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5206_en_Muller_T01 (Müller, Friedrich)

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Lecture I.
Introductory Lecture. New Materials for the Science of Language, and New Theories 11

In a course of lectures which I had the honour
to deliver in this Institution two years ago, I
endeavoured to show that the language which we
speak, and the languages that are and that have been
spoken in every part of our globe since the first dawn
of human life and human thought, supply materials
capable of scientific treatment. We can collect them,
we can classify them, we can reduce them to their
constituent elements, and deduce from them some of
the laws that determine their origin, govern their
growth, necessitate their decay; we can treat them,
in fact, in exactly the same spirit in which the geologist
treats his stones and petrifactions — nay, in some
respects, in the same spirit in which the astronomer
treats the stars of heaven, or the botanist the flowers
of the field. There is a Science of Language, as there
is a science of the earth, its flowers and its stars; and
though, as a young science, it is very far as yet from
that perfection which — thanks to the efforts of the
intellectual giants of so many ages and many countries
— has been reached in astronomy, botany, and even in
1geology, it is, perhaps for that very reason, all the
more fascinating. It is a young and a growing science,
that puts forth new strength with every year, that
opens new prospects, new fields of enterprise on every
side, and rewards its students with richer harvests
than could be expected from the exhausted soil of the
older sciences. The whole world is open, as it were,
to the student of language. There is virgin soil close
to our door, and there are whole continents still to
conquer if we step beyond the frontiers of the ancient
seats of civilisation. We may select a small village
in our neighbourhood to pick up dialectic varieties
and to collect phrases, proverbs, and stories which will
disclose fragments, almost ground to dust, it is true,
yet undeniable fragments of the earliest formations of
Saxon speech and Saxon thought. *2 Or we may proceed
to our very antipodes, and study the idiom of
the Hawaian islanders, and watch in the laws and
edicts of Kaméhaméha the working of the same human
faculty of speech which, even in its most primitive
efforts, never seems to miss the high end at which it
aims. The dialects of Ancient Greece, ransacked as
they have been by classical scholars, such as Maittaire,
Giese, and Ahrens, will amply reward a fresh battue
of the comparative philologist. Their forms, which
2to the classical scholar were mere anomalies and curiosities,
will thus assume a different aspect. They will
range themselves under more general laws, and after
receiving light by a comparison with other dialects,
they will, in turn, reflect that light with increased
power on the phonetic peculiarities of Sanskrit and
Prâkrit, Zend and Persian, Latin and French. But
even were the old mines exhausted, the Science of
Language would create its own materials, and as with
the rod of the prophet smite the rocks of the desert
to call forth from them new streams of living speech.
The rock inscriptions of Persia show what can be
achieved by our science. I do not wonder that the
discoveries due to the genius and the persevering industry
of Grotefend, Burnouf, Lassen, and last, not
least, of Rawlinson, should seem incredible to those
who only glance at them from a distance. Their incredulity
will hereafter prove the greatest compliment
that could have been paid to these eminent scholars. *3
3What we at present call the Cuneiform inscriptions of
Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes, Artaxerxes I., Darius II.,
Artaxerxes Mnemon, Artaxerxes Ochus (of which we
now have several editions, translations, grammars, and
dictionaries) — what were they originally? A mere
conglomerate of wedges, engraved or impressed on the
solitary monument of Cyrus in the Murgháb, on the
ruins of Persepolis, on the rocks of Behistún near the
frontiers of Media, and the precipice of Van in Armenia.
When Grotefend attempted to decipher them,
he had first to prove that these scrolls were really inscriptions,
and not mere arabesques or fanciful ornaments. *4
He had then to find out whether these
magical characters were to be read horizontally or perpendicularly,
from right to left, or from left to right.
Lichtenberg maintained that they must be read in the
same direction as Hebrew. Grotefend, in 1802, proved
that the letters followed each other, as in Greek, from
left to right. Even before Grotefend, Münter and
Tychsen had observed that there was a sign to separate
the words. Such a sign is of course an immense
help in all attempts at deciphering inscriptions, for it
lays bare at once the terminations of hundreds of
words, and, in an Aryan language, supplies us with
the skeleton of its grammar. Yet consider the difficulties
that had still to be overcome before a single
line could be read. It was unknown in what language
these inscriptions were composed; it might have been
4a Semitic, a Turanian, or an Aryan language. It was
unknown to what period they belonged, and whether
they commemorated the conquests of Cyrus, Darius,
Alexander, or Sapor. It was unknown whether the
alphabet used was phonetic, syllabic, or ideographic.
It would detain us too long were I to relate how all
these difficulties were removed one after the other;
how the proper names of Darius, Xerxes, Hystaspes,
and of their god Ormusd, were traced; how from
them the values of certain letters were determined;
how with an imperfect alphabet other words were
deciphered which clearly established the fact that the
language of these inscriptions was Ancient Persian;
how then, with the help of the Zend, which represents
the Persian language previous to Darius, and with
the help of the later Persian, a most effective cross-fire
was opened; how even more powerful ordnance was
brought up from the arsenal of the ancient Sanskrit;
how outpost after outpost was driven in, a practical
breach effected, till at last the fortress had to surrender
and submit to the terms dictated by the Science of
Language.

I should gladly on some future occasion give you
a more detailed account of this glorious siege and
victory. At present I only refer to it to show how,
in all quarters of the globe, and from sources where it
would least be expected, new materials are forthcoming
that would give employment to a much larger class of
labourers than the Science of Language can as yet
boast of. The inscriptions of Babylon and Nineveh,
the hieroglyphics of Egypt, the records in the caves
of India, on the monuments of Lycia, on the tombs of
Etruria, and on the broken tablets of Umbria and
Samnium, all wait to have their spell broken or their
5riddle more satisfactorily read by the student of language.
If, then, we turn our eyes again to the yet
unnumbered dialects now spoken by the nomad tribes
of Asia, Africa, America, and the islands of the Pacific,
no scholar need be afraid for some generations to come
that there will be no language left to him to conquer.

There is another charm peculiar to the Science of
Language, or one, at least, which it shares only with
its younger sisters: I mean the vigorous contest that
is still carried on between great opposing principles.
In Astronomy, the fundamental laws of the universe
are no longer contested, and the Ptolemæan system is
not likely to find new supporters. In Geology, the
feuds between the Vulcanists and the Neptunists have
come to an end, and no unprejudiced person doubts at
the present moment whether an ammonite be a work
of nature and a flinthead a work of art. It is different
in the Science of Language. There, the controversies
about the great problems have not yet subsided. The
questions whether language is a work of nature or a
work of art, whether languages had one or many
beginnings, whether they can be classified in families,
or no, are constantly starting up, and scholars, even
while engaged in the most minute inquiries — while
carrying brick and mortar to build the walls of their
new science — must have their sword girded by their
side, always ready to meet the enemy. This, no
doubt, may sometimes be tedious, but it has one good
effect: it leads us to examine carefully the ground on
which we take. our stand, and keeps us alive, even
while analysing mere prefixes and suffixes, to the
grandeur and the sacredness of the issues that depend
on these minutiæ. The foundations of our science
do not suffer from such attacks; — on the contrary,
6like the coral cells built up quietly and patiently from
the bottom of the sea, they become more strongly
cemented by these whiffs of spray that are dashed
across.

