with more than two, and few with more than three .
That is not true in languages with a high amount of dialects. For instance
in Catalan there are 5 standard spellings for "carrot" depending on which
dialect you choose, plus some more if you consider local variations:
But that is nothing compared to the 8 spellings of tomato or more if you
count the local variations:
Additionally the same form can have different meanings depending on which
dialect you choose. For instance "pastenaga" means "orange carrot" in
Catalan from Catalonia, and "purple carrot" in Catalan from Valencia.
Which makes me think, how dialects will be handled? Statements?
This is an example of a dialect map:
Regards and thanks for elaborating your long answer,
On Mon, Nov 21, 2016 at 5:45 PM, Daniel Kinzler <daniel.kinzler(a)wikimedia.de
Sorry for the delay. To keep the conversation in one place, I will reply to
David, Denny, and Philipp in one mail. It's going to be a bit long,
Am 11.11.2016 um 23:17 schrieb David Cuenca Tudela:
1) a possible solution could be to have another category of items
grammatical rule?) to store grammatical
structures, like "Noun + verb +
or "Noun + reflexive verb" and then
linking to that structure with a
of the position that it uses on that structure.
"to shit" <grammatical structure required> "Subject + reflexive verb
<role in grammatical structure> "reflexive verb"
I see no need for a separate entity type, this could be done with a regular
Item. If we want this to work nicely for display, though, the software
need to know about some "magic" properties and their meaning. Since
provides a stable global vocabulary, it would not be terrible to hard-code
But still, it's special case code...
This is pretty similar to Lemon's "Syntactic Frame" that Philipp pointed
2) I would prefer statements as they can be
complemented with qualifiers
why it has a certain spelling (geographical
variant, old usage,
You can always use a statement for this kind of information, just as we do
on Wikidata with properties for the surname or official name.
The question is how often the flexibility of a statement is really needed.
it's not too often, it would be ok to require both (the lemma and the
to be entered separately, as we do now for official name, birth name, etc.
Another question is which (multi-term lemma or secondary
is easier to handle by a 3rd party consumer. More about that later.
It would be nice however if there would be some
mechanism to have a
of property that would use its value as an item
alias. And this is
that could benefit normal items in Wikidata too,
as most name properties
P1448, P1477 (official name, birth name, etc),
should have its value
automatically show as alias of the item in all languages, if that were
Yes, this would be very convenient. But it would also mix levels of content
(editorial vs. sourced) that are now nicely separated. I'm very tempted,
not sure it's worth it.
Am 12.11.2016 um 00:08 schrieb Denny Vrandečić:
Not only that. "I shit myself" is very
different from "Don't shit
It is not just the reflexivity. It might the
Yes, the boundary to a phrase is not clear cut. But if we need the full
modeling as a phrase, we can always do that by creating a separate Lexeme
the phrase. The question is if that should be the preferred or even the
to model the "syntactic frame".
It's typical for a dictionary to have a list of meanings structured like
to ask so. sth.
to ask so. for sth.
to ask so. about sth.
to ask so. after sb.
to ask so. out
It would be nice if we had an easy way to create such an overview. If each
is modeled as a separate Lexeme, we need to decide how these Lexemes
connected to allow such an overview.
I feel these "frames" should be attached to senses. Making all of them
Lexemes will drive granularity up, making things hard to follow and
We could also add this information as a
special field in the Sense
entity, but I don't even know what that field should contain,
It could be a reference to an Item. Perhaps that item defines a specific
pattern, like "$verb someone" or "$verb someone something" or
That pattern (defined by a statement on the item) can then be used to
concrete pattern for each word sense.
Just a usage example on the sense? That would
often be enough to express
Possible, but then it's unclear which parts of the grammar are required to
generate a specific meaning. You'd need some kind of markup in the example,
which I would like to avoid.
I am not a friend of multi-variant lemmas. I
would prefer to either have
separate Lexemes or alternative Forms. Yes, there will be duplication in
data, but this is expected already, and also,
since it is
the duplication can be easily checked and
Getting rid of bots that keep duplicate data in sync was one of the
created Wikidata, and one of it's major selling points. Bots have a lot of
but copying data around isn't really a good one.
Also, how do you sync deletions? Reverts? The semantics is not trivial.
Also, this is how Wiktionary works today:
Notice that there is no primacy of either.
True. But that's not how other dictionaries work:
Oxford even redirects: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/color
Only dict.cc makes the distinction: https://www.dict.cc/?s=colour
We are collecting a LOT of information about each Lexeme. Duplicating it
all spelling variants is going to be a HUGE pain. And it's not rare,
estimate that we'll be storing like 20% duplicates (assuming one in five
has two spellings, on average, across all languages). That also means 20%
duplicate notifications in your feed, 20% more pages to watch. I don't
Having multi-variant lemmas seem to complicate
the situation a lot. I
is important to have only one single Lemma for
each Lexeme, in order to
display logic simple
Just show all variants, unless told otherwise. In the order given.
