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Title: Lectures on The Science of Language
Author: Müller, Max
Language: English
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                               Lectures on

                         The Science of Language

                             Delivered At The

                    Royal Institution of Great Britain


                       April, May, and June, 1861.

                           By Max Müller, M. A.

Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford; Correspondence Member of the Imperial
                           Institute of France.

                 From the Second London Edition, Revised.

                                New York:

                   Charles Scribner, 124 Grand Street.



Lecture I. The Science Of Language One Of The Physical Sciences.
Lecture II. The Growth Of Language In Contradistinction To The History Of
Lecture III. The Empirical Stage.
Lecture IV. The Classificatory Stage.
Lecture V. Genealogical Classification Of Languages.
Lecture VI. Comparative Grammar.
Lecture VII. The Constituent Elements Of Language.
Lecture VIII. Morphological Classification.
Lecture IX. The Theoretical Stage, And The Origin Of Language.




The Members Of The University Of Oxford,

Both Resident And Non-Resident,

To Whom I Am Indebted

For Numerous Proofs Of Sympathy And Kindness

During The Last Twelve Years,

In Grateful Acknowledgment Of Their Generous Support

On The

7th Of December, 1860.


My Lectures on the Science of Language are here printed as I had prepared
them in manuscript for the Royal Institution. When I came to deliver them,
a considerable portion of what I had written had to be omitted; and, in
now placing them before the public in a more complete form, I have gladly
complied with a wish expressed by many of my hearers. As they are, they
only form a short abstract of several Courses delivered from time to time
in Oxford, and they do not pretend to be more than an introduction to a
science far too comprehensive to be treated successfully in so small a

My object, however, will have been attained, if I should succeed in
attracting the attention, not only of the scholar, but of the philosopher,
the historian, and the theologian, to a science which concerns them all,
and which, though it professes to treat of words only, teaches us that
there is more in words than is dreamt of in our philosophy. I quote from
Bacon: “Men believe that their reason is lord over their words, but it
happens, too, that words exercise a reciprocal and reactionary power over
our intellect. Words, as a Tartar’s bow, shoot back upon the understanding
of the wisest, and mightily entangle and pervert the judgment.”


_Oxford_, June 11, 1861.


When I was asked some time ago to deliver a course of lectures on
Comparative Philology in this Institution, I at once expressed my
readiness to do so. I had lived long enough in England to know that the
peculiar difficulties arising from my imperfect knowledge of the language
would be more than balanced by the forbearance of an English audience, and
I had such perfect faith in my subject that I thought it might be trusted
even in the hands of a less skilful expositor. I felt convinced that the
researches into the history of languages and into the nature of human
speech which have been carried on for the last fifty years in England,
France, and Germany, deserved a larger share of public sympathy than they
had hitherto received; and it seemed to me, as far as I could judge, that
the discoveries in this newly-opened mine of scientific inquiry were not
inferior, whether in novelty or importance, to the most brilliant
discoveries of our age.

It was not till I began to write my lectures that I became aware of the
difficulties of the task I had undertaken. The dimensions of the science
of language are so vast that it is impossible in a course of nine lectures
to give more than a very general survey of it; and as one of the greatest
charms of this science consists in the minuteness of the analysis by which
each language, each dialect, each word, each grammatical form is tested, I
felt that it was almost impossible to do full justice to my subject, or to
place the achievements of those who founded and fostered the science of
language in their true light. Another difficulty arises from the dryness
of many of the problems which I shall have to discuss. Declensions and
conjugations cannot be made amusing, nor can I avail myself of the
advantages possessed by most lecturers, who enliven their discussions by
experiments and diagrams. If, with all these difficulties and drawbacks, I
do not shrink from opening to-day this course of lectures on mere words,
on nouns and verbs and particles,—if I venture to address an audience
accustomed to listen, in this place, to the wonderful tales of the natural
historian, the chemist, and geologist, and wont to see the novel results
of inductive reasoning invested by native eloquence, with all the charms
of poetry and romance,—it is because, though mistrusting myself, I cannot
mistrust my subject. The study of words may be tedious to the school-boy,
as breaking of stones is to the wayside laborer; but to the thoughtful eye
of the geologist these stones are full of interest;—he sees miracles on
the high-road, and reads chronicles in every ditch. Language, too, has
marvels of her own, which she unveils to the inquiring glance of the
patient student. There are chronicles below her surface; there are sermons
in every word. Language has been called sacred ground, because it is the
deposit of thought. We cannot tell as yet what language is. It may be a
production of nature, a work of human art, or a divine gift. But to
whatever sphere it belongs, it would seem to stand unsurpassed—nay,
unequalled in it—by anything else. If it be a production of nature, it is
her last and crowning production which she reserved for man alone. If it
be a work of human art, it would seem to lift the human artist almost to
the level of a divine creator. If it be the gift of God, it is God’s
greatest gift; for through it God spake to man and man speaks to God in
worship, prayer, and meditation.

Although the way which is before us may be long and tedious, the point to
which it tends would seem to be full of interest; and I believe I may
promise that the view opened before our eyes from the summit of our
science, will fully repay the patient travellers, and perhaps secure a
free pardon to their venturous guide.


The Science of Language is a science of very modern date. We cannot trace
its lineage much beyond the beginning of our century, and it is scarcely
received as yet on a footing of equality by the elder branches of
learning. Its very name is still unsettled, and the various titles that
have been given to it in England, France, and Germany are so vague and
varying that they have led to the most confused ideas among the public at
large as to the real objects of this new science. We hear it spoken of as
Comparative Philology, Scientific Etymology, Phonology, and Glossology. In
France it has received the convenient, but somewhat barbarous, name of
_Linguistique_. If we must have a Greek title for our science, we might
derive it either from _mythos_, word, or from _logos_, speech. But the
title of _Mythology_ is already occupied, and _Logology_ would jar too
much on classical ears. We need not waste our time in criticising these
names, as none of them has as yet received that universal sanction which
belongs to the titles of other modern sciences, such as Geology or
Comparative Anatomy; nor will there be much difficulty in christening our
young science after we have once ascertained its birth, its parentage, and
its character. I myself prefer the simple designation of the Science of
Language, though in these days of high-sounding titles, this plain name
will hardly meet with general acceptance.

From the name we now turn to the meaning of our science. But before we
enter upon a definition of its subject-matter, and determine the method
which ought to be followed in our researches, it will be useful to cast a
glance at the history of the other sciences, among which the science of
language now, for the first time, claims her place; and examine their
origin, their gradual progress, and definite settlement. The history of a
science is, as it were, its biography, and as we buy experience cheapest
in studying the lives of others, we may, perhaps, guard our young science
from some of the follies and extravagances inherent in youth by learning a
lesson for which other branches of human knowledge have had to pay more

There is a certain uniformity in the history of most sciences. If we read
such works as Whewell’s History of the Inductive Sciences or Humboldt’s
Cosmos, we find that the origin, the progress, the causes of failure and
success have been the same for almost every branch of human knowledge.
There are three marked periods or stages in the history of every one of
them, which we may call the _Empirical_, the _Classificatory_, and the
_Theoretical_. However humiliating it may sound, every one of our
sciences, however grand their present titles, can be traced back to the
most humble and homely occupations of half-savage tribes. It was not the
true, the good, and the beautiful which spurred the early philosophers to
deep researches and bold discoveries. The foundation-stone of the most
glorious structures of human ingenuity in ages to come was supplied by the
pressing wants of a patriarchal and semi-barbarous society. The names of
some of the most ancient departments of human knowledge tell their own
tale. Geometry, which at present declares itself free from all sensuous
impressions, and treats of its points and lines and planes as purely ideal
conceptions, not to be confounded with those coarse and imperfect
representations as they appear on paper to the human eye; geometry, as its
very name declares, began with measuring a garden or a field. It is
derived from the Greek _gē_, land, ground, earth, and _metron_, measure.
Botany, the science of plants, was originally the science of _botanē_,
which in Greek does not mean a plant in general, but fodder, from
_boskein_, to feed. The science of plants would have been called
Phytology, from the Greek _phyton_, a plant.(1) The founders of Astronomy
were not the poet or the philosopher, but the sailor and the farmer. The
early poet may have admired “the mazy dance of planets,” and the
philosopher may have speculated on the heavenly harmonies; but it was to
the sailor alone that a knowledge of the glittering guides of heaven
became a question of life and death. It was he who calculated their
risings and settings with the accuracy of a merchant and the shrewdness of
an adventurer; and the names that were given to single stars or
constellations clearly show that they were invented by the ploughers of
the sea and of the land. The moon, for instance, the golden hand on the
dark dial of heaven, was called by them the Measurer,—the measurer of
time; for time was measured by nights, and moons, and winters, long before
it was reckoned by days, and suns, and years. Moon(2) is a very old word.
It was _môna_ in Anglo-Saxon, and was used there, not as a feminine, but
as a masculine; for the moon was a masculine in all Teutonic languages,
and it is only through the influence of classical models that in English
moon has been changed into a feminine, and sun into a masculine. It was a
most unlucky assertion which Mr. Harris made in his _Hermes_, that all
nations ascribe to the sun a masculine, and to the moon a feminine
gender.(3) In Gothic moon is _mena_, which is a masculine. For month we
have in A.-S. _mónâdh_, in Gothic _menoth_, both masculine. In Greek we
find _mēn_, a masculine, for month, and _mēnē_, a feminine, for moon. In
Latin we have the derivative _mensis_, month, and in Sanskrit we find
_mâs_ for moon, and _mâsa_ for month, both masculine.(4) Now this _mâs_ in
Sanskrit is clearly derived from a root _mâ_, to measure, to mete. In
Sanskrit, I measure is _mâ-mi_; thou measurest, _mâ-si_; he measures,
_mâ-ti_ (or _mimî-te_). An instrument of measuring is called in Sanskrit
_mâ-tram_, the Greek _metron_, our metre. Now if the moon was originally
called by the farmer the measurer, the ruler of days, and weeks, and
seasons, the regulator of the tides, the lord of their festivals, and the
herald of their public assemblies, it is but natural that he should have
been conceived as a man, and not as the love-sick maiden which our modern
sentimental poetry has put in his place.

It was the sailor who, before intrusting his life and goods to the winds
and the waves of the ocean, watched for the rising of those stars which he
called the Sailing-stars or _Pleiades_, from _plein_, to sail. Navigation
in the Greek waters was considered safe after the return of the Pleiades;
and it closed when they disappeared. The Latin name for the _Pleiades_ is
_Vergiliæ_, from _virga_, a sprout or twig. This name was given to them by
the Italian husbandman, because in Italy, where they became visible about
May, they marked the return of summer.(5) Another constellation, the seven
stars in the head of Taurus, received the name of _Hyades_ or _Pluviæ_ in
Latin, because at the time when they rose with the sun they were supposed
to announce rain. The astronomer retains these and many other names; he
still speaks of the pole of heaven, of wandering and fixed stars,(6) but
he is apt to forget that these terms were not the result of scientific
observation and classification, but were borrowed from the language of
those who themselves were wanderers on the sea or in the desert, and to
whom the fixed stars were in full reality what their name implies, stars
driven in and fixed, by which they might hold fast on the deep, as by
heavenly anchors.

But although historically we are justified in saying that the first
geometrician was a ploughman, the first botanist a gardener, the first
mineralogist a miner, it may reasonably be objected that in this early
stage a science is hardly a science yet: that measuring a field is not
geometry, that growing cabbages is very far from botany, and that a
butcher has no claim to the title of comparative anatomist. This is
perfectly true, yet it is but right that each science should be reminded
of these its more humble beginnings, and of the practical requirements
which it was originally intended to answer. A science, as Bacon says,
should be a rich storehouse for the glory of God, and the relief of man’s
estate. Now, although it may seem as if in the present high state of our
society students were enabled to devote their time to the investigation of
the facts and laws of nature, or to the contemplation of the mysteries of
the world of thought, without any side-glance at the practical result of
their labors, no science and no art have long prospered and flourished
among us, unless they were in some way subservient to the practical
interests of society. It is true that a Lyell collects and arranges, a
Faraday weighs and analyzes, an Owen dissects and compares, a Herschel
observes and calculates, without any thought of the immediate marketable
results of their labors. But there is a general interest which supports
and enlivens their researches, and that interest depends on the practical
advantages which society at large derives from their scientific studies.
Let it be known that the successive strata of the geologist are a
deception to the miner, that the astronomical tables are useless to the
navigator, that chemistry is nothing but an expensive amusement, of no use
to the manufacturer and the farmer—and astronomy, chemistry, and geology
would soon share the fate of alchemy and astrology. As long as the
Egyptian science excited the hopes of the invalid by mysterious
prescriptions (I may observe by the way that the hieroglyphic signs of our
modern prescriptions have been traced back by Champollion to the real
hieroglyphics of Egypt(7))—and as long as it instigated the avarice of its
patrons by the promise of the discovery of gold, it enjoyed a liberal
support at the courts of princes, and under the roofs of monasteries.
Though alchemy did not lead to the discovery of gold, it prepared the way
to discoveries more valuable. The same with astrology. Astrology was not
such mere imposition as it is generally supposed to have been. It is
counted as a science by so sound and sober a scholar as Melancthon, and
even Bacon allows it a place among the sciences, though admitting that “it
had better intelligence and confederacy with the imagination of man than
with his reason.” In spite of the strong condemnation which Luther
pronounced against astrology, astrology continued to sway the destinies of
Europe; and a hundred years after Luther, the astrologer was the
counsellor of princes and generals, while the founder of modern astronomy
died in poverty and despair. In our time the very rudiments of astrology
are lost and forgotten.(8) Even real and useful arts, as soon as they
cease to be useful, die away, and their secrets are sometimes lost beyond
the hope of recovery. When after the Reformation our churches and chapels
were divested of their artistic ornaments, in order to restore, in outward
appearance also, the simplicity and purity of the Christian church, the
colors of the painted windows began to fade away, and have never regained
their former depth and harmony. The invention of printing gave the
death-blow to the art of ornamental writing and of miniature-painting
employed in the illumination of manuscripts; and the best artists of the
present day despair of rivalling the minuteness, softness, and brilliancy
combined by the humble manufacturer of the mediæval missal.

I speak somewhat feelingly on the necessity that every science should
answer some practical purpose, because I am aware that the science of
language has but little to offer to the utilitarian spirit of our age. It
does not profess to help us in learning languages more expeditiously, nor
does it hold out any hope of ever realizing the dream of one universal
language. It simply professes to teach what language is, and this would
hardly seem sufficient to secure for a new science the sympathy and
support of the public at large. There are problems, however, which, though
apparently of an abstruse and merely speculative character, have exercised
a powerful influence for good or evil in the history of mankind. Men
before now have fought for an idea, and have laid down their lives for a
word; and many of these problems which have agitated the world from the
earliest to our own times, belong properly to the science of language.

Mythology, which was the bane of the ancient world, is in truth a disease
of language. A myth means a word, but a word which, from being a name or
an attribute, has been allowed to assume a more substantial existence.
Most of the Greek, the Roman, the Indian, and other heathen gods are
nothing but poetical names, which were gradually allowed to assume a
divine personality never contemplated by their original inventors. _Eos_
was a name of the dawn before she became a goddess, the wife of
_Tithonos_, or the dying day. _Fatum_, or fate, meant originally what had
been spoken; and before Fate became a power, even greater than Jupiter, it
meant that which had once been spoken by Jupiter, and could never be
changed,—not even by Jupiter himself. _Zeus_ originally meant the bright
heaven, in Sanskrit _Dyaus_; and many of the stories told of him as the
supreme god, had a meaning only as told originally of the bright heaven,
whose rays, like golden rain, descend on the lap of the earth, the _Danae_
of old, kept by her father in the dark prison of winter. No one doubts
that _Luna_ was simply a name of the moon; but so was likewise _Lucina_,
both derived from _lucere_, to shine. _Hecate_, too, was an old name of
the moon, the feminine of _Hekatos_ and _Hekatebolos_, the far-darting
sun; and _Pyrrha_, the Eve of the Greeks, was nothing but a name of the
red earth, and in particular of Thessaly. This mythological disease,
though less virulent in modern languages, is by no means extinct.

During the Middle Ages the controversy between Nominalism and Realism,
which agitated the church for centuries, and finally prepared the way for
the Reformation, was again, as its very name shows, a controversy on
names, on the nature of language, and on the relation of words to our
conceptions on one side, and to the realities of the outer world on the
other. Men were called heretics for believing that words such as _justice_
or _truth_ expressed only conceptions of our mind, not real things walking
about in broad daylight.

In modern times the science of language has been called in to settle some
of the most perplexing political and social questions. “Nations and
languages against dynasties and treaties,” this is what has remodelled,
and will remodel still more, the map of Europe; and in America comparative
philologists have been encouraged to prove the impossibility of a common
origin of languages and races, in order to justify, by scientific
arguments, the unhallowed theory of slavery. Never do I remember to have
seen science more degraded than on the title-page of an American
publication in which, among the profiles of the different races of man,
the profile of the ape was made to look more human than that of the negro.

Lastly, the problem of the position of man on the threshold between the
worlds of matter and spirit has of late assumed a very marked prominence
among the problems of the physical and mental sciences. It has absorbed
the thoughts of men who, after a long life spent in collecting, observing,
and analyzing, have brought to its solution qualifications unrivalled in
any previous age; and if we may judge from the greater warmth displayed in
discussions ordinarily conducted with the calmness of judges and not with
the passion of pleaders, it might seem, after all, as if the great
problems of our being, of the true nobility of our blood, of our descent
from heaven or earth, though unconnected with anything that is commonly
called practical, have still retained a charm of their own—a charm that
will never lose its power on the mind, and on the heart of man. Now,
however much the frontiers of the animal kingdom have been pushed forward,
so that at one time the line of demarcation between animal and man seemed
to depend on a mere fold in the brain, there is _one_ barrier which no one
has yet ventured to touch—the barrier of language. Even those philosophers
with whom _penser c’est sentir_,(9) who reduce all thought to feeling, and
maintain that we share the faculties which are the productive causes of
thought in common with beasts, are bound to confess that _as yet_ no race
of animals has produced a language. Lord Monboddo, for instance, admits
that as yet no animal has been discovered in the possession of language,
“not even the beaver, who of all the animals we know, that are not, like
the orang-outangs, of our own species, comes nearest to us in sagacity.”

Locke, who is generally classed together with these materialistic
philosophers, and who certainly vindicated a large share of what had been
claimed for the intellect as the property of the senses, recognized most
fully the barrier which language, as such, placed between man and brutes.
“This I may be positive in,” he writes, “that the power of abstracting is
not at all in brutes, and that the having of general ideas is that which
puts a perfect distinction between man and brutes. For it is evident we
observe no footsteps in these of making use of general signs for universal
ideas; from which we have reason to imagine that they have not the faculty
of abstracting or making general ideas, since they have no use of _words_
or any other general signs.”

If, therefore, the science of language gives us an insight into that
which, by common consent, distinguishes man from all other living beings;
if it establishes a frontier between man and the brute, which can never be
removed, it would seem to possess at the present moment peculiar claims on
the attention of all who, while watching with sincere admiration the
progress of comparative physiology, yet consider it their duty to enter
their manly protest against a revival of the shallow theories of Lord

But to return to our survey of the history of the physical sciences. We
had examined the empirical stage through which every science has to pass.
We saw that, for instance, in botany, a man who has travelled through
distant countries, who has collected a vast number of plants, who knows
their names, their peculiarities, and their medicinal qualities, is not
yet a botanist, but only a herbalist, a lover of plants, or what the
Italians call a _dilettante_, from _dilettare_, to delight. The real
science of plants, like every other science, begins with the work of
classification. An empirical acquaintance with facts rises to a scientific
knowledge of facts as soon as the mind discovers beneath the multiplicity
of single productions the unity of an organic system. This discovery is
made by means of comparison and classification. We cease to study each
flower for its own sake; and by continually enlarging the sphere of our
observation, we try to discover what is common to many and offers those
essential points on which groups or natural classes may be established.
These classes again, in their more general features, are mutually
compared; new points of difference, or of similarity of a more general and
higher character, spring to view, and enable us to discover classes of
classes, or families. And when the whole kingdom of plants has thus been
surveyed, and a simple tissue of names been thrown over the garden of
nature; when we can lift it up, as it were, and view it in our mind as a
whole, as a system well defined and complete, we then speak of the science
of plants, or botany. We have entered into altogether a new sphere of
knowledge where the individual is subject to the general, fact to law; we
discover thought, order, and purpose pervading the whole realm of nature,
and we perceive the dark chaos of matter lighted up by the reflection of a
divine mind. Such views may be right or wrong. Too hasty comparisons, or
too narrow distinctions, may have prevented the eye of the observer from
discovering the broad outlines of nature’s plan. Yet every system, however
insufficient it may prove hereafter, is a step in advance. If the mind of
man is once impressed with the conviction that there must be order and law
everywhere, it never rests again until all that seems irregular has been
eliminated, until the full beauty and harmony of nature has been
perceived, and the eye of man has caught the eye of God beaming out from
the midst of all His works. The failures of the past prepare the triumphs
of the future.

Thus, to recur to our former illustration, the systematic arrangement of
plants which bears the name of Linnæus, and which is founded on the number
and character of the reproductive organs, failed to bring out the natural
order which pervades all that grows and blossoms. Broad lines of
demarcation which unite or divide large tribes and families of plants were
invisible from his point of view. But in spite of this, his work was not
in vain. The fact that plants in every part of the world belonged to one
great system was established once for all; and even in later systems most
of his classes and divisions have been preserved, because the conformation
of the reproductive organs of plants happened to run parallel with other
more characteristic marks of true affinity.(10) It is the same in the
history of astronomy. Although the Ptolemæan system was a wrong one, yet
even from its eccentric point of view, laws were discovered determining
the true movements of the heavenly bodies. The conviction that there
remains something unexplained is sure to lead to the discovery of our
error. There can be no error in nature; the error must be with us. This
conviction lived in the heart of Aristotle when, in spite of his imperfect
knowledge of nature, he declared “that there is in nature nothing
interpolated or without connection, as in a bad tragedy;” and from his
time forward every new fact and every new system have confirmed his faith.

The object of classification is clear. We understand things if we can
comprehend them; that is to say, if we can grasp and hold together single
facts, connect isolated impressions, distinguish between what is essential
and what is merely accidental, and thus predicate the general of the
individual, and class the individual under the general. This is the secret
of all scientific knowledge. Many sciences, while passing through this
second or classificatory stage, assume the title of comparative. When the
anatomist has finished the dissection of numerous bodies, when he has
given names to each organ, and discovered the distinctive functions of
each, he is led to perceive similarity where at first he saw dissimilarity
only. He discovers in the lower animals rudimentary indications of the
more perfect organization of the higher; and he becomes impressed with the
conviction that there is in the animal kingdom the same order and purpose
which pervades the endless variety of plants or any other realm of nature.
He learns, if he did not know it before, that things were not created at
random or in a lump, but that there is a scale which leads, by
imperceptible degrees, from the lowest infusoria to the crowning work of
nature,—man; that all is the manifestation of one and the same unbroken
chain of creative thought, the work of one and the same all-wise Creator.

In this way the second or classificatory leads us naturally to the third
or final stage—the theoretical, or metaphysical. If the work of
classification is properly carried out, it teaches us that nothing exists
in nature by accident; that each individual belongs to a species, each
species to a genus; and that there are laws which underlie the apparent
freedom and variety of all created things. These laws indicate to us the
presence of a purpose in the mind of the Creator; and whereas the material
world was looked upon by ancient philosophers as a mere illusion, as an
agglomerate of atoms, or as the work of an evil principle, we now read and
interpret its pages as the revelation of a divine power, and wisdom, and
love. This has given to the study of nature a new character. After the
observer has collected his facts, and after the classifier has placed them
in order, the student asks what is the origin and what is the meaning of
all this? and he tries to soar, by means of induction, or sometimes even
of divination, into regions not accessible to the mere collector. In this
attempt the mind of man no doubt has frequently met with the fate of
Phaeton; but, undismayed by failure, he asks again and again for his
father’s steeds. It has been said that this so-called philosophy of nature
has never achieved anything; that it has done nothing but prove that
things must be exactly as they had been found to be by the observer and
collector. Physical science, however, would never have been what it is
without the impulses which it received from the philosopher, nay even from
the poet. “At the limits of exact knowledge” (I quote the words of
Humboldt), “as from a lofty island-shore, the eye loves to glance towards
distant regions. The images which it sees may be illusive; but, like the
illusive images which people imagined they had seen from the Canaries or
the Azores, long before the time of Columbus, they may lead to the
discovery of a new world.”

Copernicus, in the dedication of his work to Pope Paul III. (it was
commenced in 1517, finished 1530, published 1543), confesses that he was
brought to the discovery of the sun’s central position, and of the diurnal
motion of the earth, not by observation or analysis, but by what he calls
the feeling of a want of symmetry in the Ptolemaic system. But who had
told him that there _must_ be symmetry in all the movements of the
celestial bodies, or that complication was not more sublime than
simplicity? Symmetry and simplicity, before they were discovered by the
observer, were postulated by the philosopher. The first idea of
revolutionizing the heavens was suggested to Copernicus, as he tells us
himself, by an ancient Greek philosopher, by Philolaus, the Pythagorean.
No doubt with Philolaus the motion of the earth was only a guess, or, if
you like, a happy intuition. Nevertheless, if we may trust the words of
Copernicus, it is quite possible that without that guess we should never
have heard of the Copernican system. Truth is not found by addition and
multiplication only. When speaking of Kepler, whose method of reasoning
has been considered as unsafe and fantastic by his contemporaries as well
as by later astronomers, Sir David Brewster remarks very truly, “that, as
an instrument of research, the influence of imagination has been much
overlooked by those who have ventured to give laws to philosophy.” The
torch of imagination is as necessary to him who looks for truth, as the
lamp of study. Kepler held both, and more than that, he had the star of
faith to guide him in all things from darkness to light.

In the history of the physical sciences, the three stages which we have
just described as the empirical, the classificatory, and the theoretical,
appear generally in chronological order. I say, generally, for there have
been instances, as in the case just quoted of Philolaus, where the results
properly belonging to the third have been anticipated in the first stage.
To the quick eye of genius one case may be like a thousand, and one
experiment, well chosen, may lead to the discovery of an absolute law.
Besides, there are great chasms in the history of science. The tradition
of generations is broken by political or ethnic earthquakes, and the work
that was nearly finished has frequently had to be done again from the
beginning, when a new surface had been formed for the growth of a new
civilization. The succession, however, of these three stages is no doubt
the natural one, and it is very properly observed in the study of every
science. The student of botany begins as a collector of plants. Taking
each plant by itself, he observes its peculiar character, its habitat, its
proper season, its popular or unscientific name. He learns to distinguish
between the roots, the stem, the leaves, the flower, the calyx, the
stamina, and pistils. He learns, so to say, the practical grammar of the
plant before he can begin to compare, to arrange, and classify.

Again, no one can enter with advantage on the third stage of any physical
science without having passed through the second. No one can study _the_
plant, no one can understand the bearing of such a work as, for instance,
Professor Schleiden’s “Life of the Plant,”(11) who has not studied the
life of plants in the wonderful variety, and in the still more wonderful
order, of nature. These last and highest achievements of inductive
philosophy are possible only after the way has been cleared by previous
classification. The philosopher must command his classes like regiments
which obey the order of their general. Thus alone can the battle be fought
and truth be conquered.

After this rapid glance at the history of the other physical sciences, we
now return to our own, the science of language, in order to see whether it
really is a science, and whether it can be brought back to the standard of
the inductive sciences. We want to know whether it has passed, or is still
passing, through the three phases of physical research; whether its
progress has been systematic or desultory, whether its method has been
appropriate or not. But before we do this, we shall, I think, have to do
something else. You may have observed that I always took it for granted
that the science of language, which is best known in this country by the
name of comparative philology, is one of the physical sciences, and that
therefore its method ought to be the same as that which has been followed
with so much success in botany, geology, anatomy, and other branches of
the study of nature. In the history of the physical sciences, however, we
look in vain for a place assigned to comparative philology, and its very
name would seem to show that it belongs to quite a different sphere of
human knowledge. There are two great divisions of human knowledge, which,
according to their subject-matter, are called _physical_ and _historical_.
Physical science deals with the works of God, historical science with the
works of man. Now if we were to judge by its name, comparative philology,
like classical philology, would seem to take rank, not as a physical, but
as an historical science, and the proper method to be applied to it would
be that which is followed in the history of art, of law, of politics, and
religion. However, the title of comparative philology must not be allowed
to mislead us. It is difficult to say by whom that title was invented; but
all that can be said in defence of it is, that the founders of the science
of language were chiefly scholars or philologists, and that they based
their inquiries into the nature and laws of language on a comparison of as
many facts as they could collect within their own special spheres of
study. Neither in Germany, which may well be called the birthplace of this
science, nor in France, where it has been cultivated with brilliant
success, has that title been adopted. It will not be difficult to show
that, although the science of language owes much to the classical scholar,
and though in return it has proved of great use to him, yet comparative
philology has really nothing whatever in common with philology in the
usual meaning of the word. Philology, whether classical or oriental,
whether treating of ancient or modern, of cultivated or barbarous
languages, is an historical science. Language is here treated simply as a
means. The classical scholar uses Greek or Latin, the oriental scholar
Hebrew or Sanskrit, or any other language, as a key to an understanding of
the literary monuments which by-gone ages have bequeathed to us, as a
spell to raise from the tomb of time the thoughts of great men in
different ages and different countries, and as a means ultimately to trace
the social, moral, intellectual, and religious progress of the human race.
In the same manner, if we study living languages, it is not for their own
sake that we acquire grammars and vocabularies. We do so on account of
their practical usefulness. We use them as letters of introduction to the
best society or to the best literature of the leading nations of Europe.
In comparative philology the case is totally different. In the science of
language, languages are not treated as a means; language itself becomes
the sole object of scientific inquiry. Dialects which have never produced
any literature at all, the jargons of savage tribes, the clicks of the
Hottentots, and the vocal modulations of the Indo-Chinese are as
important, nay, for the solution of some of our problems, more important,
than the poetry of Homer, or the prose of Cicero. We do not want to know
languages, we want to know language; what language is, how it can form a
vehicle or an organ of thought; we want to know its origin, its nature,
its laws; and it is only in order to arrive at that knowledge that we
collect, arrange, and classify all the facts of language that are within
our reach.

And here I must protest, at the very outset of these lectures, against the
supposition that the student of language must necessarily be a great
linguist. I shall have to speak to you in the course of these lectures of
hundreds of languages, some of which, perhaps, you may never have heard
mentioned even by name. Do not suppose that I know these languages as you
know Greek or Latin, French or German. In that sense I know indeed very
few languages, and I never aspired to the fame of a Mithridates or a
Mezzofanti. It is impossible for a student of language to acquire a
practical knowledge of all tongues with which he has to deal. He does not
wish to speak the Kachikal language, of which a professorship was lately
founded in the University of Guatemala,(12) or to acquire the elegancies
of the idiom of the Tcheremissians; nor is it his ambition to explore the
literature of the Samoyedes, or the New-Zealanders. It is the grammar and
the dictionary which form the subject of his inquiries. These he consults
and subjects to a careful analysis, but he does not encumber his memory
with paradigms of nouns and verbs, or with long lists of words which have
never been used in any work of literature. It is true, no doubt, that no
language will unveil the whole of its wonderful structure except to the
scholar who has studied it thoroughly and critically in a number of
literary works representing the various periods of its growth.
Nevertheless, short lists of vocables, and imperfect sketches of a
grammar, are in many instances all that the student can expect to obtain,
or can hope to master and to use for the purposes he has in view. He must
learn to make the best of this fragmentary information, like the
comparative anatomist, who frequently learns his lessons from the smallest
fragments of fossil bones, or the vague pictures of animals brought home
by unscientific travellers. If it were necessary for the comparative
philologist to acquire a critical or practical acquaintance with all the
languages which form the subject of his inquiries, the science of language
would simply be an impossibility. But we do not expect the botanist to be
an experienced gardener, or the geologist a miner, or the ichthyologist a
practical fisherman. Nor would it be reasonable to object in the science
of language to the same division of labor which is necessary for the
successful cultivation of subjects much less comprehensive. Though much of
what we might call the realm of language is lost to us forever, though
whole periods in the history of language are by necessity withdrawn from
our observation, yet the mass of human speech that lies before us, whether
in the petrified strata of ancient literature or in the countless variety
of living languages and dialects, offers a field as large, if not larger,
than any other branch of physical research. It is impossible to fix the
exact number of known languages, but their number can hardly be less than
nine hundred. That this vast field should never have excited the curiosity
of the natural philosopher before the beginning of our century may seem
surprising, more surprising even than the indifference with which former
generations treated the lessons which even the stones seemed to teach of
the life still throbbing in the veins and on the very surface of the
earth. The saying that "familiarity breeds contempt" would seem applicable
to the subjects of both these sciences. The gravel of our walks hardly
seemed to deserve a scientific treatment, and the language which every
plough-boy can speak could not be raised without an effort to the dignity
of a scientific problem. Man had studied every part of nature, the mineral
treasures in the bowels of the earth, the flowers of each season, the
animals of every continent, the laws of storms, and the movements of the
heavenly bodies; he had analyzed every substance, dissected every
organism, he knew every bone and muscle, every nerve and fibre of his own
body to the ultimate elements which compose his flesh and blood; he had
meditated on the nature of his soul, on the laws of his mind, and tried to
penetrate into the last causes of all being—and yet language, without the
aid of which not even the first step in this glorious career could have
been made, remained unnoticed. Like a veil that hung too close over the
eye of the human mind, it was hardly perceived. In an age when the study
of antiquity attracted the most energetic minds, when the ashes of Pompeii
were sifted for the playthings of Roman life; when parchments were made to
disclose, by chemical means, the erased thoughts of Grecian thinkers; when
the tombs of Egypt were ransacked for their sacred contents, and the
palaces of Babylon and Nineveh forced to surrender the clay diaries of
Nebuchadnezzar; when everything, in fact, that seemed to contain a vestige
of the early life of man was anxiously searched for and carefully
preserved in our libraries and museums,—language, which in itself carries
us back far beyond the cuneiform literature of Assyria and Babylonia, and
the hieroglyphic documents of Egypt; which connects ourselves, through an
unbroken chain of speech, with the very ancestors of our race, and still
draws its life from the first utterances of the human mind,—language, the
living and speaking witness of the whole history of our race, was never
cross-examined by the student of history, was never made to disclose its
secrets until questioned and, so to say, brought back to itself within the
last fifty years, by the genius of a Humboldt, Bopp, Grimm, Bunsen, and
others. If you consider that, whatever view we take of the origin and
dispersion of language, nothing new has ever been added to the substance
of language, that all its changes have been changes of form, that no new
root or radical has ever been invented by later generations, as little as
one single element has ever been added to the material world in which we
live; if you bear in mind that in one sense, and in a very just sense, we
may be said to handle the very words which issued from the mouth of the
son of God, when he gave names to “all cattle, and to the fowl of the air,
and to every beast of the field,” you will see, I believe, that the
science of language has claims on your attention, such as few sciences can
rival or excel.

Having thus explained the manner in which I intend to treat the science of
language, I hope in my next lecture to examine the objections of those
philosophers who see in language nothing but a contrivance devised by
human skill for the more expeditious communication of our thoughts, and
who would wish to see it treated, not as a production of nature, but as a
work of human art.


In claiming for the science of language a place among the physical
sciences, I was prepared to meet with many objections. The circle of the
physical sciences seemed closed, and it was not likely that a new claimant
should at once be welcomed among the established branches and scions of
the ancient aristocracy of learning.(13)

The first objection which was sure to be raised on the part of such
sciences as botany, geology, or physiology is this:—Language is the work
of man; it was invented by man as a means of communicating his thoughts,
when mere looks and gestures proved inefficient; and it was gradually, by
the combined efforts of succeeding generations, brought to that perfection
which we admire in the idiom of the Bible, the Vedas, the Koran, and in
the poetry of Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Shakespeare. Now it is perfectly
true that if language be the work of man, in the same sense in which a
statue, or a temple, or a poem, or a law are properly called the works of
man, the science of language would have to be classed as an historical
science. We should have a history of language as we have a history of art,
of poetry, and of jurisprudence, but we could not claim for it a place
side by side with the various branches of Natural History. It is true,
also, that if you consult the works of the most distinguished modern
philosophers you will find that whenever they speak of language, they take
it for granted that language is a human invention, that words are
artificial signs, and that the varieties of human speech arose from
different nations agreeing on different sounds as the most appropriate
signs of their different ideas. This view of the origin of language was so
powerfully advocated by the leading philosophers of the last century, that
it has retained an undisputed currency even among those who, on almost
every other point, are strongly opposed to the teaching of that school. A
few voices, indeed, have been raised to protest against the theory of
language being originally invented by man. But they, in their zeal to
vindicate the divine origin of language, seem to have been carried away so
far as to run counter to the express statements of the Bible. For in the
Bible it is not the Creator who gives names to all things, but Adam. “Out
of the ground,” we read, “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.”(14) But with the exception of this small class of
philosophers, more orthodox even than the Bible,(15) the generally
received opinion on the origin of language is that which was held by
_Locke_, which was powerfully advocated by _Adam Smith_ in his Essay on
the Origin of Language, appended to his Treatise on Moral Sentiments, and
which was adopted with slight modifications by _Dugald Stewart_. According
to them, man must have lived for a time in a state of mutism, his only
means of communication consisting in gestures of the body, and in the
changes of countenance, till at last, when ideas multiplied that could no
longer be pointed at with the fingers, “they found it necessary to invent
artificial signs of which the meaning was fixed by mutual agreement.” We
need not dwell on minor differences of opinion as to the exact process by
which this artificial language is supposed to have been formed. Adam Smith
would wish us to believe that the first artificial words were _verbs_.
Nouns, he thinks, were of less urgent necessity because things could be
pointed at or imitated, whereas mere actions, such as are expressed by
verbs, could not. He therefore supposes that when people saw a wolf
coming, they pointed at him, and simply cried out, “He comes.” Dugald
Stewart, on the contrary, thinks that the first artificial words were
nouns, and that the verbs were supplied by gesture; that, therefore, when
people saw a wolf coming, they did not cry “He comes,” but “Wolf, Wolf,”
leaving the rest to be imagined.(16)

But whether the verb or the noun was the first to be invented is of little
importance; nor is it possible for us, at the very beginning of our
inquiry into the nature of language, to enter upon a minute examination of
a theory which represents language as a work of human art, and as
established by mutual agreement as a medium of communication. While fully
admitting that if this theory were true, the science of language would not
come within the pale of the physical sciences, I must content myself for
the present with pointing out that no one has yet explained how, without
language, a discussion on the merits of each word, such as must
necessarily have preceded a mutual agreement, could have been carried on.
But as it is the object of these lectures to prove that language is not a
work of human art, in the same sense as painting, or building, or writing,
or printing, I must ask to be allowed, in this preliminary stage, simply
to enter my protest against a theory, which, though still taught in the
schools, is, nevertheless, I believe, without a single fact to support its

But there are other objections besides this which would seem to bar the
admission of the science of language to the circle of the physical
sciences. Whatever the origin of language may have been, it has been
remarked with a strong appearance of truth, that language has a history of
its own, like art, like law, like religion; and that, therefore, the
science of language belongs to the circle of the _historical_, or, as they
used to be called, the _moral_, in contradistinction to the _physical_
sciences. It is a well-known fact, which recent researches have not
shaken, that nature is incapable of progress or improvement. The flower
which the botanist observes to-day was as perfect from the beginning.
Animals, which are endowed with what is called an artistic instinct, have
never brought that instinct to a higher degree of perfection. The
hexagonal cells of the bee are not more regular in the nineteenth century
than at any earlier period, and the gift of song has never, as far as we
know, been brought to a higher perfection by our nightingale than by the
Philomelo of the Greeks. “Natural History,” to quote Dr. Whewell’s
words,(17) “when systematically treated, excludes all that is historical,
for it classes objects by their permanent and universal properties, and
has nothing to do with the narration of particular or casual facts.” Now,
if we consider the large number of tongues spoken in different parts of
the world with all their dialectic and provincial varieties, if we observe
the great changes which each of these tongues has undergone in the course
of centuries, how Latin was changed into Italian, Spanish, Portuguese,
Provençal, French, Wallachian, and Roumansch; how Latin again, together
with Greek, and the Celtic, the Teutonic, and Slavonic languages, together
likewise with the ancient dialects of India and Persia, must have sprung
from an earlier language, the mother of the whole Indo-European or Aryan
family of speech; if we see how Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac, with several
minor dialects, are but different impressions of one and the same common
type, and must all have flowed from the same source, the original language
of the Semitic race; and if we add to these two, the Aryan and Semitic, at
least one more well-established class of languages, the Turanian,
comprising the dialects of the nomad races scattered over Central and
Northern Asia, the Tungusic, Mongolic, Turkic,(18) Samoyedic, and Finnic,
all radii from one common centre of speech:—if we watch this stream of
language rolling on through centuries in these three mighty arms, which,
before they disappear from our sight in the far distance, clearly show a
convergence towards one common source: it would seem, indeed, as if there
were an historical life inherent in language, and as if both the will of
man and the power of time could tell, if not on its substance, at least on
its form. And even if the mere local varieties of speech were not
considered sufficient ground for excluding language from the domain of
natural science, there would still remain the greater difficulty of
reconciling with the recognized principles of physical science the
historical changes affecting every one of these varieties. Every part of
nature, whether mineral, plant, or animal, is the same in kind from the
beginning to the end of its existence, whereas few languages could be
recognized as the same after the lapse of but a thousand years. The
language of Alfred is so different from the English of the present day
that we have to study it in the same manner as we study Greek and Latin.
We can read Milton and Bacon, Shakespeare and Hooker; we can make out
Wycliffe and Chaucer; but, when we come to the English of the thirteenth
century, we can but guess its meaning, and we fail even in this with works
previous to the Ormulum and Layamon. The historical changes of language
may be more or less rapid, but they take place at all times and in all
countries. They have reduced the rich and powerful idiom of the poets of
the Veda to the meagre and impure jargon of the modern Sepoy. They have
transformed the language of the Zend-Avesta and of the mountain records of
Behistún into that of Firdusi and the modern Persians; the language of
Virgil into that of Dante, the language of Ulfilas into that of
Charlemagne, the language of Charlemagne into that of Goethe. We have
reason to believe that the same changes take place with even greater
violence and rapidity in the dialects of savage tribes, although, in the
absence of a written literature, it is extremely difficult to obtain
trustworthy information. But in the few instances where careful
observations have been made on this interesting subject, it has been found
that among the wild and illiterate tribes of Siberia, Africa, and Siam,
two or three generations are sufficient to change the whole aspect of
their dialects. The languages of highly civilized nations, on the
contrary, become more and more stationary, and seem sometimes almost to
lose their power of change. Where there is a classical literature, and
where its language is spread to every town and village, it seems almost
impossible that any further changes should take place. Nevertheless, the
language of Rome, for so many centuries the queen of the whole civilized
world, was deposed by the modern Romance dialects, and the ancient Greek
was supplanted in the end by the modern Romaic. And though the art of
printing and the wide diffusion of Bibles, and Prayer-books, and
newspapers have acted as still more powerful barriers to arrest the
constant flow of human speech, we may see that the language of the
authorized version of the Bible, though perfectly intelligible, is no
longer the spoken language of England. In Booker’s Scripture and
Prayer-book Glossary(19) the number of words or senses of words which have
become obsolete since 1611, amount to 388, or nearly one fifteenth part of
the whole number of words used in the Bible. Smaller changes, changes of
accent and meaning, the reception of new, and the dropping of old words,
we may watch as taking place under our own eyes. Rogers(20) said that
“_cóntemplate_ is bad enough, but _bálcony_ makes me sick,” whereas at
present no one is startled by _cóntemplate_ instead of _contémplate_, and
_bálcony_ has become more usual than _balcóny_. Thus _Roome_ and _chaney_,
_layloc_ and _goold_, have but lately been driven from the stage by
_Rome_, _china_, _lilac_, and _gold_, and some courteous gentlemen of the
old school still continue to be _obleeged_ instead of being _obliged_.
_Force_,(21) in the sense of a waterfall, and _gill_, in the sense of a
rocky ravine, were not used in classical English before Wordsworth.
_Handbook_,(22) though an old Anglo-Saxon word, has but lately taken the
place of _manual_, and a number of words such as _cab_ for cabriolet,
_buss_ for omnibus, and even a verb such as _to shunt_ tremble still on
the boundary line between the vulgar and the literary idioms. Though the
grammatical changes that have taken place since the publication of the
authorized version are yet fewer in number, still we may point out some.
The termination of the third person singular in _th_ is now entirely
replaced by _s_. No one now says _he liveth_, but only _he lives_. Several
of the irregular imperfects and participles have assumed a new form. No
one now uses _he spake_, and _he drave_, instead of _he spoke_, and _he
drove_; _holpen_ is replaced by _helped_; _holden_ by _held_; _shapen_ by
_shaped_. The distinction between _ye_ and _you_, the former being
reserved for the nominative, the latter for all the other cases, is given
up in modern English; and what is apparently a new grammatical form, the
possessive pronoun _its_, has sprung into life since the beginning of the
seventeenth century. It never occurs in the Bible; and though it is used
three or four times by Shakespeare, Ben Jonson does not recognize it as
yet in his English Grammar.(23)

It is argued, therefore, that as language, differing thereby from all
other productions of nature, is liable to historical alterations, it is
not fit to be treated in the same manner as the subject-matter of all the
other physical sciences.

