Looking for information on the International Auxiliary languages Interglossa and Glosa again, I stumbled over these sample texts in Glosa. I am astonished, how slavishly Glosa copies the English syntax: While some elements of a noun phrase or a verb phrase may be slightly reordered, translation unit after translation unit are completely parallel in the English and Glosa texts, even for rather complicated English sentences. And the English preference for past participles also carries over to Glosa in a one-to-one fashion.

Has Glosa any syntax of its own (independent from English)? Are there any Glosa idioms setting it apart from a relex of English?

  • Without having gotten down to the sample texts, in reading the Wikipedia article that you've linked to, I'd gotten the impression that English was a major influence on the grammatical structure of the language. Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 16:59
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    It's been a long while since I looked at Interglossa, btw, but at least the Lord's Prayer on en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interglossa does not look that English, and nor do the translations of bureaucratese in the Interglossa textbook (including the Atlantic Charter): sites.google.com/site/interglossa1943/home#etymology2. Commented Aug 4, 2018 at 0:27

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While Glosa definitely does seem to take a lot of influence from English, it's grammar isn't quite so indistinguishable from English's as to be an obvious relex.

It avoids classic relex mistakes like including do-support, and while its tense-aspect system doesn't do anything too wild for English speakers, it uses a variety of particles rather than English's auxiliary-based periphrastic tenses. It's also noteworthy that it lacks plurals, a decidedly un-English-like feature. Both these features were likely inspired by Mandarin Chinese.

Glosa also has an article that is unspecified for definiteness, using u(n) for both "the" and "a(n)", which is a departure from its major influences -- English, which has distinct definite and indefinite articles; Mandarin Chinese, which doesn't have any such articles; and Esperanto, which possesses one explicitly definite article. However, this article's syntactic behavior does not seem notably different from the English or Esperanto articles, so it's not thinking too far outside the box there.

You could definitely argue that Glosa's departures from English are pretty small, and that it's thus still quite relex-y in spirit. It's certainly closer to normal English grammatically than Interglossa, which is reportedly based on Simple English. So it really depends exactly how far you think a conlang must depart from English grammatically to "count" as not being a relex.

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