Category talk:HYPO

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What is HYPO? I'm not confident with using too many similar 4-letter abbreviations in the names of categories in Glottopedia. In Linguipedia we hat "Bibliographical reference" instead of "BIB" (in Glottopedia). That was ok, everyone knew what it stands for. But now here in Glottopedia we have LING, LANG, ... and so on. What are HYPO and LIRE, anyway... ? --Sven Siegmund 20:41, 10 July 2007 (CEST)

The idea is that the article types (i.e. the major classes of articles, which all have rather different properties) are described by abbreviated categories, somewhat like the article languages, which also have abbreviated category names (En, De, etc.). LIRE and LING are identical -- the former should be changed to the latter. HYPO has now been explained. --Haspelmath 22:08, 11 July 2007 (CEST)
Ok, LIRE obviously means linguistic research. Not bad. I suggested somwhere that we rename LING into RESEARCH --Sven Siegmund 11:48, 12 July 2007 (CEST)

meaning of or association with "HYPO"

I am quite unhappy with such a category in general and with HYPO in particular.

In general: categories should be introduced in a systematic way, similar to a thesaurus structure or according to another scheme where the individual categories together cover a specific part of the conceptual space. Currently, Glottopedia categories 'grow' according to individual needs without enough looking at a general system. This could result, sooner or later, in a breakdown.

In particular because "HYPO" suggests 'hypothesis' as meaning. However, the examples which can be found under this category have nothing in common with hypotheses. These would belong rather into a category such as "approaches and formalisms". (Remember: A hypothesis is a scientific assumption which meets a number of well-defined semantic and syntactic conditions of well-formedness and well-formulatedness and guarantees that its truth value can be tested (falsified) with empirical means.) With respect to what I formulated above, the introduction of a category "hypothesis" (if this is really intented) would call for a number of other categories such as "scientific problem", "theory", "explanation", "test method" ... I am pretty sure that most linguists would fail to correctly attribute these categories. On the basis of my experience, only a very small number of linguists have some knowledge of the basics of the philosophy of science. Example: Not a single case of the application of the term "theory" in mainstream linguistics and other subdisciplines is correct. Instead, any idea, definition, concept, approach etc. is called a "theory". The same is likely to happen with hypothesis.

As a consequence, Glottopedia comes into danger to support conceptual confusion instead of contributing to information and clarification. I plead for a very thoughtful and resonsible category policy, at least as long as scientific content is concerned. --Rk 17:57, 12 July 2007 (CEST)

The basic idea of HYPO was that Glottopedia needs a special article type for scientific ideas that are not general concepts (i.e. that are not like adjective, fricative, relative clause, conversational implicature), but specific concepts that make sense only within a very restricted historical circumstance. Thus, general approaches such as structuralism, theoretical frameworks such as HPSG, principles such as the Projection Principle, generalizations such as Grice's Maxim of Relevance, rules such as Williams's Right-Hand Head Rule are all specific concepts, analogous to proper names, not general concepts (and whether they are properly called "approaches", "frameworks", "generalizations", "theories", "rules", etc. does not really matter). For such specific concepts, I proposed the category label "HYPO", but the label is not important (it could be replaced by SPEC, for example). What matters is that dictionary articles about specific concepts have different content from ordinary dictionary articles: The article sections "Synonyms", "Polysemy", and "Origin (of the term)" do not really make sense. One could even argue that such specific concepts do not admit dictionary articles, and that all articles about them have to be survey articles. That would be OK with me, too (though we should then allow rather short survey articles as well -- because I can imagine a very short, dictionary-like article about the Maxim of Quantity, that just says briefly what this is. That's better than nothing.) But the more general problem remains: If there is no central agency for categorizing articles, categorization will not always be consistent. I think we'll have to live with this. But we should fix the major categories and the article types sooner rather than later, so this discussion about HYPO is very useful at this stage.--Haspelmath 18:13, 12 July 2007 (CEST)


Ok, I can agree with most of these arguments. I have just two issues:

1. Such a category for more specific topics should then indeed not be called "HYPO" because of the (at least potentially) misleading name. Apparently, we seem to agree that SPEC or so would be better.

2. I am not sure that a subdistinction into entries like "polysemy" and entries such as "functional grammar" is convincing. Scientific concepts may have different degrees of generality, from specific to very general, I agree. But I cannot really see a borderline between them and, more important, do not necessarily see different article structures. As I do not have thought enough about this detail I would not argue against this differentiation. My experience with the edition of dictionaries or handbooks, however, does not support the idea.

If the label HYPO is replaced by something more neutral my main concern would be met and it will be ok with me to collect experience with it. Nevertheless, I undeline what apparently both of us are convinced of: that the introduction of categories needs diligence and sufficient discussion. This is the reason why I decided to contribute here. --Rk 19:17, 12 July 2007 (CEST)