There is something very plausible in this objection, but if we examine it
more carefully, we shall find that it rests entirely on a confusion of
terms. We must distinguish between historical change and natural growth.
Art, science, philosophy, and religion all have a history; language, or
any other production of nature, admits only of growth.

Let us consider, first, that although there is a continuous change in
language, it is not in the power of man either to produce or to prevent
it. We might think as well of changing the laws which control the
circulation of our blood, or of adding an inch to our height, as of
altering the laws of speech, or inventing new words according to our own
pleasure. As man is the lord of nature only if he knows her laws and
submits to them, the poet and the philosopher become the lords of language
only if they know its laws and obey them.

When the Emperor Tiberius had made a mistake, and was reproved for it by
Marcellus, another grammarian of the name of Capito, who happened to be
present, remarked that what the emperor said was good Latin, or, if it
were not, it would soon be so. Marcellus, more of a grammarian than a
courtier, replied, “Capito is a liar; for, Cæsar, thou canst give the
Roman citizenship to men, but not to words.” A similar anecdote is told of
the German Emperor Sigismund. When presiding at the Council of Costnitz,
he addressed the assembly in a Latin speech, exhorting them to eradicate
the schism of the Hussites. “Videte Patres,” he said, “ut eradicetis
schismam Hussitarum.” He was very unceremoniously called to order by a
monk, who called out, “Serenissime Rex, schisma est generis neutri.”(24)
The emperor, however, without losing his presence of mind, asked the
impertinent monk, “How do you know it?” The old Bohemian school-master
replied, “Alexander Gallus says so.” “And who is Alexander Gallus?” the
emperor rejoined. The monk replied, “He was a monk.” “Well,” said the
emperor, “and I am Emperor of Rome; and my word, I trust, will be as good
as the word of any monk.” No doubt the laughers were with the emperor; but
for all that, _schisma_ remained a neuter, and not even an emperor could
change its gender or termination.

The idea that language can be changed and improved by man is by no means a
new one. We know that Protagoras, an ancient Greek philosopher, after
laying down some laws on gender, actually began to find fault with the
text of Homer, because it did not agree with his rules. But here, as in
every other instance, the attempt proved unavailing. Try to alter the
smallest rule of English, and you will find that it is physically
impossible. There is apparently a very small difference between _much_ and
_very_, but you can hardly ever put one in the place of the other. You can
say, “I am very happy,” but not “I am much happy,” though you may say “I
am most happy.” On the contrary, you can say “I am much misunderstood,”
but not “I am very misunderstood.” Thus the western Romance dialects,
Spanish and Portuguese, together with Wallachian, can only employ the
Latin word _magis_ for forming comparatives:—Sp. _mas dulce_; Port. _mais
doce_; Wall, _mai dulce_; while French, Provençal, and Italian only allow
_of plus_ for the same purpose: Ital. _più dolce_; Prov. _plus dous_; Fr.
_plus doux_. It is by no means impossible, however, that this distinction
between _very_, which is now used with adjectives only, and _much_, which
precedes participles, should disappear in time. In fact, “very pleased”
and “very delighted” are Americanisms which may be heard even in this
country. But if that change take place, it will not be by the will of any
individual, nor by the mutual agreement of any large number of men, but
rather in spite of the exertions of grammarians and academies. And here
you perceive the first difference between history and growth. An emperor
may change the laws of society, the forms of religion, the rules of art:
it is in the power of one generation, or even of one individual, to raise
an art to the highest pitch of perfection, while the next may allow it to
lapse, till a new genius takes it up again with renewed ardor. In all this
we have to deal with the conscious acts of individuals, and we therefore
move on historical ground. If we compare the creations of Michael Angelo
or Raphael with the statues and frescoes of ancient Rome, we can speak of
a history of art. We can connect two periods separated by thousands of
years through the works of those who handed on the traditions of art from
century to century; but we shall never meet with that continuous and
unconscious growth which connects the language of Plautus with that of
Dante. The process through which language is settled and unsettled
combines in one the two opposite elements of necessity and free will.
Though the individual seems to be the prime agent in producing new words
and new grammatical forms, he is so only after his individuality has been
merged in the common action of the family, tribe, or nation to which he
belongs. He can do nothing by himself, and the first impulse to a new
formation in language, though given by an individual, is mostly, if not
always, given without premeditation, nay, unconsciously. The individual,
as such, is powerless, and the results apparently produced by him depend
on laws beyond his control, and on the co-operation of all those who form
together with him one class, one body, or one organic whole.

But, though it is easy to show, as we have just done, that language cannot
be changed or moulded by the taste, the fancy, or genius of man, it is
very difficult to explain what causes the growth of language. Ever since
Horace it has been usual to compare the growth of languages with the
growth of trees. But comparisons are treacherous things. What do we know
of the real causes of the growth of a tree, and what can we gain by
comparing things which we do not quite understand with things which we
understand even less? Many people speak, for instance, of the terminations
of the verb, as if they sprouted out from the root as from their parent
stock.(25) But what ideas can they connect with such expressions? If we
must compare language with a tree, there is one point which may be
illustrated by this comparison, and this is that neither language nor the
tree can exist or grow by itself. Without the soil, without air and light,
the tree could not live; it could not even be conceived to live. It is the
same with language. Language cannot exist by itself; it requires a soil on
which to grow, and that soil is the human soul. To speak of language as a
thing by itself, as living a life of its own, as growing to maturity,
producing offspring, and dying away, is sheer mythology; and though we
cannot help using metaphorical expressions, we should always be on our
guard, when engaged in inquiries like the present, against being carried
away by the very words which we are using.

Now, what we call the growth of language comprises two processes which
should be carefully distinguished, though they may be at work
simultaneously. These two processes I call,

1. _Dialectical Regeneration._

2. _Phonetic Decay._

I begin with the second, as the more obvious, though in reality its
operations are mostly subsequent to the operations of dialectical
regeneration. I must ask you at present to take it for granted that
everything in language had originally a meaning. As language can have no
other object but to express our meaning, it might seem to follow almost by
necessity that language should contain neither more nor less than what is
required for that purpose. It would also seem to follow that if language
contains no more than what is necessary for conveying a certain meaning,
it would be impossible to modify any part of it without defeating its very
purpose. This is really the case in some languages. In Chinese, for
instance, _ten_ is expressed by _shĭ_. It would be impossible to change
_shĭ_ in the slightest way without making it unfit to express _ten_. If
instead of _shĭ_ we pronounced _t’sĭ_, this would mean _seven_, but not
_ten_. But now, suppose we wished to express double the quantity of ten,
twice ten, or twenty. We should in Chinese take _eúl_, which is two, put
it before _shĭ_, and say _eúl-shĭ_, twenty. The same caution which applied
to _shĭ_, applies again to _eúl-shĭ_. As soon as you change it, by adding
or dropping a single letter, it is no longer twenty, but either something
else or nothing. We find exactly the same in other languages which, like
Chinese, are called monosyllabic. In Tibetan, _chu_ is ten, _nyi_ two;
_nyi-chu_, twenty. In Burmese _she_ is ten, _nhit_ two; _nhit-she_,

But how is it in English, or in Gothic, or in Greek and Latin, or in
Sanskrit? We do not say _two-ten_ in English, nor _duo-decem_ in Latin,
nor _dvi-da’sa_ in Sanskrit.

We find(26) in Sanskrit _vin’sati_.
in Greek _eikati_.
in Latin _viginti_.
in English _twenty_.

Now here we see, first, that the Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin, are only
local modifications of one and the same original word; whereas the English
_twenty_ is a new compound, the Gothic _tvai tigjus_ (two decads), the
Anglo-Saxon _tuêntig_, framed from Teutonic materials; a product, as we
shall see, of Dialectical Regeneration.

We next observe that the first part of the Latin _viginti_ and of the
Sanskrit _vin’sati_ contains the same number, which from _dvi_ has been
reduced to _vi_. This is not very extraordinary; for the Latin _bis_,
twice, which you still hear at our concerts, likewise stands for an
original _dvis_, the English _twice_, the Greek _dis_. This _dis_ appears
again as a Latin preposition, meaning _a-two_; so that, for instance,
_discussion_ means, originally, striking a-two, different from
_percussion_, which means striking through and through. _Discussion_ is,
in fact, the cracking of a nut in order to get at its kernel. Well, the
same word, _dvi_ or _vi_, we have in the Latin word for twenty, which is
_vi-ginti_, the Sanskrit _vin-’sati_.

It can likewise be proved that the second part of _viginti_ is a
corruption of the old word for ten. Ten, in Sanskrit, is _da’san_; from it
is derived _da’sati_, a decad; and this _da’sati_ was again reduced to
_’sati_; thus giving us with _vi_ for _dvi_, two, the Sanskrit _vi’sati_
or _vin’sati_, twenty. The Latin _viginti_, the Greek _eikati_, owe their
origin to the same process.

Now consider the immense difference—I do not mean in sound, but in
character—between two such words as the Chinese _eúl-shĭ_, two-ten, or
twenty, and those mere cripples of words which we meet with in Sanskrit,
Greek, and Latin. In Chinese there is neither too much, nor too little.
The word speaks for itself, and requires no commentary. In Sanskrit, on
the contrary, the most essential parts of the two component elements are
gone, and what remains is a kind of metamorphic agglomerate which cannot
be understood without a most minute microscopic analysis. Here, then, you
have an instance of what is meant by _phonetic corruption_; and you will
perceive how, not only the form, but the whole nature of language is
destroyed by it. As soon as phonetic corruption shows itself in a
language, that language has lost what we considered to be the most
essential character of all human speech, namely, that every part of it
should have a meaning. The people who spoke Sanskrit were as little aware
that _vin’sati_ meant _twice ten_ as a Frenchman is that _vingt_ contains
the remains of _deux_ and _dix_. Language, therefore, has entered into a
new stage as soon as it submits to the attacks of phonetic change. The
life of language has become benumbed and extinct in those words or
portions of words which show the first traces of this phonetic mould.
Henceforth those words or portions of words can be kept up only
artificially or by tradition; and, what is important, a distinction is
henceforth established between what is substantial or radical, and what is
merely formal or grammatical in words.

For let us now take another instance, which will make it clearer, how
phonetic corruption leads to the first appearance of so-called grammatical
forms. We are not in the habit of looking on _twenty_ as the plural or
dual of _ten_. But how was a plural originally formed? In Chinese, which
from the first has guarded most carefully against the taint of phonetic
corruption, the plural is formed in the most sensible manner. Thus, man in
Chinese is _ģin_; _kiai_ means the whole or totality. This added to _ģin_
gives _ģin-kiai_, which is the plural of man. There are other words which
are used for the same purpose in Chinese; for instance, _péi_, which means
a class. Hence, _ĭ_, a stranger, followed by _péi_, class, gives _ĭ-péi_,
strangers. We have similar plurals in English, but we do not reckon them
as grammatical forms. Thus, _man-kind_ is formed exactly like _ĭ-péi_,
stranger-kind; _Christendom_ is the same as all Christians, and _clergy_
is synonymous with _clerici_. The same process is followed in other
cognate languages. In Tibetan the plural is formed by the addition of such
words as _kun_, all, and _t’sogs_, multitude.(27) Even the numerals,
_nine_ and _hundred_, are used for the same purpose. And here again, as
long as these words are fully understood and kept alive, they resist
phonetic corruption; but the moment they lose, so to say, their presence
of mind, phonetic corruption sets in, and as soon as phonetic corruption
has commenced its ravages, those portions of a word which it affects
retain a merely artificial or conventional existence, and dwindle down to
grammatical terminations.

I am afraid I should tax your patience too much were I to enter here on an
analysis of the grammatical terminations in Sanskrit, Greek, or Latin, in
order to show how these terminations arose out of independent words, which
were slowly reduced to mere dust by the constant wear and tear of speech.
But in order to explain how the principle of phonetic decay leads to the
formation of grammatical terminations, let us look to languages with which
we are more familiar. Let us take the French adverb. We are told by French
grammarians(28) that in order to form adverbs we have to add the
termination _ment_. Thus from _bon_, good, we form _bonnement_, from
_vrai_, true, _vraiment_. This termination does not exist in Latin. But we
meet in Latin(29) with expressions such as _bonâ mente_, in good faith. We
read in Ovid, “Insistam forti mente,” I shall insist with a strong mind or
will, I shall insist strongly; in French, “J’insisterai fortement.”
Therefore, what has happened in the growth of Latin, or in the change of
Latin into French, is simply this: in phrases such as _forti mente_, the
last word was no longer felt as a distinct word, and it lost at the same
time its distinct pronunciation. _Mente_, the ablative of _mens_, was
changed into _ment_, and was preserved as a merely formal element, as the
termination of adverbs, even in cases where a recollection of the original
meaning of _mente_ (with a mind), would have rendered its employment
perfectly impossible. If we say in French that a hammer falls
_lourdement_, we little suspect that we ascribe to a piece of iron a heavy
mind. In Italian, though the adverbial termination _mente_ in _claramente_
is no longer felt as a distinct word, it has not as yet been affected by
phonetic corruption; and in Spanish it is sometimes used as a distinct
word, though even then it cannot be said to have retained its distinct
meaning. Thus, instead of saying, “claramente, concisamente y
elegantemente,” it is more elegant to say in Spanish, “clara, concisa y
elegante mente.”

It is difficult to form any conception of the extent to which the whole
surface of a language may be altered by what we have just described as
phonetic change. Think that in the French _vingt_ you have the same
elements as in _deux_ and _dix_; that the second part of the French
_douze_, twelve, represents the Latin _decim_ in _duodecim_; that the
final _te_ of _trente_ was originally the Latin _ginta_ in _triginta_,
which _ginta_ was again a derivation and abbreviation of the Sanskrit
_da’sa_ or _da’sati_, ten. Then consider how early this phonetic disease
must have broken out. For in the same manner as _vingt_ in French,
_veinte_ in Spanish, and _venti_ in Italian presuppose the more primitive
_viginti_ which we find in Latin, so this Latin _viginti_, together with
the Greek _eikati_, and the Sanskrit _vin’sati_ presuppose an earlier
language from which they are in turn derived, and in which, previous to
_viginti_, there must have been a more primitive form _dvi-ginti_, and
previous to this again, another compound as clear and intelligible as the
Chinese _eúl-shĭ_, consisting of the ancient Aryan names for two, _dvi_,
and ten, _da’sati_. Such is the virulence of this phonetic change, that it
will sometimes eat away the whole body of a word, and leave nothing behind
but decayed fragments. Thus, _sister_, which in Sanskrit is _svasar_,(30)
appears in Pehlvi and in Ossetian as _cho_. _Daughter_, which in Sanskrit
is _duhitar_, has dwindled down in Bohemian to _dci_ (pronounced
_tsi_).(31) Who would believe that _tear_ and _larme_ are derived from the
same source; that the French _même_ contains the Latin _semetipsissimus_;
that in _aujourd’hui_ we have the Latin word _dies_ twice!(32) Who would
recognize the Latin _pater_ in the Armenian _hayr_? Yet we make no
difficulty about identifying _père_ and _pater_; and as several initial
h’s in Armenian correspond to an original _p_ (_het_ = _pes_, _pedis_;
_hing_ = πέντε; _hour_ = πῦρ), it follows that _hayr_ is _pater_.(33)

We are accustomed to call these changes the growth of language, but it
would be more appropriate to call this process of phonetic change decay,
and thus to distinguish it from the second or dialectical process which we
must now examine, and which involves, as you will see, a more real
principle of growth.

In order to understand the meaning of _dialectical __ regeneration_ we
must first see clearly what we mean by dialect. We saw before that
language has no independent substantial existence. Language exists in man,
it lives in being spoken, it dies with each word that is pronounced, and
is no longer heard. It is a mere accident that language should ever have
been reduced to writing, and have been made the vehicle of a written
literature. Even now the largest number of languages have produced no
literature. Among the numerous tribes of Central Asia, Africa, America,
and Polynesia, language still lives in its natural state, in a state of
continual combustion; and it is there that we must go if we wish to gain
an insight into the growth of human speech previous to its being arrested
by any literary interference. What we are accustomed to call languages,
the literary idioms of Greece, and Rome, and India, of Italy, France, and
Spain, must be considered as artificial, rather than as natural forms of
speech. The real and natural life of language is in its dialects, and in
spite of the tyranny exercised by the classical or literary idioms, the
day is still very far off which is to see the dialects, even of such
classical languages as Italian and French, entirely eradicated. About
twenty of the Italian dialects have been reduced to writing, and made
known by the press.(34) Champollion-Figeac reckons the most
distinguishable dialects of France at fourteen.(35) The number of modern
Greek dialects(36) is carried by some as high as seventy, and though many
of these are hardly more than local varieties, yet some, like the
Tzaconic, differ from the literary language as much as Doric differed from
Attic. In the island of Lesbos, villages distant from each other not more
than two or three hours have frequently peculiar words of their own, and
their own peculiar pronunciation.(37) But let us take a language which,
though not without a literature, has been less under the influence of
classical writers than Italian or French, and we shall then see at once
how abundant the growth of dialects! The Friesian, which is spoken on a
small area on the north-western coast of Germany, between the Scheldt and
Jutland, and on the islands near the shore, which has been spoken there
for at least two thousand years,(38) and which possesses literary
documents as old as the twelfth century, is broken up into endless local
dialects. I quote from Kohl’s Travels. “The commonest things,” he writes,
“which are named almost alike all over Europe, receive quite different
names in the different Friesian Islands. Thus, in Amrum, _father_ is
called _aatj_; on the Halligs, _baba_ or _babe_; in Sylt, _foder_ or
_vaar_; in many districts on the main-land, _täte_; in the eastern part of
Föhr, _oti_ or _ohitj_. Although these people live within a couple of
German miles from each other, these words differ more than the Italian
_padre_ and the English _father_. Even the names of their districts and
islands are totally different in different dialects. The island of _Sylt_
is called _Söl_, _Sol_, and _Sal_.” Each of these dialects, though it
might be made out by a Friesian scholar, is unintelligible except to the
peasants of each narrow district in which it prevails. What is therefore
generally called the Friesian language, and described as such in Friesian
grammars, is in reality but one out of many dialects, though, no doubt,
the most important; and the same holds good with regard to all so-called
literary languages.

It is a mistake to imagine that dialects are everywhere corruptions of the
literary language. Even in England,(39) the local patois have many forms
which are more primitive than the language of Shakespeare, and the
richness of their vocabulary surpasses, on many points, that of the
classical writers of any period. Dialects have always been the feeders
rather than the channels of a literary language; anyhow, they are parallel
streams which existed long before one of them was raised to that temporary
eminence which is the result of literary cultivation.

What Grimm says of the origin of dialects in general applies only to such
as are produced by phonetic corruption. “Dialects,” he writes,(40)
“develop themselves progressively, and the more we look backward in the
history of language the smaller is their number, and the less definite
their features. All multiplicity arises gradually from an original unity.”
So it seems, indeed, if we build our theories of language exclusively on
the materials supplied by literary idioms, such as Sanskrit, Greek, Latin,
and Gothic. No doubt these are the royal heads in the history of language.
But as political history ought to be more than a chronicle of royal
dynasties, so the historian of language ought never to lose sight of those
lower and popular strata of speech from which these dynasties originally
sprang, and by which alone they are supported.

Here, however, lies the difficulty. How are we to trace the history of
dialects? In the ancient history of language, literary dialects alone
supply us with materials, whereas the very existence of spoken dialects is
hardly noticed by ancient writers.

We are told, indeed, by Pliny,(41) that in Colchis there were more than
three hundred tribes speaking different dialects; and that the Romans, in
order to carry on any intercourse with the natives, had to employ a
hundred and thirty interpreters. This is probably an exaggeration; but we
have no reason to doubt the statement of Strabo,(42) who speaks of seventy
tribes living together in that country, which, even now, is called “the
mountain of languages.” In modern times, again, when missionaries have
devoted themselves to the study of the languages of savage and illiterate
tribes, they have seldom been able to do more than to acquire one out of
many dialects; and, when their exertions have been at all successful, that
dialect which they had reduced to writing, and made the medium of their
civilizing influence, soon assumed a kind of literary supremacy, so as to
leave the rest behind as barbarous jargons. Yet, whatever is known of the
dialects of savage tribes is chiefly or entirely due to missionaries; and
it is much to be desired that their attention should again and again be
directed to this interesting problem of the dialectical life of language
which they alone have the means of elucidating. Gabriel Sagard, who was
sent as a missionary to the Hurons in 1626, and published his “Grand
Voyage du pays des Hurons,” at Paris, in 1631, states that among these
North American tribes hardly one village speaks the same language as
another; nay, that two families of the same village do not speak exactly
the same language. And he adds what is important, that their language is
changing every day, and is already so much changed that the ancient Huron
language is almost entirely different from the present. During the last
two hundred years, on the contrary, the languages of the Hurons and
Iroquois are said not to have changed at all.(43) We read of
missionaries(44) in Central America who attempted to write down the
language of savage tribes, and who compiled with great care a dictionary
of all the words they could lay hold of. Returning to the same tribe after
the lapse of only ten years, they found that this dictionary had become
antiquated and useless. Old words had sunk to the ground, and new ones had
risen to the surface; and to all outward appearance the language was
completely changed.

Nothing surprised the Jesuit missionaries so much as the immense number of
languages spoken by the natives of America. But this, far from being a
proof of a high state of civilization, rather showed that the various
races of America had never submitted, for any length of time, to a
powerful political concentration, and that they had never succeeded in
founding great national empires. Hervas reduces, indeed, all the dialects
of America to eleven families(45)—four for the south, and seven for the
north; but this could be done only by the same careful and minute
comparison which enables us to class the idioms spoken in Iceland and
Ceylon as cognate dialects. For practical purposes the dialects of America
are distinct dialects, and the people who speak them are mutually

We hear the same observations everywhere where the rank growth of dialects
has been watched by intelligent observers. If we turn our eyes to Burmah,
we find that there the Burmese has produced a considerable literature, and
is the recognized medium of communication not only in Burmah, but likewise
in Pegu and Arakan. But the intricate mountain ranges of the peninsula of
the Irawaddy(46) afford a safe refuge to many independent tribes, speaking
their own independent dialects; and in the neighborhood of Manipura alone
Captain Gordon collected no less than twelve dialects. “Some of them,” he
says, “are spoken by no more than thirty or forty families, yet so
different from the rest as to be unintelligible to the nearest
neighborhood.” Brown, the excellent American missionary, who has spent his
whole life in preaching the Gospel in that part of the world, tells us
that some tribes who left their native village to settle in another
valley, became unintelligible to their forefathers in two or three

In the north of Asia the Ostiakes, as Messerschmidt informs us, though
really speaking the same language everywhere, have produced so many words
and forms peculiar to each tribe, that even within the limits of twelve or
twenty German miles, communication among them becomes extremely difficult.
Castren, the heroic explorer of the languages of northern and central
Asia,(48) assures us that some of the Mongolian dialects are actually
entering into a new phase of grammatical life; and that while the literary
language of the Mongolians has no terminations for the persons of the
verb, that characteristic feature of Turanian speech had lately broken out
in the spoken dialects of the Buriates and in the Tungusic idioms near
Njertschinsk in Siberia.

One more observation of the same character from the pen of Robert Moffat,
in his “Missionary Scenes and Labors in Southern Africa.” “The purity and
harmony of language,” he writes, “is kept up by their pitches, or public
meetings, by their festivals and ceremonies, as well as by their songs and
their constant intercourse. With the isolated villagers of the desert it
is far otherwise; they have no such meetings; they are compelled to
traverse the wilds, often to a great distance from their native village.
On such occasions fathers and mothers, and all who can bear a burden,
often set out for weeks at a time, and leave their children to the care of
two or three infirm old people. The infant progeny, some of whom are
beginning to lisp, while others can just master a whole sentence, and
those still further advanced, romping and playing together, the children
of nature, through their livelong day, _become habituated to a language of
their own_. The more voluble condescend to the less precocious; and thus,
from this infant Babel, proceeds a dialect of a host of mongrel words and
phrases, joined together without rule, and _in the course of one
generation the entire character of the language is changed_.”

Such is the life of language in a state of nature; and in a similar
manner, we have a right to conclude, languages grew up which we only know
after the bit and bridle of literature were thrown over their necks. It
need not be a written or classical literature to give an ascendency to one
out of many dialects, and to impart to its peculiarities an undisputed
legitimacy. Speeches at pitches or public meetings, popular ballads,
national laws, religious oracles, exercise, though to a smaller extent,
the same influence. They will arrest the natural flow of language in the
countless rivulets of its dialects, and give a permanency to certain
formations of speech which, without these external influences, could have
enjoyed but an ephemeral existence. Though we cannot fully enter, at
present, on the problem of the origin of language, yet this we can clearly
see, that, whatever the origin of language was, its first tendency must
have been towards an unbounded variety. To this there was, however, a
natural check, which prepared from the very beginning the growth of
national and literary languages. The language of the father became the
language of a family; the language of a family that of a clan. In one and
the same clan different families would preserve among themselves their own
familiar forms and expressions. They would add new words, some so fanciful
and quaint as to be hardly intelligible to other members of the same clan.
Such expressions would naturally be suppressed, as we suppress provincial
peculiarities and pet words of our own, at large assemblies where all
clansmen meet and are expected to take part in general discussions. But
they would be cherished all the more round the fire of each tent, in
proportion as the general dialect of the clan assumed a more formal
character. Class dialects, too, would spring up; the dialects of servants,
grooms, shepherds, and soldiers. Women would have their own household
words; and the rising generation would not be long without a more racy
phraseology of their own. Even we, in this literary age, and at a distance
of thousands of years from those early fathers of language, do not speak
at home as we speak in public. The same circumstances which give rise to
the formal language of a clan, as distinguished from the dialects of
families, produce, on a larger scale, the languages of a confederation of
clans, of nascent colonies, of rising nationalities. Before there is a
national language, there have always been hundreds of dialects in
districts, towns, villages, clans, and families; and though the progress
of civilization and centralization tends to reduce their number and to
soften their features, it has not as yet annihilated them, even in our own

Let us now look again at what is commonly called the history, but what
ought to be called, the natural growth, of language, and we shall easily
see that it consists chiefly in the play of the two principles which we
have just examined, _phonetic decay_ and _dialectical regeneration_ or
_growth_. Let us take the six Romance languages. It is usual to call these
the daughters of Latin. I do not object to the names of parent and
daughter as applied to languages; only we must not allow such apparently
clear and simple terms to cover obscure and vague conceptions. Now if we
call Italian the daughter of Latin, we do not mean to ascribe to Italian a
new vital principle. Not a single radical element was newly created for
the formation of Italian. Italian is Latin in a new form. Italian is
modern Latin, or Latin ancient Italian. The names _mother_ and _daughter_
only mark different periods in the growth of a language substantially the
same. To speak of Latin dying in giving birth to her offspring is again
pure mythology, and it would be easy to prove that Latin was a living
language long after Italian had learnt to run alone. Only let us clearly
see what we mean by Latin. The classical Latin is one out of many dialects
spoken by the Aryan inhabitants of Italy. It was the dialect of Latium, in
Latium the dialect of Rome, at Rome the dialect of the patricians. It was
fixed by Livius Andronicus, Ennius, Nævius, Cato, and Lucretius, polished
by the Scipios, Hortensius, and Cicero. It was the language of a
restricted class, of a political party, of a literary set. Before their
time, the language of Rome must have changed and fluctuated considerably.
Polybius tells us (iii. 22), that the best-informed Romans could not make
out without difficulty the language of the ancient treaties between Rome
and Carthage. Horace admits (Ep. ii. 1, 86), that he could not understand
the old Salian poems, and he hints that no one else could. Quintilian (i.
6, 40) says that the Salian priests could hardly understand their sacred
hymns. If the plebeians had obtained the upperhand over the patricians,
Latin would have been very different from what it is in Cicero, and we
know that even Cicero, having been brought up at Arpinum, had to give up
some of his provincial peculiarities, such as the dropping of the final
_s_, when he began to mix in fashionable society, and had to write for his
new patrician friends.(49) After having been established as the language
of legislation, religion, literature, and general civilization, the
classical Latin dialect became stationary and stagnant. It could not grow,
because it was not allowed to change or to deviate from its classical
correctness. It was haunted by its own ghost. Literary dialects, or what
are commonly called classical languages, pay for their temporary greatness
by inevitable decay. They are like stagnant lakes at the side of great
rivers. They form reservoirs of what was once living and running speech,
but they are no longer carried on by the main current. At times it may
seem as if the whole stream of language was absorbed by these lakes, and
we can hardly trace the small rivulets which run on in the main bed. But
if lower down, that is to say, later in history, we meet again with a new
body of stationary language, forming or formed, we may be sure that its
tributaries were those very rivulets which for a time were almost lost
from our sight. Or it may be more accurate to compare a classical or
literary idiom with the frozen surface of a river, brilliant and smooth,
but stiff and cold. It is mostly by political commotions that this surface
of the more polite and cultivated speech is broken and carried away by the
waters rising underneath. It is during times when the higher classes are
either crushed in religious and social struggles, or mix again with the
lower classes to repel foreign invasion; when literary occupations are
discouraged, palaces burnt, monasteries pillaged, and seats of learning
destroyed,—it is then that the popular, or, as they are called, the vulgar
dialects, which had formed a kind of undercurrent, rise beneath the
crystal surface of the literary language, and sweep away, like the waters
in spring, the cumbrous formations of a by-gone age. In more peaceful
times, a new and popular literature springs up in a language which _seems_
to have been formed by conquests or revolutions, but which, in reality,
had been growing up long before, and was only brought out, ready made, by
historical events. From this point of view we can see that no literary
language can ever be said to have been the mother of another language. As
soon as a language loses its unbounded capability of change, its
carelessness about what it throws away, and its readiness in always
supplying instantaneously the wants of mind and heart, its natural life is
changed into a merely artificial existence. It may still live on for a
long time, but while it seems to be the leading shoot, it is in reality
but a broken and withering branch, slowly falling from the stock from
which it sprang. The sources of Italian are not to be found in the
classical literature of Rome, but in the popular dialects of Italy.
English did not spring from the Anglo-Saxon of Wessex only, but from the
dialects spoken in every part of Great Britain, distinguished by local
peculiarities, and modified at different times by the influence of Latin,
Danish, Norman, French, and other foreign elements. Some of the local
dialects of English, as spoken at the present day, are of great importance
for a critical study of English, and a French prince, now living in this
country, deserves great credit for collecting what can still be saved of
English dialects. Hindustani is not the daughter of Sanskrit, as we find
it in the Vedas, or in the later literature of the Brahmans: it is a
branch of the living speech of India, springing from the same stem from
which Sanskrit sprang, when it first assumed its literary independence.

While thus endeavoring to place the character of dialects, as the feeders
of language, in a clear light, I may appear to some of my hearers to have
exaggerated their importance. No doubt, if my object had been different, I
might easily have shown that, without literary cultivation, language would
never have acquired that settled character which is essential for the
communication of thought; that it would never have fulfilled its highest
purpose, but have remained the mere jargon of shy troglodytes. But as the
importance of literary languages is not likely to be overlooked, whereas
the importance of dialects, as far as they sustain the growth of language,
had never been pointed out, I thought it better to dwell on the advantages
which literary languages derive from dialects, rather than on the benefits
which dialects owe to literary languages. Besides, our chief object to-day
was to explain the growth of language, and for that purpose it is
impossible to exaggerate the importance of the constant undergrowth of
dialects. Remove a language from its native soil, tear it away from the
dialects which are its feeders, and you arrest at once its natural growth.
There will still be the progress of phonetic corruption, but no longer the
restoring influence of dialectic regeneration. The language which the
Norwegian refugees brought to Iceland has remained almost the same for
seven centuries, whereas on its native soil, and surrounded by local
dialects, it has grown into two distinct languages, the Swedish and
Danish. In the eleventh century, the languages of Sweden, Denmark, and
Iceland are supposed(50) to have been identical, nor can we appeal to
foreign conquest, or to the admixture of foreign with native blood, in
order to account for the changes which the language underwent in Sweden
and Denmark, but not in Iceland.(51)

We can hardly form an idea of the unbounded resources of dialects. When
literary languages have stereotyped one general term, their dialects will
supply fifty, though each with its own special shade of meaning. If new
combinations of thought are evolved in the progress of society, dialects
will readily supply the required names from the store of their so-called
superfluous words. There are not only local and provincial, but also class
dialects. There is a dialect of shepherds, of sportsmen, of soldiers, of
farmers. I suppose there are few persons here present who could tell the
exact meaning of a horse’s poll, crest, withers, dock, hamstring, cannon,
pastern, coronet, arm, jowl, and muzzle. Where the literary language
speaks of the young of all sorts of animals, farmers, shepherds, and
sportsmen would be ashamed to use so general a term.

“The idiom of nomads,” as Grimm says, “contains an abundant wealth of
manifold expressions for sword and weapons, and for the different stages
in the life of their cattle. In a more highly cultivated language these
expressions become burthensome and superfluous. But, in a peasant’s mouth,
the bearing, calving, falling, and killing of almost every animal has its
own peculiar term, as the sportsman delights in calling the gait and
members of game by different names. The eye of these shepherds, who live
in the free air, sees further, their ear hears more sharply,—why should
their speech not have gained that living truth and variety?”

Thus Juliana Berners, lady prioress of the nunnery of Sopwell in the
fifteenth century, the reputed author of the book of St. Albans, informs
us that we must not use names of multitudes promiscuously, but we are to
say, “a congregacyon of people, a hoost of men, a felyshyppynge of yomen,
and a bevy of ladies; we must speak of a herde of dere, swannys, cranys,
or wrenys, a sege of herons or bytourys, a muster of pecockes, a watche of
nyghtyngales, a flyghte of doves, a claterynge of choughes, a pryde of
lyons, a slewthe of beeres, a gagle of geys, a skulke of foxes, a sculle
of frerys, a pontificality of prestys, a bomynable syght of monkes, and a
superfluyte of nonnes,” and so of other human and brute assemblages. In
like manner, in dividing game for the table, the animals were not carved,
but “a dere was broken, a gose reryd, chekyn frusshed, a cony unlaced, a
crane dysplayed, a curlewe unioynted, a quayle wynggyd, a swanne lyfte, a
lambe sholdered, a heron dysmembryd, a pecocke dysfygured, a samon chynyd,
a hadoke sydyd, a sole loynyd, and a breme splayed.”(52)

What, however, I wanted particularly to point out in this lecture is this,
that neither of the causes which produce the growth, or, according to
others, constitute the history of language, is under the control of man.
The phonetic decay of language is not the result of mere accident; it is
governed by definite laws, as we shall see when we come to consider the
principles of comparative grammar. But these laws were not made by man; on
the contrary, man had to obey them without knowing of their existence.

In the growth of the modern Romance languages out of Latin, we can
perceive not only a general tendency to simplification, not only a natural
disposition to avoid the exertion which the pronunciation of certain
consonants, and still more, of groups of consonants, entails on the
speaker: but we can see distinct laws for each of the Romance dialects,
which enable us to say, that in French the Latin _patrem_ would naturally
grow into the modern _père_. The final _m_ is always dropped in the
Romance dialects, and it was dropped even in Latin. Thus we get _patre_
instead of _patrem_. Now, a Latin _t_ between two vowels in such words as
_pater_ is invariably suppressed in French. This is a law, and by means of
it we can discover at once that _catena_ must become _chaine_; _fata_, a
later feminine representation of the old neuter _fatum_, _fée_; _pratum_ a
meadow, _pré_. From _pratum_ we derive _prataria_, which in French becomes
_prairie_; from _fatum_, _fataria_, the English _fairy_. Thus every Latin
participle in _atus_, like _amatus_, loved, must end in French in _é_. The
same law then changed _patre_(pronounced _pa-tere_) into _paere_, or
_père_; it changed _matrem_ into _mère_, _fratrem_ into _frère_. These
changes take place gradually but irresistibly, and, what is most
important, they are completely beyond the reach or control of the free
will of man.

Dialectical growth again is still more beyond the control of individuals.
For although a poet may knowingly and intentionally invent a new word, its
acceptance depends on circumstances which defy individual interference.
There are some changes in the grammar which at first sight might seem to
be mainly attributable to the caprice of the speaker. Granted, for
instance, that the loss of the Latin terminations was the natural result
of a more careless pronunciation; granted that the modern sign of the
French genitive _du_ is a natural corruption of the Latin _de illo_,—yet
the choice of _de_, instead of any other word, to express the genitive,
the choice of _illo_, instead of any other pronoun, to express the
article, might seem to prove that man acted as a free agent in the
formation of language. But it is not so. No single individual could
deliberately have set to work in order to abolish the old Latin genitive,
and to replace it by the periphrastic compound _de illo_. It was necessary
that the inconvenience of having no distinct or distinguishable sign of
the genitive should have been felt by the people who spoke a vulgar Latin
dialect. It was necessary that the same people should have used the
preposition _de_ in such a manner as to lose sight of its original local
meaning altogether (for instance, _una de multis_, in Horace, _i.e._, one
out of many). It was necessary, again, that the same people should have
felt the want of an article, and should have used _illo_ in numerous
expressions, where it seemed to have lost its original pronominal power.
It was necessary that all these conditions should be given, before one
individual and after him another, and after him hundreds and thousands and
millions, could use _de illo_ as the exponent of the genitive; and change
it into the Italian _dello_, _del_, and the French _du_.

The attempts of single grammarians and purists to improve language are
perfectly bootless; and we shall probably hear no more of schemes to prune
languages of their irregularities. It is very likely, however, that the
gradual disappearance of irregular declensions and conjugations is due, in
literary as well as in illiterate languages, to the dialect of children.
The language of children is more regular than our own. I have heard
children say _badder_ and _baddest_, instead of _worse_ and _worst_.
Children will say, _I gaed_, _I coomd_, _I catched_; and it is this sense
of grammatical justice, this generous feeling of what ought to be, which
in the course of centuries has eliminated many so-called irregular forms.
Thus the auxiliary verb in Latin was very irregular. If _sumus_ is _we
are_, and _sunt_, _they are_, the second person, _you are_, ought to have
been, at least according to the strict logic of children, _sutis_. This,
no doubt, sounds very barbarous to a classical ear accustomed to _estis_.
And we see how French, for instance, has strictly preserved the Latin
forms in _nous sommes_, _vous êtes_, _ils sont_. But in Spanish we find
_somos_, _sois_, _son_; and this _sois_ stands for _sutis_. We find
similar traces of grammatical levelling in the Italian _siamo_, _siete_,
_sono_, formed in analogy of regular verbs such as _crediamo_, _credete_,
_credono_. The second person, _sei_, instead of _es_, is likewise
infantine grammar. So are the Wallachian _súntemu_, we are, _súnteti_, you
are, which owe their origin to the third person plural _súnt_, they are.
And what shall we say of such monsters as _essendo_, a gerund derived on
principles of strict justice from an infinitive _essere_, like _credendo_
from _credere_!

However, we need not be surprised, for we find similar barbarisms in
English. Even in Anglo-Saxon, the third person plural, _sind_, has by a
false analogy been transferred to the first and second persons; and
instead of the modern English,

                          in Old       in Gothic.
we are                    ër-um        sijum(53)
you are      we find      ër-udh       sijuth
they are                  ër-u.        sind.

Dialectically we hear _I be_, instead of _I am_; and if Chartism should
ever gain the upper hand, we must be prepared for newspapers adopting such
forms as _I says_, _I knows_.

These various influences and conditions under which language grows and
changes, are like the waves and winds which carry deposits to the bottom
of the sea, where they accumulate, and rise, and grow, and at last appear
on the surface of the earth as a stratum, perfectly intelligible in all
its component parts, not produced by an inward principle of growth, nor
regulated by invariable laws of nature; yet, on the other hand, by no
means the result of mere accident, or the production of lawless and
uncontrolled agencies. We cannot be careful enough in the use of our
words. Strictly speaking, neither _history_ nor _growth_ is applicable to
the changes of the shifting surface of the earth. _History_ applies to the
actions of free agents; _growth_ to the natural unfolding of organic
beings. We speak, however, of the growth of the crust of the earth, and we
know what we mean by it; and it is in this sense, but not in the sense of
growth as applied to a tree, that we have a right to speak of the growth
of language. If that modification which takes place in time by continually
new combinations of given elements, which withdraws itself from the
control of free agents, and can in the end be recognized as the result of
natural agencies, may be called growth; and if so defined, we may apply it
to the growth of the crust of the earth; the same word, in the same sense,
will be applicable to language, and will justify us in removing the
science of language from the pale of the historical to that of the
physical sciences.

There is another objection which we have to consider, and the
consideration of which will again help us to understand more clearly the
real character of language. The great periods in the growth of the earth
which have been established by geological research are brought to their
close, or very nearly so, when we discover the first vestiges of human
life, and when the history of man, in the widest sense of the word,
begins. The periods in the growth of language, on the contrary, begin and
run parallel with the history of man. It has been said, therefore, that
although language may not be merely a work of art, it would, nevertheless,
be impossible to understand the life and growth of any language without an
historical knowledge of the times in which that language grew up. We ought
to know, it is said, whether a language which is to be analyzed under the
microscope of comparative grammar, has been growing up wild, among wild
tribes, without a literature, oral or written, in poetry or in prose; or
whether it has received the cultivation of poets, priests, and orators,
and retained the impress of a classical age. Again, it is only from the
annals of political history that we can learn whether one language has
come in contact with another, how long this contact has lasted, which of
the two nations stood higher in civilization, which was the conquering and
which the conquered, which of the two established the laws, the religion,
and the arts of the country, and which produced the greatest number of
national teachers, popular poets, and successful demagogues. All these
questions are of a purely historical character, and the science which has
to borrow so much from historical sources, might well be considered an
anomaly in the sphere of the physical sciences.

Now, in answer to this, it cannot be denied that among the physical
sciences none is so intimately connected with the history of man as the
science of language. But a similar connection, though in a less degree,
can be shown to exist between other branches of physical research and the
history of man. In zoölogy, for instance, it is of some importance to know
at what particular period of history, in what country, and for what
purposes certain animals were tamed and domesticated. In ethnology, a
science, we may remark in passing, quite distinct from the science of
language, it would be difficult to account for the Caucasian stamp
impressed on the Mongolian race in Hungary, or on the Tatar race in
Turkey, unless we knew from written documents the migrations and
settlements of the Mongolic and Tataric tribes in Europe. A botanist,
again, comparing several specimens of rye, would find it difficult to
account for their respective peculiarities, unless he knew that in some
parts of the world this plant has been cultivated for centuries, whereas
in other regions, as, for instance, in Mount Caucasus, it is still allowed
to grow wild. Plants have their own countries, like races, and the
presence of the cucumber in Greece, the orange and cherry in Italy, the
potatoe in England, and the vine at the Cape, can be fully explained by
the historian only. The more intimate relation, therefore, between the
history of language and the history of man is not sufficient to exclude
the science of language from the circle of the physical sciences.

Nay, it might be shown, that, if strictly defined, the science of language
can declare itself completely independent of history. If we speak of the
language of England, we ought, no doubt, to know something of the
political history of the British Isles, in order to understand the present
state of that language. Its history begins with the early Britons, who
spoke a Celtic dialect; it carries us on to the Saxon conquest, to the
Danish invasions, to the Norman conquest: and we see how each of these
political events contributed to the formation of the character of the
language. The language of England may be said to have been in succession
Celtic, Saxon, Norman, and English. But if we speak of the history of the
English language, we enter on totally different ground. The English
language was never Celtic, the Celtic never grew into Saxon, nor the Saxon
into Norman, nor the Norman into English. The history of the Celtic
language runs on to the present day. It matters not whether it be spoken
by all the inhabitants of the British Isles, or only by a small minority
in Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. A language, as long as it is spoken by
anybody, lives and has its substantive existence. The last old woman that
spoke Cornish, and to whose memory it is now intended to raise a monument,
represented by herself alone the ancient language of Cornwall. A Celt may
become an Englishman, Celtic and English blood may be mixed; and who could
tell at the present day the exact proportion of Celtic and Saxon blood in
the population of England? But languages are never mixed. It is
indifferent by what name the language spoken in the British Islands be
called, whether English or British or Saxon; to the student of language
English is Teutonic, and nothing but Teutonic. The physiologist may
protest, and point out that in many instances the skull, or the bodily
habitat of the English language, is of a Celtic type; the genealogist may
protest and prove that the arms of many an English family are of Norman
origin; the student of language must follow his own way. Historical
information as to an early substratum of Celtic inhabitants in Britain, as
to Saxon, Danish, and Norman invasions may be useful to him. But though
every record were burned, and every skull mouldered, the English language,
as spoken by any ploughboy, would reveal its own history, if analyzed
according to the rules of comparative grammar. Without the help of
history, we should see that English is Teutonic, that like Dutch and
Friesian it belongs to the Low-German branch; that this branch, together
with the High-German, Gothic, and Scandinavian branches, constitute the
Teutonic class; that this Teutonic class, together with the Celtic,
Slavonic, the Hellenic, Italic, Iranic, and Indic classes constitute the
great Indo-European or Aryan family of speech. In the English dictionary
the student of the science of language can detect, by his own tests,
Celtic, Norman, Greek, and Latin ingredients, but not a single drop of
foreign blood has entered into the organic system of the English language.
The grammar, the blood and soul of the language, is as pure and unmixed in
English as spoken in the British Isles, as it was when spoken on the
shores of the German Ocean by the Angles, Saxons, and Juts of the

In thus considering and refuting the objections which have been, or might
be, made against the admission of the science of language into the circle
of the physical sciences, we have arrived at some results which it may be
useful to recapitulate before we proceed further. We saw that whereas
philology treats language only as a means, comparative philology chooses
language as the object of scientific inquiry. It is not the study of one
language, but of many, and in the end of all, which forms the aim of this
new science. Nor is the language of Homer of greater interest, in the
scientific treatment of human speech, than the dialect of the Hottentots.

