basilect

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

basi- +‎ -lect

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈbæsɪlekt/, /ˈbeɪsɪlekt/

Noun[edit]

basilect ‎(plural basilects)

  1. (linguistics) A variety of a language that has diverged greatly from the standard form, and is only considered suitable for very informal contexts by speakers; opposed to acrolect and mesolect.
    • 1977, Joseph Twadell Shipley, In praise of English: the growth & use of language, page 78:
      The highest level of good English has been called the acrolect; the lowest level of poor speech, the basilect; both are contrasted with the matrilect, the general native language.
    • 1987, ‎Douglas N. Young, Language--planning and medium in education:
      In both regions English is used extensively, the spoken form ranging from, in the language of linguisticians , the basilect to the mesolect and the matrilect or acrolect (prestige English) .
    • 1996, James E. Alatis, Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics, ISBN 1589018532:
      If only the basilect is a true creole, then the mesolect is relegated to limbo -- not a creole, certainly not a standard.


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