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Re: [glosalist] Ido

Robin Gaskell (Robin Gaskell <drought-breaker@...>) on June 15, 2003

At 06:54 PM 6/6/03 -0600, Gary Miller grafo:

Dear Glosalists,

There is a reason that Ido has not surpassed Esperanto–Esperanto is still easier. ….. A constructed language with more emphasis on small vocabulary and less emphasis on a rigid grammar seems to be a “natural” language, whereas Esperanto and Ido seem to be “logical” languages.

  • I agree this is a subjective assessment on Gary’s part - based on personal experience of having tried the various languages. It’s ^seat of the pants flying^, but carries a wisdom that much of Linguistics lacks.

I cannot prove what I have just written ….. Although it is difficult for old people to learn foreign languages, I have received letters in Glosa from three people who were over seventy years old. One of these was over eighty! Also, my own two daughters have learned Glosa more easily than Esperanto.

  • How do we evaluate the learning of a language? Is it: fluency over time; ease of vocabulary learning; ability to handle complex concepts; fun .. the enjoyment of learning; logically satisfying grammar, related to ease of acquisition; … or is it a combination of all these? Until the boffins come up with something I call an “evaluative instrument”, a test schedule that rates the effectiveness of a language as a communication medium, then we are left to our own intuition. Time comes into it: if a language is to be acquired by the race as a whole, then that language ought to be able to bring confidence to learners fairly quickly. And this brings into question the quality of the instructional materials: these need to be intuitive but also logical - to satisfy the breadth of human psychology.

When I first tried to read Glosa, it seemed like gibberish to me because I was looking for grammatical endings on the words and could not tell a noun from a verb.

  • Something the same happened to me. But without a lot of help from the Glosa authors, I had to discover the syntactic patterns for myself. Now we know what constitutes a Glosa phrase, and that Glosa’s sentence structure generally follows that of good English, examples can be given, and the principle that relative word position gives meaning can be demonstrated. I really think it all comes down, again, to the preparation of inspired instructional materials.

Now it is as if my mind has broadened and every word has more than one grammatical meaning. All this causes me to believe that Glosa is learned by a learning pattern that occurs more naturally in the human brain rather than by a learning pattern that requires the use of logic–which is something that must be learned before anyone can learn Esperanto or Ido.

  • While I have not come via the Esperanto route, I, some time ago, reached the same conclusion that Gary arrived at. No amount of discussion changes anything! The only way for people to discover Glosa’s beauty is for them to use it. So, I feel that instruction for the two brain hemispheres needs to be given in parallel. For many people, the rules of syntax will have to be spelled out, while the more intuitive, right hemisphere people will pick up the rhythms of Glosa’s sentence structure - ‘osmotically.’

Thank you for listening to my theory, something linguists might call a “black-box” theory.

  • The “black box” has been called ‘‘universal grammar,’’ but this only gives it a name without an explanation. However, if the language ability of the brain is ^hard-wired^ into its anatomy - as seems to be the case - then we can almost say that some languages flow more smoothely along the neural pathways than do others. The major clue is the way English has proved successful, while other languages have remained with their native populations.
    What does English have, and what does it lack, that makes it a ready currency of communication? In its formation as a ‘creole,’ what were the “archaic” features that were lost, and what are the flexible qualities that were retained, to make it more readily acceptable and usable? Did Ron Clark while assessing Hogben’s work, have one eye over his shoulder at English, as well.

Meanwhile, the Glosalist should be mainly in Glosa and about Glosa, so, taking Gary’s example, we ought to show that what we express in our native language can be just as readily expressed in Glosa:-

Plu karo Glosalist-pe,

Es u kausa; qo-ka Ido ne gene ma uti de Esperanto–Esperanto es ma facili a nu.

Anti, Ido pa face ma facili u gramatika de nima-verba e de deskribe-verba, Ido pa habe un adi de oligo forma de akti-verba. …..


Robin Gaskell

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