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Re: Radicals and meanings a la Dwarvish

From:William Annis <annis@...>
Date:Sunday, February 10, 2002, 17:53
 >From: Marius Kempe <marius64@...>
 >Hello all, I was just wondering...
 >I was hoping to include some sort of process in my
 >conlang from which words could be formed from and hint
 >at their own meaning. I toyed around with something
 >like, for example:
 >nt     wood
 >v      long
 >l      magic
 >r      life

        This sort of thing is called "oligosynthesis" where "oligo" is
from greek "small."  Nova, as I recall, does this.  Someone once tried
to assert that Navajo did this, but I don't imagine anyone believes
this any longer.

 >a-a    basic meaning
 >a-un   person
 >i-e    place

 >Tolkien's Dwarvish has this to some extent, and
 >I've heard that Arabic has something like this but I
 >don't know anything about it...

        Arabic has something like the second bits, where you use
internal vowels, doubling and affixes to change the class or type of
the word.

 >Any thoughts?

        There are several web pages on these topics.  I've never been
a big fan of the oligosynthetic approach, largely because it starts to
fall apart and you get very strange sorts of derivations.  Having a
base list of roots, then applying systematic derivations from those, a
la arabic, however, is a very powerful tool to make vocabulary easier
to remember. :)