The bulk of Kah lexicon consists of compound words, made up from two of more roots. This means it is a vital process to understand truly how the language works. Compounding basically means that two or more words are combined in order to create a new lexeme with a new, unique meaning.

The advantage of this technique of word formation is, that the meaning of the new word can be derived from the individual elements it consists of. For example the English word bedroom means "a room containing a bed".  This kind of logic can also be used on a much more basic level: the Kah word for "argue" is ruka which consists of a combination of the roots ru "conflict" and ka "speak".

Kah was designed an oligosynthetic language, meaning a language with a very limited number of roots, which put together form the lexicon from wich statements are made. Kah has a couple of hundred basic roots from which all of the lexicon was derived.

Frequent roots

Some roots turn up quite frequently, like do for "house" or "building":

yudo  - house

talado  - factory

angado - stable

fondo  - prison

kwando  - school

The following roots occur in compounds frequently:

do  - house, building

ta  - time

pa - money

pu  - moral

ka - say, word

bu  - man

wana  - woman

sa - shape

shi  - manner, way, like

so - water, fluid, secretion

shum  - powder, grains

ki  - food, mouth

za - take

ze  - back, behind

ku - front, before

no  - direction

nu - go

ro  - round, cycle, ball

ru - conflict

yo  - all

wi  - many, much

ni  - motorized vehicle

kwa - one

 

Logic

Not all compounds are entirely logical but merely a collection of basic ideas describing something:

zedodi - snail

ze + do + di

back + house + bug

raju - to be patient

ra + ju

sit + feel

sempe - bone

sen + pe

body + stick

 

Phonotactics of compounding

Situations may occur that contradict the phonotactical rules of Kah as explained in the chapter on phonology. In these situations the following adjustments are made for the words to fit Kah phonology:

When a root ending in a nasal stop (either -m, -n or -ng) is put in front of another root, the nasal stop is made homorganic with the initial consonant of the root following it:

chen + pe  = chempe

kom + ka = konka 

rum + so = runso

 

When a root ending in a nasal stop (either -m, -n , -s, -l  or -ng) is put in front of  f, v, h, l, or r, the final vowel of this root is reduplicated:

lam + vun  = lamavun

When a root ending with -s is put in front of another root starting with anything other than p, t, k, w or  y, the -s is followed by a reduplication of the vowel preceding it:

bas + no  = basano

yus + do = yusudo

When a root ending with -s is put in front of a root starting with y, the combination of s and y results in sh:

mas + yun = mashun

papas + yun = papashun 

bos + ya = bosha

When a root ending with -s is put in front of a root starting with  p, t or k, the -s is left untouched and directly precedes the second root:

tus + ka  = tuska

bas + tan = bastan 

tus + pu = tuspu

 

When a root ending with -l is put in front of a root starting with anything other than p, t or k, the -l is followed by a reduplication of the vowel preceding it:

mel + mbe = melembe

 

When a root ending with -l is put in front of a root starting with  p, t, or k, the -l is left untouched and directly precedes the second root:

mul + ka  = mulka

bal + ka = balka

When a root ending in a  -i is put in front of a root starting with a y  the i is absorbed into the y:

wai + yun  = wayun

nai + ya  = naya

But when the result is a combination iya or iyo this is denoted as ia and io respectively:

fi + ya  = fia

ti + yo  = tio

When a root ending in a  -i is put in front of a root starting with a i  the two merge into a y:

nai + io  = nayo

When a root ending in a  -i is put in front of a root starting with a vowel, the final i changes into a y:

vai + an  = vayan

poi + an  = poyan

When a root ending in a  -u is put in front of a root starting with a  w  the u is absorbed into the w:

sau + wal  =  sawal

gau + win  = gawin

 

 

The suffix -ng

The suffix -ng- is used to change the meaning of a word to something opposite in meaning:

Source

Stative verbs

lule  -  partial, subjective

yosa  -   enough

daito  -  regular

luleng  -  impartial, objective

yosang  - insufficient

daitong  -  irregular

When it is suffixed to a word ending in a consonant, the preceding vowel is inserted before it:

