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A Word Derivation Scheme for Glosa

by Marcel Springer

It seems to be simply like this:

Glosa words are built from

[When I once was disappointed about Glosa’s vocabulary, I was looking for a way, how it could be fixed/reformed/refined, and I sketched the text below. Meanwhile many problems in the words are solved. So the ideas below are perhaps not further necessary.]

How are the Glosa words built? An answer to this question is necessary to remove the many insufficiencies from the Glosa vocabulary. The first part (I) of this text is written by the Glosa authors themselves. It tells, that Glosa words are built from English foreign words. The second part (II) introduces to the word derivation of Latino sine Flexione/ Interlingua de Peano. LsF is another international auxiliary language, that is quite similar to Glosa. Of course, these ideas are not valid for Glosa, but maybe nevertheless interesting here. (III) gives a draft overview about the derivation of Glosa words directly from classical roots. (IV) gives the direction to a more systematical attempt.

I) The authors’s method

[The following lines are written by Ron Clark and Wendy Ashby. They are from the Glosa-newspaper “Plu Glosa Nota”, no. 37. They say mainly, that Glosa words are built from English foreign words. I personally think, that such a domination of English is not good for an international auxiliary language. On the other hand a lot of these words are really international and not only English. The result of this method is unfortunately often not unambiguous and so not always satisfying.]

Mega-Glosa, but…

As regards your first suggestion. We agree that to sell Glosa to bodies such as EEC, UN, UNESCO etc. MEGA-GLOSA, a large vocabulary is essential. Scientists, literary people and politicians require it.

We however insist that GLOSA 1000 must remain the Centre, the Heart of Glosa. Glosa is a truly International Auxiliary Language. It will appeal to the motivated Third World artisan only if it is simple to learn and accurate, and able to deal with all kinds of information exchange. Glosa will not be allowed to fall into the trap of becoming only a holiday language for wealthy people of the industrialized nations. The world will never be healthily united until accurate information is readily available to everyone everywhere, and everybody in the world has enough to eat, good shelter and a good-allround education - an education for living not merely for earning a living. The world has now the means (but not yet the will) to bring all this about quickly and thoroughly.

Europeans are used to large vocabularies, which can contribute to mis- understandings not only between nations but also between classes. We hope that although perhaps enjoying the variety and freedom of Mega Glosa people will at the same time work their way up to Central Glosa 1000.

Below we make some provisional suggestions for forming a Mega Vocabulary. Glosa 6000 by the way has all the information for forming a truly enormous vocabulary. We shall bring out a Mega Glosa as soon as possible.

Finding the Root

All you have to do to form your own MegaGlosa is to be able to recognize a Latin and Greek root. Most of the common ones will be listed in Glosa 1000, the others will be in Glosa 6000. In any long word of classical origin there may be …

Prefix - root - suffix.

Remember Glosa has no parts of speech; and any Glosa word can act as any part of speech. Because the suffix is usually concerned with this kind of information, whether the word is verb, noun, adjective or adverb it is usually superfluous for Glosa and can be removed.

If the Prefix is one with a distinct meaning i. e. one of the 35 listed in PGN 36 this must be retained as it contributes to meaning, to information. So generalizing;

Word minus suffix = Prefix + root.

the word you want. In the above example the root is FLU, to flow, SUPER over; therefore SUPERFLU, overflow. In a way forming a Mega Glosa Vocabulary involves ‘tail-chopping’.

Points to Note

Many verbs of Latin origin end in -ate. All you have to do here is knock off the -te. confiscate becomes KONFISKA.

Always substitute K for hard Latin c. So canine becomes KANI, feline FELI.

Some words ending -age are of French origin. These can be kept giving MESAGE, FOLIAGE.

No double letters in Glosa, except on a few occasions where a well-trilled r may have a good echoic effect. Some examples;

English	GLOSA
delicious	DELICI	degenerate	DEGENERA
industrialize	INDUSTRI	subsequent	SUBSEQUE
contortion	KONTORTI	population	POPULA

In 99 % of all cases this simple method will work perfectly, but occasionally some part of the suffix may be found useful and can be retained.

Words ending -ism	add -o.	REALISMO.	KOMUNISMO.
Words ending -ist	add -i.	REALISTI.	FATALISTI.
Words ending -ment add -a.	PARLAMENTA.	MOVIMENTA.

Biological and medical terms remain unchanged; OAKTREE is QUERKUS. K can be substituted for Latin C. Musical terms remain unchanged, many of these were listed in PGN 16. Eg. KRESCENDO, FORTISIMO, DIMUNENDO, ACELERANDO. French endings like -age above should be given the French pronounciation.

