Novial/AIL General Remarks on Word-Formation

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General Remarks on Word-Formation[edit]

By means of the prefixes and suffixes just enumerated it is possible, if the stems (or roots) are well chosen, regularly to form an exceedingly great number of words which either agree with already existing international words or are easily understood at first sight. One example will show the ease with which a number of perfectly natural derivatives may be formed from one single verb mari `marry.'

A

Li pastoro ha mari Paul e Anna. Paul ha mari se a Anna. Les blid mari yer; dunke les es nun marit. Paul es Annan marito, e la es li marita de Paul. Anna esed charmanti kom marienda. After li mario li du marites departad a Paris por li mari-voyaje. Nus espera ke li mariteso sal es felisi. The clergyman has married Paul and Anna. Paul has married Anna. They were married yesterday; thus they are now married. Paul is Anna's husband, and she is Paul's wife. Anna was charming as bride. After the wedding the married couple left for Paris on their wedding-trip. We hope the marriage (state of being married) will be happy.

B

Ido has here the verb mariajar `to marry' with the derivatives mariajo or mariajeso `marriage,' mariajatulo `married man,' mariajatino `married woman,' with the variants mariajitulo, mariajitino; mariajo-festo `wedding'; further, the independent words spozo, spozulo, spozino for husband and wife. - Occ has maritagie, marito, marita, for `married couple' maritates, for weding (eheschliessung) maritagie, maritantie, and for `married state' (ehestand) matrimonie. Novial thus gets off cheaper than either of these languages.

On the other hand there are some cases in which irregular forms have obtained such a wide employment in many languages that it is best to take them bodily into our language; thus most people will certainly prefer telegrame to telegrafure (which is not even perfectly correct, for it could not properly be said of a telegram when handed in for transmission!). Another case in point is poet, poem, poetry, which might, indeed, be expressed by means of our suffixes by starting either from a verb poesia (with poesiure, poesiere, etc.) or from the sb poete (with the verb poetira, etc.), but it is much better to take poete, poeme, poesia as independent of our rules for word-formation. (`Poetic' is poetal and poesial.)

Some anomalies arise from the two treatments of Latin c. If we have katoliki (katoliko, etc.), we must also have katolikisme in spite of catholicism in the national languages. Other derivatives are less objectionable because they are made by means of other endings than those which in national languages cause difficulties with c: thus kritike critique, criticism, kritika criticize, kritikere; logikiste logician; muzikiste; matematikiste, etc.; fanati fanatic, fanateso fanaticism, F fanatisme; elektri electric, elektreso electricity; similarly elasti and others.

Further it must be remarked that there are some international words that are not capable of being considered as regular derivatives with the meanings here assigned to their endings. Subjectiv and objektiv do not mean `that can be ...'; sivilisa civilize does not really mean `render civil'; the actual meanings of radikal, liberal, ideal cannot be deduced from radike `root', liberi `free,' idee `idea'; cp. also organisa, harmonisa, orientisa. Such words must be taken as a natural consequence of the foundation on which we must erect our building, just as we must take over such words as generale as the name of an officer, though the meaning of general as an adjective does not fully explain this use of the substantive. Another consequence of this foundation is the essentially vague meanings attached to many words like nature, kulture, karaktere, forme, idee, moral, which we must accept however much a strict logician would like to get away from them.

I have collected a small number of words which might be mistaken for words derived from other words in N, and as I want to be perfectly "above-board," I print those here which have not already been mentioned under some of the suffixes: I cannot see that the ambiguities arising from them are very serious: probabli probable; that can be tested. Posibli possible; that can be placed. Seriosi serious; full of series. Romane Roman; novel. Ridono giving again; big laugh. Pardona pardon; give fully. Parfuma perfume; smoke thoroughly.