Wiktionary talk:Votes/pl-2014-03/Unified Norwegian

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Grammar differences[edit]

I wonder how should the grammar differences (mainly written) be handled if merged. For example:

Plural of man, human:

born (to be born):

Should header and inflection templates also display Bokmål/Nynorsk? It's also interesting because if it's possible to handle correctly Norwegian written differences, then we can merge the varieties of Arabic. —This unsigned comment was added by Atitarev (talkcontribs) at 01:26, 14 March 2014‎.

We could use one template that displays both forms, but with superscript numbers or letters denoting the variety (with a shrunken ‘legend’ at the bottom or top). We could also use two separate templates, but I dislike that idea. --Æ&Œ (talk) 01:57, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
See the entries for English got and French job for a couple examples of how we can handle this. --WikiTiki89 02:13, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks both for answering. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:22, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Besides the entries Wikitiki pointed to, dream and lean are examples of how the use of different forms in different standards can be noted on the headword line. In turn, entries like rot and Joghurt show how simple it is to have multiple inflection tables. Joghurt’s tables happen to labelled "masculine", "neuter" and "feminine", but a similar format could be used in Norwegian entries with the tables labelled "Bokmål" and "Nynorsk". - -sche (discuss) 03:16, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
This looks interesting, thanks. I also think multiple labeled inflection tables are no problem if they are collapsible. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:18, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Note that the Norwegian Wiktionary itself uses a Joghurt-like approach to mark different inflected forms and genders, etc (both on the headword line and in tables), as Nynorsk etc: see no:alkohol. - -sche (discuss) 20:45, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Vote renaming[edit]

I propose to rename the vote from "Norwegian" to "Single Norwegian", or "Merging Norwegian", to make it clearer what it is about. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:53, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Good idea. It could be "Unified Norwegian" on the model of Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-06/Unified Serbo-Croatian, Wiktionary:Votes/2011-09/Unified Tagalog, Wiktionary:Votes/2011-10/Unified Romanian and Wiktionary:Votes/2012-12/Unified Malay. Unless there are objections or someone beats me to it, I'll rename it in a day or two. - -sche (discuss) 00:27, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
"Unified Norwegian" sounds good. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:33, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Moved. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 08:22, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Rationale[edit]

It seems the vote creator's rationale can be found at Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2014/March#Stop treating Nynorsk and Bokmal as languages separate from Norwegian, a discussion initiated by the vote creator user:-sche on 12 March 2014. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:42, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Bokmål, Nynorsk and Danish[edit]

One editor opined: "Bokmål is probably closer to Danish than to Nynorsk." Is this correct? Can this be refuted?

User:Njardarlogar/nn-nb-sv-da-vocab suggests this could be correct, but we do not know whether the word sample is representative.

W:Comparison of Norwegian Bokmål and Standard Danish is relevant.

W:Norwegian language conflict is as well.

W:Norwegian_language_conflict#Sample is instructive, showing a passage in Bokmål, Nynorsk and Danish. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:26, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Norway was ruled by Denmark in times past, hence the similarity to Danish. But no one is suggesting Norwegian should be merged with Danish - what a surprise! Donnanz (talk) 11:38, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
    • @Donnanz: Can you support the refute the editor's opinion that Bokmål is probably closer to Danish than to Nynorsk? Your post does not contribute to confirmation or refutation, by my lights. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:41, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm not a Norwegian, just a student of Norwegian, and I tend to concentrate on Bokmål. It can be difficult to judge; Nynorsk is supposed to be closer to Old Norse, and there are a lot of differences between Nynorsk and Bokmål. It may not always be reflected in basic words, but it can be quite obvious when reading text in Nynorsk. For example indefinite articles differ; en (Bokmål), ein (Nynorsk) used with masculine nouns, and et (Bokmål), eit (Nynorsk) with neuter nouns, ei before feminine nouns in both languages. Feminine nouns are prevalent in Nynorsk, but are usually treated as both feminine and masculine in Bokmål, perhaps as a compromise. My impression is that Bokmål does compromise between Riksmål (which is unofficial and closer to Danish, and doesn't have a feminine gender) and Nynorsk, but there are still fundamental differences. In my opinion it is better to keep the two languages separate, even if it means a lot of seemingly repetitive entries. By the way, there are also a lot of spelling differences between Bokmål and Danish. Donnanz (talk) 12:30, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I created this section to discuss the truth or falsity of the following claim: "Bokmål is probably closer to Danish than to Nynorsk." I see no support for the claim coming from you, whether in the form of direct eviedence or in the form of references. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:37, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
As I said above, it can be difficult to judge; I'm afraid I can't give a clear-cut answer. There seems to be a certain amount of interaction between all three languages, as well as Swedish. Norway shares a very long border with Sweden. Donnanz (talk) 12:51, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Bokmål vs. Nynorsk and American English vs. Indian English[edit]

