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John Avis (John Avis <jhnavis@...>) on October 4, 2005

Mi ne es glosa-pe, sed glosa interese mi.

I write this as an outsider, but I think Glosa could have great potential.

Depending on its meaning one word can serve as noun, adjective, verb, adverb and even a preposition - less words to learn. Fine ! However, such a language does have its downside. It is very easy to write a sentence that is incomprehensible to the reader. English can do that too, even for native speakers !

I have found most Glosa sentences easy to read, but some are more difficult to decipher than Classical Latin. I feel this must put people off the language.

To show what I mean I am using an example text from the Glosa website.

Glosa - puri komunika (Ronald Clark & Wendy Ashby, � GEO, 1996; from the newspaper “Plu Glosa Nota”, ISSN 0265-6892, No. 75, January/February 1996; HTML by Paul O. Bartlett, 1996)

Ex kron a kron uno civi fu protesta; “Sed Glosa feno kopi un English modela; sura id debi difere?”

Panto Cina ami dice iso. Glosa funktio iso Cina lingua.

In the above example the first sentence is fine. I could read this without having to consult a vocabulary. The words “fu, feno, debi” indicate the verb cluster and the rest of the sentence falls into place.

Not so in the next two shorter sentences. I have no idea where the verbal cluster begins. In the context I think the point is being made that Glosa is similar to Chinese, but not being able to get the exact meaning of the sentences, leaves me in some doubt.

In the first sentence, is the verbal cluster, ‘dice’, ‘dice iso’, or perhaps even ‘ami dice iso’?

Literally the sentence says: “ all china friend say identical”

Assuming that ‘dice’ is the verb, are pan cina ami agreeing with the criticism in the first sentence that Glosa is too much like English, or are they saying that Glosa is like Chinese, which the third sentence seems to say ?

In the third sentence I assume that the verb is either funktio, or iso, or both. I can, I think, get the meaning, but it would be nice to be sure.

In the above example it is a just bit annoying, but in a different context it could mean that a reader comes away with totally the wrong meaning, and that is the sort of thing that would put people off Glosa.

May I, as an outsider, suggest that perhaps a ‘nu’ could be slipped into such sentences to split off the subject cluster from the verbal cluster. The easier it is to read, the more people may want to read it.

I have also noticed that there are older versions of the vocabulary in existence, and it is not clear which one you should be using. This is surely not helpful to anyone wishing to learn Glosa.

Sorry for the criticism, but it is meant to be contructive. I think the secret of Glosa is to write clearly and simply, even if it takes a few more words to do so, and that the writer should take care to ensure that the reader will easily be able to understand what has been written.

Good luck to pan glosa-pe ! I hope you succeed.

John Avis

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Fast links: Interglossa » Glosa » - Committee on language planning, FIAS. Coordination: Vergara & Hardy, PhDs.