Lectures on the Science of Language: Delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in April, May, & June 1861

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Longmans, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 1862 - 416 pages
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Page 27 - And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
Page 159 - The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists...
Page 378 - of particular names to denote particular objects, that is, the institution of nouns substantive, would probably be one of the first steps towards the formation of language. Two savages who had never been taught to speak, but had been bred up remote from the societies of men, would naturally begin to form that language by which they would...
Page 362 - If it may be doubted, whether beasts compound and enlarge their ideas that way, to any degree: this, I think, I may be positive in, that the power of abstracting is not at all in them; and that the having of general ideas, is that which puts a perfect distinction betwixt man and brutes; and is an excellency which the faculties of brutes do by no means attain to.
Page 380 - It is this application of the name of an individual to a great multitude of objects, whose resemblance naturally recalls the idea of that individual, and of the name which expresses it, that seems originally to have given occasion to the formation of those classes and assortments which, in the schools, are called genera and species.
Page 75 - There is, perhaps, no language so full of words evidently derived from the most distant sources as English. Everj- country of the globe seems to have brought some of its verbal manufactures to the intellectual market of England. Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Celtic, Saxon, Danish, French, Spanish, Italian, German — nay, even Hindustani, Malay, and Chinese words — lie mixed together in the English dictionary.
Page 349 - In examining the history of mankind, as well as in examining the phenomena of the material world, when we cannot trace the process by which an event has been produced, it is often of importance to be able to show how it may have been produced by natural causes.
Page 76 - English amounts to only 13,330, against 29,354 words which can either mediately or immediately be traced to a Latin source.* On the evidence of its dictionary, therefore, and treating English as a mixed language, it would have to be classified together with French, Italian, and Spanish, as one of the Romance or Neo-Latin dialects. Languages, however, though mixed in their dictionary, can never be mixed in their grammar.
Page 189 - Bible into the vulgar language of his people. At his time, there existed in Europe but two languages which a Christian bishop would have thought himself justified in employing, Greek and Latin. All other languages were still considered as barbarous. It required a prophetic sight...
Page 360 - Where, then, is the difference between brute and man ? What is it that man can do, and of which we find no signs, no rudiments, in the whole brute world ? I answer without hesitation : The one great barrier between the brute and man is language. Man speaks, and no brute has ever uttered a word. Language is our Rubicon, and no brute will dare to cross it.

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