —Suzukaze-c 18:08, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
My experience with editing on such a Wikpedia was that my edits were reflexively reverted. Can we do some cost–benefit analysis? How serious is the problem of ill-considered edits? The level of actual vandalism seems to be low, compared to the English Wikipedia. The MediaWiki software allows any wiki – if its users want it – to turn on various protective features. There is the feature of semi-protection, which can be applied on a page-by-page basis to high-risk pages – mainly intended for temporary use. Then there is Flagged Revisions requiring edits by unconfirmed editors to be reviewed, with a more selective variant called Pending Changes used on the English Wikipedia. While these will reduce the volume of bad edits, they may also have a chilling effect on productive new editors.  --Lambiam 23:24, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
We simply don't have enough resources to do it right, and having the feature installed makes it look like we're endorsing any edit that we allow to display. Wikipedias' content is mostly in one language, while ours is in hundreds and potentially thousands, and our patrollers are qualified in only dozens. Most edits would have to be either passed with no scrutiny of content or left in limbo for long periods of time. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:39, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

Changing "dtp" language name to "Kadazandusun"Edit

The ISO code "dtp" now refers to Kadazan Dusun as of 2016 according to Ethnologue. It reflects the widely used standard name for the language that has been official since 1995. The official spelling for the language is Kadazandusun actually. I would like to request a change from "Central Dusun" to "Kadazandusun" in Wiktionary. --Tofeiku (talk) 13:40, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

Ngrams suggests you are correct that "Kadazandusun" (and to a lesser extent "Kadazan Dusun") is more common than "Central Dusun" or the other names Wikipedia mentions (Bunduliwan, Boros Dusun); a Google Scholar search is even more lopsidedly in favour of Kadazandusun (with "Kadazan-Dusun" also quite common). The various references on the language which Glottolog lists seem to use either "Kadazan-Dusun" or just "Kadazan". I support a rename but it will require updating quite a few pages, which I don't think I have time to do right now. - -sche (discuss) 02:53, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
The native spelling of the language is Kadazandusun but it's up to what's the common spelling for English. Also, Kadazan only refers to Coastal Kadazan and Dusun refers to the Dusun dialect only and not Kadazandusun. The Wikipedia article should be moved to. --Tofeiku (talk) 07:56, 15 July 2019 (UTC)


Yugoslavia ceased to exist and as a consequence, Serbo-Croatian became also defunct. Still, if you type bs (Bosnian), hr (Croatian) or sr (Serbian), the end result is automatically Serbo-Croatian. How could we correct this error? Rajkiandris (talk) 04:49, 6 July 2019 (UTC)Rajkiandris

This is not some new revelation: it's been discussed and debated here several times. Serbo-Croatian as an official language may be defunct, but the fact remains that the standard forms of Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian are all derived from the same dialect and are all mutually intelligible and similar to the point that it's more practical to treat them as one language, and Serbo-Croatian is the best name for such a language. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:15, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
Further reading: Tomasz Kamusella, The Politics of Language and Nationalism in Modern Central Europe.  --Lambiam 13:44, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz I have been thinking that it may make sense to treat Kajkavian and Chakavian as a separate language. As can be seen at w:South Slavic languages#Comparison, Kajkavian is extremely similar to Slovene, while Chakavian is in between it and Shtokavian. It makes little sense to call all of these varieties "Serbo-Croatian", Kajkavian especially, while distinguishing Slovene. It would be valuable from an accentological point of view to include Chakavian, which is quite archaic in this respect. —Rua (mew) 11:40, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
Bad idea. Often one cannot even distinguish Macedonian and Bulgarian, like in the quote чу̀тура (čùtura) which fits to none of the two modern languages. The editor Константинъ Миладиновъ is according to the Bulgarian Wikipedia a Bulgarian and according to the Macedonian Wikipedia Macedonian. Also I have heard Kajkavian. It is like Berlinern. Probably extremily similar to Slovene like some accents of Russian are extremely similar to Ukrainian. Accentology is a weak argument, it bears little semantical load, and I do not see how splitting languages could help pursuing accentology. Fay Freak (talk) 13:23, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
I don’t like what @Rajkiandris proposes. It is an error to type “bs”, “hr”, “bs”. One does not type “at” either to find German, so those people who type “bs”, “hr”, “bs” are in error. Everyone knows that this is the same language. It happens often in Balkanized parts of the world that one language is known under multiple names. Confusion arises for remote parts of Africa but for Serbo-Croatian it is patent that it is the same language. Political unity is irrelevant, there is heavy exchange, and if I meet someone in Germany I can easily speak Yugoslav without knowing whether it would be Bosnian or Serbian or Croatian: people call themselves Yugoslav here. Have they not got used to Yugoslavia having broken up? No, they are conscious that a differentiation is over-differentiation. And probably someone speaking Kajkavian would act the same. One can come into the situation of speaking Serbo-Croatian without knowing whether it is Bosnian or Serbian or Croatian, and in most texts it is not distinct which it is: I find texts with words, I see they are Serbo-Croatian, I add words as Serbo-Croatian, I cannot see that it is Croatian or Serbian or Bosnian despite understanding everything, why would I need to undergo the hardship of examining whether a text in Serbo-Croatian is Bosnian or Croatian or Serbian? That’s why it is treated as one language. One should see easily by the text that something is in a language. If you need someone, the place of publication, or diacritics (“an accentological point of view”) to tell you that it is, it isn’t a separate language. Fay Freak (talk) 13:23, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
Your initial premise is a non-sequitur; Serbo-Croatian was standardized before Yugoslavia existed, and (at least as far as its Shtokavian dialects go) existed as a distinct abstand language long before its standardization. The death of a political entity doesn’t magically make a language extinct. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 21:16, 8 July 2019 (UTC)

Unified Japanese: a new proposalEdit

Unified Japanese, the format that treats Classical Japanese and Modern Japanese under a single ==Japanese== header has been proposed before, but past proposals were unsuccessful because they failed to distinguish between regular phonological developments (such as 会ふ会う) and morphological changes (such as 変ふ変える). I propose that we apply Unified Japanese only to the former case: if the 文語形 and the 口語形 differ only by 仮名遣い, we unify them under the modern spelling:



会う (intransitive)

  1. to meet; to encounter
Conjugation of 会う (五段活用) in Modern Japanese
Conjugation of 会ふ (四段活用) in Classical Japanese
Conjugation of 安布 (四段活用) in Old Japanese

On the other hand, if the difference between the 文語形 and the 口語形 is a morphological one, we give them separate pronunciation sections (while still merging definitions). Note that just as the 口語形 can be spelled in historical orthography, the 文語形 can also be spelled in modern orthography and pronounced in Modern Japanese, so we still benefit from the entry layout of Unified Japanese:



変える (transitive)

  1. : to change; to alter; …
  2. , , , : to exchange; to replace; …
Conjugation of 変える (下一段活用) in Modern Japanese
Conjugation of 変ふ (下二段活用) in Classical Japanese
Conjugation of ??? (下二段活用) in Old Japanese



  1. Premodern shūshikei of  ()える (kaeru).

What do you think about such a proposal?

By the way, in the examples given above, the kana and rōmaji are moved from the POS headers to the pronunciation section. I think this is a step long overdue: it is more logical (think of kanji entries with multiple etymology sections), and it greatly simplifies the entry layout of entries (especially kango which tend to have multiple POS).

(Notifying Eirikr, TAKASUGI Shinji, Nibiko, Atitarev, Suzukaze-c, Poketalker, Cnilep, Britannic124, Nardog, Marlin Setia1, AstroVulpes, Tsukuyone, Aogaeru4, Huhu9001, 荒巻モロゾフ, Mellohi!): --Dine2016 (talk) 05:44, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

I think the example "変ふ" is not an entry but rather a soft redirect, like doth for do. -- Huhu9001 (talk) 06:13, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
Ah yes, you're perfectly right. I wanted to express that "変ふ" should have its own pronunciation section, but I didn't make myself clear. --Dine2016 (talk) 06:26, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

@Dine2016: Could you succinctly state the disadvantages, if any, of this new proposal which I do support? --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:29, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

