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English consists mostly of borrowings. Therefore, there is almost no etymology in English itslelf and my questions on the etymology of English words are always stopped by "that is beyond the scope of English". Meantime, the world is mostly English speaking and we learn about most of the words in English. Isn't it right to dig English words deeper in the English forum or there is a better alternative that I overlook?

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    I think all these downvotes aren't for your ostensible question ("Why can't etymologies of English words be given here go further back than their first appearance in English?"). I think such scholarship would be very welcome here, as long as it informs some aspect of English (going off on a tangent about Latin etymologies that isn't related to the words in question is what is not desired). I think this particular question is being downvoted for it being too presumptuous. – Mitch Mar 6 '16 at 19:24
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Questions about the etymology of English words are welcome on the site, even for borrowed words.

Your questions were not rejected by "that is beyond the scope of English" or by "we do not discuss Latin". In fact, your questions lacked references or any evidence of research.

I suggest you (1) add references and evidence of research to your December and March questions, and (2) see if you can get the December question reopened.

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There is a Latin Stack Exchange now, although it is still in private beta. You will be able to ask questions about the etymology of Latin words there. Some kinds of etymology questions are on-topic for the Linguistics Stack Exchange.

As for asking questions here, it really depends on the details.

The type of questions I see as off-topic are questions that would still make sense even if asked in another language without any reference to English, such as

  • Is the Latin word "versus" related to the Hebrew word "נגד"?

I think it would be on topic (assuming you show sufficient research and meet other requirements) to ask things like this:

  • "Are there any English words that have the same root as this Latin word?"
  • "When did this Latin word first start being used in English texts?"

Edit: I'll try to address the original question more closely.

English consists mostly of borrowings.

Seems to be true. (also see here)

Therefore, there is almost no etymology in English itself

I don't agree with this. According to the Quora answer and Wikipedia page I linked to, Native" English makes up around 25-33% of the lexicon. That's not insignificant, and there are plenty of interesting etymological questions about words in this class.

and my questions on the etymology of English words are always stopped by "that is beyond the scope of English".

False. Your current account has three questions that I can see. Two of them are closed.

The first, Is 'breadth' related to 'broad'?, is about native English words, not Latin loans, and it was closed for lack of research, not as "beyond the scope of English."

The second, https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/311585/germination-of-hermeneutics, is related to Latin loans, but it was not closed for this reason. It was closed because it shows zero research.

Even if there are other questions that I can't see because they were deleted or because you asked them with a different account, this shows that your questions are not "always" closed for this reason.

Meantime, the world is mostly English speaking and we learn about most of the words in English. Isn't it right to dig English words deeper in the English forum or there is a better alternative that I overlook?

I listed several alternatives above, but you don't seem to be truly interested in them, as you have not acknowledged them at all.

  • I am asking about tracing the rationship between two English words, i.e. one English word vs. another English word. I do not understand why did you shift the focus into Hebrew vs. Latin and deriving English from Latin, which is the obvious matter. – Valentin Tihomirov Mar 4 '16 at 19:34
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    @ValentinTihomirov: It would help me if you gave a specific example. Your recent question here was not received well because it showed zero research. – sumelic Mar 4 '16 at 20:44
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    How about "are there any theories about why word order is reversed in questions?": it is highly relevant to English, but it is not unique to it, so it could have been asked in e.g. German. Does that mean it's off topic? And how about the ultimate origin of the progressive construction: is that forbidden if it turns out it emerged first in Celtic? // I don't think this is the right approach. Any language question that is about the history of something that is used in English and that might interest someone who only speaks English should be allowed. – Cerberus Mar 4 '16 at 21:35
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    That's why good etymological dictionaries of language x don't stop at the moment the word was borrowed: they go all the way down to its Proto-Indo-European or other roots if possible. – Cerberus Mar 4 '16 at 21:36
  • @Cerberus: You might be right. As I said, I'd need to see an example question to understand how to answer. – sumelic Mar 4 '16 at 22:03
  • I was just commenting on the rule you suggested. I understand where you're coming from, but I don't think we need to compartmentalise so much. – Cerberus Mar 4 '16 at 22:05
  • Anothing thing: it seems people on Latin don't want questions about the Latin origin of later languages, so where should such questions go? meta.latin.stackexchange.com/questions/32/… – Cerberus Mar 4 '16 at 22:58
  • @Cerberus: that says they don't want questions about the descendants of Latin words. What I said would be off-topic is questions about the ancestor of Latin words, like this: Etymology: The root of the words 'real' and 'reality' or this on Latin SE Does “ad” have its origin in Hebrew/Semitic languages? – sumelic Mar 4 '16 at 22:59
  • @sumelic: OK but I still think the one about "real" is a nice question. The other one depends on a highly dubious premise, granted; but I don't think it would ever be posted on EL&U? – Cerberus Mar 4 '16 at 23:24
  • @My point is that the first question has two comments saying it is off-topic here, while the second, very similar question was well received on Latin SE. So I think people on Latin SE do want such questions. Questions about the Latin origin of English words are on topic here, of course. – sumelic Mar 4 '16 at 23:34
  • We should allow going to Proto-Nostratic. – Mitch Mar 4 '16 at 23:35
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    I'm just confused...but I'm sure things will turn out OK. – Cerberus Mar 4 '16 at 23:51

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