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This question, as I stated in the final section and in the title, is about the etymology and meaning of "atturna" in Sicilian. It mentions a piece of a song because it is the only place where I found the word used, so the song is both the background for the question and the only usage example I have right now. Should I find other examples, I will probably add them. However, the question has been closed as "seeking help with identification or translation of specific samples of text". I believe that, though the question arose as such, the current phrasing should make it on-topic as a question about the etymology and semantics of a word. In other words, it is now phrased in a way that goes beyond just translating the specific bit of song. Hence, I would (with an obvious bias because I asked it) nominate it for reopening. As an example, this question, which originates from the same song and is about another Sicilian word, has been twice upvoted and not yet closed. This seems pretty inconsistent. What are your thoughts on this question's on-topicness?

Extra

I was one who voted to close this question. Your last edit has convinced me that this post is on-topic. May I suggest to move the "About off-topicness" sections straight here (and place the link to Meta)?

Thus commenteth @bytebuster. Quoting the "About off-topicness" section of the question right below.

This has been put on hold as "seeking help with identification or translation of specific samples of text". This is only part of the picture. The reference to the song is, on one hand, the background: I found the word in (some versions of) that song. On the other hand, it is a usage example of the word, and the whole reason I believe there might be another sense to it besides the name of the procession in the mentioned festival. If I had another example hinting at such a figurative sense, I would have brought that one too. Except I have none. So this is not about the song, but rather about the etymology and meaning of "atturna" in Sicilian, as the title states. Is it off-topic to ask about where a word comes from and what it means? Or is asking such things about a Sicilian word off-topic, whereas e.g. for an English word it is on-topic? I believe the answer to both those questions is "no", which makes this question perfectly on-topic. I will try to make this clearer by editing the beginning.

  • I was one who voted to close this question. Your last edit has convinced me that this post is on-topic. May I suggest to move the "About off-topicness" sections straight here (and place the link to Meta)? – bytebuster Aug 26 '17 at 14:57
  • @bytebuster done. – MickG Aug 26 '17 at 17:05
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Questions about the etymology of specific words don't usually do well here. I have seen quite a lot of questions on etymology getting closed and deleted here. If you're asking about meanings of words, that definitely pushes the question out of the scope of this site.

If you want your questions answered, I think you'll have better luck at https://italian.stackexchange.com/. Sicilian is close enough to Italian that the Italian Stackexchange site has been catering to it. If you want, I can migrate both your questions there.

  • Err, what? If that were the case, I probably wouldn't have asked here at all! BUT, this question, which encompasses both pieces of tthe song, was closed as off-topic since Italian dialects are off-topic on Italian Stack Exchange. So here we are. – MickG Aug 26 '17 at 16:04
  • @MickG That is unfortunate. The English stackexchange site regularly answers questions about AAVE, Caribbean English, Indian English, and so on. In any case, asking about meanings of words is definitely off-topic here. It has been discussed a few times already like here and here, to give a couple of examples. – prash Aug 26 '17 at 17:29
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    So both "What does X mean?" and "How did the meaning of X evolve?" would be off-topic? – MickG Aug 26 '17 at 18:50
  • @MickG The former is definitely off-topic. As for the latter, it's complicated, but such questions don't usually do well here. Or to look at it from a different point of view, if your questions did not do well on a site where there are many proficient speakers of the language, it's very unlikely to do well here, where proficient speakers of Italian or Sicilian are considerably less common. You can search for the word "etymology" on this meta site to get a better idea. – prash Aug 26 '17 at 19:06
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Linguistics is the study of language systems. Etymology questions belong here when they're asking about systematic issues. This could involve sound system changes. It could be about languages which have borrowed wholesale and systematically from another language. And questions on grammatical morphology are almost always on topic. But non systematic arbitrary borrowings or meaning changes don't really belong here.

If your question was limited to explaining how the ending arose, I think it would be fine here. But as you aren't even sure of where the word came from or what it means, I don't think it belongs here.

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