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By Lesley Milroy

This ebook has an excellent music checklist; of its type its the simplest out there. - Deborah Cameron, collage of Strathclyde This influential and known publication has been largely revised and incorporates a new bankruptcy on linguistic discrimination at the foundation of sophistication, race and ethnicity. different themes coated contain: * nationwide Curriculum and arguments approximately linguistic correctness * * new different types of English (including African American English) * attitudes to languageThese revisions be sure Authority in Language is still topical and up to date.

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Extra resources for Authority in Language: Investigating Standard English (Third edition)

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In the 1960s, Chomsky argued against ‘corpus-based’ linguistics. As a result, much of the grammatical theorising of the 1960s and 1970s was based on the middle-class Standard English of the scholars themselves (for a critique of this see Labov, 1972b:292). It was further assumed that differences between dialects were probably only superficial (we shall see in Chapter 4 that there are at least some dialectal differences that are very deep-rooted). It seems to us that those who proposed and accepted these theories may themselves have been influenced by the ideology of standardisation, which inclines us all to view a language as a relatively fixed, invariant and unchanging entity.

If we consider standardisation in matters outside language, the notion applies rather obviously to other media of exchange, such as money, or weights and measures. Thus the coinage is strictly standardised so that there can be no variation in the values assigned to the counters in the system, and the aim of this standardisation is to ensure reliability and hence confidence. Language is also a medium of exchange, albeit a very much more complex medium than coinage, and the aim of language standardisation is the same.

There is therefore little evidence to support the popular view that mass communications inevitably bring about uniformity of usage; yet we can say that standardisation has advanced over the centuries in certain ways. First, there is no doubt that great uniformity has been achieved in the written channel: the scribe of Havelok the Dane (c. 1300) used a writing system that permitted many variations in spelling: the word right, for example, could be spelt as riht, rith, richt, ricth, rist. e. a public consciousness of the standard.

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