Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2010-01/Number categories

Number categoriesEdit

  • Voting on: The titles of categories contains cardinal and ordinal numbers. Since we have no policy on this, three options will be proposed:
  1. Use ISO 639 language codes (sv, da)
  2. Use full language names (Swedish, Danish)
  3. Neither policy (continuing the status quo of no explicit policy)

The purpose of this vote is to unify one way or another the names of these categories which are currently very divided. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:29, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

  • Vote starts: 00:00, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 24:00, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Option one: use ISO 639 codesEdit

  Support Yair rand 00:10, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
  1.   Support Razorflame 00:29, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Option two: use full language namesEdit

  1.   Support, namely support two suboptions in the order of preference: (a) "Category:Swedish cardinal numerals" and (b) "Category:Swedish cardinal numbers". In both cases, the name is to be read as referring to grammatical features of terms that denote numbers, that is, as a name of a non-topical category. By grammatical features I mean such facts as that in some languages ordinal numerals are inflected as adjectives while cardinal numerals are not, and further features. To repeat, I prefer (a) to (b), in spite of (b) being likely more common in books on English grammar. To explicate, by cardinal numeral I understand such words as "one", "two", "three" and "twenty" and in German "ein", "zwei", "drei". By ordinal numeral I understand such words as "first", "second", "third" and "twentieth", and in German "erste", "zweite", "dritte". By cardinal numeral I do not understand "aleph-null", a mathematical cardinal number; by ordinal numeral I do not understand "omega plus one" or "epsilon zero", mathematical ordinal numbers. --Dan Polansky 09:11, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
    So, what would you do for hundred, which is grammatically not a numeral in its own right, but is mathematically a cardinal number? --EncycloPetey 02:03, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
    Oops; I have failed to take "hundred" into account, focusing mainly on the Czech grammar of numerals. I would say that "hundred" is an English anomaly, one that will make trouble in any compact categorization scheme for numerals. There are usage notes in place in the "hundred" entry that make the actual anomaly clear to the reader of the entry.
    It is quite possible that for the sake of English grammar it would be better to drop the part of speech of "numeral" and "number" altogether. However, we are trying to come up with one categorization scheme for many languages; it is thus to be expected to be imperfect, at best good enough, at worst barely acceptable.
    If we define cardinal numeral as "word or phrase that denotes a specific cardinality of a finite set", we can do away with invoking the grammatical features of words while excluding such mathematical cardinal numbers as "aleph null" and at the same time naming the category in such a way that it refers to words and not to their meanings. This is admittedly a bit odd in that while the name of the category refers to words rather than their meanings or referents, the selection of words into the category is semantic rather than grammatical.
    Be it as it may, this vote is a pragmatic one, trying to remove the blatant disunity in the naming of categories of numbers or numerals between languages, without trying to solve the hard subtle problems and remove all anomalies that the choice of the naming scheme entails. We are not trying to gain Ph.D. in multilingual linguistics, merely to tackle in an acceptable manner the practical problems of building a multilingual dictionary by people exposed to varied incongruent grammars tought in their countries as standard for their language. --Dan Polansky 13:17, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
    An afterthought: the problem with the classification of "hundred" appears not only on the fine-grained level of cardinal and ordinal numerals but also on the level of the category "English numerals". The following category structure
    • English parts of speech
      • English numerals
        • en:Cardinal numbers (or Cardinal numbers)
        • en:Ordinal numbers (or Ordinal numbers)
    suffers from the same problem: if "hundred" is classified as a cardinal number and a noun, and it is assigned to the category "en:Cardinal numbers", it automatically also implicitly lands in the category for English numerals, while it grammatically does not wholly behave as other numerals.
    The solution would really be to delete the category "English numerals", thus removing it from "English parts of speech", and file "en:Cardinal numbers" under some semantic or topical cateogry. Whether this seemingly linguistically pure solution would be user friendly is far from obvious, to me anway.
    On another note: I do not see whether "hundred" is grammatically not a numeral or whether it is merely an anomalous numeral. One feature that "hundred" shares with below-hundred-numerals is that, by appending "th" to it I obtain an ordinal numeral; with respect to his feature, it is "first", "second", and "third" that are anomalous. The ordinal numeral "hundredth" is not anomalous as far as I can see, but I have already goofed once on numerals so correct me if I am wrong.--Dan Polansky 07:26, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
  2.   SupportInternoob (Disc.Cont.) 03:02, 11 February 2010 (UTC) "Cardinal number/numeral" is an accepted PoS header, being a type of determiner, which is a type of adjective. It would be inconsistent to use Category:French articles but not Category:French cardinal numbers.
    But they're not being counted as parts of speech; Category:French cardinal numbers is not categorized under Category:French parts of speech. If cardinal and ordinal numbers were to be counted as parts of speech in all respects then I would support this option. --Yair rand 05:03, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
    "Category:French cardinal numbers" or "Category:French cardinal numerals" should be a subcategory of Category:French numerals, a subcategory of Category:French parts of speech.
    The resulting category structure:
    • French parts of speech
      • French numerals
        • French cardinal numerals (or French cardinal numbers)
        • French ordinal numerals (or French ordinal numbers)
    Whether the part-of-speech heading should be on the coarse-grained level of "numeral" or on the fine-grained level of "cardinal numeral" and "ordinal numeral" is left undecided by this vote. I would go for having only "numeral" for the part-of-speech heading on the level two, consistent with the mentioned category structure. --Dan Polansky 07:51, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
    But there is still the problem that some words which represent cardinal numbers (mathematically) are not used grammatically as numerals at all. --EncycloPetey 01:59, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
  3.   Support Yair rand 07:55, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
  4.   Support --Vahagn Petrosyan 08:00, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
  5.   Support (as Italian) SemperBlotto 08:35, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
  6.   Support Pharamp 13:30, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
  7.   Support Mglovesfun (talk) 13:31, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
  8.   Support Daniel. 02:07, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Option three: Neither policyEdit



  1.   Abstain DAVilla 07:48, 16 February 2010 (UTC) My preference is still Category:Category Name (Language) for all categories. DAVilla 07:48, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
  2. My option (and current choice) was not listed as a voting option at all. The vote also fails to indicate whether it applies to words used grammatically as these sorts of numerald or sinply to words that denote (by their meaning) such a value. --EncycloPetey 02:01, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
    Well, I raised that exact issue on the talk-page well before the vote began, so rather than "fail[ing] to indicate" that, it actually seems to be successfully not indicating that. :-P   Dunno why, though. :-/   —RuakhTALK 06:14, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
    I think that would fall under "neither policy". DAVilla 20:29, 8 March 2010 (UTC)


  • Option 2 passes. Is the issue of using "number" vs. "numeral" still unresolved? --Yair rand 06:48, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
    The issue of "number" vs. "numeral" is unresolved AFAICT, as people have neither formally nor informally indicated which of the two they prefer. --Dan Polansky 07:52, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
    I prefer numerals. --Daniel. 08:06, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
    I'd rather use numbers so that it matches the POS headers. Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2006-10/Number versus Numeral failed, and I doubt it would pass if held again. --Yair rand 22:35, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
    The English POS headers for cardinal numbers are mixed in their use of "cardinal number", "number", and "numeral"; the English POS headers for ordinal numbers are mixed in their use of "adjective" and "numeral". German entries are mixed too. Whether to class "hundred" as a numeral in grammatical sense remains unresolved; "hundred" has now the POS of "numeral". --Dan Polansky 09:25, 10 March 2010 (UTC)