Talk:Frisian

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

Wondering about the one language assertion.[edit]

Some linguists consider West Frisian, Saterland Frisian, and North Frisian to be varieties of a single language called “Frisian”. Other linguists and the speakers consider them to be separate languages in a language group called “Frisian”.

I don't know enough to say the first alternative theory isn't a valid, reputable minority view among actual linguists, but I've never heard it before. (I've heard tons of MAS non-scholars take that position, though.) It could probably benefit from a reputable citation. (And don't cite Encyclopaedia Britannica. They just about made my blood boil when they published that "Frisian" was a German dialect! Durnit, I'm not sure but I think the language family is older than German! I do know West Frisian more closely related to English than to German.)

Question for any linguists out there: It strikes me a bit odd, since the three are in no way mutually comprehensible. Given that, it's not a Brazil/Portugal France/Quebec situation. Wouldn't one have of the three have to be declared the language and the other two dialects? Can you have a three-headed language of Cerberus like that?

Also, note, when you're reading scholarly literature, it's easy to get confused. There are three main dialects of North Frisian, one of which is sometimes called East Frisian, which sounds like Eastern Frisian, which some people call Sater Frisian... Throw in the other two, and it gets worse. http://members.tripod.com/~rjschellen/FrisianNums.htm (Not particularly scholarly, but plenty confusing.)

95% of the time if you see someone say "Frisian," it's a synonym for West Frisian. I do it. I see that your wiki codes do the same. Which might be kind of a problem now, since on 12 January, it seems the Seelterfräiske started their own wikipedia.

Winter 09:54, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I consider them separate languages. That being said, there is nothing inherently wrong with the idea that "Frisian" is the language, and West Frisian, Saterland Frisian, and North Frisian are all dialects of it. Usually, most literature is written in one dialect of a language, and, even though more people might speak other dialects, the "literary" dialect is considered the standard form of the language, i.e., Frisian. It’s like saying English is one language, and British English and American English are two dialects of it (I used to eat breakfast with some British soldiers in the British sector of West Germany whose English was completely incomprehensible to me...we had to use an interpreter from South England...but we were all speaking English). —Stephen 11:40, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Hi, Stephen. That's a cute story. One of my Italian frequently rants about how Italian is just a dialect of Spanish. He and others might well say English is a Frisian dialect. Even though both theories sound rather silly to me, I suppose you're right. There's nothing inherently wrong with any of them. Thanks for the great answer. Snakesteuben 18:24, 4 April 2008 (UTC) (Winter D.)

Citation badly needed - can anyone help me?[edit]

The name of any one, single widely-respected professional linguist, or a citation to any of hir work, who ascribes to the view that the three Frisian languages are dialects of a one Frisian language would really help me right now.

Can anyone help?

Thank you so very much! Snakesteuben 13:51, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Keep tidy.svg

The following information has failed Wiktionary's deletion process.

It should not be re-entered without careful consideration.


Frisian[edit]

Rfd-redundant: (Netherlands) the West Frisian language. Redundant to the sense right below, "an alternate name for the West Frisian language". -- Prince Kassad 18:13, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Easy delete, I'd have jut deleted it on sight. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:52, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Delete JamesjiaoTC 06:52, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Failed. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:30, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Frisian <-> West Frisian[edit]

2.an alternate name for the West Frisian language, widely used in informal speech and writing, or where context makes the meaning unambiguous. (Compare: America, when synonymous with the United States of America.)
Frisian definitely is not an alternative name for West Frisian. Maybe within West Friesland (in The Netherlands) West Frisian speakers call their language simply Frisian. At least we North Frisian speakers (in Germany) call our language simply Frisian. But the conclusion Frisian = West Frisian is not correct.
Frisian is considered today as a language group of three languages with a common root. Each Frisian language has its own ISO code. --Murma174 20:10, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

I can confirm, as a West Frisian speaker, that we refer to our language as simply Frisian (as do the Dutch). I'm guessing that the Dutch specifically have caused for the word Frisian to be synonymous with West Frisian in the English language. Rubykuby (talk) 11:11, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

RFV[edit]

TK archive icon.svg

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, though feel free to discuss its conclusions.


