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Review of  Germanic Standardizations

Reviewer: Stephan Elspaß
Book Title: Germanic Standardizations
Book Author: Ana Deumert Wim Vandenbussche
Publisher: John Benjamins
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Language Family(ies): Germanic
Book Announcement: 15.2387

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2004 12:38:04 +0200
From: Stephan Elspass <>
Subject: German Standardizations: Past to Present

EDITORS: Deumert, Ana; Vandenbussche, Wim
TITLE: German Standardizations
SUBTITLE: Past to Present
SERIES: Impact: Studies in language and society 18
PUBLISHER: John Benjamins
YEAR: 2003

Stephan Elspaß, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (Germany)

This book is intended to provide ''a comprehensive and comparative
introduction to the standardization processes of the Germanic
languages''; it thus presents an exercise in ''comparative standardology''
(p. 1). The editors of the present volume, Ana Deumert (Monash
University, Melbourne) and Wim Vandenbussche (Vrije Universiteit
Brussel/FWO-Vlaanderen), have brought together sixteen contributions on
Germanic languages and varieties: twelve articles on the various
Germanic standard languages, plus articles on Low German, Scots and
Pacific and Caribbean Germanic Creole languages, each written by (an)
authoritative scholar/authoritative scholars of the respective languages
and varieties. The sixteen chapters, organized in alphabetical order of
the languages, are framed by an introduction and a résumé by the two

In their introduction, ''Standard languages: Taxonomies and histories'',
Ana Deumert and Wim Vandenbussche outline the idea and concept behind
the volume. The initiative for the present book was taken at the 2002
standardization conference in Sheffield (cf. Linn/McLelland 2002, see
the review of Mark Pierce in Linguist List 14.1738), where not only the
lack of cross-border and comparative studies on standardisation was
deplored but also the lack of an authoritative and up-to-date work on
the processes and problems of standardization in a wide range of
languages. While most other works on standardisation focus on a few
languages only and take a variety of perspectives, the editors of the
present volume wanted to concentrate on a single language family, i. e.
the Germanic, and took Einar Haugen's four-step model of
standardization as a starting point for the portrayals of individual
standardization histories: The contributors were asked to outline the
standardization process of the respective languages according to
Haugen's model, i. e. ''norm selection -- norm codification -- norm
implementation -- norm elaboration'' (Haugen 1966) or ''selection --
codification -- elaboration -- acceptance'' (Haugen 1972)
respectively. Haugen's concept of standardisation is intrinsically
linked with ''a form of writing'', thus not explicitly including any form
of 'spoken standard' (Haugen 1994: 4340). In the following account of
the individual chapters of this heavy volume, I will concentrate on
Haugen's four aspects of standardisation.


In the first chapter, PAUL T. ROBERGE depicts the standardization
history of 'Afrikaans'. Afrikaans is one of the fairly small and only
recently standardized Germanic languages. Based on his own research and
a recent study by Ana Deumert, Roberge challenges the ''standard view''
that between 1750 and 1775, a spoken vernacular of Dutch had developed
in the Cape colony which was elevated to modern Standard Afrikaans.
Roberge and Deumert have revealed, however, that ''well into the early
twentieth century'', the language situation was not characterized by a
structural polarity between a ''metropolitan Dutch'' and a ''standard
Afrikaans'', but by a linguistic continuum with distinctive patterns of
variation. Codification of Afrikaans can only be traced back to the
last quarter of the nineteenth century. Roberge identifies the years of
the Anglo-Boer War (1899 -- 1902) and after as the period of intensive
norm elaboration, which culminated in the political recognition of
Afrikaans in 1925. Afrikaans had been widely accepted as a national
language in the 20th century. As it became more and more associated
with the 'apartheid' regime, however, the recent development may be
more aptly labelled 'diminishing acceptance', and in recent years it
has lost much ground to English in the public sector.

Although the language contact history leading to the development of the
'Caribbean Creoles', which are portrayed by HUBERT DEVONISH, goes back
to Columbus' landing on the Bahamas in 1492, the creoles are
unquestionably to be counted among the languages with the shortest
standardization history. Devonish focuses on Caribbean English-lexicon
Creoles, as Caribbean Dutch Creoles are almost extinct. The Caribbean
Creoles are not to be confused with Caribbean varieties of standard
European languages like Surinamese Dutch or Caribbean Standard English.
In a commonly held opinion about the diglossic situation in the
Caribbean states, however, Caribbean English-lexicon Creoles are often
viewed as broken forms of English. -- The standardization process of
the Caribbean Creoles is not only young but also unfinished. As for
norm selection, recent proposals aim at ''identifying a common variety
which could be used to greatest communicative effect'' (p. 49) and
selecting ''the most intelligible'' variety as the norm (p. 52).
Sociolinguistically, the standardization of Caribbean Creole is
intertwined with an attempt to create and maintain a distance between
English and Creole, which in Jamaican Creole manifests itself primarily
at the level of the lexicon. This faces practical problems, however, as
lexicographical efforts are apparently not coordinated with the
language use in the new media, the public domain where the acceptance
of Caribbean Creoles has shown most progress.

'Danish' by contrast, is one of the ''old'' standardized Germanic
languages. Although Denmark was never ruled by a foreign power for a
longer period of time, as TORE KRISTIANSEN writes, its language history
has seen the influence and dominance of ''exoglossic standards'' in
various domains, in particular Latin, Low German, High German and
French. When the standardization process of Danish was ''accelerated''
from around 1500, the polycentric language situation with basically
three regional varieties was gradually replaced by centripetal
tendencies towards the new centre, Zealand and the capital city
Copenhagen. As for the aspect of norm selection, Kristiansen elaborates
on the ongoing debate about the ''Copenhagenness'' of Standard Danish.
While he stresses that the ''reconstruction'' of the national norm
''continues to be negotiated'', he makes clear that in his view there is
no denial of the fact of the Copenhagenness of the standard norm and
that the debate ''should be seen as an ideological phenomenon'' (p. 74).
A prerequisite for the processes of codification and elaboration was
the introduction of printing and the victory of the Protestant
Reformation in the early fifteenth century. Due to its early
codification -- first efforts can be traced back to the sixteenth
century -- Danish in its written form is fairly conservative and
still close to Swedish and Norwegian. Spoken Danish, however, has moved
away from other languages of Nordic origin, ''to the extent of
disturbing the mutual intelligibility between Danes and their Nordic
neighbours'' (p. 78). Particularly after the end of the dominance of
German at court and in government offices in the early nineteenth
century, Danish became widely and fully accepted, ending in the
abandonment of Gothic script (after 1860) and majuscule writing of
nouns (1948). In recent years English has appeared as a new exoglossic
standard. Fears of looming ''destandardization tendencies'' in Danish are
not shared by Kristiansen; in his view, public language debates on
orthographic matters in recent years (''mayonnaise war'', ''comma war'')
''can only be understood in terms of an absolute and unconditioned
acceptance of the traditional, existing norm'' (p. 88). He concedes,
however, that the language use of young Danes has led to two standards,
''one for the media and one for the school'', which may be explained by a
general trend towards a liberation from traditional formalities.

In the following chapter on 'Dutch', Roland Willemyns emphasizes the
pluricentric character of Dutch and focuses on the different
standardization processes in the Netherlands and in Flanders.
Accordingly, Willemyns writes two standardization histories, a) one for
'the North', b) one for 'the South'. The disparities increased
particularly after the revolt of the Low Countries against catholic
Spain in the sixteenth century and after the end of the Eighty Years
War (1568 -- 1648), when ''the centre of gravity of standardization''
gradually passed from the old economic and cultural centres in the
South (Flanders and Brabant) to the North (p. 95). These tendencies
increased after the Eighty Years War, when educated Flemings emigrated
to the Low Countries. The Reformation and its aftermath thus played a
crucial role in the selection and codification process.

a) Norm codification, particularly on the level of grammar, became a
major topic in the eighteenth century Netherlands. Like elsewhere (e.g.
in Germany), 'rule inventors' competed with 'rule describers', who
aimed at propagating linguistic rules which could be derived from
actual language usage. A group of ''language despotists'' appear to have
gained the upper hand with regard to written language, causing a
deepening gap between written and spoken Dutch. Overall, however,
Willemyns rates the influence of grammarians as rather limited;
selection and codification processes were always rather linked to
''practical'' aims (language of the bible, of commerce etc.). According
to Willemyns, a written language norm was only identifiable at about
1900. The elaboration and acceptance of a spoken norm was a matter of
the twentieth century: By the mid-twentieth century, only 3% of the
population mastered ''Algemeen Beschaafd Nederlands'' ('General Civilized
Dutch'), a spoken variety based on ''the language used by the better
situated classes in the larger western cities (the Randstad)'' (p. 110).
(This may illustrate why -- according to Haugen's model -- a
'spoken norm' cannot be a prerequisite for the definition of a
'standard': The view that there was no standard Dutch until after the
mid-twentieth century is hardly tenable.)

b) The Flemish-speaking South had practically no say in the
standardization process of the nineteenth century: French became the
dominant language in the public domain after the independence of
Belgium in 1830. Written Flemish Dutch remained the language in
chancelleries, city halls, guilds and private correspondence and formed
the foundation of today's national variety of Dutch in Belgium.

Recent history has seen a North-South levelling and convergence in
pronunciation and lexicon. In the Netherlands, growing opposition
towards the urban (Randstadt) dialects can be observed, and -- as in
the Danish case -- ''potential destandardization tendencies'' (p. 117).

'English', as depicted by TERTTU NEVALAINEN, is the prototype of an
''old'' language whose standardisation process started off in a political
and economic centre, i. e. the London area. ''Norm selection'' and ''norm
acceptance'' in written language can be found as early as the 15th
century when the ''Chancery Standard'' of the central bureaucracy (''East-
Midland-based, southern rather than northern in outline'', p. 133) was
adopted by the first printers. Acording to Nevalainen, ''norm
codification'' and ''norm elaboration'' took place after the Restoration
and have seen various forms on the different linguistic levels: Whereas
the codification of spelling was ''virtually completed in print by about
1650'' (p. 138), lexis was far from being 'standardised' and underwent
heavy borrowing instead, in particular from Latin, in the 16th and 17th
centuries. The 18th century saw first efforts to codify the grammar. In
the 19th century, the standardisation process was dominated by a
standard language ideology in which ''linguistic purity began to be
associated with moral and religious rectitude'' (p. 144; for an overview
of puristic tendencies in the Germanic languages cf. Langer & Davies,
forthcoming). The modern history of English is characterised by its
emergence as a pluricentric language with various national varieties.

The history of 'Faroese', as described by ZAKARIS SVABO HANSEN, JÓGVAN
Í LON JACOBSEN and EIVIND WEYHE, is a peculiar case of a more than a
millennium old speech community which has undergone (written)
standardization only in recent time. The Faroe Islands, once ''part of
the Old Norse cultural sphere'' (p. 159), have been under Danish rule
for more than six hundred years. (The Faroes became autonomous though
not independent in 1948). But although the Danish language has been the
language of law, court and church after the Reformation, the population
has continued to use Faroese dialects in their everyday communication.
The language situation on the Faroese Islands is therefore
characterized by a ''bilingual society'' (ibid.), with Faroese
representing the principal, though not national language. The
standardization history of Faroese is insofar unusual, as it did not
undergo a 'typical' norm selection process; it ''did not originate from
a social, political or geographical centre of power'' (p. 166).
Codification efforts commenced around 1800 in connection with the
recording of old ballad texts and have been dominated by a spelling
system on etymological principles, causing a ''large discrepancy between
orthography and pronunciation'' (p. 161). Thus, the nineteenth century
codification has basically affected the orthography and grammar, not
pronunciation -- still today there can only be talk of ''a tendency to
a spoken language standard'' (p. 165). The most important measure in the
norm elaboration was the enlargement of the lexicon, by word formation
and -- to a lesser extent -- borrowing, to make Faroese fit ''as a
'valid' language in all areas of society and in all situations'' (p.
158). Norm implementation, particularly in the schools and the media,
started with the beginning of the national movement in 1888. Recent
developments include proposals to bring orthography and grammar closer
to the subsistent norms of the spoken language, but these do not appear
to have changed the overall conservative nature of written Faroese.

ERIC HOEKSTRA restricts his article on 'Frisian' on the West-Frisian
branch of this old Germanic language. Hoekstra first gives a short
overview of standardization processes of written Old Frisian (ca 1200
to 1550): Most texts from this period dealt with legal matters, others
included chronicles or religious texts. Norm selection was closely
connected with the role of Latin and its influence on these text
genres, norm elaboration consisted mainly in the acquisition of new
genres for Old Frisian, and the question of norm acceptance was closely
linked to the power and prestige of the writers, who mostly served
secular and religious authorities (p. 194). With the lack of a
(central) political and economic power, however, the socio-cultural
basis of Old Frisian was ''very small'', so that it lost most domains of
written language to Dutch and Low German, particularly after the
introduction of printing (pp. 194f.). The Middle Frisian period (ca
1550 to 1800) may be characterised by ''a slumbering written language''
which largely departed from the norms of Old Frisian and a spoken
language which, in the West-Frisian area, was a result of a mixing with
Dutch (''Stêdsk'' 'Town Frisian', p. 195f.); Middle Frisian thus hardly
qualifies as a standard language. With a lack of a continuous literary
tradition in Frisian, norm codification of Modern Frisian (after 1800)
had to start virtually from scratch. Out of the three main dialect
areas of West Frisian, 'Clay Frisian' in the Northwest seems to have
been most influential in the selection process, as it was the
wealthiest region and home of some of the figureheads of the Frisian
movement (p. 199). This movement seems to have been the most important
promoter of the elaboration of Frisian, a task which in the twentieth
was adopted by the 'Frisian Academy' (founded 1938) and the 'General
Frisian Education Committee' (founded 1927). Hoekstra criticizes that
the Academy's attention to the codification of Frisian ''has been
heavily focused on lexicography at the expense of grammar'', so that ''no
substantial grammar has appeared'', and that the Education Committee
endorses the pronunciation of 'Clay Frisian' as the 'spoken standard';
in view of the factual variety, 'Clay Frisian' may as well be regarded
as a variety within the standard (pp. 203f.). A problem for norm
acceptance which arises from this practice is that the Frisian
standard, as it is propagated by the Education Committee, has a
'bookish' note (''boekjefrisk'') to the speakers. In spite of Frisian's
status an official language, which may be used in formal domains, and
although it is used ostentatiously by pro-Frisian politicians, the
acceptance of Frisian as a written and public language seems to be low
among the Frisian speaking population, which clearly prefers Dutch as
the written language (p. 206). This sociolinguistic situation and the
progressing erosion of Frisian ''through on-going influence from Dutch''
(ibid.) leaves the reviewer to wonder whether Frisian may be regarded
as a standard language at all. According to Hoekstra it is ''really in
between being a dialect and a standard language'' (p. 207).

