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Re: What do you think of the Sona language (Glosa vs Sona)?

Kevin Smith ("Kevin Smith" <lingua@...>) on January 18, 2009

Several years ago, I learned Sona well enough to comfortably carry on an em= ail conversation with a man in Russia. I figured at that point in time I wa= s probably the world’s leading authority on Sona.

It’s a very clever idea,= and a reasonable initial implementation. I appreciated that it was not jus= t European, putting it in the same category as loglan/lojban and ceqli. And= I feel strongly that small vocabularies are better than large ones, so the= small number of roots is appealing.

However, as you start to analyze the = roots carefully, there are some gaps and confusing parts, as well as some s= exism (consider the roots most closely associated with the words for “male”= and “female”).

The agglutinative aspect ends up being something of a che= at. Quoting from the Sona book:

…the corresponding S. aki swift= ' produces akizu horse’ =3D “swift animal” =3D equus. It is true that “swi= ft animal” would not necessarily indicate horse'; it might be a hare, a gr= eyhound, a buck. But it has become arbitrarily fixed in this sense, just as= the English word swift’ has been fixed to name a cartain bird. ——

So= in effect, akizu has become another root, because its meaning cannot be de= rived from just the roots.

Similarly, consider the word “toreno”, whose r= oots literally mean was-straight-vehicle. By convention, this is the word f= or “train”, so really it becomes yet another root.

Also, the limited sou= nd patterns seemed like they might be difficult to distinguish in spoken co= mmunication, and would lead to typos having more dramatic effects. Having c= onsistent word patterns seems like a great idea, but has some downsides as = well.

I considered creating an improved version of Sona, but ended up deci= ding that Glosa would be a better starting point for my own goals. If someo= ne created an improved Sona, I could imagine that it might become my new fa= vorite IAL/conlang.


Fast links: Interglossa » Glosa »

Re: What do you think of the Sona language (Glosa vs Sona)? - Committee on language planning, FIAS. Coordination: Vergara & Hardy, PhDs.