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Re: Deriving words that aren't too long

From:Mathias M. Lassailly <lassailly@...>
Date:Monday, November 16, 1998, 18:04
Simon wrote :

Simple English words are mostly short, normally one or two syllables.
> But English doesn't seem to derive these simple words from smaller > roots. My conlang does, more or less regularly, but its words seem so > long... > > For example, I have the root "chit" (gift), and by adding the endings > "il" and "a" I get the word "chitila" (to take). Is there any way I > could still have regular derivation, but keep the size of the words > down?... it makes a single English sentence 3 times as long translated. > > Simon. >
You should not think you fail because your conlang's sentences are longer than in English. English is a very concise language and translations into French or Japanese are usually twice as long as the original English text. My recipe : to derive adjectives and agent nouns from verbs and reversely I transfer the cases into the verb and reversely, then I add a 'pronoun' tag such as 'the fact of', 'the result of', 'the one who'. Example of deriving the noun *mata* meaning *eyes* : mata : eye // mata o- : to use eyes (nominal sentence : *o* is the instrumental case // ho-mata : to use eyes (in verbal sentence) // mata-q o- : to see (in nominal sentence) // ho-mata-q : to see (in verbal sentence) // wo-mata-q : seeing (adjective) // ca-wo-mata-q : the one who sees (agent noun) // co-wo-mata-q : the fact of seeing // ci-wo-mata-q : the sight, the image, etc. If you cram aspect and mood within the root-noun *mata* or in the case *o-*, then you can make aspected and *mooded* agent nouns, which English doesn't : homataq : to see // homa-a-taq : to look (imperfective) // homat-t-aq : can see // ho-ma-mataq : to watch (durative) // ho-mata-mataq : to watch now and then // ho-mataq-mataq : to watch intensively, etc. Mathias ----- See the original message at