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THE TYPOLOGICAL STATUS OF ENGLISH
Structural typology divides languages into types with reference to two criteria. The first criterion is word structure, The second criterion is technique. Technique suggests methods of linking meaningful units when using a particular language. These include methods of expressing the relationship among meaningful units (word-forms, clauses) in the sentence, on the one hand, and methods of combining lexical and grammatical meanings within word-forms, on the other hand.
There exist two types of technique: analysis and synthesis.
Most languages employ both techniques, one of them being more significant than the other.
Synthetic technique implies that grammatical and lexical meanings are conjoined within one word-form. Looking at the Russian word 'стола', one might understand its lexical meaning from the root 'стол-'. The grammatical meanings of the Genitive singular, masculine gender become clear from the inflexion '-a'. Old English words had similar characteristics because synthesis was the prevailing technique in that period. Cf.: stanew
By contrast Modem English prefers analysis. Gradually prepositional phrases came to be used in place of Old English case forms. Cf.:
Genitive stan&s Dative stane
of the stone
(to, on) with the stone
Analysis suggests distribution of meanings (both grammatical and lexical, if they are identifiable as separate entities) among easily separable units (segments in words). These units may be represented by lexemes if the degree of analyticism is high. Linguists who study Chinese call such lexemes 'primary':Cf.: go out (Russian выходить O.E. utgangan); be silent, get going, etc. Each analytical lexeme (go out) is associated with a particular cognitive entity (a sell of experience) and fulfils a particular syntactic function when used in a sentence. Being derived from primary lexemes, it (go out) is secondary from the formal point of view, but from the semantic point of view it is primary since it generally offers the best means to convey a particular cognitive content.
The second aspect of technique is methods of linking meaningful units (especially words) in a sentence. Synthetic technique is associated with 1) formal concord and 2) government.
Analytical technique comprises: 1) form words; 2) juxtaposition; 3) fixed word order.
We may speak of formal concord (or 'agreement'), if the form of the dependent word duplicates the grammatical meanings of the main word. In inflecting languages (Latin, Russian, Old English) verbs, adjectives, nouns, adverbs, prepositions may govern the noun, pronoun, or a noun phrase in a particular case.
Government: наполненный вод ой; уши кото; читать газету
Agreement: глубокой реки; глубокого моряJuxtaposition is placing words side by side. The closer the semantic connection between words, the closer to each other they tend to be placed in a sentence
Cf.: watch pocket vs. pocket watch a high red brick wall *a brick red high wallHistorically English has undergone a radical change from the synthetic inflecting type to the analytical type combining isolating and agglutinative properties.
J. Greenberg (1963) has calculated the index of isolation and agglutination for English. He comes out with the following percentage: isolation — 0.75 (75%), agglutination — about 0.3 (30%).
Only 'purely' isolating (Chinese, Vietnamese) and agglutinating (Turkish) languages approximate 100%. Thus Modem English is by no means a bright representative of these two types. Besides, isolating and agglutinating features are not evenly manifested at different levels of the language system. Not all linguists share this opinion. Some typologists find features of incorporation in English. On discussions about the typological status of English
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