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Psychology of Language and Communication

The Journal of University of Warsaw

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SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.192
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.241
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.313

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2083-8506
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On the Social Nature of Linguistic Prescriptions

Marcin Miłkowski
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Nowy Świat 72, 00-330 Warsaw, Poland
  • Email:
Published Online: 2013-09-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/plc-2013-0011

Abstract

The paper proposes an empirical method to investigate linguistic prescriptions as inherent corrective behaviors. The behaviors in question may but need not necessarily be supported by any explicit knowledge of rules. It is possible to gain insight into them, for example by extracting information about corrections from revision histories of texts (or by analyzing speech corpora where users correct themselves or one another). One easily available source of such information is the revision history of Wikipedia. As is shown, the most frequent and short corrections are limited to linguistic errors such as typos (and editorial conventions adopted in Wikipedia). By perusing an automatically generated revision corpus, one gains insight into the prescriptive nature of language empirically. At the same time, the prescriptions offered are not reducible to descriptions of the most frequent linguistic use.

Keywords: descriptivism; prescriptivism; normativity; corpora research; Wikipedia

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About the article

Published Online: 2013-09-06

Published in Print: 2013-09-01


Citation Information: Psychology of Language and Communication, ISSN (Print) 1234-2238, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/plc-2013-0011. Export Citation

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