Connected speech problems?
>><The matter is that formal standards are inherently prescriptive in nature, and it is generally formal standards which are taught.>
Don't be pathetic and amateur. Standard forms have a range of registers, just like many other forms.<<
Such do not necessarily cover an actual full range of registers in everyday usage, though, and are commonly limited to things like the use of "desu" versus "da" in Japanese and the use of the preterite versus the past perfect in German.
''Standard forms have a range of registers, just like many other forms.''
this is not very true
registers of a language:
acrolect (high style, ''standard'') ''It is not I''
mesolect (colloquial usage) ''It's not me''
basilect (dialects and urban slang) ''It ain't me''
My teachers of Italian and German were both descriptive. My Italian teacher told us there was no reason to learn ''Past Simple'' in Italian, since it is not used anymore...We should be able to recognize it, but not to use it. The same is true of German, our German teacher told us there's was no reason to learn ''Past Simple'' in German, since it's not used anymore (except for some verbs like haben, sein and modals (dürfen, sollen) and so on)...Furthermore, we didn't have to learn rules of classical German (10 rules when to use ''Past Simple'', 10 rules when to use ''Present Perfect). She recommended the current usage: for past actions, use ''present perfect'' with all verbs except for sein, haben and modal with which you should prefer ''past simple'' (in Classical/literary german Past simple vs Present Perfect is similar to the current English usage:
Es hat geregnet (It's been raining, the streets are still wet)
Es regnete (It rained or It was rainging, the streets are not wet anymore)...
These rules are ignored in spoken German (except by some Northen speakers)...
There's no need to learn obsolete rules. It's just like learning 20 rules when to use WILL (and not Shall) and when to use Shall (an not will). Come on.
The matter is that standards do change, one can have separate literary and spoken standards, and such just reflects change in standards and differences between literary and spoken standards. This is just like how one can speak of a de facto standard northern/western North American English alongside formal standard literary English.
The thing is that being descriptive is not merely teaching up to date spoken standards as opposed to obsolete or even archaic ones. Idealizations are still idealizations even if they are not outdated. Rather, being descriptive is treating the "situation on the ground", including all variation therein, as the fundamental basis of that being taught. Remember that one would be describing an entire language and not just a specific dialect within that language. The matter is that languages are groupings of dialects and not monolithic entities, and even dialects may have significant internal variation idiolectally. Furthermore, variation between registers may be far greater than the typical prescriptive treatments of such would indicate. Consequently, if one is to try to teach a language descriptively, one must treat it as a whole range of dialects which in turn include their own idiolectal and register variation.
Thing is, both Travis and Josh think that Standard English has only one register, i.e. that it is only formal. In reality, Standard English has a range from highly formal to informal. Standard English speakers both use and teach various registers.
<which are not prescribed but which are sets of very widespread dialect features which are commonly associated with each other. >s a standard. >
It's those runaway "whichs" again!
''In reality, Standard English has a range from highly formal to informal. ''
that is true, THEE and THY are informal ;)