In contrast to other 'big' European languages such as English and
French, 'German' departed from a ''decentralized communicative space'',
as KLAUS J. MATTHEIER writes (p. 214). The norm selection started at
the beginning of the 16th century: In a 'verticalization process'
(Oskar Reichmann), hitherto 'horizontally' layered regional print
languages of High German -- plus the Low German print language --
were gradually replaced by a mixture of 'general German' and East
Middle German. 'General German' (''Gemeines Deutsch'') was based on the
East Upper German written dialect, which -- according to Mattheier -
- describes ''a supra-regional and even proto-standard variety'' (p.
215). After 1520/30, East Middle German gained crucial importance
through the work of Luther (pp. 216f.). The 16th and 17th centuries
were thus characterized by a ''norm dualism'': the catholic southern
German states favoured 'general German', whereas the protestant
northern and central states showed a clear preference for East Upper
German variants (p. 217). The selection phase reached completion as
late as the 18th century, when the southern states adopted the norms
set up in the grammatical works of Johann Christoph Gottsched, a clear
advocate of East Middle German. Early grammars in 16th century
developed out of descriptive works for 'German as a foreign language'
(p. 225) and the first codificatory writings aimed at an elaboration of
chancery norms (p. 223). As in many other Germanic languages, the
growing awareness of the need for a ''national language'' as a symbol of
national identification -- ''especially in competition with Latin and
French'' -- was an important motive for the codification of the
written norm; however, at the same time the concept of a uniform and
educated German national language ''became a marker of social
differentiation'' (p. 219). Contrary to general opinion, the famous
'language societies' of the 17th century did not have any direct effect
on codification. Undoubtedly, the works of Gottsched and Johann
Christoph Adelung were more efficient, not least because these authors
tried to record the norms of real usage, which they found in the texts
of the 'best writers'. 'Norm elaboration' refers to ''the extension of
the functional range of the standard variety'' (p. 230) to the areas of
private communication, technical and scientific language, legal
language, literary language, the language of the political public etc.

Norm selection, norm codification and norm elaboration of German may
thus be seen as chronologically overlapping processes. Norm acceptance
marks, in Mattheier's view, the state of ''a situation where the
standard language is used by all members of the speech community in a
wide range of functions'' (p. 234). All regional differences considered,
it may ''be maintained for around 1900 that the German written standard
language was accepted in the entire German speech community as a model
norm, and also that the standard variety was actively known by large
segments of the population'' (p. 236). Norm acceptance, hence the full
accomplishment of a standard German language at the beginning of the
20th century, is thus different from ''the existence of a standard
language norm with relatively stable features'' in the late 18th century
(p. 227), which is so often confused with Standard German in German
linguistics. 20th century developments include the development of
national varieties in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland
(''pluricentricity''), the rise of ''regional standards'' (by some scholars
captured in the term ''pluriareality'') and ''destandardization'' processes
(p. 239). It may be added that the information on pp. 237ff. that
(only) twenty percent of Germans have not acquired a dialect in their
youth is certainly outdated -- or is based on a very broad
interpretation of 'dialect'.

