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Re: [glosalist] Re: Redundancies

Robin Fairbridge Gaskell (Robin Fairbridge Gaskell <drought-breaker@...>) on April 8, 2006

At 03:35 PM 4/2/06, Kevin pa grafo:

Hi Robin, and thanks for your reply.

— In, Robin Fairbridge Gaskell wrote:

     The difference is that some new thinkers have joined the stayers in the Glosa field, and it looks as if some new thinking has come up.  So, we could be ready to move up from the vocabulary formation plateau, and get a bit more organised about promoting the language.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure the language is quite ready to be promoted. I still have a few concerns about the grammar/syntax, such as verb markers being optional. Endless tweaking is bad, but one round of interactive group tweaking might be good. *** Re verb markers, I probably don’t see a problem: the VERB PHRASE is the middle bit of the S-V-O construct. For me ~du~ is the ‘continuous tense’ particle. Those who demand a signpost in the Verb Phrase might need to “-ing” everything, but should eventually get tired of inserting an unnecessary - and as I see it, incorrect - particle just to tell everyone that the action is the VERB.

     An du greso at u boteka.          An greso ad u boteka.
(he continues to walk to the shop)    (he walk to the shop)
       He is walking to the shop.        He walks to the shop.

There is only one _action_ in both sentences: they tell the same  story, but each has a different flavour; thus the ~du~ has a  syntactic and a semantic function ... more like a word than a 'signpost'.

Rather than ``tweak``, and change grammatical function 'by  decree', I would rather, after discussion,leave the usage open ..  within a range .. so that, ultimately, usage will suggest which form  is most, or more, comfortable to Glosa speakers and writers.  On the  matter of instruction books in Glosa, I would suggest that the most  brief and acceptable form be used - but preferably with un-elided  format.  [IE no unnecessary words or particles, but fully spelled out  in grammatically correct Glosa - whatever that means]
I guess that is the crux: what is the hidden secret behind  Glosa's grammar!?
     Likewise, the idea of using one Glosa word per concept in the Core Vocab. would simplify things for learners.  However the regular repetition of Glosa words in such a "Basic Glosa" will soon lead Glosa-neo-pe to want to take the step up to a language that allows synonyms, if not metaphors.

I guess it really depends on what type of material you are writing. For literature and poetry, you may be right. When you simply want to convey information, synonyms are purely harmful. *** I did try writing in Glosa when Glosa 1000 was the only available dictionary, and I actually gave up, because such a basic vocabulary proved too repetitively boring for me to get any joy out of writing. This is not to say that a starter dictionary is a bad thing for learners. A very short word-list can be worked over, and over, for the sake of introducing the syntactic truths; but, it is stylistically sterile for informational writing.

The problem is: if Glosa has 10000 words, and people actually use them in writing, then you can’t read Glosa text without memorizing tons of words. That’s exactly what I want to avoid. I want people to be able to learn Glosa quickly (<1000 words, preferably more like 500), and be able to read almost any Glosa text. I guess my goals are different from those of the folks in charge of Glosa. *** I’d say that like me, you have a limited memory for words. Some people have wonderful memories, and enjoy getting every nuance correct by using the particularly relevant word. Such people have no understanding of the difficulties with language suffered by those with poor short-term-memories. However, within the language fraternity, the learning of vocabulary is fully recognised as one of the major stumbling blocks for the learners of any language. This explains the reason that most language teachers introduce about ten to twenty new words each lesson - depending on the ability level of the class. So, I am saying that we need to have a fully functional lexicon at the ready, firstly, to be sure that the vocabulary is capable of delivering meanings for the full range of human experience, and, secondly, having got people started with a ‘beginner’s vocab’ we have a formula for the addition of new words, and that we are not making up neologism ^on the fly^. If vocabulary ought to be introduced gradually, which comes first, the lexicon or the ‘kindie vocab’? I believe that creators of Planned Languages should be working on lexicon-building and the writing of simplified instruction … concurrently.

I believe efficient communication of non-fiction material will be the best (only?) way to make an IAL popular, I would like to see an IAL focus on that market first, and only grow a large vocabulary after many people have learned and are using the basic language.

Just my opinions, of course. *** My feeling is that fun writing, children’s stories, and popular science are the best places to start. When we need to be informed, usually there is enough, to do the job, in our First Language, whatever that is. But, when we wish to learn a new language, we want to be entertained: I think that learning Glosa, like superior television, should be good show business.

In all this, I try to be non-confrontational, and attempt to find  areas of agreement among Glosa-pe.  Who is running Glosa?  That is a  difficult question: nominally it is Wendy Ashby; I have been thinking  about Glosa since the Nineteen-eighties; Syd Pidd has been at it  longer than I; Marcel runs the <> website.  Take your  pick.  I do not see a bid for leadership in the forseeable future:  Glosa (the hope for a syntax-based language) appears to be an idea  whose time has not yet come.
I tried hard to whip up a "market" for Glosa, but it didn't seem  to be there.  Eventually, some whiz-kid will discover Glosa, and  realise it is just the thing for his communication need.  Until then,  there is no 'product' to be 'marketed'.  By such time, most of us who  now have Glosa buzzing around in our heads will probably be dead.

Who said, "While there's hope there's life" or was it the other way around?


Robin Gaskell

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