This recent question has a specific and a more general concern. Would asking the general question ("What diachronic sound changes are common cross-linguistically, and are there databases documenting their occurrence?) as a separate question be considered a duplicate? I ask because I'd been meaning to post this question - but maybe this is now best covered by the existing question...?

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  • I will accept your answer if everything pans out--- this is exactly what I was after, in greatest generality. The n->l was one example. When an ignorant person (in this case, me) asks a question, this ignorant person generally doesn't know how much is known--- so you ask about a little, and if somebody answers the whole shebang, you are happy. – user810 Mar 16 '12 at 2:49
  • Unfortunately, the database is not up yet. I don't know the answer to the meta-question. – user810 Mar 16 '12 at 3:27

The duplicate works like this: wording doesn't count, or at least, it's not what you should actually consider. The duplicate reason states that:

This question covers exactly the same ground as earlier questions on this topic; its answers may be merged with another identical question.

There is no mention for the wording, instead, it's said that what is being duplicated is the "ground", i.e. the same question on the same topic.

If your question is not asking for the same information in the previous question and if your question cannot be answered or it's not answered by the answers (or future answers) in the previous question, then you're good to go.

If you want to be sure your question won't be voted to close by other users, you can use this question to ask for help from other users about how to word it! :)

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  • The difficulty I see is that the existing question is about two related things. The question is mostly about a specific sound change, and so is the focus of the answers. I guess I'll wait a bit more to see if the aspect of common sound changes in general is covered in more detail in the answers, if not a separate question seems good to me. – arjan Mar 16 '12 at 20:50

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