Wiktionary talk:About German

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Verb inflexion line[edit]

The verb inflexion line for German verbs should contain verb forms that are characteristic for German verbs (e.g. second person singular) not for English verbs (as third person singular). The tense names should be adapted, too (e.g. preterite instead of past tense). Ncik 09:03, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Pronunciation[edit]

In this discussion it is suggested that readers will know about the difference between // and [] in pronunciations. There's no way that's going to work, as illustrated by the parts about pronunciation in this thread. Michael Hardy 21:58, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

In the years since this comment, we continue to distinguish [narrow] from /broad/ transcriptions. Atypically, German tends to have [narrow] transcriptions without /broad/ ones, whereas other languages tend to have /broad/ without [narrow] transcriptions. - -sche (discuss) 22:39, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
My rule of thumb is /broad/ transcriptions for English and [narrow] transcriptions for all other languages. —Angr 22:43, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
My rule of thumb is to include both for languages other than English. Narrow transcriptions are not as useful for someone who knows the language phonology already, and that's something every more advanced speaker will probably know. Including only narrow transcriptions can also lead to confusion when dialects are concerned, because a phonetic difference between dialects could be subphonemic across the wider language area; a user could mistake that as meaning that there is a phonemic difference too. A good example of this is in Swedish, where there are several different ways to pronounce the sound written as <sj>, but they are all the same phoneme and should presumably be transcribed in a dialect-independent way (i.e. phonemically), which says in some way 'place the sj-sound here in the word' rather than 'pronounce this sound'. —CodeCat 22:53, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

R[edit]

Do we have a preference for /ʁ/ vs /ʀ/ in various places in pronunciations? I've seen both, but given edit like this (compare de:groß), I figure one should be standard. Those who can read German may find this de.Wikt discussion of interest: [1]. De.Wikt's current policy is: /ʀ/ before vowels, /ʁ/ after the vowels /ɪ/, /ʏ/, /ɛ/, /œ/, /ʊ/, /ɔ/, /a/, and /ɐ̯/ after /i/, /y/, /e/, /ø/, /u/, /o/, [ɛː], /aː/. Of course, de.Wikt's policy is also to use /s/ rather than /z/ for all English plurals that end in -s, which is simply wrong, so we're by no means obligated to follow their lead. - -sche (discuss) 02:21, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

I'd use ʁ in the syllable onset, ɐ̯ in the syllable coda after a long vowel, and both in the syllable coda after a short vowel, thus:
Of course, nothing's stopping us from using other symbols and tagging them with accent labels, thus:
And so on. —Angr 22:37, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I fully agree. Longtrend (talk) 23:04, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

dafuer[edit]

Do we have a policy on allowing or not allowing entries for spellings like dafuer for dafür? Spellings like gross for groß must be allowed, because they're standard in Swiss German and descriptivism leaves no room to exclude the standardised orthography of an entire country with four and a half million German-speaking people. But what about umlaut-less spellings? They're attested (and we allow attested things like cœlic in English); OTOH, they're trivially derived from umlaut spellings, and they're not standard anywhere I can think of. - -sche (discuss) 21:53, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

They may not be used as much now, but what about the whole history of what we group under the header 'German'? —CodeCat 21:56, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
They are typically used when typing on a keyboard that does not provide the German umlaut characters. Mutante (talk) 03:55, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Mutante's right, but if you can cite it from older texts — maybe. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:28, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
My preference is to allow them to be entered as alt forms, but to generally not bother entering them myself (just like with ligature alt forms of English words). - -sche (discuss) 04:47, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
And English ligatures seem like a mess to me as a class of entries, even though (or perhaps because) Doremítzwr and Seth have done so much work on them. But we wouldn't, say, allow macronless and ʻokinaless entries in Hawaiian (even as alt-forms) just because many sources are too lazy or don't have the typeset to support them. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:55, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
I would actually be in favor of including macronless and okinaless entries in Hawaiian as alt forms since many people may only encounter Hawaiian words in older texts like that and not know where to supply okinas and macrons in order to find the Wiktionary entry. In the German case, though, beginners are unlikely to encounter umlautless forms, and by the time they do encounter them they probably will have been taught what they mean. In other words, a beginning Hawaiian learner may well encounter lahui or maikai and not know where to insert the macrons and okinas to get to the Wiktionary entry, but it's unlikely a beginning German learner will encounter dafuer without knowing to reconstitute it to dafür. If we do have them (and we do already have fuer, for example), they should have a usage note saying something like "Not a standard spelling; found generally only in cases where the umlaut letter was not available, and sometimes in pre-20th century texts." —Angr 14:24, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
What's with people who can't type Umlaute? It's not unlikely that there are people who can speak German good enough and know what Umlaute are, but can't type them. So for them it should be good to include forms like "dafuer" as some kind of redirect, but it should be mentioned that suchs forms are incorrect. Also claims like "used in some older texts" should be phrased as "maybe used in some older texts" or be verified (3 older citations &c.). Forms like "Aeltern" do exists (Ae, Oe, Ue with capital letters), but I can't remember to have seen forms like "dafuer" (in older texts, not in modern ones with technical limitations or by retards). Also alternative forms like "dafuͤr" do not count as they're different from forms like "dafuer". -00:30, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Phonology of ch in German[edit]

Moved from Wiktionary:Information desk#Phonology_of_ch_in_German.

User:Bigbossfarin has been making some German edits concerning the pronunciation of the <ch>. They have changed/added pronunciations and rhymes with /χ/ (a uvular fricative) instead of /x/ (a velar fricative). Is this the normal representation of this phoneme in German, and should it be used for rhymes, or does this belong in phonetics/allophones? —CodeCat 00:21, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

I usually see an /x/ where the sound is supposedly a [χ], but this practice is hypocritical because [ç] and [x] are usually noted even though they are also allophones. — Ungoliant (Falai) 00:29, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Re [χ] and [x]: to my surprise, de.Wikt's guidelines page prescribes [χ]; individual entries disobey (compare e.g. de:ach, de:Frucht and de:Buch). Those who speak German should read the short discussion on the talk page, in which the linguist Dr. Karl-Heinz Best commented. I would have agreed with him and used /x/ as the broad transcription of [χ]~[x]. de.WP regards the voiceless uvular fricative as the standard, but transcribes it /x/(!).
Re [ç] and [x]: those sounds are acknowledged to be undergoing phonemicisation even by most of the authorities that do not regard them as being phonemic yet. (You would be unlikely to be understood if you told a German [diː ˈfʀaʊ̯xən ˈʁaʊ̯çən], and to the extent that one can make Rau, Tau etc diminutive without umlaut, minimal pairs can be made.) - -sche (discuss) 01:22, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. The common practice is not as hypocritical as a I thought. — Ungoliant (Falai) 01:34, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

zu-Infinitives[edit]

I think our conjugation tables are missing an entry for the zu-infinitive, which is in general simply zu + infinitive, e.g. zu spielen for spielen, zu arbeiten for arbeiten, etc. However, for separable verbs such as bereitstellen, the zu-infinitive is one string consisting of the "prefix", zu, and the base verb, e.g. bereitzustellen. IMO only those latter forms should get entries. I wonder if that can be implemented in the templates. What do you think? Longtrend (talk) 19:58, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree that the zu form should be in the conjugation table and that single-word zu forms should have entries. - -sche (discuss) 05:32, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Verletzte[edit]

