Incorporating languages: concept, features, examples

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Incorporating languages: concept, features, examples
Incorporating languages: concept, features, examples

Among all the languages ​​that exist in the world, there is a group whose representatives are, perhaps, one of the most exotic for a Russian person, as well as for most Europeans. To an ear unaccustomed to the sound of such long words, the speech of foreigners may seem ridiculous or even meaningless.

people talking

This is about incorporating languages.


Incorporating languages ​​are those means of communication in which there is no division of speech into sentences and words in their traditional sense. Instead, linguists dealing with these languages ​​use other concepts. They usually call the smallest lexical and syntactic units of these means of communication words-sentences. That is, such a construction expresses the meaning of a whole sentence or phrase (in some cases). But it cannot be divided into individual words. Its syntactic parsing (by members of the sentence) is also impossible.

Main feature

These sentence words are usually written together and outwardlyresemble very long words, the number of letters in which can easily reach several tens. Such constructions can be conditionally divided into several roots. But unlike the words of the Russian language, which are formed by such a merger, not all of their parts can be used in speech on their own.


Another striking feature of incorporating languages ​​is a single stress for the entire sentence (which is also a word).

Many readers of this article will probably ask: why can't parts of these long sentence words be written separately, as in most languages ​​of the world?

This is impossible for several reasons, chief among which are the following:

  • In such sentences, as already mentioned, the stress falls on only one syllable. And words usually have this feature.
  • It is also impossible to divide such sentences into separate words because the morphemes that make up them, although they have a certain meaning, cannot be used independently, as separate lexical units.

Don't be confused

Isolating and incorporating languages ​​are often confused with each other. Perhaps this is due to the consonance of these terms, or maybe for some other reason.

Therefore, in this article, the concept of isolating languages ​​should also be introduced.

This is the name of the means of communication in which the word, as a rule, consists of one single morpheme, with rare exceptions. They usually don't change in any way. I.ethese short words cannot be declined or conjugated. The same word can have a huge number of meanings. The difference is in pronunciation.

picture with chinese

For example, in Chinese, a term can have up to several dozen completely different meanings.

Classification principle

One of the signs according to which it is customary to distinguish between languages ​​is as follows.

Means of communication are distinguished from each other by the number of morphemes in words. For example, if in a language most of the lexical units have only a root, then we can say that the ratio of morphemes and words in it is 1:1. It is best to disassemble this with examples from the Russian language. Thus, the word "throne" contains one part - the root. So, according to the above principle, it has a value of 1:1. There are already three morphemes in the word "house". "Dom" is the root, "ik" is the suffix and "a" is the ending.

In Chinese, Korean and some other languages ​​that are commonly referred to as isolating, this ratio is 1:1 or close to it.

Incorporating languages ​​can be called their complete opposite. Here, most words have many morphemes. Each of them has a meaning close to a single word.

Unrelated, but similar languages, in which new words are formed by adding different morphemes to the roots, are called synthetic. Russian can be attributed to these. In turn, this subgroup has two more varieties. Languages ​​belonging tothe first of them are called inflectional. And again, it should be said that the state language of our country belongs to this variety.


In such languages, the form of the word (that is, the number, case, and other characteristics) may change. Prefixes and affixes are usually involved in this process. For example, if the ending "a" is added to the word "house", then it will acquire the meaning of plurality. But the ending "a" is not in all cases a sign of a number. For example, in the word "stola" it indicates that it is presented in the genitive case.

The opposite of these languages ​​are agglutinative. The fundamental difference is that in them each morphological element of the word is responsible for only one specific feature, for example, a certain case, number, gender, and so on.

Thus, in many Turkic languages ​​the morpheme "lar" denotes the plural. Often a certain suffix or ending has its own permanent place in the lexeme.

In incorporating languages, the same thing happens, but phonemes give the word more than just shape. They act as members of the sentence.

Polysynthetic languages

Incorporating languages ​​are often referred to by the same term used in the title of this section. It was first used by Eduard Sapir, a famous linguist, one of the creators of the theory of linguistic relativity.

In Russian, as in many others, there are examples of long words consisting of several roots and affixes to connect them. However, theyare not examples of incorporation. Here are some of these lexemes: "lespromstroyhoz", "generous", "chubby".

portrait of a girl

There is no incorporation in them, since they all consist only of roots and other parts of the word that have the meaning of nouns and adjectives. Meanwhile, in synthetic or incorporating languages, a phrase or sentence, as a rule, always contains an element that performs the function of a verb. The long constructions from the Russian language, which were given above as examples, are called composites. Another term for this phenomenon is compound words.

They, as already noted, exist in other languages. So, in Basque there is a word that can be translated approximately as "related to those who wear a beret." These words also cannot be called examples of polysynthesism or incorporation.

An example of the words of the Russian language that can be called the result of incorporation are the following lexemes: "benevolence", "favor" and some others.

Which languages ​​are incorporating?

On the territory of our country there are several peoples whose languages ​​are polysynthetic. For example, the languages ​​of the Chukchi-Kamchatka group are incorporating.

Chukchi portrait

Another striking example of such means of communication are those that are part of the Abkhaz-Adyghe group.

These languages ​​can be called partially incorporating. Nouns in such languagesas a rule, very simple in terms of morphological composition. The verb is combined into a single whole with all other parts of speech.

Abkhaz costumes

This principle of word formation is applied, not only in languages ​​that have appeared naturally. It is known that there are also artificial means of communication.

These languages ​​are created by linguists. All of them, as a rule, have certain authors. These languages ​​are created for a specific purpose. For example, in the past few years, a number of languages ​​have been developed specifically for Hollywood science fiction films. Characters who are of unearthly origin sometimes speak their own dialects in these films.

alien image

Sometimes these new languages ​​go from mere cinematic effect to something more.

Unusual languages

For example, some works of world classic literature have already been translated into the language of aliens from the films of the Star Wars series.

Among the artificial ones, there are also means of communication designed specifically for use in any field of science. A number of languages ​​are known that bear a single common name - philosophical.

American scientist John Quijada is the author of the Ithkuil communication tool, which is an example of an incorporating language. The linguist was sure that with the help of his system one could express thoughts more accurately than in any other language. Ithkuil refers to the incorporating means of communication.

Therefore, we can assume that,despite their relative complexity, polysynthetic languages ​​also have certain advantages, since the system on which they are based was chosen for his creation by one of the creators of modern philosophical languages.

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Information about the incorporating type of languages ​​may be useful to experts in the field, students and others.

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