Languages

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ESSENTIALS OF
COMPARATIVE LINGUISTICS
BRANCHES OF COMPARATIVE
LINGUISTICS
Comparative Linguistics
phonetical
lexical
morpholog
ical, and
syntactic
ASPECTS OF COMPARATIVE
LINGUISTICS
COMPARATIVE
LINGUISTICS
synchronical
diachronical
PRACTICAL AIMS OF COMPARATIVE
LINGUISTICS
1) translation practice;
2) compiling dictionaries;
3) teaching foreign languages.
METHODS OF COMPARATIVE LINGUISTIC
RESEARCH
SPECIFIC METHODS:
1)
2)
contrastive;
historical and
comparative.
OTHER METHODS:
1) descriptive; 2) experimental;
3)
statistic;
4)
transformational;
5)
substitutional; 6) intermediate
and
ultimate
constituents
analysis;
7)
inductive
(comparing language data on
the ground of certain criteria);
8) deductive (working out
criteria
for
comparison)
methodology.
TERMINOLOGY OF COMPARATIVE
LINGUISTIC RESEARCH
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Language Universals
Language Type
Typological dominant features
Typological recessive features
Isomorphic (common) and allomorphic (divergent) features
Metalanguage
An Etalon Language
A World Language
Artificial Languages
Language Norm
Speech Norm
History of Comparative Linguistics
the end of the 18th century up to the middle of the
19th century, which is called the beginning of
comparative research;
 the end of the 19th century – the period of
neogrammarian studies, when linguists started
comparing living languages;
 the beginning of the 20th century up to the present
– the period of structural and functional
approaches to language.

W. von Humboldt’s Classification of
Languages
 isolating (like Chinese);
 agglutinative (like Turkish);
 flexional (like Russian, Ukrainian);
 incorporating (languages of American
Indians).
LANGUAGE
CLASSIFICATIONS
NUMBER OF SPEAKERS
(estimated statistics in the early 1980-s)
Indo-European
 Sino-Tibetan
 Niger-Congo
 Afro-Asiatic
 Ausronesian
 Dravidian
 Japanese
 Altaic
 Austro-Asiatic
 Korean
 Tai
 Nilo-Saharan
 Amerindian
 Uralic
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2,000,000,000
1,040,000,000
260,000,000
230,000,000
200,000,000
140,000,000
120,000,000
90,000,000
60,000,000
50,000,000
50,000,000
30,000,000
25,000,000
23,000,000
THE INDO-EUROPEAN FAMILY
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The Indo-Iranian Group
The Baltic Group
The Slavic Group
The Hellenic group
The Romance Group
The Germanic Group
The Celtic Group
The Albanian Language
The Armenian Language
THE SLAVIC LANGUAGES
GROUPS
Western
Polish, Czech,
Slovak, Sorbian,
and Kashubian
Southern
Eastern
Bulgarian, Serbian,
Croatian,
Macedonian, and
Slovene
Russian, Ukrainian,
and Byelorussian
THE GERMANIC LANGUAGES
GROUPS
Western
Northern
Eastern
English, German,
Dutch, Flemish,
Afrikaans, Yiddish,
and Frisian
Swedish, Danish,
Norwegian,
Icelandic, and
Faeroese
Gothic
(dead)
TABLE OF TYPOLOGICAL FEATURES
(according to V. Skalichka)
TYPES OF LANGUAGES
(morphological classification)
agglutinative ;
 inflecting (fusion);
 isolating ;
 polysynthetic;
 introflexional (Arabic, Hebrew).
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Agglutinative Languages
Words are built up out of a long sequence of units, with each unit
expressing a particular grammatical meaning, in a clear one-to-one
way, e.g., one for each category of person, number, tense, voice, and
mood. Affixes may be “glued” to the stem of word to add to its
meaning or to show its grammatical function, e.g., in Swahili
wametulipa “they have paid us” consists of
wa
+ me
+ tu +lipa
they perfective us pay
marker
Languages which are highly agglutinative include Finnish, Hungarian,
Japanese, Swahili, and Turkish, although there is no clear-cut
distinction between agglutinative, inflecting, and isolating languages.
Inflecting (fusion) Languages
The form of a word is changed to show a shift in meaning
or grammatical function. Often there is no clear distinction
between the basic part of the word and the part which
shows a grammatical function such as number or tense.
For e.g.: mice (= mouse + plural); came (= come + past
tense). Greek, Latin, English, Russian, and Ukrainian are
inflecting languages, though English is analytical, whereas
other languages mentioned are synthetical (with more
inflections and fewer auxiliaries).
ANALYTICAL & SYNTHETICAL LANGUAGES
SYNTHETICAL LANGUAGES
Grammatical meaning is
synthesized with the lexical one
within the word form. Grammatical
meaning is realized by means of
inflections and word-forming
affixes, sound interchange (ablaut),
and suppletivity.
ANALYTICAL LANGUAGES
Lexical meaning is realized by
notional words, while grammatical –
by auxiliaries, word order, and
intonation. Analytization is extremely
intensive and is manifested in the
functional synonymy of caseinflections, reduction of the nounparadigm, word-order fixation,
predominance of adjoinment in wordphrase relations, abundance of
paradigmatic forms (Continuous,
Perfect, Perfect Continuous),
predominance of conversion,
postposition formation and phrasing
among word-building patterns,
abundance of function-words.
Isolating Languages
They lack inflexions. Word forms do not change, and in which
grammatical functions are shown by word order and the use of
function words, e. g. in Mandarin Chinese:
júzi
wõ chi le
orange I eat (function word)
“I ate the orange”
wõ chî le júzi le
I eat (f.w.) orange (f.w.)
“I ate an orange”
Languages, which are highly isolating include Chinese, Samoan, and
Vietnamese.
Polysynthetic (Incorporating)
Languages
Different parts of the utterance are united in the form of
amorphous word-stems (roots). Their unity gets auxiliary
elements. Compound words look like sentences. Words are
very long, containing a mixture of agglutinative and
inflectional features. In Tiwi ngirruunthingapukani (‘I kept
on eating’) is:
ngi – rru – unthing – apu – kani
I past tense for some time eat repeatedly
Chukot, Eskimo, Papuan, and the languages of American
Indians & Australian aborigines possess such features.
SYNTACTIC CLASSIFICATION OF LANGUAUGES
(I. I. Meshchaninov’s classification)
1) passive;
2) nominative;
3) ergative .
PHONETIC CLASSIFICATION OF LANGUAGES
(O. Isachenko’s Classification)
 Vocalic Languages;
 Consonantal Languages.
LANGUAGE CHANGE
REASONS
INTERNAL
Democratic
Society;
Learning;
Printing;
Mass
media;
Language contacts.
EXTERNAL
Communication;
Expressive
&
information functions;
Language norm;
Language potential.
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