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Linguistic purism or linguistic protectionism is the prescriptivepractice of defining or recognizing one variety of a language as being purer or of intrinsically higher quality than other varieties. Linguistic purism was institutionalized through language academies (of which the 1572 Accademia della Crusca set a model example in Europe), and their decisions often have the force of law.
The perceived or actual decline identified by the purists may take the form of change of vocabulary, syncretism of grammatical elements, or loanwords.[ citation needed ] The unwanted similarity is often with a neighboring language whose speakers are culturally or politically dominant.[ citation needed ] The ideal may invoke logic, clarity, or the grammar of classic languages. It is often presented as conservative measure, as a protection of a language from the encroachment of other languages or of conservation of the national Volksgeist, but is often innovative in defining a new standard. It is sometimes part of governmental language policy which is enforced in various ways.
The practice opposite of purism, when borrowed words displace native ones, also exists. For example, in English the native word 'bookstaff' (German Buchstabe) was replaced by the Latin word 'letter'.
In one common case, two closely related languages or language varieties are in direct competition, one weaker, the other stronger. Speakers of the stronger language may characterize the weaker language as a "dialect" of the strong language, with the implication that it has no independent existence. In response, defenders of the other language will go to great lengths to prove that their language is equally autonomous.
In this context, Yiddish and Dutch have in the past sometimes been considered dialects of German. In the case of Low German, spoken in eastern Netherlands and northern Germany, the debate is still current, as it could be considered a dialect of Dutch or German or a language of its own. An example of a related language that has only recently attained the status of an official national language is Luxembourgish. Since linguistic science offers no scholarly definition of a dialect, and linguists regard the distinction with scepticism – see A language is a dialect with an army and navy – the argument is really about subjective questions of identity politics, and at times it can invoke extreme emotions from the participants.
Closely related languages often tend to mix. One way of preventing this is to use different writing systems or different spelling systems.
Examples of this include:
Various scholars have devised classifications of purism. These classifications take different criteria as their starting point and are therefore partly independent of each other.
This classification of puristic orientations made by George Thomas represents ideal forms. In practice, though, these orientations are often combined.
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways to refer to two different types of linguistic phenomena:
The German language is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Italian province of South Tyrol. It is also a co-official language of Luxembourg, Belgium and parts of southwestern Poland, as well as a national language in Namibia. German is most similar to other languages within the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German, Luxembourgish, Scots, and Yiddish. It also contains close similarities in vocabulary to Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish, although these belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language after English.
Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in India. Hindi has been described as a standardised and Sanskritised register of the Hindustani language, which itself is based primarily on the Khariboli dialect of Delhi and neighbouring areas of Northern India. Hindi, written in the Devanagari script, is one of the two official languages of the Government of India, along with the English language. It is an official language in 9 States and 3 Union Territories and an additional official language in 3 other States. Hindi is also one of the 22 scheduled languages of the Republic of India.
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken mainly in Norway, where it is an official language. Along with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a dialect continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional varieties; some Norwegian and Swedish dialects, in particular, are very close. These Scandinavian languages, together with Faroese and Icelandic as well as some extinct languages, constitute the North Germanic languages. Faroese and Icelandic are not mutually intelligible with Norwegian in their spoken form because continental Scandinavian has diverged from them. While the two Germanic languages with the greatest numbers of speakers, English and German, have close similarities with Norwegian, neither is mutually intelligible with it. Norwegian is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era.
Latvian, also known as Lettish, is an Eastern Baltic language spoken in the Baltic region. It is the language of Latvians and the official language of Latvia as well as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 1.3 million native Latvian speakers in Latvia and 100,000 abroad. Altogether, 2 million, or 80% of the population of Latvia, speak Latvian. Of those, around 1.16 million or 62% used it as their primary language at home.
The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages—a sub-family of the Indo-European languages—along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages. The language group is also referred to as the "Nordic languages", a direct translation of the most common term used among Danish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish scholars and laypeople.
Finnish orthography is based on the Latin script, and uses an alphabet derived from the Swedish alphabet, officially comprising 29 letters but also has two additional letters found in some loanwords. The Finnish orthography strives to represent all morphemes phonologically and, roughly speaking, the sound value of each letter tends to correspond with its value in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) – although some discrepancies do exist.
In linguistics, diglossia is a situation in which two dialects or languages are used by a single language community. In addition to the community's everyday or vernacular language variety, a second, highly codified lect is used in certain situations such as literature, formal education, or other specific settings, but not used normally for ordinary conversation. In most cases, the H variety has no native speakers but various degrees of fluency of the low speakers.
Cyrillization or Cyrillisation is the process of rendering words of a language that normally uses a writing system other than Cyrillic script into the Cyrillic alphabet. Although such a process has often been carried out in an ad hoc fashion, the term "cyrillization" usually refers to a consistent system applied, for example, to transcribe names of German, Chinese, or English people and places for use in Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Macedonian or Bulgarian newspapers and books. Cyrillization is analogous to romanization, when words from a non-Latin-script-using language are rendered in the Latin alphabet for use
Atong is a Sino-Tibetan language related to Koch, Rabha, Bodo and Garo. It is spoken in the South Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills districts of Meghalaya state in Northeast India, southern Kamrup district in Assam, and adjacent areas in Bangladesh. The correct spelling "Atong" is based on the way the speakers themselves pronounce the name of their language. There is no glottal stop in the name and it is not a tonal language.
In linguistics, mutual intelligibility is a relationship between languages or dialects in which speakers of different but related varieties can readily understand each other without prior familiarity or special effort. It is sometimes used as an important criterion for distinguishing languages from dialects, although sociolinguistic factors are often also used.
Linguistic purism in English involves opposition to foreign influence in the English language. English has been the subject of intense external pressures since the Norman conquest of England, and much of its native vocabulary and grammar have been supplanted by features of Latinate and Greek origin. Efforts to remove or consider the removal of foreign terms in English are often known as Anglish, a term coined by author and humorist Paul Jennings in 1966.
A pluricentric language or polycentric language is a language with several interacting codified standard forms, often corresponding to different countries. Examples include Chinese, English, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Tamil. The converse case is a monocentric language, which has only one formally standardized version. Examples include Japanese and Russian. In some cases, the different standards of a pluricentric language may be elaborated until they become autonomous languages, as happened with Malaysian and Indonesian, and with Hindi and Urdu. The same process is under way in Serbo-Croatian.
Language reform is a kind of language planning by widespread change to a language. The typical methods of language reform are simplification and linguistic purism. Simplification regularises vocabulary, grammar, or spelling. Purism aligns the language with a form which is deemed 'purer'.
Linguistic purism in Icelandic is the policy of discouraging new loanwords from entering the language, by creating new words from Old Icelandic and Old Norse roots. In Iceland, linguistic purism is archaising, trying to resuscitate the language of a golden age of Icelandic literature. The effort began in the early 19th century, at the dawn of the Icelandic national movement, aiming at replacing older loanwords, especially from Danish, and it continues today, targeting English words. It is widely upheld in Iceland and it is the dominant language ideology. It is fully supported by the Icelandic government through the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, the Icelandic Language Council, the Icelandic Language Fund and an Icelandic Language Day.
The vocabulary of the Icelandic language is heavily derived from and built upon Old Norse and contains relatively few loanwords; where these do exist their spelling is often heavily adapted to that of other Icelandic words.
Orthographic transcription is a transcription method that employs the standard spelling system of each target language.