A General Introduction with Rules and Grammar
Chapter 3. Grammatical Principles
1. The Noun. Basic English, as may be seen from the vocabulary, in which 600 of the 850 words are noun-forms, is a system in which the noun plays a predominate part. Much space has been wasted on the barren controversy between noun and verb advocates, with their claims that one or the other of these forms was historically the first speech-unit to appear. Both sides seem to have supposed that by stressing such a claim the adjective 'natural' could receive additional justification if applied to their system.
One important advantage, however, of any system which features the noun is the assistance to be derived from the pictorial method, and particularly from the pictorial dictionary to which the various Larousse compilations are already pointing the way. In addition, therefore, to a copiously illustrated dictionary, a volume entitled Basic by Pictures will eventually be available; and the compilers of the dictionary of the future will doubtless see the wisdom of combining the pictorial method with the various panoptic (at a glance) diagrams devised for the teaching of Basic English.
The nouns cover a very wide range. The supplementary list of common things, numbering 200, refers, apart from geometrical shapes, to objects which can be touched, seen, and isolated from other things. Some of the things referred to by the 400 necessary names, such as an animal, or a vessel, are of a similar character, but too generalized for pictorial presentation. Others, such as a mine, or a road, can be touched and seen, but not, as a rule detached from their surroundings. Others again, such as ink, oil, or tin are names of liquids or materials which cannot be treated either as moveable or as fixed material objects, but are yet concrete, and can be isolated in definite amounts. The names of these last do not take 'a' in front of them except when the unit thus indicated is a class (e.g. a paint = a kind of paint). The same limitation applies to the use of the plural form.
In addition to these names there are a number of nouns (for example, harmony, quality) which do not stand for anything concrete, though all languages by a convenient make-believe have treated them as though they did. These are names of Fictions 1. They present no special problems from a grammatical point of view, but the distinction is important if we are to understand what languages is communicating.
There are two main ways in which the scope of a noun, or of any other word in the vocabulary, may be expanded: intension and specialization.
Extension is the use of a symbol, devised for one thing or group of things, to refer to some related thing or group. The relation may be that of part to whole, as I the derivation of letter (epistle) from letter (of the alphabet); of cause to effect, as in the use of bite for the act of biting and the thing bitten; of performer to performance, as in the derivation of lift (elevator) from the act of lifting, and so on.
[ 1. Metaphor is a particular form of extension whereby a symbol devised for one group of things between which a given relation holds is applied to another group of things in order to display an analogous relationship. Thus we talk of 'the grip of a disease' or 'designs for the future' in order to avoid including words like tenacity and scheme in the vocabulary.]
Specialization is the differentiated use of an undifferentiated word. A man who 'sends in an account' is understood to have sent in a bill. When we read in the papers of 'the death of a famous Judge' we do not speculate as to whether he was a judge of horses, wine, or pictures; we know at once that he was a legal judge. Specialization is in one sense a limiting factor, but it enlarges the scope of a general vocabulary by enabling it to dispense with words having only a very particularized usage.
From any Basic word it is legitimate to form one specialization, and as many recognized extensions as are simple and convenient. Details of these derived uses of the vocabulary will be found in The Basic Words.
Another means of extending the vocabulary is to use one word as more than one part of speech. The most important of these transferences are:
Back as an adverb, having the sense of the opposite of forward;
The use of certain adjectives as nouns:
Light as an adjective (to cover 'pale');
Round as a directive (preposition);
acid , chief , chemical , cold , complex , cut , elastic , equal , flat , female , first , flat , future , goods(s) , hollow , last , living , male , material , opposite , parallel , past , present , public , quiet , right , safe , same , second , secret , solid , sweet , waiting , wet , wrong , young , and the color adjectives.
Although the -er, -ing, and -ed endings may be used, as desired, with any of the 300 nouns, which are listed as forming derivatives, thee are some words to which one or other of the endings would seldom or never apply. For instance, rained and snowed are only used in the sentence This has been rained (snowed) on, while judger and guider are redundant. Note the -or variant with act, sail, and credit. The derivatives, however, will be learnt by practice rather than by deliberate memorizing. The list is as follows:
200 GENERAL NAMES
act , air , answer , attack , attempt , back , balance , base , breath , burn , butter , cause , chalk , chance , change , cloth , coal , color , comfort , condition , control , cook , copper , copy , cork , cough , cover , crack , credit , crush , cry , curve , damage , design , desire , detail , disgust , doubt , dust , edge , effects , end , exchange , experience , fear , fire , flower , fold , force , form , front , glass , grip , group , guide , harbor , hate , heat , help , hope , humor , ice , increase , ink , interest , iron , join , journey , judge , jump , kick , kiss , land , laugh , lead , letter , level , lift , light , limit , list , look , love , machine , mark , market , mass , measure , milk , mine , motion , move , name , need , note , number , offer , oil , order , ornament , page , pain , paint , paper , part , paste , place , plant , play , point , poison , polish , powder , rice , print , produce , profit , protest , pull , purpose , push , question , rain , range , rate , ray , reason , record , regret , request , respect , rest , reward , roll , rub , rule , salt , scale , seat , sense , shade , shame , shock , side , sign , silver , slip , slope , smash , smile , smoke , sneeze , snow , soap , sort , sound , space , stage , start , steam , steel , step , stitch , stone , stop , stretch , sugar , support , surprise , talk , taste , tax , test , thunder , time , tin , top , touch , trade , transport , trick , trouble , turn , twist , unit , use , value , view , voice , walk , wash , waste , water , wave , wax , weather , weight , word , work , wound .
100 PICTURED THINGS
arch , arm , band , bath , bed , board , bone , book , bottle , box , brain , branch , brick , bridge , brush , button , cake , card , cart , chain , circle , cloud , coat , comb , cord , curtain , cushion , drain , dress , drop , eye , face , farm , feather , finger , fish , floor , fork , frame , garden , glove , hammer , hand , hat , head , hook , house , jewel , key , knife , knot , line , lock , map , mail , nerve , net , pen , pencil , picture , pin , pipe , plane , plate , plow , pocket , pot , prison , pump , rail , receipt, ring , roof , root , sail , school , screw , seed , ship , shoe , skin , shirt , sponge , square , stamp , star , station , store , sun , thread , thumb , ticket , train , wall , watch , wheel , whip , whistle , wire , worm .
In addition to these, all action nouns ending in -ing may be used as qualifiers, and form the -er derivative (as do the -ing adjectives) by substituting the -er suffix for their -ing ending, e.g., building , builder.
The active sense of the -ing form makes it natural for it to e followed by the name of the thing acted on. (I am printing. What? A book). This, for Basic, is not a concession to verb usage, and the traditional account of the 'direct object in the accusative,' etc., would clearly be out of place. It is, however, a stylistic convenience, and, for beginners, substitutes present no difficulty: --
Acting a play = Getting a play acted. Doing a play. Putting a play on the stage.
Airing dresses = Giving dresses an airing. Getting dresses aired.
Answering letters = Giving answers to letters. Getting letters answered. Writing in answer to letters.
Attacking a town = Making an attack on a town.
The -ed ending, being purely adjectival (a printed book, a book printed in London), must not be used as a past tense form. The learner cannot say 'I have yellow the printed book,' and 'I have printed the yellow book' would involve the whole verb technique.
A distinction must, of course, be made between the two -ing derivatives, one of which is a noun and the other an adjective. The adjective is used of the active participant in an action, e.g., the moving train; the noun ma y be used of something connected with the action but not performing it, e.g., walking-stick, jumping-place. To avoid confusion, it is wisest always to put a hyphen after the noun-derivative when it is being used as a qualifier.
There is, however, a further difficulty, that of distinguishing between the transitive and intransitive uses of the adjective where the sense permits of two uses. Some adjectives are only used before the name transitively (e.g., loving), some only intransitively (e.g., folding), but others may be used in either sense. Thus a 'moving song' is a song which, figuratively, moves the listener, but a 'moving animal' is an animal which moves itself. Here context rather than any grammatical rule must be the learner's guide, for experience shows that no serious embarrassment is likely to arise.
An alternative method of forming the a possessive is to use the suffix 's instead of the possessive preposition of. This makes a more concise style.
2. Adjectives are of two kinds: qualifiers, which ascribe qualities to objects; and quantifiers, which indicate the quantitative of objects. These last are never preceded by a or the and do not form comparatives. A and the are the only adjective of the non-symbolic type which are not, strictly speaking, quantifiers: A indicates an individual of a class, without emphasizing its being a particular member of a class. From this it follows that a cannot be used for quantities of substances having no individual form, but only for kinds of substances as distinct from other kinds. For euphony, a becomes an before all vowels, except 'u' when pronounced as in unit. The indicates a particular individual or group of individuals in a class, or a unique individual. It is also used with the singular form to indicate the representative of a class. For a further account of a and the, adapted for learners, see the ABC. They are listed in the column of 'operators, etc.' because, unlike the qualifiers, they are mere linguistic accessories and have no referential function.
Attention was called to the rules to the fact that -er, -est are alternative forms for the comparative and superlative. The general rule is that qualifiers of one syllable form comparatives in -er and -est, while those of more than one syllable do so with more and most. It is, however, subjective to a few exceptions: bent, like, wrong compare with more and most ; early takes -er, -est.
There are 50 qualifiers which may form negatives, coinciding in many cases with the opposites, by adding the prefix un- :
able , automatic , beautiful , bent , broken , certain , chemical , clean , clear , common , complete , complex , conscious , cut , elastic , electric , equal , fertile , fixed , free , frequent , happy , healthy , important , kind , like , married , medical , military , mixed , natural , necessary , normal , open , parallel , physical , political , probable , quiet , ready , regula r, responsible , safe , smooth , solid , straight , sweet , tired , true , wise .A certain number of these formations, e.g., unregular, unprobable, are departures from Standard English. All, however, can readily be avoided by the use of not, and the beginner who desires not to disturb the susceptibilities of the purist during the next few years can thus always attain his desire - while, for others, improbable, etc., will not crate any difficulties. The justification for these innovations is that while they develop a salutary tendency in the language they are not unduly offensive.
The qualifiers form derivative in a manner similar to the nouns, but the range is more circumscribed; 6 out of the 150 take the suffixes -er and -ing, but not the -ed form. They are as follows:
clean, cut, dry, open, separate, shut.
3. Operators . One of the main principles of substitution is the use of operators combined with directives (prepositions) in their adverbial form to take the place of verbs. This construction has been gaining ground in Standard English since the 15th century, and the language now possesses a host of respectable idioms constructed in this way, which offer alternative, within the scope of the operators, for all the important verb utterances.
It is with a view to eliminating word wastage that Basic has introduced a very considerable modification in the verb-system by developing the use of these alternatives.
The verb-form has hitherto been one of the great barriers to all attempts at simplification, and as a linguistic device is not in universal use. For some, therefore, it raises difficulties too great to be mastered at the outset, while even for those who are familiar with the intricacies of the system, irregularities of form in a foreign language overload the memory. Another objection is that verbs involve a wasteful vocabulary in the preliminary stage; by using the operators to the fullest possible extent, nouns and adjectives can be made to do double work. Finally, and this is an even more fundamental consideration, verbs, like all stylistic contractions, may lead to confusion of thought at any stage of symbolization.
The operators are ten in number, if be, seem, and have are treated for convenience with the two auxiliaries may and will. In addition to these there are three analogical extras, say, see, and send -- included in the vocabulary because they lend facility to communication and provide a useful link between the operators and the verb-system proper.
The combination of the ten operators and the three operator-auxiliaries with the twenty directives immediately gives us equivalents of roughly 200 simple English verbs. Thus, put in = 'insert'. But since the ordinary English vocabulary is chiefly composed of synonyms distinguished by subtleties which are not relevant in more than 10 percentage of their uses, put in is actually the equivalent of may other verbs in particular situations. Thus, put (a word) in = 'interject', put (an account) in = 'render', put (the tea) in = 'infuse', put (the sheep) in = 'fold', put (a request) in = 'file', put (a seed ) in (the earth) = 'plant', put (the baby) in (the bath) = 'immerse', put (things) in (a house) = 'install', and so forth. Let us suppose that twenty of these lie on the surface for the average translator, and we have in fact not 200 but 4,000 fresh 'words', i.e., self-evident, bipartite analytic equivalents for what in ordinary English usually involves an extra word, all without adding a single 'idiom' proper (see p. 63), or increasing in any way the phonetic difficulty of the foreigner.
By an operation is meant not only the fundamental operations of physics, but the simplest and most familiar actions of everyday life in so far as they are performed by one thing on another, or by the human organism as a whole on some other thing.