Rfv-sense: an alternate name for the West Frisian language, widely used in informal speech and writing, or where context makes the meaning unambiguous. (Compare: America, when synonymous with the United States of America.)

I understand it as: An English speaker in an English environment would usually think that 'Frisian' pertains to 'West Frisian' when no further information is given. This sounds like nationalism to me. Or simply a gaffe by a West Frisian applying West Frisian speech habits on English.ᚲᛟᚱᚾ (talk) 00:42, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

In the Netherlands at least, Frisian is normally understood to mean West Frisian, and the term 'West Frisian' refers to w:West Friesland (region), which is outside actual Friesland, along with its w:West Frisian Dutch dialect. I'm not sure if this habit carries over to English, but I would assume any Dutch person speaking English would be prone to this usage. —CodeCat 01:46, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
In this video, a linguist refers to West Frisian as Frisian. This is the only knowledge I have on the matter, but considering that West Frisian is the Frisian language with most speakers by far, it's no surprise that people would call it just Frisian. And I don't see how that's nationalism :-/ Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 02:00, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
I've seen some of his videos before and he's definitely not a native Dutch or Frisian speaker judging by his accent. —CodeCat 02:04, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
I've cited the sense now, IMO. - -sche (discuss) 02:11, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't see that as a proper citing of the meaning, because obviously the context of the whole shebang is Frisian in the Netherlands. The definition, however, pertains (or: must pertain) to the common situation of the English language without former context of the topic (i.e. by native English speakers rather than Dutch people using the English language). Picking up the given example: If I said: "Oh my, there's been flooding in America", the majority of people wouldn't ask whether Brazil or Canada but assume the USA; I cannot see that for the (West) Frisian language. So I would like to move it rfd. (Or can I just delete that definition myself?)ᚲᛟᚱᚾ (talk) 17:15, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

You can't just delete it, but feel free to RFD it. I, for one, can see and have seen that happening for West Frisian. Sure the context is Frisian in the Netherlands, but what exactly were you expecting? Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 18:18, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Just searching for 'learn Frisian' on Google shows many results that refer to West Frisian as Frisian without even stating it. Some do qualify it as an afterthought, though. The most curious is this site, which is at a German domain name, and also offers the course in German, even though Frisian in the context of Germany definitely isn't always West Frisian! —CodeCat 20:39, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Moved to rfdᚲᛟᚱᚾ (talk) 13:31, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

TK archive icon.svg

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

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


Frisian[edit]

rfd-sense: While def. #2 is true, we cannot allow such a definition for a dictionary. Naturally, if the context is unambiguous, any definition can be true for any word. The quotes given show that the context is always language/Frisian in the Netherlands. If we kept this definition, we would have to add "North Frisian", because when talking about language/Frisian in Sleswik-Holstein, it is unambiguous that North Frisian is meant. Same is true for "Old Frisian" and language/Frisian in earlier ages. Needless to say that such definitions only flood/spam the entries, reducing overseeability.
The definition in question is relying on clear topical context rather than, as with slang words, for example, a language context or no context at all. The example given, America, e.g. would generally be understood as United States of America, rather than anything else on the two continents, when no further context is given. (As in: "All Americans are crazy for guns.")
As a second point on that: I think entries for English should be confined to meanings applied by native speakers in an English environment rather than peculiarities of several nations. The German word for mobile phone is "Handy" and surely a German speaking English would carry that sense over into his talking, but giving that meaning under handy would certainly be wrong, because that meaning is German and not English.ᚲᛟᚱᚾ (talk) 13:27, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

While I'm not sure I agree with your analogies, I conditionally (as I'll explain) agree with your proposal that we delete this. Specifically, if Frisian means "West Frisian" in the Netherlands because that's the Frisian of interest there, then sense 2 is just sense 1 used in context. I think a pretty good analogy is a definition like diabetes's: "The inability of the body to produce, or the inability to metabolize, the human hormone insulin". We don't have a separate sense "(when discussing effects of obesity): type II diabetes", and we shouldn't. However, if Frisian means "West Frisian" in the Netherlands despite other Frisians' relevance, then it may well be worth a separate sense.​—msh210 (talk) 16:34, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Keep but remove the context tag, as it indeed makes the definition just sense 1 in context. The point of having a separate definition, in my opinion, is to show that when the word Frisian is mentioned without any clear context, it most likely refers to the West Frisian language. Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 16:47, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) I'm on the fence, leaning towards keeping the sense:
  • I'd rather accept "West Frisian", "North Frisian", "Saterland Frisian" (when attested) as subsenses of the general sense (or a replacement for it — but if something like "the Frisians spoken in Europe" is attested as a reference to all of the languages, as I presume it is, then there must be the overall sense of "any of the Frisian languages"). These are distinct languages; if English refers to any of them as "Frisian" without further disambiguation, we should(?) note that; compare the case of the Buli languages, one in Indonesia and one in Ghana. Having different senses would allow us to have the translations for each (or {{trans-see}}-redirects) in one place.
    • As a sub-point: it occurs to me that it would be terrible to attest separate subsenses like "British English", "American English", "Canadian English" of "English"; on the other hand, "English" — whether referring to the language spoken in Britain or the one spoken in Canada — is referring to the same language; "Frisian" referring to "West Frisian" is (to the extent the Frisian lects are considered languages and not dialects) referring to a different language. (I do not intend this as a straw man.)
  • The context tag, which I reworded but kept the spirit of, should probably be completely overhauled: as CodeCat pointed out on RFV, "searching for 'learn Frisian' on Google shows many results that refer to West Frisian as Frisian without even stating it. Some do qualify it as an afterthought, though. The most curious is this site, which is at a German domain name, and also offers the course in German, even though Frisian in the context of Germany definitely isn't always West Frisian!" Thus, it seems "Frisian" is used even when the context is not the Netherlands.
- -sche (discuss) 16:50, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Before I read up on the subject, I never heard about anything but West Frisian, which I saw uniformly referred to as simply Frisian. Although the distinctions may be obvious to people in that part of Europe, to the vast majority of English speakers (if they've even heard of Frisian), there's just Frisian, and it's what they speak in parts of the Netherlands. That isn't accurate, it isn't fair, but it's the reality of usage for most English speakers. As long as we're a descriptive rather than a proscriptive dictionary, we have to reflect that in our definitions. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:28, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
The question is whether the dominance of West Frisian can be taken as a proof of English speaking habits. The thing about West Frisian is that is the only codified or officially administered form of Frisian and thus there is a greater number of sources (...in another language than the regionally important). (Maybe even the only learning sources at all.) Thus search engines are likely to produce results for it. This of course might lead to English natives no to make a difference between West Frisian and Frisian in general. But (more of rfv though) I would feel better having seen a cite for that.
As for the page by CodeCat, it should be noted that it is not without context. It is a Netherlands-made West Frisian-course which only hence uses "Frisian" for West Frisian without proper notification. It is simply, due to personal connections I think, hosted on a German server.
All in all, I'd rather have the sense deleted and if necessary replaced with a Usage Note or so because I can't see that definition existing free from any Dutch context. (À la: "In the Netherlands they speak Dutch and Frisian.")ᚲᛟᚱᚾ (talk) 22:34, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Removed rfd tag as the entry has significantly changed.ᚲᛟᚱᚾ (talk) 07:39, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

It’s pretty good now. I have no complaints. Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 01:35, 5 April 2012 (UTC)