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Definitions of English terms should start with a capital and end with a full stop

Voting on: Amending Wiktionary:Style_guide#Definitions to specify (or clarify) that definitions of English terms should start with a capital letter and end with a full stop. For reasons explained at the linked discussions, certain other changes have been made to the proposed wording, most notably the removal of the mention of the distinction between "full definitions" and "glosses". Mihia (talk) 23:05, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

Please vote on replacing the current text with the new text below.


Definitions should be concise. Only in rare cases should a definition consist of more than one sentence or sentence fragment.

Types of definitions

Most definitions on Wiktionary are either full definitions or glosses. Full definitions, which are preferred for English terms, explain the meaning a particular sense in detail. Glosses, which are preferred for non-English terms, simply point the user to one or more English translations of the term.

A full definition should start with a capital letter. Because a definition is not normally a complete sentence, opinions vary on whether it is necessary to end a full definition with a period. However, in the current editing practice most definitions end with a period.

A simple gloss should not be capitalized and should not end with a period.

Example of a gloss:

Katze: cat

Example of a definition:

cat: A domesticated species (Felis silvestris) of feline animal, commonly kept as a house pet.

For defining non-English words, glosses are strongly preferred. In general, a full definition should be provided only where a foreign-language term has no satisfactory English equivalent.

For English words, full definitions are strongly preferred. Even in the rare case of true synonymy, a gloss for an English term should be formatted as a definition:

# [[cat|Cat]]
A definition should [...]


Definitions should be concise. Only in rare cases should a definition consist of more than one sentence or sentence fragment.

Definitions of English terms, including definitions that are single words or lists of single words, should begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop (or, in special cases, exclamation mark or question mark). For example, at the entry for bread:

  1. (uncountable) A foodstuff made by baking dough made from cereals.
  2. (slang, US) Money.

Definitions of non-English terms are most often single-word or single-phrase translations. These are generally uncapitalized (unless proper nouns) and do not end with a period. For example, the entry for the French word chien:

  1. dog

In general, a full definition (as opposed to a translation) of a non-English term should be provided only where that term has no satisfactory English equivalent. There are presently no specific guidelines for capitalisation or stopping of full definitions of non-English terms.

A definition should [...]


  • Vote starts: 00:00, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 23:59, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Vote created: Mihia (talk) 20:45, 5 January 2020 (UTC)



  1.   Support, and modify any templates that don't correspond to this format. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 15:38, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Support. A mixture of styles, especially within the same section, looks messy and amateurish. The other option would be to have all English definitions uncapitalised and un-fullstopped. My impression is that this would require much more change than the present proposal, and would also be problematic in the smaller number of cases where multiple sentences are required. Mihia (talk) 23:20, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
    Per the first: according to Special:Statistics there are 3.2 million "gloss definitions", of which 720 K are English. So, if we suppose that all non-English definitions are uncapitalized and unperioded, standardizing English to non-English is much fewer definitions to correct. Per the second: I do think capitalizing and fullstopping is fine when the definition is a sentence (contains a finite verb, no explicit subject needed), like I've done on om#Danish and su#Greenlandic. Out of interest, can you supply a few examples of multi-sentence definitions?__Gamren (talk) 00:32, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Gamren WT:Statistics / Special:Statistics uses gloss definition differently than this vote: as it explains in a little (easy to miss) footnote, "A gloss definition is one that has definitional content. A non-gloss definition is one that does not have definitional content but rather links to a gloss definition, such as [is the case with] inflections, variants and alternative spellings." So, for that page, it's not a formatting / punctuation thing, but a "presence of a real definition vs merely a 'see main entry' pointer". Perhaps that page should use a different word. As for multi-sentence definitions: someone who had time could probably search the database dump for more examples; I suspect there might be a few "valid" examples in the definitions of complicated mathematical terminology or the like. One not-so-good example is musket, which I changed just today to use semicolons instead. - -sche (discuss) 06:16, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Mihia: I cannot think of a case where a definition would require multiple sentences; do you have an example? Differentia can be piled on without introducing a new sentence. As for musket, the definition line could be "a kind of firearm formerly carried by the infantry of an army, originally fired by means of a match, or matchlock, for which several mechanical appliances (including the flintlock, and finally the percussion lock) were successively substituted, superseded by the rifle"; nonetheless, it is questionable whether all the bits of information really belong to a definition proper. Even if someone would insist they need a sentence element on the definition line, it could be in brackets or after a semicolon, like "a domestic animal that drinks milk (it also meows)" or "a domestic animal that drinks milk; it also meows". --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:35, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Dan Polansky: I'm sure that there are some Wiktionary definitions that are multiple sentences, but unfortunately I cannot right now remember specific examples in order to check how necessary this is. Mihia (talk) 20:38, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
  3.   Support Equinox 23:22, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
  4.   Support DTLHS (talk) 23:33, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
  5.   Support Jberkel 23:18, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  6.   Support Pablussky (talk) 13:42, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
  7.   Support Cnilep (talk) 07:54, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  8.   SupportTom 144 (𒄩𒇻𒅗𒀸) 17:33, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  9.   Support Non-sentences on English entries don't feel right for some reason. —Suzukaze-c 05:40, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Suzukaze-c: English entry definitions usually are non-sentences, e.g. "domestic animal that drinks milk" as opposed to "A cat is a domestic animal that drinks milk". --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:14, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
  10.   Support. I don't care a great deal, but this imposes order on disorder in a manner that matches our usual practice. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:46, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Metaknowledge: Would not it be better to find the preferable practice and then switch to it rather than just cement whatever we have? --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:14, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
    Yes. I don't care a great deal, so all reasonable practices are about equal to me; I value the order much more. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:29, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
  11.   Support — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 05:47, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  12.   Support - -sche (discuss) 05:34, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
  13.   Support This, that and the other (talk) 10:36, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
  14.   Support Ultimateria (talk) 17:43, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  15.   Support --Droigheann (talk) 01:20, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
  16.   Support I find the proposed changes pertaining to English a vast improvement, and to me the revised parts about foreign languages are also preferable. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:09, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
    For a legalistic standpoint, a support also supports the following: "Definitions of non-English terms are most often single-word or single-phrase translations." Such translations are not the desired end state of definition lines of non-English terms. The question here is not whether the new text is better than the old text--the old text was not voted on and is on a non-policy page--but rather whether the new text is good enough to be signed via a formal vote. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:49, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Dan Polansky I don't think it's likely that someone who ruthlessly removes lexicographic information to enforce single-word or single-phrase translations will receive a lot of support. The risk seems rather theoretical to me. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 08:40, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
    Put differently, it is unlikely that people actually support the voted-on text as written in its entirety. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:17, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
  17.   Support Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 20:05, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  18.   Support for consistency's sake, more than any preference for which direction to go.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:09, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  19.   Support Let's rock the boat. Canonicalization (talk) 10:23, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Canonicalization: May I ask whether the capitalized definitions are your preference, or whether you are supporting the better supported option to achieve voted-on consistency? Or maybe there is a third option? --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:53, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  20.   Support. HeliosX (talk) 22:57, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  21.   Support For consistency. Jjamesryan (talk | contribs) 09:12, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
    This is an invalid rationale in so far as both possible policies--capitalized definitions and uncapitalized definitions--would achieve consistency; the stated characteristic does not distinguish between the two candidate policies. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:17, 14 February 2020 (UTC)


