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A pluricentric language or polycentric language is a language with several interacting codified standard forms, often corresponding to different countries. Many examples of such languages can be found worldwide among the most-spoken languages, including but not limited to
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
in Mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore;
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
in the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere; and
French
French
in France, Canada, and elsewhere. The converse case is a monocentric language, which has only one formally standardized version. Examples include
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of J ...

Japanese
and
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
. In some cases, the different standards of a pluricentric language may be elaborated until they become
autonomous languageAutonomy and heteronomy are complementary attributes of a language variety describing its functional relationship with related varieties. The concepts were introduced by William A. Stewart in 1968, and provide a way of distinguishing a ''language'' ...
s, as happened with Malaysian and
Indonesian Indonesian is anything of, from, or related to Indonesia, an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It may refer to: * Indonesians, citizens of Indonesia ** Native Indonesians, diverse groups of local inhabitants of the archipelago ** Indonesian w ...

Indonesian
, and with
Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, North India. Hindi has been described as a Standard la ...

Hindi
and
Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonpr ...

Urdu
. The same process is under way in
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
.


Examples of varying degrees of pluricentrism


Arabic

Pre-Islamic Arabic can be considered a polycentric language. In
Arabic-speaking countries Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet ...
different levels of polycentricity can be detected.
Modern Arabic
Modern Arabic
is a pluricentric language with varying branches correlating with different regions where Arabic is spoken and the type of communities speaking it. The
vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The vernacular is typically the native language, normally Spoken language, spoken informally rath ...
varieties of Arabic include: *
Peninsular ArabicPeninsular Arabic are the varieties of Arabic spoken throughout the Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a ...
** Persian Gulf Arabic (spoken around the coasts of the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of , ) is a in . The body of water is an extension of the () through the and lies between to the northeast and the to the southwest.United Nations Group of Exper ...
in
Kuwait Kuwait (; ar, الكويت ', or ), officially the State of Kuwait ( ar, دولة الكويت '), is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regi ...

Kuwait
,
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ar, البحرين, al-Baḥrayn, , locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain ( ar, مملكة البحرين, links=no '), is a country in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Persian Gulf. The Island country, island nation c ...

Bahrain
,
Qatar Qatar (, , or ; ar, قطر, Qaṭar ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar,) is a country in Western Asia. It occupies the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and shares it ...

Qatar
, the
United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE; ar, الإمارات العربية المتحدة ) or the Emirates ( ar, الإمارات ), is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregio ...

United Arab Emirates
, as well as parts of
Saudi Arabia (''Shahada'') , national_anthem = "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia, " "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" , image_map = Saudi Arabia (orthographic projection).svg , capital = Riyadh , coordinates ...

Saudi Arabia
,
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
,
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
, and
Oman Oman ( ; ar, عُمَان ' ), officially the Sultanate of Oman ( ar, سلْطنةُ عُمان ), is a country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Formerly a maritime empire, Oman is the oldest continuously in ...

Oman
) **
Yemeni Arabic Yemeni Arabic is a cluster of varieties of Arabic The varieties (or dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two distinct ways to refer to two differe ...
*
Levantine Arabic Levantine Arabic, also called Shami (autonym Autonym may refer to: * Autonym, the name used by a person to refer to themselves or their language; see Exonym and endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) is ...
(spoken in the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
region) **Syrian Arabic **
Jordanian Arabic Jordanian Arabic is a dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a spread of language variety, language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties differ only slightly, but the differences acc ...
**
Lebanese Arabic Lebanese Arabic ( ar, عَرَبِيّ لُبْنَانِيّ, translit=ʿarabiyy lubnāniyy, Lebanese: ), or simply Lebanese ( ar, لُبْنَانِيّ, translit=lubnāniyy, Lebanese: ), is a variety Variety may refer to: Science and techno ...
**
Palestinian Arabic Palestinian Arabic is a dialect continuum of mutually intelligible varieties of Levantine Arabic spoken by most Palestinians in State of Palestine, Palestine, Israel and in the Palestinian diaspora populations. Together with Jordanian Arabic, it ...
, *
Maghrebi Arabic Maghrebi Arabic (Western Arabic; as opposed to Eastern or Mashriqi Arabic) is a vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The ...
(spoken in the
Maghreb The Maghreb (; ar, المغرب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as Northwest Africa, is the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. The region includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania (also considered part of West Africa), Morocco and ...

Maghreb
region) **
Moroccan Arabic Moroccan Arabic ( ar, اللهجة المغربية, ), known as Darija in Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark gree ...