Actually, the most general operation is to 'move'; to 'push' and to 'pull' are a little more specific. It is, however, fortunately possible to cover all three, in Basic, by the use of the nouns.
In the case of human beings, the most general operations are likewise moving, pushing, and pulling; together with put and take. Slightly more specific are give and get; and for movements of the organism, come and go. Then we have make (creative change), keep (continuity), let (acquiescence), and do (generalized activity). Fortunately it is possible to cover the first group, in Basic, with the help of nouns:
Move = Give (a thing) a move, or put (a thing) in motion.
Push = Give a push to (a thing).
Pull = Give a pull to (a ting).
So ten operators, supplemented by the operational use of be (existence), seem (oppositional accessory to be), and have (possession), achieve all that is required.
The relation of the operators both to one another and to the human form, and their constructional possibilities, are illustrated I the diagram on the opposite page. Its hero is depicted with the black object ('this') which he has made, and has, and is keeping where it is at the moment. He says: '(I) make (keep, have) this;' and the various line indicate the ways or directions in which he would put, take, give, or get (this), etc. Any child can do the same. The oppositional factor gives us seem as a sort of mirror-image of be; which, as opposed to come (here and) keep, we have go (away and) let, etc.
The main uses of the auxiliaries have been dealt with in the rules, but there are certain refinements of usage to which attention may be called here.
Although will is the auxiliary signifying merely that an action lies in the futures, it may also, by emphasis, be used to express determination or intention. Would, in addition to being the past tense of will, is used to express the Conditional Future, e.g. All would now be well if you had come. Basic English make no distinction between shall and will, and the insensitiveness of most speakers of Standard English on this point ensures that on almost all occasions the substitution will go undetected. In questions, however, where shall = 'Is it your desire that,' 'Am I wise to,' 'Is it necessary,' etc. (as in 'shall I go?') it may be preferable, stylistically, to use these alternative phrases.
The distinction between shall and will having been discarded, that between should and would can also be neglected in so far as it coincides with the former.
There are, however, three uses of should which have no counterpart in the uses of shall, and for these it is necessary to find substitute phrases.
It has been explained that the main auxiliary use of may is to indicate possibility. The permissive operator-form arises out of this auxiliary use. Where the possibility is due to the will of the speaker or of some other person, then may comes permissive, so that You may go is really a contraction for I will let you go or You have a right to go. There are also two subsidiary auxiliary uses of may for which substitute phrases can easily be found. The subjunctive form, Do this that you may be strong, is rendered in Basic as Do this so that you will be strong; and the exclamatory form, May they do well! becomes It is my desire (or hope) that they will do well. See also The ABC, pages 25-28.
- Property. For You should do your best substitute 'It is right for you to do your best.'
- Plan. For The order was that I (or he) should go substitute 'The order was that I was to go, for me to go'
- Subjunctive Future. For If he should come, substitute 'If he came.'
In addition to its use in negative and interrogative sentences, do is frequently used as a substitute for some other operations save the need for repetition, e.g., I went and so did the others.
Given the word order and the function of each auxiliary, there should be no difficulty in forming the compound tenses. Familiarity with the expressions I will go and I have gone generates the more complex I will have gone and so on.
The sequence of tenses is also, in the main, a matter for the exercise of common-sense. A present or future tense in the principal sentence may be followed by any tense appropriate to the sense in the dependent clauses; a past tense is followed by a past tense except where a comparison is introduced, in which case the present may be required, e.g., I was more tired than you are, or where the statement in the clause applies to the present or the future as well as to the past, e.g., It was his view that in another hundred years Britain will be a second-rate power.
The present participles, in addition to their use for the formation of the tenses of the operators, have a noun and adjective function on the lines of the -ing derivatives.
In conversation, the operators are frequently shortened to more convenient forms. Thus, I will becomes I'll , I would becomes I'd , do not becomes don't.
4. Directives Each of the directives is spatially definable without ambiguity in its root use. These root definitions are set out in the diagram on the next page; but the movements of a fish in a tank would be equally applicable for the first stages of teaching by dumb-show.
By trying out each operator in turn with each directive it will readily be discovered in a general way which combinations conform to the nature of the physical universe, and which phrases, therefore, are free from idiomatic difficulty. Out is included as a borderline example between an adverb and a directive. Grammatically, it is an adverb, but its significance is directional; and its opposite in is a directive, the diagram would be incomplete if out were omitted.
