BSE or Brussels Standard English, is, as its name suggests, European Standard English, which became the official English standard of the European Union once the BSED1 or the first edition of the Brussels Standard English Dictionary was published in Brussels in the year 2100. Before 2100, the English used officially by the European Union was British English. From that time onwards, European English was considered a different standard from English, which was generally more conservative and mixed British and American features, as well as characteristics specific to the languages of Europe. Standard European English or BSE will be the language used by European Union between 2100 and 2700. Technically, European English distinguishes three varieties that function as a macrosystem of speechs:
- General European English (GE): This is a koine dialect that mixes British and American characteristics without distinction, both phonetically, as well as in semantics, syntax, and so on, usually with many influences from European languages, especially Romance languages. Before 2100 the standard language was British English, but in reality for interlingual communication Europeans used this continuum of dialectally neutralised features called General European.
- Standard European English (SE or BSE): In 2100 General European English was standardised for the first time in the BSED1, the first edition of Brussels Standard English Dictionary, to facilitate communication and teaching within the European Union once Europeans refused to have a British standard which was often difficult to understand for most Europeans and had generated a situation of hard diglossia. BSED1 turned out to be much more conservative in pronunciation than British English and normalised the influence of American English and other european languages. Over time different editions of the BSED were published, until the year 2700 when Euro became the official standard. This page will only describe the features of the BSED or Brussels Standard English Dictionary like a classic language which will continue to be taught in the future 2700.
- Vernacular European English (VE): After the standardisation of European English, both British and Americans were dissatisfied, so European English began to function as the standard language of the European Union, becoming increasingly Europeanised and moving away from its constituent English dialects. Many families, mainly French and German, tried to teach Standard European English to their children as a first language, resulting in a creolised English that would be considered vernacular. This vernacular proved to be much easier for Europeans to learn and spread in short time and it would become the new official standard by 2700 and would be called Euro, as a shortening of European.
|General American||Reiceved Pronunciation||European English|
|ɑː / æ||æ||ɑ̟ː||ɑ̟ː||ɑ~æ||ɒ|
|ɒ / ɔː||ɒ~ɔ~ɑ||o̞ː||ɔ||o~ɑ~ɒ~ɔ|
|i||ɪi̯~i||ɪ||ɪi̯||i~ɪ||ɪɪ > i|
|uː||u̟~ʊu̯~ʉu̯~ɵu̯||ʊu̯||ʊ̈ʉ̯||ɵ~ʊ~ʉ~u||ʊʊ > u|
|juː||(j)u̟~(j)ʊu̯~(j)ʉu̯~(j)ɵu̯||jʊu̯||jʊ̈ʉ̯||(j)ɵ~(j)ʊ~(j)ʉ~(j)u||eʊ > jʊ||ø|
|jʊər||jʊɹ~jɚ||jʊə̯(ɹ)||joː(ɹ)||jʊ(ə)(ɹ)~jo(ə)(ɹ)~jə(ɹ)||eʊəɹ > jʊəɹ||ɨʁ|
- 1 Background
- 2 History and classification
- 3 Dialects
- 4 Phonology
- 5 Writing system
- 6 Grammatical categories: Introduction
- 7 Grammar: History
- 8 Nouns
- 9 Adjectives
- 10 Adverbs
- 11 Personal pronouns
- 12 Determiners
- 13 Prepositions
- 14 Conjunctions
- 15 Numbers
- 16 Particles
- 17 Syntax: Word order
- 18 Verbs
Standard European English is a future standardised con-dialect of English spoken between the year 2100 and the year 2700. It developed by pidginisation under the influence of the languages of the European Union, especially French and Romance languages in general, and partially German, and by koineisation between Received Pronunciation and General American. This dialect was naturally simplified by being used as a second language (L2) by speakers of different European languages when it became the official language of the European Union. In 2100, Standard European English is officially the lingua franca of the European Union. Basically it can be considered a relex of a simplified French grammar.
History and classification
Its origins go back at first to Oxford British English with Received Pronunciation which was considered the European standard of English, while it was heavily influenced by American General English due to the great cultural influence of the United States in Europe, learnt by many Europeans through films, series, music, slogans, etc.