Moroccan Arabic
**
Tunisian Arabic Tunisian Arabic, or simply Tunisian, is a set of dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two distinct ways to refer to two different types of Lingui ...
, *
Mesopotamian Arabic Mesopotamian Arabic, also known as Iraqi Arabic, ( ar, عراقية) is a continuum of mutually-intelligible varieties of Arabic The varieties (or dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , ...
**
Baghdad Arabic Baghdadi Arabic is the Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Mic ...
, *
Egyptian Arabic Egyptian Arabic, locally known as Colloquial Egyptian ( ar, العامية المصرية, ), or simply ''Masri'' (), is the spoken vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people tha ...
, *
Sudanese Arabic Sudanese Arabic is the variety of Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoff ...
, and many others. In addition, many speakers use
Modern Standard Arabic Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) or Modern Written Arabic (shortened to MWA), terms used mostly by Western linguists, is the variety of standardized Standardization or standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical standa ...
in education and formal settings. Therefore, in Arabic-speaking communities,
diglossia In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis includ ...
is frequent.


Armenian

The
Armenian language Armenian (Classical Armenian orthography, classical: , Armenian orthography reform, reformed: , , ) is an Indo-European languages, Indo-European language belonging to an independent branch of which it is the only member. It is the official language ...
is a pluricentric language with the
liturgical Liturgy is the customary public worship Worship is an act of religion, religious wikt:devotion, devotion usually directed towards a deity. For many, worship is not about an emotion, it is more about a recognition of a god. An act of worship ma ...
Classical Armenian Classical Armenian (, in Eastern Armenian Eastern Armenian ( ''arevelahayeren'') is one of the two standardized forms of Modern Armenian, the other being Western Armenian. The two standards form a pluricentric language. Eastern Armenian ...
and two
vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The vernacular is typically the native language, normally Spoken language, spoken informally rath ...
standards,
Eastern Armenian Eastern Armenian ( ''arevelahayeren'') is one of the two standard language, standardized forms of Modern Armenian, the other being Western Armenian. The two standards form a pluricentric language. Eastern Armenian is spoken in Armenia, Repub ...
and
Western Armenian Western Armenian (Classical Armenian orthography, Classical spelling: , ) is one of the two standard language, standardized forms of Armenian language, Modern Armenian, the other being Eastern Armenian. It is based mainly on the Istanbul Armen ...
. Speakers outside of the former
Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic; russian: Армянская Советская Социалистическая Республика, translit=Armyanskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika), also commonly referred to as Soviet Arm ...

Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic
(including all Western Armenians as well as Eastern Armenians in Iran) use the
Classical Armenian orthographyClassical Armenian orthography, traditional orthography or Mashtotsian orthography ( in classical orthography and in reformed orthography, ''Hayereni tasagan ughakrutyun''), is the orthography An orthography is a set of conventions for writing ...
, while others adopt the
reformed Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformat ...
Armenian alphabet The Armenian alphabet ( hy, Հայոց գրեր, ' or , '; Eastern Armenian: ; Western Armenian: ) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a ...

Armenian alphabet
.


Catalan–Valencian–Balearic

The term "Catalan–Valencian–Balearic" is seldom used (for example, in a dictionary by Antoni Maria Alcover i Sureda). This language is internationally known as
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
, as in
Ethnologue ''Ethnologue: Languages of the World'' (stylized as Ethnoloɠue) is an annual reference publication in print and online that provides statistics and other information on the living language A language is a structured system of communicatio ...
. This is also the most commonly used name in
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, na ...

Catalonia
, but also in
Andorra Andorra (, ; ), officially the Principality of Andorra ( ca, Principat d'Andorra), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French ( ...

Andorra
and the
Balearic Islands The Balearic Islands ( , also , ; ca, Illes Balears ; es, Islas Baleares ) are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea contai ...

Balearic Islands
, probably due to the prestige of the Central Catalan dialect spoken in and around
Barcelona Barcelona ( , , ) is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within ci ...

Barcelona
. However, in the
Valencian Community The Valencian Community ( ca-valencia, Comunitat Valenciana, es, Comunidad Valenciana), or simply Valencia ( ca-valencia, València, link=no, es, Valencia, link=no), is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Spain. It is t ...
, the official name of this language is
Valencian Valencian () or Valencian language () is the official, historical and traditional name used in the Valencian Community The Valencian Community ( ca-valencia, Comunitat Valenciana, es, Comunidad Valenciana), or simply Valencia ( ca-valencia, ...
. One reason for this is political (see Serbo-Croatian for a similar situation), but this variant does have its own literary tradition that dates back to the
Reconquista The ' (Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portug ...

Reconquista
. Although mutually intelligible with other varieties of Catalan, Valencian has lexical peculiarities and its own spelling rules, which are set out by the
Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua The Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua (, English: Valencian Language Academy), also known by the acronym An acronym is a word or name formed from the initial components of a longer name or phrase, usually using individual initial letters, as ...

Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua
, created in 1998. However, this institution recognizes that Catalan and Valencian are varieties of the same language. For their part, there are specific varieties in the two major Balearic islands, Mallorcan (mallorquí) in
Mallorca Mallorca, or Majorca, is the largest island in the Balearic Islands, which are part of Spain and located in the Mediterranean. The capital of the island, Palma, Majorca, Palma, is also the capital of the autonomous communities of Spain, autono ...

Mallorca
, Menorcan (menorquí) in
Menorca Menorca or Minorca (from la, Insula Minor, , smaller island, later ''Minorica'') is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. Its name derives from its size, contrasting it with nearby Mallorca. Its large ...

Menorca
, Eivissenc in
Eivissa
Eivissa
. The
University of the Balearic Islands The University of the Balearic Islands ( ca, Universitat de les Illes Balears, UIB; es, Universidad de las Islas Baleares ) is a Balearic Spanish university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institutio ...
is the language regulator for these varieties.


Chinese

Until the mid-20th century, most Chinese people spoke only their local
varieties of Chinese Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, w ...
. These varieties had diverged widely from the written form used by scholars,
Literary Chinese Classical Chinese, also known as Literary Chinese (古文 ''gǔwén'' "ancient text", or 文言 ''wényán'' "text speak"; modern vernacular: 文言文 ''wényánwén'' "text speak text"), is the language of the classic literature from the end ...
, which was modelled on the language of the
Chinese classics Chinese classic texts or canonical texts () or simply dianji (典籍) refers to the Chinese texts which originated before the imperial unification by the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, particularly the "Four Books and Five Classics" of the Neo-Confuciani ...
. As a practical measure, officials of the
Ming The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an eth ...

Ming
and
Qing The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last imperial dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press Oxford Univers ...
dynasties carried out the administration of the empire using a common language based on northern varieties, known as ''Guānhuà'' (官話, literally "speech of officials"), known as ''Mandarin'' in English after the officials. Knowledge of this language was thus essential for an official career, but it was never formally defined. In the early years of the 20th century, Literary Chinese was replaced as the written standard by
written vernacular Chinese Written vernacular Chinese (), also known as Baihua, is the forms of written Chinese Written Chinese () comprises Chinese characters used to represent the Chinese language. Chinese characters do not constitute an alphabet or a compact syllabar ...
, which was based on northern dialects. In the 1930s, a standard national language ''Guóyǔ'' (國語, literally "national language") was adopted, with its pronunciation based on the
Beijing dialect The Beijing dialect (), also known as Pekingese, is the prestige dialect of Mandarin Chinese, Mandarin spoken in the urban area of Beijing, China. It is the phonological basis of Standard Chinese, the official language in the China, People's Repub ...
, but with vocabulary also drawn from other northern varieties. After the establishment of the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

People's Republic of China
in 1949, the standard was known as ''Pǔtōnghuà'' (普通话/普通話, literally "common speech"), but was defined in the same way as ''Guóyǔ'' in the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...

Republic of China
now governing Taiwan. It also became one of the official languages of
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
, under the name ''Huáyǔ'' (华语/華語, literally "Chinese language"). Although the three standards remain close, they have diverged to some extent. Most Chinese in Taiwan and Singapore came from the southeast coast of China, where the local dialects lack the retroflex initials /tʂ tʂʰ ʂ/ found in northern dialects, so that many speakers in those places do not distinguish them from the
apical Apical means "pertaining to an Apex (disambiguation), apex". It may refer to: *Apical ancestor, refers to the last common ancestor of an entire group, such as a species (biology) or a clan (anthropology) *Apical (anatomy), an anatomical term of loc ...
sibilants /ts tsʰ s/. Similarly, retroflex codas (''
erhua Erhua ( ); also called erization or rhotacization of syllable finals) refers to a phonological process that adds r-coloring or the "er" (注音:, common words: 、、) sound (transcribed in IPA as ) to syllables in spoken Mandarin Chinese M ...
'') are typically avoided in Taiwan and Singapore. There are also differences in vocabulary, with
Taiwanese Mandarin Taiwanese Mandarin or ''Guoyu'' ( zh, s=国语, t=國語, p=Guóyǔ, l=National Language, first=t) refers to any of the varieties of Mandarin Chinese Mandarin (; ) is a group of Sinitic languages, Sinitic (Chinese) languages natively spoken ...

