Esperantaj antonimoj kaj neologismoj

In Esperanto, antonyms are formed by use of the mal- prefix. Mal- can turn any word into its opposite, but many "mal" words have literary or technical equivalents of their own. Sometimes by practice and sometimes by design, some such antonyms are actually more commonly used than the corresponding "mal" words. The "mal" words are still correct and can even be used themselves for emphasis, but are seldom seen. For example, nordo is the opposite of sudo; though you would rarely see malnordo, there's nothing wrong with it, and it could be used for literary effect. Here's a list of synonyms that I've found. A couple of good sources are Esperantonimoj by Marinko Ĝivoje, and Esperantaj Sinonimoj by Jaan Ojalo. David Jordan also supplies a list in his Being Colloquial in Esperanto, in the grammar / affixes / mal- section.

Some Esperantists do not approve of neologisms (new words). Some I use for clarity, some I use because some "standard" Esperanto usage is a carryover from natural languages... not that the usage is bad just because it's a carryover from a natural language, but because it wasn't really logical in the natural language either, and also because, even though standard, it doesn't really fit the Esperanto scheme. I was criticized on soc.culture.esperanto for using some such words and grammatical constructions but was then amused to see the fellow who criticized me criticized by others in turn for his use of other nonstandard forms, forms which he felt to be perfectly natural and acceptable. And I've heard people who object to frida admit to using fridujo for "refrigerator". Ah, well, such is life!

Everybody seems to have one set of neologisms and nonstandard usages of which they approve, and another of which they don't. I think that neologisms are often useful. Many common words have always had unique antonyms. Two reasons for that, I think... "variety is the spice of life" and clarity, clarity in the sense that you don't want somebody to miss the mal- and hear only the dekstra when you're telling them to turn left. In all languages, whether by design or by evolution, words used most often are the most irregular.

And then there are the "new words" that have become so common that many don't realize that they weren't part of the Fundamento. An example I recently became aware of is biblioteko (library), questioned by a student on alt.esperanto.beginner. Offhand, I couldn't recall bumping into "biblioteko" in Esperanto text, though I probably have and undoubtedly just passed on by without thought, since it's such an international form. What I found odd, though, is that my dictionaries show several "biblio-" words, all having to do with books, save one... "biblio" = "Bible"! So we have two strings that can mean "book". Treated as roots, they have different meanings (both bookish, yes, but one being far more specific) but treated as prefixes they both mean "book-". Or do they? Does this mean that we cannot prepend "biblio" to another word without losing the specificity of "Bible"? The case of "biblioteko" seems to indicate this. So, not only is the neologism preferred, but its usage violates Esperanto's agglutinative nature! (What if we wanted to retain that Bible-specificity?) Yes, for "library" I'd probably use librarejo... or maybe just librejo if I was thinking a bit more lazily and non-Eo-idiomatically, because to me "a place of books", without further clarification, could only be a library... whether of the building or shelf sort. "A place of books" in which the books are also for sale would have to be a librovendejo.

Mil kaj unu nenecesaj radikoj is an interesting story about the Plena Ilustrita Vortaro being a source of French-derived neologisms. And the PIV comes, naturally, from France! Also see antonimo and neologismo at Wikipedia.

malakra milda
malbela turpa
malbona mava
malbonodora stinka
malĉefa akcesora
maldekstra liva
maldika magra, svelta, minca
maldiligenta pigra
malfermi ovri
malfermita aperta
malforta febla
malfrua tarda
malĝoja trista
malgranda eta
malgrasa magra
maljuna olda
malkompakta loza
malkosta ĉipa
mallonga kurta
malmola dura
malmulta poka
malpaco milito
malparfuma stinka
malplena vaka
malproksima dista, fora, lontana
malrapida lanta
malseka humida
malvarma frida
malvarmeta friska
malvera falsa
28 Julio 2009 modifita, de Ailanto kompilita.