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 Education Orgnaization.)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The base vocabulary is small, between 1000 and 2000 words (although a larger vocabulary is available when genuinely needed).
  4. Pronunciation is simple and regular, and spelling is phonetic.
  5. 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.
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.

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, contact:

   Glosa Education Organization
   P. O. Box 18
   Surrey  TW9 2AU

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