Comparative analysis of the English language and other languages

Данная работа даёт сравнительный анализ английского языка с другими языками в области морфологии,лексики и фонетики.

Олимпиады: Английский язык 2 - 11 классы

Содержимое разработки

Управление по образованию администрации

Советского района г.Минска

220013, г.Минск, ул.Я.Коласа, 13, (8017)2928241

Comparative analysis of the English language and other languages

of the world

(Сравнительный анализ английского языка и других языков мира)


Английский язык

Автор: Протько Мария Андреевна,

государственное учреждение образования

«Средняя школа №27 г.Минска»,

XI «А» класс

Дом.адрес: 220002, г.Минск, ул.Старовиленская, 97-78

тел. моб. 8044 7447619

Научный руководитель:

Гулик Алла Вячеславовна,

государственное учреждение образования «Средняя школа №27 г.Минска»,

учитель английского языка

тел. моб. 8029 1692250

Минск, 2019



Humankind is good at inventing. We have invented a lot of useful things throughout our existence. However, the greatest achievement that surrounds us every day is our language.

The science research has proved that all mental processes exist because of the way we communicate, the way we express our thoughts with help of the words – universal symbols. Because of our speaking ability, we think more about the words that surround us. We try to understand them to pass information to others. It had already resulted to our survival as dominated species on the planet “Earth”.

The project is set out to examine the similarities and differences in widespread languages in pattern and to help the representatives of different nations to communicate effectively.

The purpose of the research:

To find out how different languages differ and what is similar between them from the point of view of main categories of linguistics and what caused these differences and similarities.

The tasks of the research:

1. Studying of a special literature on this subject.

2. To observe different solutions of same problems in linguistics of selected languages.

3. To understand and evaluate my findings, to try to find possible explanations of “Why?” and “How?” things are happening.

4. To find out the most extraordinary solutions in expressing human fillings.

The hypothesis: I shall suppose that human languages use the same principals of evolution as living species, such as natural selection, heredity and hybrids.

The problem: what are the distinctive traits of languages that we use in phonetics, syntax, morphology?

The object of research: the most and the least well-known languages from the point of view of linguistics.

The subject of research: the similarities and differences in widespread languages.

The methods of the research: comparatively-typological and contrastive analysis was used according to the aim of the research.

The scientific novelty of the research: the scientific novelty of the research is that research work was conducted to reveal the similarities and differences of languages by using comparatively-typological and contrastive methods.

Practical importance of the research: the opportunity to use the results of this research in process of studying languages, of functional understanding how language works, in lectures on lingua-cultural science, stylistics, speech culture and the culture of communication. It will help to enlarge the student’s outlook.

This research work contains two blocs. The first bloc has four chapters and tells about main language differences, or tactics of creating new words or sentences. Second bloc is concerned with linguistic researches and gives a practical example.

In this research work, I examine:

  1. Human tricks in language creation

  • common and rare sounds

  • main phonology’s inventions (or how to create different words with same letters)

2. How foreign words become ours

3. Historical Linguistics

  • language relation

  • comparative method

4. Morphology

  • morphological typology

  • analytic languages

  • synthetic languages

5. Syntax

6. Conclusion

7. List of references

The language indicates culture, because it is the main element of it. We can easily distinguish Russian from English, Chinese from Spanish. But what about Serbian and Czech. Of course, if you know such languages really well, or at list one of it, you may define it easily, but for ordinary people it will be a guessing game. There are the main reasons why it happens. When languages are connected to one family it is hard to define them by non-users. But what about polyglots? How do they do it? And why are the languages so different, but still have some similarities? In this work the author tried to answer all these questions by revising the process of language evolution, by studying differences and similarities of the most and the least well-known languages (8 languages) in phonetics, morphology and syntax. In carrying out the research, I was interested in the opinions of other scientists (Jay Jasanoff , N. DelBusso ) and I realized that they don’t give the definite answer. However, we find the answer first of all for ourselves, make our own conclusion.

Using the information and the results of this research work the author found out

that human languages use the same principals of evolution as living species, such as natural selection, heredity and hybrids.

