National Language

(redirected from Majority language)
Also found in: Medical.

National Language


the language of a nation (natsiia, nation in the historical sense) that has evolved from the language of a nationality (narodnost’) during the process of that nationality’s development into a nation. The intensiveness of this process depends on the rate and special conditions of the development of a nationality into a nation among various peoples.

A national language is a system of several forms of a language: the literary language (oral and written), popular conversational varieties of the language, and dialects. In the course of the formation of a national language, the relationship between literary language and dialect undergoes a substantial change. The national literary language is the most important developing form of a language; it gradually supplants the dialects that dominated the earlier stages of language development, especially in oral communication. Under the influence of a literary language, the formation of new dialectal features comes to an end and a leveling of clear-cut dialectal differences occurs. At the same time, the literary language gains wider acceptance and application and its functions become more complex. The literary form of a language becomes dominant as a result of the increasing complexity and development of the national culture of a people. The literary language, basing itself on the language of the people, supplants written languages that are alien to the people, such as Latin in Western Europe and Church Slavonic in Russia. The national literary language also becomes the standard for oral communication, where previously dialect was dominant.

An extremely important characteristic of a national literary language is its normalizing tendency. In order to satisfy the increasingly complex and diverse needs of society that arise from the development of literature, journalism, and science and technology, as well as from the emergence of various forms of oral speech, the syntactic system and vocabulary of a national literary language develop intensively and become enriched.

In bourgeois society, the national literary language serves primarily the dominant stratum of society, that is, its educated classes. As a rule, the rural population continues to use dialects, while in cities, urban dialects compete with the literary language. In socialist nations, as a result of the democratization of society and the widespread dissemination of education, a uniform, normalized, universally accepted national literary language becomes the property of every member of the nation.


Voprosy formirovaniia i razvitiia natsional’nykh iazykov. Moscow, 1960.


References in periodicals archive ?
Their concern follows the decline in Welsh speakers and communities where Welsh is the majority language.
Rwanda, unlike most African countries, has always had one majority language and culture, as Jacqueline Musiitwa explains.
The project will focus on teacher education for the majority language (e.
They address all the social settings of language learning (the majority language context, the minority second language setting, the external setting, coexisting second language settings, and the institutional second language setting).
If we stop to consider the culture of Canada Beyond Quebec for a moment, and the huge difficulty we have in creating a space for our own made-in-Canada culture to survive and flourish, then consider the need for Quebec to protect both its majority language and its culture, we might perceive genuine connections between our parallel albeit different situations.
The survey results reveal that at School A, the majority language, (French) is much more spoken in the halls and classrooms than at School B, where French is spoken in French classes.
I have also been advised that the job centres have long had the same policy, regardless of the majority language in the locality.
The present initiative will not reverse the tortured and familiar path of language shift and marginalization for Kurds who will continue to receive instruction in the majority language as they will inch forward to enjoy their long recognized and cherished language rights.
The interdependence hypothesis explains the fact that instruction through a minority language exerts no adverse consequences on students' academic development in the majority language despite considerably less instructional exposure to the majority language.
And that in an area where the majority language is Welsh.