Changing codified norms: pros and cons Cover Image

Kodifikuotų normų keitimas: už ir prieš
Changing codified norms: pros and cons

Author(s): Rita Miliūnaitė
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Lietuvių Kalbos Institutas
Keywords: Codification; standard language; variants; sociolinguistics; standardisation

Summary/Abstract: When dealing with problems of codification (legalising standard language norms in writing), the following key points of codification have to be considered: 1) the object of codification (language data); 2) the subject of codification (linguists: individuals and institutions); 3) the mechanism of codification (regulations, procedure of codification, ways of presenting codified norms); 4) principles and criteria of codification; 5) evaluative approach of codification; 6) sources of codification (normative dictionaries, grammars, textbooks, guidelines of practical language use etc.). In the course of standard language development, with its changing usage patterns and changing needs of the language community, the codified norms have to be revised and adjusted to the actual language situation. Thus language codification is not a single act. At different stages of standard language development, its scope and nature could be different varying from fundamental (and therefore essential) to partial (supplementary) codification. When discussing the issue of changing the codified norms, a number of linguistic and extra-linguistic aspects have to be taken into consideration, namely: 1) competition of variants and different stages of the competition; 2) changing value of variants; 3) changing tendencies in the language use of different generations; 4) the time (period) of changing codification; 5) possible reaction of language users to the changing codification; 6) dissemination of information about changes in the codification; 7) general outcomes of the changing codification and their effect on the language functioning and interests of its users. Before introducing changes in the codified norm or even when planning a wider reform of codification, the following steps have to be taken: 1) investigating the tendencies of actual use focusing on linguistic habits of different generations; 2) preparing the theoretical basis by defining the regulations and procedure of the codification; 3) conducting a public opinion poll on possible changes in the codified norms. Codified norms should be changed consistently preserving the original features of the language as well as the ability to perform a variety of language functions in the changing society.

  • Issue Year: 2007
  • Issue No: 80
  • Page Range: 7-23
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Lithuanian