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Chapter 4

English 3001 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Agglutinative Language, Fusional Language, Polysynthetic Language

6 Pages
128 Views
Fall 2013

Department
English
Course Code
English 3001
Professor
Michael Fox
Chapter
4

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The English Language: A Linguistic History 2nd Edition
Brinton & Arnovick
Chapter 4
Classification of Languages
Languages are classified according to two different systems: typological
and genealogical.
Typological
based on particular structural features
no regard to derivation of language
geographic proximity is not a factor
linguists have proposed three ways of classifying by type:
The first is based on number of morphemes or meaningful units per
word and dates from the early nineteenth century:
isolating language
generally has one morpheme per word
words do not vary their form, use no affixes and are often
monosyllabic
relies on word order
e.g. Vietnamese
agglutinating language
several morphemes per word
every word consists of a root and affixes
each morpheme remains distinct
one meaning expressed per morpheme
parts of words are glued together
e.g. Turkish
inflecting language
several morphemes per word; a root and affixes
morphemes may be fused, modified or irregular
each affix expresses a number of different meanings
e.g. Latin
this method assumes a progression from 'primative' isolating to
agglutinating to a more 'advanced' inflecting type.
In actuality there is evidence of languages moving in this
direction and in the opposite direction
the second is a broader kind of typological classification proposed
in
Language
by Edward Sapir in 1921; better at defining changes
languages undergo
analytic language
does not combine inflectional morphemes or does so
sparingly
grammatical relations are indicated by word order and
function words, only to a limited extent by affixing
e.g. Modern English
synthetic language
expresses grammatical relations by affixing
both inflecting and agglugating languages are synthetic
polysynthetic language
combines a large number of morphemes, including major
parts of a sentence, into a single word but keeps
morphemes distinct
e.g. Nootka
the final is based on the order of elements in the sentence,
specifically the position of the subject (s), verb (v) and object (o).
Languages primarily fall into SOV, SVO, and VSO.
Features of VO:
prepositions
suffixes
auxiliary precedes verb
adjective follows noun

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Description
nd The English Language: A Linguistic History 2 Edition Brinton & Arnovick Chapter 4 Classification of Languages • Languages are classified according to two different systems: typological and genealogical. Typological • based on particular structural features • no regard to derivation of language • geographic proximity is not a factor • linguists have proposed three ways of classifying by type: ◦ The first is based on number of morphemes or meaningful units per word and dates from the early nineteenth century: ▪ isolating language • generally has one morpheme per word • words do not vary their form, use no affixes and are often monosyllabic • relies on word order • e.g. Vietnamese ▪ agglutinating language • several morphemes per word • every word consists of a root and affixes • each morpheme remains distinct • one meaning expressed per morpheme • parts of words are glued together • e.g. Turkish ▪ inflecting language • several morphemes per word; a root and affixes • morphemes may be fused, modified or irregular • each affix expresses a number of different meanings • e.g. Latin ▪ this method assumes a progression from 'primative' isolating to agglutinating to a more 'advanced' inflecting type. ▪ In actuality there is evidence of languages moving in this direction and in the opposite direction ◦ the second is a broader kind of typological classification proposed in Language by Edward Sapir in 1921; better at defining changes languages undergo ▪ analytic language • does not combine inflectional morphemes or does so sparingly • grammatical relations are indicated by word order and function words, only to a limited extent by affixing • e.g. Modern English ▪ synthetic language • expresses grammatical relations by affixing • both inflecting and agglugating languages are synthetic ▪ polysynthetic language • combines a large number of morphemes, including major parts of a sentence, into a single word but keeps morphemes distinct • e.g. Nootka ◦ the final is based on the order of elements in the sentence, specifically the position of the subject (s), verb (v) and object (o). ◦ Languages primarily fall into SOV, SVO, and VSO. ◦ Features of VO: • prepositions • suffixes • auxiliary precedes verb • adjective follows noun • genitive follows noun • relative clause follows noun • case marking absent ◦ OV: • postpositions • prefixes • auxiliary follows verb • adjective precedes noun • genitive precedes noun • relative clause precedes noun • case marking present • There is no language that falls exclusively into one category, most are mixed • some see language as always moving from one category to another Genealogical or Genetic • based on the common origin of and historical relationships between languages • geographic proximity is not a factor • similarities among languages are seen as result of universal features • assumption that this is due to common origin • more useful than typological for historical work • “family tree” model ◦ metaphor of genetic relationships between languages ▪ parent and daughter/sister languages ◦ proposed in 1871 •
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