We saw, secondly, that after the first practical acquisition and careful
analysis of the facts and forms of any language, the next and most
important step is the classification of all the varieties of human speech,
and that only after this has been accomplished would it be safe to venture
on the great questions which underlie all physical research, the questions
as to the what, the whence, and the why of language.

We saw, thirdly, that there is a distinction between what is called
history and growth. We determined the true meaning of growth, as applied
to language, and perceived how it was independent of the caprice of man,
and governed by laws that could be discovered by careful observation, and
be traced back in the end to higher laws, which govern the organs both of
human thought, and of the human voice. Though admitting that the science
of language was more intimately connected than any other physical science
with what is called the political history of man, we found that, strictly
speaking, our science might well dispense with this auxiliary, and that
languages can be analyzed and classified on their own evidence
particularly on the strength of their grammatical articulation, without
any reference to the individuals, families, clans, tribes, nations, or
races by whom they are or have been spoken.

In the course of these considerations, we had to lay down two axioms, to
which we shall frequently have to appeal in the progress of our
investigations. The first declares grammar to be the most essential
element, and therefore the ground of classification in all languages which
have produced a definite grammatical articulation; the second denies the
possibility of a mixed language.

These two axioms are, in reality, but one, as we shall see when we examine
them more closely. There is hardly a language which in one sense may not
be called a mixed language. No nation or tribe was ever so completely
isolated as not to admit the importation of a certain number of foreign
words. In some instances these imported words have changed the whole
native aspect of the language, and have even acquired a majority over the
native element. Turkish is a Turanian dialect; its grammar is purely
Tataric or Turanian. The Turks, however, possessed but a small literature
and narrow civilization before they were converted to Mohammedanism. Now,
the language of Mohammed was Arabic, a branch of the Semitic family,
closely allied to Hebrew and Syriac. Together with the Koran, and their
law and religion, the Turks learned from the Arabs, their conquerors, many
of the arts and sciences connected with a more advanced stage of
civilization. Arabic became to the Turks what Latin was to the Germans
during the Middle Ages; and there is hardly a word in the higher
intellectual terminology of Arabic, that might not be used, more or less
naturally, by a writer in Turkish. But the Arabs, again, at the very
outset of their career of conquest and conversion, had been, in science,
art, literature, and polite manners, the pupils of the Persians, whom they
had conquered; they stood to them in the same relation as the Romans stood
to the Greeks. Now, the Persians speak a language which is neither
Semitic, like Arabic, nor Turanian, like Turkish; it is a branch of the
Indo-European or Aryan family of speech. A large infusion of Persian words
thus found its way into Arabic, and through Arabic into Turkish; and the
result is that at the present moment the Turkish language, as spoken by
the higher ranks at Constantinople, is so entirely overgrown with Persian
and Arabic words, that a common clod from the country understands but
little of the so-called Osmanli, though its grammar is exactly the same as
the grammar which he uses in his Tataric utterance.

There is, perhaps, no language so full of words evidently derived from the
most distant sources as English. Every 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. On the evidence of words alone it
would be impossible to classify English with any other of the established
stocks and stems of human speech. Leaving out of consideration the smaller
ingredients, we find, on comparing the Teutonic with the Latin, or
Neo-Latin or Norman elements in English, that the latter have a decided
majority over the home-grown Saxon terms. This may seem incredible; and if
we simply took a page of any English book, and counted therein the words
of purely Saxon and Latin origin, the majority would be no doubt on the
Saxon side. The articles, pronouns, prepositions, and auxiliary verbs, all
of which are of Saxon growth, occur over and over again in one and the
same page. Thus, Hickes maintained that nine tenths of the English
dictionary were Saxon, because there were only three words of Latin origin
in the Lord’s prayer. Sharon Turner, who extended his observations over a
larger field, came to the conclusion that the relation of Norman to Saxon
was as four to six. Another writer, who estimates the whole number of
English words at 38,000, assigns 23,000 to a Saxon, and 15,000 to a
classical source. On taking, however, a more accurate inventory, and
counting every word in the dictionaries of Robertson and Webster, M.
Thommerel has established the fact that of the sum total of 43,566 words,
29,853 came from classical, 13,230 from Teutonic, and the rest from
miscellaneous sources.(54) 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. Hervas was told by missionaries that
in the middle of the eighteenth century the Araucans used hardly a single
word which was not Spanish, though they preserved both the grammar and the
syntax of their own native speech.(55) This is the reason why grammar is
made the criterion of the relationship and the base of the classification
in almost all languages; and it follows, therefore, as a matter of course,
that in the classification and in the science of language, it is
impossible to admit the existence of a mixed idiom. We may form whole
sentences in English consisting entirely of Latin or Romance words; yet
whatever there is left of grammar in English bears unmistakable traces of
Teutonic workmanship. What may now be called grammar in English is little
more than the terminations of the genitive singular, and nominative plural
of nouns, the degrees of comparison, and a few of the persons and tenses
of the verb. Yet the single _s_, used as the exponent of the third person
singular of the indicative present, is irrefragable evidence that in a
scientific classification of languages, English, though it did not retain
a single word of Saxon origin, would have to be classed as Saxon, and as a
branch of the great Teutonic stem of the Aryan family of speech. In
ancient and less matured languages, grammar, or the formal part of human
speech, is far more abundantly developed than in English; and it is,
therefore, a much safer guide for discovering a family likeness in
scattered members of the same family. There are languages in which there
is no trace of what we are accustomed to call grammar; for instance,
ancient Chinese; there are others in which we can still watch the growth
of grammar, or, more correctly, the gradual lapse of material into merely
formal elements. In these languages new principles of classification will
have to be applied, such as are suggested by the study of natural history;
and we shall have to be satisfied with the criteria of a morphological
affinity, instead of those of a genealogical relationship.

I have thus answered, I hope, some of the objections which threatened to
deprive the science of language of that place which she claims in the
circle of the physical sciences. We shall see in our next lecture what the
history of our science has been from its beginning to the present day, and
how far it may be said to have passed through the three stages, the
empirical, the classificatory, and the theoretical, which mark the
childhood, the youth, and the manhood of every one of the natural


We begin to-day to trace the historical progress of the science of
language in its three stages, the _Empirical_, the _Classificatory_, and
the _Theoretical_. As a general rule each physical science begins with
analysis, proceeds to classification, and ends with theory; but, as I
pointed out in my first lecture, there are frequent exceptions to this
rule, and it is by no means uncommon to find that philosophical
speculations, which properly belong to the last or theoretical stage, were
attempted in physical sciences long before the necessary evidence had been
collected or arranged. Thus, we find that the science of language, in the
only two countries where we can watch its origin and history—in India and
Greece—rushes at once into theories about the mysterious nature of speech,
and cares as little for facts as the man who wrote an account of the camel
without ever having seen the animal or the desert. The Brahmans, in the
hymns of the Veda, raised language to the rank of a deity, as they did
with all things of which they knew not what they were. They addressed
hymns to her in which she is said to have been with the gods from the
beginning, achieving wondrous things, and never revealed to man except in
part. In the Bráhmaņas, language is called the cow, breath the bull, and
their young is said to be the mind of man.(56) Brahman, the highest being,
is said to be known through speech, nay, speech herself is called the
Supreme Brahman. At a very early period, however, the Brahmans recovered
from their raptures about language, and set to work with wonderful skill
dissecting her sacred body. Their achievements in grammatical analysis,
which date from the sixth century, B. C., are still unsurpassed in the
grammatical literature of any nation. The idea of reducing a whole
language to a small number of roots, which in Europe was not attempted
before the sixteenth century by Henry Estienne,(57) was perfectly familiar
to the Brahmans, at least 500 B. C.

The Greeks, though they did not raise language to the rank of a deity,
paid her, nevertheless, the greatest honors in their ancient schools of
philosophy. There is hardly one of their representative philosophers who
has not left some saying on the nature of language. The world without, or
nature, and the world within, or mind, did not excite more wonder and
elicit deeper oracles of wisdom from the ancient sages of Greece than
language, the image of both, of nature and of mind. “What is language?”
was a question asked quite as early as “What am I?” and, “What is all this
world around me?” The problem of language was in fact a recognized
battle-field for the different schools of ancient Greek philosophy, and we
shall have to glance at their early guesses on the nature of human speech,
when we come to consider the third or theoretical stage in the science of

At present, we have to look for the early traces of the first or empirical
stage. And here it might seem doubtful what was the real work to be
assigned to this stage. What can be meant by the empirical treatment of
language? Who were the men that did for language what the sailor did for
his stars, the miner for his minerals, the gardener for his flowers? Who
was the first to give any thought to language?—to distinguish between its
component parts, between nouns and verbs, between articles and pronouns,
between the nominative and accusative, the active and passive? Who
invented these terms, and for what purpose were they invented?

We must be careful in answering these questions, for, as I said before,
the merely empirical analysis of language was preceded in Greece by more
general inquiries into the nature of thought and language; and the result
has been that many of the technical terms which form the nomenclature of
empirical grammar, existed in the schools of philosophy long before they
were handed over, ready made, to the grammarian. The distinction of noun
and verb, or more correctly, of subject and predicate, was the work of
philosophers. Even the technical terms of case, of number, and gender,
were coined at a very early time for the purpose of entering into the
nature of thought; not for the practical purpose of analyzing the forms of
language. This, their practical application to the spoken language of
Greece, was the work of a later generation. It was the teacher of
languages who first compared the categories of thought with the realities
of the Greek language. It was he who transferred the terminology of
Aristotle and the Stoics from thought to speech, from logic to grammar;
and thus opened the first roads into the impervious wilderness of spoken
speech. In doing this, the grammarian had to alter the strict acceptation
of many of the terms which he borrowed from the philosopher, and he had to
coin others before he could lay hold of all the facts of language even in
the roughest manner. For, indeed, the distinction between noun and verb,
between active and passive, between nominative and accusative, does not
help us much towards a scientific analysis of language. It is no more than
a first grasp, and it can only be compared with the most elementary
terminology in other branches of human knowledge. Nevertheless, it was a
beginning, a very important beginning; and if we preserve in our histories
of the world the names of those who are said to have discovered the four
physical elements, the names of a Thales and Anaximenes, we ought not to
forget the names of the discoverers of the elements of language—the
founders of one of the most useful and most successful branches of
philosophy—the first Grammarians.

Grammar then, in the usual sense of the word, or the merely formal and
empirical analysis of language, owes its origin, like all other sciences,
to a very natural and practical want. The first practical grammarian was
the first practical teacher of languages, and if we want to know the
beginnings of the science of language, we must try to find out at what
time in the history of the world, and under what circumstances, people
first thought of learning any language besides their own. At _that_ time
we shall find the first practical grammar, and not till then. Much may
have been ready at hand through the less interested researches of
philosophers, and likewise through the critical studies of the scholars of
Alexandria on the ancient forms of their language as preserved in the
Homeric poems. But rules of declension and conjugation, paradigms of
regular and irregular nouns and verbs, observations on syntax, and the
like, these are the work of the teachers of languages, and of no one else.

Now, the teaching of languages, though at present so large a profession,
is comparatively a very modern invention. No ancient Greek ever thought of
learning a foreign language. Why should he? He divided the whole world
into Greeks and Barbarians, and he would have felt himself degraded by
adopting either the dress or the manners or the language of his barbarian
neighbors. He considered it a privilege to speak Greek, and even dialects
closely related to his own, were treated by him as mere jargons. It takes
time before people conceive the idea that it is possible to express
oneself in any but one’s own language. The Poles called their neighbors,
the Germans, _Niemiec_, _niemy_ meaning _dumb_;(58) just as the Greeks
called the Barbarians _Aglossoi_, or speechless. The name which the
Germans gave to their neighbors, the Celts, _Walh_ in old High German,
_vealh_ in Anglo-Saxon, the modern _Welsh_, is supposed to be the same as
the Sanskrit _mlechha_, and means a person who talks indistinctly.(59)

Even when the Greeks began to feel the necessity of communicating with
foreign nations, when they felt a desire of learning their idioms, the
problem was by no means solved. For how was a foreign language to be
learnt as long as either party could only speak their own? The problem was
almost as difficult as when, as we are told by some persons, the first
men, as yet speechless, came together in order to invent speech, and to
discuss the most appropriate names that should be given to the perceptions
of the senses and the abstractions of the mind. At first, it must be
supposed that the Greek learned foreign languages very much as children
learn their own. The interpreters mentioned by ancient historians were
probably children of parents speaking different languages. The son of a
Scythian and a Greek would naturally learn the utterances both of his
father and mother, and the lucrative nature of his services would not fail
to increase the supply. We are told, though on rather mythical authority,
that the Greeks were astonished at the multiplicity of languages which
they encountered during the Argonautic expedition, and that they were much
inconvenienced by the want of skilful interpreters.(60) We need not wonder
at this, for the English army was hardly better off than the army of
Jason; and such is the variety of dialects spoken in the Caucasian
Isthmus, that it is still called by the inhabitants “the Mountain of
Languages.” If we turn our eyes from these mythical ages to the historical
times of Greece, we find that trade gave the first encouragement to the
profession of interpreters. Herodotus tells us (iv. 24), that caravans of
Greek merchants, following the course of the Volga upwards to the Oural
mountains, were accompanied by seven interpreters, speaking seven
different languages. These must have comprised Slavonic, Tataric, and
Finnic dialects, spoken in those countries in the time of Herodotus, as
they are at the present day. The wars with Persia first familiarized the
Greeks with the idea that other nations also possessed real languages.
Themistocles studied Persian, and is said to have spoken it fluently. The
expedition of Alexander contributed still more powerfully to a knowledge
of other nations and languages. But when Alexander went to converse with
the Brahmans, who were even then considered by the Greeks as the guardians
of a most ancient and mysterious wisdom, their answers had to be
translated by so many interpreters that one of the Brahmans remarked, they
must become like water that had passed through many impure channels.(61)
We hear, indeed, of more ancient Greek travellers, and it is difficult to
understand how, in those early times, anybody could have travelled without
a certain knowledge of the language of the people through whose camps and
villages and towns he had to pass. Many of these travels, however,
particularly those which are said to have extended as far as India, are
mere inventions of later writers.(62) Lycurgus may have travelled to Spain
and Africa, he certainly did not proceed to India, nor is there any
mention of his intercourse with the Indian Gymnosophists before
Aristocrates, who lived about 100 B. C. The travels of Pythagoras are
equally mythical; they are inventions of Alexandrian writers, who believed
that all wisdom must have flowed from the East. There is better authority
for believing that Democritus went to Egypt and Babylon, but his more
distant travels to India are likewise legendary. Herodotus, though he
travelled in Egypt and Persia, never gives us to understand that he was
able to converse in any but his own language.

As far as we can tell, the barbarians seem to have possessed a greater
facility for acquiring languages than either Greeks or Romans. Soon after
the Macedonian conquest, we find(63) _Berosus_ in Babylon, _Menander_ in
Tyre, and _Manetho_ in Egypt, compiling, from original sources, the annals
of their countries.(64) Their works were written in Greek, and for the
Greeks. The native language of Berosus was Babylonian, of Menander
Phenician, of Manetho Egyptian. Berosus was able to read the cuneiform
documents of Babylonia with the same ease with which Manetho read the
papyri of Egypt. The almost contemporaneous appearance of three such men,
barbarians by birth and language, who were anxious to save the histories
of their countries from total oblivion, by entrusting them to the keeping
of their conquerors, the Greeks, is highly significant. But what is
likewise significant, and by no means creditable to the Greek or
Macedonian conquerors, is the small value which they seem to have set on
these works. They have all been lost, and are known to us by fragments
only, though there can be little doubt that the work of Berosus would have
been an invaluable guide to the student of the cuneiform inscriptions and
of Babylonian history, and that Manetho, if preserved complete, would have
saved us volumes of controversy on Egyptian chronology. We learn, however,
from the almost simultaneous appearance of these works, that soon after
the epoch marked by Alexander’s conquests in the East, the Greek language
was studied and cultivated by literary men of barbarian origin, though we
should look in vain for any Greek learning or employing any but his own
tongue for literary purposes. We hear of no intellectual intercourse
between Greeks and barbarians before the days of Alexander and Alexandria.
At Alexandria, various nations, speaking different languages, and
believing in different gods, were brought together. Though primarily
engaged in mercantile speculations, it was but natural that in their
moments of leisure they should hold discourse on their native countries,
their gods, their kings, their law-givers, and poets. Besides, there were
Greeks at Alexandria who were engaged in the study of antiquity, and who
knew how to ask questions from men coming from any country of the world.
The pretension of the Egyptians to a fabulous antiquity, the belief of the
Jews in the sacred character of their laws, the faith of the Persians in
the writings of Zoroaster, all these were fit subjects for discussion in
the halls and libraries of Alexandria. We probably owe the translation of
the Old Testament, the Septuagint, to this spirit of literary inquiry
which was patronized at Alexandria by the Ptolemies.(65) The writings of
Zoroaster also, the Zend-Avesta, would seem to have been rendered into
Greek about the same time. For Hermippus, who is said by Pliny to have
translated the writings of Zoroaster, was in all probability
Hermippus,(66) the Peripatetic philosopher, the pupil of Callimachus, one
of the most learned scholars at Alexandria.

But although we find at Alexandria these and similar traces of a general
interest having been excited by the literatures of other nations, there is
no evidence which would lead us to suppose that their languages also had
become the subject of scientific inquiry. It was not through the study of
other languages, but through the study of the ancient dialects of their
own language, that the Greeks at Alexandria were first led to what we
should call critical and philological studies. The critical study of Greek
took its origin at Alexandria, and it was chiefly based on the text of
Homer. The general outline of grammar existed, as I remarked before, at an
earlier period. It grew up in the schools of Greek philosophers.(67) Plato
knew of noun and verb as the two component parts of speech. Aristotle
added conjunctions and articles. He likewise observed the distinctions of
number and case. But neither Plato nor Aristotle paid much attention to
the forms of language which corresponded to these forms of thought, nor
had they any inducement to reduce them to any practical rules. With
Aristotle the verb or _rhēmha_ is hardly more than predicate, and in
sentences such as “the snow is white,” he would have called _white_ a
verb. The first who reduced the actual forms of language to something like
order were the scholars of Alexandria. Their chief occupation was to
publish correct texts of the Greek classics, and particularly of Homer.
They were forced, therefore, to pay attention to the exact forms of Greek
grammar. The MSS. sent to Alexandria and Pergamus from different parts of
Greece varied considerably, and it could only be determined by careful
observation which forms were to be tolerated in Homer and which were not.
Their editions of Homer were not only _ekdoseis_, a Greek word literally
rendered in Latin by _editio_, _i.e._ issues of books, but _diorthōseis_,
that is to say, critical editions. There were different schools, opposed
to each other in their views of the language of Homer. Each reading that
was adopted by Zenodotus or Aristarchus had to be defended, and this could
only be done by establishing general rules on the grammar of the Homeric
poems. Did Homer use the article? Did he use it before proper names? These
and similar questions had to be settled, and as one or the other view was
adopted by the editors, the text of these ancient poems was changed by
more or less violent emendations. New technical terms were required for
distinguishing, for instance, the article, if once recognized, from the
demonstrative pronoun. _Article_ is a literal translation of the Greek
word _arthron_. _Arthron_ (Lat. artus) means the socket of a joint. The
word was first used by Aristotle, and with him it could only mean words
which formed, as it were, the sockets in which the members of a sentence
moved. In such a sentence as: “Whoever did it, he shall suffer for it,”
Greek grammarians would have called the demonstrative pronoun _he_ the
first socket, and the relative pronoun _who_, the second socket;(68) and
before Zenodotus, the first librarian of Alexandria, 250 B. C., all
pronouns were simply classed as sockets or articles of speech. He was the
first to introduce a distinction between personal pronouns or
_antonymiai_, and the mere articles or articulations of speech, which
henceforth retained the name of _arthra_. This distinction was very
necessary, and it was, no doubt, suggested to him by his emendations of
the text of Homer, Zenodotus being the first who restored the article
before proper names in the Iliad and Odyssey. Who, in speaking now of the
definite or indefinite article, thinks of the origin and original meaning
of the word, and of the time which it took before it could become what it
is now, a technical term familiar to every school-boy?

Again, to take another illustration of the influence which the critical
study of Homer at Alexandria exercised on the development of grammatical
terminology,—we see that the first idea of numbers, of a singular and a
plural, was fixed and defined by the philosopher. But Aristotle had no
such technical terms as singular and plural; and he does not even allude
to the dual. He only speaks of the cases which express one or many, though
with him _case_, or _ptōsis_, had a very different meaning from what it
has in our grammars. The terms singular and plural were not invented till
they were wanted, and they were first wanted by the grammarians.
Zenodotus, the editor of Homer, was the first to observe the use of the
dual in the Homeric poems, and, with the usual zeal of discoverers, he has
altered many a plural into a dual when there was no necessity for it.

The scholars of Alexandria, therefore, and of the rival academy of
Pergamus, were the first who studied the Greek language critically, that
is to say, who analyzed the language, arranged it under general
categories, distinguished the various parts of speech, invented proper
technical terms for the various functions of words, observed the more or
less correct usage of certain poets, marked the difference between
obsolete and classical forms, and published long and learned treatises on
all these subjects. Their works mark a great era in the history of the
science of language. But there was still a step to be made before we can
expect to meet with a real practical or elementary grammar of the Greek
language. Now the first real Greek grammar was that of _Dionysius Thrax_.
It is still in existence, and though its genuineness has been doubted,
these doubts have been completely disposed of.

But who was Dionysius Thrax? His father, as we learn from his name, was a
Thracian; but Dionysius himself lived at Alexandria, and was a pupil of
the famous critic and editor of Homer, Aristarchus.(69) Dionysius
afterwards went to Rome, where he taught about the time of Pompey. Now
here we see a new feature in the history of mankind. A Greek, a pupil of
Aristarchus, settles at Rome, and writes a practical grammar of the Greek
language—of course, for the benefit of his young Roman pupils. He was not
the inventor of grammatical science. Nearly all the framework of grammar,
as we saw, was supplied to him through the labors of his predecessors from
Plato to Aristarchus. But he was the first who applied the results of
former philosophers and critics to the practical purpose of teaching
Greek; and, what is most important, of teaching Greek not to Greeks, who
knew Greek and only wanted the theory of their language, but to Romans who
had to be taught the declensions and conjugations, regular and irregular.
His work thus became one of the principal channels through which the
grammatical terminology, which had been carried from Athens to Alexandria,
flowed back to Rome, to spread from thence over the whole civilized world.

Dionysius, however, though the author of the first practical grammar, was
by no means the first “_professeur de langue_” who settled at Rome. At his
time Greek was more generally spoken at Rome than French is now spoken in
London. The children of gentlemen learnt Greek before they learnt Latin,
and though Quintilian in his work on education does not approve of a boy
learning nothing but Greek for any length of time, “as is now the
fashion,” he says, “with most people,” yet he too recommends that a boy
should be taught Greek first, and Latin afterwards.(70) This may seem
strange, but the fact is that as long as we know anything of Italy, the
Greek language was as much at home there as Latin. Italy owed almost
everything to Greece, not only in later days when the setting sun of Greek
civilization mingled its rays with the dawn of Roman greatness; but ever
since the first Greek colonists started Westward Ho! in search of new
homes. It was from the Greeks that the Italians received their alphabet
and were taught to read and to write.(71) The names for balance, for
measuring-rod, for engines in general, for coined money,(72) many terms
connected with seafaring,(73) not excepting _nausea_ or sea-sickness, are
all borrowed from Greek, and show the extent to which the Italians were
indebted to the Greeks for the very rudiments of civilization. The
Italians, no doubt, had their own national gods, but they soon became
converts to the mythology of the Greeks. Some of the Greek gods they
identified with their own; others they admitted as new deities. Thus
_Saturnus_, originally an Italian harvest god, was identified with the
Greek _Kronos_, and as _Kronos_ was the son of _Uranos_, a new deity was
invented, and _Saturnus_ was fabled to be the son of _Cœlus_. Thus the
Italian _Herculus_, the god of hurdles, enclosures, and walls, was merged
in the Greek _Heracles_.(74) _Castor_ and _Pollux_, both of purely Greek
origin, were readily believed in as nautical deities by the Italian
sailors, and they were the first Greek gods to whom, after the battle on
the Lake Regillus (485), a temple was erected at Rome.(75) In 431 another
temple was erected at Rome to Apollo, whose oracle at Delphi had been
consulted by Italians ever since Greek colonists had settled on their
soil. The oracles of the famous Sibylla of Cumæ were written in Greek,(76)
and the priests (duoviri sacris faciundis) were allowed to keep two Greek
slaves for the purpose of translating these oracles.(77)

When the Romans, in 454 B. C., wanted to establish a code of laws, the
first thing they did was to send commissioners to Greece to report on the
laws of Solon at Athens and the laws of other Greek towns.(78) As Rome
rose in political power, Greek manners, Greek art, Greek language and
literature found ready admittance.(79) Before the beginning of the Punic
wars, many of the Roman statesmen were able to understand, and even to
speak Greek. Boys were not only taught the Roman letters by their masters,
the _literatores_, but they had to learn at the same time the Greek
alphabet. Those who taught Greek at Rome were then called _grammatici_,
and they were mostly Greek slaves or _liberti_.

Among the young men whom Cato saw growing up at Rome, to know Greek was
the same as to be a gentleman. They read Greek books, they conversed in
Greek, they even wrote in Greek. Tiberius Gracchus, consul in 177, made a
speech in Greek at Rhodes, which he afterwards published.(80) Flaminius,
when addressed by the Greeks in Latin, returned the compliment by writing
Greek verses in honor of their gods. The first history of Rome was written
at Rome in Greek, by Fabius Pictor,(81) about 200 B. C.; and it was
probably in opposition to this work, and to those of Lucius Cincius
Alimentus, and Publius Scipio, that Cato wrote his own history of Rome in
Latin. The example of the higher classes was eagerly followed by the
lowest. The plays of Plautus are the best proof; for the affectation of
using Greek words is as evident in some of his characters as the foolish
display of French in the German writers of the eighteenth century. There
was both loss and gain in the inheritance which Rome received from Greece;
but what would Rome have been without her Greek masters? The very fathers
of Roman literature were Greeks, private teachers, men who made a living
by translating school-books and plays. Livius Andronicus, sent as prisoner
of war from Tarentum (272 B. C.), established himself at Rome as professor
of Greek. His translation of the Odyssey into Latin verse, which marks the
beginning of Roman literature, was evidently written by him for the use of
his private classes. His style, though clumsy and wooden in the extreme,
was looked upon as a model of perfection by the rising poets of the
capital. Nævius and Plautus were his cotemporaries and immediate
successors. All the plays of Plautus were translations and adaptations of
Greek originals; and Plautus was not even allowed to transfer the scene
from Greece to Rome. The Roman public wanted to see Greek life and Greek
depravity; it would have stoned the poet who had ventured to bring on the
stage a Roman patrician or a Roman matron. Greek tragedies, also, were
translated into Latin. Ennius, the cotemporary of Nævius and Plautus,
though somewhat younger (239-169), was the first to translate Euripides.
Ennius, like Andronicus, was an Italian Greek, who settled at Rome as a
teacher of languages and translator of Greek. He was patronized by the
liberal party, by Publius Scipio, Titus Flaminius, and Marcus Fulvius
Nobilior.(82) He became a Roman citizen. But Ennius was more than a poet,
more than a teacher of languages. He has been called a neologian, and to a
certain extent he deserved that name. Two works written in the most
hostile spirit against the religion of Greece, and against the very
existence of the Greek gods, were translated by him into Latin.(83) One
was the philosophy of _Epicharmus_ (470 B. C., in Megara), who taught that
Zeus was nothing but the air, and other gods but names of the powers of
nature; the other the work of _Euhemerus_, of Messene (300 B. C.), who
proved, in the form of a novel, that the Greek gods had never existed, and
that those who were believed in as gods had been men. These two works were
not translated without a purpose; and though themselves shallow in the
extreme, they proved destructive to the still shallower systems of Roman
theology. Greek became synonymous with infidel; and Ennius would hardly
have escaped the punishment inflicted on Nævius for his political satires,
had he not enjoyed the patronage and esteem of the most influential
statesmen at Rome. Even Cato, the stubborn enemy of Greek philosophy(84)
and rhetoric, was a friend of the dangerous Ennius; and such was the
growing influence of Greek at Rome, that Cato himself had to learn it in
his old age, in order to teach his boy what he considered, if not useful,
at least harmless in Greek literature. It has been the custom to laugh at
Cato for his dogged opposition to everything Greek; but there was much
truth in his denunciations. We have heard much of young Bengál—young
Hindus who read Byron and Voltaire, play at billiards, drive tandems,
laugh at their priests, patronize missionaries, and believe nothing. The
description which Cato gives of the young idlers at Rome reminds us very
much of young Bengál.

When Rome took the torch of knowledge from the dying hands of Greece, that
torch was not burning with its brightest light. Plato and Aristotle had
been succeeded by Chrysippus and Carneades; Euripides and Menander had
taken the place of Æschylus and Sophocles. In becoming the guardian of the
Promethean spark first lighted in Greece, and intended hereafter to
illuminate not only Italy, but every country of Europe, Rome lost much of
that native virtue to which she owed her greatness. Roman frugality and
gravity, Roman citizenship and patriotism, Roman purity and piety, were
driven away by Greek luxury and levity, Greek intriguing and self-seeking,
Greek vice and infidelity. Restrictions and anathemas were of no avail;
and Greek ideas were never so attractive as when they had been reprobated
by Cato and his friends. Every new generation became more and more
impregnated with Greek. In 131(85) we hear of a consul (Publius Crassus)
who, like another Mezzofanti, was able to converse in the various dialects
of Greek. Sulla allowed foreign ambassadors to speak Greek before the
Roman senate.(86) The Stoic philosopher Panætius(87) lived in the house of
the Scipios, which was for a long time the rendezvous of all the literary
celebrities at Rome. Here the Greek historian Polybius, and the
philosopher Cleitomachus, Lucilius the satirist, Terence the African poet
(196-159), and the improvisatore Archias (102 B. C.), were welcome
guests.(88) In this select circle the master-works of Greek literature
were read and criticised; the problems of Greek philosophy were discussed;
and the highest interests of human life became the subject of thoughtful
conversation. Though no poet of original genius arose from this society,
it exercised a most powerful influence on the progress of Roman
literature. It formed a tribunal of good taste; and much of the
correctness, simplicity, and manliness of the classical Latin is due to
that “Cosmopolitan Club,” which met under the hospitable roof of the

The religious life of Roman society at the close of the Punic wars was
more Greek than Roman. All who had learnt to think seriously on religious
questions were either Stoics or followers of Epicurus; or they embraced
the doctrines of the New Academy, denying the possibility of any knowledge
of the Infinite, and putting opinion in the place of truth.(89) Though the
doctrines of Epicurus and the New Academy were always considered dangerous
and heretical, the philosophy of the Stoics was tolerated, and a kind of
compromise effected between philosophy and religion. There was a
state-philosophy as well as a state-religion. The Roman priesthood, though
they had succeeded, in 161, in getting all Greek rhetors and philosophers
expelled from Rome, perceived that a compromise was necessary. It was
openly avowed that in the enlightened classes(90) philosophy must take the
place of religion, but that a belief in miracles and oracles was necessary
for keeping the large masses in order. Even Cato,(91) the leader of the
orthodox, national, and conservative party, expressed his surprise that a
haruspex, when meeting a colleague, did not burst out laughing. Men like
Scipio Æmilianus and Lælius professed to believe in the popular gods; but
with them Jupiter was the soul of the universe, the statues of the gods
mere works of art.(92) Their gods, as the people complained, had neither
body, parts, nor passions. Peace, however, was preserved between the Stoic
philosopher and the orthodox priest. Both parties professed to believe in
the same gods, but they claimed the liberty to believe in them in their
own way.

I have dwelt at some length on the changes in the intellectual atmosphere
of Rome at the end of the Punic wars, and I have endeavored to show how
completely it was impregnated with Greek ideas in order to explain, what
otherwise would seem almost inexplicable, the zeal and earnestness with
which the study of Greek grammar was taken up at Rome, not only by a few
scholars and philosophers, but by the leading statesmen of the time. To
our minds, discussions on nouns and verbs, on cases and gender, on regular
and irregular conjugation, retain always something of the tedious
character which these subjects had at school, and we can hardly understand
how at Rome, grammar—pure and simple grammar—should have formed a subject
of general interest, and a topic of fashionable conversation. When one of
the first grammarians of the day, Crates of Pergamus, was sent to Rome as
ambassador of King Attalus, he was received with the greatest distinction
by all the literary statesmen of the capital. It so happened that when
walking one day on the Palatian hill, Crates caught his foot in the
grating of a sewer, fell and broke his leg. Being thereby detained at Rome
longer than he intended, he was persuaded to give some public lectures, or
_akroaseis_, on grammar; and from these lectures, says Suetonius, dates
the study of grammar at Rome. This took place about 159 B. C., between the
second and third Punic wars, shortly after the death of Ennius, and two
years after the famous expulsion of the Greek rhetors and philosophers
(161). Four years later Carneades, likewise sent to Rome as ambassador,
was prohibited from lecturing by Cato. After these lectures of Crates,
grammatical and philological studies became extremely popular at Rome. We
hear of Lucius Ælius Stilo,(93) who lectured on Latin as Crates had
lectured on Greek. Among his pupils were Varro, Lucilius, and Cicero.
Varro composed twenty-four books on the Latin language, four of which were
dedicated to Cicero. Cicero, himself, is quoted as an authority on
grammatical questions, though we know of no special work of his on
grammar. Lucilius devoted the ninth book of his satires to the reform of
spelling.(94) But nothing shows more clearly the wide interest which
grammatical studies had then excited in the foremost ranks of Roman
society than Cæsar’s work on Latin grammar. It was composed by him during
the Gallic war, and dedicated to Cicero, who might well be proud of the
compliment thus paid him by the great general and statesman. Most of these
works are lost to us, and we can judge of them only by means of casual
quotations. Thus we learn from a fragment of Cæsar’s work, _De analogia_,
that he was the inventor of the term _ablative_ in Latin. The word never
occurs before, and, of course, could not be borrowed, like the names of
the other cases, from Greek grammarians, as they admitted no ablative in
Greek. To think of Cæsar fighting the barbarians of Gaul and Germany, and
watching from a distance the political complications at Rome, ready to
grasp the sceptre of the world, and at the same time carrying on his
philological and grammatical studies together with his secretary, the
Greek Didymus,(95) gives us a new view both of that extraordinary man, and
of the time in which he lived. After Cæsar had triumphed, one of his
favorite plans was to found a Greek and Latin library at Rome, and he
offered the librarianship to the best scholar of the day, to Varro, though
Varro had fought against him on the side of Pompey.(96)

We have thus arrived at the time when, as we saw in an earlier part of
this lecture, Dionysius Thrax published the first elementary grammar of
Greek at Rome. Empirical grammar had thus been transplanted to Rome, the
Greek grammatical terminology was translated into Latin, and in this new
Latin garb it has travelled now for nearly two thousand years over the
whole civilized world. Even in India, where a different terminology had
grown up in the grammatical schools of the Brahmans, a terminology in some
respects more perfect than that of Alexandria and Rome, we may now hear
such words as _case_, and _gender_, and _active_ and _passive_, explained
by European teachers to their native pupils. The fates of words are
curious indeed, and when I looked the other day at some of the examination
papers of the government schools in India, such questions as—“Write the
genitive case of Siva,” seemed to reduce whole volumes of history into a
single sentence. How did these words, genitive case, come to India? They
came from England, they had come to England from Rome, to Rome from
Alexandria, to Alexandria from Athens. At Athens, the term _case_, or
_ptōsis_, had a philosophical meaning; at Rome, _casus_ was merely a
literal translation; the original meaning of _fall_ was lost, and the word
dwindled down to a mere technical term. At Athens, the philosophy of
language was a counterpart of the philosophy of the mind. The terminology
of formal logic and formal grammar was the same. The logic of the Stoics
was divided into two parts,(97) called _rhetoric_ and _dialectic_, and the
latter treated, first, “On that which signifies, or language;” secondly,
“On that which is signified, or things.” In their philosophical language
_ptōsis_, which the Romans translated by _casus_, really meant fall; that
is to say, the inclination or relation of one idea to another, the falling
or resting of one word on another. Long and angry discussions were carried
on as to whether the name of _ptōsis_, or fall, was applicable to the
nominative; and every true Stoic would have scouted the expression of
_casus rectus_, because the subject or the nominative, as they argued, did
not fall or rest on anything else, but stood erect, the other words of a
sentence leaning or depending on it. All this is lost to us when we speak
of cases.

And how are the dark scholars in the government schools of India to guess
the meaning of _genitive_? The Latin _genitivus_ is a mere blunder, for
the Greek word _genikē_ could never mean _genitivus_. _Genitivus_, if it
is meant to express the case of origin or birth, would in Greek have been
called _gennētikē_, not _genikē_. Nor does the genitive express the
relation of son to father. For though we may say, “the son of the father,”
we may likewise say, “the father of the son.” _Genikē_, in Greek, had a
much wider, a much more philosophical meaning.(98) It meant _casus
generalis_, the general case, or rather the case which expresses the
gentus or kind. This is the real power of the genitive. If I say, “a bird
of the water,” “of the water” defines the genus to which a certain bird
belongs; it refers it to the genus of water-birds. “Man of the mountains,”
means a mountaineer. In phrases such as “son of the father,” or “father of
the son,” the genitives have the same effect. They predicate something of
the son or of the father; and if we distinguished between the sons of the
father, and the sons of the mother, the genitives would mark the class or
genus to which the sons respectively belonged. They would answer the same
purpose as the adjectives, paternal and maternal. It can be proved
etymologically that the termination of the genitive is, in most cases,
identical with those derivative suffixes by which substantives are changed
into adjectives.(99)

It is hardly necessary to trace the history of what I call the empirical
study, or the grammatical analysis of language, beyond Rome. With
Dionysius Thrax the framework of grammar was finished. Later writers have
improved and completed it, but they have added nothing really new and
original. We can follow the stream of grammatical science from Dionysius
Thrax to our own time in an almost uninterrupted chain of Greek and Roman
writers. We find Quintilian in the first century; Scaurus, Apollonius
Dyscolus, and his son, Herodianus, in the second; Probus and Donatus in
the fourth. After Constantine had moved the seat of government from Rome,
grammatical science received a new home in the academy of Constantinople.
There were no less than twenty Greek and Latin grammarians who held
professorships at Constantinople. Under Justinian, in the sixth century,
the name of Priscianus gave a new lustre to grammatical studies, and his
work remained an authority during the Middle Ages to nearly our own times.
We ourselves have been taught grammar according to the plan which was
followed by Dionysius at Rome, by Priscianus at Constantinople, by Alcuin
at York; and whatever may be said of the improvements introduced into our
system of education, the Greek and Latin grammars used at our public
schools are mainly founded on the first empirical analysis of language,
prepared by the philosophers of Athens, applied by the scholars of
Alexandria, and transferred to the practical purpose of teaching a foreign
tongue by the Greek professors at Rome.


We traced, in our last lecture, the origin and progress of the empirical
study of languages from the time of Plato and Aristotle to our own
school-boy days. We saw at what time, and under what circumstances, the
first grammatical analysis of language took place; how its component
parts, the parts of speech, were named, and how, with the aid of a
terminology, half philosophical and half empirical, a system of teaching
languages was established, which, whatever we may think of its intrinsic
value, has certainly answered that purpose for which it was chiefly

Considering the process by which this system of grammatical science was
elaborated, it could not be expected to give us an insight into the nature
of language. The division into nouns and verbs, articles and conjunctions,
the schemes of declension and conjugation, were a merely artificial
network thrown over the living body of language. We must not look in the
grammar of Dionysius Thrax for a correct and well-articulated skeleton of
human speech. It is curious, however, to observe the striking coincidences
between the grammatical terminology of the Greeks and the Hindús, which
would seem to prove that there must be some true and natural foundation
for the much-abused grammatical system of the schools. The Hindús are the
only nation that cultivated the science of grammar without having received
any impulse, directly or indirectly, from the Greeks. Yet we find in
Sanskrit too the same system of cases, called _vibhakti_, or inflections,
the active, passive, and middle voices, the tenses, moods, and persons,
divided not exactly, but very nearly, in the same manner as in Greek.(100)
In Sanskrit, grammar is called _vyâkaraņa_, which means analysis or taking
to pieces. As Greek grammar owed its origin to the critical study of
Homer, Sanskrit grammar arose from the study of the Vedas, the most
ancient poetry of the Brahmans. The differences between the dialect of
these sacred hymns and the literary Sanskrit of later ages were noted and
preserved with a religious care. We still possess the first essays in the
grammatical science of the Brahmans, the so-called _prâtiśâkhyas_. These
works, though they merely profess to give rules on the proper
pronunciation of the ancient dialect of the Vedas, furnish us at the same
time with observations of a grammatical character, and particularly with
those valuable lists of words, irregular or in any other way remarkable,
the Gaņas. These supplied that solid basis on which successive generations
of scholars erected the astounding structure that reached its perfection
in the grammar of Pâņini. There is no form, regular or irregular, in the
whole Sanskrit language, which is not provided for in the grammar of
Pâņini and his commentators. It is the perfection of a merely empirical
analysis of language, unsurpassed, nay even unapproached, by anything in
the grammatical literature of other nations. Yet of the real nature, and
natural growth of language, it teaches us nothing.

What then do we know of language after we have learnt the grammar of Greek
or Sanskrit, or after we have transferred the network of classical grammar
to our own tongue?

We know certain forms of language which correspond to certain forms of
thought. We know that the subject must assume the form of the nominative,
the object that of the accusative. We know that the more remote object may
be put in the dative, and that the predicate, in its most general form,
may be rendered by the genitive. We are taught that whereas in English the
genitive is marked by a final _s_, or by the preposition _of_, it is in
Greek expressed by a final ος, in Latin by _is_. But what this ος and _is_
represent, why they should have the power of changing a nominative into a
genitive, a subject into a predicate, remains a riddle. It is self-evident
that each language, in order to be a language, must be able to distinguish
the subject from the object, the nominative from the accusative. But how a
mere change of termination should suffice to convey so material a
distinction would seem almost incomprehensible. If we look for a moment
beyond Greek and Latin, we see that there are in reality but few languages
which have distinct forms for these two categories of thought. Even in
Greek and Latin there is no outward distinction between the nominative and
accusative of neuters. The Chinese language, it is commonly said, has no
grammar at all, that is to say, it has no inflections, no declension and
conjugation, in our sense of these words; it makes no formal distinction
of the various parts of speech, noun, verb, adjective, adverb, &c. Yet
there is no shade of thought that cannot be rendered in Chinese. The
Chinese have no more difficulty in distinguishing between “James beats
John,” and “John beats James,” than the Greeks and Romans or we ourselves.
They have no termination for the accusative, but they attain the same by
always placing the subject before, and the object after the verb, or by
employing words, before or after the noun, which clearly indicate that it
is to be taken as the object of the verb.(101) There are other languages
which have more terminations even than Greek and Latin. In Finnish there
are fifteen cases, expressive of every possible relation between the
subject and the object; but there is no accusative, no purely objective
case. In English and French the distinctive terminations of the nominative
and accusative have been worn off by phonetic corruption, and these
languages are obliged, like Chinese, to mark the subject and object by the
collocation of words. What we learn therefore at school in being taught
that _rex_ in the nominative becomes _regem_ in the accusative, is simply
a practical rule. We know when to say _rex_, and when to say _regem_. But
why the king as a subject should be called _rex_, and as an object
_regem_, remains entirely unexplained. In the same manner we learn that
_amo_ means I love, _amavi_ I loved; but why that tragical change from
_love_ to _no love_ should be represented by the simple change of _o_ to
_avi_, or, in English, by the addition of a mere _d_, is neither asked nor

Now if there is a science of language, these are the questions which it
will have to answer. If they cannot be answered, if we must be content
with paradigms and rules, if the terminations of nouns and verbs must be
looked upon either as conventional contrivances or as mysterious
excrescences, there is no such thing as a science of language, and we must
be satisfied with what has been called the art (τέχνη) of language, or

Before we either accept or decline the solution of any problem, it is
right to determine what means there are for solving it. Beginning with
English we should ask, what means have we for finding out why _I love_
should mean I am actually loving, whereas _I loved_ indicates that that
feeling is past and gone? Or, if we look to languages richer in
inflections than English, by what process can we discover under what
circumstances _amo_, I love, was changed, through the mere addition of an
_r_, into _amor_, expressing no longer _I love_, but _I am loved_? Did
declensions and conjugations bud forth like the blossoms of a tree? Were
they imparted to man ready made by some mysterious power? Or did some wise
people invent them, assigning certain letters to certain phases of
thought, as mathematicians express unknown quantities by freely chosen
algebraic exponents? We are here brought at once face to face with the
highest and most difficult problem of our science, the origin of language.
But it will be well for the present to turn our eyes away from theories,
and fix our attention at first entirely on facts.

