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Shawn Steele Shawn.Steele at
Thu Nov 26 02:39:19 CET 2015

> On what grounds? It’s not even a pidgin. It’s just a limited vocabulary. 

No, it's not just a limited vocabulary (IMO).  

With a limited vocabulary I have 1st grade English skills.  If I learn more words I have 2nd grade English skills.  Eventually I might make College Level English.

With Basic English the limited vocabulary is a feature of the language.  If I pull in full English words into Basic English, then I'm not just expanding my vocabulary, I've escaped the language and gone from Basic English to full English.  That's because Basic English intentionally restricts the vocabulary.  Yes, it was intended as a stepping stone to full English, but it doesn't pass the mutually intelligible test.  (Once the Basic English speaker comprehends the full English text, they're no longer speaking Basic English.

IMO that's different than a dialect such as en-US and en-GB.  I can learn British English vocabulary to extend my knowledge of English, but I haven't broken the language by doing so.

For example, I don't think you can really have a native speaker of Basic English.  If you taught your kids basic English, they'd invent terms like a pidgin and extend the vocabulary.  In a generation or two you'd have something completely different than the simple English you started with and Basic English would have lost it's purpose.  Those children would then need a Basic English v2 to achieve the original purpose.

Basic English is interesting because it was designed with a limited vocabulary as a feature that isn't allowed to be extended (or at least has restrictions on how it may be extended).  IMO it is disqualified as an "English" as a subtag because of this.

To me it's not dissimilar to saying the English is a Germanic language.  Therefore the language tag of English should be "de-en", because of course we have a lot of words in common (or at least close), like auto und machine.  

Would Anglic or Amxrikai Spek count as subtags?  They may sound similar, but they're really hard to read.


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