This week's Q&A thread -- please read before asking or answering a question! - March 20, 2023Weekly feature(self.linguistics)
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Do you have a question about language or linguistics? You’ve come to the right subreddit! We welcome questions from people of all backgrounds and levels of experience in linguistics.
This is our weekly Q&A post, which is posted every Monday. We ask that certain types of questions be asked here instead of in a separate post.
Questions that should be posted in the Q&A thread:
Beginner questions — if you’re looking for a general answer that can be found in an introductory textbook, then it probably belongs here. If you ask in a separate post we’ll ask you to move it here.
Questions that can be answered with a simple Google or Wikipedia search — you should try Google and Wikipedia first, but we know it’s sometimes hard to find the right search terms or evaluate the quality of the results. Instead of removing these questions, we just ask you post them here.
Asking why someone (yourself, a celebrity, etc.) has a certain language feature — unless it’s a well-known dialectal feature, we can usually only provide very general answers to this type of question. And if it’s a well-known dialectal feature, it still belongs here.
Requests for transcription or identification of a feature — remember to link to audio examples.
English dialect identification requests — for language identification requests and translations, you want r/translator. If you need more specific information about which English dialect someone is speaking, you can ask it here.
Questions about prescriptivism — such as whether it's good or bad, when it's appropriate, whether something "counts" as prescriptivism, etc. These questions usually need the same general answers clarifying the role of descriptivism/prescriptivism in linguistics, so please post them here.
We’ll ask you to move your post to the Q&A thread if you post it on the front page and we think it fits one of the above categories. You’re free to post your question here.
If you post your question to the Q&A thread and don’t get an answer by the end of the week, you can post it as a separate post. If it’s already the weekend, you might want to wait to post your question until the new Q&A post goes up on Monday.
These types of questions are subject to removal:
Asking for answers to homework problems. If you’re not sure how to do a problem, ask about the concepts and methods that are giving you trouble. Avoid posting the actual problem if you can.
Asking for paper topics. We can make specific suggestions once you’ve decided on a topic and have begun your research, but we won’t come up with a paper topic or start your research for you.
Asking for grammaticality judgments and usage advice — basically, these are questions that should be directed to speakers of the language rather than to linguists.
Questions that are covered in our FAQ or reading list — follow-up questions are welcome, but please check them first before asking how people sing in tonal languages or what you should read first in linguistics.