everson at evertype.com
Thu Nov 26 16:01:43 CET 2015
On 26 Nov 2015, at 01:39, Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele at microsoft.com> wrote:
>> On what grounds? It’s not even a pidgin. It’s just a limited vocabulary.
> No, it's not just a limited vocabulary (IMO).
I think the Hemingway shows that it is.
> 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.
Of course. I have "survival Russian". I could learn more Russian.
> With Basic English the limited vocabulary is a feature of the language.
A feature of the controlled variety of English, yes. It’s not Afrikaans. It’s not Friesian or Middle English. It’s obvious to any English-speaker that it’s English. To us, it’s just defective.
> 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.
I can understand Scouse. My father probably can’t. It’s still en-Scouse. Intelligibility of related linguistic entities is not always bi-directional.
> 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.
The subtag describes the defective variety of English which it is. Its defectiveness doesn’t make it into a different language.
> 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.
Those children might devise a pidgin which might develop into a creole.
> 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.
Erm, well. You could not read either of these without study, and they’re Germanic:
> Would Anglic or Amxrikai Spek count as subtags?
Sure. I understand that they are orthographies.
> They may sound similar, but they're really hard to read.
So is Ñspel, another orthography.
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/
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