I'm new here, mainly to get a single question answered that I originally posted on Linguistics.SE, but was told here might be better. I'm not likely to be much of an active member at all on this site, and further, I know practically nothing about the history behind this site (or the other one mentioned below) on why it was formed, so keep that in mind.
However, I do think this site has a serious issue with scope in relation to Linguistics.SE. I get that from simply comparing the questions that are allowed in scope between each site. I've copied the current (4/20/2018) one's from LL.SE's page, only numbered them for reference:
- Questions about learning or teaching techniques regarding any human
language, including dead, unspoken and constructed languages.
- Questions regarding definite obstacles faced by anyone learning a
- Questions regarding specific language learning techniques
or resources, and their effectiveness in comparison to others.
- Requests seeking books, studies, web sites, or other resources
supporting the scientific basis for any aspect of language study.
- Questions seeking hard-to-find learning resources for a specific
language. Be as specific as possible.
- Questions regarding the use of language-learning or teaching software or technology (i.e. Duolingo, Anki, etc.) in conjunction with the learning/teaching process.
Now LNG.SE's in scope questions based on the current (4/20/2018) page, also numbered for reference:
- any natural language from a linguistics point of view
- Linguistics phenomena during history
- the Linguistics subcategories
- currents, theories [I assume this is supposed to be "current theories"], and their applications in actual languages
- a single word in relation to multiple languages or a single word/single language
- papers/articles on a given topic
- Sign Languages and writing systems
- fictional/constructed/planned languages
- and more!
I've specifically included one of the links they give, because that is important. The link above goes to a listing of "linguistics disciplines" that are allowed, of which the "L" category includes (bold added):
Language acquisition, Language assessment, Language development, Language education
To someone like me, that fact alone sure seems to cover the exact same points that are the whole of Language Learning's existence, but specifically of LL's numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, and maybe 6. LNG has as of this writing, 116 questions tagged as language-acquisition and 67 in tagged second-lang-acquisition (and there may be some other relevant tags that I am not noticing). Those 183 questions equal 27% of LL's current total of 658 total questions (so significant competition), but just 3% of LNG's current 5896 total questions. So language learning questions on LNG have a major impact on this site, while being a contribution, but small, to LNG's total.
Additionally LNG's #4 & 6 above parallels LL's #4 above. Of course, LL's "and more!" is vague, but considering there is already almost a 100% overlap with just a portion of LNG's allowed questions to LL's whole, it makes for troubled site viability for LL.
Both sites specifically shy away from allowing translation requests and specifics about specific languages (deferring to those language sites).
In short, from an "outsiders" perspective, it seems like either LNG needs to be convinced to "back away" from there sub-disciplines noted in their "L" listing of the link or LL should "merge" their questions/community with LNG to perhaps help lift both groups out of beta. It seems maybe LNG can be tempted to back away, as they specifically list in the don't ask:
Advice or help on learning a foreign language
But yet that becomes confusing, considering their sub-discipline allowance of language acquisition and education. I suspect they are open to more "theoretical" questions on those, and less on "practical application" (as it states, "advice or help" is out of bounds). But I do not know if that leaves enough room for LL.SE to find a niche that makes it viable.
I hope these thoughts at least help those interested in seeing LL.SE succeed in some form to consider whether broadening of scope is needed.