@Backinstadiums: (1) All stages of the language are treated under the modern spelling, which is anachronistic. For example, Old Japanese apu, Classical Japanese afu, and Modern Japanese au are treated under the modern spelling 会う, but the spelling 会う did not exist during the time of Old Japanese, and before the sound changes concerning ɸ during the time of Early Middle Japanese. On the other hand, Unified Chinese works because Traditional Chinese is applicable to the modern dialects, Middle Chinese, and to an extent Old Chinese. (2) Students of Classical Japanese may benefit more from a Classical Japanese dictionary covering only Old Japanese, Early Middle Japanese and later elements incorporated into this classical written language, instead of a historical dictionary which cover all stages under the modern form in modern spelling. Compare the situation in Japan: Even if there is the popular 広辞苑, there are still many specialized 古語辞典. (3) In the first situation (e.g. 会う), the modern form and the classical form are unified both under the modern spelling; in the second situation (e.g. 変える), the modern form is lemmatized in modern spelling and the classical form (変ふ) is lemmatized in historical spelling. And if you conjugate both forms to for example the ren'yōkei, then the modern form (変え) and the classical form (変へ), then they would be again unified under the modern spelling. This is great inconsistency (although there will be soft-redirects when unified). This problem can be solved if we follow Japanese monolingual dictionaries and lemmatize wago under the modern kana spelling, even for classical forms:
い・ず いづ [1] 【出づ】 [1]
かど・う かどふ 【〈勾引〉ふ・拐ふ】 [2]
か・う かふ 【替ふ・換ふ・代ふ・変ふ】 [3]
Then everything will be in modern spelling, which is fairly close to modern pronunciation. --Dine2016 (talk) 10:09, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
I have a few concerns about this.
  • Pronunciations and conjugations
Thanks to the 1603 Vocabvlario da Lingoa de Iapam or Nippo Jisho, we have the Japanese of the time transcribed into the Portuguese spellings of the time, giving us a rough approximation of the sound values. These were sometimes substantially different from modern conventions. Consider the modern verb 買う (kau, to buy). The Nippo Jisho entry is here, right-hand-column, second entry down.
Modern 1603
終止形 / Terminal /kau/ /kɔː/
連用形 / Continuative, Stem /kai/
過去形 / Past Tense /katːa/ /kɔːta/
Or consider the modern verb 替える (kaeru, to exchange, to replace), seen here in the Nippo Jisho, right-hand column, second entry down.
Modern 1603
終止形 / Terminal /kaeru/ /kajuru/
連用形 / Continuative, Stem /kae/ /kaje/
過去形 / Past Tense /kaeta/ /kajeta/
Note here that the Terminal form (the so-called "dictionary" or lemma form) differs in 1603 from both the modern かえる (/kaeru/) and the ancient / pre-Ashikaga or Muromachi period かふ (ancient reading */kapu/, pre-1600s reading /kafu/, pre-modern reading /kɔː/, modern reading /kau/).
  • How far back to go
I think it's a mistake to include Old Japanese, for a few reasons. Linking through to the OJP entry is not a problem, but including OJP conjugations in the modern JA entry is too much detail -- we have the OJP language code, and we're already starting to build out our OJP content, so there's no good reason not to put the details in an OJP entry.
I also think it's a mistake to use man'yōgana spellings for OJP lemmata, such as the 安布 example above to spell canonical 会ふ (to meet, to encounter, ancient reading */apu/, pre-1600s reading /afu/, pre-modern reading /ɔː/, modern reading /au/). Man'yōgana spellings were wildly variable, sometimes changing even within a single poem. Also, so far as I know, there isn't any consensus view of what the "most common" man'yōgana spelling would be for a given word. Native Japanese sources generally list OJP terms under the modernized kanji and/or kana spellings. I think we should follow suit.
If we are to include Classical Japanese in our modern Japanese entries, we must explain somewhere prominently and clearly that this is Classical Japanese as found in XXX usage (replacing XXX with whatever time period we decide to target). For instance, if we include Classical Japanese as used today, that differs from the Classical Japanese recorded in the 1603 Nippo Jisho. That difference is (so far as I've studied to date) mainly in pronunciation, but it's an important distinction and we would need to point that out.
Nota bene: I'm not opposed to some key parts of this proposal, particularly 1) unifying pre-modern and modern terms as much as possible, and 2) using kana as the lemma spellings for wago (native-Japanese terms), given the structural constraints of the MediaWiki platform that make it impossible to replicate the functionality of native-Japanese electronic dictionaries (where a single entry may have multiple indexed spellings, any of which will get the user the desired entry). My points above are to argue that, should we unify, we need to be clear about scope (how much to unify, how far back to go), and about how we present the information to users (differences in pronunciation, conjugation, etc.). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:41, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for your replies.
Pronunciations and conjugations: Yes, you're right. The pronunciation section of 買う should be like this:
I have removed the ambiguous "Classical Japanese" and added specific stages like "Early Middle Japanese" (800-1200) and "Late Middle Japanese" (1200-1600). Similarly, the conjugation section should contain four tables, the table for Modern Japanese listing the terminal form as kau and the past form as katta, and the table for Late Middle Japanese listing the terminal form as /kɔː/ and the past form as /kɔːta/.
Strictly speaking, "Classical Japanese" refers to the classical written language and does not correspond to any particular stage. So Classical Japanese is used up until World War II, while Early Middle Japanese is used during 800 and 1200. And as you noted before, there is a modern pronunciation of Classical Japanese where 買ふ is pronounced , different from Early Middle Japanese where 買ふ was pronounced kafu, and different from Modern Japanese (the spoken language) where it's pronounced kau.
Similarly, the conjugation section of 替える should link to Early Middle Japanese 替ふ and Late Middle Japanese 替ゆ, the former being “Old Japanese and Early Middle Japanese shūshikei of  ()える (kaeru).”, and the latter being “Late Middle Japanese shūshikei of  ()える (kaeru).” cf. The 替ゆ entry in 精選版 日本国語大辞典
How far back to go: I don't think the presence of the OJP code is a problem. Even with Unified Chinese (zh), we still have code for the sublanguages like Middle Chinese (ltc), Old Chinese (och) and Mandarin (cmn), Cantonese (yue), etc. which can be used in templates like {{bor}}. So codes are no problem. As for where to build content, searching insource:/\|m_kana=/ reveals that we have Man'yōshū quotations under the ==Japanese== header of , , , etc. Given that we have Old Japanese content under both ==Japanese== and ==Old Japanese==, I suggest that we move the latter to the former, in order to show the historical continuity of senses and conjugations, and in line with large kokugo dictionaries like the KDJ.
Using kana as the lemma spellings for wago: Yes. If we go for Unified Japanese, then it's better to use the kana spelling instead of kanji-kana majiribun as the lemma spelling of wago. Because kanji and okurigana usage may change over time, the most common spelling today may not be the most common spelling used over history, but kana is consistent throughout. As for using modern kana orthography (e.g. lemmatizing Modern Japanese 替える at かえる, Late Middle Japanese 替ゆ at かゆ, but Early Middle Japanese and Old Japanese 替ふ at かう), that's for consistency (for example, the etymological relationship between 買う and 替ふ is clear if both are lemmatized at かう). --Dine2016 (talk) 07:30, 10 July 2019 (UTC)
I fear that I do not know enough about historical stages of Japanese to have a strong opinion on the matter at the moment. —Suzukaze-c 09:47, 10 July 2019 (UTC)

@Dine2016: "And as you noted before, there is a modern pronunciation of Classical Japanese where 買ふ is pronounced kō, different from Early Middle Japanese where 買ふ was pronounced kafu, and different from Modern Japanese (the spoken language) where it's pronounced kau"

What is that modern pronunciation called? Neoclassical? --Backinstadiums (talk) 13:24, 10 July 2019 (UTC)

I don't think it has a name, though it is taught in many Classical Japanese textbooks published in Japan. --Dine2016 (talk) 05:05, 11 July 2019 (UTC)

@Dine2016: According to Prof. Victor Mair,

From my colleague Linda Chance, who is a specialist on Classical Chinese, the technical term for this is ハ行転呼音・はぎょうてんこおん.

It refers to the fact that from sometime in the Heian period the "ha" line changed to the same pronunciation as the "wa" line, but the "ha" line spellings continued in use. (Interesting examples--if you write these in modern Japanese with 'u' for 'fu,' 惟うに is still pronounced omō ni, but 失う becomes "ushinau" (except in some dialects.) This "modern pronunciation" is potentially centuries old. We read classical texts this way because we can't retrieve that original early Heian pronunciation. --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:19, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

@Backinstadiums: Thank you for your research, but ハ行転呼音 only accounts for the change of "ふ → う". For example, 今日 is originally pronounced けふ (as shown by the historical spelling) so by ハ行転呼音 it becomes けう, but it's now pronounced きょう, which means that there is another sound change which changed けう into きょう. In fact, if you compare historical spelling and modern spellings, you'll find that after ハ行転呼音 changes ふ into う, this う fused with the preceding vowel to make a long sound:
Historical spelling After ハ行転呼音 Modern spelling
あう あう おう
いう いう ゆう いふ
えう えう よう
おう (ou) おう (ou) おう (ō)
おふ (ofu)
I suspect the sound change that turns the second column into the third column is called “/Vu/ monophthongization”.
For Modern Japanese verbs ending with the vowel combination あう or おう, the う is treated as a separate element from the verb stem. For example, 思う is pronounced omo-u instead of omō, and 会ふ stopped at あう and instead of evolving into おう. The "Neoclassical" pronunciation may be just a hypercorrection, an over-application of “/Vu/ monophthongization” to classical verbs ending with (あ)ふ or (お)ふ. Another possibility is that the "Neoclassical" pronunciation is a descendant of Late Middle Japanese. As Eirikr noted above, 買う was pronounced in 1603 as /kɔː/, so in Late Middle Japanese the verb-final う was not treated as a separate element from the verb stem. The Neoclassical pronunciation may simply have followed that. --Dine2016 (talk) 16:02, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
@Dine2016: According to David Lurie:
The technical term for these changes is tenko-on 転呼音, but they are not applied consistently in words where the first mora ends in 'a.' I don't know if there is a specific term for those exceptions. --Backinstadiums (talk) 23:07, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

@Wyang What do you think of the proposal above? I really hope someone with a bot can carry out changes to the Japanese entry layout, for example moving the reading to the pronunciation section. --Dine2016 (talk) 06:23, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

As before, I don't think wago should be lemmatised on kanji-containing forms for modern Japanese. But I'm not informed enough about Old/Classical/Middle Japanese to know whether this proposal is the most appropriate solution. I really encourage you to create a bot and test it out; it is not complicated. Wyang (talk) 08:43, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

Pali transliteration of Nikkahita and velar nasalEdit

This relates to the transliteration of non-Roman text to the Roman script.

The issue is that the choice in writing between a nigghita and the velar nasal ('nga') is not always the same way as it is when writing unlocalised Pali in the Roman script. I would like confirmation that I am applying the correct principle.

My principle is that where the writing system uses distinct symbols for the two, the transliteration should reflect which character was used.

The Burmese and Tai Tham scripts have a special form of nga that sits above the normal layer of base characters. It is called 'kinzi' for the Burmese script, and 'mai kang lai' for the Tai Tham script. I am not distinguishing between them on one hand and ordinary nga on the other in transliteration. A complication is that some writing styles use mai kang lai where the usual Roman spelling would write a niggahita (ṃ) before non-plosives. -- RichardW57 (talk) 00:36, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

Standard German IPAEdit

I'm finding that there's a lot of variation in the IPA transcriptions for german words and some standard should be settled on so that it's consistent across entries. This is mainly for the case of syllable-final r's, should they be transcribed as /ɐ/~/ɐ̯/ or as /ʁ/? Both can be seen. Either, I think, the most widespread vocalic pronunciation /ɐ/ should be used in all these cases or the more phonemic /ʁ/ should be used as a more unifying transcription allowing it to represent both those dialects which do not reduce it to a vowel in this position and those that do, for the latter just applying the allophonic pronunciation (which could be included alongside in square brackets if desired).

My feeling is maybe to go with the latter but I think it should be discussed. It is sort of like how for french entries one pronunciation is usually listed unless there is an unpredictable regional pronunciation in Canada or Belgium or Louisiana etc., the point is that the other accents' pronunciation are predictable given the base transcription.

I also sometimes see /ʀ/ being used both syllable-initially and -finally, I would say that only /ʁ/ should be used though as the trilled is a regional variant.

Finally, one last option is suppose would be to treat German more like English and list two or more pronunciations qualified by region (northern and southern? northen and Austro-bavarian?) I feel like this could be over-the-top though. Please let me know your thoughts and let's decide on some sort of standard so there can be consistency! 2WR1 (talk) 06:20, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

A small prior discussion of this is at Wiktionary talk:About German/Archive_1#R, where one standard was proposed. Probably 'non-standard' transcriptions will continue to be entered, no matter what we choose, by people who either learned different standards or are basing their additions on (/copying from) works using different standards (de.Wikt vs the Duden, etc). - -sche (discuss) 02:59, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
I have a feeling that some of the inconsistency is due to a policy change at de.wikt which wasn't applied here (/ʁ/ instead of /ʀ/), so a lot of the /ʀ/ we have in our IPA were probably copied from before the policy change. We could just run a bot to apply the same changes here. Jberkel 21:41, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
@-sche @Jberkel There have been standards established for things like English and French (i.e. /aɪ/ instead of /aj/ etc., /ɹ/ instead of /r/) and those are followed pretty well. i think something should just be decided on so there is a standard adn if people don't always follow it precisely, it can be fixed up easily. Maybe a module like the fr-pron one should be made, in that case a standard would be really needed. I think there's arguments in different directions but maybe it should be discussed and decided, it feels a bit sloppy to have it be inconsistent. It would be a good idea as a start at least to remove all instances of /ʀ/ though. 2WR1 (talk) 02:02, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
@-sche @Jberkel @2WR1 I don't like having /ɐ̯/ in the phonemic representation for final-R (e.g. mehr is given as /meːɐ̯/). Whatever is used as initial-R should be the same as final-R. But the initial-Rs are also inconsistent across entries: currently Reh has /ʀeː/, Rache has /ˈraxə/ and Rahm has /ʁaːm/. / (talk) 18:15, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
@Mofvanes Exactly my point with the variability with the initial r, I think it's something that should be standardised and discussed, but unfortunately it seems that not many others are too interested in this, haha. In regards to the final r, I see what your saying, but as the actual pronunciation in many dialects is to vocalise the final r, I think that should be represented to avoid confusion. Maybe for this a /.../ transcription followed by a [...] transcription with the vowel would be best. But I don't think anything can be established/implemented if no more people weigh in... Thanks for your response though! 2WR1 (talk) 01:25, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

Visibly Untrue Pali EtymologiesEdit

A lot of Pali etymologies contain "From {{inh|pi|sa|...}}". The problem with this text is that the template (plus modules) does not expand "sa" to "Proto-Indian Indo-Aryan", but expands this to a hyperlink to "Sanskrit", which defines "Sanskrit" with the normal meanings of the term. These words are not inherited from Sanskrit in the normal sense of the word 'Sanskrit'.

