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Re: [glosalist] Re: compilation of Glosa's semantic primes

Robin Fairbridge Gaskell (Robin Fairbridge Gaskell <drought-breaker@...>) on October 30, 2006

Plu Amika-pe, Further to the NSM saga, I’d comment on the use of ‘primes’ and Glosa’s way of doing it.

     The humble hyphen has no sound ... but preserves the sound  and meaning of the words it associates.

EG Glosa-pe is not Glosape and, according to the rules, would be pronounced differently. Penultimate vowels (or the single vowel, where there is only one) is stressed; the former word has two stresses, while the latter would have only one.

Although we don’t say some-one in English, someone could be pronounced sum-E-O-n Using the trick of pronouncing the capital letter long.

Glosa on the other hand, being, as I might say, a Metalanguage, we can get away with demanding that the very helpful hyphen be given a clearly-defined function: i.e. separating the basic words of a composite word.

     This rule could apply to Glosa when functioning as an NSM.


Robin Gaskell

At 05:33 PM 9/24/06, you wrote:

Alo Bill,

Nice idea (what is the URL of your wiki?). This is a good example of the serious use of artificial languages I would like to see more of.

My first impression of Glosa is that we can say a lot using only a 1000 Glosa words. That seems to imply that Glosa words are strongly semantically overloaded (one word can be used in various ways, has multiple meanings). So I am curious, what makes you think Glosa would fit the bill?

PS. Why not translate “some” as “two_or_more” or “two_or_more_but_not_most”?

Bon voles.


— In, “William T. Branch” <bill@…> wrote:

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

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