The creator of the vote claims in diff that the differences between Bokmål and Nynorsk are no larger than the differences between American English and Indian English. Can this claim be supported? --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:43, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Indian English and American English are used in different locations by speakers of different dialects of English. Bokmål and Nynorsk are spoken by the same people throughout Norway, regardless of dialect. So that means the differences are only in writing, not in speech. —CodeCat 14:30, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Can your claim that the difference between Bokmål vs. Nynorsk is only in writing, not in speech, be supported? --Dan Polansky (talk) 14:57, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Re: "Bokmål and Nynorsk are spoken by the same people throughout Norway, regardless of dialect." I find this sentence unintelligible. --Dan Polansky (talk) 14:59, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Written standard declared as official by the municipality      Bokmål      Nynorsk      No official written standard (neutral)
Some sociolects and dialects might perhaps be said to be spoken variants of Bokmål and Nynorsk; but generally, they are referred to as exclusively written standards (slip of the keyboard?). But still, the local dialect gives a strong indication of which written standard is the most common one locally.
In theory, it is true that Two neighbours speaking the same local dialect in Trondheim might write in Bokmål and Nynorsk respectively (taken from the Beer parlour); but as you can see from the map, in practice, it's typically not true (most likely, the two neighbours in Trondheim speaking the local dialect will both write in Bokmål). --Njardarlogar (talk) 17:00, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
The map shows the municipalities that have adopted an official standard. But we don't know whether that reflects what people actually use day-to-day, it's only what official communication within that municipality will use. And if it's more likely that both will write in Bokmål, then that's probably because Bokmål has a lot more users, so statistically it's more likely for neighbours to be both Bokmål users, right? :) —CodeCat 17:11, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
@User:Njardarlogar: to take an example, are afrikanar and afrikaner pronounced the same? Are any differences in pronunciation only due to a dialect and not to the choice of "afrikanar" vs. "afrikaner"? --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:22, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
@CodeCat There is a very strong correlation between the official standard of a municipality and what standard is the most common one among its inhabitants. The vast majority of Nynorsk users come from the western and central southern parts of Norway, just as the map would suggest. Most of the red municipalities probably have the number of Nynorsk users either at or near 0%; and likewise with some of the blue ones with regards to Bokmål.
You can find some statistics on county level here for pupils in schools.
@Dan Polansky While there is no official pronunciation for neither Bokmål nor Nynorsk, the suffixes -ar and -er tend to be pronounced as /-aːr/ and /-eːr/, respectively; with the exact pronunciation depending on the dialect of the speaker. (in my dialect, it would be something like [-aːʁ] vs [-ɛːʁ]) --Njardarlogar (talk) 19:41, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
But does you pronunciation always correspond to the spelling in your particular written standard, or does it differ for some words? --WikiTiki89 22:29, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
Not sure if I understand what you are asking for. Spelling differences between Bokmål and Nynorsk will typically represent different pronunciation; but some cases might be a bit ambiguous, since different letters can be used to represent similar sounds (such as vêr vs vær, where pronouncing ther first as /vɛːr/ is very close to pronouncing the latter as /væːr/; and since there is no standard for pronunciation, who is to say that going all the way to /æ/ is incorrect for ê? In my dialect, we pronounce it as /veːr/, far away from an /æ/, a sound I am not sure if my dialect has at all; we tend to pronounce æ in written standard language as /e/). Sometimes, identical spelling might be associated with different pronunciation, such as meg ('me'); which in Nynorsk would be more likely to be pronounced as /meːg/ (in accordance with eg /eːg/; 'I') and in Bokmål as /mɛi/ (in accordance with jeg /jɛi/; 'I'). --Njardarlogar (talk) 10:02, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I was referring in this case to -ar vs -er (I assume the pronunciation difference is clear?). Do you always pronounce these words as they are written in your own preferred written standard, or do you pronounce some of these words the way they are written in the other standard? --WikiTiki89 15:45, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Do you mean words where Bokmål has -er and Nynorsk has -ar, and whether my dialect always follows the same standard? The short answer is yes; a longer answer is that final rs are often dropped in many Norwegian dialects, including my own. So where Nynorsk has -ar in inflected forms, my dialect typically pronounces it as [aː]. In the case of non-inflected forms (such as afrikanar) it is typically pronounced [aːʁ]. However, in Nynorsk, -ar vs -er marks different grammatical classes for nouns and verbs; so it is not just a matter of spelling. Some verbs, like trena, can be inflected both ways: trener vs trenar in the present tense. But where my dialect might have [eː] where Nynorsk has -ar, it's not as simple as simply following one standard or the other; as Bokmål only has -er in the relevant noun and verb inflections, anyway. Nynorsk has a more complicated grammar than Bokmål; it has retained more of the grammatical diversity found in Old Norse. --Njardarlogar (talk) 16:58, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
What about the reverse, are there speakers who write with Bokmål, but still preserve the -ar ending in their speech where Nynorsk has it? --WikiTiki89 17:35, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
This is getting complicated/massive. I can tell you, though, that there are dialects in Eastern Norway (in areas where Bokmål is completely dominant) where you'll, in most cases, find /-ær/ where Nynorsk has -ar and /-er/ where Nynorsk has -er in various inflected forms (dropping the vocal length now since I'm tired of copying the symbol). I am not sure if the agent noun/demonym also ends with /-ær/ in accordance with Nynorsk -ar, though.