Let us keep to the English perfect, _I loved_, as compared with the
present, _I love_. We cannot embrace at once the whole English grammar,
but if we can track one form to its true lair, we shall probably have no
difficulty in digging out the rest of the brood. Now, if we ask how the
addition of a final _d_ could express the momentous transition from being
in love to being indifferent, the first thing we have to do, before
attempting any explanation, would be to establish the earliest and most
original form of _I loved_. This is a rule which even Plato recognized in
his philosophy of language, though, we must confess, he seldom obeyed it.
We know what havoc phonetic corruption may make both in the dictionary and
the grammar of a language, and it would be a pity to waste our conjectures
on formations which a mere reference to the history of language would
suffice to explain. Now a very slight acquaintance with the history of the
English language teaches us that the grammar of modern English is not the
same as the grammar of Wycliffe. Wycliffe’s English again may be traced
back to what, with Sir Frederick Madden, we may call Middle English, from
1500 to 1330; Middle English to Early English, from 1330 to 1230; Early
English to Semi-Saxon from 1230 to 1100; and Semi-Saxon to
Anglo-Saxon.(102) It is evident that if we are to discover the original
intention of the syllable which changes _I love_ into _I loved_, we must
consult the original form of that syllable wherever we can find it. We
should never have known that _priest_ meant originally _an elder_, unless
we had traced it back to its original form _presbyter_, in which a Greek
scholar at once recognizes the comparative of _presbys_, old. If left to
modern English alone, we might attempt to connect _priest_ with _praying_
or _preaching_, but we should not thus arrive at its true derivation. The
modern word _Gospel_ conveys no meaning at all. As soon as we trace it
back to the original _Goddspell_, we see that it is a literal translation
of _Evangelium_, or good news, good tidings.(103) _Lord_ would be nothing
but an empty title in English, unless we could discover its original form
and meaning in the Anglo-Saxon _hlafford_, meaning a giver of bread, from
_hlaf_, a loaf, and _ford_, to give.

But even after this is done, after we have traced a modern English word
back to Anglo-Saxon, it follows by no means that we should there find it
in its original form, or that we should succeed in forcing it to disclose
its original intention. Anglo-Saxon is not an original or aboriginal
language. It points by its very name to the Saxons and Angles of the
continent. We have, therefore, to follow our word from Anglo-Saxon through
the various Saxon and Low-German dialects, till we arrive at last at the
earliest stage of German which is within our reach, the Gothic of the
fourth century after Christ. Even here we cannot rest. For, although we
cannot trace Gothic back to any earlier Teutonic language, we see at once
that Gothic, too, is a modern language, and that it must have passed
through numerous phases of growth before it became what it is in the mouth
of Bishop Ulfilas.

What then are we to do?—We must try to do what is done when we have to
deal with the modern Romance languages. If we could not trace a French
word back to Latin, we should look for its corresponding form in Italian,
and endeavor to trace the Italian to its Latin source. If, for instance,
we were doubtful about the origin of the French word for fire, _feu_, we
have but to look to the Italian _fuoco_, in order to see at once that both
_fuoco_ and _feu_ are derived from the Latin _focus_. We can do this,
because we know that French and Italian are cognate dialects, and because
we have ascertained beforehand the exact degree of relationship in which
they stand to each other. Had we, instead of looking to Italian, looked to
German for an explanation of the French _feu_, we should have missed the
right track; for the German _feuer_, though more like _feu_ than the
Italian _fuoco_, could never have assumed in French the form _feu_.

Again, in the case of the preposition _hors_, which in French means
_without_, we can more easily determine its origin after we have found
that _hors_ corresponds with the Italian _fuora_, the Spanish _fuera_. The
French _fromage_, cheese, derives no light from Latin. But as soon as we
compare the Italian _formaggio_,(104) we see that _formaggio_ and
_fromage_ are derived from _forma_; cheese being made in Italy by keeping
the milk in small baskets or forms. _Feeble_, the French _faible_, is
clearly derived from Latin; but it is not till we see the Italian
_fievole_ that we are reminded of the Latin _flebilis_, tearful. We should
never have found the etymology, that is to say the origin, of the French
_payer_, the English _to pay_, if we did not consult the dictionary of the
cognate dialects, such as Italian and Spanish. Here we find that _to pay_
is expressed in Italian by _pagare_, in Spanish by _pagar_, whereas in
Provençal we actually find the two forms _pagar_ and _payar_. Now _pagar_
clearly points back to Latin _pacare_, which means _to pacify_, _to
appease_. To appease a creditor meant to pay him; in the same manner as
_une quittance_, a quittance or receipt, was originally _quietantia_, a
quieting, from _quietus_, quiet.

If, therefore, we wish to follow up our researches,—if, not satisfied with
having traced an English word back to Gothic, we want to know what it was
at a still earlier period of its growth,—we must determine whether there
are any languages that stand to Gothic in the same relation in which
Italian and Spanish stand to French;—we must restore, as far as possible,
the genealogical tree of the various families of human speech. In doing
this we enter on the second or classificatory stage of our science; for
genealogy, where it is applicable, is the most perfect form of

Before we proceed to examine the results which have been obtained by the
recent labors of Schlegel, Humboldt, Bopp, Burnouf, Pott, Benfey,
Prichard, Grimm, Kuhn, Curtius, and others in this branch of the science
of language, it will be well to glance at what had been achieved before
their time in the classification of the numberless dialects of mankind.

The Greeks never thought of applying the principle of classification to
the varieties of human speech. They only distinguished between Greek on
one side, and all other languages on the other, comprehended under the
convenient name of “Barbarous.” They succeeded, indeed, in classifying
four of their own dialects with tolerable correctness,(105) but they
applied the term “barbarous” so promiscuously to the other more distant
relatives of Greek, (the dialects of the Pelasgians, Carians, Macedonians,
Thracians, and Illyrians,) that, for the purposes of scientific
classification, it is almost impossible to make any use of the statements
of ancient writers about these so-called barbarous idioms.(106)

Plato, indeed, in his Cratylus (c. 36), throws out a hint that the Greeks
might have received their own words from the barbarians, the barbarians
being older than the Greeks. But he was not able to see the full bearing
of this remark. He only points out that some words, such as the names of
_fire_, _water_, and _dog_, were the same in Phrygian and Greek; and he
supposes that the Greeks borrowed them from the Phrygians (c. 26). The
idea that the Greek language and that of the barbarians could have had a
common source never entered his mind. It is strange that even so
comprehensive a mind as that of Aristotle should have failed to perceive
in languages some of that law and order which he tried to discover in
every realm of nature. As Aristotle, however, did not attempt this, we
need not wonder that it was not attempted by any one else for the next two
thousand years. The Romans, in all scientific matters, were merely the
parrots of the Greeks. Having themselves been called barbarians, they soon
learnt to apply the same name to all other nations, except, of course, to
their masters, the Greeks. Now _barbarian_ is one of those lazy
expressions which seem to say everything but in reality say nothing. It
was applied as recklessly as the word _heretic_ during the Middle Ages. If
the Romans had not received this convenient name of barbarian ready made
for them, they would have treated their neighbors, the Celts and Germans,
with more respect and sympathy: they would, at all events, have looked at
them with a more discriminating eye. And, if they had done so, they would
have discovered, in spite of outward differences, that these barbarians
were, after all, not very distant cousins. There was as much similarity
between the language of Cæsar and the barbarians against whom he fought in
Gaul and Germany as there was between his language and that of Homer. A
man of Cæsar’s sagacity would have seen this, if he had not been blinded
by traditional phraseology. I am not exaggerating. For let us look at one
instance only. If we take a verb of such constant occurrence as _to have_,
we shall find the paradigms almost identical in Latin and Gothic:—

I have in Latin is habeo, in Gothic haba.
Thou hast in Latin is habes, in Gothic habais.
He has  in Latin is habet, in Gothic habaiþ.
We have in Latin is habemus, in Gothic habam.
You have  in Latin is habetis, in Gothic habaiþ.
They have in Latin is habent, in Gothic habant.

It surely required a certain amount of blindness, or rather of deafness,
not to perceive such similarity, and that blindness or deafness arose, I
believe, entirely from the single word _barbarian_. Not till that word
barbarian was struck out of the dictionary of mankind, and replaced by
brother, not till the right of all nations of the world to be classed as
members of one genus or kind was recognized, can we look even for the
first beginnings of our science. This change was effected by Christianity.
To the Hindú, every man not twice-born was a Mlechha; to the Greek, every
man not speaking Greek was a barbarian; to the Jew, every person not
circumcised was a Gentile; to the Mohammedan, every man not believing in
the prophet is a Giaur or Kaffir. It was Christianity which first broke
down the barriers between Jew and Gentile, between Greek and barbarian,
between the white and the black. _Humanity_ is a word which you look for
in vain in Plato or Aristotle; the idea of mankind as one family, as the
children of one God, is an idea of Christian growth; and the science of
mankind, and of the languages of mankind, is a science which, without
Christianity, would never have sprung into life. When people had been
taught to look upon all men as brethren, then, and then only, did the
variety of human speech present itself as a problem that called for a
solution in the eyes of thoughtful observers; and I, therefore, date the
real beginning of the science of language from the first day of Pentecost.
After that day of cloven tongues a new light is spreading over the world,
and objects rise into view which had been hidden from the eyes of the
nations of antiquity. Old words assume a new meaning, old problems a new
interest, old sciences a new purpose. The common origin of mankind, the
differences of race and language, the susceptibility of all nations of the
highest mental culture, these become, in the new world in which we live,
problems of scientific, because of more than scientific, interest. It is
no valid objection that so many centuries should have elapsed before the
spirit which Christianity infused into every branch of scientific inquiry
produced visible results. We see in the oaken fleet which rides the ocean
the small acorn which was buried in the ground hundreds of years ago, and
we recognize in the philosophy of Albertus Magnus,(107) though nearly 1200
years after the death of Christ, in the aspirations of Kepler,(108) and in
the researches of the greatest philosophers of our own age, the sound of
that key-note of thought which had been struck for the first time by the
apostle of the Gentiles:(109) “_For the invisible things of Him from the
creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things
that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead_.”

But we shall see that the science of language owes more than its first
impulse to Christianity. The pioneers of our science were those very
apostles who were commanded “to go into all the world, and preach the
Gospel to every creature,” and their true successors, the missionaries of
the whole Christian Church. Translations of the Lord’s Prayer or of the
Bible into every dialect of the world, form even now the most valuable
materials for the comparative philologist. As long as the number of known
languages was small, the idea of classification hardly suggested itself.
The mind must be bewildered by the multiplicity of facts before it has
recourse to division. As long as the only languages studied were Greek,
Latin, and Hebrew, the simple division into sacred and profane, or
classical and oriental, sufficed. But when theologians extended their
studies to Arabic, Chaldee, and Syriac, a step, and a very important step,
was made towards the establishment of a class or family of languages.(110)
No one could help seeing that these languages were most intimately related
to each other, and that they differed from Greek and Latin on all points
on which they agreed among themselves. As early as 1606 we find
_Guichard_,(111) in his “Harmonie Etymologique,” placing Hebrew, Chaldee,
and Syriac as a class of languages by themselves, and distinguishing
besides between the Romance and Teutonic dialects.

What prevented, however, for a long time the progress of the science of
language was the idea that Hebrew was the primitive language of mankind,
and that, therefore, all languages must be derived from Hebrew. The
fathers of the Church never expressed any doubt on this point. St. Jerome,
in one of his epistles to Damasus,(112) writes: “the whole of antiquity
(universa antiquitas) affirms that Hebrew, in which the Old Testament is
written, was the beginning of all human speech.” Origen, in his eleventh
Homily on the book of Numbers, expresses his belief that the Hebrew
language, originally given through Adam, remained in that part of the
world which was the chosen portion of God, not left like the rest to one
of His angels.(113) When, therefore, the first attempts at a
classification of languages were made, the problem, as it presented itself
to scholars such as Guichard and Thomassin, was this: “As Hebrew is
undoubtedly the mother of all languages, how are we to explain the process
by which Hebrew became split into so many dialects, and how can these
numerous dialects, such as Greek, and Latin, Coptic, Persian, Turkish, be
traced back to their common source, the Hebrew?”

It is astonishing what an amount of real learning and ingenuity was wasted
on this question during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It
finds, perhaps, but one parallel in the laborious calculations and
constructions of early astronomers, who had to account for the movements
of the heavenly bodies, always taking it for granted that the earth must
be the fixed centre of our planetary system. But, although we know now
that the labors of such scholars as Thomassin were, and could not be
otherwise than fruitless, it would be a most discouraging view to take of
the progress of the human race, were we to look upon the exertions of
eminent men in former ages, though they may have been in a wrong
direction, as mere vanity and vexation of spirit. We must not forget that
the very fact of the failure of such men contributed powerfully to a
general conviction that there must be something wrong in the problem
itself, till at last a bolder genius inverted the problem and thereby
solved it. When books after books had been written to show how Greek and
Latin and all other languages were derived from Hebrew,(114) and when not
one single system proved satisfactory, people asked at last—“Why then
_should_ all languages be derived from Hebrew?”—and this very question
solved the problem. It might have been natural for theologians in the
fourth and fifth centuries, many of whom knew neither Hebrew nor any
language except their own, to take it for granted that Hebrew was the
source of all languages, but there is neither in the Old nor the New
Testament a single word to necessitate this view. Of the language of Adam
we know nothing; but if Hebrew, as we know it, was one of the languages
that sprang from the confusion of tongues at Babel, it could not well have
been the language of Adam or of the whole earth, “when the whole earth was
still of one speech.”(115)

Although, therefore, a certain advance was made towards a classification
of languages by the Semitic scholars of the seventeenth century, yet this
partial advance became in other respects an impediment. The purely
scientific interest in arranging languages according to their
characteristic features was lost sight of, and erroneous ideas were
propagated, the influence of which has even now not quite subsided.

The first who really conquered the prejudice that Hebrew was the source of
all language was Leibniz, the cotemporary and rival of Newton. “There is
as much reason,” he said, “for supposing Hebrew to have been the primitive
language of mankind, as there is for adopting the view of Goropius, who
published a work at Antwerp, in 1580, to prove that Dutch was the language
spoken in Paradise.”(116) In a letter to Tenzel, Leibniz writes: “To call
Hebrew the primitive language, is like calling branches of a tree
primitive branches, or like imagining that in some country hewn trunks
could grow instead of trees. Such ideas may be conceived, but they do not
agree with the laws of nature, and with the harmony of the universe, that
is to say with the Divine Wisdom.”(117)

But Leibniz did more than remove this one great stumbling-block from the
threshold of the science of language. He was the first to apply the
principle of sound inductive reasoning to a subject which before him had
only been treated at random. He pointed out the necessity of collecting,
first of all, as large a number of facts as possible.(118) He appealed to
missionaries, travellers, ambassadors, princes, and emperors, to help him
in a work which he had so much at heart. The Jesuits in China had to work
for him. Witsen,(119) the traveller, sent him a most precious present, a
translation of the Lord’s Prayer into the jargon of the Hottentots. “My
friend,” writes Leibniz in thanking him, “remember, I implore you, and
remind your Muscovite friends, to make researches in order to procure
specimens of the Scythian languages, the Samoyedes, Siberians, Bashkirs,
Kalmuks, Tungusians, and others.” Having made the acquaintance of Peter
the Great, Leibniz wrote to him the following letter, dated Vienna,
October the 26th, 1713:—

“I have suggested that the numerous languages, hitherto almost entirely
unknown and unstudied, which are current in the empire of your Majesty and
on its frontiers, should be reduced to writing; also that dictionaries, or
at least small vocabularies, should be collected, and translations be
procured in such languages of the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, the
Apostolic Symbolum, and other parts of the Catechism, _ut omnis lingua
laudet Dominum_. This would increase the glory of your Majesty, who reigns
over so many nations, and is so anxious to improve them; and it would,
likewise, by means of a comparison of languages, enable us to discover the
origin of those nations who from Scythia, which is subject to your
Majesty, advanced into other countries. But principally it would help to
plant Christianity among the nations speaking those dialects, and I have,
therefore, addressed the Most Rev. Metropolitan on the same subject.”(120)

Leibniz drew up a list of the most simple and necessary terms which should
be selected for comparison in various languages. At home, while engaged in
historical researches, he collected whatever could throw light on the
origin of the German language, and he encouraged others, such as Eccard,
to do the same. He pointed out the importance of dialects, and even of
provincial and local terms, for elucidating the etymological structure of
languages.(121) Leibniz never undertook a systematic classification of the
whole realm of language, nor was he successful in classing the dialects
with which he had become acquainted. He distinguished between a Japhetic
and Aramaic class, the former occupying the north, the latter the south,
of the continent of Asia and Europe. He believed in a common origin of
languages, and in a migration of the human race from east to west. But he
failed to distinguish the exact degrees of relationship in which languages
stood to each other, and he mixed up some of the Turanian dialects, such
as Finnish and Tataric, with the Japhetic family of speech. If Leibniz had
found time to work out all the plans which his fertile and comprehensive
genius conceived, or if he had been understood and supported by
cotemporary scholars, the science of language, as one of the inductive
sciences, might have been established a century earlier. But a man like
Leibniz, who was equally distinguished as a scholar, a theologian, a
lawyer, an historian, and a mathematician, could only throw out hints as
to how language ought to be studied. Leibniz was not only the discoverer
of the differential calculus. He was one of the first to watch the
geological stratification of the earth. He was engaged in constructing a
calculating machine, the idea of which he first conceived as a boy. He
drew up an elaborate plan of an expedition to Egypt, which he submitted to
Louis XIV. in order to avert his attention from the frontiers of Germany.
The same man was engaged in a long correspondence with Bossuet to bring
about a reconciliation between Protestants and Romanists, and he
endeavored, in his Theodicée and other works, to defend the cause of truth
and religion against the inroads of the materialistic philosophy of
England and France. It has been said, indeed, that the discoveries of
Leibniz produced but little effect, and that most of them had to be made
again. This is not the case, however, with regard to the science of
language. The new interest in languages, which Leibniz had called into
life, did not die again. After it had once been recognized as a
desideratum to bring together a complete _Herbarium_ of the languages of
mankind, missionaries and travellers felt it their duty to collect lists
of words, and draw up grammars wherever they came in contact with a new
race. The two great works in which, at the beginning of our century, the
results of these researches were summed up, I mean the Catalogue of
Languages by Hervas, and the Mithridates of Adelung, can both be traced
back directly to the influence of Leibniz. As to Hervas, he had read
Leibniz carefully, and though he differs from him on some points, he fully
acknowledges his merits in promoting a truly philosophical study of
languages. Of Adelung’s Mithridates and his obligations to Leibniz we
shall have to speak presently.

Hervas lived from 1735 to 1809. He was a Spaniard by birth, and a Jesuit
by profession. While working as a missionary among the Polyglottous tribes
of America, his attention was drawn to a systematic study of languages.
After his return, he lived chiefly at Rome in the midst of the numerous
Jesuit missionaries who had been recalled from all parts of the world, and
who, by their communications on the dialects of the tribes among whom they
had been laboring, assisted him greatly in his researches.

Most of his works were written in Italian, and were afterwards translated
into Spanish. We cannot enter into the general scope of his literary
labors, which are of the most comprehensive character. They were intended
to form a kind of Kosmos, for which he chose the title of “_Idea del
Universo_.” What is of interest to us is that portion which treats of man
and language as part of the universe; and here, again, chiefly his
Catalogue of Languages, in six volumes, published in Spanish in the year

If we compare the work of Hervas with a similar work which excited much
attention towards the end of the last century, and is even now more widely
known than Hervas, I mean Court de Gebelin’s “Monde Primitif,”(122) we
shall see at once how far superior the Spanish Jesuit is to the French
philosopher. Gebelin treats Persian, Armenian, Malay, and Coptic as
dialects of Hebrew; he speaks of Bask as a dialect of Celtic, and he tries
to discover Hebrew, Greek, English, and French words in the idioms of
America. Hervas, on the contrary, though embracing in his catalogue five
times the number of languages that were known to Gebelin, is most careful
not to allow himself to be carried away by theories not warranted by the
evidence before him. It is easy now to point out mistakes and inaccuracies
in Hervas, but I think that those who have blamed him most are those who
ought most to have acknowledged their obligations to him. To have
collected specimens and notices of more than 300 languages is no small
matter. But Hervas did more. He himself composed grammars of more than
forty languages.(123) He was the first to point out that the true
affinities of languages must be determined chiefly by grammatical
evidence, not by mere similarity of words.(124) He proved, by a
comparative list of declensions and conjugations, that Hebrew, Chaldee,
Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic, and Amharic are all but dialects of one original
language, and constitute one family of speech, the Semitic.(125) He
scouted the idea of deriving all the languages of mankind from Hebrew. He
had perceived clear traces of affinity in Hungarian, Lapponian, and
Finnish, three dialects now classed as members of the Turanian
family.(126) He had proved that Bask was not, as was commonly supposed, a
Celtic dialect, but an independent language, spoken by the earliest
inhabitants of Spain, as proved by the names of the Spanish mountains and
rivers.(127) Nay, one of the most brilliant discoveries in the history of
the science of language, the establishment of the Malay and Polynesian
family of speech, extending from the island of Madagascar east of Africa,
over 208 degrees of longitude, to the Easter Islands west of America,(128)
was made by Hervas long before it was announced to the world by Humboldt.

Hervas was likewise aware of the great grammatical similarity between
Sanskrit and Greek, but the imperfect information which he received from
his friend, the Carmelite missionary, Fra Paolino de San Bartolomeo, the
author of the first Sanskrit grammar, published at Rome in 1790, prevented
him from seeing the full meaning of this grammatical similarity. How near
Hervas was to the discovery of the truth may be seen from his comparing
such words as _theos_, God, in Greek, with _Deva_, God, in Sanskrit. He
identified the Greek auxiliary verb _eimi_, _eis_, _esti_, I am, thou art,
he is, with the Sanskrit _asmi_, _asi_, _asti_. He even pointed out that
the terminations of the three genders(129) in Greek, _os_, _ē_, _on_, are
the same as the Sanskrit, _as_, _â_, _am_. But believing, as he did, that
the Greeks derived their philosophy and mythology from India,(130) he
supposed that they had likewise borrowed from the Hindus some of their
words, and even the art of distinguishing the gender of words.

The second work which represents the science of language at the beginning
of this century, and which is, to a still greater extent, the result of
the impulse which Leibniz had given, is the Mithridates of Adelung.(131)
Adelung’s work depends partly on Hervas, partly on the collections of
words which had been made under the auspices of the Russian government.
Now these collections are clearly due to Leibniz. Although Peter the Great
had no time or taste for philological studies, the government kept the
idea of collecting all the languages of the Russian empire steadily in
view.(132) Still greater luck was in store for the science of language.
Having been patronized by Cæsar at Rome, it found a still more devoted
patroness in the great Cesarina of the North, Catherine the Great
(1762-1796). Even as Grand-duchess Catherine was engrossed with the idea
of a Universal Dictionary, on the plan suggested by Leibniz. She
encouraged the chaplain of the British Factory at St. Petersburg, the Rev.
Daniel Dumaresq, to undertake the work, and he is said to have published,
at her desire, a “Comparative Vocabulary of Eastern Languages,” in quarto;
a work, however, which, if ever published, is now completely lost. The
reputed author died in London in 1805, at the advanced age of eighty-four.
When Catherine came to the throne, her plans of conquest hardly absorbed
more of her time than her philological studies; and she once shut herself
up nearly a year, devoting all her time to the compilation of her
Comparative Dictionary. A letter of hers to Zimmermann, dated the 9th of
May, 1785, may interest some of my hearers:—

“Your letter,” she writes, “has drawn me from the solitude in which I had
shut myself up for nearly nine months, and from which I found it hard to
stir. You will not guess what I have been about. I will tell you, for such
things do not happen every day. I have been making a list of from two to
three hundred radical words of the Russian language, and I have had them
translated into as many languages and jargons as I could find. Their
number exceeds already the second hundred. Every day I took one of these
words and wrote it out in all the languages which I could collect. This
has taught me that the Celtic is like the Ostiakian: that what means sky
in one language means cloud, fog, vault, in others; that the word God in
certain dialects means Good, the Highest, in others, sun or fire. (Up to
here her letter is written in French; then follows a line of German.) I
became tired of my hobby, after I had read your book on Solitude. (Then
again in French.) But as I should have been sorry to throw such a mass of
paper in the fire;—besides, the room, six fathoms in length, which I use
as a boudoir in my hermitage, was pretty well warmed—I asked Professor
Pallas to come to me, and after making an honest confession of my sin, we
agreed to publish these collections, and thus make them useful to those
who like to occupy themselves with the forsaken toys of others. We are
only waiting for some more dialects of Eastern Siberia. Whether the world
at large will or will not see in this work bright ideas of different
kinds, must depend on the disposition of their minds, and does not concern
me in the least.”

If an empress rides a hobby, there are many ready to help her. Not only
were all Russian ambassadors instructed to collect materials; not only did
German professors(133) supply grammars and dictionaries, but Washington
himself, in order to please the empress, sent her list of words to all
governors and generals of the United States, enjoining them to supply the
equivalents from the American dialects. The first volume of the Imperial
Dictionary(134) appeared in 1787, containing a list of 285 words
translated into fifty-one European, and 149 Asiatic languages. Though full
credit should be given to the empress for this remarkable undertaking, it
is but fair to remember that it was the philosopher who, nearly a hundred
years before, sowed the seed that fell into good ground.

As collections, the works of Hervas, of the Empress Catherine, and of
Adelung, are highly important, though, such is the progress made in the
classification of languages during the last fifty years, that few people
would now consult them. Besides, the principle of classification which is
followed in these works can hardly claim to be called scientific.
Languages are arranged geographically, as the languages of Europe, Asia,
Africa, America, and Polynesia, though, at the same time, natural
affinities are admitted which would unite dialects spoken at a distance of
208 degrees. Languages seemed to float about like islands on the ocean of
human speech; they did not shoot together to form themselves into larger
continents. This is a most critical period in the history of every
science, and if it had not been for a happy accident, which, like an
electric spark, caused the floating elements to crystallize into regular
forms, it is more than doubtful whether the long list of languages and
dialects, enumerated and described in the works of Hervas and Adelung,
could long have sustained the interest of the student of languages. This
electric spark was the discovery of Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the ancient
language of the Hindus. It had ceased to be a spoken language at least 300
B. C. At that time the people of India spoke dialects standing to the
ancient Vedic Sanskrit in the relation of Italian to Latin. We know some
of these dialects, for there were more than one in various parts of India,
from the inscriptions which the famous King Aśoka had engraved on the
rocks of Dhauli, Girnar, and Kapurdigiri, and which have been deciphered
by Prinsep, Norris, Wilson, and Burnouf. We can watch the further growth
of these local dialects in the so-called _Pâli_, the sacred language of
Buddhism in Ceylon, and once the popular dialect of the country where
Buddhism took its origin, the modern Behár, the ancient Magadha.(135) We
meet the same local dialects again in what are called the Prâkrit idioms,
used in the later plays, in the sacred literature of the Jainas, and in a
few poetical compositions; and we see at last how, through a mixture with
the languages of the various conquerors of India, the Arabic, Persian,
Mongolic, and Turkish, and through a concomitant corruption of their
grammatical system, they were changed into the modern Hindí, Hindustání,
Mahrattí, and Bengálí. During all this time, however, Sanskrit continued
as the literary language of the Brahmans. Like Latin, it did not die in
giving birth to its numerous offspring; and even at the present day, an
educated Brahman would write with greater fluency in Sanskrit than in
Bengálí. Sanskrit was what Greek was at Alexandria, what Latin was during
the Middle Ages. It was the classical and at the same time the sacred
language of the Brahmans, and in it were written their sacred hymns, the
Vedas, and the later works, such as the laws of Manu and the Purâņas.

The existence of such a language as the ancient idiom of the country, and
the vehicle of a large literature, was known at all times; and if there
are still any doubts, like those expressed by Dugald Stewart in his
“Conjectures concerning the Origin of the Sanskrit,”(136) as to its age
and authenticity, they will be best removed by a glance at the history of
India, and at the accounts given by the writers of different nations that
became successively acquainted with the language and literature of that

The argument that nearly all the names of persons and places in India
mentioned by Greek and Roman writers are pure Sanskrit, has been handled
so fully and ably by others, that nothing more remains to be said.

The next nation after the Greeks that became acquainted with the language
and literature of India was the Chinese. Though Buddhism was not
recognized as a third state-religion before the year 65 A. D., under the
Emperor Ming-ti,(137) Buddhist missionaries reached China from India as
early as the third century B. C. One Buddhist missionary is mentioned in
the Chinese annals in the year 217; and about the year 120 B. C., a
Chinese general, after defeating the barbarous tribes north of the desert
of Gobi, brought back as a trophy a golden statue, the statue of Buddha.
The very name of Buddha, changed in Chinese into Fo-t’o and Fo,(138) is
pure Sanskrit, and so is every word and every thought of that religion.
The language which the Chinese pilgrims went to India to study, as the key
to the sacred literature of Buddhism, was Sanskrit. They call it Fan; but
Fan, as M. Stanislas Julien has shown, is an abbreviation of Fan-lan-mo,
and this is the only way in which the Sanskrit Brahman could be rendered
in Chinese.(139) We read of the Emperor Ming-ti, of the dynasty of Han,
sending Tsaï-in and other high officials to India, in order to study there
the doctrine of Buddha. They engaged the services of two learned
Buddhists, Matânga and Tchou-fa-lan, and some of the most important
Buddhist works were translated by them into Chinese. The intellectual
intercourse between the Indian peninsula and the northern continent of
Asia continued uninterrupted for several centuries. Missions were sent
from China to India to report on the religious, political, social, and
geographical state of the country; and the chief object of interest, which
attracted public embassies and private pilgrims across the Himalayan
mountains, was the religion of Buddha. About 300 years after the public
recognition of Buddhism by the Emperor Ming-ti, the great stream of
Buddhist pilgrims began to flow from China to India. The first account
which we possess of these pilgrimages refers to the travels of Fa-hian,
who visited India towards the end of the fourth century. His travels were
translated into French by A. Remusat. After Fa-hian, we have the travels
of Hoei-seng and Song-yun, who were sent to India, in 518, by command of
the empress, with the view of collecting sacred books and relics. Then
followed Hiouen-thsang, whose life and travels, from 629-645, have been
rendered so popular by the excellent translation of M. Stanislas Julien.
After Hiouen-thsang the principal works of Chinese pilgrims are the
Itineraries of the Fifty-six Monks, published in 730, and the travels of
Khi-nie, who visited India in 964, at the head of 300 pilgrims.

That the language employed for literary purposes in India during all this
time was Sanskrit, we learn, not only from the numerous names and
religious and philosophical terms mentioned in the travels of the Chinese
pilgrims, but from a short paradigm of declension and conjugation in
Sanskrit which one of them (Hiouen-thsang) has inserted in his diary.

As soon as the Muhammedans entered India, we hear of translations of
Sanskrit works into Persian and Arabic.(140) Harun-al-Rashid (786-809) had
two Indians, Manka and Saleh, at his court as physicians. Manka translated
the classical work on medicine, Suśruta, and a treatise on poisons,
ascribed to Châņakya, from Sanskrit into Persian.(141) During the
Chalifate of Al Mámúm, a famous treatise on Algebra was translated by
Muhammed ben Musa from Sanskrit into Arabic (edited by F. Rosen).

About 1000 A. D., Abu Rihan al Birúni (born 970, died 1038) spent forty
years in India, and composed his excellent work, the Taríkhu-l-Hind, which
gives a complete account of the literature and sciences of the Hindus at
that time. Al Birúni had been appointed by the Sultan of Khawarazm to
accompany an embassy which he sent to Mahmud of Ghazni and Masud of
Lahore. The learned Avicenna had been invited to join the same embassy,
but had declined. Al Birúni must have acquired a complete knowledge of
Sanskrit, for he not only translated one work on the Sânkhya, and another
on the Yoga philosophy, from Sanskrit into Arabic, but likewise two works
from Arabic into Sanskrit.(142)

About 1150 we hear of Abu Saleh translating a work on the education of
kings from Sanskrit into Arabic.(143)

Two hundred years later, we are told that Firoz Shah, after the capture of
Nagarcote, ordered several Sanskrit works on philosophy to be translated
from Sanskrit by Maulána Izzu-d-din Khalid Khani. A work on veterinary
medicine ascribed to Sálotar,(144) said to have been the tutor of Suśruta,
was likewise translated from Sanskrit in the year 1381. A copy of it was
preserved in the Royal Library of Lucknow.

Two hundred years more bring us to the reign of Akbar (1556-1605). A more
extraordinary man never sat on the throne of India. Brought up as a
Muhammedan, he discarded the religion of the Prophet as
superstitious,(145) and then devoted himself to a search after the true
religion. He called Brahmans and fire-worshippers to his court, and
ordered them to discuss in his presence the merits of their religions with
the Muhammedan doctors. When he heard of the Jesuits at Goa, he invited
them to his capital, and he was for many years looked upon as a secret
convert to Christianity. He was, however, a rationalist and deist, and
never believed anything, as he declared himself, that he could not
understand. The religion which he founded, the so-called Ilahi religion,
was pure Deism mixed up with the worship of the sun(146) as the purest and
highest emblem of the Deity. Though Akbar himself could neither read nor
write,(147) his court was the home of literary men of all persuasions.
Whatever book, in any language, promised to throw light on the problems
nearest to the emperor’s heart, he ordered to be translated into Persian.
The New Testament(148) was thus translated at his command; so were the
Mahâbhârata, the Râmâyaņa, the Amarakosha,(149) and other classical works
of Sanskrit literature. But though the emperor set the greatest value on
the sacred writings of different nations, he does not seem to have
succeeded in extorting from the Brahmans a translation of the Veda. A
translation of the Atharva-veda(150) was made for him by Haji Ibrahim
Sirhindi; but that Veda never enjoyed the same authority as the other
three Vedas; and it is doubtful even whether by Atharva-veda is meant more
than the Upanishads, some of which may have been composed for the special
benefit of Akbar. There is a story which, though evidently of a legendary
character, shows how the study of Sanskrit was kept up by the Brahmans
during the reign of the Mogul emperors.

“Neither the authority (it is said) nor promises of Akbar could prevail
upon the Brahmans to disclose the tenets of their religion: he was
therefore obliged to have recourse to artifice. The stratagem he made use
of was to cause an infant, of the name of _Feizi_, to be committed to the
care of these priests, as a poor orphan of the sacerdotal line, who alone
could be initiated into the sacred rites of their theology. Feizi, having
received the proper instructions for the part he was to act, was conveyed
privately to Benares, the seat of knowledge in Hindostan; he was received
into the house of a learned Brahman, who educated him with the same care
as if he had been his son. After the youth had spent ten years in study,
Akbar was desirous of recalling him; but he was struck with the charms of
the daughter of his preceptor. The old Brahman laid no restraint on the
growing passion of the two lovers. He was fond of Feizi, and offered him
his daughter in marriage. The young man, divided between love and
gratitude, resolved to conceal the fraud no longer, and, falling at the
feet of the Brahman, discovered the imposture, and asked pardon for his
offences. The priest, without reproaching him, seized a poniard which hung
at his girdle, and was going to plunge it in his heart, if Feizi had not
prevented him by taking hold of his arm. The young man used every means to
pacify him, and declared himself ready to do anything to expiate his
treachery. The Brahman, bursting into tears, promised to pardon him on
condition that he should swear never to translate the _Vedas_, or sacred
volumes, or disclose to any person whatever the symbol of the Brahman
creed. Feizi readily promised him: how far he kept his word is not known;
but the sacred books of the Indians have never been translated.”(151)

We have thus traced the existence of Sanskrit, as the language of
literature and religion of India, from the time of Alexander to the reign
of Akbar. A hundred years after Akbar, the eldest son of Shah Jehan, the
unfortunate Dárá, manifested the same interest in religious speculations
which had distinguished his great grandsire. He became a student of
Sanskrit, and translated the Upanishads, philosophical treatises appended
to the Vedas, into Persian. This was in the year 1657, a year before he
was put to death by his younger brother, the bigoted Aurengzebe. This
prince’s translation was translated into French by Anquetil Duperron, in
the year 1795, the fourth year of the French Republic; and was for a long
time the principal source from which European scholars derived their
knowledge of the sacred literature of the Brahmans.

At the time at which we have now arrived, the reign of Aurengzebe
(1658-1707), the cotemporary and rival of Louis XIV., the existence of
Sanskrit and Sanskrit literature was known, if not in Europe generally, at
least to Europeans in India, particularly to missionaries. Who was the
first European, that knew of Sanskrit, or that acquired a knowledge of
Sanskrit, is difficult to say. When Vasco de Gama landed at Calicut, on
the 9th of May, 1498, Padre Pedro began at once to preach to the natives,
and had suffered a martyr’s death before the discoverer of India returned
to Lisbon. Every new ship that reached India brought new missionaries; but
for a long time we look in vain in their letters and reports for any
mention of Sanskrit or Sanskrit literature. Francis, now St. Francis
Xavier, was the first to organize the great work of preaching the Gospel
in India (1542); and such were his zeal and devotion, such his success in
winning the hearts of high and low, that his friends ascribed to him,
among other miraculous gifts, the gift of tongues(152)—a gift never
claimed by St. Francis himself. It is not, however, till the year 1559
that we first hear of the missionaries at Goa studying, with the help of a
converted Brahman,(153) the theological and philosophical literature of
the country, and challenging the Brahmans to public disputations.

The first certain instance of a European missionary having mastered the
difficulties of the Sanskrit language, belongs to a still later period,—to
what may be called the period of Roberto de Nobili, as distinguished from
the first period, which is under the presiding spirit of Francis Xavier.
Roberto de Nobili went to India in 1606. He was himself a man of high
family, of a refined and cultivated mind, and he perceived the more
quickly the difficulties which kept the higher castes, and particularly
the Brahmans, from joining the Christian communities formed at Madura and
other places. These communities consisted chiefly of men of low rank, of
no education, and no refinement. He conceived the bold plan of presenting
himself as a Brahman, and thus obtaining access to the high and noble, the
wise and learned, in the land. He shut himself up for years, acquiring in
secret a knowledge, not only of Tamil and Telugu, but of Sanskrit. When,
after a patient study of the language and literature of the Brahmans, he
felt himself strong enough to grapple with his antagonists, he showed
himself in public, dressed in the proper garb of the Brahmans, wearing
their cord and their frontal mark, observing their diet, and submitting
even to the complicated rules of caste. He was successful, in spite of the
persecutions both of the Brahmans, who were afraid of him, and of his own
fellow-laborers, who could not understand his policy. His life in India,
where he died as an old blind man, is full of interest to the missionary.
I can only speak of him here as the first European Sanskrit scholar. A man
who could quote from Manu, from the Purâņas, and even from works such as
the Âpastamba-sûtras, which are known even at present to only those few
Sanskrit scholars who can read Sanskrit MSS., must have been far advanced
in a knowledge of the sacred language and literature of the Brahmans; and
the very idea that he came, as he said, to preach a new or a fourth
Veda,(154) which had been lost, shows how well he knew the strong and weak
points of the theological system which he came to conquer. It is
surprising that the reports which he sent to Rome, in order to defend
himself against the charge of idolatry, and in which he drew a faithful
picture of the religion, the customs, and literature of the Brahmans,
should not have attracted the attention of scholars. The “Accommodation
Question,” as it was called, occupied cardinals and popes for many years;
but not one of them seems to have perceived the extraordinary interest
attaching to the existence of an ancient civilization so perfect and so
firmly rooted as to require accommodation even from the missionaries of
Rome. At a time when the discovery of one Greek MS. would have been hailed
by all the scholars of Europe, the discovery of a complete literature was
allowed to pass unnoticed. The day of Sanskrit had not yet come.

The first missionaries who succeeded in rousing the attention of European
scholars to the extraordinary discovery that had been made were the French
Jesuit missionaries, whom Louis XIV. had sent out to India after the
treaty of Ryswick, in 1697.(155) Father Pons drew up a comprehensive
account of the literary treasures of the Brahmans; and his report, dated
Karikal (dans le Maduré), November 23, 1740, and addressed to Father
Duhalde, was published in the “Lettres édifiantes.”(156) Father Pons gives
in it a most interesting and, in general, a very accurate description of
the various branches of Sanskrit literature,—of the four Vedas, the
grammatical treatises, the six systems of philosophy, and the astronomy of
the Hindus. He anticipated, on several points, the researches of Sir
William Jones.

But, although the letter of Father Pons excited a deep interest, that
interest remained necessarily barren, as long as there were no grammars,
dictionaries, and Sanskrit texts to enable scholars in Europe to study
Sanskrit in the same spirit in which they studied Greek and Latin. The
first who endeavored to supply this want was a Carmelite friar, a German
of the name of Johann Philip Wesdin, better known as Paulinus a Santo
Bartholomeo. He was in India from 1776 to 1789; and he published the first
grammar of Sanskrit at Rome, in 1790. Although this grammar has been
severely criticised, and is now hardly ever consulted, it is but fair to
bear in mind that the first grammar of any language is a work of
infinitely greater difficulty than any later grammar.(157)

We have thus seen how the existence of the Sanskrit language and
literature was known ever since India had first been discovered by
Alexander and his companions. But what was not known was, that this
language, as it was spoken at the time of Alexander, and at the time of
Solomon, and for centuries before his time, was intimately related to
Greek and Latin, in fact, stood to them in the same relation as French to
Italian and Spanish. The history of what may be called European Sanskrit
philology dates from the foundation of the Asiatic Society at Calcutta, in
1784.(158) It was through the labors of Sir William Jones, Carey, Wilkins,
Forster, Colebrooke, and other members of that illustrious Society, that
the language and literature of the Brahmans became first accessible to
European scholars; and it would be difficult to say which of the two, the
language or the literature, excited the deepest and most lasting interest.
It was impossible to look, even in the most cursory manner, at the
declensions and conjugations, without being struck by the extraordinary
similarity, or, in some cases, by the absolute identity of the grammatical
forms in Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin. As early as 1778, Halhed remarked, in
the preface to his Grammar of Bengalí,(159) “I have been astonished to
find this similitude of Sanskrit words with those of Persian and Arabic,
and even of Latin and Greek; and these not in technical and metaphorical
terms, which the mutuation of refined arts and improved manners might have
occasionally introduced; but in the main groundwork of language, in
monosyllables, in the names of numbers, and the appellations of such
things as could be first discriminated on the immediate dawn of
civilization.” Sir William Jones (died 1794), after the first glance at
Sanskrit, declared that whatever its antiquity, it was a language of most
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 strong affinity. “No philologer,” he writes, “could examine the
Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin, without believing them to have sprung from
some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists. There is a similar
reason, though not quite so forcible, for supposing that both the Gothic
and Celtic had the same origin with the Sanskrit. The old Persian may be
added to the same family.”

But how was that affinity to be explained? People were completely taken by
surprise. Theologians shook their heads; classical scholars looked
sceptical; philosophers indulged in the wildest conjectures in order to
escape from the only possible conclusion which could be drawn from the
facts placed before them, but which threatened to upset their little
systems of the history of the world. Lord Monboddo had just finished his
great work(160) in which he derives all mankind from a couple of apes, and
all the dialects of the world from a language originally framed by some
Egyptian gods,(161) when the discovery of Sanskrit came on him like a
thunder-bolt. It must be said, however, to his credit, that he at once
perceived the immense importance of the discovery. He could not be
expected to sacrifice his primæval monkeys or his Egyptian idols; but,
with that reservation, the conclusions which he drew from the new evidence
placed before him by his friend Mr. Wilkins, the author of one of our
first Sanskrit grammars, are highly creditable to the acuteness of the
Scotch judge. “There is a language,” he writes(162) (in 1792), “still
existing, and preserved among the Bramins of India, which is a richer and
in every respect a finer language than even the Greek of Homer. All the
other languages of India have a great resemblance to this language, which
is called the Shanscrit. But those languages are dialects of it, and
formed from it, not the Shanscrit from them. Of this, and other
particulars concerning this language, I have got such certain information
from India, that if I live to finish my history of man, which I have begun
in my third volume of ‘Antient Metaphysics,’ I shall be able clearly to
prove that the Greek is derived from the Shanscrit, which was the antient
language of Egypt, and was carried by the Egyptians into India, with their
other arts, and into Greece by the colonies which they settled there.”

A few years later (1795) he had arrived at more definite views on the
relation of Sanskrit to Greek; and he writes,(163) “Mr. Wilkins has proved
to my conviction such a resemblance betwixt the Greek and the Shanscrit,
that the one must be a dialect of the other, or both of some original
language. Now the Greek is certainly not a dialect of the Shanscrit, any
more than the Shanscrit is of the Greek. They must, therefore, be both
dialects of the same language; and that language could be no other than
the language of Egypt, brought into India by Osiris, of which,
undoubtedly, the Greek was a dialect, as I think I have proved.”

Into these theories of Lord Monboddo’s on Egypt and Osiris, we need not
inquire at present. But it may be of interest to give one other extract,
in order to show how well, apart from his men with, and his monkeys
without, tails, Lord Monboddo could sift and handle the evidence that was
placed before him:—

“To apply these observations to the similarities which Mr. Wilkins has
discovered betwixt the Shanscrit and the Greek;—I will begin with these
words, which must have been original words in all languages, as the things
denoted by them must have been known in the first ages of civility, and
have got names; so that it is impossible that one language could have
borrowed them from another, unless it was a derivative or dialect of that
language. Of this kind are the names of numbers, of the members of the
human body, and of relations, such as that of father, mother, and brother.
And first, as to numbers, the use of which must have been coeval with
civil society. The words in the Shanscrit for the numbers from one to ten
are, _ek_, _dwee_, _tree_, _chatoor_, _panch_, _shat_, _sapt_, _aght_,
_nava_, _das_, which certainly have an affinity to the Greek or Latin
names for those numbers. Then they proceed towards twenty, saying ten and
one, ten and two, and so forth, till they come to twenty; for their
arithmetic is decimal as well as ours. Twenty they express by the word
_veensatee_. Then they go on till they come to thirty, which they express
by the word _treensat_, of which the word expressing three is part of the
composition, as well as it is of the Greek and Latin names for those
numbers. And in like manner they go on expressing forty, fifty, &c., by a
like composition with the words expressing simple numerals, namely, four,
five, &c., till they come to the number one hundred, which they express by
_sat_, a word different from either the Greek or Latin name for that
number. But, in this numeration, there is a very remarkable conformity
betwixt the word in Shanscrit expressing twenty or twice ten, and the
words in Greek and Latin expressing the same number; for in none of the
three languages has the word any relation to the number two, which, by
multiplying ten, makes twenty; such as the words expressing the numbers
thirty, forty, &c., have to the words expressing three or four; for in
Greek the word is _eikosi_, which expresses no relation to the number two;
nor does the Latin _viginti_, but which appears to have more resemblance
to the Shanscrit word _veensatee_. And thus it appears that in the
anomalies of the two languages of Greek and Latin, there appears to be
some conformity with the Shanscrit.”

Lord Monboddo compares the Sanskrit _pada_ with the Greek _pous_, _podos_;
the Sanskrit _nâsa_ with the Latin _nasus_; the Sanskrit _deva_, god, with
the Greek _Theos_ and Latin _deus_; the Sanskrit _ap_, water, with the
Latin _aqua_; the Sanskrit _vidhavâ_ with the Latin _vidua_, widow.
Sanskrit words such as _gonia_, for angle, _kentra_, for centre, _hora_,
for hour, he points out as clearly of Greek origin, and imported into
Sanskrit. He then proceeds to show the grammatical coincidences between
Sanskrit and the classical languages. He dwells on compounds such as
_tripada_, from _tri_, three, and _pada_, foot—a tripod; he remarks on the
extraordinary fact that Sanskrit, like Greek, changes a positive into a
negative adjective by the addition of the _a_ privative; and he then
produces what he seems to consider as the most valuable present that Mr.
Wilkins could have given him, namely, the Sanskrit forms, _asmi_, I am;
_asi_, thou art; _asti_, he is; _santi_, they are; forms clearly of the
same origin as the corresponding forms, _esmi_, _eis_, _esti_, in Greek,
and _sunt_ in Latin.

Another Scotch philosopher, Dugald Stewart, was much less inclined to
yield such ready submission. No doubt it must have required a considerable
effort for a man brought up in the belief that Greek and Latin were either
aboriginal languages, or modifications of Hebrew, to bring himself to
acquiesce in the revolutionary doctrine that the classical languages were
intimately related to a jargon of mere savages; for such all the subjects
of the Great Mogul were then supposed to be. However, if the facts about
Sanskrit were true, Dugald Stewart was too wise not to see that the
conclusions drawn from them were inevitable. He therefore denied the
reality of such a language as Sanskrit altogether, and wrote his famous
essay to prove that Sanskrit had been put together, after the model of
Greek and Latin, by those arch-forgers and liars the Brahmans, and that
the whole of Sanskrit literature was an imposition. I mention this fact,
because it shows, better than anything else, how violent a shock was given
by the discovery of Sanskrit to prejudices most deeply ingrained in the
mind of every educated man. The most absurd arguments found favor for a
time, if they could only furnish a loophole by which to escape from the
unpleasant conclusion that Greek and Latin were of the same kith and kin
as the language of the black inhabitants of India. The first who dared
boldly to face both the facts and the conclusions of Sanskrit scholarship
was the German poet, Frederick Schlegel. He had been in England during the
peace of Amiens (1801-1802), and had learned a smattering of Sanskrit from
Mr. Alexander Hamilton. After carrying on his studies for some time at
Paris, he published, in 1808, his work, “On the Language and Wisdom of the
Indians.” This work became the foundation of the science of language.
Though published only two years after the first volume of Adelung’s
“Mithridates,” it is separated from that work by the same distance which
separates the Copernican from the Ptolemæan system. Schlegel was not a
great scholar. Many of his statements have proved erroneous; and nothing
would be easier than to dissect his essay and hold it up to ridicule. But
Schlegel was a man of genius; and when a new science is to be created, the
imagination of the poet is wanted, even more than the accuracy of the
scholar. It surely required somewhat of poetic vision to embrace with
_one_ glance the languages of India, Persia, Greece, Italy, and Germany,
and to rivet them together by the simple name of Indo-Germanic. This was
Schlegel’s work; and in the history of the intellect, it has truly been
called “the discovery of a new world.”

We shall see, in our next lecture, how Schlegel’s idea was taken up in
Germany, and how it led almost immediately to a genealogical
classification of the principal languages of mankind.


We traced, in our last Lecture, the history of the various attempts at a
classification of languages to the year 1808, the year in which Frederick
Schlegel published his little work on “The Language and Wisdom of the
Indians.” This work was like the wand of a magician. It pointed out the
place where a mine should be opened; and it was not long before some of
the most distinguished scholars of the day began to sink their shafts, and
raise the ore. For a time, everybody who wished to learn Sanskrit had to
come to England. Bopp, Schlegel, Lassen, Rosen, Burnouf, all spent some
time in this country, copying manuscripts at the East-India House, and
receiving assistance from Wilkins, Colebrooke, Wilson, and other
distinguished members of the old Indian Civil Service. The first minute
and scholar-like comparison of the grammar of Sanskrit with that of Greek
and Latin, Persian, and German, was made by Francis Bopp, in 1816.(164)
Other essays of his followed; and in 1833 appeared the first volume of his
“Comparative Grammar of Sanskrit, Zend, Greek, Latin, Lithuanian,
Slavonic, Gothic, and German.” This work was not finished till nearly
twenty years later, in 1852;(165) but it will form forever the safe and
solid foundation of comparative philology. August Wilhelm von Schlegel,
the brother of Frederick Schlegel, used the influence which he had
acquired as a German poet, to popularize the study of Sanskrit in Germany.
His “Indische Bibliothek” was published from 1819 to 1830, and though
chiefly intended for Sanskrit literature, it likewise contained several
articles on Comparative Philology. This new science soon found a still
more powerful patron in William von Humboldt, the worthy brother of
Alexander von Humboldt, and at that time one of the leading statesmen in
Prussia. His essays, chiefly on the philosophy of language, attracted
general attention during his lifetime; and he left a lasting monument of
his studies in his great work on the Kawi language, which was published
after his death, in 1836. Another scholar who must be reckoned among the
founders of Comparative Philology is Professor Pott, whose “Etymological
Researches” appeared first in 1833 and 1836.(166) More special in its
purpose, but based on the same general principles, was Grimm’s “Teutonic
Grammar,” a work which has truly been called colossal. Its publication
occupied nearly twenty years, from 1819 to 1837. We ought, likewise, to
mention here the name of an eminent Dane, Erasmus Rask, who devoted
himself to the study of the northern languages of Europe. He started, in
1816, for Persia and India, and was the first to acquire a knowledge of
Zend, the language of the Zend-Avesta; but he died before he had time to
publish all the results of his learned researches. He had proved, however,
that the sacred language of the Parsis was closely connected with the
sacred language of the Brahmans, and that, like Sanskrit, it had preserved
some of the earliest formations of Indo-European speech. These researches
into the ancient Persian language were taken up again by one of the
greatest scholars that France ever produced, by Eugène Burnouf. Though the
works of Zoroaster had been translated before by Anquetil Duperron, his
was only a translation of a modern Persian translation of the original. It
was Burnouf who, by means of his knowledge of Sanskrit and Comparative
Grammar, deciphered for the first time the very words of the founder of
the ancient religion of light. He was, likewise, the first to apply the
same key with real success to the cuneiform inscriptions of Darius and
Xerxes; and his premature death will long be mourned, not only by those
who, like myself, had the privilege of knowing him personally and
attending his lectures, but by all who have the interest of oriental
literature and of real oriental scholarship at heart.

I cannot give here a list of all the scholars who followed in the track of
Bopp, Schlegel, Humboldt, Grimm, and Burnouf. How the science of language
has flourished and abounded may best be seen in the library of any
comparative philologist. There has been for the last ten years a special
journal of Comparative Philology in Germany. The Philological Society in
London publishes every year a valuable volume of its transactions; and in
almost every continental university there is a professor of Sanskrit who
lectures likewise on Comparative Grammar and the science of language.

But why, it may naturally be asked, why should the discovery of Sanskrit
have wrought so complete a change in the classificatory study of
languages? If Sanskrit had been the primitive language of mankind, or at
least the parent of Greek, Latin, and German, we might understand that it
should have led to quite a new classification of these tongues. But
Sanskrit does not stand to Greek, Latin, the Teutonic, Celtic, and
Slavonic languages in the relation of Latin to French, Italian, and
Spanish. Sanskrit, as we saw before, could not be called their parent, but
only their elder sister. It occupies with regard to the classical
languages a position analogous to that which Provençal occupies with
regard to the modern Romance dialects. This is perfectly true; but it was
exactly this necessity of determining distinctly and accurately the mutual
relation of Sanskrit and the other members of the same family of speech,
which led to such important results, and particularly to the establishment
of the laws of phonetic change as the only safe means for measuring the
various degrees of relationship of cognate dialects, and thus restoring
the genealogical tree of human speech. When Sanskrit had once assumed its
right position, when people had once become familiarized with the idea
that there must have existed a language more primitive than Greek, Latin,
and Sanskrit, and forming the common background of these three, as well as
of the Teutonic, Celtic, and Slavonic branches of speech, all languages
seemed to fall by themselves into their right position. The key of the
puzzle was found, and all the rest was merely a work of patience. The same
arguments by which Sanskrit and Greek had been proved to hold co-ordinate
rank were perceived to apply with equal strength to Latin and Greek; and
after Latin had once been shown to be more primitive on many points than
Greek, it was easy to see that the Teutonic, the Celtic, and the Slavonic
languages also, contained each a number of formations which it was
impossible to derive from Sanskrit, Greek, or Latin. It was perceived that
all had to be treated as co-ordinate members of one and the same class.

The first great step in advance, therefore, which was made in the
classification of languages, chiefly through the discovery of Sanskrit,
was this, that scholars were no longer satisfied with the idea of a
general relationship, but began to inquire for the different degrees of
relationship in which each member of a class stood to another. Instead of
mere _classes_, we hear now for the first time of well regulated
_families_ of language.

A second step in advance followed naturally from the first. Whereas, for
establishing in a general way the common origin of certain languages, a
comparison of numerals, pronouns, prepositions, adverbs, and the most
essential nouns and verbs, had been sufficient, it was soon found that a
more accurate standard was required for measuring the more minute degrees
of relationship. Such a standard was supplied by Comparative Grammar; that
is to say, by an intercomparison of the grammatical forms of languages
supposed to be related to each other; such intercomparison being carried
out according to certain laws which regulate the phonetic changes of

A glance at the modern history of language will make this clearer. There
could never be any doubt that the so-called Romance languages, Italian,
Wallachian, Provençal, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, were closely
related to each other. Everybody could see that they were all derived from
Latin. But one of the most distinguished French scholars, Raynouard, who
has done more for the history of the Romance languages and literature than
any one else, maintained that Provençal only was the daughter of Latin;
whereas French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese were the daughters of
Provençal. He maintained that Latin passed, from the seventh to the ninth
century, through an intermediate stage, which he called Langue Romane, and
which he endeavored to prove was the same as the Provençal of Southern
France, the language of the Troubadours. According to him, it was only
after Latin had passed through this uniform metamorphosis, represented by
the Langue Romane or Provençal, that it became broken up into the various
Romance dialects of Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal. This theory, which
was vigorously attacked by August Wilhelm von Schlegel, and afterwards
minutely criticised by Sir Cornewall Lewis, can only be refuted by a
comparison of the Provençal grammar with that of the other Romance
dialects. And here, if you take the auxiliary verb _to be_, and compare
its forms in Provençal and French, you will see at once that, on several
points, French has preserved the original Latin forms in a more primitive
state than Provençal, and that, therefore, it is impossible to classify
French as the daughter of Provençal, and as the granddaughter of Latin. We
have in Provençal:—

_sem_, corresponding to the French _nous sommes_,
_etz_, corresponding to the French _vous êtes_,
_son_, corresponding to the French _ils sont_,

and it would be a grammatical miracle if crippled forms, such as _sem_,
_etz_, and _son_, had been changed back again into the more healthy, more
primitive, more Latin, _sommes_, _êtes_, _sont_; _sumus_, _estis_, _sunt_.

Let us apply the same test to Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin; and we shall see
how their mutual genealogical position is equally determined by a
comparison of their grammatical forms. It is as impossible to derive Latin
from Greek, or Greek from Sanskrit, as it is to treat French as a
modification of Provençal. Keeping to the auxiliary verb _to be_, we find
that _I am_ is in

Sanskrit          Greek             Lithuanian
_asmi_            _esmi_            _esmi_.

The root is _as_, the termination _mi_.

Now, the termination of the second person is _si_, which, together with
_as_, or _es_, would make,

_as-si_           _es-si_           _es-si_.

But here Sanskrit, as far back as its history can be traced, has reduced
_assi_ to _asi_; and it would be impossible to suppose that the perfect,
or, as they are sometimes called, organic, forms in Greek and Lithuanian,
_es-si_, could first have passed through the mutilated state of the
Sanskrit _asi_.

The third person is the same in Sanskrit, Greek, and Lithuanian, _as-ti_
or _es-ti_; and, with the loss of the final _i_, we recognize the Latin
_est_, Gothic _ist_, and Russian _est’_.

The same auxiliary verb can be made to furnish sufficient proof that Latin
never could have passed through the Greek, or what used to be called the
Pelasgic stage, but that both are independent modifications of the same
original language. In the singular, Latin is less primitive than Greek;
for _sum_ stands for _es-um_, _es_ for _es-is_, _est_ for _es-ti_. In the
first person plural, too, _sumus_ stands for _es-umus_, the Greek
_es-mes_, the Sanskrit _’smas_. The second person _es-tis_, is equal to
Greek _es-te_, and more primitive than Sanskrit _stha_. But in the third
person plural Latin is more primitive than Greek. The regular form would
be _as-anti_; this, in Sanskrit, is changed into _santi_. In Greek, the
initial _s_ is dropped, and the Æolic _enti_, is finally reduced to
_eisi_. The Latin, on the contrary, has kept the radical _s_, and it would
be perfectly impossible to derive the Latin _sunt_ from the Greek _eisi_.

I need hardly say that the modern English, _I am_, _thou art_, _he is_,
are only secondary modifications of the same primitive verb. We find in

_im_ for _ism_
_is_ for _iss_

The Anglo-Saxon changes the _s_ into _r_, thus giving—

_eom_ for _eorm_,  plural  _sind_ for _isind_.
_eart_ for _ears_, plural _sind_
_is_ for _ist_, plural _sind_

By applying this test to all languages, the founders of comparative
philology soon reduced the principal dialects of Europe and Asia to
certain families, and they were able in each family to distinguish
different branches, each consisting again of numerous dialects, both
ancient and modern.

There are many languages, however, which as yet have not been reduced to
families, and though there is no reason to doubt that some of them will
hereafter be comprehended in a system of genealogical classification, it
is right to guard from the beginning against the common, but altogether
gratuitous supposition, that the principle of genealogical classification
must be applicable to all. Genealogical classification is no doubt the
most perfect of all classifications, but there are but few branches of
physical science in which it can be carried out, except very partially. In
the science of language, genealogical classification must rest chiefly on
the formal or grammatical elements, which, after they have been affected
by phonetic change, can be kept up only by a continuous tradition. We know
that French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese must be derived from a
common source, because they share grammatical forms in common, which none
of these dialects could have supplied from their own resources, and which
have no meaning, or, so to say, no life, in any one of them. The
termination of the imperfect _ba_ in Spanish, _va_ in Italian, by which
_canto_, I sing, is changed into _cantaba_ and _cantava_, has no separate
existence, and no independent meaning in either of these modern dialects.
It could not have been formed with the materials supplied by Spanish and
Italian. It must have been handed down from an earlier generation in which
this _ba_ had a meaning. We trace it back to Latin _bam_, in _cantabam_,
and here it can be proved that _bam_ was originally an independent
auxiliary verb, the same which exists in Sanskrit _bhavâmi_, and in the
Anglo-Saxon _beom_, I am. Genealogical classification, therefore, applies
properly only to decaying languages, to languages in which grammatical
growth has been arrested, through the influence of literary cultivation;
in which little new is added, everything old is retained as long as
possible, and where what we call growth or history is nothing but the
progress of phonetic corruption. But before languages decay, they have
passed through a period of growth; and it seems to have been completely
overlooked, that dialects which diverged during that early period, would
naturally resist every attempt at genealogical classification. If you
remember the manner in which, for instance, the plural was formed in
Chinese and other languages examined by us in a former Lecture, you will
see that where each dialect may choose its own term expressive of
plurality, such as _heap_, _class_, _kind_, _flock_, _cloud_, &c., it
would be unreasonable to expect similarity in grammatical terminations,
after these terms have been ground down by phonetic corruption to mere
exponents of plurality. But, on the other hand, it would by no means
follow that therefore these languages had no common origin. Languages may
have a common origin, and yet the words which they originally employed for
marking case, number, person, tense, and mood, having been totally
different, the grammatical terminations to which these words would
gradually dwindle down could not possibly yield any results if submitted
to the analysis of comparative grammar. A genealogical classification of
such languages is, therefore, from the nature of the case, simply
impossible, at least, if such classification is chiefly to be based on
grammatical or formal evidence.

It might be supposed, however, that such languages, though differing in
their grammatical articulation, would yet evince their common origin by
the identity of their radicals or roots. No doubt, they will in many
instances. They will probably have retained their numerals in common, some
of their pronouns, and some of the commonest words of every-day life. But
even here we must not expect too much, nor be surprised if we find even
less than we expected. You remember how the names for father varied in the
numerous Friesian dialects. Instead of _frater_, the Latin word for
brother, you find _hermano_ in Spanish. Instead of _ignis_, the Latin word
for fire, you have in French _feu_, in Italian, _fuoco_. Nobody would
doubt the common origin of German and English; yet the English numeral
“the first,” though preserved in _Fürst_, _prïnceps_, prince, is quite
different from the German “Der Erste;” “the second” is quite different
from “Der Zweite;” and there is no connection between the possessive
pronoun _its_, and the German _sein_. This dialectical freedom works on a
much larger scale in ancient and illiterate languages; and those who have
most carefully watched the natural growth of dialects will be the least
surprised that dialects which had the same origin should differ, not only
in their grammatical framework, but likewise in many of those test-words
which are very properly used for discovering the relationship of literary
languages. How it is possible to say anything about the relationship of
such dialects we shall see hereafter. For the present, it is sufficient if
I have made it clear why the principle of genealogical classification is
not of necessity applicable to all languages; and secondly, why languages,
though they cannot be classified genealogically, need not therefore be
supposed to have been different from the beginning. The assertion so
frequently repeated that the impossibility of classing all languages
genealogically proves the impossibility of a common origin of language, is
nothing but a kind of scientific dogmatism, which, more than anything
else, has impeded the free progress of independent research.

But let us see now how far the genealogical classification of languages
has advanced, how many families of human speech have been satisfactorily
established. Let us remember what suggested to us the necessity of a
genealogical classification. We wished to know the original intention of
certain words and grammatical forms in English, and we saw that before we
could attempt to fathom the origin of such words as “I love,” and “I
loved,” we should have to trace them back to their most primitive state.
We likewise found, by a reference to the history of the Romance dialects,
that words existing in one dialect had frequently been preserved in a more
primitive form in another, and that, therefore, it was of the highest
importance to bring ancient languages into the same genealogical
connection by which French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese are held
together as the members of one family.

Beginning, therefore, with the living language of England, we traced it,
without difficulty, to Anglo-Saxon. This carries us back to the seventh
century after Christ, for it is to that date that Kemble and Thorpe refer
the ancient English epic, the Beowulf. Beyond this we cannot go on English
soil. But we know that the Saxons, the Angles, and Jutes came from the
continent, and there their descendants, along the northern coast of
Germany, still speak _Low-German_, or Nieder-Deutsch, which in the harbors
of Antwerp, Bremen, and Hamburg, has been mistaken by many an English
sailor for a corrupt English dialect. The Low-German comprehends many
dialects in the north or the lowlands of Germany; but in Germany proper
they are hardly ever used for literary purposes. The Friesian dialects are
Low-German, so are the Dutch and Flemish. The Friesian had a literature of
its own as early at least as the twelfth century, if not earlier.(167) The
Dutch, which is still a national and literary language, though confined to
a small area, can be traced back to literary documents of the sixteenth
century. The Flemish, too, was at that time the language of the court of
Flanders and Brabant, but has since been considerably encroached upon,
though not yet extinguished, by the official languages of the kingdoms of
Holland and Belgium. The oldest literary document of Low-German on the
Continent is the Christian epic, the _Heljand_ (Heljand = Heiland, the
Healer or Saviour), which is preserved to us in two MSS. of the ninth
century, and was written at that time for the benefit of the newly
converted Saxons. We have traces of a certain amount of literature in
Saxon or Low-German from that time onward through the Middle Ages up to
the seventeenth century. But little only of that literature has been
preserved; and, after the translation of the Bible by Luther into
High-German, the fate of Low-German literature was sealed.

The literary language of Germany is, and has been ever since the days of
Charlemagne, the _High-German_. It is spoken in various dialects all over
Germany.(168) Its history may be traced through three periods. The
present, or New High-German period dates from Luther; the Middle
High-German period extends from Luther backwards to the twelfth century;
the Old High-German period extends from thence to the seventh century.

Thus we see that we can follow the High-German, as well as the Low-German
branch of Teutonic speech, back to about the seventh century after Christ.
We must not suppose that before that time there was _one_ common Teutonic
language spoken by all German tribes, and that it afterwards diverged into
two streams,—the High and Low. There never was a common, uniform, Teutonic
language; nor is there any evidence to show that there existed at any time
a uniform High-German or Low-German language, from which all High-German
and Low-German dialects are respectively derived. We cannot derive
Anglo-Saxon, Friesian, Flemish, Dutch, and Platt-Deutsch from the ancient
Low-German, which is preserved in the continental Saxon of the ninth
century. All we can say is this, that these various Low-German dialects in
England, Holland, Friesia, and Lower Germany, passed at different times
through the same stages, or, so to say, the same latitudes of grammatical
growth. We may add that, with every century that we go back, the
convergence of these dialects becomes more and more decided; but there is
no evidence to justify us in admitting the historical reality of _one_
primitive and uniform Low-German language from which they were all
derived. This is a mere creation of grammarians who cannot understand a
multiplicity of dialects without a common type. They would likewise demand
the admission of a primitive High-German language, as the source, not only
of the literary Old, Middle, and Modern High-German, but likewise of all
the local dialects of Austria, Bavaria, Swabia, and Franconia. And they
would wish us to believe that, previous to the separation into High and
Low German, there existed one complete Teutonic language, as yet neither
High nor Low, but containing the germs of both. Such a system may be
convenient for the purposes of grammatical analysis, but it becomes
mischievous as soon as these grammatical abstractions are invested with an
historical reality. As there were families, clans, confederacies, and
tribes, before there was a nation; so there were dialects before there was
a language. The grammarian who postulates an historical reality for the
one primitive type of Teutonic speech, is no better than the historian who
believes in a _Francus_, the grandson of Hector, and the supposed ancestor
of all the Franks, or in a _Brutus_, the mythical father of all the
Britons. When the German races descended, one after the other, from the
Danube and from the Baltic, to take possession of Italy and the Roman
provinces,—when the Goths, the Lombards, the Vandals, the Franks, the
Burgundians, each under their own kings, and with their own laws and
customs, settled in Italy, Gaul, and Spain, to act their several parts in
the last scene of the Roman tragedy,—we have no reason to suppose that
they all spoke one and the same dialect. If we possessed any literary
documents of those ancient German races, we should find them all dialects
again, some with the peculiarities of High, others with those of Low,
German. Nor is this mere conjecture: for it so happens that, by some
fortunate accident, the dialect of one at least of those ancient German
races has been preserved to us in the Gothic translation of the Bible by
Bishop Ulfilas.

I must say a few words on this remarkable man. The accounts of
ecclesiastical historians with regard to the date and the principal events
in the life of Ulfilas are very contradictory. This is partly owing to the
fact that Ulfilas was an Arian bishop, and that the accounts which we
possess of him come from two opposite sides, from Arian and Athanasian
writers. Although in forming an estimate of his character it would be
necessary to sift this contradictory evidence, it is but fair to suppose
that, when dates and simple facts in the life of the Bishop have to be
settled, his own friends had better means of information than the orthodox
historians. It is, therefore, from the writings of his own co-religionists
that the chronology and the historical outline of the Bishop’s life should
be determined.

The principal writers to be consulted are Philostorgius, as preserved by
Photius, and Auxentius, as preserved by Maximinus in a MS. lately
discovered by Professor Waitz(169) in the Library at Paris. (Supplement.
Latin. No. 594.) This MS. contains some writings of Hilarius, the two
first books of Ambrosius De fide, and the acts of the Council of Aquileja
(381). On the margin of this MS. Maximinus repeated the beginning of the
acts of the Council of Aquileja, adding remarks of his own in order to
show how unfairly Palladius had been treated in that council by Ambrose.
He jotted down his own views on the Arian controversy, and on fol. 282,
seq., he copied an account of Ulfilas written by Auxentius, the bishop of
Dorostorum (Silistria on the Danube), a pupil of Ulfilas. This is followed
again by some dissertations of Maximinus, and on foll. 314-327, a treatise
addressed to Ambrose by a Semi-arian, a follower of Eusebius, possibly by
Prudentius himself, was copied and slightly abbreviated for his own
purposes by Maximinus.

It is from Auxentius, as copied by Maximinus, that we learn that Ulfilas
died at Constantinople, where he had been invited by the emperor to a
disputation. This could not have been later than the year 381, because,
according to the same Auxentius, Ulfilas had been bishop for forty years,
and, according to Philostorgius, he had been consecrated by Eusebius. Now
Eusebius of Nicomedia died 341, and as Philostorgius says that Ulfilas was
consecrated by “Eusebius and the bishops who were with him,” the
consecration has been referred with great plausibility to the beginning of
the year 341, when Eusebius presided at the Synod of Antioch. As Ulfilas
was thirty years old at the time of his consecration, he must have been
born in 311, and as he was seventy years of age when he died at
Constantinople, his death must have taken place in 381.

Professor Waitz fixed the death of Ulfilas in 388, because it is stated by
Auxentius that other Arian bishops had come with Ulfilas on his last
journey to Constantinople, and had actually obtained the promise of a new
council from the emperors, but that the heretical party, _i.e._, the
Athanasians, succeeded in getting a law published, prohibiting all
disputation on the faith, whether in public or private. Maximinus, to whom
we owe this notice, has added two laws from the Codex Theodosianus, which
he supposed to have reference to this controversy, dated respectively 388
and 386. This shows that Maximinus himself was doubtful as to the exact
date. Neither of these laws, however, is applicable to the case, as has
been fully shown by Dr. Bessell. They are quotations from the Codex
Theodosianus made by Maximinus at his own risk, and made in error. If the
death of Ulfilas were fixed in 388, the important notice of Philostorgius,
that Ulfilas was consecrated by Eusebius, would have to be surrendered,
and we should have to suppose that as late as 388 Theodosius had been in
treaty with the Arians, whereas after the year 383, when the last attempt
at a reconciliation bad been made by Theodosius, and had failed, no mercy
was any longer shown to the party of Ulfilas and his friends.

If, on the contrary, Ulfilas died at Constantinople in 381, he might well
have been called there by the Emperor Theodosius, not to a council, but to
a disputation (ad disputationem), as Dr. Bessell ingeniously maintains,
against the Psathyropolistæ,(170) a new sect of Arians at Constantinople.
About the same time, in 380, Sozomen(171) refers to efforts made by the
Arians to gain influence with Theodosius. He mentions, like Auxentius,
that these efforts were defeated, and a law published to forbid
disputations on the nature of God. This law exists in the Codex
Theodosianus, and is dated January 10, 381. But what is most important is,
that this law actually revokes a rescript that had been obtained
fraudulently by the Arian heretics, thus confirming the statement of
Auxentius that the emperor had held out to him and his party a promise of
a new council.

We now return to Ulfilas. He was born in 311. His parents, as
Philostorgius tells us, were of Cappadocian origin, and had been carried
away by the Goths as captives from a place called Sadagolthina, near the
town of Parnassus. It was under Valerian and Gallienus (about 267) that
the Goths made this raid from Europe to Asia, Galatia, and Cappadocia, and
the Christian captives whom they carried back to the Danube were the first
to spread the light of the Gospel among the Goths. Philostorgius was
himself a Cappadocian, and there is no reason to doubt this statement of
his on the parentage of Ulfilas. Ulfilas was born among the Goths; Gothic
was his native language, though he was able in after-life to speak and
write both in Latin and Greek. Philostorgius, after speaking of the death
of Crispus (326), and before proceeding to the last years of Constantine,
says, that “about that time” Ulfilas led his Goths from beyond the Danube
into the Roman empire. They had to leave their country, being persecuted
on account of their Christianity. Ulfilas was the leader of the faithful
flock, and came to Constantine, (not Constantius,) as ambassador. This
must have been before 337, the year of Constantine’s death. It may have
been in 328, when Constantine had gained a victory over the Goths; and
though Ulfilas was then only seventeen years of age, this would be no
reason for rejecting the testimony of Philostorgius, who says that
Constantine treated Ulfilas with great respect, and called him the Moses
of his time. Having led his faithful flock across the Danube into Mœsia,
he might well have been compared by the emperor to Moses leading the
Israelites from Egypt through the Red Sea. It is true that Auxentius
institutes the same comparison between Ulfilas and Moses, after stating
that Ulfilas had been received with great honors by Constantius. But this
refers to what took place after Ulfilas had been for seven years bishop
among the Goths, in 348, and does not invalidate the statement of
Philostorgius as to the earlier intercourse between Ulfilas and
Constantine. Sozomen (H. E. vi. 3, 7) clearly distinguishes between the
first crossing of the Danube by the Goths, with Ulfilas as their
ambassador, and the later attacks of Athanarich on Fridigern or Fritiger,
which led to the settlement of the Goths in the Roman empire. We must
suppose that after having crossed the Danube, Ulfilas remained for some
time with his Goths, or at Constantinople. Auxentius says that he
officiated as Lector, and it was only when he had reached the requisite
age of thirty, that he was made bishop by Eusebius in 341. He passed the
first seven years of his episcopate among the Goths, and the remaining
thirty-three of his life “in solo Romaniæ,” where he had migrated together
with Fritiger and the Thervingi. There is some confusion as to the exact
date of the Gothic Exodus, but it is not at all unlikely that Ulfilas
acted as their leader on more than one occasion.

There is little more to be learnt about Ulfilas from other sources. What
is said by ecclesiastical historians about the motives of his adopting the
doctrines of Arius, and his changing from one side to the other, deserves
no credit. Ulfilas, according to his own confession, was always an Arian
(semper sic credidi). Socrates says that Ulfilas was present at the Synod
of Constantinople in 360, which may be true, though neither Auxentius nor
Philostorgius mentions it. The author of the Acts of Nicetas speaks of
Ulfilas as present at the Council of Nicæa, in company with Theophilus.
Theophilus, it is true, signed his name as a Gothic bishop at that
council, but there is nothing to confirm the statement that Ulfilas, then
fourteen years of age, was with Theophilus.

Ulfilas translated the whole Bible, except the Books of Kings. For the Old
Testament he used the Septuagint; for the New, the Greek text; but not
exactly in that form in which we have it. Unfortunately, the greater part
of his work has been lost, and we have only considerable portions of the
Gospels, all the genuine Epistles of St. Paul, though again not complete;
fragments of a Psalm, of Ezra, and Nehemiah.(172)

Though Ulfilas belonged to the western Goths, his translation was used by
all Gothic tribes, when they advanced into Spain and Italy. The Gothic
language died out in the ninth century, and after the extinction of the
great Gothic empires, the translation of Ulfilas was lost and forgotten.
But a MS. of the fifth century had been preserved in the Abbey of Werden,
and towards the end of the sixteenth century, a man of the name of Arnold
Mercator, who was in the service of William IV., the Landgrave of Hessia,
drew attention to this old parchment containing large fragments of the
translation of Ulfilas. The MS., known as the Codex Argenteus, was
afterwards transferred to Prague, and when Prague was taken in 1648 by
Count Königsmark, he carried this Codex to Upsala in Sweden, where it is
still preserved as one of the greatest treasures. The parchment is purple,
the letters in silver, and the MS. bound in solid silver.

In 1818, Cardinal Mai and Count Castiglione discovered some more fragments
in the Monastery of Bobbio, where they had probably been preserved ever
since the Gothic empire of Theodoric the Great in Italy had been

Ulfilas must have been a man of extraordinary power to conceive, for the
first time, the idea of translating the 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, and a faith in the destinies of these
half-savage tribes, and a conviction also of the utter effeteness of the
Roman and Byzantine empires, before a bishop could have brought himself to
translate the Bible into the vulgar dialect of his barbarous countrymen.
Soon after the death of Ulfilas, the number of Christian Goths at
Constantinople had so much increased as to induce Chrysostom, the bishop
of Constantinople (397-405), to establish a church in the capital, where
the service was to be read in Gothic.(173)

The language of Ulfilas, the Gothic, belongs, through its phonetic
structure, to the Low-German class, but in its grammar it is, _with few
exceptions_, far more primitive than the Anglo-Saxon of the Beowulf, or
the Old High-German of Charlemagne. These few exceptions, however, are
very important, for they show that it would be grammatically, and
therefore historically, impossible to derive either Anglo-Saxon or
High-German, or both,(174) from Gothic. It would be impossible, for
instance, to treat the first person plural of the indicative present, the
Old High-German _nerjamês_, as a corruption of the Gothic _nasjam_; for we
know, from the Sanskrit _masi_, the Greek _mes_, the Latin _mus_, that
this was the original termination of the first person plural.

Gothic is but one of the numerous dialects of the German race; some of
which became the feeders of the literary languages of the British Isles,
of Holland, Friesia, and of Low and High Germany, while others became
extinct, and others rolled on from century to century unheeded, and
without ever producing any literature at all. It is because Gothic is the
only one of these parallel dialects that can be traced back to the fourth
century, whereas the others disappear from our sight in the seventh, that
it has been mistaken by some for the original source of all Teutonic
speech. The same arguments, however, which we used against Raynouard, to
show that Provençal could not be considered as the parent of the Six
Romance dialects, would tell with equal force against the pretensions of
Gothic to be considered as more than the eldest sister of the Teutonic
branch of speech.

There is, in fact, a third stream of Teutonic speech, which asserts its
independence as much as High-German and Low-German, and which it would be
impossible to place in any but a co-ordinate position with regard to
Gothic, Low and High German. This is the _Scandinavian_ branch. It
consists at present of three literary dialects, those of Sweden, Denmark,
and Iceland, and of various local dialects, particularly in secluded
valleys and fiords of Norway,(175) where, however, the literary language
is Danish.

It is commonly supposed(176) that, as late as the eleventh century,
identically the same language was spoken in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark,
and that this language was preserved almost intact in Iceland, while in
Sweden and Denmark it grew into two new national dialects. Nor is there
any doubt that the Icelandic skald recited his poems in Iceland, Norway,
Sweden, Denmark, nay, even among his countrymen in England and Gardariki,
without fear of not being understood, till, as it is said, William
introduced Welsh, _i.e._ French, into England, and Slavonic tongues grew
up in the east.(177) But though one and the same language (then called
Danish or Norrænish) was understood, I doubt whether one and the same
language was spoken by all Northmen, and whether the first germs of
Swedish and Danish did not exist long before the eleventh century, in the
dialects of the numerous clans and tribes of the Scandinavian race. That
race is clearly divided into two branches, called by Swedish scholars the
East and West Scandinavian. The former would be represented by the old
language of Norway and Iceland, the latter by Swedish and Danish. This
division of the Scandinavian race had taken place before the Northmen
settled in Sweden and Norway. The western division migrated westward from
Russia, and crossed over from the continent to the Aland Islands, and from
thence to the southern coast of the peninsula. The eastern division
travelled along the Bothnian Gulf, passing the country occupied by the
Finns and Lapps, and settled in the northern highlands, spreading toward
the south and west.

The earliest fragments of Scandinavian speech are preserved in the two
_Eddas_, the elder or poetical Edda, containing old mythic poems, the
younger or Snorri’s Edda giving an account of the ancient mythology in
prose. Both Eddas were composed, not in Norway, but in Iceland, an island
about as large as Ireland, and which became first known through some Irish
monks who settled there in the eighth century.(178) In the ninth century
voyages of discovery were made to Iceland by Naddodd, Gardar, and Flokki,
860-870, and soon after the distant island, distant about 750 English
miles from Norway, became a kind of America to the Puritans and
Republicans of the Scandinavian peninsula. Harald Haarfagr (850-933) had
conquered most of the Norwegian kings, and his despotic sway tended to
reduce the northern freemen to a state of vassalage. Those who could not
resist, and could not bring themselves to yield to the sceptre of Harald,
left their country and migrated to France, to England, and to Iceland
(874). They were mostly nobles and freemen, and they soon established in
Iceland an aristocratic republic, such as they had had in Norway before
the days of Harald. This northern republic flourished; it adopted
Christianity in the year 1000. Schools were founded, two bishoprics were
established, and classical literature was studied with the same zeal with
which their own national poems and laws had been collected and interpreted
by native scholars and historians. The Icelanders were famous travellers,
and the names of Icelandic students are found not only in the chief cities
of Europe, but in the holy places of the East. At the beginning of the
twelfth century Iceland counted 50,000 inhabitants. Their intellectual and
literary activity lasted to the beginning of the thirteenth century, when
the island was conquered by Hakon VI., king of Norway. In 1380, Norway,
together with Iceland, was united with Denmark; and when, in 1814, Norway
was ceded to Sweden, Iceland remained, as it is still, under Danish sway.

The old poetry which flourished in Norway in the eighth century, and which
was cultivated by the skalds in the ninth, would have been lost in Norway
itself had it not been for the jealous care with which it was preserved by
the emigrants of Iceland. The most important branch of their traditional
poetry were short songs (hliod or Quida), relating the deeds of their gods
and heroes. It is impossible to determine their age, but they existed at
least previous to the migration of the Northmen to Iceland, and probably
as early as the seventh century, the same century which yields the oldest
remnants of Anglo-Saxon, Low-German, and High-German. They were collected
in the middle of the twelfth century by _Saemund Sigfusson_ (died 1133).
In 1643 a similar collection was discovered in MSS. of the thirteenth
century, and published under the title of _Edda_, or Great-Grandmother.
This collection is called the old or poetic Edda, in order to distinguish
it from a later work ascribed to Snorri Sturluson (died 1241). This, the
younger or prose Edda, consists of three parts: the mocking of Gylfi, the
speeches of Bragi, and the Skalda, or _Ars poetica_. Snorri Sturluson has
been called the Herodotus of Iceland; and his chief work is the
“Heimskringla,” the world-ring, which contains the northern history from
the mythic times to the time of King Magnus Erlingsson (died 1177). It was
probably in preparing his history that, like Cassiodorus, Saxo
Grammaticus, Paulus Diaconus, and other historians of the same class,
Snorri collected the old songs of the people; for his “Edda,” and
particularly his “Skalda,” are full of ancient poetic fragments.

The “Skalda,” and the rules which it contains, represent the state of
poetry in the thirteenth century; and nothing can be more artificial,
nothing more different from the genuine poetry of the old “Edda” than this
_Ars poetica_ of Snorri Sturluson. One of the chief features of this
artificial or skaldic poetry was this, that nothing should be called by
its proper name. A ship was not to be called a ship, but the beast of the
sea; blood, not blood, but the dew of pain, or the water of the sword. A
warrior was not spoken of as a warrior, but as an armed tree, the tree of
battle. A sword was the flame of wounds. In this poetical language, which
every skald was bound to speak, there were no less than 115 names for
Odin; an island could be called by 120 synonymous titles. The specimens of
ancient poetry which Snorri quotes are taken from the skalds, whose names
are well known in history, and who lived from the tenth to the thirteenth
century. But he never quotes from any song contained in the old
“Edda,”(179) whether it be that those songs were considered by himself as
belonging to a different and much more ancient period of literature, or
that they could not be used in illustration of the scholastic rules of
skaldic poets, these very rules being put to shame by the simple style of
the national poetry, which expressed what it had to express without effort
and circumlocution.

We have thus traced the modern Teutonic dialects back to four principal
channels,—the _High-German_, _Low-German_, _Gothic_, and _Scandinavian_;
and we have seen that these four, together with several minor dialects,
must be placed in a co-ordinate position from the beginning, as so many
varieties of Teutonic speech. This Teutonic speech may, for convenience’
sake, be spoken of as one,—as one branch of that great family of language
to which, as we shall see, it belongs; but it should always be borne in
mind that this primitive and uniform language never had any real
historical existence, and that, like all other languages, that of the
Germans began with dialects which gradually formed themselves into several
distinct national deposits.

We must now advance more rapidly, and, instead of the minuteness of an
Ordnance-map, we must be satisfied with the broad outlines of Wyld’s Great
Globe in our survey of the languages which, together with the Teutonic,
form the Indo-European or Aryan family of speech.

And first the Romance, or modern Latin languages. Leaving mere local
dialects out of sight, we have at present six literary modifications of
Latin, or more correctly, of ancient Italian,—the languages of Portugal,
of Spain, of France, of Italy, of Wallachia,(180) and of the Grisons of
Switzerland, called the Roumansch or Romanese.(181) The Provençal, which,
in the poetry of the Troubadours, attained at a very early time to a high
literary excellence, has now sunk down to a mere _patois_. The earliest
Provençal poem, the Song of Boëthius, is generally referred to the tenth
century: Le Bœuf referred it to the eleventh. But in the lately discovered
Song of Eulalia, we have now a specimen of the Langue d’Oil, or the
ancient Northern French, anterior in date to the earliest poetic specimen
of the Langue d’Oc, or the ancient Provençal. Nothing can be a better
preparation for the study of the comparative grammar of the ancient Aryan
languages than a careful perusal of the “Comparative Grammar of the Six
Romance Languages” by Professor Diez.

Though in a general way we trace these six Romance languages back to
Latin, yet it has been pointed out before that the classical Latin would
fail to supply a complete explanation of their origin. Many of the
ingredients of the Neo-Latin dialects must be sought for in the ancient
dialects of Italy and her provinces. More than one dialect of Latin was
spoken there before the rise of Rome, and some important fragments have
been preserved to us, in inscriptions, of the Umbrian spoken in the north,
and of the Oscan spoken to the south of Rome. The Oscan language, spoken
by the Samnites, now rendered intelligible by the labors of Mommsen, had
produced a literature before the time of Livius Andronicus; and the tables
of Iguvio, so elaborately treated by Aufrecht and Kirchhoff, bear witness
to a priestly literature among the Umbrians at a very early period. Oscan
was still spoken under the Roman emperors, and so were minor local
dialects in the south and the north. As soon as the literary language of
Rome became classical and unchangeable, the first start was made in the
future career of those dialects which, even at the time of Dante, are
still called _vulgar_ or _popular_.(182) A great deal, no doubt, of the
corruption of these modern dialects is due to the fact that, in the form
in which we know them after the eighth century, they are really Neo-Latin
dialects as adopted by the Teutonic barbarians; full, not only of Teutonic
words, but of Teutonic idioms, phrases, and constructions. French is
provincial Latin as spoken by the Franks, a Teutonic race; and, to a
smaller extent, the same _barbarizing_ has affected all other Roman
dialects. But from the very beginning, the stock with which the Neo-Latin
dialects started was not the classical Latin, but the vulgar, local,
provincial dialects of the middle, the lower, and the lowest classes of
the Roman Empire. Many of the words which give to French and Italian their
classical appearance, are really of much later date, and were imported
into them by mediæval scholars, lawyers, and divines; thus escaping the
rough treatment to which the original vulgar dialects were subjected by
the Teutonic conquerors.

