8

As the blog post itself concludes, reader/writer responsibility is really a property of the culture, rather than language. This is right in that the idea is simply a rephrasing of Geert Hofstede's high/low context cultures. This in itself is problematic because all language and culture requires context. Languages and cultures simply differ in what context ...


7

Your analysis is correct - the typical criterion is whether or not the affix/particle seems to act as part of the word it attaches to. When nice phonological demonstrations like vowel harmony aren't available, prosody is the next recourse. If prosody isn't helpful, you're pretty much left with an open question - you have to reason from the rest of the ...


4

In addition to the criteria in Sjiveru's answer, syntactic criteria are also important for distinguishing affixes from adpositions (or determiners, or any other syntactic class whose function might be equivalent to that of affixes; but I'll focus on adpositions here). Affixes attach at the word level, while adpositions attach at the phrase level. If what ...


4

Sapir (1921) is the more commonly cited source about this issue, and he sets up two typologies Analytic/Synthetic/Polysynthetic: These refer to the degree to which different parts of a sentence are fused together to form single words. Isolating/Affixal(Agglutinative+Fusional)/Symbolic: These refer to the techniques used for encoding grammatical information. ...


3

Though there is no clear measure for linguistic independence, I'd be tempted to say no to your question: "are words more independent from syntax in non-analytical languages?". Analytical languages rely heavily on word order to convey a particular meaning whereas say agglutinating languages are a lot more generous so word or constituent orders. But there are ...


3

Prepositions are one obvious answer. English doesn't need to mark its object because of its SVO order, but it does mark most other roles with prepositions, and you can easily imagine a language that marks its subject or object with a preposition. Of course I say "preposition" as that's what's typical in VO languages. In Japanese, a moderately synthetic ...


2

For those unsure of terminology, "analytic" refers to how many morphemes group together to make a word. Some languages will have lots of morphemes together in a word (Australian and North American languages are famous examples of this) and they are called 'polysynthetic.' A language that has few morphemes together in a word is called 'analytic.' Mandarin is ...


1

The picture of the synthesis degree is not very clear in many languages. German and the scandinavian languages are quite synthetic if you count in the frequency of composition, and in Scandinavian and somewhat also in English even compound noun-verb complexes. Greek and Italian can be said to approach polysynthesis if you regard the rigid templatic verbal ...


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