Question: Do you favor of the classification of regional varieties as "standard" and "non-standard"? Why?
Point of argument: no absolute criteria to judge whether a regional variety is standard or not
There should not be any absolute criteria to judge whether a regional variety is standard or not. It seems that the recommendation of a particular regional variety as the standard one is usually based on the concern of pronunciation, since the varieties of a language in most cases share a similar or even the same written system with only a small proportion of exclusive vocabulary and syntax. However, it is unlikely that people could judge the quality and function of a regional variety by its sounds. For any regional variety, the pronunciation is understandable and effective enough to its own users, which means the possible barriers only exist between different groups, and it is obvious that the right of defining the criteria should not be simply occupied by the majority.
Given that the promotion of using a standard variety starts from the intention to achieve efficiency of communication and higher unity in a country or an area, taking this practical measure as an evidence to suspect the theoretical perspective that there are no criteria is unreasonable. On the contrary, it is noticed that the standard would change with the governor’s demand throughout the history, indicating the unreliability of the man-made criteria. To vote for a standard regional variety with a set of criteria is in a way similar to the attempt to award the most beautiful language in the world, which is never feasible and of great significance, except for the intended political aim. From the linguistic perspective, without the influence of contrived criteria, the standard of any regional variety is justified by the acceptance of the users.