Verletzte currently treats "Verletzte" as the lemma of both the feminine and the masculine word for "injured person", and "Verletzter" as an inflected form. This is a mistake; the lemma of the masculine word is "Verletzter". I would just fix it myself, but I think there may be many more entries out there like it. Is there a way to find such entries, and perhaps even correct them en masse? - -sche (discuss) 05:34, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't think so. A bot could find some of them but it would have to take account for all different possibilities (for example Verletzte doesn't use {{de-noun}}) so it would take a lot of work and there'd likely be some missing still. The best I can think of is to look in Category:German nouns for nouns that look like substantivised adjectives. Perhaps a bot could do that... for example it could look at each entry in Category:German nouns and see if it is identical to an entry in Category:German adjectives but with a capital letter and an extra -e. Could that work? (Maybe you should ask Ruakh, he seems to understand these things better) —CodeCat 14:26, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Meh, I could do that by hand. I suppose I will. - -sche (discuss) 21:33, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Entries like this continue to need to be dealt with. It's just hard to find the energy for the task. - -sche (discuss) 07:56, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it is. AFAIK we also still don't have a declension template that can really handle substantivized adjectives like this. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:16, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, which is a shame! Unfortunately I don't have the technical knowledge to be much of a help here... :( Longtrend (talk) 18:28, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
It's "der Verletzte", so that "This is a mistake; the lemma of the masculine word is "Verletzter"" isn't necessarily true. -00:14, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Boden-Boden[edit]

Boden-Boden, Boden-Luft, Luft-Luft and Luft-Boden are currently defined as adjectives that never inflect. AFAIK, they also cannot be used predicatively — which means they have no adjectival qualities at all. They occur only in noun compounds like "Luft-Luft-Rakete". I'd like to get some others' thoughts on them before I possibly RFD them. What POS do you consider them? Do you think they should have entries at all? I analyse them as nouns — specifically, I analyse compounds like "Luft-Luft-Rakete" as being either three nouns or one long noun, hence my thought of RFDing "Luft-Luft" et al. - -sche (discuss) 07:56, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

When I saw Boden-Boden I thought it was a dialect form of Baden-Baden. I'd call Luft-Luft-Rakete a three-element compound noun, so that Luft-Luft isn't even a syntactic constituent, let alone a part of speech. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:15, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, calling them adjectives is complete nonsense. IMO, they shouldn't get entries at all (but the compounds in which they appear of course may get entries, as do the individual nouns which the so-called "adjectives" are made up from, of course). Longtrend (talk) 18:32, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
OK, I've started a RFD: WT:RFD#Boden-Boden. - -sche (discuss) 19:48, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

/ɔɪ̯/ or /ɔʏ̯/[edit]

I noticed this diff changing /ɔɪ̯/ to /ɔʏ̯/ (and /χ/ to /x/, but that's another matter). In the past, I've seen edits changing /ɔʏ̯/ to /ɔɪ̯/, and our entries are currently divided: einbläuen and Beute use /ɔɪ̯/, neu and Häusern use /ɔʏ̯/. Our rhymes pages all use /ɔɪ̯/. We should standardize on one or the other. De.Wikt uses /ɔɪ̯/, and transcribes e.g. Hochdeutsch as [ˈhoːχdɔɪ̯tʃ]. The Duden uses a third transcription, /ɔ͜y/. My preference is for /ɔɪ̯/. - -sche (discuss) 19:26, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Considering that the sound developed from an earlier /yː/, then /ɔʏ̯/ is probably an older pronunciation that preserves the rounding. It could also be a dialectal difference. I don't really know much else about it. —CodeCat 19:34, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
I tend to use /ɔʏ̯/ (or even /ɔʏ/ since the falling sonority is predictable) because that's what most sources I've seen use (Duden's /ɔ͜y/ is just a notational variant of /ɔʏ̯/), but to be honest I can't hear any difference between the German diphthong and the English diphthong of choice. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:45, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
The actual pronunciation, as far as I know, can range from /ɔɪ/ via /ɔʏ/ to /ɔø/ (in my native Rhineland also /œʏ/, but that's not standard). So /ɔʏ/ seems to be in the middle and it's also what you would normally see in a pronunciation guide. The Duden /ɔy/ is probably the same /ɔʏ/. I don't think they really mean that it's [ɔy]. Then again, I think the German wiktionary uses /ɔɪ/, but I've rarely seen that anywhere else. Long story short, I clearly prefer /ɔʏ/, but if you were to agree on /ɔɪ/, that's fine too.Kolmiel (talk) 00:54, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
Also, when I pronounce the word Leute very carefully and slowly it becomes something like Looöüüte it doesn't become Looiite, but I think that's depending on personal accent. I'm very sure that both [ɔɪ] and [ɔʏ] actually do occur, and that it's almost impossible for a native speaker to distinguish. So, again, it's really a question of preference.Kolmiel (talk) 11:42, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
Yep, both options are fine with me, too, although I have a slight preference for [ɔʏ̯] (I once read that it's closer to the actual pronunciation, but I can't really judge that). Longtrend (talk) 13:29, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
OK, it looks like most people favour /ɔʏ̯/. We can wait a few more days to see if anyone else has an opinion, and then we can see about moving the Rhymes pages and finding and updating any pages that use /ɔɪ̯/. I just noticed that we already have an appendix to record our pronunciation conventions, Appendix:German pronunciation. I'll add a link to it to WT:ADE, since it does document some "considerations (beyond those covered by general policies) which apply to German entries", which is WT:ADE's remit. - -sche (discuss) 15:39, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
These 163 pages use /ɔɪ/ or /ɔɪ̯/. - -sche (discuss) 20:57, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Now that we're talking about it...[edit]

I’ve noticed some other things about IPA that should probably be considered by the "group". I read above that you agreed on pronunciations being given in /phonemic/ and in [precise] version. So far most words only have phonemic pronunciations, precise ones will of course be a little more difficult.

1. We’ll have to give aspiration. As far as I know [p], [t], [k] are per se aspirated in the standard accent, but not not after syllable-initial [s] or [ʃ], and not before a fricative, a plosive, or a syllabic consonant. We’d need to check the precise rules, but they will probably make the whole thing a little tricky.

2. The alternatives [ən] vs. syllabic nasal, as well as [əl] vs. syllabic [l] are often given as phonemically distinct forms. The same is true for alternatives such as [ɛʁ] vs. [ɛɐ] or [ɔʁ] vs. [ɔɐ]. I myself have done this so far, but those differences are of course allophonic and should be given in [...] from now on. To this again, there is one exception: /çən/ is phonemically distinct from /çn/, because diminutives in -chen are never pronounced with a syllabic consonant.

3. As to /ç/ vs. /x/ I am of the opinion that they are not allophones, but distinct phonems, because we have e.g. Rauchen vs. Frauchen. So in my opinion they should be kept distinct in phonemic IPA. too. (Which they are, as far as I’ve seen.) If any distinction should be made between [x] and [χ] I don’t know. I’ve read contradictory things about their usage.