The Two Parts of the Latin Verb

Another possibility of variety arises from the fact that the Latin verb has two parts, each of which gives rise to great numbers of Euro-verbs. Eg;

to see	infinitive	VIDE	as in VIDEO
past participle	VISum as in VISion.

So for GLOSA ‘to see’ can be rendered by VIDE or VISI. Other examples;

join together	i.	NEKT	as in conNECT
pp.	NEXU	as in NEXUs.
to lead	i.	DUCE	as in reDUCE
pp.	DUCT	as in conDUCT.

When is a Word International

In PGN 35 there was an article on PACTERM, Pan-African-Centre for TERMinology, centredin Addis Ababa. All the participants at a recent seminar in Ethiopia agreed that a term should be recognized as international when it appeared in French, German, Russian and English. We use a very large German-Russian Dictionary published in Moscow by A. A. Lepinga & Straxhovoi.

See also, the article about INFOTERM in this issue.

Kosmopolitan Greek

It has been said that if all the words of Greek origin were suddenly removed from the world’s dictionaries all intelligent conversation would come to an end. Nowadays scientists turn almost exclusively to Greek for new terminology. Three ways by which you can recognize words of Greek origin.

1) There are many double consonants. Eg;
2) There are many diphthongs; Eg
3) All those words in which ch is pronounced like a k.	Eg;

The Greek words are not quite so familiar yet as the Latin, but they are daily becoming ever more so. TELE-SCOPE, SYMBOL, SYMPTOM, SYMPHONY are all Greek, and they never have undergone any changes. They are however far more international than the Latin. They probably make up a half of Glosa 6000; and the Advanced Glosa Dictionary is almost entirely Greek.

Glosa E Italiano

[There is an article in “Plu Glosa Nota”, no. 81 about deriving Glosa words from Italian. Unfortunately I have not got it. Perhaps it is interesting here. Does anybody have it? On page 2 of PGN 82 (this issue I have) there is written:]

In PGN 81 na pa dice komo Glosa pote uti moderno Italiano de gene id Mega lexiko. … Posi Glosa pote prende plu participi pasato, - ..ATO, -ITO, -ETO e -ABILI; kausa plu-ci parola-fini es proxi universali in plu Euro-lingua. … Holo infinito ko -ARE, ERE, IRE diveni -A, -E, -I.

II) Ideas of Peano (not Glosa!)

[Below is an introduction to the word derivation of Latino sine Flexione/ Interlingua de Peano from the book “Key to Interlingua”, Torino 1931. LsF is another international auxiliary language, that is quite similar to Glosa. Of course, these ideas are not valid for Glosa, but maybe nevertheless interesting here. The following text is stolen from Jay Bowks’s Europeano-site, ]

1. Interlingua adopts every word common to English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and every Anglo-Latin word;

2. Every word, Which exists in Latin, has the form of the Latin stem or root or radical;

A few necessary classical Latin words without international equivalents are a part of the vocabulary. It takes also non-Latin words already in international use, adopting them in the forms which they bear in the language of their origin, unless some other form is more convenient. The 1915 edition of Peano’s Vocabulario Commune contains 14,000 words which have currency in the leading nations.

A few general rules make possible the compilation of an Interlingua glossary. If a word has many forms in Latin because of inflections or declensions and conjugations, the inflections are suppressed and the stem, root, or radical is adopted to give the Interlingua form. Interlingua adopts as the stem or root of nouns the Latin ablative case which gives the most important part of the word. The Latin dictionary gives two forms for each noun, e.g.: rosa, rosae–rose; pes, pedis = foot. The first of these forms is called the nominative, the second, genitive. Interlingua uses the genitive and from the Latin dictionary the ablative is established by use of the following: Genitive endings: -ae -i -us -ei -is; are changed to Ablative endings: -a -o -u -e -e, which then become the Interlingua endings and forms.

The stem of the verb is obtained by dropping the ending of the Latin infinitive -re, which gives the Interlingua word.

Uninflected Latin words are adopted without change when there is only one form: id, et, circa, post; if there is a declensional suffix, it may be omitted, e.g., secundum = secundo; multum = multo.

Definition of Words


Any Latin dictionary gives two forms for each noun, for instance: rosa, rose = rose; pes, pedis = foot. The first form is called nominative, the second genitive. The Interlingua nouns are taken from the Latin genitive form, by changing the genitive ending in accordance with the following table:

latin Genitive ending: -ae -i -us -ei -is

Interlingua ending: -a -o -u -e -e


Words of Latin Vocabulary	Interlingua Words	English Words
Nominative	Genitive
rosa	rosae	rosa	rose
laurus	lauri	lauro	laurel
casus	casus	casu	case
series	seriei	scrie	series
pax	pacis	pace	peace

A few nouns are used in their nominative forms to avoid confusion with other words:

“mas” –English “male.”

