Linguistics Rules - Updated 2009/05/07

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

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gmalivuk
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Linguistics Rules - Updated 2009/05/07

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:55 pm UTC

New forum. Rules are the same as the rest of the fora, for the most part.

As with the other academic fora, the primary additional rule is that you should keep your topics related to the subject in question, and unrelated topics are subject to moving if we're feeling charitable, locking or deletion if we're not.

Also, while this is kind of a generic "english major" forum, literature does NOT belong here unless it ties into a more linguistic discussion. Literature goes over in "Books".

Homework: we are not here to do yours.
As with the mathematics and science fora, we are not here to do your homework for you. If you have a question for an assignment or test, tell us that. If you ask something that is clearly homework help, and you don't say so, expecting us to do your work for you, we will quite possibly go out of our way to give you complicated and unhelpful answers. This is an academic forum, meant primarily for discussion of languages and linguistics, not for helping you with your high school English assignment. That said, the occasional homework question won't be deleted, especially if you tell us up front that it's homework. However, any person who abuses this and posts little other than homework questions will start to wear on our patience.

Foreigntalk and other non-English discussions:
This is a forum about langauge, and many of you know ones other than English. However, English is the one language all of us know at least to some extent, so please be considerate to your fellow forum-goers.
1) To converse in another language: There are already threads for Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish. Feel free to start up threads for additional languages. The main thing I would request in these cases is that, in the post that starts the topic, please include an English translation, behind spoiler tags if you like. This lets me and other moderators know the purpose of the thread, specifically that it is not spam. Within the thread itself, it may help learners more to include an English translation, but this is not required after the original post.
2) To use examples from other languages: In general, if you want to use something from another language to illustrate a point about grammar or linguistics or whatever, please also give us a rough sense of what the word/phrase means in English. Posting a Tlingit poem to illustrate the complexity of that language isn't very useful if it just looks like gibberish to the rest of us.

Any discussion taking place in a language other than English or Spanish will be less moderated, owing to the simple fact that I don't know other languages well enough to even try. Also, topicality is somewhat moot, since the topic is merely language practice, and whatever you say in that language is practicing it.
I don't expect Japanese flamewars to take over any threads here or anything, but if you think a foreign language discussion is getting out of hand, let me or another mod know (and please translate the relevant parts).

On the relative merits or problems with different varieties of English:
It's okay to dislike one or another dialect of English for aesthetic reasons, but keep in mind that there is no central governing body for English, and the language is what its speakers make of it. Also, keep in mind that racist diatribes about how inferior some ethnic dialect is count as flaming every bit as much as any other racist diatribes do. As such, they will not be tolerated here in the guise of a linguistic superiority complex any more than they'd be tolerated anywhere else on the forum
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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armorsmith42
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Postby armorsmith42 » Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:32 am UTC

What is the policy on discussion of foreign languages? or Lojban? or regional dialects?

suggestion: all text written in a foreign language must also be written in English.

edit: also, are there allowed to be threads for specific languages.
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Postby zenten » Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:26 pm UTC

armorsmith42 wrote:What is the policy on discussion of foreign languages? or Lojban? or regional dialects?

suggestion: all text written in a foreign language must also be written in English.

edit: also, are there allowed to be threads for specific languages.


I dislike the suggestion. If people want to carry on conversations in Chinese, why not? Mind you, that should be treated the same for the purposes of spam detecting as posting a link.

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Postby armorsmith42 » Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:18 pm UTC

If people want to carry on conversations in Chinese, why not?


when I said "are there allowed to be threads for specific languages." this was my idea. I just forgot a question mark.

however, it might be a problem for people who know some chinese, but have only taken, say, two years of it. Thats why the sugggestion of translation into english, both so that beginners can understand it when there is a word they don't understand, and so that, if they accidentally say, "how much does your sister cost" when they meant to say, "how many sisters do you have", someone else will be able to read the english and correct them.
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