  1.   Oppose Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 10:02, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
      Oppose It's not dictionary-style and most definitions are not complete sentences, making this pointless. On the other hand, the Simple English Wiktionary intentionally makes its definitions into colloquial sentences, and is always in need of contributors. פֿינצטערניש (Fintsternish), she/her (talk) 11:33, 13 January 2020 (UTC) I didn't realize the current text already asked for a capital letter, so I am going to abstain. פֿינצטערניש (Fintsternish), she/her (talk) 11:37, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Oppose If the exact same definition were written for an English and for another language, one should not be formatted differently from the other. Identical definitions should have identical formatting. If we distinguish different styles of definition, then the formatting rules should be based on the style, not on the language. —Rua (mew) 13:58, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
    Ideally I agree. Ideally I would propose the same formatting for both. However, the de facto situation seems to disagree, and my feeling, based on some comments, is that a proposal that would entail changing e.g. "chien: dog" to "chien: Dog." probably would fail, so this is the pragmatic proposal. Remember also that there is nothing in the proposal to stop "full" definitions of non-English terms being capitalised and full-stopped if that is what people desire. Mihia (talk) 23:29, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
  3.   Oppose. This little bit of bureaucracy ignores the fact that one or two templates don't comply with it. DonnanZ (talk) 14:06, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
    Templates should also be updated to comply, but the Style Guide is not the place to specify this. Mihia (talk) 23:22, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
  4.   Oppose Starting with capital letter and ending with period is ugly and nonsensical, and I often fix it when I add senses, to make the old definitions conform in style to the new, since I won't add in that style myself. There's no grammatical justification for it, except when the definition is a sentence. Also, having to pipe all the time is tedious.
    As an aside, the current distinction between glosses and "full definitions" is not clear to me. Is "female musician", at Musikerin, a gloss or a full definition? What about "unemployment payment" for dagpenge, or "wood that is discarded" on affaldstræ, or "the sequence consisting of the partial sums (of some infinite series)" at afsnitsfølge, or "having recently completed their studies" at nyuddannet? No, really, please classify all these.__Gamren (talk) 18:31, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
    Regarding "glosses" vs. "full definitions", please see Wiktionary_talk:Votes/2020-01/Definitions_of_English_terms_should_start_with_a_capital_and_end_with_a_full_stop#Removal_of_mention_of_"glosses". Mihia (talk) 23:36, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
  5.   Oppose: This vote piles way too much in it, some I wouldn't mind, some I really do, like periods at the end of definition lines. --{{victar|talk}} 22:01, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  6.   Oppose Does not change anything to the positive, with its spooked distinctions only feeding Wikilawyers instead of common sense (which mandates that all languages should be treated the same). If one wanted to uniformize certain templates one could do it already, accommodating current practices. Fay Freak (talk) 12:51, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
  7.   Oppose: I don't believe that definitions have to be sentences. SemperBlotto (talk) 13:49, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
    Barely relevant, since this is about formatting like a sentence, not about having to be a grammatical sentence. Equinox 15:31, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
    I am not sure. It kinda prescribes the forms for definition lines beyond punctuation and capitalization: “Only in rare cases should a definition consist of more than one sentence or sentence fragment.” (e contrario it should be a sentence or something below it?) “In general, a full definition (as opposed to a translation) of a non-English term should be provided only where that term has no satisfactory English equivalent.” (so in foreign languages the lines should not be, if ever possible? Dubious measures, I gloss and define as I consider it necessary.) Fay Freak (talk) 16:53, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
  8.   Oppose I have the same opinion about foreign language entries - it should be just a translation in lower case without a full stop, as I have always done. Glosses in translations tables should also be in lower case without full stops. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:52, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Atitarev Same opinion as what? Part of the vote is to enforce lower case without a full stop for FL entries. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:21, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Andrew Sheedy: Fair enough. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:26, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  9.   Oppose I now think it preferable to standardize on no-initial-capital-letter-and-no-final-punctuation for definition lines of both English and non-English languages. This would provide unified experience across languages. The lowercase format is used in multiple English dictionaries, a per Wiktionary talk:Votes/2020-01/Definitions of English terms should start with a capital and end with a full stop#Other English dictionaries, including Merriam-Webster online. Admittedly, it would be a large switch but we have enough users who are more than happy doing such switches, and one of these switchers has been switching to the lowercase format. The question for this vote, in my view, should not be what historically we have been doing but rather what we want and plan to be doing, and why, and why should not include argument from our tradition. Later: I find myself disagreeing with my previous statement about argument from our tradition. Tradition does carry weigh: a large-scale switch should only take place if it is worth the effort and the disruption. It seems to me that the unified experience is worth it.

    On another note, the proposed new text has so many problems that I would have to oppose even if I preferred capitalized definition lines. For instance, the following is misleading: "In general, a full definition (as opposed to a translation) of a non-English term should be provided only where that term has no satisfactory English equivalent." Bare translation items without disambiguating gloss are generally suboptimal; I think every translation should be eventually followed by a gloss, that is, an abrreviated or less abbreviated definition. The new text gives "dog" as an example of a definition line, which is hardly ideal given that the word dog has multiple meanings. Rather, there should be something like "dog: a domestic animal bred by humans from wolf". --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:58, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

    Just a note on 'unified experience across languages': personally I find the fact that English definitions look like sentences and non-English translations don't as neat as having Translingual and English at the top of an entry, ignoring the alphabetisation of the other sections. But I guess these things are subjective. --Droigheann (talk) 04:11, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
    Apart from my own subjective experience, I saw a contributor enter the likes of "A cat." to definition lines for Czech entries, which suggests the contributor intuitively expected consistency. One can get used to all sorts of disunities or inconsistencies, but I do believe the discussed disunity between English and non-English definition lines needs to get used to rather than being natural and preferable. --Dan Polansky (talk) 13:02, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
    *shrugs* I've never said it was more natural to have two different formats. Nor do I think that natural inevitably means preferable: I have little doubt it's more natural to just write "A cat." in plain text without bothering with a hyperlink. --Droigheann (talk) 00:43, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
    On a yet another note: this is a vote that uses a long specific title, "Definitions of English terms should start with a capital and end with a full stop", but then does more than the title promises. I wonder how many of the voters actually payed attention to the multiple specific changes the vote proposes. Formally, this vote leaves a lot to wish. --Dan Polansky (talk) 13:16, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
    Another point is that the texts rendered by templates put on definition lines are used both in English and non-English entries; e.g. "Diminutive of fazole" rendered by {{diminutive of}} appears in Czech fazolka, and "Diminutive" is capitalized. This adds to the benefit of having English and non-English entries unified or else you have a mixture of lowercase and capitalized in one entry, in one list. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:44, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
    Personally I'd prefer changing a template to follow a policy to making a policy to suit a template. --Droigheann (talk) 04:48, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
    No doubt we can change all relevant templates to either produce lowercase or capitalized output depending on the language passed, but that is additional avoidable entropy. And I still do not know what makes capitalized English definitions preferable; I see no force in an argument to the effect of "I find inconsistency as neat as consistency". --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:46, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
  10.   Oppose O! please! consider the non-anglophones. One would never be sure of a word starting with a capital: is it a proper noun? Is it some name? Please write with capital, what is always written with capital. It would be a great help. sarri.greek (talk) 11:04, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Sarri.greek: I am not sure I understand. This is about definition lines, not entry names. The entry is going to be, say, cat anyway, not Cat. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:42, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Dan Polansky yes, fr.wiktionary does it: they spell a monolectic translation or definition beginning with capital. As the example above: «Money». Like a german noun. Very confusing. sarri.greek (talk) 11:50, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
    Thank you for the explanation. Now I understand that you are referring to item 2 of the proposed new text, "(slang, US) Money." and that you find it confusing, on the definition line. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:54, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
  11.   Oppose (at least in cases of (full) synonymy) Extracting information automatically would probably be more difficult, and in case of words lice mercury and Mercury where capitalization results in a different word, you'd need to look at which page the link directs to in order to find out what it truly means. Mölli-Möllerö (talk) 13:28, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Mölli-Möllerö In cases of full synonymy, there should usually be more information so that the definition is not ambiguous, anyway. For instance, rather than just "Mercury." or "Mercury." I would probably write something like "The planet Mercury." or the "The metal mercury." That avoids the ambiguity and allows for consistency in formatting. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:27, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
    My argument about automatic information retrieval still holds. If someone wants to use Wiktionary's entries to make a new, edited dictionary, it will be way easier for them to convert money to Money if needed than the reverse, as it's hard to automatically identify which words should be capitalized and which should not. Thus I still oppose. (I'm fine with this new guideline for definitions are not themselves dictionary entries though) Mölli-Möllerö (talk) 12:19, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
  12.   Oppose It's better to lowercase words unless they are capitalized; even in definitions, we should always try to keep it clear whether a word is generally capitalized or not. A period should only be used if the definition is a full sentence. Buidhe (talk) 08:28, 10 February 2020 (UTC)