Extension and metaphor play an important part in the use of directives, for it is in this way that they are made to signify other than directional relations, but there is less possibility of associational extension than in the case of noun-forms. Extensions with directive frequently take the form of fictional analogies; that is to say, they arise through the use of a directive in a phrase where fictions occur, e.g., Thoughts come into the mind, Get at the details. These fictional analogies resent no problem as regards intelligibility; in almost all cases their meaning is self-evident when once the root use has been mastered. Another unambiguous form of metaphor is the temporal analogy, giving such uses as Come to tea, Get ready at six, Knowledge before the event.
There are, however, a number of metaphorical uses of the directive depending on less straightforward analogies than these, e.g., Go against a friend (antagonism from opposition of force), Painted by Leonardo (instrumentality from proximity), Do it through a representative (agency from transition). It is here that the teacher must be careful to distinguish natural and legitimate combinations from more capricious usage.
In The ABC of Basic English, all the necessary idioms which would not be clear to e.g., a Japanese learner who had mastered the sense of the single words, are listed in examples -- 250 in all. Of these about 50 require special attention at an early stage; and in The Basic Words a further 250 are illustrated for the benefit of those who wish to acquire a more idiomatic style than the simpler forms of communication demand.
In addition to the directives shown on the diagram, for, of, and till are used on the same analogy, as non-directional prepositions:
For, which is of doubtful spatial origin (possibly derived from fore), is a sort of pro-preposition. In relation to purpose, for generally takes the place of the infinitive in such phrases as desire for ( = to have) food, ornaments, etc.
Of, the preposition signifying possession or close connection, is derived from Off. If x is off y, it must have once been on it, that is to say, in close proximity or belonging to it. By a slight semantic twist all things which are in the y context are said to be of/off it irrespective of whether they are now apart from it or not.
Till is a contraction of 'to the time that.'
The directives can always be used in combination where the sense demands it, making into, upon, down from, etc.
5. The adverb exists as a separate part of speech only through a process of linguistic abbreviation. Any statement made b means of an adverb can be translated intelligibly, though perhaps clumsily, into terms of other parts of speech. Adverbs of degree are 'to some extent;' of place, 'in some place;' of time, 'at some time;' of manner, 'in some way or manner.'
It is only by representing the adverb as a potted' form of symbolization that th e student unfamiliar with adverbs can be made to grasp their nature.
6. Possessive. Except for the 's, which is required as an alternative method of indicating possession, there are no so-called case inflections among the nouns. In the Basic system, therefore, these inflections may be treated as forms peculiar to pronouns. Since pronouns are themselves grammatical accessories, any elaboration of grammar is more appropriate to them than to the nouns.
The alternative possessive inflection for use when the pronoun comes after the noun which it qualifies is convenient rather than necessary. Details of this sort should not be introduced to the learner till he is completely fluent.
In addition to the pronouns listed in the operator column, the numeral one has two special pronominal uses, (a) for 'anyone,' e.g., One frequently comes across errors in the newspapers, and (b) for something that has been mentioned earlier, e.g., That book is a good one.
7. Conjunctions, like quantifiers, are not simple referential words, but accessories in the machinery of linguistic communication. It is the function of the conjunction to link groups of words to one another so that they conform to a pattern of thought.
8. Comparison. From the examples given in the Rule, it will be seen that comparison is not necessarily between two objects or actions, but may be between an object and some implied estimate of it, e.g., The food was as good as it was said to be.
9. Although Word Order has already been dealt with at some length, it is obviously not an essential part of the course to a student who desires no more than a reader's acquaintance with Basic English. Nor is it a first-level necessity, even for the speaker. Anyone who has learned the Basic vocabulary with its nearest equivalents in his own language can proceed to put the words together in sentences; he will usually be understood by both English hearers and by all who know the words, provided the main sequence of thing-operator-direction is followed.
The model sentences, however, are so easy to learn as a framework into which the whole vocabulary may be fitted as it is learnt, that few will probably risk the oddities of expression which any word-for-word translation must involve.
It is, therefore recommended that the vocabulary be learnt both as a series of word-pairs (the single word with its nearest equivalent in a foreign language), and also with each word fitted into model sentences -- as in Basic by Examples.
