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Chapter 4

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

6 pages48 viewsFall 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
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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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