The Linguistic Orientation
â€¢ L is the common property of all humans.
â€¢ All humans possess L equally.
â€¢ Differences are due to variety.
â€¢ Variety results from naturally occurring variation.
â€¢ Varieties become socially dominant and others not so much.
â€¢ Literacy allowed the establishment of norms based on the socially dominant varieties.
â€¢ All varieties are used for artistic expression, often one variety serving as a vehicle specific to a form of art e.g. Southern English and country music.
â€¢ All varieties consist of the same elements i.e. there is no such thing as an impoverished L in terms of vocabulary, phonetics, structural features, etc.
â€¢ Vocabulary fits the culture carried by the L. Contact among peoples and L may augment vocabulary.
â€¢ Phonetics and structures can be affected by contact but less likely than vocabulary.
â€¢ Most changes in L are generated internally via well-studied and well-recognized processes.
â€¢ These processes are always at work so their is no such thing as an unchanging L.
â€¢ When a L loses its status as the first and native L of a population, it is labeled dead, meaning it no longer has native speakers.
â€¢ A current example of a dead L reviving is Hebrew. Otherwise, dead L are frozen except to the extent they continue being used and change only around the edges, especially in vocabulary.
The Humanities/Arts Orientation
â€¢ L is the expression of thought.
â€¢ Thoughts are not equal, nor are humans and therefore L is not equal.
â€¢ Deviations from the ideal do not have value.
â€¢ Deviations are due to natural flaws in humans – laziness, slovenliness, stupidity, ignorance.
â€¢ The best is selected out and into the ideal. Deviations can only be of a lower order of L.
â€¢ What is written has permanence and therefore should be the best. Deviations that find their way into writing have no value unless it serves a special purpose like Huck Finn’s speech.
â€¢ A L that hears a high culture is itself a high L. Indicators of being a high L are complexity, hypotaxis, standardization, lexical diversity, and others.
â€¢ The development of a L is directed by those we invest with authority. Their authority derives from their expertise and reputation as bearers of the culture.
â€¢ While it is obvious that L changes, without control and guidance, brakes, so to speak, the result will be linguistic anarchy.
â€¢ A mark of a high L is, as stated earlier, standardization and that implies at least a slowing down of these change processes. In this way, we might compensate for the changes as they arise.
â€¢ The only dead L we concern ourselves with are the classic L like Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, Chinese, Arabic that are recognized for their great literature.
â€¢ These classical L are fixed by virute of their being dead and idealized for the same reason. Moreover, by virtue of the great literature they bear, a sense of L superiority clings to them.
â€¢ Cultures create L and high cultures create high L. Cultures not considered high cultures per force do not have high L.