Agglutinating language

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In agglutinating languages ( Latin: agglutinare “to stick”), the grammatical function, for example person , time , case , is identified by adding affixes ( agglutination ). The agglutinating linguistic structure is a subspecies of the synthetic language structure in the language typology of Wilhelm von Humboldt and August Wilhelm Schlegel .

The agglutinating languages ​​are opposed to the fusional languages , which fuse different grammatical categories through affixes . The difference between agglutinating and fusional languages ​​is not sharp. Purely agglutinating or purely fusional languages ​​are rare.

Examples of agglutination

The Finnish word form taloissani 'in my houses' can be broken down as follows:

  • talo 'house' + i (plural) + ssa ( inessive , 'in') + ni (indicates possession by a 1st person singular: 'my').
    The plural is not always formed with the affix - i -: talotalot 'the houses'.

The Hungarian grammar follows the same principle:

  • ház 'house' → házam 'my house' → házaim 'my houses' → házaimban 'in my houses'.
    Here, too, the plural is not always formed with the affix - i -: házházak 'houses' → házakban 'in houses'.

Likewise in Turkish :

  • ev 'house' → evler 'houses' → evlerim ' my houses' → evlerimde, in my houses'
  • Other forms: evleri (depending on the context 'houses', accusative but also 'his / her' houses, nominative), evlerimi 'my houses' (accusative)

Types of Affixes

Most agglutinating languages ​​use suffixes .

Khasi (a Mon Khmer language ) uses only prefixes and prepositions . Compare: nga leit 'I'm going' - nga la leit 'I went' - nga la lah leit 'I was gone'.

Hattic , Sumerian , Burushaski, and the Maya languages employ prefixes , suffixes, and even infixes .

Agglutinating Languages

Good examples of agglutinating languages ​​are Basque , Georgian , Japanese , Korean , Turkic languages , Chechen , the Dravidian languages , the Uralic languages (e.g. Finnish , Estonian , Hungarian ), Guaraní , Quechua , Aymara , Inuktitut , Swahili , Malay . Even Esperanto , Klingon and a number of other constructed languages belong to this category.

Examples from earlier history include most of the Middle Eastern languages, such as Elamite , Hurrian , Urartian , Guti , Lullubi , Kassite, and Sumerian .

The agglutinating languages ​​can only partially be grouped according to language families , for example Finnish and Hungarian are related to each other ( Finno-Ugric languages ). Sometimes elements of agglutination are based on contact with neighboring languages. The New Persian language is often counted among the agglutinating languages ​​and thus represents an exception within the Iranian languages . The agglutination in New Persian is probably due to the influence of other languages.

Agglutinative languages ​​tend to have a high number of affixes / morphemes per word and a high degree of regularity. For example, Japanese only knows three irregular verbs (see irregular Japanese verbs ).


  • Harald Haarmann: Basics of the language typology. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart a. a. 1976, esp. Pp. 54-59, ISBN 3-17-002486-8

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Agglutinating building blocks of the Hungarian language
  2. ^ Language Profile: Farsi (see IV. Morphology). Associates in Cultural Exchange

Web links

Wiktionary: agglutinating  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Agglutination  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: agglutinating language  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations