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Fusional language

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Title: Fusional language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Morphology (linguistics), Agglutinative language, Synthetic language, Isolating language, Navajo language
Collection: Fusional Languages, Synthetic Languages
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Fusional language

A fusional language is a type of synthetic language, distinguished from agglutinative languages by its tendency to overlay many morphemes to denote grammatical, syntactic, or semantic change.

Examples of fusional Indo-European languages are: Sanskrit, Greek (classical and modern), Latvian, Pashto, Russian, German, Icelandic, Serbo-Croatian, Czech, French, Irish, Albanian, Latin, Punjabi, and the Iberian Romance dialect continuum. Another notable group of fusional languages is the Semitic languages group. A high degree of fusion is also found in many Sami languages, such as Skolt Sami. Unusually for a natively North American language, Navajo is sometimes described as fusional due to its complex and inseparable verb morphology.[1][2]

An illustration of fusionality is the Latin word bonus ("good"). The ending -us denotes masculine gender, nominative case, and singular number. Changing any one of these features requires replacing the suffix -us with a different one. In the form bonum, the ending -um denotes masculine accusative singular, neuter accusative singular, or neuter nominative singular.


  • History 1
  • Declension 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


Fusional languages generally tend to lose their inflection over the centuries—some languages much more quickly than others.[3] While Proto-Indo-European was fusional, some of its descendants have shifted to a more analytic structure, such as Modern English and Afrikaans, or agglutinative, such as Persian and Armenian. Other descendants are fusional, including Sanskrit, Latin, Ancient Greek, Lithuanian, and Slavic languages.

Some languages shift over time from agglutinative to fusional. For example, while most Uralic languages are predominantly agglutinative, Estonian is markedly evolving in the direction of a fusional language. On the other hand, Finnish, its close relative, exhibits fewer fusional traits, thereby keeping closer to the mainstream Uralic type.


Another typical feature of fusional languages is their systems of declensions.

See also


  1. ^ Sloane, Thomas O. (2001). Encyclopedia of Rhetoric.  
  2. ^ Mithun, Marianne (2001). The Languages of Native North America.  
  3. ^  

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