Linguistic typology is subfield of linguistics that studies and classifies languages according to their structural features. Languages can be classified based on different kinds of criteria. The most common are based on phonological, morphological or syntactical criteria. The most common are based on phonological, morphological, or syntactical criteria.
An important concept in linguistic typology is a linguistic universal - a pattern that occurs systematically across natural languages, potentially true for all of them. For example, All languages have nouns ami verbs, or If a language is spoken, it has consonants and vowels.
Phonological typology is associated with the names of Roman Jakobson and Nikolai Trubetzkoy.
Certain sounds (phones) occur often, while others are much less frequent, and some are more likely to he contrastive, while others usually group together with other phones as a single phoneme.
In phonology, two sounds of a language are said to be in contrastive distribution if replacing one with the other in the same phonological environment results in a change in meaning. If a sound is in contrastive distribution, it is considered a phoneme in that language. For example, in English, the sounds [p] and [b] can both occur word-initially, as in the words pet and bet. Therefore, [p] and [b] are in contrastive distribution, and thus they are phonemes of English.
Morphological classification deals mostly with the formal aspect of language. The founders A. Schlegel, H. Steinthal, W. Humboldt, and A. Schleicher.
There are roughly four kinds of morphologies that languages use: '
Inflectional adjectives decline and verbs conjugate.
Polysynthetic Some Native American languages in North America, such as Navajo, and some Polynesian languages are polysynthetic.
Syntactic typology distinguishes languages based on their preferred word order. The most commonly considered phrases are the subject, object, and verb. This gives six different possible ordinings: SOV, SVO, VSO, VOS, OSV, OVS. English has the SVO order.