A Word Derivation Scheme for Glosa

It seems to be simply like this:

Glosa words are built from

[When I once was disappointed about Glosa's vocabulary, I was looking for a way, how it could be fixed/reformed/refined, and I sketched the text below. Meanwhile many problems in the words are solved. So the ideas below are perhaps not further necessary.]

How are the Glosa words built? An answer to this question is necessary to remove the many insufficiencies from the Glosa vocabulary.
The first part (I) of this text is written by the Glosa authors themselves. It tells, that Glosa words are built from English foreign words.
The second part (II) introduces to the word derivation of Latino sine Flexione/ Interlingua de Peano. LsF is another international auxiliary language, that is quite similar to Glosa. Of course, these ideas are not valid for Glosa, but maybe nevertheless interesting here.
(III) gives a draft overview about the derivation of Glosa words directly from classical roots.
(IV) gives the direction to a more systematical attempt.

I) The authors's method

[The following lines are written by the Glosa authors Ron Clark and Wendy Ashby themselves. They are from the Glosa-newspaper "Plu Glosa Nota", no. 37. They say mainly, that Glosa words are built from English foreign words. I personally think, that such a domination of English is not good for an international auxiliary language. On the other hand a lot of these words are really international and not only English. The result of this method is unfortunately often not unambiguous and so not always satisfying.]

Mega-Glosa, but...

As regards your first suggestion. We agree that to sell Glosa to bodies such as EEC, UN, UNESCO etc. MEGA-GLOSA, a large vocabulary is essential. Scientists, literary people and politicians require it.

We however insist that GLOSA 1000 must remain the Centre, the Heart of Glosa. Glosa is a truly International Auxiliary Language. It will appeal to the motivated Third World artisan only if it is simple to learn and accurate, and able to deal with all kinds of information exchange. Glosa will not be allowed to fall into the trap of becoming only a holiday language for wealthy people of the industrialized nations. The world will never be healthily united until accurate information is readily available to everyone everywhere, and everybody in the world has enough to eat, good shelter and a good-allround education - an education for living not merely for earning a living. The world has now the means (but not yet the will) to bring all this about quickly and thoroughly.

Europeans are used to large vocabularies, which can contribute to mis- understandings not only between nations but also between classes. We hope that although perhaps enjoying the variety and freedom of Mega Glosa people will at the same time work their way up to Central Glosa 1000.

Below we make some provisional suggestions for forming a Mega Vocabulary. Glosa 6000 by the way has all the information for forming a truly enormous vocabulary. We shall bring out a Mega Glosa as soon as possible.

Finding the Root

All you have to do to form your own MegaGlosa is to be able to recognize a Latin and Greek root. Most of the common ones will be listed in Glosa 1000, the others will be in Glosa 6000. In any long word of classical origin there may be ...

        Prefix - root - suffix.
   Eg.  SUPER     FLU     OUS

Remember Glosa has no parts of speech; and any Glosa word can act as any part of speech. Because the suffix is usually concerned with this kind of information, whether the word is verb, noun, adjective or adverb it is usually superfluous for Glosa and can be removed.

If the Prefix is one with a distinct meaning i. e. one of the 35 listed in PGN 36 this must be retained as it contributes to meaning, to information. So generalizing;

   Word minus suffix = Prefix + root.

the word you want. In the above example the root is FLU, to flow, SUPER over; therefore SUPERFLU, overflow. In a way forming a Mega Glosa Vocabulary involves 'tail-chopping'.

Points to Note

Many verbs of Latin origin end in -ate. All you have to do here is knock off the -te. confiscate becomes KONFISKA.

Always substitute K for hard Latin c. So canine becomes KANI, feline FELI.

Some words ending -age are of French origin. These can be kept giving MESAGE, FOLIAGE.

No double letters in Glosa, except on a few occasions where a well-trilled r may have a good echoic effect. Some examples;

 English        GLOSA
 delicious      DELICI        degenerate  DEGENERA
 industrialize  INDUSTRI      subsequent  SUBSEQUE
 contortion     KONTORTI      population  POPULA

In 99 % of all cases this simple method will work perfectly, but occasionally some part of the suffix may be found useful and can be retained.

Words ending -ism  add -o.   REALISMO.  KOMUNISMO.
Words ending -ist  add -i.   REALISTI.  FATALISTI.
Words ending -ment add -a.   PARLAMENTA.  MOVIMENTA.

Biological and medical terms remain unchanged; OAKTREE is QUERKUS. K can be substituted for Latin C. Musical terms remain unchanged, many of these were listed in PGN 16. Eg. KRESCENDO, FORTISIMO, DIMUNENDO, ACELERANDO. French endings like -age above should be given the French pronounciation.

