« AnteriorContinuar »
both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar, than could have been produced by any accident; so strong, indeed, that the philologer could not examine them all without believing them to have sprung from a common source."
It has five vowels, twenty-three consonants, and an alphabet of fifty characters. It has three numbers, three genders, eight cases, namely,—the nominative, vocative, dative, accusative, ablative, locative, instrumental, and genitive. It has two voices : one of which, the active, has two forms, one of them being reflexive, corresponding to the middle voice in Greek. It has ten conjugations, five modes, six tenses, all formed by inflection. Its syntax is logical and simple. It is itself a dead language, and is studied in India as the Latin and the Greek are with us. It is regarded as the most composite, flexible, and complete language known. It was spoken only by the privileged classes, while the common people spoke the Pacrit, the
spontaneous” tongue. This ancient tongue once prevailed throughout all Hindostan, from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea, and from the southern extremity of the country to the Himalaya Mountains in the north. The Sanscrit, the Zend, and the Classical stocks, may well be called, as they have been, “the language of the immortals.” The Vedas, the Laws of Menu, the Sacontala, are among the works extant in this language.
SECTION XXXV.--THE IRANIAN FAMILY.
This is the ancient language of Persia, the sacred idiom of the Magi. It is sometimes called the Zend. Coming from the same source as the Sanscrit, it spread itself among the worshippers of the Sun, and is the parent of the several dialects now spoken in Persia. It was in this language that the Zendavesta was composed by Zoroaster, fragments of which still remain.
SECTION XXXVI.--THE LATIN FAMILY.
The Latin is the language which was spoken in Italy by the Romans. It is more ancient than the Greek, and is the mother tongue of the Roman languages, namely, the Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Wallachian, and the Provençal.
SPECIMEN OF THE LATIN,
1. In principio erat verbum, et verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat verbum. 2. Hoc erat in principio apud Deum. 3. Omnia per ipsum facta sunt ; et sine ipso factum est nihil, quod factum est. 4. In ipso vita erat, et vita erat lux hominum. 5. Et lux in tenebris lucet, et tenebræ eam non comprehenderunt. 6. Fuit homo missus a Deo, cui nomen erat Joannes. 7. Hic venit in testimonium, ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine, ut omnes crederent per illum.-St. John, chap. i., v. 1-7.
SECTION XXXVII.-THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE.
This is the Latin language in new forms, produced by the union of its ancient elements with the languages of the northern nations, which
came into Italy as conquerors. Of the various languages produced by the union of Latin with northern languages, the Italian is the softest and the most harmonious. In receiving the Latin, it was governed by true principles of euphony. Two consecutive consonants occurring in a Latin word are not allowed to stand in Italian; but generally, for the sake of euphony, the repetition of the one consonant is substituted for the other, as in the Latin words obviare, acto, facto, which, in Italian, become ovviare, atto, fatto. All consonants which interfere with the established principles of euphony are totally rejected. Hence we find, in Italian, fiore for flore; fiocco for flocco.
SPECIMEN OF THE ITALIAN. 1. Nel principio la parola era, e la parola era appo Iddio, e la parola era Dio. 2. Essa era nel principio appo Iddio. 3. Ogni cosa è stata fatta per essa : e senza essa niuna cosa fatta è stata fatta. 4. In lei era la vita, e la vita era la luce degli uomini. 5. E la luce riluce nelle tenebre, e le tenebre non l'hanno compresa. 6. Vi fu un' uomo mandato da Dio, il cui nome era Giovanno. 7. Costui venne per testimonianza, affin di testimoniar della Luce, aciochè tutti credessero per lui.-St. Joun, chap. i., v. 1-7.
SECTION XXXVIII.-THE FRENCH LANGUAGE. The French language was formed by the union chiefly of the Latin with the Celtic, and was, from the number of Roman words and elements, called the Romance. About the tenth century it diverged into two principal dialects, the langue d'oc, spoken in the south, and the langue d'oil. During the thirteenth century the langue d'oil became the language of the court and capital of France, and superseded the langue d'oc. It is in the habit of contracting the Latin words which enter into its composition. This it often does by omitting one of the internal consonants: thus, ligare, in French, is converted into lier, laudare into louer, sudare into suer. In point of construction, the French is remarkable for its clearness and uniformity, and its idiomatic phrases are particularly concise and expressive.
SPECIMEN OF FRENCH.
