Are the questions about mutual intelligibility between languages on topic on Linguistics.SE?

Is it the proper place to ask questions about how language X is understood by native speakers of language Y (that have not learned language X), or about the reasons, why such intelligibility occures?

2 Answers 2


I agree that such questions should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

I would add that questions about the mutual intelligibility of languages would be relevant to a) the applicability of the terms "language" vs. "dialect," b) how linguists measure mutual intelligibility, c) how, in some parts of the world, language varieties in contiguous areas are mutually intelligible but language varieties in non-contiguous areas are not. Mutual intelligibility could be relevant to other issues as well, such as specifying which properties of language have the most to do with making languages mutually intelligible.

In short, questions about mutual intelligibility among language varieties seem appropriate to this list to me.


It highly depends on the question itself I suppose. I'd say to go case by case.

Certainly there are good questions and bad questions in that range.


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