Emboldened by the indulgent reception with which
I met in this place, when first claiming some share of
public sympathy in behalf of the Science of Language,
I venture to-day to come again before you with a
course of lectures on the same subject — ‘on mere
words, on nouns, and verbs, and particles’ — and I
trust you will again, as you did then, make allowance
for the inevitable shortcomings of one who has to
address you with a foreign accent, and on a subject
foreign to the pursuits of many of the supporters of
this Institution. One thing I feel more strongly than
ever — namely, that, without the Science of Language,
the circle of the physical sciences, to which this Institution
is more specially dedicated, would be incomplete.
The whole natural creation tends towards
man: without man, nature would be incomplete and
purposeless. The Science of Man, therefore, or, as
it is sometimes called, Anthropology, must form the
crown of all the natural sciences. And if it is language
by which man differs from all other created
things, the Science of Language has a right to hold
that place which I claimed for it when addressing
for the first time the members and supporters of
this Institution. Allow me to quote the words of one
whose memory becomes more dear and sacred to me
with every year, and to whose friendship I owe more
than I here could say. Bunsen, when addressing, in
1847, the newly-formed section of Ethnology, at the
meeting of the British Association at Oxford, said: —

‘If man is the apex of the creation, it seems right,
7on the one side, that an historical inquiry into his origin
and development should never be allowed to sever
itself from the general body of natural science, and in
particular from physiology. But, on the other hand,
if man is the apex of the creation, if he is the end to
which all organic formations tend from the very beginning;
if man is at once the mystery and the key of
natural science; if that is the only view of natural
science worthy of our age, then ethnological philology,
once established on principles as clear as the physiological
are, is the highest branch of that science for
the advancement of which this Association is instituted.
It is not an appendix to physiology or to
anything else; but its object is, on the contrary,
capable of becoming the end and goal of the labours
and transactions of a scientific association.’ *5

In my former course all that I could attempt to do
was to point out the principal objects of the Science
of Language, to determine its limits, and to lay before
you a general map of the ground that had been explored,
with more or less success, during the last fifty
years. That map was necessarily incomplete. It
comprehended not much more than what in an atlas
of the ancient world is called ‘Orbis Veteribus
Notus,’ where you distinguish names and boundaries
only in those parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa which
formed the primeval stage of the great drama of
history; but where beyond the Hyperboreans in the
North, the Anthropophagi in the West, and the Ethiopians 6 in the South, you see but vaguely shadowed
8outlines — the New World beyond the Atlantis existing
as yet merely as the dream of philosophers.

It was at first my intention, in the present course
of lectures, to fill in greater detail the outlines of that
map. Materials for this are abundant and steadily
increasing. The works of Hervas, Adelung, Klaproth,
Balbi, Prichard, and Latham, will show you how much
more minutely the map of languages might be coloured
at present than the ancient geographical maps of Strabo
and Ptolemy. But I very soon perceived that this
would hardly have been a fit subject for a course of
lectures. I could only have given you an account of
the work done; by others: of explorations made by
travellers or missionaries among the black races of
Africa, the yellow tribes of Polynesia, and the redskins
of America. I should have had simply to copy
their descriptions of the manners, customs, laws, and
religions of these savage tribes, to make abstracts of
their grammars and extracts from their vocabularies.
This would necessarily have been work at second-hand,
and all I could have added of my own would
have been a criticism of their attempts at classifying
9some of the clusters of languages in those distant
regions, to point out similarities which they might
have overlooked, or to protest against some of the
theories which they had propounded without sufficient
evidence. All who have had to examine the accounts
of new languages, or families of languages, published
by missionaries or travellers, are aware how not only
their theories, but their facts, have to be sifted, before
they can be allowed to occupy even a temporary place
in our handbooks, or before we should feel justified in
rectifying accordingly the frontiers on the great map
of the languages of mankind. Thus I received but
the other day some papers, printed at Honolulu, *7
propounding the theory ‘that all those tongues which
we designate as the Indo-European languages have
their true root and origin in the Polynesian language’
‘I am certain,’ the author writes, ‘that this is the
case as regards the Greek and Sanskrit: I find reason
to believe it to be so as to the Latin and other more
modern tongues — in short, as to all European languages,
old and young’ And he proceeds: ‘The
second discovery which I believe I have made, and
with which the former is connected, is that the study
of the Polynesian language gives us the key to the
original function of language itself, and to its whole
mechanism’

Strange as it may sound to hear the language of
Homer and Ennius spoken of as an offshoot of the
Sandwich Islands, mere ridicule would be a very inappropriate
and very inefficient answer to such a
theory. It is not very long ago that all the Greek
10and Latin scholars of Europe shook their heads at the
idea of tracing the roots of the classical languages
back to Sanskrit, and even at the present moment there
are still many persons who cannot realise the fact that,
at a very remote, but a very real period in the history
of the world, the ancestors of the Homeric poets and
of the poets of the Veda must have lived together as
members of one and the same race, as speakers of one
and the same idiom.

There are other theories not less startling than
this which would make the Polynesian the primitive
language of mankind. I received lately a
Comparative Grammar of the South-African Languages,
printed at the Cape, written by a most
learned and ingenious scholar, Dr. Bleek. *8 In it
he proves that, with the exception of the Bushman
tongue, which has not yet been sufficiently studied,
the great mass of African languages may be reduced
to two families. He shows that the Hottentot
is a branch of the North African class of languages, 9
11and that it was separated from its relatives by the
intrusion of the second great family, the Kafir, or, as
Appleyard calls them, Alliteral languages, which
occupy (as far as our knowledge goes) the whole
remaining portion of the South African continent,
extending on the eastern side from the Keiskamma
to the equator, and on the western side from 32°
southern to about 8° northern latitude. But the same
author claims likewise a very prominent place for
the African idioms, in the general history of human
speech. ‘It is perhaps not too much to say,’ he
writes (Preface, page viii.), ‘that similar results may
at present be expected from a deeper study of such
primitive forms of language as the Kafir and the
Hottentot exhibit, as followed, at the beginning of the
century, the discovery of Sanskrit, and the comparative
researches of Oriental scholars. The origin of
the grammatical forms, of gender and number, the
etymology of pronouns, and many other questions of
the highest interest to the philologist, find their true
solution in Southern Africa.’

But, while we are thus told by some scholars that
we must look to Polynesia and South Africa if we
12would find the clue to the mysteries of Aryan speech,
we are warned by others that there is no such thing
as an Aryan or Indo-European family of languages,
that Sanskrit has no relationship with Greek, and that
Comparative Philology, as hitherto treated by Bopp
and others, is but a dream of continental professors. *10
How are theories and counter-theories of this kind to
be treated? However startling and paradoxical in
appearance, they must be examined before we can
either accept or reject them. ‘Science,’ as Bunsen 11
said, ‘excludes no suppositions, however strange they.
may appear, which are not in themselves absurd —
viz. demonstrably contradictory to its own principles’
But by what tests and rules are they to be
examined? They can only be examined by those
tests and rules which the Science of Language has
established in its more limited areas of research.
‘We must begin’ as Leibnitz said, ‘with studying the
modern languages which are within our reach, in
order to compare them with one another, to discover
their differences and affinities, and then to proceed
to those which have preceded them in former ages;
in order to show their filiation and their origin, and
then to ascend step by step to the most ancient of
tongues, the analysis of which must lead us to the
only trustworthy conclusions.’ The principles of
comparative philology must rest on the evidence of
the best known and the best analysed dialects, and it
13is to them that we must look, if we wish for a compass
to guide us through the most violent storms and hurricanes
of philological speculation. *12

I thought it best, therefore, to devote the present
course of lectures to the examination of a very limited
area of speech — to English, French, German, Latin,
and Greek, and, of course, to Sanskrit — in order to
discover or to establish more firmly some of the fundamental
principles of the Science of Language. I
believe there is no science from which we, the students
of language, may learn more than from Geology. Now,
in Geology, if we have once acquired a general knowledge
of the successive strata that form the crust of
the earth, and of the faunas and floras present or absent
in each, nothing is so instructive as the minute
exploration of a quarry close at hand, of a cave or a
mine, in order to see things with our own eyes, to
handle them, and to learn how every pebble that we
pick up points a lesson of the widest range. I believe
it is the same in the science of language. One word,
however common, of our own dialect, if well examined
and analysed, will teach us more than the most ingenious
speculations on the nature of speech and the
origin of roots. We may accept it, I believe, as a
general principle that what is real in modern formations
is possible in more ancient formations; that
what has been found to be true on a small scale may
be true on a larger scale. Principles like these, which
underlie the study of Geology, are equally applicable
to the study of Philology, though in their application
they require, no doubt, the same circumspectness
which is the great charm of geological reasoning.14

A few instances will make my meaning clearer.
They will show how the solution of some of the
most difficult problems of Comparative Grammar may
be found at our very door, and how theories that
would seem fanciful and incredible if applied to the
analysis of ancient languages, stand before us as real
and undeniable facts in the very words which we use
in our every-day conversation. They will at the same
time serve as a warning against too rapid generalisations,
both on the part of those who have no eye for
distinctive features and see nothing but similarity in
all the languages of the world, and on the part of those
who can perceive but one kind of likeness, and who
would fain confine the whole ocean of living speech
within the narrow bars of Aryan or Semitic grammar.