  1.   Abstain פֿינצטערניש (Fintsternish), she/her (talk) 11:37, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
  2.   AbstainMnemosientje (t · c) 11:12, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
  3.   Abstain --Robbie SWE (talk) 12:03, 7 February 2020 (UTC)


Since we have 21 supports, 12 opposes, 3 abstentions, and the fact that 21/33 < 2/3, this vote ends in no consensus. (It needed three more unopposed support votes to pass.) mellohi! (僕の乖離) 04:06, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

OK, I was not aware of that vote. However, you must concede that 21-12 would appear to most people to be conclusive enough. Mihia (talk) 01:10, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
Let me also point out that this "no consensus" rule is presumably designed to favour the status quo, but we all know in this case that the status quo, which is a random combination of styles, plus confused and poorly written style guidelines, is undesirable. What if we have a vote on the opposite proposal, and it turns out 21 to 12 against? Do we still have "no consensus" and the same crappy status quo? This needs to be rethought. Mihia (talk) 01:28, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
That's an interesting point, if a vote to mandate lowercasing failed 21 to 12, it would feel like there was more pressure to stop lowercasing, even when all that was actually decided was that it couldn't be mandated. But yes, this is what seems to cause us some of the thorniest problems these days: where there is no one rule that is agreed to be the status quo ante (either because people agree the current situation is inconsistency, like here, or because people disagree on what the status quo is), so you have a situation where the vote to mandate (a change to) one practice didn't get a big enough majority to pass, but editors (and I'm not shading anyone, I'm one of them this time) will doubtless continue editing entries piecemeal to use the practice, since no vote to ban it passed, or could pass given the numbers here. - -sche (discuss) 17:44, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

Banning Proto-Albanian entries

Voting on: Banning the creation Proto-Albanian entries, whilst still permitting reconstructions in etymologies.


  • Vote starts: 00:00, 30 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 23:59, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Vote created: {{victar|talk}} 20:45, 14 December 2019 (UTC)



  1.   Support Proto-Albanian reconstructions are arbitrary, and just as we don't create entries for Proto-Armenian, they should be equally forbidden. --{{victar|talk}} 07:34, 30 December 2019 (UTC)
    I'm not sure Armenian therefore Albanian works. As you see below at least Matasovic is fairly confident that we can learn much about Proto-Albanian from all the loans. I don't know as much about Armenian, but it has had some issues in the past, see Godel 1970 on this, he called the "present state of Armenian etymology" "anarchic" [[1]]; I do hope those issues have been resolved.--Calthinus (talk) 22:12, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Support --Vahag (talk) 08:20, 30 December 2019 (UTC)
  3.   Support Fay Freak (talk) 13:42, 30 December 2019 (UTC)
  4.   Support, they just become hotbeds for never-ending controversies. --Robbie SWE (talk) 17:29, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
    Incredibly weak argument. Just sayin. Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 17:39, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
    Weak or not, it's still my opinion and the other people supporting this proposition make even more compelling arguments. --Robbie SWE (talk) 00:09, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
  5.   Support Even though I created these entries, I support the idea of moving them to the Albanian entry's etymology section under the label "Early Proto-Albanian". Kwékwlos (talk) 07:39, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
    Why not just "early Albanian"? Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 17:02, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
    'Early Albanian' does not refer to the proto language, but the modern one. ArbDardh (talk) 17:19, 5 January 2020 (UTC)ArbDardh
  6.   Support With only one language, there is no common ancestor to reconstruct. —Rua (mew) 15:05, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
      Support per Rua. – Tom 144 (𒄩𒇻𒅗𒀸) 02:07, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Tom 144, Rua, Kwékwlos sure, this is generally a good policy but here, it's misinformed. Yes, relying on internal reconstruction rather than the comparative method has problems (really that should make "Pre-" languages but we do also have Proto-Basque with its own body of research). However, this does not apply to Albanian, because we know the forms that an enormous chunk of the vocabulary had at the time it was loaned into Proto-Albanian, as they are Latin. The intervening processes that led to the modern forms of these words must apply to the rest of the Albanian lexicon unless we entirely throw out the foundational assumptions that still are the basis ongoing diachronic phonology research and literally every other proto-language reconstruction. How do we know it was the period that Proto-Albanian indicates that they were loaned into? Because researchers choose to reconstruct Proto-Albanian specifically then; they also (except for relatively less involved Matasovic who ends it much later) choose to end their postulated Proto-Albanian at the point of the Gheg-Tosk split so a limited comparison is possible. Instead of me, instead of anyone here, why don't we listen to the University of Zagreb's ubiquitous Indo-Europeanist Ranko Matasovic (a taste of his career: [[2]]): The comparative and historical research of Albanian is also fortunate in that the Albanian vocabulary is loaded with loan-words from Latin, Greek, and various forms of South Slavic, some of which are very old. Since we can discover the sound changes that affected these loan-words, we are often able to reconstruct in great detail the shape of Proto-Albanian native words[[3]]. It is true that the syntax and many aspects of the morphology of Proto-Albanian are shaky -- Vladimir Orel admits as much-- but the phonological forms of reconstructed roots are more grounded than you think. I will respect whatever the ultimate outcome is here, but I do ask you both to reconsider in light of the scholarly view. --Calthinus (talk) 20:11, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Calthinus: I certainly do not believe that internal reconstruction is an ill science, and I wouldn't disrespect those who attempt to reconstruct earlier stages of Albanian. And although I believe those arguments you posited are in fact good ways to reconstruct aspects of a language, I don't think that is enough to achieve the level of accuracy that we expect in wiktionary. Without the comparative method, much of the speculation regarding Albanian reconstructions will never be confirmed (or dismissed). I believe it's a good practice not to reconstruct proto-languages with a single descendant. – Tom 144 (𒄩𒇻𒅗𒀸) 22:06, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
    This is a fair point if we want to impose a high bar -- but then, what about all the remaining issues in the other proto-languages? Frequently cited sources on Proto-Indo-European, built off a paper trail perhaps an order of magnitude larger, still apparently cannot agree on the numbers 2 and 3. And yet we have entries for PIE (which I find very helpful and would not want to see deleted).--Calthinus (talk) 22:26, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
    Just a minor nitpick, the numbers two and three aren't that controversial. The forms *duwóh₁ and *dwóh₁ are Lindeman variants. And the form *tréyes is masculine, while *tríh₂ is neuter. There're many controversial topics in the field but I doubt this'd be considered one of them. – Tom 144 (𒄩𒇻𒅗𒀸) 00:22, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
    Sure. But in a world where ksira vs. xira ambiguity is "horrific" (ks > x is a regular shift occurring within PA), the issue of rival citation forms must apply to both sides of the argument, no double standards. You will protest: but people familiar with PIE will recognize this. Correct. Likewise, people actually familiar with Proto-Albanian immediately recognize that ksira vs. xira is very much the opposite of an actual issue. And Proto-Albanian entries would likely only be really used by Albanists and Romance linguists -- PIE people have little use for PAlb: its huge time gap from PIE makes it less useful, and its remaining inherited vocab size is small, and controversial. But for the purposes of studying Romanian and Albanian themselves, Proto-Albanian is very useful to have. I find the recent expansion of specific reconstructed Proto-Albanian roots on Wiktionary to be a thing that is very helpful as a quick reference, and I had long wished Wiktionary would have more coverage of Albanian diachronic variation. You are trying to take that away from me, so, yes, I am going to adamantly be an arsehole about pointing out the double standards here -- don't take it personally (I do respect most of the people I am arguing with here, really). --Calthinus (talk) 03:22, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
      Support per Rua. I don't know much about Albanian, but I don't see how you could reconstruct a language based on one language alone. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:15, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
    I am afraid the reasoning "only one language => no good reconstruction of a proto-phase (unattested phase)" may be a little bit too simplistic. The reasoning has a plausibility, but is it correct? Have you or Rua looked at Orel? I have found an Orel pdf online. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:54, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
    Actually, Vladimir Orel's works on Proto-Albanian have been published by Brill in Leiden, which, in regard of other considerable etymological publishings by Brill, could be an argument for the authenticity of Proto-Albanian reconstructions. HeliosX (talk) 17:32, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
  7.   Support Before allowing reconstructions, WT:About Proto-Albanian would need to be updated to say what stage is being reconstructed and to provide a standard orthography for en.Wikt at minimum. Furthermore, I have yet to see any consensus between the Proto-Albanian reconstructions of Orel, Camaj, Demiraj, Matasović, or Schumacher & Matzinger, to name a few scholars. Without serious work laying out how Proto-Albanian should be reconstructed on en.Wikt, I prefer not non-reconstruction to the Wild West we have at the moment. —*i̯óh₁n̥C[5] 01:39, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Allahverdi Verdizade, one of my concerns is again echoed above. --{{victar|talk}} 22:18, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
    The disagreements between these researchers, as far as the same stage is concerned, are AFAIK not radical, and mostly in detail, just like in other proto-language reconstructions. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:35, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  8.   Support per above. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 15:30, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
  9.   Support It's very narrow-minded to say that a reconstruction of a language is impossible just because its descendants don't have separate armies and navies, especially when said language belongs to the single best investigated language family of the world, has a rich morphology and historical contact with other well-investigated languages. Still, I don't see a point in having pages that would only serve to duplicate content, leading to inconsistency. Crom daba (talk) 19:11, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
    How would they only serve to duplicate content? Reconstruction pages can also include pronunciation and other information that wouldn't appear in an etymology. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:21, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
    Good point. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:35, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
      Support, It would be good specified a proto-forms that all scientist agree with. Gnosandes (talk) 17:27, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Gnosandes: Please clarify your stance. Are you supporting allowing Proto-Albanian entries as long as there is a consensus on what the reconstructions should be? Because right now you're voting in support of deleting the entries and banning any more from being created. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 21:32, 22 January 2020 (UTC)


