Within the different Types of Grammar, it is known with the name of Prescriptive Grammar to an approach of the study of the Language, which seeks as main objective to determine the norms by which it should be governed , and therefore all its speakers, both in the oral record, as above all in the written record
Prescriptive grammar, partial grammar
Although Prescriptive Grammar is considered a direct inheritance of ancient grammars, today Linguistics points out that it can be considered a discipline of purist vision,which also, in its attempt to regulate and build a model language, based on the ideal it has with respect to the language it studies, leaves out of its vision other expressions that, even when used by the bulk of the population, They are disdained for being considered uncultured forms. Consequently, Linguistics indicates that it moves a little away from the current vision of this discipline, for which the most important thing in the study of a Language is to approach it without prejudice or prescriptive intentions, which allow recording what really happens in that Language, also without qualifying the expressions or norms as correct or incorrect, since if they occur within the dynamics of the Language and in accordance with its own norms, then they are possible.
The linguistic prescription or linguistic normativism is the establishment of rules for the use of a language. Sometimes, these rules are considered mandatory for users, whether they are speakers or writers; on other occasions, they are only recommendations. The authors of these rules see them as a language standardization modality .
In the case of the Spanish language , the normative organ paradigm is the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language , instituted at the initiative of the president of Mexico Miguel Alemán Valdés in 1951 . Within that association, the Royal Spanish Academy ( RAE ) sets the main guidelines.
In a normative grammar the rules of use of a language are established, designed for someone who already knows how to speak that language. It is fixed or prescribed what is considered right and wrong. In short, it dictates how to speak and, above all, write. In this discipline, codification of the rules of use is assumed . Generally, more value is attributed to the written language than to the oral language, and literary and educated modalities are prestigious and perpetuated. According to this model, similarity or parallelism occurs between logical and grammatical categories. An opposite concept is that of descriptive grammar , relative to the actual use of a language.
As a sociological phenomenon, linguistic prescriptivism can be studied in sociolinguistics . It is also usually linked to purism , which consists in advocating for defense against any external influence on a language.
Attitudes towards prescriptive grammar vary among speakers and writers of world languages. For many languages there are regulatory institutions, such as the SAR for the Spanish language , or for the French language , the Academie française . But, for example, English lacks an equivalent institution. Although prescriptive works for this language are written, their authors are individuals or private groups, without any official support.
Linguistic regulations are based on a series of expressive uses that must be followed to speak and write a language correctly. For the determination of the “correct” concept, the following criteria of use are taken into account
- Conformation of a linguistic system based on its etymological component and its historical evolution.
- Frequency in the literary language.
- Socially accepted progressive taxation, that is, the ” cult norm
Sometimes the normative admits differences according to different linguistic varieties. Examples within the Spanish domain territory:
- The seseo is considered a cult norm in Andalusia , the Canary Islands and Latin America , but not in the rest of Spain .
- The voseo is accepted as normative in Argentina , but not in Spain, nor in most of Latin America, and so on .
What is prescriptive grammar for?
When analyzing the position of Linguistics on prescriptive grammar, it is natural that doubts arise about the reason for its functions, and much more about its current existence. However, prescriptive grammar has great vitality, being taught in basic education, while being a reference for any non-native speaker who wants to learn a language. Despite not being a reflection of the totality of speech levels that may exist in a Linguistic Community, the Prescriptive Grammar of a Language will be the academic compendium that allows to come into contact with a Language, as well as initiate and carry out a schematic study of it. , even if it does not correspond to the reality of the language being studied, but simply to its ideal, hence its pedagogical value.