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Old October 7th, 2017, 01:07 PM   #1
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Was Chinese ever inflected?


Most primitive languages are highly inflected. Proto-Indoeuropean was highly inflected. Ancient languages such as Latin and Greek, as well as most eastern European languages like Russian are highly inflected.

English is not very inflected, because Danish and French speaking invaders did not understand the complexity of the language. The Danes also often had the same words with different endings.

I am wondering if Chinese once had inflection and lost it. I realize there are different Chineses.
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Old October 7th, 2017, 01:26 PM   #2
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There are traces of some type of inflection in reconstructions of Old Chinese. Mostly prefixes and suffixes, some of which are seen in other Sino-Tibetan languages.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 10:38 PM   #3

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The pronuciation of Chinese are very different with accient,even now there are my different pronuciations in different places.
but the written way are always the same since 221 bc,when the Qinshihuang built the Qin dynasty.
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Old January 14th, 2018, 02:51 PM   #4
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Yes, at least to a limited extent. Personal pronouns in Classical Chinese were inflected in & for certain cases. So "wu2" = "I" (nominative case), whereas "wo3" = "me" (accusative case). It is possible that even earlier forms of Chinese may have been more heavily inflected. Moreover, I believe that some modern Chinese "dialects" still retain inflectional morphology in personal pronouns.
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Old January 14th, 2018, 03:05 PM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by betgo View Post
Most primitive languages are highly inflected. Proto-Indoeuropean was highly inflected. Ancient languages such as Latin and Greek, as well as most eastern European languages like Russian are highly inflected.

English is not very inflected, because Danish and French speaking invaders did not understand the complexity of the language. The Danes also often had the same words with different endings.

I am wondering if Chinese once had inflection and lost it. I realize there are different Chineses.
English is the product of inflecting. Most of the Brythonic languages are all but gone from England. The Roman invasion, which is where the first forms of writing in Britain came from resulted in a Latin influence that led to English forms of writing later on. Then, when the Saxons invaded they influenced Britain to the point that English ended up having more words than other languages, because people used both the Latin based words and the Saxon based words. The French influence effected the Latin based words, but English is a fairly young language derived from the two influences. Here are some examples:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...xon_variations

As for Chinese, the Pinyin system resulted in Chinese words spelled using the Latin alphabet, but it did not directly inflect Chinese.

Last edited by Jake10; January 14th, 2018 at 03:28 PM.
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Old January 14th, 2018, 04:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake10 View Post
English is the product of inflecting. Most of the Brythonic languages are all but gone from England. The Roman invasion, which is where the first forms of writing in Britain came from resulted in a Latin influence that led to English forms of writing later on. Then, when the Saxons invaded they influenced Britain to the point that English ended up having more words than other languages, because people used both the Latin based words and the Saxon based words. The French influence effected the Latin based words, but English is a fairly young language derived from the two influences. Here are some examples:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...xon_variations

As for Chinese, the Pinyin system resulted in Chinese words spelled using the Latin alphabet, but it did not directly inflect Chinese.
The Latin influence was mainly from the 18th century. The modern English call small towns "villages" though they were still called towns in England until that Latinization. American English is more primitive than English British and truer to the original English they both sprang from.
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Old January 14th, 2018, 04:13 PM   #7

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Originally Posted by Disciple of Sophia View Post
The Latin influence was mainly from the 18th century. The modern English call small towns "villages" though they were still called towns in England until that Latinization. American English is more primitive than English British and truer to the original English they both sprang from.
In the 18th century, there was a French influence. The original Latin influence came from the Roman invasion.
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Old January 14th, 2018, 11:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake10 View Post
English is the product of inflecting. Most of the Brythonic languages are all but gone from England. The Roman invasion, which is where the first forms of writing in Britain came from resulted in a Latin influence that led to English forms of writing later on. Then, when the Saxons invaded they influenced Britain to the point that English ended up having more words than other languages, because people used both the Latin based words and the Saxon based words. The French influence effected the Latin based words, but English is a fairly young language derived from the two influences. Here are some examples:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...xon_variations

As for Chinese, the Pinyin system resulted in Chinese words spelled using the Latin alphabet, but it did not directly inflect Chinese.
Reading your post I get an impression you don't know what inflection is.

Last edited by Vaderfan; January 14th, 2018 at 11:34 PM.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 01:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake10 View Post
In the 18th century, there was a French influence. The original Latin influence came from the Roman invasion.
Anglo-Saxon migration into the island postdates the Roman invasion by centuries. The impact on English only begun with christianisation, but even then Latin loanwords in Old English are quite limited in number.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 06:34 AM   #10

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Reading your post I get an impression you don't know what inflection is.
Look, I'm going to make this as simple as I possible can. Right from an example of the usage of inflected from the dictionary:

Quote:
Most nouns in English inflect for plural use by adding -s or -es.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inflect

This is a concept that comes from the Latin language.

This is from the history of English:

Quote:
The history of English is conventionally, if perhaps too neatly, divided into three periods usually called Old English (or Anglo-Saxon), Middle English, and Modern English. The earliest period begins with the migration of certain Germanic tribes from the continent to Britain in the fifth century A.D., though no records of their language survive from before the seventh century, and it continues until the end of the eleventh century or a bit later. By that time Latin, Old Norse (the language of the Viking invaders), and especially the Anglo-Norman French of the dominant class after the Norman Conquest in 1066 had begun to have a substantial impact on the lexicon, and the well-developed inflectional system that typifies the grammar of Old English had begun to break down.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/help/faq-history
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