7. The Classification of languages Languages can be classified in 2 ways: according to their genetic relationships: members are assumed to have descended from the same ancestor language (texts written in this lang. have been preserved) or it may be a reconstructed protolanguage (no original text). According to their structural characteristics (similar patterns and grammatical rules). Genetic classification: The world’s lang.-es (4000-8000) can be grouped into a relatively small number of lang. families. Difficulties of genetic classification: - not enough or too much data; indicators of genetic relationship often drop our of lang.s. Indo-European family: number of lang.s. approx. 100- it is quite a small lang. family. It has 9 branches: Germanic (East Gmc. (Gothicextinct);North Gmc. Or Scandinavian: Icelandic, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian); West Gmc. (German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Frisian, English), Celtic (Continental Gaulish -been extinct for long time; Insular Brythonic (Welsh, Breton, Cornish) & Goidelic (Irish/Irish Gaelc, Scots Gaelic); Italic (Eastern: Italian, Rumenian; Western Ibero Romance: Spanish, Portugese, Catalan; Gallo Romance: French); Hellenic (Greek), Albanian, Armenian , Baltic (Latvian, Lithuanian), Slavic (East: Russian, Ukranian, Byelorussian; South: Slovenian, Serbocroatian, Macedonian, Bulgarian; West: Czech, Slovak, Polish, Serbian), Indo-Iranian (Iranian, Indic, Gypsy). Typological classification: according to their structural characterisctics, patterns that occur in most human languages. Phonology: Vowel systems: most lang.s have 5 different vowels: 2 high (i, u); 2 mid (e, o); 1 low(a)- most commonly occuring vowel phoneme. Consonant systems: not on the basis of the number; all lang.s. have stops (p, t, k), most common fricative (s), every lang has at least 1 nasal phoneme (n), most lang. has a liquid phoneme (l). Prosodic /suprasegmental type: . Lang.s, in which pitch distinctions are phonemic, are called tone languages. Tones are of 2 types: level tones and contour tones. Syllabic structures: All lang.s permit V & CV syllable structure (V=syllabic element, C=non-syllabic element). These structures are assumed to be unmarked, since they appear in all lang.s. If a lang. permits sequences of consonants in a syllable onset, then it will also permit single consonants or zero consonants in the onset. If a lang. permits C sequences in a syllable coda, then it will permit single consonants in a coda. Morphology: Combining morphemes to form words 4 types of systems, although no lg. fits any of these types perfectly. Isolating (or analytic) type: the words of the lg. consist of a single morpheme. Categories such as number & tense are usually expressed by a free morpheme (=a separate word). E. g.: Mandarin. Agglutinating type: the lg. makes use of words containing 2 or more morphemes (=a root + 1 or more affixes). Each affix is clearly identifiable & characteristically encodes a single grammatical contrast. E.g.: Turkish. Fusional type: words in a ~ or an inflectional lg. are also complex. Fusional affixes often mark several grammatical categories simultaneously. E.g.: Russian. Polysynthetic type: in a ~ lg. long strings of affixes or bound forms are united into single words, which may translate as an entire sentence in English. The use of portmanteau morphemes is common. E.g.: Inuktitut, Cree, Sarcee. Syntax: Study of word order: 3 most common word orders: SOV, SVO & VSO. All these place the subject before the Od. Subject: usually encodes the topic. (SOV Turkish; SVO Eng.; VSO Welsh.) If a lg. has VSO word order, then it will have prepositions rather than postpositions. If a lg. has SOV word order, then it will probably have postpositions rather than prepositions. In lg.-es with VSO order, adj.-es & relative clauses usually follow the N that they modify. Lg.-es with SOV order will usually place both adj.-s & relative cl.-es before the N they modify.