What is prescriptivism and who holds prescriptive views (3 examples)?
Prescriptivism: Languages have a set of externally set rules that speakers should follow.
Who: Dictionary writers, grammar writers, government institutions (media, education, civil service, etc.) employers, parents, everyone?
What is descriptivism and for what historical and linguistic reasons is it used?
Descriptivism: Interest in how people actually speak.
Historical reasons: e.g. the development of English from Indo-European
Linguistic reasons: all varieties have fully functioning grammars acquired by native speakers.
How do pre- and descriptivist views on grammar differ?
learned vs. acquired.
prescriptivist views treat grammar as external set of rules imposed from outside by authority.
descriptivist views treat grammar as complex and abstract human system, not imposed overtly.
What attitudes towards language to we leave school with?
We acquire prescriptivist views through school. A sense of what is 'right' or 'wrong' and what can and cannot be written. Prioritise written over spoken. Language structure= tied to written language.
Why do sociolinguists call standard languages artificial?
What other aspects (apart from being artificial) don't sociolinguists like about standard languages?
What are some of the differences between writing and speech?
- no paralinguistic cues
- unspoken background language
- largely solitary, not so social;
- doesn't permit vagueness, ellipsis, ambiguitiy, etc. to the same extent
- planned, context-free, elaborated, permanent, learned
How do standard language forms oppress non-standard ones?
Constant standard use in formal contexts by powerful people leads speakers to: