Talk:Proto-Tibeto-Burman language

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So much wrong[edit]

Who says that the PTB verb was like WrT, far from it even Matisoff thinks that most of the WrT verb is innovative. But more importantly, why should Matisoff's reconstruction be presented as fact, perhaps at least Gong Hwang-Cherng's 'Sino-Tibetan' should be given for comparision. Tibetologist (talk) 12:37, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes, the verb section does need to be fixed. If you know it's wrong, then why not help out. — Stevey7788 (talk) 20:39, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the fixes. As for the deleted sections, they should be replaced with better content rather than just staying blank. I currently have only Matisoff's book and not any one of Gong's publications, so you might want to add Gong's point of view if you think this article is too one-sided. — Stevey7788 (talk) 20:46, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Deleting sections[edit]

Instead of simply deleting everything, I'd recommend looking up the info in Matisoff's 2003 PTB Handbook and make corrections to the sections instead. Deleting the Verbs section seems quite reasonable to me, but I don't see why the Sound Changes section should be completed removed. The info from the Sound Changes section was taken directly from Matisoff's book, which describes the sound changes as a "continuum of final stop and nasal preservation that we may roughly break down into four stages." I've put the section up again as "Preservation of stops." If you think the section is irrelevant or contains wrong info, then please add cleanup or dubious tags or discuss the issue here before actually deleting the section. — Stevey7788 (talk) 21:01, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Balance and focus[edit]

This article started out as a description of the Benedict–Matisoff reconstruction, and that's a worthwhile topic for an article. The only problem is that it is presented as the PTB. Trying to achieve some sort of balance by mixing in other reconstructions and adding "according to Matisoff" everywhere risks an incoherent mess. It would be better to declare that the topic is just the Benedict–Matisoff PTB, possibly with a change in title, and focus on describing that, including reviews by other authors but not trying to add in other systems. Kanguole 13:22, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

I totally agree, lets change it to 'Matisoff's Proto-Tibeto-Burman'. Tibetologist (talk) 10:40, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

James Matisoff's reconstruction of Proto-Tibeto-Burman[edit]

Comment to User:JohnBlackburne about title of article.

The talk page of this article describes the reason why it was long ago moved to this title. The change reflected a consensus of the editors who had been involved in writing it. Recently User:NoGhost moved the article without changing its content or describing his reason for the move on the article's talk page. Consequently, I moved it back. Now you have moved it to where he had put it, again without adding to the page's content and without discussing the move on the article's talk page or my own talk page. Can you please explain why you have done this? Now the content of the article and the title no longer match. If you think it is inappropriate for the article to only describe the views of a single author, I can only agree. But the solution here is not to misrepresent the content with an inaccurate title, it is to diversify the content of the article.

Tibetologist (talk) 10:20, 15 October 2017 (UTC)

Any editor can move a page, when it an uncontroversial or obvious move. But when there is any dispute or disagreement over a page’s title it should be resolved though a WP:requested move discussion, as I see you have done. The proper thing to do, if it has already been moved, is to move it back to the name it was at before the move or series of moves, if it had that name for a long time as a full article.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 11:19, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
N.B. the name I am proposing is where the article sat for years, until NoGhost moved it. So, would not the correct procedure been for you to have supported my move of it back to its original spot and for NoGhost to open the discussion explaining why he thought it should be moved? Tibetologist (talk) 14:20, 15 October 2017 (UTC)

Requested move 15 October 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. I think that it could also be more strongly argued that disambiguation is unnecessary, but there's clear consensus not to move anyway. Andrewa (talk) 01:39, 23 October 2017 (UTC)


