/r/linguistics

Photograph via snooOG

This is a community for discussions related to topics and questions about linguistics, the scientific study of human language. For common questions, please refer to the FAQs below. For those looking to deepen their appreciation for linguistics, the reading list is a list of recommended texts on areas of linguistic and language research compiled by resident experts here at Reddit.

lin⋅guis⋅tics: the scientific study of human language

  • what form does it take?
  • how is meaning constructed?
  • how is it structured?
  • how is it produced?

As a scientific community, we have a broad take on what it means to study language. While we welcome and encourage respectful debates across perspectives, personal invective is never acceptable, nor is the summary dismissal of other descriptive perspectives.

Read the wiki

Subreddit rules

Please read the subreddit rules before posting. All posts should directly link to academic linguistics articles or other high quality linguistics content, for example:

  • publicly available lectures
  • linguistics databases
  • popular science articles or posts by (or involving) specialists
  • projects by long-time members of this subreddit

All questions should be posted in our weekly Q&A thread.

Linguistics Resources

This has our reading list and podcast & video suggestions.

Weekly Q&A

If you are new to linguistics, have a quick question, or want to ask any any other question related to linguistics, your question should be posted here. A new thread is posted each Monday and is stickied so it appears at the top of the subreddit.

FAQ

Check out our FAQ! Many questions are answered here. Two of our most popular questions are:


Do you have expert knowledge of a subfield of linguistics? Visit our Panel of Linguists and get yourself flaired.


Encouraged:

  • publicly-available scholarly articles
  • helpful resources
  • questions (all questions should go in the weekly stickied thread)

Discouraged and subject to removal:

  1. translation requests/language identification requests—try /r/translator
  2. blogspam—link directly to source!
  3. asking whether some usage is "correct"
  4. reposts of recent content from /r/linguistics
  5. "Is there a word for x?"—try /r/whatstheword
  6. "What's the etymology of x?"—try /r/etymology, Etymonline and Wiktionary first
  7. memes/advice-animals—try /r/LinguisticsHumor
  8. survey response requests—try /r/SampleSize
  9. using /r/linguistics as a soapbox for your political/religious beliefs.
  10. threads with NSFW language in the title
  11. "Does your language do X?" (ask for literature instead)
  12. low effort or 'fluff' posts—e.g., bare Wikipedia links, image posts
  13. requests for personal non-professional advice—e.g., "what should I study?"; consider posting to our weekly Higher Ed Wednesday thread for these
  14. questions/comments not related to linguistics
  15. joke answers
  16. seeking advice on how to speak/write

Discussion:

  1. Cite your sources and don't be afraid to ask others to do the same
  2. Keep the anecdotal evidence and layman speculation to a minimum
  3. If a post is seeking an analysis of a phenomenon, additional examples aren't helpful unless they drive an analysis
  4. If a post is seeking information on a phenomenon beyond some language, additional examples from that same language aren't helpful
  5. No personal attacks or harassment of users, including via personal messages. Insults and attacks will result in an immediate ban.

Comments that contradict major findings of linguistics or its related disciplines are expected to provide academic sources that support their claims. Such comments without the proper documentation are subject to removal (and see our commenting policies if you have any doubts about whether the removal was justified). If such comments are perceived by moderators and users who report the comments to be not merely misinformed, but also inflammatory, derogatory, bigoted, or prejudiced in some way, the moderators will ban the user. The context of the discussion and the commenter's history on reddit will be taken into account when the moderators consider a ban.

Helpful IPA characters:

ɑ ɒ æ ã β ɔ ç ð ɖ θ ɘ ẽ ə ɚ ɛ ɜ ɣ ɤ ɥ ɦ ɨ ɪ ĩ ɫ ɬ ɯ ɱ ɲ ɳ ŋ ɴ õ ø ɶ ɸ ɹ ɺ ɻ ɾ ʀ ʁ ʃ ʈ ũ ʉ ʊ ʋ ʌ ʍ ɯ ʎ ʏ ʒ ʔ ʕ ʡ

For more characters, use this online IPA keyboard.


sister subreddits:

Also, if you are new to reddit, see /r/newtoreddit

/r/linguistics

319,993 Subscribers

1

Q&A weekly thread - February 12, 2024 - post all questions here!

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 all questions be asked here instead of in a separate post.

Questions that should be posted in the Q&A thread:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • All other questions.

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.

Discouraged Questions

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.

0 Comments
2024/02/12
12:00 UTC

11

Q&A weekly thread - February 05, 2024 - post all questions here!

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 all questions be asked here instead of in a separate post.

Questions that should be posted in the Q&A thread:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • All other questions.

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.

Discouraged Questions

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.

158 Comments
2024/02/05
12:00 UTC

9

Q&A weekly thread - January 29, 2024 - post all questions here!

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 all questions be asked here instead of in a separate post.

Questions that should be posted in the Q&A thread:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • All other questions.

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.

Discouraged Questions

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.

218 Comments
2024/01/29
12:00 UTC

20

Q&A weekly thread - January 22, 2024 - post all questions here!

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 all questions be asked here instead of in a separate post.

Questions that should be posted in the Q&A thread:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • All other questions.

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.

Discouraged Questions

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.

199 Comments
2024/01/22
12:00 UTC

12

Q&A weekly thread - January 15, 2024 - post all questions here!

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 all questions be asked here instead of in a separate post.

Questions that should be posted in the Q&A thread:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • All other questions.

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.

Discouraged Questions

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.

188 Comments
2024/01/15
12:00 UTC

12

Q&A weekly thread - January 08, 2024 - post all questions here!

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 all questions be asked here instead of in a separate post.

Questions that should be posted in the Q&A thread:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • All other questions.

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.

Discouraged Questions

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.

152 Comments
2024/01/08
12:00 UTC

11

Q&A weekly thread - January 01, 2024 - post all questions here!

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 all questions be asked here instead of in a separate post.

Questions that should be posted in the Q&A thread:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • All other questions.

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.

Discouraged Questions

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.

180 Comments
2024/01/01
12:00 UTC

11

Q&A weekly thread - December 25, 2023 - post all questions here!

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 all questions be asked here instead of in a separate post.

Questions that should be posted in the Q&A thread:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • All other questions.

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.

Discouraged Questions

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.

180 Comments
2023/12/25
12:00 UTC

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