これまで英語の標準化 (standardisation) に注目する記事を多く書いてきたが，周辺のヨーロッパの諸言語の事情はどうだったのだろうか．Fisher (81) によれば，諸言語の標準化の歴史からは2つの共通項がくくり出せる．
First, it is apparent that the European languages were standardized first in writing and only later, if ever, in speech. Second, standard written forms appeared first in official government and business documents. These served as the basis for the usage of scribes and printers and eventually of handbooks and dictionaries created for teaching the standard written language.
特に2点目が重要で，ヨーロッパの諸言語における（書き言葉）標準の萌芽は常に公的な文書にあったということである．その書き手は誰かといえば，当然ながら，公職事務員 (official secretariats) である．つまり，標準語の源泉は，学者やアカデミーでもなければ君主や権力者その人でもない．多数の名もない公職事務員だったのだ．この点について，Fisher (83) は揺るぎない確信を抱いている．
. . . there is no ambiguity as to what standard language is today. It is the official language of government, the judiciary, and business. And so it always has been. Since the advent of printing, popular education, and the mass media, the standard language appears to have moved out from under the aegis of government bureaucracy. Indeed, there is much criticism today of bureaucratese and legalese. But make no mistake, standard language is still anchored as firmly in the seats of power as it has been since the dawn of writing. When there have been efforts at spelling or lexical reform, as there were by the academies of Italy, Spain, and France, they have been government sponsored and supported and, one might add, not notably successful. Scholars and writers have had less influence on the shape of the standard language than the nameless bureaucrats and clerks in government offices.
・ Fisher, John H. "European Chancelleries and the Rise of Written Language." Chapter 4 of The Emergence of Standard English. John H. Fisher. Lexington: UP of Kentucky, 1996. 65--83.
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