Being learnt as a second language, Europeans of different nationalities introduced a multitude of errors, mixing British and American English, misunderstanding English spelling, misanalysing syntax, having difficulties with pronunciation, etc. Over time, difficulties of Europeans in learning correct English gave rise to a strange pidginised koine. Grammar became much more analytical and isolating than modern English, with a predefined word order, vocabulary was reduced, morphemes were re-analysed, many meanings disappeared, pronunciation changed by the elimination of phonotactics, and allophones, clitics and contractions were restored as free and full forms, etc.
By the year 2100, general European English had become sufficiently distinct from British and American English to generate its own regulatory academies, the Brussels Academy of English published its first edition of a dictionary and grammatical guide distinct from the other English dialects. The first edition was called the Brussels Standard English Dictionary, or BSED1.
Native speakers of English wanted to change the name to European Standard English because of disagreements with other English regulatory academies who felt that European English was not true English and that it tarnished the purity of native English.
Since then, officially from the first edition of the BSED in 2100, European English started to be considered as a different standard language and started to evolve on its own, this new language was already informally known worldwide as Euro from 2100 onwards, but officially it continued to be called European Standard English, although it was still quite intelligible with modern 21st century English.
There are some local differences, due to the large number of languages in the European Union and how the characteristics of those languages influenced European English, but overall, it is a unified language with few differences. This page only describe the standard language.
The phonology used by the BSED Standard European English remained stable throughout all editions of the BSED. This section describes the phonology, the notation used, and the sound changes from Modern English to BSE. See consonants, vowels, and diphthongs, for more details on the sound changes of individual phonemes and notation used for transcribing BSE.
Some consonant phonemes that were marginal were reinterpreted as allophones and merged as follows:
- ŋ > ng
- ʍ > hw
- x > h
- ʔ > "disappears"
- ɬ > l
- Syllabic consonants were restored in schwa plus consonant clusters.
- The phoneme /ɹ/ in implosive position is restored, so BSE is a rhotic dialect.
The vowels that can be seen in parentheses are used in BSE in some borrowings from European languages, mainly French and German:
Some vowels that were loans from european languages were reinterpreted as allophones and merged as follows:
- œ > ɐ
- ø > ə
- y > ɨ
|e+||eɪ||eə||eʊ > jʊ|
Stress and syllable separation
- The stress depends on each word but there is a growing tendency to place the accent in a fixed way on the penultimate syllable. In real speech, one of the main changes in European English pronunciation was the loss of the distinctive accent. Primary and secondary stress is completely eliminated as a distinguishing feature. Stressed syllables can be placed anywhere, so many vowels that had been reduced became full vowels again. The weak forms are eliminated except in a few exceptions and are now pronounced as strong forms. European English is a free-accented dialect, the stress can be placed anywhere, although most are paroxytone, having the stress on the penultimate syllable, except in monosyllables.
- Syllable separation was restructured and made more conservative, conforming to the boundaries of lexemes and morphemes.
Every word cannot be read exactly as it is spelled, there are certain intrinsic rules, but these rules are not taught, written words must be memorized regardless of their phonetics. The writing system was inherited in its entirety from British English orthography, and it was retained until 2700.. By inherited standards, it does not accept diacritical marks and, in general, pronunciation is not predictable directly from the script. As in modern English, there are 26 letters and the apostrophe. The hyphen also is used in writing to separate words that are compounds, so it has no phonetic value, rather it has an etymological value. Many words are spelled differently, as they are interpreted as compounds, so technically BSE uses its own spelling:
|A a||a||eɪ||B b||bee||biː||C c||cee||siː|
|D d||dee||diː||E e||e||iː||F f||ef||ef|
|G g||gee||dʒiː||H h||aitch||eɪtʃ||I i||i||aɪ|
|J j||jay||dʒeɪ||K k||kay||keɪ||L l||el||el|
|M m||em||em||N n||en||en||O o||o||əʊ|
|P p||pee||piː||Q q||cue||kjuː||R r||ar||ɑːr|
|S s||ess||es||T t||tee||tiː||U u||u||juː|
|V v||vee||viː||W w||double-u||ˈdʌbl-juː||X x||ex||eks|
|Y y||wye||waɪ||Z z||zed||zed
Elision is the deletion of letters in writing and their replacement by an apostrophe; this deletion of letters also affects pronunciation. In general, formal and educated BSE tries to avoid them, but in colloquial language and informal writing they are very common. They are often used for pronouns and the contracted forms of articles and prepositions
Grammatical categories: Introduction
To understand the development of the BSE dialect, it is essential to know how its vocabulary has been formed, as BSE has adopted many words from different European languages, especially Ancient Greek and Latin, as well as German and French. Its grammar is divided into closed and open classes. Closed classes do not usually accept borrowings, whereas open classes do.