The Two Parts of the Latin Verb

Another possibility of variety arises from the fact that the Latin verb has two parts, each of which gives rise to great numbers of Euro-verbs. Eg;

  to see         infinitive       VIDE  as in VIDEO
                 past participle  VISum as in VISion.

So for GLOSA 'to see' can be rendered by VIDE or VISI. Other examples;

  join together  i.               NEKT  as in conNECT
                 pp.              NEXU  as in NEXUs.
  to lead        i.               DUCE  as in reDUCE
                 pp.              DUCT  as in conDUCT.

When is a Word International

In PGN 35 there was an article on PACTERM, Pan-African-Centre for TERMinology, centredin Addis Ababa. All the participants at a recent seminar in Ethiopia agreed that a term should be recognized as international when it appeared in French, German, Russian and English. We use a very large German-Russian Dictionary published in Moscow by A. A. Lepinga & Straxhovoi.

See also, the article about INFOTERM in this issue.

Kosmopolitan Greek

It has been said that if all the words of Greek origin were suddenly removed from the world's dictionaries all intelligent conversation would come to an end. Nowadays scientists turn almost exclusively to Greek for new terminology. Three ways by which you can recognize words of Greek origin.

1) There are many double consonants. Eg;
2) There are many diphthongs; Eg
3) All those words in which ch is pronounced like a k.  Eg;

The Greek words are not quite so familiar yet as the Latin, but they are daily becoming ever more so. TELE-SCOPE, SYMBOL, SYMPTOM, SYMPHONY are all Greek, and they never have undergone any changes. They are however far more international than the Latin. They probably make up a half of Glosa 6000; and the Advanced Glosa Dictionary is almost entirely Greek.

Glosa E Italiano

[There is an article in "Plu Glosa Nota", no. 81 about deriving Glosa words from Italian. Unfortunately I have not got it. Perhaps it is interesting here. Does anybody have it? On page 2 of PGN 82 (this issue I have) there is written:]

In PGN 81 na pa dice komo Glosa pote uti moderno Italiano de gene id Mega lexiko. ...
Posi Glosa pote prende plu participi pasato, - ..ATO, -ITO, -ETO e -ABILI; kausa plu-ci parola-fini es proxi universali in plu Euro-lingua. ...
Holo infinito ko -ARE, ERE, IRE diveni -A, -E, -I.

II) Ideas of Peano (not Glosa!)

[Below is an introduction to the word derivation of Latino sine Flexione/ Interlingua de Peano from the book "Key to Interlingua", Torino 1931. LsF is another international auxiliary language, that is quite similar to Glosa. Of course, these ideas are not valid for Glosa, but maybe nevertheless interesting here. The following text is stolen from Jay Bowks's Europeano-site, http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/2948/ ]


1. Interlingua adopts every word common to English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and every Anglo-Latin word;

2. Every word, Which exists in Latin, has the form of the Latin stem or root or radical;


A few necessary classical Latin words without international equivalents are a part of the vocabulary. It takes also non-Latin words already in international use, adopting them in the forms which they bear in the language of their origin, unless some other form is more convenient. The 1915 edition of Peano's Vocabulario Commune contains 14,000 words which have currency in the leading nations.


A few general rules make possible the compilation of an Interlingua glossary. If a word has many forms in Latin because of inflections or declensions and conjugations, the inflections are suppressed and the stem, root, or radical is adopted to give the Interlingua form. Interlingua adopts as the stem or root of nouns the Latin ablative case which gives the most important part of the word. The Latin dictionary gives two forms for each noun, e.g.: rosa, rosae--rose; pes, pedis = foot. The first of these forms is called the nominative, the second, genitive. Interlingua uses the genitive and from the Latin dictionary the ablative is established by use of the following:
Genitive endings: -ae -i -us -ei -is; are changed to
Ablative endings: -a -o -u -e -e, which then become
the Interlingua endings and forms.

The stem of the verb is obtained by dropping the ending of the Latin infinitive -re, which gives the Interlingua word.

Uninflected Latin words are adopted without change when there is only one form: id, et, circa, post; if there is a declensional suffix, it may be omitted, e.g., secundum = secundo; multum = multo.


Definition of Words


Any Latin dictionary gives two forms for each noun, for instance:
rosa, rose = rose; pes, pedis = foot. The first form is called nominative, the second genitive. The Interlingua nouns are taken from the Latin genitive form, by changing the genitive ending in accordance with the following table:

latin Genitive ending: -ae -i -us -ei -is

Interlingua ending: -a -o -u -e -e


Words of Latin Vocabulary      Interlingua Words       English Words
Nominative       Genitive
rosa             rosae         rosa                    rose
laurus           lauri         lauro                   laurel
casus            casus         casu                    case
series           seriei        scrie                   series
pax              pacis         pace                    peace

A few nouns are used in their nominative forms to avoid confusion with other words:

"mas" --English "male."

