Fast links: Interglossa » Glosa »

compilation of Glosa's semantic primes

William T. Branch ("William T. Branch" <bill@...>) on September 23, 2006

Hello All,

I’ve written both Cliff Goddard and Ann Wierzbeka a thank you letter for their work. I’ve also joined their mailing list and started a nsm wiki. I am currently compiling the primes from glosa to present to the NSM community as a tool for their research. I’m still trying to get a complete understanding of how glosa would contribute to their research.

I have a few ideas. Basically the study of primes would benefit from a language with no baggage attached to the primes. For example the English word “someone” has a meaning which does not break down to “some one” or even “some person”. According to the NSM folks, “someone” is a prime in it’s own right. Also the word “touch” means various things; the NSM meaning, just one. When formulating explications, NSM researhers would benefit from a language that is clean from other language idiosyncrasies. In this way the researcher would not un-intentionally use a word because of the words secondary meaning and thus cause confusion.

The question is, does Glosa fit the bill. I don’t know the answer yet, but I see a few issues. I would like to have a strong case for the usefulness of Glosa to the NSM folks before I present it.

In any case, I’m compiling the words now, and will present them to this list for review. Currently, I’m stuck on the word for “some”. According to the dictionary it is either, “no-polio” or “oligo”.

“Oligo” means few or several. This seams to bar it from being a prime. This meaning to me covers a range from, more then two to just being short of all.

“no-polio” may work, but being a compound word, it seems to cause the confusion we’re trying to avoid. If we decide compounds are OK for all opposites then we must be consistant on all primes that are opposites such as “above” and “below”. And if this is done, how would you be consistent with which word gets to stand on it’s own, and which must have the prefix?

These are the questions, I know will be asked of us If Glosa is presented to the NSM community as a proposed test-bed language.

Any help would be appreciated for compiling this list. I have some words started on the wiki. All are welcome to add to it.

Unfortunately, I have just a few minutes a day, but I’m making steady progress. I work often 80 hours a week and help take care of my four young children. So linguistics is a hobby I have little time for. But I spend some time on it every week. I will try finishing this compilation as soon as I can.

Regards, Bill branch

Fast links: Interglossa » Glosa »

compilation of Glosa's semantic primes - Committee on language planning, FIAS. Coordination: Vergara & Hardy, PhDs.