We have not very far to go in order to hear such
phrases as ‘he is a-going, I am a-coming, &c.,’ instead
of the more usual ‘he is going, I am coming.’ Now
the fact is, that the vulgar or dialectic expression, ‘he
is a-going,’ is far more correct than ‘he is going.’ *13
Ing, in our modern grammars, is called the termination
of the participle present, but it does not exist as such
in Anglo-Saxon. In Anglo-Saxon the termination of
that participle is ande or inde (Gothic, ands; Old
High-German anter, enter; Middle High-German, ende;
Modern High-German, end.) This was preserved as
late as Gower's and Chaucer's time, 14 though in most
cases it had then already been supplanted by the
termination ing. Now what is that termination ing? 15
15It is clearly used in two different senses, even in
modern English. If we say ‘a loving child’ loving
is a verbal adjective. If we say ‘loving our neighbour
is our highest duty,’ loving is a verbal substantive.
Again, there are many substantives in ing, such as
building, wedding, meeting, where the verbal character
of the substantive is almost, if not entirely,
lost.

Now, if we look to Anglo-Saxon, we find the termination
ing used —

(1) To form patronymics — for instance, Godvulfing,
the son of Godvulf. In the A.S. translation of
the Bible, the son of Elisha is called Elising. In the
plural these patronymics frequently become the names
of families, clans, villages, towns, and nations, e.g.
Thyringas, the Thuringians. Even if names in ing are
derived from names of rivers or hills or trees, they may
still be called patronymics, because in ancient times
the ideas of relationship and descent were not confined
to living beings. *16 People living near the Elbe might
well be called the sons of the Elbe or Albings, as, for
instance, the Nordalbingi in Holstein. Many of the
geographical names in England and Germany were
originally such patronymics. Thus we have the villages 17
of Mailing, of Billing, &c., or in compounds,
Mallington, Billingborough. In Walsingham, the home
of the Walsings, the memory of the famous race of the
Wœlsings may have been preserved, to which Siegfried
belonged, the hero of the Nibelunge. 18 In German
16names, such as Göttingen in Hanover, Harlingen in Holland,
we have old genitives plural, in the sense of ‘the
home of the Gottings, the home of the Harlings,’ &c. *19

(2) Ing is used to form more general attributive
words, such as, œþeling, a man of rank; lyteling, an
infant; mîđing, a bad man. This ing being frequently
preceded by another suffix, the l, we arrive at the very
common derivative ling, in such words as darling, hireling,
yearling, foundling, nestling, worldling, changeling.
It is doubtful, in fact, whether even in such words
as celling, lyteling, which end in l, the suffix is not
rather ling than ing, and whether the original spelling
was not œþelling and lytelling. Thus farthing, too, is a
corruption of feorđling, German vierling.

It has been supposed that the modern English
participle was formed by the same derivative, but in
A.S. this suffix ing is chiefly attached to nouns
and adjectives, not to verbs. There was, however,
another derivative in A.S., which was attached to
verbs in order to form verbal substantives. This
was ung, the German ung. For instance, clœnsung,
cleansing; beácnung, beaconing; &c. In early A.S.
these abstract nouns in ung are far more numerous than
17those in ing. Ing, however, began soon to encroach
on ung, and at present no trace is left in English of
substantives derived from verbs by means of ung.

Although, as I said, it might seem more plausible
to look on the modern participle in English as originally
an adjective in ing, such popular phrases as
a-going, a-thinking, point rather to the verbal substantives
in ing as the source from which the modern
English participle was derived. ‘I am going’ is in
reality a corruption of ‘I am a-going,’ i.e. ‘I am on
going’ and the participle present would thus, by
a very simple process, be traced back to a locative
case of a verbal noun. *20

Let us lay it down, therefore, as a fact, that the
place of the participle present may, in the progress of
dialectic regeneration, be supplied by the locative or
some other case of a verbal noun.

Now let us look to French. On June 3, 1679, the
French Academy decreed that the participles present
should no longer be declined. 21

What was the meaning of this decree? Simply
what may now be found in every French grammar,
namely, that commençant, finissant, are indeclinable
when they have the meaning of the participle present,
active or neuter; but that they take the terminations
of the masculine and feminine, in the singular and
18plural, if they are used as adjectives. *22 But what is
the reason of this rule? Simply this, that chantant,
if used as a participle, is not the Latin participle
present cantans, but the so-called gerund, that is to
say, the oblique case of a verbal noun, the Latin
cantando corresponding to the English a-singing, while
the real Latin participle present, cantans, is used in
the Romance languages as an adjective, and takes
the feminine termination — for instance, ‘une femme
souffrante
,’ &c.

Here, then, we see again that in analytical languages
the idea conveyed by the participle present can
be expressed by the oblique case of a verbal noun.

Let us now proceed to a more distant, yet to a
cognate language, the Bengali. We there find 23 that
the so-called infinitive is formed by te, which te is at
the same time the termination of the locative singular.
Hence the present, Karitechi, I am doing, and the
imperfect, Karitechilâm I was doing, are mere
compounds of âchi, I am, âchilâm, I was, with what
may be called a participle present, but what is in
reality a verbal noun in the locative. Karitechi, I do,
means ‘I am on doing,’ or ‘I am a-doing.’

Now the question arises, Does this perfectly intelligible
method of forming the participle from the
oblique case of a verbal noun, and of forming the
present indicative by compounding this verbal noun
with the auxiliary verb ‘to be’ supply us with a test
19that may be safely applied to the analysis of languages
which decidedly belong to a different family of speech?
Let us take the Bask, which is certainly neither Aryan
nor Semitic, and which has thrown out a greater
abundance of verbal forms than almost any known
language. *24 Here the present is formed by what is
called a participle, followed by an auxiliary verb.
This participle, however, is formed by the suffix an,
and the same suffix is used to form the locative case
of nouns. For instance, mendia, the mountain;
mendiaz, from the mountain; meridian, in the mountain;
mendico, for the sake of the mountain. In like
manner, etchean, in the house; ohean, in the bed. If,
then, we examine the verb,

erorten niz, I fall;
— hiz, thou fallest;
— da, he falls;

we see again in erorten a locative, or, as it is called, a
positive case of the verbal substantive erorta, the root
of which would be eror, falling; 25 so that the indicative
20present, of the Bask verb does not mean either I
fall
, or I am falling, but was intended originally for
21‘I (am) in the act of falling’ or, to return to the point
from whence we started, I am a-falling. The a in
22a-falling stands for an original on. Thus asleep is on
sleep
, aright is onrihte, away is onweg, aback is onbœc,
again is ongén (Ger. entgegen), among is ongemang, &c.

This must suffice as an illustration of the principles
on which the Science of Language rests, viz. that
what is real in modern formations must be admitted
as possible in more ancient formations, and that
what has been found to be true on a small scale may
be true on a larger scale.

But the same illustration may also serve as a
warning. There is much in the science of language
to tempt us to overstep the legitimate limits of inductive
reasoning. We may infer from the known to the
unknown in language tentatively, but not positively.
It does not follow, even within so small a sphere as
the Aryan family of speech, that what is possible in
23French is possible in Latin, that what explains Bengali
will explain Sanskrit; nay, the similarity between
some of the Aryan languages and the Bask in the formation
of their participles should be considered as aii
entirely exceptional case. Mr. Garnett, however, after
establishing the principle that the participle present
may be expressed by the locative of a verbal noun,
endeavours in his excellent paper to show that the
original Indo-European participle, the Latin amans,
the Greek týptōn, the Sanskrit bodhat, were formed
on the same principle : — that they are all inflected cases
of a verbal noun. In this, I believe, he has failed, *26
as many have failed before and after him, by imagining
that what has been found to be true in one portion of
the vast kingdom of speech must be equally true in
all. This is not so, and cannot be so. Language,
though its growth is governed by intelligible principles
throughout, was not so uniform in its progress
as to repeat exactly the same phenomena at every
stage of its life. As the geologist looks for different
characteristics when he has to deal with London clay,
with Oxford clay, or with old red sandstone, the
student of language, too, must be prepared for different
formations, even though he confines himself to
one stage in the history of language, the inflectional.
And if he steps beyond this, the most modern stage,
then to apply indiscriminately to the lower stages of
human speech, to the agglutinative and radical, the
same tests which have proved successful in the inflectional,
24would be like ignoring the difference between
aqueous, igneous, and metamorphic rocks.
There are scholars who, as it would seem, are incapable
of appreciating more than one kind of evidence. No
doubt the evidence on which the relationship of
French and Italian, of Greek and Latin, of Lithuanian
and Sanskrit, of Hebrew and Arabic, has been
established, is the most satisfactory; but such evidence
is possible only in inflectional languages that
have passed their period of growth, and have entered
into the stage of phonetic decay. To call for the
same evidence in support of the homogeneousness of
the Turanian languages, is to call for evidence which,
from the nature of the case, it is impossible to supply.
As well might the geologist look for fossils in granite!
The Turanian languages allow of no grammatical
petrifactions like those on which the relationship of
the Aryan and Semitic families is chiefly founded. If
they did, they would cease to be what they are; they
would be inflectional, not agglutinative.

