Sentence structure and Word order (syntax) in Glosa

A sentences is made up of words, and it is the order of the words in the
sentence that gives us meaning; this order also tells us the word's
function (verb, noun, or modifier) in that sentence.

        In Glosa, words do not change according to their function: no
Part-of-Speech markers are added to tell if the word denotes a thing,
action or description.  So, Glosa words are really "Concept/words."  Thus,
each word is not identified as being a verb or noun, etc.

        Glosa words do not change for reasons of grammar (system for
getting meaning from words): and they can be used, within reason, as any
part of speech.  For example, vide = to see, is a `verb' if it functions as
a verb (An pa vide id.), and a `noun' if it functions as a noun (Id pa es u
boni vide.).

        Words are built into small groups called phrases, and these phrases
are built into sentences: the order of words in a phrase, and of phrases in
a sentence indicates clearly the function of each word. The order of the
words (syntax) gives us the meaning in Glosa; and so, we describe the
language as having `syntax-based grammar.'

        The phrase (small group of words) is the basic unit of sentence
construction in Glosa.  A small group of words might include a thing and
some description of it (noun phrase); or the group might include an action
and some modifications to this action (verb phrase).  A small group of
words at the start of a Glosa sentence might qualify the action of the
sentence (adverbial phrase).

        Within each phrase, each word is modified by the one before it;
and, from the start to the end of the phrase, there is a gradual increase
in importance of the words.  The main concept/word of a phrase, be it
`noun' or `verb,' is the last word of the phrase.

        Noun Phrase        the three fast, loud red cars
                           plu tri celero fo-sono rubi vagona

        Verb Phrase        were quickly end excitedly talking loudly
                           pa du celero e excita fo-sono dice

        Adverbial phrase   while running     (relates to  --->  verb)
                           tem kursi

     Marking of Phrases: in speech, phrases are spoken as one group, often
with a raising then lowering of intonation (pitch) from start to finish; in
written form, if it seems necessary for the understanding of meaning, the
start and finish of phrases, is indicated using punctuation (commas).

        A clause is a larger group of words containing two or more phrases,
and such a simple two, or three, phrase clause can make up the whole
sentence, called the Main Clause (MC).

        The sequence of phrases in a simple Main Clause is:-
               MC = NP + VP [+ NP]

    OR   Sentence = Subject + Verb + Object

   How Hany `Verbs' in a Sentence?

All sentences have at least one `verb': in the Main Clause, this is in the
middle of the sentence, in the Verb Phrase.

However, if the Noun Phrase or a Modifier in a Noun Phrase or Verb Phrase
is expanded to include a `verb' of its own, then we describe these larger,
`verb' containing, groups as clauses.
       There are:-  Noun Clauses: `verb' containing groups that function
                       as _things_ - in the place of Noun Phrases.

                    Adjectival Clauses: `verb' containing groups that
                       modify _things_ - used after the `noun' in a NP.

                    Adverbial Clauses: `verb' containing groups that modify
                       _actions_ - usually used at the start of a sentence,
                       but can follow the `verb' they modify.


        In each sentence, the clause indicated in the right margin is
underlined: for Main Clauses, the phrases will be underlined; and for
Modifying Clauses, the word modified will also be shown.

      e.g.  The boy arrived.              U ju-an pa ariva.            MC
                                          ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~
      e.g.  The girl went home.           U ju-fe pa ki a fe domi.     MC
                                          ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~
      e.g.  The man will eat the meal.    Un andra fu vora u vora.     MC
                                          ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
      e.g.  She spoke so loudly that she was heard.
            Fe pa ta sono dice ke fe pa gene ge-audi.                AdvC
                          ~~~~ <-- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      e.g.  The girl went home after she had eaten a good meal.
            U ju-fe pa ki a fe domi, po fe pra vora u boni vora.     AdvC
                       ~~   <---     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      e.g.  The boy, who was fat and badly dressed, arrived.
            U ju-an; qi pa es paki e mali ge-vesti, pa ariva.        AdjC
              ~~~~~ <-- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      e.g.  I like to get away from the house.
            Mi amo gene ab u domi.                                     NC
      e.g.  The farmer hoped that it would rain.
            Un agri-pe pa spera: ke id sio pluvi.                      NC
      e.g.  Going home is the best part of work.
            Ki a mi domi es u maxi boni mero de mi ergo.               NC

        Usually, the Subject-Verb-Object pattern has the Object directly
receiving the Verb's action, done to it by the Subject.  Such an object is
called a Direct Object (DO).

      e.g.  Dog bites man.             U kanis morda un andra.

