Wanting to learn about sentence diagrams, and on the recommendation of an English teacher, I picked up the book "Syntactic Analysis: The Basics" by Nicholas Sobin. The thin book is, as it describes itself, an "introduction to understanding sentence structure" for "students with little background in linguistics". I am layperson (not a linguist) interested in English grammar. One of the reasons for wanting to learn about sentence diagrams is because they feature in grammar books, for example The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, including the student version. Midway through the book, I came across a minor but interesting point, and I asked a question on English Stack Exchange. I got no little backlash from people saying that the question doesn't belong there, it being about linguistics and not grammar, some surely trying to close it.
In my view the question was about grammar, but I will leave that aside. Even if we assume that the question was technically about linguistics, do people really believe that there is no overlap between grammar and linguistics? Some points:
- Grammar reference books, for example The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language or A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, are written by linguists.
- Grammar books cite linguistic references. Even "The Grammar Book: An ESL/EFL Teacher's Course", a book for English teachers (also written by a linguist by the way), is full of citations to linguistic references.
- Modern grammar itself embraces content carried over from linguistic works. Would modern grammar be what it is without the 20th century linguists?
- One person directed me to the on-topic help page. I see nothing on this page that prohibits a question on a linguistic theory relating to English grammar. This is more relevant if the theory tries to explain parts of grammar that aren't traditionally touched on, or provides some insight into why grammar is the way it is, which has to be one of the most interesting parts of studying grammar.
- Linguistics Stack Exchange, on the other hand, is described as a "site for professional linguists" (which I am not) and covers linguistics as it relates to any of 7000 languages.
I have no doubt that some of the people suggesting Linguistics Stack Exchange were sympathetic and thought better answers might be forthcoming over there, but I also felt that there were others who seemed to be the opposite.