Some Native American languages are described as "polysynthetic" languages. This means that sentences in these languages
are composed of long, highly structured words with many parts (known as morphemes to linguists.)
One example of a polysynthetic word would be the Cherokee word datsigowhtisgv'i which means "I was seeing
something facing me." The prefix "da-" means the object is facing the speaker, "tsi-" is the conjugation for a
first-person subject ("I"), "gowhti" is the root to see, "-sg-" means a verb has progressive or ongoing action,
and "v'i" is past tense.
A language with words like this is also called
"Polysynthetic" and "agglutinative" are often used interchangeably when referring to Native American languages,
but they are not actually synonyms. Agglutination is a subset of polysynthesis, where each morpheme in a word
generally has one meaning and they all stack together one after another. There is another type of polysynthetic language
known as a fusional language, but fusional
polysynthesis is rare in indigenous American languages.
Here are some examples of polysynthetic Native American languages: