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date: 23 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter deals with the processes by which the European vernaculars gained prestige vis-à-vis Latin from the late Middle Ages onwards. It addresses the “idea” of a standard language and how this has been advanced by particular actors and institutions across Europe, focusing primarily on the period from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century. It also considers whether standard languages are now outmoded concepts and suggests that we are now in a period characterized by destandardization.

Keywords: standardization, destandardization, vernaculars, grammars, language academies

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