Linguistic Policy

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Linguistic Policy


a set of measures adopted by a state, class, party, or ethnic group for the purpose of changing or preserving the existing functional distribution of language forms, introducing new language norms, or preserving those in use. A linguistic policy encompasses the nature and methods of resolving questions of language, including the selection of a language, and questions of linguistics, including the selection of linguistic norms. The nature and methods of the policy are determined by the interests of specific classes or ethnic communities and by the political and ideological goals of their cultures. Accordingly, a linguistic policy may focus on desired change (in this sense it is termed language building by Soviet scholars and language planning by Western Europeans), or it may center on the existing speech culture. The effectiveness of a linguistic policy depends on sociopolitical, ideological, psychological, and aesthetic factors.


Avrorin, V. A. Problemy izucheniia funktsional’noi storony iazyka. Leningrad, 1975.
Nikol’skii, L. B. Sinkhronnaia sotsiolingvistika. Moscow, 1976.
Shveitser, A. D. Sovremennaia sotsiolingvistika. Moscow, 1976.
Iazykovaia politika v afro-aziatskikh stranakh. Moscow, 1977.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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