Standard language

Standard language

standard language  is a particular dialect of a language that has received legal or quasi- legal status in some jurisdiction, where it is considered the “most correct” language. It is the version whose spelling and grammar rules follow most of the texts written in that language, and the one taught to those who learn it as a foreign language.

However, there is a variety of the language, which is called standard, which is chosen as an academic and official model. It is the variety that is used in public administration, in study centers and in formal communicative situations. It is intended that all members of a community dominate it, beyond the particular way of speaking that they acquired in their childhood.

Standard languages ​​are those that, like Spanish, contain one or more standardized varieties: the Rioplatense and Peninsular standards, for example.

These standard varieties arise as a result of an act of linguistic planning called standardization. This linguistic planning implies a deliberate action on the language, planned and executed by institutional agents, such as language and literature academies and educational institutions, among others.


They are divided into structural and cultural . The former are intrinsic to the language system and the latter are focused on their external social repercussions.

Intellectualization : the standard variety should serve as a vehicle for complex communications and express ideas effectively. For that it has to be lexically and grammatically equipped. The official languages ​​must be standard languages.

To fulfill the specific communicative functions assigned to it, it must be adapted from the linguistic point of view, so that its use in certain socio-cultural fields, types of text and discourse universes does not attract attention: the linguistic instrument itself becomes « transparent »and the focus is on the content it conveys.

Flexible stability : a balance must be maintained between what makes this variety recognized as such (stability) and those innovations that allow its adaptation to the new communication needs that arise among its speakers (flexibility). On the other hand, the cultural properties of the standard language refer to the roots of its speakers to a particular culture and worldview, and to the area of ​​urbanization that the management of this variety implies in relation to the social practices that are carried with it finished.


Unifying : it serves as a link between speakers of different varieties of the same language and helps to unite them in a single linguistic community.

Separatist : it is a powerful symbol of national identity. Thus, the identification of the individual with his linguistic community instead of being indifferent acquires a high emotional charge.

Prestige : the possession of a standard language is linked to a certain prestige.

Reference framework : the standard variety serves as a reference framework for speech use, providing a coded standard that serves as a correction point.


Loyalty : desire of a linguistic community to retain its language and, if necessary, to defend it against foreign invasion.

Pride : the recognition of the prestige of the standard variety causes pride in the subject that dominates it. In turn, a positive attitude such as pride is a prerequisite to the desire to transform one’s own language into a standard.

Awareness of the norm : it implies a positive attitude towards codification.

Characteristics of a standard language

  1. dictionary that unifies a standardized vocabulary and spelling.
  2. recognized grammar that records the forms, rules and structures of language and that recommends certain forms and punishes others.
  3. standard pronunciation system , which is considered “polite” or “adequate” by speakers and is considered free of regional markers.
  4. An institution that promotes the use of language and that has certain authority, formal or informal, in the definition of its rules of use, such as the Royal Spanish Academy.
  5. statute or constitution that gives it an official status in the legal system of a country.
  6. The use of language in public life , for example in the judiciary and the legislative branch.
  7. The schooling of standardized spelling and grammar

Example of a text written in standard language

It would be any fragment of a Spanish text that correctly uses the lexicon, grammar and syntax:

“The secrecy with which the Executive Power intends to handle an issue of such relevance as the draft code of consumption is worrisome and even suspicious. It has been known that this document would be approved this week – perhaps today – by the Council of Ministers, behind of experts and citizens. It seems that this would be a major scandal, when it is known that one of the most controversial issues, such as transgenic food, is played in breach of the right to information of consumers and violating the rules current on labeling. “

20 phrases written in standard variety

  1. The standard language is considered by the speakers as the most appropriate because it is the one that best fits the standard.
  2. The current Spanish standard is multi-real and configures a model governed by a principle of coherence or complementarity. (Corbeil 1983)
  3. The Renaissance period was of great importance in the revival of the arts.
  4. The president has announced that the approved measures will soon be met.
  5. It is expected that by 2020 the rental price will fall by approximately 10%.
  6. The event took place at 10 pm on Friday and, as of today, the police continue with the investigation.
  7. Spanish is today one of the main languages ​​of the world.
  8. The Cervantes Institute is the public institution in charge of promoting and teaching the Spanish language abroad as well as spreading Spanish culture abroad.
  9. Until 1937, Spanish shared co-officiality with English and Tagalog in the Philippines.
  10. In the United States: more than 40 million Spanish speakers are counted in different cities.
  11. The members of the executive committee met early Monday.
  12. The vose consists in the use of the pronoun “vos” instead of “you”.
  13. In the Sahara about 200,000 people have Spanish as a co-official and teaching language alongside Arabic.
  14. American Spanish is the richest and most lively geographic variety of our language.
  15. Currently, the Spanish language enjoys widespread and worldwide progression since its demand for learning has skyrocketed worldwide, especially in the United States, Brazil and some East Asian countries.
  16. Spanish is the Romance language with the highest number of speakers as it has more than 400 million.
  17. The elements that make up a communicative situation are: the personality of the sender-receiver, the degree of formality, the intentionality, the subject matter and the interaction space.
  18. Age and different groups originate the emergence of specialized languages, such as jargon.
  19. The social character of the language is based on the fact that it is shared by the individuals of a community.
  20. The conference will begin when the president finishes the welcome speech.


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