The rare and common sounds

When we try to identify the language, we listen to phonemes and allophones as well as the way sounds are placed in a sentence. We try to find some dominant sound which will bring us to the point of understanding what language it is. It is as if we listen to some kind of music and try to identify its genre.

But when languages are connected to one family it is hard to define them by non-users. But how about polyglots? How do they do it? And why are the languages so different, but still have some similarities? To answer these questions we need a short guide to the basis of linguistics. Let us start with main definitions.

Linguistics can be defined as the systematic inquiry into human language—into its structures and uses and the relationship between them, as well as into its development through history. To do it is concerned with the lexical and grammatical categories of individual languages, with differences between one type of language and another, and with historical relations within families of languages.

Like most academic disciplines, linguistics has been divided into numerous overlapping subfields:

Phonetics is the study of the sounds of speech. It includes understanding how sounds are made using the mouth, nose, teeth and tongue, and also understanding how the ear hears those sounds and can contrast them apart. The study of phonetics involves practicing producing (exotic sometimes) sounds, and figuring out which sound you heard. Each sound forms the wave that can be analyzed with the help of computer programs. In sign language, phonetics refers to the possible shapes, movements and use of physical space.

To make a long story shorter people have organized all sounds into tables long before the author of this work.

According to the tables, there are some sounds, which exist in almost all known languages:

































It means that if we want to find out which language we are listening to, we should pay attention to something else, because if there are popular sounds, there must be some outsiders.

Mostly some strange noises come from African languages which nations have been separated from modern world for centuries. They often imitate the sounds of animals, or just clicking and knocking. All Khoisan languages with clicking consonants are placed here:


1, 0%

Bilabial click [ph]


12, 0%

Dental click [tsz]



Alveolar [kh]



Lateral [lh]



Palatal [chh]

We don’t need to know them in our day-by-day routine, even if we were going to the South Africa (the number of all Khoisan native speakers are decreases everyday (only 37 000 speakers in the world for current time)

We have found some rare examples. But what about wide known languages? You will be surprised, but they also have a lot of individuality not only in pronunciation of such sounds as letters ‘r’, ‘l’, ‘a’, and ‘e’ but some unique sounds you’ve never thought of.

In English they have interdental sounds, which often stand out in a sentence (for example this, that, theater). The sounds [ð], [θ] is very rare in use in other languages.

Let us start with Chinese, where we have sounds that only native speaker can correctly pronounce.

([h ~ x])

Varies between h in English hat and ch in Scottish loch.



Similar to English sh, but with an alveolo-palatal (softer) pronunciation



Like an unaspirated English ch, but with an

alveolo-palatal (softer) pronunciation



As above, with aspiration



Similar to ch in English chat,

but with a retroflex articulation and no aspiration



As above, but with aspiration


([ɻ ~ ʐ])[a]

Sim Like initial r in English, but with a retroflex articulation; varies to a sound similar to s in 'Asia' but with retroflex articulation for some speakers.


They are written like ‘j’, ‘q’, ‘x’, but do not be mistaken by these simple letters! ‘j’ sometimes becomes [t(d)(z)-ia]. It is something between these three letters in such combination that only a Chinese can pronounce. There is also the sound [xiang]. But what about a full sentences with it! Try to read this: Qīng qīng shān shàng yī gēn téng – A vine grows on a green mountain. Now you understand.

And the first place among more spread languages is Arabic. It has a big variety of spelling, starting with regular sounds (m, n, k, h), but with their own that are hard for English speakers to pronounce apart. Let us consider what makes them different:



Latin transcription



Latin transcription






th, s, (t)


dh, (z, d)


j, dj, (g)








kh, x




d, dh


q, k, (g, gh)




k, c


z, (zh, dh)




g, gh

The path of creating new words

Phonology makes use of the phonetics in order to see how sounds or signs are arranged in a system for each language. In phonology, it matters whether sounds are contrastive or not, that is, whether substituting one sound for another gives a different, or "contrastive," meaning. For example in English, [r] and [l] are two different sounds and the words "road" and "load" differ according to which of these sounds is used. But in some languages (Japanese), [r] and [l] are variations of the same sound. They could never make a meaning difference in words that differ by only that sound.

