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Re: [glosalist] Elision and left shift

Robin Gaskell (Robin Gaskell <drought-breaker@...>) on August 31, 2003

Plu Karo Glosa-pe, Ko poli apologi, mi fu dona komenta uti England-lingua.

At 09:09 PM 8/26/03 -0500, Gary Miller wrote:

Karo Glosa-pe,

There already is an international/intercultural rule for elision: It is called “left shift” by linguists, and, although there are always exceptions in natural languages, it appears to be one the most universal laws of language.

** Thanks Gary. Didn’t know of this name: “Left Shift,” but from years of reading, writing and speaking English, intuitively knew of the process. I would say it adds strength to Glosa’s case for its users to know the Linguistic terminology describing the language’s mode of operation.

The law states that if repetitions occur in the underlying semantics of the language, the one on the “left” (really the first one spoken) stays and the others are removed. For example:

HE IS tall + HE IS strong = He is tall and strong. NOT: Tall and he is strong

** Some time back, this principle was spelled out in the case of tense. I, personally, was verbose in my use of PA when in ‘past tense’ mode, and it was pointed out that the use of PA in front of every ‘verb’ in a sentence made the sentence boring, and for some downright annoying and uncomfortable. Paul Bartlett was at the spearpoint of this attack on my clearly correct, but unelided sentences. So, with the idea of a “Left Shift,” it was stated that, in Glosa, once ‘pastness’ had been established at the start of the sentence, it did not have to be ^rammed down our throats^ with each successive ‘verb’ in that same sentence - as long as the time-frame did not change.

A. [Boring] ~An pa gresi longi u strada, e pa visita u lokali boteka pre an pa veni retro.~

B. [Elided and more natural] ~An pa gresi longi u strada, e visita u lokali boteka pre an veni retro.~

    =  "He walked along the street, and visited the local shop 
             before he returned."     

C. [Even more elided, and more natural] ~An pa gresi longi u strada, e visita u lokali boteka pre veni retro.~

=  "He walked along the street, and visited/visits the local shop
        before returning."    

D. [ … and omitting the ~e~, = ‘and’, we have another level of elision … ]

=  "He walked along the street, visiting the local shop before 

E. [But excessive elision can cause loss of essential information.] ~An gresi longi u strada, visita u lokali boteka pre veni retro.~

=  "He walks along the street, visits the local shop before (he)
             [In this sentence the sense of pastness is lost.]

I would say that there are probably a number of rules of elision applying to both English and Glosa, and this would mean that the “Left Shift” is only Elision: Rule #1. Perhaps we should be discovering .. through experimenting with usage .. Rules #2 and #3, etc.

Yes, it is important that good Glosa is not only clearly undersatndable - through being syntactically correct - but it ought to be ‘crisp,’ as well. If all the mechanically correct words are in place, then Glosa is verbose and stodgey; to achieve what I call “crispness,” we get to the nub of the matter quickly (and accurately), by using elision to eliminate the unnecessary verbiage.

English generally uses left shift. But notice that English (and Glosa?) grammar produces different results:

He is a tall man + He is a strong man =[left shift]= He is a tall man and strong. (The New Testament Greek I have been studying uses this order, consequently you find it sometimes in the Authorized or King James Version of the Bible.)

Keeping the adjective before the noun produces rather:

= He is a tall and strong man.

Perhaps an open mind to both formalized grammatical and underlying semantic results would be best.

** In these examples, “Left Shift” applied to the words, which were before the ‘verb’, AN and PA, but a form of “Right Shift” applied to the Object, which was after the ‘verb,’ ANDRA.

NOTE: I use the symbolic representation, ‘verb’ to designate the substantive Glosa word that is functioning as a VERB. But please note that Glosa words can function, within reason, as VERBS, NOUNS or MODIFIERS; thus, a Glosa word is not intrinsically any particular part of speech. The word’s grammatical function is indicated by its position in the sentence.


Robin Gaskell

To help with usage, I use:- GLOSA 6000 - 6000 Greek and Latin Words and Roots, 1992, Glosa Download (144pp) Glosa Internet Dictionary (GID): English - Glosa, 2000, Glosalist [now updated on Marcel’s website] Greek dictionary Latin Dictionary & common sense, inherent language ability, and the idea of Chomsky’s “Universal Language”

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Re: [glosalist] Elision and left shift - Committee on language planning, FIAS. Coordination: Vergara & Hardy, PhDs.