Language Change- Standardization of the English Language (Part I)

Language change over time revision, outline key points about standardization of the English Language. For Further reading, find my docu on recommended books for a2 english language revision 

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Language Change-
Standardization of the English
Language (Part I)
Once the English Language has evolved it was suddenly taken over by French. At that time Latin
continued to be the language of religion, scholarship and education. From this, we have what might
be referred to as a Triglossic Situation, with the English Language once more reduced to a Low
Language and the high functions of the language shared between French and Latin.
At the same time a social distinction was introduced within the spoken medium; in that English as a
low language was spoken mainly by common people, while one of the high languages- French,
became the language of the aristocrat. The use of the other high language- Latin, at first remained
strictly defined as the medium of the church, though eventually it would be adopted for
administrative purposes as well.
Definition of Standardization:
Lesley and James Milroy (1991) in the Authority in Language defined Standardization as the
suppression of optional variety in language observing that "the various stages that are usually
involved in the development of a standard language can be described as a consequence of a need of
uniformity that's felt by influential portions of the society in a given time".
They then identified the stages of the Standardization process of language, these are as follow:
1. Selection
2. Acceptance (normalization)
3. Diffusion
4. Maintenance
5. Elaboration of Function
6. Codification
7. Prescription
Noah Webster: developed a standardization programme for the American English in 1828


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