Constructing Languages

Norms, myths and emotions

ORCID logoFrancesc Feliu | University of Girona, ISIC-IVITRA
Josep M. Nadal | Institut d'Estudis Catalans, University of Girona, ISIC-IVITRA
ISBN 9789027240194 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027266637 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
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As language historians we believe that the subject of our study is neither natural languages nor idiolects which speakers have always been able to develop individually (loosely what Chomsky calls L-i), but rather the social constructions of reference shared by all speakers (basically what Chomsky terms as L-e ). In this context the language historian essentially studies how a public L-e is built such that it can be understood as the language of all (i.e. hiding L-i variations) and also how L-e succeed in replacing the primary reality of idiolects, even if only in the imagination.
Writing represents a crucial turning point in language construction, because it made it possible to materialize the abstraction that, until then, related speakers could only guess and besides it comes into competition with individual languages.
In modern centuries, the provision of grammars, dictionaries and other such learning tools and systematizing instruments strengthens the idea that, because of their normative character, languages can be learned through study. Mythical stories encourage the achievement of prescriptive rules and lead speakers to link emotions to their language. Therefore, the topics of reflection that we want to discuss in this volume are: Norms, Myths and Emotions related to language construction.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“La « construction des langues » justement, est un sujet audacieux qui va audelà des définitions habituelles de la langue [...] Cet ouvrage s’attaque aux émotions, aux mythes et aux normes qui participent à la reconnaissance des langues et à la définition de ce qu’est réellement une langue pour les spécialistes comme pour tous les usagers.”
“Most authors of this book are very well-known specialists, who provide renewed knowledge about the history of European languages. [...] Very little work could be found in the same vein, and there is no doubt that the book will impulse new dimensions in the study of languages.”
Cited by

Cited by 5 other publications

Ayres-Bennett, Wendy
2021. Modelling Language Standardization. In The Cambridge Handbook of Language Standardization,  pp. 27 ff. DOI logo
Ayres-Bennett, Wendy
2023. Modelant l’estandardització. In Desired Language [IVITRA Research in Linguistics and Literature, 35],  pp. 189 ff. DOI logo
Wendy Ayres-Bennett & John Bellamy
2021. The Cambridge Handbook of Language Standardization, DOI logo
Cloutier, Robert, Nuria Yáñez-Bouza, Radosław Święciński, Gea Dreschler, Sune Gregersen, Beáta Gyuris, Kathryn Allan, Maggie Scott, Lieselotte Anderwald, Alexander Kautzsch, Sven Leuckert, Tihana Kraš, Alessia Cogo, Tian Gan, Ida Parise & Jessica Norledge
2018. IEnglish Language. The Year's Work in English Studies 97:1  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Ginebra, Jordi

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Main BIC Subject

CFF: Historical & comparative linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2016022368 | Marc record