Presentation on theme: "AS Linguistics (pilot) Week 2 A taste of language variation."— Presentation transcript:
AS Linguistics (pilot) Week 2 A taste of language variation
How are languages classified? There are 2 main ways: GENETIC – assumes that languages have diverged from a common ancestor.Takes written remains as evidence, reconstructs parent language using comparative method TYPOLOGICAL – groups languages into structural types.- doesn’t assume a historical relationship
Typological:3 main types ANALYTIC – word order shows how words relate to each other grammatically Example: Chinese SYNTHETIC- internal structure of word changes, inflectional endings used. Example: Latin, Greek
3 main types, cont. AGGLUTINATING- words are built up out of a long sequence of units,each unit has a grammatical meaning. Examples: Turkish, Japanese. Finally, some languages mix agglutinating and inflectional features (polysynthetic). examples: Eskimo, some aboriginal languages
So where does that leave English? Genetic classification would say GERMANIC Yet culturally, many similarities with Romance languages Typological classification would say it is like some isolating languages, as English now has few inflections and word order changes are the basis of grammar.