Language and Linguistics

Binding languages characteristics and examples

Binding languages

The Binding languages are those in which the words are composed of a linear sequence of morphemes distinctive and each component of the meaning is represented by its own morpheme. A morpheme is understood as the minimum unit of meaning. This cannot be divided into smaller significant units.

The term binder comes from the Latin verb agglutinate, which translates as “make it adhere”, “paste”, “weld”, “put in contact with”. In linguistics, the expression agglutinating languages ​​refers to a subcategory within the typological classification of languages. This classification in particular attends to a morphological criterion.

Thus, taking this criterion into account, languages ​​are classified as isolating or analytical, synthetic and polysynthetic. In the former, the words are made up of a single morpheme. Synthetic ones are made up of several morphemes, with clearly differentiated roots and affixes. And in polysynthetic, binding and insulating features are combined.

In turn, the synthetic languages ​​are divided into agglutinating languages ​​and inflectional languages. As explained above, the morphemes of the binders have only one meaning and are clearly distinguishable.

Instead, it is usual to find an amalgam of morphemes in inflectional languages. Therefore, the segmentation of words is difficult.

Characteristics of binding languages

What characterizes the agglutinating languages ​​is a key morphological aspect: they present multiple morphemes within each word. In the Turkish language, for example, up to ten morphemes can be found.

Now, each of these morphemes has a unique meaning, and its limits (beginning and end) are easily identifiable. Therefore, each of the components of the word can be segmented.

On the other hand, another characteristic is that its morphemes do not suffer alterations or assimilations due to the effect of adjacent morphemes. In general, each of these morphs is responsible for making only one of the grammatical categories (diminutive, tense and verbal aspect, plurality).

It should be noted that there is no exclusively binding language. To a greater or lesser degree, all languages ​​show features of isolating or analytic, synthetic and polysynthetic languages.



Some Native American languages ​​are listed as agglutinating languages. Among these, is the Cherokee. It is spoken primarily in the United States, specifically in North Carolina and Oklahoma and Arkansas.

An example taken from this language is the word datsigowhtisgv’i , which means “I was seeing something that confronts me.” When analyzed, the following morphemes da + tsi + gowhti + sg + v’i are found: Binding languages characteristics and examples

  • -da (object is in front of the speaker)
  • -tsi (first person subject: me)
  • -gowhti (root of the word, verb to see)
  • -sg (progressive aspect of the verb, progressive action)
  • -v’i (past tense)


Another of the American agglutinating languages ​​is Aymara (also Aymara or Aymara). This is one of the main languages ​​of South America, spoken by more than two million people in the Andean region of Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Argentina. It is estimated that there are between two and eight Aymara dialects.

On the other hand, there are indications that Aymara may be remotely related to Quechua , as there are many lexical similarities between the two languages. It is believed that it may be because you share about 25% of your vocabulary. However, this has not been conclusively proven.

The Aymara word iskuylankañapkama shows this binding trait. It translates “while (he / she) is at school”, and its morphemes are: iskuyla-na-ka-ñ This segmentation is analyzed as follows:

  • -iskuyla (noun: school )
  • -na (locative: en)
  • -ka (verbalizes the preceding topic iskuylan (a))
  • -ña: (groups all of the above under the meaning of “(the state of) being in school”)
  • -pa: (third person possessive: su)
  • -kama (grouper / reacher morpheme and translate: until or while)


The Japanese language is spoken almost exclusively in the Japanese archipelago. Therefore, it has been physically separated from other languages ​​for a long time. However, although its structure differs from Chinese, it has been deeply influenced by it on the lexical level and in its writing system.

According to its morphological structure, it belongs to the group of binding languages. It is characterized by having a suffixed morphology mainly (suffixes are placed before the root). Both the verbs and the adjective are conjugated depending on the verb tense.

In this way, the expression omoshirokunakatta that translates “It (was / was / has been) interesting” can be segmented as follows: omoshiro + kuna + katta. The meaning of these morphemes is:

  • -omoshiro: interesting adjective
  • -kuna: negation
  • -katta: past tense


Basque, also called Euskera, is the only remnant of the languages ​​spoken in southwestern Europe before the region was Romanized in the 2nd to 1st century BC. C. It is used predominantly in Spain and France.

In the Basque language, different cases of agglutination can be found. The word etxe , which translates “house,” can have different meanings with few combinations. Starting from the same root, you can obtain: Binding languages characteristics and examples

  • -etxe-a (home)
  • -etxe-tik (from home)
  • -etxe-ak (houses)
  • -etxe-ko (of the house, belonging to the house)
  • -etxe-ra (towards the house)
  • -etxe-rako (going home)
  • -etxe-raino (to the house)

Another example of these agglutinations in the Basque language is found in the word gizon, which translates “man”. From here the following combinations can be obtained:

  • -gizon-a (the man)
  • -gizon-arentzat (for man)
  • -gizon-arekin (with the man)
  • -gizon-aren (of man)
  • -gizon-arekin (with the man)


The Finnish language is another representative of the binding languages. About 5 million people speak it, mainly in Finland and Sweden. But speakers are also found in Norway, Estonia, Canada, and Russia.

Now, the phenomenon of agglutination can be visualized in the word taloissani , which translates “in my houses.” When segmenting it, the following morphemes can be observed:

  • -talo (house)
  • -i (plural)
  • -ssa (within)
  • -ni (my, my)


Swahili is one of the languages ​​known as highly binding. It is also known as Swahili, Kiswahili or Swahili. It is an African language spoken mainly in Kenya and Tanzania. As well as it is common in the border areas of Mozambique, Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Somalia, Burundi and Zambia.

Swahili verbs are an example of how this phenomenon works in this language. These consist of a root plus prefixes that represent various verb categories, such as person and verb tense. Verb complexes include subject pronouns that are incorporated into the verb. Binding languages characteristics and examples

In this way, the expression ukimekata translates “if you had cut”. This is composed of the morphemes: u (you) + ki (conditional: yes) + me (past perfect verb form: habías) + kata (root, verb to cut).

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