There are many many words with multiple spellings, but not many words with
than two, and few with more than three .
But what is the difference for an entry that
doesn't have a BE
variant in order to reduce redundancy vs an entry that doesn't have a BE
variant because it has not been entered yet.
We have the problem of distinguishing these cases for all the modeling
Well, with statements you *could* use SomeValue, but I highly doubt that
will do that.
Lemmas do not have the capability and
True. When the full power of a Statement or Lemma is needed, just create
I'm just saying that in the vast majority of cases, that's overkill, and a
to manage, so that should not be the default way.
How do you determine the primacy of the American
or British English
Fallback would be written into the code base, it
would not be amenable to
community editing through the wiki.
I currently prefer to just always show all spellings, in the order given.
people who strongly prefer one version over the other, filtering/sorting
applied by a gadget, or server side formatting code.
Consumers that only want to show a single lemma can just show the first.
people will need to figure out primacy. But they would have to do this
you go with Statements (which spelling will be the one single lemma?) and
separate Lexemes (either show all, or pick the "main" one somehow).
Whether separate Lexemes or alternative Forms are
better might be
language to language, from case to case. By hard-coding the multi-variant
lemmas, you not only pre-decided the case, but also made the code and
model much more complicated. And not only for the
perpetuity, whenever the data is used.
I think for a 3rd party consumer that does care about variants, it's a LOT
simpler to deal with multiple lemmas than to deal with Statements with
properties, getting the ranks right, etc.
And for those who don't care about variants, joining list elements or just
showing the first element is simple enough.
Also: a Wikibase client will need code for dealing with TermLists anyway,
it needs to handle multi-lingual item labels.
My broader point is: by keeping the (ontology level) meta-model simple, we
make the actual (instance level) model more complicated. I prefer a more
meta-mode, which allows for a simpler instance model. The instance model
the community has to deal with, and it's what we'll have gigabytes of.
We shouldn't force for perfection and
covering everything from the
That is true. But if we miss a crucial aspect, people will build
And cleaning those up is a lot of work - and sometimes impossible. This is
is locking us into the ancient wiki syntax.
If not every case can be ideally modeled, but we
can capture 99.9%
People *will* capture 99.9% - the question is just how much energy that
them, and how re-usable the result is.
Also, there is always Wiktionary as the layer on
top of Wikidata
that actually can easily resolve these issues anyway.
Agreed. But how exactly? For instance, take the two Wiktionary pages on
and "colour". Would they benefit more from two separate Lexemes (similar
things are on Wiktionary), or from a single Lexeme, to automatically keep
pages in sync?
The model determines how our data is going to be used. We cannot rely on
presentation layer to work out kinks in the model. And more importantly, we
can't make fundamental changes to the model later, as that would break
Once we have the simple pieces working, we can
actually try to understand
where the machinery is creaking and not working well, and then think
Slow iteration is nice as long as you don't produce artifact you need to
compatible with. I have become extremely wary of lock-in - Wikitext is the
lock-in I have ever seen. Some aspects of how we implemented the Wikibase
for Wikidata also have proven to be really hard to iterate on. Iterating
model itself is even harder, since it is bound to break all clients in a
fundamental way. We just got very annoyed comments just for making two
the Wikibase model optional.
Switching from single-lemma to multi-lemma would be a major breaking
with lots of energy burned on backwards compatibility. The opposite switch
be much simpler (because it adds guarantees, instead of removing them).
But until then I would prefer to keep the system
as dumb and
simple as possible.
I would prefer to keep the user generated *data* as straight forward as
possible. That's more important to me than a simple meta-model. The
of the instance data determines the maintenance burden.
Am 20.11.2016 um 21:06 schrieb Philipp Cimiano:
Please look at the final spec of the lemon
In particular, check example: synsem/example7
Ah, thank you! I think we could model this in a similar way, by
Item that represents a (type of) frame from the Sense. Whether this should
special field or just a Statement I'm still undecided on.
Is it correct that in the Lemon model, it's not *required* to define a
frame for a sense? Is there something like a default frame?
2) Such spelling variants are modelled in lemon
as two different
of the same lexical entry.
In our understanding these are not two different
forms as you mention,
different spellings of the same form.
Indeed, sorry for being imprecise. And yes, if we have a multi-variant
should also have multi-variant Forms. Our lemma corresponds to the
form in Lemon, if I understand correctly.
The preference for showing e.g. the American or
English variant should be
stated by the application that uses the lexicon.
I agree. I think Denny is concerned with putting that burden on the
Proper language fallback isn't trivial, and the application may be a light
weight JS library... But I think for the naive case, it's fine to simply
Thank you all for your input!
Senior Software Developer
Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e.V.
Senior Software Developer
Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e.V.
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