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Transcript

Project author:Tom McGachie

Key Stage 4 and 5

Subject based project

Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics (MMLL)

Introductory Video

Summary

When we think of the word “standard”, what comes to mind? Things that are considered “normal”, “satisfactory”, or maybe even “good”. But when it comes to the study of languages and cultures, deviations from the standard can be found everywhere. Whether it’s unique cultural practices, regional dialects, or pronunciation differences, that any language or culture has a totally fixed ‘standard’ is perhaps a myth; rather, it is something that is constructed, something that can shift depending on who it is that is doing the constructing.

3. Who should decide what ‘standard’ language ought to be? (CHALLENGE)
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of linguistic standardisation/homogeneity?
1. Is the language you and your peers use 'standard'?

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Carrying out your research project

Through carrying out your own research project, you will begin to explore the implications of creating and maintaining a ‘standard’ in one or more linguistic context(s). Either of the following three questions of increasing complexity might be a good starting off point—or you can come up with your own:

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Here are 5 sources that might get you started on thinking about the topic of “standard”, but you are encouraged to use other sources/data from your own research.

German

Russian

French

Spanish

English

Digital beings

You may wish to address any issues with how this question has been answered historically, and how language standards (official or unofficial) are currently controlled.

Article on the Académie française, an organisation that seeks to protect and regulate the use of the French language
A one ruble banknote, with “one ruble” translated from Russian into numerous other languages used in the Soviet Union in the 1940s

Texts in a single manuscript

There may be several different texts in a single manuscript, so you might want to explore how they are related. The manuscript may also be in more than one language: are the languages equally balanced, or is one more prominent than the others? Why do you think that is?

A map of the Sudetenland, which was predominantly German-speaking in in the early-mid 20th Century.

Texts in a single manuscript

There may be several different texts in a single manuscript, so you might want to explore how they are related. The manuscript may also be in more than one language: are the languages equally balanced, or is one more prominent than the others? Why do you think that is?

“How Internet Slang Is Changing Language”
Article on the use of Catalan and other regional languages in Spain under Franco’s regime

You may wish to discuss this question in the context of one or more cultures depending on the language(s) you study.

You may wish to consider not only the way you speak, but also the way you write. E.g. What kind of differences are there between the way you write an essay and the way you message your friends on social media? Is the use of some slang restricted to spoken conversations?

Texts in a single manuscript

There may be several different texts in a single manuscript, so you might want to explore how they are related. The manuscript may also be in more than one language: are the languages equally balanced, or is one more prominent than the others? Why do you think that is?