Wiktionary:Votes/2017-05/Modern Latin as a WDL

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Modern Latin as a WDL[edit]

This vote aims to address a long-running confusion about attestation of words used in modern Latin.

Voting on:

Adding the following item to Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion/Well documented languages, in a new line on the list:

9. New and Contemporary Latin (1500–present).

The "and" and punctuation in #7 and 8 will be modified as necessary. Note that this vote is not about whether modern Latin is in fact well documented, but on whether we want to treat it like a constructed language, and have tighter restrictions on what words we accept.


  • Vote starts: 00:00, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 23:59, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Vote created: —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:37, 3 May 2017 (UTC) (new vote wording courtesy of Dan Polansky)



  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support -Xbony2 (talk) 00:27, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support to preserve existing practice. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:31, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
  3. Symbol support vote.svg Support (and I'm fine with the modification proposed below). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 05:46, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
  4. Symbol support vote.svg Support. - -sche (discuss) 19:53, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
  5. Symbol support vote.svg SupportGranger (talk · contribs) 16:43, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
  6. Symbol support vote.svg Support --Dan Polansky (talk) I generally dislike the less-documented-language lowering of requirements in WT:CFI#Number of citations, but accept that, for languages for which uses online are very hard to find, it can make sense to lower the requirements and allow single mentions, such as mentions in dictionaries. Is modern Latin (1500-present) a language or its phase for which we need to accept single mentions to achieve a decent coverage? I don't know, but at least birotula is a modern Latin term having 3 quotations in use in mainspace, quotations from years 1901, 1953, and 1998. It would be good to have more such examples. One hint that we may forbid mentions is that modern Latin is not one of those poorly documented languages with no writing tradition. Given the uncertainty, I err on the side of disallowing mentions and requiring 3-attestation to achieve independence of quotations. As for the terminological quibble over whether modern Latin is really well documented on the Internet, I think the implied reading is "documented well enough to require 3 attesting quotations in use and forbid mentions". --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:00, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
  7. Symbol support vote.svg Support – I'm persuaded by @Dan Polansky's rationale that (to paraphrase) more recent Latin is well-documented enough to require 3 quotations rather than just 1. — Eru·tuon 19:34, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
  8. Symbol support vote.svg SupportAryamanarora (मुझसे बात करो) 00:16, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
  9. Symbol support vote.svg Support Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 09:58, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
  10. Symbol support vote.svg Support --Daniel Carrero (talk) 22:00, 1 June 2017 (UTC)