Nouns used only in the plural in Latin may take the following Interlingua endings:

1. -a, when the Latin nominative plural ends in -a, as: Latin–arma, Interlingua–arma, English–arms.

2. -a or -as, when the plural nominative ends in -Ee, as: L.–divitiae. IL.–divitia or divitias. E.–riches.

3. -os, when the plural nominative ends in -i, as: L.–liberi. IL.–liberos. E.–children.

4. -e or -es, when the nominative plural ends in -es, as: L.–majores. IL.–majore or majores. E.–ancestry.


The Latin vocabulary gives the nominative of the three genders, and in some instances the genitive.

The Interlingua form is obtained:

I. from the nominative neuter:

(a) by leaving it unchanged when it ends by e;

(b) by changing it to o when it ends in um;

II. from the genitive form in all other instances:

(c) by changing to e the enaing is as in the case of nouns.


Latin	Interlingua	English
celeber celebris celebre	celebre	celebrated
novus nova novum	novo	new
audax audax audax audacis	audace	audacious


The Latin vocabulary gives the present indicative and the present infinitive. By dropping the ending of the infinitive -re, the Interlingua form is obtained.

There are a few exceptions: dic, duc, es, fac, fer, vol.


If they have one single form, this is the Interlingua form: e.g. ab, ad, ante, circa, etc.

If they have a declensional suffix, it may be omitted: secundum = secundo. multum = multo.


Many derivative words are in international use. New ones can be freely formed, as in English, from the words already in use, by the attachment of prefixes and suffixes, provided the meaning warrants such formation. For example, the ending “ -atione “ denotes a process, “ -tia “ denotes a quality, “ -ico” denotes pertaining to, “ -iza “ ends a verb denoting the admixture of one thing with another, “ -tore “ denotes a person who performs the act indicated by the stem of the word, etc.

The commonest suffixes and prefixes are given below.

Suffixes	Examples
English	Interlingua	English	Interlingua
-ism	-ismo	protectionism	protectionismo
-ic	-ico	electric	electrico
-id	-ido	splendid	splendido
-ist	-ista	feminist	feminista
-al	-ale	general	generale
-an	-ano	American	americano
-ary	-ario	aviary	aviario
-aster	-astro	poetaster	poetastro
-ble	-bile	stable	stabile
-el	-elo,-ela	sequel	sequela
-or,-our	-ore	colo(u)r	colore
-tive	-tivo	punitive	punitivo
-ous	-oso	famous	famoso
-ate	-ato	suhlimate	sublimato
-er	-tore	maker	factore
-tor	-tore	actor	actore
-ty	-tate	quality	qualitate
-tion	-tione	declaration	declaratione
-cy	-tia	tendency	tendentia
-ce	-tia	elegance	elegantia
-e	-io	spectroscope	spectroscopio
-y	-ia	zoology	zoologia
-fy	-fico	justify	justifica
-esque	-esco	statuesque	statuesco

The ending -ed as in “faced “ (having faces) may be rendered with cum: cum vultu or cum superficie; cornered (having corners,) cum angulo.

Prefixes	Examples
English	Interlingua	English	Interlingua
anti-	anti	anti-suffragist	antisuffragista
auto-	auto-	automobile	automobile
self-	auto-	self-induction	auto-inductione
well	bene-	wellsaid	benedicto
co-	co-	co-operator	cooperatore
dis-	dis-	dismember	dismembra
im-	im-	immortal	immortale
in-	in-	inability	inhabilitate
inter-	inter-	interact	interacto
mis-	male-	misform	maleforma
pan-	pan-	pan-asiatic	panasiatico
by- (beside)	para-	by-product	para-producto
pseudo-	pseudo-	pseudonym	pseudonymo
quasi-	quasi-	quasi-official	quasi-officiale
re-	re-	reexamine	reexamina
sub-	sub-	subterranean	subterraneo
super-	super-	superman	superhomine

As indicated above, “bene” may be used to render the prefix “well” either separately or combined: bene consiliato or beneconsiliato or benconsiliato = well-advised; “male” may likewise be used to render “ ill- “ or “ mis- “: male famato or malefamato or malfamato = ill-famed; male conceptione or maleconceptione or malconceptione= misconception.

The prefixing of the negative “ne” or “non” may ordinarily be used to denote the contrary. The preposition “sine” may be used to denote lacking, like the suffls “-less” in English.

The pronoun “qui” with a verb indicates the person performing the action, “que” with a verb denotes the instrument used in performing it, “quem” with a verb indicates the person on whom or the object on which the action is performed.

