analytic language

A language in which inflection plays a minor role -- although no language is purely analytic. The key feature of an analytic language is that it relies on word order to clarify the relationships between words, rather than word-modifying morphemes. The opposite is a synthetic language.

Among the primary synthetic constructions in English is the possessive modifier that allows us to say "The dog's dinner" rather than "The dinner of the dog." Indeed, French lacks for such a modifier, and so this must be expressed as "Le dîner du chien." I'm far from fluent, mind, so please correct me.

Examples of largely analytic languages are Chinese, English and French.