The next branch of the Indo-European family of speech is the _Hellenic_.
Its history is well known from the time of Homer to the present day. The
only remark which the comparative philologist has to make is that the idea
of making Greek the parent of Latin, is more preposterous than deriving
English from German; the fact being that there are many forms in Latin
more primitive than their corresponding forms in Greek. The idea of
Pelasgians as the common ancestors of Greeks and Romans is another of
those grammatical mythes, but hardly requires at present any serious

The fourth branch of our family is the _Celtic_. The Celts seem to have
been the first of the Aryans to arrive in Europe; but the pressure of
subsequent migrations, particularly of Teutonic tribes, has driven them
towards the westernmost parts, and latterly from Ireland across the
Atlantic. At present the only remaining dialects are the Kymric and
Gadhelic. The _Kymric_ comprises the _Welsh_; the _Cornish_, lately
extinct; and the _Armorican_, of Brittany. The _Gadhelic_ comprises the
_Irish_; the _Galic_ of the west coast of Scotland; and the dialect of the
_Isle of Man_. Although these Celtic dialects are still spoken, the Celts
themselves can no longer be considered an independent nation, like the
Germans or Slaves. In former times, however, they not only enjoyed
political autonomy, but asserted it successfully against Germans and
Romans. Gaul, Belgium, and Britain were Celtic dominions, and the north of
Italy was chiefly inhabited by them. In the time of Herodotus we find
Celts in Spain; and Switzerland, the Tyrol, and the country south of the
Danube have once been the seats of Celtic tribes. But after repeated
inroads into the regions of civilization, familiarizing Latin and Greek
writers with the names of their kings, they disappear from the east of
Europe. Brennus is supposed to mean king, the Welsh _brennin_. A Brennus
conquered Rome (390), another Brennus threatened Delphi (280). And about
the same time a Celtic colony settled in Asia, and founded Galatia, where
the language spoken at the time of St. Jerome was still that of the Gauls.
Celtic words may be found in German, Slavonic, and even in Latin, but only
as foreign terms, and their amount is much smaller than commonly supposed.
A far larger number of Latin and German words have since found their way
into the modern Celtic dialects, and these have frequently been mistaken
by Celtic enthusiasts for original words, from which German and Latin
might, in their turn, be derived.

The fifth branch, which is commonly called _Slavonic_, I prefer to
designate by the name of _Windic_, _Winidae_ being one of the most ancient
and comprehensive names by which these tribes were known to the early
historians of Europe. We have to divide these tribes into two divisions,
the _Lettic_ and the _Slavonic_, and we shall have to subdivide the
Slavonic again into a _South-East Slavonic_ and a _West Slavonic_ branch.

The _Lettic_ division consists of languages hardly known to the student of
literature, but of great importance to the student of language. _Lettish_
is the language now spoken in Kurland and Livonia. _Lithuanian_ is the
name given to a language still spoken by about 200,000 people in Eastern
Prussia, and by more than a million of people in the coterminous parts of
Russia. The earliest literary document of Lithuanian is a small catechism
of 1547.(183) In this, and even in the language as now spoken by the
Lithuanian peasant, there are some grammatical forms more primitive, and
more like Sanskrit, than the corresponding forms in Greek and Latin.

The _Old Prussian_, which is nearly related to Lithuanian, became extinct
in the seventeenth century, and the entire literature which it has left
behind consists in an old catechism.

_Lettish_ is the language of Kurland and Livonia, more modern in its
grammar than Lithuanian, yet not immediately derived from it.

We now come to the _Slavonic_ languages, properly so called. The eastern
branch comprehends the _Russian_ with various local dialects; the
_Bulgarian_, and the _Illyrian_. The most ancient document of this eastern
branch is the so-called Ecclesiastical Slavonic, _i.e._ the ancient
Bulgarian, into which Cyrillus and Methodius translated the Bible, in the
middle of the ninth century. This is still the authorized version(184) of
the Bible for the whole Slavonic race; and to the student of the Slavonic
languages, it is what Gothic is to the student of German. The modern
Bulgarian, on the contrary, as far as grammatical forms are concerned, is
the most reduced among the Slavonic dialects.

_Illyrian_ is a convenient or inconvenient name to comprehend the
_Servian_, _Croatian_, and _Slovinian_ dialects. Literary fragments of
_Slovinian_ go back as far as the tenth century.(185)

The western branch comprehends the language of _Poland_, _Bohemia_, and
_Lusatia_. The oldest specimen of Polish belongs to the fourteenth
century: the Psalter of Margarite. The Bohemian language was, till lately,
traced back to the ninth century. But most of these old Bohemian poems are
now considered spurious; and it is doubtful, even, whether an ancient
interlinear translation of the Gospel of St. John can be ascribed to the
tenth century.(186)

The language of Lusatia is spoken, probably, by no more than 150,000
people, known in Germany by the name of _Wends_.

We have examined all the languages of our first or Aryan family, which are
spoken in Europe, with one exception, the _Albanian_. This language is
clearly a member of the same family; and as it is sufficiently distinct
from Greek or any other recognized language, it has been traced back to
one of the neighboring races of the Greeks, the Illyrians, and is supposed
to be the only surviving representative of the various so-called barbarous
tongues which surrounded and interpenetrated the dialects of Greece.

We now pass on from Europe to Asia; and here we begin at once, on the
extreme south, with the languages of India. As I sketched the history of
Sanskrit in one of my former Lectures, it must suffice, at present, to
mark the different periods of that language, beginning, about 1500 B. C.,
with the dialect of the Vedas, which is followed by the modern Sanskrit;
the popular dialects of the third century B. C.; the Prakrit dialects of
the plays; and the spoken dialects, such as Hindí, Hindústání, Mahrattí,
Bengalí. There are many points of great interest to the student of
language, in the long history of the speech of India; and it has been
truly said that Sanskrit is to the science of language what mathematics
are to astronomy. In an introductory course of lectures, however, like the
present, it would be out of place to enter on a minute analysis of the
grammatical organism of this language of languages.

There is one point only on which I may be allowed to say a few words. I
have frequently been asked, “But how can you prove that Sanskrit
literature is so old as it is supposed to be? How can you fix any Indian
dates before the time of Alexander’s conquest? What dependence can be
placed on Sanskrit manuscripts which may have been forged or
interpolated?” It is easier to ask such questions than to answer them, at
least to answer them briefly and intelligibly. But, perhaps, the following
argument will serve as a partial answer, and show that Sanskrit was the
spoken language of India at least some centuries before the time of
Solomon. In the hymns of the Veda, which are the oldest literary
compositions in Sanskrit, the geographical horizon of the poets is, for
the greater part, limited to the north-west of India. There are very few
passages in which any allusions to the sea or the sea-coast occur, whereas
the snowy mountains, and the rivers of the Penjáb, and the scenery of the
Upper Ganges valley are familiar objects to the ancient bards. There is no
doubt, in fact, that the people who spoke Sanskrit came into India from
the north, and gradually extended their sway to the south and east. Now,
at the time of Solomon, it can be proved that Sanskrit was spoken at least
as far south as the mouth of the Indus.

You remember the fleet of Tharshish(187) which Solomon had at sea,
together with the navy of Hiram, and which came once in three years,
bringing _gold_ and _silver_, _ivory_, _apes_, and _peacocks_. The same
navy, which was stationed on the shore of the Red Sea, is said to have
fetched gold from _Ophir_,(188) and to have brought, likewise, great
plenty of _algum_(189) trees and precious stones from Ophir.

Well, a great deal has been written to find out where this Ophir was; but
there can be no doubt that it was in India. The names for _apes_,
_peacocks_, _ivory_ and _algum_-trees are foreign words in Hebrew, as much
as _gutta-percha_ or _tobacco_ are in English. Now, if we wished to know
from what part of the world _gutta-percha_ was first imported into
England, we might safely conclude that it came from that country where the
name, _gutta-percha_, formed part of the spoken language.(190) If,
therefore, we can find a language in which the names for peacock, apes,
ivory, and algum-tree, which are foreign in Hebrew, are indigenous, we may
be certain that the country in which that language was spoken must have
been the Ophir of the Bible. That language is no other but Sanskrit.

_Apes_ are called, in Hebrew, _koph_, a word without an etymology in the
Semitic languages, but nearly identical in sound with the Sanskrit name of
ape, _kapi_.

_Ivory_ is called either _karnoth-shen_, horns of tooth; or _shen habbim_.
This _habbim_ is again without a derivation in Hebrew, but it is most
likely a corruption of the Sanskrit name for elephant, _ibha_, preceded by
the Semitic article.(191)

_Peacocks_ are called in Hebrew _tukhi-im_, and this finds its explanation
in the name still used for peacock on the coast of Malabar, _togëi_, which
in turn has been derived from the Sanskrit _śikhin_, meaning furnished
with a crest.

All these articles, ivory, gold, apes, peacocks, are indigenous in India,
though of course they might have been found in other countries likewise.
Not so the _algum-tree_, at least if interpreters are right in taking
_algum_ or _almug_ for sandalwood. Sandalwood is found indigenous on the
coast of Malabar only; and one of its numerous names there, and in
Sanskrit, is _valguka_. This _valgu_(_ka_) is clearly the name which
Jewish and Phœnician merchants corrupted into _algum_, and which in Hebrew
was still further changed into _almug_.

Now, the place where the navy of Solomon and Hiram, coming down the Red
Sea, would naturally have landed, was the mouth of the Indus. There _gold_
and _precious stones_ from the north would have been brought down the
Indus; and _sandalwood_, _peacocks_, and _apes_ would have been brought
from Central and Southern India. In this very locality Ptolemy (vii. 1)
gives us the name of _Abiria_, above _Pattalene_. In the same locality
Hindu geographers place the people called _Abhîra_ or _Âbhîra_; and in the
same neighborhood MacMurdo, in his account of the province of Cutch, still
knows a race of _Ahirs_,(192) the descendants, in all probability, of the
people who sold to Hiram and Solomon their gold and precious stones, their
apes, peacocks, and sandalwood.(193)

If, then, in the Veda the people who spoke Sanskrit were still settled in
the north of India, whereas at the time of Solomon their language had
extended to Cutch and even the Malabar coast, this will show that at all
events Sanskrit is not of yesterday, and that it is as old, at least, as
the book of Job, in which the gold of Ophir is mentioned.(194)

Most closely allied to Sanskrit, more particularly to the Sanskrit of the
Veda, is the ancient language of the Zend-avesta,(195) the so-called
_Zend_, or sacred language of the Zoroastrians or Fire-worshippers. It
was, in fact, chiefly through the Sanskrit, and with the help of
comparative philology, that the ancient dialect of the Parsis or
Fire-worshippers was deciphered. The MSS. had been preserved by the Parsi
priests at Bombay, where a colony of fire-worshippers had fled in the
tenth century,(196) and where it has risen since to considerable wealth
and influence. Other settlements of Guebres are to be found in Yezd and
parts of Kerman. A Frenchman, Anquetil Duperron, was the first to
translate the Zend-avesta, but his translation was not from the original,
but from a modern Persian translation. The first European who attempted to
read the original words of Zoroaster was Rask, the Dane; and after his
premature death, Burnouf, in France, achieved one of the greatest triumphs
in modern scholarship by deciphering the language of the Zend-avesta, and
establishing its close relationship with Sanskrit. The same doubts which
were expressed about the age and the genuineness of the Veda, were
repeated with regard to the Zend-avesta, by men of high authority as
oriental scholars, by Sir W. Jones himself, and even by the late Professor
Wilson. But Burnouf’s arguments, based at first on grammatical evidence
only, were irresistible, and have of late been most signally confirmed by
the discovery of the cuneiform inscriptions of Darius and Xerxes. That
there was a Zoroaster, an ancient sage, was known long before Burnouf.
Plato speaks of a teacher of Zoroaster’s Magic (Μαγεία), and calls
Zoroaster the son of _Oromazes_.(197)

This name of Oromazes is important; for Oromazes is clearly meant for
_Ormuzd_, the god of the Zoroastrians. The name of this god, as read in
the inscriptions of Darius and Xerxes, is _Auramazdâ_, which comes very
near to Plato’s Oromazes.(198) Thus Darius says, in one passage: “Through
the grace of Auramazda I am king; Auramazda gave me the kingdom.” But what
is the meaning of _Auramazda_? We receive a hint from one passage in the
Achæmenian inscriptions, where Auramazda is divided into two words, both
being declined. The genitive of Auramazda occurs there as _Aurahya
mazdâha_. But even this is unintelligible, and is, in fact, nothing but a
phonetic corruption of the name of the supreme Deity as it occurs on every
page of the Zend-avesta, namely, _Ahurô mazdâo_ (nom.). Here, too, both
words are declined; and instead of _Ahurô mazdâo_, we also find _Mazdâo
ahurô_.(199) Well, this _Ahurô mazdâo_ is represented in the Zend-avesta
as the creator and ruler of the world; as good, holy, and true; and as
doing battle against all that is evil, dark, and false. “The wicked perish
through the wisdom and holiness of the living wise Spirit.” In the oldest
hymns, the power of darkness, which is opposed to _Ahurô mazdâo_ has not
yet received its proper name, which is _Angrô mainyus_, the later
_Ahriman_; but it is spoken of as a power, as _Drukhs_ or deceit; and the
principal doctrine which Zoroaster came to preach was that we must choose
between these two powers, that we must be good, and not bad. These are his

“In the beginning there was a pair of twins, two spirits, each of a
peculiar activity. These are the Good and the Base in thought, word, and
deed. Choose one of these two spirits; Be good, not base!”(200)

Or again:—

“Ahuramazda is holy, true, to be honored through veracity, through holy
deeds.” “You cannot serve both.”

Now, if we wanted to prove that Anglo-Saxon was a real language, and more
ancient than English, a mere comparison of a few words such as _lord_ and
_hlafford_, _gospel_ and _godspel_ would be sufficient. _Hlafford_ has a
meaning; _lord_ has none; therefore we may safely say that without such a
compound as _hlafford_, the word _lord_ could never have arisen. The same,
if we compare the language of the Zend-avesta with that of the cuneiform
inscriptions of Darius. _Auramazdâ_ is clearly a corruption of _Ahurô
mazdâo_, and if the language of the Mountain-records of Behistun is
genuine, then, _à fortiori_, is the language of the Zend-avesta genuine,
as deciphered by Burnouf, long before he had deciphered the language of
Cyrus and Darius. But what is the meaning of _Ahurô mazdâo_? Here Zend
does not give us an answer; but we must look to Sanskrit, as the more
primitive language, just as we looked from French to Italian, in order to
discover the original form and meaning of _feu_. According to the rules
which govern the changes of words, common to Zend and Sanskrit, _Ahurô
mazdâo_ corresponds to the Sanskrit _Asuro medhas_; and this would mean
the “Wise Spirit,” neither more nor less.

We have editions, translations, and commentaries of the Zend-avesta by
Burnouf, Brockhaus, Spiegel, and Westergaard. Yet there still remains much
to be done. Dr. Haug, now settled at Poona, has lately taken up the work
which Burnouf left unfinished. He has pointed out that the text of the
Zend-avesta, as we have it, comprises fragments of very different
antiquity, and that the most ancient only, the so-called Gâthâs, can be
ascribed to Zarathustra. “This portion,” he writes in a lecture just
received from India, “compared with the whole bulk of the Zend fragments
is very small; but by the difference of dialect it is easily recognized.
The most important pieces written in this peculiar dialect are called
Gâthâs or songs, arranged in five small collections; they have different
metres, which mostly agree with those of the Veda; their language is very
near to the Vedic dialect.” It is to be regretted that in the same
lecture, which holds out the promise of so much that will be extremely
valuable, Dr. Haug should have lent his authority to the opinion that
Zoroaster or Zarathustra is mentioned in the Rig-Veda as Jaradashṭi. The
meaning of jaradashti in the Rig-Veda may be seen in the Sanskrit
Dictionary of the Russian Academy, and no Sanskrit scholar would seriously
think of translating the word by Zoroaster.

At what time Zoroaster lived, is a more difficult question which we cannot
discuss at present.(201) It must suffice if we have proved that he lived,
and that his language, the Zend, is a real language, and anterior in time
to the language of the cuneiform inscriptions.

We trace the subsequent history of the Persian language from Zend to the
inscriptions of the Achæmenian dynasty; from thence to what is called
_Pehlevi_ or _Huzvaresh_ (better Huzûresh), the language of the Sassanian
dynasty (226-651), as it is found in the dialect of the translations of
the Zend-avesta, and in the official language of the Sassanian coins and
inscriptions. This is considerably mixed with Semitic elements, probably
imported from Syria. In a still later form, freed also from the Semitic
elements which abound in Pehlevi, the language of Persia appears again as
_Parsi_, which differs but little from the language of _Firdusi_, the
great epic poet of Persia, the author of the Shahnámeh, about 1000 A. D.
The later history of Persian consists entirely in the gradual increase of
Arabic words, which have crept into the language since the conquest of
Persia and the conversion of the Persians to the religion of Mohammed.

The other languages which evince by their grammar and vocabulary a general
relationship with Sanskrit and Persian, but which have received too
distinct and national a character to be classed as mere dialects, are the
languages _of Afghanistan_ or the _Pushtú_, the language of _Bokhára_, the
language of the _Kurds_, the _Ossetian_ language in the Caucasus, and the
_Armenian_. Much might be said on every one of these tongues and their
claims to be classed as independent members of the Aryan family; but our
time is limited, nor has any one of them acquired, as yet, that importance
which belongs to the vernaculars of India, Persia, Greece, Italy, and
Germany, and to other branches of Aryan speech which have been analyzed
critically, and may be studied historically in the successive periods of
their literary existence. There is, however, one more language which we
have omitted to mention, and which belongs equally to Asia and Europe, the
language of the _Gipsies_. This language, though most degraded in its
grammar, and with a dictionary stolen from all the countries through which
the Zingaris passed, is clearly an exile from Hindústán.

You see, from the diagram before you,(202) that it is possible to divide
the whole Aryan family into two divisions: the _Southern_, including the
Indic and Iranic classes, and the _Northern_ or _North-western_,
comprising all the rest. Sanskrit and Zend share certain words and
grammatical forms in common which do not exist in any of the other Aryan
languages; and there can be no doubt that the ancestors of the poets of
the Veda and of the worshippers of _Ahurô mazdâo_ lived together for some
time after they had left the original home of the whole Aryan race. For
let us see this clearly: the genealogical classification of languages, as
drawn in this diagram, has an historical meaning. As sure as the six
Romance dialects point to an original home of Italian shepherds on the
seven hills at Rome, the Aryan languages together point to an earlier
period of language, when the first ancestors of the Indians, the Persians,
the Greeks, the Romans, the Slaves, the Celts, and the Germans were living
together within the same enclosures, nay under the same roof. There was a
time when out of many possible names for _father_, _mother_, _daughter_,
_son_, _dog_ and _cow_, _heaven_ and _earth_, those which we find in all
the Aryan languages were framed, and obtained a mastery _in the struggle
for life_ which is carried on among synonymous words as much as among
plants and animals. Look at the comparative table of the auxiliary verb
AS, to be, in the different Aryan languages. The selection of the root AS
out of many roots, equally applicable to the idea of being, and the
joining of this root with one set of personal terminations, all originally
personal pronouns, were individual acts, or if you like, historical
events. They took place once, at a certain date and in a certain place;
and as we find the same forms preserved by all the members of the Aryan
family, it follows that before the ancestors of the Indians and Persians
started for the south, and the leaders of the Greek, Roman, Celtic,
Teutonic, and Slavonic colonies marched towards the shores of Europe,
there was a small clan of Aryans, settled probably on the highest
elevation of Central Asia, speaking a language, not yet Sanskrit or Greek
or German, but containing the dialectical germs of all; a clan that had
advanced to a state of agricultural civilization; that had recognized the
bonds of blood, and sanctioned the bonds of marriage; and that invoked the
Giver of Light and Life in heaven by the same name which you may still
hear in the temples of Benares, in the basilicas of Rome, and in our own
churches and cathedrals.

After this clan broke up, the ancestors of the Indians and Zoroastrians
must have remained together for some time in their migrations or new
settlements; and I believe that it was the reform of Zoroaster which
produced at last the split between the worshippers of the Vedic gods and
the worshippers of Ormuzd. Whether, besides this division into a southern
and northern branch, it is possible by the same test (the community of
particular words and forms), to discover the successive periods when the
Germans separated from the Slaves, the Celts from the Italians, or the
Italians from the Greeks, seems more than doubtful. The attempts made by
different scholars have led to different and by no means satisfactory
results;(203) and it seems best, for the present, to trace each of the
northern classes back to its own dialect, and to account for the more
special coincidences between such languages as, for instance, the Slavonic
and Teutonic, by admitting that the ancestors of these races preserved
from the beginning certain dialectical peculiarities which existed before,
as well as after, the separation of the Aryan family.


The genealogical classification of the Aryan languages was founded, as we
saw, on a close comparison of the grammatical characteristics of each; and
it is the object of such works as Bopp’s “Comparative Grammar” to show
that the grammatical articulation of Sanskrit, Zend, Greek, Roman, Celtic,
Teutonic, and Slavonic, was produced once and for all; and that the
apparent differences in the terminations of Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin,
must be explained by laws of phonetic decay, peculiar to each dialect,
which modified the original common Aryan type, and changed it into so many
national languages. It might seem, therefore, as if the object of
comparative grammar was attained as soon as the exact genealogical
relationship of languages had been settled; and those who only look to the
higher problems of the science of language have not hesitated to declare
that “there is no painsworthy difficulty nor dispute about declension,
number, case, and gender of nouns.” But although it is certainly true that
comparative grammar is only a means, and that it has well nigh taught us
all that it has to teach,—at least in the Aryan family of speech,—it is to
be hoped that, in the science of language, it will always retain that
prominent place which it has obtained through the labors of Bopp, Grimm,
Pott, Benfey, Curtius, Kuhn, and others. Besides, comparative grammar has
more to do than simply to compare. It would be easy enough to place side
by side the paradigms of declension and conjugation in Sanskrit, Greek,
Latin, and the other Aryan dialects, and to mark both their coincidences
and their differences. But after we have done this, and after we have
explained the phonetic laws which cause the primitive Aryan type to assume
that national variety which we admire in Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin, new
problems arise of a more interesting nature. We know that grammatical
terminations, as they are now called, were originally independent words,
and had their own purpose and meaning. Is it possible, after comparative
grammar has established the original forms of the Aryan terminations, to
trace them back to independent words, and to discover their original
purpose and meaning? You will remember that this was the point from which
we started. We wanted to know why the termination _d_ in _I loved_ should
change a present into a past act. We saw that before answering this
question we had to discover the most original form of this termination by
tracing it from English to Gothic, and afterwards, if necessary, from
Gothic to Sanskrit. We now return to our original question, namely, What
is language that a mere formal change, such as that of _I love_ into _I
loved_, should produce so very material a difference?

Let us clearly see what we mean if we make a distinction between the
radical and formal elements of a language; and by formal elements I mean
not only the terminations of declension and conjugation, but all
derivative elements; all, in fact, that is not radical. Our view on the
origin of language must chiefly depend on the view which we take of these
formal, as opposed to the radical, elements of speech. Those who consider
that language is a conventional production, base their arguments
principally on these formal elements. The inflections of words, they
maintain, are the best proof that language was made by mutual agreement.
They look upon them as mere letters or syllables without any meaning by
themselves; and if they were asked why the mere addition of a _d_ changes
_I love_ into _I loved_, or why the addition of the syllable _rai_ gave to
_j’aime_, I love, the power of a future, _j’aimerai_, they would answer,
that it was so because, at a very early time in the history of the world,
certain persons, or families, or clans, agreed that it should be so.

This view was opposed by another which represents language as an organic
and almost a living being, and explains its formal elements as produced by
a principle of growth inherent in its very nature. “Languages,”(204) it is
maintained, “are formed by a process, not of crystalline accretion, but of
germinal development. Every essential part of language existed as
completely (although only implicitly) in the primitive germ, as the petals
of a flower exist in the bud before the mingled influences of the sun and
the air caused it to unfold.” This view was first propounded by Frederick
Schlegel,(205) and it is still held by many with whom poetical phraseology
takes the place of sound and severe reasoning.

The science of language adopts neither of these views. As to imagining a
congress for settling the proper exponents of such relations as
nominative, genitive, singular, plural, active, and passive, it stands to
reason that if such abstruse problems could have been discussed in a
language void of inflections, there was no inducement for agreeing on a
more perfect means of communication. And as to imagining language, that is
to say nouns and verbs, endowed with an inward principle of growth, all we
can say is, that such a conception is really inconceivable. Language may
be conceived as a production, but it cannot be conceived as a substance
that could itself produce. But the science of language has nothing to do
with mere theories, whether conceivable or not. It collects facts, and its
only object is to account for these facts, as far as possible. Instead of
looking on inflections in general either as conventional signs or natural
excrescences, it takes each termination by itself, establishes its most
primitive form by means of comparison, and then treats that primitive
syllable as it would treat any other part of language,—namely, as
something which was originally intended to convey a meaning. Whether we
are still able to discover the original intention of every part of
language is quite a different question, and it should be admitted at once
that many grammatical forms, after they have been restored to their most
primitive type, are still without an explanation. But with every year new
discoveries are made by means of careful inductive reasoning. We become
more familiar every day with the secret ways of language, and there is no
reason to doubt that in the end grammatical analysis will be as successful
as chemical analysis. Grammar, though sometimes very bewildering to us in
its later stages, is originally a much less formidable undertaking than is
commonly supposed. What is grammar after all but declension and
conjugation? Originally declension could not have been anything but the
composition of a noun with some other word expressive of number and case.
How the number was expressed, we saw in a former lecture; and the same
process led to the formation of cases.

Thus the locative is formed in various ways in Chinese:(206) one is by
adding such words as _ćung_, the middle, or _néi_, inside. Thus,
_kûŏ-ćung_, in the empire; _i sûí ćung_, within a year. The instrumental
is formed by the preposition _ẏ_, which preposition is an old root,
meaning _to use_. Thus _ẏ ting_, with a stick, where in Latin we should
use the ablative, in Greek the dative. Now, however complicated the
declensions, regular and irregular, may be in Greek and Latin, we may be
certain that originally they were formed by this simple method of

There was originally in all the Aryan languages a case expressive of
locality, which grammarians call the _locative_. In Sanskrit every
substantive has its locative, as well as its genitive, dative, and
accusative. Thus, _heart_ in Sanskrit is _hṛid_; in the heart, is _hṛidi_.
Here, therefore, the termination of the locative is simply short _i_. This
short _i_ is a demonstrative root, and in all probability the same root
which in Latin produced the preposition _in_. The Sanskrit _hṛidi_
represents, therefore, an original compound, as it were, _heart-within_,
which gradually became settled as one of the recognized cases of nouns
ending in consonants. If we look to Chinese,(207) we find that the
locative is expressed there in the same manner, but with a greater freedom
in the choice of the words expressive of locality. “In the empire,” is
expressed by _kûŏ ćung_; “within a year,” is expressed by _ĭ sûí ćung_.
Instead of _ćung_, however, we might have employed other terms also, such
as, for instance, _néi_, inside. It might be said that the formation of so
primitive a case as the locative offers little difficulty, but that this
process of composition fails to account for the origin of the more
abstract cases, the accusative, the dative, and genitive. If we derive our
notions of the cases from philosophical grammar, it is true, no doubt,
that it would be difficult to convey by a simple composition the abstract
relations supposed to be expressed by the terminations of the genitive,
dative, and accusative. But remember that these are only general
categories under which philosophers and grammarians endeavored to arrange
the facts of language. The people with whom language grew up knew nothing
of datives and accusatives. Everything that is abstract in language was
originally concrete. If people wanted to say the King of Rome, they meant
really the King at Rome, and they would readily have used what I have just
described as the locative; whereas the more abstract idea of the genitive
would never enter into their system of thought. But more than this, it can
be proved that the locative has actually taken, in some cases, the place
of the genitive. In Latin, for instance, the old genitive of nouns in _a_
was _as_. This we find still in _pater familiâs_, instead of _pater
familiæ_. The Umbrian and Oscan dialects retained the _s_ throughout as
the sign of the genitive after nouns in _a_. The _æ_ of the genitive was
originally _ai_, that is to say, the old locative in _i_. “King of Rome,”
if rendered by _Rex Romæ_, meant really “King at Rome.” And here you will
see how grammar, which ought to be the most logical of all sciences, is
frequently the most illogical. A boy is taught at school, that if he wants
to say “I am staying at Rome,” he must use the genitive to express the
locative. How a logician or grammarian can so twist and turn the meaning
of the genitive as to make it express rest in a place, is not for us to
inquire; but, if he succeeded, his pupil would at once use the genitive of
Carthage (Carthaginis) or of Athens (Athenarum) for the same purpose, and
he would then have to be told that these genitives could not be used in
the same manner as the genitive of nouns in _a._ How all this is achieved
by what is called philosophical grammar, we know not; but comparative
grammar at once removes all difficulty. It is only in the first declension
that the locative has supplanted the genitive, whereas _Carthaginis_ and
_Athenarum_, being real genitives, could never be employed to express a
locative. A special case, such as the locative, may be generalized into
the more general genitive, but not _vice versâ_.

You see thus by one instance how what grammarians call a genitive was
formed by the same process of composition which we can watch in Chinese,
and which we can prove to have taken place in the original language of the
Aryans. And the same applies to the dative. If a boy is told that the
dative expresses a relation of one object to another, less direct than
that of the accusative, he may well wonder how such a flying arch could
ever have been built up with the scanty materials which language has at
her disposal; but he will be still more surprised if, after having
realized this grammatical abstraction, he is told that in Greek, in order
to convey the very definite idea of being in a place, he has to use after
certain nouns the termination of the dative. “I am staying at Salamis,”
must be expressed by the dative _Salamînĭ_. If you ask why? Comparative
grammar again can alone give an answer. The termination of the Greek
dative in _i_, was originally the termination of the locative. The
locative may well convey the meaning of the dative, but the faded features
of the dative can never express the fresh distinctness of the locative.
The dative _Salamînĭ_ was first a locative. “I live at Salamis,” never
conveyed the meaning, “I live to Salamis.” On the contrary, the dative, in
such phrases as “I give it to the father,” was originally a locative; and
after expressing at first the palpable relation of “I give it unto the
father,” or “I place it on or in the father,” it gradually assumed the
more general, the less local, less colored aspect which logicians and
grammarians ascribe to their datives.(208)

If the explanation just given of some of the cases in Greek and Latin
should seem too artificial or too forced, we have only to think of French
in order to see exactly the same process repeated under our eyes. The most
abstract relations of the genitive, as, for instance, “The immortality of
the soul” (_l’immortalité de l’âme_); or of the dative, as, for instance,
“I trust myself to God” (_je me fie à Dieu_), are expressed by
prepositions, such as _de_ and _ad_, which in Latin had the distinct local
meanings of “down from,” and “towards.” Nay, the English _of_ and _to_,
which have taken the place of the German terminations _s_ and _m_, are
likewise prepositions of an originally local character. The only
difference between our cases and those of the ancient languages consists
in this,—that the determining element is now placed before the word,
whereas, in the original language of the Aryans, it was placed at the end.

What applies to the cases of nouns, applies with equal truth to the
terminations of verbs. It may seem difficult to discover in the personal
terminations of Greek and Latin the exact pronouns which were added to a
verbal base in order to express, _I_ love, _thou_ lovest, _he_ loves; but
it stands to reason that originally these terminations must have been the
same in all languages,—namely, personal pronouns. We may be puzzled by the
terminations of _thou lovest_ and _he loves_, where _st_ and _s_ can
hardly be identified with the modern _thou_ and _he_; but we have only to
place all the Aryan dialects together, and we shall see at once that they
point back to an original set of terminations which can easily be brought
to tell their own story.

Let us begin with modern formations, because we have here more daylight
for watching the intricate and sometimes wayward movements of language;
or, better still, let us begin with an imaginary case, or with what may be
called the language of the future, in order to see quite clearly how, what
we should call grammatical forms, may arise. Let us suppose that the
slaves in America were to rise against their masters, and, after gaining
some victories, were to sail back in large numbers to some part of Central
Africa, beyond the reach of their white enemies or friends. Let us suppose
these men availing themselves of the lessons they had learnt in their
captivity, and gradually working out a civilization of their own. It is
quite possible that some centuries hence, a new Livingstone might find
among the descendants of the American slaves, a language, a literature,
laws, and manners, bearing a striking similitude to those of his own
country. What an interesting problem for any future historian and
ethnologist! Yet there are problems in the past history of the world of
equal interest, which have been and are still to be solved by the student
of language. Now I believe that a careful examination of the language of
the descendants of those escaped slaves would suffice to determine with
perfect certainty their past history, even though no documents and no
tradition had preserved the story of their captivity and liberation. At
first, no doubt, the threads might seem hopelessly entangled. A missionary
might surprise the scholars of Europe by an account of that new African
language. He might describe it at first as very imperfect—as a language,
for instance, so poor that the same word had to be used to express the
most heterogeneous ideas. He might point out how the same sound, without
any change of accent, meant _true_, a _ceremony_, a _workman_, and was
used also as a verb in the sense of literary composition. All these, he
might say, are expressed in that strange dialect by the sound _rait_
(right, rite, wright, write). He might likewise observe that this dialect,
as poor almost as Chinese, had hardly any grammatical inflections, and
that it had no genders, except in a few words such as man-of-war, and a
railway-engine, which were both conceived as feminine beings, and spoken
of as _she_. He might then mention an even more extraordinary feature,
namely, that although this language had no terminations for the masculine
and feminine genders of nouns, it employed a masculine and feminine
termination after the affirmative particle, according as it was addressed
to a lady or a gentleman. Their affirmative particle being the same as the
English, _Yes_, they added a final _r_ to it if addressed to a man, and a
final _m_ if addressed to a lady: that is to say, instead of simply
saying, _Yes_, these descendants of the escaped American slaves said
_Yesr_ to a man, and _Yesm_ to a lady.

Absurd as this may sound, I can assure you that the descriptions which are
given of the dialects of savage tribes, as explained for the first time by
travellers or missionaries, are even more extraordinary. But let us
consider now what the student of language would have to do, if such forms
as _Yeśr_ and _Yeśm_ were, for the first time, brought under his notice.
He would first have to trace them back historically, as far as possible to
their more original types, and if he discovered their connection with _Yes
Sir_ and _Yes Ma’m_, he would point out how such contractions were most
likely to spring up in a vulgar dialect. After having traced back the
_Yesr_ and _Yesm of_ the free African negroes to the idiom of their former
American masters, the etymologist would next inquire how such phrases as
_Yes Sir_ and _Yes Madam_, came to be used on the American continent.

Finding nothing analogous in the dialects of the aboriginal inhabitants of
America, he would be led, by a mere comparison of words, to the languages
of Europe, and here again, first to the language of England. Even if no
historical documents had been preserved, the documents of language would
show that the white masters, whose language the ancestors of the free
Africans adopted during their servitude, came originally from England,
and, within certain limits, it would even be possible to fix the time when
the English language was first transplanted to America. That language must
have passed, at least, the age of Chaucer before it migrated to the New
World. For Chaucer has two affirmative particles, _Yea_ and _Yes_, and he
distinguishes between the two. He uses _Yes_ only in answer to negative
questions. For instance, in answer to “Does he not go?” he would say,
_Yes_. In all other cases Chaucer uses _Yea_. To a question, “Does he go?”
he would answer _Yea_. He observes the same distinction between _No_ and
_Nay_, the former being used after negative, the latter after all other
questions. This distinction became obsolete soon after Sir Thomas
More,(209) and it must have become obsolete before phrases such as _Yes
Sir_ and _Yes Madam_ could have assumed their stereotyped character.

But there is still more historical information to be gained from these
phrases. The word _Yes_ is Anglo-Saxon, the same as the German _Ja_, and
it therefore reveals the fact that the white masters of the American
slaves who crossed the Atlantic after the time of Chaucer, had crossed the
Channel at an earlier period after leaving the continental fatherland of
the Angles and Saxons. The words _Sir_ and _Madam_ tell us still more.
They are Norman words, and they could only have been imposed on the
Anglo-Saxons of Britain by Norman conquerors. They tell us more than this.
For these Normans or Northmen spoke originally a Teutonic dialect, closely
allied to Anglo-Saxon, and in that dialect words such as _Sir_ and _Madam_
could never have sprung up. We may conclude therefore that, previous to
the Norman conquest, the Teutonic Northmen must have made a sufficiently
long stay in one of the Roman provinces to forget their own and adopt the
language of the Roman Provincials.

We may now trace back the Norman _Madam_ to the French _Madame_, and we
recognize in this a corruption of the Latin _Mea domina_, my mistress.
_Domina_ was changed into _domna_, _donna_, and _dame_, and the same word
_Dame_ was also used as a masculine in the sense of lord, as a corruption
of _Domino_, _Domno_ and _Donno_. The temporal lord ruling as
ecclesiastical seigneur under the bishop, was called a _vidame_, as the
Vidame of Chartres, &c. The French interjection _Dame!_ has no connection
with a similar exclamation in English, but it simply means Lord!
_Dame-Dieu_ in old French is Lord God. A derivative of _Domina_, mistress,
was _dominicella_, which became _Demoiselle_ and _Damsel_. The masculine
_Dame_ for _Domino_, Lord, was afterwards replaced by the Latin _Senior_,
a translation of the German _elder_. This word _elder_ was a title of
honor, and we have it still both in _alderman_, and in what is originally
the same, the English _Earl_, the Norse _Jarl_, a corruption of the A.-S.
_ealdor_. This title _Senior_, meaning originally _older_, was but
rarely(210) applied to ladies as a title of honor. _Senior_ was changed
into _Seigneur_, _Seigneur_ into _Sieur_, and _Sieur_ soon dwindled down
to _Sir_.

Thus we see how in two short phrases, such as _Yesr_ and _Yesm_, long
chapters of history might be read. If a general destruction of books, such
as took place in China under the Emperor Thsin-chi-hoang-ti (213 B. C.),
should sweep away all historical documents, language, even in its most
depraved state, would preserve the secrets of the past, and would tell
future generations of the home and migrations of their ancestors from the
East to the West Indies.

It may seem startling at first to find the same name, _the East Indies_
and _the West Indies_, at the two extremities of the Aryan migrations; but
these very names are full of historical meaning. They tell us how the
Teutonic race, the most vigorous and enterprising of all the members of
the Aryan family, gave the name of _West Indies_ to the country which in
their world-compassing migrations they imagined to be India itself; how
they discovered their mistake and then distinguished between the East
Indies and West Indies; how they planted new states in the west, and
regenerated the effete kingdoms in the east; how they preached
Christianity, and at last practised it by abolishing slavery of body and
mind among the slaves of West-Indian landholders, and the slaves of
Brahmanical soulholders, till they greeted at last the very homes from
which the Aryan family had started when setting out on their discovery of
the world. All this, and even more, may be read in the vast archives of
language. The very name of India has a story to tell, for India is not a
native name. We have it from the Romans, the Romans from the Greeks, the
Greeks from the Persians. And why from the Persians? Because it is only in
Persian that an initial s is changed into _h_, which initial _h_ was as
usual dropped in Greek. It is only in Persian that the country of the
_Sindhu_ (_sindhu_ is the Sanskrit name for _river_), or of the _seven
sindhus_, could have been called _Hindia_ or _India_ instead of _Sindia_.
Unless the followers of Zoroaster had pronounced every _s_ like _h_, we
should never have heard of the West Indies!

We have thus seen by an imaginary instance what we must be prepared for in
the growth of language, and we shall now better understand why it must be
laid down as a fundamental principle in Comparative Grammar to look upon
nothing in language as merely formal, till every attempt has been made to
trace the formal elements of language back to their original and
substantial prototypes. We are accustomed to the idea of grammatical
terminations modifying the meaning of words. But words can be modified by
words only; and though in the present state of our science it would be too
much to say that all grammatical terminations have been traced back to
original independent words, so many of them have, even in cases where only
a single letter was left, that we may well lay it down as a rule that all
formal elements of language were originally substantial. Suppose English
had never been written down before the time of Piers Ploughman. What
should we make of such a form as _nadistou_,(211) instead of _ne hadst
thou_? _Ne rechi_ instead of _I reck not_? _Al ô’m_ in Dorsetshire is _all
of them_. _I midden_ is _I may not_; _I cooden_, _I could not_. Yet the
changes which Sanskrit had undergone before it was reduced to writing,
must have been more considerable by far than what we see in these

Let us now look to modern classical languages such as French and Italian.
Most of the grammatical terminations are the same as in Latin, only
changed by phonetic corruption. Thus _j’aime_ is _ego amo_, _tu aimes_,
_tu amas_, _il aime_, _ille amat_. There was originally a final _t_ in
French _il aime_, and it comes out again in such phrases as _aime-t-il?_
Thus the French imperfect corresponds to the Latin imperfect, the Parfait
défini to the Latin perfect. But what about the French future? There is no
similarity between _amabo_ and _j’aimerai_. Here then we have a new
grammatical form, sprung up, as it were, within the recollection of men;
or, at least, in the broad daylight of history. Now, did the termination
_rai_ bud forth like a blossom in spring? or did some wise people meet
together to invent this new termination, and pledge themselves to use it
instead of the old termination _bo_? Certainly not. We see first of all
that in all the Romance languages the terminations of the future are
identical with the auxiliary verb _to have_.(212) In French you find—

j’ai  and je chanter-ai   nous avons   and   nous chanterons.
tu as and tu chanter-as   vous avez    and   vous chanterez.
il a  and il chanter-a    ils ont      and   ils chanteront.

But besides this, we actually find in Spanish and Provençal the apparent
termination of the future used as an independent word and not yet joined
to the infinitive. We find in Spanish, instead of “_lo hare_,” I shall do
it, the more primitive form _hacer lo he_; _i.e._, _facere id habeo_. We
find in Provençal, _dir vos ai_ instead of _je vous dirai_; _dir vos em_
instead of _nous vous dirons_. There can be no doubt, therefore, that the
Romance future was originally a compound of the auxiliary verb _to have_
with an infinitive; and _I have to say_, easily took the meaning of _I
shall say_.

Here, then, we see clearly how grammatical forms arise. A Frenchman looks
upon his futures as merely grammatical forms. He has no idea, unless he is
a scholar, that the terminations of his futures are identical with the
auxiliary verb _avoir_. The Roman had no suspicion that _amabo_ was a
compound; but it can be proved to contain an auxiliary verb as clearly as
the French future. The Latin future was destroyed by means of phonetic
corruption. When the final letters lost their distinct pronunciation it
became impossible to keep the imperfect _amabam_ separate from the future
_amabo_. The future was then replaced by dialectical regeneration, for the
use of _habeo_ with an infinitive is found in Latin, in such expressions
as _habeo dicere_, I have to say, which would imperceptibly glide into I
shall say.(213) In fact, wherever we look we see that, the future is
expressed by means of composition. We have in English _I shall_ and _thou
wilt_, which mean originally _I am bound_ and _thou intendest_. In German
we use _werden_, the Gothic _vairthan_, which means originally to go, to
turn towards. In modern Greek we find thelō, I will, in thelō dōsei, I
shall give. In Roumansch we meet with _vegnir_, to come, forming the
future _veng a vegnir_, I shall come; whereas in French _je viens de
dire_, I come from saying, is equivalent to “I have just said.” The French
_je vais dire_ is almost a future, though originally it is _vado dicere_,
I go to say. The Dorsetshire, “I be gwâin to goo a-pickèn stuones,” is
another case in point. Nor is there any doubt that in the Latin _bo_ of
_amabo_ we have the old auxiliary _bhû_, to be, and in the Greek future in
σω, the old auxiliary _as_, to be.(214)

We now go back another step, and ask the question which we asked many
times before, How can a mere _d_ produce so momentous a change as that
from _I love_ to _I loved_? As we have learnt in the meantime that English
goes back to Anglo-Saxon, and is closely related to continental Saxon and
Gothic, we look at once to the Gothic imperfect in order to see whether it
has preserved any traces of the original compound; for, after what we have
seen in the previous cases, we are no doubt prepared to find here, too,
grammatical terminations mere remnants of independent words.

In Gothic there is a verb _nasjan_, to nourish. Its preterite is as

Singular.         Dual.             Plural.
nas-i-da          nas-i-dêdu        nas-i-dêdum.
nas-i-dês         nas-i-dêtuts      nas-i-dêduþ.
nas-i-da          ——                nas-i-dedun.

The subjunctive of the preterite:

Singular.         Dual.             Plural.
nas-i-dêdjau      nas-i-dêdeiva     nas-i-dêdeima.
nas-i-dêdeis      nas-i-dêdeits     nas-i-dêdeiþ.
nas-i-dêdi        ——                nas-i-dêdeina.

This is reduced in Anglo-Saxon to:

Singular.         Plural.
ner-ë-de          ner-ë-don.
ner-ë-dest        ner-ë-don.
ner-ë-de          ner-ë-don.


ner-ë-de          ner-ë-don.
ner-ë-de          ner-ë-don.
ner-ë-de          ner-ë-don.

Let us now look to the auxiliary verb _to do_, in Anglo-Saxon:

Singular.         Plural.
dide              didon.
didest            didon.
dide              didon.

