Nik Taylor wrote: > Simon Kissane wrote: > > For example, I have the root "chit" (gift), and by adding the > endings > > "il" and "a" I get the word "chitila" (to take). Is there any way I > > could still have regular derivation, but keep the size of the words > > down? > > One way would simply be shorter derivational suffixes, like "l" > instead > of "il", thus "chitla", or have derivations that combine several > meanings. For examples, you could have a suffix "-e" meaning the same > > thing as "il" and "a" together, thus "chite". You could also use > contrastive stress. I'm guessing that -a means verb (am I right?), if > > so, perhaps you could simply stress nouns on the first syllable and > verbs on the second, thus "CHITil" would mean "taking", and "chitIL" > would mean "to take" (of course, that wouldn't work on mono-syllables > like your root "chit", but perhaps on mono-syllables you could add > that > -a). All good suggestions. Another thing you could do - though this would be a major modification, of course - would be to introduce phonemic tone into your conlang. A lot of derivational morphology could then take the form of changes in the tone contours of words, leaving the segmental shapes constant. Matt.