|Created by||Ronald Clark and Wendy Ashby, based on the Interglossa of Lancelot Hogben|
|Setting and usage||international auxiliary language|
|ISO 639-3||None (|
Glosa is an international auxiliary language. Glosa is an isolating language, which means that words never change form, and spelling is completely regular and phonetic.
As an isolating language, there are no inflections, so that words always remain in their dictionary form, no matter what function they have in the sentence. As a result, grammatical functions, when not clear from the context, are taken over by a small number of operator words and by the use of word order (syntax).
History[change | change source]
Glosa is based on an older draft auxiliary language from 1943 called Interglossa, which was developed by Lancerot Hogben in 1943.
Ron Clark discovered Interglossa in 1960. He joined Hogben to develop the language. Wendy Ashby joined them in 1972. After Hogben's death in 1975, Ron and Wendy made many changes in the language and they renamed it Glosa.
In 1979, they tested the language with volunteers from the city they were living in. Also, the first dictionary was published.
Since 1987, the NGO Glosa Education Organisation (GEO) promotes the language. Its official website was created in 1996 by Paul O. Bartlett. Later, Marcel Springer became the person in charge of it.
In 2021, a wiki in Glosa was created by Vicente Costalago.
Grammar[change | change source]
Alphabet and spelling[change | change source]
Glosa spelling is completely regular and phonetic: one spelling always represents one sound, and one sound is always represented by one spelling. With the sole exception of SC which represents the sound ʃ (as “sh” in short), every letter just represents one sound, and vice versa. Glosa is written with the Latin letters.
Word classes[change | change source]
Glosa contains two major groups of words:
Primitives[change | change source]
Primitives are the small number of basic function words present in most languages—these allow us to describe the relationships between the major ideas we bring across. These are basically prepositions and conjunctions, such as: de [of], e [and], pre [before], supra [above], sub [under; below; lower; beneath; lesser; somewhat].
Substantives[change | change source]
Substantives here are the group of words that represents the more complex things, actions and descriptions (sometimes usable for all three) present in a language, such as: via [road], kurso [run], hedo [happy], vide [see], celera [swift], tako [fast; quick; prompt; hurry; rate; speed]; oku [eye]. Please note that many of these words have many meanings, based on how they are used in a sentence (verb, adjective, etc.), for example: "oku" can mean "eye", "optical", "see (look)", "perceive (with the eyes)", or "to peep".
Parts of speech[change | change source]
Glosa words can often serve as more than one part of speech. Thus part of speech is a role that the word plays in a sentence, not a property of a word.
Personal pronouns[change | change source]
|1||I, me||mi||we, us||na|
|2||you (s.)||tu||you (pl.)||vi|
The reflexive pronoun ”oneself” is se, the reciprocal pronoun alelo means ”each other”, and the emphatic auto is used for “self, own“.
Verbs[change | change source]
Most words can act as verbs, depending on their places in the sentence (usually in the middle).
|Example of Verb Tenses|
|Tense||Prior Word||Glosa Text||English Translation|
|Infinitive||-||Mi volu lekto u bibli.||I want to read the book.|
|Simple Past||pa||Mi pa lekto u bibli.||I (did) read the book.|
|Imperfect||pa du||Mi pa du lekto u bibli.||I was reading the book.|
|Past Participle||ge-||U ge-lekto bibli||The read book / The book that has been read|
|Simple Present||(nu)||Mi (nu) lekto u bibli.||I (do) read the book / I am reading the book.|
|Continuous Present||du||Mi du lekto u bibli.||I am reading the book.|
|Present Perfect||nu pa||Mi nu pa lekto u bibli.||I have (just) read the book.|
|Future-in-Present||nu fu||Mi nu fu lekto u bibli.||I am just about to read the book / I am just going to read the book.|
|Future-in-Past||pa fu||Mi pa fu lekto u bibli.||I was about to read the book / I was going to read the book.|
|Simple Future||fu||Mi fu lekto u bibli.||I shall/will read the book.|
|Future Perfect||fu pa||Mi fu pa lekto u bibli.||I shall/will have read the book (by tomorrow).|
|Conditional||sio||Mi sio lekto u bibli...||I would read the book...|
|Negative||ne||Mi ne lekto u bibli.||I do not read the book/I am not reading the book.|
|Interrogative||qe||Qe mi lekto u bibli?||Am I reading the book? / Do I read the book?|
|Passive||gene||U bibli gene lekto ex mi.||The book is/gets read by me.|
|Gerund||-||(U) lekto (de bibli).||(The) reading (of the book...)|
"Prior word" here means a word used immediately before the verb of the sentence or clause in order to show its tense. For example:
- To show that a verb is in the past tense, add pa before the verb.
- To indicate the future tense, add fu before the verb.
- To indicate the conditional, add sio before the verb.
Adjectives[change | change source]
Adjectives, like the rest of the language do not change. They are generally placed before the word that they modify.
To create "opposites", one just places "no-" as a prefix to the adjective. It is the equivalent of some of the uses on in- or un- in English.
