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What is an agglutinative language?

 

Definition
 

An agglutinative language is a language in which words are made up of a linear sequence of distinct morphemes and each component of meaning is represented by its own morpheme.

Example: Chukchi (Northeastern Siberia)
 

t*E -meyN*E -levt*E -p*E*ft -*Erk*En

1 Sg -great -head -ache -Imperfective

I have a fierce headache.

 

This example consists of one word made up of five morphemes.

 
Source:

Bickford and Daly 1996:Chap. F-3, page 6

Contrast
 

The opposite of a highly agglutinative language is a highly fusional language.


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