  1.   Oppose. HeliosX (talk) 19:23, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Oppose. ArbDardh (talk) 19:47, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
  3.   Oppose. Torvalu4 (talk) 16:04, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
  4.   Oppose. I don't have any preference one way or the other, but after reading the discussion I must say that the arguments provided by the ban-supporters are not convincing. Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 17:38, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Allahverdi Verdizade: At risk of sounding like a broken record, the reconstructions are arbitrary. What stage do we reconstruct when comparative methodology of proto languages is thrown out the window? Orel contrives some golden 1st century period, but we have no idea what "Proto-Albanian" really looked like then. As a result, his reconstructions are also most often not in agreement with those of Demiraj, so even if you buy into this romantic fantasy, we have no standard to speak of. It's really just an ill-conceived sudo-scientific mess. --{{victar|talk}} 03:03, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Allahverdi Verdizade: Could you reply here, per our conversation on Discord? --{{victar|talk}} 05:37, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
    Despite the fact that the reconstructions precede Gheg-Tosk split, I am still not convinced they are not legit based on borrowings from Latin and Greek. Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 13:12, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Allahverdi Verdizade: And how does one rectify that scholars do not uniformly reconstruct "Proto-Albanian"? Do we just follow Orel and ignore Demiraj? Another arbitrary choice for an arbitrarily reconstructed language. --{{victar|talk}} 00:37, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
    Ow, that is definitely not a problem. We'll just add alternative reconstructions in such cases. Commonpractice in Proto-Turkic and Common Turkic, for instance, where Claeson posits voiceless initial stops, most others - voiced. Because most Wiktionary editors more or less arbitrarily follow most others and not Claeson, we add descendants to the entries with voiced initial stops, and the other entries would then just link to the main entries as "alternative reconstruction of term X (according to author Y)".
    The real problem right now is that entries are unsourced, which is truly unacceptable. Albanian editors will have to add sources to all entries. Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 07:57, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Allahverdi Verdizade: You should be, because theories with no consensus are weak ones, but I'll put a pin in that. The more problematic reason for the discrepancies is that we don't know the chronology of many changes and if they happened before, during, or after the word was borrowed from Latin into Albanian. If you can't establish that, you can reconstruct them a half-dozen different ways, making their reconstruction a joke. --{{victar|talk}} 10:16, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
    I don't think so at all, taking into account Joachim Matzinger's datings of particular sound changes as well as borrowings from Ancient Greek and Latin in this thesis paper from 2016. A timetable, for instance, is given on p. 7 in case that anyone needs to look it up concretely. HeliosX (talk) 17:32, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
    @HeliosX, Allahverdi Verdizade: You're certainly welcome to disagree, but you need just look at how the reconstructions of Orel and Demiraj differ. Compare *jāgnja to *γyogᵒeA, *skalā to *halna-, *ksirā to *xirā, *lauga to *vlog-, etc. ad nauseam. --{{victar|talk}} 18:54, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Victar As I noted earlier, different phases of Proto-Albanian are given different names in different publications, and "Proto-Albanian" itself if we consider Matasovic's dating of its last phase to the 1300s CE (!!) covers the greater part of two millenia. You have drawn your examples from different authors talking about different periods of Proto-Albanian. You drew ksira from Orel's Early Proto Albanian (see p97, Concise Historical Grammar) it seems. Per Orel himself EPA ks- regularly develops into later PA x-, to modern Albanian h-... the same fate as loanwords with x- from Slavic. So Orel himself postulates an LPA xira too, meaning ksira vs. xira is a case of consensus. For example. By the way, skalna to halna too: see Orel page 97-98 : EPA *sk is reguarly metathesized to *ks > Alb h in Proto-Albanian roots with voiced occlusives... the same development takes place in roots with the sonorants *l, *r ... and then he gives the near identical example of how skola becomes ksola > xola > hola. What you think is authors whose work is a "joke" disagreeing, is actually them agreeing, and you conflating different periods.--Calthinus (talk) 21:01, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Calthinus The point of my examples was to show that the various scholars in the field do not provide a uniform reconstruction of "Proto-Albanian", and until you have that, you cannot reconstruct a language. I appreciate that they're "difference stages" but the chronology and order is still lacking in agreement. --{{victar|talk}} 01:49, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    (at what point do we outdent here?) @Victar I want to apologize as some of this comes off as heated from me. I (and Florian) clearly see whatever disagreements there are as not issues that demonstrate the effort is not worthwhile, you (and or John) may disagree, I dont know. I do agree that there are real problems arising from the lack of a standard dating terminology. What a better discussion to have would be is "how do we decide on a policy mapping terms to periods to use" and which authors to go with. We could put a warning on a proto-Alb reconstruction page alluding to these issues. We could list rival forms where appropriate. I support most of all giving info and also providing info about what we are uncertain about. That is the most informative way to go about it, no? --Calthinus (talk) 03:17, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    I'd like to add as well, in cases where the form is actually disputed, I think if we are going to reference it on the entries of its reflexes, it's much nicer to have a reconstruction page we can link to that informs readers about the dispute....no? --Calthinus (talk) 03:24, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Calthinus: The most informative way, in my opinion, would be to limit reconstructions to etymologies, and listing the various scholarly reconstructions. Committing to one single form gives the reader the false impression that this is the current most agreed upon academic reconstruction. Such a thing can be said for our entries for PIE, Germanic, Celtic, etc., but not Proto-Albanian. --{{victar|talk}} 06:21, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    If you limit reconstructions to etymologies we have no central pages to link to where competing versions can be presented. Not all sources are available to everyone at all times. The likely result of your proposal is de facto reliance on Orel's forms, without the users who add them even knowing there are competing forms, because Orel 2000 is available online, and Demiraj and others are not. So what are we trying to accomplish here? And if anyone tries to fix it, you'd think they'd want to locate all the pages that might need to be compared between different sources. Well an index would be nice for that. You seem to want to delete the index for Proto-Albanian too per the discussion on the board. That is certainly a good way to make sure we cannot account for any real inconsistencies between Orel/Demiraj/whoever if we do actually discover some.--Calthinus (talk) 15:30, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    Category:Albanian terms derived from Proto-Albanian --{{victar|talk}} 19:01, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Allahverdi Verdizade: One example of not legit reconstruction based on borrowings in Latin and Greek: On bathë they posited a Proto-Albanian *batsā and even an Indo-European *bʰaḱeh₂ based on Modern Greek φακή (fakí), which as I have explained on its entry derives via Ancient Greek φακῆ (phakê, lentil-dish) from a contraction of Ancient Greek φακέα (phakéa, lentil-dish), from φακός (phakós, lentil). But Kwékwlos servilely created *batsā. And such is a common thread in Orel’s books, I am referring to an older discussion about Proto-Afro-Asiatic reconstructions and how assuming one be. Any benefit claimed to arise from Proto-Albanian entries – and it has to be searched with a magnifying glass – is not worth the horror of the terrible mistakes and inacceptable inexactitudes made by that language being free for entries, and the occupation of hunting down and treating these chronic ailments. Fay Freak (talk) 01:28, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
    This information is just wrong because neither Ancient Greek φακή (phakḗ) nor Proto-Albanian *batsā have been borrowed. Any doubt about the possible common Proto-Indo-European root does not prevent the Proto-Albanian etymology. HeliosX (talk) 17:53, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Fay Freak, logically, @HeliosX is correct here, but further, the scholarship on Proto-Albanian, especially Orel who is widely cited and well-regarded in the academic community regardless of the opinions of anonymous encyclopedia editors, has already suggested a solution to that issue -- it is a loanword, likely from a substrate, not directly from PIE > ... > Albanian. See Matasovic, page 8 [[4]]. --Calthinus (talk) 21:01, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
  5.   Oppose If the reconstructions are considered to be unreliable and insufficiently scientific, they should not appear in etymologies of Albanian entries either, but the vote proposes that they be allowed in etymologies. Surely, we do not want claims sourced to pseudoscience in the mainspace; the vote proposer suggests the Proto-Albanian reconstructions are "sudo-scientific mess". --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:27, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Dan Polansky: If you think that "Proto-Albanian" reconstructions should be banned from etymologies as well, you should vote yes on this and start a follow up vote. By voting no, you're supporting the creation of more entries. --{{victar|talk}} 05:35, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
    By voting oppose, I am opposing the proposal as written, no more and no less, consistent with my reasoning above. I do not know whether Proto-Albanian is pseudoscience. If Proto-Albanian is pseudoscience, it would be good to collect reliable sources that say so, or at least some sources that say so. As the initiator, you can create a follow-up vote that bans Proto-Albanian altogether, consistent with your claim that Proto-Albanian is pseudoscience. --Dan Polansky (talk) 06:42, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Dan Polansky: I understand what you're doing, but you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater. A vote to ban Proto-Albanian altogether has a much poorer chance in passing so this is the only vote that will be created on this issue. --{{victar|talk}} 06:45, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
    Re: "A vote to ban Proto-Albanian altogether has a much poorer chance in passing": I don't know why that would be so. If Proto-Albanian can be shown to be pseudoscience or at least not reliable enough (e.g. too tentative) for the English Wiktionary standards, it has to go altogether. Being banned altogether is what happened to Altaic or Proto-Altaic in Wiktionary:Votes/2019-01/Banning Altaic, while there was an older vote that did not pass: Wiktionary:Votes/2013-11/Proto-Altaic.
    Re: "this is the only vote that will be created on this issue": My guess would be that someone will create another vote if the present vote fails; we'll see. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:29, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
    Gauge the room yourself and read the discussions and the votes here. Your oppose vote is a vote for Proto-Albanian. It's really as simple as that. --{{victar|talk}} 07:46, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
    We've clarified that already: "By voting oppose, I am opposing the proposal as written, no more and no less". --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:14, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
    ~@Dan Polansky In cases like these, people usually abstain. I think that's probably the best way for you to voice your concerns without making it difficult to get rid of Proto-Albanian. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:16, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
    If the supporting editors make a reasonably strong case, it should not be too difficult to get rid of Proto-Albanian altogether. A vote is a high-visibility artifact, compared to a RFD for a category, and has a good chance of attracting many eyeballs. I outright oppose keeping inaccurate information in the mainspace, and that is what the present vote intends to do by its own admission. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:33, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
  6.   Oppose if I understand the proposal correctly, this would seem to also ban reconstruction pages, of this sort-- Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/óynos. Although work on Proto-Albanian is not as voluminous as PGmc or PIE, it would also be entirely wrong to treat Proto-Albanian as something with zero evidence aside from internal reconstruction using native vocab to go off of, as is the case with many "proto-" languages. Many Albanian words coming from ancient Latin loans (Greek loans, less so, but there are some). Albanian overall is more "Latinate" in its lexicon than native -- some 60% is of Latin origin although not all of it is so ancient. The items of interest include those as basic as dog, fish, hundred, friend, to see, sky, etc. Suffice to say the data is ample for the forms of much of the vocab before the sound changes that would transform them to their modern Albanian forms. Although this limits the source material for modern Albanian reflexes to construct roots from, it does help decrease our uncertainty of the phonological shape of Proto-Albanian, especially "Later Proto-Albanian" -- i.e. after the absorption of many Latin elements. One may protest "but loanwords do not preserve their original phonological shape"; this is at least somewhat handled for example, Latin s > Alb /ʃ/, probably because /s/ was not in the arsenal at that time, i.e. the reflex of neither palatalized PIE *ḱ nor *kʷ was /s/ then. And after their regularization, unless we throw out Neogrammarianism, the treatment of these loans and their development into their Old and Modern Albanian forms help us understand the intervening processes.

