Grammatically complex languages

Kyle 732   Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:44 pm GMT
What are some of the world's most grammatically complex languages?

I know that I'll most likely be seeing some Slavic languages here and some of the languages from the Finno-Uralic group. I'm not very knowledgeable of the grammars of too many languages outside of the Indo-European linguistic family. I'd like to know some of your thoughts on this subject.

Please don't include any nonesense or prejudice regarding languages or people groups as I have so often seen in this forum.

Baldewin   Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:46 pm GMT
There's one school in Wallonia, which uses Latin as the instructional language.

In the US such schools also exist.
Baldewin   Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:53 pm GMT
That woman is Flemish, but lives in Wallonia. Anyway, her Dutch is better than most Flemings living in Flanders.
Rob   Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:27 pm GMT
Are Gramatical complex languages synonymous of an arcaic language?? like french, portuguese, romanian ??
Franco   Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:34 pm GMT
If you consider that French grammar is complex then you are one of these or both:

1. a native English speaker

2. a person whose IQ is below 90
moi   Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:49 pm GMT
French grammar is more complex than the Spanish one, that's for sure. Spanish is the only language I know which does not have any irregular noun plural, it's more or less like Esperanto...
mummra   Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:32 pm GMT
Grammatically complex languages tend to still use the PIE declension system, like Latin, Greek (ancient and modern), and the slavic tongues. Outside of IE tongues, I have no clue as I have no interest in them.

IF you find the romance languages grammatically complex, then languages is just not your thing, go sell popcorn instead.
placido   Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:38 pm GMT

You do not know anything about linguistics... sorry. Verb system may be harder than noun cases. It all depends on your mother tongue. Spanish verb system is light years harder than the Russian one for instance.
Franco   Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:42 pm GMT
<<French grammar is more complex than the Spanish one, that's for sure. Spanish is the only language I know which does not have any irregular noun plural, it's more or less like Esperanto...


oohhhh, what a dificulty for a English native speaker. Irregular plurals are in French very few exceptions, nothing comparable to Spanish SER/ESTAR and subjunctive. I have yet to meet a foreigner who uses the Spanish subjunctive perfectly, even my German teacher who has lived in Spain for twenty years and speaks near perfect Spanish.
wery   Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:48 pm GMT
French is much more irreguliar than Spanish, even if the subjunctive mood is more difficult in Spanish. However French has 2 auxiliary verbs to form all compound tenses unlike Spanish. Spanish also lacks y/en particles and this simplifies a lot the grammar...
Franco   Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:51 pm GMT
I have studied German and it's not difficult having two auxiliary tenses, it is predictable when to use bin and when to use habe. Ser/estar is much more tricky because there are a lot of exceptions to the rules and depending on if you use ser or estar the sentence may change it's meaning completely:

Soy bueno/ estoy bueno, etc...
Franco   Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:55 pm GMT
Not to mention that subject in French sentences is always explicit whereas in Spanish you have to deduce it given the verbal ending. French has much less verbal endings , pretty much like Brazilian.
wert   Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:58 pm GMT
The use of two auxiliary tenses is much easier than in French and particularly Italian. The past participle is uninflected in German unlike French and Italian and the use of the verb Sein is much more limited. The difference between ser/estar is quite easy. You can learn them at a basic level.
Baldewin   Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:13 pm GMT
In Germanic languages like German and Dutch, it's mainly the word order that's challenging. The verb-endings also are very easy, but many verbs are irregular and there are differences in meaning when you conjugate it as a weak or as a strong verb. Native speakers even struggle with this (for these rules are mainly made up to make the language more sophisticated, even though things have been simplified greatly for both Dutch as German because literacy has increased)!
Most of the time you barely even hear the simple past tense in daily speech, and you have many dialect speakers also (who speak dialect because they are afraid to hide the fact they speak their standard language in a lousy way; which makes you think German/Dutch aren't as easy as they're made out to be).

Especially in the South of Germany and German-speaking Switzerland people speak dialect and aren't that good at Standard High German.
For Dutch, mainly in Flanders and most noteworthy West Flanders they speak lousy standard Dutch, and people stick to their dialect when among relatives and close friends. Also in the East and North East of the Netherlands this is the case, although far less (dialects are alive, but people tend to respect standard language more, as my dialect-speaking friends from Groningen do, but there are also lousy standard language-speakers there as well).
mummra   Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:16 pm GMT
You may have a point placido.

However coming from country with a language with a complex verb system anyway my problem is the noun declension, not verb conjugation. It depends what your mother tongue is.