The patterns of changing endings in inflecting languages which cover multiple properties of a word such as tense, mood, person, number, case, etc. This general term covers conjugation of verbs and declension of nouns and adjectives.

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Order of derivational and inflectional affixes

I saw the following formula on Wikipedia: morpheme + derivational morphemes + desinence (inflectional morphemes) followed immediately by the comment not not necessarily in this order. But all the ...
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173 views

Are there any languages besides Japanese which are both inflecting/agglutinating and do not indicate word boundaries in writing?

Many languages have inflectional or agglutinating morphology - they have words with multiple or many forms due to aspect, degree or comparison, gender, mood, number, tense, etc. A number of languages ...
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144 views

Does word order really not matter in Latin?

New to Latin, I can't help but wonder about the following: Every text I found online claims that since words are inflected (enough) to indicate the roles they play in a sentence, word order has no ...
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264 views

The suffix -er in English: Why is this derivational?

A typical charactersitic of inflectional suffixes is that they are productive (can occur on many words) and obligatory (are required by virtue of certain grammatical constraints). Simplistic though ...
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Is there some intrinsic relationship between the nominative plural and genitive singular?

In Latin the similarity between the nominative plural and genitive singular is most striking: First: porta (Nom/Sing) and portae (Nom/Pl), portae (Gen/Sing) and portarum (Gen/Pl) Second: servus ...
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What really makes adverbs different from adjectives?

I just tried to answer a question that amounted to knowing whether adverbs can be inflected. Then, doing a bit of search for examples, I came up with the impression that, in many cases, I could not ...
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351 views

Why are there inflections?

I'm from a Chinese background. I wonder why there are inflections in many languages, as compared with no inflections in Chinese. I personally suppose that a language should originate simple and easy ...
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392 views

Why did English lose cases whilsts German retained them?

Why (or more specifically what caused) did English lose cases whilsts they were retained in German. I am asking this question as I have recently been reading into the various Germanic languages and it ...
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81 views

Does the classification of languages “agglutinating” concern itself with inflectional morphology, derivational morphology, or both?

I had always thought that the terms "agglutinative" and "agglutination" referred to the typology of the inflection in a language. But on another question here there seem to be a number of comments ...
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139 views

What's the difference between suppletion and irregular inflection?

I've been using the two terms interchangeably. One of my assignments is asking me to identify cases of both suppletion and irregular inflection. I've been going over course notes/google to no ...
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158 views

Mine, Yours, Ours, His, Hers, Its, and Don't Forget Theirs

What exactly are the Indo-European predicative mine/yours/ours/his/hers/its/theirs forms, in terms of word class and inflection? Would they be considered the genitive (or even the dative) case of ...
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141 views

Are personal pronouns in English different lexemes or just inflected forms of the same one?

Take for example the words 'I' and 'you' (or 'I' and 'we'). Is it more reasonable to analyze them as different lexemes, or as different forms of a same lexeme inflected for grammatical person (or ...
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Pronouns in highly inflected languages

I'm currently studying Icelandic. Right away at one of the first steps I found a bit of difficulty and I wonder if any of you might be able to help me as the question might be answered based on any ...
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Are the demonstrative determiners “this” & “that” inflected to become “these” & “those” or are they different lexemes altogether?

If I'm not mistaken, nouns (and nominals) are the only words that can inflect for grammatical number. E.g.: cat (Sg), cats (Pl); writing (Sg), writings (Pl). "This" and "that" as singular ...
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How are foreign terms incorporated into the Arabic system of vowel alternation?

I don't know much at all about the specifics of Arabic grammar, so this question might not make sense, but as I understand it, most Arabic words consist of a three-consonant root with vowels inserted ...
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147 views

Are there languages that mark different types of volition or causality morphologically?

A simple event description such as "The boy jumped" does not necessarily imply anything about the speaker's understanding of the cause of the event or of the volition of the agent. I can say "The boy ...
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211 views

Which language(s) has cases which cannot be mistaken for other cases?

I would like to learn a language which has cases which cannot be mistaken for other cases, in pronunciation and writing. Does such a language exist? For an example of what I want to avoid: The case ...
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Languages with vowel-based “radicals” inflected or derived by changing consonants?

Semitic languages are known for doing quite a bit of their inflection and derivation not via adfixes but via modifications around a triliteral radical of three consonants. But I'm wondering if ...
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Which prefixing language has the most speakers?

Most if not all national or widely spoken languages with an inflecting or agglutinating typology do all of their inflecting at the end of the word. These are called "suffixing languages". This is ...
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272 views

Do any languages have verbal inflection with a plural object?

The verb in a language like English can inflect for person, for example: I see the cat > he sees the cat and the verb can inflect for tense: I see the cat > I saw the cat But do any languages ...
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384 views

Third-person singular suffix [eth] in Middle English

Related: Grammaticalization of third person singular -s in English According to responses to this question, there was a dichotomy between northern -s and southern -th in Middle English. What I am ...
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Derivational vs. Inflectional Morphemes

Is the derivational/inflectional morpheme distinction particularly significant to linguists? If so, is it more significant for languages other than English, which I think is less "inflected" than ...
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284 views

What is the maximum number of forms a (modern) Japanese verb can take?

Recently I've begun to wonder how many possible forms can be made from a single Japanese verb. I asked a similar question first on the Japanese Language & Usage site, where I received some ...
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423 views

Do sign languages inflect?

I saw the statement a few times that sign languages inflect in the same way that spoken languages do, but all examples I came across refer to phenomena that I would classify as word formation rather ...
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253 views

Grammaticalization of third person singular -s in English

Is there any evidence that the third person singular -s can be traced back to a lexical item before it became an inflection? I am trying to see if the theory of grammaticalization applies to its ...
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How do linguists distinguish between case endings and postpositions, especially in languages which have both and/or have no traditional grammar

In my attempt to learn Georgian, an agglutinative language of the South Caucasus, I have learned that it has both case endings and postpositions. I also have some familiarity with Korean and Japanese ...
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Segmental exponents of tense/aspect on subject pronouns?

Languages with tonal inflection for tense/aspect/mood occasionally have tones associated with certain inflectional categories which are realized on pronouns, e.g. Ngbaka, where the imperfect and the ...
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283 views

Are there any recent articles on the current state of Case theory?

Specifically I'm interested in the split between Structural Case and Morphological case. Structural Case has been part of Chomskyan syntactic theory since at least Government & Binding (GB). ...
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What's the difference between accusative, unaccusative, ergative, and unergative?

What does it mean for a language or verb to be one or the other of these typologies (examples would help)? Can it be more than one at once? PS I wasn't sure whether this would be better classified as ...
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327 views

What are some examples of well-known agglutinatve languages moving toward inflecting morphology?

We've had questions about inflected languages moving towards analytic morphology and about isolating languages moving to agglutinating morphology but we haven't yet investigated the third case. In ...
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1k views

What is the origin of non-natural grammatical genders in Indo-European languages?

What is the origin of non-natural grammatical genders in Indo-European languages? (assuming that there is a single origin, if there are many, what are they) How and for what purpose did it develop? ...
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French conjugation, spoken vs written

French verbs are conjugated depending on the subject's person and number (ex. je parle, tu parles, il parle, etc.) However in spoken language most of these sound the same anyway because the end part ...
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Why do English verbs inflect so little, especially in regard to “person”?

Most Indo-European languages have verbs which endings change according to the person. I made a table with the most common (and close) languages and focussed on the category of person and the present ...