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Wikidata:Property proposal/alternative form

alternative formEdit

Originally proposed at Wikidata:Property proposal/Lexemes

   Not done
Descriptionsimilar lexeme with the same meaning
Data typeLexeme
  • airplane@en → aeroplane@en
  • adviser@en → advisor@en


Not sure if we need this, alternative forms could be added as synonyms. This property is not meant for spellings of the same lexeme but for different yet similar lexemes having the same meaning. Examples would be airplane and aeroplane, math and maths, sextillion and sexillion, specialty and speciality (Merriam-Webster provides an example sentence for specialty (defined for kids) using speciality …), well and welp. Sometimes it is debatable whether two spellings belong to the same word, e.g., adviser and advisor are pronounced the same but the etymology of the suffixes -er and -or is different, welp and whelp can be pronounced identically (wine–whine merger) but need not be. Or see my remarks in German (“Was ich noch gerne hätte, ist eine klare […]”).

What do you think? IvanP (talk) 16:39, 31 May 2018 (UTC)


  Comment I added a couple of your examples; it obviously needs a bit more fleshing out. Would this be a property linking one sense to another, or one form to another, or one lexeme to another? A property for synonym has been proposed as a link between senses; if this was a link between one of the other lexeme datatypes then obviously it would be quite distinct. And I think it does make sense to be a lexeme-lexeme relationship, rather than on senses - you can look at the senses to determine common meanings. Maybe the label here should be "similar word" so it's clearer we're talking about the form of the word rather than the meaning? As to pronunciation - we should qualify our pronunciations (IPA etc properties) with the language variant involved, that's I think a quite separate issue. See Wikidata:Property proposal/pronunciation variety. ArthurPSmith (talk) 19:05, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
  Comment I think this would be useful to have, but I dislike the name: this is not about Forms, and "alternative" implies equivalence, which is not necessarily given. Perhaps this should simply be called "similar lexeme". -- Duesentrieb (talk) 12:14, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
  Support if there is no other alternative. I think the defining distinction between an alternative form and a synonym is that in general, alternative forms are mutually exclusive. A person would use one or the other, but probably not both. Whereas a person could certainly use more than one synonym. Rua (talk) 11:38, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
  • It would be interesting to have a way to qualify synonyms. --- Jura 10:07, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
  Comment would "alternate spelling" work as a label for this? I think that's more understandable (and that would make sense to link lexemes together, which is the datatype specified here). ArthurPSmith (talk) 17:31, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

  Not done Not enough support.--Micru (talk) 17:25, 7 November 2018 (UTC)