Other dialects in areas where Bokmål dominates only have /-a(r)/ or /-e(r)/ in inflected forms; they do not make a distinction between different classes with these suffixes.
Not sure why we are focusing so much on -ar vs -er, though; since that's just one of many differences. For instance, you find variants of the inflected Nynorsk form kjem (strong inflection) in many dialects whose users primarily write Bokmål where Bokmål has kommer (weak inflection). --Njardarlogar (talk) 21:32, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I was just using -ar and -er as an example to make it easier to explain what I was saying, since I don't know much about Norwegian and can only work with the information I have. kjem and kommer is just as good an example. So do these speakers that you are talking about speak and write different languages? I don't think they do. --WikiTiki89 21:55, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I think it was mainly to determine whether there's a correlation between the forms found in a person's own dialect, and the standard they write in. I think the examples you gave show that there isn't any; they're purely written standards and people don't necessarily write as they speak. This is what I meant when I said that there are two written standards that cover all dialects of Norway, and that this makes it fundamentally different from the geographical split between "Norwegian", "Swedish" and "Danish". To me, that's a strong argument for merging: both "languages" have the exact same set of spoken forms, as far as we can tell, so they would always end up having identical pronunciation sections. Or to say it even more bizarrely: all people in Norway speak both Bokmål and Nynorsk at the same time, even if they write in only one of them. Hence, they're one language. —CodeCat 22:02, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I suspect the issue is more emotional and political rather than technical. People don't want to part with Bokmål and Nynorsk names in the header. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 22:53, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
(⇦) @WikiTiki That would not change if they switched to written Swedish or Danish.
@CodeCat I've already given an example above that shows a point where pronunciation tend to diverge for identical spelling (namely personal pronouns ending in -eg). There are probably more examples like that. There might also be tendencies of difference in pitch; though we would probably need a linguist to answer this question properly (this guy might know it).
I'm not sure how all people in Norway speak both Bokmål and Nynorsk at the same time, even if they write in only one of them is supposed to make sense. Some dialects might be said to be spoken variants of Nynorsk or Bokmål, since they come very close; but most dialects are far removed from both Nynorsk and Bokmål (for instance that most/quite a few dialects do not pronounce rs that are in the final position in inflected forms, while in both Nynorsk and Bokmål they are generally considered mandatory for pronunciation). Swedish and Norwegian also have very similar pronunciation; so their pronunciation sections will often be more or less identical.
I should also point out, in case anyone was in doubt, that sometimes written Swedish (perhaps Danish too) can be closer to Norwegian dialects than either Bokmål or Nynorsk. E.g. in my dialect, eight is åtta, which is exactly how they spell it in Swedish: åtta. Both Bokmål and Nynorsk have åtte.
@Anatoli Merging Norwegian will provide me with a lot of extra work. In theory, I should now check the Bokmål dictionary every time I want to create an entry on a Nynorsk word because, for all I know, the word could be a part of Bokmål too, even if it is not common in use. I would also have to check that the meanings provided by the two dictionaries are synonymous, which can potentially be time-consuming when the defintions are not identical (or list relevant synonyms). I could drop to check the Bokmål Dictionary and leave this to an editor that is interested in contributing with Bokmål entries and who wants to add the Bokmål part of the entry later on; but then this editor would have to perform the check instead. If a Bokmål entry on the same word but with a different spelling already exists, I would be forced to look up the word in the Bokmål Dictionary.
So, it's still a load of extra (and ultimately unnecessary) work that needs to be done.
I also need to rewrite my scripts for autogeneration of entries, which are only compatible with a split Norwegian. I would aslo need to include Bokmål grammar in my code in order to check each time whether an inflected form is shared. A lot of non-trivial Lua work would need to be done in order to make common-Norwegian templates more efficient (like {{no-noun-infl}}; it's boring to write down a stem of a word that is essentially just about removing the last letter). It's also complicates the template design having to account for two different sets of grammars at once.
So in sum: merging Norwegian = lots of extra work. As an editor primarily contributing to Norwegian, I have, from a practical point of view, near to nothing to gain and quite a bit to lose. --Njardarlogar (talk)
I'm trying to find inflection tables with differences, but couldn't find. I see different headers, though. I think you wouldn't have to change the inflection tables or headers much, they just need to display, whether they refer to Nynorsk or Bokmål, e.g. Inflection of "TERM" (Bokmål). You are under no obligation to create a Bokmål entry if you're working with Nynorsk. You can just mark it as "Nynorsk". --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 12:55, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Re "In theory, I should now check the Bokmål dictionary every time I want to create an entry on a Nynorsk word because, for all I know, the word could be a part of Bokmål too": only to the extent that contributors who speak one variety of any of our 1000+ other languages should check to see what other dialects/standards the words they're adding are used in. A New Zealander/Brit/American/etc may not know if an English word he wants to add is also found in other varieties of English; the result is that sometimes words are added with {{cx|NZ}}/{{cx|UK}}/{{cx|US}} tags which other contributors later broaden or remove, while other words are added without tags but are later given tags by other contributors who notice that the words are in fact dialectal. I may not know if a Jarawara Jamamadí word I want to add is also found in other varieties of Jamamadí; the result is that I tag it {{cx|Jarawara}} until I or someone else can find out if it's common to other varieties. Etc. This is a wiki, a work in progress, so that's OK. - -sche (discuss) 17:03, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Bokmål, Nynorsk and prescriptivism[edit]

