HOME :  Mission :  History :  Chancellors :  Projects :  Essays :  Photos :  Site Directory :  Contact


Being a preliminary mnemotechnic programme]
for proficiency in English self-expression]
for international use,]
based on semantic principles

© by

Lancelot Hogben FRS, Honorary Senior Fellow in Linguistics,
Birmingham University
with the assistance of Jane Hogben and Maureen Cartwright
London. Michael Joseph. 1963

Précis by Doug Everingham 1997.

SR1 [Lindgren's Spelling Reform step One] used:

Thus eny clear short vowel sed as that in hemorrhage and led may here be red as e insted of eny spellings wider spred, as approved by a Sydney Morning Herald Education Supplement, a Teachers' Federation and other journals and Australia's two Nobel laureate Fellows of the Royal Society: Sir Mark Oliphant, Sir Macfarlane Burnet.

The aim:

decimate social costs (illiteracy &c.) of old spellings by reviving their prime purpose: recording sound categories as pronouncing dictionaries do despite local brogue etc. versions of the tongue. English spelling lags centuries behind language merger and change, and anglophone resistance to scriptage debate is increasing anglophone illiteracy, alredy four times that of Finnish and other updated scriptages.
[J Simpl�d Spel�g Soc 1995 #1, 7-18,37-44]

The Argument

English is the language most in use for 'communication� in what we hope will be the One World of tomorrow.' The written word is still the main medium used for international communication for those who most seek such a medium. At least 30 000 dictionary items are needed for wide reading or sophisticated conversation. The 1500 words most frequently used

  • (a) include no more than 300 of the less than 1500 needed for self expression and
  • (b) are in nearly all cases the words most liable to semantic erosion (widening of meanings with frequent use; cf. Zipf).
  • C K Ogden's Basic English was among early acknowledgments of this. Basic enables clear expression within the limit of 850 words plus some technical terms, in a style consistent with the 'Authorized Version (of the English Bible) or of Winston Churchill at his best'. The main defects of the word list are

  • (a) Meny of the words have each several different meanings (with several 'different words in any other language').
  • (b) Basic requires meny idioms using particles with no intrinsic semantic sanction. It is probably as hard to learn several meanings of a word as 'to learn the same number of different words, each with a clear-cut' meaning, e.g. 'put up with' for 'tolerate' or 'forbear'.
  • (c) This requirement could prompt 'not easily broken habits of unacceptable usage' for learners 'with no native knowledge of English'. [Perhaps like 'he scratched them till they died' an official interpreter's version of 'they were tickled to deth'.]

    ewE provides LESU (a list of 1300 essential semantic units, esu's) to replace Ogden's 850 words.

    An esu is

  • (a) a word and where necessary
  • (b) a particle or
  • (c) other usage to accompany the word.
  • Compare
  • (a) laugh at�: contrast�with �: the same�as� and
  • (b) to do not always interchangeable with doing or for doing as object of a transitive verb, e.g. cease/ finish doing = cease (NOT finish) to do.
  • Fewer than half a dozen esus (with, to, that, have, be) each has more than one (unequivocal) reference, subject to redily recognizable metaphorical extension e.g. Holy Father, Mother Superior But several esus have in standard English (sE) more than one meaning, so our LESU restricts them to one meaning each. This prevents the usual vicious circle of dictionary definitions, repeating forever. We can use (for the ultimate meaning constituents) pictorial or other non-verbal or internationally current usage e.g. =, 5, Homo sapiens, diphtheria.

    The rest have paranymic specification (a nexus of non-esu words which share a common semantic territory, e.g. state and condition, each with more than one other unrelated meaning). A bilingual dictionary listing the paranyms can then guide the beginner to the appropriate distinct meaning. Paranyms are added even to terms definable by terms listed earlier in LESU. This broadens the range of recognizable terms for readers and listeners, and reiterates previous esu items for rote learning.

    Henceforth esu items are in UPPER CASE and paranymic or recognition aids in italics. Ogden's The General Basic English Dictionary with [primarily 'standard', mainly southern British] pronunciations shown in International Phonetic script, and Linguaphone type records, serve to indicate pronunciation.

    [Other regional pronunciations differ from sE mainly in consistent ways, with sound shifts among regions but fewer phoneme categories differing from each other. A phoneme is a category or range of speech sound units that distinguishes spoken words from each other within a speech community. Thus pronouncing dictionary versions of a word are sounded differently from region to region but the words distinct in the dictionary's phonetic respellings remain generally just as distinct from each other in speech within each regional usage -- DE].

    We list homonyms in a separate glossary. Some have the same spelling but come from different word roots e.g. base = bad or bottom.

    Ch. 1 The Need for a Global Auxiliary

    In the mid seventeenth century the British Royal Society and French Academy each followed the lead of Italy's Lincei by adopting the national vernacular for learnèd communication. The Latin lingua franca was lost. In 1664 the Royal Society commissioned an inaugural member, Bishop Wilkins, to seek a remedy. Leibniz devoted his lesure in later years to this end. Their published efforts were harder to learn than Latin and less flexible to later development. Linnaeus, Lavoisier and scientists generally for 200 years produced only piecemeal moves toward a world language of science. The vast growth of mails and movements in the 19th century increased the need for a global code. Leibniz proposed comparative language study as a useful next step. Several schemes emerged. Pirro devised Universal-Sprache before German Catholic priest Schleier produced Volapük that was actually spoken and promoted by scientists and societies. Zamenhof's 1887 Esperanto soon eclipsed it, and several schools taught it briefly after World War 1. More than 300 alternative schemes have been published since but none with such broad and persistent following as Esperanto. All are put forward as a second, bridging, helping/ auxiliary, not a dominant or sole language or replacement for mother tongues. Only after World War 1 did the US emerge as predominant in science and technology developments. Proposed auxiliaries then took words from predominant technical speech communities, mostly Romance and Teutonic. They discarded irregularities and grammatical quirks (as e.g. English, alone among Indo-European and Semitic languages, has discarded grammatical gender).

