In today’s article we are going to speak about types of languages, according to their morphological classification. I took this topic not by accident. It will help you to understand better the structure of different languages, including Roman, Germanic and Slavic groups. You will know what make them be different from each other and how the sentences are creating and correlating. Let’s get started !
According to the morphological classification, all languages of the world are divided into groups. In this article, we are interested just in one of them. The group of inflexional languages. The second name is fusional languages. « Inflexion » means an ending. It means that the ending expresses the grammatical meaning, such as gender, number, person, tense, case etc.
From the XIX century, all inflexional languages were divided into two big groups : synthetic and analytic languages. Ukrainian, Russian, German, Polish, Czech, Byelorussian languages belong to the first group. English, French, Bulgarian, Danish, Hindi languages belong to the second one.
The synthetic languages are the languages where the grammatical meaning expresses with the help of the endings, affixes, alternations (or simply the sound changing), suppletion (for example, in some Slavic languages there is imperfective and perfective form of words).
Let’s look at the example of suppletion in the Ukrainian language.
« Бачив » – masculine, the 3rd person, singular, imperfective ; → he saw
« Побачив » – masculine, the 3rd person, singular, perfective ; → he has seen
To create the perfective form of a verb we need to add a prefix, sometimes – suffix.
The analytic languages are the languages where lexical and grammatical meanings are separated. The lexical meaning is expressed with the whole words, and the grammatical meaning is expressed with functional words (articles, pronouns, conjunctions, particles, auxiliary verbs etc.), word order and intonation.
To understand this information more clearly, I will give you some examples.
Let’s take the ukrainian word « кіт » – a cat. Коту – to the cat, біля кота – near the cat.
The same is for french « кіт » – un chat. Коту – au chat, біля кота – près du chat.
As you can see, in the Ukrainian language the word changes its ending, so the meaning also changes. In the English and French languages, we need to add functional words to give the exact meaning.
The word order is important for the analytic languages whereas for the synthetical it is not important. In Ukrainian we can say « додому йдемо », which means literally « to home we go ». In English it sounds strange. « We go home » is much more better. In English or French, for example, we should keep the word order « noun-verb-object », while for Ukrainian it is not obligatory.
The endings in the inflexional languages can express a lot : кота (-a) – masculine, singular, genitive case.
It is just the basic information, but I hope it will help you to understand the structure of Roman, Germanic and Slavic languages. It will make you learning languages easier.