An argument has been made that having Bokmål and Nynorsk separated supports prescriptivism. I do not think that to be the case, because of the following consideration.

A modern written work can be fairly easily determined to be either in Bokmål or in Nynorsk based on the inflection used. Then, if a word is attested in works that have been determined to be in Bokmål based on inflection, the word is thereby attested as Bokmål, regardless of the word's presence in a prescriptive dictionary; similarly for Nynorsk. --Dan Polansky (talk) 15:16, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

+1. There seem to be good reasons for unifying Norwegian, but the prescriptivism-related arguments do not seem well-founded to me. As soon as a language variety has actual users, there is something to describe; that may be more true of spoken varieties than written varieties (since speech is primary and writing somewhat artificial), but it's nonetheless true of both. I think we can remain descriptivist no matter which approach we take (and, of course, I hope we'll have the good sense to do so). —RuakhTALK 04:38, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Voting editors and languages of focus[edit]

Out of curiosity, how many of the editors voting on this issue:

  1. speak / read Norwegian?
  2. spend time working with Norwegian entries?

If the majority of editors voting on this merger don't actually work with Norwegian, that strikes me as a flawed decision-making process...

Concerned, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 23:32, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

You're partially right, but you are forgetting that readers are more important than editors. We need to do what is best for the readers, while still keeping the editors happy enough to edit. --WikiTiki89 23:42, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Without the cooperation of editors who actually work with Norwegian, the vote has low value. Most editors don't work with Norwegian and don't know it. I think votes of users like Donnanz or Njardarlogar should be given preference. BTW, we had a language-skill count on the Serbo-Croatian vote. People with Serbo-Croatian and Slavic skills were given higher value. Not sure if knowledge of other Germanic languages, especially English, should count. I personally have only spent two months in Norway (Oslo and Drammen), with plenty of exposure and learning Norwegian Bokmål, can read and understand basic texts, my limited involvement with Norwegian is occasional translations from English into Norwegian (Bokmål). --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:02, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Knowledge of other Germanic languages is absolutely useless here, what is important is knowledge of the Norwegian standards, which no one can possibly have unless they specifically studied them, as most Norwegian speakers likely do, but Danish and Swedish speakers probably don't. --WikiTiki89 00:08, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
My point is, for the lack of a larger number of native Norwegian editors, Danish and Swedish speakers' opinion might be of value if they participated in this topic. I can judge better about Belarusian than a person who doesn't know any East Slavic language, even if I'm not a native speaker and never actually studied it. Of course, it's not only language closeness but interest. Hekaheka doesn't seem to be interested in Estonian, which is rather close to Finnish. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:17, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Didn't you feel confident enough to add word stresses on Rusyn terms, even if you don't speak this language, just because it's similar to Russian/Ukrainian? (But how would stress "новий" in Rusyn - ru: но́вий, be: но́вы, uk: нови́й)? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:06, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes because that's a relatively predictable feature and after having looked into Rusyn for a bit, I came to understand that stress is mostly the same as in other East Slavic languages. If I had not known anything at all about Rusyn, then even my knowledge of Russian wouldn't have helped me there. --WikiTiki89 01:16, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Would it be surprising for you then, that a number of educated Swedes or Danes, especially Wiktionary editors, if we had any participants, might know Bokmål, Nynorsk or both? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:19, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
If you read my comment carefully, I already took that into account: "what is important is knowledge of the Norwegian standards, which no one can possibly have unless they specifically studied them". --WikiTiki89 01:24, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
We're going in circles here. You didn't have to study Rusyn to assume a thing or two about it, did you? I personally witnessed a Danish policeman calling Norway, who was able to communicate after a small adjustment. When asked if he studied Norwegian, he said "never" but both parties had to choose words carefully. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:30, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
By "study" I don't mean taking a whole course in it. And a Dane and a Norwegian communicating with each other does not mean they know each other's formal grammar and spelling rules, and essentially Nynorsk and Bokmål are just formal written grammar and spelling rules. --WikiTiki89 01:34, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Why such certainty? Formal or not formal rules, Danes, Swedes and Norwegians know quite a bit about each others' languages, depends on the person and direction. It's similar to what you know about Rusyn without studying it but being certain about certain things but there's known communication between Scandinavian countries. E.g., Norwegians watch a lot of Swedish TV, the reverse is not true. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:49, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Because Nynorsk and Bokmål are formal standards. --WikiTiki89 01:54, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
You claim knowledge of Rusyn accent based on Russian/Ukrainian but by your comment "Knowledge of other Germanic languages..." above you deny Scandinavians the right to know formal Nynorsk and Bokmål standards? Do you need the formal knowledge of Ukrainian to know what the verb пої́хати (pojíxaty) means and that it is in the infinitive form, it's perfective and concrete? Or do you think most Russian don't know how to read letter "ї" or Swedes don't know how to read letter "ø"? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:00, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I did not deny anything. Danes and Swedes can most certainly know Nynorsk and Bokmål if they study them, but they are not born knowing them and (as far as I know) they do not learn them in school like Norwegians do. I don't need knowledge of formal Ukrainian to know what поїхати (pojixaty), but it doesn't work the other way. A Russian speaker who has not been exposed to Ukrainian, will not be able to intuitively know that поехать (pojexatʹ) is поїхати (pojixaty) in Ukrainian. With exposure to Ukrainian, however, it is pretty easy for a Russian speaker to guess that Ukrainian word. But the discussion here has nothing to do with mutual intelligibility. It has to do with formal standards that even Norwegians don't automatically know and have to learn in school. --WikiTiki89 02:14, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Nynorsk and obviously Bokmål are also spoken languages, with their own pronunciation standards, which you can hear and get exposure from. Whether these standards are followed is only partially relevant. Speakers of similar languages but without any exposure or interest would probably state so. I'm keen to have Macedonian inflection tables but even if I have partial understanding of Macedonian, I won't claim to know how to conjugate Macedonian verbs. The vote and participation doesn't require thorough knowledge of any standard, as everyone knows. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:25, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Let me clarify my entire point: If we are to give anyone's opinions priority, it would be those who know the differences between Nynorsk and Bokmål. Whether they are native speakers of Norwegian or don't understand Norwegian one bit doesn't matter at all. All that matters is how much they know about Nynorsk and Bokmål. --WikiTiki89 02:31, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Knowing about and have a native or near native feel for something is different, more than one bit. I agree with Eirikr's concern that various people voting have too little knowledge of the language to have priority (not denying them the right to vote or discuss). That's my point. Bowing out. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:39, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
