Questions tagged [inflection]

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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In the IPA transcription do I need to show the global fall/rise before or after the stressed syllable?

I put the global fall symbol (down arrow) after the stressed syllable because it makes more sense to me. The last content word in a though group is where final inflection usually occurs, the syllable ...
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Are there any inflectional languages that have less ambiguous endings than Latin?

Latin has many ambiguous endings. For example, in Latin, -is can be the ending for: First and second declension Ablative and Dative Plural of any gender. Third declension Genitive Singular. Third ...
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Understanding "inflection" and "grammatical category"

The Wikipedia article Morphology says: A further difference is that in word formation, the resultant word may differ from its source word's grammatical category whereas in the process of inflection ...
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Are different inflectional forms of a word different words or the same word?

At some point, I gained the notion that inflections of a word didn't constitute different words, but rather different forms of the same word. This Wikipedia article however, says the process of ...
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Languages with definite and indefinite conjugation

Apart from Hungarian, are there any other languages with definite and indefinite conjugation (verbal inflections)? For example (in Hugarian): Definite conjugation: I see the tree. – Látom a fát. ...
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In English the suffix sometimes changes the stress pattern of the rest of the word. Is English the only language with this system?

TELephone, telePHONic, teLEphony. PHOTograph, photoGRAphic,photOgraphy. biOLogy, bioLOGical. The suffix changes the stress pattern of the rest of the word. Is English the only language with this ...
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Does "this" and "these" belong to the same lexeme?

I am confused as to whether "this" and "these" belong to the same lexeme
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How do Agglutinative Features/Languages develop out of Fusional Features/Languages?

Does anyone know about the development of agglutinative languages out of fusional languages, or, more precisely, agglutinative features out of fusional features? I am thinking in particular about the ...
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What would be the collective noun for collection of words whose affixal markers indicate the same grammatical categories?

I am working on Sanskrit, a fusional language. I am confused about what should be the collective noun that I should be used to address the set {nominals, verb, adverb, indeclinable, participle}. Could ...
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What are the main types of inflection that can be found in the languages of the world? [closed]

What are the main types of inflection that can be found in the languages of the world? If you can, define them and give an example for each of them please. Thank you!
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Could have inflected Proto-Slavic really 'been created' as a lingua franca among some Slavs and many agglutinative, Turkic languages-speaking peoples?

In my experience, it seems to be that people learning as a second language one that is significantly more inflected that their mother tongue(s) experience serious difficulties and tend to avoid ...
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Definite/indefinite articles vs. inflections

While some languages have definite/indefinite articles (a/an/the in English, le/la/les and un/une/des in French), others don't (Russian, Latin). In this connection I have a few questions: Chicken or ...
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Do Modern Grammar Theories fall short in explaining Free Word Order?

Here's my childish challenge to generative grammar: Could anyone give me an analysis of Russian sentence Мама мыла раму. (Mom washed the (window) frame.) from the point of view of modern grammar ...
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How did Latin drop noun declension?

Latin has/had noun cases, while modern Romance languages don't. I wonder if the transition can be observed in written forms. Are there examples from different historic moments? A side question: ...
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Are there languages with verb tenses, but no conjugation?

More specifically, what I'm looking for is this: verbs have no conjugation or inflection; the only form is the infinitive. The language does have verb tenses, (past, present, future, conditional, etc),...
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what are the various properties that inflection indicates in words in various languages?

Whereas some types of inflection are common, such as gender, plurality, tense, etc., many languages are known to possess a very rich set of inflection semantics and/or agreement inflection features. ...
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Are there languages that inflect adverbs for gender

Triggered by this answer, I am curious: Are there languages that inflect adverbs for gender or noun class? I have consulted the following two questions but the given inflections of adverbs in their ...
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Combining pro-drop with null morphemes

Some languages combine pro-drop with null or zero morphemes – inflectional morphemes, more particularly. Turkish is an example of this. To illustrate, the verb istemek = to want is inflected as ...
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Is it possible to have a word-based language completely without word inflection?

First, sorry if I'm not using the correct terminology here. By "word-based", I mean typical Indo-European languages (plus Uralic) where there are only tens of characters (e.g. "A to Z" (Latin) or "А ...
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How did the complexities of Arabic cardinals arise?

Generally the grammar related to the numbers in Arabic is considered to be the most complicated thing about the language. In fact, it is considered so complicated that many teachers argue that not ...
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Are there any languages which inflect the noun for morphosyntactic categories normally reserved for verbs (e.g. tense, aspect, etc.)?

In English (for example), we say "I go/went/was going/etc.", inflecting the verb for tense and aspect while leaving the subject of the sentence unchanged. But are there any languages that would ...
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Noun inflection in which IE language is close to PIE noun inflection?

Which modern IE language is most conservative in noun inflection and in this aspect is most similar language to PIE?
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Example of language with lots of agglutination/fusion/inflection without a lot of regularity

Wondering what a good example language is where, when you combine "prefixes" or "suffixes" to a base, it (a) changes the phonetic form of the word in certain places, and (b) this specific pattern only ...
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Does "to" correspond to verb inflection in X-bar theory?

In this Government & Binding Theory book I'm reading, it is assumed that "to" in to-infinitives corresponds to verb inflection, meaning that in x-bar tree "to" appears under INFL, exactly where ...
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Languages w/out morphology

Is there a natural language w/ no morphology (i.e. one that has neither inflectional nor derivational morphology -- in other words, no affixation whatsoever)? I've heard claims to the effect, but the (...
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What does one call a similar inflections of a root with different morphological classes as?

