Linguistic purism  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Linguistic purism or linguistic protectionism is the definition of one variety of a language as being purer than other varieties, often in reference to a perceived decline from an ideal past or an unwanted similarity with other languages, but sometimes simply to an abstract ideal. The perceived decline may take the form of change of vocabulary, syncretism of grammatical elements, or loanwords. The unwanted similarity is often with a neighboring language whose speakers are culturally or politically dominant. The abstract ideal may invoke logic, clarity, or the grammar of "classic" languages. It is often presented as conservative, as a "protection" of a language from the "aggression" of other languages or of "conservation" of the national Volksgeist, but is often innovative in defining a new standard. It is sometimes part of governmental language policy which is enforced in various ways.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Linguistic purism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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