Re: Where does inflection change to agglutination?
|From:||Danny Wier <dawier@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, December 26, 2002, 22:16|
From: "Roberto Suarez Soto" <ask4it@...>
> I just realized a few days ago (silly me) that in spanish, we
> could speak about "agglutination" in verbal forms. Why? Take this
> So, unless in the 1s person of the Indicative, there are
> suffixes that are the same for every verbal form, and that carry the
> person and number meaning. And there's also a suffix for each verbal
> term. Isn't this agglutination, with only some cases of inflection, or
> am I missing something?
> My first bet is that I have the "agglutination" and "inflection"
> concepts a bit confused, but wanted to ask just in case :-)
Well you're on the right track. Remember that Proto-Indo-European became
inflected after various alternations of an originally agglutinative form.
Semitic languages are more inflectional, particularly in all those verb
forms; they change vowel configurations. But even those has agglutinative
properties, in both prefixes and suffixes (and at least one infix, -n- for
one verb class I forget, or you can count C2 gemination in Arabic Class II).
No language is completely inflecting, agglutinative or isolating, of course;
English is a little of all three.
Spanish would still be considered inflecting, but less so than Latin. There
are still internal changes, like |conocer| (inf. "to know someone") >
|conozco| "I know (someone)", which reflects not an infix, but a phonetic
rule. Also, there are isolating aspects of Spanish, like the use of the
preposition |de| in genitive constructions.
I still am confused as to how you *properly* define "inflecting language". I
just know agglutinative means the attachment of bound morphemes and
isolating means the use of co-words with independent meaning (like Chinese).