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hellog〜英語史ブログ / 2013-12-27

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2013-12-27 Fri

#1705. Basic English で書かれたお話し [artificial_language][basic_english][elt][bible]

 Gramley (354--55) を参照しながら,「#960. Basic English」 ([2011-12-13-1]) について補足し,英語教育用に Basic English で書かれたお話しを1つ挙げたい.
 Basic English は,1930年に C. K. Ogden によって策定され,戦後に I. A. Richards によって改訂され,さらに1990年代に Bill Templer によって再改訂された.本来,EFL のため,あるいは国際補助言語として計画されたものだが,その影響力は小さかった.850の基本語彙からなり,動詞は be, do, have, may, will, come, get, give, go, keep, let, make, put, say, see, seem, send, take の18個のみに限定されている.実際には,学習者は一般的な100語と,各自にとって中心的な分野の専門的な50語を追加して学ぶよう期待されており,計1000語の語彙が習得の目標となる.ただし,この1000語は見出し語として数えた場合の数であり,例えば be は1語とカウントされるが,当然ながら活用形been, being, was, were, am, are, is は区別して覚えなければならない.また,Ogden は標準的なレベルに達するには,国際的に使用される語彙 (ex. geography, gram, hotel) を含めて,計2000語は習得する必要があると考えており,Basic English の「850語」という売り文句は,あくまで最小限のものととらえておく必要がある.
 文法については,習得すべき項目は限られており,当面は以下の10項目を押さえておけばよい.第10項目の British English へのこだわりなどは,21世紀の現在では奇異に感じるが,発案当時の世界におけるイギリス英語の位置づけをよく伝えている.

1. Use an "S" to make a noun plural.
2. Adjectives can be extended using "-ER" and "-EST."
3. Verb can end in "-ING" and "-ED."
4. Adjectives become adverbs by adding "-LY."
5. "MORE" and "MOST" are used to talk about amounts.
6. "Opposite" adjectival meaning is expressed using "UN-."
7. To make questions use opposite word order and "DO."
8. Operators and pronouns conjugate as in normal English.
9. Two nouns (e.g. milkman) or a noun and a directive (sundown) make combined words (compounds).
10. Measures, numbers, money, days, months, years, clock time, and international words are in the British form, for example Date/Time: 20 May 1972 at 21:00.


 では,お話しを1つ.

One day last May there was a rat in a hole. It was a good rat which took care of its little ones and kept them out of the way of men, dogs, and poison. About sundown a farmer who was walking that way put his foot into the hole and had a bad fall. "Oh," was his thought, when he got on his legs again, "a rat for my dog, Caesar!" Naturally the rat had the same idea and kept very quiet. After an hour or two, Caesar got tired of waiting, and the farmer put his spade over the top of the hole, so that the rat was shut up till the morning when there might be some sport. But the farmer's daughter, May, had seen him from her window. "What a shame," said May, "Poor rat! there is no sport in letting cruel dogs loose on good mothers! I will take the spade away. There --- the rat may go." Then she took the spade to her father: "See! your spade was out there in the field, and I went to get it for you. Here it is." "You foolish girl," was his answer, "I put that spade over a rat-hole till the morning and now --- the rat may go."


 語彙は確かに basic かもしれないが,語法や文法は必ずしも basic ではないという印象を受ける.いかがだろうか.
 他にもサンプルテキストは,Readings in Basic English より豊富に入手できる.Bible in Basic English も参照.

 ・ Gramley, Stephan. The History of English: An Introduction. Abingdon: Routledge, 2012.

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