Jayeless.net

Globasa

Globasa is a constructed language designed to be a globally-representative international auxiliary language (that is, with vocabulary taken from a broad range of widely-spoken languages and not just or primarily European ones). Its first edition was publicly released in 2019. It features:

  • a highly analytic grammar (where morphemes are largely independent words), with strict SVO word order
    • no articles (a/the); you can use hin “this” or den “that” if you really need to specify for clarity
    • nouns have no grammatical number; you can use a numeral (e.g. un “one”) or an adjective (e.g. plu “multiple”) if you need to specify
    • no verb tenses; you can use an adverb (like nun “now”, le for past or xa for future) if you need to specify
  • a fairly simple phonology
    • five vowel phonemes (the cardinal vowels /a e i o u/) and 20 consonantal ones
    • syllables cannot end in stop consonants (/b d g k p t/)
  • also a straightforward orthography
    • 1:1 relationship between phonemes and letters ([ʃ] is spelt “x” and [tʃ] is spelt “c”, so there are no digraphs “sh” or “ch”)
    • doesn’t use any diacritics
    • uses every letter from the standard Latin alphabet except Q

Globasa strives to adopt vocabulary which is as globally recognisable as possible. It has fourteen major sources that it draws on, of which nine are language families (Romance, Germanic, Slavic, Semitic, Turkic, Iranian, Indic, Dravidian, Malayo-Polynesian) and five are single languages (Chinese, Jap­a­n­ese, Korean, Vietnamese, Swahili). Its goal is to pick words found in as many of these languages/families as possible. Because of colonialism, Euro­p­ean languages have had an outsize influence globally, and this is reflected in Globasa’s own stats about what percentage of its vocabulary is shared with which languages. According their Etymological Stats(external link) page, the languages with the most vocab in common are English (44%), Spanish (39%) and French (38%), followed by German (33%) and Russian (30%), with Turkish (28%), Indonesian (25%) and a succession of influential Asian languages following on behind. Swahili is at 13%.1 Globasa has actually published its methodology for choosing new words(external link) as a kind of pre-emptive strike against accusations that they’re still too Euro-focused, but it’s just reality that European languages are very influential. Personally I agree that recognisability is more important than just choosing the non-European thing, if there is some conflict between the two.

Globasa can be compared with Pandunia, another constructed language with a similar aim (i.e. to be a globally-representative international language). Neither has really reached a “stable” version (or so it seems to me as a passer-by!) but Globasa has so far avoided the wholesale ground-up overhauls that Pandunia has gone through. It hasn’t cycled back and forth between isolating and agglutinative grammars like Pandunia, and for a number of other minor reasons (not introducing a sixth “neutral” vowel spelt “ə”, having longer content words on average making it easier to distinguish between them and function words at a glance), I would choose to learn Globasa over Pandunia if I were going to start one of the two.

References / See Also


  1. Note that all these percentages are percentages of Globasa’s vocab shared with these languages, not percentages of English/Russian/Swahili/etc. vocab borrowed into Globasa. Just to be clear. ↩︎