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among the most brilliant fruits of modern research. Classical scholars also begin to acknowledge the importance of this new science. Otfried Müller, the celebrated author of the · Dorians, was one of the first to appreciate fully the value of the new discoveries which had been made in the field of language. • Matters have come to that point,' he says, that Classical • Philology must either resign altogether the historical understanding of the growth of language as well as all etymological researches into the shape of roots and the organisation of

grammatical formations, or trust itself on these points entirely 'to the guidance and counsel of Comparative Philology.' The old system of etymology, if system it can be called, in which, as Voltaire remarked, "la voyelle ne fait rien, et la consonne . fort peu de chose,' has certainly been stopped effectually by the introduction of comparative grammar. Its principles have been stated and carried out in a number of works, full of erudition and ingenuity, particularly in Germany, where it is taught at present in every university. All this we consider a fair proof of the solidity and genuineness of Comparative Philology, and although it is still very far from having arrived at full maturity, yet it must be admitted that it has fairly come of age.

The name which it has assumed shows at once the comprehensive character of this new science. In the same way as Comparative Anatomy comprises not only the anatomy of the human body, but of all organic beings, Comparative Philology does not restrict itself to Greek and Latin, but includes all

Products of the mental power, they lead us back, by the fundamental characters of their organisation, to an obscure and otherwise unknown distance. The comparative study of languages shows how races or nations, now separated by wide regions, are related to each other, and have proceeded from a common seat; it discloses the direction and the path of ancient migrations; in tracing out epochs of development it recognises in the more or less altered characters of the language, in the permanency of certain forms, or in the already advanced departure from them, which portion of the race has preserved a language nearest to that of their former common dwelling-place. The long chain of the Indo-European languages, from the Ganges to the Iberian extremity of Europe, from Sicily to the North Cape, furnishes a large field for investigations of this nature into the first or most ancient condition of language. The same historical comparison of languages leads us to trace the native country of certain productions, which, since the earliest times, have been imported objects of trade and barter. We find that the Sanskrit names of true Indian productions - rice, cotton, nard, and sugar, — have passed into Greek, and partly into the Semitic languages.' -— HUMBOLDT, Kosmos, vol. ii. p. 142.

1851. Difference between Philology and Comparative Philol. 299

a3 a key to an eaueathed to us; at men in different intel

languages spoken by man. Its first task, therefore, consists in collecting as large a mass of material as possible. Specimens of human speech, whether derived from the masterworks of Greek and Latin authors, or from the clucking utterance of Bosjesmans, from the Steppes and the Prairies, from the tombs of Egypt, or the Runes of Iceland, and the mountain records of Persia — all are equally welcome to the Comparative Philologist. Wherever commercial enterprise, warlike expeditions, or the pious labours of Christian missionaries open an unexplored field for natural sciences, Comparative Philology follows in their track, and avails itself of every newly discovered specimen of human speech. Its limits are as wide as the limits of the habitable world.

Yet it must not be supposed that the peculiar character of Comparative Philology consists in the mere work of accumulating languages. The late Cardinal Mezzofanti, who spoke about thirty languages, was not therefore a Comparative Philologist. The difference between Philology, whether classical or Oriental, and Comparative Philology is more essential. Classical as well as Oriental Philology considers language merely as a key to an understanding of the written documents which antiquity has bequeathed to us; as a spell to raise from the tomb of time the thoughts of great men in different ages and countries, and as a means ultimately to trace the political, intellectual, and moral progress of mankind. Although the study of grammar is a conditio sine quâ non with every scholar, yet the highest aim of a Greek or Latin grammar does not go farther than a thorough knowledge of the laws and peculiarities of the Greek and Roman tongue, as they have been preserved to us in the classics. Comparative Philology, on the contrary, uses the literary remains of all nations as a means to arrive at an understanding of the nature and laws of language. Language itself becomes the object of inquiry. If we consider the immense number of tongues which are spoken in the different parts of the world, with all their dialectic and provincial varieties, if we observe the great changes which each of these languages has undergone in the course of centuries, we see that language has, like man, a history of its own. Without studying this history, and analysing the forms of language in their local variety and historical progress, it is impossible to form any correct and distinct idea of the real nature of language. For if we did not know by experience, that there existed a large number of different idioms, would it not be the most natural supposition that the language of mankind should be the same in all climates? If speech is a faculty, planted in the inmost nature of man,

if it is connected with man as intimately as the reasoning faculties of the mind, or the perceptive faculties of the senses, why should the one be subject to historical and local changes, while the other remains unaltered in all times and countries? We see and hear everything around us in the same way as the nations of Africa and America, and if we try to reason with savages, on things familiar to them, we find that their logic is exactly the same as our own. The only difference between them and ourselves consists in a higher or lower degree of cultivation, in a more or less skilful use of the organs of body and mind. Yet there is not one word in their languages which expresses the same idea by the same sound as we do.

Even if this variety of languages be explained by the admission of an early confusion of tongues, or taken for granted like any other fact of natural history, we certainly should not suppose, unless we had the historical documents of earlier ages before us, that one and the same language could become so different, in the course of time, as the language of Shakspeare is from that of Alfred the Great, the language of Dante from that of Cicero, the language of Göthe from that of Charlemagne; and, we may add, if we accept the views of Comparative Philology, the language of the “Times' from that of the Veda.' The notes of the nightingale, though different from those of the lark, are the same to-day as they were thousands of years ago why should the language of men have changed? We may see three or four generations living together, and we always find that the great-grandfather understands the stammering of his great-grandson. Who would imagine then, that after thirty generations a language could change so much as to become apparently quite a different one? Yet such is the case if we compare the language of St. Augustin, in the fifth century, with that of Dante at the beginning of the fourteenth.

