De Wahl's rule
The English used in this article or section may not be easy for everybody to understand. (November 2011)
De Wahl's rule is a rule of word formation, developed by the linguist Edgar de Wahl and applied in a constructed language Occidental (known also as "Interlingue") created by him. It is useful to create certain grammatical forms from others (for example substantives from verbs).
Infinitives of verbs in the language Occidental have usually the ending -ar or -er. The root is obtained in the following manner:
- If, after removing -r or -er from the infinitive, the root finishes with a vowel, one should add -t or should change the ending y into t: crea/r, crea/t-, crea/t/or; atiny/er, atin/t, atin/t/ion
- If the ending consonant of the root is d or r, one should change it into s: decid/er, deci/s-, deci/s/ion
- in remaining cases, with six exceptions, the removing the ending gives the demanded root: duct/er, duct-, duct/ion.
These six exceptions are:
- ced/er, cess-
- sed/er, sess-
- mov/er, mot-
- ten/er, tent-
- vert/er, vers-
- veni/r, vent-
and the verbs formed from them with prefixes.
Because the rule composes from three parts, it is often known as "three de Wahl's rules".
One creates the substantives and adjectives by removing the endings and thus obtaining the root. After adding -r or -er, one obtains an infinitive in a majority of cases: decora/t/ion, decora/t-, decora/r.
This rule was applied in the language Occidental. After a possible modification one can apply this rule to create new forms of a word especially in Romance languages or in languages which borrowed vocabulary from Romance languages.
- (in English) Henry Jacob, Occidental (1922) by Edgar de Wahl
- (in English) Henry Jacob, The Preparatory Work for an International Technical Terminology reprint of The British Steelmaker, December 1945