Wiktionary:Votes/2018-07/Restructure comparative and superlative categories

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Restructure comparative and superlative categories[edit]

Voting on: Restructuring the comparative and superlative categories.

Currently, categories for comparative and superlative forms of adjectives take two forms, which for comparatives are

LANGUAGE adjective comparative forms has no associated category for inflected forms. LANGUAGE comparative adjectives uses LANGUAGE comparative-adjective forms for its inflected forms, or incorrectly uses LANGUAGE adjective comparative forms for that purpose.

The proposal is to supplant these with a unified category tree. The following section shows this new structure, with Finnish used as the example language and adjectives used as the example part of speech. The categories marked in italic already exist, while the categories in bold are new:

  • Category:Finnish non-lemma forms
    • Category:Finnish adjective forms
      • Category:Finnish comparative adjectives (contains the comparative forms themselves)
        • Category:Finnish comparative adjective forms (contains the inflected forms of comparatives)
      • Category:Finnish superlative adjectives (contains the superlative forms themselves)
        • Category:Finnish superlative adjective forms (contains the inflected forms of superlatives)

This change would apply for all applicable languages and parts of speech, not just adjectives (indeclinable words, such as adverbs (at least in most languages), would simply have no category for inflected forms).

This means that the two existing category types, "LANGUAGE adjective comparative forms" (containing comparatives) would be merged into "LANGUAGE comparative adjectives", which would be moved under adjective forms (and therefore stop being lemmata), while a new category for inflected forms of those comparatives would be created. The same change would apply to superlatives as well.

  • Rationales:
    • The category tree is based on how participles currently work; see Category:Finnish verb forms, Category:Finnish participles and Category:Finnish participle forms.
    • The current format, where some languages may have two different comparative/superlative categories, one of which have their entries marked as lemmata but the other one does not, is wildly inconsistent.
    • It also does not have a way to distinguish between comparatives/superlatives and the inflected forms of such, despite the fact that in many languages comparatives/superlatives can actually be inflected.


  • Vote starts: 00:00, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 23:59, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Vote created: SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 22:27, 7 July 2018 (UTC)



  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support as nom. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 00:01, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
    For anyone voting, please also read the clarification on the vote talk page. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 18:45, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support. -- Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:17, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
  3. Symbol support vote.svg Support. -- This would be useful for German, where comparatives are often identical to inflected base forms. Mofvanes (talk) 03:34, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
  4. Symbol support vote.svg Support. PerfectlyOutOfSync (talk) 08:26, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
  5. Symbol support vote.svg Support.  --Lambiam 14:19, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
  6. Symbol support vote.svg Support – I was initially skeptical, but have been won over more or less, as a similar scheme is used for participles. The proposed scheme works both for English (whose comparatives or superlatives don't have inflected forms) and for German, Latin, Ancient Greek, and so on (whose comparatives and superlatives do). It could also be extended to elatives, which haven't come up in the discussion; for instance, in Arabic, the masculine singular elative أَكْثَر (ʾakṯar, more, most) could be kept in Arabic elative adjectives, and the feminine singular كُثْرَى (kuṯrā), masculine plural أَكَاثِر (ʾakāṯir) and أَكْثَرُونَ (ʾakṯarūna), and feminine plural كُثْرَيَات (kuṯrayāt) could be moved to Arabic elative adjective forms. — Eru·tuon 03:34, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
  7. Symbol support vote.svg Support for consistency and clarity. -Stelio (talk) 10:28, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
  8. Symbol support vote.svg Support Fay Freak (talk) 10:47, 8 August 2018 (UTC)