Originally, the BSE was a controlled word list based on the 5,000 most frequent words that every speaker should know, i.e. a CEFR C1. This word list was analysed in the form of lexemes and morphemes and, in order to standardise the BSE, a selection of terms was made for closed classes, and only terms whose etymological origin could be traced back to Proto-Germanic [xgm], Latin [lat] or Ancient Greek [grc] were allowed, so that they would be predictable for Europeans. The parts of speech in BSE are:
- Closed verbs
- Auxiliary verbs
- Phrasal verbs
European English, before its standardisation, was a set of pidgins which mixed features of European languages, British dialect and American dialect, creating a koine which was called General European. Grammatically this Koine was considered grammarless, as it was a strongly analytical and isolating language. When European English was standardised, it was endowed with a more fusional and synthetic grammar than 21st century English, adopting mainly the grammatical basis of French with typical Romance features and some German influences.
Nouns are usually inflected for number, and sometimes for gender, but apart from this, nouns are not inflected for any other grammatical category.
Nouns are inflected according to their number. As far as spelling is concerned, the plural is formed from the singular by adding -(e)s. Some nouns have irregular plurals, but there is a growing tendency to convert them into regular plurals. The phonotactic rules for the formation of the plural are very simple and will be explained later. Most uncountable nouns are grammatically treated as singular, although some are plural.
Most nouns have no grammatical gender, although some words retain the distinction of masculine and feminine by opposition, and the neuter as neutralisation, but do not form a complete paradigm. This gender distinction usually coincides with the sex or natural gender of the referent, and there is a growing tendency to neutralise it due to a movement towards gender-inclusive language since the 22nd century.
Adjectives agree in gender and number with the noun they modify. Normally the plural is formed by adding -(e)s to the singular, and few adjectives differentiate between masculine and feminine. In BSE the adjective can have free position, so it can be prepositive or postpositive, unlike English, where it is mostly obligatorily prepositive. Due to the influence of Romance languages, it is usually placed after the noun it modifies, but, for example, German speakers prefer to place it before the noun in the same way as in English.
Personal pronouns change form to reflect the role they play in their clause. Personal pronouns are declined in gender, number, case and person. Due to BSE is devoloped from formal 21st century British English, only the forms of "you" in the second person was used for both singular and plural, there is not distinction between T-V. In the mid-22th century, the pronominal forms of "she" and "he" began to be replaced by forms of "it".
The forms used for subjects are called subject pronouns, subjective pronouns or nominative pronouns. They are as follows:
Accusative (Direct Object)
The accusative pronouns are not used if the object refers to the same entity as the subject, in which case reflexives are used.
Dative (Indirect Object)
Indirect object pronouns or dative pronouns usually replace indirect objects with the preposition "to". When an indirect object pronoun is used, it replaces the whole prepositional phrase.
|First person||to me||tuː miː||to us||tuː ʌs|
|Second person||to you||tuː juː||to you||tuː juː|
|Third person||Definite||Masculine||to him||tuː hɪm||to them||tuː ðem|
|Feminine||to her||tuː hɜːr|
|Neuter||to it||tuː ɪt|
|Indefinite||to one||tuː wʌn|
Reflexive pronouns are used in place of direct and indirect object pronouns that refer to the same entity or entities as the subject. They are normally interpreted as genitives attached to the "self" and "selves" particles.
|First person||myself||maɪˈself||ourselves||ˌaʊərˈselvz / ɑːrˈselvz|
|Second person||yourself||jɔːrˈself / jʊrˈself||yourselves||jɔːrˈselvz / jʊrˈselvz|
Disjunctive (Strong Pronouns)
Disjunctive pronouns are the strong forms of personal pronouns, the forms that are used in isolation, as emphatic subjects or as objects of prepositions. Disjunctive pronouns are an innovation that appeared once the subject and object pronouns became inseparable from the verb.
