Roots-based approach

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Purangi
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Roots-based approach

Postby Purangi » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:58 am

Years ago, when I was studying Russian, I purchased Roots of the Russian Language by George Patrick. The author introduces 450 common roots of the Russian language, with relevant prefixes and suffixes, as a "shortcut" to build vocabulary. I found it to be a very effective way to acquire vocabulary very fast.

I wonder if there are other books/websites that take a similar approach for other languages? Has anyone had experience with a roots-based approach to learning vocab?
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Re: Roots-based approach

Postby Iversen » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:01 pm

I own the same book, but I find the lack of morphological information irritating so I have never really used it. For instance it doesn't mention whether verbs ar perfective or imperfective, so to learn from it I would have to check each word in a dictionary afterwards. If it had contained this kind of information the book would have been a really excellent tool.
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Re: Roots-based approach

Postby SGP » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:52 pm

Purangi wrote:Years ago, when I was studying Russian, I purchased Roots of the Russian Language by George Patrick. The author introduces 450 common roots of the Russian language, with relevant prefixes and suffixes, as a "shortcut" to build vocabulary. I found it to be a very effective way to acquire vocabulary very fast.

I wonder if there are other books/websites that take a similar approach for other languages? Has anyone had experience with a roots-based approach to learning vocab?
A lite experience only is what I had. Sometimes I read Russian texts (like Donkey Kong Country SNES nostalgia...), and then I encounter words that are similar to each other. Root-based similarities. So I put them into the same #Mental Database Section.

They count as one #Database Entry only that has a few branches, rather than counting as several #Entries. Even if the #Available Memory Space isn't that small, that method still is important to me. Because of #Preserving Memory Resources and #Fast Data Access by #Grouping Similar Items Together.
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Re: Roots-based approach

Postby reineke » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:32 pm

repka.jpg
repka.jpg (58.91 KiB) Viewed 415 times
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Re: Roots-based approach

Postby SGP » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:40 pm

Reineke, not sure if you realized it, but that post of yours is Very On-Topic even. Because it graphically illustrates how one can learn the vocabulary of any root-based language. One simply turns towards it, then continues pulling. And as soon as the root is in one's hands, things could be much easier afterwards.
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Re: Roots-based approach

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:54 pm

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Re: Roots-based approach

Postby Iversen » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:05 pm

I have dictionaries for Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Melayu, and because both languages are hefty users of pre- and postfixes those two dictionaries are very intent on showing the wordfamilies which are based on a certain root. On the other hand, there isn't much morphology to show so my critique of the Russian book isn't valid for the Indonesian and Malayan ones. But I don't expect a book with the Russian root families to be a complete dictionary - I would have been happy if it just had told me the basic things about each word - and it doesn't. :roll:
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Re: Roots-based approach

Postby David1917 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:42 pm

I have the same book and couldn't ever really figure out "how to use it." I suppose one could wordlist/anki the whole thing, but then it's just an expensive collection of words. I understand how Russian roots work in some sense from extensive experience, but I assume there's something elucidating to be contained within this work that so many have recommended over the years. I don't have it in front of me - are there example sentences? These could be studied and read through together in various ways other than by the root grouping in the book. Sorting by affix comes to mind.

I have a similar book Russian Etymological Dictionary by Terence Wade. Same conundrum - I know there's got to be more value to these types of in-depth analytical works, but it's not really something you read front to back like What's in a Russian Word? by Ian Press, or follow a series of units with readings/exercises like Using Russian Synonyms or something.

However, and to answer your question relating to other languages, I attribute most of my fascination/ease with learning the Chinese writing system to McNaughton's Reading and Writing Chinese. The reason being, he introduces everything very systematically by radical (root), so you can start to associate which aspects of a new character are likely to imply meaning and which imply sound. This has carried over greatly to expanding my vocabulary and passive reading skills. I've worked through this by writing the characters by hand over and over again in waves...so I guess I could do that with the Russian book...
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Re: Roots-based approach

Postby Daniel N. » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:33 pm

I'm not sure how far a root-based approach can go. Take English, for example. Understand is not a kind of stand. There are many derived words with unexpected meanings. I don't know if analyzing them by parts helps or confuses a learner.

As far as I know, such approach is often used in Ancient Greek.
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Check Easy Croatian (very useful for Bosnian, Montenegrin and Serbian as well)

Purangi
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Re: Roots-based approach

Postby Purangi » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:00 am



Yes! This is exactly what I had in mind:

Image

I am surprised there isn’t more material of this kind for other (romance) languages?
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