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Full Title: Tensions within the Repertoire of Prescribed, Prestige, and Non-prestige Forms

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Start Date: 16-Jul-2017 - 21-Jul-2017
Contact: Hadar Netz
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: The deficit approach that characterizes non-standard language as manifesting a mental or developmental deficit was rejected half a century ago by Labov (1969) and others (Trudgill, 1975; Godley et al., 2007; Pearson et al., 2013). However, language ideologies preserving traces of the deficit approach persist to this day.

The rejection of deficit views need not imply that standard language should be rejected altogether. Indeed, standard language constitutes a unifying cultural resource and as such is a valuable element of culture and education (Deutscher, 2011).

Myhill (2004) has proposed to differentiate between languages, such as English, in which the prescribed standard form is also the ''prestige-based'' form, spoken by people of highest social status, and other languages, such as Hebrew and Arabic, in which the prescribed standard form and the prestige-based form are not necessarily the same. It has also been argued that in those languages in which the high status forms do not match the prescribed standard, there are actually two types of non-standard forms: those accepted by the elite and educated people and those that are not (Rosén, 1955; Shatil, 2014).

Still others have argued that it would be more accurate to talk about a 'repertoire' framework (e.g. Snell, 2013), placing standard and non-standard forms as poles on a continuum. The repertoire view is based on the recognition that speakers of a language are not speakers of either one or another form, but rather have at their disposal a repertoire of language forms, which they choose from in specific discursive contexts and motivations.

The tensions between prescribed, prestige, and non-prestige forms, as well as the repertoire of standard and non-standard forms available to speakers, give rise to questions about what gets corrected vs. what passes as acceptable, under what circumstances, why so, and to what effect.

The panel aims to further our understanding of the interrelations within the repertoire of prescribed, prestige, and non-prestige forms. Researchers investigating these issues in different languages and in different contexts are welcome to submit their abstracts to our panel.


Deutscher, G. (2011). An entry ticket to the highbrow club. Panim, 54, 4–11. [in Hebrew]
Godley, A.J., Carpenter, B.D. & Werner, C.A. (2007). 'I’ll speak in proper slang': Language ideologies in a daily editing activity. Reading Research Quarterly, 42(1), 100–131.
Labov, W. (1969). The logic of nonstandard English. In: J. Alatis (Ed.), Georgetown Monographs in Languages and Linguistics (pp. 1–44). Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.
Myhill, J. (2004). A parameterized view of the concept of 'correctness'. Multilingua, 23(4), 389–417.
Pearson, B.Z., Conner, T. & Jackson, J.E. (2013). Removing obstacles for African American English–speaking children through greater understanding of language difference. Developmental Psychology, 49(1), 31–44.
Rosén, H. (1955). Our Hebrew Language Viewed by Linguistic Methods. Tel-Aviv: Am-Oved. [in Hebrew]
Shatil, N. (2014). Developments in Contemporary Hebrew. Jerusalem: The Academy of the Hebrew Language. [in Hebrew]
Snell, J. (2013). Dialect, interaction and class positioning at school: From deficit to difference to repertoire. Language and Education, 27(2), 110–128.
Trudgill, Peter. (1975). Accent, Dialect and the School. London: Edward Arnold.
Linguistic Subfield: Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics
LL Issue: 27.2911

This is a session of the following meeting:
15th International Pragmatics Conference

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