KRISTJÁN ÁRNASON devotes most of his article on 'Icelandic' to the
development of Old Icelandic. This appears to be justified by the fact
that ''the language used by Snorri Sturluson in the thirteenth century
is the same code as the one used by writers such as Halldór Laxness in
the twentieth century'' (p. 274). As for the norm selection process,
Árnason rejects a widely held opinion according to which the spoken
language of the early settlers, that served as a model for early
written Icelandic, ''was a 'mixture' of Norwegian dialects'' (p. 247).
Alternatively, he pleads for the hypothesis that ''one variety, spoken
by a special group or elite, was adopted as the basis for the Icelandic
standard'' (p. 249). According to the focus on Old Icelandic, norm
codification is discussed with respect to the explanations and
proposals in Snorri Sturluson's ''Edda'', particularly on the spelling of
Icelandic. Árnason stresses, however, that the ''Edda'' does not qualify
as a reference work. The process of norm elaboration did not follow the
codification of Icelandic in the chronological sense, as a standard had
already ''been 'elaborated' orally for some time before being written
down in the Latin alphabet'' (p. 263). The question of norm acceptance
is closely connected with this distinctive standardization history:
Early religious texts from Latin were soon translated into (Old)
Icelandic so that no diglossia developed, which became so
characteristic for the language situation in many other Germanic
countries, and Icelandic had not to 'fight' for acceptance (p. 267). In
view of the continuity of the Icelandic standard, however, it appears
to be odd that the name ''íslenska'' ('Icelandic') appeared not earlier
than 1500 (p. 269).

In the history of German, 'Low German', presented by NILS LANGER, has
not reached the status of a standard language. It is still under
dispute whether modern Low German constitutes a language of its own or
is just a dialect of German. Langer thus concentrates on the history of
Middle Low German, which served as a lingua franca during the Middle
Ages and Early Modern time (p. 281). Written Middle Low German
certainly achieved a fairly standardized level, although at least two
written varieties have to be distinguished: Westphalian and Lübeck
Middle Low German. Their rise and fall were intertwined with the rise
and fall of the Hanseatic League (pp. 285f.). The Lübeck variety gained
importance with the north- and eastward expansion of the ''Hanse'' (p.
286). It was not only employed in the north of Germany, but in many
parts of Scandinavia and the Baltic countries, and, because of their
linguistic similarities, heavily influenced the development of the
Scandinavian languages. It is, for example, estimated that circa 30 --
50% of the Swedish vocabulary consists of Low German loanwords. As for
its standardization history, Middle Low German is ''only partially
compatible with the Haugen model of standardization. There was no
standardized Middle Low German in the technical sense at any given
point of time because it was never codified or monitored.'' (p. 297)

'Luxembourgish' ''is today still at a relatively early stage of the
standardization process'', as PETER GILLES and CLAUDINE MOULIN emphasize
(p. 303). Issues of standardization in Luxembourg are closely linked to
its triglossic language situation. The traditional sociolinguistic
state is that of a ''medial diglossia'', with German or French as the
written language and Luxembourgish as ''the only means of oral
communication between native Luxembourgophone speakers'' (pp. 304f.).
This situation has been changing significantly in the last twenty
years: The use of Luxembourgish as written language is on the increase,
not just due to the simple necessity to teach a ''Standard
Luxembourgish'' to foreign language learners, but also because of its
''high national-symbolic value'' (pp. 305f.). In the 1984 language law,
it was recognized as the third administrative language. In the present
time, it has ''limited relevance within the domain of writing'', but
shows increasing importance in the ''language of closeness'', e. g.
private letters, personal notes etc. (pp. 313f.) -- The process of
norm selection is sociolinguistically dominated by the wish to secede
from Germany and German (for most of the 19th and 20th century,
Luxembourgish was merely seen as a German dialect on the German side),
and this received strengthened support during World War I and World War
II, particularly during the German occupation in World War II.
Linguistically, Luxembourgish has not experienced a koinéization, as it
is hypothesized by some linguists, but a process of levelling of the
four main dialect areas of Luxembourg, with features of the dominant
dialect of the densely populated central area around Luxemburg city
spreading to the other areas (p. 312). Like in many other European
languages, spelling was first codified (early 19th century spelling
systems by literary writers had only limited effect here); however,
there is a ''great need for further codification today (lexicon,
grammar, syntax, pronunciation)'' (p. 317); one major lexicographic
project in this strand is the ''Luxemburger Wörterbuch'' (1950 -- 77). As
it is still early days in the standardization history of Luxembourgish,
norm elaboration and acceptance have not been central issues yet. The
authors conclude that ''in the present multilingual and multidialectal
situation comprehensive standardisation is probably neither possible
nor intended'' (p. 322).

