Language Codification

Usually we regard as standard language a variety of the language which is considered to be more correct or proper. In fact, most standard languages began their history simply as dialects, just like all other varieties of a language: confined to a particular region, or to a particular population. The selection of a particular variety as a Standard is a social and political process. During this process, certain linguistic features are recognised and others are rejected. The standard language can be based on the speech of the capital city of a country, or on the speech of a particular region. An important step toward standardisation is what we call "codification" - designing a writing system and writing conventions for languages that have so far not been written. Some languages are currently undergoing codification efforts, which are complicated due to a situation of multilingualism.