The Concept of Minimal Intervention Cover Image

Koncept minimální intervence
The Concept of Minimal Intervention

Author(s): Václav Cvrček
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: AV ČR - Akademie věd České republiky - Ústav pro jazyk český
Keywords: intervention; codification; language regulation; prescription; description

Summary/Abstract: The Concept of Minimal Intervention (CMI) is a “methodological bill” concerning linguists and their approach toward the language and its speakers. CMI represents one possible approach to language, implying programmatic character. CMI prerequisites are: 1) There is no reason why linguistics should infringe upon language development through its interventions and thus disqualify speakers for their (natural) linguistic behavior. 2) The language has been evolving into a sensible instrument of communication, needing no assistance from linguists. 3) The arbitrary nature of linguistic means draws on their usage, and involves the ways of using constituents; it is thus not beneficial when linguistics violates, through its interventions, the very fact of this choice taken by the majority. CMI is delimited by the endeavor to minimize linguists’ interventional pressure on language and its speakers; CMI’s goal is to bring the language situation as close to the condition marked by the existence of a spontaneously constituted order of norms which is “only” passively recorded by linguists. Since zero intervention is irreconcilable with the existence of linguistics, it is necessary to deliberately weaken potential linguistic interventions through a pluralism of descriptions which should expressly declare the goals they pursue and which (communicative) functions they favor.

  • Issue Year: 69/2008
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 284-292
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Czech