If languages were all of one and the same texture,
they might be unravelled, no doubt, with the same
tools. But as they are not — and this is admitted by
all — it is surely mere waste of valuable time to test
the relationship of Tungusic, Mongolic, Turkic, Samoyedic,
and Finnic dialects by the same criteria on
which the common descent of Greek and Latin is
established; or to try to discover Sanskrit in the
Malay dialects, or Greek in the idioms of the Caucasian
mountaineers. The whole crust of the earth
is not made of lias, swarming with Ammonites and
Plesiosauri, nor is all language made of Sanskrit,
teeming with Supines and Paulo-pluperfects. Up to
a certain point the method by which so great results
25have been achieved in classifying the Aryan languages
may be applicable to other clusters of speech. Phonetic
laws are always useful, but they are not the
only tools which the student of language must learn
to handle. If we compare the extreme members of
the Polynesian dialects, we find but little agreement
in what may be called their grammar, and many of
their words seem totally distinct. But if we compare
their numerals we clearly see that these are common
property; we perceive similarity, though at the same
time great diversity *27: —

tableau Fakaafoan | Samoan | Tongan | New Zealand | Rarotongan | Mangarevan | Paumotuan | Tahitian | Hawaiian | Nukuhivan

We begin to note the phonetic changes that have
taken place in one and the same numeral, as pronounced
by different islanders; we thus arrive at
26phonetic laws, and these, in their turn, remove the
apparent dissimilarity in other words which at first
seemed totally irreconcilable. Let those who are
inclined to speak disparagingly of the strict observance
of phonetic rules in tracing the history of Aryan
words, and who consider it mere pedantry to be
restrained by Grimm's Law from identifying such
words as Latin cura and care, Greek kaléìn and to
call
, Latin peto and to bid, Latin corvus and crow, look
to the progress that has been made by African and
Polynesian philologists in checking the wild spirit of
etymology even where they have to deal with dialects
never reduced as yet to a fixed standard by the influence
of a national literature, never written down at
all, and never analysed before by grammatical science.
The whole of the first volume of Dr. Bleek's ‘Comparative
Grammar of the South African Languages’
treats of Phonology, of the vowels and consonants
peculiar to each dialect, and of the changes to which
each letter is liable in its passage from one dialect
into another (see page 82, seq.). And Mr. Hale, in
the seventh volume of the ‘United States Exploring
Expedition’ (p. 232), has not only given a table of the
regular changes which words common to the numerous
Polynesian languages undergo, but he has likewise
noted those permutations which take place occasionally
only. On the strength of these phonetic laws once
established, words which have hardly one single letter
in common have been traced back with perfect certainty
to one and the same source.

But mere phonetic decay will not account for the differences
between the Polynesian dialects, and unless we
admit the process of dialectic regeneration to a much
greater extent than we should be justified in doing in
27the Aryan and Semitic families, our task of reconciliation
would become hopeless. Will it be believed that
since the time of Cook five of the ten simple numerals
in the language of Tahiti have been thrown off and
replaced by new ones? This is, nevertheless, the
fact.

Two was rua; it is now piti.
Four was ha; it is now maha.
Five was rima; it is now pae.
Six was ono; it is now fene.
Eight was varu; it is now vau *28

It is clear that if a radical or monosyllabic language,
like Chinese, begins to change and to break out in
independent dialects, the results must be very different
from those which we observe in Latin as split up into
the Romance dialects. In the Romance dialects, however
violent the changes which made Portuguese words
to differ from French, there always remain a few fibres
by which they hang together. It might be difficult
to recognise the French plier, to fold, to turn, in the
Portuguese chegar, to arrive, yet we trace plier back to
plicare, and chegar to the Spanish llegar, the old Spanish
plegar, the Latin plicare 29 here used in the sense of
plying or turning towards a place, arriving at a place.
But when we have to deal with dialects of Chinese,
everything that could possibly hold them together
seems hopelessly gone. The language now spoken in
Cochin-China is a dialect of Chinese, at least as much
as Norman French was a dialect of French, though
spoken by Saxons at a Norman court. There was a
28native language of Cochin-China, the Annamitic, *30 which
forms, as it were, the Saxon of that country on which
the Chinese, like the Norman, was grafted. This engrafted
Chinese, then, is a dialect of the Chinese which
is spoken in China, and it is most nearly related to the
spoken dialect of Canton. Yet few Chinese scholars
would recognise Chinese in the language of Cochin-China.
It is, for instance, one of the most characteristic
features of the literary Chinese, the dialect of Nankin,
or the idiom of the Mandarins, that every syllable ends
in a vowel, either pure or nasal. 31 In Cochin-Chinese,
on the contrary, we find words ending in k, t, p.
Thus, ten is thap, at Canton chap, instead of the Chinese
tchi. 32 No wonder that the early missionaries
described the Annamitic as totally distinct from Chinese.
One of them says : ‘When I arrived in Cochin-China,
and heard the natives speak, particularly the
women, I thought I heard the twittering of birds,
and I gave up all hope of ever learning it. All words
are monosyllabic, and people distinguish their significations
only by means of different accents in pronouncing
them. The same syllable, for instance, daï,
29signifies twenty-three entirely different things, according
to the difference of accent, so that people never
speak without singing.’ *33 This description, though
somewhat exaggerated, is correct in the main, there
being six or eight musical accents or modulations in
this as in other monosyllabic tongues, by which the
different meanings of one and the same monosyllabic
root are kept distinct. These accents form an element
of language which we have lost, but which was most important
during the primitive stages of human speech. 34
The Chinese language commands no more than about
450 distinct sounds, and with them it expresses between
40,000 and 50,000 words or meanings. 35 These meanings
are now kept distinct by means of composition,
as in other languages by derivation, but in the radical
stage words with more than twenty significations
would have bewildered the hearer entirely, without
some hints to indicate their actual intention. Such
hints were given by different intonations. We
have something left of this faculty in the tone of our
sentences. We distinguish an interrogative from a
positive sentence by the raising of our voice. (Gone?
Gone.) We pronounce Yes very differently when we
mean perhaps (Yes, this may be true), or of course
(Yes, I know it), or really (Yes? is it true?) or truly
(Yes, I will). But in Chinese, in Annamitic (and likewise
in Siamese and Burmese), these modulations have
a much wider application. Thus in Annamitic, ba
pronounced with the grave accent means a lady, an
ancestor; pronounced with the sharp accent it means
the favourite of a prince; pronounced with the semi-grave
30accent, it means what has been thrown away;
pronounced with the grave circumflex, it means what
is left of a fruit after it has been squeezed out; pronounced
with no accent, it means three; pronounced
with the ascending or interrogative accent, it means a
box on the ear. Thus —

Ba, bà, bâ, bá,

is said to mean, if properly pronounced, ‘Three ladies
gave a box on the ear to the favourite of the prince’
How much these accents must be exposed to fluctuation
in different dialects is easy to perceive. Though
they are fixed by grammatical rules, and though their
neglect causes the most absurd mistakes, they were
clearly in the beginning the mere expression of individual
feeling, and therefore liable to much greater
dialectic variation than grammatical forms, properly
so called. But let us take what we might call grammatical
forms in Chinese, in order to see how differently
they too fare in dialectic dispersion, as compared with
the terminations of inflectional languages. Though
the grammatical organisation of Latin has been well-nigh
used up in French, we still see in the s of the
plural a remnant of the Latin paradigm. We can
trace the one back to the other. But in Chinese,
where the plural is formed by the addition of some
word meaning ‘multitude, heap, flock, class’ what
trace of original relationship remains when one dialect
uses one, another another word? The plural in Cochin-Chinese
is formed by placing fo before the substantive.
This fo means many, or a certain number.
It may exist in Chinese, but it is certainly not used
there to form the plural. Another word employed for
forming plurals is nung, several, and this again is
wanting in Chinese. It fortunately happens, however,
31that a few words expressive of plurality have been
preserved both in Chinese and Cochin-Chinese; as, for
instance, choung, clearly the Chinese tchoung *36 meaning
conflux, vulgus, all, and used as an exponent of the
plural; and kak, which has been identified with the
Chinese ko. The last identification may seem doubtful;
and if we suppose that choung, too, had been given
up in Cochin-Chinese as a term of plurality, how would
the tests which we apply for discovering the original
identity of the Aryan languages have helped us in
determining the real and close relationship between
Chinese and Cochin-Chinese?

