I have asked and received permission to forward to you all this most
excellent bit of news.
The linguist list, is a most excellent resource for people interested in the
field of linguistics. As I mentioned some time ago they have had a funding
drive and in that funding drive they asked for a certain amount of money in
a given amount of days and they would then have a project on Wikipedia to
learn what needs doing to get better coverage for the field of linguistics.
What you will read in this mail that the total community of linguists are
asked to cooperate. I am really thrilled as it will also get us more
linguists interested in what we do. My hope is that a fraction will be
interested in the languages that they care for and help it become more
relevant. As a member of the "language prevention committee", I love to get
more knowledgeable people involved in our smaller projects. If it means that
we get more requests for more projects we will really feel embarrassed with
all the new projects we will have to approve because of the quality of the
Incubator content and the quality of the linguistic arguments why we should
approve yet another language :)
NB Is this not a really clever way of raising money; give us this much in
this time frame and we will then do this as a bonus...
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: LINGUIST Network <linguist(a)linguistlist.org>
Date: Jun 18, 2007 6:53 PM
Subject: 18.1831, All: Call for Participation: Wikipedia Volunteers
LINGUIST List: Vol-18-1831. Mon Jun 18 2007. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.
Subject: 18.1831, All: Call for Participation: Wikipedia Volunteers
Moderators: Anthony Aristar, Eastern Michigan U <aristar(a)linguistlist.org>
Helen Aristar-Dry, Eastern Michigan U <hdry(a)linguistlist.org>
Reviews: Laura Welcher, Rosetta Project
The LINGUIST List is funded by Eastern Michigan University,
and donations from subscribers and publishers.
Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <sawyer(a)linguistlist.org>
To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at
From: Hannah Morales < hannah(a)linguistlist.org >
Subject: Wikipedia Volunteers
-------------------------Message 1 ----------------------------------
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 12:49:35
From: Hannah Morales < hannah(a)linguistlist.org >
Subject: Wikipedia Volunteers
As you may recall, one of our Fund Drive 2007 campaigns was called the
"Wikipedia Update Vote." We asked our viewers to consider earmarking their
donations to organize an update project on linguistics entries in the
English-language Wikipedia. You can find more background information on this
The speed with which we met our goal, thanks to the interest and generosity
our readers, was a sure sign that the linguistics community was enthusiastic
about the idea. Now that summer is upon us, and some of you may have a bit
leisure time, we are hoping that you will be able to help us get started on
Wikipedia project. The LINGUIST List's role in this project is a purely
organizational one. We will:
*Help, with your input, to identify major gaps in the Wikipedia materials or
pages that need improvement;
*Compile a list of linguistics pages that Wikipedia editors have identified
"in need of attention from an expert on the subject" or " does not cite any
references or sources," etc;
*Send out periodical calls for volunteer contributors on specific topics or
*Provide simple instructions on how to upload your entries into Wikipedia;
*Keep track of our project Wikipedians;
*Keep track of revisions and new entries;
*Work with Wikimedia Foundation to publicize the linguistics community's
We hope you are as enthusiastic about this effort as we are. Just to help us
get started looking at Wikipedia more critically, and to easily identify an
needing improvement, we suggest that you take a look at the List of
Many people are not listed there; others need to have more facts and
added. If you would like to participate in this exciting update effort,
respond by sending an email to LINGUIST Editor Hannah Morales at
hannah(a)linguistlist.org, suggesting what your role might be or which
entries you feel should be updated or added. Some linguists who saw our
on the Internet have already written us with specific suggestions, which we
share with you soon.
This update project will take major time and effort on all our parts. The
result will be a much richer internet resource of information on the breadth
depth of the field of linguistics. Our efforts should also stimulate
students to consider studying linguistics and to educate a wider public on
we do. Please consider participating.
Editor, Wikipedia Update Project
Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable
LINGUIST List: Vol-18-1831
There is a request for a Wikipedia in Ancient Greek. This request has so far
been denied. A lot of words have been used about it. Many people maintain
their positions and do not for whatever reason consider the arguments of
In my opinion their are a few roadblocks.
- Ancient Greek is an ancient language - the policy does not allow for
- Text in ancient Greek written today about contemporary subjects
require the reconstruction of Ancient Greek.
- it requires the use of existing words for concepts that did
not exist at the time when the language was alive
- neologisms will be needed to describe things that did not
exist at the time when the language was alive
- modern texts will not represent the language as it used to be
- Constructed and by inference reconstructed languages are effectively
We can change the policy if there are sufficient arguments, when we agree on
When a text is written in reconstructed ancient Greek, and when it is
clearly stated that it is NOT the ancient Greek of bygone days, it can be
obvious that it is a great tool to learn skills to read and write ancient
Greek but that it is in itself not Ancient Greek. Ancient Greek as a
language is ancient. I have had a word with people who are involved in the
working group that deals with the ISO-639, I have had a word with someone
from SIL and it is clear that a proposal for a code for "Ancient Greek
reconstructed" will be considered for the ISO-639-3. For the ISO-639-6 a
code is likely to be given because a clear use for this code can be given.
We can apply for a code and as it has a use bigger then Wikipedia alone it
clearly has merit.
With modern texts clearly labelled as distinct from the original language,
it will be obvious that innovations a writers needs for his writing are
This leaves the fact that constructed and reconstructed languages are not
permitted because of the notion that mother tongue users are required. In my
opinion, this has always been only a gesture to those people who are dead
set against any and all constructed languages. In the policies there is
something vague "*it must have a reasonable degree of recognition as
determined by discussion (this requirement is being discussed by the language
subcommittee <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_subcommittee>)."* It
is vague because even though the policy talks about a discussion, it is
killed off immediately by stating "The proposal has a sufficient number of
living native speakers to form a viable community and audience." In my
opinion, this discussion for criteria for the acceptance of constructed or
reconstructed languages has not happened. Proposals for objective criteria
have been ignored.
In essence, to be clear about it:
- We can get a code for reconstructed languages.
- We need to change the policy to allow for reconstructed and
We need to do both in order to move forward.
The proposal for objective criteria for constructed and reconstructed
languages is in a nutshell:
- The language must have an ISO-639-3 code
- We need full WMF localisation from the start
- The language must be sufficiently expressive for writing a modern
- The Incubator project must have sufficiently large articles that
demonstrate both the language and its ability to write about a wide range of
- A sufficiently large group of editors must be part of the Incubator
Dear All,Sorry for bringing up a possibly old and closed issue, but could
someone explain to me that why was the GFDL with a possible migration to
CC-BY-SA 3.0 or later[1[ chosen as the site license for the Hungarian (and
I guess some others as well, created at the same time) Wikinews?
Wasn't the CC-BY used by the older Wikinewses a deliberate decision to give
Wikinews an extra opennes and connectivity with other news outlets (I
personally see a bigger chance for some newsproducer agreeing to license
their work under either CC-BY or less likely CC-BY-SA than GFDL or even GFDL
with a possible migration)?
Is the current license compatible with Wikipedia (I am thinking that the
added migration clause makes the project incompatible with GFDL sites that
are not also double licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0 or later)?
I would like to propose the dismantling of the language committee and
creating a new one (not including Gerard, of course).
Because it is chronically malfunctioning.
# Gerard is forcing all his opinion, anything else is going nowhere.
# Other members don't really care and leave it, unfortunately for us, to
I read about how unfair the LangCom before but I didn't really care because
it wasn't affecting a language I care about. Then came the dreadful proposal
for a dialect Wikipedia in my dialect, Egyptian dialect. At first, I wasn't
sure in the beginning if I should support it or not, then I became sure if
this should happen, it shouldn't happen on a platform like Wikipedia (for
many reasons laid out in detail in the proposal page). I don't care if Ghaly
and company (the people who made the proposal) started that on an
independent website (Wikia or on an own domain for their campaign) but on
Wikimedia, we should do the right thing (I hope). The proposal was approved
(Gerard requires that you have the relevant ISO code and everything from
there could be done, he is a bit annoyed now becuase of all the current
proposals for dialect Wikipedias which were brought up by the Egyptian
dialect Wikipedia proposal) and the technical team had no option but to
create the wiki because Gerard gave it his blessings and the foundation
didn't say a word (I heard that people were happy at Wikimania (Florence?)
because of that proposal but I fail to understand why the Egyptian people
there didn't express their opinion about it (it was in Egypt :!).
