The author's intention is to clarify some uncertainties and issues surrounding the term 'popular language' and the notion it identifies. The paper gives some data and an analysis of the history of research and history of terminology with respect to 'people', 'popular language', and 'the study of popular language' in a Hungarian context. According to an interpretation that corresponds to the linguistic and social facts in present-day Hungarian, a brief definition of 'popular language' is as follows: 1. a) a particular non-standard way of language use (that can be related to level of education and to speech situation): the way of speaking characteristic of speakers of traditional culture and containing primarily dialect-bound phenomena; b) the sum of linguistic features and means of expression characterising that way of speaking. 2. a cover term for regional dialects.
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