    I see above in the "Support" section the work of respected linguists such as Orel and Demiraj called "a joke"? Unless you are an acknowledged expert on the issue, that's a bit much. People disagree, they build on each others' work, sometimes they are wrong, corrections are made, but really, "a joke"? Especially as misunderstandings are possible: for example, what Orel calls "Early Proto-Albanian", others call "Pre-Proto-Albanian", and what some others call "Early Proto-Albanian" is (part of) "Late Proto-Albanian" for Orel. Proto-Albanian is not the only proto- language with these issues, proto-Celtic reconstructions still feature discrepancies (although like Proto-Albanian some of these boil down to dating/terminology), and there is still no consensus over the correct form of PIE laryngeals, among other factors. The exact forms for some real core vocabulary items in Proto-Indo-European remains disputed by sources still in use. Is the number two duwo- (Sihler) or du̯oh₁? Is three *tri, or is it *treyes? Of course I acknowledge (as we all should) that Proto-Albanian is far more problematic overall than Proto-Indo-European, but we have reconstruction pages for PIE despite these issues also existing, and as for Proto-Celtic (which we also have), its construction cannot be unharmed by the loss of every Celtic tongue (many surely totally unattested) that wasn't isolated on remote islands which were once the extreme periphery of the Celtic world -- a vexing issue that thankfully we don't have to deal with for Albanian, because authors choose to reconstruct the form that existed around the time of Roman contact, as that is the most verifiable thing to do. We are pretty clear our reconstructions are not verifiable, so what is the problem, exactly?

