Error or innovation? The issue of correctness from the perspective of a language historian Cover Image
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Błąd czy innowacja? Problematyka poprawnościowa z perspektywy historyka języka
Error or innovation? The issue of correctness from the perspective of a language historian

Author(s): Mirosława Siuciak
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Theoretical Linguistics
Published by: Towarzystwo Miłośników Języka Polskiego
Keywords: language correctness; error; innovation; the history of language

Summary/Abstract: The author discusses the still current issue of classifying linguistic phenomena inconsistent with the established norm. Most frequently, publications dealing with correctness include all offences against the norm into the category of language errors, which are always valued negatively. However, they also introduce another significant category, that is, language innovation; this phenomenon is at times valued positively.Differentiating between error and innovation is neither simple nor unequivocal, and the authors of textbooks about the culture of language themselves do not take a unified stance on the problem. From a diachronic perspective, the discussion of the aforementioned phenomena is more objectified, for what we treat as innovation is any phenomenon that has permanently entered language. It does not, on the other hand, change the fact that at some point in the development of the Polish language each innovation is a language error. This is perfectly exemplified by 19th-century publications, which marked many forms as glaring mistakes that with time became an integral part of the Polish language and that from a contemporary standpoint are viewed as positive changes.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 36-44
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Polish