    Phonetics pioneer Alexander Melville Bell in 1888 published World English, the universal language. He lectured in Edinburgh and London before migrating to the US where he devoted his talents to instruction of defmutes. He died in 1905.

    English excels Esperanto for the East in

      (1) grammatical simplicity. [Like Chinese, English relies on word order rather than affixes to convey inter-word relationships]. (Peano's flexionless Latin [and meny later schemes] are even less inflected, but Esperanto relies hevily on inflections).

      (2) access to books, and probably to

      (3) global forms of technical terms. English distorts less than most

      languages [including Esperanto] the growing global technical terminology.

    The post-World-War-2 Bandung conference of 29 Asian and African nations speaking over 100 tongues, none of them anglophonic, chose English as their prime official language even for the Red Chinese, although the conference opposed colonialism, east and west, cultural and military. The only plausible alternative is a number of zonal auxiliaries of which English would be one.

    As English becomes a more widespred global medium it may risk even faster semantic erosion at a time when classic language studies and etymology are declining. Historically oriented literati and critics, however, cannot formulate the desiderata of a global auxiliary without reorientation of habitual attitudes to language uses.

    In 1932, after ten years' work with help, C K Ogden compiled Basic English. His 850-word list on a sheet of note paper avoids the need for scores of verbs. This word economy eased the memorizing (mnemotechnic) load, and ewE carries this relief further. Ogden edited the internationalist Cambridge Magazine during World War 1 and later was a leader in the new powerful semantic movement in philosophy. Basic's main drawbacks are

      (a) orthographic burdens [whimsical spellings],

      (b) complex verb/ particle syntax idioms and

      (c) a huge vocabulary of multivalent and homophonic terms. Also,

      (d) Basic became tagged as an Anglo-American cultural wepon in the Cold War when Churchill [and Roosevelt] embraced it as such. [With its translingual semantics ewE should be less prone to this drawback].

    EwE, like Basic, is no pidgin [or creole --DE]. It is a program for learning standard English (sE) with a better semantic basis than Basic. It marries Ogden's philosophical semantics with his vocabulary economy. It should be a better introduction the English than Basic is, and may lead to an auxiliary better than the more than 300 predecessors. Semantics in ewE prompts native speakers to think first and talk later. This cannot exclude emotive content, but on the other hand parochial poetry or the sentiments of vernacular idioms must not veto clear expression or the breakdown of cultural prejudices.

    I discount the childhood 'osmosis' approach to learning a global auxiliary. The current trend to teach foreign languages first by the spoken word overlooks the prime need of a global auxiliary to convey the written word.

    Ch. 2 Principles and Definitions

    We define TERM as a dictionary hedword and probably its flexional or paradigmatic derivates. A term may be multivalent (with several homonymous meanings) or eunymic (with one characteristic meaning e.g. numerals, with comparatively clear distinguishability of metaphorical senses). Translation sometimes helps distinguish multiple senses of a word, e.g. always = at each time or ceaselessly. The meaning of one eunym may embrace several others, e.g. cook (poach, broil etc.), container (urn, vase etc.)

    Where there is no single term for a concept one may use two overlapping terms to identify the sense intended. Such couples we call paranyms* e.g. government = STATE = CONDITION = prerequisite. Verbal or social context gives paranym senses by etiquette, syntax, taxonomyÝ or arbitrary limits thus:

      Etiquette. 'Pardon' is more formal than 'forgive'. This follows the general rule that Romance-derived words tend to be more formal that Anglo-Saxon near-synonyms. The Romance elements also usually have a wider international currency. This tends to make them more suitable for a (most usually formal) auxiliary.

      Syntax. During, while, meanwhile are different syntactic, but not semantic, elements. Sometimes very, too require a following much, sometimes not.

      Taxonomy. tall/ high and thick/ fat are interchangeable with some referents but not with man.

      Arbitrary limits are those where the formula for distinguishing appropriateness is difficult.

      Synonyms with subtle dictionary distinctions help poetry, variety to avoid monotony, and word games among literati and pedants but put no restraint on the seemingly accelerating semantic erosion in English.

      DefinitionsÝ for an esu can be non-circular if we use

        (a) pictures of things, time/ space relations, actions, processes and attributes,

        (b) international signs like 5, Oi� , Fe,

        (c) science terms (Homo sapiens, theobroma, cacaos, sucrose, vertebrae

        etc.), international roots that are both widely current and semantically consistent,

        (d) combinations of these,

        (e) for about 300 highly eunymic terms by listing its paranyms and using a bilingual dictionary*

        (f) idioms (or more specifically word clusters that do not reflect the usual meanings of each word � holophrases). These are needed perhaps most in French and least in English among major European l;languages. Some use particles that are often elsewhere eunymic (to, at, from, in, for etc.) where an 'empty particle of unspecified relationship' (of ) would suffice (for e.g. turning an intransitive verb into a transitive couplet like laugh at, or for copulative empty words as in be in good helth, different from.). Similarly arbitrary rules make to�[vb] and for �ing interchangeable (in a purposive context) and �ing can replace to � as a 'verb noun object of a transitive verb', thus cease working/ to work but finish work(ing), be in (not with &c.) good helth, use it for cleaning/ to clean (with usually added). So Basic's word list needs to become a holophrase list (LESU).