A native feel for Norwegian has nothing to do with the issue of merging Nynorsk and Bokmål. In addition to what I said above, it is implied that the people with the best knowledge of the differences between Nynorsk and Bokmål are Norwegians, who went to Norwegian schools where they learned one or both of these standards. Most Danes and Swedes are essentially the same as an illiterate Norwegian in that they did not learn Nynorsk and Bokmål in school, and therefore have nothing additional to say here that you and I could not have said (just to be doubly clear, I am not referring to the Danes and Swedes who have studied Norwegian). --WikiTiki89 02:51, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I already said that Nynorsk is not just a written language and exposure includes written forms as well. jeg/eg, ikke/ikkje are pronounced and written differently. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:01, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
See the section #Bokmål vs. Nynorsk and American English vs. Indian English above. --WikiTiki89 05:48, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I read this discussion. It's not unusual to mix languages/dialects in a country with more than one standard or speak in one and write in another or mix them. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад)
It's not about mixing them. It's about the fact that the spoken language doesn't always correspond to Nynorsk/Bokmål differences. --WikiTiki89 06:02, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
You guys are really bikeshedding at this point. If one Swede votes and says his knowledge of Swedish gives him some knowledge of Norwegian, cool. If another Swede votes and says he doesn't understand Norwegian despite speaking Swedish, OK. AFAIK we're not going to disqualify people or weigh their votes based on what level of fluency they claim and/or what level of fluency we perceive them to have. Therefore, I'm not sure there's a point in continuing this subthread. - -sche (discuss) 02:09, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. I just don't know who we should invite at this point or should invite anyone. Nynorsk's relationship to Danish is definitely of interest and might shed more light on difference in etymologies between NN and NB mentioned at BP but I won't continue on this, since the whole page has no Scandinavian speakers at all. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:15, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Hekaheka isn't particularly interested in linguistics, so I suppose he focuses mainly on what he can help with, which would be his own knowledge of Finnish as a native speaker. But I don't think that being a native speaker necessarily means you're in a better position to judge things about a language. In fact, non-linguistically-minded people tend to just go by intuition; they know what their language is, but they don't necessarily know the why or how. So linguistic knowledge of language is very much separate from actually speaking it. I don't speak Norwegian at all really, but that doesn't mean I don't know anything about it. It's the same with other languages I've edited for in the past, like Slovene or Zulu. —CodeCat 00:23, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I see your point and I don't disagree that sometimes linguists know about a language better than native speakers. And emotions may also be in the way, like in the case of Serbo-Croatian. However, the grammar and other concerns, raised by native speakers haven't been addressed. A small correction - Hekaheka is a "she". Besides, the editors mentioned above are long-time editors and I also think they do have linguistic skills as well. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:27, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Which grammatical concerns haven't been addressed? I addressed all the concerns I saw raised here or in the BP, unless I saw that other users had already done a better job of me than addressing them. That doesn't mean that the users who had the concerns were persuaded that unifying Norwegian was the best course of action, but no concern has yet been raised which stops it from being a possible course of action — no concern has been raised by the users who oppose unification which the users who favour unification have not been able to address. - -sche (discuss) 00:35, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Such as differences in forming plurals or making other forms different between Bokmål and Nynorsk. The very first topic on this talk page was commented on but I don't think it was addressed in the vote or has a sample page. See Njardarlogar's comment starting "Because Nynorsk and Bokmål are separate standards with different grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure etc." in BP. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:58, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
See my comment on this page which starts "Besides the entries Wikitiki pointed to". To summarize it: different forms can be labelled wherever they appear, whether that is on the headword line and/or in declension tables; the German sample page I linked to provides one possible model for such labelling. Such labelling is, as I noted, the way the Norwegian Wiktionary itself does things; see e.g. the sample page on no.Wikt I linked to, no:alkohol. It is similarly straightforward to label usexes as belonging to particular dialects, as was suggested in the BP and as is already done for several other languages. Njardarlogar seems to have missed the comments made earlier in the BP which already responded to the concerns repeated in the comment you refer to (the one starting "Because Nynorsk and Bokmål are separate standards"). - -sche (discuss) 01:19, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
  • We need to do what is best for the readers -- absolute agreement, and thank you for bringing that up -- I should have extended my own comment in that direction, had I thought things through further. My assumption (perhaps erroneous?) is that editors with sufficient knowledge of Norwegian to be working on Norwegian entries would also have at least some knowledge of what would be most pertinent / useful / relevant to users of our Norwegian entries. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 00:15, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
(after e/c) I would make the same caution as Wikitiki, that we should do what is best for readers (the world over), not just editors. In the discussions of Serbo-Croatian, the Serbian / Croatian / Bosnian / Montenegrin editors were often adamant that they spoke four different languages. One can sometimes be too close to something to see it clearly. I would also note that the editors of the Norwegian Wiktionary have seen fit to unify the standards under one header.
