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versal. From Rome, as a common centre, went forth the Christian religion in the Latin language, which was read and written by all learned scholars.
More recently the French has had a stronger claim than any other to be considered the universal language. It was more generally studied and spoken than any other in Europe.
66 Several foreigners," says Gibbon, “have seized the opportunity of speaking to Europe in the common dialect, the French; and Germany pleads the authority of Leibnitz and Frederic, of the first of her philosophers and the greatest of her kings.” When Gibbon submitted to Hume a specimen of his intended history composed in French, he received a remarkable letter in reply. “Why,” said Hume,“ do you compose in French, and carry fagots into the wood, as Horace says in regard to Romans who wrote in Greek? I grant that you have a like motive to those Romans, and adopt a language much more generally diffused than your national tongue. But have you not remarked the fate of those two ancient tongues in following ages? The Latin, though less celebrated and confined to more narrow limits, has, in some measure, outlived the Greek, and is now more generally understood by men of letters. Let the French, therefore, triumph in the present diffusion of their tongue. Our solid and increasing establishments in America, where we less dread the innovations of barbarians, promise a superior stability and duration to the English language.
How have the prospects of the English language brightened since this prophecy of Hume was written, nearly a century ago! How are the evidences increasing of the final accomplishment of
that prophecy in its becoming the universal language! It is calculated that, at the close of the present century, it will be spoken by at least one hundred and fifty millions of human beings.
It should be added, that the English is a medium language, and is thus adapted to diffusion. In the Gothic family, it stands midway between the Teutonic and the Scandinavian branches, touching both, and, to some extent, reaching into both. A German or a Dane finds much in the English which exists in his own language. It unites by certain bonds of consanguinity, as no other language does, the Romanic with the Gothic languages. An Italian or a Frenchman finds a large class of words in the English which exists in his own language, though the basis of the English is Gothic. Thus it is adapted to spread among the races that speak those languages, both in Europe and America. What it has in common with these border languages, gives it power to replace what is peculiar to them, thus to identify them with itself.
SECTION CVI.-PROSPECTS OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
Having looked at the past history of the English language, and at its present character, we naturally inquire what will be its ultimate
destiny. Will it ever cease to be a living language, and, like Sanscrit and Greek, Latin and Anglo-Saxon, be studied by the scholar on the printed page, but not heard from the lips of the people? Will
? the nations who speak it ever be overrun by a race of barbarians, as were the classical nations of antiquity ? Will another Julius Cæsar, another Hengist and Horsa, another Danish Canute, another Norman Conqueror, in turn gain possession of England, and change the dynasty, the laws, and the language of the land ?
To this it may be replied, that the experience of the past is not to be the mould of the future. From the horoscope of the present a brighter destiny may be predicted. The application of the art of printing on the one hand, and popular education on the other, have so multiplied books and readers, that the language has become fixed, not only in multitudes of standard works published, but also in the minds of the people who read it and speak it. It will not, therefore, experience any great change, like that of the Latin into the Italian. The Anglo-Saxon race will not only keep their own institutions and their own language, but they will impress those institutions and that language upon others. Besides the natural growth of population, that grasping spirit, that love of conquest for which they have been distinguished ever since they traversed the German Ocean in their frail boats, pursuing plunder, will help to extend and perpetuate the English language. The love of religious conquest, as when the pious missionary goes forth under the banner of the cross; the love of literary conquest, as when the schoolmaster is abroad; the love of commercial conquest, as shown by our merchants and navigators; the love of military conquest, which the Anglo-Saxon race have shown all over the globe, and are now showing, will only extend the language.
Even now, the British empire, extending over a population of one hundred and fifty-six millions in different parts of the globe, listens to that language as to a voice of power. The population of America, doubling every twenty-five years, amounts to more than twenty-five millions.
The Celtic language in the British Isles, namely, the Gaelic in the Highlands of Scotland, the Erse in Ireland, the Cambrian in Wales, is passing away, just as in Cornwall it has passed away. We may believe, too, that somewhere in the future, the French population of Canada, the Celts, the Spanish population of Mexico and Cuba, the Celts, will give place to the Anglo-Saxon race, or, rather, as in past times, be absorbed in it, and become one with the English in blood and language. We may believe that a like assimilation will take place between it and the other races which find a home in America, are educated in American schools, and placed under the influence of American institutions. So that Shakespeare and Milton may be read ages hence on the banks of the Connecticut and the Potomac, on the banks of the Columbia and the Sacramento.
QUESTIONS UNDER CHAPTER VI. 1. What are the principal elements which enter into the composition of the English language ?
2. Give HARRIS's statement with respect to borrowing from other languages; also WHEWELL'S and CAMDEN'S.
3. What is said of its copiousness ?
4. What is said of the number of Anglo-Saxon words in the language, and also of the comparative number in actual use?
5. What is said of the kind of Anglo-Saxon words in use ?
6. What is said of English grammar in its relation to the Anglo-Saxon part of our language ?
7. What is said of the stability of the English language ?
8. What is said of the Latin, the French, the English, in respect to a universal language ?
9. Can you mention what passed between GIBBON and HUME ?
10. What reasons have you for the opinion that the English will be the universal language ?
11. Describe the prospects of the English language.
EXERCISES UNDER PART I.
