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Subject: Examples of a language becoming more agglutinative over time.
Question: It seems to me - at least when looking at Indo-European languages - that there ise a tendency for languages to turn more analytical over time (say we compare Proto-Indo-European to Ancient Greek to Modern Romance languages). Can you bring an example of the opposite to have happened (that is to say, the languages having turned more synthetical)? Furthermore, can you bring an example of a language having developed additional cases when compared to its older variation?
Reply: I think it is pretty well established now that languages moving in the direction you ask about would need to be "small" languages spoken by groups without strong links to the outside world and languages not commonly learned by adults as second languages (because strong interactions with speakers of other languages tend to wear down morphological complexities). This means that good examples of what you are asking about are likely to be obscure languages that few people have heard the names of. I can't offer examples myself, I'm afraid, because the languages I am familiar with are "big" languages. Geoffrey Sampson
Reply From: Geoffrey Richard Sampson      click here to access email
Date: 29-Oct-2012
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Examples of a language becoming more agglutinative over time.    John M. Lawler     (29-Oct-2012)
  2. Re: Examples of a language becoming more agglutinative over time.    Steven Schaufele     (30-Oct-2012)

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