Inflected Language

Inflected Language


a fundamental concept in linguistic typology and the morphological classification of languages, referring to a language in which words are altered or formed chiefly by means of inflection. The concept was introduced in 1809 by F. Schlegel, who used it to describe the Semitic, Georgian, and several Indo-European languages.

Inflected languages are divided into two generally overlapping subclasses—those with internal and those with external inflection. External inflection, in contradistinction to affixation, is characterized by polysemy, as well as by fusion with the stem, which is expressed by alternation at the morpheme boundary. An example of polysemy may be found in the form ruk-oi (“by hand”), where the morpheme -oi indicates feminine gender, singular number, and the instrumental case. Internal inflection refers to positionally unconditioned vowel gradation within morphemes that has grammatical meaning, as in the German geht (“goes”), ging (“went”), der Gang (“a stroll”), or the Arabic thahab-a (“was walking”) and thihāb (“the process of walking”). The mechanism of internal inflection is particularly evident in the morphology of the verb, as in ablaut in German and the verb categories of the Semitic languages. Inflection is almost always combined with other formal modes of expressing meaning.


Sapir, E. lazik. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934. (Translated from English.) Kuznetsov, P. S. Morfologicheskaia klassifikatsiia iazykov. Moscow, 1954.
Reformatskii, A. A. “Aggliutinatsiia i fuziia kak dve tendentsii grammaticheskogo stroeniia slova.” In the collection Morfologicheskaia tipologiia i problema klassifikatsii iazykov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965.


References in periodicals archive ?
Appendices include a discussion of how grammar works in general, how one may successfully study an inflected language, and lists of question words and particular verbs.
It's far more difficult to find examples of garden path sentences in a highly inflected language such as Latin, which uses word endings to indicate parts of speech, case, and so on.
He has changed word order, since English is not an inflected language, omitted the particles, which often denote a tone of voice and so are difficult to translate, and removed many of the epithets, words or phrases that describe a character and in Greek are metrically bound to the name itself.
It has been tested on Catalan, Portuguese, and Russian, and can be applied to any inflected language.
Because Greek is an inflected language, poets writing in it have more syntactical freedom than is permissible in English.
In the eyes of al-Sijzi, this proposition covers up a problematic which he tries to elicit in the rather inflected language of Islamic Aristotelian philosophy.
Since the Croatian language is highly inflected language it was not a trivial task.
By keeping all the clauses in one sentence, Wootton preserves much of the focus and weight of the Latin, although, because English is not an inflected language, the sentence becomes longer (and hence more diffuse).
Part of the Germanic group of Indo - European languages, Old English was a highly inflected language with four major dialect divisions: Kentish, Mercian, Northumbrian, and West Saxon.
At about 6 years of age children become, essentially, linguistic adulst, whether they're speaking a highly inflected language like Lithuanian or an uninflected one like Chinese.
for both black and white American writers, in a wholly racialized society, there is no escape from racially inflected language, and the work writers do to unhobble the imagination from the demands of that language is complicated, interesting, and definitive" (12-13).