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Encyclopedia > Standard language

A standard language (also standard dialect or standardized dialect) is a particular variety of a language that has been given either legal or quasi-legal status. It is said to be the most "correct" language of a nation. D2 A variety of a language is a form that differs from other forms of the language systematically and coherently. ...

Usually, but not always, based on the tongue of a capital city, a standard language is defined by the selection of certain regional and class markers, and the rejection of others. This is the version of a language that is typically taught to learners of the language as a foreign language, and most texts written in that language follow its spelling and grammar norms. A foreign language is a language not spoken by the indigenous people of a certain place: for example, English is a foreign language in Japan. ... Proper spelling is the writing of a word or words with all necessary letters and diacritics present in an accepted, conventional order. ... Grammar is the study of rules governing the use of language. ... The word norm coming from the latin word norma which means angle measure or (lawlike) rule, has a number of meanings: A social or sociological norm; see norm (sociology). ...

Some of the features that identify a standard language include:

  • A recognized dictionary or group of dictionaries which embody a standardized spelling and vocabulary;
  • A recognized grammar which records the forms, rules and structures of the language, and which commends some forms and castigates others;
  • A standard system of pronunciation, which is considered "educated" or "proper" speech by the speakers, and which is considered free from regional marking;
  • An institution promoting the use of the language and given some authority in defining the norms of its use, such as the Académie française;
  • Statutes or constitutions giving that language an official legal status in a country's system of law;
  • The use of the language in public life, such as in the work of courts and legislatures;
  • A canon of literature;
  • Translations of important sacred texts such as the Bible into that language, which are considered to be authoritative by their believers;
  • The teaching of the language's standards of grammar and spelling in schools;
  • The selection of this particular dialect of a language as being especially appropriate to be taught to learners of foreign languages.

The creation of a standard language represents the triumph of a certain variety of linguistic prescription; its selection means that the speech of areas with features that vary from the standard so upheld are devalued or "deprecated." This means that in some countries, the selection of a standard language is a social and political issue. The act of seeking to define a language standard can be an act of nationalism or support of political devolution. ... A vocabulary is a set of words known to a person or other entity, or that are part of a specific language. ... Pronunciation refers to: the way a word or a language is usually spoken; the manner in which someone utters a word. ... Mark or march (or various plural forms of these words) are derived from the Frankish word marka (boundary) and refer to an area along a border, e. ... The Académie française, or French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. ... A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ... Law (from the Old Norse lagu) in politics and jurisprudence, is a set of rules or norms of conduct which mandate, proscribe or permit specified relationships among people and organizations, intended to provide methods for ensuring the impartial treatment of such people, and provide punishments of/for those who do... A court is an official, public forum which a sovereign establishes by lawful authority to adjudicate disputes, and to dispense civil, labour, administrative and criminal justice under the law. ... A legislature is a governmental deliberative assembly with the power to adopt laws. ... A canon refers to a list or collection of books and scriptures accepted by an ecclesiastic communion as authoritative or divinely inspired. ... Literature is literally acquaintance with letters as in the first sense given in the Oxford English Dictionary (from the Latin littera meaning an individual written character (letter)). The term has generally come to identify a collection of texts, mainly novels, drama and poetry. ... Many religions and spiritual movements believe that their sacred texts (or scriptures) are the Word of God, often feeling that the texts are wholly divine or spiritually inspired in origin. ... The Bible (tanak/h in hebrew language) (sometimes The Holy Bible, The Book, Good Book, Word of God, The Word, or Scripture), from Greek (τα) βιβλια, (ta) biblia, (the) books, is the classical name for the Hebrew Bible of Judaism or the combination of the Old Testament and New Testament of Christianity... American high school students in a school A school is most commonly a place designated for learning. ... In linguistics, prescription is the laying down or prescribing of normative rules for a language. ... In computer software standards and documentation, deprecation is the gradual phasing-out of a software or programming language feature. ... Politics is the process by which decisions are made within groups. ... // Nationalism is an ideology which holds that the nation, ethnicity or national identity is a fundamental unit of human social life, and makes certain cultural and political claims based upon that belief; in particular, the claim that the nation is the only legitimate basis for the state, and that each... It has been suggested that Devolved government be merged into this article or section. ...