  1. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose It isn't made clear whether this applies to all languages, or only to those where it is considered necessary. You can do what you like with Finnish or German, but I don't think it is necessary for Norwegian for example, where indefinite and definite superlatives are already dealt with. It doesn't apply to comparatives, and mer/meir and mest (like English more and most) are also used. DonnanZ (talk) 18:13, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
    It would apply to all languages. For Bokmål, indefinite and definite (adjective) superlatives would probably both be under Category:Norwegian Bokmål superlative adjectives. Since they seem to have no inflected forms, Category:Norwegian Bokmål superlative adjective forms would probably simply not exist. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 18:17, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
    Category:Norwegian Bokmål adjective superlative forms has existed for years. DonnanZ (talk) 19:31, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
    Those seem like superlatives, not inflected forms of superlatives. Further goes to show how this current system is confusing. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 19:33, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
    All superlatives, just two forms, indefinite and definite, are in the one category, and I don't see the need to break them down further. Comparatives have only one form, and aren't inflected any further. DonnanZ (talk) 20:21, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
    I don't think they should be broken down further, so Bokmål would, as I said above, have Category:Norwegian Bokmål comparative adjectives and Category:Norwegian Bokmål superlative adjectives, but no categories for the inflected forms of such. In effect, the existing categories would be renamed to a new scheme that would better accommodate other languages. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 20:24, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
    The same applies to Nynorsk, Danish, and possibly Swedish. DonnanZ (talk) 20:33, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
    I would like to make a point though: the categories here are somewhat loosely defined, so the more exact decisions would be made on a per-language basis. For the North Germanic languages, the categories for inflected forms of comparatives and superlatives will likely not be used at all and therefore do not need to exist, but the scheme applies in general and considerably accommodates languages better in general. It is also more consistent in the way that we have Category:LANGUAGE participles, not *Category:LANGUAGE participle forms for the participles themselves (as opposed to inflected forms of participles). SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 20:36, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
    I think the current category titles are more accurate than what you are proposing, as they are derived from (and forms of) the basic adjective. There are one or two superlatives and comparatives which aren't, but I don't think there is enough of them to warrant special treatment. DonnanZ (talk) 20:54, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
    But so are participles, they are derived from verbs and are technically verb forms, but since in many languages they themselves can be inflected and therefore a separate participle forms category is needed, the category for participles themselves does not contain the form word in any way. You could also argue the same for many adverbs, as they are regularly inflected (read: derived) from adjectives. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 21:00, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
    I avoid categories for participles, but any that are used as adjectives in Norwegian would use mer/meir and mest for comparatives and superlatives. DonnanZ (talk) 23:30, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
  2. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose. I am a fan of consistency and simplicity, and I find this proposal appealing for that reason. But I also care significantly about accuracy, and, as discussed above, the proposed category titles are not as accurate as the current titles for languages such as English or Norwegian. To say that slower, for example, is a "comparative adjective" is simply not correct: it is a degree inflection of an adjective that gives it a comparative function. It's a bit nit-picky, I admit, but I just don't think that sacrificing accuracy for the sake of a smoother system is the right way to go. Natural language is rarely tidy. I want to support this for the languages for which it is actually accurate, but the details of this proposal don't allow for that. --SanctMinimalicen (talk) 22:45, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
    It is indeed very nitpicky, seeing that "slower" is used like an adjective and could be considered an adjective on its own right (with the meaning "that which is slow compared to something else; that which is more slow") for that reason alone. SURJECTION ·talk·contr·log· 09:58, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
    Perhaps, but clever wording could give the illusion that any non-lemma form is an lemma (to clarify, I'm taking "adjective in its own right" to imply lemma-hood, because I'm not sure what "in its own right" would mean otherwise). The definition of apples could be "the fruit of the Malus domestica, when found in groups or quantities greater than one", or "a group of fruit from the Malus domestica". Sounds like a noun in its own right, just like a litter is, more or less, "a group of puppies, kittens, etc.". But its not right. I don't like putting ever-so-slightly ovoid pegs in round holes. --SanctMinimalicen (talk) 00:50, 10 August 2018 (UTC)


  1. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain -Xbony2 (talk) 01:49, 2 August 2018 (UTC)


Eh? This vote was meant to end ages ago. It's a clear pass. This, that and the other (talk) 14:30, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

  • Yes, but no action has been taken yet. You fancy doing it? --XY3999 (talk) 11:09, 23 August 2018 (UTC)