Although Norway had a highly developed written language in the Middle
Ages, i. e. Old Norse, the starting point for the standardization
history of modern 'Norwegian' is the independence from Denmark, as
ERNST HÅKON JAHR writes. During the Dano-Norwegian Union (1380 --
1814), Danish was the only written language in Norway. In 1814, two
possible routes for the development of a standard were possible: a) a
written language based on a Dano-Norwegian creoloid or koiné variety
developed in 18th century and used by the elite only (5%), and b) a
written language based on Norwegian dialects, which developed from Old
Norse and were spoken by the vast majority of the population. The two
varieties found two eminent linguists of the 19th century as their
advocates: Knud Knudsen and Ivar Aasen. The former codified the variety
of written Norwegian which became known as ''Riksmål'' and by decision of
parliament was called ''Bokmål'' in 1929; the latter created ''Landsmaal'',
which was called ''Nynorsk'' after 1929. The idea of ''Samnorsk'', a
'unified, amalgamated, pan-Norwegian', was an attempt to overcome the
''bitter and irreconcilable tone of the language conflict during the
first decade of the twentieth century'' (p. 337): In a 1917 language
reform, Samnorsk elements were both introduced to Riksmål/Bokmål and
Landsmaal/Nynorsk; in this and later reforms, however, the language
planners acted -- according to Jahr -- ''totally insensitive to the
Norwegian sociolinguistic reality'' (p. 339). The question of norm
acceptance was thus -- for most of the twentieth century, and the
1950s in particular -- dominated by the language conflict between
language reformers and their opponents. Especially the Dano-Norwegian
movement, recruited from upper-middle class speakers and financially
supported by conservative leaders of business and commerce, resisted
the reforms to the radical variety of Bokmål, which symbolically was
referred to as Riksmål. Eventually, the 1981 conservative reform of the
Bokmål meant a final victory of the Dano-Norwegian movement, resulting
in a widening distance between standard Bokmål and standard Nynorsk (p.
349). Interestingly enough, as Jahr concludes, middle-class speech
never regained its former status after the 1981 reform; the ''neutral''
spoken standard variety of modern Norwegian rather represents moderate
Bokmål (p. 350).

In contrast to Caribbean Creoles, standardization and ''planning'' of
'Pacific Pidgins and Creoles' is not a political matter, as PETER
MÜHLHÄUSLER points out: ''The vast majority of speakers of Pacific
Pidgins and Creoles are Melanesians for whom the idea of central
planning is a 'foreign concept' and the traditional Melanesian attitude
to language, which is laissez faire, has remained dominant in spite of
numerous (mainly expatriate) attempts to set up language planning
bodies'' (p. 357). Language planning and standardization seems to be
more difficult than elsewhere, because in the Pacific context language
boundaries do often not coincide with political boundaries (p. 366).
Such processes frequently go back to efforts by individuals (as in the
case of Australian Kriol) (pp. 367f.), but standardization sometimes
appears to happen coincidentally or ''by default, such as when the
variety prevalent at a certain mission station was promoted as the
standard for a whole area.'' (p. 366) Mühlhäusler rightly stresses the
language planning aspect in his paper -- different efforts have been
made, codified languages have been ''achieved'' (with ''official
standards''), but they are often not accepted (thus cannot be classified
as standard languages!) (pp. 376f.). However, Pacific Pidgins and
Creoles appear to serve more and more as identity markers for their
speaker communities.

The chapter on 'Scots' by MARINA DOSSENA leaves the reader somewhat
puzzled. Although Scots and English have been identified as separate as
early as c. 1500 (and indeed go back to different varieties of Old
English), Scots does not seem to have developed a fully-fledged
(written) standard until today; even the debate on a spelling
standardization is ongoing (p. 393). One gets the impression that the
article is rather a plea to regard Scots as a language of its own --
and not just an English dialect (group). Accordingly, Dossena clearly
struggles to identify different aspects of standardization of Scots
according to the Haugen model: 'Norm selection' is merely discussed
with respect to the integration of Scotticisms (''croon'', ''eerie'',
''uncanny'', ''weird'') into the English standard language (p. 388). The
history of codification of Scots appears to be inseparably linked to
the history of ''the anglicization of Scots'' (pp. 389f.). Notes on the
elaboration of a Scots norm are missing, and the question of 'norm
acceptance' boils down to the question of ''Good or bad Scots?'' --
apparently constituting a matter of linguistic purity. It does not
become transparent, however, to what extent Scots is rooted in and
accepted in the speaker community, particularly as a written language.
On the institutional level, Scottish Gaelic can (unsurprisingly) ''count
on greater attention''(p. 393).

