Globasa's Guiding Principles


Globasa's design, reminiscent of the world's creole languages, is the result of the following guiding principles:​

  • Optimal simplicity with the goal of maximum learnability and ease of use for both speaker and listener
     

  • Optimal balance between opposing linguistic parameters
     

  • Internationality 
     

Optimal Simplicity and Balance

 

In constructing a world language that is easy to learn and use for both speaker and listener, the consensus is to aim for simplicity. Taken too far, however, simplicity can unfortunately result in lack of functionality, impracticality or even in greater difficulty. The reason for this paradox is that what is easy for the speaker is not always and necessarily easy for the listener. As a result, a middle ground between polarities must be reached in order to achieve optimal simplicity. The following are the most salient features of Globasa based on the three guidelines stated above:

  • Reduced number of similar-sounding pairs of words, particularly but not limited to those that are used in the same contexts. 

Rationale: An abundance of similar-sounding pairs of words increases level of difficulty for the listener and reduces ease of use.

  • Number of phonemes: Neither too few, nor too many
     

    • 5 vowels and 20 consonants​​

Rationale: It may be tempting to reduce the number of consonants even further. This would certainly have obvious advantages. On the other hand, it would also come at a cost:

  • Fidelity to the words in their original source languages would be further reduced.

  • greater number of similar-sounding words would be generated. Or, to avoid this, average word length would need to be increased. ​​​

  • Phonotactics: Neither too simple, nor too complex
     

    • Limited number of onset (syllable-initial) consonant clusters
       

    • Maximum of one coda (syllable-final) consonant 

Rationale: Same as above. 

  • Analytic or synthetic? Globasa, much like the world's creoles, leans towards the simpler analytic side of the spectrum, but adds just enough by way of affixes to avoid the pitfalls of extremes.
     

    • Analytic
       

      • Use of function words and strict word order as the primary method for marking grammatical relationships
         

      • Root words always retain their form
         

    • Synthetic (through agglutination rather than inflection)
       

      • Use of affixes​ for a limited number of grammatical functions but primarily for word formation. 

  • Head-first or head-last? Globasa, like most natural languages, relies on both of these parameters.
     

    • Head-last for simple phrases as well as for word formation
       

    • Head-first for complex phrases

Rationale: In its experimental stage, Globasa started off as a completely head-first language, for phrase structure as well as for word formation, with the idea that head-first structures are easier to process. Eventually, it became evident that a middle ground was the optimal choice.    ​

  • There is, in fact, an advantage to head-last phrases: the head being the most recently spoken word in the phrase. However, with long and complex phrases this advantage falls apart and instead head-first phrases are easier to process, as described here.  

  • Even in many head-first languages where nouns precede adjectives, such as in Spanish, word formation tends to be head-last. 


Internationality

How international in scope should the lexicon of a world language be?

There are over 6,000 natural languages in the world. Should all languages, or at least all language families, be taken into account? Should only one language family be the primary source?  

 

Globasa's response, once again, is to settle on a middle ground and rely primarily, although not exclusively, on the largest and most influential languages and language families. 

Languages


Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Swahili 

Note: Mandarin, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese are all in different language families. However, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese have borrowed extensively from Mandarin. This commonality is harnessed in Globasa. 

Language families
 

Dravidian: Telugu, Tamil, etc.
 

Germanic: English, German, etc.
 

Indic: Hindi/Urdu, Bengali, etc.  
 

Iranian: Persian, Pashto, etc. 

Malayo-Polynesian: Indonesian/Malaysian, Filipino, etc.
 

Romance: Spanish, French, etc.
 

Semitic: Arabic and Hebrew

Slavic: Russian, Polish, etc.
 

Turkic: Turkish, Uzbek, etc.
 

Rationale: Most, if not all, of the remaining less widely spoken languages (including the indigenous languages of the world) have at least to some degree borrowed from the languages above, and vice versa. As a result, languages not taken into account are bound to have at least a small number of words in common with those selected for Globasa.  

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