BASIC ENGLISH: International Second Language
Section Two, Part Two , pg 238
The Basic Words
This book is designed as a handbook for use by learners of English in connection with one of the Basic teaching books
(for example, Basic Step by Step or The Basic Teacher), and by teachers with a knowledge of English in connection with Basic English and The ABC of Basic English.
It is, in addition, quite necessary for anyone, even if his mother tongue is English, who is attempting to make use of Basic in writing.
What The Basic Words does is to make clear the senses covered by every word in the Basic list and the ways in which these words may be used.
The General Basic English Dictionary gives in Basic the senses of 20,000 common English words, and there the 850 themselves are in their places, with all the senses possible to them in full English.
Here, on the other hand, the 850 Basic words are given with only those senses to which they are limited in Basic.
With them are listed such international words and names as are made part of the system in Basic English and The ABC together with a certain number of complex words (formed by putting Basic words together)
and `onomatopoeic' words (words based on sound-effects) -- of which straightforward additions Basic is free to make use.
It is pointed out which words take the -er (n.), -ing (n., a.), and -ed (a.) endings, and which have forms for more than one,
or for comparison, which are not regular. In addition, those words in the Basic list which may take un-1 before them or -ly after them are noted.
But not every possible use of un- or -ly is covered because a great number of words formed with the -ing and -ed endings may have these additions as well.
Un- and the endings sometimes go only, or chiefly, with the sense, sometimes with an expansion or special sense, and
sometimes with all senses. These details are not noted, but attention to the examples will make them clear. Examples are not
for all possible forms, but they are given for every one which there might be any doubt.
GUIDE TO THE USE OF THE BOOK
- The nearest French and German words are given for the root sense, special sense - marked by (s) - and expansions - marked by (e ) - of every Basic word.
Where the French and German words are the same for all the given senses they are printed only for the root.
Naturally not every special use is covered by the French or German words, because these languages frequently have ways of saying the same thing without making use of any parallel word.
- A key to the special senses and expansions is given in Basic; and the sometimes strange effect is a sign of the important part played in the language by the words whose sense is made dear in this way.
The sign : is put between the different expansions.
- The same short forms for naming the different sorts of words (n., a., prep., v., and so on) are used as in The General Basic English Dictionary.
The one printed first is that under which the word is listed for Basic purposes.
If a word is noted as coming into more than one group, the French and German parallels for the other possible ways of using the word are
given only when, in those languages, the connection with the root is not clear.
- For making clear the sounds of the words as they are said on the records by Mr. J. C. Catford, the `phonetic' system of An English Pronouncing Dictionary, by Professor Daniel Jones, has been used.
- The first examples are representative of normal uses, special attention being given to ways of getting round `verb' forms. Full stops are put between root-use examples and those of special senses or expansions.
The same division is made between examples of different expansions. Examples of a word used as another sort of word (for example, an `a.' used as an `n.') come last.
- After these examples of straightforward uses, come the special word-groups of which the word makes part.
* is put before the 250 special uses listed for learners in The ABC of Basic English. Those inside ( ) are based on another word in the group, and come under it without ( ).
Those which are numbered are taken from the 130 printed in The ABC, in lists of 5 and 10, under names of acts and directions.
* is used, in addition, for marking the 50 least important international words.
- ** is put before special word-groups which are listed in The ABC among the second 250 (not for learners).
- In the French and German parallels, words or parts of words which are given only to make the sense clearer are put between [ ].
( ) are used where there are two possible parallels, one with and one without the part between ( ).
1. Where the un- is changed to in-, im-, or ir- in full English, these forms are given.
Though it is not necessary for them to be forced on the learner's attention, they are used freely in Basic writing.
< back [texts]