ISO/TR 20694:2018 pdf download – A typology of language registers

02-21-2022 comment

ISO/TR 20694:2018 pdf download – A typology of language registers.
4 General principles 4.1 Ability to vary and use language registers appropriately Language registers are varieties of language where one person can have more than one type of language at their command, sometimes called their ‘verbal repertoire’. Individuals are often able to vary their register according to different circumstances or environments which can depend on social attitudes, as well as geographic issues, which are covered by dialect and accent. Use of different language registers can be prescribed and proscribed for some environments, either through education and conformity to social norms, or, increasingly, through adherence to guidelines in various professional settings such as translation or publishing environments. No individual has a perfect grasp of all possible language registers used in their language community. However, an individual’s ability to understand a wide variety of registers and their social significance is greater than their ability to use, speak or write in these registers. Some higher registers are formal markers of learned environments, and lack of mastery of these registers is therefore taken as an indicator of a lack of education. Individuals from deprived backgrounds are sometimes characterized as having less mastery of different language registers, with this holding back their prospects of well- paid jobs. Thus, the active teaching of different language registers and the appropriate context for their use, is sometimes advocated. The understanding and appropriate use of different language registers is also important in second language teaching, where errors of register mark students out as not being proficient even where their accent, vocabulary and grammar are exemplary. Understanding of register is also important in translation work, where the translator needs to translate into a similar register unless instructed otherwise.
4.3 Differences across languages Some language registers are language-specific. In other cases similar language registers are found in many languages, especially where language communities share social characteristics, such as respect for certain members of society, or peer group solidarity. Language communities with very different social structures, for example a highly stratified community compared to one with no strong hierarchies, are more likely to find that some of their language registers have no equivalent in the other language. Different language registers can serve different purposes in different communities, for example to emphasise social distance, or to signal group membership. 4.4 Descriptive and prescriptive registers A typology of language registers includes the descriptive, for example, of slang, informal varieties, literary registers, and the prescriptive, for example, simplified languages, and controlled languages for use in critical communications. From the perspective of a typology of language registers, simplified natural language is one specific example of a prescribed language register. Attempts to label different language registers are found in many descriptive dictionaries, although there can be inconsistencies in lexicographic descriptions. Guidelines on the use of prescriptive registers are sometimes published, for example, by the Plain English campaign, or as company or newspaper style guides.

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