Agglutinative language

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Agglutinative language

Post  fearlove on Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:21 pm

An agglutinative language is a language that uses agglutination extensively: most words are formed by joining morphemes together. This term was introduced by Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1836 to classify languages from a morphological point of view.[1] It is derived from the Latin verb agglutinare, which means "to glue together".[2]
In agglutinative languages each affix typically represents one unit of meaning (such as "diminutive", "past tense", "plural", etc.), and bound morphemes are expressed by affixes (and not by internal changes of the root of the word, or changes in stress or tone). Additionally, and most importantly, in an agglutinative language affixes do not become fused with others, and do not change form conditioned by others.
Synthetic languages that are not agglutinative are called fusional languages; they sometimes combine affixes by "squeezing" them together, often changing them drastically in the process, and joining several meanings in one affix (for example, in the Spanish word comí "I ate", the suffix -í carries the meanings of indicative mood, active voice, past tense, first person singular subject and perfective aspect).
Agglutinative is sometimes used as a synonym for synthetic, although it technically is not. When used in this way, the word embraces fusional languages and inflected languages in general.
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