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RFV discussion[edit]

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.

Previous discussion: WT:RFM#Click_characters_in_language_names_and_2x_.21Kung.

This has been moved from !Kung, which is now a redirect (yes, they are Unicodally different). Even though the old version has 5,500,000 hits compared to the four dubious ones I see for this new version. If anything, the redirects should be the other way round. Ƿidsiþ 05:15, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

It's very well attested in books; I've added three more citations.
Now, you might be tempted to say we can't be sure which character the book uses (click vs exclamation): but as I said in the discussion which preceded the move, "we wouldn't move Москва to Moсквa (or any other such variant) — even if the only citations of the word were in books rather than online, and thus it were philosophically impossible to tell whether о or o were the character used: we would find the character in Cyrillic text and so use the Cyrillic codepoint. Here, we find a click, and so should use the click codepoint." - -sche (discuss) 05:57, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Since it's in English text and English has no such character as "ǃ", it must be an exclamation point ("!"). --WikiTiki89 (talk) 06:40, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
English does use the ǃ character, namely to spell words like these. You might as well say English doesn't use ó or õ — even though they're used in ǃXóõ (check the citation in that entry). How would you re-interpret those characters? How would you like to re-interpret the citations of [[ǁXegwi]] which are in that entry; do you think they're secretly of *llXegwi or *11Xegwi? - -sche (discuss) 07:12, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
What characters are used in English is not a well-defined set; e.g. we have háček, haċek, and haĉek (the latter passing RFV despite my objections). ǃ is part of the extended Latin alphabet, so it's not that surprising; on the other hand, the exclamation point "!" isn't a letter at all, and can't functionally be part of a word, and the trademarks that use it as part of a trademark always put at it the end and use it as an exclamation, which isn't the use here.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:22, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
"the exclamation point "!" isn't a letter at all, and can't functionally be part of a word": Yet somehow "!Kung" has five and a half million google books hits compared to four for the (hyper)"correct" version. Ƿidsiþ 07:32, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Aren't there precedents of this kind of situation? I seem to remember with Dutch we always use ij even thouigh the "official" character is a (sort-of) ligature, because in practice everyone just types them separately. I am not at all convinced by the Moscow comparison, because as you (-sche) say, "we would find the character in Cyrillic text and so use the Cyrillic codepoint"; similarly here we find the character in English text and so we should use the normal English character. I mean I don't *really* care, except that it just seem like one more technicality which reduces user-friendliness (everyone who enters something for !Kung will be getting it "wrong"). Ƿidsiþ 07:18, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I certainly agree that ǃKung (click) is a lot harder to input than !Kung (exclamation). But !Kung (exclamation) seems like an entirely hackish way of easing input, and there aren't hackish solutions to many of the other characters (õ, which is just as hard to enter, could be replaced with o, but what could substitute for ǂ?), so I prefer to go ahead and use the technically-correct names for all of them. The redirects are there for user-friendliness, and having the pages at the click-character titles means anyone copying the pagenames to paste them elsewhere will be copying the technically-correct rather than the hackish string of characters. And I would say the redirects don't deviate from our practice of not using redirects in cases where someone "got something wrong" (e.g. beleive doesn't redirect to believe, it's an actual entry that explains the misspelling) but using them where someone enters an "OK" but non-lemma form (e.g. all the redirects from variant forms of proverbs to the lemma forms). - -sche (discuss) 08:06, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Another thing to consider: If you take a survey of every English speaker in the world, asking them if "ǃKung" and "ǃXóõ" are English words, a very, very insignificant minority will say they are. I would even bet that most of the people who use these words do not consider them to be English. Even take a look at the reference note on [[ǃKung]]: "When speaking English, I myself say Kung for 'ǃKung', Gwi for 'Gǀwi', and Gana for 'Gǁana'. [] Ko for 'ǃXõ', Kam for 'ǀXam' [] " --WikiTiki89 (talk) 08:07, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
You may appreciate my effort to have {{nmn}} renamed to "Taa" precisely to avoid at least one click character (/exclamation mark). Of course, if Liliana's comment in that discussion is to be believed, even fewer people would recognise "Taa" as an English word than would recognise what it's currently called, "ǃXóõ". For that matter, the number of English speakers who recognise "terpsichorean" as an English word is probably minuscule, so commonality/recognisability is really only good for deciding whether to tag something as {{rare}} or not. (Even then, there are those who feel—and have mostly persuaded me—that rare should only be used if a term is rarely used for a thing relative to other terms which are used for the thing, not if the thing itself is simply rarely discussed. So "ǃXóõ", for example, is not rare, because it is as common a name for the language as "Taa" or "Xoo", even though each of those gets <50 Google books hits.) - -sche (discuss) 08:17, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I would support that renaming. And I disagree about terpsichorean. Rarity has nothing to do with this. People might not know terpsichorean or what it means, but they will accept that it looks and sounds like it could be an English word, much unlike ǃXóõ. Taa would be a little bit more passable as English. This is much like how I sometimes use острый (ostryj) and горячий (gorjačij) with my family while otherwise speaking English, in order to differentiate two senses of "hot food". I would say that that wouldn't make these words English even if it were attestable in English text. Also compare War and Peace, which frequently uses French words in the middle of Russian sentences, as well as Russian words in the Middle of French sentences. This doesn't count towards attesting these words in the other language. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 09:05, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
That's code-switching. That's not what's going on here. I don't know what language ǃXóõ is from (ǃXóõ, I guess), but it's being used by authors who don't know ǃXóõ writing to an audience that doesn't know ǃXóõ. You may not like the spelling, but the audience that discusses ǃXóõ apparently has no problem with it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:44, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Is it being used by authors who don't know ǃXóõ? Better question: Is it used by authors who are not linguists? If not, can we add a {{linguistics}} tag? --WikiTiki89 (talk) 14:42, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Of the people who use ǃKung as the name of an ethnic group: Nicholas Blurton Jones, Kristen Hawkes and James F. O'Connell are professors of anthropology. Jenny Diski is a writer (specifically a "proto-post-postmodern" writer). Gary M. Feinman and T. Douglas Price are archaeologists. Timothy Oakes and Patricia Lynn Price are professors of geography.
Of the people who use ǃKung as the name of a language: Elizabeth Marshall Thomas is an anthropologist. (I haven't worked out who wrote the ǃKung section of Keith's book.) - -sche (discuss) 21:03, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Of the people who use ǃXóõ as the name of a language: Anthony Traill, Keith Elwin Johnson, Amana L. Miller and Nicholas Evans are linguists. Michael C. Corballis is a professor of psychology. Houman Sadri is a professor of political science, Madelyn Flammia is a professor of English. - -sche (discuss) 04:27, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Since they're all professors (except for the one post-post-modernist writer) maybe we should add an {{context|academia}} tag? --WikiTiki89 (talk) 10:44, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
@Wikitiki re the author I cited regarding the anglicised pronunciation, who wrote "I myself say Kung for 'ǃKung'": I myself say canidate for 'candidate', but as a feature of pronunciation, it doesn't affect the spelling of the word.
re terpsichorean: how do you expect these English speakers you refer to to know that "terpsichorean" isn't a Limburgish word? Why wouldn't they say, "no, terpsichorean doesn't sound or look like English"? It looks like a made-up jumble of letters to me. Also consider that German speakers often think of "Handy" (=cell phone) as English, not German, because it looks and sounds like English, not German. And you must admit that an English speaker who was willing upon seeing "terpsichorean" for the first time to accept that it looked and sounded like an English word would also be willing to accept "Handy". (Even capitalisation is a feature English has: "Hoover"=vacuum). Nevertheless, "Handy" is a German and not an English word for "cell phone", despite the gut instincts of each group. Likewise, as Prosfilaes says, you don't like the spellings of ǃKung and ǃXóõ, but the people who write about ǃKung and ǃXóõ have no problem with them. - -sche (discuss) 21:15, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
Terpsichorean doesn't have any features unusual of the English language. ǃXóõ has three characters (75% of the entire word) that are unusual of the English language. As for capitalization, I think capitalization is not a part of spelling but a part of grammar, in English and in German and in every other language I know of. So yes, Handy is an English word. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 10:44, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Terpsichorean certainly has features that are unusual of the English language; for example, terp doesn't start any words in the 100,000 word wordlist that comes with Linux, and Terp only appears as part of an Greek proper name. "ichore", likewise, only appears as part of that proper name. And who cares? The proof of the pudding is in the eating; English speakers use ǃXóõ in English writing for an English audience, without any marking of a foreign language. It is listed as the English language name of the language in an international standard (ISO 639-3), people have published books called A ǃXóõ Dictionary and Phonetic and Phonological Studies of ǃXóõ Bushman, and so on.
Capitalization is certainly part of spelling. The word Polish may only be spelled with a capital initial letter in English, whereas the word polish may or may not start with a capital. I suspect someone can provide an example for German and many other languages of words that change meaning when capitalized. In any case, "Handy" meaning "cell phone" is certainly not an English word.--Prosfilaes (talk) 12:27, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
The standard you link to happens to spell "!Xóõ" with an exclamation point.
Nope, take a look at Prosfilaes' "Polish" example: you can capitalize "polish" (shoe polish) if you're using it at the start of a sentence; you could even put it in all-caps in a book title, but the default form is still "polish", whereas the default form of "Polish" (from Poland) is with a capital "P", though it, too, can be rendered "POLISH" on e.g. the cover of a POLISH-ENGLISH DICTIONARY.
Meanwhile, according to you, "Handy" — which AFAICT never appears with the meaning "cell phone" in English, and which if it does appear is almost certainly a result of the German word and certainly not a cause — is an English and not a German word... :/ - -sche (discuss) 18:26, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
  • LOL I found the answer to my question of "if ǃ is re-interpreted as !, how can ǂ be re-interpreted?": judging by Google, "ǀHanǂkasso" is variously OCR-ed as "/Han‡kasso" (with double dagger), "/Han#kasso", "han!=kasso", "/Han//kasso", "/Han=kasso" and "IHan=Kasso", in addition to the entirely Anglicised/Teutonicised "Han-Kasso". I'm surprised "|" isn't in the first few pages of results. Nonetheless, those scannos seem more common on Google than the correct spelling: yet I defy anyone to say "/Han#kasso" is a more English spelling than "ǀHanǂkasso". - -sche (discuss) 22:15, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
I provided 3+ citations for all senses of ǃKung and ǃXóõ. The preceding debate is mostly over whether the character that looks like a line with a dot under it is ǃ or !, but I hope we agree that the citations show that one or the other of those characters is used, i.e. that the words (spelt with lines with dots under them) do exist. - -sche (discuss) 04:27, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Belatedly @Widsith: ǃ and ! aren't merely "Unicodally different", they're etymologically different: the exclamation mark is an I with an o under it, from Latin "io", the click character is the click-line ǀ with a subscript pronunciation diacritic. It's not like ij vs ij, where the latter is a variant of the former — it's more like B vs ß or O vs 0, where the two are unrelated and only happen to look similar. (There are plenty of Google hits for German words misspelt with "B", such as the amusing "GroBdeutsch", which wants to be "great German" but ends up being "coarse German".) Also, of the "5,500,000 hits" you cite for "!Kung" (with exclamation mark), 93 of the first 100 are spurious hits for books about Kung Fu or Hans Küng, not uses of "!Kung", and most of the hits that are of the language are repetitions of the same book. - -sche (discuss) 04:27, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
You'll forgive me if I don't believe that for a moment. Maybe the exclamation mark was picked because it can be explained as combining a click-line with diacritic, but that's as far as I'd go. Anyway, I'll let this drop for now, at least until anyone else gives their opinion on the subject. Ƿidsiþ 08:48, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
I think
Lepsius click letters.png
the illustration at right, as well as w:Click letter is pretty clear about it; in particular, note that the ǃ in the illustration does not have the dot sitting on the baseline, but instead the pipe, with the dot acting as a descender.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:04, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, my Handbook of the IPA describes the symbol explicitly as an exclamation point. You can see it at Google Books, p. 171. Ƿidsiþ 06:48, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
And if you read across the line, it says explicitly that the Unicode encoding for the symbol is U+01C3; that is, ǃ, not the normal ASCII ! (U+0021).--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:20, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
So are we gonna start using the IPA ɡ now also, instead of the normal g? --WikiTiki89 (talk) 07:31, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
My own preference in the absence of arguments to the contrary would be to continue to use IPA "ɡ", yes. Ruakh's suggestion in the Grease Pit of using the orthographic "g" surprised me and is the only such suggestion I've seen... before that, I didn't realise anyone used non-IPA "g" in IPA transcriptions except by mistake. Of course, unlike click-sound-ǃ vs punctuation-mark-!, g and g have the same origin and signify nearly the same thing, so I wouldn't be surprised if Ruakh were right that the IPA-icians have abandoned the distinction or even switched to g, in which case I would acquiesce and obey them. - -sche (discuss) 08:20, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
The 1999 edition of the Handbook of the International Phonetic Association lists g as looptail g and calls it equivalent to open g, ɡ. So it seems they have given up the fight.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:52, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
Actually I was sarcastically talking about using IPA "ɡ" in headwords as a response to Prosfilaes using the IPA handbook's unicode point as justification of using the click-sound-ǃ in headwords. --WikiTiki89 (talk) 09:18, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
Ah, sorry for not getting the humour. :b In that case, this whole subthread is chasing something of a wild goose, since (as you say) we are talking about a headword, not an IPA transcription. (Not that there aren't languages which seem to use the IPA as their orthography...) - -sche (discuss) 20:10, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
Why do you consider the puncuation mark "!" to be a letter used in spelling English words, but the letter "ǃ" from the extended Latin alphabet to not be one? If you interpret "ǃKung" as using the unrelated ersatz character "!", do you also interpret "ǁXegwi" and "ǂHoan" as using characters other than clicks? If so, which characters? If not, why the inconsistency? - -sche (discuss) 10:13, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Of the first twenty results in gbooks using the search string "Kung language", 10 are spelt "!Kung", 4 are spelt "Kung" (with at least one going on to give example words using the "!" character), 4 are indeterminate, 3 are irrelevant or Wiki clones, and none at all use "ǃKung". I am assuming the ǃ character would be seen in typesetting as as having a constant width, unlike !. SpinningSpark 17:12, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

There's no reason to assume that, and there's good reason to assume the contrary: in many (most?) modern fonts, the characters have identical widths. Vide ǃ vs ! right here; also compare the way the other clicks behave (ǂ, etc). - -sche (discuss) 04:22, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I've added two citations (Second Wave and Anthropology for Dummies) to ǃKung which call the symbol "an orthographic symbol denoting a "click" sound" and "the ǃ symbol [] a click sound". In contrast, I've added two citations to !Kung (making it an entry rather than a redirect) which call the symbol they use an exclamation point. I note that the works on Google Books which specify that they are using an exclamation point are mostly sociological works, whereas the works which write about click consonants and symbols are mostly linguistic works which often simultaneously mention ǁXegwi, ǂHoan, terms spelt with ʘ, etc (i.e. click characters which are unambiguously not other characters). - -sche (discuss) 18:26, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Given that we are not reaching any consensus (each side has its own opinions and facts supporting references), is a colour/color split between ǃKung/!Kung the way to proceed? Obviously, the fact that colour and color are even now not in sync indicates the downside to trying to satisfy each side by having two full pages. (Postscript: I have synced colour and color, which entailed large edits to both entries.) - -sche (discuss) 02:57, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Barnard 1992[edit]

If Barnard really wrote "non-Koisan", rather than "non-Khoisan", then a [sic] would be appropriate.
Varlaam (talk) 03:39, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

That was a typo on Wiktionsry's end; Barnard wrote "non-Khoisan". Thanks for pointing it out. - -sche (discuss) 07:25, 31 December 2013 (UTC)