1. Au commencement était la Parole, et la Parole était avec Dieu ; et cette Parole était Dieu. 2. Elle était au commencement avec Dieu. 3. Toutes choses ont été faites par elle, et sans elle rien de ce qui a été fait n'a été fait. 4. En elle était la vie, et la vie était la lumière des hommes. 5. Et la lumière luit dans les ténèbres, mais les ténèbres ne l'ont point reçue. 6. IL Y EUt un homme appele Jean, qui fut envoyé de Dieu. 7. Il vint pour rendre témoignage, pour rendre, dis-je, témoignage à la lumière, afin que tous crussent par lui.-St. John, chap. i., v. 1-7.
SECTION XXXIX.THE SPANISH LANGUAGE.
The Spanish language more closely resembles the Latin than
any other of the Romanic languages. It appears that the Cantabrian, the ancient language of the country, disappeared, and the Latin was almost exclusively spoken for centuries. This was greatly modified by the Gothic tongue, and afterward, in some degree, by the Arabic, while the Goths and Moors in succession held possession of Spain. Latin words are subjected to the following changes :—The vowel o is generally changed into ue, as in dona, duena; cor, cuer; porta, puerta. When double consonants occur in Latin words, one of them is dropped in Spanish; and i is generally placed before e in the interior of words, as in mandimento, Sp. mandemiento. It retains much of the dignity of the Latin.
SPECIMEN OF SPANISH,
1. En el principio era el Verbo, y el Verbo estaba con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios. 2. EL estaba en el principio con Dios. 3. Por el fueron hechas todas las cosas : y sin él no se ha hecho cosa alguna de cuantas han sido hechas. 4. En él estaba la vida, y la vida era la luz de los hombres. 5. Y esta luz resplandece en las tinieblas, y las tinieblas no la han recibido. 6. Hubo un hombre enviado de Dios, que se llamaba Juan. 7. Este vino como testigo, para dar testimonio de la luz, a fin de que por medio de él todos creyesen.St. John, chap. i., v. 1-7.
SECTION XL. THE PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE.
The Portuguese language originated under the same circumstances as the Spanish. It is less guttural, but harsher and more unpleasing in sound than the Spanish. It has a class of words not found in the Spanish vocabulary, but which are supposed to be drawn from the dialects spoken on the coast of Barbary. The Latin words which have been incorporated in the language have undergone the following changes: the letter x, when final, is generally changed into z; as paz, voz, luz, perdiz, from pax, vox, lux, perdix. Pl, when initial, is changed into ch, as plaga, chaga. The letter r, when in the middle of words, is often substituted for 1, as craro for claro; obrigar, obligar.
SPECIMEN OF PORTUGUESE.
1. No principio era o Verbo, e o Verbo estava com Deos, e o Verbo era Deos. 2. Elle estava no principio com Deos. 3. Todas as cousas forão feitas por elle : e nada do que foi feito, foi feito sem elle. 4. Nelle estava a vida, e a vida era a luz dos homens. 5. E a luz resplandece nas trévas, e as trevas não a comprehenderão. 6. Houve hum homem enviado por Deos, que se chamava João. 7. Este veio por testemunha, para dar testemunho da luz, a fim de que todos cressem por meio delle.--St. John, chap. i., v. 1-7.
SECTION XLI.-THE WALLACHIAN, OR DACO-ROMANO.
The Wallachian language, now spoken in what was a part of ancient Dacia, retains so many Latin words, that a stranger speaking in Latin can render himself tolerably intelligible to the inhabitants. About half of the words have been borrowed from the Greek, the Turkish, and the Slavonian. The character used in printing is peculiar, differing both from the Roman and the Greek.
SECTION XLII.—THE PROVENÇAL, OR ROMAUNT LANGUAGE. This language was spoken in the south of France, and is so called in distinction from the Norman French, which was spoken in the north of France. A modification of this language was spoken by the Waldenses.
SPECIMEN OF THE PROVENÇAL. 1. Lo filh era al comensament; el filh era am Dieu, et filh era Dieus. 2. Aquest era al comensament am Dieu. 3. Totas causas foron fachas per el : e nenguna causa non fon fach senz el. 4. So que fon fach era en lui vida, e la vida era lus dels homes. 5. E la lus en tenebras e tenebras non comprehenseron lui. 6. Oms fon trames de Dieu local avia nom Johan. 7. Aquest venc en testimoni que dones testimoni de lum, que tug crezessan per el.-ST. JOAN, chap. i., v. 1-7.
SECTION XLIII.-THE NORMAN FRENCH.
This language was spoken in the north of France.
