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the predominance of words of one syllable in a language. In such languages, monosyllabism usually occurs in conjunction with polytonic stress and a fixed sentence word order. However, these structural characteristics may serve only as the basis for a typological, not a genealogical, classification of languages. Monosyllabism is characteristic of many, but not all, of the Sino-Tibetan languages (such as ancient Chinese) and the Kwa languages.