4. I hope there is a consensus that common and widespread substandard pronunciations should be given under the standard one[s] (which I have been doing a lot so far). These, I think, should only be in phonemic notation, because if we go on to give allophonic differences, then we may end up with fifteen possible pronunciations for some words.

5. I feel that word-initial [ʔ] should not be treated as a phonem in substandard pronunciations. It is a phonem according to the prescriptive rules, all right. But in less careful speech it can always be elided and has no phonemic status. So standard: yes, substandard: no.

Now, all of this is of course just what I’ve noticed and what I think about it. What are your opinions?Kolmiel (talk) 19:05, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

  • I don't see any reason to include aspiration. We don't include it in the phonetic transcription of English either; it would just be a distraction. I think /əl/ and /ən/ are fine for phonemic transcription, while for phonetic transcription we can include [l̩] and [n̩, m̩, ɱ̩, ŋ̩, ɴ̩] etc. Whether /ç/ and /x/ are separate phonemes is a question for the theoretical phonologists, but a dictionary should certainly treat them as if they were. [x] and [χ] are definitely not separate phonemes, though, and should be distinguished only in phonetic transcription. [χ] appears after [a], [aː], and often [ʊ], [ɔ], and [aʊ], while [x] appears after [uː], [oː] and usually [ʊ], [ɔ], and [aʊ]. [ʔ] is not a phoneme but should be included in phonetic transcription word-initially and at the beginnings of stressed syllables. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:03, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Re aspiration: I don't think it should be obligatory to include it (because it is tricky, as you note), but I'm not sure it should be forbidden, either... we do include it in the narrow transcriptions of some English words, e.g. cat. I agree with Angr on all other points:
    I think we should use /əl/ in broad transcriptions, while allowing both [l̩] and [əl] in narrow transcriptions.
    We should certainly treat /ç/ and /x/ as separate phonemes in broad transcriptions; see my comments above.
    [x] and [χ] can be separated in narrow transcriptions; in broad transcriptions, /x/ should be used.
    Regarding [ʁ] vs [ɐ], cf. WT:T:ADE#R.
    [ʔ] should not appear in broad transcriptions but can (and probably should) appear in narrow ones.
    Regarding "substandard" pronunciations: they should be listed after/under the standard pronunciations, yes. Beyond that, our treatment of them should match our treatment of nonstandard / dialectal / etc pronunciations in other languages; in English, most pronunciations are given in broad transcription, but sometimes narrow transcriptions are informative... it depends on the circumstances. If a word has many nonstandard / dialectal pronunciations, they can (should?) be collapsed under Template:rel-top. - -sche (discuss) 22:23, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Aspiration: I agree with Angr and -sche in that we shouldn't make it obligatory. But we should allow it IMO.
    I also agree with you about syllabic consonants. However, I have never heard it said that "diminutives in -chen are never pronounced with a syllabic consonant", as claimed by Kolmiel. In fact, I'd doubt that. Do you have any source for this claim?
    Yes, treat /ç/ and /x/ as separate phonemes and use only /x/ for [x] and [χ]. However, I think we should make the use of [χ] optional, similar to aspiration.
    Agreement with -sche about substandard pronunciations: I wouldn't disallow phonetic transcriptions for these per se. I don't really get the concept of using phonemic transcriptions for these anyway. Each regional and substandard variant may have its own phonemic system, no? Longtrend (talk) 20:24, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
One reason to avoid transcribing aspiration is that we're likely to get people adding it to the ends of words, where it doesn't belong. I knew a German once who insisted that he distinguished Rad and Rat as [ʁaːt] vs. [ʁaːtʰ], but that is wholly artificial and doesn't (AFAIK) reflect anyone's actual unselfconscious pronunciation. I'm afraid if we start allowing [tʰaːk] it won't be long before we start seeing things like [ʁaːtʰ] show up. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:38, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
As to the chen-thing, I just recently read that in an (admittedly somewhat older) DUDEN. I don't have that book here right now, but I can give you the quote in three weeks' time if you're still interested. Maybe if I said "never" that's not true, indeed. Maybe some people do pronounce it that way. I just judged from what I read and from my personal idiolect in which Eichen ("oaks") and Eichen ("little egg") are a definite minimal pair, the first being pronounced [aɪçn], the second [aɪçən]~[aɪçɪn]. Same thing with Seuchen ("plagues") and Säuchen ("little sow").
==> Really just by accident I just found that a user Dr. Karl-Heinz Best wrote on German wiktionary: "Ob [n̩] oder [ən] zu setzen ist, richtet sich nach der lautlichen Umgebung, d.h. nach den vorhergehenden Lauten. Grobe Regel: Nach Sonanten steht [ən], sonst [n̩]. Aber: -chen [çən]." [2] (In the section: "Widerspruch: Empfehlung und Praxis") Note: I only added this link because [çən] vs. [çn]. The rest of his "grobe Regel" is quite misleading, because [leːbn̩] for example doesn't exist. It's eithr [leːbm̩] or [leːbən], as you all know. Kolmiel (talk) 23:35, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
[leːbn̩] ist the transcription in Duden. Das Aussprachewörterbuch. Dr. Karl-Heinz Best (talk) 18:38, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Concerning what Longtrend wrote about phonemic transcription for substandard varieties, I don't think this problem is all that big. Of course, traditional dialects may have very distinct phonemic systems, but modern regional colloquials tend to have the same or roughly the same as the standard. What they do is use different phonems in particular words, and that we can denote. But I also agree that precise transcriptions should not be banned, they just shouldn't be overused, because that would end in a chaos.
[ʔ] is indeed a phoneme in standard German proper. The well-known example is will ich versus willig. But I'm very fine with not including [ʔ]. I'm not a fan of it anyway, because it's basically a made-up prescription to say that [ʔ] must be used before any word with initial vowel. Has no basis in normal speech.
Now, as to aspiration I'm not sure whether you all agree on leaving it to personal preference, or whether ANGR wants to do away with it. I think it would be very misleading to give aspiration just in some words, but not others. By hazard, really. In that case, I would really prefer to say no aspiration. Although that's not technically correct, at least it's clear and unambiguous. Making it optional would be the worst choice. And I would also say the same about [x] and [χ]. I don't think making these things optional is good, because it confuses people.Kolmiel (talk) 22:25, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, please do give the quote about *[çn̩] if you find it, thanks! I'm still very skeptical about it (at least "lexicalized" diminutives such as Mädchen are regularly pronounced with a syllabic consonant, I'm quite sure).
Regarding aspiration and [x] vs. [χ]: Making it optional is the status quo, and I don't think there's any problem with the status quo. We don't even need to regulate it IMO. If there are problems with the optionality (i.e. edit wars) we can (and probably should) decide for one option or the other. But as long as this doesn't happen, I don't really see a reason to change things. Longtrend (talk) 17:35, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Angr and Kolmiel both have good points about aspiration. The point that marking aspiration in some narrow transcriptions but not in others will cause people to think the latter are not aspirated is particularly salient. I am persuaded that our narrow transcriptions of standard German should omit aspiration. (De.Wikt does not mark aspiration in its narrow transcriptions, either.) Regarding [x] vs [χ]: my understanding is that the current "optionality" of [χ] means simply that if you don't know whether to put [x] or [χ] you can put [x] and someone will eventually clean it up to [χ]; no-one should be (and AFAIK no-one is) changing valid [χ]s to [x]s (though I have seen people correct /χ/ to /x/). - -sche (discuss) 17:51, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Okay, [x] vs. [χ] is not that likely to confuse anyone, let's leave that as optional. But concerning aspiration I think it would be quite important to find a rule here. Not because there must be a rule to everything, but because this may confuse learners of German, particularly those who don't aspirate stops in their native language.Kolmiel (talk) 21:59, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
To the best of my knowledge, voiceless stops are aspirated in German in the same places as in English, namely (1) at the beginning of a word, and (2) at the beginning of a stressed syllable, thus Tomate is [tʰoˈmaːtə] (not *[tʰoˈmaːtʰə]) and Kartoffel is [kʰaʁˈtʰɔfl̩]. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:06, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm persuaded by the argument that we should have a rule saying "don't indicate aspiration". Appendix:German pronunciation, which the IPA template links to, can then house a note saying that we don't indicate aspiration in entries. The same note can go on the explain where aspiration does occur, and why we don't indicate it (it's regular, not contrastive, etc). - -sche (discuss) 22:38, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
As far as I know there are also different degrees of aspiration. In stressed position, stops are aspirated more than otherwise, which doesn't necessarily mean they're unaspirated in unstressed position. And of course, there are regional and individual differences. Central German tends to have less aspiration than Low and Upper German, even no aspiration at all in some dialects. -- But be that as it may, there are rules as to when a stop should be aspirated in the standard pronunciation. I've seen such rules, we could use them. But after all, I also think: Let's say that aspiration should not be indicated and let's delete the little h'es where we have them.Kolmiel (talk) 17:50, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Dialectal differences, of course, exist also in English. I recently saw an interview with Irish financial minister Michael Noonan and he speaks with a much more than average amount of aspiration. Maybe that's from Gaelic? I only know that Scottish Gaelic has very heavy aspiration, maybe Irish too. Don't know.Kolmiel (talk) 18:59, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Re aspiration: I don't think the argument about not confusing users is a very strong one (nobody is confused about the aspiration diacritic in English cat, AFAIK) and I still don't see the need for regulating it, but it's fine with me. Definitely better to proscribe it than to make it obligatory ;) Longtrend (talk) 19:38, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, if no one objects, I'll start getting rid of little h'es from now on. (Not systematically, but when I see them.) I still think it is confusing. Imagine a French speaker who knows the IPA, knows what aspiration is, and knows that German voiceless stops are aspirated in some environments, but not all. If he reads say Kopf with aspiration, but köpfen without: couldn't that get him confused? Now, of course, if it were just for that... But it's also what Angr said and the fact that a clear rule like this (in spite of being a little rigid maybe) makes things plain and simple.Kolmiel (talk) 20:27, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Aspiration is not a part of the Swiss and Austro-Bavarian standards. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 11:46, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Note on Rechtschreibreform[edit]