Taiwanese Mandarin
absorbing loanwords from
Min Chinese Min (; Bàng-uâ-cê, BUC: Mìng ngṳ̄) is a broad group of Sinitic languages spoken by about 30 million people in Fujian Provinces of China, province as well as by the descendants of Min speaking colonists on Leizhou peninsula and Hainan, or as ...
,
Hakka Chinese Hakka is a language group of varieties of Chinese, spoken natively by the Hakka people The Hakka (), sometimes Hakka Han, are a Han Chinese subgroup whose ancestral homes are chiefly in the Hakka-speaking provincial areas of Guangdong, ...
, and
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of J ...

Japanese
, and
Singaporean Mandarin Singaporean Mandarin () is a variety of Mandarin Chinese widely spoken in Singapore. It is one of the four official languages of Singapore along with English language, English, Malay language, Malay and Tamil language, Tamil. Singaporean Mandari ...
borrowing words from English,
Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language from the 4th to the 14th century ** ...
, and southern varieties of Chinese.


Eastern South Slavic (Bulgarian–Macedonian–Gorani–Paulician)

Some linguists and scholars, mostly from
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
and
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
, but some also from other countries,Language profile Macedonian
, UCLA International Institute
consider
Eastern South Slavic The Eastern South Slavic dialects form the eastern subgroup of the South Slavic languages The South Slavic languages are one of three branches of the Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo- ...
to be a pluricentric language with four standards:
Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgaria, see Demographics of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

Bulgarian
(based on the Rup,
Balkan The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe with various definitions and meanings, including geopolitical and historical. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch t ...
and
Moesian The Moesi ( or ; el, Μοισοί) was a Thracians, Thracian tribe which inhabited present day Northern Bulgaria, Northern Bulgaria and Serbia, which gave its name to the Ancient Rome, Roman province of Moesia after its defeat in 29 BC. Moesia wa ...
(" Eastern Bulgarian") dialects),
Macedonian Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
(based on the Western and Central Macedonian dialects), Gorani (based on the Torlakian dialects), and
Paulician Paulicians ( xcl, Պաւղիկեաններ, ''Pawłikeanner''; el, Παυλικιανοί; Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, ISO 233: , Arabic pr ...
(including Banat Bulgarian). Politicians and nationalists from Bulgaria are likely to refer to this entire grouping as 'Bulgarian', and to be particularly hostile to the notion that Macedonian is an autonomous language separate from Bulgarian, which North Macedonia, Macedonian politicians and nationalists tend to claim. As of 2021, the hypothesis that Eastern South Slavic, 'Greater Bulgarian', 'Bulgaro-Macedonian', or simply 'Bulgarian', is a pluricentric language with several mutually intelligible official standards in the same way that Serbo-Croatian is, and Czechoslovak language, Czechoslovak used to be, has not yet been fully developed in linguistics; it is a popular idea in Bulgarian politics, but an unpopular one in North Macedonia.


English

English is a pluricentric language, with American and British English differences, differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, spelling, etc., between each of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom, North America, the Caribbean, Ireland, English-speaking African countries, Singapore, India, and Oceania. Educated native English speakers using their version of one of the Standard English, standard forms of English are almost completely mutually intelligible, but non-standard forms present significant dialectal variations, and are marked by reduced intelligibility. British and American English are the two most commonly taught varieties in the education systems where English is taught as a foreign language, second language. British English tends to predominate in other parts of Europe and the former British colonies of the West Indies, Africa, and Asia, where English is not the first language of the majority of the population. In contrast, American English tends to dominate instruction in Latin America, Liberia, and East Asia. Due to globalization and the resulting spread of the language in recent decades, English is becoming increasingly decentralized, with daily use and statewide study of the language in schools growing in most regions of the world. However, in the global context, the number of native speakers of English (a concept that is increasingly being challenged) is much smaller than the number of non-native speakers of English of reasonable competence. In 2018, it was estimated that for every native speaker of English, there are six non-native speakers of reasonable competence, raising the questions of English as a lingua franca as the most widely spoken form of the language. Philippine English (which is predominantly spoken as a second language) has been primarily influenced by American English. The rise of the call center industry in the Philippines has encouraged some Filipino people, Filipinos to accent reduction, "polish" or neutralize their accents to make them more closely resemble the accents of their client countries. Countries such as Australian English, Australia, New Zealand English, New Zealand, and Canadian English, Canada have their own well-established varieties of English which are the standard within those countries but are far more rarely taught overseas to second language learners. English was historically pluricentric when it was used across the independent kingdoms of Kingdom of England, England and Kingdom of Scotland, Scotland prior to the Acts of Union 1707, Acts of Union in 1707. English English and Scottish English are now subsections of British English.