    But definitions are not always needed. An adequate replacement formula (rf) suffices with parenthetic phrases omitted in miss = (1) feel (unhappy because of) the loss of, (2) (aim at but) fail to hit.

    Basic's word economy includes oligolexics (few terms to learn) and oligology (minimizing the need for circumlocutions that waste time and space, e.g. even = contrasted with what one knows or would deem likely from what was sed before this. Ogden therefore sought

      (a) highly multivalent (with multiple meanings) terms, e.g fair = equitable; pale; pretty � this involves use of scores of abstract nouns, a construction that tempts users to think in terms of Plato's universals, a perennial philosophic superstition (that an abstraction is a 'real' thing etc.)

      (b) utmost use of holophrases, e.g. go on = fit; act; continue, mount; prosper; and put off = remove; delay &c. This involves ambiguities due to multivalence of get, put, on = ewE on or sE onward, off = away; from..

      Basic's limiting verbs to 18 illustrates overlaps among them, as ask = put a question (to), make a request (of), give an invitation (to). 'The mnemonic load of learning n totally different meanings of one item of a word list�is�no less than that of learning n terms each with a clearly defined reference'.� Hogben 'dogma'. Neither grammar texts nor dictionaries define enough the role of holophrase and arbitrary restrictions of context in socially acceptable communication. See jargon (p. 49 footnote and later).

      *This trick occurs in Chinese pidgin English, e.g. look-SEE makes clear that sea is not indicated.

    Ý Dictionaries get away with circular definitions because few educated people so far realize the irrelevance of the simple dichotomies of Aristotle's (or Boole's) binary logic to biological taxonomy, and the overriding importance for that taxonomy of the definitive principle of the identity parade. E.g. a farmer could recognize a starling in a line-up of museum exhibits of birds of his country, but not one in 1000 could frame a verbal definition to distinguish it.

    Ch. 3 Mnemotechnics of Language Learning

    Writing, reading, speaking and interpreting speech are skills that may be separately lost in local brain damage but are not always all addressed by language teachers. The 'transmitter' (writer or speaker) needs a limited (recall) vocabulary and grammar knowledge. The 'receiver'/ decoder (reader or listener) needs a wider (but only nodding) acquaintance with more (recognition) vocables and grammar rules. The LESU covers the former. Orthography is more necessary for reading, phonetics for listening. For years to come a global auxiliary will be useful primarily to people who will rarely meet in domestic surrounds, will communicate mainly in writing and print, especially about international concerns. Poetry may emerge later. Casual contact by tourists and traders may roam erratically around a few dozen set phrases, not necessarily contributing to more serious conflicts or cooperation. Reading has advantages over radio communication. One can

      (a) skim over less crucial written parts,

      (b) retrace and compare earlier and later parts,

      (c) check a dictionary at eny stage,

      (d) learn more systematically,

    reversing the order of natural (native tongue) learning. Decoding speech is harder than encoding it and so appropriately it should be the last of the four skills to be learned.

    We prefer semantic comprehensiveness before vernacular (including some school) usage, to encourage a sense of early completed achievement with comparatively little effort. This 'recall first' approach need not delay 'recognition' skills.

    Writers can rearrange and revise, take time for recall Traditional teaching tends to emphasize first skill in reading plus parrot learning. This may suit technicians seeking mainly access to technical data in languages related to their own. Pen-frendship movements combine writing training with incentive to expand recognition skills.

    Most-used words are also most multivalent/ semantically eroded. LESU omits specific fruits (apple, orange of Basic) but keeps imported world trade items (wheat, rice, tobacco, tea, coffee, cocoa). We need no technical nautical terms but do need technical legal terms (verdict, customs, arbitration ) in a world striving for unity, a peaceful order under law as in speech. We can use terms alredy international for species, anatomy, diseases, substances, and the local names for countries and cities.

    We can omit eponyms, mythological terms, terms for animal cries or movements in different species (bray, caw, hiss; flit, toddle, gallop etc.) and terms intelligible only in the context of 'western' philosophies, and terms expressing gradations of personal value judgments. We similarly prefer general terms like vehicle, tool, device, machine, container, fastener.

    Short words are simple in structure but are likely to be those most semantically eroded or overloaded with emotive associations. LESU seeks single items for commonly used and useful terms, by choice highly eunymic in everyday speech or defined as such by semantic prescription. We seek too all terms other than common nouns recognizable in meaning by most educated adult English-speakers, or a replacement formula made up of other most highly multivalent LESU items (3000 adjectives or particles, 4000 verbs, 1500 abstract nouns).

    So we collate highly eunymic terms other than common nouns, then explore semantic restrictions on more multivalent terms, then see how far these include or provide adequate substitutes or not too prolix replacement formulae for all terms in a recognition vocabulary of anglophone adults (and Basic's list with its holophrastic extensions). We avoid more than a m minimum of terms for personal value-judgments, e.g. too, very, high, not un-, not very, un-, not, very un- , not sufficiently with pleasing (to the eye), daring, worthy (of esteem), etc. for e.g valiant, reckless, rash, brave, bold, intrepid, valorous, timid, cowardly, craven etc. We separate definitive and derivative terms, thereby imposing opportunities for automatic revision by 'transmitters'. We help learners and especially receivers using ewE glossaries to build recognition vocabulary beside recall vocab. 'Cement' words can be learnt in 4 weeks at 50 per week but to do so using (250) common nouns for context we allow 9 weeks. Then we give priority to adjectives, but with them need meny verbs for replacement formulae (e.g. lazy = unwilling to work, eager to avoid work). We use Graeco-Latin derived technical terms, not to press for general knowledge of these but because they may provide mnemonic aids in relating a group of terms, familiar or not, but with some interest with the common origin, rather than learning a lifeless label.