I don't know how much the following note is used in our entries.

{de-usage new spelling|1996|geschrieen}

See geschrien. What I find misleading about it is that there is a number of influential publishers and newspapers that have chosen to continue to use the old spelling. I'm not a supporter of this at all, but it's a fact that the old spelling is still used and not only a misspelling, but as a deliberate choice. -- Would it be difficult to change this note? Otherwise I would recommend that we shouldn't use it anymore. What do you think?Kolmiel (talk) 12:52, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Well, it's not just this word. There are some reactionary publishers in Germany that refuse to follow the Neue Rechtschreibung at all, and maybe the template should be changed to reflect that. However, in the specific case of geschrien it's incorrect to say it's a new spelling as of the 1996 reform; before the reform both geschrien and geschrieen were acceptable (my 1980 Wahrig gives the past participle of schreien as geschrie(e)n), but now only the former is. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:40, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Gah, that usage note was hella POV and flat-out false. I've toned it down, but see my edit summary here. - -sche (discuss) 17:38, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Template:U:de:new spelling -- That seems to a be (is) a very incomplete template. The "Reform of 1996" isn't a single reform. There was a reform 1996 (Rechtschreibreform), a second reform (a Rechtschreibreformreform) 2004, a third reform (a Rechtschreibreformreformreform) 2006 and a fourth reform (a Rechtschreibreformreformreformreform) 2010/2011. And these reforms are also contradicting. For example the reform of 2004 forbids forms like "Du" (with an capital D) (it's said - but I haven't verified it - that it was forbidden in the reform 1996), but the reform of 2006 allows them again (at least in some contexts, namely as an address in letters). Also it's said (I haven't verified it) that one of these reforms created forms like "Eiskrem" (besides Eiscreme) and that the reform of 2010/2011 abolished them again.
BTW: one should also keep thinks like this in mind: www.rp-online.de/panorama/wissen/bildung/mehrheit-der-deutschen-will-alte-rechtschreibung-zurueck-aid-1.1623159 (2004), www.lvz-online.de/kultur/news/umfrage-mehrheit-lehnt-rechtschreibreform-noch-immer-ab/r-news-a-99506.html & www.focus.de/panorama/welt/sprache-grosse-mehrheit-lehnt-rechtschreibreform-noch-immer-ab_aid_650995.html (2011); www.welt.de/print/welt_kompakt/print_politik/article108367282/Rechtschreibung-mangelhaft.html .
-00:14, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Wrong & missing information[edit]

  • "Each German noun has a gender". Which gender shall pluralia tantum have, e.g. Leute, Eltern? Some dictionaries &c. say it's feminine (die Leute - but that's a plural die and doesn't say anything about gender), some say it's masculine or neuter (der *Leut, das *Leut, but the word *Leut doesn't even exist), some accept it as genderless. Thus: Not every German noun has a gender, pluralia tantum have to be excluded.
  • "is declined for four cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative)". Earlier there were 6 cases, ablative and vocative included, though that's only relevant to Latin-German terms like Nomen. Nowaydays, also accourding to the Rechtschreibreformreformreformreform from 2010/2011, some words still have 5 cases, vocative included. This is at least true for the words Jesus and Christus (both coming from Latin; the ablative equals the dative in Latin and traditional/older German, and is nowadays ignored or viewed as merged into the dative). But also in e.g. Alter a vocative is mentioned (regarding the use of "Alter" as in "Hey[,] Alter, was geht?" ([over-]literal: "Hey[,] old one, what goes?")).
  • "The nominative singular of a noun is its "basic" (lemma) form"
    1. Pluralia tantum do not have a singular form, but still they should be included (or shouldn't they?).
    2. So, which form is the correct one for the substantives of the adjectival declination, as Alter/Alte? It's "der Alte", but "ein Alter", so there are 2 nominative singular forms. Is it the one with the definite article (der) or the one with the indefinite (ein)? Also, do "die Alte" and "das Alte" count as inflected forms of "(der/die/das) Alte" (which then might be of the "genus omne" (that's a Latin grammar term)) or are they counted as own substantives? [This is similar to "Declension of language names", but not the same.]