        But, we often get bored with straight sentences, and sometimes turn
them around, effectively producing a Reciever-Action-Doer order.  This is
called Passive Voice.

      e.g.  Man bitten by dog.         Un andra gene ge-morda ex u Kanis.
                                               (gets got-bitten)

        While the Subject usually does the action, described by the verb,
directly to the Object, sometimes the last Noun Phrase looks like an
Object, but does not directly recieve the Verb's action. This NP is called
an Indirect Object (IO).

      e.g.  Dog bites man on the hand. U kanis morda un andra epi u mani.
                                                     ~~(DO)~~ ~~~(IO)~~~

      e.g.  She ran across the road.   Fe pa kurso trans u via.

        These are the small words that are not concept/words, but which
join these words together (conjunctions), lead us into a phrase or clause
(prepositions), create negatives, introduce questions, or modify the timing
of an action when placed before a `verb' (tense particles).  There are also
the small words placed before `nouns' to tell us that they are things, and
how many, or how much, of them there are (determinants).
        Joining words:  e, sed, pluso, alo, ni

        Prepositions: tem, a, ex, de, anti, seqe, po, pre, vice, kron ....

        Negatives: ne, nuli, no-, ni ... ni, nuli-

        Questions: Qe, qestio, qod, qo-

        Tense particles: pa, fu, du, nu, pra, sio, ge-, gene

        Before `nouns': u, plu, plura, uno, vario, poli, oligo, u mero de

        Putting all the above together, in Glosa, as in English, sentences
can be made up of various combinations of phrases and clauses - as long as
the Subject-Verb-Object rule is observed.  In Glosa, also, there is the
added requirement that words in phrases follow the rule of increasing
importance, with the main concept/word last.

        If the sentence is made up of phrases only, there is a single
`verb', and the sentence is described as the Main Clause.  If there are two
or more `verbs', then the `verb' describing the main action forms the Main
Clause, and the other clauses (NC, AdvC, AdjC) are called Subordinate
Clauses.  The whole sentence can, however, still be called the Main

        The secret of good sentence formation is in using well-formed
phrases to make up the sentences and their constituent clauses.

RULE: In a phrase, a word is modified by the word in front of it (its
RULE: In a normal sentence (Main Clause), there is a tendency for the
        first noun phrase (SUBJECT) to modify the verb phrase (VERB), and
        then, for the verb phrase to modify the second noun phrase (OBJECT).
RULE: A modifying clause (Adjectival or Adverbial) follows directly after
        the concept/word that it modifies; this structure is indicated
        by the placing of a semi-colon (;) or possibly a colon (:) before
        the new clause.

 In a noun phrase, the sequence is:-

           determinant  -  number  -  quantity  -  modifier(s)  -  noun

        e.g. plu tri no-ge-numera, fo sono, no-puri ju-an
             the three uncounted, shouting, dirty boys

           Note.  The concept/word that is used as a noun is the only
              element of a noun phrase that is essential.

 In a verb phrase, the sequence is:-
                                                    |   verb
  negative - tense - modifier(s) - auxiliary verb - |      OR
  particle                                          | verboid + amplifier

                     e.g. ne pa hedo, no-soni tenta | kursi
                                                    | ki ana

                       did not happily, quietly try | to run
                                                    | to go up

           Note, again.  The concept/word that is used as a verb is the
               only element of a verb phrase that is essential.

        One last note: we can, where no confusion of meaning is likely to
occur, omit some of the function words.  This is known as "elipsis"; it is
a normal part of English.
  e.g. He came and went.             An pa veni e [pa] ki.

  e.g. Boys and girls walked past.   Plu ju-an e [plu] ju-fe pa gresi pasa.

        However, when you learn Glosa, it is best to use the full form of
the language first, so that you know what you are leaving out when you do
use elipsis.

Robin F. Gaskell Tel. 61-2-9726 0952
PO Box 21, Cabramatta NSW 2166, Australia

The Glosa Educational Organisation is a Registered Charity in the UK

R Clark & W Ashby, GEO
PO Box 18, Richmond, Surry TW9 2AU, Great Britain

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