Language, literature and culture develop according to different sets of rules, and it is the task of linguistics, literary studies and cultural studies to describe both the regularities and the changes in these fields. On the one hand, this description unearths standardization mechanisms that influence practical language application and aesthetic production. On the other hand, although normative and prescriptive statements tend to be avoided to a large extent in the descriptively-aligned philological disciplines, these fields of academic study still contribute to standardization. They implicitly or explicitly define the standards for the 'correct' usage of language or 'good' aesthetic design, for example in reference materials and with the help of other instruments and institutions. Moreover, they contribute to the perpetuation of standards by way of their influence on the curricula of schools and universities.
The goal of the present volume is to examine the developments and functions of such prescriptive and descriptive tendencies by comparing the similarities and differences in the philological sub-disciplines (linguistics, literary studies and cultural studies, as well as didactics) and their respective subject matters.
Several theoretical approaches, models and methods are presented by specialists from different disciplines, opening up new perspectives for further inter- and transdisciplinary research and new vistas on school and university curricula.
Anne Schröder / Ulrich Busse / Ralf Schneider (eds.)
Codification, Canons, and Curricula
Description and Prescription in Language and Literature
Bielefelder Schriften zu Linguistik und Literaturwissenschaft 26
BEAST – Bielefeld English and American Studies 4
Anne Schröder, Ralf Schneider and Ulrich Busse: Description and Prescription in Language and Literature: Introductory Remarks
Part I: Setting the Scene: Codifications and Canons - Historical Background and Parameters
Ulrich Busse and Anne Schröder: What Exactly is 'Standard English'?
Ralf Schneider: Codification, Descriptivism and Prescriptivism in British Literary History
Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade: Codifying the English Language
Claudia Claridge: Registers, Genres and the Standard: Some Thoughts on the Corpus-linguistic Documentation of the 18th Century
Helge Nowak: Canons, Curricular Conventions, and the Literary History of Britain and Ireland
Part II: Authorities and Institutions - Practices of Description and Prescription
Sabine Volk-Birke: The Literary Critic as an Institution
Marie-Luise Egbert: Translation and Canon Formation
Stefanie Preuss: The Canon of a Stateless Nation: Practices of Literary Canon Formation in Scotland
Barbara Frank-Job: Codification and Linguistic Norms in Romance Languages
Charlotte Brewer: Dictionary-Making, Usage, Literature and the Classics: The Unhappy Fate of Oxford's Quarto Dictionary 1925-1958
Joan Beal: New Authorities and the 'New Prescriptivism'
Part III: Expanding the Canons, Testing the Norms
Stephan Gramley: General Non-Standard English: The Covert ENL Norm
Claudia Lange: Postcolonial Englishes: From Norms to Standards
Pam Peters: Usage Guides and Australian English: Prescription and Description
Eva Ulrike Pirker: New Canons in the Making: Creating Visual 'Archives' of Black Britain
Andrea Moll: Orthographic Practices in Diasporic Jamaican Online Communities: Between Idiosyncratic Usage and 'Grassroots' Conventionalisation
Rolf Lohse: Testing the Norms: Humour as a 'Harmless' Transgression
Part IV: Teaching the Norms - Influences of Description and Prescription on the Curriculum
Claus Gnutzmann: Teaching English in a Globalised World: Does it Make a Difference?
Augustin Simo Bobda: Teaching (Standard) English in an ESL and EFL Context: The Case of Cameroon
Laurenz Volkmann: From University Curriculum to School Curriculum: Observations on a Troubled Relationship
Markus Bieswanger: Varieties of English in the Curriculum
Biographical Notes on the Authors
Anne Schröder holds the chair for English Linguistics at Bielefeld University, Germany. She studied English and French at the Université de Caen (France), the University of Bristol (UK), and at the University of Freiburg/Breisgau (Germany), where she received her Dr. phil. in English linguistics. Before taking up her present post, she taught at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg and at Chemnitz University of Technology. Her research interests are varieties of English around the world, with a focus on tense and aspect in Cameroon Pidgin English, and morphological productivity. She has also co-authored several papers with Ulrich Busse on aspects of English usage guides.
Ulrich Busse is Full Professor of English Linguistics at Martin Luther University at Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. Over the past twenty years, he has published widely on Anglo-German language contact and its lexicographical description, including a book and a three-volume dictionary on the influence of English on Present-day German. His general interest in lexis and its description is reflected in a number of publications on lexicology and (meta-) lexicography. In English historical linguistics, he has worked on Early Modern English, historical pragmatics and the language of Shakespeare in particular. More recently, he has investigated the role of prescription and description in the codification of English as exemplified in usage manuals.
Ralf Schneider received his PhD from the University of Cologne, then held teaching posts at the universities of Tübingen and Freiburg and has been professor of British Literature and Culture at Bielefeld University since 2005. His fields of research include cognitive theory and criticism, literary theory, the Victorian Era, the war-media-art nexus and narratives of the experience of migration.