Proto-Tibeto-Burman languageJames Matisoff's reconstruction of Proto-Tibeto-Burman – NoGhost and JohnBlackburne moved the page to its current location, without leaving a comment on the talk page. The talk page already discusses the reason for mentioning Matisoff, namely that the article only describes his system. Removing his name from the article without otherwise changing the content of the article is a substantial misrepresentation of the article's content. Gong Hwang Cherng, Nishida Tatsuo, and others have published views on Tibeto-Burman reconstruction, but this article only treat's Matisoff's opinions. Tibetologist (talk) 10:34, 15 October 2017 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure about Nishida, but Gong has published on proto-Sino-Tibetan rather than PTB. Indeed the idea of reconstructing PTB is predicated on accepting Tibeto-Burman (i.e. Sino-Tibetan minus Sinitic) as a valid node. (Yes, I'm ignoring van Driem's campaign to redefine the term, which even he seems to have abandoned now in favour of "Trans-Himalayan".) Can you point to other reconstructions of PTB? Kanguole 10:58, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
    • I pointed to Nishida and would be happy to share with you relevant works of his. But I would also make the point that if JAM is the only person who believes in Tibeto-Burman and has ever worked on its reconstruction, that is all the more reason to include his name in the title and the notability argument applies to the article itself. (Kamil Sedlacek published on Sino-Tibetan). Tibetologist (talk) 11:08, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
      • Which of Nishida's works presents a reconstruction of PTB? One has to accept TB as a node to reconstruct PTB, but not vice versa. Many accept TB with little comment, and then work on better-established subbranches. Also, this reconstruction is not just Matisoff's but a revision of Benedict's. Kanguole 13:27, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
        • Nishida Tatsuo 西田 龍雄 (1957). チベット語・ビルマ語語彙比較における問題 [Tibetan and Burmese: Some problems concerning the comparison of Their vocabularies]. 東方学 Tohō Gaku (in Japanese). 15: 64–44 and Nishida Tatsuo 西田 龍雄 (1977). "Some Problems in the Comparison of Tibetan, Burmese and Kachin Languages". 音声科学研究 Onsei Kagaku Kenkyū (Studia phonologica). 11: 1–24, are two articles that treat questions of reconstruction of the ancestor of Tibetan and Burmese. Tibetologist (talk) 14:26, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
    • A further thought-- Wikipedia has no article on proto-Sino-Tibetan, if as you seem to claim, it is better researched, shouldn't it have an article and one that is less Matisoffian? Tibetologist (talk) 11:10, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
      • I don't claim PST is well-developed – far from it. Gong's PST seems pretty much the same as his revision of Li's Old Chinese. There seems to be a lot of Teeter's law about. But if the material could be found, there'd be no reason not to have a PST article. Kanguole 13:27, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
  • oppose. We don’t normally name an article after the discoverer or proponent of a subject unless that is the name by which it known in the wider world. Everyone knows Einstein discovered both special relativity and general relativity, he is closely associated with both of them, but the theorems and so the articles are not names after him. I see no evidence that the theorem is widely known, or at all known, as "James Matisoff's reconstruction of Proto-Tibeto-Burman". None of the references refer to it as that, that I can see.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 13:05, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
    • You seem to misunderstand what a proto-language is, as revealed by your referring to it as a 'theorem'. Matisoff did not discover TB, he invented it, or at least he invented the version described in this article. I do not think it can be taken as given that the references referring to Tibeto-Burman are necessarily intended to refer to it as it is put forward by Matisoff. Tibetologist (talk) 14:18, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
      • I know what a proto-language is; please stick to the topic rather than commenting on other editors. No, Matisoff did not invent Tibeto-Burman, it was invented thousands of years ago by people who spoke it. My point on references is that none of them call it "James Matisoff's reconstruction of Proto-Tibeto-Burman". If it is not know by that in e.g. the literature it is not a suitable title here. The current title is clear, unambiguous and is consistent with other proto languages.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 16:16, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
        • Whether or not there was a Proto-Tibeto-Burman language is a matter of controversy. Most researchers, other than Matisoff and his students, do not see there as being a none that brings together Tibetan and Burmese but not Chinese. Indeed, Matisoff himself has started to distance himself from this view, as you can see in his prefatory remarks to Chris Button's book on Kuki-Chin, where he says 'Sino-Tibeto-Burman' rather than 'Tibeto-Burman'. Tibetologist (talk) 11:40, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Proto-Tibetan-Burman language is the intended subject for this article, and the more concise title should be used as per WP:TITLE. Creating an article specifically about one single reconstruction would be an unnecessary WP:CFORK. That the content of this article currently focuses on one reconstruction does not dictate the article's title, and the content can be easily expanded by any editor who is familiar with the subject. --NoGhost (talk) 18:47, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
    • What stops you from expanding the article along the lines you suggest? Tibetologist (talk) 11:40, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose. Regardless of whether JohnBlackburne has or has not misunderstood what a proto-language is, his rationale is still valid. Also, if the article happens at present to only describe Matisoff's reconstruction, then this should be mentioned very prominently in the lede, rather than reflected higher up in the article title. – Uanfala 10:43, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.