House found to be haunted by ghostly badgers.

Today, you get a couple of words I’ve come up with!

Firstly, we have:

malinformadi = to keep uninformed

  • mal : prefix which reverses the meaning of a word
  • informi : to inform
  • -ad : a suffix which implies repeated or continual action (read more about ad)

Example sentence:

  • Kiel antaŭzorgo, la sciuroj malinformadas la melojn = As a precaution, the squirrels keep the badgers uninformed.

It’s very much an active thing to be doing. When you are “malinformi” you are doing the very opposite of informing. Not simply just “not informing”, you are actively putting someone in the dark. The “ad” bit in the full word, stresses the ongoing, repeated process.

Next up, we’ve got:

feliĉigaĵo = something that makes you happy

  • feliĉa : happy
  • -ig : suffix which means “to make/cause <root>” (read more about ig)
  • -aĵ : suffix which shows we’re talking about a concrete thing, which is somehow characterised by the word that comes in front of it. (read more about aĵ)

Example sentence:

  • Ĉiu serĉu la feliĉaĵojn = Each person should look for the things that make them happy

At risk of blowing my own trumpet, I thought those words lend themselves to quite neat sentences 🙂

Also, please do excuse the title… I found myself giving this post a very boring title and decided to spice it up with a little strange. In future, I might use slightly more odd titles, but also try to translate them into Esperanto, you know, for kicks. 😀

Title: Domo troviĝis hantata de fantomaj meloj

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Return!

I have now returned to England! ‘Twas a journey fraught with hassle and drunken people. But the time away was good! I’m now knee deep in all my stuff as I attempt to move house! But I shall attempt to return to some sort of normal schedule of posting. I’m surprised I managed to get regular posts out all last week, but my tiredness is definitely showing this week! I’m thinking up some more topics, and hopefully soon will have plenty to pollute the web with.

For now I’ll leave with you a word I came across in “Being Colloquial in Esperanto”:

  • Ekdormadi = To suddenly fall into a long slumber

I thought it was quite an achievement. Very pretty and very functional!

How is it made?

From the verb “dormi” = “to sleep”. The prefix “ek” creates the feeling of suddenly starting, or quite fleeting. For example, adding it to the verb “to look” would make “to glance”, or “to laugh” would be “to burst out laughing”.

Adding the suffix “ad” gives the idea of a continual action, a sustained action.

So… To suddenly fall into (ek-) a long/continual (-ad) sleep (dormi)!

Action, Quality, Thing.

For the sake of future posts, word roots are the topic for today.

An important concept in Esperanto is this. The main type of word is the root word, and from this root word (through all kinds of magic) we can create a verb form to talk about actions, or adjective form to talk about descriptions and many more. We can even throw the roots together to build more complex words.

But the main point today, is one that has only been touched on in previous posts. That is, that roots are not these neutral creatures that have no properties or characteristics of their own until they receive their suffixes that make them into verbs/adjectives/nouns etc.

Don’t get me wrong, you’ll rarely see a root by itself twiddling its thumbs. They do in most cases need these suffixes.

However, they do have their own properties. There are different classifications of root word. And depending on which classification a word lies in, they act in different ways when different affixes are applied to them.

An example in the PMEG is the comparison between “brosi” (to brush) and “kombi” (to comb). Their roots are “bros-” and “komb-“. The “i” shows that they are being used as verb infinitives (as in “I want to comb/brush my hair”).

So what happens when we change them to nouns with our handy noun suffix “o”?

“broso” means “(a) brush”. However, “kombo” means… The action of combing!!! As in “My hair needs a combing”. Why? We did exactly the same thing, with very similar words! But different result.

It’s all because of the roots. “Komb-” is an action-like root. “Bros-” is a thing-like root. When you add the noun ending to a thing root (bros) it just means the thing. But when you add it to an action root, it means “the action of <root>”. There are other ways to achieve what we want with these roots: knowing that “komb-” is an action root, but that we want the word for “comb” we can use the tool-like suffix “il”, “Kombilo” means “(a) comb”. Conversely, we can use the continual action suffix “ad” on “bros-” if we wanted “the action of brushing”, “brosado”.

There are three main classes with respect to the the characteristics above: action-like, quality-like, and thing-like.

Though we could define subcategories. Since within the class of thing-like words, for example, there are tool words, profession words, people words, animal words. All of these will have slightly different interactions (that are usually quite obvious don’t worry).

The point of this post is to create awareness of this fact rather than talk about all possible different interactions of these words (Or I’d be basically translating the PMEG). I’ll give you a few examples of the different roots, and in future posts I will talk about interesting things you can do with different roots. For example, it’s not always enough to say “oh this suffix changes the meaning of words to X”. Often one must say “When applied to quality-like roots the meaning is X, with thing-like roots Y…” (Check out this post, which shows how the verb ending interacts with a few different root classes).

Quality-like roots inherently show description, the quality or characteristics of something:

  • blu-: blua = blue
  • saĝ-: saĝa = wise
  • bel-: bela = beautiful

These words naturally lend themselves to the “a” ending of adjectives, describing words.

Action-like roots inherently show action, or state.

  • kur-: kuri = to run
  • rid-: ridi = to laugh
  • kant-: kanti = to sing

The words naturally lend themselves to the “i” ending of verb infinitives (and other verb endings). The “i” shows you the action you expect from the root, and then other affixes will derive meaning from the different interpretations of the action.

Thing-like roots are those that fit into neither of the above, being about either concrete things, or concepts.

  • tabl-: tablo = (a) table
  • hund-: hundo = (a) dog

They lend themselves to the noun ending “o”. They will action differently than the previous categories when participating in word building.