    We aim in LESU to provide adequate self-expression, not possible with the 2000 most essential words based on frequency in the Interim Report on Vocabulary Selection for the Teaching of English as a foreign language sponsored by the Carnegie Corp., NY. Multivalency gives these word (4000 semantic units by their count, 6000 by our not excessive estimate, with no comprehensive tool for self-expression.

    Ch. 4 Criteria of Word Choice

    In compiling LESU, unlike Hogben's list, we use terms

      (a) eunymic by custom or restriction, not overloaded unless a definitive alternative would be unwieldy circumlocution, not multivalent/ semantically eroded

      (b) paranymic,

      (c) definitive in terms previously chosen; or replacing a prolix holophrase.

      (d) specifying arbitrary restrictions imposed by context, and used only if no term is available with a wider contextual range of admissibility. We list speaker with talk because talker has a derogatory nuance.

      (e) demanding (an) arbitrary accompanying particle(s). These must occupy a niche accommodating the partner terms, or

      (f) more taxonomic rather than those less so, especially if reducing need for quasi-technical terms.

      (g) more formative preferred ceteris paribus (derivatives formed by affixes of a dominant grammatical pattern, e.g. start(ed) preferred to begin etc. even tho less eunymic.

      (h) common and 'highly' eunymic (less multivalent/ semantically eroded) e.g. again tho replaceable by once more or a second time.

      (i) common nouns if interesting for persons that seek world-wide cultural collaboration. More international terms e.g. commence may be less semantically eroded than e.g. start, begin but less formative (compare starter &c.). Abstract nouns are attractive here if identical with verb forms. Thus Ogden's keep gives way to (cause to) remain, retain = continue to have, not give back; take, get give way to procure, receive, become &c.

      (j) affixes: un-/in- &c, -ly, a,i~ble (like Latin gerundive passive = able, fit to be �ed), -er active or subject thing/ person, -less with noun or -ing form of verb which is also an abstract noun = without

      (k) particles: (preposition, conjunction, simple adverb). since (not in the sense of because), while (not in the sense of though), if AND whether; just, quite are superfluous AND multivalent. We find too multivalent eny, some, only, ever.

      (l) auxiliaries: shall/ should dispensable, will preferred to be going to e.g. in complex tense/ aspect phrases like they'll've been working six hours; would for conditional clauses, can/ could displaces may/ might = is able/ free/ allowed/ knows how to; permit displaces let; is/ has/ ought / needs to, (certainly) is/ will displaces must; at one time/ usually displaces used to.

      (m) verbs with adjectival predicates: be(come), keep, feel, remain, seem, deem (it) �

      (n) adjectives: meny dispensable from Ogden's list by

        � allowing verb status to 300 of his abstract nouns (3d sing -s, Aorist -ed).

        � verbs like contain, fasten with Basic -er added give coverage of vessel, reservoir, box, chest, can &c., button, clip, latch, bolt, lock &c., lov|er,ing,less,ed,able, un-.

        � about 75 LESU verbs + -less and another 25 LESU verbs are adjective forms, another 50 with -able �un-/in-, in all 300 adjectives, more than half of these tallying with substantives.

    There remain about 200 adjective entries. right <�> left preclude other senses of these two words (true, fitting, ethical, privilege, remaining &c.)

    Ch. 5 The Mnemotechnics of Spelling

    Substantial reform would temporarily increase costs of publications so should await (as it can't promote) acceptance of English as a global auxiliary. Homophones from diverse source languages discourage unitary phoneticizing of English but there is a case for reversing counter-etymological changes e.g. Middle English/ Anglo-Saxon s for current French c in once, ice, mice, hence, pence, cinder, since or false analogy with Teutonic light, naughty in delight, haughty, sprightly from Old French. "�Errors of poets, schools and master printers have saddled English orthography with anomalies which prevent us from fully exploiting so great an advantage" (the ability of Romanced or Teutonic speakers to recognize English words by spelling with a knowledge of sound shifts in derivation of English words from Romance or Teutonic sources).

    In ewE, IPA symbol q is shown by th, for the sound as in thin,
    IPA symbol like ` (or rather � with ~ overwritten) is shown by dh for the sound as in then,
    IPA c is shown by kh for the sound as in Scots loch,
    IPA symbol like n with lower half of j overwritten is shown by nh for the sound as in linking, linger,
    IPA Ú or s is shown by sh for the sound as in ash, tÚ by tsh for the sound as in each,
    IPA 3 is shown by zh for the sound as in fusion, d3 by dzh for the sound as in judge.

    Etymology indicators:

    An English word is usually Teutonic in origin if it contains ng for the nh sound, th for the dh sound, kn (Old English cn) or sh at the start of a word, w(h) for the w sound (and wh still fully aspirated by Scots), th for the th sound except in scholarly words where th represents Greek theta, and faith derived from the Old French feid; gh silent or sounded as f records a ded aspirated guttural in Old and Scots English.

