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--- On Sat, 5/2/09, Leo Ki <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> steve rice <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote in
> "The Sambahsa thread"
> 
> >--- On Sat, 5/2/09, Risto Kupsala <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> >> If only one percent of compounds are usable, it
> doesn't
> >> matter. If there are 400 basic words, then there
> would be
> >> 400*400*0.01=1600 two-syllable compounds and
> >> 400*400*400*0.01=640000 three-syllable compounds.
> >> They would be enough.
> >
> > But can you cover the concepts you need? For example,
> > take "syllable." "Sound-unit-group," perhaps? How
> about
> > "syllabary"? (Not a common idea in the West, but
> common
> > enough in parts of Asia in particular.) And how about
> > "encyclopedia"?
> 
> It depends the kind of language you design. A "philosophic"
> one
> will chain endless compounds the way you describe, but if
> all
> you want is mnemonic compounds, then "speech segment" and
> "segment writing" might mean "syllable" and "syllabary".

That's the way suma worked, though it was more a matter of abbreviation. So if "femoral artery" would normally be "leg red blood tube," it could be reduced to "leg red" in proper context.

Such a method does shorten forms, but at the cost of clarity, which in an intercultural situation could cause problems. If there is a derivational system of some kind, users will have guidance in the forms they produce.

> "Syllable" just means "grouping together" etymologically,
> an
> even more vague compound. "Encyclopedia" could be
> "world know(ledge) book" or similar.

"Comprehensive knowledge book," if you have a word for "comprehensive."
 
> In my project I have much less than 400 morphemes, which
> means three-morpheme compounds are more frequent, but
> so far I've managed to avoid very lengthy words. I might
> hit
> a wall at some point though, in which case I'll give up.

Would you be willing to look at Sona sometime?

Steve