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Re: [glosalist] plu, stress

Robin Fairbridge Gaskell (Robin Fairbridge Gaskell <drought-breaker@...>) on May 30, 2005

At 05:18 AM 5/28/05, you wrote:

Hello, Mi gene sko de Glosa, but I have already encountered difficulties / questions: “plu” seems to mean both “the” (plural), “the” (cathegory) and “the” (group).

I like singers I like the singers I like the choir

plu kanta-pe

Btw, is the stress in “kanta-pe” on the first or the second “a”?

Gratia, Stefo Karo Stefo, Glosa is a suitable language for International Auxiliary use, however I can see your dilemma. While any language ought to be usable for folksy conversation, I’m sorry to say that Glosa is primarily designed for use as an interlingua of last resort when people have to communicate, but have no common medium for spoken communication. This is not an apology: I try to set the scene for thinking in international. Although it seems unimaginable that people will possibly one day want to communicate across the language barrier, it could follow some sort of social breakdown: Glosa could be used as a stop-gap medium, and spoken, or written, almost directly from the dictionary … using basic syntax.

So, Glosa can also be used as a “tourist” tongue, but it might take a little more effort than simply using polite, phrase-book communication. All this is to say that Glosa is a language designed for basic communication: it avoids the use of metaphor, and does not work with national language idiom. The hardest part of learning to use Glosa is putting the mind into ‘low gear’ to think in basic concepts, and accordingly use the appropriate word, rather than an approximate close fit.

But I also like music, and think singing is great.

Mi amo kanta. - I like [to sing/singing] ….. u kanta. - …. [the song/the singing] NB ‘U’ acts as a Noun marker, or the ‘flag’ to indicate a Noun Phrase.

   .....   plu kanta.  -     .... the songs   ( definitely in the  region of plurality, here )

Mi amo u kanta-pe. - I like the singer. (music appreciation, or preference for the person)

......     plu kanta-pe.  -  I like [the (particular) singers/ singers  (in general)]  ... <plural>

Mi hedo audi kanta-pe. - I enjoy [to hear/hearing/listening to] singers … <’ plu ‘ elided> — This is a general statement, and implies all singers. Mi hedo audi plu kanta-pe. - I enjoy [hearing/listening to] (the) singers … softer, and unambiguous

Mi amo u kanta-ra. - I like the [song-thing/song] …… kanta-ra. - I like (the) song < a bit bare: ?general or particular?>

Choir. A choir is a group of singers. In Glosa a choir can be defined as u kanta-pe-grega - a song-person group But it could be spelled out as u grega de kanta-pe - a group of song-person(s) the ‘PLU’ can be elided; adding it would be un-necessary and possibly pedantic.

Mi hedo kanta ko u kanta-grega.   -    I enjoy singing with the  choir.    Common sense tells us that the one would be singing with a group  of other people.   The rule is: use as many words as are needed for  communication to be unambiguous.

While I have been criticised for repeating Ron Clark’s phrase “concept words” to describe Glosa’s lexical items, it still makes sense to me. Folksy national languages and folksy auxiliary languages, like Esperanto, have a warm human feel about them, and have comfy usage. Glosa, on the other hand, can be seen as a bit ‘skeletal’: the bones of language are showing through.

Stress. Each Glosa word (and most are fairly short) has stress on the final syllable. Glosa does not have inflections that change the word - or a series of affixes that lengthen the word, and extend the meaning: it has particles which can be words in their own right, but which can be attached by hyphen to substantive words to change the category of meaning.

Each word is pronounced with its own stressed final syllable.  [Hyphens  are not sounded, as such, but their presence is heard - in the stress given  to each element of a compound word.]
An es u kanta-pe.   -  He is a singer.     Pron. kanta-pe  =  kAHntAH pAY

eg.  pani-bo-pe    -   bread shop person  OR baker   Pron.  pani-bo-pe  =  pAHnEE bOR pAY

While speakers of English become used to the normal shortcuts in the language, and like its idiomatic and metaphorical usages, Glosa does not work this way. There is a reasonably precise way of using Glosa, and, while compound terms can be created using added particles - to give added meaning, there is also the possibility of developing eliptic forms by dropping out words that would be used for precision, but whose absence, in pedestrian language, would cause no ambiguity. eg. Fe ki a fe domi. - She goes to her home. Fe ki domi. - She goes (to) home. NB. ‘KI’ is not transitive ‘to go’ a home is a nonsense. But, in English, this elided form is used all the time, and it can be used in Glosa, also - where precision is not necessary. It is my feeling that when learning Glosa, it is best to use the precise form of a sentence, and good syntax should be used. Because the thing that holds Glosa together is its syntax (word order), then correct syntax is required, and the use of punctuation to indicate the phrasal and clausal structure is a part of that syntax. This situation is described most easily by saying that Glosa has Syntax-based Grammar.

Welcome to the weird world of language.


Robin Gaskell

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Re: [glosalist] plu, stress - Committee on language planning, FIAS. Coordination: Vergara & Hardy, PhDs.