Re: (phonemes) Particle Construction of (Greek) Words

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Sun Mar 22 1998 - 09:03:43 EST

Daniel Riao wrote:
> I'd like to add just some marginal observations to what C. Conrad
> said, with whom I agree in most of his posting (except in the consideration
> of "Greek" as an "agglutinative" language: Greek is in fact a "flexional"
> or "flexive" (esp. "flexivo") language, like the rest of the Indo-European
> languages and Semitic, inter alia. Turkish, Fino-Hungarian languages,
> Malaysian etc. are "agglutinative" languages. I suppose that Carl was not
> using the term in his technical meaning but somehow describing the
> procedure of word formation in Greek, but you must be cautious if you
> describe in a paper "Greek" as "agglutinative"!)

For those like myself who have forgotten what "agglutinative" means, I just
dug this up from Micheal Palmer's Web Page, the link is to "Lexicon of
Linguistics" Editors: Jan Don, Johan Kerstens, Eddy Ruys, Joost Zwarts, OTS,
University,Copyright 1996.


Agglutinating language
MORPHOLOGY: a language which has a morphological system in which words as a
rule are polymorphemic and where each morpheme corresponds to a single lexical meaning.
Classical examples of agglutinating languages are Turkish and Quechua:

(i) Turkish
        ev- ler- i- den 'from their house'
        house plural possessive ablative

(ii) Quechua
        maqa- chi- naku- rka- n 'they let each other be beaten'
        beat cause reciprocal plural 3

Next to agglutinating languages, one distinguishes (in)flectional languages, isolating
languages, and polysynthetic languages. One basic assumption underlying this
typology is that agglutination is the primary type of word formation, and that
the other three types are deviations from it. This traditional classification of
languages into four morphological groups has been criticized for being both
incoherent and useless. LIT. Anderson (1985), Spencer (1991).

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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