I want to ask a question about book recommendations on Chinese Grammar. Is it ok to post this question here?

1 Answer 1


No, that would be off topic. Actually it wouldn't be a good question on any SE site, but on the Chinese site there is a topic for resources. Check that out. :)

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    Thanks,but on the mathSE and physicsSE,I did see book recommendations question. Nevertheless,I won't post this question here. Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 9:27
  • @AveMaleficum Well, some sites do allow them but there are reasons. For example if the site is niche enough then it's OK because you won't receive so many requests. But on a language site they would be so many. :)
    – Alenanno
    Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 9:54
  • I wouldn't say it's against the topic of the site, recommendations are against the rules of the site no matter whether they're on-topic or off-topic. Questions about books can be on-topic, questions about Chinese can be on-topic, and questions about grammar can be on topic. I wouldn't call recommending a topic but it is inherently subjective, and subjective questions are against the rules on Stack Exchange. Commented May 23, 2013 at 8:07
  • @hippietrail The point is not only the recommendation but what is being asking: in this case Chinese Grammar. We expressly don't help in that direction (or rather, not purely that) so it makes sense to say off topic. On top of that, recommendation questions are not constructive as you said. Even if we do allow reference requests for now (since the answers are not going to be many anyways).
    – Alenanno
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 9:26
  • Hmm well I would certainly ask a question about Chinese grammar here if I had one. I don't participate in any of the language-specific SE's anymore and part of the reason was because some users on the Japanese SE were actively against any questions about linguistics and all or most of those sites want questions and answers in their language. Most linguists are not fluent in every language they may have occasion to ask occasional questions about. Commented May 23, 2013 at 10:02
  • @hippietrail Asking about Chinese grammar is OK as long as you're not asking pure grammar. That goes on the Chinese SE site. Grammar questions here are supposed to be more macro than the language sites.
    – Alenanno
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 10:11
  • I'm not really sure what pure grammar is but I would agree that grammar questions asking about usage should definitely be there while I would personally welcome abstract or theoretical questions about Chinese grammar here. Commented May 23, 2013 at 10:18
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    @hippietrail Yes that's what I meant by "pure grammar", perhaps not the best word choice. :D
    – Alenanno
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 10:21
  • Definitely not the best choice. Anything where "correct usage" is concerned is certainly off-topic here. Grammar is never "pure" except in the religious sense of "without sin", and that's way beyond linguistics.
    – jlawler
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 18:51
  • @jlawler By "pure" I meant asking about grammar rules and the like, without going more into Linguistic topics.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 19:07
  • But they're not in fact asking about grammar rules. In the case of English grammar, they're typically asking about zombie rules that someone has told them erroneously. Usage is not grammaticality, and the two have almost nothing to do with one another. Judging anyone's speech as "correct" (as opposed to "grammatical") is not grammar, and has no place in a discussion of grammar. Discussion of grammar is greatly impeded, in fact, by giving credence to such punitive senses of "grammar". That may be all people learn in "grammar school", but that doesn't mean it's true.
    – jlawler
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 19:11

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