In Norwegian, for example, two parallel standard languages exist, one called Bokmål, based partly on the local pronunciation of Danish back when Norway was ruled by Denmark; and a second, called Nynorsk, based on a mixture of dialects from western Norway. While Italian contains dialects that vary from each other even more than the two versions of Norwegian do, there remains a single standard Italian; curiously, standard Italian is not based on the speech of the capital, Rome, but on the speech of Florence. In Spain, Standard Spanish is likewise not based on the speech of Madrid, but on the more northerly province of Valladolid. City motto: Senatus Populusque Romanus – SPQR (The Senate and the People of Rome) Founded 21 April 753 BC mythical, 1st millennium BC Region Latium Mayor Walter Veltroni (Left-Wing Democrats) Area  - City Proper  1285 km² Population  - City (2004)  - Metropolitan  - Density (city proper) 2. ... Founded 59 BC as Florentia Region Tuscany Mayor Leonardo Domenici (Democratici di Sinistra) Area  - City Proper  102 km² Population  - City (2004)  - Metropolitan  - Density (city proper) 356,000 almost 500,000 3,453/km² Time zone CET, UTC+1 Latitude Longitude 43°47 N 11°15 E www. ... Madrid is the capital and largest city in Spain, as well as in the province and the autonomous community of the same name. ... Categories: Spain geography stubs | Castile-Leon | Provinces of Spain ...

Standard German is not based on a specific city or region but was developed over a process of several hundred years, in which writers tried to write in a way that was understood in the largest area. Until about 1800 Standard German was almost entirely a written language. In this time, people in northern Germany, who spoke Low German dialects very different from Standard German, learnt it almost like a foreign language. Later the Northern pronunciation was considered standard and spread southward; in some regions (such as around Hanover) the local dialect completely died out. Low German (also called Plattdeutsch, Plattdüütsch or Low Saxon) is a name for the regional language varieties of the Low Germanic languages spoken mainly in northern Germany, southern Denmark and eastern Netherlands. ... Hanover (German: Hannover []), on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany. ...

The basic structure and words in standard Finnish (yleiskieli) are largely based on Western Finnish. One reason is that Mikael Agricola, who conceived the written language in the 1500's, was from Turku, the capital at the time. However, the language was consciously developed further to become a fusion of dialects and a "logical" language for "proper" written text. One aim was national unification, in accordance to the nationalistic principle. Another was regularity and consistency, even if it goes against the general usage. For example, ruoka becomes ruoan in standard language, when the pronunciation is ruuan. Thus the terms yleiskieli and standard language do not coincide exactly; the Finnish standard language does not have a spoken register. The standard language became a homogenizing force on the dialects, when mobility of the work force increased, creating the language of generic spoken Finnish. This is a dialect seen as "accentless", but considerably different from yleiskieli. Mikael Agricola Mikael Agricola (c. ... Province Western Finland Region Finland Proper Sub-region Turku City manager Mikko Pukkinen Official languages Finnish, Swedish Area  - total  - land ranked 311th 245. ... In linguistics, a register is a subset of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. ... This article deals with features of the spoken Finnish language, specifically how it is spoken in Greater Helsinki capital region and the cities in the Central Finnish dialectal area, such as Jyväskylä, Lahti, Hyvinkää, and Hämeenlinna. ...

Other standard languages present fewer complicating factors. The pre-eminence of Parisian French has reigned largely unchallenged throughout the history of recent French literature. In British English, the standard Received Pronunciation is based on the language of the upper classes in the London area, and is based on the sociolect that comes out of the British private boarding schools. The Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of Paris throughout the world. ... British English (BrE) is a term used to differentiate the form of the English language used in the United Kingdom from other forms of the English language used elsewhere. ... Received Pronunciation (RP) is a form of pronunciation of the English language, sometimes defined as the educated spoken English of southeastern England. ... The term upper class refers to a group of people at the top of a social hierarchy. ... London is the capital city of the United Kingdom and of England. ... A public school, in current English, Welsh and Northern Ireland usage, is a (usually) prestigious independent school, for children usually between the ages of 11 or 13 and 18, which charges fees and is not financed by the state. ...

In the United States, there are variations of American English throughout but the General American accent is considered unofficial because it is perceived as accentless by most Americans. American English (AmE) is the dialect of the English language used mostly in the United States of America. ... General American is a notional accent of American English based on speech patterns common in the Midwest of the United States and those used by many American network television broadcasters. ...

There is no official language in the entire United States; the U.S. federal government has no official language. However, many U.S. states and territories have designated English as the official state language, and six juristictions recognize English and an additional language (Louisiana, New Mexico, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa). The Northern Mariana Islands are officially trilingual. ... A U.S. state is any one of the fifty states (four of which officially favor the term commonwealth) which, with the District of Columbia, forms the United States of America. ...

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Standard Mandarin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3573 words)
The grammar of Standard Mandarin is standardized to the body of modern works written in Vernacular Chinese, which in practice follows the tradition of the Mandarin group of dialects most closely with some notable exceptions.
However, all of these standard dialects were probably unknown outside the educated elite; even among the elite, pronunciations may have been very different, as the unifying factor of all Chinese dialects, Classical Chinese, was a written standard, not a spoken one.
Curiously the use of standard Mandarin in the 20th century has supplanted the use of pidgin English which was used as a common language in some parts of southern China in the 18th and 19th century.
  More results at FactBites »



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