- kali – beautiful
- no-kali – ugly
- termo – hot, heat
- meso-termo – warm
- no-termo – cold
Conjunctions[change | change source]
- akorda-co – accordingly
- alo – or
- alo...alo – either...or
- alora – in that case...
- anti-co – however
- e – and
- fini-co – finally
- hetero-co – otherwise
- jam – already
- kaso – case...
- ko-co – also
- klu – even...
- ni....ni – neither...nor
- pene – almost
- po-co – after that
- posi – perhaps
- plus-co – moreover
- qasi – as if...
- sed – but
- si ne... – unless
- vice – instead of...
Question and answer words[change | change source]
(what [horse]? which [horse]?)
|–mode (manner)||qo-mode?, komo?
(how, in what way)
(in any way)
(in every way)
(in no way, no-how)
(why; for what cause)
(for some cause)
(for any cause)
(for all causes)
(for no cause)
(why; with what intention)
(with some intention)
(with any intention)
(with all intentions)
(with no intention)
|–metri (quantity)||qo-metri?, qanto?
In addition to the above, there is the prefix/beginning singu- (each), and the suffixes/endings -numera (amount/number), -speci (quality/kind of) and -kron (time), which can be used in the same way as the above.
Qo horo? can also be used for “What time?” or “What is the time?”.
Demonstratives[change | change source]
The basic demonstratives are:
- ci, here
- u-ci, this, this one, this [X]
- plu-ci, these
- la, there
- u-la, that, that one, that [X]
- plu-la, those
The demonstratives can also be used in the same way as the words in the table above: u-ci mode, u-la mode (thus; in this way, in that way), u-ci ka, u-la ka (for this cause, for that cause), u-ci te (with this intention), etc.
For “this time”, there's also nu (now), and for “that much/that many”, you can say tanto; for “that kind” talo.
To change a phrase into a question, qe is placed at the beginning of the sentence.
Prepositions[change | change source]
- ab – away from (abduct)
- ad – to / towards (advance)
- ana – up (anabolic)
- anti – against (antibiotic)
- de – of / about / pertaining to (describe)
- dextro – (on the) right (ambidextrous)
- dia – through (diagonal)
- epi – on (epicentre)
- ex – out (of) / by (agent) (exterior)
- infra – below / under / lesser (infrared, inferior)
- intra – inside (intracloud)
- kata – down (catastrophe)
- ko – with (coöperate)
- kontra – counter / opposite (counter, contrast)
- laevo – left (levorotation)
- margina – edge / side (margin)
- meso – middle (Mesopotamia)
- minus – without / lacking (minus)
- para – beside (parallel)
- per – by (instrumental) (per)
- peri – around (pericarp)
- po – after (post scriptum)
- pre – before (previous)
- pro – for (pro or con)
- proxi – near (proximity)
- supra – over / above (supranational)
- te – in order to... (tendency)
- tem – for a period of time (temporary)
- tele – far (telephone)
- to(po) – at place (topology)
- trans – across (transition)
- ultra – beyond (ultrasophisticated)
- vice – instead of (vice-president)
Numbers[change | change source]
The numbers from 0–10 are: ze, mo, bi, tri, tet, pen, six, seti, ok, nona, deka. For 0, 4, 5, 7 and 8 (ze, tet, pen, seti, ok), there's also the longer forms zero, tetra, penta, septi and okto. Higher numbers are formed by combining the numerals in the number, and in some cases by proper names:
|Number||Glosa name||Exact translation|
|100||hekto (mo-ze-ze)||(one) hundred (one-zero-zero)|
Note that some use centi, the older form of hekto, for “hundred”. Centi is now used as “hundredth” in accordance with the ISO standard usage.
When numbers are placed before the noun, they are cardinal; when they are placed after the noun, they are ordinal:
- Mi fu lekto mo bibli – I will read one book
- Mi fu lekto bibli mo – I will read the first book
Mo, bi and tri also means single, double and triple, respectively.
Sample[change | change source]
The following is the Lord's Prayer in Glosa, compared with Interglossa, Frater and English versions, respectively:
|Glosa version||Interglosa||Frater version||English|
Na patri in urani:
Na Parenta in Urani:
Pater mis in sel,
Our Father in heaven,
References[change | change source]
- "Glosa Basic Reference - designed language - world communication - dictionary".
- "Glosa Internet Dictionary, Glosa-English, "Core"".
- Hogben (p. 242).
- Praying Together Archived 2007-07-02 at the Wayback Machine (ELLC – 1988)
Writings on the subject[change | change source]
- Ashby, Wendy & Clark, Ronald: Glosa 6000: 6000 Greek and Latin words and roots which occur in the Euro-languages and international scientific terminology. London: 1983 (48 p.)
- Ashby, Wendy & Clark, Ronald: Glosa 1000. Richmond: Glosa, 1984
- Ashby, Wendy & Clark, Ronald: Basic dictionary of the international language Glosa. Richmond [Surrey]: Glosa, 1987 (44 p.)
- Ashby, Wendy: 18 steps to fluency in Euro-Glosa. Glosa, 1989 (2nde edition)
- Ashby, Wendy & Clark, Ronald: Introducing Euro-Glosa. Richmond: Glosa, 1990 (36 p.)