The rules which cover the essentials of word-order will enable almost any sentences to be given a correct equivalent in Basic. If relatively simple sentences only are attempted, both fluency and intelligibility are assured on all occasions. Anything more ambitious, whether in the direction of style or complication, can best be attained by a study of the specimen translations.
About a quarter of the 300 -ing derivatives are never used, in good Standard English, before the noun they qualify, e.g., requesting, viewing. The reason for this is that these qualifiers have not yet become dissociated from the present participle forms from which they are derived. This explanation, though it serves for the teacher, cannot of course be given to the learner, and the foreigner need not be restrained in this respect. Minor solecisms (violations of grammar) are a lesser evil here than an extra rule, and in practice the slips would probably be negligible. Many of the derivatives in question are seldom used. The others would almost always appear with a direct object, and in this case the natural impulse would be to place them after the noun.
It as already been noted that an infinitive sometimes follows an operator as its object. This use of the infinitive extends also to qualifiers whose mention implies subsequent action, e.g., ready to do, hoping to go, etc.
The briefest form of sentence, if we accept the definition of a sentence as an intended unit of communication, is a single word used with an explanation mark as Father!, Fire!, conventionalized cries are also uttered in this form, Ah!, Hm! and so on.
It would be foolish to take exception to the placing of the preposition at the end of a sentence. This word-order is sanctioned by old-established English idiom. The gradual return to the prepositional ending is encouraged by the increasing use of the verb-preposition combinations. When the directive is combined with the verb adverbially, it naturally comes at the end of the sentence, and so accustoms the eye to the word-order, e.g.,
He is getting on.
This is the horse which he is getting on.
The intelligent student will no doubt seek for an explanation of the introduction of the auxiliary do to supplement the Simple Present and the simple Past in interrogation. The normal sequence in English, as in most European languages, is that of subject-verb-object. A variation of this order suggested itself as a simple device to indicate the interrogative. But the habit of the normal order (as observed by Jespersen) was so strong that a compromise between the two principles resulted. By placing the subject after the auxiliary, the formal inversion is effected; by placing it before the principal verb, the reality of the normal word-order is preserved. A similar evasion is to be found in Danish and in French.
10. There are lists of International Words supplementing the scientific and special technical vocabularies as well as the general vocabulary, but these unfortunately cannot be annexed for general purposes as their standard of internationality is different. Since all advanced scientific work has been Occidental in inspiration, an Easterner interested in science is compelled to learn one or the other of the main European languages before he can pursue his studies seriously. A scientific word can therefore be regarded as international if it is common to English, French, German, Russian, Italian, and Spanish. But for the general reader, a word is not international unless it is familiar to the East as well as to the West, and hence the popular list is considerably more circumscribed. With the internationalization of Science, notation and measurement must soon also be internationalized, and with the spread of scientific knowledge, scientific terms will gradually permeate the ordinary vocabulary.
Together with the international adjective international, fifty nouns of general utility have been provisionally recognized by Basic up to date:
alcohol , aluminum , automobile , bank , bar , beef , beer , calendar , chemist , check , chocolate , chorus , cigarette , club , coffee , colony , dance , engineer , gas , hotel , influenza , lava , madam , nickel , opera , orchestra , paraffi n, park , passport , paten t, phonograph , piano , police , post , program , propaganda , radio , restaurant , sir , sport , taxi , tea , telegram , telephone , terrace , theater , tobacco , university , whisky , zinc .
In addition, 12 international names (titles, etc. - not necessarily international in other connections) are available:
College , Dominion , Embassy , Empire , Imperial , King , Museum ,
President , Prince , Princess , Queen , Royal .
And 12 names of sciences:
Algebra , Arithmetic , Biology , Chemistry , Geography , Geology , Geometry ,
Mathematics , Physics , Physiology , Psychology , Zoology.
There are also 50 nouns of less general utility for use in appropriate contexts:
ammonia , asbestos , autobus , ballet , cafe , catarrh , champagne , chauffeur , circus , citron , cocktail , cognac , dynamite , encyclopedia , glycerin , hyena , hygiene , hysteria , inferno , jazz , liqueur , macaroni , malaria , mania , nicotine , olive , omelet , opium , paradise , penguin , platinum , potash , pajamas , pyramid , quinine , radium , referendum , rheumatism , rum , salad , sardine , tapioca , toast , torpedo , vanilla , violin , visa , vodka , volt , zebra .
