Evolution of French Prescriptivism

Prescriptive attitudes to language seem to be more deeply engrained in France than in many other speech-communities. This article traces their development between the sixteenth century and the present day within the model of language standardization proposed by E. Haugen and in the light of the notion of ‘standard ideology’ proposed by J. and L. Milroy. It will be argued that early definitions of what was considered ‘the best French’ were based simply on the observed usage of ‘the best people’; later it was felt that the standard required more permanent jusitification, giving rise to the idea that the ‘best French’ was the ‘best’ because it was the variety most closely in line with clarity and reason; a third stage was reached with the French Revolution when this variety of French became mandatory for everyone wishing to be considered ‘French’ and ‘reasonable’. Powerful institutional forces are engaged in promoting and maintaining this ideology in contemporary France, but excessive rigidity in the traditional standard in the face of the alternative norms which exert countervailing pressures on speakers could lead to a sitution of diglossia.


Sounds as though it has often been used for discrimination.

Folksonomies: prescriptivism

/law, govt and politics/legal issues/civil rights (0.399793)
/travel/tourist destinations/france (0.255465)
/law, govt and politics/legal issues/human rights (0.210833)

French Prescriptivism Sounds (0.953947 (positive:0.330837)), Powerful institutional forces (0.853716 (positive:0.524005)), Prescriptive attitudes (0.665454 (negative:-0.485350)), ‘standard ideology (0.631724 (neutral:0.000000)), L. Milroy (0.624742 (neutral:0.000000)), E. Haugen (0.621879 (neutral:0.000000)), excessive rigidity (0.619057 (neutral:0.000000)), sixteenth century (0.596699 (neutral:0.000000)), alternative norms (0.581974 (neutral:0.000000)), observed usage (0.580220 (positive:0.429328)), language standardization (0.578043 (neutral:0.000000)), early definitions (0.561325 (positive:0.402271)), permanent jusitification (0.556320 (neutral:0.000000)), best people (0.544558 (positive:0.429328)), contemporary France (0.539462 (positive:0.524005)), traditional standard (0.537984 (neutral:0.000000)), French Revolution (0.535795 (neutral:0.000000)), variety (0.306993 (positive:0.210591)), notion (0.290161 (neutral:0.000000)), pressures (0.287601 (neutral:0.000000)), discrimination (0.282477 (negative:-0.257826)), clarity (0.282190 (positive:0.210591)), reason (0.271097 (positive:0.210591)), rise (0.268658 (positive:0.251032)), speech-communities (0.268100 (negative:-0.485350)), idea (0.266998 (positive:0.251032)), article (0.265901 (neutral:0.000000)), development (0.265801 (neutral:0.000000)), model (0.265436 (neutral:0.000000)), light (0.265071 (neutral:0.000000))

France:Country (0.766242 (positive:0.019327)), E. Haugen:Person (0.547092 (neutral:0.000000)), L. Milroy:Person (0.484145 (neutral:0.000000)), J.:Person (0.367535 (neutral:0.000000))

Voltaire (0.946013): dbpedia | freebase | yago
French language (0.837799): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Modern history (0.822708): dbpedia | freebase | yago
French Revolution (0.816846): dbpedia | freebase
Ideology (0.807439): dbpedia | freebase
Standardization (0.792555): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Switzerland (0.781058): geo | website | dbpedia | ciaFactbook | freebase | opencyc | yago
Present (0.768143): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 Authority, prescriptivism abd the French standard language
Periodicals>Journal Article:  Lodge, R. Anthony (March 1991), Authority, prescriptivism abd the French standard language, Journal of French Language Studies, Volume 1 / Issue 01 / March 1991, pp 93-111, Cambridge University, Retrieved on 2015-04-01
  • Source Material [journals.cambridge.org]
  • Folksonomies: prescriptivism language


    31 DEC 2010

     Arguments for English Spelling Reform

    This schema is a collection of arguments about how proper grammar, with its illogical and inconsistently applied rules, is used by academics and intellectuals to create a privileged class of people who's ideas deserve considering because they have successfully learned the irrational system.
    Folksonomies: phonetics grammar
    Folksonomies: phonetics grammar