Approaches to Language Change: Prescriptivism vs. Descriptivism

A mind map summarising the different approaches people can have to how and why language changes. Does NOT include theorists: please see an alternate mind map for those. 

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  • Approaches to Language Change
    • Prescriptive
      • Change within language is a "corruption" and that there are "correct" forms of language that should be followed.
      • Rules are "prescribed" - these should be followed to have the "correct" use of language.
        • Prejudice
        • Elitism
      • Blame is aimed at the media, television and teachers for allowing standards to slaken.
    • Descriptive
      • Reflects languages and acknowledges its changing shape.
      • Linguistically,all languages are equal.
        • None are superior or inferior.
        • Lots of varieties of language: dialectually, by country, bilingual changes etc.
      • Every grammar is equally complex and logical.


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