A standard language is a standardized individual language , i.e. a language that has at least one standard variety in addition to its other varieties .
Linguistic standardization includes, among other things, the general validity of a linguistic standard , its codification in grammars and dictionaries , the usability of the language for all important areas of life (polyvalence) and the stylistic differentiation required for this . These features only relate to the training of a certain standard and allow e.g. B. the dialects belonging to the language unchanged.
According to Ulrich Ammon , the instances of the social force field that subsequently “reinforce” a norm that has been “set” and according to which the majority of the population aligns themselves are firstly the “normative authorities” who introduce corrections, secondly the “codifiers” who formulate the language code, thirdly, the “model writers” and “speakers”, according to whose model texts the language users orient themselves, and fourthly, the “language experts”, who give expert opinions. All of these entities not only act against the population, but also interact with each other.
What non-standard varieties, i.e. H. in particular, which dialects are assigned to a certain standard language is not always determined on the basis of the linguistic characteristics of these varieties . In sociolinguistics , the concept of roofing is also used (see umbrella language ): According to this, a dialect belongs to a certain standard language if the speakers of the dialect switch to this standard variety in official situations. However, this only applies to closely related languages, such as Dutch and Standard German.
For example, the same Lower Saxon and Lower Franconian dialects are (were) spoken on both sides of the German-Dutch / Belgian state borders, but different umbrella or written languages. In earlier editions of the lexicon, the Lower Saxon, Lower Franconian and Frisian dialects of the dialect continuum were assigned to the Low German dialects and the Dutch, Flemish and West Frisians were therefore (also) referred to as Low German with their own (Low German or Dutch) written language.
For example, the same Upper German dialects are spoken on both sides of the German-French state border, but (officially) different umbrella or written languages are used. In this case, the dialects are to be assigned to German based solely on linguistic criteria and the umbrella / standard language to French, since the dialect and umbrella language are compared as foreign languages (West Germanic to Romanic) - unlike Dutch to (standard) German (continental- West Germanic dialects ).
In contrast to half a century ago, when the dialect was (still) the main colloquial language not only in the country but also in the cities, today the number of dialect speakers is decreasing from year to year. The native-speaking dialect speakers who are born later learn the state's standard language at an early age and mostly use “Highland” (“High German”) or “Dutch” in school and at work.
In accordance with this situation, but also for political reasons, those dialects whose speakers change to standard German (highland) at the authorities or with foreigners are called German dialects and those dialects whose speakers use standard Dutch in these situations are called Dutch dialects.
Standard languages, too, like dialects, are often pluricentric languages . Varieties of standard German can be found in the entire Lower, Middle and Upper German-speaking area. In contrast, there are the monocentric languages.
“Standard language” is the clearest and most unmistakable term and is therefore the most widely accepted today. Other terms are also used in linguistics. While “standard language” itself goes back to English standard language , the traditional German expressions are “ written language ” (which, however, is also used in the sense of written language , e.g. “written German”) and “high-level language” (e.g. “high German "). Following the example of French langue littéraire and Russian literaturnyj jazyk , “literary language” is also used, but it can be confused with the language of literature .
The characteristics of standardization established by the Prague linguist circle relate to the 20th century and cannot be easily transferred to earlier epochs. Therefore, with regard to historical languages, expressions such as “written language” or “literary language” are preferred to the clearly defined term “standard language”.
Some languages (usually referred to as “written” or “literary language”) are written and read, but not or only rarely used for oral communication. This is based on a kind of diglossia in which two very different varieties of a language or even completely different languages take on different linguistic functions.
Such literary languages can be:
- Old, no longer spoken forms of a language, which are still written and read and are thus an essential part of a people's culture. It is not uncommon for them to serve primarily as sacred language , examples:
- Ancient Greek in the Middle Ages and in modern times
- Latin in the Middle Ages and in Modern Times
- Etruscan in ancient Rome
- Standard Arabic since the Middle Ages until today
- Classical Chinese from the Middle Ages to the 20th century
- Sanskrit from around 500 BC Until our time
- Hebrew from antiquity to today (also used as everyday language since the 20th century, see Iwrit )
- Talmud - Aramaic from the Middle Ages to the present day
- Middle Syriac for many Eastern Churches
- Forms of a language used only as an umbrella language. Examples:
- New High German from Martin Luther until the 18th century and partly still today ( Switzerland )
- Rumantsch Grischun as the umbrella language for the Graubünden Romance dialects since the 1980s
- Ladin Dolomitan as the umbrella language for the Ladin dialects of South Tyrol and neighboring areas has only recently been used.
Selection of language material for standardization
In many standard languages, the standard variety is based on a single dialect, often that of the capital (for example that of Paris in French or that of London in English). The question of which dialect the standard is based on is called questione della lingua , following the Italian model .
A standard language can also have been created as a “compromise” between different dialects, e.g. B. The High German of the monk Martin Luther , who created a standard language for his Bible translation from several Middle and Upper German dialects through an arbitrary selection of the basic vocabulary and a grammar based on or based on Latin and based on the courtly spelling of Saxony .
(not to be confused with "planned languages ")
Every standard language has something planned, but some are characterized by the fact that they were only recently brought to life with the participation of linguists:
- the Serbo-Croatian language , recently also a Croatian language and a Bosnian language
- the Malay language
- the Filipino
- the modern Greek language in the form of the "pure language" Katharevoussa
- New Hebrew is a mixture of different Hebrew forms and is characterized by a large number of constructed neologisms, in some cases the grammar has also been changed
- Rumantsch Grischun
- Dolomite Ladin
- Nynorsk (Nine Norwegian language)
- Ulrich Ammon : Explication of the terms “standard variety” and “standard language” on the basis of norm theory . In: Günter Holtus and Edgar Radtke (eds.): Sprachlicher Substandard, Vol. 1. Niemeyer, Tübingen 1986, ISBN 3-484-22036-8 , pp. 1-63.
- Ulrich Ammon: The German language in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The problem of national varieties. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-11-014753-X .
- Gerhard Augst (Ed.): German Language - Unity and Diversity . In: German lessons. Volume 44 (1992), Issue 6, ISBN 3-61720048-6 .
- Csaba Földes : The German language and its architecture. Aspects of diversity, variability and regionality: considerations of variation theory . In: Studia Linguistica. Volume 24 (2005), pp. 37-59, ISSN 0137-1169 (Acta Universitatis Wratislaviensis; 2743).
- Alfred Lameli: Standard and Substandard. Regionalisms in a diachronic longitudinal section (Journal of Dialectology and Linguistics / Supplements; 128). Steiner, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-515-08558-0 (also dissertation, University of Marburg 2004).
- ^ Ulrich Ammon: The German language in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The problem of national varieties. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-11-014753-X , p. 80 f.
- ↑ Brockhaus . 5th edition.