::Linguistic prescription


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{{#invoke:redirect hatnote|redirect}} {{#invoke:Sidebar|sidebar}} Linguistic prescription (or prescriptivism) is the practice of elevating one variety or manner of language use over another. It may imply some forms are incorrect, improper, illogical, lack communicative effect, or are of low aesthetic value.<ref name="Edwards2009p259"/> Sometimes informed by linguistic purism,<ref name="Janicki2006p155"/> these normative practices may address such linguistics aspects as spelling, grammar, semantics, pronunciation, and syntax. They may also include judgments on socially proper and politically correct language use.

Linguistic prescriptivism may aim to establish a standard language, teach what a particular society perceives as a correct form, or advise on effective communication. If usage preferences are conservative, prescription might appear resistant to language change; if radical, it may produce neologisms.<ref name="McArthur1992generic">McArthur (1992)</ref>{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Page needed |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[page needed] }}

Prescriptive approaches to language are often contrasted with descriptive linguistics, which observes and records how language actually is used.<ref name="McArthur1992p286"/> The basis of linguistic research is text (corpus) analysis and field study, both of which are descriptive activities. Description, however, may include researchers' observations of their own language usage.

Despite being apparent opposites, prescription and description may inform each other,<ref name="McArthur1992generic"/>{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Page needed |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[page needed] }} as comprehensive descriptive accounts must take speaker preferences into account, and an understanding of how language is actually used is necessary for prescription to be effective.

Linguistic prescription sections
Intro  Aims  Authority  Origins  Sources  Problems  Prescription and description  See also  Notes  References  Further reading  Additional resources