standard language

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standard language (plural standard languages)

  1. (sociolinguistics) A form of a language that is institutionally promoted, regarded as the most "correct" or neutral variety; used by a population for public and formal purposes.
    Synonyms: standard, standard dialect, standard variety
    • 2014, Stephan Elspaß, Prescriptive norms and norms of usage in nineteenth-century German, University of Salzburg [Gijsbert Rutten, Rik Vosters, Wim Vandenbussche, Norms and Usage in Language History, 1600–1900: A sociolinguistic and comparative perspective, John Benjamins Publishing Company] p. 303:
      In modern standard languages, norms of usage often seem to be superimposed by prescriptive norms.
  2. (sociolinguistics) A language that has a standard form as one of its varieties; a language that has undergone standardization.
    Synonym: standardized language
    • 1978, James E. Alatis, International Dimensions of Bilingual Education, Georgetown University Press, page xii:
      Some remain clusters of dialects like those of the Pamirs; others are at varying levels of stabilisation; some may be young standard languages, having only recently achieved that status; [...]
    • 1994, Suzanne Romaine, Language in Society: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 85:
      Not all standard languages have the backing of institutions such as the Académie française. English is a good example of a standard language without such a regulatory body.



See also



  • Finegan, Edward (2007) Language: Its Structure and Use[1], Boston: Cengage Learning, →ISBN, page 14
  • Coulmas, Florian (2017) An Introduction to Multilingualism: Language in a Changing World, Oxford University Press, p. 48, →ISBN