The present indicative is formed in Cochin-Chinese
by simply putting the personal pronoun before the
root. Thus —

tableau toy men | I love | mai men | thou lovest | no men | he loves

The past tense is formed by the addition of da,
which means ‘already.’ Thus —

tableau toy da men | I loved | mai da men | thou lovedst | no da men | he loved

The future is formed by the addition of chè. Thus —

tableau toy chè men | I shall love | mai chè men | thou will love | no chè men | he will love

Now, have we any right, however convinced we
may be of the close relationship between Chinese and
Cochin-Chinese, to expect the same forms in the language
of the Mandarins? Not at all. The pronoun
of the first person in Cochin-Chinese is not a pronoun,
but means ‘servant.’ ‘I love’ is expressed in that
32civil language by ‘servant loves.’ *37 In Chinese the
same polite phraseology is constantly observed, 38 but
the words used are not the same, and do not include
toy, servant. Instead of ngò, I, the Chinese would use
kuà ĝin, little man; tcín, subject; tśie, thief; íu, blockhead.
Nothing can be more polite; but we cannot
expect that different nations should hit on exactly the
same polite speeches, though they may agree in the
common sense of grammar. The past tense is indicated
in Chinese by particles meaning ‘already’ or
‘formerly’ but we do not find among them the Annamitic
da. The same applies to the future. The system
is throughout the same, but the materials are
different. Shall we say, therefore, that these languages
cannot be proved to be related, because they do not
display the same criteria of relationship as French and
English, Latin and Greek, Celtic and Sanskrit?

I tried in one of my former lectures to explain
some of the causes which in nomadic dialects produce
a much more rapid shedding of words than in literary
languages, and I have since received ample evidence
to confirm the views which I then expressed. My
excellent friend, the Bishop of Melanesia, of whom it
is difficult to say whether we should admire him most
as a missionary, or as a scholar, or as a bold mariner,
meets in every small island with a new language,
which none but a scholar could trace back to the
Melanesian type. ‘What an indication’ he writes,
‘of the jealousy and suspicion of their lives, the
extraordinary multiplicity of these languages affords!
In each generation, for aught I know, they diverge
33more and more; provincialisms and local words, &c,
perpetually introduce new causes for perplexity.’

I shall mention to-day but one new, though insignificant
cause of change in the Polynesian languages,
in order to show that it is difficult to over-estimate
the multifarious influences which are at work in
nomadic dialects, constantly changing their aspect
and multiplying their number; and in order to convince
even the most incredulous how little we know
of all the secret springs of language if we confine our
researches to a comparison of the classical tongues of
India, Greece, Italy, and Germany.

The Tahitians, *39 besides their metaphorical expressions,
have another and a more singular mode of
displaying their reverence towards their king, by a
custom which they term Te pi. They cease to employ,
in the common language, those words which form a
part or the whole of the sovereign's name, or that of
one of his near relatives, and invent new terms to
supply their place. As all names in Polynesian are
significant, and as a chief usually has several, it will
be seen that this custom must produce a considerable
change in the language. It is true that this change
is only temporary, as at the death of the king or
chief the new word is dropped, and the original term
resumed. But it is hardly to be supposed that after
one or two generations the old words should still be
remembered and be reinstated. Anyhow, it is a fact,
that the missionaries, by employing many of the new
terms, give them a permanency which will defy the
ceremonial loyalty of the natives. Vancouver observes
(Voyage, vol. i. p. 135) that at the accession of Otu,
34which took place between the visit of Cook and his
own, no less than forty or fifty, of the most common
words, which occur in conversation, had been entirely
changed. It is not necessary that all the simple
words which go to make up a compound name should
be changed. The alteration of one is esteemed
sufficient. Thus in Po-mare, signifying ‘the night
(po) of coughing (mare),’ only the first word,
po, has been dropped, mi being used in its place.
So in Ai-mata (eye-eater), the name of the present
queen, the ai (eat) has been altered to amu, and
the mata (eye) retained. In Te-arii-na-vaha-roa
(the chief with the large mouth), roa alone has
been changed to maoro. It is the same as if,
with the accession of Queen Victoria, either the
word victory had been tabooed altogether, or only
part of it, for instance tori, so as to make it high
treason to speak during her reign of Tories, this
word being always supplied by another; such, for
instance, as Liberal-Conservative. The object was
clearly to guard against the name of the sovereign
being ever used, even by accident, in ordinary conversation,
and this object is attained by tabooing even
one portion of his name.

‘But this alteration’ as Mr. Hale continues, ‘affects
not only the words themselves, but syllables of similar
sound in other words. Thus the name of one of the
kings being Tu, not only was this word, which means
“to stand,” changed to tia, but in the word fetu, star,
the last syllable, though having no connection, except
in sound, with the word tu, underwent the same
alteration — star being now fetia; tui, to strike, became
tiai; and tu pa pau, a corpse, tia pa pau. So ha,
four, having been changed to maha, the word aha,
35split, has been altered to amaha, and murihá, the
name of a month, to muriáha. When the word ai
was changed to amu, maraai, the name of a certain
wind (in Rarotongan, maranai), became maraamu.’

‘The mode of alteration, or the manner of forming
new terms, seems to be arbitrary. In many cases, the
substitutes are made by changing or dropping some
letter or letters of the original word, as hopoi for
hapai, to carry in the arms; ene for hono, to mend;
au for tau, fit; hio for tio, to look; ea for ara, path;
vau for varu, eight; vea for vera, not, &c. In other
cases, the word substituted is one which had before
a meaning nearly related to that of the term disused,
— as tia, straight, upright, is used instead of tu, to
stand; pae, part, division, instead of rima, five; piti,
together, has replaced rua, two, &c. In some cases,
the meaning or origin of the new word is unknown,
and it may be a mere invention — as ofai for ohatu,
stone; pape, for vai, water; poke for mate, dead, &c.
Some have been adopted from the neighbouring Paumotuan,
as rui, night, from ruki, dark; fene, six, from
hene; avae, moon, from kawake.’

‘It is evident that but for the rule by which the old
terms are revived on the death of the person in whose
name they entered, the language might, in a few centuries,
have been completely changed, not, indeed, in
its grammar, but in its vocabulary’

It might, no doubt, be said that the Te pi is a mere
accident, a fancy peculiar to a fanciful race, but far too
unimportant to claim any consideration from the
philosophical student of language. I confess that at
first it appeared to myself in the same light, but my
attention was lately drawn to the fact that the same
peculiarity, or at least something very like it, exists
36in the Kafir languages. ‘The Kafir women’ as we
are told by the Rev. J. W. Appleyard, in his excellent
work on the Kafir language, *40 ‘have many words
peculiar to themselves. This arises from a national
custom, called Ukuhlonipa, which forbids their pronouncing
any word which may happen to contain a
sound similar to one in the names of their nearest
male relations’ It is perfectly true that the words
substituted are at first no more than family idioms —
nay, that they would be confined to the gossip of
women, and not enter into the conversation of men.
But the influence of women on the language of each
generation is much greater than that of men. We
very properly call our language in Germany our
mother-tongue, Unsere Muttersprache, for it is from
our mothers that we learn it, with all its peculiarities,
faults, idioms, accents. Cicero, in his ‘Brutus’ (c.
58), said: — ‘It makes a great difference whom we
hear at home every day, and with whom we speak as
boys, and how our fathers, our tutors, and our
mothers speak. We read the letters of Cornelia, the
mother of the Gracchi, and it is clear from them that
her sons were brought up not in the lap, but, so to say,
in the very breath and speech of their mother.’ And
again (Rhet. iii. 12), when speaking of his mother-in-law,
37Crassus said, ‘When I hear Lælia (for women
keep old fashions more readily, because, as they do not
hear the conversation of many people, they will always
retain what they learned at first); but when I hear
her, it is as if I were listening to Plautus and Nævius.’

