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On Saturday, November 29, 2003, at 01:07  AM, Herman Miller wrote:
> With a limited number of possible syllables, you'll probably end up
> having
> to reuse them in a context-sensitive fashion in many ways. You could
> give
> one meaning to a syllable when used in isolation, and a different
> meaning
> when used as part of a compound. The first syllable of a word could be
> a
> highly abstract "classifier" that determines the interpretation of
> following syllables. Say for instance that "an" refers to animals and
> "plan" to plants; "an-spi" could be a spider and "plan-spi" could be
> spinach. So you'd have two different roots with the same pronunciation
> "spi", but the context always makes it clear which one is intended.
>

Rokbeigalmki has aspects of this kind of stuff.  For instance, there
are certain word-final consonants that are heavily associated with
certain classifications: /d/ sentient (mald=human), /l/ animal
(beijambal=bear), /s/ plant (ghoumfes=wheat), /t/ time (seflat=night),
for example.
So sometimes you get the same root with different suffixes:
slyithl = snake
slyiths = honey locust tree
This is because even in English i call honey locust trees 'snake trees'
because of their long and twisted brown-and-green seedpods.  So i
decided to call them 'snake trees' in Rokbeigalmki too.


-Stephen (Steg)
  "...i took the cane from a blind man
   and i tasted the fruit in the garden of eden
   when i walk out of here
   you know i'll stand clear
   but the taste in my mouth still remains, still remains"
      ~ 'eden' by guster