Wiktionary talk:Votes/pl-2011-05/Attestation of extinct languages 2

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Contemporaneous source[edit]

There's something of an issue for Latin, but to some extent Old English and Sanskrit, where even though Latin has been 'dead' for centuries, that is not passed on from native speaker to native speaker, it is still used in some circles such as taxonomy. I think these should probably count as uses, yet it does mean that any new work created in Latin, all the words will meet CFI as soon as the document/paper/essay is published. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:09, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You seem to be saying that modern works written in contemporary Latin will have it too easy to pass CFI with the use of the proposed 1-attestation rule for extinct languages, as all phases of Latin are going to be classed as extinct, according to this definition: "A natural language is extinct iff it has no native speakers and is not passed to children anymore."

I could argue that New Latin (1500–present, or 1500-1900) did not have any native speakers, so it could not have gone extinct, and it does not hold for it that it is "not passed to children anymore", merely that it is "not passed to children". Thus, the 1-attestation rule for extinct languages would not apply to New Latin. However, the same argument could be applied to Renaissance Latin (1300-1500) and Medieval Latin (900–1300), barring these phases of Latin from 1-attestation. Furthermore, I have not much idea of how much water the argument holds, as it rests on picking on the word "anymore" in a particular definition of "extinct language". What I would really like to see is a list of example and counterexample languages and phases of languages that linguists usually rank as "extinct".

I see the problem. Do you have an idea how to fix it?

Some summaries from Wikipedia, for better context (the date ranges in brackets are taken in part from W:Template:Latinperiods):

  • "Medieval Latin [900–1300] was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but also as a language of science, literature, law, and administration."
  • "Renaissance Latin [1300-1500] is a name given to the distinctive form of Latin style developed during the European Renaissance of the fourteenth to fifteenth centuries, particularly by the Renaissance humanism movement."
  • "The term New Latin, or Neo-Latin, [1500-1900] is used to describe the Latin language used in original works created between c. 1500 and c. 1900. Among other uses, Latin during this period was employed in scholarly and scientific publications. Latin vocabulary words created during this period for the purpose of expressing scientific ideas form the basis for much modern, scientific terminology, such as technical terms in zoological and botanical description and taxonomy."
  • "Contemporary Latin [1900-present] is the form of the Latin language used from the end of the 19th century through to the present. Various kinds of contemporary Latin can be distinguished. On the one hand there is its symbolic survival in areas like taxonomy and others as the result of the widespread presence of the language in the New Latin era. This is normally found in the form of mere words or phrases used in the general context of other languages. On the other hand there is the use of Latin as a language in its own right as fully fledged means of expression. Living or Spoken Latin, being the most specific development of Latin in the contemporary context, is the primary subject of this article."

--Dan Polansky 08:54, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't see it being a big problem, though, or often. For example, I can't think of a single word this would affect. And if there were an effect, so what? Mglovesfun (talk) 18:16, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't know how much this issue is a problem. I do not think this issue will make me oppose the vote, but I am going to look at and think of what other people do and say in the vote. If you say that you think the issue is really a non-issue, feel free to start the vote. --Dan Polansky 18:27, 5 August 2011 (UTC)


Since Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2011-05/Attestation of extinct languages 3 has failed, this vote can be opened. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:01, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

The vote can be started, as far as I am concerned. The reason why I have not started the vote yet is the issue raised by you at #Contemporaneous source. I am not sure what to think of the seriousness of the issue; after all, if too easy attestation of Contemporary Latin because of the newly added attestation option turns out to be a real problem, another vote can fix the wording. I do not oppose starting the vote, but am hesitant to start the vote myself. --Dan Polansky 18:14, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
I've started the vote, or else it is going to stay unopened indefinitely. Let us see how it fares. --Dan Polansky 09:54, 8 August 2011 (UTC)