[PLing] Public Lecture by Spiros A. Moschonas (Athens): Prescriptivism and Standardization

Jürgen Spitzmüller juergen.spitzmueller at univie.ac.at
Mon Nov 5 09:53:07 CET 2018

Dear colleagues

You are cordially invited to the public lecture of Prof. Dr. Spiros
Moschonas (University of Athens) on "Prescriptivism and

Location and place: Tuesday, Nov 13, 2018, 18.30h,
Sensengasse 3a, Hörsaal 1 (1. Stock)


"Prescriptivism" and "standardization" are mutually defined terms. A
standard language is, at least partly, defined by the prescriptive acts
that give rise to it.
In this presentation the notion of correctives (i.e., speech acts of a
metalanguage-to-language direction of fit, having the form "one should
neither say nor write X; one should say or write Y instead, because Z")
and permissives ("one may say X in addition to Y under condition C")
will be discussed. Correctives and permissives are the elementary units
for the quantitative study of prescriptivism within a variationist
paradigm. They are important for diagnosing a) the corrective
repertories that compete or prevail within a linguistic community; b)
the evolution of such repertories and concomitant developments in a
standard; c) the communication trajectories through which norms are
propagated and diffused within a community; d) whether and how
standardization, language attitudes or ideologies affect language
If time allows, some of the recent literature on the effects of
prescriptivism will also be reviewed. It will be shown that
quantitative corpus-driven studies demonstrate only a partial success
of prescriptivism, a fact which is compatible with the conception of a
standard language as a superposed variety that is learned after 
the age of early acquisition and re-learned by each new generation of


With best wishes also on behalf of the Wiener Sprachgesellschaft,
Jürgen Spitzmüller

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jürgen Spitzmüller
Universitätsprofessur für Angewandte Sprachwissenschaft
Universität Wien
Institut für Sprachwissenschaft
Sensengasse 3a
A-1090 Wien

Tel +43 (0)1 4277 417 24
Fax +43 (0)1 4277 9 417

VCard: http://www.spitzmueller.org/docs/jsp.vcf

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