If we had only the Anglo-Saxon preterite _nerëde_ and the Anglo-Saxon
_dide_, the identity of the _de_ in _nerëde_ with _dide_ would not be very
apparent. But here you will perceive the advantage which Gothic has over
all other Teutonic dialects for the purposes of grammatical comparison and
analysis. It is in Gothic, and in Gothic in the plural only, that the full
auxiliary _dêdum_, _dêduþ_, _dêdun_ has been preserved. In the Gothic
singular _nasida_, _nasidês_, _nasida_ stand for _nasideda_, _nasidedês_,
_nasideda_. The same contraction has taken place in Anglo-Saxon, not only
in the singular but in the plural also. Yet, such is the similarity
between Gothic and Anglo-Saxon that we cannot doubt their preterites
having been formed on the same last. If there be any truth in inductive
reasoning, there must have been an original Anglo-Saxon preterite,(215)

Singular.         Plural.
ner-ë-dide        ner-ë-didon.
ner-ë-didest      ner-ë-didon.
ner-ë-dide        ner-ë-didon.

And as _ner-ë-dide_ dwindled down to _nerëde_, so _nerëde_ would, in
modern English, become _nered_. The _d_ of the preterite, therefore, which
changes _I love_ into _I loved_ is originally the auxiliary verb _to do_,
and _I loved_ is the same as _I love did_, or _I did love_. In English
dialects, as, for instance, in the Dorset dialect, every preterite, if it
expresses a lasting or repeated action, is formed by _I did_,(216) and a
distinction is thus established between “’e died eesterdae,” and “the
vo’ke did die by scores;” though originally _died_ is the same as _die

It might be asked, however, very properly, how _did_ itself, or the
Anglo-Saxon _dide_, was formed, and how it received the meaning of a
preterite. In _dide_ the final _de_ is not termination, but it is the
root, and the first syllable _di_ is a reduplication of the root, the fact
being that all preterites of old, or, as they are called, strong verbs,
were formed as in Greek and Sanskrit by means of reduplication,
reduplication being one of the principal means by which roots were
invested with a verbal character.(217) The root _do_ in Anglo-Saxon is the
same as the root _thē_ in _tithēmi_ in Greek, and the Sanskrit root _dhâ_
in _dadâdmi_. Anglo-Saxon _dide_ would therefore correspond to Sanskrit
_dadhau_, I placed.

Now, in this manner, the whole, or nearly the whole, grammatical framework
of the Aryan or Indo-European languages has been traced back to original
independent words, and even the slightest changes which at first sight
seem so mysterious, such as _foot_ into _feet_, or _I find_ into _I
found_, have been fully accounted for. This is what is called comparative
grammar, or a scientific analysis of all the formal elements of a language
preceded by a comparison of all the varieties which one and the same form
has assumed in the numerous dialects of the Aryan family. The most
important dialects for this purpose are Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and
Gothic; but in many cases Zend, or Celtic, or Slavonic dialects come in to
throw an unexpected light on forms unintelligible in any of the four
principal dialects. The result of such a work as Bopp’s “Comparative
Grammar” of the Aryan languages may be summed up in a few words. The whole
framework of grammar—the elements of derivation, declension, and
conjugation—had become settled before the separation of the Aryan family.
Hence the broad outlines of grammar, in Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Gothic,
and the rest, are in reality the same; and the apparent differences can be
explained by phonetic corruption, which is determined by the phonetic
peculiarities of each nation. On the whole, the history of all the Aryan
languages is nothing but a gradual process of decay. After the grammatical
terminations of all these languages have been traced back to their most
primitive form, it is possible, in many instances, to determine their
original meaning. This, however, can be done by means of induction only;
and the period during which, as in the Provençal _dir vos ai_, the
component elements of the old Aryan grammar maintained a separate
existence in the language and the mind of the Aryans had closed, before
Sanskrit was Sanskrit or Greek Greek. That there was such a period we can
doubt as little as we can doubt the real existence of fern forests
previous to the formation of our coal fields. We can do even more. Suppose
we had no remnants of Latin; suppose the very existence of Rome and of
Latin were unknown to us; we might still prove, on the evidence of the six
Romance dialects, that there must have been a time when these dialects
formed the language of a small settlement; nay, by collecting the words
which all these dialects share in common, we might, to a certain extent,
reconstruct the original language, and draw a sketch of the state of
civilization, as reflected by these common words. The same can be done if
we compare Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Gothic, Celtic, and Slavonic. The words
which have as nearly as possible the same form and meaning in all the
languages must have existed before the people, who afterwards formed the
prominent nationalities of the Aryan family, separated; and, if carefully
interpreted, they, too, will serve as evidence as to the state of
civilization attained by the Aryans before they left their common home. It
can be proved, by the evidence of language, that before their separation
the Aryans led the life of agricultural nomads,—a life such as Tacitus
describes that of the ancient Germans. They knew the arts of ploughing, of
making roads, of building ships, of weaving and sewing, of erecting
houses; they had counted at least as far as one hundred. They had
domesticated the most important animals, the cow, the horse, the sheep,
the dog; they were acquainted with the most useful metals, and armed with
iron hatchets, whether for peaceful or warlike purposes. They had
recognized the bonds of blood and the bonds of marriage; they followed
their leaders and kings, and the distinction between right and wrong was
fixed by laws and customs. They were impressed with the idea of a divine
Being, and they invoked it by various names. All this, as I said, can be
proved by the evidence of language. For if you find that languages like
Greek, Latin, Gothic, Celtic, or Slavonic, which, after their first
separation, have had but little contact with Sanskrit, have the same word,
for instance, for _iron_ which exists in Sanskrit, this is proof absolute
that iron was known previous to the Aryan separation. Now, _iron_ is _ais_
in Gothic, and _ayas_ in Sanskrit, a word which, as it could not have been
borrowed by the Indians from the Germans or by the Germans from the
Indians, must have existed previous to their separation. We could not find
the same name for house in Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Slavonic, and
Celtic,(218) unless houses had been known before the separation of these
dialects. In this manner a history of Aryan civilization has been written
from the archives of language, stretching back to times far beyond the
reach of any documentary history.(219)

The very name of _Arya_ belongs to this history, and I shall devote the
rest of this lecture to tracing the origin and gradual spreading of this
old word. I had intended to include, in to-day’s lecture, a short account
of _comparative mythology_, a branch of our science which restores the
original form and meaning of decayed words by the same means by which
comparative grammar recovers the original form and meaning of
terminations. But my time is too limited; and, as I have been asked
repeatedly why I applied the name of _Aryan_ to that family of language
which we have just examined, I feel that I am bound to give an answer.

_Ârya_ is a Sanskrit word, and in the later Sanskrit it means _noble_, _of
a good family_. It was, however, originally a national name, and we see
traces of it as late as the Law-book of the Mânavas, where India is still
called _Ârya-âvarta_, the abode of the _Âryas_.(220) In the old Sanskrit,
in the hymns of the Veda, _ârya_ occurs frequently as a national name and
as a name of honor, comprising the worshippers of the gods of the
Brahmans, as opposed to their enemies, who are called in the Veda
_Dasyus_. Thus one of the gods, _Indra_, who, in some respects, answers to
the Greek Zeus, is invoked in the following words (Rigveda, i. 57, 8):
“Know thou the Âryas, O Indra, and they who are Dasyus; punish the
lawless, and deliver them unto thy servant! Be thou the mighty helper of
the worshippers, and I will praise all these thy deeds at the festivals.”

In the later dogmatic literature of the Vedic age, the name of Ârya is
distinctly appropriated to the three first castes—the Brahmans,
Kshatriyas, Vaiśyas—as opposed to the fourth, or the Śûdras. In the
Śatapatha-Brâhmaņa it is laid down distinctly: “Âryas are only the
Brahmans, the Kshatriyas, and Vaiśyas, for they are admitted to the
sacrifices. They shall not speak with everybody, but only with the
Brahman, the Kshatriya, and the Vaiśya. If they should fall into a
conversation with a Śûdra, let them say to another man, ‘Tell this Śûdra
so.’ This is the law.”

In the Atharva-veda (iv. 20, 4; xix. 62, 1) expressions occur such as,
“seeing all things, whether Śûdra or Ârya,” where Śûdra and Ârya are meant
to express the whole of mankind.

This word _ârya_ with a long _â_ is derived from _arya_ with a short _a_,
and this name _arya_ is applied in the later Sanskrit to a Vaiśya, or a
member of the third caste.(221) What is called the third class must
originally have constituted the large majority of the Brahmanic society,
for all who were not soldiers or priests, were Vaiśyas. We may well
understand, therefore, how a name, originally applied to the cultivators
of the soil and householders, should in time have become a general name
for all Aryans.(222) Why the householders were called _arya_ is a question
which would carry us too far at present. I can only state that the
etymological signification of Arya seems to be “one who ploughs or tills,”
and that it is connected with the root of _arare_. The Aryans would seem
to have chosen this name for themselves as opposed to the nomadic races,
_the Turanians_, whose original name _Tura_ implies the swiftness of the

In India, as we saw, the name of Ârya, as a national name, fell into
oblivion in later times, and was preserved only in the term Âryâvarta, the
abode of the Aryans. But it was more faithfully preserved by the
Zoroastrians who migrated from India to the north-west, and whose religion
has been preserved to us in the Zend-avesta, though in fragments only. Now
_Airya_ in Zend means venerable, and is at the same time the name of the
people.(223) In the first chapter of the Vendidád, where Ahuramazda
explains to Zarathustra the order in which he created the earth, sixteen
countries are mentioned, each, when created by Ahuramazda, being pure and
perfect; but each being tainted in turn by Angro mainyus or Ahriman. Now
the first of these countries is called _Airyanem vaêjô_, _Arianum semen_,
the Aryan seed, and its position must have been as far east as the western
slopes of the Belurtag and Mustag, near the sources of the Oxus and
Yaxartes, the highest elevation of Central Asia.(224) From this country,
which is called their seed, the Aryans advanced towards the south and
west, and in the Zend-avesta the whole extent of country occupied by the
Aryans is likewise called _Airyâ_. A line drawn from India along the
Paropamisus and Caucasus Indicus in the east, following in the north the
direction between the Oxus and Yaxartes,(225) then running along the
Caspian Sea, so as to include Hyrcania and Râgha, then turning south-east
on the borders of Nisaea, Aria (_i.e._ Haria), and the countries washed by
the Etymandrus and Arachotus, would indicate the general horizon of the
Zoroastrian world. It would be what is called in the fourth cardé of the
Yasht of Mithra, “the whole space of Aria,” _vîśpem airyô-śayanem_ (totum
Ariæ situm).(226) Opposed to the Aryan we find in the Zend-avesta the
non-Aryan countries (anairyâo dainhâvô),(227) and traces of this name are
found in the Ἀναριάκαι, a people and town on the frontiers of
Hyrcania.(228) Greek geographers use the name of Ariana in a wider sense
even than the Zend-avesta. All the country between the Indian Ocean in the
south and the Indus in the east, the Hindu-kush and Paropamisus in the
north, the Caspian gates, Karamania, and the mouth of the Persian gulf in
the west, is included by Strabo (xv. 2) under the name of Ariana; and
Bactria is thus called(229) by him “the ornament of the whole of Ariana.”
As the Zoroastrian religion spread westward, Persia, Elymais, and Media
all claimed for themselves the Aryan title. Hellanicus, who wrote before
Herodotus, knows of Aria as a name of Persia.(230) Herodotus (vii. 62)
attests that the Medians called themselves Arii; and even for Atropatene,
the northernmost part of Media, the name of Ariania (not Aria) has been
preserved by Stephanus Byzantinus. As to Elymais its name has been derived
from _Ailama_, a supposed corruption of _Airyama_.(231) The Persians,
Medians, Bactrians, and Sogdians all spoke, as late as the time of
Strabo,(232) nearly the same language, and we may well understand,
therefore, that they should have claimed for themselves one common name,
in opposition to the hostile tribes of Turan.

That _Aryan_ was used as a title of honor in the Persian empire is clearly
shown by the cuneiform inscriptions of Darius. He calls himself _Ariya_
and _Ariya-chitra_, an Aryan and of Aryan descent; and Ahuramazda, or, as
he is called by Darius, Auramazda, is rendered in the Turanian translation
of the inscription of Behistun, “the god of the Aryans.” Many historical
names of the Persians contain the same element. The great-grandfather of
Darius is called in the inscriptions Ariyârâmna, the Greek _Ariaramnēs_
(Herod, vii. 90). Ariobarzanēs (_i.e._ Euergetēs), Ariomanes (_i.e._
Eumenēs), Ariomardos, all show the same origin.(233)

About the same time as these inscriptions, Eudemos, a pupil of Aristotle,
as quoted by Damascius, speaks of “the Magi and the whole Aryan
race,”(234) evidently using Aryan in the same sense in which the
Zend-avesta spoke of “the whole country of Aria.”

And when, after years of foreign invasion and occupation, Persia rose
again under the sceptre of the Sassanians to be a national kingdom, we
find the new national kings the worshippers of Masdanes, calling
themselves, in the inscriptions deciphered by De Sacy,(235) “Kings of the
Aryan and un-Aryan races;” in Pehlevi, _Irân va Anirân_; in Greek, Ἀριάνων
καὶ Ἀναριάνων.

The modern name of Irán for Persia still keeps up the memory of this
ancient title.

In the name of _Armenia_ the same element of _Arya_ has been supposed to
exist.(236) The name of Armenia, however, does not occur in Zend, and the
name _Armina_, which is used for Armenia in the cuneiform inscriptions, is
of doubtful etymology.(237) In the language of Armenia, _ari_ is used in
the widest sense for Aryan or Iranian; it means also brave, and is applied
more especially to the Medians.(238) The word _arya_, therefore, though
not contained in the name of Armenia, can be proved to have existed in the
Armenian language as a national and honorable name.

West of Armenia, on the borders of the Caspian Sea, we find the ancient
name of _Albania_. The Armenians call the Albanians _Aghovan_, and as _gh_
in Armenian stands for _r_ or _l_, it has been conjectured by Boré, that
in _Aghovan_ also the name of Aria is contained. This seems doubtful. But
in the valleys of the Caucasus we meet with an Aryan race speaking an
Aryan language, the _Os_ of _Ossethi_, and they call themselves

Along the Caspian, and in the country washed by the Oxus and Yaxartes,
Aryan and non-Aryan tribes were mingled together for centuries. Though the
relation between Aryans and Turanians is hostile, and though there were
continual wars between them, as we learn from the great Persian epic, the
Shahnámeh, it does not follow that all the nomad races who infested the
settlements of the Aryans, were of Tatar blood and speech. Turvaśa and his
descendants, who represent the Turanians, are described in the later epic
poems of India as cursed and deprived of their inheritance in India. But
in the Vedas Turvaśa is represented as worshipping Aryan gods. Even in the
Shahnámeh, Persian heroes go over to the Turanians and lead them against
Iran, very much as Coriolanus led the Samnites against Rome. We may thus
understand why so many Turanian or Scythian names, mentioned by Greek
writers, should show evident traces of Aryan origin. _Aspa_ was the
Persian name for _horse_, and in the Scythian names _Aspabota_,
_Aspakara_, and _Asparatha_,(240) we can hardly fail to recognize the same
element. Even the name of the Aspasian mountains, placed by Ptolemy in
Scythia, indicates a similar origin. Nor is the word Arya unknown beyond
the Oxus. There is a people called _Ariacœ_,(241) another called
_Antariani_.(242) A king of the Scythians, at the time of Darius, was
called _Ariantes_. A cotemporary of Xerxes is known by the name of
_Aripithes_ (_i.e._ Sanskrit, _aryapati_; Zend, _airyapaiti_); and
_Spargapithes_ seems to have some connection with the Sanskrit
_svargapati_, lord of heaven.

We have thus traced the name of _Ârya_ from India to the west, from
Âryâvarta to Ariana, Persia, Media, more doubtfully to Armenia and
Albania, to the Iron in the Caucasus, and to some of the nomad tribes in
Transoxiana. As we approach Europe the traces of this name grow fainter,
yet they are not altogether lost.

Two roads were open to the Aryans of Asia in their westward migrations.
One through Chorasan(243) to the north, through what is now called Russia,
and thence to the shores of the Black Sea and Thrace. Another from
Armenia, across the Caucasus or across the Black Sea to Northern Greece,
and along the Danube to Germany. Now on the former road the Aryans left a
trace of their migration in the old name of Thrace which was _Aria_;(244)
on the latter we meet in the eastern part of Germany, near the Vistula,
with a German tribe called _Arii_. And as in Persia we found many proper
names in which _Arya_ formed an important ingredient, so we find again in
German history names such as _Ariovistus_.(245)

Though we look in vain for any traces of this old national name among the
Greeks and Romans, late researches have rendered it at least plausible
that it has been preserved in the extreme west of the Aryan migrations, in
the very name of _Ireland_. The common etymology of _Erin_ is that it
means “island of the west,” _iar-innis_, or land of the west, _iar-in_.
But this is clearly wrong.(246) The old name is _Ériu_ in the nominative,
more recently _Éire_. It is only in the oblique cases that the final _n_
appears, as in _regio_, _regionis_. _Erin_ therefore has been explained as
a derivative of _Er_ or _Eri_, said to be the ancient name of the Irish
Celts as preserved in the Anglo-Saxon name of their country,
_Íraland_.(247) It is maintained by O’Reilly, though denied by others,
that _er_ is used in Irish in the sense of noble, like the Sanskrit

Some of the evidence here collected in tracing the ancient name of the
Aryan family, may seem doubtful, and I have pointed out myself some links
of the chain uniting the earliest name of India with the modern name of
Ireland, as weaker than the rest. But the principal links are safe. Names
of countries, peoples, rivers, and mountains, have an extraordinary
vitality, and they will remain while cities, kingdoms, and nations pass
away. _Rome_ has the same name to-day, and will probably have it forever,
which was given to it by the earliest Latin and Sabine settlers, and
wherever we find the name of Rome, whether in Wallachia, which by the
inhabitants is called Rumania, or in the dialects of the Grisons, the
Romansch, or in the title of the Romance languages, we know that some
threads would lead us back to the Rome of Romulus and Remus, the
stronghold of the earliest warriors of Latium. The ruined city near the
mouth of the Upper Zab, now usually known by the name of Nimrud, is called
_Athur_ by the Arabic geographers, and in Athur we recognize the old name
of Assyria, which Dio Cassius writes Atyria, remarking that the barbarians
changed the Sigma into Tau. Assyria is called Athurâ, in the inscriptions
of Darius.(249) We hear of battles fought on the _Sutledge_, and we hardly
think that the battle field of the Sikhs was nearly the same where
Alexander fought the kings of the Penjáb. But the name of the _Sutledge_
is the name of the same river as the _Hesudrus_ of Alexander, the
_Śatadru_ of the Indians, and among the oldest hymns of the Veda, about
1500 B. C., we find a war-song referring to a battle fought on the two
banks of the same river.

No doubt there is danger in trusting to mere similarity of names. Grimm
may be right that the Arii of Tacitus were originally Harii, and that
their name is not connected with Ârya. But the evidence on either side
being merely conjectural, this must remain an open question. In most
cases, however, a strict observation of the phonetic laws peculiar to each
language will remove all uncertainty. Grimm, in his “History of the German
Language” (p. 228), imagined that _Hariva_, the name of _Herat_ in the
cuneiform inscriptions, is connected with Arii, the name which, as we saw,
Herodotus gives to the Medes. This cannot be, for the initial aspiration
in _Hariva_ points to a word which in Sanskrit begins with _s_, and not
with a vowel, like _ârya_. The following remarks will make this clearer.

Herat is called _Herat_ and _Heri_,(250) and the river on which it stands
is called _Heri-rud_. This river _Heri_ is called by Ptolemy Ἀρείας,(251)
by other writers _Arius_; and _Aria_ is the name given to the country
between Parthia (Parthuwa) in the west, Margiana (Marghush) in the north,
Bactria (Bakhtrish) and Arachosia (Harauwatish) in the east, and Drangiana
(Zaraka) in the south. This, however, though without the initial _h_, is
not Ariana, as described by Strabo, but an independent country, forming
part of it. It is supposed to be the same as the _Haraiva_ (Hariva) of the
cuneiform inscriptions, though this is doubtful. But it is mentioned in
the Zend-avesta, under the name of _Harôyu_,(252) as the sixth country
created by Ormuzd. We can trace this name with the initial _h_ even beyond
the time of Zoroaster. The Zoroastrians were a colony from northern India.
They had been together for a time with the people whose sacred songs have
been preserved to us in the Veda. A schism took place, and the
Zoroastrians migrated westward to Arachosia and Persia. In their
migrations they did what the Greeks did when they founded new colonies,
what the Americans did in founding new cities. They gave to the new cities
and to the rivers along which they settled, the names of cities and rivers
familiar to them, and reminding them of the localities which they had
left. Now, as a Persian _h_ points to a Sanskrit _s_, _Harôyu_ would be in
Sanskrit _Saroyu_. One of the sacred rivers of India, a river mentioned in
the Veda, and famous in the epic poems as the river of Ayodhyâ, one of the
earliest capitals of India, the modern Oude, has the name of _Sarayu_, the
modern _Sardju_.(253)

As Comparative Philology has thus traced the ancient name of Ârya from
India to Europe, as the original title assumed by the Aryans before they
left their common home, it is but natural that it should have been chosen
as the technical term for the family of languages which was formerly
designated as Indo-Germanic, Indo-European, Caucasian, or Japhetic.


Our analysis of some of the nominal and verbal formations in the Aryan or
Indo-European family of speech has taught us that, however mysterious and
complicated these grammatical forms appear at first sight, they are in
reality the result of a very simple process. It seems at first almost
hopeless to ask such questions as why the addition of a mere _d_ should
change love present into love past, or why the termination _ai_ in French,
if added to _aimer_, should convey the idea of love to come. But, once
placed under the microscope of comparative grammar, these and all other
grammatical forms assume a very different and much more intelligible
aspect. We saw how what we now call terminations were originally
independent words. After coalescing with the words which they were
intended to modify, they were gradually reduced to mere syllables and
letters, unmeaning in themselves, yet manifesting their former power and
independence by the modification which they continue to produce in the
meaning of the words to which they are appended. The true nature of
grammatical terminations was first pointed out by a philosopher, who,
however wild some of his speculations may be, had certainly caught many a
glimpse of the real life and growth of language, I mean _Horne Tooke_.
This is what he writes of terminations:(254)—

“For though I think I have good reasons to believe that all terminations
may likewise be traced to their respective origin; and that, however
artificial they may now appear to us, they were not originally the effect
of premeditated and deliberate _art_, but separate words by length of time
corrupted and coalescing with the words of which they are now considered
as the terminations. Yet this was less likely to be suspected by others.
And if it had been suspected, they would have had much further to travel
to their journey’s end, and through a road much more embarrassed; as the
corruption in those languages is of much longer standing than in ours, and
more complex.”

Horne Tooke, however, though he saw rightly what road should be followed
to track the origin of grammatical terminations, was himself without the
means to reach his journey’s end. Most of his explanations are quite
untenable, and it is curious to observe in reading his book, the
Diversions of Purley, how a man of a clear, sharp, and powerful mind, and
reasoning according to sound and correct principles, may yet, owing to his
defective knowledge of facts, arrive at conclusions directly opposed to

When we have once seen how grammatical terminations are to be traced back
in the beginning to independent words, we have learnt at the same time
that the component elements of language, which remain in our crucible at
the end of a complete grammatical analysis, are of two kinds, namely,
_Roots predicative_ and _Roots demonstrative_.

We call _root_ or _radical_, whatever, in the words of any language or
family of languages, cannot be reduced to a simpler or more original form.
It may be well to illustrate this by a few examples. But, instead of
taking a number of words in Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin, and tracing them
back to their common centre, it will be more instructive if we begin with
a root which has been discovered, and follow it through its wanderings
from language to language. I take the root AR, to which I alluded in our
last Lecture as the source of the word _Arya_, and we shall thus, while
examining its ramification, learn at the same time why that name was
chosen by the agricultural nomads, the ancestors of the Aryan race.

This root AR(255) means _to plough_, to open the soil. From it we have the
Latin _ar-are_, the Greek _ar-oun_, the Irish _ar_, the Lithuanian
_ar-ti_, the Russian _ora-ti_, the Gothic _ar-jan_, the Anglo-Saxon
_er-jan_, the modern English _to ear_. Shakespeare says (Richard II. III.
2), “to ear the land that has some hope to grow.”

From this we have the name of the plough, or the instrument of earing: in
Latin, _ara-trum_; in Greek, _aro-tron_; in Bohemian, _oradto_; in
Lithuanian, _arklas_; in Cornish, _aradar_; in Welsh, _arad_;(256) in Old
Norse, _ardhr_. In Old Norse, however, _ardhr_, meaning originally the
plough, came to mean earnings or wealth; the plough being, in early times,
the most essential possession of the peasant. In the same manner the Latin
name for money, _pecunia_, was derived from _pecus_, cattle; the word
_fee_, which is now restricted to the payment made to a doctor or lawyer,
was in Old English _feh_, and in Anglo-Saxon _feoh_, meaning cattle and
wealth; for _feoh_, and Gothic _faihu_, are really the same word as the
Latin _pecus_, the modern German _vieh_.

The act of ploughing is called _aratio_ in Latin; _arosis_ in Greek: and I
believe that _arôma_, in the sense of perfume, had the same origin; for
what is sweeter or more aromatic than the smell of a ploughed field? In
Genesis, xxviii. 27, Jacob says “the smell of my son is as the smell of a
field which the Lord has blessed.”

A more primitive formation of the root _ar_ seems to be the Greek _era_,
earth, the Sanskrit _irâ_, the Old High-German _ëro_, the Gaelic _ire_,
_irionn_. It meant originally the ploughed land, afterwards earth in
general. Even the word _earth_, the Gothic _airtha_,(257) the Anglo-Saxon
_eorthe_, must have been taken originally in the sense of ploughed or
cultivated land. The derivative _ar-mentum_, formed like _ju-mentum_,
would naturally have been applied to any animal fit for ploughing and
other labor in the field, whether ox or horse.

As agriculture was the principal labor in that early state of society when
we must suppose most of our Aryan words to have been formed and applied to
their definite meanings, we may well understand how a word which
originally meant this special kind of labor, was afterwards used to
signify labor in general. The general tendency in the growth of words and
their meanings is from the special to the more general: thus _gubernare_,
which originally meant to steer a ship, took the general sense of
governing. _To equip_, which originally was to furnish a ship (French
_équiper_ and _esquif_, from _schifo_, ship), came to mean furnishing in
general. Now in modern German, _arbeit_ means simply _labor_; _arbeitsam_
means industrious. In Gothic, too, _arbaiþs_ is only used to express labor
and trouble in general. But in Old Norse, _erfidhi_ means chiefly
_ploughing_, and afterwards labor in general; and the same word in
Anglo-Saxon, _earfodh_ or _earfedhe_, is labor. Of course we might equally
suppose that, as laborer, from meaning one who labors in general, came to
take the special sense of an agricultural laborer, so _arbeit_, from
meaning work in general, came to be applied, in Old Norse, to the work of
ploughing. But as the root of _erfidhi_ seems to be _ar_, our first
explanation is the more plausible. Besides, the simple _ar_ in Old Norse
means ploughing and labor, and the Old High-German _art_ has likewise the
sense of ploughing.(258)

Ἄρουρα and _arvum_, a field, would certainly have to be referred to the
root _ar_, to plough. And as ploughing was not only one of the earliest
kinds of labor, but also one of the most primitive arts, I have no doubt
that the Latin _ars_, _artis_, and our own word _art_, meant originally
the art of all arts, first taught to mortals by the goddess of all wisdom,
the art of cultivating the land. In Old High-German _arunti_, in
Anglo-Saxon _ærend_, mean simply work; but they too must originally have
meant the special work of agriculture; and in the English _errand_, and
_errand-boy_, the same word is still in existence.

But _ar_ did not only mean to plough, or to cut open the land; it was
transferred at a very early time to the ploughing of the sea, or rowing.
Thus Shakspeare says:—

    “Make the sea serve them; which they _ear_ and wound
    With keels.”

In a similar manner, we find that Sanskrit derives from _ar_ the
substantive _aritra_, not in the sense of a plough, but in the sense of a
rudder. In Anglo-Saxon we find the simple form _âr_, the English _oar_, as
it were the plough-share of the water. The Greek also had used the root
_ar_ in the sense of rowing; for ἐρέτης(259) in Greek is a rower, and
their word τρι-ήρ-ης, meant originally a ship with three oars, or with
three rows of oars,(260) a trireme.

This comparison of ploughing and rowing is of frequent occurrence in
ancient languages. The English word _plough_, the Slavonic _ploug_, has
been identified with the Sanskrit _plava_,(261) a ship, and with the Greek
_ploion_, ship. As the Aryans spoke of a ship ploughing the sea, they also
spoke of a plough sailing across the field; and thus it was that the same
names were applied to both.(262) In English dialects, _plough_ or _plow_
is still used in the general sense of waggon or conveyance.(263)

We might follow the offshoots of this root _ar_ still further, but the
number of words which we have examined in various languages will suffice
to show what is meant by a predicative root. In all these words _ar_ is
the radical element, all the rest is merely formative. The root _ar_ is
called a predicative root, because in whatever composition it enters, it
predicates one and the same conception, whether of the plough, or the
rudder, or the ox, or the field. Even in such a word as _artistic_, the
predicative power of the root _ar_ may still be perceived, though, of
course, as it were by means of a powerful telescope only. The Brahmans who
called themselves _ârya_ in India, were no more aware of the real origin
of this name and its connection with agricultural labor, than the artist
who now speaks of _his art_ as a divine inspiration suspects that the word
which he uses was originally applicable only to so primitive an art as
that of ploughing.

We shall now examine another family of words, in order to see by what
process the radical elements of words were first discovered.

Let us take the word _respectable_. It is a word of Latin not of Saxon,
origin, as we see by the termination _able_. In _respectabilis_ we easily
distinguish the verb _respectare_ and the termination _bilis_. We then
separate the prefix _re_, which leaves _spectare_, and we trace _spectare_
as a participial formation back to the Latin verb _spicere_ or _specere_,
meaning to see, to look. In _specere_, again, we distinguish between the
changeable termination _ere_ and the unchangeable remnant _spec_, which we
call the root. This root we expect to find in Sanskrit and the other Aryan
languages; and so we do. In Sanskrit the more usual form is _paś_, to see,
without the _s_; but _spaś_ also is found in _spaśa_, a spy, in _spashṭa_
(in _vi-spashṭa_), clear, manifest, and in the Vedic _spaś_, a guardian.
In the Teutonic family we find _spëhôn_ in Old High-German meaning to
look, to spy, to contemplate; and _spëha_, the English spy.(264) In Greek,
the root _spek_ has been changed into _skep_, which exists in _skeptomai_,
I look, I examine; from whence _skeptikos_, an examiner or inquirer, in
theological language, a sceptic; and _episkopos_, an overseer, a bishop.
Let us now examine the various ramifications of this root. Beginning with
_respectable_, we found that it originally meant a person who deserves
_respect_, _respect_ meaning _looking back_. We pass by common objects or
persons without noticing them, whereas we turn back to look again at those
which deserve our admiration, our regard, our respect. This was the
original meaning of _respect_ and _respectable_, nor need we be surprised
at this if we consider that _noble_, _nobilis_ in Latin, conveyed
originally no more than the idea of a person that deserves to be known;
for _nobilis_ stands for _gnobilis_, just as _nomen_ stands for _gnomen_,
or _natus_ for _gnatus_.

“With respect to” has now become almost a mere preposition. For if we say,
“With respect to this point I have no more to say,” this is the same as “I
have no more to say on this point.”

Again, as in looking back we single out a person, the adjective
_respective_, and the adverb _respectively_, are used almost in the same
sense as special, or singly.

The English _respite_ is the Norman modification of _respectus_, the
French _répit_. _Répit_ meant originally looking back, reviewing the whole
evidence. A criminal received so many days _ad respectum_, to re-examine
the case. Afterwards it was said that the prisoner had received a respit,
that is to say, had obtained a re-examination; and at last a verb was
formed, and it was said that a person had been respited.

As _specere_, to see, with the preposition _re_, came to mean respect, so
with the preposition _de_, down, it forms the Latin _despicere_, meaning
to look down, the English _despise_. The French _dépit_ (Old French
_despit_) means no longer contempt, though it is the Latin _despectus_,
but rather _anger_, _vexation_. _Se dépiter_ is to be vexed, to fret. “_En
dépit de lui_” is originally “angry with him,” then “in spite of him;” and
the English _spite_, _in spite of_, _spiteful_, are mere abbreviations of
_despite_, _in despite of_, _despiteful_, and have nothing whatever to do
with the spitting of cats.

As _de_ means down from above, so _sub_ means up from below, and this
added to _specere_, to look, gives us _suspicere_, _suspicari_, to look
up, in the sense of to suspect.(265) From it _suspicion_, _suspicious_;
and likewise the French _soupçon_, even in such phrases as “there is a
soupçon of chicory in this coffee,” meaning just a touch, just the
smallest atom of chicory.

As _circum_ means round about, so _circumspect_ means, of course,
cautious, careful.

With _in_, meaning into, _specere_ forms _inspicere_, to inspect; hence
_inspector_, _inspection_.

With _ad_, towards, _specere_ becomes _adspicere_, to look at a thing.
Hence _adspectus_, the aspect, the look or appearance of things.

So with _pro_, forward, _specere_ became _prospicere_; and gave rise to
such words as _prospectus_, as it were a look out, _prospective_, &c. With
_con_, with, _spicere_ forms _conspicere_, to see together, _conspectus_,
_conspicuous_. We saw before in _respectable_, that a new word _spectare_
is formed from the participle of _spicere_. This, with the preposition
_ex_, out, gives us the Latin _expectare_, the English _to expect_, to
look out; with its derivatives.

_Auspicious_ is another word which contains our root as the second of its
component elements. The Latin _auspicium_ stands for _avispicium_, and
meant the looking out for certain birds which were considered to be of
good or bad omen to the success of any public or private act. Hence
_auspicious_, in the sense of lucky. _Haru-spex_ was the name given to a
person who foretold the future from the inspection of the entrails of

Again, from _specere_, _speculum_ was formed, in the sense of
looking-glass, or any other means of looking at oneself; and from it
_speculari_, the English _to speculate_, _speculative_, &c.

But there are many more offshoots of this one root. Thus, the Latin
_speculum_, looking-glass, became _specchio_ in Italian; and the same
word, though in a roundabout way, came into French as the adjective
_espiègle_, waggish. The origin of this French word is curious. There
exists in German a famous cycle of stories, mostly tricks, played by a
half-historical, half-mythical character of the name of _Eulenspiegel_, or
_Owl-glass_. These stories were translated into French, and the hero was
known at first by the name of _Ulespiègle_, which name, contracted
afterwards into _Espiègle_, became a general name for every wag.

As the French borrowed not only from Latin, but likewise from the Teutonic
languages, we meet there side by side with the derivatives of the Latin
_specere_, the old High-German, _spëhôn_, slightly disguised as _épier_,
to spy, the Italian _spiare_. The German word for a spy was _spëha_, and
this appears in old French as _espie_, in modern French as _espion_.

One of the most prolific branches of the same root is the Latin _species_.
Whether we take _species_ in the sense of a perennial succession of
similar individuals in continual generations (_Jussieu_), or look upon it
as existing only as a category of thought (_Agassiz_), _species_ was
intended originally as the literal translation of the Greek _eidos_ as
opposed to _genos_, or _genus_. The Greeks classified things originally
according to _kind_ and _form_, and though these terms were afterwards
technically defined by Aristotle, their etymological meaning is in reality
the most appropriate. Things may be classified either because they are of
the same _genus_ or _kind_, that is to say, because they had the same
origin; this gives us a genealogical classification: or they can be
classified because they have the same appearance, _eidos_, or _form_,
without claiming for them a common origin; and this gives us a
morphological classification. It was, however, in the Aristotelian, and
not in its etymological sense, that the Greek _eidos_ was rendered in
Latin by _species_, meaning the subdivision of a genus, the class of a
family. Hence the French _espèce_, a kind; the English _special_, in the
sense of particular as opposed to general. There is little of the root
_spaś_, to see, left in a _special train_, or a _special messenger_; yet
the connection, though not apparent, can be restored with perfect
certainty. We frequently hear the expression _to specify_. A man specifies
his grievances. What does it mean? The mediæval Latin _specificus_ is a
literal translation of the Greek _eidopoios_. This means what makes or
constitutes an _eidos_ or species. Now, in classification, what
constitutes a species is that particular quality which, superadded to
other qualities, shared in common by all the members of a genus,
distinguishes one class from all other classes. Thus the specific
character which distinguishes man from all other animals, is reason or
language. Specific, therefore, assumed the sense of _distinguishing_ or
_distinct_, and the verb _to specify_ conveyed the meaning of enumerating
distinctly, or one by one. I finish with the French _épicier_, a
respectable grocer, but originally a man who sold drugs. The different
kinds of drugs which the apothecary had to sell, were spoken of, with a
certain learned air, as _species_, not as drugs in general, but as
peculiar drugs and special medicines. Hence the chymist or apothecary is
still called _Speziale_ in Italian, his shop _spezieria_.(266) In French
_species_, which regularly became _espèce_, assumed a new form to express
drugs, namely _épices_; the English _spices_, the German _spezereien_.
Hence the famous _pain d’épices_, gingerbread nuts, and _épicier_, a
grocer. If you try for a moment to trace _spicy_, or _a well-spiced_
article, back to the simple root _specere_, to look, you will understand
that marvellous power of language which out of a few simple elements has
created a variety of names hardly surpassed by the unbounded variety of
nature herself.(267)

I say “out of a few simple elements,” for the number of what we call full
predicative roots, such as _ar_, to plough, or _spaś_, to look, is indeed

A root is necessarily monosyllabic. Roots consisting of more than one
syllable can always be proved to be derivative roots, and even among
monosyllabic roots it is necessary to distinguish between primitive,
secondary, and tertiary roots.

A. Primitive roots are those which consist—

    (1) of one vowel; for instance, _i_, to go;

    (2) of one vowel and one consonant; for instance, _ad_, to eat;

    (3) of one consonant and one vowel; for instance, _dâ_, to give.

B. Secondary roots are those which consist—

    (1) of one consonant, vowel, and consonant; for instance, _tud_,
    to strike.

In these roots either the first or the last consonant is modificatory.

C. Tertiary roots are those which consist—

    (1) of consonant, consonant, and vowel; for instance, _plu_, to

    (2) of vowel, consonant, and consonant; for instance, _ard_, to

    (3) of consonant, consonant, vowel, and consonant; for instance,
    _spaś_, to see;

    (4) of consonant, consonant, vowel, consonant, and consonant; for
    instance, _spand_, to tremble.

The primary roots are the most important in the early history of language;
but their predicative power being generally of too indefinite a character
to answer the purposes of advancing thought, they were soon encroached
upon and almost supplanted by secondary and tertiary radicals.

In the secondary roots we can frequently observe that one of the
consonants, in the Aryan languages, generally the final, is liable to
modification. The root retains its general meaning, which is slightly
modified and determined by the changes of the final consonants. Thus,
besides _tud_ (_tudati_), we have in Sanskrit _tup_ (_topati_, _tupati_,
and _tumpati_), meaning to strike; Greek, _typ-tō_. We meet likewise with
_tubh_ (_tubhnâti_, _tubhyati_, _tobhate_), to strike; and, according to
Sanskrit grammarians, with _tuph_ (_tophati_, _tuphati_, _tumphati_). Then
there is a root _tuj_ (_tunjati_, _tojati_), to strike, to excite; another
root, _tur_ (_tutorti_), to which the same meaning is ascribed; another,
_tûr_ (_tûryate_), to hurt. Then there is the further derivative _turv_
(_tûrvati_), to strike, to conquer; there is _tuh_ (_tohati_), to pain, to
vex; and there is _tuś_ (_tośate_), to which Sanskrit grammarians
attribute the sense of striking.

Although we may call all these verbal bases roots, they stand to the first
class in about the same relation as the triliteral Semitic roots to the
more primitive biliteral.(268)

In the third class we shall find that one of the two consonants is always
a semivowel, nasal, or sibilant, these being more variable than the other
consonants; and we can almost always point to one consonant as of later
origin, and added to a biconsonantal root in order to render its meaning
more special. Thus we have, besides _spaś_, the root _paś_, and even this
root has been traced back by Pott to a more primitive _aś_. Thus _vand_,
again, is a mere strengthening of the root _vad_, like _mand_ of _mad_,
like _yu-na-j_ and _yu-n-j_ of _yuj_. The root _yuj_, to join, and _yudh_,
to fight, both point back to a root _yu_, to mingle, and this simple root
has been preserved in Sanskrit. We may well understand that a root, having
the general meaning of mingling or being together, should be employed to
express both the friendly joining of hands and the engaging in hostile
combat; but we may equally understand that language, in its progress to
clearness and definiteness, should have desired a distinction between
these two meanings, and should gladly have availed herself of the two
derivatives, _yuj_ and _yudh_, to mark this distinction.

Sanskrit grammarians have reduced the whole growth of their language to
1706 roots,(269) that is to say, they have admitted so many radicals in
order to derive from them, according to their system of grammatical
derivation, all nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, prepositions, adverbs,
and conjunctions, which occur in Sanskrit. According to our explanation of
a root, however, this number of 1706 would have to be reduced
considerably, and though a few new roots would likewise have to be added
which Sanskrit grammarians failed to discover, yet the number of primitive
sounds, expressive of definite meanings, requisite for the etymological
analysis of the whole Sanskrit dictionary would not amount to even one
third of that number. Hebrew has been reduced to about 500 roots,(270) and
I doubt whether we want a larger number for Sanskrit. This shows a wise
spirit of economy on the part of primitive language, for the possibility
of forming new roots for every new impression was almost unlimited. Even
if we put the number of letters only at twenty-four, the possible number
of biliteral and triliteral roots would amount together to 14,400; whereas
Chinese, though abstaining from composition and derivation, and therefore
requiring a larger number of radicals than any other language, was
satisfied with about 450. With these 450 sounds raised to 1263 by various
accents and intonations, the Chinese have produced a dictionary of from
40,000 to 50,000 words.(271)

It is clear, however, that in addition to these predicative roots, we want
another class of radical elements to enable us to account for the full
growth of language. With the 400 or 500 predicative roots at her disposal,
language would not have been at a loss to coin names for all things that
come under our cognizance. Language is a thrifty housewife. Consider the
variety of ideas that were expressed by the one root _spaś_, and you will
see that with 500 such roots she might form a dictionary sufficient to
satisfy the wants, however extravagant, of her husband—the human mind. If
each root yielded fifty derivatives, we should have 25,000 words. Now, we
are told, on good authority, by a country clergyman, that some of the
laborers in his parish had not 300 words in their vocabulary.(272) The
vocabulary of the ancient sages of Egypt, at least as far as it is known
to us from the hieroglyphic inscriptions, amounts to about 685 words.(273)
The _libretto_ of an Italian opera seldom displays a greater variety of
words.(274) A well-educated person in England, who has been at a public
school and at the university, who reads his Bible, his Shakespeare, the
“Times,” and all the books of Mudie’s Library, seldom uses more than about
3000 or 4000 words in actual conversation. Accurate thinkers and close
reasoners, who avoid vague and general expressions, and wait till they
find the word that exactly fits their meaning, employ a larger stock; and
eloquent speakers may rise to a command of 10,000. Shakespeare, who
displayed a greater variety of expression than probably any writer in any
language, produced all his plays with about 15,000 words. Milton’s works
are built up with 8000; and the Old Testament says all that it has to say
with 5,642 words.(275)

Five hundred roots, therefore, considering their fertility and pliancy,
was more than was wanted for the dictionary of our primitive ancestors.
And yet they wanted something more. If they had a root expressive of light
and splendor, that root might have formed the predicate in the names of
sun, and moon, and stars, and heaven, day, morning, dawn, spring,
gladness, joy, beauty, majesty, love, friend, gold, riches, &c. But if
they wanted to express _here_ and _there_, _who_, _what_, _this_, _that_,
_thou_, _he_, they would have found it impossible to find any predicative
root that could be applied to this purpose. Attempts have indeed been made
to trace these words back to predicative roots; but if we are told that
the demonstrative root _ta_, this or there, may be derived from a
predicative root _tan_, to extend, we find that even in our modern
languages, the demonstrative pronouns and particles are of too primitive
and independent a nature to allow of so artificial an interpretation. The
sound _ta_ or _sa_, for this or there, is as involuntary, as natural, as
independent an expression as any of the predicative roots, and although
some of these demonstrative, or pronominal, or local roots, for all these
names have been applied to them, may be traced back to a predicative
source, we must admit a small class of independent radicals, not
predicative in the usual sense of the word, but simply pointing, simply
expressive of existence under certain more or less definite, local or
temporal prescriptions.

It will be best to give one illustration at least of a pronominal root and
its influence in the formation of words.

In some languages, and particularly in Chinese, a predicative root may by
itself be used as a noun, or a verb, or an adjective or adverb. Thus the
Chinese sound _ta_ means, without any change of form, great, greatness,
and to be great.(276) If _ta_ stands before a substantive, it has the
meaning of an adjective. Thus _ta jin_ means a great man. If _ta_ stands
after a substantive, it is a predicate, or, as we should say, a verb. Thus
_jin ta_ (or jin ta ye) would mean the man is great.(277) Or again,

ģin ngŏ, li pŭ ngŏ,
would mean,  man    bad,  law  not   bad.

Here we see that there is no outward distinction whatever between a root
and a word, and that a noun is distinguished from a verb merely by its
collocation in a sentence.

