Glottopedia:Forum/Archive 01

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Welcome to the Glottopedia Forum

This is the place where you can ask questions about Glottopedia itself, and also about linguistic topics in general.
Click here to add a new question. (Forum in German:Glottopedia:Diskussionsforum)



Why is Glottopedia in ISO-8859-1 and not in Unicode? Wikipedia is in Unicode (UTF-8). --David Marjanović 01:56, 28 June 2007 (CEST)

I am sure this will be fixed very soon. Glottopedia should be in UTF-8. --Sven Siegmund 23:19, 6 July 2007 (CEST)
Now I'm not sure whether this UTF-8 encoding will be fixed soon. Whom shall we ask to do it? Who in Trier is responsible? --Sven Siegmund 23:18, 10 July 2007 (CEST)

Edit URL

Why is the URL of articles in Glottopedia hidden (when I enter via It is really practical that one can edit the URL and get directly to some articles, categories, or templates. When I enter Glottopedia via I can manipulate the URL as described. But this should be possible via aswell. --Sven Siegmund 23:19, 6 July 2007 (CEST)

There is a detailed description for at least three solutions how to do this in the MediaWiki manual. It should work even if you don't have a root access to the host server. So please somebody try one of the possibilities to keep the URL short and editable. --Sven Siegmund 13:05, 14 July 2007 (CEST)

External Links Keep Glottopedia URL!

When you click on an external link in Glottopedia, the URL in the adress field of your browser remains this should not be. Try this external link to Google: --18:14, 10 July 2007 (CEST)

Category names

What do LIRE and HYPO stand for? These are names of categories which I can't guess. --Sven Siegmund 20:43, 10 July 2007 (CEST)

LIRE is no longer used. "HYPO" stands for hypothesis and approach articles, although we need to think more about whether we need it and how exactly we apply it. It should be considered preliminary at this point. --Haspelmath 14:05, 12 July 2007 (CEST)


I'd rename the LING article type to RESEARCH. What do you think? --Sven Siegmund 23:11, 10 July 2007 (CEST)

My original proposal was to name these articles "linguistics articles", to which Sven objected that in a way all articles are about linguistics. "Linguistic research articles" is probably better, although not all of them are about research in the narrow sense (basically they are about linguists' activities). Anyway, I like the abbreviation "LING" for "Linguistic research" much better than "LIRE". "RESEARCH" I find too long. But ultimately it's a matter of taste, and if someone else is strongly against "linguistic reaearch/LING", I'll be happy to go along with an alternative proposal.--Haspelmath 14:09, 12 July 2007 (CEST)
Well, I thought if LINGUIST is not too long a category label, maybe RESEARCH would also be ok. For LING it is not immediately transparent what category it is. Anybody who wants to know what it is has to read it somewhere (where?). One thinks intuitively about "linguist", linguistics in general, but not of current research. I think this RESEARCH (or LING) category we could use for articles about current or recent projects: WALS, Autotyp, Negtyp, ... --Sven Siegmund 21:59, 12 July 2007 (CEST)

About Glottopedia

Currently we have the page two times: Glottopedia:About and Glottopedia:About_Glottopedia. One of them should be deleted --Sven Siegmund 23:16, 10 July 2007 (CEST)

Link Forum

Please admins, sysops, link this forum in the navigation bar on the left. --Sven Siegmund 22:19, 12 July 2007 (CEST)

Set the system time

The system time of the wiki-server seems to be 2 hours more than the German time. Please fix it. Everytime I sign some post, I wonder if it is really that late (-: --Sven Siegmund 22:19, 12 July 2007 (CEST)

Multilingual categories?

I'd like to keep categories language-specific. It will get very messy if you see German, English and Russian articles about morphology in that category. We have the language splits almost everywhere, even for this forum, and all administrative pages, Guidelines, Community portal, portals ... so why to lump articles of different languages in one Category? We can handle it like the article names, there can be a category "Syntax", "Syntax (de)", ... --Sven Siegmund 22:24, 12 July 2007 (CEST)

Using only Glottopedia's default language (English) in categories was a decision we took early on (see Glottopedia:Categorization, second sentence). The idea was that unlike Wikipedia, which has different wikis for each language, Glottopedia has just a single wiki and is thus much more integrated. This is because many users will be multilingual, and will be happy to use articles in multiple languages more or less simulteanously. Of course, it would be necessary to have a search mechanism that allows queries such as "find all morphology articles in German" -- such a mechanism is not standard in Mediawiki and would have to be created as an add-on. I'm not saying that I'm strongly opposed to having the categories in multiple languages as well -- this might also be a good way of organizing Glottopedia, perhaps a better one. In that case, we wouldn't even need the category type "article language", because all categories would be language-specific. I'd like to hear more contributions to this important discussion.--Haspelmath 09:48, 13 July 2007 (CEST)
I am perfectly confident with mulitlingual categories as long as one can easily filter them or combine them (Category:Syntax AND Category:De). The question is, how easily this can be implemented and used. If we plan to implement this, we should do it before the categories get too crowded. I see your point, since 99 % of Glottopedia users read German and English, there is no need for strict language separation. Let's give multilingual categories a try. At this time we don't have so many articles, so it is quite easy. But we need to update the automatic ABC-zation in overwiew of articles in the Category: Look at Category:Syntax how the cyrillic characters mess up the layout (third column is longer!) and the "Č" in Category:BIOG comes after "Z" rather than after "C". We must fix this somehow --Sven Siegmund 20:45, 13 July 2007 (CEST)

Adding new language categories

I created an entry in (Brazilian) Portuguese (search Advérbio), as a sample. I did not see any other entry in Portuguese. There are other people working in a Glottopedia in Portuguese? How can I classify this entry as a "Article in Portuguese"? -- Magnusmartius 18:26, 19 October 2009 (CEST)

Hi, you can simply create the Category Category:Pt. --wohlgemuth 09:59, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
I have now done just this, and have also created a Category:Eo, which contains an Esperanto translation of Magnusmartius's Portuguese-language article. For completeness, I added a link to an eventual German translation, which someone else may want to provide; it shows up in red type currently, because that article does not yet exist. — Objectivesea 12:08, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Consistent orthography

I saw Rk's recent renaming of some articles. We should decide how to write the names of the articles. There is sometimes "Quantitative Linguistics" sometimes "quantitative linguistics". I'm not familiar with the English orthography, but I think in the heading all words except for "of" and "the" are written with an initial uppercase letter. The question is how do we do in in Glottopedia. We should decide for one default for english and other orthographical variants should redirect to the default article. --Sven Siegmund 10:58, 14 July 2007 (CEST)

I propose using "Sentence case" for article titles in English. - Francis Tyers 09:37, 8 October 2007 (CEST)
I agree. Wikipedians are used to that format, and it looks more elegant than "Title Case". —Tonio (tɔk tə mi) 23:50, 21 October 2007 (CEST)
Yes, of course. I added a comment about this under Glottopedia:Dictionary articles/Technical terms#Spelling. And I moved "Quantitative Linguistics to "Quantitative linguistics" (assuming that it is a sub-field, not a theoretical approach).--Haspelmath 08:23, 22 October 2007 (CEST)

License: CC vs. GFDL

Is there any reason why the licence is CC-BY-SA and not GFDL or CC-BY-SA +GFDL? Is it to be deliberately incompatible with Wikipedia? - Francis Tyers 09:14, 8 October 2007 (CEST)

No, we thought that CC-BY-SA is compatible with Wikipedia, but that it has advantages over GFDL because the latter was really designed for software, not for encyclopedic content. --Haspelmath 09:25, 8 October 2007 (CEST)
The GPL is designed for software, the GFDL designed for documentation, to be honest, the GFDL isn't great, but it is what Wikipedia uses, so if we want to be able to share information with them we should at least dual licence. I've put a notice on my page, but ideally all of the content should be dual-licenced. MediaWiki probably allows this to be done. The CC-BY-SA is iirc not compatible with the GFDL (or so a brief Google search suggests). - Francis Tyers 09:33, 8 October 2007 (CEST)
No, Glottopedia does not want to be incompatible with Wikipedia. The CC-BY-SA license was chosen, because it is freer than GFDL. I don't know whether you have ever tried to publish something that contains GFDL material. This is only possible, if you include the GFDL license. In all other aspects CC-BY-SA and GFDL are compatible, i.e. you can always reuse CC-BY-SA material under GFDL, but not the other way round. Double licensing is possible, of course. So, if there are good arguments for it, such a solution can be taken into consideration. --maha 00:49, 11 October 2007 (CEST)
Well, freer is a subjective judgement, the CC-BY-SA has less restrictions than the GFPL that is certain. So CC-BY-SA content can be used under the GPL? I wasn't aware of this. Do you have any links? - Francis Tyers 09:28, 11 October 2007 (CEST)
Certainly CC-BY-SA images are allowed at Wikipedia. However, it does seem that the text license is incompatible, so we can't just cut-n-paste whole Wikipedia articles here, even with correct attribution. Antony Green 00:26, 21 October 2007 (CEST)


While '<pre></pre>' tags can be used to create fixed space examples, e.g.