As a side note, some Norwegian speakers who participated in the BP discussion have not edited this vote or its talk page yet. In fact, so many of the users who participated in the BP discussion have not edited the vote or its talk page that it might be a good idea to leave a short, neutral notice on the talk pages of all such users (perhaps only if they still haven't spotted this vote a few more days from now), to make sure they are aware of this vote. - -sche (discuss) 00:35, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Don't forget it's a Serbo-Croatian speaker who started the merge - Ivan Štambuk, despite the heavy opposition from nationalists. As for the Norwegian vote, I see only resistance, no support from native speakrs. And unlike Chinese simplified/traditional and Serbo-Croatian Cyrillic/Latin, Ekavian/Ijekavian, there are also bigger grammatical differences, which are already handled by existing two sets of templates - Bokmål and Nynorsk (also just "Norwegian"). Merging or changing them to fit unified Norwegian is important for the readers. Readers should not be misled to believe that everything Bokmål is also Nynorsk. I have mentioned contexts and categories, CodeCat mentioned headers but this has not become part of this vote. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:58, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Those templates will continue to handle these differences. It's very easy to adapt them to a merged Norwegian. --WikiTiki89 01:05, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
This should be specifically mentioned in the vote. And:
Bokmål and Nynorsk templates/modules don't dislpay, which variety a table or header is for. With the unified approach it should do so, either in the header (e.g. Bokmål) or in the definition (e.g. {{context|Bokmål}}).
Since both varieties are handled under one L2 header, optional other form parameters should be provided, e.g. |Bokmål= or |Nynorsk=. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:16, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I disagree [with your comment that "This should be specifically mentioned in the vote"]. I appreciate that this vote does not concern itself with those kinds of details of formatting, because a year from now, someone may write a new inflection template more awesome than anything we have now, and the year after that, someone may come up with a great replacement for {{qualifier}} for use in inflection tables, etc, etc, and I think we should be able to react to developments like those by discussing them in the BP, without needing a full-blown vote on each one, the way [some people would argue] we would if this vote set a particular format in stone. This is also a reason previous lect merger votes (e.g. the one on Moldavian) have not specified details of how templates would be handled, etc. - -sche (discuss) 01:40, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
It wouldn't be necessary if it wasn't a concern raised and a possible reason for voting against it. Of course, we should use the current setup as a base, not the unknown future. It's too late now and I have cast my "support" vote. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:49, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
It's part of the argument, but it should not be part of the vote itself. --WikiTiki89 01:54, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Re "I just don't know who we should invite at this point": well, the users who participated in the BP discussion but who have not yet edited this vote or its talk page are Atelaes, Aɴɢʀ, Pengo, and Teodor, a native speaker of Norwegian who seemed to support unification. I think this comment will send them all a ping and thus ensure they're aware of the vote. (I apologise in advance to Angr for what may be a spam-ping, if he was aware of the vote already and intentionally avoiding it out of a dislike of votes.) Are any other Norwegian-speakers currently active? - -sche (discuss) 06:34, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Off the top of my head, here's a list of Norwegian users that have contributed to the English Wiktionary: Meco, Jon Harald Søby, Kåre-Olav, Mewasul, Michae2109, 9E2 and EivindJ. Several of these have been inactive for years, others may still visit occasionally.
I don't know why no.wikt treats Norwegian under one header, as I have not really been active there. I have focused my efforts in Norwegian on nn.wikt, where I have typically been the only active editor for some years. But it was not me who launched nn.wikt; that was done by Eirik and Verdlanco, I think. --Njardarlogar (talk) 10:07, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I explained that a while ago. It was done before I started to contribute. However, from what I gather it was decided to merge the two because there weren't/aren't enough contributors to make any real progress. This is especially true for the Nynorsk project. The nn.wikt still exists but new entries are rare. There is no doubt in my mind that if we had a bigger contributors base we would have kept them apart. Still not sure what to vote. If you have enough contributors and can accomodate all the variants I think you should keep them separate. However, I personally think the argument that they are separate languages is futile. I see them as one language. no.wikt accomodates them both, albeit at a higher barrier to new contributors. --Teodor (dc) 15:05, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I'd like to also point out that the Russian Wiktionary treats the pre-reform orthography of Russian as a separate language. However, here on the English Wiktionary, we successfully treat both the modern and pre-reform Russian orthographies as the same language. --WikiTiki89 16:39, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Since you have added some pre-reform inflection tables on post reform entries, it's possible to do it for Norwegian as well. See also gjøre with simple conjugation tables for both Bokmål and Nynorsk, although the Nynorsk infinitive is gjera (with no inflection table on the entry). Nicely formatted, labelled and expandable tables would allow handling both varieties (e.g. Inflection (Bokmål), Inflection (Nynorsk)). --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:34, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
  • @Teodor605: to clarify, when you say I personally think the argument that they are separate languages is futile, do you mean “I think they are separate languages, but I have given up arguing in favor of that view,” or do you mean “I do not consider them to be separate languages”? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 16:44, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
    If you look at the very next sentence of his post, you might find the answer to that. --WikiTiki89 16:54, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
    Correct :) --Teodor (dc) 09:05, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Certain facts about languages and their varieties are accessible to voters regardless of proficiency in the language in question. For instance, an editor can determine the degree of lemma-overlap between Bokmal and Nynorsk using lemma sets available from public databases, and compare that to the degree of lemma-overlap between Danish and Bokmal. A rational and transparent decision making process should not depend of private knowledge of the voters anyway. The counting of voters with Slavic proficiency in the Serbo-Croatian vote was largely nonsense, IMHO, since the relevant evidence (spelling, lemmas) was accessible at hand. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:54, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Formatting entries with different grammar in the header[edit]