How should we fix it so that what is presented to the reader is not a lie? I'm charitably assuming that anything parsing the links should understand that 'sa' as the source parameter of {{inh}} refers to a reconstructed language.

The best I've come up with is to use "Cognate with {{inh|pi|sa|...}}" instead. -- RichardW57 (talk) 07:24, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

Can you type a qualifier in front? From (reconstructed / Proto / ?) {{inh|pi|sa|...}}. Or should we create a new etymology-only code for this? DTLHS (talk) 16:11, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps that is the answer, e.g. "From Pre-Sanskrit याति (yāti), from Proto-Indo-European *yeh₂-" currently at yāti#Pali. Another possibility would to prefix something like "From recent ancestor of ". Presumably there was a good reason for not wanting to have an explicit intermediate stage between Sanskrit and Proto-Indo-Aryan. As Wiktionary makes it difficult for European dilettanti to look up Sanskrit words, I have been wondering if I should add a template for this case in which the editor only has to enter the IAST transliteration. There's also the case where the common ancestor is clearly different to Sanskrit.
For old enough words, should we also trace the ancestry back to PIE in the Pali entry, or expect the interested user to click on to the Sanskrit entry? —This unsigned comment was added by RichardW57 (talkcontribs) at 03:24, 9 July 2019.
It’s a longstanding convention, which implicates the grammarians’ conversion schemas (which themselves have somewhat stylized Pali and the other “high” Prakrits beyond the actual MIA vernaculars) and generally makes life simpler, except when forms that cannot be synchronically derived pop up, which is not uncommon. Sanskrit indiscriminately collapsing thorn clusters into >ks is one of the most irritating. Hölderlin2019 (talk) 18:22, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
You can find, many, many discussions on this, like this one here. Right now, we treat Sanskrit as a dialect continuum. --{{victar|talk}} 18:18, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

Russian consonant voicing assimilationEdit

Many Russian entries, especially those of words with long consonant clusters, don't seem to have the consonants assimilated to their actual pronunciation. For example, currently the pronunciation for исправлять is [ɪsprɐˈvlʲætʲ] instead of [ɪzbrɐˈvlʲætʲ]. Note that at the same time the vowels are phonetic not phonemic. Adding to the confusion, voicing assimilation sometimes is reflected in the IPA, for example совсем [sɐfˈsʲem], and нож [noʂ].

The pronunciations given are all correct, as spoken. Better go listen to more Russian. Fay Freak (talk) 00:20, 11 July 2019 (UTC)

Priority of terms already used in definitionsEdit

For example, at second hand is used in the definition of apud, or on-topic in germane's, therefore adding such terms is especially pressing --Backinstadiums (talk) 17:46, 11 July 2019 (UTC)

If they are entryworthy.
  1. on-topic at OneLook Dictionary Search suggests that most dictionaries find that it has no meaning apart from on + topic, using a standard technique (a hyphen insertion) to prevent alternative readings (ie, a prepositional phrase).
  2. Looking up second hand should fully address any dictionary user's uncertainty about the meaning of at second hand. Unfortunately we don't seem to have an entry as good as MWOnline (4 definitions) for it.
DCDuring (talk) 19:23, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
@DCDuring: thanks for replying. In any case, they're to be dealt with before the rest as they're already being used in entries, even more so if just to complicate matters --Backinstadiums (talk) 19:57, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
I think you did not understand the reply. Consider the phrase “at room temperature”, used in the definition of water. We have no entry for this phrase, for a very good reason: we do have entries for at and for room temperature. For the rest it is a matter of X + Y = Z.  --Lambiam 10:58, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
There is another way to deal with them, which is to either amend where the red link is pointing (point all of "at second hand" to "second hand") or modify the bracketing ("[[at second hand]]" to "at [[second hand]]"). Cleaning up a red link is not always creating an entry, if the entry should never exist then the link should point to an entry or entries which should exist or do exist. - TheDaveRoss 12:29, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam, TheDaveRoss: Correct me if I am wrong, but the preposition at governs the noun secondhand, whose entry does not show any nominal meaning. Regarding second hand, the only noun meaning reads: On a clock or watch, the hand or pointer that... which is not the meaning inteded for at second hand. Then how is it that X + Y = Z? --Backinstadiums (talk) 13:28, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
Correct. To repeat myself: "Unfortunately we don't seem to have an entry as good as MWOnline (4 definitions) for [ second hand ]." DCDuring (talk) 15:01, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
  • I have created an entry for at second hand because I could not make at work with synonyms for the noun second hand. I would welcome better wording at the second definition of the noun [[second hand]] that overcame this problem. DCDuring (talk) 20:43, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

Use of the heading "Synonyms" on the pages of unbound morphemes.Edit

By happenstance, I have recently noted that the heading "Synonyms" is often included on the pages of unbound suffixes, and want to take this opportunity to highlight what I believe to be the impropriety thereof. The term "synonym" only applies to lexemes; only a lexeme may be synonymous with another lexeme. I understand an unbound suffix, however, to be a morpheme, rather than a lexeme, and a morpheme cannot represent a synonym. I am of the thought, then, that the term "analogue" is a better one for describing two morphemes such as two suffixes, which are near in meaning or effect, and that the heading "Analogues" is preferable to "Synonyms" on the pages of unbound morphemes. I would like to begin a discussion here, to test whether there can be any consensus regarding the use of "Analogues" as opposed to "Synonyms" on such pages as a matter of policy. I am not a Wiktionarian (yet), meaning that I have no Wiktionary account. My name is Michael, and I look forward to reading the thoughts of all you Wiktionarians about this. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 18:46, 11 July 2019 (UTC).

We have the header "Coordinate terms", if that's what you mean. DTLHS (talk) 18:51, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
  • I suspect that the strict formal limitation of synonym to apply only to fully independent lexemes is not well known by most English-language readers, our target audience. It's certainly not a restriction of usage that I'm acquainted with, as an educated native speaker of English. Conversely, I think that most English-language readers are familiar with the sense of synonym as in "these things have roughly the same meaning". I also think that few readers will understand what is meant by an "Analogues" header.
As such, I cannot support the suggested change: it will likely confuse users. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:53, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
Many affixes have meaning and are lexemes. As I understand it, inflectional affixes are not lexemes. IOW, I don't think morphemes and lexemes are disjoint categories, as the complaint above seems to imply. DCDuring (talk) 20:43, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
-er is synonymous with more, yet one is an inflectional affix and the other is an independent word. —Rua (mew) 21:29, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
To confirm, what I hear you @ saying is that synonym can only apply to independent words, whereas @DCDuring, Rua, you seem to be saying that synonym can and should apply to affixes as well as independent words. Is this a correct restatement? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:42, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
Yes. I should have said I agree with your user-oriented arguments, which are more important than the definitional matters, about which I could be wrong, eg, about -er. I don't view comparative, superlative, diminutive, and natural gender affixes as on all fours with case, grammatical gender, number, tense, mood, and aspect inflectional affixes, but I am not speaking from a position of multilingual learning. DCDuring (talk) 01:21, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
The meaning of lexeme may seem clear when considering a single language, but viewed across the spectrum of human language it becomes fuzzy. In Turkish, basically the same entity can be a stand-alone word one instant but turn effortlessly into a suffix the next one (e.g., ile-le). To me, a “name” is any term of some language to which we can assign some meaning, and a synonym is then, to me, any other name in that language with the same or very similar meaning. From this point of view that name will smell as sweet, whether it is a single word, a phrase, or a morpheme.  --Lambiam 10:48, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
DCDuring is correct in noting that morphemes and lexemes are not disjoint as categories. Morphemes, however, fall into two general types: those which may stand alone and so are called "roots", and those which depend upon combination with another morpheme to express an idea, then called "affixes". "Roots" may indeed join with lexemes in being referred to as synonyms, but I think that affixes may not, since they serve only a grammatical function. Of course, the suffixes which are the instant topic of conversation represent the second type. Even so, the argument that general user accessibility is more important than a strict adherence to definition, especially within a generalized resource such as Wiktionary, has great validity, and so probably ends the debate. I was simply unsure of whether the use of the header term had been considered in such instances, and was not at all thinking like a lexicographer. Thanks, guys.

Wikidata feedbackEdit

Dear Wiktionary community, you are the only community that I am aware who asked for enabling Wikidata access on this Wiktionary. I am currently preparing a presentation that I will give at the next Wikiconvention francophone that will be held in Brussels at the beginning of September. I want to talk about the relationship between Wiktionary and Wikidata. I have the feeling that it started in a bad way, at least from the French point of view.

So I would like to have your feeling about Wikidata in general and more specifically about your experience with Wikidata. How did you use Wikidata on the English Wiktionary so far and how you would like to use Wikidata, if you want to, here in the future. If some of you contribute on the lexicographic data on Wikidata, I would also be interested in your feedbacks.

Thanks in advance. I am eager to read you :D Pamputt (talk) 22:07, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

My only concrete experience was that it enabled a large number of images to be added to taxonomic name entries, without captions; sometimes in simple error; and almost always not in accord with the notion of trying to select images of type species for entries for genera. The Wikidata project box is displayed much too prominently in view of the limited value of Wikidata to ordinary dictionary users. DCDuring (talk) 03:06, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
@DCDuring thank you for your comment. Could you give a link to a page where this Wikidata project box is used? Pamputt (talk) 07:19, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
See Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:wikidata. DCDuring (talk) 12:48, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
Also Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Wikidata entity link.
I suppose that if the reward from following the links were sufficient, we would redesign the templates. I would prefer {{Wikidata entity link}} for my purposes. DCDuring (talk) 12:55, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
One of the more frequent uses of Wikidata in entries: The data tables for most languages (7764 out of 8069 as I write this) and language families include the Wikidata item. This in turn is used by the Language:getWikipediaArticle() function in Module:languages, the EtymologyLanguage:getWikipediaArticle() function in Module:etymology languages, and the Family:getWikipediaArticle() function in Module:families to retrieve the name of the Wikipedia article, so that etymology templates such as {{derived}} can display linked language or language family names. — Eru·tuon 05:15, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

Not tested here, but a possibility is to obtain taxonomic hypernyms, see w:ca:User:Vriullop/proves/Balaena mysticetus. --Vriullop (talk) 09:06, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

How does Wikidata handle conflicts between sources, eg, Paleontology Database vs. NCBI or APG vs Ruggiero et al? DCDuring (talk) 15:58, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Hāʾ-like letters in the Kurdish languagesEdit

In the Kurdish languages on Wiktionary (ckb [Central Kurdish], kmr [Northern Kurdish], ku [Kurdish], lki [Laki], sdh [Southern Kurdish]), the letters that resemble Arabic ه‎ (hāʾ) need some standardization, because they are not used according to the recommendations in the Wikipedia section on the Sorani alphabet. See a census of the frequency of the letters in various link templates below.