The phonologists describe the contrastive consonants and vowels in a language, and how pronunciation is affected by the position of the sound in the word and the sounds that are nearby. They are also interested in syllables, phrases, rhythm, tone, and intonation.

If we speak about the pronunciation, we have come to the most interesting part: if the sounds and their gradation of roles are the skin and bones of a word, then differences in pronunciation are the outfit, the beauty of any language, which adds a cherry on a pie.


Chinese is the great illustration of it. Long time ago they have invented an amazing trick which gave them a billion of new words that are short and easy to pronounce (from point of view of the native speakers, of course).

This wonderful instrument is tone. It can make with simple syllable ‘ma’ five different words: [mā]-mum; [má]-hemp; [mǎ]-horse;[mà]-scold;[ma].

Five tones (the second place after Vietnamese (6 tones) among all Asian languages) make it extremely hard to understand if you don’t have a perfect pitch, or you have heard about tones and their difference. Funny fact: in songs they pronounce it absolutely different because music’s tone requires the following. You can say that meaning of sentence (following lexis) will help us to understand. Maybe, but you will need about an half an hour to finely hit by true meaning of the word ‘mai’ and then you will say “Gosh! He wasn’t buying that car! He was selling it!” ([mǎi] and [mài] – buy and sell).

However, there is more interesting example that illustrates the perfectness of such thing as tone. Who would have thought that syllable “shi” could have so many meanings!











Shí shì shī shì Shī Shì, shì shī, shì shí shí shī.

Shì shí shí shì shì shì shī.

Shí shí, shì shí shī shì shì.

Shì shí, shì Shī Shì shì shì.

Shì shì shì shí shī, shì shǐ shì, shǐ shì shí shī shì shì.

Shì shí shì shí shī shī, shì shí shì.

Shí shì shī, Shì shǐ shì shì shí shì.

Shí shì shì, Shì shǐ shì shí shì shí shī.

Shí shí, shǐ shí shì shí shī shī, shí shí shí shī shī.

Shì shì shì shì.

In a stone den, a poet called Shi Shi, who was a lion addict, and had resolved to eat ten lions.

He often went to the market to look for lions.

At ten o’clock, ten lions had just arrived at the market.

At that time, Shi had just arrived at the market.

He saw those ten lions, and using his trusty arrows, caused the ten lions to die.

He brought the corpses of the ten lions to the stone den.

The stone den was damp. He asked his servants to wipe it.

After the stone den was wiped, he tried to eat those ten lions.

When he ate, he realized that these ten lions were in fact ten stone lion corpses.

Try to explain this matter.


How else can we make words different but still easy to pronounce? The second solution is stress. The genius idea is to make the volume and clearness of a syllable its distinctive part.

Many languages use it to combine sounds in more beautiful manner, and the length of pauses between words. It is used for a huge range of other functions, not only word building and beauty. Such as indicating the attitudes and emotions of the speaker, signaling the difference between statements and questions, and between different types of questions, focusing attention on important elements of the spoken message and helping to regulate conversational interaction.

Let us bring two close but pretty distant examples of stress usage in a language.

As native speakers of Russian, we all know how hard it can be sometimes to determine the placement of the stress in a word. We do not have any rules of its usage, so you must learn by heart all not typical cases since your birth to be considered as an educated person. You will never say such words different, because it is wrong: КрасИвее, завИдно, каталОг – but still, if you say кАталог – nothing will change, that is why it is so hard to master.

The stress in Russian also plays a distinctive role: замОк и зАмок, вИски и вискИ, мУка и мукА. It is not new for us. You will be surprised, but Russian is not the leader in use of stress. Spanish has taken all of advantages it could.

The stress is so important in it, that Spanish has an independent sign for it in their writing system: á – this sign or ‘akut’ has a huge power in changing the meaning:

No entiendo cómo lo hace. (I don’t understand how he does this.)

No sé qué hacer. (I don’t know what to do.)

El chico que dijo eso es mentiroso. (The boy who said that is a fibber.)

