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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UneJamKuqEZi

What is an Agglutinative language?

I have been trying to look on the internet about this, but I am still confused. What makes a language agglutinative, and what makes it fusional? I know that some languages like Hungarian, Finnish, and Turkish are agglutinative but I don't exactly know what it is. Can someone please explain to me, hopefully in a non-confusing way? Thank you!

October 11, 2015

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RhydianDavies

Usually, an agglutinative language starts with a word root, and creates new words by "gluing" small, meaningful parts - called prefixes (if you glue them to the front of the root) or suffixes (if you glue them to the back). What's important is that in agglutinative languages, each prefix and suffix typically serves just one purpose. The Finnish example in the comments is a good one.

Compare this with Spanish "comí" - "I ate". Here, the í means first person, singular, and past tense - all at the same time. It's like the categories of number, person and tense have been fused together... Wait a minute! Does that sound like a fusional language? Why yes it does! :)

October 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UneJamKuqEZi

Out of all these comments, yours was the one that made most sense, and therefore most helpful. Thank you so much! Благодаря! Have a few lingots! :)

October 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

The Turkish, by contrast, would be "yedim" where you have ye- "eat" -di "past" -m "first person singular", so the tense and person/number are separate.

October 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KyledelPue

Does this include Esperanto to some degree?

October 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vanege

It does.

  • sano : health
  • malsano : sickness
  • malsanulo : a sick person
  • malsanulejo : a hospital (a place for sick persons)
October 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RhydianDavies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto#Linguistic_properties

Esperanto has been described as "a language lexically predominantly Romanic, morphologically intensively agglutinative, and to a certain degree isolating in character".

October 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vologirl-chan

Additional languages like in Uralic-Altaic Family . We add additions to words . These additions can be changed in states like time , place , possesive ...etc.

For example , "almak" means "to take" in Turkish . If we want to make this verb 1st person's past tense , we must disappear "-mak" in the last and then we have to add the past tense"-dı" and then the 1st person possesive "-m" . And we get "Aldım." which means "I took (it) ." in English .

Basicly in agglunative languages you can say in one word what do you want to say and you don't need to use personal pronouns . For example you can say "Ben aldım." (I took (it).) in Turkish , but you already used possesive addition , so you don't need to use it !

Finnish , Hungarian , Japanese , Korean ...etc. are same too !

Finnish : Saada (to get) -disappear "-da" and add possesive add "-t"-> Saat (you get)

Japanese : 食べる(taberu) (to eat) -disappear "-ru" and add time add "-ました(-mashita)"-> 食べました(tabemashita) (I ate)

October 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scarcerer

You're on the right track but that isn't the best example. Just because Spanish drops -ar in hablar and adds -o to make hablo (I speak), doesn't mean it's classified as agglutinative. Agglutinatives use a wide variety of suffixes and to a much larger extent. In Finnish:

  • talo = a house
  • talossa = in a house
  • talossani = in my house
  • taloissani = in my houses
  • taloissanikin = in my houses, too
  • taloissanikinko = in my houses, too?
  • taloissanikinkohan = I wonder, if in my houses, too?
October 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/draquila

Agglutinative languages have a low meaning:morpheme ratio. Fusional languages have a high one.

Fusional Indo-European languages like Spanish or Russian or, to a lesser extent, English use inflections that encode multiple types of information, like person, number, and tense. In agglutinative languages there is typically very little information in each morpheme, which can lead to long words.

As an example, Japanese is an agglutinative language, which also happens to be pro-drop, meaning that pronouns are optional if they're obvious from context. So you can use a single word to express an entire sentence, for example "nerarenakatta" means "I was not able to sleep." If you are speaking to a stranger or a superior, you would instead say "neraremasendeshita," which means the same thing but is longer (and therefore more polite).

October 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeepShadow

Agglutinative languages are those where words are made with suffixes or prefixes. In Turkish verbs are conjugated with the help of suffixes.

October 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vologirl-chan

And the last , these languages have no "feminine" and "masculine" things ! There aren't any irregular words in these languages . As I know Finnish , Korean and Japanese have only 3 irregular words ! TURKISH HASN'T ANY IRREGULAR WORDS !! YAAAYYY!!!!!

As a native Turkish , I was shocked when I heard that most of other languages have irregular words and also they have things like feminine and masculine ! Really...

October 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pseudocreobotra

Japanese has only three irregular words? Damn, what language have I been learning then?

IMO, it's less irregular than many Indo-European languages but it definitely has its own share of irregularities. Just limiting myself to the numbers, I remember irregular forms for 1, 3, 6, 8 and 10 (and I don't know more about numbers than abstract counting and telling the age of something yet). Oh, and of course the completely unrelated はたち instead of にじっさい to tell someone you're twenty years old.

October 11, 2015

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