The Wikipedia section indicates that the letter ە (U+06D5 ARABIC LETTER AE) is preferred as a vowel and ھ (U+06BE ARABIC LETTER HEH DOACHASHMEE) as a consonant. These two are visually distinct in all positions, whereas ه (U+0647 ARABIC LETTER HEH) resembles ە (U+06D5 ARABIC LETTER AE) in isolated or final position. This practice seems to be followed on the Southern Kurdish Central Kurdish Wikipedia.

On Wiktionary, ه (U+0647 ARABIC LETTER HEH) is often used on Wiktionary for both the consonant h and the vowel e. As a vowel, it is usually followed by U+200C (ZERO WIDTH NON-JOINER, ZWNJ), which forces the joining behavior of the correct vowel character ە (U+06D5 ARABIC LETTER AE), which is right-joining (that is, it joins to the preceding letter if possible, but not to the following letter). The transliteration modules assume that all cases not followed by ZWNJ are the consonant.

ckb (Central Kurdish) 344 283 76 1002
kmr (Northern Kurdish) 0 0 0 0
ku (Kurdish) 2397 2100 2 117
lki (Laki) 3 0 10 76
sdh (Southern Kurdish) 42 35 25 201

On Wikipedia, the three Kurdish transliteration modules Module:ckb-translit, Module:lki-translit, and Module:sdh-translit include ە (U+06D5 ARABIC LETTER AE) as a vowel in their tables, but ه (U+0647 ARABIC LETTER HEH) as a consonant. They also treat the sequence of ه (U+0647 ARABIC LETTER HEH) and U+200C (ZERO WIDTH NON-JOINER, ZWNJ) as equivalent to ە (U+06D5 ARABIC LETTER AE).

I propose replacing the sequence of ه (U+0647 ARABIC LETTER HEH) and U+200C (ZERO WIDTH NON-JOINER, ZWNJ) with ە (U+06D5 ARABIC LETTER AE), and ه (U+0647 ARABIC LETTER HEH) on its own with ھ (U+06BE ARABIC LETTER HEH DOACHASHMEE) in all Kurdish text on Wiktionary. The first change could be done immediately, but the latter would require modifying the transliteration modules to recognize ھ (U+06BE ARABIC LETTER HEH DOACHASHMEE). It would be easiest to make these changes by bot, because there are a lot of entries to edit. (User:Erutuon/bad ZWNJ contains some of them.)

What do other editors think about the proposed edits, particularly those who work on Kurdish? — Eru·tuon 21:30, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

You write This practice seems to be followed on the Southern Kurdish Wikipedia, linking “ckb”, while the Southern Kurdish Wikipedia is seemingly in the incubator. Fay Freak (talk) 21:59, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
@Fay Freak: Whoops, corrected. Thanks for pointing that out. — Eru·tuon 22:12, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
@Calak Fay Freak (talk) 21:59, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

Further etymologies of borrowed termsEdit

@Julia has repeatedly removed most of the etymology section from Riosi, saying "the long ety is redundant esp because it's a borrowed term". Is it an actual policy not to include the ultimate origin of borrowed terms? Does this only apply to non-English languages, since most English entries do have this? --Lvovmauro (talk) 05:57, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

The long etymology should be there for etymological categorizations. Theoretically each entry is independent from other language entries of the same spelling, and nothing is “redundant”. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 10:55, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
I agree with keeping the long etymology. I wonder, will we be able to use cross-page fetching in the future to avoid so much typing, inconsistencies, and gaps? It would be nice in the case of, for example, the etymology of an English term borrowed from French, derived from Middle French then Old French then Latin then Greek. Ultimateria (talk) 22:44, 16 July 2019 (UTC)
Yes and no. There might be an interest to include the full etymology but the only real reason I see is the categorization “terms derived from X”, since one can just click once to see more. But a common-sense approach is not to let define your whole formatting by that. The categorizations will not lead me into adding a lot of material that I deem otherwise to belong to an other entry. It’s not too thrilling to derive an Arabic term from a Proto-Indo-European root and the statistics are skewed anyway. All is a click away and it’s normal to refer people to other loci instead of repeating oneself, in anything written whether book or website. One makes it otherwise if the term in question is not created yet; I sometimes keep a lot of information that belongs more closely to a certain language at another language because only this language I create, the other language I do not work in: the material is to be moved when someone creates the entry. And there is even less reason to add a random selection of cognates or “somehow related terms” if the ancestors are already created. Note that the etymology chains are not everywhere easy and secure though it seems to be so in Riosi: There are often assumptions in etymologies that can later change. What if the ancestral word for X will be reconstructed a wee bit differently after some time, what if one adds additional data? Update the many terms that derive some word from Spanish? Or what is if something is just mistyped? We have the typos copied X times then but the person who corrects it might not realize that the content is copied to X other places. Also, every template invocation takes RAM and makes the page fetching slower.
Do not derive rules from how you observe the entries to be. The English entries are more wrong than the other entries because they have been created earlier, and they contain for the reason I just stated – foreign language work, not to speak reconstructon work, to a great part started only after English was complete – a lot of material that since has got a better place. Think rather about durability of the work, maintainability. Stating a full chain is not really a requirement for anything because the statement of where the Spanish derives from is already there, the chain is there cross-page. Fay Freak (talk) 00:19, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
+1 to "a common-sense approach is not to let define your whole formatting by that [categorization]". It's a real shortcoming out our current system that people feel compelled to engage in such massive duplication, with all its potential for things falling out of sync and becoming contradictory, just for categorization - the tail wagging the dog, to use a phrase DCDuring sometimes uses. - -sche (discuss) 22:30, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
I've always been in support of removing redundant deep etymologies and moving to a better technical solution, like {{Module:term etymology}}. --{{victar|talk}} 23:00, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Korean classifiers / counters / measure words in noun entries?Edit

I'm back in Korea after seven years so I'm brushing up a bit on my Korean, and using Wiktionary of course.

I've noticed that we don't seem to list the classifier(s) for nouns in Korean entries like we do for other East- and Southeast Asian languages.

Do we lack a mechanism? If we have it, can you show me some noun entries which use it? If we do lack it can we add it?

Also I'm interested in a way to request the classifiers for particular nouns. I'm assuming I can use the {{attention}} template if need be. — hippietrail (talk) 13:23, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

So I've found that Module:ko-headword supports a "counter" parameter which adds a counter to a noun headword.
There aren't many Korean counters that have entries though and the couple I found seem to use different formatting. One uses {{ko-noun}} and another uses {{head}}. The module doesn't support a "counter" POS. I can't find any per-counter categories like there are for other languages. — hippietrail (talk) 12:09, 17 July 2019 (UTC)


Wikidata has structured data related to:


Greetings. I'm interested to know what the community thinks of this template, particularly the usage of this template for Han character entries under the "Further reading" header. KevinUp (talk) 13:30, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

It looks like an advertisement for a barcoded product of some kind. Something more like {{pedialite}} should be made available. DCDuring (talk) 16:22, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
(Q3595028) is just for inline(?) use or embedding in, eg, tables, not for display under "References" or "Further reading", as {{comcatlite}}, {{specieslite}}, and {{pedia}} are. DCDuring (talk) 16:29, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
Something analogous to {{projectlink|quote}} and {{projectlink|source}}. {{projectlink|data}}?  --Lambiam 21:28, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Accent in initialismsEdit

I've just come across SUV and noticed no accent(s) is indicated. --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:45, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

I’ve added them and also removed the long sign on the /u/, as I think this vowel is not pronounced extra long in normal speech.  --Lambiam 19:32, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: The length mark doesn't mean the vowel is especially long; it's just part of the conventional symbol for that phoneme in Received Pronunciation (see Appendix:English pronunciation). — Eru·tuon 22:42, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Non-existent translation hubsEdit

In Mesoamerican cultures, the comal is traditionally elevated above the fire by three stones, and each Mesoamerican language has a word for these stones. The problem is, there is no English term for it. (Our entry for the Spanish term tenamaste glosses it as "hearthstone" which is not correct.) If this was the Spanish wiktionary, we could just put these translations under tenamaste, but because this is the English wiktionary we need to find a common English expression for it, and if there isn't one, then.. what? We just can't share this information?

--Lvovmauro (talk) 09:11, 19 July 2019 (UTC)

Guess people make up an English term then. Like yes-no. (A bad title, no page views. It was in a template before placed at each language like at هَل(hal)). Fay Freak (talk) 10:21, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
Comal riser?  --Lambiam 12:38, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
Not bad. We also need something for سُلَاف(sulāf), where I collected some terms because I found no English – for wine jargon we miss terms. I searched and searched and found all kinds of words from Germany eastwards but no English one, unless you consider Ausbruch or aszú an English word, which is a notion odd to me; such terms seemingly only refer to the wines of the specific regions anyhow, not to the genus. Greek-English and Latin-English dictionaries only explaining the terms but not giving equivalents is a strong indication that there is no English term at least for England’s greatest times. Fay Freak (talk) 17:40, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
Ausbruch and aszú are botrytized wines. Does that also hold for سُلَاف?  --Lambiam 10:18, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
The term Ausbruch for wine is older than botrytization of wines, as also most of the other German terms I gave, you cannot even attest the terms “noble rot” and “Edelfäule” before 1830. In EU times some people managed to narrow down the meaning by legal means, so it has on Wikipedia a crippled definition useless for dictionary purposes about “a certain wine from Austria according to the Austrian wine statute”. You see the quote I gave is … pre-Islamic. Fay Freak (talk) 20:56, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
Well, "Ausbruch" has the advantage of being used in English of wines from several countries (Austria, Germany and Hungary at the least, but I suspect there are American producers), whereas e.g. sulaf is not used in English at all of anything and is barely even mentioned as an Arabic word... even if Ausbruch#English is not a perfect fit, it might be the best available English entry, unless e.g. the Latin word is also attested in English. Of course, if it's not a good fit, something like "(sweet) wine from unpressed grapes" seems like a fairly concise, good name for a translation hub. - -sche (discuss) 03:29, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
I'd say the word is "tenamaste". It's marginal in English; google books:tenamaste stones shows a few hits, but people are going to argue about italics. But I'm pretty sure with enough searches you could get the clear 3 cites needed for English.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:21, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I was also going to say, my first reaction would be to try to cite tenamaste or a major indigenous language's term in English; I'll try that in a second. Btw, if the definition of Spanish tenamaste needs to be fixed, let's remember to do that, too. I have seen a couple foreign-language entries collect other languages' words in their "see also" sections for lack of somewhere else, but this does seem a bit substandard; at this point, with translation hubs on firmer footing around here, we should probably try to find such entries and see about making translation-hubs. - -sche (discuss) 00:49, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
So far I've found two citations that don't italicize the word and one which probably doesn't (because it seems to have been written on a typewriter...) but where the snippet Google shows doesn't include enough of the page to reach the word. I've created an English entry and added Lvovmauro's translations. The alcoholic terms mentioned by Fay still need to be sorted out. - -sche (discuss) 01:22, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Btw, a language mentioned here apparently uses yoxec, but I can't see enough of the snippet to tell which language. - -sche (discuss) 01:12, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Jacaltec. The full text is here: [4] --Lvovmauro (talk) 04:09, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Another, possibly less circuitous solution would be to allow translation sections in other languages for terms with no English equivalents. We could just choose a reasonable language-term as the host page and either transclude that page's translation section or point to it so that we avoid syncing issues and folks can still find the information. We are allowed to break our own rules if they prevent us from presenting useful information. - TheDaveRoss 12:45, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
I don't disagree with your last point, but now that WT:THUBs are on firmer footing, I think we should be able to just use them as the preferred approach. Short English "names" for both things mentioned above proved easy enough to come up with. - -sche (discuss) 17:40, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
It does confuse things when we have English sections on pages for things which are not English words. Also very few people will ever land on the page unless they search one of the translation words, so we are just adding an extra step without adding any real benefit to the user. - TheDaveRoss 18:09, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Anishinaabe: This page also needs to be addressed. DTLHS (talk) 04:40, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
Pretty sure it's attestable in English, so the translations should be moved to the English entry. This is the name that was used for them (in English) when I was in school. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 05:05, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
Yeah. Given that someone added a translation into Ojibwe ... to the ==Ojibwe== entry's ====Translations==== ... I'm going to guess whoever added the table didn't even notice that it wasn't an ==English== section. - -sche (discuss) 22:23, 27 July 2019 (UTC)


The new official name of the Oriya language is Odia. Is there a way we can change the language name in the Translations section? —This unsigned comment was added by Rajkiandris (talkcontribs) at 05:01, 20 July 2019 (UTC).