-00:14, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

  1. German, like Dutch, has no gender in the plural. So the question is mostly irrelevant, "plural" is a gender all in itself.
  2. German hasn't had a distinct vocative for at least 1500 years now, when the last remnants of it vanished from the prehistoric Old High German. The ablative wasn't even present in Proto-Germanic anymore, let alone German.
  3. You're correct, for a plurale tantum the plural is the lemma.
  4. For adjectives, the predicative (endingless) form is the lemma.
CodeCat 00:56, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
  1. No, "plural" is no gender (which in German is either masculine, feminine or neuter), it's a number (which in German is either singular or plural). pluralia tantum have no gender.
  2. German had a distinct vocative and an ablative and they became widely (not completely) obsolete in the 19th or 20th century. E.g. "von dem Nomine" (can be found in grammar books from the 17th till 19th century) includes the ablative of the German word Nomen. (That word derives from Latin and the ablative is like the Latin one). As said above, the vocative can still be found in case of the words Jesus and Christus (proper nouns, both deriving from Latin). Even though these distinct vocative and ablative forms were resp. are limited to terms derived from Latin (and in case of vocative maybe Greek, though I've never seen an example for that), they still are distinct forms in German.
  3. The question did not relatie to adjectives, but to noun substantives ("nouns (sensu stricto"). der/die/das Alte (mfn; pl.: die Alten), ein Alter (m), eine Alte (f), ein Altes (n) - that are substantives (substantivations of the adjective alt).
-13:56, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
For substantivized adjectives, the lemma form is the strong nominative singular, e.g. Obdachloser (Obdachlose is the lemma form of the feminine as well as an inflected nonlemma form of the masculine). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:58, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

dafuͤr[edit]

compare #dafuer, above

At dafür, User:93.196.246.155 thinks we should list dafuͤr as an alternative spelling, to account for the older works that represent umlauts with recognizably e-shaped superscript diacritics rather than with the line- or dot-shaped they are now represented with. In my opinion, this sort of typographical variation is no more worth including than long s or superscript ʳ, etc. Just as it was decided that long s would be systematically excluded and auto-redirected, and superscript-r spellings would not be included with ʳ (instead they would be handled using r) unless they were supported by Usenet citations or other modern citations that unambiguously (mis)used the modifier letter codepoint, I think we can and should treat old hand- and type-written works that have things that look like small es over us as dafür/dafuer. Or should we also have entries like dafűr to account for the documents that use line-shaped diacritics instead of dots? - -sche (discuss) 17:16, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

No. None of these things deserve entries or mentioning. ((And though it may sound unfriendly or unwelcoming, I must express my honest doubt as to whether the mentioned user really thinks that he/she is helping any actual reader of this dictionary. I have seen him/her adding nothing but obsolete and utterly unimportant information. Of course, everybody has their personal interest, but there's a lot of important work to be done on this dictionary. We lack a lot of important words. It would be preferable to focus on that for a change.)) Kolmiel (talk) 02:34, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
You're not making an argument. As displaying information is our sole business, there is no objectively important information, only subjectively desired information. This user desires to have information on old forms of the umlaut and you desire to have something else. But your wish to have word X added is in no way connected to your demand of having word Y removed. These forms were used, so these forms were as much part of modern German as any other. As such, I think they're just like any other, as you call it, deprecated spelling. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 11:25, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Sources for transcriptions of R?[edit]

What are the sources for using the symbol /ʁ/ and not the more conventional /r/?

Why do we use non-rhotic /ɐ/ when this is often analyzed as /ər/? I think that is a bad idea considering that the Wiktionary is an international project. It should be valid both for non-rhotic dialects of standard German (such as the Prussian pronunciation that is common in Germany) and for rhotic dialects of standard German (such as the Swiss and Austrian pronunciations of standard German).

I guess there are certain analyses of standard German that posit an /ɐ/. However, I do not think that these are very common. Not even a textbook such as Fuhrhop/Peters (2013, 58s.) posits an /ɐ/, despite exclusively discussing the Prussian dialect of standard German (cf. Fuhrhop, Nanna and Jörg Peters (2013): Einführung in die Phonologie und Graphematik. Stuttgart: Metzler).

The reason Fuhrhop/Peters (2013, 58s.) give the following reason for preferring /ər/ to /ɐ/. The /r/ resurfaces when there is an ending, cf. [maːlɐ] → [maːlɐʀɪn]. This can be easily accounted for with an underlying /ər/.

Of course, when you consider rhotic dialects of standard German, which really have [maːlər] and [maːlərɪn], then /ɐ/ is quite unacceptable. J. 'mach' wust (talk) 11:22, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Well, first of all I would ask you kindly not to use racial slurs like "Prussian" :-) Secondly, /ɐ/ regularly becomes /əʁ/ when a vowel follows. (It's not [maːlɐʁɪn] therefore, but [maːləʁɪn]). Hence it is just a question of how "phonetic" or "phonemic" you want your transcriptions to be. The fact is generally acknowledged that the actual rhotic pronunciation of this syllable is very rare and restricted to Switzerland and, decliningly (if that's a word), the south-west of Germany. Therefore I think it justified to use /maːlɐ/ as the standard transcription.

You are of course invited to add [mɑːlər] below it with a tag "Switzerland, Baden-Württemberg", or the like. Kolmiel (talk) 01:29, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

I've had a very long and tiresome argument with Angr on this topic, who seems quite opposed to basically everything which isn't the educated regiolect of northern central Germany. And I'm in the camp which thinks that /ɐ/ is unacceptable. The standard depiction should have /ər/, because it's the underlying structure, because it emerges even in dialects which have /ɐ/ as an allophone and because it's part of the national standards of DACH. Aside from Alemannic regions, it also appears in Bavarian regions (i.e. Bavaria and Austria). Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 11:30, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
ps.: After a supferficial check of the number German speakers among the Swiss and the total number of German native speakers, they alone make up 5,7 - 6,6% of the German speakers. To that you have to add rhotic Bavarians and Austrians. Not sure if that qualifies as "very rare". And you can't forget that Swiss Standard German is fully rhotic and our L2 "German" does not mean "revolving around Germany". Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 11:38, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Obsolete inflected forms[edit]

93.196.243.5 (talk) tried to add a new headword-line to lieben (and other entries) to document geliebet; MaEr and I removed it because it cluttered the headword line, repeated all of the other inflected forms, and gave the one obsolete form a misleading degree of prominence. There was a discussion in 2013 about mentioning obsolete inflected forms on headword lines, which I interpreted as showing support for not giving obsolete information a prominent place in the headword line but rather limiting it to inflection tables or usage notes below the definitions where there was room to clearly mark it as obsolete (and hence I did this to laugh). Hence, Frau#Declension looks OK to me.
With geliebet, however, I wonder: does geliebet need to be mentioned on lieben at all, or would it be sufficient to list it as an alternative form of geliebt in that entry, and to have an entry geliebet which notes that it is an uncommon, obsolete alternative form of geliebt? - -sche (discuss) 18:11, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Semi-related:

