Discovery/Status updates/2018-03-05

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This is the weekly update for the week starting 2018-03-05



  • Trey (with a *lot* of help from Guillaume and David) finished wrapping an open-source stemmer for Serbian into an Elasticsearch plugin[1] for use on Serbian wikis. It will also support cross-script searching! It will still be a few weeks before the Serbian language projects are re-indexed, but we are moving toward that goal. We're also planning to investigate using the same stemmer on Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbo-Croatian wikis. (See [2].)
  • Stas fixed a minor issue with using Blazegraph for deep category searching / returning of results [3]
  • Stas implemented quicker indexing for newly created Wikidata items [4]

Did you know?[edit]

  • The sound associated with the letter <s> in English is called a "voiceless alveolar sibilant" by linguists, and appears in many languages. It also comes in at least three varieties, which sound more or less the same, but are articulated differently. You can see the Wikipedia page for technical details, [5] but the most obvious difference is that some people have the tip of their tongue behind their *lower* front teeth when they say /s/, while others have the tip of their tongue behind their *upper* front teeth or even a little further back along the roof of their mouth.
  • Another sound with multiple articulations—which isn't found in any language but *is* found in many cultures—is an "unvoiced linguolabial trill", also called a "raspberry". [6] Some people vibrate their lower lip against their tongue, others use their upper lip. Trying to do it the other way around can be very difficult, and a bit messy. Also of note, the name "raspberry" comes from Cockney rhyming slang [7]—see the Wikipedia page on "blowing a raspberry" for the full etymology.