English Language Standardization

1041 Words5 Pages
Who is Samuel Johnson? “He was an English writer and critic, and one of the most celebrated literary figures of the 18th century. His best-known work is his 'Dictionary of the English Language'”. (BBC, 2014). English language is a hybrid language that borrowed words from many origins such as Latin, French and German. The English language is also used by many people. Specialist started the process of English language standardization as early as the sixteenth century. Hogan (1966) pointed out that the process of standardization consists of: selection of dialect to be the standard, codification by which "norms are elucidated and captured in dictionaries or grammars" (Beal, 2012). This is followed by elaboration and implementation. Although, the process of standardization started in sixteenth century and eighteenth century, yet there was still a good deal of variability in language. This essay discusses the development of English language codified in both dictionaries and grammar books, with their descriptive and prescriptive approach. The process of codification started in the eighteenth century and it relied on both grammar books and dictionaries. The major authority was held by grammarians who produced grammar books that answer the demands for vocabulary in the vernacular. These books included comprehensive information for correct usage of words. A prominent example was Wallis's Grammatical Linguae Anglican (1653), which acted as a pedagogical aid
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