Fusional language

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Fusional languages or inflected languages are a type of synthetic languages, distinguished from agglutinative languages by their tendency to use a single inflectional morpheme to denote multiple grammatical, syntactic, or semantic features. For example, the Spanish verb comer ("to eat") has the first-person singular preterite tense form comí ('I ate'); the single suffix represents both the features of first-person singular agreement and preterite tense, instead of having a separate affix for each feature.

Examples of fusional Indo-European languages are: Sanskrit, Pashto, Punjabi, Hindustani, Greek (classical and modern), Latin, Italian, French and the Iberian Romance dialect continuum, Irish, German, Faroese, Icelandic, Albanian, all Baltic and Slavic languages. Northeast Caucasian languages are weakly fusional.

Another notable group of fusional languages is the Semitic languages group; however, Modern Hebrew is much more analytic than Classical Hebrew “both with nouns and with verbs”. Colloquial varieties of Arabic are more analytic than the standard language, having lost all noun declensions, and in many cases also featuring simplified conjugation.

A high degree of fusion is also found in many Finno-Ugric, Uralic, and Samoyedic languages, like Hungarian, Estonian, Finnish, and the Sami languages, such as Skolt Sami. Unusually for a natively North American language, Navajo is sometimes described as fusional due to its complex and inseparable verb morphology.

An illustration of fusionality is the Latin word bonus ("good"). The ending -us denotes masculine gender, nominative case, and singular number. Changing any one of these features requires replacing the suffix -us with a different one. In the form bonum, the ending -um denotes masculine accusative singular, neuter accusative singular, or neuter nominative singular.

Fusional languages generally tend to lose their inflection over the centuries – some languages much more quickly than others. While Proto-Indo-European was fusional, some of its descendants have shifted to a more analytic structure, such as Modern English, Danish and Afrikaans, or agglutinative, such as Persian and Armenian. Other descendants are fusional, including Sanskrit, Ancient Greek, Lithuanian, Latvian, Slavic languages, as well as Latin and the Romance languages and certain Germanic languages.

This page was last edited on 4 April 2018, at 22:11.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusional_language under CC BY-SA license.

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