On Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 5:58 AM, Matthew Martin <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > re: word generation > > I'm not entirely sure I understood your question. It certainly is a good idea to > machine generate the various possibilities that a derivational system is > capable of-- and it isn't very hard. I've manually done the same thing with > toki pona--GZB has some entries in it's dictionary that are marked "machine > generated" The question is, is there a generic piece of dictionary-building software already in existence that would let me put in some words and a set of derivational rules and auto-generate all of the derivations for every word that I put in for me (and possibly tag the ones that don't have human-verified definitions yet). > The hard part is deciding what the heck the results mean. In toki pona, you > can attach all possible 100 odd modifiers to kala (fish) and about 20% seem > immediately meaningful, implying things like oysters or flying fish. The other > 80% are suggestive of nothing (what sort of fish is the smart-fish?). On the > otherhand, the same experiment with the word sona (knowlege) is much more > productive and has fewer gaps. There is probably a similar story with English, > when you attach un-, -ly, -ment, -ish to words, some are much more > productive than others, but there isn't a machine way to tell in advance if > unfroglymentish mean anything or not. The difficulty can vary depending on what kinds of derivations you have; some are less ambiguous than others. But you'd reasonably retain the option of having a human verify or clarify the computer's suggestions. > Btw, if you are going to do this on a computer, you can do do it with a single > line of SQL using cross joins, one of the rare cases when a cross join is really > useful. Maybe I'm just being dense, but I don't see how that works. Does SQL do regex replacements or something and I wasn't aware of it? On Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 10:05 AM, Gary Shannon <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > 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. Oo, neat. That's be really useful for the "research idea"- building a complete derivational table for one language for some standard set of derivational operations, and comparing it to the equivalent tables for a bunch of other languages, to see where they overlap and where they don't. -l.