In a morphologically rich language, it is quite common that a root might have multiple inflections, each representing a different morphological class. Here multiple inflected word forms of a root ...
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Do case endings really make sentences shorter?

In the Language Construction Kit, Mark Rosenfelder makes the claim that case endings 'makes things compact and frees up word order'. The latter is pretty obvious, but do case endings really make ...
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Is there a language where in declension number is affixed peripherally to case?

Is there a language where, given that number and case are affixed seperately not fusionally, a noun can have the structure of , e.g. ithawen = itha-w-en [woman]+GEN+PL ("of the women, the women's")? I ...
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Is there a language in which personal suffix precedes the temporal suffix in conjugation?

A fictional example: zelun (zel- (verb stem: "to make leather") + u (personal suffix, 3rd person sg.) + n (temporal suffix, present)) vs. zelud (u (3rd sg.) + d (preterite)) zelun = "He/She/It is ...
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Terminology: types of inflection and features

Happy New Year, everyone! I am reading an article by G.Corbett on canonical morphosyntactic features. He mentiones two kinds of inflection: inherent and contextual. These notions look to me somewhat ...
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Are there languages in which adverbs inflect?

Are there any languages in which adverbs (in the sense of verb modifiers) inflect to match the verb they modify?
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Are the inflectional endings in English known to have evolved from separate words or do they go too far back into PIE to know?

English isn't a highly inflected language, but it did evolve from one and still has at least: -s, -es; -ed, -ing; -er, -est; for nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Do we know if these all evolved from ...
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Were/are there any languages that decline(d) articles but not nouns?

This question is actually spawned from a rather embarrassing personal blunder years ago, that was that when I had first begun to learning an heavily inflected language, I had made the mistake of ...
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7 votes
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Examples of Umlaut in a living language

For a teaching material I needed a good example of vocalic mutation of the root, aka Umlaut, and I got stuck at the fact that, while the Umlaut is often postulated for some reconstructed languages, ...
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Does plural count as a grammatical gender?

Depending on the language, gender inflection can arise from natural gender, or even perhaps as a way of simplifying an extremely complex inflection system, but regardless, grammatical gender is a just ...
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Are fusional languages easier to learn than isolating languages?

As some of you may know, auxlangers tend towards isolating languages. At the very least, the direct object is determined by word order rather than with a case ending (mostly because most West ...
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Combinatory Categorial Grammar for inflected languages?

Can combinatory categorial grammars be used for inflected languages like Slavic and Baltic languages? I am aware only of this thesis https://pwmarcz.pl/pm-thesis-final.pdf As far as I have ...
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Languages preserving loanword inflections

Erudite English has an interesting practice where the plural form of loanwords may follow the inflectional grammar of the source language. Thus "campi" as well as "campuses", "minima" as well as "...
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Is there any language where verb inflection takes place word-initially?

In the languages I know, verbal tense, number, gender, etc. is applied after the word stem. Is there any language where verb conjugation morphologically affects the beginning of a word and not the end ...
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How is the the adjective in a definite noun phrase different from a nondefinite one in Germanic and Balto-Slavic languages?

In the wikipedia article about definiteness I came upon this: In the Germanic languages and Balto-Slavic languages, for example (as still in modern German and Lithuanian), there are two paradigms ...
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4 votes
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Is there a dominant sequence in which a language throughout its evolution changes its type?

To clarify, by type I refer to terms like isolating, agglutinative,flectional...I think the terms which Humboldt introduced for a rough categorization. Now, I heard of languages, that changed their ...
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9 votes
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difference between Isolating (analytics) vs inflected (fusional) vs agglutinative languages

It's not easy to grasp these concepts. I spent a lot of time perusing wikipedia articles but still can't really understand what makes a language: inflexed, isolating or agglutinative, Background ...
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Is there a document with all the inflection forms of all the world languages?

I'm looking for an overview of all the inflections (such as nominative, ablative, possesive) from all the world languages to get an insight into how the inflection works in language in general. For ...
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Is there a name for self-reference in verbs?

In German and Swedish we have typically the ending ...sig (själv) or ...sich (selbst) (in German) when doing something with yourself, for yourself or oneself. Example Ändra sig (="change yourself/...
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Is there any declension in Hebrew?

In classical Arabic, declension is very useful to distinguish subject from object, example: Ysmʕ allah-u => He.listens (V) God(S) (God listens) Ysmʕ allah-a => He.listens (V) God(O) (He ...
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Why did English evolve to have so little inflection? [duplicate]

Consider the sentence, The boy hit the ball out of the yard. If we think of the words which make up the sentence, we realize that none of them have much inflectional possibility. The conjugation ...
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Term for borrowing an inflected form as an uninflected form

Sometimes when a word is borrowed from one language to another, what is an inflected form in the source language becomes an uninflected form in the target language. Examples of this are the Italian ...
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2 votes
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The Inflectional Phrase and Welsh

Wikipedia explains how the Inflectional Phrase has a VP as its complement and an NP (the subject of the phrase) as its specifier. It is long ago that I studied this, but a quick look at Sprachliches ...
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comparative study of spoken language complexity or irregularity

Could you recommend a publicly accessible study/article that quantitatively compares languages by their complexity or irregularity? I am interested in spoken languages only. Not writing/spelling. ...
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Which language has the most types of irrealis moods?

A mood in grammar is a verb form that depends on how its containing clause relates to the speaker’s or writer’s wish, intent, or assertion about reality. Mood is distinctive from tense (how a verb's ...
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