SECTION CVII.-HISTORICAL ANALYSIS.
By HISTORICAL ANALYSIS is meant that process by which each word in a sentence is referred to the particular language from which it was historically derived. In order to do this, the fourth part of this work can be consulted, and also an etymological dictionary.
1. Happiness is like the statue of Isis, whose veil no mortal ever raised.---LANDON.
Statue and mortal are from the Latin ; Isis from the Greek ; all the other words are from the Anglo-Saxon. 2.
High on a throne of royal state, which far
To that bad eminence.--Milton. State, exalted, eminence, and merit, are from the Latin ; throne, richest, and royal, from the Norman-French ; barbaric, Ormus, and Ind, from the Greek ; Satan, from the Hebrew; the remainder from the Anglo-Saxon. 3. From what languages do the following groups of words come ?
a. Cromlech, bard, pibroch, clan, bran, mop, button ?
Analyse the following sentences:4. He is well versed in the principles or rudiments of the language, and is principally indebted for this to his erudite preceptor. 5. I was yesterday, about sunset, walking in the open fields till the night fell insensibly
I at first amused myself with all the richness and variety of colours which appeared in the western parts the heavens.—ADDISON.
6. The beauties of her person and graces of her air combined to make her the most amiable of women ; and the charms of her address and conversation aided the impression which her lovely figure made on the hearts of all beholders.--HUME.
7. In the second century of the Christian era, the empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilised portion of mankind.-GIBBON.
SYNTHESIS. 1. Compose a sentence consisting of words derived from the Anglo-Saxon. 2. Compose a sentence consisting of words derived from the Anglo-Norman words.
3. Compose a sentence in which there shall be at least one word derived from the Celtic.
4. Compose a sentence in which there shall be at least one word derived from the Danish.
5. Compose a sentence in which there shall be at least one word derived from the Spanish ; and another in which there shall be at least one word derived from the Italian ; and another in which there shall be at least one word derived from the Chinese ; and so on of the other languages ?
Having exhibited the historical elements in this First Part, we are prepared, in the Second Part, to enter into the interior of the language, and to learn of what matter it is composed.
PHONETIC ELEMENTS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
'SEPARATE PHONETIC ELEMENTS.
PHONOLOGY, from the Greek owvý, sound, and Xóyos, account, is, in the widest sense, the doctrine or science of sounds. In a limited and proper sense,
it is the doctrine or science of the sounds uttered by the human voice in speech. The phonology of the English language, then, is the doctrine of the sounds in the spoken language.
The PHONETIC ELEMENTS of the English language are those elementary sounds in the spoken language which it is the province of phonology to exhibit, both separately and in combination.
These elements are the matter, or the raw material of the lan
guage, from which its numerous and expressive combinations are formed. Every word in the language is composed of some of these elements. They should be constantly considered as coming from the producing tongue into the receiving ear, and not be confounded with the letters, their symbols, on the printed page. They are, in the present work, treated in relation to the correct articulation and enunciation of individual words. To eloquence and to music they have a separate relationship, which it is the office of the elocutionist and the music-master to unfold.
SECTION CIX.-ORGANS OF PRODUCTION.
The sounds which constitute language are formed by air issuing from the lungs, inodified in its passage through the throat and mouth by the organs of speech, at the will of the speaker.
The tones of the human voice are produced by two membranes called the vocal ligaments. These are set in motion by a stream of air gushing from the lungs. The windpipe is contracted near the mouth by a projecting mass of muscles called the glottis. The edges of the glottis are membranes, and form the vocal ligaments. Ordinarily, these membranous edges are inclined from each other, and, consequently, no vibrations take place during the passage of the breath; but, by the aid of certain muscles, we can place them parallel to each other, when they immediately vibrate and produce a
With the aid of other muscles we can increase their tension, and, thereby, the sharpness of the tone; and by driving the air more forcibly from the lungs, we may increase its loudness. The tone thus formed is modified by the cavities of the throat, nose, and mouth. These modifications form the first elements of articulate language. They are produced, not by the lungs or the windpipe, but by the glottis, the palate, the tongue, the teeth, the lips, which are called the ORGANS OF SPEECH. As the tongue is the principal organ in changing the cavities which modify the tone, it has given its name to speech, both in the Anglo-Saxon and the Latin, and many other languages.
SECTION CX-CLASSIFICATION OF THE PHONLTIC ELEMENTS.
In the spoken language, the phonetic elements are divided into two classes : I. VOCALIC or VOWEL SOUNDS. II. CONSONANTAL Or CONSONANT SOUNDS.
SECTION CXI.-VOCALIC OR VOWEL SOUNDS.
VOCALIC SOUNDS are those which can be formed without bringing any parts of the mouth into contact to interrupt the stream of air from the lungs.
Thus the sound of a or o can be pronounced with the mouth partially open, and the breath in one continuous current. The word