In Spanish, the stress changes more close meanings of the words, so it is important to pronounce them right:

De (from somewhere)

(form of word ‘dar’ – give)

Mas (but, however)

más (more)

se (indirect pronoun)

(I know)

si (if)


te (to you)


tu (yours)


el (article of masculine (мужской род)

él (он)


The third solution on a long way of human self-expression is the length of vowels in a word. Everyone knows that “pan” and “pen”, “ship” and “seep” are different in pronunciation and it changes the meaning. “Man” and “men” are plural and singular forms of one word.

English is often overuses the length of words, especially when we compare it with Japanese. It just does not have a difference in length of words, every syllable pronounced with equal amount of time: すみません [sumimasen] - _._._._ (to show the length we will use this pattern). That is why it is called “mora-timed language”, while English is “stress-timed”, which syllables are often pronounced more like these: _._.__._._ (opportunity).

We have found a lot of interesting ways of illustration of human creativity. Who would have thought about such huge varieties of expression tools which can create lexical unites.

The thing is that even if we try during all our life to learn some not-native language, we will never achieve a sight of true perfection. There are so many details we should find and understand. Many examples with immigrants have shown that while they have almost forgotten their native language they still use some traces from it. And it is not only with sentence building, but with sounds.

English is the language of international relations worldwide, and it can show us many clues about its speakers, because of differences in stress. We will detect Russian, Japanese, Chinese and American if only let them speak. We can find out the nation eventually, but it also depends on fluency of the speakers and your attention. For example, people from the UK can distinguish different accents of their own, home language and then know very well what part of the country person has come from: Southern England, East London – Cockney; Northern England, Liverpool (Scouser) - Lancashire or Northern English; West Midlands, Birmingham - British (UK); Newcastle - North Eastern English.

How foreign words become ours

Indeed, the ongoing struggle between languages is a process very similar to evolution. A word, like a gene, will travel and prevail according to its usefulness. A word's fitness to survive may derive from being attached to a desirable new invention or substance, or simply from being an amusing or useful concept.

'Aspirin', coined in 1899 by its German inventor from the opening letters of Acetylirte Spirsäure (acetylated spiraeic acid), immediately became an international word. In a less serious context the word 'snob' (first given its present meaning in English in the mid-19th century) is naturalized in a great many languages now.

As with evolution, the development of language is an irresistible force - though traditionalists invariably attempt to build barriers against change. The useful word 'hopefully' (long available to Germans as hoffentlich, and with the meaning 'it is to be hoped that') has in recent years been steamrollered into the English language by the public against howls of protest from the purists.

On a grander scale, the French government from time to time legislates ineffectually against English words straying into French. These are the hybrids described as franglais. A good example of their impertinence is the enticing notice on a tweed jacket seen in a Parisian shop window: Très snob, presque cad (very snob, almost cad).

There were examples from the nearest past. But people have been stealing good words such as they steal jewelry and ideas for centuries. There are more examples and we can easily track them. These words do not fit into the basic rules of word formation, or so-called “sound laws.”

One of the first sound laws to be discovered was the Germanic consonant shift (“Grimm’s Law”), which converted earlier voiceless stops to voiceless fricatives (cf. Sanskrit trayas : English three), voiced stops to voiceless stops (Skt. dvau : Eng. two), and “voiced aspirates” to plain voiced stops in Germanic (Skt. bhra ¯tar- : Eng. brother). As more and more sound changes were studied, an important generalization emerged: if the language-specific phonetic environment for a given sound change was satisfied, the change took place; otherwise it did not. The change of voiceless stops to voiceless fricatives in Germanic, for example, always applied word-initially and after vowels and sonants, but never after stops or fricatives (Skt. star- : Eng. strew, not **sthrew). The global claim that “sound change is regular,” or that “sound laws have no exceptions,” was first made by the German “Neogrammarian” (Junggrammatiker) school in the late 1870’s and has been accepted in some form ever since. It can be considered the fundamental theorem of historical linguistics.

The principle of regularity is not falsified by the phenomenon of “analogy” — the type of change in which a form is altered under the influence of a related word or pattern elsewhere in the language. The English ordinal number ‘sixth’, for example, goes back to an ancestral form containing the cluster -kst- (compare the Latin cognate sextus), with a -t- that should not, according to the regular conditioning of Grimm’s Law (see above), have shifted to -th after the fricative -s-. But the -th of the present-day English word has nothing to do with any failure of Grimm’s Law to operate correctly. In fact, the Old English form was siexta, with -t-; the -th of sixth was introduced under the influence of the other ordinal numbers, where -th was phonologically regular (fourth, seventh, etc.).