But this is not all. Dante ascribed the first attempts
at using the vulgar tongue in Italy for literary compositions
to the silent influence of ladies who did not
understand the Latin language. Now this vulgar
Italian, before it became the literary language of Italy,
held very much the same position there as the so-called
Prâkrit dialects in India; and these Prâkrit dialects
first assumed a literary position in the Sanskrit plays
where female characters, both high and low, are introduced
as speaking Prâkrit, instead of the Sanskrit
employed by kings, noblemen, and priests. Here, then,
we have the language of women, or, if not of women exclusively,
at all events of women and domestic servants,
gradually entering into the literary idiom, and in later
times even supplanting it altogether; for it is from
the Prâkrit, and not from the literary Sanskrit, that
the modern vernaculars of India branched off in
course of time. Nor is the simultaneous existence of
two such representatives of one and the same language
as Sanskrit and Prâkrit confined to India. On the
contrary, it has been remarked that several languages
divide themselves from the first into two great branches;
one showing a more manly, the other a more feminine
character; one richer in consonants, the other richer
in vowels; one more tenacious of the original grammatical
terminations, the other more inclined to slur
over these terminations, and to simplify grammar by
the use of circumlocutions. Thus we have Greek in its
two dialects, the Æolic and the Ionic, with their subdivisions,
38the Doric and Attic. In German we find
the High and the Low German; in Celtic, the Gadhelic
and Cymric, as in India the Sanskrit and Prâkrit;
and it is by no means an unlikely explanation, that,
as Grimm suggested in the case of High and Low
German, so likewise in the other Aryan languages, the
stern and strict dialects, the Sanskrit, the Æolic, the
Gadhelic, represent the idiom of the fathers and
brothers, used at public assemblies; while the soft
and simpler dialects, the Prâkrit, the Ionic, and the
Cymric, sprang originally from the domestic idiom
of mothers, sisters, and servants at home.

But whether the influence of the language of women
be admitted on this large scale or not, certain it is,
that through a thousand smaller channels their idioms
everywhere find admission into the domestic conversation
of the whole family, and into the public speeches
of their assemblies. The greater the ascendency of
the female element in society, the greater the influence
of their language on the language of a family or a
clan, a village or a town. The cases, however, that
are mentioned of women speaking a totally different
language from the men, cannot be used in confirmation
of this view. The Caribe women, for instance, in the
Antille Islands, *41 spoke a language different from that
of their husbands, because the Caribes had killed the
whole male population of the Arawakes and married
their women; and something similar seems to have
taken place among some of the tribes of Greenland. 42
Yet even these isolated cases show how, among savage
races, in a primitive state of society, language may be
influenced by what we should call purely accidental
causes.39

But to return to the Kafir language, we find in it
clear traces that what may have been originally a mere
feminine peculiarity — the result, if you like, of the
bashfulness of the Kafir ladies — extended its influence.
For, in the same way as the women eschew words
which contain a sound similar to the names of
their nearest male relatives, the men also of certain
Kafir tribes feel a prejudice against employing a
word that is similar in sound to the name of one of
their former chiefs. Thus, the Amambalu do not use
ilanga, the general word for sun, because their first
chiefs name was Ulanga, but employ isota instead.
For a similar reason, the Amagqunukwebi substitute
immela for isitshetshe, the general term for
knife. *43

Here, then, we may perceive two things: first, the
influence which a mere whim, if it once becomes stereotyped,
may exercise on the whole character of a language
(for we must remember that as every woman
had her own male relations, and every tribe its own
ancestors, a large number of words must constantly
have been tabooed and supplanted in these African and
Polynesian dialects); secondly, the curious coincidence
that two great branches of speech, the Kafir and the
Polynesian, should share in common what at first sight
would seem a merely accidental idiosyncrasy, a thing
that might have been thought of once, but never again.
It is perfectly true that such principles as the Te pi and
the Ukuhlonipa could never become powerful agents
in the literary languages of civilised nations, and that
we must not look for traces of their influence either in
Sanskrit, Greek, or Latin, as known to us. But it is
for that very reason that the study of what I call Nomad
40languages, as distinguished from State languages,
becomes so instructive. We see in them what we can
no longer expect to see even in the most ancient
Sanskrit or Hebrew. We watch the childhood of
language with all its childish freaks, and we learn at
least this one lesson, that there is more in language
than is dreamt of in our philosophy.

One more testimony in support of these views.
Mr. H. W. Bates, in his latest work, ‘The Naturalist
on the Amazons,’ writes: — ‘But language is not a
sure guide in the filiation of Brazilian tribes, seven or
eight languages being sometimes spoken on the same
river within a distance of 200 or 300 miles. There
are certain peculiarities in Indian habits which lead to
a quick corruption of language and segregation of
dialects. When Indians, men or women, are conversing
amongst themselves, they seem to take pleasure
in inventing new modes of pronunciation, or in distorting
words. It is amusing to notice how the whole
party will laugh when the wit of the circle perpetrates
a new slang term, and these new words are very often
retained. I have noticed this during long voyages
made with Indian crews. When such alterations
occur amongst a family or horde, which often live
many years without communication with the rest of
their tribe, the local corruption of language becomes
perpetuated. * Single hordes belonging to the same
tribe, and inhabiting the banks of the same river, thus
become, in the course of many years' isolation, unintelligible
to other hordes, as happens with the Collinas
on the Jurúa. I think it, therefore, very probable that
the disposition to invent new words and new modes of
pronunciation, added to the small population and
habits of isolation of hordes and tribes, are the causes
41of the wonderful diversity of languages in South
America’ — (Vol. i. pp. 329-30.)

As I intend to limit the present course of lectures
chiefly to Greek and Latin, with its Romance offshoots;
English, with its Continental kith and kin; and the
much-abused, though indispensable, Sanskrit, I thought
it necessary thus from the beginning to guard against
the misapprehension that the study of Sanskrit and
its cognate dialects could supply us with all that is
necessary for the Science of Language. It can do so as
little as an exploration of the tertiary epoch could tell
us all about the stratification of the earth. But,
nevertheless, it can tell us a great deal. By displaying
to us the minute laws that regulate the changes
of each consonant, each vowel, each accent, it disciplines
the student, and teaches him respect for every
jot and tittle in any, even the most barbarous, dialect
he may hereafter have to analyse. By helping us to an
understanding of that language in which we think,
and of others most near and dear to us, it makes us
perceive the great importance which the Science of
Language has for the Science of the Mind. Nay, it
shows that the two are inseparable, and that without
a proper analysis of human language we shall never
arrive at a true knowledge of the human mind. I
quote from Leibniz: ‘I believe truly,’ he says, ‘that
languages are the best mirror of the human mind, and
that an exact analysis of the signification of words
would make us better acquainted than anything else
with the operations of the understanding’

I propose to divide my lectures into two parts. I
shall first treat of what may be called the body or the
outside of language, the sounds in which language is
clothed, whether we call them letters, syllables, or
42words; describing their origin, their formation, and
the laws which determine their growth and decay.
In this part we shall have to deal with some of the
more important principles of Etymology.

In the second part I mean to investigate what may
be called the soul or the inside of language; examining
the first conceptions that claimed utterance, their
combinations and ramifications, their growth, their
decay, and their resuscitation. In that part we shall
have to inquire into some of the fundamental principles
of Mythology, both ancient and modern, and to determine
the sway, if any, which language as such exercises
over our thoughts.43

11 [Complément de titre proposé dans la table des matières du volume. Note du correcteur CTLF.]

2* A valuable essay ‘On some leading Characteristics of the Dialects
spoken in the six Northern Counties of England, or Ancient
Northumbria, and on the Variations in their Grammar from that
of Standard English,’ has lately been published by Mr. R. P.
Peacock, Berlin, 1863. It is chiefly based on the versions of the
Song of Solomon into many of the spoken dialects of England,
which have of late years been executed and published under the
auspices of H.I.H. Prince Louis-Lucien Bonaparte. It is to be
hoped that the writer will continue his researches in a field of
scholarship so full of promise.