French

In the modern era, there are several major loci of the French language, including Standard French (also known as Parisian French), Canadian French (including Quebec French and Acadian French), American French (for instance, Louisiana French), Haitian French, and African French. Until the early 20th century, the French language was highly variable in pronunciation and vocabulary within France, with varying dialects and degrees of intelligibility, the langues d'oïl. However, government policy made it so that the dialect of Paris would be the method of instruction in schools, and other dialects, like Norman dialect, Norman, which has influence from Scandinavian languages, were neglected. Controversy still remains in France over the fact that the government recognizes them as languages of France, but provides no monetary support for them nor has the Constitutional Council of France ratified the Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. North American French is the result of French colonization of the New World between the 17th and 18th centuries. In many cases, it contains vocabulary and dialectal quirks not found in Standard Parisian French owing to history: most of the original settlers of Quebec, Acadia, and later what would become Louisiana and northern New England French, New England came from Northern and Northwest France, and would have spoken dialects like Norman, Poitevin dialect, Poitevin, and Angevin dialect, Angevin with far fewer speaking the dialect of Paris. This, plus isolation from developments in France, most notably the drive for standardization by Académie française, L'Académie française, make North American dialects of the language quite distinct. Acadian French, that which is spoken in New Brunswick, Canada, contains many vocabulary words that are much older than anything found in modern France, much of it having roots in the 17th century, and a distinct intonation. Québécois, the largest of the dialects, has a distinct pronunciation that is not found in Europe in any measure and a greater difference in vowel pronunciation, and syntax tends to vary greatly. Cajun French has some distinctions not found in Canada in that there is more vocabulary derived from both local Native American and African dialects and a pronunciation of the letter r that has disappeared in France entirely. It is rolled, and with heavier contact with the English language than any of the above the pronunciation has shifted to harder sounding consonants in the 20th century. Cajun French equally has been an oral language for generations and it is only recently that its syntax and features been adapted to French orthography. Minor standards can also be found in Belgian French, Belgium and Swiss French, Switzerland, with particular influence of Germanic languages on grammar and vocabulary, sometimes through the influence of local dialects. In Belgium, for example, various Germanic influences in spoken French are evident in Wallonia (for example, to ''blink'' in English, and ''blinken'' in German and Dutch, ''blinquer'' in Walloon language, Walloon and local French, ''cligner'' in standard French). ''Ring'' (''rocade'' or ''périphérique'' in standard French) is a common word in the three national languages for beltway or ring road. Also, in Belgium and Switzerland, there are noted differences in the number system when compared to standard Parisian or Canadian French, notably in the use of ''septante'', ''octante/huitante'' and ''nonante'' for the numbers 70, 80 and 90. In other standards of French, these numbers are usually denoted ''soixante-dix'' (sixty-ten), ''quatre-vingts'' (four-twenties) and ''quatre-vingt-dix'' (four-twenties-and-ten). French varieties spoken in Oceania are also influenced by local languages. New Caledonian French is influenced by Kanak languages in its vocabulary and grammatical structure. African French is another variety.


German

Standard German is often considered an asymmetric pluricentric language; German Standard German, the standard used in Germany is often considered dominant, mostly because of the sheer number of its speakers and their frequent lack of awareness of the Austrian Standard German and Swiss Standard German varieties. Although there is a uniform stage pronunciation based on a manual by Theodor Siebs that is used in theatres, and, nowadays to a lesser extent, in radio and television news all across German-speaking countries, this is not true for the standards applied at public occasions in Austria, South Tyrol and Switzerland, which differ in pronunciation, vocabulary, and sometimes even grammar. In Switzerland, the letter ß has been removed from the alphabet, with ''ss'' as its replacement. Sometimes this even applies to news broadcasts in Bavaria, a German state with a strong separate cultural identity. The varieties of Standard German used in those regions are to some degree influenced by the respective dialects (but by no means identical to them), by specific cultural traditions (e.g. in culinary vocabulary, which differs markedly across the German-speaking area of Europe), and by different terminology employed in law and administration. A list of Austrian terms for certain food items has even been incorporated into EU law, even though it is clearly incomplete.


Hindustani

The Hindi Belt, Hindi languages are a large dialect continuum defined as a unit culturally. Medieval Hindustani language, Hindustani (then known as ''Hindi'' or ''Hindavi'') was based on a register of the Delhi dialect and has two modern literary forms, Hindi, Standard Hindi and Urdu, Standard Urdu. Additionally, there are historical literary standards, such as the closely related Braj Bhasha and the more distant Awadhi language, Awadhi, as well as recently established standard languages based on what were once considered Hindi dialects: Maithili language, Maithili and Dogri language, Dogri. Other varieties, such as Rajasthani languages, Rajasthani, are often considered distinct languages but have no standard form. Caribbean Hindi and Fijian Hindi also differ significantly from the Sanskritized standard
Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, North India. Hindi has been described as a Standard la ...