Determiners are necessary in almost all common nouns, much more so than in English. They are inflected to agree in gender and number with the noun they determine. Many of them also tend to change pronunciation when the word following them begins with a vowel sound.
The article is not inflected according to the gender and number of its referent. The BSE has two articles, although some determiners can sometimes also function as articles. Unlike in Modern English, articles are obligatory for the vast majority of nouns in BSE, so they are rarely omitted. The two articles in BSE are:
Definite: The definite article is used with a noun that refers to a specific item, when both the speaker and the audience know what the item is. It is used with generic nouns in both singular and plural, abstract nouns, mass nouns, nouns accompanied by adjectives, languages, academic subjects, seasons, titles, surnames, body parts, days, etc.
Indefinite: Although in modern English the indefinite article is pronounced differently if it is placed before a consonant or a vowel, in BSE this differentiation is being lost and they are used interchangeably, in most situations "an" is used in preference. In some contexts it can be interpreted as "some". The indefinite article is used with nouns referring to non-specific items, or to specific items when the speaker and the audience do not know what the item is. Its use is related to expressions of quantity, to indicate an indefinite quantity of some element, or to indicate a whole unit of an indefinite element.
|Indefinite||a(n)||eɪ / æn|
Possessive determiners, sometimes called possessive pronouns, are used to indicate the possessor of the noun they determine. A distinction is made between masculine and feminine possessives in the third person singular. Sometimes they do not necessarily express true possession in the sense of ownership. Nowadays there is a growing tendency to lexically mark the person and number of the possessor, and they are inflected to agree with their noun in gender and number, this is due to the influence of Romance languages.
Possessive determiners, also called possessive or genitive pronouns refer to an object by identifying its possessor. They indicate the person, gender and number of the possessor. They are often misused, being used to indicate the gender and number of the referent due to the influence of Romance languages. They have dependent and independent forms, although in spoken language they are not differentiated. The old independent forms that appear in brackets must always end with the article "the".
|Possessor / Possessed||Singular||Plural|
|First person||my / the mine||(ðiː) maɪ(n)||(the) our(s)||(ðiː) ˈaʊər(z) / (ðiː) ɑːr(z)|
|Second person||(the) your(s)||(ðiː) jɔːr(z) / (ðiː) jʊr(z)||(the) your(s)||(ðiː) jɔːr(z) / (ðiː) jʊr(z)|
|Third person||Definite||Masculine||(the) his||(ðiː) hɪz||(the) their(s)||(ðiː) ðeər(z)|
|Feminine||(the) her(s)||(ðiː) hɜːr(z)|
|Neuter||(the) its||(ðiː) ɪts|
|Indefinite||(the) one's||(ðiː) wʌnz|
no one pronoun
Prepositions join two related parts of a sentence. They are placed before a noun to specify the relationship between the noun and the verb, adjective or other noun that precedes it.
