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Questions tagged [prescriptivism]

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Impact of spell checkers on prescriptive language reform

I had a story about prescriptive language reform, specifically about the Real Academia Española and its decision to change the spelling of puzzle (pronounced /ˈpuθle/ in Spain) in the 21st edition (...
Henry's user avatar
  • 276
1 vote
1 answer

Is meaning prescribed?

The way I see it, there's two aspects to the choice between the descriptivistic and prescriptivist approach. There's the ought aspect; how ought we view the meaning of words? Then there's the is ...
user110391's user avatar
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Is Generative / X-bar Theory prescriptivist? (can the descriptivist linguist create X-bar syntax trees?)

I'm drawing some x-bar syntax trees. These seem highly prescriptivist in that it says that you can only do x,y & z. For example the sentence "Because I'm lazy means I'm more efficient" ...
atreeon's user avatar
  • 111
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Ellipsis of noun phrase head when modifiers have different parts of speech

These sentences occur in the Mozilla UI strings: EN The sentence has a grammatical or spelling error. DE Der Satz beinhaltet einen grammatikalischen oder Rechtschreibfehler. The ...
Adam Bittlingmayer's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer

Cultural bias in early modern Western linguistics

I answered a question on this site yesterday where in my answer, I alluded to a problem with cultural bias in early modern Western linguistics. I tried my best search engine fu to come up with a good ...
tripleee's user avatar
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3 votes
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How does the description of the grammar of a language differ between a traditional and scientific approach?

Let me clarify the question, There are traditional grammars to describe the working and structure of languages, mostly with the purpose of teaching someone to speak the languages. So, it is approach ...
Abdul Al Hazred's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers

Do descriptivists differ from prescriptivists in how, or whether, they determine correctness?

Do descriptivists differ from prescriptivists in how they determine whether something is correct? Or do they differ in whether or not they determine whether something is correct? For example, if 80% ...
Andrew Grimm's user avatar
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Does anyone criticize descriptivism as heavily as prescriptivism?

This question concerns the reasons why prescriptivism is criticized. I know of these criticisms because I hold them myself. However, I have a question about the opposite side, and that is, do any ...
user avatar
5 votes
2 answers

What is exactly "descriptivism"?

I think I understand that as a field, linguistics tries to study how people actually use language, rather than say how people should. It seems to me, a layperson, that several linguists writing for ...
JohnJamesSmith's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers

Why is prescriptivism criticized?

Several linguists criticize prescriptivism. Stephen Pinker is probably the one to have made the strongest case against it. But, is their criticism based on a methodological principle (the abstraction ...
Otavio Macedo's user avatar