Hindi
spoken in India.


Malay

From a purely linguistic viewpoint, Malaysian and
Indonesian Indonesian is anything of, from, or related to Indonesia, an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It may refer to: * Indonesians, citizens of Indonesia ** Native Indonesians, diverse groups of local inhabitants of the archipelago ** Indonesian w ...

Indonesian
are two normative varieties of the same language (
Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language from the 4th to the 14th century ** ...
). Both lects have the same dialectal basis, and linguistic sources still tend to treat the standards as different forms of a single language. In popular parlance, however, the two idioms are often thought of as distinct tongues in their own rights due to the growing divergence between them and for politically motivated reasons. Nevertheless, they retain a high degree of mutual intelligibility despite a number of differences in vocabulary and grammar. The Malay language itself has many local dialects and creolized versions, whereas the "Indonesian language", the standardized variety in Indonesia acting as a ''lingua franca'' of the country, has received a great number of international and local influences.


Malayalam

Malayalam is a pluricentric language with historically more than one written form. Malayalam script is officially recognized, but there are other standardized varieties such as Arabi Malayalam of Muslim Mappila, Mappila Muslims, Karshoni of Saint Thomas Christians and Judeo-Malayalam of Cochin Jews.


Persian

The Persian language has three standard varieties with official status in
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
(locally known as Farsi), Afghanistan (officially known as Dari language, Dari), and Tajikistan (officially known as Tajik language, Tajik). The standard forms of the three are based on the Tehrani accent, Tehrani, Kabuli, and Dushanbe varieties, respectively. The Persian alphabet is used for both Farsi (Iranian) and Dari (Afghan). Traditionally, Tajiki is also written with Tajik alphabet#Persian alphabet, Perso-Arabic script. In order to increase literacy, a Tajik alphabet#Latin, Latin alphabet (based on the Common Turkic Alphabet) was introduced in 1917. Later in the late 1930s, the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic promoted the use of Tajik alphabet#Cyrillic, Cyrillic alphabet, which remains the most widely used system today. Attempts to reintroduce the Perso-Arabic script were made. The language spoken by Bukharan Jews is called Bukhori dialect, Bukhori (or Bukharian), and is written in Hebrew alphabet.


Portuguese

Apart from the Reintegrationism, Galician question, Portuguese language, Portuguese varies mainly between Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese (also known as "Lusitanian Portuguese", "Iberian Portuguese", "Standard Portuguese" or even "reduplication, Portuguese Portuguese"). Both varieties have undergone significant and divergent developments in phonology and the grammar of their pronominal systems. The result is that communication between the two varieties of the language without previous exposure can be occasionally difficult, although speakers of European Portuguese tend to understand Brazilian Portuguese better than vice versa, due to the heavy exposure to music, soap operas etc. from Brazil. Word ordering can be dramatically different between European and Brazilian Portuguese. Brazilian and European Portuguese currently have two distinct, albeit similar, spelling standards. A Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement of 1990, unified orthography for the two varieties (including a limited number of words with dual spelling) has been approved by the national legislatures of Brazil and Portugal and is now official; see Spelling reforms of Portuguese for additional details. Formal written standards remain grammatically close to each other, despite some minor syntactic differences. African Portuguese and Portuguese language in Asia, Asian Portuguese are based on the standard European dialect, but have undergone their own phonetic and grammatical developments, sometimes reminiscent of the spoken Brazilian variant. A number of creole language, creoles of Portuguese have developed in African countries, for example in Guinea-Bissau and on the island of São Tomé.


Serbo-Croatian

Serbo-Croatian is a pluricentric language with four standards (Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian) promoted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia. These standards do differ slightly, but do not hinder mutual intelligibility. Rather, as all four standardised varieties are based on the prestige Shtokavian dialect, major differences in intelligibility are identified not on the basis of standardised varieties, but rather dialects, like Kajkavian and Chakavian. Lexical and grammatical differences between the ethnic variants are reportedly limited, even when compared with those between closely related Slavic languages (such as standard Czech and Slovak, Bulgarian and Macedonian). The Montenegrin standard is largely based on the Serbian, while Bosnian is a compromise between Croatian and Serbian ones; Croatian and Serbian standards show 95% mutual intelligibility. Shtokavian is largely mutually unintelligible with Kajkavian (which is closer to Slovene language, Slovene) and only partially intelligible with Chakavian.


