A Comparison and History of Linguistic Definition Cause and Effect Essay by brookey

A Comparison and History of Linguistic Definition
This paper discusses the events leading up to the development of a common form of Standard English in England and America. It also discusses the effects of Standard English on dialect and bilingualism in America.
# 119226 | 2,931 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Apr 12, 2010 in Linguistics (General)

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This paper delves into the different defintions of the term "Standard English" that different linguists have formed and discusses the prescriptivist and descriptivist views of Standard English. In addition, it catalogues the significant historical events from 1500-1800 that led to the development of a common form of Standard English such as the English version of the King James Bible, the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation and especially the effect on Standard English and dialect of the American Revolution. The paper also talks about how the development of Standard English has affected bilingualism and dialect in America.

Defining the term "Standard English"
Social, Political and Intellectual Influences Before and After the American Revolution
The Effect of Standard English on Dialects and Bilingualism in America
Personal Reflection

From the Paper:

"By the end of the eighteenth century Standard English was, for the most part, fixed in its current form due to the fact that it was affected and molded by the social mores of the eighteenth century. However, how do we define the term "Standard English?" Various linguists have differing opinions on this topic. William Bullokar wrote the first grammar book in 1586 which was titled Bref Grammar for English, and it began the now common process of attempting to develop a correct and uniform version of Standard English. Two schools of thought exist on the definition of this term, and the linguists who support these theories are called prescriptivists and descriptivists. Martha Kolln and Robert Funk, two authorities on this subject, believe that the definition of this term changes over time due to a number of different attempts at usage, and they also believe that new definitions replace old ones over time in the process of language evolution. The prescriptivist view of Standard English emerged first, and descriptivist theories followed closely behind. Prescriptivists define Standard English as the correct way that we are supposed to speak and write under the assumption that there is one ideal form of Standard English. Descriptivists believe that there are numerous dialects of Standard English and that what we should focus on is the appropriate usage in certain situations and not worry so much about correctness (5). Other linguists have various opinions. For example, L.M. Meyers argues that, "...a good deal of what an Englishman or American learns under the name of grammar has nothing to do with the use of our language; and a good deal more is in direct conflict with the actual practices of most educated people" (24). Myers defines it as the type of English that is commonly used by educated people with good social standing (34)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Keller, Joseph R. Linguistic Theory and the Study of English: A Selective Outline. Minneapolis: Burgess Publishing Company, 1968. Print.
  • Knowles, Gerry. A Cultural History of the English Language. New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc., 1997. Print.
  • Kolln, Martha and Robert Funk. Understanding English Grammar. New York: Longman, 2002. Print.
  • Marckwardt, Albert H. and Fred G. Walcott. Facts About Current English Usage. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1966. Print.
  • Millward, C.M. A Biography of the English Language. Boston: Thomson Wadsworth, 1996. Print.

Cite this Cause and Effect Essay:

APA Format

A Comparison and History of Linguistic Definition (2010, April 12) Retrieved December 09, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/cause-and-effect-essay/a-comparison-and-history-of-linguistic-definition-119226/

MLA Format

"A Comparison and History of Linguistic Definition" 12 April 2010. Web. 09 December. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/cause-and-effect-essay/a-comparison-and-history-of-linguistic-definition-119226/>