Wiktionary:Information desk/2019/February

discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← January 2019 · February 2019 · March 2019 → · (current)

Medieval Latin dictionaryEdit

A long time ago I had a collection of bookmarks on my harddrive to various linguistic websites, one of which was a dictionary that was about Medieval Latin and maybe written in French (or Middle French). Somebody on Wiktionary directed me to it years ago, but unfortunately I lost it due to an accident and now I have no idea what it was called.

Can somebody help me retrieve the link? @JohnC5 @Wikitiki89 — (((Romanophile))) (contributions) 23:30, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Already answered on Discord. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:06, 3 February 2019 (UTC)
(For those who aren't on Discord, this was the answer: http://logeion.uchicago.edu/gens) — Mnemosientje (t · c) 19:19, 3 February 2019 (UTC)
We have a discord?! What's the invite? GabeMoore (talk) 16:58, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
See Wiktionary:Discord server. — surjection?〉 17:04, 4 March 2019 (UTC)

Coal not created by lack of fungi, say 4 scientistsEdit

Three years ago Stanford scientists published a paper refuting the popular idea that lack of organisms to decompose lignin was responsible for coal deposited during the Carboniferous Period. Three weeks ago I added details and reference citations at the bottom of the appropriate Talk page here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Carboniferous but I'm thinking that nobody has seen it, and may never see it, which is why I mention it here. I suspect the page should be updated to deal with the old/incorrect view and incorporate the new/corrected view but I don't have the expertise to do it. 03:00, 3 February 2019 (UTC)

This is Wiktionary, not Wikipedia. You could try a general discussion page on Wikipedia rather than the talk page for that specific article. Equinox 04:14, 3 February 2019 (UTC)
An appropriate page for flagging the issue would be Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Geology.  --Lambiam 13:24, 3 February 2019 (UTC)
Equinox: D'oh! Thanks, I don't know how that happened. Lambiam: Thanks, I did as you suggested just now. 06:38, 4 February 2019 (UTC)

Audio GenderEdit

I remember seeing some words having audio for pronunciation by men and women, but have been unable to find an example to use as a basis for replication, so I was wondering, what are the standard practices when it comes to marking the gender of audio? —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 01:37, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

I have never noticed such a distinction being made. It would be nice I guess, but in practice we have so few people that record audio that we take what we can get. There's no need to specifically note it on an entry however. DTLHS (talk) 03:39, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with any language that has different pronunciations for the same word depending on the gender of the speaker (I'm sure there must be some, somewhere), so I don't see the point of marking gender- it's not like the mommy audios and the daddy audios are going to go off and have little baby audios... Seriously, though, it doesn't seem like a good idea. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:49, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
The Japanese first-person pronoun has two pronunciations, watakushi (very formal) and watashi (rather formal). The sound difference is not as pronounced (no pun intended) as it may seem: the syllable ku is unstressed and its vowel, already rather indistinct, is unvoiced, so to Western ears the more formal version may sound like watakshi. Until a couple of decades ago, the less formal use of watashi by men would be considered feminine. But a shift has set in, in which younger men – now including the middle-aged – also started to use the watashi pronunciation in circumstances where they would have used watakushi in earlier times. Funny enough, among older women there is a contrary tendency in which they stick to watakushi in formal situations where their male age mates are moving to watashi.  --Lambiam 23:55, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
That's actually really interesting, thank you for saying something, I would have never known otherwise! If audio files were to exist for each of the different pronunciations spoken by their respective groups, do you think it would make sense to note that the speaker for the file is a member of that group? Conversely, if one person who was not part of all the relevant groups were to do audio pronunciation files each of the pronunciations would it male sense to note that? If notes where added, what way would it make the most sense to include the note? —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 04:29, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
These are a lot of good questions that I have not thought about and have no ready answers to. In sociolinguistics several gender-related issues are studied (see e.g. on Wikipedia the articles Language and gender and Complimentary language and gender and the article section Gender and covert prestige). Gender-related differences are often subtle and may become only detectable (statistically significant) with larger sample sizes, so it may not be possible to describe them succinctly.  --Lambiam 11:32, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Now I really want to record a baby saying some words... :P
(Also... I guess if one considers some of the things in Category:Women's speech terms by language and their counterpart inflected/variant forms, etc in men's speech to be the same words, like ypék and nypék, they have gender-specific pronunciations...) - -sche (discuss) 04:57, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
I'm odviously no expert, but I would consider those to be gender-specific words rather than gender-specific pronunciations.—The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 06:11, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
What about differences in phonology? diffSuzukaze-c 03:42, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
Okay, thanks! —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 04:14, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
I think this is a really interesting issue. Ideally we would tag pronunciations in whatever kind of way, it might be age, locale, gender, etc. but it opens 50 cans of worms: the whole current gender thing where people are whatever they decide to be (not perfect for linguistics where we might want to know about the shape of their vocal tract), and all the politics of whether a Serbian speaker is Croatian and god knows what. I do think this is stuff we should care about. On the other hand I suspect that when we finally make it cheap and easy to record voice samples, the early brave pioneers will be deleted in hours. Perhaps we should wait for the tech to catch up with the politics, huh. Equinox 13:57, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Spanish parts-of-speechEdit

Hi, Thanks for the Bilingual Dictionaries for Offline Use!