Nouns used only in the plural in Latin may take the following Interlingua endings:

1. -a, when the Latin nominative plural ends in -a, as:
Latin--arma, Interlingua--arma, English--arms.

2. -a or -as, when the plural nominative ends in -Ee, as:
L.--divitiae. IL.--divitia or divitias. E.--riches.

3. -os, when the plural nominative ends in -i, as:
L.--liberi. IL.--liberos. E.--children.

4. -e or -es, when the nominative plural ends in -es, as:
L.--majores. IL.--majore or majores. E.--ancestry.


The Latin vocabulary gives the nominative of the three genders, and in some instances the genitive.

The Interlingua form is obtained:

I. from the nominative neuter:

(a) by leaving it unchanged when it ends by e;

(b) by changing it to o when it ends in um;

II. from the genitive form in all other instances:

(c) by changing to e the enaing is as in the case of nouns.


Latin                           Interlingua     English

celeber celebris celebre        celebre         celebrated
novus nova novum                novo            new
audax audax audax audacis       audace          audacious


The Latin vocabulary gives the present indicative and the present infinitive. By dropping the ending of the infinitive -re, the Interlingua form is obtained.

There are a few exceptions: dic, duc, es, fac, fer, vol.


If they have one single form, this is the Interlingua form: e.g. ab, ad, ante, circa, etc.

If they have a declensional suffix, it may be omitted:
secundum = secundo.
multum = multo.


Many derivative words are in international use. New ones can be freely formed, as in English, from the words already in use, by the attachment of prefixes and suffixes, provided the meaning warrants such formation. For example, the ending " -atione " denotes a process, " -tia " denotes a quality, " -ico" denotes pertaining to, " -iza " ends a verb denoting the admixture of one thing with another, " -tore " denotes a person who performs the act indicated by the stem of the word, etc.

The commonest suffixes and prefixes are given below.

Suffixes                        Examples
English         Interlingua     English                 Interlingua
-ism            -ismo           protectionism           protectionismo
-ic             -ico            electric                electrico
-id             -ido            splendid                splendido
-ist            -ista           feminist                feminista
-al             -ale            general                 generale
-an             -ano            American                americano
-ary            -ario           aviary                  aviario
-aster          -astro          poetaster               poetastro
-ble            -bile           stable                  stabile
-el             -elo,-ela       sequel                  sequela
-or,-our        -ore            colo(u)r                colore
-tive           -tivo           punitive                punitivo
-ous            -oso            famous                  famoso
-ate            -ato            suhlimate               sublimato
-er             -tore           maker                   factore
-tor            -tore           actor                   actore
-ty             -tate           quality                 qualitate
-tion           -tione          declaration             declaratione
-cy             -tia            tendency                tendentia
-ce             -tia            elegance                elegantia
-e              -io             spectroscope            spectroscopio
-y              -ia             zoology                 zoologia
-fy             -fico           justify                 justifica
-esque          -esco           statuesque              statuesco

The ending -ed as in "faced " (having faces) may be rendered with cum: cum vultu or cum superficie; cornered (having corners,) cum angulo.

Prefixes                        Examples
English         Interlingua     English                 Interlingua
anti-           anti            anti-suffragist         antisuffragista
auto-           auto-           automobile              automobile
self-           auto-           self-induction          auto-inductione
well            bene-           wellsaid                benedicto
co-             co-             co-operator             cooperatore
dis-            dis-            dismember               dismembra
im-             im-             immortal                immortale
in-             in-             inability               inhabilitate
inter-          inter-          interact                interacto
mis-            male-           misform                 maleforma
pan-            pan-            pan-asiatic             panasiatico
by- (beside)    para-           by-product              para-producto
pseudo-         pseudo-         pseudonym               pseudonymo
quasi-          quasi-          quasi-official          quasi-officiale
re-             re-             reexamine               reexamina
sub-            sub-            subterranean            subterraneo
super-          super-          superman                superhomine

As indicated above, "bene" may be used to render the prefix "well" either separately or combined: bene consiliato or beneconsiliato or benconsiliato = well-advised; "male" may likewise be used to render " ill- " or " mis- ": male famato or malefamato or malfamato = ill-famed; male conceptione or maleconceptione or malconceptione= misconception.

The prefixing of the negative "ne" or "non" may ordinarily be used to denote the contrary. The preposition "sine" may be used to denote lacking, like the suffls "-less" in English.

The pronoun "qui" with a verb indicates the person performing the action, "que" with a verb denotes the instrument used in performing it, "quem" with a verb indicates the person on whom or the object on which the action is performed.

