LINGUIST List 9.68

Fri Jan 16 1998

Disc: Prescriptivism

Editor for this issue: Elaine Halleck <elainelinguistlist.org>


Directory

  1. Larry Rosenwald, Re: 8.1807, Disc: Prescriptivism
  2. manaster, Re: 9.47, Disc: Prescriptivism
  3. RNelsonjr, Re: 9.60, Disc: Prescriptivism

Message 1: Re: 8.1807, Disc: Prescriptivism

Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 10:33:36 -0500 (EST)
From: Larry Rosenwald <LROSENWALDWELLESLEY.EDU>
Subject: Re: 8.1807, Disc: Prescriptivism

	I've been reading this discussion with great interest, and
it's led me to wonder about books or conferences where prescriptivism
is the common subject, but the population is mixed - including, say,
linguists, teachers of expository writing, and what Steven Pinker
calls "language mavens." Are there such books? Have there been such
conferences? If not, doesn't it seem like a good idea to bring these
populations together in some forum or another?
	Best, Larry Rosenwald
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Message 2: Re: 9.47, Disc: Prescriptivism

Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 10:32:01 -0500 (EST)
From: manaster <manasterumich.edu>
Subject: Re: 9.47, Disc: Prescriptivism

Suzette Haden Elgin has really put her finger on one of the
central issues here, namely, that the story linguists tell
about prescription and description is not good enough to
deal with the real world demands of in particular language
instruction. I would be pleased if Suzette's point could
be taken as congruent with my own earlier contention that
we have been utterly wrong to equate lx with D and "traditional"
attitudes to language with P. As I said, I think this
leads to many paradoxes, of which I think Suzette has
pinpointed one, and the real distinction is elsewhere.

AMR
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Message 3: Re: 9.60, Disc: Prescriptivism

Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 02:48:10 EST
From: RNelsonjr <RNelsonjraol.com>
Subject: Re: 9.60, Disc: Prescriptivism

the problem, as it presents itself to us in its immediacy, is how we can tell
BEV and other non-standard dialect speakers, that they they posess 100% valid
and operative language competence and are not, as many less open-minded
primary school teachers are apt to infer, somehow deficient in intelligence.
the real problem in the prescript. vs. descript. thing is how to balance them
in our children's education. 
there should be a norm. but the people being pushed/pulled or otherwise
cajolled to that norm need to know it's for socio-economic reasons: not
because they are somehow insufficient.
i.e. instead of saying 'this is english' we need to start teaching 'this is
the english of the people you need to impress'.
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