1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Prescriptivism

Edited By Joan C. Beal, Morana Lukač, Robin Straaijer Copyright 2023
    522 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This Handbook provides a comprehensive and cutting-edge overview of the field of linguistic prescriptivism. Mapping the current status quo of the field and marking its two-decade transformation into a serious field of study within linguistics, this volume addresses both the value and the methods of studying prescriptivism. It covers:

    • Theoretical and methodological approaches – from historical to experimental approaches and including corpus-based methods and attitudes research;

    • Contexts in which prescriptive efforts can be both observed and studied – including education, technology, the media, language planning and policies, and everyday grassroots practices;

    • Geographical contexts of prescriptivism – featuring chapters on inner- and outer-circle Englishes, English as a Lingua Franca, as well as prescriptivism in the context of other world languages including minority and endangered languages.

    With contributions from an international line-up of leading and rising-star scholars in the field, The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Prescriptivism marks the evolution of linguistics as a fully self- aware discipline and will be an indispensable guide for students and researchers in this area.


    List of illustrations

    List of contributors


    Linguistic Prescriptivism: an evolving field.

    Joan C. Beal, Morana Lukač and Robin Straaijer

    PART I

    Theoretical and methodological issues

    Edited by Joan C. Beal

    1 Why grammars have to be normative – and prescriptivists have to be scientific

    Geoffrey K. Pullum

    2 Verbal hygiene

    Deborah Cameron

    3 Accent bias

    Dominic Watt, Erez Levon and Christian Ilbury

    4 Historiographical methods

    Nuria Yáñez-Bouza

    5 Corpus-based approaches to prescriptivism

    Benedikt Szmrecsanyi and Dieuwertje Bloemen

    6 Prescription and normativity in the evolution of inner-circle Englishes

    Pam Peters

    7 The role of prescriptivism in the emergence of New Englishes

    Edgar W. Schneider

    8 Prescriptivism and national identity

    Stefan Dollinger

    9 Standards with pluricentric languages

    Raymond Hickey


    Contexts and practices of prescriptivism

    Edited by Robin Straaijer

    10 Usage guides as a text type

    Ingrid Teken-Boon van Ostade

    11 English prescriptivism in higher education contexts: focus on Nordic countries

    Elizabeth Petersen and Marika Hall

    12 Prescriptivism in education: from language ideologies to listening practices

    Ian Cushing and Julia Snell

    13 Linguistic prescriptivism as social prescription: the case of gender

    Evan D. Bradley

    14 Grassroots prescriptivism

    Morana Lukač and Theresa Heyd

    15. Prescription and taboo: Australia’s sensitivity towards American influence

    Kate Burridge

    16 Copy editors, (not) all alike

    Morana Lukač and Adrian Stenton


    Prescriptivism across languages and cultures

    Edited by Morana Lukač

    17 Standard language ideology and prescriptivism in the Arabic-speaking world

    Andreas Hallberg

    18 Prescriptive language ideologies in Modern Hebrew

    Roey Gafter and Uri Mor

    19 A socio-political and historical perspective of linguistic prescriptivism in relation to African languages of South Africa

    Russell H Kaschula, Sebolelo Mokapela, Dion Nkomo, and Bulelwa Nosilela

    20 Prescriptivism in Greater China: Historical trajectories and contemporary pluricentricity Henning Klöter

    21 Prescriptivism and the English language in Southeast Asia

    Lionel Wee and Nora Samosir

    22 Literary norms in Russia: Past and present

    Arto Mustajoki

    23 Prescriptivism in Croatia

    Anđel Starčević, Mate Kapović, and Daliborka Sarić

    24 Prescriptivism and diglossia: How acceptable is normalized Breton to native speakers? Gary German

    25 Metaphor as a manifestation of prescriptivism: The case of France and Quebec

    Olivia Walsh and Emma Humphries

    26 Dutch prescriptivism in a historical-sociolinguistic perspective: Measuring the effect of institutionalized prescriptivism

    Eline Lismont, Rik Vosters, and Gijsbert Rutten


    David Crystal



    Joan C. Beal is Emeritus Professor of English Language at the University of Sheffield, UK.

    Morana Lukač is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in sociolinguistics at the University of Rostock, Germany.

    Robin Straaijer is an independent researcher of English language in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.