Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Anne Pakir on Standardization

Pakir (1997) writes that "we well recognize that:

standardization is the recognition of the status of a particular variety;
standardization does not tolerate variability;
standardization is motivated by social, political, and commercial needs;
standardization is promoted;
standardization is an ideology; and
standard language is an idea in the mind rather than a reality"

Once again, this word reality -- I want to reclaim it. Standard language is a reality. It's a reality because it's an idea. Ideas are real and have real consequences. I'm happy to say "standard language as a system with special characteristics that make it sacrosanct" is not a reality.

Anyway, Pakir's main concern is actually codification. I need to read a little more about what that is.

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