MF-W, I felt the same way you did at first. But in truth this is an extremely borderline case that the policy can allow to go in either direction. There have been further discussions both
. Let me summarize a key point here, and then suggest what I think the real issue is.
Culturally, the comparison to Latin is apt. Literary Chinese was unquestionably the lingua franca of the region, and people everywhere used it. And the writing system of Literary Chinese was definitely used/adapted for other languages like Japanese and Korean.
On the other hand, neither of those languages is actually linguistically descended from Literary Chinese. Korean is a linguistic isolate, while Japanese is only related to some languages used in and around Japan and neighboring islands. So Chinese is the clear
principal descendant of Literary Chinese; it's not like Latin, where there are several strong descendants.
As I see it, the real nub of the discussion goes something like this:
PRO LZH WIKISOURCE: One user really wants this. Perhaps one other user supports the idea in principal, on the mostly theoretical grounds that housing lzh content in Chinese/Mandarin Wikisource may inhibit non-Mandarin speakers from participating.
ANTI LZH WIKISOURCE: Most of the community feels that things are working fine as they are now. There is substantial lzh content in zhwikisource, and the community tells me that it is confident that the content is being curated openly and appropriately. I will
add that I requested the community to create a mechanism to facilitate non-Mandarin discussion there, and an English Scriptorium was created. Whether it's being used, and whether that is sufficient, is a separate question. But that's a start.
In my mind, there are some choices we can make. Any of these can be tweaked, but I think the general approaches go like this:
Mark eligible, and based on the substantial lzh content that already exists, more or less immediately create an lzh Wikisource. I will tell you that I think the current Chinese Wikisource community would object strenuously to this approach, and that community
is responsible for most of the content that currently exists.
Mark eligible and allow lzh content on Multilingual Wikisource in parallel to Chinese Wikisource. We can set up some rules to minimize outright duplication. But the idea here is to see if a community that would otherwise not contribute on Chinese Wikisource
Mark "on hold" and allow lzh content on Multilingual Wikisource in parallel to Chinese Wikisource. This is similar to the previous, but with a stronger implication that if this parallel community never materializes, we will close this test project down at some
point and merge appropriate content into Chinese Wikisource.
Reject, and merge appropriate content now. The party requesting eligibility here has not created a ton of content so far, so this wouldn't be hard to do.
I know what approach I favor. But I would ask what others think first.