Trivia (I like structure but..):
* Gerard is talking about how good the localization of the Egyptian dialect,
well, that is a natural thing when the localization is a matter of
copy-pasting Arabic translation and converting it to a slang form or English
words in Arabic (nothing wrong at all in that of course, we do it all the
time, but we don't do it for the sake of looking hip (there is a certain
language charisma we have in Egypt, that is, if you can speak English and
mix English with Arabic to look cool. don't know if other countries have
it), we do it only to introduce new words that we are unable to find their
equivalent in Arabic (e.g. Acetylcysteine which is أسيتيل سيستئين in Arabic,
basically English (latin) in Arabic).
* May be ISO is wrong: why people are taking ISO codes as absolute,
don't-discuss matter? in our case, we have 22 dialects of Arabic and the
pathetic decision to call them languages of the supposedly "Macro" language
Arabic, that is nonsense and it should be amended, not the blind (if not
stupid) opinion of making all these sorts of dialectical projects (
http://www.sil.org/iso639-3/documentation.asp?id=ara). I tried to contact
the ISO, they say to contact the local office in my country (
http://www.eos.org.eg), and as always, they have dead emails, don't know
about the phone numbers, I'm not even sure that anyone there would listen to
a word of mine, besides, I wish to see changes before my expiry date is due.
* Gerard have the false delusion of protecting the freedom of Egyptians and
taking us out of illiteracy into the light of knowledge by making a new
Wikipedia in slang and dialect. well, you are *wrong*, you are doing quite
the opposite and other people are helping you alas. hope you understand that
* Wave of ignorance: a new wave of ignorance are upon us and I don't like
Wikipedia being part of it.
* Did you know that when I tell people about this new Wikipedia, the
consiperacy theory of the west dividing us is brought up? like it wasn't
enough that the ar.wiki isn't appreciated because of the several issues we
have. no, now we have another big issue created because of the carelessness
of some people. arz.wiki is a regression, making people think of Wikipedia
as an enemy is a regression.
* Did you know that what was rejected before, is being done on that
arz.wiki? I'm talking about Arabic in latin characters Wikipedia. they have
no objections there if you write Arabic in latin (a big no no in ar.wiki or
any another respectable venue). dialect writing/Arabic in latin writing is
for fun only, nothing serious.
* They have a template on arz.wiki which is placed on articles copied from
ar.wiki that says ~"this article needs more egyptianizing" like the one on
uncyclopedia "this article needs to be more uncyclopediac" or something like
that (sorry for the lack of links).
* I think it would be doable to make a tab that Egyptianizes (or any other
dialect) the Arabic article, that is, if we have some sort of conversion
memory, that is if the dialect is stable (or standard), the dialect differs
from a place to another, from a muhafazah to another (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhafazah). if anyone knows the technical
method we could make a trial instead of the great mess of dialect
Wikipedias. I'm not too sure about this compromise yet.
So, to sum it up:
# Dissolve the current committee and make a new one of people who care.
# Make all the discussions of the committee public and allow community
members to comment and the committee really reads what they have to say.
# Make sure that Gerard isn't on the new committee.
# Treat ISO codes flexibly, they could be amended, they could be ignored if
# Undo the arz.wiki.
Pardon the long email, but I had to say what I have on that important issue,
may be the new year would bring something else besides massacres.
I selected a great picture from Commons. I loaded it on my memory stick. I
went to a copy shop and had it printed in poster format for little money. No
fuss. I did not even need to bring it on a memory stick, I could have
downloaded the picture at the copy shop. This is the real world. There is
nothing stopping anyone from printing one of the great pictures from
With all the talk about the French chapter's cottage village solution to
printing, the reality is that printing a poster is not a problem anyway.
Given this reality, what are we talking about. What do we think we
realistically achieve. You have to appreciate that the poster has to be
shipped, there has to be something for the French chapter and all the
overhead you think up has to be paid. In another thread all kinds of
difficult theories are discussed about atribution. The more complicated it
is in the real world, the more likely it is that the chapter will end up
with very little indeed and that all this talk will only kill a goose that
lays "golden" eggs.
