In learning the West Frisian language I'm amazed at how, after learning the pronunciation of the Frisian alphabet, how closely related is English and Frisian grammar and vocabulary. So much so that Frisian, I think, can be called a 'cognate language' to English. And having gone to sea for nearly twenty years and been exposed to many different languages, it occurs to me then that what we call 'the English language' is not age-modified Anglo-Saxon. Instead, I believe true 'English' is really a lingua-franca, a trade language consisting mostly of Frisian interspersed with Saxon, Dutch, Scandinavian, and Flemish words and phrases.

There is no way for me under the present StackExchange scheme of individual websites for specific languages to ask questions, provide answers, or to comment on multi-(Germanic) language questions related to, for example, the possibility that a 16th or 17th (or even earlier) "pidgin-English" trade language existed in and around North Sea and English Channel ports, harbors, and countries engaged in trade and commerce with each other, and that lingua-franca gave rise to or ultimately became the 'common' English language.

Would not implementing a provisional StackExchange "Germanic languages and dialects" Q&A website provide such a forum?

  • 1
    What about the existing Linguistics site? – Mithical Mar 22 '17 at 14:31
  • For the Germanic languages alone there at the very least 200 to 400 additional Germanic language-specific tags that would be required to cover the various Germanic languages and regional dialects from pre-Roman through modern times. I would think that the precedent of adding "Germanic languages" to "Linguistics" would necessarily lead to additions of many other language groups, and their own language/dialect-specific tags, to the "Linguistics" website as well, wouldn't it? And if so, it's easy to see that doing so would create a nightmarish mess even if only grammar tags were added. – К. Келлогг Смиф Mar 23 '17 at 2:04
  • Tags are only added if they are needed; that is, if there are multiple questions on a site about a certain subject. – sumelic Mar 23 '17 at 21:48
  • @sumelic: How then can a user cite and use an SE tag that is not listed in a website's own list of available tags? Are you telling me that SE users, on their own volition and for any whim or reason, can create and add tags at will into this proposed SE website's list of tags? – К. Келлогг Смиф Mar 24 '17 at 2:13
  • Any user with enough reputation on a site can create a tag. For a beta site like Linguistics, the "Create Tags" privilege requires 150 reputation. – sumelic Mar 24 '17 at 4:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .