, also called a lect
, is a specific form of a language
or language cluster
. This may include languages
or other forms of language, as well as a standard
variety. The use of the word "variety" to refer to these different forms avoids the use of the term language
, which many people associate only with the standard language, and the term dialect
, which is often associated with non-standard varieties thought of as less prestigious or "correct" than the standard. Linguists speak of both standard and non-standard varieties. "Lect" avoids the problem in ambiguous cases of deciding whether or not two varieties are distinct languages or dialects of a single language.