ULF TELEMANN is the author of the chapter on the standardization of
'Swedish'. As with many other 'old' Germanic standard languages, the
translation of the Bible (1541) and the introduction of printing are
regarded as milestones in the beginning of standardization. The efforts
to create a uniform language were invigorated in the 17th century, when
Sweden expanded and implemented an effective central political
administration in Stockholm. Telemann describes the standardization
process both as ''a more or less inevitable consequence of the
political, economical, demographic and cultural integration of the
nation'' and a result of ''conscious, target-orientated language
cultivation (language planning, language politics)'' (p. 406). Telemann
clearly differentiates between the standardization of the written
language and the standardization of spoken Swedish: Early norm
selection in spelling developed in the tradition of the Bible
translations (a consistent morphology was not reached until the 18th
century), whereas a spoken norm was apparently not seen as a necessity
for a long time. Spelling and morphology of written Swedish were
codified in the 18th century. On the whole, Swedish orthography
represents phonemic spelling, as it was advocated for by 19th century
linguists like Adolf Noreen and codified in the 1906 spelling reform.
Pronunciation norms were only set up at the end of the 19th century,
modelled not so much on a particular regional pronunciation (e. g. such
as the one of Stockholm), but on the written language and particularly
on the pedagogical method of ''sounding''. The spoken norm was soon
regarded as idealized, however, and regional, social and stylistic
variation was permitted so that ''the official language cultivators
declared in the mid-twentieth century that the standard spoken language
existed in a number of different regionally coloured forms, implying
that the central Swedish norm was only one among these''. The
surveillance of the standard norm was not an issue -- on the
contrary, it was ''allowed to slacken as the rural dialects became too
weak to threaten the standard.'' (p. 412) Oddly, Telemann restricts his
discussion of norm elaboration on the elaboration of lexis in Swedish
and basically notices that language cultivators were ''descriptive
rather than prescriptive in lexical matters'' (p. 422). Likewise, the
question of norm acceptance is rather avoided; as an ''effective
instrument for implementing a standard norm'', Telemann identifies the
general school system of the 19th century (p. 423). As the most
noticeable recent development, Telemann perceives the ''general trend of
de-formalization'' after World War II (among other things a result of
the increasing pressure of ''spontaneous, natural, unedited spoken
language of the television'' on the written language norms) and the
growing influence of English in science, universities, business and
even politics (p. 427).

'Yiddish' is a distinct case of a Germanic language, because of its
''historical, geographic, cultural, and religious individuality'', as
RAKHMIEL PELTZ writes (p. 432), particularly as its speakers, the
Ashkenazic Jews, ''were always minorities in the countries in which they
resided'' (p. 433). As a predominantly Germanic language, Yiddish has
integrated elements from other language groups -- by origin
components of Semitic and by language contact components of Slavic.
Traditionally, it was used at least in diglossic language situations,
with Hebrew as the language in religious contexts, and Yiddish as the
language in the family and the community. Like other contributors to
this volume, Peltz distinguishes between standardization brought about
by day-to-day changes (convergence, dialect levelling etc.) and
conscious language planning (pp. 433ff.). The planning of a Yiddish
standard was enhanced by the establishment of research institutions,
societies and various publications devoted to the study of Yiddish
language. Most of them were based in Eastern European countries, their
efforts ''were eliminated by the Nazi extermination of the Jews and
their institutions in Eastern Europe, the major heartland of Jewish
life in the world at that time in history'' (p. 434). On the level of
written language, the standard 'klal-shprakh' was developed, which
could be understood in all dialect areas; this writing system is the
product of concerted efforts to establish a standard which ''does not
favour one dialect'' (p. 438). As with many other standard languages,
standardization of Yiddish does not necessarily include standard
pronunciation. Although some dialects seem to be more prestigious than
others, the overall question of a standard spoken norm appears to be
rather peripheral (pp. 439f.). Efforts to codify written Yiddish,
mainly in orthography and lexicon, developed at the end of the 19th and
beginning of the 20th century ''to serve the needs of the Jewish
community's expanding functions in Yiddish'' (p. 440). Norm elaboration
and implementation appears to have taken place above all through modern
Yiddish literature and the daily press, which ''emerged in full force at
the beginning of the twentieth century'' -- although the conservative
daily press was ''most resistant to planning recommendations'' (p. 445).
Norm acceptance is apparently the least debatable aspect in the
standardization history of Yiddish. According to Peltz, it can serve as
an example of the Jewish community's capability ''to regulate itself
independently of governments and border'' (p. 446), thus echoing the
title and subtitle of Peltz's chapter: ''Yiddish. A language without an
army regulates itself.'' The stand of Yiddish has, however, become more
difficult after World War II, as younger Jewish people have
linguistically shifted more and more to the dominant language of the
country that they live in (p. 447).

Ideally, the present volume can be used as a handbook on the modern
history of the Germanic languages as well as a source for a comparative
study of the standardization processes in these languages. Although it
will be difficult to establish 'general' patterns, certain similarities
in the standardization histories -- some of which are outlined in
Deumert's & Vandenbussche's resumée (pp. 455ff.) -- are striking (the
role of bible translations, of the introduction of printing, of
schooling etc. -- or even the relatively small influence of
'professional' language planners!).

