The colloquium Perspectives on Prescriptivism (20-22 April 2006) was hosted
by the University of Catania - Faculty of Foreign Languages - in Ragusa.
Until very recently, the received view among linguists was that
prescriptivism was a 'bad thing', something only worth considering in order
to condemn it as a product of unenlightened thinking. The organisers wished
to encourage participants to look at linguistic prescriptivism from a wide
range of perspectives. Some of the main questions asked were: To what
extent is the concept of prescriptivism to be considered a typical product
of the 18th century? What is the attitude of 21st-century scholars and
language guardians towards linguistic 'correctness'? To what extent were
books more prescriptive - rather than descriptive - in what has generally
been described as 'the age of correctness'? Some of the answers are to be
found in this volume.
Joan C. Beal: 'Shamed by your English?': The Market Value of a 'Good'
Pronunciation - Marina Dossena: Prescriptivism a Century Ago: Business
Correspondence Taught to Emigrants - A Case Study - Karlijn Navest: Ash's
Grammatical Institutes and 'Mrs Teachwell's Library for Her Young Ladies' -
Larisa Oldireva Gustafsson: Phonoaesthetic Assessment of Words in
18th-century Prescriptions and Later - Carol Percy: Liberty, Sincerity,
(In)accuracy: Prescriptions for Manly English in 18th-century Reviews and
the 'Republic of Letters' - Laura Pinnavaia: Charles Richardson:
Prescriptivist or Descriptivist? An Analysis Based on A New Dictionary of
the English Language (1836-37) - Giuliana Russo: Joseph Priestley's The
Rudiments of English Grammar; Adapted to the Use of schools. With
Observations on Style (1761) - Massimo Sturiale: Prescriptivism and
18th-century Bilingual Dictionaries. William Perry's The Standard French
and English Pronouncing Dictionary (1795) - Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade:
The Codifiers and the History of Multiple Negation in English, or, Why Were
18th-century Grammarians So Obsessed with Double Negation? - Laura Wright:
Social Attitudes Towards Londoners' Front-glide Insertion After Velar
Consonants and Before Front Vowels - Nuria Yáñez-Bouza: To End or Not to
End a Sentence with a Preposition: An 18th-century Debate.