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It's not really a "derivational system", but I once compiled a list of
ways one kind of word can be derived from another. It's at
http://fiziwig.com/conlang/functions.txt I came up with about 250 or
so possible derivational relationships between two words.

--gary

On Sun, Nov 21, 2010 at 9:50 AM, Logan Kearsley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Say you have a derivational system- doesn't have to be regular, just
> some set of grammatical or semantic categories that get widely applied
> in your language so that you can define groups of words that have the
> same "basic meaning" and just vary in these categories.
>
> Wouldn't it be useful to set up your dictionary so that every time you
> added a word, you would tell it what categories it goes in, and then
> the dictionary would automatically generate a table of all the related
> words? Looking at gaps in the table then tells you where you might
> want to add some additional vocabulary.
>
> If you have a regular derivational system, then you could go a step
> further and tell the dictionary what the derivational rules are (maybe
> in the form of regexes), and have it automatically fill in gaps in the
> table (possibly with a basic auto-generated definition as well).
>
> Now, the research idea- you could take a really generic classification
> system, like the decomposition of verbs in Rick Morneau's _Lexical
> Semantics_, and make a multi-lingual dictionary to compare how much of
> the table gets filled and where the gaps are for a bunch of different
> languages.
>
> Is there software that can do that kind of thing, or should I go write
> it myself?
>
> -l.
>