It is clear, therefore, that the nature of language cannot be studied either in the abstract or by means of but one of its numerous varieties, like our own language, but that an historical method alone can lead to satisfactory results. In order to know, for instance, how English came to be what it is at present, it is necessary to study all the languages which have either influenced it, or materially contributed towards its formation. It is principally from the Anglo-Saxon and Norman that the history of the English speech' must be studied, but a knowledge of the Old Teutonic, the Scandinavian, the Latin, and Celtic languages is not less essential.

The Romance languages are in this respect the most interesting, because we can here watch the gradual decay of the mother

of Ste one hange then, timmer

1851.

Growth of Cognate Languages.

301

Np by auxiliary periphrastiches whole structure

stock and the formation of its affiliated dialects, the Provençal and French, the Italian and Walachian, the Spanish and Portuguese. We can see the old forms of the Latin grammar gradually losing their expressive power, and auxiliary words, such as prepositions and articles, coming in to form the new declensions, while the decaying structure of the conjugations is propped up by auxiliary verbs. Some of the old forms linger on for a time, and the new periphrastic expressions are at first used with a certain reserve, but at last the whole structure of modern languages is overgrown by them. The old conjunctions and adverbs give way to more distinct expressions and circumlocutions, and these, by a rapid change, coalesce again into new words. We may be allowed to give a few instances.

The Latin tunc, we find still only slightly altered in the old Spanish estonze (ex tuncce) and in the Walachian atunci (ad tuncce). But in French and Italian quite a new word has been introduced, which meant originally at that hour,'' ad illam horam,' the Italian allora, the French alors. The same word hora,' may still be recognised in the Spanish esora, ipsâ horâ, ' at this ' very hour,' and in the French and Italian encore and encora, i.e. hanc horam, at this hour.' The French désormais, henceforth, consists of four words, d-és-or-mais, de ipsâ horâ magis, 'from 'this hour,' while the corresponding Spanish de hoy mas is a corruption of de hodie magis, . from to-day.' So, again, most of the substantives in the Romance languages are easily derivable from the Latin, particularly if we take into account not only the classical, but also the more vulgar, the middle-age and clerical Latin. The French ménace, Italian minaccia, Spanish amenaza, finds its explanation in the Latin minaciæ, which Plautus used instead of mine. Cicero says, he does not venture to use the word medietas (bina media, vix enim audeo dicere medietates); yet this is the word which has given rise to the French moitié. Words like the French compagnon, Ital. compagno, Spanish compaño, do not find an explanation in the classical Latin, but companium is a word furnished by the later Latin, and probably derived from companis, a companion, lit. ‘one who shares his bread with another.' Words frequently modify not only their form, but their meaning also. In the French une gène, we may still catch a glimpse of the Latin, or rather Hebrew, 'una gehenna,'* in jaloux of zelosus, in parole of parabola. But there are words and grammatical forms in French which cannot be explained by a mere reference to

larly if we guages are most

Montaigne in his “Essais' says, “Je me suis contraint et ge'henné pour maintenir ce vain masque.'-Livre II. chapitre viii.

Latin. If we inquire after the origin of the French future je chanterai, we shall find no analogy in Latin, for the theory that it is derived from cantabo or cantavero, has long been exploded. And again, a word like the French même, 'even,' or moi même, “myself,' has no form in Latin corresponding to it.

In these cases it is necessary to apply a different principle. Languages which cannot be explained by themselves, or by the old language out of which they arose, may still be explicable in their new formation by collateral evidence, taken from other tongues which sprang from the same source. Now, as Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese are known to have had the same parentage as French, a reference to them ought to throw light on many obscure points of French grammar, and perhaps furnish the link wanting to connect the French with its parent, the Latin. The Italian Future is cantero, which by itself is not much clearer than the French je chanterai. But there is an old Italian form canter-aggio, the termination of which (aggio) is known as a different form of the verb Io ho, I have. That the auxiliary verb, “I have,' was used for the formation of the Future, we learn from the Sardinian, where appu, I have, is put before the verb, appu essi, has essi, hat essi, I shall, thou wilt, he will be. It becomes therefore probable that canteró also was originally cantar ho, I have to sing, I shall sing, and that the Spanish cantaré, the Portuguese canteréi, as well as the French je chanterai, were meant to express the meaning of

I have to sing,' j'ai à chanter. The decisive proof, however, of the correctness of this derivation we receive from the Provençal language, which at times separates the auxiliary verb from the infinitive by a pronoun; as dar vos n'ai, je vous en donnerai,' dir vos ai, je vous dirai,' dir vos em, nous vous dirons,' instead of nous avons à vous dire.' This mode of expressing the future once understood, we find an analogy also in Latin phrases, like “habeo dicere. As to the French même, it can be traced back to the old French meisme, and this again is to be compared with the Spanish mismo, and the Portuguese mesmo. A step farther brings us to the Italian medesimo, this to the Provençal medesme, and this to the older Provençal from smetessme. Knowing that Latin ipse becomes changed into es in the Romance languages (as esora — ipsâ horâ), we have to re-translate the essme of smetessme, and the esimo of medesimo, into the Latin ipsissimus, and after this smetessme scarcely differs from the Latin semet ipsissimus, which is the key to the French même.

The advantages of this method, as applied to the study of different members of one and the same family of languages, are

is to be. A step, fmedesme, Latin ipse be

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