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L I See below, p. 138. LINGUISTIC TYPOLOGY LINGUISTIC TYPOLOGY prosodic patterns.. Traditionally, classifiers concentrate on morphological traits: they probably believe a linguistic classification should first and foremost at grouping the languages of people who share the same outlook.. Now, they deem the phonology of a language to a matter of chance, and the lexicon to reflect the world as it But its morphology, which ultimately governs its syntax, is supposed to mirror the psychic activity of its users, When scholars distinguished among isolating, agglutinative, and inflective languages, they certainly believed they were transcending mere linguistic reality and reaching deeper into the psyches of speakers..

French: nasal vowels. English: two sets of diphthongs. German: affricates as a distinct series. Italian: gemination. Castilian Spanish: stops and non-liquid continuants grouped in three series. Such a norm, if widely accepted, would certainly render some service. But we may wonder whether we have a right to include it in a typological scheme, since it is a characterizing device pointing to deviations rather than a way of distinguishing between a limited number of types. It is, no doubt, likely that if our sampling were large enough, we would find a number of languages which deviate from the norm in just the same way: it would not be difficult to find languages that could share with Russian the consonantal opposition between 'hard' and 'soft'.

Russian: consonantal opposition between 'hard' and 'soft' . French: nasal vowels. English: two sets of diphthongs. German: affricates as a distinct series. Italian: gemination. Castilian Spanish: stops and non-liquid continuants grouped in three series. Such a norm, if widely accepted, would certainly render some service. But we may wonder whether we have a right to include it in a typological scheme, since it is a characterizing device pointing to deviations rather than a way of distinguishing between a limited number of types.

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A Functional View of Language by A Martinet


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