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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"


The Loom of Language

unchangeable unit,, and the fact that they are difficult to learn has
nothing to do with it We have already touched on the real difficulties,
i c its script, ambiguities of the many homophones (p 51) and phonetic
subtleties of the tone values 3 and shall study them at greater length
in Chapter X Here n is important to emphasise that representatives
of other language groups, especially languages which have been subject
to hybridization resulting from culture contacts through trade, con-
quest or migration^ have evolved far towards the same goal To the
extent that they have done so, they are easier to learn than closely
related neighbours

Ho 26—COIN  01   MACCAWAN   ttMis wnn KARIY JInmiw
On left side    sh-q-1 j-7-i-l sh h (\hikcl of hnicl ve<n   2)   On right side
j-r-w-sh-1-j-m h-q-d-w-sh-h (Holv JwuwLm)
Malay is one of the Polynesian language-group often described as
agglutinating languages hi his punier of Malay Wmstedt says "Nouns
have no inflexion lor gcndei, number or case , there is no article
the compaiative is lormed by using lebch (more) before the adjective
The superlative is formed by putting the word \a-kah (most) after die
adjective , Ihere is no inflexion to mark mood;, tense or even
voice/' To this it may be added thar the adjective is invariant and the
pronoun has no case-form Malay is therefoie an isolating language
with none of the disabilities of Chinese, i e tone values and
numei ous homophones
The flexional type includes languages which mainly indicate modifi-
cation of meaning and grammatical relations by affixes attached to the
same word-root According to the degree of fusion between core and
accretion, we can distinguish two sorts of external flexion, agglutination
and amalgamation*
The words of agglutinating languages such as Finnish,, Magyar
(Hungarian) and Turkish are not exclusively independent and mobile
parades like those of Chinese Affixes loosely joined to the unchanging
root in such a way that the boundary between the core and its accre-