Root problem

Recently I made a post about the word “surhavi” meaning “to wear” or literally, “to have on” (made up of the words “sur” = “on” and “havi” = “to have”). I mentioned that there is a good reason why “sur” appears before “havi”, even though in a literal translation “to have on” (in the other order) makes sense.

It’s for the sake of logic when building words in Esperanto. See, fundamentally, the word “surhavi” is about having in some way, it is the having of something on you. So “have” is the main concept, and “on” is modifying it, by saying that the having is done in a certain kind of way: “on”.

This is how it works when word building. The main concept is the last word, and the root which modifies this word goes before it. Longer words can be built by repeating the process.

Therefore, “mortodoro” is some kind of death smell, whereas “odormorto” is not… maybe it’s a death characterised mostly by smell? A smelly death?

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2 thoughts on “Root problem

  1. “Odormorto”, I think, should be what happens when the smell is so bad that you die from inhaling it 🙂

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