Complete list of prepositions in English
Initially, 67 prepositions were identified for the English used in Europe, after normalization, the original list increased to 81. The final list is that follows:
|according to||əˈkɔːrdɪŋ tu|
|across||əˈkrɒs / əˈkrɔːs|
|after||ˈɑːftər / ˈæftər|
|along||əˈlɒŋ / əˈlɔːŋ|
|alongside||əˌlɒŋˈsaɪd / əˌlɔːŋˈsaɪd|
|beyond||bɪˈjɒnd / bɪˈjɑːnd|
|except for||ɪkˈsept fɔːr|
|following||ˈfɒləʊɪŋ / ˈfɑːləʊɪŋ|
|from||frɒm / frʌm / frɑːm|
|inside of||ˌɪnˈsaɪd ɒv / ˌɪnˈsaɪd ʌv|
|near to||nɪər tuː|
|nearer to||nɪərər tuː|
|nearest to||nɪərɪst tuː|
|next to||ˈnekst tu|
|of||ɒv / ʌv|
|off||ɒf / ɔːf|
|on||ɒn / ɑːn|
|on to||ɒn tuː / ɑːn tuː|
|onto||ˈɒntu / ˈɑːntu|
|opposite||ˈɒpəzɪt / ˈɑːpəzɪt|
|outside of||ˌaʊtˈsaɪd ɒv / ˌaʊtˈsaɪd ʌv|
|past||pɑːst / pæst|
|regardless of||rɪˈɡɑːrdləs əv|
|upon||əˈpɒn / əˈpɑːn|
|via||ˈvaɪə / ˈviːə|
|with||wɪð / wɪθ|
Simplified list of prepositions in BSE
Since most European languages have Indo-European origins and have similar sets of prepositions, the use of English prepositions underwent a brutal change due to the influence of European languages. This led to the publication of the simplified BSE list.
|X||X + 10||X * 10||Xth|
Large Numbers and Decimals
|Number||Cardinal Large Numbers|
Decimals are marked with a comma (,) and numbers greater than 1000 with a dot (.) similar to French, German and most European languages, just the opposite of the English-speaking world. The large numbers are as shown above as in European languages, they do not follow the short count typical of English countries.
Syntax: Word order
The components of a declarative clause are usually arranged in the following order, although not all components are always present:
Unlike English, verbs in BSE have become a complete paradigm with a structure reminiscent of Romance languages. Modal verbs have ceased to be used as such and are now an inseparable part of verb conjugation. With the conformation of this new verb conjugation, the -s was eliminated from the third person singular, as it was unnecessary and was an obstacle for Europeans to understand the grammar. Verbal morphology is the most complex part of BSE grammar:
|Compound||have Xed||having Xed||had Xed|
|Indicative||Present||Simple||I X||you X||he X(e)s||she X(e)s||it X(e)s||one X(e)s||we X||you X||they X|
|Progressive||I am Xing||you are Xing||he is Xing||she is Xing||it is Xing||one is Xing||we are Xing||you are Xing||they are Xing|
|Perfect||I have Xed||you have Xed||he has Xed||she has Xed||it has Xed||one has Xed||we have Xed||you have Xed||they have Xed|
|Perfect Progressive||I have been Xing||you have been Xing||he has been Xing||she has been Xing||it has been Xing||one has been Xing||we have been Xing||you have been Xing||they have been Xing|
|Past||Simple||I Xed||you Xed||he Xed||she Xed||it Xed||one Xed||we Xed||you Xed||they Xed|
|Progressive||I was Xing||you were Xing||he was Xing||she was Xing||it was Xing||one was Xing||we were Xing||you were Xing||they were Xing|
|Perfect||I had Xed||you had Xed||he had Xed||she had Xed||it had Xed||one had Xed||we had Xed||you had Xed||they had Xed|
|Perfect Progressive||I had been Xing||you had been Xing||he had been Xing||she had been Xing||it had been Xing||one had been Xing||we had been Xing||you had been Xing||they had been Xing|
|Future||Simple||I will X||you will X||he will X||she will X||it will X||one will X||we will X||you will X||they will X|
|Progressive||I will be Xing||you will be Xing||he will be Xing||she will be Xing||it will be Xing||one will be Xing||we will be Xing||you will be Xing||they will be Xing|
|Perfect||I will have Xed||you will have Xed||he will have Xed||she will have Xed||it will have Xed||one will have Xed||we will have Xed||you will have Xed||they will have Xed|
|Perfect Progressive||I will have been Xing||you will have been Xing||he will have been Xing||she will have been Xing||it will have been Xing||one will have been Xing||we will have been Xing||you will have been Xing||they will have been Xing|
|Conditional||Simple||I would X||you would X||he would X||she would X||it would X||one would X||we would X||you would X||they would X|
|Progressive||I would be Xing||you would be Xing||he would be Xing||she would be Xing||it would be Xing||one would be Xing||we would be Xing||you would be Xing||they would be Xing|