The pronunciation of the general international terms will, of course, be included in the recording which will cover the whole phonetic and grammatical side of the system, but it is unnecessary to load the printed Vocabulary with anything that is not a mnemonic essential. The number of such terms to be accepted is still the subject of various questionnaires.
There is a long list of candidates which have a prima facie claim to internationality in the West and have already obtained considerable currency in Japan. The advice of Radio Committees in different countries is now being sought and their ruling will be sifted by those who are collaborating in the forthcoming Basic translations. Here is a selection:
academy , academic , accumulator , adieu , alphabet , alpha , ampere , apostrophe , atlas , atmosphere , atom , baby , bacillus , balcony , banana , banjo , barbarism , baritone , bayonet , benzyl , bicycle , billiards , blonde , blouse , bonbon , boss , bouquet , boulevard , bourgeois , brave , bridge , buffet , bulletin , bull-dog , cable , cafeteria , cadet , calico , camouflage , caravan , card , carnival , catastrophe , caviar , center , chaos , civilization , cocoa , communist , condenser , contralto , cosmopolitan , crepe , cricket , crochet , dahlia , decadent , demagogue , dessert , diarrhea , dictionary , dilettante , dynamo , dyspepsia , economic , electric , electron , element , energy , ensemble , erotic , eucalyptus , eugenics , façade , feminism , film , fresco , flirt , freemason , frieze , garage , gazette , gentleman , golf , gondola , grammar , graph , guillotine , gymnastics , hockey , hor d'oeuvres , hyacinth , imperia l, impromptu , intelligentsia , interest , iodine , kangaroo , kodak , laboratory , lacquer , lady , lamp , lancet , lavatory , league , legal , lemon , lion , lunch , lynch , machine , mademoiselle , magnet , mannequin , manuscript , mash , maximum , memo , menthol , minimum , minus , modern , monopoly , monsieur , moral , morphia , motif , motor , music , muslin , narcissus , nature , negro , nuance , oasis , obelisk , octave , option , optimism , oracle , palace , palette , panic , panorama , paradox , parallel , parasol , parody , pathos , pessimism , philosophy , phonetics , photograph , picnic , pince-nez , ping-pong , pistol , plus , polo , porridge , pragmatism , press , prima-donna , professor , profile , proletariat , promenade , public , pudding , realism , register , rendezvous , republic , revue , rhetoric , rhythm , robot , rotor , roulette, rucksack, sabotage, sago, salon, saloon, sapphire, satyr, saxophone , scenario , schema , scout , serenade , sextant , shampoo , shellac , silhouette , ski , socialism , soirée , solo , soprano , soufflé ;, souvenir , spectrum , sphinx , staccato , stadium , station , steppe , student , symbolism , symmetry , symphony , synchronization , syndicalism , syntax , syringe , system , tango , technique , technology , tempo , tennis , tenor , text , theory , thermometer , toilet , tomato , tournament , tragedy , tramway , transformer , turban , turbine , typhoon , tsar , unicorn , universe , utopia , vaudeville , verandah , vermouth , waffle , waltz , whist , xylophone , zigzag .
Standard English has hitherto adapted foreign names with a certain amount of arbitrary phonetic distortion. There is already a growing tendency to admit the native use, even where a distortion is part of the language. Exceptions like Germany and Rome are few. Basic English, as has been explained, adopts the native name as far as possible until the improvement of international communications makes standardization more practicable.
Slang terms are introduced into Basic English in inverted commas, as also are technical terms which are not covered by any special vocabulary when they are introduced into the text with explanatory matter.
It is also worth taking advantage of Onomatopoeia. A very large number of English monosyllables, for which equivalents are hard to find, just because of their peculiar appropriateness, are conventionally onomatopoeic in character and therefore universally intelligible without explanation. Some these are therefore available for a Universal Language in their simple noun form, together with other purely onomatopoeic symbols such as Cuckoo, Hiccup, and Tom-Tom Examples are: -- Buzz, Cluck, Crash, Croak, Flap, Miaou, Pop, Splash, Tick, -- and possibly even Wheeze.
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Last updated on January 8, 1997
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