Please view Talk:halvøy, which is both Bokmål and Nyrnorsk but has some differences in inflected forms and gender. I think User:CodeCat's method should be considered for future unified entries. Are there other suggestions? Should there be two noun sections? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:26, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

There's a problem with voting on a simple entry like no:alkohol, which doesn't show inflected forms in the header. Another thing is that it's not clear in no:wiki, if the infection is applied to Bokmål only or Bokmål and Nynorsk.
It gets trickier when forms are also different, not just the gender. By the way, check stue, which is our local version of no:alkohol (same principle), using latest changes made to {{no-noun}} but Talk:halvøy also shows the two types of infection. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:31, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
The format of stue would work if we're ok with not showing any inflections on the headword line, but putting them all in inflection tables instead. If we added inflections, it would quickly become very chaotic with things being prefixed with "Bokmål" and "Nynorsk" everywhere (e.g. "Bokmål indefinite plural", "Nynorsk indefinite plural"...). The double headword line at Talk:halvøy is one way to work around that, but since the standards often allow a range of alternative plurals, it might be better to not use the headword line at all for inflections, and follow the format of stue exclusively. —CodeCat 01:37, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Re "it's not clear in no:wiki, if the infection is applied to Bokmål only or Bokmål and Nynorsk": I'm not sure I understand what you mean. The inflection table at no:alkohol labels each row of inflected forms as being valid in Nynorsk, Bokmål, Riksmål, or a combination thereof. - -sche (discuss) 04:11, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I'm sorry, I missed it. That's fine then. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:24, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Issues with a merger/things that would need to be settled.[edit]

I wish to draw attention to some issues with a header merger between Bokmål and Nynorsk. Even though Nynorsk and Bokmål were commonly treated under the same header on en.wikt for not too long ago, not everything was fine and dandy. The issues in particular that I have in mind centre on these two things:

  1. we need examples of usage for both Nynorsk and Bokmål (feel free to argue against this point; but for me it is pretty obvious that we need it)
  2. are we to treat Nynorsk words as variants of Bokmål words and vice versa (i.e. use {{alternative form of}})? Or should we have (potentially) duplicated entries where there are no common Nynorsk and Bokmål spelling (and otherwise?)?

If we choose to duplicate the entries, then:

  • There is no issue with examples of usage appearing at the wrong page.
  • There will be more maintenance; an advantage of merging the two headers is lost.
  • Even when there are shared spellings between Bokmål and Nynorsk, these spellings may only rarely be found in writing for one of the two standards and thus forcing the lemma form to be the shared spelling is going to appear artificial for those familiar with Norwegian (and potentially provide a false picture of actual word usage for those not familiar with Norwegian). This would argue in favour of completely decoupling Bokmål and Nynorsk, in effect treating them as separate languages, yet with the same header.
  • In the case of a complete decoupling, readers might find it confusing that there are two lemma forms; sometimes differing only with a single vowel or consonant.