Using this search: "Oriya insource:/Oriya\:\ /" I identified only 857 entries to be changed. At a rate of one entry every 15 seconds, it would only take a bit more than 4 hours to change the name manually. DCDuring (talk) 03:41, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
We're a descriptive dictionary: actual usage carries much more weight than any official pronouncement. There are a number of languages where the name we use doesn't match the official one. Changing the name in the translation sections is only part of the picture. It would have to be changed in the language data modules, the categories, and the language headers in the entries. It can be done, but it has to be decided for the whole site by the community. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:27, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
I have also thought about this for some time. If we really want to change Oriya to Odia, a bot could finish it in no time. I used to do some languages before. --Octahedron80 (talk) 09:35, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

Are supersenses normal senses?Edit

Let's call it a "supersense" when there is a top-level sense that contains other senses beneath it. For example, space has a supersense that says "(heading) A bounded or specific extent, physical or otherwise" (lol it actually says heading... that's an unrelated problem), and then there are several individual senses underneath, which are subsenses belonging to that general sense.

Are supersenses normal senses? Can they, should they, have synonyms, usage examples, citations, etc.? Equinox 03:08, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

In short, not always. Some of our "supersenses", eg, at least some of those marked "heading" are not definitions; they are labels to group related definitions. Looking at our competitors, MWOnline often has definitions labeled a, b, etc under a number, but there is no separate definition that corresponds to the number. Unfortunately, we don't seem to be able to do that with subsenses using "#" an "##". I assume that we need to use "#" to mark definition lines to do things like analyze our defining vocabulary. But seriously, there may be some dump-processing code that needs to distinguish definitions from other content, so we are stuck with "#" and "##" and the consequent behavior. DCDuring (talk) 03:32, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
There's nothing in WT:ELE that says definition lines and only definition lines have to start with "#". Extracting definitions from entries automatically is super LOL given that you would think it would be our most important content. DTLHS (talk) 15:58, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
How much other principal namespace content appears on lines that begin with "#"? I wonder how those who copy Wiktionary content extract our definitions. DCDuring (talk) 18:14, 22 July 2019 (UTC)

Bizzare pharmacy board warningEdit

Bing flags English Wiktionary pages as being dangerous based on (look under "e" for "") I have no idea how we/you ended up on there or what the communitie wants do to do about it. 10:49, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

How did you find this? Did you get a warning going to a specific page? DCDuring (talk) 11:09, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
Since they seem to have an appeal process, I doubt there is little the community can do; the WMF is the only party able to properly "represent" the site. — surjection?〉 12:48, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
I sent a brief e-mail. I wonder whether we had some spammy external links to sites that offer drugs that disapproves of. DCDuring (talk) 14:55, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
This list was probably not generated by a human. DTLHS (talk) 16:10, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
All this from a website whose name ( (bìng)) means "disease" in Chinese... ;p Chuck Entz (talk) 16:27, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
Looking up sesquipedalian using Bing I get this for Wiktionary: “Warning. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) includes this site on its Not Recommended list. We recommend you learn more and verify your pharmacy before making online health purchases. The FDA has more information at BeSafeRx — Know Your Online Pharmacy.” All I can say is that I wouldn’t recommend anyone to buy their sesquipedalian from Wiktionary either.  --Lambiam 19:39, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
After all, we offer "elixirs", "nostrums", "panaceas", "patent medicines", "quackery" and "snake oil". My guess is that they search websites not in their whitelist for keywords associated with pharmacy websites. "all words in all languages" of course also means "all keywords in all languages". Wikipedia would be an obvious choice for their whitelist, but they probably have never heard of us. Skimming through their list, I see a few other ringers: a university in Oklahoma, a preschool in Virginia, and a website with Linux software. Their website's user interface design doesn't exactly inspire confidence in their tech smarts... Chuck Entz (talk) 03:57, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
Does this need to be kicked upstairs to WMF or one of the other pages? Purplebackpack89 15:16, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
And to Microsoft, too. DCDuring (talk) 15:56, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
If someone knows a journalist who might be interested in publishing bizarre items... Negative publicity tends to work faster than complaining.  --Lambiam 20:35, 22 July 2019 (UTC)
  • This time mere notification worked:

"Good Afternoon Mr. During,

Your email has been forwarded to us for response. We have removed from our list of Not Recommended websites and have notified Bing of the removal.

Thank you for your inquiry.

Internet Drug Outlet Identification program staff National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) 1600 Feehanville Drive Mount Prospect, IL 60056

It is removed from that list, but Microsoft hasn't updated Bing yet. I searched for absquatulate and the warning was still there. I like User:Lambiam idea of a reporter pillorying them for their incompetent quality control. You'd think pharmacists would appreciate the need for that. 02:23, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

A Very Clever ButterflyEdit

Clouded Yellow

While trying to troubleshoot some unpleasantness with date formatting in quote modules, I followed one of the links, and found this absolute gem of a dangling participle:

  • "We have taken another Colias Edusa and it was also captured with a straw hat while out partridge shooting."

For background, it helps to know that Colias edusa (now Colias croceus) is a pretty little butterfly known in England as the clouded yellow. It's migratory, so it would be a prized find for the sort of amateur insect-collectors that wrote to this publication back in 1949.

Many insects are known for blending in to their surroundings, but this is the first time I've heard of one adopting the local attire and the local pastime in order to avoid notice... Chuck Entz (talk) 08:07, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

And not just one! There was apparently another one that also allowed itself to be captured thusly.  --Lambiam 21:16, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
😂 - -sche (discuss) 17:45, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
Strange, I would have thought this gave them more chance of being Eton... Equinox 17:49, 26 July 2019 (UTC)
  • The lexicographer in me ignores the humour and suggests we should add an entry for wing vein. --Gibraltar Rocks (talk) 21:58, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
    • Your inner lexicographer needs to read the fourth noun definition at vein, which already covers that. I realize, of course, that it's already busy with Spanish newspapers and McNulty columns, but perhaps it could pencil it in (along with CFI) for sometime in the next century or two... ;P Chuck Entz (talk) 23:56, 27 July 2019 (UTC)

African country namesEdit

Many African nations have been known by the same name under two or more different regimes (for example, in the pattern precolonial, colonial, communist, and ex-communist). Currently many entries end in “official name: Republic of [City/People/Place]istan.” But this inaccurately restricts the definiendum to a contemporary (2019) constitutional regime. I see three options:

  1. remove the “official name” part of the definition
  2. add senses that refer to specific historical and contemporary regimes
  3. add subsenses that refer to these under the main sense “country in [a part of] Africa”

I chose option (3) in edits to Algeria Angola Botswana and Benin; I'm happy to change these to accord with consensus. —Piparsveinn (talk) 07:09, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

August 2019

Words that are both borrowings and compoundsEdit

In Oto-Manguean languages (among others), many nouns have a generic prefix indicating what type of thing they are. These prefixes are also added to loanwords, which poses a problem for Wiktionary templates because Template:prefix, Template:compound etc. only allow morphemes from within one language.

E.g. for ntamesá, I can't use Template:compound to give its etymology as inta +‎ mesá, because mesá doesn't exist as an independent word. But if I just use Template:bor, it doesn't show the relationship to inta at all.

Is there a way to produce something like "inta + Spanish mesa", so that it categorizes it as both a compound and a borrowing? --Lvovmauro (talk) 12:13, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

I think {{affix|poe|inta|mesa|lang2=es}} will do what you want. —Rua (mew) 16:09, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
Something like {{affix|poe|inta|{{bor|poe|es|mesa}}}} also seems to work / (talk) 01:13, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
That produces bad HTML: "Spanish mesa" will be italicized and marked as San Juan Atzingo Popoloca (poe) text. — Eru·tuon 01:47, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Noted. / (talk) 19:55, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Never a good idea putting templates inside of templates. --{{victar|talk}} 22:52, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
I do not subscribe to this apodictic statement. You say this about the positions of the linking templates reserved for linking in a certain languages and you have said this about |tr= and similar. It depends on what the templates do. Often {{taxlink}} belongs into |t=. {{w}} belongs into quotation templates. Even simpler: {{circa}}, {{...}} and similar replacement templates. But {{affix|poe|inta|{{bor|poe|es|mesa}}}} is bad of course. Fay Freak (talk)
Arguably, it should be required that templates be nestable or tolerant of nesting. If not they should come with warning labels. DCDuring (talk) 01:18, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
A template that is enclosing another template can only see the wikitext generated by the inner template. In theory, one of the modules that {{affix}} uses could try to strip language-tagging from the input that it gets, but it would be complex and would probably cause more Lua memory errors. It's better to scan the dump to find instances to fix. Here are cases like the one above (basic etymology templates inside the "term" parameters of the basic morphology templates). — Eru·tuon 03:37, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Linkages to limited entriesEdit

Being more of a user than contributor, I plead guilty of inadequate mastery of the Wiktionary facilities. Often I don't even know where to look. (I have only recently discovered how to enter an example, for example.) Now one thing that has frustrated me considerably: Suppose I wish to link to a headword that has many valid definitions, and all of them occur under one headword with separate definitions, but the link I want is a specific one in the list of definitions let us say "lustre", a noun, for which we have four entries, but suppose I want to refer to precisely the third. (Or the first entry under the verb FTM). Is there a facility for that? If so, I would be grateful for a link. JonRichfield (talk) 09:54, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

There is no easy way, but I think the template {{anchor}} can be used for this purpose. If you replace the third sense for the noun "lustre” by # {{anchor|glass ornament}} a glass ornament such as ..., then [[lustre#glass ornament|lustre]] will look as before but link directly to the glass-ornament sense. I do not know if there are arguments against this approach – except that it is clumsy.  --Lambiam 18:46, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam, JonRichfield We have {{senseid}} specifically for this purpose. —Rua (mew) 15:14, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I have created a documentation subpage for the template {{anchor}} and added: “See also: {{senseid}}”.  --Lambiam 18:25, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam, Rua Many thanks to both of you. I shall investigate. JonRichfield (talk) 18:30, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

Gerund at bayEdit

There has been an exchange at and about gerund. The discussion had been too involved to permit me to go into detail here, but I have posted an example to illustrate what bothers me. First of all, there is a lot of argument about whether the concept still is viable in English (See here for more detail), but I am not taking sides in that connection, though I am increasingly uneasy about extending the verbal noun concept to cover what is seen as for example verbal adverbial functions. It does however apparently exclude participles, in particular present continuous participles, which seems to me to amount to straining at straws that have been passed by camels. ("I smell a rat, I see it in the...") To add aggravation to lesion, the English article gerund currently has a Russian example that has only an uncomfortable equivalent in English, that isn't a verbal noun, and I am not comfortable with the idea of seeing it as a gerund at all. To illustrate the concept, I have added a natural Afrikaans construction that seems to me nearly exactly equivalent, given that my mastery of Russian stops short about at da, nyet, and tovarich. Now, I don't know where this is heading, but could some members please have a look at gerund and the examples, and offer comments or pronouncements? JonRichfield (talk) 10:13, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Roughly speaking, a gerund is a verb form that some linguists choose to call a “gerund”. I do not think any other short description will cover the meaning across the spectrum of languages. And it is hard to find two modern linguists who agree on which forms to call a gerund. The concept is a remnant of the outmoded conception that Latin is the perfect language with the perfect grammar, and that more barbaric languages such as English should be described in the terms developed for Latin grammar.  --Lambiam 18:33, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
At a glance, it's easy to get the impression that the English translations, One shouldn’t cross a street while reading a newspaper and That fellow is crossing the street while reading!, are supposed to be examples of gerunds in English, which they are not. Mihia (talk) 13:28, 8 August 2019 (UTC)


I don’t know if this is the right place to discuss this, but an anon has repeatedly undone my edits at صدر, without giving any explanations on whether my revision should not be kept. Is there a way to solve this? I’m pretty sure a temporary block would be useless, as the user would immediately revert my edits as soon as it expires. [ˌiˑvã̠n̪ˑˈs̪kr̺ud͡ʒʔˌn̺ovã̠n̪ˑˈt̪ɔ̟t̪ːo] (parla con me) 10:46, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

I really don't know who to believe here: this is probably a problem IP editor in Saudi Arabia that @Fay Freak has been battling- they have a very narrow, prescriptive view of their native language, and revert all kinds of reasonable edits. You, on the other hand, have a long, long history of making bad edits in languages you don't know- I can't trust you to actually know what you're doing. We'll have to wait for someone who knows the language to sort this out. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:49, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
But here it is only about the formatting. Indeed the IP does not explain (because its English is bad), but I don’t see a point in IvanScrooge98’s formatting either. The numbered pronunciation sections are not uncontroversial. We wanted to get rid of them for long, and recently one even argued to get rid of numbered etymology sections (won’t search out all the discussions now). In any case, the IP has correctly seen that IPA pronunciations are a bad ground to format all the page around it. Like I have recently said that the categorization of terms in a language as derived from a proto-language X is little a reason to duplicate etymologies everywhere, putting things everywhere that otherwise you would not put there but let stay at other places, so pronunciations whether in IPA or in audio do not justify to split apart all the main content by “pronunciation” sections – or by “Etymology” sections only because of different pronunciations, as has not seldom been done even if the given etymology is the same (“from the root Y”), often aggravating the obnoxiousness of the formatting by adding the same reference templates under every one of them 😵. The pronunciation sections are not of equal importance for every language: In English and Chinese one needs them, in most other languages and in Arabic the opposite is the case, and in Arabic a problem becomes frequent because different pronunciations can have the same spelling so we could to put a pronunciation to every POS section even though this is not necessary to know the pronunciation from the dictionary alone (but the vocalization or transcription is) and here the reader would ask “why would you do that?” – the Saudi IP has appreciated that after seeming me cleaning up the thus messed-up formatting of many Arabic pages.
What I opt for is to get rid of the pronunciation sections in Arabic entries altogether an adding a switch to inflection tables the readers can toggle to switch the transcriptions in the tables to IPA, or similar, and add parameters to include audio files in inflection table entries; it fits the language much more too, since else we only give a pronunciations for the lemma form which is one form of a hundred in verbs, and one of at least 15 in common nouns, else it looks quite arbitrary as opposed to English or Chinese where one does not have all these forms. Heavily inflecting or agglutinating languages which are written (ggf. with diacritics or transcriptions, but then even more so) unambiguously suggest to put pronunciations at a less showy place, while pronunciation sections are more for languages where the lemma pronunciation covers most and to give pronunciations is also required because the spelling leaves doubts about the pronunciation. WT:EL has not been written with all that in mind, sure, but is rather based on English-like requirements. So far it is already beneficial to realize the different information requirements in the treatments of various languages, not to make the entry layout a tool against legibility. Fay Freak (talk) 16:32, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, forgot to reply. If you notice, I’ve been little active in the last few months and only edited when I was sure about what I was doing. Also, I am studying Arabic and I figured that order would have been the most sensible and complete, even though I agree we could take the pronunciations away if the division becomes cumbersome, especially since Arabic pronunciation is mostly predictable from the romanization. [ˌiˑvã̠n̪ˑˈs̪kr̺ud͡ʒʔˌn̺ovã̠n̪ˑˈt̪ɔ̟t̪ːo] (parla con me) 07:55, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

requesting AWB permissionsEdit

hey friends, i'd like to request AWB access to add noun class information to plural forms of Swahili words, and possibly a few other small tasks. i've created over 1,300 swahili entries here without issue, and i'm familiar with AWB having done a few tasks with it on enwiki before. i'll personally review every edit, and tag them appropriately, and before every mass task i'll write up a little description of it on my talk page as i did on enwiki. also, i plan on using JSWikiBrowser instead of AutoWikiBrowser, but it still depends on me being added to WT:AutoWikiBrowser/CheckPage so it should be no difference from the admin point of view. thanks, --Habst (talk) 19:21, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

@Habst: All set. - TheDaveRoss 12:21, 8 August 2019 (UTC)


I am new to Wiktionary, so I don't know where to post but I'm wondering about the use of colloquial Tamil on Wiktionary. Just as Egyptian Arabic and other colloquial Arabic dialects used frequently in speech but not in writing (while both Modern Standard Arabic and written Tamil are used in writing but not speech) have entries, would it be possible that I, a native Tamil speaker, could add in colloquial Tamil entries? This may be as simple as including the IPA under the written Tamil entry as a separate dialect similar to how both Received Pronunciation and American English pronunciations are given for English entries or I could also create separate entries and link the written and spoken Tamil forms in the same way that Persian, Dari, and Tajik entries are on Wiktionary. (For examples of the differences between the two registers, even the numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are pronounced quite differently in the two: oṉṟu vs. oṇṇu, iraṇṭu vs reṇṭu, mūṉṟu vs mūṇu, nāṉku vs nālu, and aintu vs añcu.) Also, I've noticed a couple inaccuracies with IPA pronunciations on Tamil entries stemming from what I assume is an inaccuracy in the code for the Template:ta-IPA. Is there a way for me to edit this template? (By inaccuracies, I mean mostly the use of [dʑ] where [s] should be and [ss] where [tʃː] should be. Other than this, I haven't noticed anything.) —This unsigned comment was added by Wokj (talkcontribs) at 03:01, 7 August 2019‎.

hi Wokj, i see you posted this twice so i responded to you at the information desk: Wiktionary:Information desk/2019/August#Tamil. it's no problem this time, but better to post things in one place in the future so we don't have duplicate answers. --Habst (talk) 03:39, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Ok, thanks! I'll be sure to post things in one place in the future. Wokj

Renaming Bella Coola to NuxalkEdit

I am by no means related to this people or language nor do I have any contact with or knowledge of it whatsoever, but I just a) read it more commonly called Nuxalk so I would imagine more people would recognize it that way
and b) read on its Wikipedia page that Nuxalk government prefers this name. I don‘t know any more arguments against/in favor of it, maybe someone else does.
I feel like this paragraph is worded and syntaxed a bit awkwardly, English isn‘t my native tongue and I mainly use it to write things, so I‘m not sure what sounds right. Please ask if anything is unclear. |Anatol Rath (talk) 11:58, 8 August 2019 (UTC)|

What does ISO call it? We mostly use their standards for language codes etc. Equinox 15:33, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Just looked it up: it‘s blc, so bella coola |Anatol Rath (talk) 16:42, 8 August 2019 (UTC)|

Vote on "coalmine"Edit

Is there any appetite for a(nother) vote on the "coalmine" policy, whereby multi-word SoP entries are kept if the corresponding solid word can be attested? I don't know when the last major discussion of this happened. Mihia (talk) 12:57, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

I voted for COALMINE, but I don't like how it has often been used to keep a common spaced SoP by finding a tiny handful of obscure/nonstandard citations for the non-spaced form. I don't know what the solution is. Equinox 12:59, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
@Mihia: The vote happened ten years ago. I'd vote against the proposal. Canonicalization (talk) 13:05, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
We need to have some ideas if we want to revisit the vote. Otherwise we just have to be picky about the spelled-solid citations. DCDuring (talk) 13:07, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
At the time we were looking for some way of wasting less time on RfD discussions, which often led to inclusion of phrases by vote just because they were common collocations, no matter how transparent. DCDuring (talk) 13:09, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
To achieve what? Why care? Wiktionary:NOTPAPER. Also nobody has explained yet what the magic of a space would be why lacking spaces indicate inclusionworthiness. There are a lot of things that shouldn’t be included while being written together, and people fail to understand the compounds can also be just examples for the nomina simplicia: according to some “logics” one should include the term “Muselmanenmäusken” if used by three different authors and somebody removed the quote from Muselman because “the quote does not have the term”. But Muselmanenmäusken isn’t a term and won’t ever be with additional uses. But if somebody creates it with quotes, why remove the page Muselmanenmäusken? I can’t tell you why. And I can’t tell any reason more if German had spaces in compositions and that word were to be quoted thrice and created. What’s the difference? Spaces tell nothing at all on whether something should be kept or removed in a language, as also, as we have recently learned, not even the presence in a text in a certain language indicates in which language the “term” is – if in doubt, one string in a quote might attest a German simplex, a composed term and a Latin term too, if one cannot distinguish where languages end and where terms end. Romans had no spaces, so what? Include every sentence or every text as an entry? The policy-changes will continue to be Anglo-centric, one is unable to articulate or conceptualize what should be included because of unavailable language knowledge. Better not to add any policies, it usually removes people one step further from common sense. That being said, there was no reason to add WT:COALMINE and there is no reason to remove either as long as one does not see reasons to remove words of the coalmine type. I think this aporia is analogous to the distinction between language and dialect. Like one cannot wholly shed languages and dialects, in lexicography under unlimited ressources one cannot pin down the language of every string that can be quoted, and one does not see where compositions are so unnecessary that they should be deleted. Fay Freak (talk) 16:39, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
...why not?
NOTPAPER doesn't mean we should add literally anything arbitrarily, else why not add kitten pictures? Everyone likes those. We should hold ourselves to meaningful rules. Equinox 16:41, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
@Equinox You are right, I wouldn’t add anything. But if people put in the effort to document common compounds, though the recommendation is not to add you-know-what-we-talk-about one cannot reverse this argument and say it should all be deleted. From “do not add” does not follow “do delete”. Or can anyone prove this statement? And spaces have been a poor reason for distinguishing you-know-what-we-talk-about and what is inclusionworthy. Fay Freak 16:53, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Why care? Because it licenses the creation of multi-word SoP entries. Why does this matter? Because it is counter to the standard principles of any dictionary and also potentially confusing to users who happen upon the phenomenon. Users should, and presumably largely do, understand that to find the meaning of "X Y" they have to combine the meaning of X with the meaning of Y in cases where "X Y" does not have any special meaning in combination. A separate entry for "X Y" gives the impression that there is a special meaning not understandable from X + Y. Then there is the issue, as Equinox mentioned, of small numbers of obscure/nonstandard citations having an impact beyond what they merit. How much sense does it make to have an entry for "cluster size", for example, purely on the basis that a few people who couldn't tell a variable name from proper English wrote it as "clustersize"? None whatsoever, in my view. Information that it is usually (or should be) written "cluster size" can be provided at "clustersize" for the benefit of anyone who lands there. Mihia (talk) 19:14, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I would vote against COALMINE as written if there were a similar vote today. We don't need a coal mine entry in order to state at coalmine "much more commonly spelled coal mine". There are some examples where COALMINE has justified keeping a term which I felt should be kept without having other good CFI rationale, but hopefully we will be able to identify those even without this policy, or be able to figure out a narrower criteria which would eliminate pumpkin seed type questions. - TheDaveRoss 18:05, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

I would be interested in having a discussion about entries in other languages alongside one about English entries. See the discussion at WT:Requests_for_deletion/Non-English#energia_eolica that touches on the space for more specific policy. Ultimateria (talk) 16:43, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

Stunned silence/disbeliefEdit

What meaning of "stunned" applies to the following sentences where stunned modifies abstract nouns forming an adverbial, instead of the animate being who is stunned?

what is the linguistic term for such a behavior? What other adjectives act in a similar way?