The concept to organize the book according to one standardization model
(i. e. Haugen's model) certainly has its advantages and disadvantages:

-- A major asset of this approach is the clear structure of the
various articles, and the idea to build on Haugen's four aspects of
standardization is useful as long as these aspects are not interpreted
as constituting a strict order of consecutive phases. (Some languages
seem to be accepted as standard by the speaker communities before their
written language norms are elaborated.) Moreover, Haugen in his model
rightfully stresses the existence of a written norm as the crucial
factor of standardization. Most authors follow this interpretation and
focus on the development of a written norm.

-- The clear formal structure which is achieved by the adaptation of
Haugen's model may obscure a little, however, a) that some of the
varieties assembled here may not count as standard languages at all and
b) that some standardization histories are difficult to compare:

ad a) One could argue about the choice of languages considered for this
volume. Why is Scots included as a standard language, but not
Pennsylvania German? König & van der Auwera (1994) have a chapter on
Pennsylvania German, but none on Scots. (And apparently, they did not
even consider incorporating Low German and Luxembourgish.)

ad b) As the editors point out in their introductory essay, disparities
between the standardization of 'old' vs. 'new' and 'big' vs. 'small'
languages can probably not be bridged by a single model like Haugen's.
Because of the effects of mass literacy or nationalism in the 19th
century, standardization processes which only commenced after 1800 (cf.
Kloss 1978) were on the whole very different from those which were
initiated many centuries before (let alone the development of the
merely 'temporarily' standardized ''chancery languages'' like Low Middle
German and Frisian): For some of the 'old' languages which had a fairly
uniform written variety by 1800, alphabetization, mass literacy and the
emergence of new regional varieties of writing was a more or less
disruptive factor in the standardization process, whereas 'new'
languages rather started from and built on the existing variation in
the 19th century.

Furthermore, some of the authors appear to disagree on basic terms, so
that the reader may arrive at two or more different meanings of ''norm
elaboration'', ''proto-standard'' or ''destandardization'' (which others
refer to as ''deformalization''). Interestingly, various articles reveal
somewhat deviating views on the question of how much variation a
standard language can tolerate. Such discrepancies only demonstrate,
however, that comparative work is badly needed!

The volume is very well edited and, thanks to the narrative character
of most chapters, a pleasure to read. Typing errors (p. 269: ''German
and Danes have 'v' before 'i' in this word [''wringen'' 'wring']''), wrong
terminology (p. 283: ''Second High German Consonant Shift ('Zweite
hochdeutsche Lautverschiebung')'' -- correct: ''Second Germanic
Consonant Shift'' or ''High German Consonant Shift'') or other slips are
rare. The one or other illustrating language map would have been useful
to get a clearer picture of the dialects of Frisian, Faroese or the
different Carribean and Pacific Creoles, which the reader might not be
overly familiar with.

All in all, this is a superb and very useful book. Everybody working in
the field of standardization and/or the modern history of the Germanic
languages will profit from the synoptic character and the wealth of
individual data assembled here. One begins to wonder indeed why such a
book has not been published before. And if it wasn't for the price of
EUR 126.90, the book could even be used as a coursebook for a lecture
or seminar on these or related topics.

Haugen, Einar (1966) ''Dialect, Language, Nation.'' American
Anthropologist 68: 922 -- 935.

Haugen, Einar (1972) ''Dialect, Language, Nation.'' The Ecology of
Language. Essays bei Einar Haugen, selected and introduced by Anwar S.
Dil, 237 -- 254. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Haugen, Einar (1994): ''Standardization.'' The Encyclopedia of Language
and Linguistics. 12 vols., ed. by R[onald] E. Asher, vol. 8, 4340 --
4342. Oxford, New York, Seoul & Tokyo: Pergamon Press.

Kloss, Heinz (1978): Die Entwicklung neuer germanischer Kultursprachen
seit 1800. 2nd ed. Düsseldorf: Schwann.

König, Ekkehard & Johan van der Auwera (eds.)(1994): The Germanic
Languages. London & New York: Routledge.

Langer, Nils & Winifred V. Davies (eds.)(forthcoming): Linguistic
Purism in the Germanic Languages. Berlin, New York: de Gruyter.

Linn, Andrew R. & Nicola McLelland (eds.)(2002): Standardization.
Studies from the Germanic Languages. (Amsterdam Studies in the Theory
and History of Linguistic Science. Series IV: Current Issues in
Linguistic Theory, 235). Amsterdam, Philadelphia: Benjamins.
Stephan Elspaß teaches German Linguistics in the 'Institut für Deutsche
Philologie' of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. His major
research interests are the history of New High German, Historical
Sociolinguistics, Dialectology, Phraseology, Language and Politics and
Language Historiography.