  1. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Ambiguous as to whether the year range applies to Contemporary Latin only, or to both types of Latin. This, that and the other (talk) 03:53, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
    There is only ambiguity if you choose to interpret it in the more irrational way, of course. @Xbony2, would you be okay with me changing it to "New and Contemporary Latin" to make TTATO happy? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:38, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
    If you and him consider it necessary, sure. -Xbony2 (talk) 11:08, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
    I see no serious ambiguity: if the range were to apply only to Contemporary Latin, why would the author of the text choose to omit a range for New Latin? Furthermore, in case of doubt, the range is to be interpreted in conjunction with external sources, and taking note that assigning "1500-" to "contemporary" is implausible.
    This, that and the other, can you please tell us whether you support the proposal itself, that is, requiring that Latin terms attested only after year 1500 should require 3 attesting quotations in use, as for any WDL? --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:47, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
    I generally support the principle. I guess if you know what "New Latin" and "Contemporary Latin" refer to, it's obvious (as Metaknowledge points out) that the date range refers to both. But I'd like some more clarification. How about "Latin, for words only attested after the year 1500"? This, that and the other (talk) 12:52, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
    @This, that and the other: There was no serious ambiguity to begin with, and now that I have made my proposed modification, there is no ambiguity whatsoever. I hope that it sufficient. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:57, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
    @This, that and the other: Do you see any significant risk that, if the vote passes as is, there will be disagreements among admins and users about how to interpret the wording? Therefore, is this a cosmetic issue that can be corrected via a subsequent vote? --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:01, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
    @This, that and the other: You haven't responded to these last two pings, so I'm hoping this will remind you. There is a second vote in the works, but this one is actually quite close to passing, so if you are at all swayed, that would be very good to know. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:58, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
    I responded to Dan on the talk page of the other vote. I should go over there and cast my vote, shouldn't I? This, that and the other (talk) 07:47, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
    @This, that and the other: We're hoping that if you change your vote here, this one will pass and it won't be necessary to start the other vote at all. —Granger (talk · contribs) 10:19, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
    Oh, is that the reason for all the pings? No, I very much prefer the text in the other vote, so I'm afraid I'm going to have to be annoying and force everyone to the other vote. This, that and the other (talk) 10:32, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
    @This, that and the other: Well, the other vote is running regardless, though I note that you have not actually cast your vote there. Be that as it may, if both votes pass, this one would still be supplanted by the second one. The usefulness of changing your vote here would be in large part simply to demonstrate that there is in fact support for the concept, if not the exact wording. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:44, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
  2. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Modern/New/Contemporary Latin, whatever you want to call it, is not a constructed language nor is it well documented on the Internet. It should qualify as an LDL, though we do need to define "a list of materials deemed appropriate as the only sources for entries based on a single mention". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:13, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
  3. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose What Angr said. There are better ways to filter out junk than by adopting a falsity as a policy. --WikiTiki89 19:35, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
    @Wikitiki89: What's false? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:38, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
    That New/Contemporary Latin is either a constructed language or well-documented on the internet. --WikiTiki89 19:40, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
    "Note that this vote is not about whether modern Latin is in fact well documented". It looks like you're choosing to read too much into this. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:49, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
    Not really. I'm merely saying that if New Latin is not well documented, then we shouldn't treat it as well-documented (and if it's not a constructed language, then we shouldn't treat it as a constructed language). --WikiTiki89 20:11, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
    Constructed languages are included even if they're not well documented, because we choose to treat them with the same stringency. Even you haven't chosen to interpret that in the illogical manner that you're interpreting this vote. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:54, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
    You're right that's illogical, but that's not what's being voted on here. --WikiTiki89 19:08, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
    I don't see any way in which Wiki and I are being illogical. The second clause of the sentence you quoted is, "but on whether we want to treat it like a constructed language, and have tighter restrictions on what words we accept", and Wiki and I are saying it isn't a constructed language and therefore shouldn't be treated like one. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:38, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
    English is also not a constructed language, but we treat it like one: it is also subject to three cites. You seem to want to keep modern Latin terms with a single attestation; that's a reason to oppose. Wikitiki has given no indication of that, but instead is quibbling over terminology. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:43, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
    We treat English as a well-documented language, because it is one. We don't treat it as constructed. --WikiTiki89 19:08, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
  4. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose by Angr and WikiTiki, and also CodeCat at Talk:birotula.
    @Metaknowledge: It would change and not preserve existing practice, especially for New Latin from 1500 till ca. 1900.   WikiTiki is correct with the "falsity". New Latin is not a constructed language and at least Contemporary Latin is not well documented on the internet. New Latin could be treated like a WDL anyway but then at least the wording should be correct like "The following languages are subject to the same criteria as WDLs: 1. New Latin" instead of "The languages well documented on the Internet [...] are: [...] 9. New Latin".
    @Angr: Actually such a list exists at WT:About Latin#Attestation, and hence in my opinion mentionings from the Middle Ages to the Modern Period do not attest anything for Latin. But maybe see the talk page for the interpretation of WT:CFI's "should".
    @Wikitiki89: I made some suggestions on the talk page like making Latin an in-between language and, for example, adding a rule regarding usenet citations, but the suggestions are uncommented and for me it seems like they were ignored. -Slœtel (talk) 07:54, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
  5. Contemporary/New Latin is still Latin and follows the same rules for the most part of inflection and so on, I don't think the date of coinage should effect whether or not the word is allowed to be part of classical or new. If a term is specifically New Latin, then this should just be marked in the labels for each definition. 2WR1 (talk) 16:56, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
    @2WR1: The date of quotation points to general abundance of quotatations. The LDL regulation is an ersatz used to make up for the severe scarcity of quotations for some languages; it is not the ideal of lexicographical evidence. In a time period in which quotations are expected to be not so scarce, we would like to treat Latin like e.g. English or Finnish. --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:50, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
    @Dan Polansky Ya, that's sort of what I was saying, right? The amount of quotations shouldn't effect the sorting of the word into different language categories. 2WR1 (talk) 19:47, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
    @2WR1: That's not sorting into categories for the purpose of labeling on the definition lines; it is sorting into categories for the purpose of the number of quotations required for inclusion of a putative word. That is, where quotations are abundant, we require 3 of them since 1 is poor evidence. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:54, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
    Like, for English, we require 3, but for Old English, we require 1 and mention is ok. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:56, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
    @2WR1: I don't understand your comment. The vote is not about "whether or not the word is allowed to be part of classical or new". It's about the number of quotations required to allow a post-1500 Latin word into the dictionary. — Eru·tuon 19:56, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
    Oh, shoot, I'm sorry, I now see I totally misread the description! Thanks for pointing that out! 2WR1 (talk) 01:32, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
  6. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per Wikitiki89. --Barytonesis (talk) 19:37, 31 May 2017 (UTC)


  1. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain. As noted by Angr, the primary waterline issue on "invented" New Latin terms seems to be not the required number of attestations, but the fact that we lack sources considered suitable for New Latin -era entries based on single mentions. This sounds like it should be a question to be primarily hashed out among our Latin editors, not by global policy. (On global policy, I suspect a new category between WDL and LDL might be necessary at some point.) --Tropylium (talk) 14:37, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
  2. Symbol abstain vote.svg AbstainSaltmarsh. 03:58, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
    Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain --Daniel Carrero (talk) 19:38, 31 May 2017 (UTC)


No consensus (62.5%) --Daniel Carrero (talk) 04:34, 13 June 2017 (UTC)