  This is             an  example
  This  a   example
 `This is an example'

It would be nice to have a plugin which rendered them nicely, like gb4e in LaTeX. Any thoughts or does anyone know of such an example for MediaWiki, I know there is a LaTeX maths renderer, e.g. \sum i+1 - Francis Tyers 09:58, 10 October 2007 (CEST)

Such things could be implemented later. I'll keep an eye open. --wohlgemuth 00:12, 14 February 2009 (CET)

Language Description

The Glottopedia is, so far as I can tell, intensively specialized toward linguistic theory. Has the community behind the Glottopedia decided against descriptive material for specific languages? The status of language classification is closely related and also seems to be omitted. I do find, in the few articles about specific languages that I have looked at, at least a mention of classification. But no way that I can discover to handle cases where classification is disputed.

For example, I recently found myself posting to the Google Group sci.lang the opinion that I rejected the concept of Afro-Asiatic and that I felt it was no more plausible than Nostratic. I may have been misguided but if some outsider read my post where would they find the issue discussed in Glottopedia?

Incidentally the speller checker for this form should be fixed to accept Glottopedia as a correctly spelled word. —David Kleinecke. And let's see if four tildes also works Dkleinecke 23:59, 26 October 2007 (CEST)

Remember Glottopedia is still its infancy, so most of the things you don't find here, you're probably not finding because no one has gotten around to writing them yet, rather than because there's been an active decision made to omit them. I take the presence of a few articles on language description to indicate that such articles are welcome here (which is why I started a new one just last week: Irish). Even though Wikipedia is not geared toward a specialist audience, it's more likely to have a discussion on any controversy concerning Afro-Asiatic unity than Glottopedia is, just because of its greater age and editor base. —Tonio (tɔk tə mi) 07:43, 28 October 2007 (CET)

Change in Presentation

Because Glottopedia has just been started, I wonder if you could consider my proposal as far as its wiki structure is concerned and as it is explained below:

A Wiki format is typical of the organisation of lexical knowledge on a morphological basis (alpha sort) supported by hypertext links of various sorts to move in the text following another sort. Now the categories used in any collection of wikies tend to follow a hierarchical fashion despite the fact that human language is not composed of elements that can be arranged/sorted into hierarchies, rather, they are best described as a set of recursive elements that are easily described by using a BNF notation.

Now besides lexical knowledge we have procedural knowledge, which is in fact the "how to" and the know-how type of representation of knowledge. As such, it is regarded more valueable and useful than lexical knowledge which is usually acquired through rote and incidental learning as opposed to procedural knowledge, which become competences through practice and the use of non formal logic. Formal logic has taken semantics away from linguistics and has grossly simplified its mission to help design robots and recently WordNet (absolutely hopeless), and still word hierarchies that are a mistake in thinking.

For instance in a recent article in Cognitive Systems Research [Economically organized hierarchies in WordNet and the Oxford English Dictionary]the author reveals that he is not aware of the concept of definitions and therefore he still believes that he is dealing with hierarchies.

Now core or upper ontologies in AI also reveal that the current model of semantics of a human language (the most important semantic primitives) are not properly understood or defined. This is why they cannot integrate or harmonize ontology languages.

I claim that by using objects, properties and relations only, you can solve the problem. Of course, you need to have time, space and motion, or cause and effect also defined, but that can wait. The point is that relation should be used to change the lexical character of a wiki into a more transparent format where relations are also exposed. To remind you, relations are basically verbs, they represent the ultimate connection between noun phrases or names, etc. (headings, titles and labels) and offer you a lot richer world than the Boole algebra.

If you do not see the point, look at the example of a website of [Elsevier] where the selection of views offers you an example of the relations that I am talking about.

I am willing to expand on the subject, should you be polite enough to ask me to.

Frank 09:45, 23 November 2008 (CET)

Category:En — Article count/sorting order

  • Each of the Category:En subpages reports "The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 293 total." In fact it would seem that the total should be a larger number, perhaps 2160. Maybe a value which should be an automatically updated variable has been incorrectly defined as a constant. The four Category.De subpages, for example, report a count of 694, which seems to be correct.
  • While biographical articles include formatting like [[Category:BIOG|Jakobson, Roman]], sorting on the family name does not transfer to other categories to which the article might also belong. Wikipedia has a nice mechanism of adding in a tag like {{DEFAULTSORT:Jakobson, Roman}}, which automatically sorts under Jakobson for all categories. Could this feature be added to Glottopedia? — Objectivesea 10:10, 31 January 2010 (UTC)