I sat in stunned silence, I reacted to the news with stunned disbelief --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:40, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

The rhetorical figure is called metalepsis. I don't think it warrants a separate definition, just as with the component words (eg, face) of: "Was this the face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Ilium?". DCDuring (talk) 16:38, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Maybe it's hypallage or anthimeria. DCDuring (talk) 18:02, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
The license for the phrases to be adverbial (They could also be adjectival.) is that they are prepositional phrases. Also, silence doesn't seem "abstract" to me. DCDuring (talk) 18:07, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Silence is tangible.  --Lambiam 19:17, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
... as well as being golden. Mihia (talk) 19:53, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Should Illyrian be a language?Edit

At the moment, Category:Illyrian language indicates that it is a reconstructed language. We currently have one reconstruction for it, which is at WT:RFD. Given that reconstructed entries require descendants, derived terms or other evidence that the reconstruction can be based on, I'm not sure if this is at all possible. No certain descendants of Illyrian are known, and therefore not much is known in the way of sound laws that would support reconstructions. Wikipedia isn't even sure if there was a single Illyrian language, and titles the article in plural: w:Illyrian languages. All this makes me think that we shouldn't have this language on Wiktionary at all. Thoughts? —Rua (mew) 09:16, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

Etymology-only language? Seems like personal names in Latin and possibly Balkan languages other than Albanian can be assumed to be of Illyrian origin – and hydronyms, names of settlements? It would be unsurprising that there isn’t a corpus of the language either, as the Slavs too did not deign to write. But then again I wouldn’t know where Illyrian would start and end, if one starts to talk about “real Illyrians” and “less real Illyrians” and one can be content with deriving from substrate. “Illyrian” is probably a meme. +I have always opined anyway that nomina propria should be categorized separately for their etymologies so we do not litter the categories “terms derived from X”, nor request categories – look at the requests for etymologies in Latin entries, it’s 3,527 pages, but the absolute majority is names, it’s ridiculous. Fay Freak (talk) 11:38, 10 August 2019 (UTC)


What is the plural part in monies? The entry of -ies does not seem to include it --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:22, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

"monies" is an irregular plural. Probably the entry should state that, but I don't know how to work it into the template. Mihia (talk) 10:25, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
I would fix it, but our modularizers have obfuscated what should be a simple template to the point that it isn't worth the effort to try and untangle how it all works to make a straightforward change. Time to start a vote to disable Lua on this project, its more trouble than it is worth. - TheDaveRoss 17:11, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't think -ies should include it, because it isn't a suffix added to some stem *mon. Equinox 10:33, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
According to Garner's fourth edition, page 604, moneyed vs monied current ratio is 3:1. Incidentally, what is the situation with monied? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:47, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
monies is a regular plural of mony, which is obsolete, according to us.
FWIW, I always thought it synonymous with funds ("financial resources") or somehow similar to funds. Though I've worked in finance (US), it never came up in any actual usage in my hearing. It seemed archaic and/or UK when I ran across it in reading. DCDuring (talk) 20:24, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
It shows up in some formal-register writing, such as certain financial and legal contexts, as the plural of money, used as a countable in ways similar to the contrast between fish (plural of the single animal) and fishes (plural of the group noun), where the latter implies multiple kinds of the main noun. In legal and financial contexts, monies implies specifically that these are funds coming from multiple sources / accounts / etc. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:19, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
@Eirikr How do you know that it is the plural of money rather than. 1., a plural of mony or, 2., a plural-only noun? DCDuring (talk) 00:43, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
I note that, money is usually fungible whereas monies are not. Monies is often used in discussion of government and not-for-profit finances in which money appropriated, donated, held in trust, etc, often can be used only for a specific purpose or object of expenditure. Something similar occurs in investment management, banking, etc. These realms are the stronghold of fund accounting (See w:Fund accounting.). Sociological literature uses monies in discussing how households often restrict given sources of income for specific purposes. Eg, ill-gotten gains fund charitable donations, children's 'fun' expenditures come from their earnings and holiday gifts. Cash currency, bank deposits, and cryptocurrency can be considered separate forms of monies, but none of them is called a mony. In fact it is almost impossible to find and use of mony as a singular in the last 100 years of more, except in works of history. DCDuring (talk) 01:12, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Re: the plural of money, see also Merriam-Webster's entry for monies, stating simply, "plural of MONEY", and then their entry for money, stating "plural moneys or monies". That jives with how I learned both terms (singular and plural). Now, monies may be derived as the regular plural of now-obsolete mony, but then mony evolved into modern money with the extra e, while the plural form stayed as it was, and then we also see the new plural form moneys sprouted into existence. In certain contexts, at least, the monies form persists, and in modern usage, there's nothing else for it to be the plural of, other than money. No? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:05, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
It could have evolved into a plural-only noun. Is moneys used in exactly the same way as monies? DCDuring (talk) 10:57, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

plural (number)Edit

In the appendix, does plural (number) means plural verbal agreement? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:33, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

No, it means a grammatical number. Verb agreement may not generally exist. As in Arabic VSO sentences have the verb in the singular even if a plural follows. Fay Freak (talk) 11:42, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
In English entries, verb, pronoun, and determiner agreement are important. The presence or absence of a terminal 's' is self-evident, arguably of no value to our normal users, and therefore not worth noting in our entries. Some of our "plural only" entries, for example, have made a hash of this. But English speakers often alternate between singular and plural agreement for "pair" nouns. (Eg, these/those scissors is about three times as common as this/that scissors.) Treatment of plurals also gets confounded with (un)countability.
What we say about a term in Appendix:Glossary should always be applicable to English. We can have warnings about changes in a term's meaning as applied to other languages, but coverage may need to be in other Glossaries or the "about" page for such a language. DCDuring (talk) 16:40, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

Words with multiple inflection patterns: one inflection table or several?Edit

When a word can follow multiple patterns of inflection, the alternative forms are often shown next to each other within a single inflection table. But there are also entries where multiple inflection tables are shown. I'm wondering which of these approaches works better in practice. Showing multiple forms together in one table takes up less space, but it is no longer easy for the reader to separate out the different inflection patterns.

There are extreme cases like Slovene strgati, which can inflect according to no less than four different patterns: two different present tenses, and two different accentuation patterns. Many of the forms are shared between the four, in particular the infinitive, so they could theoretically all be stuffed into one table, but it becomes very hard to make out. Two tables are also possible, but which aspect of the inflection should be combined, the present tense formation or the accent pattern? A case where all forms are in one table can be seen at kopati (to bathe), where there are no less than four distinct imperative forms. Then there are cases like gaziti where the majority of the inflection has one form and accent pattern (AP a in this case), but the l-participle can follow multiple accent patterns (both a and b). Having multiple inflection tables in this case seems like overkill. Where to draw the line, though? When is it clearer to put everything in one table, and when is it better to split them? —Rua (mew) 19:37, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

I think this should be handled on a case-by-case basis. If the different patterns are truly different paradigms, it is probably better to use multiple tables. But if we have a few variations within one paradigm, showing the alternatives side by side probably works better. Here is a sketch of an algorithm for computing a score for basing the decision on; I have no idea how it will work out in practice.
  1. Combine all forms in one table
  2. For every cell that contains N alternatives, where N ≥ 2, add N to the score
  3. For every cell that contains just one form, subtract 1 from the score
  4. If the score is positive, use multiple tables; otherwise, use a single table.
 --Lambiam 23:32, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
I know exactly zero about this language or its inflections, but, looking at kopati, where there are four patterns, is it not ambiguous which form corresponds to which pattern(s) in cases when there are two (or three, though this does not occur) entries in a cell? How do you tell which is which? If you can't tell, this layout seems flawed to me. However, if there are language-related clues such that it is always obvious to anyone with enough knowledge to use the table at all, maybe it is OK. Mihia (talk) 20:57, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
There are technically only two patterns, but each pattern allows for two possible imperative forms. —Rua (mew) 21:21, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
I see, thanks. So I guess it is obvious to anyone with any knowledge of the language. Fine then. Mihia (talk) 22:53, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
A slideshow that puts the user from 1/4 via 2/4 and 3/4 to 4/4 and then again to 1/4 by his pressing arrows (sliding horizontally for horizontal writing systems and vertically for vertical writing systems like Mongolic). So you have one table that contains all but at the same time not all at once. Fay Freak (talk) 23:03, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
@Fay Freak That's not a bad idea, but what would it do when JS is disabled? —Rua (mew) 08:02, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
HTML/CSS is so advanced nowadays, that I did not presume that it needs to be JS. However it can be JS: The content can either be expanded at first and then formatted by JS so one sees all in a text-based browser one after another, or otherwise: there is no reason people who surf without JS don’t make an exception for Wiktionary, and everyone at least sees one table he can apply. Fay Freak (talk) 12:20, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

unmarked idioms in the examples/quotations of sensesEdit

The third meaning of the verb cramp adds the example "You're cramping my style", yet without any refernce to the idiomaticity of cramp someone's style, a tendency I've frequently come across. --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:24, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

I hope that when you come across instances, you’ll fix them. In this specific case, the sense and usex was added more than a year before the creation of the entry for the idiomatic expression; the creator was very likely unaware of the usex. So inasmuch there appears to be such a tendency, it may be the result of editors not knowing everything rather than lacking care.  --Lambiam 13:24, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
the solution being adding an external link, I suppose --Backinstadiums (talk) 13:44, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
I think a more complete solution would also include making sure that cramp someone's style is in the derived terms and that there is a better usage example, at least in addition to the one that includes cramp (someone's) style. DCDuring (talk) 20:44, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

passive transitive verb without agent vs adjectiveEdit

The third entry of embarrass,

"(transitive) To involve in difficulties concerning money matters; to encumber with debt; to beset with urgent claims or demands. A man or his business is embarrassed when he cannot meet his pecuniary engagements"

adds an example in the passive without the passive agent, yet the entry of the adjective embarrassed does not show the meaning derived from the sense above, which "Microsoft® Encarta® 2009" defines as "adjective, short of money: in financial difficulties because of a lack of money" (However, "Microsoft® Encarta® 2009" does not offer the monetary meaning of the verb embarrass as Wiktionary does).

