Taming the Vernacular: From Dialect to Written Standard Language examines the differences between 'standard' and 'nonstandard' varieties of several different languages. Not only are some of the best-known languages of Europe represented here, but also some that have been less well-researched in the past.
The chapters address the syntax of Dutch, English, French, Finnish, Galician, German and Spanish. For these languages, and many others, it is the standard varieties on which the most extensive syntactic research has been carried out, with the result that very little is known about the syntax of their dialects or the spoken colloquial varieties.
The editors of this volume seek to redress the balance by taking a cross-linguistic perspective on the historical development of the standardised varieties. This allows them to identify some common characteristics of spoken language. It also helps the reader to understand the kinds of filtering processes that are involved in standardization, which result in the syntax of spoken colloquial language being different from the syntax of the standard varieties.
Taming the Vernacular: From Dialect to Written Standard Language is suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate students of Linguistics, particularly those taking courses in sociolinguistics, dialectology, and historical linguistics. The focus on a variety of languages also makes this text suitable for students studying courses which cover the linguistic aspects of European languages.