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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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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 ...
Alenanno's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
485 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). ...
Dan Milway's user avatar
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3 answers
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Is the {-ing} of the gerund a verbal inflectional suffix?

Is the {-ing} of a gerund a verbal inflectional suffix or a nominal derivational one? For instance, in the sentence Swimming is a great hobby. , swimming is a gerund and it has the syntactical role of ...
V.Lydia's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
174 views

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 ...
A. Kvåle's user avatar
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26 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
3k views

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 ...
Louis Rhys's user avatar
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9 votes
5 answers
6k views

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 ...
GA1's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
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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?
aimalanos's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 (...
jaam's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
icehenge's user avatar
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22 votes
7 answers
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What is the origin of non-natural grammatical genders in Indo-European languages?

Non-natural grammatical genders in Indo-European languages: What is their origin (assuming that there is a single origin, if there are many origins)? Or what are the origins? How and for what ...
Louis Rhys's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
kamil-s's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
marta's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
510 views

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 (Nom/...
Ryan David Ward's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
834 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
592 views

Inherent inflection vs. Contextual inflection

dear community! In morphology, there is this concept of inherent inflection vs. contextual inflection, which is mainly associated with the Dutch morphologist Geert Booij. In the case of inherent ...
Chris's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
110 views

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 ...
Abas's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
257 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
598 views

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 ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
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