Prescription and description
Main article: Descriptive linguistics
Linguistic description (observation and reportage (tường thuật, kể lại) of how language is practised (được dùng trong thực tế) establishes conceptual categories (các phạm trù khái niệm) without establishing formal usage rules (quy chuẩn ngữ pháp, prescriptions), about which the introduction (lời nói đầu, trang giới thiệu) to the Merriam–Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage (1994) reports that: “Possible is sometimes considered to be an absolute adjective”. The discipline of modern linguistics originated in the 16th and 17th centuries from the comparative method of lexicography that was principally about classical languages, the results of which formed the bases, in the 18th and 19th centuries, of contemporary linguistics; by the early 20th century, descriptive research concentrated upon modern languages.
In the article “Realistic Prescriptivism” (2008), Ghil’ad Zuckermann “provides a critical analysis of the Academy of the Hebrew Language’s mission, as intriguingly defined (được định nghĩa một cách có chủ ý) in its constitution: ‘to direct the development of Hebrew in light of (theo đường hướng) its nature’.” In describing several volte-faces (sự xoay đảo, hay thay đổi lập trường) of the Hebrew Academy, Zuckermann said that the Academy “has begun submitting to (đề ra) the ‘real world’, accommodating (làm thích nghi, quen và chấp nhận) its decrees to the parole of native Israeli [Hebrew] speakers, long regarded as ‘reckless’ and ‘lazy’.”
Despite the demotic intent (ý hướng dân chủ) of General American and Non-regional Pronunciation Englishes as “standard language”, upon being established as such, they are prescriptively exclusive of (không tính đến, không bao gồm) other Anglophone folk languages such as Scottish English, Hiberno-English, Australian English, and AAVE, whose speakers might take umbrage (thấy bị xúc phạm, feel vexed, phật lòng) at such a descriptive prescription; hence, despite apparent opposition, prescription and description exist in a complementary (bổ sung cho nhau) dynamic tension of mutual linguistic support.