laadan-learning/blog-post-discussion-bo ... -part-one/
Another contributor:Since the blog does not appear to have comments, I thought I'd set up a thread here, if anyone wants to discuss this post.
TemerousNox:This is a very difficult problem. Not only are surprisingly basic words sometimes nowhere to be found (how would you say "put" or "to place," apart from dó-wod?), but there wasn't a systematic exploration of derivational morphology (that is, how do you do things like turn an adjective, "hot" into a noun "heat", etc.). But close inspection of the Láadan vocabulary can suggest some models, apart from compounds which of course are very heavily used.
For example, we have meén "sugar" leading to meénan "sweet," (and for "salt" and "salty") which suggests we can use -an to derive adjectives of characteristic from nouns.
Another suggestive one is nuthul "orphan" from thul "parent." Although nu by itself means "here" as a prefix it can be a privative. Combine this with -an, and we have the equivalent of a "-less" suffix in English (though some of these are covered by ra-prefixed words, too). For example, nuloshan "money-less, penniless," etc. (losh "money"), or nudelithan "bald, hairless." There are other subtle possibilities in there, waiting for explication, or at least the enthusiasm to take up analogies and run with them.
So, I took a different approach to this puzzler than you did. One of my motivations was to explore polysemy — that is, the ability of many words to shade into several meanings. So, for, "violence" I decided just to use dórado. That's defined as "to dominate," but we know that verb stems can be used bare as action nouns, too, so "domination."
For "the system" — this is much tricker.
My starting point is the interesting pair miwith "city" and with "person." There's no obvious compound here, so I take mi- to refer to some sort of formal, societal grouping, cluster, arrangement or custom (there's not much to go on).
Step two requires a little Grice. One of the Gricean maxims of communication is that you don't say things that are irrelevant to people. Seeing several words in the dictionary which use the suffix -tham "circle" referring to people gathered together for some purpose, I decided to glom together shidi "be together" with -tham. But if tham already encodes the idea of "together for a purpose," then shidi is a bit redundant. Here I want to convey that "the circle" is doing nothing more than being around each other. I rely on Gricean implication to note that if tham already means "together", then I'm making some special point by using shidi, too. Finally, I end up with mishiditham, "the system," by which I mean some conglomeration of people who are together in some civic way, though not necessarily for any particular purpose beyond the fact that they happen to be there. I wanted to come up with an idea for "the system" which doesn't imply necessarily that everyone involved is actively enforcing whatever the system is, but that the system is comprehensive and social.
Next, "inherent." We have ha-belid "locative-ha + house" defined as "inhabit." Let's use hawod for "sit in," though I suppose hahin "exist-in" or even haham "there-is-in" would work, too.
Bóodi mesháad i mehil hawod dórado mishidithametheháath.
Bóo-di me-sháad i me-il hawod dórado mishiditham-th-háa-th
Request-TEACHING PL-come and PL-observe [inhere.in domination system-D.O.-EMBED-D.O.]
That last word is a doozy. Basically, it takes a direct object because of the verb hawod. Then the relative clause ("domination which sits in the system") requires the embedding marker -háa. And that entire relative clause is the direct object of mehil.
Thanks for the in depth response wm.annis! I've learned a lot from what you posted, and you brought up things that didn't occur to me.
When I did my translation, I tried to stick with currently extant words in the lexicon, so it was interesting to see your insight on how we might try coining new words.
I agree that the last word in your translation was a mouthful.