It is of later origin than the Provençal. The poets in this language were called Trouveres, as the poets in the Provençal were called Troubadours. A generation before the Norman Conquest a Norwegian chieftain, named in his own country Rolf, and in France Rollo, settled upon the coast of Normandy. “What Hengist and the Germans were in England Rollo and his Scandinavians were in France. The province, before called Neustria, took from them the name of Normandy.”—LATHAM.
SPECIMEN OF NORMAN FRENCH.
The Bestiary of PHILIPPE DE THAUN.
SECTION XLIV. --THE GREEK FAMILY.
The Greek language was spoken in ancient Greece in its several dialects, as the Attic, the Ionic, the Doric, the Æolic. It is the parent of the modern Greek. It has furnished important contributions to the English.
SPECIMEN OF THE GREEK LANGUAGE.
1. Εν αρχή ην ο λόγος, και ο λόγος ήν προς τον Θεόν, και θεός ην ο λόγος. 2. Ούτος ήν εν αρχή προς τον Θεόν. 3. Πάντα δί αυτού εγένετο και χωρίς αυτού εγένετο ουδε έν, ό γέγονεν. 4. 'Εν αυτη ζωή ήν, και η ζωή ήν το φως των ανθρώπων. 5. Και το φώς έν τη σκοτία φαίνει, και η σκοτία αυτό ου κατέλαβεν. 6. Έγένετο άνθρωπος απεσταλμένος παρά θεού, όνομα αυτώ Ιωάννης, 7. Ούτος ήλθεν εις μαρτυρίαν, ίνα μαρτυρήση περί του φωτός, ίνα πάντες πιστεύσωσι δι αυτού.St. John, chap. i. v. 1-7.
SECTION XLV.—THE ROMAIC LANGUAGE, OR MODERN GREEK. The Romaic language, or its equivalent, the modern Greek, is the vernacular language of about 1,180,000 descendants of the ancient Greeks dispersed through the Turkish empire, or residing in the kingdom of Greece. The modern kingdom of Greece contains a population of about 900,000. The language preserves a much nearer identity with the ancient Greek language than the Romanic languages do with the Latin.
The term Romaic arose from the name Romaioi, or Romans, applied to the Greeks during the period of their subjection to the Roman Empire of Constantinople.
SPECIMEN OF THE ROMAIO. 1. Εις την αρχην ήταν ο λόγος και ο λόγος ήταν μετα θεού και θεός ήταν ο λόγος. 2. 'Ετούτος ήτον εις την αρχην μετά θεού. 3. "Όλα τα πραγμάτα διά μέσου του λόγου εγίνηκαν, και χωρίς αυτόν δεν έγινε κανένα έιτι έγινε. 4. Εις αυτόν ήτον ζωή, και η ζωή ήταν το φως των ανθρώπων. 5. Kai το φώς εις την σκότειαν φέγγει και η σκοτεία δεν το κατάλαβε. 6. "Εγινεν ένας άνθρωπος απεσταλμένος από τον Θεόν, το όνομα του Ιωάννες. 7. 'Ετούτος ήλθεν εις μαρτυρίαν να μαρτυρίση due to pôs Tio TEÚO OV Ölo. dià décou aútoū.–St. John, chap. i., v. 1-7.
SECTION XLVI. THE CELTIC FAMILY.
These languages were spoken by the Celts, or Kelts, who are supposed to have migrated from Asia at some early period, and to have been impelled onward by successive emigration, until they found their
way to the western part of Europe, to Spain, to Gaul, and to Great Britain. One branch of this stock has been called the MedoCeltic, containing the Erse, Gaelic, and Manx. The other has been called the Perso-Celtic, containing the Welsh, the Cornish, and the Armorican of Brittany in France.
Erse, Gaelic, Manx. Welsh. Cornish. Armorican,
Irish. Highland Scotch.
Bas Bretagne. Formerly the Celtic dialects were supposed to have no connection with the Indo-European languages. The researches of Dr. Prichard, in his work on the Eastern Origin of the Celtic Nations," may be considered as having settled the question the other way.
The Celtic languages are incomplete in grammatical inflections when compared with the Sanscrit, the Teutonic, and the Classical languages.
The Welsh has many words found in the Latin, while the Latin and Greek have many Celtic words. The Cornish closely resembles the Welsh, and is now extinct as a spoken language. The Armorican, or Breton, also closely resembles the Welsh. It is spoken by about 800,000 people, 500,000 of whom do not understand French. These three languages, derived from the ancient British, belong to what is called the Cymric branch.