    Norman French is indicated by j with the zh sound, c sounded s before e or i, French by ch with sh sound, French or Latin by ti or ssi with sh sound. Greek origin words have ph sounded f, ch sounded k, and words starting ps, pt, rh or mn.

    We gain from having a single form for differently sounded affixes -ed, -s sometimes sounded t, z. There is no prospect of forcing the same vowel values on immensely varied dialects, so '�printing consistently phonetic English spelling is a hoax, as anyone who has tried to teach shorthand to a Yorkshire pitboy will have found out.'

    We accept some Americanisms, e.g. classic [Latin form] odor, color before Norman-British -our but not -ic for -ical in historic(al).

    Ch. 6 Pathology of Grammar

    > Inessentials include genitive form of nouns [?and pronouns?], old second person pronouns (thou thee thy thine singular, ye plural), indirect objects (gave him this), and conditional inversion (were I to do so). -ing is an abstract noun (gerund), periphrastic aspect-tense tag and adjective (gerundive).

    do takes over inflectional functions for interrogative, negative and continuous[/ repetitive] or emphatic affirmative. Subject-verb inversion is no longer needed when there is an initial qualifier.

    -ly is adverbial, formerly adjectival only (kingly, monthly, earthly &c. Existential be (there is/ are/ was &c.) is holophrastic.

    Ch. 7 Essential English Grammar

    Disappearance of grammatical gender is 'one of the indisputable merits of English'.

    The genitive case is now optional.

    Personal pronouns have two(it, you, she) or three (I, we, they) case forms, interrogative and relative pronouns two (who(se), that/ whose) demonstratives one (this, that and plurals).

    Other adjectives are invariant in number, gender and case. Most monosyllabic adjectives (and disyllabic ones in -y, changing to -i ) add-er, -est for comparative and superlative forms.

    Adjectives except with -ly (daily &c.) add -ly for adverb, plus -ier, -iest affixing as for adjectives and monosyllabic adjectives.

    Plurals are regular (-es after ch, sh, x, s, ss, -y changes to -ie, f to v) except for 7 native words (wo)man, child, ox, sheep, tooth, foot) and recent imports (axis, synopsis &c.)[but see Cambridge -DE].

    Word order. (Pro)noun subject, verb, direct (primary) object, particle connecting secondary object.

    Single term precedes one it qualifies. Phrase qualifier follows it. SE exceptions:

      (a) eliminate particle, put secondary before primary object (gave him the book),

      > (b) conditional inversion omitting if were I to do this)

      (c) emphasis inversion (never shall I forget) � the 3 above not needed in ewE

      (d) direct or secondary object may precede subject in relative clause (the man I had it from) but retain whose for e.g. the man whose house I purchased.

      Negations put particle not right after helper verb and

      Questions put subject right after a helper verb (and not in a negative question) with subject (next) before main verb.

      Interrogative pronoun, pronoun couplet or adverb (whose hat, which book did he use?) comes first in a question followed by be, have, can, will, do &c. then the subject (where can he be?) if the interrogative is the object of the verb or of a preposition, but if it is the subject or complement of be/ become it comes first without a do(es)/, did construction (who made it? &c.)

    Beginners for safety should give subordinate clauses and phrases precedence in the sequence, e.g. avoid the buildings, few of which remain, were once admired greatly.

    In interrogation pronouns I he she we they that follow the verb, otherwise precede it; me him her us them follow it. In interrogation who?, what? precede the verb.

    EwE replaces Chaucer's relative pronouns who, whose, which by earlier Teutonic that. It may be omitted in initial teaching on introducing a noun clause.

      Impersonal pronoun one(s), one's is preferred to you and common gender pronoun they, them, their(s) paralleled in Scandinavian den = (s)he, him, her, dens = his/ her(s).

      Articles are degenerate forms of the numeral one (Scots ane) and demonstrative that, not so separately developed in several languages.

      Verbs (excluding derivatives with -er, -able, -ment, -ation &c.) have not more than 5 forms except be (8 forms). Some have only 3 (cut, hit, put, shut, split &c.) Each of the 5 forms except -s has more than one use. We classify the 5 forms as L(exicon) form e.g. give

      -s � gives
      -ing � giving
      4th � gave } most verbs (weak or regular)
      5th � given } combine these 2 forms with -ed. -s form is used with (s)he, it, one, that or a noun) and indicates continuing or habitual action, process, state or sentiment &c.
      4th form when distinct from L and 5th forms indicates a happening in the historic past or in a clause starting if to imply doubt or conjecture (exceptions: were, was).
      5th form serves as

        (a) perfective with has/ had.
        (b) passive after be &c.
        (c) passive adjective, often in effect a contraction of a relative clause
        (d) occasionally active (fallen tree, dear departed &c.) with intransitive verb.

      -ing form as
        � an abstract noun may displace to + L form, employable with an object like Latin gerund.

        � abstract noun or gerund following ('in apposition to') the object of a verb of perception (he saw me reading the book) like Latin accusitive and infinitive construction, commonly interchangeable with sole L-form

        � adjectivally, so comparable to active present participle of Latin and Greek� active meaning not always clear (hanging lump = suspended lump).

        � with be, active periphrastic: he is, will/would b e, can/could b e, ought/has/had to be, was/has/had been &c. going. L-form

        � = s- form but when subject is I, we, you, they, this/ that/ these/ those one(s) or a plural noun.

        � imperative, softened by kindly � for polite usage.

        � Interrogative and/or negative periphrases and negative imperative (kindly do not read this).

        � after auxiliaries can/ could (not), will/ would (not), ought (not) to.

        � like second use of -ing form and with make (make it go faster).

        L-form with preposited to particle in next 6 cases:

          � with be and have for future &/or compulsive [SEE Table 1, 2 below]

          � to � = for�ing or abstract noun, as direct object of transitive verb (to please her = for her plesure).

          � after we, him, her, it, one, us, you, them or sing. noun or plural + to, after verbs of counsel, compulsion, cognition, desire, assistance, permission and request in a construction replaceable by a substantival clause [Latin accusative + infinitive] � and if transitive may then dirfectly precede a noun object, demonstrative, or one of the precedingobjectpronouns as in they helped / forced him to do it.

          � after noun + to, a non-purposive passive adjectival value like Latin gerundive: a woman to fear = to be feared. Not always clearly distinct from purposive, e.g. bre(a)d to eat = bre(a)d for food or fit to be eaten = fitting for food.

          � after to = �ing as abstract noun which may have an object, e.g. to do/ doing that is not easy. }

          Not easy to � after adjective + to like Latin supine: eager to work = industrious; impossible to believe = incredible; eager to be successful = ambitious. }distinguish if }is inverted: to do that is not easy = that is not easy to do.

    The last three cases are not easy for beginners, e.g. to distinguish a grammatically predicative it is bad to be without food from a factually predicative statement it is eager to feed. If we reverse order for rhetoric or scansion, one it disappears as it has no semantic reference, just a courtesy to grammatical habits: eager for food it is; to be without food is bad � or replace to + L-form by -ing form: being without food is bad. SE it is/ was may be omitted in learning self-exprfession when it has no factual reference exept in climatology e.g. it is hot there. Note: to fear = to be feared (conveys passive content in adjectival construction) but this is dispensab;e by use of impersonal relative: a man to fear = a man one fears/ has to fear.

    The last usage can be split as

      (a) if adjective to + verb intransitive (e.g. to come) no ambiguity if adjective is prone, eager, (un)re(a)dy, (un)willing, (un)likely;

      (b) if verb trtanmsitive with such qualaifiers meaning is active, differs from that of a construction invoking an adverbial derivative of adjective and 5-form, e.g. eagerly re(a)d;

      (c) if adjective is difficult or easy, passive substitution noted doesn't essentially change meaning: a window easy to break = a window easily broken.. With easy &c. set we rule out the option easy to be broken but with eager we have 3 choices:

      eager to select, to be selected, -ly selected.

      Table 1 (with set 01) HAVE and BE
      1. L -forms |2. -ing forms |3. Fifth forms
      Simple tense forms: n is noun object of possessive sense HAVE, a noun (n) or adjectival (a) complement.
      Preceded by |4. Indef. & Present |5. Simple past |6. Hypothetical Protasis __________|_______________|_____________|___________________
      (S)HE, IT ONE | HAS n | IS a | | |
      | or_sing._noun
      |_______|_______| | WAS a | | ___I_______|
      |_AM_a__| HAD n |_______| HAD n | WERE a WE,YOU,THEY |HAVE n |
      | | | |
      |or plural noun|
      | ARE a | | WERE a | |
      |HAS HE |AM I | HAD HE | WAS I | | Interrogative |(NO)n ? |(NOT)a ? | (NO)n ? |(NOT)a ?| � | �
      |&c | &c | &c | &c |
      Negative | I HAVE | I AM | HE HAD | I WAS | IF I HAD |IF I WERE
      |NO n &c| NOT a &c| NO n &c|NOT a &c|NO n &c|NOT a
      Table 2 (with set 02) PLANT and GIVE
      1. L -forms |2. -ing forms |3. Fifth forms
      Simple tense forms: +�+ indicates assertion, ��? question and -�- denial
      Preceded by | 4. Indefinite | 5. Simple past and Hypothetical
      I, |+PLANT n + |+GIVE n + |
      WE,YOU,THEY |�DO [WE&c] |�DO [WE&c] |+PLANTED n + |+GAVE n +
      or plural noun| PLANT n ? | GIVE n ? | | |-[WE&c] DO |-[WE&c] DO | | |NOT PLANT n |NOT GIVE n -|�DID [HE/WE&c.] |�DID [HE/WE&c.]
      (S)HE, IT, ONE|+PLANTS n + |+GIVES n + | PLANT n ? | GIVE n ?
      or sing. noun
      |�DOES [HE &c] |�DOES [HE&c] | | |PLANT n ? | GIVE n ? | | |-[HE&c]DOES |-[HE&c] DOES |-[HE�] DID |-[HE&c] DID |NOT PLANT n -| NOT GIVE n -|NOT PLANT n - | NOT GIVE n -

      Table 3 (with set 05) Imperfect and Perfect Periphrastic Constructions
      1. L -forms | 2. -ing forms |
      3. Fifth forms
      Pres. & weak fut. |Continuous past |Simple perfect |Past perf. |Perf. habitual|Past perf. hab'ual

      Table 4 (with set 09) Explicit Future Constructions
      Basic forms (WOULD, CAN, COULD, OUGHT [NOT] TO may replace WILL)

        Orthography: -ie replaces cons.+y before -s affix in s form, -es replaces -s after -o, sh, ch, ss, x.

      Terminal n. t, p, m, b after a short vowel is doubled, terminal e is dropped, -ie becomes y, before -ing.

      Other irregularities as in LESU.

      Ch. 8 Syntax of verb.

      Be � links different names for the same thing or creature � links attribute or class specification for thing or person Only Dutch among related languages has a term comparable to there is etc. (existential holophrase).