If we choose not to duplicate the entries, then:

  • There is likely to more be edit warring/conflict of interest when it comes to which spelling is to be the lemma form
  • Usage examples will have to appear at the wrong page in order to be properly linked with the specific meanings they illustrate

--Njardarlogar (talk) 10:47, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

To address your points separately:
  1. Yes, we need both usage examples, but this is not an issue that gets in the way of merging. Currently we may be missing usage examples in one standard that we have in the other, and that likely won't change after the merger unless someone goes in and adds the missing usage examples. Of course these usage examples will need to be labeled.
  2. Serbo-Croatian went the way of duplicating entries for the sake of fairness (i.e. not emphasizing one spelling over another). I think this applies to Norwegian as well, if we choose to have on standard be an alternative form of another, it would not be fair to that standard. Without merging, however, all entries will be duplicated even if they are on the same page.
--WikiTiki89 18:27, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't oppose favouring Bokmål as this is the POV that most people take worldwide, as well as within Norway. —CodeCat 18:29, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Vote notifications[edit]

I have posted notifications on the talk pages of the following editors, mentioned by a Norwegian editor above: Meco, Jon Harald Søby, Kåre-Olav, Mewasul, Michae2109, 9E2 and EivindJ. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:04, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

I went through Category:User no-N, seaching for users with significant and recent contribution. I found User:Event in addition to those listed above, and posted to his talk page. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:10, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Comparison to Czech[edit]

For a comparison, the differences in inflection between Bokmal and Nynorsk seem no larger than differences in inflection and lemmas of written vs. colloquial Czech.

Some examples:

Written Czech Colloquial Czech
černý les černej les
věrného psa věrnýho psa
pečená kuřata pečený kuřata
bílé labutě bílý labutě
prý prej
týden tejden
zítra zejtra
dělají dělaj, dělajou
lidé lidi
fotbalisté fotbalisti

--Dan Polansky (talk) 07:53, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Any such similarity will also hold true for Norwegian vs Swedish, Norwegian vs Danish and a lot of other language pairs. --Njardarlogar (talk) 08:54, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
It is also important to note that Nynorsk and Bokmål differ in how many irregular verbs they have and how they treat grammatical gender (3 genders mandatory in Nynorsk; only 2 necessary with the third gender optional in Bokmål). The vocabulary is also different (sometimes because of practice, other times because different words are permitted in the two standards); most of the time, it is because the suffixes and prefixes are different (kjærleik vs kjærlighet); other times the words use do not come from the same root (like råka vs treffe, meaning 'to hit'). --Njardarlogar (talk) 09:06, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I find it hard to evaluate your claims.
Re: "The vocabulary is also different": This needs to be quantified or detailed, or else it is a useless statement. There are vocabulary differences between UK English and US English; to make the claim interesting, you would need to show that the differences between Bokmal and Nynorsk are so huge that it makes it impractical to treat them under one language header. No such proof has be supplied, AFAIK. No overlap indicator has been supplied, like e.g. "95% of the vocabulary is the same" or "considering the 10,000 most common words in corpus so and so, 95% of the vocabulary is the same".
In any case, my comparison to Czech was intended to shed some light on differences in inflection, not in vocabulary. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:06, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I am not writing a scientific paper. The vocabularies of Bokmål and Nynorsk could have been identical, but they are not; it's not meaningless information on its own. It takes time to assemble information and present it in a proper way; this vote is too rushed for a lot of this. Completely ad hoc, I've created a (thus far) short list of difference in vocabulary here.
You have not commented on the similarity between the Scandinavian languages; which is kind of crucial for the similarity argument. The inflection in Danish and Bokmål is almost identical. Bokmål has an optional -a in the definite singular for nouns that can optionally be feminine. Danish also has -erne rather than -ene. Beyond that, there shouldn't be much difference. --Njardarlogar (talk)
Put differently, you have close to nothing to back up the claim that there are insurmountable vocabulary differences between the varieties. Nor have you backed up the similarity claim between Scandinavian languages. Neither direct evidence, nor references. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:35, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I have not claimed nor implied that there are "insurmountable vocabulary differences". What does that even mean? Which "insurmountable vocabulary differences" prevent us from merging, say, Anglo-Saxon with English? --Njardarlogar (talk) 15:41, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
As for documentation for the similarities between the Scandinavian languages, what exactly are you looking for? You can find different stuff just by googling (example). The Scandinavian languages are mutually intelligible (common knowledge for anyone with basic knowledge of the topic), that alone should tell you a lot. --Njardarlogar (talk) 15:49, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
(after an edit conflict.) In Wiktionary:Frequency lists/Norwegian, I found that among the top 1000 items listed, 503 were common to both varieties. That is not so many, but 1000 is a bit too small a number for a list of items. For instance, items present in only one of the lists include Barcelona, Beijing, Belgia, Brasil, Estland, Liverpool, München, Manchester, which seems to be either an artifact of the lists being too small, or of some other skewing unrelated to differences between the varieties. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:32, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Corpora[edit]

Are there freely accessible online corpora where frequencies of terms in Bokmal and Nynorsk can be inspected?

I have found the following one, which requires registration:

http://www.tekstlab.uio.no/norsk/bokmaal/english.html

--Dan Polansky (talk) 12:04, 6 April 2014 (UTC)