GLOSA International Auxiliary Language
(Prepared for the Web by Paul O. Bartlett, 1996)
GLOSA is a constructed language intended to serve as a common
medium of communication for people with different native, national, or
cultural languages. It is an auxiliary language, meaning that it has no
purpose of replacing or supplanting anyone's native tongue. It is to
serve only as a bridge between people who have no other language in common.
Glosa had its beginning in the project Interglossa by the late Lancelot
Hogben, which he published in 1943. Because of the Second World War, and
the fact that Hogben wrote for teachers and linguists, the project did
not receive wide attention. However, in 1972, Ron Clark and Wendy
Ashby of England received Hogben's approval to revive the project and to
make such changes as they thought fit. Because they did make some
changes after Hogben's death, they considered it better to rename the
language Glosa (from the classical Greek word for tongue / language) to
distinguish the changed language from Hogben's original work.
Glosa has several distinguishing characteristics. (For more information
see the Glosa Basic Reference or any of the publications of the Glosa
Below are some links to samples of written Glosa and a fairly complete
basic reference to the language, which contains introductory material,
parallel Glosa-English and English-Glosa vocabularies, and lists of
Glosa "functional" words arranged by category.
- Glosa's vocabulary is based on Greek and Latin roots. Many of these
roots already occur in everyday words of the European languages and in
scientific and technical vocabularies. Through these latter, these
roots are spreading throughout the world.
- Glosa is a completely analytic language with a simple structure. This
means that there are NO inflections: words undergo no change whatever to
express grammatical relationships -- no genders, cases, plurals, verb
conjugations, adjectival agreement, or whatever. A small number of
functional words handle grammatical relationships not otherwise provided
for. Similar to Chinese and, increasingly, English, many words can
serve as more than one part of speech as meaning and common sense allow.
- The base vocabulary is small, between 1000 and 2000 words (although
a larger vocabulary is available when genuinely needed).
- Pronunciation is simple and regular, and spelling is phonetic.
- Glosa is neutral, because it is no one's language. Therefore, it is
available to all without resentment or jealousy that the use of a
national language can engender.
The Glosa Education Organization of Surrey, England, is the organization
promoting Glosa in schools and elsewhere. They have a complete series
of Glosa publications and put out PLU GLOSA NOTA, a bimonthly
newsletter. For more information, or for a publications list,
Glosa Education Organization
P. O. Box 18
Surrey TW9 2AU
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