    Apologies for length. Cheers all,--Calthinus (talk) 05:44, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
    No need to apologize for the lengthiness, your contribution to the debate is both relevant and insightful. Contributions like these are much needed for people previously unfamiliar with the issue (like myself) to form an informed opinion. Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 23:04, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Calthinus: The "joke" isn't in their efforts, but the idea of some perfect world where "Proto-Albanian" is reconstructible, and all scholars agree upon that standard; there isn't and they don't. Orel is a good researcher with many exceptional accolades to his name, but this project is not a database for the works of a single author. As @JohnC5 points out, if we were even to start allowing Proto-Albanian entries on en.Wikt, a standard would first need to be developed and settled upon, and efforts towards that have yet to be made. Perhaps when they are, we can vote to include them again. --{{victar|talk}} 23:43, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
    Okay, thank you for clearing that up. But it doesn't look to me like the scholarship supports your view. I have posted a link to the Indo-Europeanist Matasovic discussing this: and he concurs, the loans increase our confidence substantially. Not only the works of Orel but also many of his predecessors and successors remain well recieved. Of course with controversy on certain points as there is for all reconstruction projects, but I have not yet seen controversy about whether proto-Albanian "is reconstructible". In the discussion on the board, I very much agree with @Florian Blaschke: a lot of the justifications here seem based on things that are just wrong, like using armies and navies (i.e. "these are dialects not languages" w/o regard to when they diverged) to determine whether we can use the comparative method. The Gheg-Tosk split was before the 6th century fyi. I do agree there are issues and if we keep it, a clear policy for whose dating terminology should be used should be laid out.--Calthinus (talk) 00:00, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Calthinus: I want to clarify something else that may have not been clear: this is not a vote to ban Proto-Albanian etymologies, but only entries, and those etymologies should be written to include differing scholarly reconstructions. Only @Dan Polansky, to my knowledge, is calling for an outright ban. @JohnC5, can you reply to Calthinus' views on scholarly (dis)agreement? --{{victar|talk}} 00:14, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Calthinus: I am not going to go through all of the numerous phonological disagreements between {{R:sq:Demiraj}}, {{R:sq:Orel}}/{{R:sq:Orel:2000}}, {{R:sq:Schumacher-Matzinger}}, and Ölberg (2013, Untersuchungen zum indogermanischen Wortschatz des Albanischen und zur diachronen Phonologie aufgrund des Vokalsystems), each of which contains lists of sound changes from PIE to Albanian. But I will look at one problem facing PAlb.: as far as I am aware, no one has ever given a PAlb. phonemic inventory. w:Proto-Albanian language#Phonology shows phonemic inventories (which Calthinus added) as supposedly stated in {{R:sq:Orel:2000}}, but no such explicit inventories exist in Orel's text. The inventories presented in w:Proto-Albanian language#Phonology are instead cobbled together from Orel's described sound changes with very few references to the other Albanists mentioned above (many of whom disagree with Orel). Indeed, none of the above sources list explicit phonemic inventories for PAlb.—to my knowledge, no published Albanian scholar has explicitly listed the PAlb. phonemes with an explicit orthography. This is very different from the situations in Proto-Slvic, Proto-Indo-Iranian, Proto-Germanic, Proto-Italic, and Proto-Hellenic (for example), which have long had standard orthographies and widely accepted phonemic inventories. If this project is to provide entries for PAlb., we need to have an orthography and sound system upon which scholars agree. The information presented in w:Proto-Albanian language#Phonology is a digested summary of the opinions of one scholar, who did not himself actually provide a unified description of either "EPA" or "LPA". What's more, w:Proto-Albanian language#Phonology does not provide an orthography for PAlb., but only IPA transcriptions for EPA and LPA. En.Wikt does not encode protolanguages in the IPA, so the "policy" described at WT:About_Proto-Albanian is useless. Furthermore, the PIE reconstructions given at w:Proto-Albanian language#Phonology (e.g. PIE *g'hn̩taː for *ǵʰn̥-teh₂, ostensibly some bizarre form of *ǵʰh₂éns (goose), and PIE *ln̩gwh- for *h₁ln̥gʷʰ-to-s < *h₁lengʷʰ-) demonstrate a lack of understanding of the modern standards for Indo-European reconstruction. Overall, I see no evidence that any published scholar has laid out even the most basic element of Proto-Albanian, its sound system or orthography. Failing that, we cannot speak of a "scholarly consensus" around the PAlb. sound system, since no scholar has ever fully described it. w:Proto-Albanian_language ineptly compiles the views of a single scholar without an understanding of PIE reconstruction and without providing a workable system for reconstruction on en.Wikt. —*i̯óh₁n̥C[5] 01:25, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    Not "together" but individually Orel does state which phonemes at least were present in EPA and LPA by listing each and giving its reflexes, that is precisely how the treatise is structured, no he does not give you charts, perhaps because as I have discovered on enwiki they end up... large. However that is irrelevant anyways because the question is not if we know the phonemic inventory of PAlb. That's also a double standard, as there is no consensus on PIE laryngeals, other issues regarding the dorsals, I suppose we have moved on from Glottalic theory but who knows, and then there's the whole thing of "to *b or not to *b". But again that's not even what matters. It is whether Proto-Albanian is, to use Victar's words, "reconstructible" or otherwise "sudoscience". That is a fringe view, I am sorry. PAlb is not "sudoscience". I also entirely disagree that the "orthography" of an unattested language is its "most basic element". Does Proto-Italic have a standardized "orthography" when people still argue over very basic things like whether Venetic is included? Some writers arent even sure if Italic is one clade or if it is like the (minority) Baltic and Slavic theory where its just areal convergence/parallel evolution (thank goodness Albanian doesn't have those issues!). But even if it was "basic", as long as we are consistent and clear in how transcribe it here on Wiktionary, why does it matter? All that matters is that for each term we are reasonably "confident" in our sources (i.e. as confident as one can be for a proto-language -- if we want to argue no reconstruction pages ever, at least I'd see a consistent argument). --Calthinus (talk) 02:30, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    Also, no, Orel clearly states what EPA and LPA are. Page XII: "Early Proto-Albanian-- immediately before the beginning of contacts with Latin/Proto-Romance (1st century CE)". Demiraj disagrees with him by ~200 years on that point of when earliest contact happened but that is relatively minor as everyone agrees the bulk of imports from Latin came a bit later. Same page, "Late Proto-Albanian-- following contacts with the Proto-Romance and ancient Slavic dialects still close to Proto-Slavic (6th to 7th centuries CE)". That is remarkably concrete in fact. What about the dating of PIE? Oh, wait the Kurganists and Anatolianists are still spilling ink on that, now with new rival Bayesian models in their arsenals.--Calthinus (talk) 02:40, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    Here is another source on Proto-Albanian, in the Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics. Note that in this source LPA is called "PAlb" and EPA is "PPAlb" [5]. I believe in particular @Victar and @JohnC5 that this should assuage your worries about the ordering of phonological changes and inventories, as here is a source that presents both inventories and the order of changes, and is published by some of the most prolific authors in the field (google scholar cites: Joseph [6], for example). Additionally, they give a long list of recent work in the area that I hope will be of great use if you or any one else wishes to further inspect the matter. Cheers! --Calthinus (talk) 17:25, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  7.   Oppose mellohi! (僕の乖離) 22:30, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
  8.   Oppose Per above arguments. Proto-Albanian reconstructions that reflect an ancestor of Modern Albanian around the time Latin loanwords started to be adopted are absolutely scientific, and advanced by other scholars beyond Orel. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:31, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
      Oppose as per above comment by @Florian Blaschke and detailed reasons given by @Calthinus.Resnjari (talk) 19:48, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
    Ineligible to vote. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 22:24, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  9.   Oppose. Gnosandes (talk) 05:13, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
  10.   Oppose. NativeNames (talk) 17:48, 8 February 2020 (UTC)


  1.   Abstain I just don't know enough about the issue to make a decision. —Mahāgaja · talk 16:45, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
    Abstain Let me abstain at this point and provide some notes:
    1) There is Wikipedia:Proto-Albanian language, referencing mostly Orel: Orel, Vladimir (2000). A Concise Historical Grammar of the Albanian Language: Reconstruction of Proto-Albanian and Orel, Vladimir (1998). Albanian etymological dictionary.
    2) Apart from Orel, "scholars like Demiraj, Schumacher, Matzinger and others" are mentioned by Florian Blaschke as sources for Proto-Albanian, in Wiktionary:Requests for deletion/Others#Category:Proto-Albanian lemmas.
    3) Category:Proto-Albanian lemmas has 84 lemmas.
    4) An example Proto-Albanian form is Reconstruction:Proto-Albanian/ainja, which has as descendants the Old Albanian nja, and Albanian një. Another example is Reconstruction:Proto-Albanian/aktṓ, from which Albanian tetë is descended. In Reconstruction:Proto-Albanian/balgā, Old Albanian baljëgë is given as a descendant from which further descendants are derived, Albanian, Italian, Romanian, and Serbo-Croatian. None of the pages has any reference. balgā was created on 15 April 2012‎; the other two are from 2019‎.
    5) The prefix "Proto-" in "Proto-Albanian" refers to the the forms being unattested and reconstructed. (Trivial for most readers, but anyway.)
    6) If Proto-Albanian forms get separate pages, references can be added to them. If they don't, inline references can be added to Proto-Albanian items in etymology chains in Albanian entries or Old Albanian entries.
    7) Separate pages for Proto-Albanian can get inflection tables if such information could be sourced.
    8) The languages or dialects descended from Proto-Albanian include Gheg and Tosk. "Gheg and Tosk are different enough that you can, indeed, make meaningful reconstructions", said Chuck Entz. In the English Wiktionary, Gheg and Tosk are treated as parts of single Albanian language. Going by ISO 639-3 codes, the descendants would be "Arbëresh (aae), Arvanitika (aat), Gheg (aln), and Tosk (als)", per Mahāgaja. Examples of Gheg vs. Tosk can be found in Wikipedia:Gheg Albanian#Examples and Wikipedia:Albanian dialects#Comparison; some further reading is Albanian language # Dialects, britannica.com.
    --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:13, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
    Orel has done some work on Proto-Albanian inflection in his Concise Historical Grammar... If the opportunity arises, it could indeed be possible to create such inflection tables as per his reconstructions. ArbDardh (talk) 15:12, 11 January 2020 (UTC)ArbDardh
    @Chuck Entz: you changed tetë to etë in my post in diff, but the Proto-Albanian entry really says tetë so I put it back. Was it inadvertent or do you think it should be etë? --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:49, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
    I was just restoring it to your original version, since it was changed without your permission (albeit with the best of intentions). Chuck Entz (talk) 08:53, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
    Oops, there I go. Thank you, and I'll keep tetë in the post as accurate. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:59, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Abstain. I   Support the proposal in theory, but am not qualified to judge. Canonicalization (talk) 10:18, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
  3.   Abstain per Calthinus' objection and because I now realize the issue is more complex than I thought. I'll let those who know more decide (especially since the vote is so close). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:20, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Andrew Sheedy It takes knowledge to declare what you know, but wisdom to admit what you don't. I wish more users exhibited the wisdom to abstain in votes. --{{victar|talk}} 00:02, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    Votes are created because support is sought from the wider community, that is from people who are not experts at a particular area, but who have the ability to assess presented arguments, weigh them against one another and form a well-informed opinion. People vote against your proposal because your arguments are weak, not because of lack of "wisdom". Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 13:32, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
    Much wise. Many wisdom. --{{victar|talk}} 19:01, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  4.   Abstain: I'm not qualified to vote one way or the other, but from what little I've read, I'm swayed by the arguments that some form of Proto-Albanian may be worth including, but that there need to be guidelines on the language: in particular how to integrate different scholars' reconstructions, what stage of the language should be represented on Wiktionary, what its phonemes are and what transcription system to use. — Eru·tuon 02:27, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  5.   Abstain Octahedron80 (talk) 02:30, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  6.   Abstain I've concluded I'm not informed enough about Proto-Albanian to assess the quality of the arguments in either side. – Tom 144 (𒄩𒇻𒅗𒀸) 20:46, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
      Abstain I have no strong feelings one way or the other. Oldstone James (talk) 17:48, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
    Ineligible to vote, see Wiktionary:Voting policy. – Tom 144 (𒄩𒇻𒅗𒀸) 21:41, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
  7.   Abstain because I don't know much about internal reconstruction or Albanian. However, I do think that this decision should not be Proto-Albanian-specific, i.e. we should consider expanding the decision to other proto-langs with very few direct descendants. (See here for a list) Julia 02:06, 10 February 2020 (UTC)