3* A thoroughly scholar-like answer to the late Sir G. C. Lewis's
attacks on Champollion and other decipherers of ancient inscriptions
may be seen in an article by Professor Le Page Renouf,
‘Sir G. C. Lewis on the Decipherment and Interpretation of
Dead Languages’ in the Atlantis, nos. vii and viii., p. 23.
Though it cannot be known now whether the late Sir G. C.
Lewis ever modified his opinions as to the soundness of the
method through which the inscriptions of Egypt, Persia, India, and
ancient Italy have been deciphered, such was the uprightness of
his character that he would certainly have been the first to
acknowledge his mistake, had he been spared to continue his
studies. Though his scepticism was occasionally uncritical and
unfair, his loss is a severe loss to our studies, which, more than
any others, require to be kept in order by the watchful eye and
uncompromising criticism of close reasoners and sound scholars.
An essay just published by Professor F. W. Newman, ‘On the
Umbrian Language,’ following after a short interval on an
article in Fraser's Magazine, Jan. 1863, does equal credit to the
acumen and to the candour of its author.

4* Mémoire de M. le comte de Caylus, sur les mines de Persepolis,
dans le tome XXIX des Mémoires de L'Académie des inscriptions
et belles-lettres, Histoire de l'Académie
, p. 118.

5* Report of the British Association for the Advancement of
Science
, 1847, p. 257.

6 The Hyperboreans, known to Homer and Herodotus as a
people living in the extreme north, beloved by Apollo, and distinguished
for piety and happiness, were to the Greeks a mythical
people, like the Uttarakurus of the Brahmans. Their name
signifies ‘living beyond the mountains,’ and Boreas too, the
north wind, meant originally the wind from the mountains, and
more particularly from the Rhipæan mountains. (See Preller,
Griechische Mythologies i. 157.) Boros, from which Boreas, is
another form of oros, mountain, both derived from the same root
which in Sanskrit yields giri, mountain, and in ancient Slavonic
gora. (See Curtius, Grundzüge der Griechischen Etymologie,
i. 314; ii. 67.)

The Ethiopians, equally known to Homer and Herodotus, were
originally intended for dark-looking people in general. Aithíops,
like aithops, meant fiery-looking, from aíthein, to light up, to burn,
Sanskrit idh, to kindle. (See Curtius, l. c. i. 215.)

7* The Polynesian, Honolulu, Sept. 27, Oct. 4, Oct. 11, 1862 —
containing an Essay by Dr. J. Rae.

8* A Comparative Grammar of the South African Languages,
by W. H. J. Bleek, Ph.D. 1862.

9 When the Rev. R. Moffat was in England, a few years since,
he met with a Syrian who had recently arrived from Egypt, and in
reference to whom Mr. Moffat has the following note: — ‘On my
giving him a specimen and a description of the Hottentot language,
he remarked that he had seen slaves in the market of Cairo,
brought a great distance from the inferior, who spoke a similar
language, and were not near so dark-coloured as slaves in general.
This corroborates the statement of ancient authors, whose description
of a people inhabiting the interior regions of Northern
Africa answers to that of the Hottentot and Bushman.’ — ‘It may
be conceived as possible, therefore, that the people here alluded to
form a portion of the Hottentot race, whose progenitors remained
behind in the interior country, to the south or south-west of
Egypt, whilst the general emigration continued its onward
course. Should this prove not incorrect, it might be reasonably
conjectured that Egypt is the country from which the Hottentot
tribes originally came. This supposition, indeed, is strengthened
by the resemblance which appears to subsist between the Copts
and Hottentots in general appearance.’ (Appleyard, The Kafir
Language
. 1850.) — ‘Since the Hottentot race is known only as a
receding one, and traces of its existence extend into the interior
of South Africa, it may be looked upon as a fragment of the old
and properly Ethiopic population, stretched along the mountain-spine
of Africa, through the regions now occupied by the Galla;
but cut through and now enveloped by tribes of a different stock.’
(J. C. Adamson, in Journal of the American Oriental Society,
vol. iv. p. 449. 1854.)

10* See Mr. John Crawfurd's essay On the Aryan or Indo-Germanic
Theory
, and an article by Professor T. Hewitt Key in
the Transactions of the Philological Society, ‘The Sanskrit
Language, as the Basis of Linguistic Science, and the Labours of
the German School in that field, are they not overvalued?’

11 L. c. p. 256.

12* Lectures on the Science of Language, First Series, p. 136,
note (4th edition).

13* Archdeacon Hare, Words corrupted by False Analogy or
False Derivation
, p. 65.

14 Pointis and sleves be wel sittánde
Full right and straight upon the hande.
Rom. of the Rose, 2264.

15 Grimm, Deutsche Grammatik, ii. 348-365.

16* See Forstemann, Die Deutschen Ortsnamen, p. 244; and
Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Sprachforschung, i. 109.

17 Latham, History of the English Language, i. p. 223; Kemble,
Saxons in England, i. p. 59, and Appendix, p. 449.

18 Grimm, Deutsche Heldensage, p. 14.

19* Harlings, in A.S. Herelingas (Trav. Song, i. 224); Harlunge
(W. Grimm, Deut. Heldensage, p. 280, &c.), are found at Harling
in Norfolk and Kent, and at Harlington (Herelingatún) in
Bedfordshire and Middlesex. The Wælsings, in Old Norse
Völsungar, the family of Sigurdr or Siegfried, reappear at Walsingham
in Norfolk, Wolsingham in Northumberland, and Woolsingham
in Durham. The Billings at Billinge, Billingham,
Billinghoe, Billinghurst, Billingden, Billington, and many other
places. The Dyringas, in Thorington or Thorrington, are likely
to be offshoots of the great Hermunduric race, the Thyringi or
Thoringi, now Thuringians, always neighbours of the Saxons. —
Kemble, Saxons in England, i. pp. 59 and 63.

20* Cf. Garnett's paper ‘On the Formation of Words from Inflected
Cases,’ Philological Society, vol. iii. No. 54, 1847. Garnett
compares the Welsh yn sefyll in standing, Ir. ag seasamh, on
standing, the Gaelic ag sealgadh. The same ingenious and
accurate scholar was the first to propose the theory of the participle
being formed from the locative of a verbal noun.

21 Cf. Egger, Notions élémentaires de Grammaire Comparée,
Paris, 1856, p. 197. ‘La règle est faite. On ne déclinera plus
les participes présents.’ — B. Jullien, Cours Superieur, i. p. 186.

22* Diez, Vergleichende Grammatik der Romanischen Sprachen,
ii. p. 114.

23 M. M.'s Essay on the Relation of the Bengali to the Aryan
and Aboriginal Languages of India: Report of the British
Association for the Advancement of Science
, 1847, pp 344-45.
Cf. Garnett, l. c. p. 29.

24* See Inchauspe's Le Verbe Basque, published by Prince Louis-Lucien
Bonaparte. Bayonne, 1858.

25 Cf. Dissertation critique et apologétique sur la Langue Basque
(par l'Abbé Darrigol), Bayonne, p. 102. ‘Commençons par l'expression
erortean. Cette facon de parler signifie en tombant, mais
par quel secret? Le voici: le point où l'on est (ubi) s'exprime
par le cas positif, comme barnean (dans l'interieur), etchean
(dans la maison), ohean (dans le lit), &c. Or l'action que l'on fait
présentement peut être envisagée comme le point où l'on est, et
dès lors s'exprime aussi par le positif: de là l'expression erortean
n'est autre chose que l'infinitif erortea (le tomber) mis au cas
positif; elle signifie done littéralement dans le tomber.

Cette façon de parler, qui paraît extraordinaire quand on l'entend
analyser pour la première fois, n'est pas une locution propre
à notre langue; on dit en hébreu biphkod (en visitant), et le sens
litteral de ce mot est dans visiter: on dit en grec en tô piptein (en
tombant
, littéralement dans le tomber) en tô philein tou Theou
(mot à mot dans l'aimer Dieu). Quand Virgile a dit, et cantare
pares, et respondere parati
, il a sous-entendu la particule in devant
le premier infinitif, disent les commentateurs. Nous disons en
français, être à manger, à boire &c., comme être à la maison, à
la campagne &c.