Adjectives may be formed by means of "de";

de fratre = fraterno = fraternal.

Intransitive verbs may be formed with the help of "fi" = become; transitive with the help of "fac" = make. Fi albo = albo fi = albofi = to become white = to whiten (intransitive). Fac albo = albo fac = albofac = to make white = to whiten (transitive). Verbs, however, may be used as transitive or intransitive, if the meaning in that sentence is unequivocal. Other verbs may be formed by means of "es" = to be; redde = to render = to make; da = to givc. Es causa de = to cause; es flexo = to sag; redde triste = to sadden; to make sad; redde nullo = to annul = to render void; da animo = to encourage = to give courage.


A few Latin words not in international use are also adopted. Also, words are taken from any language if in international use.


The same word may be used as verb or as noun, either without any change, or with a slight change of the ending in accordance with rules elsewhere given. Adjectives may be used as adverbs.


Latin words retain the old orthography.

Proper names of persons and places maintain their national orthography as far as possible: New York, Washington, Roma, etc.



These are obtained by mcans of: cum mente, in modo

cum mente diligente,        }
cum diligente mente,         }
                              }         = diligently
in modo diligente,           }
in diligente modo,          }
in modo fraterno           }
                            }           = fraternally
in modo de fratre          }

Or the adjectives may be used as adverbs without any change.

III) Glosa words directly from classical origins, draft impression

- Some words are derived regularly from the classical words, like 
  Peano suggested. 
  Indefinite words remain as they are (ad, de, si, Greek: kata). 
  -a, -ae get (from ablativus) -a (silva), 
  -us, -us get -u (manu), 
  -is, -is get -i (turi), 
  adjectives -us/-a/-um get -o (karo), 
  verbs with -ere get -e (face), with -are: -a (lauda), -ire: -i 

- Same with greek.  Greek has no ablativus, so take dativus: 
  -os, -u gets -o (fobo, orto). 

- Greek verbs get -o (1st person singular) (skizo) 

- Latin o-declination-words get the nominativus plural.  So 
  -us, -i get -i (rami, soni, tubi) 
  -er, -ri get -ri (libri [book])
  -um, -i get -a (exempla) 

- Latin -io, -ionis do not get ablativus-ending -ione but keep the 
  nominativs -io (natio, okasio, petitio, religio, tensio). 
  [My personal opinion: -ione is too long, okay, but even -io is a 
  part-of-speech-marker.  Is it one syllable (-yo) or two (-ee-ow)? 
  No, there are two.  But then it is too long, I think.  A lot of 
  these words are derived from verbs.  "pete" and "tende"?] 

- (I suppose: Some Latin words are in international use mainly with 
  their perfect-tense-root.  So they took this root.  That could be
  Words built from the perfect-tense-root get -i 
  (I suppose because of 1st person singular ending.) 
  (cepti, fluxi, komposi) 

- (I suppose for the same reason, international use:) Sometimes the 
  Greek aorist-root is taken instead of present-tense-root (gene). 

- Species names keep nominativus (equs, ursus). 

IV) Glosa words directly from classical origins, a more systematical attempt

A systematical research is needed: examining the words, looking up their Greek or Latin origins, sorting them into a scheme of Latin/Greek conjugations/declinations and then look, how the Glosa words are built, especially the ending vowels and then formulate a new word derivation system.

L) Latein (Latin):

L1) Nomina

L11) Substantiva

L12) Adjektiva

L13) Pronomina

L14) Numeralia

L2) Verba

L3) Partikeln und Interjektionen

(Adverbien (Umstandswörter, adverbs), Präpositionen (Verhältniswörter, prepositions), Konjunktionen (Bindewörter, conjunctions), Interjektionen (Ausrufewörter, interjections))

Suggestion of Peano for his language (Interlingua de Peano/ Latino sine Flexione): Particles and interjections remain as they are. Glosa seems to follow this suggestion.

a, ad - at; to; towards 
  o: ad 
  c: OK.  The short form "a" is in Latin the short form to "ab", 
     meaning "away", the contrary.  But "a" for "ad" is acceptable, 
     cf. French.  
ab - absent; away; from; off 
  o: ab

G) Griechisch (Greek):

G1) Nomina

G11) Substantiva

G12) Adjektiva

G13) Pronomina

G14) Numeralia

G2) Verba

G3) Partikeln and Interjektionen

(Adverbien (Umstandswörter, adverbs), Präpositionen (Verhältniswörter, prepositions), Konjunktionen (Bindewörter, conjunctions), Interjektionen (Ausrufewörter, interjections))

(Marcel Springer, www.glosa.org, 2000-10-18, 2002-02-15, 2006-03-25)