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AUXLANG  December 1998, Week 1

AUXLANG December 1998, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Glosa

From:

Michael Farris <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Sat, 5 Dec 1998 16:43:12 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (92 lines)

Paul O Bartlett wrote:
 
>
>
> > (3) The utility of those final vowels. Unlike Charles, I'm not huge fan of
> > POS marking,
>
> Nor I, as I have expressed on the Glosa list. If there is any
> massive advocacy of POS marking in Glosa, I am not aware of it. With
> a little cleaning up of vocabulary and presentation, I can accept the
> basic structure of the language as it is.
>
> > which seems to me to be antithetical to the idea of a language
> > like Glosa, as I understand it.
>
> Concur. English seems to get along swapping words around among
> parts of speech without intrinsic morphological marking, for the most
> part.
>
> > If your word order is relatively fixed,
> > then POS labels on every word are massively redundant.
 
I have a different problem with excess POS marking. Namely that far too often,
it's not very clear what category a word falls into. Anyone who's literate in Eo,
can see very weird uses of -on and -e that have nothing to do with nouns or
manner adverbs. Nothing wrong with that per se, but then using POS marking as a
selling point, claiming it's logical or makes learning the langauge easer, well
that's a bit much.
 
> I have expressed previously my own opinion that relatively free
> word order may -not- be a good thing in an auxlang. If an IAL has a
> fairly fixed word order, then even if it differs from that of my native
> language, I can learn it and depend on it. However, if the word order
> is freer, then I am always struggling to keep my footing, so to speak.
> Free word order is not something that I myself consider to be desirable
> in an auxlang.
>
 
I think word order and endings have to be balanced, myself. I myself would favor
"weak" SVO word order. Fixed word order is much harder to learn than you might
imagine if my students are any indication. Also, what about A (adverbial, when,
where, how) info?
 
Here are two prinicples for word order that IMHO can't go wrong for a IAL,
 
a) Have as a rule, that in neutral sentences, the subject preceds the object.
Then the two most common word orders (SVO, SOV) are covered as well as the third
most common (VSO). The less common word orders are then 'marked' and require a
minor transformation, say an accusative preposition only required when the object
preceds the subject. So OVS, OSV and VOS, which tend to marked word orders are
also marked.
 
b) Have a rule that the subject always has to directly precede the verb. This is
a little less flexible and will require a question particle (a good thing to have
anyway).
 
The idea is you want to have a basic navigation tool, and not square-dance
instruction. EIther one of these (or a number of other possibilities) would be
all you'd need in that department.
 
Eo errs a little in completly ignoring something that is important in every
single language known (for different reasons, but it's always important).
 
Glosa errs a little in making it the entire prime mover, with (according to the
very little GLosa I've seen) almost no freedom in word order, making it, IMHO a
bit tedious.
 
 
I think a possibly more important constraint is adjective placement. Languages
that allow either pre- or post- placement usually have some sort of difference
between the two. I'd go with pre-placement as neutral and post- as marked.
 
 
   We English speakers (at least many U.S. ones) tend to be a little
 
> sloppy about our vowels.
 
Universal in all native varieties of English, of course the exact nature of that
sloppiness varies a great deal.
 
> In part that may be due to English having a
> basically Germanic structure, which places strong emphasis on the
> consonantal skeleton of words. (For example, many early English
> shorthand systems scarcely recorded vowels at all.) However, not all
> languages follow the Germanic and Slavic patterns
 
Polish and Czech have very clear vowels, like Italian almost.
 
 
Amik
Mikefarrise

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