This paper is based on an overview. I indicate there the essential development stages of prescriptive linguistics and I substantiate the thesis that development of linguistics is conditioned on practical needs. The main purpose of the studies of language has been its protection since the old days. This gave rise to descriptive and prescriptive grammar, which – by codifying the standard – influenced language condition and development to a certain extent.
In the Polish environment, language is clearly treated as a social good and attempts to ensure its correctness are combined with a fight for the homeland, with the emotional element strongly manifest. The love of language, the fight for correctness, and the fight with errors are notions which have a long tradition in Polish linguistics and which have been used to this date. Prescriptive linguistics defined as the theory of language culture was formed in the Polish reality and gained its scientific status in the second half of the 20th century.
The subject of this paper is a language norm (a standard language) from the functional perspective. The author presents four points of view on the question of language norm: 1) acceptance; 2) statement; 3) depreciation; 4) assurance, represented in functional grammar. The author shows how the standard language is perceived by researchers of these four formations. A particular attention is paid to the phenomenon of norm liberalisation. The author proposes his own idea taking the “langue vs. parole” opposition into account. According to the author, the increase in the number of colloquial elements in public communication texts points to the hybrid nature of such discourses rather than to norm liberalisation.
Language is continuously changing, and so is i.a. the semantic scope of words. These changes concern also the basic lexical resource. Do the contemporary dictionaries of Polish keep up with the changes? The subject of this paper is a selected example of a description of a lexical norm codified in such dictionaries. The principal goal of this paper is to determine the significance of the specification level of the description of the lexical meaning of the units defined in dictionaries (e.g. mleć (to grind), mielony (ground)) for certain language users. It turns out that it is crucial for interpreting various legal acts and regulations. It influences i.a. the interpretation of tax regulations and, what follows, the amount of taxes to be paid by enterprises or their customers. The analysis uses the language material contained in Narodowy Korpus Języka Polskiego (National Corpus of Polish).
This paper describes how the content of entries could affect the classification of goods and the VAT rate calculated on the goods – it describes the practical application of the lexical norm in a field that seems to be far from linguistics, namely industry and economy.