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Creating new words in Algilez

Advice for vocabulary additions and modifications

1    Basis for the Algilez vocabulary

The Algilez vocabulary is intended to be a comprehensive word list based upon short, simple root words which can then be joined to form compound words, which will make up the majority of the vocabulary.

Root words are generally derived from the core syllable of the corresponding English language word. They are usually (but not always) the abstract noun equivalent of the English word, and can be modified by various affixes to turn them into tangible nouns, verbs, adjectives etc.

2    Definition of 'Compound Words' used in Algilez

For these notes ‘Compound Words’ in Algilez are defined as any words which are formed from two or more roots with different semantic meanings. This excludes cases where affixes are added to single root words (e.g. for tenses, adjectives/adverbs, plurals, tangible nouns etc), since this only results in a grammatical change to the word, not to the semantic meaning. When two or more root words of different semantic meanings are joined, the result is a new word with a new meaning (which can then be modified by the normal affixes).

Examples:-

110a duration, period, while dur root
160d electricity lek root
185a place, site, point as root
632b storage stør root
632bb preserve, preserving (food etc) durstør compound
632bc battery lekstør compound
632a store (place) støras compound

Words such as xip støra (storage ship) or me støroz buki (I stored the books) are just grammatical variations of the root word stør and not Algilez compound words.

3    Creation of new Algilez root words

Although a large number of key root words already exist, particularly for day to day grammatical usage, the vocabulary is still being developed and there will still be the need to create new root words. As more people become involved in the development of Algilez, I thought that it would be helpful to provide some guidance for new root word creation:-

When to create a new root word

a.  Create a new root word if a meaning is considered to be unique (i.e. not a variation of an existing root such as an opposite etc) and well used.  Examples:

i.  218c, seat, sit:  218f, chair, cer – here the word ‘cer’ is considered to be sufficiently well used to merit its own root word as opposed to a compound word (such as room-seat – rumsit, for example).

ii.  Similarly, 589g, library, leb.  ‘Library’ could be expressed by a compound word such as bukstørøk (from 589a, book, buk and 632c, collection, størøk) but library was considered a sufficiently well used word to merit its own root word.  Note that bukstørøk could still be used as an alternative word for library (with the same meaning) and perhaps might also be used as an Algilez dictionary definition.

iii.  001b, reality, ril:  002d, unreality zaril – here it was not considered necessary to create a new root word for ‘unreality’ but instead to use a ‘negating’ compound word (as in English), where ‘za’ means ‘none’.  Words such as ‘op’ (opposite) and ‘un’ (undo, reverse of) could also be used where appropriate.

b.  Create a new root word if the word is likely to be a well used one and could only otherwise be created from a long compound word (e.g. composed of more than two roots).

c Aim for a single syllable, consonant–vowel–consonant root word if possible (however the remaining number of these are limited).

d If the meaning is already expressed by a word that is well used and understood internationally, then it may be appropriate to create a root word, based on that word, even if it is more than two or three syllables.

    E.g. 319da  oxygen  oksijen

4    Creation of new Algilez compound words

The intention is that the new Algilez compound word should clearly represent the desired meaning.  In many cases this may mean creating a new compound word that is quite different to the present English one used.

Example: Passport

This is a two-part English word, in common use and well understood.  However the word itself was probably created several hundred years ago and would have been used to describe a letter of permission allowing an English traveller to cross by sea into France.  Nowadays the two parts of the word do not accurately describe the function of a passport and it would be confusing to just apply a literal translation from English to Algilez, i.e. pass-port = pãs-jas.

We really need to think about what exactly the function of the document is and then find the best words to describe it.  A dictionary definition gives 'passport:- official document for use by a person travelling abroad.'  E.g. a passport is a travel document, a means of identification, a permit to enter countries etc.  However, we do not want to produce an unnecessarily complicated, multi-syllable word.  Some of the choices available are words such as:-

059b

foreign country

bosnax

265d

journey

go

494b

authenticity, genuineness

truøk

547b

identification, naming, point out

den

548a

document, record, documentation

rek

733a

authority

fur

756a

let, permission, allowing, allow, may

le

756c

permit, licence

lepap

Some of the above words are already two-part compound words.  In the end, the choice was made to use 'goden' which combined the meaning of 'Journey' and 'Identity' and seemed most appropriate to the present use of the word 'Passport'.  Was it the best choice?  If you can think of something more appropriate then let us know.

A similar approach is needed for all other compound words, to ensure that the new meaning is as logical as possible.  The reader or listener of the new word should be able to work out the meaning of the word even if they have never heard it before. 

5    Modification to existing root & compound words

What do we mean by 'words' and 'meanings'

It is probably easiest to think of a 'meaning' as something that you know in your own language.  Let us take 'thought' as an example.  The Algilez word that we could use for this might be 'fort', 'føt', 'fot' etc.  Suppose we wanted to use  'fort' but found that it was already being used (for a castle, say).  Hence we have a meaning, 'thought', a choice of words, fort', 'føt', 'fot' etc, one of which is already being used for a different meaning 'castle'.

If we decide that we want to use the word fort' for the meaning: thought, then we have to find another word for the meaning: castle. 

 

Hence, in some cases the desired root or compound word may already be in use.  In that case the judgement must be made as to whether a another new word should be chosen or whether the existing word should be used.  In that case, a word must then be found to replace the existing one, i.e. we would have to find another Algilez word to represent 'castle'.  During the early days of Algilez development, this happened frequently.  As development continues, the scope to make major changes like that decreases but may still be necessary from time to time.  Here are some suggested procedures to be followed:-

 

The main problem is to be aware of the ‘Domino Effect’, where the taking of an existing root word from one meaning, results in it having to be replaced by taking another root word from yet another meaning and so on.

a.  If someone finds that there is not a corresponding Algilez word for a word in their natural language, and that the most appropriate Algilez word has already been used (i.e. the desired root word is already being used for another Algilez meaning) then it is possible to change it, to free the desired root word (where the new meaning is considered more appropriate for that root word).  However the existing meaning must then be found a replacement root word. 

b.  There are obviously only a limited number of single syllable, consonant–vowel–consonant root words possible.  Once those are used then the root words start to become more complicated and possibly multi-syllable.  It is important that root words are not wasted on the lesser used meanings where a compound word would be perfectly acceptable.  Similarly, the most frequently used meanings should be allocated the simplest and most compact root words.

c.  If the desired compound word is already in use then it can only be used if the new meaning is considered more appropriate for that word and if a replacement compound word can be found for the previously used meaning.

 

Last revised: 29 July 2014


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