Languages are grouped according to the manner in which they treat their words. Chinese, for example, still isolates its words; they are solitary units, without such elements as case-endings, prefixes and suffixes. Chinese, as a result, in the eyes of people speaking such languages as German or even English, "has no grammar".
The isolation of the Chinese word compelled the Chinese to invent means for indicating the relationship of one word to another. This they achieved by adopting a rather rigid order of words. Certain Chinese words then lost their original meaning and became auxiliary words whose function it is to point out the relationships of the words in the sentence, and to make clearer the meaning of the word itself. Chinese, then, by setting aside certain words for these purposes, attained the same ends that Latin reached by using case-endings and that English attains with such prepositions as of, by, for, to, with, etc.
Languages that, like Chinese, isolate their words are called isolating languages.
Languages that, like Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, German and Russian, inflect their nouns, adjectives and pronouns are called inflecting tongues, or flexional.
Languages that, like English and the neo-Latin (Romance) tongues, employ prepositions instead of a regular system of inflected nouns, pronouns and adjectives, are called analytic.
Besides these linguistic types there is the agglutinative type. For in certain tongues, employing auxiliary words, the auxiliary word and the main word in time ran together, became fused, the sense of separate words being forgotten. The standard example of the agglutinative type of language is Turkish; it is a type that stands between the isolating and flexional. The endings, though intimately connected with the main body of the words, are yet plainly distinguishable: sav is "love", sav-di — "he loved", sav-di-lar — "they loved".
If the agglutination goes so far as to form sentence-masses, of which the components are not so readily distinguishable, we have what are termed polysynthetic languages, as among the American Indians.
I.Be careful to pronounce the following correctly:
II. Replace the following word combinations by a verb:
to place alone; to make somebody do something; to call attention to; to run together; to see clearly; to make use of.
HI. Form nouns from the following verbs:
to isolate, to invent, to employ, to prefix, to attain, to inflect, to connect.
IV. Give a word or words close in meaning to:
to separate, single, to point out, rigid, aim, to use, to attain an objective.
V. Name the four parts the word may consist of.
VI. What do you call it?
1. a word helping to form a grammar category; 2. a language that isolates its words; 3. the way one word is related to another; 4. an order of words that is not to be changed; 5. a language that inflects its words; 6. a language that indicates the relationship of words by means of prepositions; 7. a language where the auxiliary word and the main word become fused; 8. a language where the words become fused into sentence-masses.
VII. Answer the following questions:
1. How are languages grouped? 2. Why do people speaking such a language as German say that Chinese "has no grammar"? 3. What morphological group does Chinese (Russian, English, French, Turkish, Bantu, Swahili, Persian, Indonesian) belong to? 4. What means are employed to indicate the relationship of one word to another in Chinese (in Sanskrit? in English? in Turkish? in Persian? in Amharic? in Indonesian?)? 5. What morphological group does the language you study belong to? In what manner does it treat its words?