Spanish

Spanish language, Spanish has both national and regional linguistic norms, which vary in terms of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, but all varieties are mutually intelligible and the same Spanish orthography, orthographic rules are shared throughout. In Spain, Standard Spanish is based upon the speech of educated speakers from Madrid. All varieties spoken in the Iberian Peninsula are grouped as Peninsular Spanish. Canarian Spanish (spoken in the Canary Islands), along with Spanish language in the Americas, Spanish spoken in the Americas (including Spanish language in the United States, Spanish spoken in the United States, Central American Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Andean Spanish, and Caribbean Spanish), are particularly related to Andalusian Spanish. The United States is now the world's second-largest Spanish-speaking country after Mexico in total number of speakers (L1 and L2 speakers). A report said there are 41 million L1 Spanish speakers and another 11.6 million L2 speakers in the U.S. This puts the US ahead of Colombia (48 million) and Spain (46 million) and second only to Mexico (121 million). The Spanish of Latin Americans has a growing influence on the language across the globe through music, culture and television produced using the language of the largely bilingual speech community of US Latinos. In Argentina and Uruguay the Spanish standard is based on the local dialects of Buenos Aires and Montevideo. This is known as Rioplatense Spanish, (from Rio de la Plata (River Plate)) and is distinguishable from other standard Spanish dialects by voseo. In Colombia, Colombian Spanish#Rolo dialect, Rolo (a name for the dialect of Bogotá) is valued for its clear pronunciation. The Judeo-Spanish (also known as ''Ladino''; not to be confused with ''Latino'') spoken by Sephardi Jews can be found in Israel and elsewhere; it is usually considered a separate language.


Swedish

Two varieties exist, though only one written standard remains (regulated by the Swedish Academy of Sweden): ''Rikssvenska'' (literally "Realm Swedish"), the official language of Sweden, and ''Finlandssvenska'' (in Finland known as "Högsvenska", 'High Swedish'), which, alongside Finnish, is the other official language of Finland. There are differences in vocabulary and grammar, with the variety used in Finland remaining a little more conservative. The most marked differences are in pronunciation and intonation: Whereas Swedish speakers usually pronounce before front vowels as , this sound is usually pronounced by a Swedo-Finn as ; in addition, the two tones that are characteristic of Swedish (and Norwegian) are absent from most Finnish dialects of Swedish, which have an intonation reminiscent of Finnish and thus sound more monotonous when compared to ''Rikssvenska''. There are dialects that could be considered different languages due to long periods of isolation and geographical separation from the central dialects of Svealand and Götaland that came to constitute the base for the standard ''Rikssvenska''. Dialects such as Elfdalian, Jamtlandic dialects, Jamtlandic, Westrobothnian and Gutnish all differ as much, or more, from standard Swedish than the standard varieties of Danish language, Danish. Some of them have a standardized orthography, but the Swedish government has not granted any of them official recognition as regional languages and continues to look upon them as dialects of Swedish. Most of them are severely endangered and spoken by elderly people in the countryside. In the case of Westrobothnian, the pejorative "bondska" is widespread, derived from the word for peasant and literally meaning "farmish", thus leading people to believe that it has something to do with peasantry or farming although the dialects have been spoken in all parts of society for over 1000 years.


Tamil

The vast majority of Tamil language, Tamil speakers reside in southern India, where it is the official language of Tamil Nadu and of Puducherry (union territory), Puducherry, and one of 22 languages listed in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India. It is also one of two official languages in Sri Lanka, one of four official languages in
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
, and is used as the medium of instruction in government-aided Tamil primary schools in Malaysia. Other parts of the world have Tamil-speaking populations, but are not loci of planned development. Tamil is diglossic, with the literary variant used in books, poetry, speeches and news broadcasts while the spoken variant is used in everyday speech, online messaging and movies. While there are significant differences in the standard spoken forms of the different countries, the literary register is mostly uniform, with some differences in semantics that are not perceived by native speakers. There has been no attempt to compile a dictionary of Sri Lankan Tamil. As a result of the Pure Tamil Movement, Indian Tamil tends to avoid loanwords to a greater extent than Sri Lankan Tamil. Coinages of new technical terms also differ between the two. Tamil policy in Singapore and Malaysia tends to follow that of Tamil Nadu regarding linguistic purism and technical coinages. There are some spelling differences, particularly in the greater use of Grantha script, Grantha letters to write loanwords and foreign names in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia. The Tamil Nadu simplified Tamil script, script reform of 1978 has been accepted in Singapore and Malaysia, but not Sri Lanka.


Others

* Standard Irish language, Irish (Gaeilge), Scottish Gaelic and possibly Manx language, Manx can be viewed as three standards arisen through divergence from the Early Modern Irish, Classical Gaelic norm via orthographic reforms. * Komi language, Komi, a Uralic languages, Uralic language spoken in northeastern European Russia, has official standards for its Komi-Zyrian language, Komi-Zyrian and Komi-Permyak language, Komi-Permyak dialects. * Korean language, Korean: North and South (to some extent—differences are growing; see North–South differences in the Korean language and Korean dialects) * Kurdish language has two main literary norms: Kurmanji (Northern Kurdish) and Sorani (Central Kurdish). The Zaza–Gorani languages, spoken by some Kurds, are occasionally considered to be Kurdish as well, despite not being mutually intelligible. *For most of its history, Hebrew did not have a center. The grammar and lexicon were dominated by the canonical texts, but when the pronunciation was standardised for the first time, its users were already scattered. Therefore, three main forms of pronunciations developed, particularly for the purpose of prayer: Ashkenazi Jews, Ashkenazi, Sephardi Jews, Sephardi, and Yemenite Hebrew, Temani. When Hebrew was revived as a spoken language, there was a discussion about which pronunciation should be used. Ultimately, the Sephardi pronunciation was chosen even though most of the speakers at the time were of Ashkenazi background, because it was considered more authentic. The standard Israeli pronunciation of today is not Identical to the Sephardi, but is somewhat of a merger with Ashkenazi influences and interpretation. The Ashkenazi pronunciation is still used in Israel by Haredi Judaism, Haredim in prayer and by Jewish communities outside of Israel. * Norwegian language, Norwegian consists of a multitude of vernacular, spoken dialects displaying a great deal of variation in pronunciation and (to a somewhat lesser extent) vocabulary, with no officially recognized "standard spoken Norwegian" (but see Urban East Norwegian). All Norwegian dialects are mutually intelligible to a certain extent. There are two written standards: Bokmål, "book language", based on Danish (Danish and Norwegian Bokmål are mutually intelligible languages with significant differences primarily in pronunciation rather than vocabulary or grammar), and Nynorsk, "New Norwegian", based primarily on rural Western and rural inland Norwegian dialects. *Pashto has three official standard varieties: Central Pashto, which is the most prestigious standard dialect (also used in Kabul), Northern Pashto, and Southern Pashto. * Romance languages ** Romanian language, Romanian in Romania and that in Moldova during the Soviet era, but nowadays Romania and Moldova use the same standard of Romanian language, Romanian. ** Romansh language, Romansh, with five written standards (from southwest to northeast: Sursilvan, Sutsilvan, Surmiran, Puter, Vallader) as well as a Romansh language#Standardization, "compromise" form. ** Sardinian language, Sardinian consists of a Sardinian language#Varieties, conglomerate of spoken dialects, displaying a significant degree of variation in phonetics and sometimes vocabulary. The Spanish subdivision of Sardinia into two administrative areas led to the emergence of two separate orthographies, Logudorese dialect, Logudorese and Campidanese dialect, Campidanese, as standardized varieties of the same language. * Ukrainian language, Ukrainian and Rusyn language, Rusyn (Prešov, Lemkos#Language, Lemko, Pannonian Rusyn language, Pannonian) are either considered to be standardized varieties of the Ruthenian language, same language or separate languages. * Dutch language, Dutch is considered pluricentric with recognised varieties in Suriname, ABC islands (Leeward Antilles), ABC Islands, Belgium and the Netherlands, and also with the Afrikaans varieties of South Africa and Namibia. * The Albanian language has two main varieties Gheg and Tosk. Gheg is spoken to the north and Tosk spoken to the south of the Shkumbin river. Standard Albanian is a standardised form of spoken Albanian based on Tosk. * Belarusian language features two orthographic standards: official Belarusian, sometimes referred to as ''narkomaŭka'', and Taraškievica, also known as "classical orthography". The division stems from Belarusian_orthography_reform_of_1933, 1933 reform believed by some to be an attempt to artificially similarize Belarusian and Russian languages. Originally these standards differed only in written form, but due to Taraškievica being widely used among Belarusian diaspora it grew some distinct orthoepic features, as well as diffencies in vocabulary.


See also

*Abstand and ausbau languages *Binary distribution *Dialect continuum *Diasystem *Diglossia *Digraphia *Language secessionism *Lingua franca *Macrolanguage *Mutual intelligibility *Standard language *Variety (linguistics) *World language


References


Bibliography

* * * * * * Clyne, Michael G.; & Kipp, Sandra. (1999). ''Pluricentric languages in an immigrant context: Spanish, Arabic and Chinese''. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. . * * * * (ÖNB)
/small>. *


Further reading

* * *


External links



* [http://www.pluricentriclanguages.org/ International working group on Non-Dominant Varieties of pluricentric languages] {{DEFAULTSORT:Pluricentric Language Language varieties and styles Standard languages Sociolinguistics