Comme l'action sur laquelle on est présentement peut être
assimilée au point de l'espace où l'on existe, où l'on agit (ubi), elle
peut de même représenter un point de depart (unde). C'est ainsi
que nous envisageons souvent dans le français l'action exprimée
par l'infinitif, puisque nous disons, Je viens de voir la capitale,
comme Je viens de la capitale, Je viens de visiter mes greniers,
comme Je viens de mes greniers. Les actions voir, visiter sont
envisagées ici comme des points de depart, et par cette fiction
elles deviennent complémens de la préposition de, aussi bien que
les noms capitale, greniers. C'est la même fiction et la même
tournure dans l'hébreu miphphekod, dans le latin, à visitando.

Ces observations faites, il est aisé de comprendre que les formes
basques en ic, telles que jatetic, edatetic, ikustetic, &c. ne sont que
les ablatifs des noms jatea, edatea, ikustea, ablatifs commandés
par le point de vue sous lequel on envisage les actions qu'expriment
ces mots. Ainsi cette phrase, Çure aitaren ikustetic jiten
niz
(je viens de voir votre père), signifie, mot à mot, je viens du
voir de votre père
.

Les formes janic, edanic, ikusiric, ont évidemment une terminaison
commune avec celles dont nous venons de parler, et sont
également des ablatifs qui expriment un rapport d'éloignement,
ou dans l'ordre physique ou dans l'ordre moral; toute la différence
des premières formes aux dernières, consiste en ce que celles-là
ont un sens actif, et celles-ci un sens passif. Conséquemment
cette phrase, Çure aita ikusiric jiten niz, signifie, comme celle de
l'exemple précédent, Je viens de voir votre père. Mais si l'on
veut rendre plus scrupuleusement la force du mot ikusiric, il faut
dire ici, Je viens de votre père vu. Et qu'on ne dise pas que cette,
traduction supposerait qu'il y a ikusitic, et non ikusiric; nous
avons observé plus d'une fois que la première des deux formules
est l'ablatif singulier, et l'autre l'ablatif de la section indéfinie,
comme on le voit dans ces façons de parler, Ez da eginic (il n'y
en a point de fait), Ez da erreric (il n'y en a point de cuit), &c.

L'action que l'on va faire peut être envisagée comme un point
de l'espace où l'on se porte (quò); et ce rapport d'approximation,
ce mouvement moral vers l'action dont il s'agit, s'exprime heureusement
par le cas appelé approximatif. Conformément à cette
doctrine, nous disons, Hastera noa, Mintçatcera noa, Ikhustera
noa
(Je vais commencer, Je vais parler, Je vais voir), ou plutôt,
Je vais au commencer, Je vais au parler &c., comme Je vais au
jardin
&c., en hébreu liphkod, en latin ad visitandum &c.

Le lieu par où l'on passe (quà), l'espace ou le milieu que l'on
traverse (medium), l'instrument ou le moyen par lequel une chose
se fait (medium), veulent dans le basque le cas appelé médiatif,
caractérisé par la terminaison az, ez, iz, oz, uz. Il n'est pas
difficile de reconnaître cette inflexion dans les mots janez, ikhusiz,
baratuz, &c. De là, quand je dis Giçona janez bici da (l'homme vit
en mangeant), la traduction littérale est l'homme vit par le manger;
ou plutôt l'homme vit par le mangé; car janez dérive de la forme
jan, qui est tout a la fois et le radical de cette famille, et l'inflexion
passive de ce mot, comme on le voit en disant jana (le
mangé ou la chose mangée).

Nous voici maintenant en état d'apprécier au juste une infinité
de mots que l'on avait coutume d'appeler verbes. Prenons par
exemple le soi-disant verbe tomber; il fait au présent erorten niz
(je tombe), erorten hiz (tu tombes), erorten da (il tombe), erorten
gire
(nous tombons), &c. Si ce que nous avons dit de l'expression
erortean est exact, la formule erortean niz doit signifier, je
suis dans le tomber
, ou dans l'acte de tomber. Il est vrai que
nous disons, par syncope, erorten pour erortean; mais de quelle
conséquence peut être la suppression de la lettre a, puisqu'on dit
indifféremment, selon le dialecte, etchean, etchen ou etchin (dans
la maison)? Si cependant on veut attacher quelque importance
à cette voyelle, il est permis de croire que son absence dénote
l'absence de l'article; ce qui ne paraît pas invraisemblable, après
ce qui a été dit à la page 46.

Il résulte de cette observation que, dans les formules du présent
erorten niz, erorten hiz, &c., le mot erorten, qui exprime l'action
de tomber, n'est pas un verbe, mais bien un nom au cas positif.

Le prétérit erori niz (je suis tombé) se compose aussi du verbe
niz (je suis) et de la formule passive erori, dont le sens adjectif se
manifeste encore mieux si l'on y ajoute l'article, en disant eroria
niz
, c'est à dire, mot à mot, je suis tombé, ou celui qui est tombé.

Le futur erorico niz (je tomberai) offre le même verbe et la même
forme passive avec la terminaison co, laquelle est propre à exprimer
la futurition, par la vertu qu'elle a de signifier la destination
à, pour. C'est dans ce même goût que l'on dit en espagnol,
está por llegar (il est pour arriver).

Notre futur s'exprime encore par la désinence en, comme
jaikeren niz (je me lèverai), joanen niz (j'irai). Pour comprendre
que cette formule n'exprime le futur que par une valeur empruntée
de la déclinaison, il suffit d'observer que le cas destinatif
aitarentçat, aitarendaco (pour le père), amarentçat, amarendaco
(pour la mère), s'abrège quelquefois en cette manière, aitaren,
amdren, &c. Cette observation faite, l'on comprend aisément
que la double formule dont il s'agit n'est synonyme en cet endroit
que parce qu'elle l'est aussi dans la déclinaison.

Tout ce que nous avons dit des infinitifs combinés avec le
verbe niz, se vérifie également dans leur combinaison avec le
verbe dut; ainsi ikhusten dut, pour ikhustean dut, répond
littéralement au mauvais latin habeo in videre; ikhusi dut serait
habeo visum; ikhusico dut, ou ikhusiren dut, habeo videndum.’

26* He takes the Sanskrit dravat as a possible ablative, likewise
śas-at, and tan-vat (sic). It would be impossible to form ablatives
in ăt (as) from verbal bases raised by the vikaraṇas of the
special tenses, nor would the ablative be so appropriate a case as
the locative, for taking the place of a verbal adjective.

27* Hale, United States Exploring Expedition, vol. vii. p. 246.

28* United States Exploring Expedition under the command of
Charles Wilkes
. ‘Ethnography and Philology,’ by H. Hale.
Vol. vii. p. 289.

29 Diez, Lexicon, s. v. llegar; Grammar, i. p. 379.

30* On the native residuum in Cochin-Chinese, see Léon de
Rosny, Tableau de la Cochinchine, p 138.

31 Endlicher, Chinesische Grammatik, par. 53, 78, 96.

32 Léon de Rosny, Tableau de la Cochinchine, p. 295. He
gives as illustrations : —

tableau annamique | cantonnais | dix | thap | chap | pourvoir | dak | tak | sang | houet | hœĕt | forêt | lam

He likewise mentions double consonants in the Chinese as spoken
in Cochin-China, namely, bl, dy, ml, ty, tr; also f, r, e. As final
consonants he gives ch, k, m, n, ng, p, t. — P. 296.

33* Léon de Rosny, l. c.. p. 301.

34 See Beaulieu, Mémoire sur l'origine de la Musique, 1863.
Lectures on the Science of Language, First Series, p. 276.

35 Voir note 34.

36* Endlicher, Chinesische Grammatik, s. 152.

37* Léon de Rosny, l. c. 302.

38 Endlicher, § 206.

39* ale, l. c. p. 288.

40* The Kafir Language, comprising a sketch of its history;
which includes a general classification of South African dialects,
ethnographical and geographical; remarks upon its nature; and a
grammar. By the Rev. J. W. Appleyard, Wesleyan missionary
in British Kafir-aria. King William's Town; Printed for the
Wesleyan Missionary Society; sold by Godlonton and White,
Graham's Town, Cape of Good Hope, and by John Mason,
66 Paternoster Row, London. 1850. Appleyard's remarks on
Ukuhlonipa were pointed out to me by the Rev. F. W. Farrar,
the author of an excellent work on the Origin of Language.

41* Hervas, Catalogo, i. p. 212.

42 Ibid. i. p. 369.

43* Appleyard, l. c. p. 70.