Standard language

A standard language is a standardized language, a language with all its varieties, has at least one standard variety.


Linguistic standardization includes, among other things, the general applicability of a linguistic standard, the codification in grammars and dictionaries, the utility of the language for all major areas of life ( multi-skilling ) and the requirements for that stylistic differentiation. These features relate only to the formation of a certain standard and can, for example, belonging to the language dialects unchanged; For details, see under standard variety.

What Nichtstandardvarietäten, ie which particular dialects of a particular standard language are allocated is not always determined based on linguistic features of these varieties. In sociolinguistics is also on the concept of canopy recourse ( cf. roof Language ): So then heard a dialect to a certain standard language when the speaker of the dialect change in official situations in this standard variety. This applies only between closely related languages ​​such as Dutch and High German standard language.

So are ( were ) being talked about on both sides of national borders, the same deutsch-niederländischen/belgischen Lower Saxony and Low Franconian dialects, but different roof or written languages ​​. In previous editions the lexicon of Lower Saxony, Franconia and Frisian dialects of the dialect continuum were assigned to the Low German dialects and the Dutch, Flemish and Frisians therefore (also ) refers to written language as Low German with its own ( Low German or Dutch ).

Thus, the same Upper German dialects are spoken about on both sides of the German - French border, but ( officially ) used different roof or written languages ​​. In this case, the dialects are attributable to the French alone according to linguistic criteria the Germans and the Dach-/Standardsprache, as dialect and language roof face as a foreign language ( West Germanic to Romance ) - unlike the Dutch to the (high) German ( continental west Germanic dialects ).

Unlike even half a century ago, where the dialect not only in the country but also in the cities was (still ) the main everyday language, today the number of dialect speakers from year to year is becoming less. The posthumous mother tongue dialect speakers learn early state default language and use in school and work mostly the " Highland " ( "High German " ) or the "Dutch ".

According to this situation, but also for political reasons, therefore, those dialects whose speakers change authorities or of strangers into standard German ( Highland ), as German dialects and those dialects use the speakers in these situations, the standard Dutch, referred to as Dutch dialects.

Also standard languages ​​are often, as the dialects, pluricentric languages. So, there are varieties of standard German in the entire low -, mid- and upper German language area. In contrast are the monocentric languages.

Other Termini

For the purposes of standard language - that today the akzeptierteste because clearest and most distinctive term is - also a number of other expressions used in linguistics. While standard language itself goes back to english » standard language ", the traditional German expressions are written language (which is, however, also used in the sense of written language, see also German writing ) as well as high-level language ( see also High German ). Following the example of French " langue littéraire " (and especially in the GDR because of russian » Literaturnyj jazyk " ) and literary language in use ( but which can be confused with the language of literature ).

Just because the term default language is very clearly defined in terms of historical languages ​​sometimes an expression such as written language or literary language is preferred, as drawn up by the Prague Linguistic Circle features of standardization refer to the 20th century and earlier periods are bad transferable.

Standard languages ​​with a large distance to the everyday language

Some (usually referred to as written or literary language ) languages ​​are indeed written and read, but not or very rarely used for oral communication. This is based on a kind of diglossia, two very different varieties of a language, or even completely different languages ​​take on different functions of language in the.

Such literary languages ​​can be:

  • Old no longer spoken forms of a language, but which are still written and read, and are an essential part of the culture of a people. Not infrequently, they are mainly still as sacred language, examples: Ancient Greek in the Middle Ages and in modern times
  • Latin in the Middle Ages and in modern times
  • Etruscan in ancient Rome
  • Modern Standard Arabic since the Middle Ages to today
  • Classical Chinese from the Middle Ages to the 20th century
  • Sanskrit from about 500 BC to the present day
  • Hebrew ( used in addition since the 20th century as an everyday language, see Ivrit ) from antiquity to today
  • Talmudic Aramaic since the Middle Ages to today
  • Mittelsyrisch for many Eastern Churches
  • Used only as an umbrella language forms of a language. Examples: New High German by Martin Luther to the 18th century and partially until today ( Switzerland )
  • RG as an umbrella for language Romansh dialects Grisons since the eighties of the 20th century
  • Ladin Dolomitan as an umbrella language for the Ladin dialects of South Tyrol and adjacent areas only since recent times.

Selection of language material for standardization

In many languages, the default standard variety is based on a single dialect, often the capital (such as when the French of Paris or in the English of London). The question of which dialect is set to the standard basis is called the Italian model as questione della lingua.

A default language can also be created as a "compromise " of different dialects, such as the High German of the monk Martin Luther, for his translation of the Bible from several Central and Upper German dialects by arbitrary selection of basic vocabulary and by a Latin to the technology based or this modeled and is leaning against the courtly spelling Electorate grammar a standard language has created.

Planned languages

(not to be confused with " planned languages ​​" )

While each standard language has something Planned, but some stand out by the fact that they have been launched in collaboration with linguists only in recent times:

  • Serbo-Croatian language, more recently, a Croatian language and Bosnian language
  • The Malay language
  • The Filipino
  • The modern Greek language in the form of " pure language" Katharevoussa
  • Modern Hebrew is a mixture of different Hebrew forms and is characterized by a large amount of constructed neologisms from, some of the grammar has been changed
  • RG