Source

Stative verbs

koten  -  literate

tehim  -   audible

tus  -  permitted

koteneng  -  illiterate

tehiming  -  inaudible

tusung  -  forbidden

When it's added to a monosyllabic root, this root is reduplicated:

Source

Stative verbs

ta  -  time

yu  -   person

je  -  think

tatang  -  never

yuyung  -  nobody

jejeng  -  stupid

Only a very small number of roots inherently end in -ng, such as:

meng – none, zero

nong – not, no

mong – to reverse, undo

 

Compound roots

Most of the compound roots do not occur on their own but need an affix in order to become a word. This is done in order to be able to distinguish between words and roots. For instance the root nu"go" does not mean anything on it's own. It needs to be combined with the root de "come" in order to produce an actual verb meaning "to go": denu. Likewise the word for water is aso, which consists of the basic root so "water, fluid"  plus the inanimate nominal prefix a-.

All of the current compound roots in use can be found below:

an - country, land

ba - father

bai - (to be) broken

bal - nonsense

ban - center, core

bas - stop, end

bau - dog

be - topic marker

bea - room

beli - fennel

ben - child

bena  - million

beo - box, container

bes - gray

bi - organ

bia - to beep

bin - grain, cereal

bo - in, inside

boi - dirt

bol - apple

bon - fall

bos - bag

bu - man, male

bua - brother

bul - B

bum - explode

buna - maize

bus - mash, squash

cha - hole

chai - tea

chal - scoop

cham - carbon

chau - exact, precise

che - hit, touch

chen - shoot

chi - out, outside

chil - thin, chip

chin - chirp

chis - C

cho - broadcast, let out

choi - sour

chom - tomato

chos - brassica, sinapis, mustard

chu - leave, from

chul - mite

chum - suck

da - wheel, turn

dai - rhythm, thump

dal - computer, digital device

dan -program, application

dau - number, count

de - come

den - quake, shake, rock

deo - pot, crock

di - insect

dia - eight

dil - jingle

din - light

do - house, build

doa - D

doi - problem, issue

don - force, power, strong

du - stone

dua - 10.000

dun - tooth

ea - interest

ebe - E

en - that, whether

fa - parent

fai - ghost, spirit

fan - iron

fau - short

fe - opposite

fen - pepper

feo - F

fi - play

fim - salty

fo - flower

foi - pejorative, no good

fon - punish

fu - smell

fua - garlic

fum - blow

ga - G

gai - thick

gan - fish

gau - donkey, ass

ge - fast, quick

gem - chickpea

gin - mountain

goi - frog

gon   - wave

gos - hundred million

gua - gulp

gun - fruit

ha - question

hai - live

ham - rough, coarse

hana - which, which one

hau - laugh

he - disgust

hea - hey

hen - new

hi - tense, tight

him - hear, ear

ho - true

hoi - surprise

hos - H

hu - low, flat

hua - cough

hum - breath, air

ia - element

ini – I, i

io - unit, measurement

ja - do, make

jai - sex

jam - do, make

jau - carry, load

je - think, mind, brain

jem  - smoke

ji - music

jin  - yellow

jo - know

joi - cool, great

jom - five

ju - feel

jum  - heavy

jus - J

ka - speak, say

kai - close, shut

kal - crow

kan - work

kas - billion

kau - coffee

ke - intend, would, want

ken - neck

kes - X

ki - food, mouth

kil  - gnaw

kim - royal

ko - write

koi - control, power

kom - fake, false

kona - K

kos - lump, knot

ku - front, before

kum - pull

kus - citrus

kwa - one

kwai - click

kwan - study, learn

kwau - duck

kwe - net, web

kwen - Q

kwi - already

kwil - thistle

kwin - crunch

kwis - twitter, tweet

kwo - chicken

kwoi - juniper

la - at

lai - there

lal - L

lam - white

lau - here

le - have

leng - without

leo - help

li - you

lia - worm

lim - light, not heavy

lio - liter

lo - focus

loi - taste, tongue

lon - dense, rich, intense

