An agglutinative language is one in which verbal tense and aspect markers, various cohesive devices, and the majority of participant referents are expressed by means of affixes rather than independent forms. This gives rise to rather long and complicated words, especially verbs. This is in contrast to inflected languages, which involve the declension of nouns and the conjugation of verbs.

Here's a few examples:

Ag*glu"ti*na*tive (#), a. [Cf. F. agglutinatif.]

1.

Pertaining to agglutination; tending to unite, or having power to cause adhesion; adhesive.

2. Philol.

Formed or characterized by agglutination, as a language or a compound.

In agglutinative languages the union of words may be compared to mechanical compounds, in inflective languages to chemical compounds.
R. Morris.

Cf. man-kind, heir-loom, war-like, which are agglutinative compounds. The Finnish, Hungarian, Turkish, the Tamul, etc., are agglutinative languages.
R. Morris.

Agglutinative languages preserve the consciousness of their roots.
Max Muller.

 

© Webster 1913.

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