A taxonomy of linguistic questions in Questions and Answer platforms
Question and answer portals allow users to post and answer questions on a number of subjects, among which languages, and constitute a perfect embodiment of the tenets of social media. Although these have been the subject of a rather vast literature in the field of Second Language Acquisition, Question and Answer (Q&A) portals have so far been scarcely considered by these studies. This paper aims to contribute to fill this gap and lay groundwork in this area by working out a taxonomy of questions, in order to find out which language-related topics are dealt with in such venues. The authors collected a data set of 800 questions from the Languages section of the Italian version of the Yahoo! Answer portal and defined a taxonomy of question types and categories. The study highlights that the majority of such questions concern linguistic support, thus confirming that Q&A portals can be a source of informal language learning and deserve the attention of research in this field.
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