0

Are requests for analyses, interpretations, restricted to single sources (eg McCawley, CGEL) acceptable on ELU?

Most of McCawley, and all of Huddleston and Pullum, for instance, are not available to the majority of contributors. But a bigger problem I have with such questions (eg How is 'compound noun' defined in CGEL) is that they focus attention on one treatment, which, whether the treatment is optimal or not, seems unscholarly to me.

Two of the three answers given to the cited question at this time can be seen to be strictly non-answers; one begins 'I don't have CGEL, but I'm going to answer anyway.'

| |
  • 1
    Sure, I see no reason why not. But answers would have to actually use the requested source. – curiousdannii Mar 15 at 2:30
  • 1
    In the final analysis, all questions are from a single source, and all answers an opinion of some sort. Of course, some opinions are well-supported and some may be unsupported but correct; some may be disputed by various “authorities”. Pullum and Huddleston are ripe for questioning. The question at your link is How is 'compound noun' defined in CGEL? The OP then gives an image of an extract in which various terms are described. Essentially, this is the same as giving an extract from any book and asking what selected phrases from it mean in context and thus what the overall meaning is. – Greybeard Mar 15 at 15:31
  • 1
    But meanings of terms can generally be checked against various independent references to decide whether or not they are correct. In the example here, the question is about an in-house precising definition: whether or not one is really given; and whether if so it is used consistently in the publication, whether it fits with other precising definitions, and whether or not there is true hypernymy. This is criticism / comprehension. The title needs altering, at the very least, and the question refining. 'I haven't got the book, but I'll answer anyway' cannot be in an acceptable answer here. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 15 at 15:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .