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Entertainment / Literature / Agglutinative: (from Latin, 'glued to') In a now outdated linguistic classification, an agglutinative language was any language with complicated but (for the most part) regular derivational forms (Algeo 311)--especially those based on single-syllable morphemes. This term or classifaction first appeared in 1836 in the linguistic theories of Wilhelm von Humboldt. Agglutinative languages were thought to include Turkish, Basque, Hungarian, and many Tibeto-Burman languages. These were were originally thought to be more 'advanced' or 'developed' than isolating languages like Chinese in which every word was formed by distinct monosyllables. On the other hand, agglutatinative languages were thought to be more primitive than incorporative or inflective languages such as Eskimo and Latin, respectively. Modern historical, linguistic, and anthropological findings have largely demolished the earlier arguments. The primary problem is that this classification depends upon the assumption that primitive languages tend to be formed from monosyllables, and advanced languages were thought to become gradually polysyllabic. However, many language like Chinese may have grown more monosyllabic over a process of thousands of years, for instance, disproving this idea.
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