Is there a list of what the part-of-speech tag abbreviations mean for the Spanish-English entries? Below is the set of the abbreviations.

set(['art' 'suffix' 'vi' 'affix' 'vp' 'vr' 'num' 'vt' 'interj' 'phrase' 'conj' 'adv' 'vit' 'vitr' 'vtp' 'vti' 'prop' 'pron' 'vtr' 'vtir' 'initialism' 'adj' 'prep' 'fp' 'vrt' 'acronym' 'symbol' 'abbr' 'letter' 'proverb' 'contraction' 'vir' 'mf' 'vtrp' 'determiner' 'particle' 'f' 'm' 'prefix' 'n' 'mp' 'v'])

Those dictionaries are a project by @Matthias Buchmeier rather than part of the dictionary proper. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:01, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

OK, thanks. How do I contact him to decode the list?

Reusing audio of homophonesEdit

Currently lute has audio pronunciation files but loot does not, is it allowable to or is there policy surrounding reusing the audio file for lute on loot's page? —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 02:03, 12 February 2019 (UTC)

I can’t think of a rule against it, but I suggest that you then copy File:En-US pronunciation of "lute".ogg to File:En-US pronunciation of "loot".ogg (with, of course, proper acknowledgement of its provenance) and link to that copy.  --Lambiam 14:10, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
Why do you suggest that the audio be copyed? —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 04:20, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
I'm against it. You don't know (and possibly won't even notice) if words are homophones in one dialect of English but not in another. When the word was recorded the speaker was specifically intending to produce the sounds for that word and not another. "Homophone" is an incredibly loose term. DTLHS (talk) 16:05, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
I assume that TEA is competent to judge if the sound of that file presents an apt US pronunciation of lute. Moreover, I assumed that they exercised that judgement before posing this question here.  --Lambiam 00:12, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
"Competence" has nothing to do with it. Speakers of one dialect of a language can have sound changes that are imperceptible to other speakers. DTLHS (talk) 00:40, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Would equal IPA transcriptions be enough to justify reuse? —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 04:20, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Definitely not. Two words can have the same phonemic transcriptions, but that doesn't mean they will have the same realization by two different speakers. IPA transcriptions are an abstraction. DTLHS (talk) 04:31, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
I'm not completely sure I understand what you mean by realization in this context, but I think what it means is the actual sonic audio produced by a two speaker may be subtly different, in comparision to their IPA transcriptions which are tbe same because, as you said, IPA is an abstraction and involves broad-ish categories and information loss, and because of this possible difference the audio should not be reused? —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 04:47, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
That's basically my point, yes. Others may disagree. But also basically I don't think we are in such desperate need of audio that we have to reuse files on multiple pages. Others may disagree. DTLHS (talk) 04:53, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough. I'll probably record the audio at some point. —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 05:19, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Where is Wiktionary stated to be descriptionist?Edit

I often hear that people that Wiktionary is deacriptionist, but I can't seem to find the policy article that says so, can someone tell which policy does? —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 04:17, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Probably WT:CFI. DTLHS (talk) 04:28, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
I don't find the word descriptionist nor prescriptionist on the page. —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 04:36, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
You'll have to read between the lines. Saying "We are descriptionist" is not a useful policy statement on its own. DTLHS (talk) 04:38, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough, I guess the part about attestment is the most relevant. Thanks! —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 04:49, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Obsolete local unitsEdit

Is there any convention regarding entries such as the pair Amsterdam pound/Amsterdams pond and whether they are considered sums of parts? Local units of the type L U are basically bound to have a value somewhere around the range of U and would have been used in locale L, even though the specific quantity cannot be inferred from the name. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 14:51, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

The obsolescence of such units should not enter into the considerations. For the nautical mile one might equally argue that it is SOP since it is a unit with a length around a mile used in a nautical context. And why should it matter that we are dealing with units? Roman numeral is SOP because it is a kind of numeral used by the Romans. The point is not that the specific quantity cannot be inferred from the name, but that the term has a specific meaning that cannot be inferred from the name. For example, I think it is defensible to include an entry biblical cubit even though we have only informed guesses about the specific quantity; nevertheless, the term has a specific meaning and is attestable.  --Lambiam 10:58, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

Corazón / corazoncitoEdit

I left this message about the diminutive of Spanish "corazón". Regards. -- 19:40, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

We don't include diminutives in the headword line for Spanish, unlike Polish. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:12, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
¿? Not sure why; especially in cases like this, which contains a connecting -c-. Sad, anyway. Regards. -- 03:02, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
I see there's a link in corazoncito to corazón. Why not, at least, a link somewhere in corazón to corazoncito? Not sure how to do it and, after the previous comment, if it would be reverted; so I'll just comment. Regards. -- 03:08, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
I added it as a derived term. I believe the reason we do not link them as we do in Polish is because they are completely predictable. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:41, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
Thanks a lot, Μετάknowledge! Kind regards. -- 11:53, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

Tag questions in other languagesEdit

Some languages have a generic word or particle that makes a statement into a yes/no question, a bit like 'innit' in London English or est-ce que in French. Is there a way to find these using Wiktionary? For example I know there's a Persian one but I forgot it. Vices Theme (talk) 16:38, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

You mean آیا‎, the sole inhabitant of Category:Persian interrogative particles?  --Lambiam 22:49, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

Having Difficulty with an EntryEdit

We're new here and currently without a term to describe a class of objects for which a Wiktionary term currently exists pertaining to a specific application of the term. Our secondary entry hoped to shed light on both the class of object in addition to the term itself which under the existing description while suitable to the application, may fail to do justice to the term.

Our entry was left for verification and subsequently removed entirely which may make little difference to our use of the term but may be of greater concern to those aiming to uphold the standards of the platform since the current Wiktionary entry may be questionable.

Thank you for your attention in this matter. /UFC (see Metacube) —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Unidentified Flying Cheeseburgers (talkcontribs).

You made up a meaning for the word. Wiktionary does not host things that you just make up one day; they have to follow our criteria for inclusion. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:39, 1 March 2019 (UTC)