"Donald J. HARLOW" wrote:
> You _did_ choose a word that it's relatively difficult to come up with
> examples for (but I think we're close to ten here, without even trying);
> perhaps you did this because you are a "pordemulo". This is generally true
> of object roots. Attribute roots and action roots (or adjective and verb
> roots, to use the usual grammatical shorthand) are much easier to devise
> multiple compounds for. This being a Day of Rest, I refuse to do so myself,
> and will simply give Z's example from the Ekzercaro, taken from the root
> "san'":
> sano
> sana
> sane
> sani
> sanu
> saniga
> saneco
> sanilo
> sanigi
> sanigxi
> sanejo
> sanisto
> sanulo
> malsano
> malsana
> malsane
> malsani
> malsanulo
> malsaniga
> malsanigxi
> malsaneta
> malsanema
> malsanulejo
> malsanulisto
> malsanero
> malsaneraro (ah, the stuff of puns!)
> sanigebla
> sanigisto
> sanigilo
> resanigi
> resanigxanto
> sanigilejo
> sanigejo
> malsanemulo
> sanilaro
> malsanaro
> malsanulido
> nesana
> malsanado
> sanulajxo
> malsaneco
> malsanemeco
> saniginda
> sanilujo
> sanigilujo
> remalsano
> remalsanigxo
> malsanulino
> sanigista
> sanigilista
> sanilista
> malsanulista
> k.t.p.
> >

   I don't think it's a question of combinatorial analysis (e.g.: "Given
two prefixes, one root and seven suffixes, hoy many different compound
words can be generated?") The subject of my original message was if the
meaning of a compound word can be immediately apprehended by an average
reader the first time he/she sees this word (not to mention if the word
is said in a speech, in which case the recognition must be
   It's a different thing from recognizability-at-first-sight: we
suppose that we _know_ the meaning of the root (even if it doesn't
resemble a common word of the European languages) and that of the
affixes, and try to guess the right signification of the compound word.
   Of course, if the first time you see "vortaro" (group or collection
of words) you doubt whether it means "dictionary", "phrase, sentence" or
"speech", you simply ask someone or go to a dictionary and make yourself
sure about its meaning (you don't even need to look inside; the word
"vortaro" itself is printed on the cover!)
   You have learned what a "vortaro" is, and it's a great advantage for
future remembering that it is a compound of "word" (and not an arbitrary
different term). But what about the first time you meet the word?

   The list of 52 compounds of the root "san-" is really a good
demonstration of the power of word composition through affixes, but some
of them floor me. Was it published as a simple list of words, and the
meaning of each one had to be guessed by the reader? Was there at the
end of the "Ekzercaro" a solution page, as in crossword puzzle
magazines? Was there also a scale of marks, e.g. "45 or more correct
answers, excellent; 35 to 44, good, etc."?

   Is "sanilo" a medicine? If so, isn't "sanigilo" (also listed) a
better way of saying it?
   And what is a "sanisto" (it's not a doctor, because it would be
"sanigisto", which also appears).
   And "sanejo"? A place for the healthy? "Malsanejo" (a place for
diseases, different from "malsanulejo", a place for sick people) may
also be translated as 'hospital'; it's normal that sick persons are
concentrated in certain locations like hospitals, but healthy people are
scattered over all places. So what is a "sanejo"?
   And "malsanero"? A part of a disease? Is it a symptom? Is it a stage
or period in the evolution of an illness?
   And "malsaneraro" (read as mal'san'er'aro, not mal'san'eraro; to
complicate things, sometimes also the lack of indication of morpheme
limits creates ambiguities)? I always thought that -ero (a part) and
-aro (a group) were suffixes that cancelled themselves when put
together, like dividing and then multiplying by the same figure, an
useless operation that returned the original root. (Cheno =  a chain;
chenero =  a link; cheneraro = a group of links = cheno).

   If we begin with certainties, we will end with doubts; but if we
begin with doubts, we will end with certainties (Francis Bacon ?).
   But not surely by my own deductions.