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Attempt to reduce all verbs to a few roots

From:Ben Haanstra <kof@...>
Date:Monday, April 16, 2007, 23:31
As I worked more and more on my conlang, the scale of the lexicon dropped.
I'm trying to reduce all the verbs to some basic roots, keeping the total
amount low as I am aiming for an oligosynthesis conlang. I've about 210
morphemes now, describing most of today's language (so far I've tested).

I came up with those basics so far:

1. "Already in connection"
This root describes that the status between 2 or more objects/words are
already connected. This doesn't mean that it became connected, but that it
is already connected.
verbs like: to know (person/knowledge), copula, build about, existance.

2. "Connection in progress"
This one describes that 2 or more objects are being connected to each other,
physical and figurative. Bringing 2 objects to each other or making a
connection between them, to a new object or composition fo the objects.
verbs like: grouping, bring together, want, mixing, connecting, relating,
inform, identification, distinguish, understand, rank, translate, sort,
plan, think, calculate, find, suggest, new copula (become), turning into,
but also creating an object from objects (like writing a book, building a

3. Movement
About the movement of objects. As I see it: a direct modifier for the
description of 'placement' (like an adjective).
Verbs: move(from place to place), move(your body, same place), place, throw,
going, coming, drop.

4. Creation
It looks easy, but the creation this describes is different from making, the
whole idea behind it is that there is no specific object terminated from
which it is made off, different from the connection of progress.
Derivations from this root may be: to create/summon, kill (as in simply
dead), improve, renew, rest, restore, destroy.

5. Interaction
This root is all about the interaction between 2 objects.
It's when you interact with an object, but also when you talk to someone,
use something, turn the TV on. Simply said you might see that the handling
of the object changes a status or property of the 'recipient object'.
verbs: to do, use, response, ignore, invest, get, give, trade, see/vision,
hear, speak/say, utilize, spend time with.

6. (Form) Adaption
It's basically about the change of properties of an object/event, you can
see this the same as movement, a direct modifier of a property of an object.
Verbs like: extension, raise, sharp, create holes, bend, to bow, enlarge,
shrink, extend, shorten, collide, split, double.

7. "Surfacing"
Root describes that the agent is surrounding the recipient. Like a house is
'surrounding' a person who lives there. The skin over a body. But also, to
open/close, this might be a weird idea, but you can see as if an opening is
a "square" which gets covered up by the door.
Verbs: open/closing (an opening), surround, grab, hold, fill up (a hole).

8. "Filling&Releasing"
Different from the surfacing object, this one is about the "inner" (or
outer) part of an object. As if you filling up that object with something,
or releasing that.
Verbs: fill, to shoot, to release, indoctricate, to break out, to break in,
to pour, to arrange/organize(indoors, as in organizing your room), import,
insert, influence.

9. Dissonance
I'm still thinking whether I should include this in, but it is about people
not agreeing with each other and such.
Verbs: to hate, to love, to like, to (dis)agree, to control, to compare.

10. "Aim"
I believe this is a really weird root, but I don't think I can place it
under the other roots. It is about that an object is aiming for something,
that it is going for something as with a goal.
Verbs like: heading for, to target, to bend off, to avoid.

11. Disjunction
Another weird root, it is about making choices or creating choices.
Verbs like: to choose, select, doubting, to make choices, to be chosen.

12. "Prevention"
The most odd one I believe, it describes that the object is being prevented
from becoming something. Preventing an object from the death is to heal,
preventing a machine from being broken: repairing, preventing a problem from
unknownness: informing, but also preventing an object from falling (due the
gravity) 'to hold' or simply a "table".
verbs: help, heal, repair, to reinforce, motivate, substitute.

Now to get all those derivations I thought about two things:

Root direct direviation:
Normal & Opposite, for example the opposite of interact is to "uninteract",
ignoring the object, not using it. For creation it is destruction, etc.

The Complementation:
1. normal/event, as the most basic/normal/nothing special derivation.
2. completive, about the end status/completing it. for example: to
search(normal) -> to find(completive)
3. partial, difficult to explain, but it takes the verb that is a part/event
of the act, for example bringing two people to each other, is by moving
those to each other. This complementation is used to describe/usage for
other verbs with different complementations.
4. partial to complete, about bringing the act to a completive stage. For
example saying in an investigation, some new proof helps to finish the
investigation ("helps to reach status of complete"), or "to solve".
5. chaos, as in not structured handling, verbs like "to shake", "to panic".
6. immediate, as in it happened immediately, verbs like "to shoot" (with a
gun for example), to break open
7. reactional, in response to, verbs like "to answer", "to respond". "to react".
8. involving, as if you are part of a bigger situation, but not directally
part of itself. "to witness" (a crime)
9. surpassing, to go past the actual limit/idea of it. "to overreact" "to
10. reason/motive, the "reason" verb for specific root. "to his occassion",
"got caught up"
11. incompletive, (weird one), it looks like its "completed", but it
actually isn't. For example "closed the door almost". (In dutch: "liet de
deur op een kiertje").
12. "take over", as in object 2 is now doing the progress which object 1
stopped doing, it is also for property. For example "to steal" (something
from someone)
13. onesided, normally 2 objects are involved with the verb as if they are
handling to each other, however this one describes that the whole act is
singlehanded with no specific acting of the object. It's not the idea that
you see things like 'to grab a piece of cake' would use this derivation, but
that the cake 'would let you' grab it. This derivation is used for verbs
like "to sneak upon, to secretly admire, to spy".
14. amalgamate good, the derivation for which the community acts it is good.
For example, "to (tenderly) touch" instead of "to hit" someone.
15. amalgamate bad, opposite of amalgamate good, I don't think it's a good
idea to give examples for this one...
16. "losing", as in stopping/losing the connection for doing so, aborting a
mission, cancelling a subscription, forgetting something.

I believe that other conjugations like, time (past tense/etc.), possibility,
easy/hard, passive and such can be perfectly described by adjectives or
other grammatical words. That's why I don't include them.

I really love to hear what you all think about this.



David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>