Adjectives may be formed by means of “de”;

de fratre = fraterno = fraternal.

Intransitive verbs may be formed with the help of “fi” = become; transitive with the help of “fac” = make. Fi albo = albo fi = albofi = to become white = to whiten (intransitive). Fac albo = albo fac = albofac = to make white = to whiten (transitive). Verbs, however, may be used as transitive or intransitive, if the meaning in that sentence is unequivocal. Other verbs may be formed by means of “es” = to be; redde = to render = to make; da = to givc. Es causa de = to cause; es flexo = to sag; redde triste = to sadden; to make sad; redde nullo = to annul = to render void; da animo = to encourage = to give courage.


A few Latin words not in international use are also adopted. Also, words are taken from any language if in international use.


The same word may be used as verb or as noun, either without any change, or with a slight change of the ending in accordance with rules elsewhere given. Adjectives may be used as adverbs.


Latin words retain the old orthography.

Proper names of persons and places maintain their national orthography as far as possible: New York, Washington, Roma, etc.


These are obtained by mcans of: cum mente, in modo

cum mente diligente,	}
cum diligente mente,	}	}	= diligently
in modo diligente,	}
in diligente modo,	}
in modo fraterno	}	}	= fraternally
in modo de fratre	}

Or the adjectives may be used as adverbs without any change.

III) Glosa words directly from classical origins, draft impression

- Some words are derived regularly from the classical words, like 
Peano suggested. 

	Indefinite words remain as they are (ad, de, si, Greek: kata). 
	-a, -ae get (from ablativus) -a (silva), 
	-us, -us get -u (manu), 
	-is, -is get -i (turi), 
	adjectives -us/-a/-um get -o (karo), 
	verbs with -ere get -e (face), with -are: -a (lauda), -ire: -i 

- Same with greek.	Greek has no ablativus, so take dativus: 
	-os, -u gets -o (fobo, orto). 

- Greek verbs get -o (1st person singular) (skizo) 

- Latin o-declination-words get the nominativus plural.	So 
	-us, -i get -i (rami, soni, tubi) 
	-er, -ri get -ri (libri [book])
	-um, -i get -a (exempla) 

- Latin -io, -ionis do not get ablativus-ending -ione but keep the 
	nominativs -io (natio, okasio, petitio, religio, tensio). 
	[My personal opinion: -ione is too long, okay, but even -io is a 
	part-of-speech-marker.	Is it one syllable (-yo) or two (-ee-ow)? 
	No, there are two.	But then it is too long, I think.	A lot of 
	these words are derived from verbs.	"pete" and "tende"?] 

- (I suppose: Some Latin words are in international use mainly with 
	their perfect-tense-root.	So they took this root.	That could be
	Words built from the perfect-tense-root get -i 
	(I suppose because of 1st person singular ending.) 
	(cepti, fluxi, komposi) 

- (I suppose for the same reason, international use:) Sometimes the 
	Greek aorist-root is taken instead of present-tense-root (gene). 

- Species names keep nominativus (equs, ursus). 

IV) Glosa words directly from classical origins, a more systematical attempt

A systematical research is needed: examining the words, looking up their Greek or Latin origins, sorting them into a scheme of Latin/Greek conjugations/declinations and then look, how the Glosa words are built, especially the ending vowels and then formulate a new word derivation system.

L) Latein (Latin):

L1) Nomina

L11) Substantiva

L12) Adjektiva

L13) Pronomina

L14) Numeralia

L2) Verba

L3) Partikeln und Interjektionen

(Adverbien (Umstandswörter, adverbs), Präpositionen (Verhältniswörter, prepositions), Konjunktionen (Bindewörter, conjunctions), Interjektionen (Ausrufewörter, interjections))

Suggestion of Peano for his language (Interlingua de Peano/ Latino sine Flexione): Particles and interjections remain as they are. Glosa seems to follow this suggestion.

a, ad - at; to; towards 
	o: ad 
	c: OK.	The short form "a" is in Latin the short form to "ab", 
	meaning "away", the contrary.	But "a" for "ad" is acceptable, 
	cf. French.	
ab - absent; away; from; off 
	o: ab

G) Griechisch (Greek):

G1) Nomina

G11) Substantiva

G12) Adjektiva

G13) Pronomina

G14) Numeralia

G2) Verba

G3) Partikeln and Interjektionen

(Adverbien (Umstandswörter, adverbs), Präpositionen (Verhältniswörter, prepositions), Konjunktionen (Bindewörter, conjunctions), Interjektionen (Ausrufewörter, interjections))

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A Word Derivation Scheme for Glosa - Committee on language planning, FIAS. Coordination: Vergara & Hardy, PhDs.