From at least the 1500s through the 1800s, adjectives could be left uninflected in (at least) the mixed and weak declension masculine, neuter and sometimes feminine nominative and accusative positions, as in "ein neu Buch", "ein neu Kochbuch", "das neu Testament", "Kaum hat der Herr ein neu Testament eingesetzt", "ein gut Mann", "der gut Mann", "ein gut Mensch", "der gut Mensch" (all findable via Google Books). Karl Rühl is said to have written his thesis on this in 1909: Unflektierte (nominale) und starke Form im Singular des attributiven Adjektivs in den hochdeutschen Mundarten (Giessen. Darmstadt.) Should we attempt to cover this somehow? (See [3].) - -sche (discuss) 05:50, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Of course, we should. Cf. the main page: "It aims to describe all words of all languages [...]." geliebet and accourding to your post (uninflected) neu are attestable words (or word forms which count as words). Not to mention some forms (e.g. because they are "too old") is not descriptive and obviously against WT's aim, which then should be something like "it aims to describe all modern words" (this wording would also exclude all ancient extinct languages). Of course, one might treat older forms &c. differently like:
  • Mentioning forms like "HErr" and "Gaſtſtätte" only under "Alternative forms" (and maybe usage notes), but without having own entries for them.
  • Mentioning form like "geliebet" and (uninflected) "neu" only in usage notes or in the inflection section and not inside the header.
  • Mentioning Latin inflection and cases (as genitive "Nominis" and ablative "Nomine" as in "von dem Nomine") only in usage notes or in the inflection section and not inside the header; this might even go as far as just to have a note like "In earlier usage this word was declined like Latin [Latin word]" without having a German declension table with six cases.
I don't really care about how such forms are mentioned, as long as they are mentioned and as long as the mentioning is neutral/descriptive and not non-neutral/prescriptive.
-91.63.241.84 15:31, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
This is a general thing that I have also noticed. We must make sure that "contemporary standard German" (both colloquial and literary) is the main content of our entries! All other usages should be mentioned - I myself have added many of them. But it would destroy this dictionary if we do not draw a line between common and rare, archaic, regional. So these things should go in usage notes. And when they are general, that is not typical of a particular word, they should not be mentioned at all. Any Latin word used to be declined the Latin way. This is a purely grammatical question, not a lexical one. It shouldn't be mentioned at all. We can, of course, make entries for Nomine etc., but they should not be mentioned under Nomen. They same is done in English entries, methinks. We have childs, but that's not mentioned under child. Kolmiel (talk) 01:08, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
  • "if we do not draw a line between common and rare, archaic, regional [...]". It's okay to draw lines, but it should be correct lines. That is, labeles shouldn't be misused to in a prescribing way, like incorrectly labeling a spelling like "Schuß" obsolete. More labels should be needed for drawing good lines, but that shouldn't be a problem. E.g. the spelling geschrieen (two e) was deprected in 1996, but is still used, and it is even used by people who (in a way) use reformed spellings like ss instead of ß. So this spelling could best be labeled "unofficial" (German: nichtamtlich), as obsolete, archaic, dated, rare, non-standard do not fit, and as the fitting term "alternative form" (in a way) is too neutral.
  • That childs wasn't mention under child could simple mean that the entry of child was incomplete, like the obsolete spelling enemie once was missing in the entry enemy too.
    I can't see any problem with this: [en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=child&diff=33283867&oldid=33010994]. Now the form is mentioned, but it's still obvious that it is "bad". Do you see any problem?
  • As you said: "Any Latin word used [past] to be declined the Latin way." I can't give any example but there should be words which look like Latin ones (e.g. ending in -um or -us), but are younger and were never declined the Latin way in German - any maybe not in Latin as some of those words might be pseudo-Latinisms. So how should one know which word was declined the Latin way if there isn't at least a note like "Nomen also used to be declined like Latin nomen"? Thus: One might omit full declension tables with forms like "Nomine", but one has to include a note.
  • "This is a purely grammatical question, not a lexical one. It shouldn't be mentioned at all."
    • That's no good argument. Then one could remove all declension tables of German substantive (except of some irregular words like Herz) and just mention genitive singular and nominative plural. With some knowledge of German grammar one doesn't need any other form, and declension is pretty much a grammatical question too.
    • In some cases this should be a good solution: One could create informations pages (like "About German" or "Help:German" or even subpages like "About German/Substantives" or "Help:German/Substantives), and then - this is also important - link to them. E.g. in "Help:English/Substantives" one could state that English substantives once were also capitalised (Name, Man, ...) and thus one could omit such forms in the entries "name", "man" etc. Possible ways of linking:
      • Headers like "English" or "Verb" could link the information pages.
      • The header template {{head|... could add a question mark like [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Nihongo] does, though maybe an "I" (for Information) is better.
        • Inflection tables could have such a question mark somewhere or an "I" similar to "V*T*E" in [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Lexical_categories].
    • Also: One could have inflection sub pages (like at de.wt) and there one could have two tables like for "Contemporary (Modern High) German" and "Older (Modern High) German".
      Inflection sub pages should be needed anyway as ATM passive forms are missing in tables for German verbs, and as complete tables most likely are too long for a normal entry.
      Of course, one could also say that passive is a grammatical thing and shouldn't be mentioned, but then German conjugation templates just need the infinitive, the participles, indicative and conjunctive present and past, and imperative. That is, the "Composed forms of <verb>" - perfect, plu[squam]perfect, future I and future II - should be omitted too.
  • If there should be entries like German "Nomine", shouldn't there also be Latin "Nomine" and English "Name"? In old times some Englishman were able to capitalise substantives similar to like it is still done in German.
    Okay, there's two differences: 1. Capitalising substantives is easier than declining them, so in case of English and Latin information pages as mentioned above. 2. English Name and name are pronounced the same way (well, maybe there were sound shifts etc.) - while Latin nomine/Nomine and Latin-German Nomine maybe were pronounced differently. In case of antique Latin and modern German some words are indeed pronounced differently, like "Cicero" was pronounced "Kikero" in antique Latin and not "Zizero" like in modern German. Thus: Regarding the pronouncation - and maybe also hyphenation - there most likely should indeed be entries like German "Nomine".
-Greetings 80.133.122.81 17:59, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

pre-1996 spellings are "___ forms of" current spellings[edit]

Our entries on pre-1996 spellings use an uncoordinated assortment of different templates:

  • {{nonstandard form of}}, or {{lb|de|nonstandard}} {{alternative form of}} (because nonstandard is precisely what these forms are; there is a standard and these forms aren't in it)
  • {{dated form of}}, or {{lb|de|dated}} {{alternative form of}} (because the forms are dated to before 1996; they've been outside the standard since then)
  • {{alternative form of}} (because many people still use them and they remain alternatives in current German, even if not in official standard German)

(I have also seen "obsolete form of", but this is clearly too strong.)
Which template should we use? Whichever template we use will continue to be accompanied by the usage note {{U:de:deprecated spelling}}. - -sche (discuss) 05:09, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm actually in favor of the underused {{superseded spelling of}} tag. I think "superseded" best describes pre-1996 spellings: although they're nonstandard now, they weren't 20 years ago, and when you encounter them, they don't imply a dialectalism or a lack of education the way most forms labeled "nonstandard" do; "dated" isn't quite right either since they don't really strike one as old-fashioned; and "alternative" fails to indicate that they're no longer properly used. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:09, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I was about to suggest that, but Angr beat me to it. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:28, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Oh, neat. I had thought about suggesting a dedicated {{deprecated spelling of}}, but hadn't wanted to expand our already large array of templates; I'll redirect {{deprecated spelling of}} to {{superseded spelling of}}. I'll wait a while for others comments before deploying anything, though. - -sche (discuss) 15:58, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
@Kolmiel, Korn, Liliana-60, MaEr, Matthias Buchmeier, Zeitlupe What do you think? - -sche (discuss) 16:00, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I think {{superseded spelling of}} might be good. It's a difficult situation because there is a number of important publishers that have decided to stick with the old orthography, meaning that a considerable portion of books is still printed in it. If it weren't for that, "dated" or even "archaic" would be fine in my opinion (at least as far as ß/ss spellings are concerned since almost all language users have now switched to the more logical and simpler reform system). But yeah, "superseded" sounds all right. Kolmiel (talk) 16:32, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I would like to have a more descriptive template, maybe a general template with a precise descriptive parameter. Such parameter values could be "de-1996", "de-1901-1996", "de-pre-1901" to indicate the current orthography (since 1996), the traditional one (between 1901 and 1996) and the pre-1901 variants.
Maybe we need some markers for 16th, 17th, 18th century variants, too, and for other languages.
Unfortunately, I have no idea what's the difference between "dated", "obsolete", "deprecated", "superseded" -- except that some sound derogatory and prescriptive to some persons. --MaEr (talk) 16:40, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Why do we have templates for both superseded and obsolete? My gut reaction would be to mark entries which are no longer part of any standard as obsolete and spellings made standard 1996 as alternative forms. If I remember the debate correctly, conservatives consider the new forms to be less acceptable/correct/educated, while users of the new spellings have no similar resentment towards the old ones. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 16:45, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
@MaEr, Korn: according to our glossary, which I think is accurate,
  • "dated" means "Formerly in common use, and still in occasional use, but now unfashionable [...] not as strong as archaic or obsolete."
  • "archaic" is the next level of oldness, and (in relation to terms) means "No longer in general use, although sometimes understood by educated people. Still used in contemporary texts that aim for an antique style, like historical novels and some Bible translations. For example, thee and thou". But spellings which fell out of use more than a hundred years ago have typically been labelled obsolete (using Template:obsolete spelling of), which I think is correct, because even if they could be "sometimes understood by educated people" (in the same way that misspelings could still bee undersstood) due to their similarity to the current spellings, the deciding factor is that they're not "still used in contemporary texts", even in texts "that aim for an antique style".
  • "obsolete" is the highest level of oldness, meaning "No longer in use, and no longer likely to be understood. Obsolete is a stronger term than archaic, and a much stronger term than dated."
We don't define "superseded" or "deprecated" (perhaps we should), but it seems like a reasonable label for things that have been superseded so recently within living memory that they're still in common use (as pre-1996 spellings are). "Obsolete" is, as I said in my initial post, clearly too strong a label for spellings that were deprecated less than a decade ago and that remain in use.
We could expand {{superseded form of}} to accept parameters to indicate when the term was superseded, or create a new template for that (compare {{ro-Cyrillic of}}); or we could continue to handle that using usage notes ({{U:de:deprecated spelling}}), as we've been doing. Which way do you think is better? On the one hand, putting that information on the definition line seems more maintainable (people might forget to add usage notes); on the other hand, we can and do add more detail in the usage notes. (Putting the information both on the sense line and in usage notes would be redundant, IMO. But we could make the sense-line template link to a place like WT:ADE where there would be more information on the spelling reform; after all, that's what {{ro-Cyrillic of}} does. Then we could drop the usage notes. Ooh, I like that idea!)
- -sche (discuss) 19:14, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm for templates over using L4s any given day. But I'm still not convinced about the obsolete bit. The definition given clearly applies to words and not spellings. In order for the spelling to become "no longer understood", we'd have to burn all books and computers and raise the next generation of schoolchildren exclusively in Futhark, never telling them the secrets of the old signs. (Insert mist and ominous drone here.) No longer being used is the very definition of the word obsolete and that's what we're discussing here for official German. {{obsolete spelling of}} just hits the nail right on the head. 'Superseded' provides no additional information while still saying that the spelling is obsolete. I also want the tag to send a clear message, so that no poor foreign sod thinks that some unreformed spelling is Ye Olde German rather than just an error perceived as a lack of command. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 19:45, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
ps.: Compare the two superseded forms "ihr seit" and "ihr seyd" for the difference in likely perception. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 19:47, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
pps.: Since I don't trust myself to write clearly these days: I think anything but 'obsolete' doesn't say 'that's wrong now!' clearly enough. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 19:56, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree that "seyd" should be labelled obsolete, and if you're saying that e.g. "mißbrauchen" should not be labelled obsolete, I also agree with that. (That's what I was trying to get at with my comment "But spellings which fell out of use...") :) - -sche (discuss) 20:03, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
So... I now think/agree we should just create a dedicated template, like the one Romanian has, and then sidestep the issue of labels although: just have the template say (if e.g. the parameter age=pre-1996 is set) "Spelling of missbrauchen which was deprecated in the 1996 spelling reform." with a link to a subsection of WT:ADE that would offer more detail. Then we could drop the usage notes, which people don't always remember to add, anyway. Precise wording and parameter names TBD, obv. - -sche (discuss) 20:10, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
See, I can't be trusted to write intelligible things in this hellish weather. Everything should be labeled obsolete. Everything which is not currently part of an official standard anyway. What I meant to say with my comment is that the definitions we provide in our glossary have to be reduced teleologically when we apply them to spellings. Spellings (99,9% of the time) can not become 'no longer understood', so their obsolescence has to be measured by other factors. That factor, in the case of German, is the state-proscribed official standard. When it comes to that, these spellings are now forbidden (or as the Americans like to say /vəɻboʊ̯ʔən/). And I don't think 'superseded' will make people understand that clearly enough. I'm sorry to break your giddiness. It was quite charming. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 21:37, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, let's get others' opinions on that. I highly doubt there's support for labelling spellings which were still used in 1995 (and which, for that matter, are still used today, just not by the Duden) as "obsolete", particularly given that we are a descriptivist dictionary and not a prescriptivist one. - -sche (discuss) 21:41, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Sure. But I'd like to stress again that the usage of the Duden is identical with the German and Luxembourgish state, and not following it will earn you errors in both school and university work, costing you points which can decide your graduation in the worst case. While we're descriptive, we must at all costs make a clear demarkation what is considered wrong by these very much prescriptive systems. I'm not saying these spellings are obsolete in that they're never used by anyone, but they're obsolete in these systems. In their private letters, people can use whatever misspellings they want anyway. Or write in runes, IPA, or pictograms. Or maybe hitherto unknown International Phonetic Runes. That'd be cool. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 22:36, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

{{superseded spelling of}} looks good. It has the advantage of saying explicitely that only the spelling is superseded. It would be nice if the template could be expanded to say when a spelling was superseded or when that spelling was used (by using a parameter like de-1901-1996). And it must be possible to use it for 16th century spellings like German new -- currently only the citation indicates the age (parameter 16th century. With such a template, we can get rid of {{U:de:deprecated spelling}} in the "Usage" section. --MaEr (talk) 07:52, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

I think whatever we decide we should make the formating of outdated spellings uniform across languages. I would guess that the situation is very similar for all languages where an official spelling exists and there have been reforms in recent times. On the other hand I personally would prefer to have much fewer templates, as this IMHO would make wiktionary less complex for contributors. So I would rather prefer to have something like {{form of|superseded spelling|1901-1996|lang=de}} plus good documentation at {{form of}} than {{de-superseded spelling of (1901-1996)}}. After all the main problem we have to tackle is the lack of active contributors and a complex template zoo is one of the things that likely will scare off potential new contributors. Matthias Buchmeier (talk) 12:13, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

Creating a template that could distinguish all the various spelling reforms of all the languages we include is beyond my skill set (it would need to accept an awful lot of parameters, if it were going to link to further information on each reform, as I think it should), but I have created Template:de-superseded spelling of for German. - -sche (discuss) 19:38, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
I tried it out on Ablaßhandel; for some reason "Deprecated" in the category name is capitalized, but shouldn't the category also use the word "superseded"? That's what the basic {{superseded spelling of}} tag does. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:47, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Fixed, I hope. I had initially created the template using "deprecated" because I think that word is better for spellings which an authority consciously deprecated, but when I (per the comments above) expanded the template to also handle spellings which fell out of use in e.g. the 1700s, I realized that those couldn't be called "deprecated" (no one officially deprecated them AFAIK, they just fell out of use) and so I moved the template, but forgot to update catlangname. Btw, Google Books' ngram viewer plots of words like "new" and "musiciert" seem to not match up with the raw Google Books data on when the words were used, which is making it hard for me to figure out when exactly they fell out of use. :/ - -sche (discuss) 19:57, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Is nich alles vor 1876 sowieso eine unreglementierte Soße und damit selbst für den geneigten Leser eher differenzierungsunbedürftig? Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 20:41, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Nach meiner Meinung, ja. I think "obsolete" + optionally {{defdate}} (or what do we have that template for?) is sufficient. But above, someone suggesting allowing parameters for "16th century", etc, and... well, I don't see how allowing that is any harder or worse than allowing/using {{defdate}}. So, meh... - -sche (discuss) 20:57, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
@-sche:
1. "pre-1996 spellings [...] because nonstandard is precisely what these forms are; there is a standard and these forms aren't in it)"
Accourding to Appendix:Glossary#N pre-1996 aren't always non-standard. The glossary states: "nonstandard: Not conforming to the language as accepted by the majority of its speakers."
  • There were many surveys that showed that a majority is against the reform (even after the reform took place) -- though some people who dislike the reform might obey it anyway.
  • Especially in case of geschrieen/geschrien (and some other single words not affected by general rules but by individual rules) it's doubtful that a majority does not accept the pre-1996 spellings like "geschrieen". It's even very likely that the majority does not know which form is correct accourding to the current post-1996 spelling rules (ATM: as of 2011).
  • In case of ß versus ss: Most speaker should know that ß was deprecated in many cases - and some even think that it was deprecated in other or even all cases as well (cf. non-Swiss spellings like ausser, Fussball). And spellings with ß even became rarer, but still it might be kind of doubtful that a majority doesn't accept that spelling as publishers and authorities aren't the majority. It might even be that a majority doesn't care and that "grammar nazism" is limited to schools, formal letters, publishers.
  • Also: Claiming that a spelling is nonstandard isn't always provable or describing - sometimes it's just disguised presciptivism (here: pro-spelling-reform prescriptivism). This would especially be true in the time before 2004/2006 in case of spellings which were only correct in the period from 1996 till 2004/2006.
Thus: "non-standard" isn't (always) fitting, neutral and describing, while simply stating that a spelling is wrong accourding to a spelling reform or that a spelling was deprecated in a spelling reform is neutral and descriptive.
2. "e.g. the 1700s, I realized that those couldn't be called "deprecated" (no one officially deprecated them AFAIK, they just fell out of use)"
  • Maybe they were (also) deprecated by regional spelling rules (for single German states like Bavaria, Prussia) or by the spelling reform around 1900. There could be rules like "using the letter c for a k or z sound is wrong", thus spellings like "Casus" and "Conjunktion" could be deprecated by such a reform even though they maybe weren't in use anymore.
  • Maybe some old spellings were deprecated by another kind of authority, namely important grammarians (like Schottel, Gottsched, Adelung, maybe the Grimms). E.g. many famous grammar books from the 18th century should include something like "für = (Lat.) pro; vor = (Lat.) prae" (thus e.g. "Vor[nenn]wort" can't be used instead of (Lat.) pronomen). Thus one could state something like "The grammarian <name> deprecated the spelling <spelling>".
-91.63.241.84 18:13, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

The first question is how to define "nonstandard". And I don't agree that nonstandard should mean "not according to the Duden". This is, of course, an important parameter. But even this label should be understood here in a descriptive way. And when a spelling is common in edited prose it is not nonstandard, in my opinion.Kolmiel (talk) 01:12, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

(In pronunciations I've sometimes used "official standard" to refer to Duden prescriptions that have nothing to do with reality, for example the prescribed pronunciation [ʁæp] (sic!) for Rap. If we accepted that standard means Duden, then we'd have to label the two normal pronunciations like [ʁɛp] or [ɹɛp] nonstandard.) Kolmiel (talk) 01:25, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, and for the IP: the word is according, not accourding. No problem, but I've seen you use this nonstandard spelling several times :-) Kolmiel (talk) 01:25, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
I think the Duden pronunciations only serve to give a very very broad idea of what the word is supposed to represent. They're sometimes too far from reality to be meant that way seriously. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 09:03, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, there is a difference between spellings and pronunciations in that the former are more generally known and accepted. True. But newsreaders, for example, are trained to use the Duden pronunciations (generally, not always; see example below). These pronunciations are based on a system and on a prescriptive idea of what is "correct" pronunciation. It's actually their being systematic that makes them unrealistic in many cases. For example, they don't allow word-initial [s] and therefore given [zɛks] as a standard pronunciation of Sex, which is markedly nonstandard, though it does occur. Anyway. The Duden, be it pronunciation or spelling, is an important parameter for "standard"; it should always be taken into account, but not followed blindly. Kolmiel (talk) 16:05, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Mind that there is a separate Duden Aussprachewörterbuch, which is decidedly more differentiating and for example also covers initial [s] as a standard variant. When dealing with pronunciations of German German on Wiktionary, that should probably be our go to place rather than the 'sort of how it sounds somewhere in Germany' Duden pronunciation sections. Korn [kʰʊ̃ːæ̯̃n] (talk) 21:40, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
True, of course. Though the Duden-Aussprachewörterbücher I have seen did not have a lot of differentiating. Maybe the newest editions are better. Kolmiel (talk) 01:12, 29 June 2015 (UTC)