      Have overlaps be (compare French j'ai faim, c 'est à moi) and own of LESU.

      He goes (indefinite),will go to London the month after this. I don't know when he will come (temporal=may, substantival=may be willing to).

      4-form in protasis(if clause) when appropriate orm in apodosis (main clause) is would + verb (e.g. if he came they would know). Corresponding form of be is were. When apodosis has would have + 5-form, have + 5-form replaces 4-form (if he had come they would have known).

      Otherwise 'preterite, aorist, past indefinite' etc. is narrative past form Was with singular subject, otherwise were are forms of be prescribed. 4-form is neither perfect nor imperfect per se (he helped her) but meaning of verb may be inconsistent with continuity, e.g he ceased willingly.

      'Perfect' with have is redundant where completion of the event is explicit by context, e.g.have you been, were you, in London during the week? 'Pluperfect' is redundant when context dates completion: she (hads) helped him till then.

      Imperfect with was/ were is redundant when context safeguards duration in a sequence such as while he was reading it = while he red it. But we don't yet accept 4-form went in while he was going to London � similarly for come, make. We can dismiss one use of sE be to�[vb] if we keep have/ had to + verb as compulsive auxiliary. Similarly would have + 5-form covers hypothetical was/were to have; he was to have come, but he had too much work to do = if he had not had too much work to do, he would have come.

      Auxiliary be and have. [p.135-6].

        (1) be have break procure }am,is,are,was,were,to be

        (2) be being be having be breaking be procuring }may replace be

        (3) have been have had have broken have procured }has,had, to have

        (4) have been having have been breaking have been procuring } may replace have.

      In the last column having may replace have in sE but ewE does not need it, e.g. having been broken, the container was useless = the container was useless because it was broken.

      In all rows to� form (as earlier noted for first row forms) can be replaced by to + L-form, e.g. it would have been useless to have helped him = to help him would have been useless. All items can follow auxiliaries: With (1) (2) (3) (4)

      � will indicates continuing future completed future event previously continuing event indefinite future completed at future date shown by context

      � can indicates immediate present completed event event that went on to date possibility possibility shown by context

      � would like can but indicates unfulfilled condition or intention (whence a suggestion of doubt)

      � could has both uses of the ordinary 4-form. In utterance expressing

      doubt or main clause of conditional    utterance it conveys possibility &c.

      Before (1) it can also express possibility in the past, equivalent to sEused to be able/ permitted to.

      � have to, ought to have time, continuity, completion restrictions as for can, expressing respectively necessity,   obligation. Subject and negative particle in question and denial are fixed by treating to as a link to following L-form.

      Immediate present is ordinary use of [be] �ing ( now is then redundant), sE uses this form also in a future context (I am going to town tomorrow).

      Past is shown by was/ were breaking, have/ has / hadbroken/ (been breaking), broke. Context can help decide tense, aspect &c.: during the time, while. Implications from a connected clause may make clear the temporal or circumstantial context in a 'compound' sentence. The other clause(s) then use(s) the simple past form. Thus While/ because he was dying, he gave all his goods to the poor. When he gave all his goods to the poor, he was dying. He was reading this while he was on the train. Before he started to read it, the train had ceased to move. While she was singing, he made it differs from While she sang, he was making it. Thus make and verbs implying motion are restricted in use of the simple verb form more than verbs like sing

      Where the essential meaning of a main verb is consistent with persistence or repetition (continuing, repeated) we interpret its -ing form so, (I have been breaking stones the whole day = I was breaking stones during today. I had been brteaking stones the whole day = I was breaking stones during that day etc.) otherwise we substitute the conceptpremonitory as inwas/ were, has/ have been dying. The forms without -ing signify completed events with no notion of duration.

      The have + 5-form construction is preferred to the simpler form if the circumstantial or temporal context is recent or there is no reference to the date or circumstances in the context. I have broken my leg. I have broken six cups during this week.

      To make clear that the event came before a past date or event not specified in the context, we use had as in he had died when she was married, otherwise we can use he died before she was married.

      When a situation continues throughout some past period of time (not necessarily yet terminated) we use the form was/ were dying. When we need to emphasize that this period has ended, we use the form he has been dying = he was dying till now.

      Recent past may be shown by be rather than have as in They were married yesterday. Otherwise be has a passive connotation. Sometimes changing this to an active form makes it longer, e.g. This window is broken. Someone has broken this window. We adise beginners to use the 'perfect participle' only when it works like a simple predicative adective as wet in The window is wet.

      Another passive construction It has frequently been stated by other writers� is more succinct in the active form Other writers have frequently stated�

      Existential there is/ are/ was/ were/ have,has,hadbeen/ will/ would/ccan/ could/ oughtg o/ have to be, will/ would have been is dispensible. There are no snakes in Island= one can meet/ see/ locate/ detect no snakes in Iceland or No snakes live in Island. A singular noun with or with an indefinite article follows the forms with is, was, has and a plural noun with or without a preceding no (preferred to not) follows the are, were, have forms. The others can precede a singular or plural noun.

