chapter  10
Dictionaries and language policy
ByDion Nkomo
Pages 14

The terms language policy and language planning are sometimes used interchangeably, although the latter seems to mainly refer to practice and field of study. Definitions of both Language Policy and Language Planning place emphasis on the following: governments, government-authorised agencies or other such authoritative bodies as language planners or policy-makers and language policy as an authoritative document or pronouncement with respect to language usage. The establishment and work of language academies in Europe was historic for both lexicography and language policy/planning. Another special mention regarding language policy-oriented lexicography is Noah Webster, author of An American Dictionary of English. Webster occupies an important place in American history not only for his dictionary but his overall contribution to nationalist reforms. Language policy motivations of regulating and influencing language usage and development have been pivotal in the conceptualisation and compilation of many dictionaries in different societies.