Is there any reason for this? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:52, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Microsoft and Wiktionary did not consult each other. We cannot have two-way consultation now because they are out of the dictionary business. DCDuring (talk) 20:46, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
M-W, Oxford, Collins, and AHD all have this sense, most of them list it as archaic (which I would agree with). Also these questions are probably not Beer Parlour fodder, questions about word usage should go in the WT:Tea Room. The Beer Parlour is for discussing the project itself. - TheDaveRoss 15:56, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Flowers wavered in the breezeEdit

what is the rhetorical device which changes the subject of an active sentence, The breeze wavered the flowers, into an adverb of the passive counterpart, Flowers wavered in the breeze? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:29, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

I don't think it is rhetoric, just two ways to express the same idea. You could say one element (breeze or flowers) is being foregrounded, or made the subject. Equinox 14:34, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't think of waver as a transitive verb, though it may be or have been one for some speakers.
While attempting to address earlier questions of yours I reviewed classical (Greek/Latin) rhetorical devices at Silva Rhetorica. I don't recollect seeing anything that specifically covers that. There might be something in transformational grammar. DCDuring (talk) 14:37, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Verbs that can be used transitively with an object, but also intransitively in which the original object becomes the subject (without resorting to the passive voice), are called ergative verbs. The standard example is the verb break: “he broke the glass” → “the glass broke”. This is not a rhetorical device but a grammatical concept. To me, the sentence “the breeze wavered the flowers” is ungrammatical, but its author apparently sees the verb waver as ergative.  --Lambiam 22:31, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Rua (then CodeCat) and I had a long thread about that a while back. In short, I think the term ergative is overused in relation to English verbs. In "the glass broke", we just have an intransitive, where there is no semantic patient / grammatical object, and just a semantic agent / grammatical subject. "Breaking" doesn't need to be a transitive action, semantically speaking. With intrinsically transitive actions, however, such as eat or cook, using the semantic patient / grammatical object as the grammatical subject and leaving the semantic agent unstated gives us something that can be usefully described as "ergative": "moose meat eats well", "these eggs cook up nicely", etc.
Regarding the verb waver, however, I agree with DCDuring and Lambiam -- the verb, as I understand it, is consistently intransitive, so using it transitively doesn't make any sense, and thus there cannot be a passive. You'd have to use it causatively instead, or causatively-passively: "the breeze made the flowers waver", "the flowers were made to waver by the breeze". ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:31, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Isn't it transitive in semantic/logical terms? --Backinstadiums (talk) 08:42, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

If you take a philosophical stance that nothing has an internal cause, then mere grammar is not important. But transitivity is a syntactic, not philosophical, term as commonly used. DCDuring (talk) 11:02, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
  • @Backinstadiums: No, the English verb waver is not transitive in any sense that I've ever encountered. Our entry at waver only lists intransitive senses, as does the Merriam-Webster entry, among many others.
  • @DCDuring: Depends on the language and how you define your terms. For Japanese, teaching materials describe a "transitive" verb as generally the same thing as a 他動詞 (tadōshi, literally other-moving word), where the transitivity is a semantic property, dependent on the underlying meaning of an agent applying the action to a patient: the verb doesn't change class due to the presence or absence of any explicitly stated object. For both 食べる (watashi wa taberu, I eat) and リンゴ食べる (I eat an apple), the verb taberu ("eat") is a tadōshi regardless of the presence or absence of the object. Meanwhile, there are "intransitive" verbs described as 自動詞 (jidōshi, literally self-moving word) where the action is purely a matter of the agent doing something on their own, without directly altering or affecting any patient, but these verbs can still take objects marked with (o) in certain constructions, and that also doesn't change the class of the verb. For both 歩く (I walk) and 山道歩く (I walk the mountain road), the verb aruku ("walk") is a jidōshi regardless of the presence or absence of the object.
When talking about "ergativity" as it applies to English verbs, in order to use the label in a meaningful and useful way, we have to look at the semantics of the verb: is the action something done by an agent to a patient, or something that the agent does on its own without affecting any patient? For verbs like break or melt or turn, these could be semantically transitive where an agent does something to a patient, but they could also be semantically intransitive, where the agent just does the action of the verb without requiring a patient. Describing these verbs as "ergative" is not very useful, and I think it's more likely to confuse users who instead learned these verbs as ambitransitive: either transitive or intransitive depending on context. For other verbs like eat or read or say, these can only be semantically transitive, as the actions inherently describe an agent doing something to a patient, even though they might be syntactically intransitive if a given context leaves the object unstated. Using the object of such a semantically transitive verb as the subject is a strange construction in English, almost a kind of passive. Semantically intransitive verbs have no sensible passive, while semantically transitive ones do. Similarly, semantically intransitive verbs have no sensible ergative. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 19:22, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
I'd be in favor of banning ergative, ambitransitive, and ditransitive from use in definition-line labels (generally, but at least in English) on the grounds that the terms are not readily understood by normal users. My evidence is that if one compares usage patterns of "transitive verb"/"intransitive verb" with those of "ambitransitive verb", "ditransitive verb", and "ergative verb" the latter three occur almost exclusively in scholarly books and articles, whereas one can find the former in basic texts and even in newspapers and magazines. I can provide anecdotal evidence that college graduates are not familiar with "ergative" and its ilk, but at least dimly recollect "transitive" and "intransitive". DCDuring (talk) 19:49, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
I support that idea, FWIW. I note that, if the user enters tr=both in our headword templates, the resulting display similarly avoids overly technical terminology like ambitransitive or ditransitive in favor of the wordier-but-more-straightforward option of just stating transitive and intransitive. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:45, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

pronunciaiton of foreign lemmas used in EnglishEdit

Rarely do the plural of foreign lemmas used in English show its pronunciation; for example, for fait accompli the pronunciation of its plural faits accomplis doesn't vary at all --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:14, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

In the plural I have heard a very un-French final /z/ while the first s, that of faits, remained silent. I don’t know how general this is.  --Lambiam 22:17, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: According to Longman Pronunciation dict: BrE faits accomplis ˌfeɪz ə ˈkɒmp liː ˌfeɪts-, ˌfeɪt-, ˌfez-, -ˈkʌmp-, -liːz ǁ AmE ˌfeɪz ə kɑːɯ ˈpliː —French [fɛ za kɔ̃ pli] --Backinstadiums (talk) 22:24, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I'd expect fait accomplis to be a readily found plural. (I haven't looked yet.) DCDuring (talk) 00:00, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
And here are a few of them:
a succession of fait accomplis, legitimised afterwards by the always favourable balance of military power
The inauguration of the world banking electronic network SWIFT in 1977 and slightly later that of the world airline network SITA were presented to the ITU as fait accomplis
The war was a test of how far overwhelming military power can impose fait accomplis that reshape international norms.
The military continued to accumulate fait accomplis that were disagreeable to the politicians
Down through the years, we've had other fait accomplis
I further note that there are numerous available uses of fait accomplis as singular.
Our entry for fait accompli#English does not do justice to the rich set of alternations that authors seem to permit. DCDuring (talk) 00:13, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
There are also plenty plural uses of faits accompli, which we can label a misspelling of. Can we write in the usage notes of prospective entry fait accomplis that the singular use is incorrect? I think we should also not assign pronunciations like /ˌfezəˈkɒmpliː/ or /ˌfeɪtsəˈkʌmpliː/ to fait accompli(s) but only to faits accomplis.  --Lambiam 18:17, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Plural lemmasEdit

How are plural lemmas with meaning of their own to be indicated in their corresponding "headword"? For example, nowhere in white is the user warned about the specific meanings of the noun whites. --Backinstadiums (talk) 09:24, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Maybe a subsection “See also   whites”? I notice there is no category for plural lemmas.  --Lambiam 10:05, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
Many of the singular entries have a definition for the term marked as being used only in the plural. It's is duplicative, but convenient for the user. DCDuring (talk) 11:07, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
Can you give a good example of that?  --Lambiam 18:29, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
I found a few using regex search: colour, bowel, good, remain, depth. DCDuring (talk) 20:14, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Passive voice using the preposition "with" instead of "by"Edit

Verb smite: 6. (figuratively, now only in passive) To strike with love or infatuation. Bob was smitten with Laura from the first time he saw her.

I wonder whether this smitten is rather an adjective at least syntactically --Backinstadiums (talk) 10:36, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

"John was beaten with a cudgel by Mary." DCDuring (talk) 11:10, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
@DCDuring: what's your point ? --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:23, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
An instrument (object of with) is not the same as agent of passive verb (object of by). The sentence in no way illustrates passive using with. DCDuring (talk) 17:22, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
And John got so angry that next thing you know Mary was smitten with Bob by John.  --Lambiam 16:25, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
It does pass the test of being gradable: Bob was way too smitten with Laura. John was also more smitten with Laura than was good for him. But Bob was the most smitten I have ever seen a man with a woman as smart as Laura.  --Lambiam 16:25, 13 August 2019 (UTC) — BTW, the Beer parlour is not the right room for discussing such questions.  --Lambiam 16:28, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
Also, it can be used attributively: “a smitten man”.  --Lambiam 08:47, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

intransitive verbs which become transitive if their "goal/purpose" is accomplishedEdit

I've realized many verbs follow an interesting transitive pattern, which I illustrate with an example:

Webster's defines wrangle as either intransitive dispute, argue or transitive "to obtain by persistent arguing". Is there a linguistic term for this behavior? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:33, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

The term resultative comes to mind, even though in a sentence like “I managed to wrangle a refund” the construction does not conform to any of the four classes described in the Wikipedia article.  --Lambiam 16:09, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
The pattern is not confined to English. For example, French accoucher in the intransitive sense means “to go into labour”. But in the transitive sense it signifies the result of the labour: “to deliver (a baby)”.  --Lambiam 16:14, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Is the "transitive" label enough?Edit

How can we indicate the need of a preposition, at, for verbs such as He smiled *(at) me, and still label them as transitive for examples such as He smile a big smile ? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:48, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

There's nothing in the grammar or semantics that requires at after smiled a big/happy/lovely/coy/weak smile.
Please don't focus on "semantic" transitivity. In English entries we are concerned with syntactic transitivity. DCDuring (talk) 12:59, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, as DCDuring notes, English descriptive materials about the English language generally don't discuss semantic transitivity, unless it's a highly technical text. English-language dictionaries of the English language, to my knowledge, never touch on semantic transitivity, only focusing on syntax.
In your examples, "He smiled at me" is intransitive, albeit with an indirect object, whereas "He smiled a big smile" is transitive, and without an indirect object. Moreover, the presence or absence of an indirect object has no effect on the transitivity of the verb: only the presence or absence of a direct object. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 16:31, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

Homographs of verbal formsEdit

I propose some kind of mention (maybe a "see also") be (automatically?) added in the section of verbs with forms homographic with other parts of speech, as the verbal entries are the ones looked up first. For example, devastate shows no hint at the adjective devastated "Extremely upset and shocked: a devastated widow". --Backinstadiums (talk) 16:05, 17 August 2019 (UTC)