This is a request for comment. I've posted a draft proposal for the
license update here:
It is not intended to be final, but I hope we can arrive at a final
version by February 1.
We would appreciate questions, comments, feedback. If there are
obvious edits which you feel would make the proposal clearer, please
do go ahead and make them, but please be careful about edits that
substantially alter the proposal itself.
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
This is a sort of 'essay spam' I guess, so for those aspects of this post, I
apologise! I've also been criticised on some Wikimedia projects for proposing
policy <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Sexual_content>, flooding
and generally getting a bit boring about this issue, so I hope you'll
forgive me one post to this list, on this issue.
I believe Wikimedia is currently behaving rather irresponsibly in this area,
and believe that, for various reasons, a calm examination of the issues is
difficult. I have written a rather light-hearted, though serious minded and
'not safe for work' essay about this on the english wikipedia
but would like to specifically raise the following points which
- Wikimedia should not be censored at all - Legal images and media of all
types should be freely available to use, and re-use.
- In some contexts, such as sexual content, it is desirable to be
rigourous in confirming factors such as the subject's age, and 'release' or
permission - it is this area which is lacking a bit at the moment.
I'd like to illustrate by drawing your attention to two images currently
being discussed on the 'Commons' project;
It's my belief that hosting these images without the subject's permission
shifts the balance of utility vs. potential for harm towards recommending
the images be deleted. I'd love to hear your thoughts :-)
The author of Wikipedia: The Missing Manual, John Broughton, has just
uploaded the book to Wikipedia under the GFDL, see:
My reaction when I spotted this was: great, but shouldn't this be on
Wikibooks? Part of the author's response to this was that "the
agreement between O'Reilly Media and the Wikimedia Foundation was
that this would be at /Wikipedia/ ... [do] not remove it from this
site without a /lot/ more discussion among a /lot/ of other people."
Did the WMF really make an agreement saying that the content should
be on Wikipedia, rather than a WMF project or simply under a free
Does anyone want to weigh in with comments on this on the talk page?
> On the other hand, the history page *could* be interpreted as being
> part of
> the Document.
Even if it's on a different server?
> For online copies, as I've said before, I don't see much problem
> with this.
> As I've said before, it's hard to draw the line as to what is part
> of the
> work and what is not part of the work, when it comes to online
> sources. But
> I don't think the same argument can be made for offline copies.
So, online but on a different server is okay, but online when there's
an offline copy isn't? What is the legal distinction you're drawing
here? (I ask for the "legal distinction" because you are articulating
your concern in terms of what you purport to be violations of your
> My main concern is that CC-BY-SA will be deliberately misinterpreted
> to not
> require direct attribution - and the published draft of the RfC
> that this concern is valid.
So you think an online attribution on a separate page (or server) when
the article is online is "direct"? But an online attribution on a
separate page (or server) when the article is offline is *not*
"direct"? What is the legal (or "rights") basis for this distinction?
>> (BTW, one benefit of the licensing proposal is that it will be easier
>> for Wikipedia and Citizendium to cross-fertilize each other.)
> Nope. The "to clarify that attribution via reference to page histories
> is acceptable if there are more than five authors." bit will mean that
> it is imposable for wikipedia to take content from Citizendium without
> Citizendium adopting some very strange TOS specifically for the
> benefit of wikipedia which I would rather doubt it would do. Even that
> would not make it possible to copy content on Citizendium to wikipedia
> at the moment were the 5 names +URL proposal to be enacted.
I don't regard the 5 names+URL implementation proposal to be written
in stone. We might choose to modify it (by, e.g., increasing the
number of names, or allowing editors who insist on being listed to be
listed) based on feedback here and elsewhere. But the aspect of the
license update has always been to maximize the extent to which
Wikipedia can import and export CC-BY-SA-licensed content. Citizendium
uses a CC-BY-SA 3.0 (unported) license already. Presumably Citizendium
wants both to import and export CC-BY-SA content. Any implementation
by us that would require us to ask Citizendium for some kind of
exemption -- which I agree would be unlikely -- is out of the question.
Note that I used the word "easier," which is a comparative, rather
than "easy," which is an absolute.