Norms and usage in Language History, 1600-1900
Rutten, Gijsbert, Rik Vosters & Wim Vandenbussche, ed., Norms and usage in Language History, 1600-1900, a sociolinguistic and comparative perspective, Amsterdam, John Benjamins, 2014, viii, 334 p., ISBN 9789027200822, prix : 99 euros
Historical sociolinguistics has successfully challenged the traditional focus on standardization in linguistic historiography. Extensive research on newly uncovered textual resources has shown the widespread variation in the written language of the past that was previously hidden or neglected. The time has come to integrate both perspectives, and to reassess the importance of language norms, standardization and prescription on the basis of sound empirical studies of large corpora of texts.
The chapters in this volume discuss the interplay of language norms and language use in the history of Dutch, English, French and German between 1600 and 1900. Written by leading experts in the field, each chapter focuses on one language and one century. A substantial introductory chapter puts the twelve research chapters into a comparative perspective.
The book is of interest to a wide readership, ranging from scholars of historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, sociology and social history to (advanced) graduate and postgraduate students in courses on language variation and change.