Shawn.Steele at microsoft.com
Wed Nov 25 20:44:08 CET 2015
I'm confused how Odgen's Basic English is interesting to the web in general. My understanding is that it's a reasonably dead language. tlh-pIqaD probably has more life than Odgen's Basic English.
It's also unclear to me that Basic English even counts as a dialect/variant of English. Ethnologue uses the ISO 639-3 criteria for language identification:
* Two related varieties are normally considered varieties of the same language if speakers of each variety have inherent understanding of the other variety at a functional level (that is, can understand based on knowledge of their own variety without needing to learn the other variety).
* Where spoken intelligibility between varieties is marginal, the existence of a common literature or of a common ethnolinguistic identity with a central variety that both understand can be a strong indicator that they should nevertheless be considered varieties of the same language.
* Where there is enough intelligibility between varieties to enable communication, the existence of well-established distinct ethnolinguistic identities can be a strong indicator that they should nevertheless be considered to be different languages.
Though "English" users could probably make sense of "Basic English", I suspect a native "Basic English" speaker would have as much success understanding normal "English" as an English speaker might with Germanic languages. It may be that it should be classified as a variant of English, but it is not at all obvious to me that it is a variant rather than a closely related language in its own right.
What is the pressing need for a Basic English tag?
I'm much happier with the idea of a tag for "simplified language" as a general tag to be arbitrarily added to any language (which is a completely different think than what's being requested here).
If we do decide that "basic English" is a variant of English (I'd rather have language experts' agreement on that), then I'd prefer that it have a tag more like "-ogden" as -basiceng may lead people to expect more of a Voice of America type simplified English rather than a different language.
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