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Help desiging a minimal conlang?

From:Paul Bennett <paul.bennett@...>
Date:Thursday, November 25, 1999, 17:11
Years (literally) ago, there was a group effort towards making a 20-word
isolating language for Birds.

I've been thinking about a rootlist for a new lang, and it appears to be turning
into a simlar problem.

The langauge has to fullfill the following requirements:

Higly agglutinating/compounding
Almost entirely all-verb, plus noun-forming, case-like words
The standard 6-pronoun layout (1st, 2nd and 3rd person singular & plural, all
epicene), plus a reflexive marker
As small a lexicon as possible, roughly 20 roots, plus the case markers
All roots are monosyllablic, with open syllables.

Anyone care to help meet the challenge of making a smallish list of morphemes /
lexicon entries suitable for a semi-nomadic people with some simple farming?
It'll probably serve as something like a trade-pidgin, within the rules as

Not directly related to the task, but if it helps you visualise, the phonology
is probably going to be:

Nasals (N): m, n, q (= /N/) -- all voiced
Stops (C): p,b; t,d; k,g;
Fricatives (F): f,v; s,z; c,j (= /S/, /Z/) -- all take the same voicing as the
adjacent Stop
Approximatants, liquids and so forth (A): y, w, h, r, l
Vowels (V): standard 5-vowel system; tone, stress and length are not phonemic

Valid rootforms are:

 Form: Example
    V: a
   AV: ya
  FAV: fya
  F V: fa
 CF V: kfa
 CFAV: kfya
 C AV: kya
 C  V: ka
N   V: ma
N  AV: mya

(For a total of 3x6x3x5x5 = 1350 potential roots, of which I really only want to
use about 50)


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