Literary language (standard) - Sociolinguistics

Literary language (standard)

Definition literary at the word language can be confusing and give rise to a misunderstanding, according to which the phrase "literary language" is equal in meaning to the combination language of literature & quot ;.

Historically, this was the case: literary language was called the language on which fiction was created, unlike the language of everyday life, crafts, crafts and so-called. This is typical both for the United States literary language and for the majority of the literary languages ​​of Europe: historically, their basis was the language of poetry, fiction, and partly folk epos and religious literature.

To avoid confusion between the concepts literary language and "literal language", in the first case the term standard, or standard language, is sometimes used. For example, in the English linguistic tradition this term is used - standard language, standard English. In United States linguistic terminology, this usage (which ED Polivanov still adhered to) did not take root, perhaps because of the negative appraisal that is present in the word "standard".

Over time, the content of the term literary language has radically changed: the type of national language that is most suitable for communication in most social spheres - in science, education, diplomacy and jurisprudence, in business relations between people and institutions, in everyday communication of cultural people - has become the literary one. The language of art works is something special: the basis of it is the literary language, codified, but elements of any other, uncodified subsystems of the national language - vernacular, dialects, jargons - are widely used.

The concept of a literary language can be defined both on the basis of the linguistic properties inherent in this subsystem of the national language, and by delimiting the totality of the carriers of a given subsystem, separating it from the general composition of people using this national language. The first way is linguistic, the second way is sociological.

An example of a linguistic approach to elucidating the essence of a literary language can be the definition given by MV Panov: "... if one of the synchronous varieties of the language of a given people overcomes the non-functional variety of units (it is smaller than in other varieties) then this variety serves as a literary language in relation to others (Panov, 1966a, p.56).

This definition implicates such important properties of the literary language as its consistent normalization (not just the existence of a single norm, but also its conscious cultivation), the universality of its norms for all speakers of a given literary language, communicatively expedient use of means (this property implies from the tendency to their functional delineation) and some others. The definition has a great differentiating power: it clearly delineates the literary language from other subsystems of the national language.

From the sociolinguistic point of view, the actual linguistic approach to the definition of linguistic subsystems, and in particular literary language, is insufficient. He does not answer the question of who, what sections of the population should be considered carriers of this subsystem, and in this sense definitions based on purely linguistic criteria are non-operational. Therefore, when solving the problems of sociolinguistic language learning, sometimes another "external" criterion for defining the concept "literary language" is used. - through the totality of the speakers of this language.

Consider the application of this criterion to the example of the modern United States literary language. Surveying with the sociolinguistic goals the totality of the speakers of this language, the scientists formulated the following signs that the carriers of the literary variant of the national language should differ from those who use other subsystems (dialects, parlance, jargons): 1) United States is their native language; 2) they were born and live in the city for a long time (all life or a large part of it); 3) they have a higher or secondary education, obtained in educational institutions with the teaching of all subjects in United States.

This definition corresponds to the traditional concept of literary language as the language of the educated, cultural part of the people.

First, observations show that persons for whom the United States language is not native, even in the case when the speaker owns it freely, find in their speech features that are more or less conditioned by interference. For example, in the speech of Ukrainians who speak United States, the sound [y] pharynal is regularly used instead of [g] explosive, "put" according to the United States literary norm; in the speech practice of Türkic-speaking speakers using United States, the opposition of hard and soft consonants is inconsistent (he used instead of a beat, instead of a cunning one, etc.). This deprives the researcher of the opportunity to consider such people homogeneous in terms of language with persons for whom United States is native.

Secondly, it is quite obvious that the city contributes to the collision and mutual influence of different dialectic speech elements, the blending of dialects. The influence of the language of the press, radio and television, the speech of the educated strata of the population in the city is much more intense than in the countryside. Besides, in the village the literary language is opposed by an organized system of one dialect (although under modern conditions it is greatly shattered by the influence of literary speech), and in the city - the so-called interdialect, the components of which are among themselves in unstable, changing relationships. This leads to the leveling of dialectal speech features or to their localization (for example, only in family communication) or to their complete repression under the pressure of literary speech. Therefore, although people who were born in the countryside, but who live all their lives in the city, should also be included - along with indigenous citizens - in the concept of "urban dwellers" and, other things being equal, into the concept of "speakers of the literary language".

Third, the criterion for "having a higher or secondary education" seems to be necessary because the years of teaching at school and higher education promote a more complete, more perfect

mastering the norms of the literary language, eliminating traits from the speech of a person that contradict these norms and reflect a dialect or common speech, - for the simple reason that instruction in the school and at the university is conducted exclusively in the literary language.

Literary language has a number of properties that distinguish it from other subsystems of the national language:

1) this is a codified subsystem, as we mentioned above; it is characterized by a more or less stable norm, uniform and universally binding for all speakers of the literary language, and this norm is purposefully cultivated;

2) This is a polyfunctional subsystem: it is suitable for use in a variety of areas of human activity. In accordance with the diverse spheres of use and the various functions that it performs, the literary language is divided into varieties (book and colloquial) and functional styles (scientific, official-business, journalistic, religious-preaching). Functional styles are divided into speech genres (more about this in Chapter 2);

3) the literary language is socially prestigious: being a component of culture, it is a communicative subsystem of the national language, to which all speakers are oriented, regardless of whether they own this subsystem or some other one. Such an orientation does not mean as much as a desire to master a literary language, but rather an understanding of its greater authority in comparison with territorial dialects, vernacular, social and professional jargons.

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