Failed 9-10-7. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 02:21, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

Make Frankish an etymology-only variant of Proto-West Germanic

Voting on: Making Frankish an etymology-only variant of Proto-West Germanic. --{{victar|talk}} 22:01, 16 January 2020 (UTC)


  • Vote starts: 00:00, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 23:59, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Vote created: {{victar|talk}} 22:01, 16 January 2020 (UTC){{victar|talk}} 19:46, 31 December 2019 (UTC)



  1.   Support: I have no issue with this but I motion that Frankish entries be moved to Proto-West Germanic, not deleted as @Rua has been doing, in order to preserve the edit history of those entries. I'd like to also see this remedied retroactively. --{{victar|talk}} 22:07, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
    I don't know enough to support, but I agree with the above. Rua does a lot of great work around here, but it would be nice to see her working a little less unilaterally. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 22:33, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Rua, I ask that you desist in creating PWG entries that are duplicates of Frankish entries before this vote is out. @Andrew Sheedy, Fay Freak: --{{victar|talk}} 18:22, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
    That seems a bit extra (adj. sense 3). I get where you're coming from, but given the circumstances it's imo better to just say: in the unlikely case this vote fails, please undo all recent edits that are affected by this vote - no need to hinder the good work she's doing right now, surely. — Mnemosientje (t · c) 18:38, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Mnemosientje: I only ask that because she's now intentionally targeting Frankish entries. I find that quite a disturbing reply (retaliation?) to this vote. --{{victar|talk}} 19:45, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
    We're taking issue with her approach regardless of the outcome of the vote. It would be better to move pages she has been deleting and recreating, in order, as Victar pointed out, to preserve the edit history. She seems to have stopped now though. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 21:52, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
    She's still specifically targeting Frankish entries for duplication. If anything is extra, it's that. --{{victar|talk}} 18:43, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Support Not seen what she has been doing but if so then same. Fay Freak (talk) 23:29, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  3.   SupportMahāgaja · talk 08:43, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  4.   SupportMnemosientje (t · c) 09:48, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  5.   Support. HeliosX (talk) 16:06, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  6.   Support. 𐌷𐌻𐌿𐌳𐌰𐍅𐌹𐌲𐍃 𐌰𐌻𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐌹𐌲𐌲𐍃 (talk) 14:18, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
  7.   Support Gnosandes (talk) 20:30, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
  8.   Support and keep Frankish entries as they are until after vote. There's tons of deleted Frankish entries whose subsequent redlinks have messed up etymologies; i.e. readers have no way to get to the further PGmc/PWG root (see guipure). It'll be fixed when the vote (probably) passes but still. Julia 00:38, 10 February 2020 (UTC)


  Oppose Gnosandes (talk) 20:26, 25 January 2020 (UTC)


  1.   Abstain. Don't know enough about it, although from what I've seen, I would support this if I knew more. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 07:40, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Abstain I don't see anything obviously wrong with the proposal, and I do not feel like getting deeper into the subject. Thank you for creating the vote. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:37, 14 February 2020 (UTC)


Passes (8-0-2). — surjection?〉 10:49, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

Deprecating {{topN}}

Voting on: Deprecating all columnating templates, such as {{top3}}, forbidding their use under entry sub-sections, i.e. Descendants, of Proto-Slavic, Proto-West-Germanic, etc. --{{victar|talk}} 19:46, 31 December 2019 (UTC)


  • Vote starts: 00:00, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 23:59, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Vote created: {{victar|talk}} 19:46, 31 December 2019 (UTC)



  1.   Support for descendants, otherwise abstain. —Rua (mew) 17:34, 3 January 2020 (UTC)


  1.   Oppose Columns improve legibility and are particularly pleasant looking when delineating language families in descendants lists, as seen in Proto-Slavic. There used to be an issue with auto-balancing in some browsers, but that's since been fixed. --{{victar|talk}} 08:42, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Oppose Do not see a single reason. I see only possibilities to better presentation that we should not cut off. Fay Freak (talk) 09:19, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
  3.   Oppose, see no practical reason for deprecating it. --Robbie SWE (talk) 17:28, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
  4.   Oppose Agree that legibility is usually improved by columns, as long as the descendants lists split properly across them. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 16:25, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
  5.   Oppose. These particular templates are useful if you don't want to hide the content. DonnanZ (talk) 19:47, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
  6.   Oppose per Fay Freak. The implementation could be modernized to something more responsive if need be. פֿינצטערניש (Fintsternish), she/her (talk) 21:28, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
  7.   Oppose --Droigheann (talk) 01:20, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
  8.   Oppose. mellohi! (僕の乖離) 13:30, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
  9.   Oppose per Victar. Latin descendant sections also greatly benefit from the columns given that they're in the main namespace; readers don't have to scroll forever to get to through one language entry. Julia 00:42, 10 February 2020 (UTC)


  1.   Abstain I don't understand what this is all about. What is the rationale for the deprecation of columnating templates? Since, e.g. derived terms and related terms are usually formatted as columns. Who wants to deprecate the templates? Was this vote created because someone wants to abandon the use of columnating templates specifically for descendants? Or is this about orphaning the technique that, instead of column autobalancing, relies on the middle section templates (e.g. {{mid3}}) to indicate where the middle is? I wonder whether this vote was created to prevent yet another batch of non-consensual volume editing or non-consensual use of admin tools, in which case I thank you for the vote. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:34, 14 February 2020 (UTC)


  • 1-9-1, fails. — surjection?〉 00:02, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

De-sysop votes to pass by simple majority

The status quo: De-sysop votes require a supermajority to remove an admin's powers. This means that if 50% of voters had opposed me gaining admin powers back in 2012, I wouldn't have received them, but if 50% of voters were to oppose me keeping those powers in 2020, I would still get to keep them.

The proposal: All votes require a 2/3 supermajority to pass (source), except for de-sysop votes, which shall only require 50%+1 (a simple majority) to pass. For instance, a de-sysop vote with 11 supports, 10 opposes and 20 abstains shall be closed as passed, while a de-sysop vote with 10 supports, 10 opposes and 20 abstains shall be closed failed.

The rationale: Admins should not be given carte blanche, and this vote would increase accountability. With a more effective voting policy, we could rely less on bureaucrats to keep order and have the community pass judgement instead.


  • Vote starts: 00:00, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 23:59, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Vote created: —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:14, 14 February 2020 (UTC)



  1.   Support Per the last vote. --{{victar|talk}} 05:34, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
  2.   Support. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:20, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
  3.   Support Allahverdi Verdizade (talk) 11:35, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
  4.   Support again — Mnemosientje (t · c) 11:42, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  5.   Support - TheDaveRoss 13:36, 17 February 2020 (UTC)


  1.   Oppose Equinox 20:41, 17 February 2020 (UTC)



Proposed votes

The following are proposals for new votes, excluding nominations, such that the proposer of the vote prefers that the vote is written collaboratively, or such that the vote appears to require substantial revision. If you have not created a passing vote yet, it is recommended that you use this section and actively solicit feedback by linking to your proposal in discussion; your vote may have a better chance of passing if it is first reviewed.

Votes may linger here indefinitely. If changes in policy make a proposal irrelevant, the voting page will be requested for deletion. On the other hand, you do not have to be the creator to initiate one of the votes below. Place any votes with a live start date in the section above at least a few days before that start date arrives.