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Grammar between Norm and Variation


Edited By Alexandra N. Lenz and Albrecht Plewnia

The articles collected in this volume offer the most various access to the discussed questions on norm and variation. In their entirety, they reflect the current discussion of the topic. Focusing on the object languages German and English ensures a high level of topical consistency. On the other hand, the four large topic areas (emergence and change of norms and grammatical constructions; relationship of codes of norms and ‘real’ language usage; competition of standard and non-standard language norms; and subsistent norms of minority languages and «institutionalised second-language varieties») cover a large range of relevant issues, thereby certainly giving an impetus to new and further investigations.


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Markus Hundt: New norms – How new grammatical constructions emerge 27


Markus Hundt (Kiel) New norms – How new grammatical constructions emerge 1. Types of language norms How can we define what a language norm is? Previous literature on this subject shows clearly that there is no clearcut definition of language norm which is ac- cepted uncontroversially by the linguistic community. On the other hand we have some aspects of language norms which are common sense and which are promi- nent in nearly every attempt to define language norms. – Obligation: This is the deontic character of a language norm. Norms commit the speaker/writer to a specific language use. The language norm prescribes what is or is not permitted in language use. – The claim of validity and the application of the language norm: Both are es- sential. Whether language norms are applied or not, it is crucial that the rules inherent in a norm are obligatory, i.e. that the language norms hold for the variety which is under control of the norm. Furthermore it is obvious – espe- cially with respect to language norms – that the application of the norm is an essential part of the norm itself. That language users stick to the norms and that they expect this from the other language users creates what is called in language norm discussions the anticipation of an expected action (‘Erwar- tungserwartung’). – Sanctions are also part of language norms. Part of their function is to main- tain the norm, to force the subjects under the norm, and also to establish the norm as such. For...

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