Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 27 >> Tropical Forests to Twelfth Century >> Turanian


languages and family

TURANIAN, a designation applied to the so-called agglutinative family of languages that is, languages in which no proper inflection exists, but in which pronouns are made to ad here to the root of the verb to form the con jugation and prepositions to substantives to form the declension. There must be no proper incorporation between the root and the ad hering word; the two must simply lie side by side, agglutinated or °glued" together, but one must not modify the form of the other. The Turanian languages are agglutinative, while the Aryan and Semitic languages are inflec tional, and the term Turanian is made to include every language of America, Asia and Europe that is not Aryan or Semitic, with the exception of Chinese and its related dialects. (See CHINESE LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE). MaX Muller divides the Turanian languages into two great divisions, the Northern and the South ern. In the Northern he includes five classes,

the Tungusic, Mongolic, Turkic, Finnic and Samoyedic. He divides the Southern into four, the Tamulic or Dravidian languages of the Dekkan, the dialects of Bhotan and Tibet, the Taic of Siam and the Malayic of the Malay and Polynesian islands. He groups under these nine classes 116 dialects, to which others add Acadian, the Basque and North American tongues. There is serious doubt among phi lologists as to whether the agglutinative lan guages should be classes as a group, under a family designation and Peile, in his work on 'Philology,' published in 1877, expresses the view that °these languages are much too dif ferent to give any ground at all for believing that they all belong to the same family)) See