Sound change and analogy, the latter typically invoked to repair morphophonemic irregularities induced by the former, were the distinctive analytic tools of classical historical linguistics. Syntactic and semantic changes were also of interest to many scholars, but the power of the regularity principle gave sound change a fascination that no other aspect of the field could equal.

Historical linguistics

It was said that necessity is the mother of any invention. Long ago people invented better ways of communication, learnt how to create sounds and then arranged them in sentences, but why have they so many differences in languages if they were built using the same principals?

People are not so different in the ways they think, so why have they created so many solutions of the same problems? Or maybe they haven’t?

In nature, we have many copied structures; it is seen especially on molecular level. We have the same cells for every living being, the same genetic code, consisting only with four basic elements. This structure of life becomes more complex with every step of its development.

Can we assume that the same process takes place in languages throughout their development? If we look through their evolution, we can find main parts that we have got from our ancestors.

Historical Linguistics is the study of how languages have changed over time. Some changes happen because of slow (maybe incremental) changes within the language, such as in pronunciation or in the meaning of a word. Other changes happen because of contact with speakers of other languages. The most well-known example of this is "borrowing". But language contact can cause other types of changes as well. It can be interesting to compare phonology, syntax and word lists of similar or geographically close languages to see how close they are. Some linguists then use this information to figure out the past of the languages, such as when two languages split from each other. Combined with other known facts about the speakers of a language, it can lead to important discoveries about their history.

It was already said that all languages are related, but without a consistent prove it is just an empty sound. Firstly, we should get acquainted with the meaning of such term as ‘language relation’ and ‘language families’.

The statement that languages are related means that they represent changed forms of a single parent language or “protolanguage,” which may or may not be directly attested. The common parent of the Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian, etc.), which could be called “Proto-Romance,” is one of the relatively few cases of a protolanguage that is well-documented; we usually call it Latin. On the other hand, the common ancestor of the Germanic languages (English, German, Swedish, etc.) was never recorded in writing; everything we know about Proto-Germanic must be recovered by inference from the surviving daughter languages. This is also true of Proto-Slavic (the common parent of Russian, Polish, Czech, etc.), Proto-Semitic (the common parent of Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, etc.), and hundreds of others. The technique by which we reconstruct the words and grammar of a protolanguage by projecting backwards from its daughters is called the “comparative method.” In the domain of phonology, where sound change is constrained by the regularity principle, comparative reconstruction can be as rigorous as solving an equation. The Greek, Sanskrit, and Latin words for “five” (pénte, páñca, and quinque, respectively), for example, allow us to specify the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) form uniquely as *pénkwe. The initial consonant of the PIE form could only have been *p-, which can be shown from other words to have assimilated to a following -qu- in Latin. In the second syllable, *-kwe is the only PIE sequence that would have yielded Gk. -te, Skt. -ca, and Lat. -que; of the other imaginable choices, PIE *-kwe would have given Skt. **-kva, PIE *-ke would have given Gk. **-ke/Lat. **-ce, and PIE *-te would have given Lat. **-te/Skt. **-ta. Careful and consistent use of this procedure affords a window on three millennia of the unrecorded prehistory of Greek, Sanskrit, and Latin.

Families of related languages, including Indo-European and its main branches, were discovered long before the principle of regularity of sound change. But informal inspection is not usually a reliable way to tell whether languages are related. The longer two languages have diverged, the harder it is to distinguish inherited lexical and grammatical features from accidental resemblances, borrowing effects, and typologically driven convergences. To prove genetic relationship we must be able to point to correspondences that could only have come about through common descent. In inflected languages, these may be shared morphological irregularities, such as the peculiar paradigm of the verb “to be” in Latin (est ‘is’ : sunt ‘are’), Gothic (ist : sind), and Sanskrit (asti : santi). More usually, relationship is proved by finding systematic phonological correspondences attributable to regular sound change. The deepest securely identifiable families are c. 6000-8000 years old. PIE and Proto-Uralic (the ancestor of Finnish, Hungarian, etc.) are usually dated to around 4000 BCE; Proto-Afro-Asiatic, the parent of Proto-Semitic, Ancient Egyptian, and various African groups, is appreciably older. Other deep families include Austronesian and Sino-Tibetan in Asia, Niger-Congo in Africa, Ritwan-Algonkian (“Algic”) in North America, and Pama-Nyungan in Australia, among many others. The enterprise known as “long-range comparison,” which seeks to link families like these in yet larger groupings of immense antiquity (e.g., “Nostratic,” “Amerind”), is regarded as methodologically unsound by most practicing historical linguists

Comparative method

How do people find out the related languages? Therefore, they use comprehensive methods on lexis of close enough languages. For example, there were a research of Asian language families, such as Chinese, Thai, to track their development, and find their connections. For those aims the linguistics have chosen several dialects to find some common words.

They explored the dialects of Beijing, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Meixian (so called ‘hakka’). The researchers have taken the list of about 200 words and compared them with other dialects. Then they have counted percentage of matches:




















The conclusion is that lexical matches between Chinese dialects are the same as between Slavic, Romance, Germanic or Turkic languages, but they are completely different families! The dates of creation of dialects are between II, X, XII, XIV or (if we count with more words) III, XI, XII, XIII centuries. If we add 100 new words in our list we will add 100 years of development in our list, and it is an unshakable fact.

Chinese is not the only example. It had separated from Chines (Himalayan and Tibeto-Burmese groups) in about XXXIV century (counting with years of BC). After such huge period, connection between Thai languages became the same as in dialects of Chinese:


Yunnan tai

White tai








Yunnan tai




White tai





Languages are very different in their lexis, morphology and phonetics, but there are some similar things in every language. It is four parts of speech, such as an adjective, a verb, a noun and an adverb. But, why is it so?

N.I.Marr is thinking that development of a language is connected with its passing trough different lines of stages and special norms of thinking. We mean a different timeline of origins of syntax units, such as verbs that are on the last place, about classes and genders in the system of sentences, about four elements that exist in every language syntax morphology, functional separation parts of speech and its development in social nature.

The conclusion of this part can have this summary: the essential part of a language is syntax – all other categories exist like technics for its right and full use.

The growth of lexical material at first use different processes and psychology.

And this is explained here: Language starts not with sounds and words, but with sentence, sentence which are showing an active thought and then, while parts of a sentence are getting clearer, it becomes passive, because the placement of freshly dedicated parts are widely fallowed and known.

There had not been any parts of speech. Verbs, nouns and adjectives were slowly selected by their meanings and then got placement in sentence hierarchy. It explains why every language has for main parts of a sentence, but their roles in sentences are different.

Back then words were created without using affixes and other morphemes; it was some almost random combination between sounds and the fallowing actions. Then there have started relationships between different nations and word-formation we all know. But it is very hard to find words origins. For this we should know the basis of word formation. It is the reason why morphology is included in this work.


Morphology examines how individual words are formed with smaller chunks of meaningful units called morphemes. For example, the English word 'untied' is really made up of three parts, one refers to the process of reversing (un-), one indicates the action of twisting strings together, and the last indicates that the action happened in the past (-d). Many languages have a much more complex way of combining words together. Morphology interacts in important ways with both phonology (bringing sounds together can cause them to change) and syntax, which needs to pay attention to the form of a word when it combines it with other words.

The study of morphological types can shed light on both the diversity and similarity of languages. By examining the different types, we can recognize the ways in which languages contrast between categories, and compare within them.

Morphological Typology

Languages can be classified into groups based on a number of different linguistic criteria. One such way to categorize languages is by the type and extent of morphology that they use. For example, some languages string many morphemes together while others languages tend to realize most words as independent or mono-morphemic segments. The latter type of language is called analytic and the former is called synthetic. This typology should be seen not as a strict dichotomy between analytic and synthetic, but rather as a scale on which languages can be placed depending on the degree to which they exhibit that type of morphology. Some languages may display different types of morphology in different areas of their grammars and thus it is best to see languages as tending towards a type, rather than strictly adhering to a single one.

Analytic Languages

Analytic languages are also called isolating languages because each word tends to consist of a single, independent morpheme. Such languages do not make use of affixes, and grammatical markers, for features like tense and case, are generally realized as unattached morphemes. Analytical languages are most common in Southeast Asia (Chinese, Vietnamese), but some such languages are also found among the Austronesian languages (Fijian, Tongan) and some Niger-Congo languages (Gbe, Yoruba). Vietnamese provides an example of this type if language:


1. nose khong doc sach he FUT NEG read book ‘he will not read book’

2. to: den nha ban to: I come house friend I ‘I come to my friend’s house’

In the first example, the person and the tense are not marked as affixes on the verb, but stand as separate morphemes preceding it. In the second example, the possessive is not marked on the noun as in English (‘friend’s’), and the first person pronoun does not have a different form in a subject position (nominative case) than it does a possessor position (genitive case). Because of this, strict adherence to a certain word order is necessary, and is in fact a common feature of analytical languages. If case and other grammatical functions are not marked on words, than only order can assure the correct interpretation. In (2) above, the order of ‘house’ and ‘friend’ determined which possessed the other; had the order been reversed, the resulting structure would have referred to the (semantically implausible) house’s friend. Another example comes from Fijian, in which strict adherence to a VOS word order allows for the correct interpretation:

Fijian: ea taya na gone na yalewa PAST hit the child the girl ‘the girl hit the child’

However, some isolating languages do mark subjects and objects though they do so through the use of separate morphemes rather than affixes. Tongan employs such markers before the noun (bolded in the example):

Tongan: PAST hit SUB Hina OBJ Vaka ‘Hina hit Vaka’

Therefore, it can be seen that while isolating languages make little use of some morphological processes, they are nonetheless quite capable of showing grammatical relationships.

Synthetic languages

Synthetic languages differ from analytic ones in that they string several morphemes together into multi-morphemi abundant use of such morphological processes as affixation and compounding. There are several degrees of synthesis seen in languages, from those that combine only a few morphemes to those in which an entire sentence can be expressed by a multy-morphemic words. Languages of this type make abundant use of such morphological processes as affixation and compounding.

There are several degrees of synthesis seen in languages, from those that combine only a few morphemes to those in which an entire sentence can be expressed by a multi-morphemic word. Languages of the latter type are called polysynthetic languages and are sometimes seen as comprising their own separate morphological class. Many Native American, Siberian, Caucasian, and northern Australian languages are classified as polysynthetic, including Inuktitut, Mohawk, Central Siberian Yupik, Cherokee, Chukchi, and Tiwi. The examples below show that the comparable English translation requires several separate words:

Mohawk: wa’- k- akya’tawitsher- u:n:

PAST-1sg- dress- make

I made a dress.’

Tiwi: ngi- rru- unthing- apu- kani

I- PAST- for sometime- eat- repeatedly ‘I kept on eating’

The category of synthetic languages can be further subdivided into two types: agglutinating and fusional. In agglutinating languages, each morpheme expresses a single meaning, and several can be strung together. Such a languages might mark tense with one morpheme, person with another, and aspect with a third, leading to a build-up of such morphemes on the stem Examples of this type of language include Turkish (Altaic), Hungarian and Finnish (Uralic), Swahili (Bantu) and Japanese and Korean. The following Turkish example shows different markers for number, possession, and location.

Turkish: ev- ler- im- de house- pi- my- in ‘in my houses’

An example from Swahili shows agglutination in verbal morphology. Markers for person, tense, and object are realized as separate morphemes on the stem:

Swahili: a- li- ni- oenda

he- PAST- me- like ‘he liked me’

Agglutinating languages can produce some very long words from the concatenation of morphemes, each with its own function.

In contrast to agglutinating languages, in fusional or inflectional languages single morphemes simultaneously combine or fuse several meanings in one form. Indo-European languages are familiar examples of this type. For instance, in the verbal morphology of many such languages, tense, person, and number are realized as a single affix on the verb, as in the following example:

Spanish: habl—о

speak-1 .sg.PRES ‘I speak’

habl—as - ‘you speak’

habl—a -speak-3sg.PRES ‘he/she speaks’

Fusional morphology can also be seen in case markings, as in the example below from Russian. Here, the affixes

on knig, ‘book,’ indicate both case and number in a single, fused morpheme (in some instances, the same marker is used for multiple forms in the paradigm): Russian:






















Despite the differences between them, both agglutinating and fusional languages, as synthetic languages, share another characteristic in common: a freer word order. This is due to the fact that such languages often mark features such as case and person directly on words and so are not dependent on word order to correctly interpret a sentence; the morphology provides the necessary information. Consider the following Latin example, which carries the same meaning regardless of word order:

Latin: 1) agricul- a puell-as vldit farmer- NOM girl- ACC saw|

the farmer saw the girl’

2) puell-as agricul- a vldit girl- ACC farmer- NOM saw , ‘the farmer saw the girl’

3) vldit puell- as agricul- a saw girl- ACC farmer- NOM ‘the farmer saw the girl

As it was written before, syntax is the main part of language development; it was the oldest part of our speech, so logical beginning of all differences in morphology starts with it:

Syntax is the study of how phrases, clauses and sentences are constructed and combined in particular languages. Writing a grammar requires defining the rules that govern the structure of the sentences of the language. Such rules involve both the order of words, and the form of words in their various possible positions. There are common patterns among even unrelated languages, and many linguists believe this is the result of general principles which apply to most, if not all, languages. For example, languages where the direct object generally follows the verb have a lot of things in common. In contrast to the things in common held by languages in which the direct object generally precedes the verb (example: Japncese, with its non-noun sentences, English, where meaning is absolutely lost if you swap such basic parts as verbs, nouns and adjectives, and Russian, when you can do what you want and it will be understandable)

For example, English is an SVO language. This means that sentences in English follow the formula Subject-Verb-Object. Sentences need to follow this pattern or else the meaning of the sentence changes or the sentence won’t make sense.

Consider the following:

John ate a doughnut.

*A doughnut ate John.

Here the second sentence is nonsensical.

Thomas hit Sam.

Sam hit Thomas.

Here the second sentence does not have the same meaning as the first sentence.

The languages that follow the SVO formula include the Romance languages –Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese, Bulgarian, Chinese and Swahili.

Other languages follow a slightly different formula: SOV, or Subject-Object-Verb. This includes Korean, Turkish, Punjabi and Tamil. In SOV languages, a sentence such as this is grammatically correct:

She the book read

Then there are VSO languages that construct sentences Verb-Subject-Object. Arabic is one such language, which follows this pattern, as illustrated by this sentence:

Ate she bread.

This basic sentence building is leading in expressing same actions of fillings. Here the example:

Russian: ‘В комнату вошёл человек

English: “A person entered the room,”

Russian: “Человек вошёл в комнату”

English: “The person entered the room.”

One problem and two completely different solutions: how to show something more specific, something that both listener and speaker know? English decided to use articles, while Russian has invented free word order.

The same tendency are traced everywhere. It can be in different solution of time showing (change the old word or include new one), in different particles and prepositions, but still, there are no meaning that we could not express. Of course, some languages offer more short solution of the same problems (Portuguese: “Tenho saudades tuas”, while in English “I’m having some filling of sadness and missing due to you”)


We all are people. We have the same problems and the same fillings we struggle to express. The differences begin in instruments we use to get a result we want. Someone thinks something more important is in his version of the story while other choses something reversal. There are no bad or good solutions, but there are just different aims.

We can’t be absolutely sure about time of creation some languages, rather we can’t say which words are truly belong to our native language, but, we still can literally hear the character of a person while he speaks. All speakers of a language bring something into it from their mind. It can be shown with help of proverbs and sayings, some catchy phrases you or your acquaintance always say, with some stresses and dialects, some words you pronounce and say your own way. Each native speaker develops his language, makes it different. It is the path of evolution, and a true beauty is hidden in its simplicity.

List of references:

  1. О.С.Широков «Языковедение. Введение в науку о языках» / М.: Добросвет, 2003

  2. Encyclopedia of the modern student / -Machaon, 2009

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