• The application of C.K. Ogden’s semiotics in Basic English

    Author(s):
    James McElvenny (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Group(s):
    History of Linguistics and Language Study
    Subject(s):
    Linguistics, Semiotics, Semantics, interlinguistics
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Ogden
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6X53C
    Abstract:
    Although a relatively minor project in terms of its impact on the broader international language movement, Basic English is interesting for the elaborate semiotic theory that lies behind it. The creator of Basic, Charles Kay Ogden (1889–1957), is today remembered chiefly as co-author of The Meaning of Meaning, a book widely regarded as a classic of early twentieth-century semiotics. In this paper, we engage in a critical examination of the design of Basic and demonstrate how it essentially represents an implementation of the key doctrines set out in that book, tempered by the practical exigencies of language construction. We focus on Ogden’s method of ‘panoptic conjugation’, which he used to select the Basic core vocabulary of 850 words, as well as his conception of the grammar of Basic as an outgrowth of its vocabulary. We observe additionally how Ogden’s approach does not result in a self-contained, independent international language, but rather a language that is subservient to Standard English idiom.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    12 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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