      Ch. 9 LESU

      Internationally current terms and affixes _abdomen aeroplane(s) agenda alcohol aluminium area atom aujtobus(es) automobile(s) axis, axes bacteria balletg bomb bureaul(x) cabaret(s) camera(s) canal(s) carbon casino(s) centre chocolate(s) cigar(ette)(s) cinema(s) coitus conference congress crisis, crises datum, data debris detente diploma(s) dyinamo(s) embryo(s) faeces focus, foci foetus formula(e) hotel(s) hypothes~is,es international kerosene latitude longitude major metro minor minus opera(s) orchestra(s) petroleum piano(s) plastic(s) plus potato(es) programme(s) propaganda protocol radio radium radi~us,i ratio(s) reflex(es) restaurant(s) saliva sepsis spectr~um,a sport(s) stimul~us,i strat~um,a tax(es) tea/ the telegram(s) telephone(s) theatre(s) tobacco toilet(s) tomato(es) toxin trauma uranium uterus valuta veto virus(es) wagon(s)-lit zero

      CGS (metric) units: ampere, atmo, calorie, metre, dyne, erg, gram, litre, joule, second, volt, watt, henry, ohm, faraday, decibel.

      Chemical terms, elements &c.: hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

      Diseases in the WHO list. Binomial names of organisms.

      Anatomical terms of Greek and Latin origin (plant & animal): cerebrum, testis, vertebra &c.

        Affixes: anti-, ex-, extra-, infra-, inter-, intra-, pan-, post-, pre-,*quasi-, supra-, trans-, ultra-, vice-.

      Ogden adds to above (A Short Guide to Basic English, 1937):

      *alien *alliance asbestos bank bar beef beer *buddhist cafe calendar champagne chauffeur chemist cheque chorus *christian *church circus citron club cocktail coffee cognac colony dance dynamite *employee encyclopaedia engineer gas glycerine *Greek hygiene hysteria inferno jazz lava liqueur macaroni madam *moslem/ muslim *muscle olive omelette opium *orthodox paradise park passport patent phonograph police post pyjamas pyramid quinine referendum *refugee rheumatism *Roman rum salad sardine sir tapioca terrace toast torpedo university vanilla violin visa vodka whisky

      *in Hogben's, not Ogden's list

      26 sets of 50 + supplementary sets 27, 28.

      ICR= internationally current root

      SET 1

      1 A Definitive terms

      (i) Particles (ii) Auxiliary verb (vi) Aj & Vb

      1 a(n) 14 be being am is are was were been 25 own(s,ing,ed) v.t.=possess,

      2 and have ICR proprio-, idio-

      3 but (iii) Weak verbs own aj.=owned personal, private

      4 or 15 live(s) living lived v.i. my own=mine, your own=yours

      5 either�or living alive ICR bio- vivi- owner proprietor, possessor

      6 if 16 marr~y,ies,ying,ied + to espouse, wed

      7 no aj. + interj. unmarried single.

      8 not (un-, in-) ICR non- ICR gam-

      9 neither�nor

      10 of (iv) Names aj. & n.

      11 to ICR ad- 17 adult(s) aj. grown-up,mature

      12 from ICR ex- 18 thing(s) object

      13 with a.

        having no thing nothing
        b. in company of ICR syn/sym-.

      19 animal(s) ICR zoo-
      c. by means of

      20 parent(s) father, mother

      21 offspring (s. & pl.) progeny, spawn, issue. ICR fili-

      22 sex

      _1 B Terms Definable by Recourse to International Current Signs or Terms _(i) Names

      26 male(s) = K or K K [astrological &c. MARS symbol]
      As aj. masculine
      ICR andro-

      27 female(s) = � or � � [astrological &c. VENUS symbol]
      As aj. feminine
      ICR gyn-

      28 person(s) = Homo sapiens
      human being
      ICR anthrop-

      (ii) Pronoun-Numeral

      29 one(s,�s) first once
      ICR mono-, uni-
      no(t) one = no person. none
      no thing. nothing

        _1 C Picturable Name and Verb

      30 plant(s) planting planted (v.t.) ICR phyt-. unplanted = not planted uncultivated, wild. planter tiller gardener farmer cultivator

        1 D Derivative terms

      _(i) Particle

      31 without = with no ICR a- or an-, or sine- without offspring childless, barren

      (ii) Auxiliary & v.t.

      32 have, has, having, had As v.t. = be with have no = be without want, lack

      _(iii) Names

      33 man, men = adult male person ICR andro-

      34 wom~an.en = adult female person ICR gyn-

      35 spouse (of n ) = person married (to n ) male spouse husband female spouse wife

      36 young (s. & pl.) = not adult. ICR hebe- As aj. juvenile, immature female young person girl, maiden, lass male young person boy, lad, youth, stripling

      37 child(ren) = young person(s) bairn. ICR paedi-

      38 son(s) = male offspring ICR fili-

      39 daughter(s) = female offspring

      40 father = male parent ICR patri-

      41 mother = female parent ICR matri-

      42 sib(s) = offspring of one father and one mother

      43 brother(s) = male sib(s) ICR adelphi-, fratr-, frstern-

      44 sister(s) = female sib(s) ICR soror-_(iv) Pronouns

      45 he, him, his = a male

      46 she, her = a female her own hers

      47 it(s) = a thing or being neither male nor female

      48 the~y,m,ir = persons or things but neither you nor I. their own theirs

      49 we, us, our = (a) I and he,   she or they but not you

      (b) you and I with or without   him, her, them

      (v) Affix

      50 n- less = without n. motherless and/or fatherless person orphan. childless barren, sterile

      _1 E The Grammatical Paradigm of the Pronoun Cases

      Subject: I you one he she it they we


      [This book is out of print. Please ask if you want fuller lists -- DE.]

      HOME :  Mission :  History :  Chancellors :  Projects :  Essays :  Photos :  Site Directory :  Contact