A fusional language (also called inflecting language) is a type of synthetic language, distinguished from agglutinative languages by its tendency to overlay many morphemes to denote grammatical, syntactic or semantic change.
Examples of fusional Indo-European languages are: Sanskrit (and the modern Indo-Aryan languages), Greek (classical and modern), Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian, German, Icelandic, Polish, Croatian, Serbian, Slovak, Ukrainian, and Czech. Another notable group of fusional languages is the Semitic languages group. A high degree of fusion is also found in many Sami languages, such as Skolt Sami.
An illustration of fusionality is the Latin word bonus ("good"). The ending -us denotes masculine gender, nominative case, and singular number. Changing any one of these features requires replacing the suffix -us with a different one. In the form bonum, the ending -um denotes either masculine accusative singular, neuter accusative singular, or neuter nominative singular.
Fusional languages generally tend to lose their inflection over the centuries—some languages much more quickly than others.1 For example, while most Uralic languages are predominantly agglutinative, Estonian is markedly evolving in the direction of a fusional language. On the other hand, Finnish, its close relative, exhibits fewer fusional traits, thereby keeping closer to the mainstream Uralic type. Also, supposedly, Sanskrit, Latin, Slovenian, Lithuanian, and Armenian are about as fusional as the unattested Proto-Indo-European, but modern English and Afrikaans are almost entirely analytic. The Slavic and Baltic languages have generally retained their inflection, along with Greek.
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Another typical feature of fusional languages is their systems of declensions.
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