|Perfect||I would have Xed||you would have Xed||he would have Xed||she would have Xed||it would have Xed||one would have Xed||we would have Xed||you would have Xed||they would have Xed|
|Perfect Progressive||I would have been Xing||you would have been Xing||he would have been Xing||she would have been Xing||it would have been Xing||one would have been Xing||we would have been Xing||you would have been Xing||they would have been Xing|
|Potential||Present||Simple||I can X||you can X||he can X||she can X||it can X||one can X||we can X||you can X||they can X|
|Progressive||I can be Xing||you can be Xing||he can be Xing||she can be Xing||it can be Xing||one can be Xing||we can be Xing||you can be Xing||they can be Xing|
|Perfect||I can have Xed||you can have Xed||he can have Xed||she can have Xed||it can have Xed||one can have Xed||we can have Xed||you can have Xed||they can have Xed|
|Perfect Progressive||I can have been Xing||you can have been Xing||he can have been Xing||she can have been Xing||it can have been Xing||one can have been Xing||we can have been Xing||you can have been Xing||they can have been Xing|
|Past||Simple||I could X||you could X||he could X||she could X||it could X||one could X||we could X||you could X||they could X|
|Progressive||I could be Xing||you could be Xing||he could be Xing||she could be Xing||it could be Xing||one could be Xing||we could be Xing||you could be Xing||they could be Xing|
|Perfect||I could have Xed||you could have Xed||he could have Xed||she could have Xed||it could have Xed||one could have Xed||we could have Xed||you could have Xed||they could have Xed|
|Perfect Progressive||I could have been Xing||you could have been Xing||he could have been Xing||she could have been Xing||it could have been Xing||one could have been Xing||we could have been Xing||you could have been Xing||they could have been Xing|
|Subjunctive||Present||Simple||that I X||that you X||that he X(e)s||that she X(e)s||that it X(e)s||that one X(e)s||that we X||that you X||that they X|
|Progressive||that I am Xing||that you are Xing||that he is Xing||that she is Xing||that it is Xing||that one is Xing||that we are Xing||that you are Xing||that they are Xing|
|Perfect||that I have Xed||that you have Xed||that he has Xed||that she has Xed||that it has Xed||that one has Xed||that we have Xed||that you have Xed||that they have Xed|
|Perfect Progressive||that I have been Xing||that you have been Xing||that he has been Xing||that she has been Xing||that it has been Xing||that one has been Xing||that we have been Xing||that you have been Xing||that they have been Xing|
|Past||Simple||that I Xed||that you Xed||that he Xed||that she Xed||that it Xed||that one Xed||that we Xed||that you Xed||that they Xed|
|Progressive||that I was Xing||that you were Xing||that he was Xing||that she was Xing||that it was Xing||that one was Xing||that we were Xing||that you were Xing||that they were Xing|
|Perfect||that I had Xed||that you had Xed||that he had Xed||that she had Xed||that it had Xed||that one had Xed||that we had Xed||that you had Xed||that they had Xed|
|Perfect Progressive||that I had been Xing||that you had been Xing||that he had been Xing||that she had been Xing||that it had been Xing||that one had been Xing||that we had been Xing||that you had been Xing||that they had been Xing|
|Future||Simple||that I will X||that you will X||that he will X||that she will X||that it will X||that one will X||that we will X||that you will X||that they will X|
|Progressive||that I will be Xing||that you will be Xing||that he will be Xing||that she will be Xing||that it will be Xing||that one will be Xing||that we will be Xing||that you will be Xing||that they will be Xing|
|Perfect||that I will have Xed||that you will have Xed||that he will have Xed||that she will have Xed||that it will have Xed||that one will have Xed||that we will have Xed||that you will have Xed||that they will have Xed|
|Perfect Progressive||that I will have been Xing||that you will have been Xing||that he will have been Xing||that she will have been Xing||that it will have been Xing||that one will have been Xing||that we will have been Xing||that you will have been Xing||that they will have been Xing|
|Imperative||Simple||let me X||let you X||let him X||let her X||let it X||let one X||let us X||let you X||let them X|
|Compound||I X||you X||he X||she X||it X||one X||we X||you X||they X|