lu - with, at

lua - tail

lum - edge, tip, verge

ma - mother

mai - hi, greet

mam - moon

mas  - balance

mau - add, also

mbe - part

me - sheep

mea - sister

mel - hundred

mem - M

meng - nothing

meo - cat

mi - ill, sick

mia - dead

mil - open

ming - bad

mo - undo, reverse

moa - bear

moi - tilted

mong - undo, reverse

mos - secretion

mu - cause

mul - cow

mun - cause

mus - gas

mwa - rot

mwe - soft, gentle

mweng - mean, cruel

mwi - squeak

na - of

nai - long

nain - N

nam - god

nana - line, stripe

nas  - cosmetic product

nau - this way, direction

ne - bird, fly

nen - good

ni - vehicle

nia - car

nin - sun

nini - ten

nis - fortune, chance

no - direction

noi - that way

nong - not, no

nos - pipe, duct

nu - go

num - wall, board, screen

nungu - 10 million

nga - animal

ngi - level

ngo - cloth

ngu - precious, gem, glitter

nya - exponent

nyai - monkey

nyam - act, pretend

nyau - blocked, stuck

nye - happy

nyem - silver

nyo - collective, group

nyom - rub

nyu - orange

nyum - flop, floppy

oho - O

pa - money, worth

pai - grateful, thank

pan - four

pas - magic

pau - give

pe - stick, tree

pea - plant

pel - oak

pem - potato

pena - chestnut

peo - nut

pi - fire, electricity

pil - angle

pili - banana

pim - hang

pina - P

pis - alcohol

po - trade, sell

poi - grass

pol - thousand

pon - push

pos - cucurbita

pu - moral

pun - govern

pya - jump, hop

pyai - deer

pye - shiver

pyen - honk

pyo - dot

pyoi - stain

pyu - needle

ra - sit

rai - brown

ram - pinch, clip

ras - R, rho

rau - scratch, nail

re - solid

ren - order, system

reo - egg

ri - on, active

ria - switch

rim - ripe, fullgrown

rio - hour

ris - rattle

ro - circle

roa - growl

roi - weasle

ron - combine

ru - conflict

rum - boil

sa - shape

sai - cultivate, grow

san - color

sana - paste

sau - fat, grease

se - meat

sen - limb

seo - cup

ses - S

si - few. little

sin - little, small

sina - light, subtle

sis - hide, secret

so - water, fluid

soi - please, request

sol - black

su - grape

sun - two

sus - quiet

sha - card

shai - like that

sham - warm

shau - like this

she - glass

shem - fold

shi - like, as

shim - clean

shina - cloud

shis - hiss

sho - sheet, paper

shoi - slide, slip

shon - shower

shu - sweet

shum - sand

ska - blue

ski - frame

sko - mix

sku - knot

sta - nine

sto - but, however

stu - friend

swi - shrill

ta - time

tai - then

tais - T

tal - machine, device

tan - picture

tau - now

te - able, can

ten  - able, can

teo - seven

ti - above, up

tia - cap, lid

til - small portable device

tim - must

tio - best, worst, most

to - happen, time

toi - stick, sticky

tol - swathe

tom - to become

tos - about

tu - cut

tua - crackle

tum - through, beyond

tus - permit

usu - U

va - link, related

vai - six

van - shield, protect

vau - elastic

ve - peace, calm

ven - cold

vi - too

vo- substance

voi - V

von - bitter

vos - legume

vu - down, under

vun - gold

wa - I, me

wai - again

wal - synthetic material

wali - camelid

wan - big

wana - woman

was - pear

wau - this

we - state

wen  - high, tall

wi - much, many

wil - pig

win - horse

wisti - 100,000

wiwa - W

woi - mistake

wong - anger

wu - how very

wua - howl

ya - it, thing

yai - pain

yam - red

yau - excuse

ye - that

yem - three

yi - fear

yil- Y

yin - other

yo - all, every

yoi - woe

yol - finger

yom - swap, exchange

yu - he, she, it, person

yun - see, eye

yus - art

za - take, use

zai - dear

zam - magnet

zau - itch, irritate

zawa

ze - back

zen- danger

zeo - hump, swelling

zi - hair

zia - care

zim - buzz

zo - fly, bug

zoi - grain

zon - sleep

zu - cook

zua - serve

zun - honey