In other languages, however, and particularly in the Aryan languages, no
predicative root can by itself form a word. Thus in Latin there is a root
_luc_, to shine. In order to have a substantive, such as light, it was
necessary to add a pronominal or demonstrative root, this forming the
general subject of which the meaning contained in the root is to be
predicated. Thus by the addition of the pronominal element _s_ we have the
Latin noun, _luc-s_, the light, or literally, shining-there. Let us add a
personal pronoun, and we have the verb _luc-e-s_, shining-thou, thou
shinest. Let us add other pronominal derivatives, and we get the
adjectives, _lucidus_, _luculentus_, &c.

It would be a totally mistaken view, however, were we to suppose that all
derivative elements, all that remains of a word after the predicative root
has been removed, must be traced back to pronominal roots. We have only to
look at some of our own modern derivatives in order to be convinced that
many of them were originally predicative, that they entered into
composition with the principal predicative root, and then dwindled down to
mere suffixes. Thus _scape_ in _landscape_, and the more modern _ship_ in
_hardship_ are both derived from the same root which we have in
Gothic,(278) _skapa_, _skôp_, _skôpum_, to create; in Anglo-Saxon,
_scape_, _scôp_, _scôpon_. It is the same as the German derivative,
_schaft_, in _Gesellschaft_, &c. So again _dom_ in _wisdom_ or
_christendom_ is derived from the same root which we have in _to do_. It
is the same as the German _thum_ in _Christenthum_, the Anglo-Saxon _dôm_
in _cyning-dom_, _Königthum_. Sometimes it may seem doubtful whether a
derivative element was originally merely demonstrative or predicative.
Thus the termination of the comparative in Sanskrit is _tara_, the Greek
_teros_. This might, at first sight, be taken for a demonstrative element,
but it is in reality the root _tar_, which means _to go beyond_, which we
have likewise in the Latin _trans_. This _trans_ in its French form _très_
is prefixed to adjectives in order to express a higher or transcendent
degree, and the same root was well adapted to form the comparative in the
ancient Aryan tongues. This root must likewise be admitted in one of the
terminations of the locative which is _tra_ in Sanskrit; for instance from
_ta_, a demonstrative root, we form _ta-tra_, there, originally this way;
we form _anyatra_, in another way; the same as in Latin we say _ali-ter_,
from _aliud_; compounds no more surprising than the French _autrement_
(see p. 55) and the English _otherwise_.

Most of the terminations of declension and conjugation are demonstrative
roots, and the _s_, for instance, of the third person singular, he loves,
can be proved to have been originally the demonstrative pronoun of the
third person. It was originally not _s_ but _t_. This will require some
explanation. The termination of the third person singular of the present
is _ti_ in Sanskrit. Thus _dâ_, to give, becomes _dadâti_, he gives;
_dhâ_, to place, _dadhâti_, he places.

In Greek this _ti_ is changed into _si_; just as the Sanskrit _tvam_, the
Latin _tu_, thou, appears in Greek as _sy_. Thus Greek _didōsi_
corresponds to Sanskrit _dadâti_; _tithēsi_ to _dadhâti_. In the course of
time, however, every Greek _s_ between two vowels, in a termination, was
elided. Thus _genos_ does not form the genitive _genesos_, like the Latin
_genus_, _genesis_ or _generis_, but _geneos_ = _genous_. The dative is
not _genesi_ (the Latin _generi_), but _geneï_ = _genei_. In the same
manner all the regular verbs have _ei_ for the termination of the third
person singular. But this _ei_ stands for _esi_. Thus _typtei_ stands for
_typtesi_, and this for _typteti_.

The Latin drops the final _i_, and instead of _ti_ has _t_. Thus we get
_amat_, _dicit_.

Now there is a law to which I alluded before, which is called Grimm’s Law.
According to it every tenuis in Latin is in Gothic represented by its
corresponding aspirate. Hence, instead of _t_, we should expect in Gothic
_th_; and so we find indeed in Gothic _habaiþ_, instead of Latin _habet_.
This aspirate likewise appears in Anglo-Saxon, where _he loves_ is
_lufað_. It is preserved in the Biblical _he loveth_, and it is only in
modern English that it gradually sank to _s_. In the _s_ of _he loves_,
therefore, we have a demonstrative root, added to the predicative root
_love_, and this _s_ is originally the same as the Sanskrit _ti_. This
_ti_ again must be traced back to the demonstrative root _ta_, this or
there; which exists in the Sanskrit demonstrative pronoun _tad_, the Greek
_to_, the Gothic _thata_, the English _that_; and which in Latin we can
trace in _talis_, _tantus_, _tunc_, _tam_, and even in _tamen_, an old
locative in _men_. We have thus seen that what we call the third person
singular of the present is in reality a simple compound of a predicative
root with a demonstrative root. It is a compound like any other, only that
the second part is not predicative, but simply demonstrative. As in
pay-master we predicate pay of master, meaning a person whose office it is
to pay, so in _dadâ-ti_, _give-he_, the ancient framers of language simply
predicated giving of some third person, and this synthetic proposition,
_give-he_, is the same as what we now call the third person singular in
the indicative mood, of the present tense, in the active voice.(279)

We have necessarily confined ourselves in our analysis of language to that
family of languages to which our own tongue, and those with which we are
best acquainted, belong; but what applies to Sanskrit and the Aryan family
applies to the whole realm of human speech. Every language, without a
single exception, that has as yet been cast into the crucible of
comparative grammar, has been found to contain these two substantial
elements, predicative and demonstrative roots. In the Semitic family these
two constituent elements are even more palpable than in Sanskrit and
Greek. Even before the discovery of Sanskrit, and the rise of comparative
philology, Semitic scholars had successfully traced back the whole
dictionary of Hebrew and Arabic to a small number of roots, and as every
root in these languages consists of three consonants, the Semitic
languages have sometimes been called by the name of triliteral.

To a still higher degree the constituent elements are, as it were, on the
very surface in the Turanian family of speech. It is one of the
characteristic features of that family, that, whatever the number of
prefixes and suffixes, the root must always stand out in full relief, and
must never be allowed to suffer by its contact with derivative elements.

There is one language, the Chinese, in which no analysis of any kind is
required for the discovery of its component parts. It is a language in
which no coalescence of roots has taken place: every word is a root, and
every root is a word. It is, in fact, the most primitive stage in which we
can imagine human language to have existed. It is language _comme il
faut_; it is what we should naturally have expected all languages to be.

There are, no doubt, numerous dialects in Asia, Africa, America, and
Polynesia, which have not yet been dissected by the knife of the
grammarian; but we may be satisfied at least with this negative evidence,
that, as yet, no language which has passed through the ordeal of
grammatical analysis has ever disclosed any but these two constituent

The problem, therefore, of the origin of language, which seemed so
perplexing and mysterious to the ancient philosophers, assumes a much
simpler aspect with us. We have learnt what language is made of; we have
found that everything in language, except the roots, is intelligible, and
can be accounted for. There is nothing to surprise us in the combination
of the predicative and demonstrative roots which led to the building up of
all the languages with which we are acquainted, from Chinese to English.
It is not only conceivable, as Professor Pott remarks, “that the formation
of the Sanskrit language, as it is handed down to us, may have been
preceded by a state of the greatest simplicity and entire absence of
inflections, such as is exhibited to the present day by the Chinese and
other monosyllabic languages.” It is absolutely impossible that it should
have been otherwise. After we have seen that all languages must have
started from this Chinese or monosyllabic stage, the only portion of the
problem of the origin of language that remains to be solved is this: How
can we account for the origin of those predicative and demonstrative roots
which form the constituent elements of all human speech, and which have
hitherto resisted all attempts at further analysis? This problem will form
the subject of our two next Lectures.


We finished in our last Lecture our analysis of language, and we arrived
at the result that _predicative_ and _demonstrative_ roots are the sole
constituent elements of human speech.

We now turn back in order to discover how many possible forms of language
may be produced by the free combination of these constituent elements; and
we shall then endeavor to find out whether each of these possible forms
has its real counterpart in some or other of the dialects of mankind. We
are attempting in fact to carry out a _morphological classification_ of
speech, which is based entirely on the form or manner in which roots are
put together, and therefore quite independent of the genealogical
classification which, according to its very nature, is based on the
formations of language handed down ready made from generation to

Before, however, we enter on this, the principal subject of our present
Lecture, we have still to examine, as briefly as possible, a second family
of speech, which, like the Aryan, is established on the strictest
principles of genealogical classification, namely, the _Semitic_.

The Semitic family is divided into three branches, the _Aramaic_, the
_Hebraic_, and the _Arabic_.(280)

The _Aramaic_ occupies the north, including Syria, Mesopotamia, and part
of the ancient kingdoms of Babylonia and Assyria. It is known to us
chiefly in two dialects, the _Syriac_ and _Chaldee_. The former name is
given to the language which has been preserved to us in a translation of
the Bible (the Peshito(281)) ascribed to the second century, and in the
rich Christian literature dating from the fourth. It is still spoken,
though in a very corrupt form, by the Nestorians of Kurdistan, near the
lakes of Van and Urmia, and by some Christian tribes in Mesopotamia; and
an attempt has been made by the American missionaries,(282) stationed at
Urmia, to restore this dialect to some grammatical correctness by
publishing translations and a grammar of what they call the Neo-Syriac

The name of _Chaldee_ has been given to the language adopted by the Jews
during the Babylonian captivity. Though the Jews always retained a
knowledge of their sacred language, they soon began to adopt the dialect
of their conquerors, not for conversation only, but also for literary
composition.(283) The book of Ezra contains fragments in Chaldee,
contemporaneous with the cuneiform inscriptions of Darius and Xerxes, and
several of the apocryphal books, though preserved to us in Greek only,
were most likely composed originally in Chaldee, and not in Hebrew. The
so-called _Targums_(284) again, or translations and paraphrases of the Old
Testament, written during the centuries immediately preceding and
following the Christian era,(285) give us another specimen of the Aramaic,
or the language of Babylonia, as transplanted to Palestine. This Aramaic
was the dialect spoken by Christ and his disciples. The few authentic
words preserved in the New Testament as spoken by our Lord in His own
language, such as _Talitha kumi_, _Ephphatha_, _Abba_, are not in Hebrew,
but in the Chaldee, or Aramaic, as then spoken by the Jews.(286)

After the destruction of Jerusalem the literature of the Jews continued to
be written in the same dialect. The Talmud(287) of Jerusalem of the
fourth, and that of Babylon of the fifth, century exhibit the Aramean, as
spoken by the educated Jews settled in these two localities, though
greatly depraved and spoiled by an admixture of strange elements. This
language remained the literary idiom of the Jews to the tenth century. The
_Masora_,(288) and the traditional commentary of the Old Testament, was
written in it about that time. Soon after the Jews adopted Arabic as their
literary language, and retained it to the thirteenth century. They then
returned to a kind of modernized Hebrew, which they still continue to
employ for learned discussions.

It is curious that the Aramaic branch of the Semitic family, though
originally the language of the great kingdoms of Babylon and Nineveh,
should have been preserved to us only in the literature of the Jews, and
of the Christians of Syria. There must have been a Babylonian literature,
for the wisdom of the Chaldeans had acquired a reputation which could
hardly have been sustained without a literature. Abraham must have spoken
Aramaic before he emigrated to Canaan. Laban spoke the same dialect, and
the name which he gave to the heap of stones that was to be a witness
between him and Jacob, (Jegar-sahadutha) is Syriac, whereas Galeed, the
name by which Jacob called it, is Hebrew.(289) If we are ever to recover a
knowledge of that ancient Babylonian literature, it must be from the
cuneiform inscriptions lately brought home from Babylon and Nineveh. They
are clearly written in a Semitic language. About this there can be no
longer any doubt. And though the progress in deciphering them has been
slow, and slower than was at one time expected, yet there is no reason to
despair. In a letter, dated April, 1853, Sir Henry Rawlinson wrote:—

“On the clay tablets which we have found at Nineveh, and which now are to
be counted by thousands, there are explanatory treatises on almost every
subject under the sun: the art of writing, grammars, and dictionaries,
notation, weights and measures, divisions of time, chronology, astronomy,
geography, history, mythology, geology, botany, &c. In fact we have now at
our disposal a perfect cyclopædia of Assyrian science.” Considering what
has been achieved in deciphering one class of cuneiform inscriptions, the
Persian, there is no reason to doubt that the whole of that cyclopædia
will some day be read with the same ease with which we read the mountain
records of Darius.

There is, however, another miserable remnant of what was once the
literature of the Chaldeans or Babylonians, namely, the “Book of Adam,”
and similar works preserved by the _Mendaïtes_ or _Nasoreans_, a curious
sect settled near Bassora. Though the composition of these works is as
late as the tenth century after Christ, it has been supposed that under a
modern crust of wild and senseless hallucinations, they contain some
grains of genuine ancient Babylonian thought. These _Mendaïtes_ have in
fact been identified with the _Nabateans_, who are mentioned as late as
the tenth century(290) of our era, as a race purely pagan, and distinct
from Jews, Christians, and Mohammedans. In Arabic the name Nabatean(291)
is used for Babylonians,—nay, all the people of Aramaic origin, settled in
the earliest times between the Euphrates and Tigris are referred to by
that name.(292) It is supposed that the Nabateans, who are mentioned about
the beginning of the Christian era as a race distinguished for their
astronomical and general scientific knowledge, were the ancestors of the
mediæval Nabateans, and the descendants of the ancient Babylonians and
Chaldeans. You may have lately seen in some literary journals an account
of a work called “The Nabatean Agriculture.” It exists only in an Arabic
translation by Ibn-Wahshiyyah, the Chaldean,(293) who lived about 900
years after Christ, but the original, which was written by Kuthami in
Aramean, has lately been referred to the beginning of the thirteenth
century B. C. The evidence is not yet fully before us, but from what is
known it seems more likely that this work was the compilation of a
Nabatean, who lived about the fourth century after Christ;(294) and though
it contains ancient traditions, which may go back to the days of the great
Babylonian monarchs, these traditions can hardly be taken as a fair
representation of the ancient civilization of the Aramean race.

The second branch of the Semitic family is the _Hebraic_, chiefly
represented by the ancient language of Palestine, where Hebrew was spoken
and written from the days of Moses to the times of Nehemiah and the
Maccabees, though of course with considerable modifications, and with a
strong admixture of Aramean forms, particularly since the Babylonian
captivity, and the rise of a powerful civilization in the neighboring
country of Syria. The ancient language of Phœnicia, to judge from
inscriptions, was most closely allied to Hebrew, and the language of the
Carthaginians too must be referred to the same branch.

Hebrew was first encroached upon by Aramaic dialects, through the
political ascendency of Babylon, and still more of Syria; and was at last
swept away by Arabic, which, since the conquest of Palestine and Syria in
the year 636, has monopolized nearly the whole area formerly occupied by
the two older branches of the Semitic stock, the Aramaic and Hebrew.

This third, or Arabic, branch sprang from the Arabian peninsula, where it
is still spoken by a compact mass of aboriginal inhabitants. Its most
ancient documents are the _Himyaritic_ inscriptions. In very early times
this Arabic branch was transplanted to Africa, where, south of Egypt and
Nubia, on the coast opposite Yemen, an ancient Semitic dialect has
maintained itself to the present day. This is the _Ethiopic_ or
_Abyssinian_, or, as it is called by the people themselves, the _Gees_
language. Though no longer spoken in its purity by the people of Habesh,
it is still preserved in their sacred writings, translations of the Bible,
and similar works, which date from the third and fourth centuries. The
modern language of Abyssinia is called _Amharic_.

The earliest literary documents of Arabic go back beyond Mohammed. They
are called _Moallakat_, literally, suspended poems, because they are said
to have been thus publicly exhibited at Mecca. They are old popular poems,
descriptive of desert life. With Mohammed Arabic became the language of a
victorious religion, and established its sway over Asia, Africa, and

These three branches, the Aramaic, the Hebraic, and Arabic, are so closely
related to each other, that it was impossible not to recognize their
common origin. Every root in these languages, as far back as we know them,
must consist of three consonants, and numerous words are derived from
these roots by a simple change of vowels, leaving the consonantal skeleton
as much as possible intact. It is impossible to mistake a Semitic
language; and what is most important—it is impossible to imagine an Aryan
language derived from a Semitic, or a Semitic from an Aryan language. The
grammatical framework is totally distinct in these two families of speech.
This does not exclude, however, the possibility that both are diverging
streams of the same source; and the comparisons that have been instituted
between the Semitic roots, reduced to their simplest form, and the roots
of the Aryan languages, have made it more than probable that the material
elements with which they both started were originally the same.

Other languages which are supposed to belong to the Semitic family are the
_Berber_ dialects of Northern Africa, spoken on the coast from Egypt to
the Atlantic Ocean before the invasion of the Arabs, and now pushed back
towards the interior. Some other African languages, too, such as the
_Haussa_ and _Galla_, have been classed as Semitic; and the language of
Egypt, from the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions to the Coptic, which
ceased to be spoken after the seventeenth century, has equally been
referred to this class. The Semitic character of these dialects, however,
is much less clearly defined, and the exact degree of relationship in
which they stand to the Semitic languages, properly so-called, has still
to be determined.

Strictly speaking the Aryan and Semitic are the only _families_ of speech
which fully deserve that title. They both presuppose the existence of a
finished system of grammar, previous to the first divergence of their
dialects. Their history is from the beginning a history of decay rather
than of growth, and hence the unmistakable family-likeness which pervades
every one even of their latest descendants. The language of the Sepoy and
that of the English soldier are, strictly speaking, one and the same
language. They are both built up of materials which were definitely shaped
before the Teutonic and Indic branches separated. No new root has been
added to either since their first separation; and the grammatical forms
which are of more modern growth in English or Hindustání, are, if closely
examined, new combinations only of elements which existed from the
beginning in all the Aryan dialects. In the termination of the English _he
is_, and in the inaudible termination of the French _il est_, we recognize
the result of an act performed before the first separation of the Aryan
family, the combination of the predicative root _as_ with the
demonstrative root _ti_; an act performed once for all, and continuing to
be felt to the present day.

It was the custom of Nebuchadnezzar to have his name stamped on every
brick that was used during his reign in erecting his colossal palaces.
Those palaces fell to ruins, but from the ruins the ancient materials were
carried away for building new cities; and on examining the bricks in the
walls of the modern city of Baghdad on the borders of the Tigris, Sir
Henry Rawlinson discovered on each the clear traces of that royal
signature. It is the same if we examine the structure of modern languages.
They too were built up with the materials taken from the ruins of the
ancient languages, and every word, if properly examined, displays the
visible stamp impressed upon it from the first by the founders of the
Aryan and the Semitic empires of speech.

The relationship of languages, however, is not always so close. Languages
may diverge before their grammatical system has become fixed and hardened;
and in that case they cannot be expected to show the same marked features
of a common descent as, for instance, the Neo-Latin dialects, French,
Italian, and Spanish. They may have much in common, but they will likewise
display an after-growth in words and grammatical forms peculiar to each
dialect. With regard to words we see that even languages so intimately
related to each other as the six Romance dialects, diverged in some of the
commonest expressions. Instead of the Latin _frater_, the French _frère_,
we find in Spanish _hermano_. There was a very good reason for this
change. The Latin word _frater_, changed into _fray_ and _frayle_, had
been applied to express a brother or a friar. It was felt inconvenient
that the same word should express two ideas which it was sometimes
necessary to distinguish, and therefore, by a kind of natural elimination,
_frater_ was given up as the name of brother in Spanish, and replaced from
the dialectical stores of Latin, by _germanus_. In the same manner the
Latin word for shepherd, _pastor_, was so constantly applied to the
shepherd of the people or the clergyman, _le pasteur_, that a new word was
wanted for the real shepherd. Thus _berbicarius_ from _berbex_ or
_vervex_, a wether, was used instead of _pastor_, and changed into the
French _berger_. Instead of the Spanish _enfermo_, ill, we find in French
_malade_, in Italian _malato_. Languages so intimately related as Greek
and Latin have fixed on different expressions for son, daughter, brother,
woman, man, sky, earth, moon, hand, mouth, tree, bird, &c.(295) That is to
say, out of a large number of synonymes which were supplied by the
numerous dialects of the Aryan family, the Greeks perpetuated one, the
Romans another. It is clear that when the working of this principle of
natural selection is allowed to extend more widely, languages, though
proceeding from the same source, may in time acquire a totally different
nomenclature for the commonest objects. The number of real synonymes is
frequently exaggerated, and if we are told that in Icelandic there are 120
names for island, or in Arabic 500 names for lion,(296) and 1,000 names
for sword,(297) many of these are no doubt purely poetical. But even where
there are in a language only four or five names for the same objects, it
is clear that four languages might be derived from it, each in appearance
quite distinct from the rest.

The same applies to grammar. When the Romance languages, for instance,
formed their new future by placing the auxiliary verb _habere_, to have,
after the infinitive, it was quite open to any one of them to fix upon
some other expedient for expressing the future. The French might have
chosen _je vais dire_ or _je dirvais_ (I wade to say) instead of _je
dirai_, and in this case the future in French would have been totally
distinct from the future in Italian. If such changes are possible in
literary languages of such long standing as French and Italian, we must be
prepared for a great deal more in languages which, as I said, diverged
before any definite settlement had taken place either in their grammar or
their dictionary. If we were to expect in them the definite criteria of a
genealogical relationship which unites the members of the Aryan and
Semitic families of speech, we should necessarily be disappointed. Such
criteria could not possibly exist in these languages. But there are
criteria for determining even these more distant degrees of relationship
in the vast realm of speech; and they are sufficient at least to arrest
the hasty conclusions of those who would deny the possibility of a common
origin of any languages more removed from each other than French and
Italian, Sanskrit and Greek, Hebrew and Arabic. You will see this more
clearly after we have examined the principles of what I call the
_morphological classification_ of human speech.

As all languages, so far as we can judge at present, can be reduced in the
end to roots, predicative and demonstrative, it is clear that, according
to the manner in which roots are put together, we may expect to find three
kinds of languages, or three stages in the gradual formation of speech.

1. Roots may be used as words, each root preserving its full independence.

2. Two roots may be joined together to form words, and in these compounds
one root may lose its independence.

3. Two roots may be joined together to form words, and in these compounds
both roots may lose their independence.

What applies to two roots, applies to three or four or more. The principle
is the same, though it would lead to a more varied subdivision.

The first stage, in which each root preserves its independence, and in
which there is no formal distinction between a root and a word, I call the
_Radical Stage_. This stage is best represented by ancient Chinese.
Languages belonging to this first or Radical Stage, have sometimes been
called _Monosyllabic_ or _Isolating_. The second stage, in which two or
more roots coalesce to form a word, the one retaining its radical
independence, the other sinking down to a mere termination, I call the
_Terminational Stage_. This stage is best represented by the Turanian
family of speech, and the languages belonging to it have generally been
called _agglutinative_, from _gluten_, glue. The third stage, in which
roots coalesce so that neither the one nor the other retains its
substantive independence, I call the _Inflectional Stage_. This stage is
best represented by the Aryan and Semitic families, and the languages
belonging to it have sometimes been distinguished by the name of _organic_
or _amalgamating_.

The first stage excludes phonetic corruption altogether.

The second stage excludes phonetic corruption in the principal root, but
allows it in the secondary or determinative elements.

The third stage allows phonetic corruption both in the principal root and
in the terminations.

A few instances will make this classification clearer.

In the first stage, which is represented by Chinese, every word is a root,
and has its own substantial meaning. Thus, where we say in Latin _baculo_,
with a stick, we say in Chinese _ỳ ćáng_.(298) Here _ỳ_ might be taken for
a mere preposition, like the English _with_. But in Chinese this _ỳ_ is a
root; it is the same word which, if used as a verb, would mean “to
employ.” Therefore in Chinese _ỳ ćáng_ means literally “employ stick.” Or
again, where we say in English _at home_, or in Latin _domi_, the Chinese
say _ŭŏ-li, ŭŏ_ meaning _house_, and _li_ originally _inside_.(299) The
name for _day_ in Chinese is _ģi-tse_, which means originally _son of the

There is in Chinese, as we saw before, no formal distinction between a
noun, a verb, an adjective, an adverb, a preposition. The same root,
according to its position in a sentence, may be employed to convey the
meaning of great, greatness, greatly, and to be great. Everything in fact
depends in Chinese on the proper collocation of words in a sentence. Thus
_ngò tà ni_ means “I beat thee;” but _ni tà ngò_ would mean “Thou beatest
me.” Thus _ngŏ ģin_ means “a bad man;” _ģin ngŏ_ would mean “the man is

As long as every word, or part of a word, is felt to express its own
radical meaning, a language belongs to the first or radical stage. As soon
as such words as _tse_ in _ģi-tse_, day, _li_ in _ŭŏ-li_, at home, or _ỳ_
in _ỳ-ćáng_, with the stick, lose their etymological meaning and become
mere signs of derivation or of case, language enters into the second or
_Terminational_ stage.

By far the largest number of languages belong to this stage. The whole of
what is called the _Turanian_ family of speech consists of Terminational
or Agglutinative languages, and this Turanian family comprises in reality
all languages spoken in Asia and Europe, and not included under the Aryan
and Semitic families, with the exception of Chinese and its cognate
dialects. In the great continent of the Old World the Semitic and Aryan
languages occupy only what may be called the four western peninsulas,
namely, India with Persia, Arabia, Asia Minor, and Europe; and we have
reason to suppose that even these countries were held by Turanian tribes
previous to the arrival of the Aryan and Semitic nations.

This Turanian family is of great importance in the science of languages.
Some scholars would deny it the name of a family; and if family is only
applicable to dialects so closely connected among themselves as the Aryan
or Semitic, it would no doubt be preferable to speak of the Turanian as a
class or group, and not as a family of languages. But this concession must
not be understood as an admission that the members of this class start
from different sources, and that they are held together, not by
genealogical affinity, but by morphological similarity only.

These languages share elements in common which they must have borrowed
from the same source, and their formal coincidences, though of a different
character from those of the Aryan and Semitic families, are such that it
would be impossible to ascribe them to mere accident.

The name Turanian is used in opposition to Aryan, and is applied to the
nomadic races of Asia as opposed to the agricultural or Aryan races.

The Turanian family or class consists of two great divisions, the
_Northern_ and the _Southern_.

The Northern is sometimes called the _Ural-Altaic_ or _Ugro-Tataric_, and
it is divided into five sections, the _Tungusic_, _Mongolic_, _Turkic_,
_Finnic_, and _Samoyedic_.

The Southern, which occupies the south of Asia, is divided into four
classes, the _Tamulic_, or the languages of the Dekhan; the _Bhotîya_, or
the dialects of Tibet and Bhotan; the _Taïc_, or the dialects of Siam, and
the _Malaic_, or the Malay and Polynesian dialects.

No doubt if we expected to find in this immense number of languages the
same family likeness which holds the Semitic or Aryan languages together,
we should be disappointed. But the very absence of that family likeness
constitutes one of the distinguishing features of the Turanian dialects.
They are _Nomad_ languages, as contrasted with the Aryan, and Semitic
languages.(301) In the latter most words and grammatical forms were thrown
out but once by the creative power of one generation, and they were not
lightly parted with, even though their original distinctness had been
blurred by phonetic corruption. To hand down a language in this manner is
possible only among people whose history runs on in one main stream; and
where religion, law, and poetry supply well-defined borders which hem in
on every side the current of language. Among the Turanian nomads no such
nucleus of a political, social, or literary character has ever been
formed. Empires were no sooner founded than they were scattered again like
the sand-clouds of the desert; no laws, no songs, no stories outlived the
age of their authors. How quickly language can change, if thus left to
itself without any literary standard, we saw in a former Lecture, when
treating of the growth of dialects. The most necessary substantives, such
as father, mother, daughter, son, have frequently been lost and replaced
by synonymes in the different dialects of Turanian speech, and the
grammatical terminations have been treated with the same freedom.
Nevertheless, some of the Turanian numerals and pronouns, and many
Turanian roots, point to a single original source; and the common words
and common roots, which have been discovered in the most distant branches
of the Turanian stock, warrant the admission of a real, though very
distant, genealogical relationship of all Turanian speech.

The most characteristic feature of the Turanian languages is what has been
called _Agglutination_, or “gluing together.”(302) This means not only
that, in their grammar, pronouns are _glued_ to the verbs in order to form
the conjugation, or prepositions to substantives in order to form
declension. _That_ would not be a distinguishing characteristic of the
Turanian or nomad languages; for in Hebrew as well as in Sanskrit,
conjugation and declension were originally formed on the same principle.
What distinguishes the Turanian languages is, that in them the conjugation
and declension can still be taken to pieces; and although the terminations
have by no means always retained their significative power as independent
words, they are felt as modificatory syllables, and as distinct from the
roots to which they are appended.

In the Aryan languages the modifications of words, comprised under
declension and conjugation, were likewise originally expressed by
agglutination. But the component parts began soon to coalesce, so as to
form one integral word, liable in its turn to phonetic corruption to such
an extent that it became impossible after a time to decide which was the
root and which the modificatory element. The difference between an Aryan
and a Turanian language is somewhat the same as between good and bad
mosaic. The Aryan words seem made of one piece, the Turanian words clearly
show the sutures and fissures where the small stones are cemented

There was a very good reason why the Turanian languages should have
remained in this second or agglutinative stage. It was felt essential that
the radical portion of each word should stand out in distinct relief, and
never be obscured or absorbed, as happens in the third or inflectional

The French _âge_, for instance, has lost its whole material body, and is
nothing but termination. _Age_ in old French was _eage_ and _edage_.
_Edage_ is a corruption of the Latin _œtaticum_; _œtaticum_ is a
derivative of _œtas_; _œtas_ an abbreviation of _œvitas_; _œvitas_ is
derived from _œvum_, and in _œvum_, _œ_ only is the radical or predicative
element, the Sanskrit _ây_ in _ây-us_, life, which contains the germ from
which these various words derive their life and meaning. From _œvum_ the
Romans derived _œviternus_, contracted into _œternus_, so that _age_ and
_eternity_ flow from the same source. What trace of _œ_ or _œvum_, or even
_œvitas_ and _œtas_, remains in _âge_? Turanian languages cannot afford
such words as _âge_ in their dictionaries. It is an indispensable
requirement in a nomadic language that it should be intelligible to many,
though their intercourse be but scanty. It requires tradition, society,
and literature, to maintain words and forms which can no longer be
analyzed at once. Such words would seldom spring up in nomadic languages,
or if they did, they would die away with each generation.

The Aryan verb contains many forms in which the personal pronoun is no
longer felt distinctly. And yet tradition, custom, and law preserve the
life of these veterans, and make us feel unwilling to part with them. But
in the ever-shifting state of a nomadic society no debased coin can be
tolerated in language, no obscure legend accepted on trust. The metal must
be pure, and the legend distinct; that the one may be weighed, and the
other, if not deciphered, at least recognized as a well-known guarantee.
Hence the small proportion of irregular forms in all agglutinative

A Turanian might tolerate the Sanskrit,

as-mi,  a-si,      as-ti,   ’s-mas,   ’s-tha,    ’s-anti,
I am,   thou art,  he is,   we are,   you are,   they are;

or even the Latin,

’s-um,  e-s,       es-t,   ’su-mus,   es-tis,    ’sunt.

In these instances, with a few exceptions, root and affix are as
distinguishable as, for instance, in Turkish:

bakar-im,     bakar-sin,         bakar,
I regard,     thou regardest,    he regards.

bakar-iz,     bakar-siniz,       bakar-lar
we regard,    you regard,        they regard.

But a conjugation like the Hindustání, which is a modern Aryan dialect,

hun, hai, hai, hain, ho, hain,

would not be compatible with the genius of the Turanian languages, because
it would not answer the requirements of a nomadic life. Turanian dialects
exhibit either no terminational distinctions at all, as in Mandshu, which
is a Tungusic dialect; or a complete and intelligible system of affixes,
as in the spoken dialect of Nyertchinsk, equally of Tungusic descent. But
a state of conjugation in which, through phonetic corruption, the suffix
of the first person singular and plural, and of the third person plural
are the same, where there is no distinction between the second and third
persons singular, and between the first and third persons plural, would
necessarily lead, in a Turanian dialect, to the adoption of new and more
expressive forms. New pronouns would have to be used to mark the persons,
or some other expedient be resorted to for the same purpose.

And this will make it still more clear why the Turanian languages, or in
fact all languages in this second or agglutinative stage, though protected
against phonetic corruption more than the Aryan and Semitic languages, are
so much exposed to the changes produced by dialectical regeneration. A
Turanian retains, as it were, the consciousness of his language and
grammar. The idea, for instance, which he connects with a plural is that
of a noun followed by a syllable indicative of plurality; a passive with
him is a verb followed by a syllable expressive of suffering, or eating,
or going.(304) Now these determinative ideas may be expressed in various
ways, and though in one and the same clan, and during one period of time,
a certain number of terminations would become stationary, and be assigned
to the expression of certain grammatical categories, such as the plural,
the passive, the genitive, different hordes, as they separated, would
still feel themselves at liberty to repeat the process of grammatical
composition, and defy the comparative grammarian to prove the identity of
the terminations, even in dialects so closely allied as Finnish and
Hungarian, or Tamil and Telugu.

It must not be supposed, however, that Turanian or agglutinative languages
are forever passing through this process of grammatical regeneration.
Where nomadic tribes approach to a political organization, their language,
though Turanian, may approach to the system of political or traditional
languages, such as Sanskrit or Hebrew. This is indeed the case with the
most advanced members of the Turanian family, the Hungarian, the Finnish,
the Tamil, Telugu, &c. Many of their grammatical terminations have
suffered by phonetic corruption, but they have not been replaced by new
and more expressive words. The termination of the plural is _lu_ in
Telugu, and this is probably a mere corruption of _gaḷ._, the termination
of the plural in Tamil. The only characteristic Turanian feature which
always remains is this: the root is never obscured. Besides this, the
determining or modifying syllables are generally placed at the end, and
the vowels do not become so absolutely fixed for each syllable as in
Sanskrit or Hebrew. On the contrary, there is what is called the Law of
Harmony, according to which the vowels of each word may be changed and
modulated so as to harmonize with the key-note struck by its chief vowel.
The vowels in Turkish, for instance, are divided into two classes, _sharp_
and _flat_. If a verb contains a sharp vowel in its radical portion, the
vowels of the terminations are all sharp, while the same terminations, if
following a root with a flat vowel, modulate their own vowels into the
flat key. Thus we have _sev-mek_, to love, but _bak-mak_, to regard, _mek_
or _mak_ being the termination of the infinitive. Thus we say, _ev-ler_,
the houses, but _at-lar_, the horses, _ler_ or _lar_ being the termination
of the plural.

No Aryan or Semitic language has preserved a similar freedom in the
harmonic arrangement of its vowels, while traces of it have been found
among the most distant members of the Turanian family, as in Hungarian,
Mongolian, Turkish, the Yakut, spoken in the north of Siberia, and in
dialects spoken on the eastern frontiers of India.

For completeness’ sake I add a short account of the Turanian family,
chiefly taken from my Survey of Languages, published 1855:—

_Tungusic Class._

The _Tungusic_ branch extends from China northward to Siberia and westward
to 113°, where the river Tunguska partly marks its frontier. The Tungusic
tribes in Siberia are under Russian sway. Other Tungusic tribes belong to
the Chinese empire, and are known by the name of Mandshu, a name taken
after they had conquered China in 1644, and founded the present imperial

_Mongolic Class._

The original seats of the people who speak Mongolic dialects lie near the
Lake Baikal and in the eastern parts of Siberia, where we find them as
early as the ninth century after Christ. They were divided into three
classes, the _Mongols_ proper, the _Buriäts_, and the _Ölöts_ or
_Kalmüks_. Chingis-khán (1227) united them into a nation and founded the
Mongolian empire, which included, however, not only Mongolic, but Tungusic
and Turkic, commonly called Tataric, tribes.

The name of Tatar soon became the terror of Asia and Europe, and it was
applied promiscuously to all the nomadic warriors whom Asia then poured
forth over Europe. Originally Tatar was a name of the Mongolic races, but
through their political ascendency in Asia after Chingis-khán, it became
usual to call all the tribes which were under Mongolian sway by the name
of Tatar. In linguistic works Tataric is now used in two several senses.
Following the example of writers of the Middle Ages, Tataric, like
Scythian in Greek, has been fixed upon as the general term comprising
_all_ languages spoken by the nomadic tribes of Asia. Hence it is used
sometimes in the same sense in which we use Turanian. Secondly, Tataric
has become the name of that class of Turanian languages of which the
Turkish is the most prominent member. While the Mongolic class—that which
in fact has the greatest claims to the name of Tataric—is never so called,
it has become an almost universal custom to apply this name to the third
or Turkic branch of the Ural-Altaic division; and the races belonging to
this branch have in many instances themselves adopted the name. These
Turkish, or as they are more commonly called, Tataric races, were settled
on the northern side of the Caspian Sea, and on the Black Sea, and were
known as Komanes, Pechenegs, and Bulgars, when conquered by the Mongolic
army of the son of Chingis-khán, who founded the Kapchakian empire,
extending from the Dniestr to the Yemba and the Kirgisian steppes. Russia
for two centuries was under the sway of these Kháns, known as the Khans of
the Golden Horde. This empire was dissolved towards the end of the
fifteenth century, and several smaller kingdoms rose out of its ruins.
Among these Krim, Kasan, and Astrachan, were the most important. The
princes of these kingdoms still gloried in their descent from
Chingis-khán, and had hence a right to the name of Mongols or Tatars. But
their armies and subjects also, who were of Turkish blood, received the
name of their princes; and their languages continued to be called Tataric,
even after the tribes by whom they were spoken had been brought under the
Russian sceptre, and were no longer governed by khans of Mongolic or
Tataric origin. It would perhaps be desirable to use Turkic instead of
Tataric, when speaking of the third branch of the northern division of the
Turanian family, did not a change of terminology generally produce as much
confusion as it remedies. The recollection of their non-Tataric, _i.e._
non-Mongolic origin, remains, it appears, among the so-called Tatars of
Kasan and Astrachan. If asked whether they are Tatars, they reply no; and
they call their language Turki or Turuk, but not Tatari. Nay, they
consider Tatar as a term of abuse, synonymous with robber, evidently from
a recollection that their ancestors had once been conquered and enslaved
by Mongolic, that is, Tataric, tribes. All this rests on the authority of
Klaproth, who during his stay in Russia had great opportunities of
studying the languages spoken on the frontiers of this half-Asiatic

The conquests of the Mongols or the descendants of Chingis-khán were not
confined, however, to these Turkish tribes. They conquered China in the
east, where they founded the Mongolic dynasty of Yuan, and in the west,
after subduing the khalifs of Bagdad, and the Sultans of Iconium, they
conquered Moscow, and devastated the greater part of Russia. In 1240 they
invaded Poland, in 1241 Silesia. Here they recoiled before the united
armies of Germany, Poland, and Silesia. They retired into Moravia, and
having exhausted that country, occupied Hungary. At that time they had to
choose a new khan, which could only be done at Karakorum, the old capital
of their empire. Thither they withdrew to elect an emperor to govern an
empire which then extended from China to Poland, from India to Siberia.
But a realm of such vast proportions could not be long held together, and
towards the end of the thirteenth century it broke up into several
independent states, all under Mongolian princes, but no longer under one
khan of khans. Thus new independent Mongolic empires arose in China,
Turkestan, Siberia, Southern Russia, and Persia. In 1360, the Mongolian
dynasty was driven out of China; in the fifteenth century they lost their
hold on Russia. In Central Asia they rallied once more under Timur (1369),
whose sway was again acknowledged from Karakorum to Persia and Anatolia.
But in 1468, this empire also fell by its own weight, and for want of
powerful rulers like Chingis-khán or Timur. In Jagatai alone, the country
extending from the Aral Lake to the Hindu-kush, between the rivers Oxus
and Yaxartes (Jihon and Sihon), and once governed by Jagatai, the son of
Chingis-khán—the Mongolian dynasty maintained itself, and thence it was
that Baber, a descendant of Timur, conquered India, and founded there a
Mongolian dynasty, surviving up to our own times in the Great Moguls of
Delhi. Most Mongolic tribes are now under the sway of the nations whom
they once had conquered, the Tungusic sovereigns of China, the Russian
czars, and the Turkish sultans.

The Mongolic language, although spoken (but not continuously) from China
as far as the Volga, has given rise to but few dialects. Next to Tungusic,
the Mongolic is the poorest language of the Turanian family, and the
scantiness of grammatical terminations accounts for the fact that, as a
language, it has remained very much unchanged. There is, however, a
distinction between the language as spoken by the Eastern, Western, and
Northern tribes, and incipient traces of grammatical life have lately been
discovered by Castrén, the great Swedish traveller and Turanian
philologist, in the spoken dialect of the Buriäts. In it the persons of
the verb are distinguished by affixes, while, according to the rules of
Mongolic grammar, no other dialect distinguishes in the verb between
am_o_, am_as_, am_at_.

The Mongols who live in Europe have fixed their tents on each side of the
Volga and along the coast of the Caspian Sea near Astrachan. Another
colony is found south-east of Sembirsk. They belong to the Western branch,
and are Ölöts or Kalmüks, who left their seats on the Koko-nur, and
entered Europe in 1662. They proceeded from the clans Dürbet and Torgod,
but most of the Torgods returned again in 1770, and their descendants are
now scattered over the Kirgisian steppes.

_Turkic Class_.

Much more important are the languages belonging to the third branch of the
Turanian family, most prominent among which is the Turkish or Osmanli of
Constantinople. The number of the Turkish inhabitants of European Turkey
is indeed small. It is generally stated at 2,000,000; but Shafarik
estimates the number of genuine Turks at not more than 700,000, who rule
over fifteen millions of people. The different Turkic dialects of which
the Osmanli is one, occupy one of the largest linguistic areas, extending
from the Lena and the Polar Sea, down to the Adriatic.

The most ancient name by which the Turkic tribes of Central Asia were
known to the Chinese was Hiung-nu. These Hiung-nu founded an empire (206
B. C.) comprising a large portion of Asia, west of China. Engaged in
frequent wars with the Chinese, they were defeated at last in the middle
of the first century after Christ. Thereupon they divided into a northern
and southern empire; and, after the southern Hiung-nu had become subjects
of China, they attacked the northern Hiung-nu, together with the Chinese,
and, driving them out of their seats between the rivers Amur and Selenga,
and the Altai mountains, westward, they are supposed to have given the
first impulse to the inroads of the barbarians into Europe. In the
beginning of the third century, the Mongolic and Tungusic tribes, who had
filled the seats of the northern Hiung-nu, had grown so powerful as to
attack the southern Hiung-nu and drive them from their territories. This
occasioned a second migration of Asiatic tribes towards the west.

Another name by which the Chinese designate these Hiung-nu or Turkish
tribes is Tu-kiu. This Tu-kiu is supposed to be identical with Turk, and,
although the tribe to which this name was given was originally but small,
it began to spread in the sixth century from the Altai to the Caspian, and
it was probably to them that in 569 the Emperor Justinian sent an
ambassador in the person of Semarchos. The empire of the Tu-kiu was
destroyed in the eighth century, by the ’Hui-’he (Chinese Kao-che). This
tribe, equally of Turkish origin, maintained itself for about a century,
and was then conquered by the Chinese and driven back from the northern
borders of China. Part of the ’Hui-’he occupied Tangut, and, after a
second defeat by the Mongolians in 1257, the remnant proceeded still
further west, and joined the Uigurs, whose tents were pitched near the
towns of Turfan, ’Kashgar, ’Hamil, and Aksu.

These facts, gleaned chiefly from Chinese historians, show from the very
earliest times the westward tendency of the Turkish nations. In 568
Turkish tribes occupied the country between the Volga and the sea of Azov,
and numerous reinforcements have since strengthened their position in
those parts.

The northern part of Persia, west of the Caspian Sea, Armenia, the south
of Georgia, Shirwan, and Dagestan, harbor a Turkic population, known by
the general name of Turkman or Kisil-bash (Red-caps). They are nomadic
robbers, and their arrival in these countries dates from the eleventh and
twelfth centuries.

East of the Caspian Sea the Turkman tribes are under command of the
Usbek-Khans of Khiva, Fergana, and Bukhára. They call themselves, however,
not subjects but guests of these Khans. Still more to the east the
Turkmans are under Chinese sovereignty, and in the south-west they reach
as far as Khorasan and other provinces of Persia.

The Usbeks, descendants of the ’Huy-’he and Uigurs, and originally settled
in the neighborhood of the towns of ’Hoten, Kashgar, Turfan, and ’Hamil,
crossed the Yaxartes in the sixteenth century, and after several
successful campaigns gained possession of Balkh, Kharism (Khiva), Bukhára,
and Ferganah. In the latter country and in Balkh they have become
agricultural; but generally their life is nomadic, and too warlike to be
called pastoral.

Another Turkish tribe are the Nogái, west of the Caspian, and also north
of the Black Sea. To the beginning of the seventeenth century they lived
north-east of the Caspian, and the steppes on the left of the Irtish bore
their name. Pressed by the Kalmüks, a Mongolic tribe, the Nogáis advanced
westward as far as Astrachan. Peter I. transferred them thence to the
north of the Caucasian mountains, where they still graze their flocks on
the shores of the Kuban and the Kuma. One horde, that of Kundur, remained
on the Volga, subject to the Kalmüks.

Another tribe of Turkish origin in the Caucasus are the Bazianes. They now
live near the sources of the Kuban, but before the fifteenth century
within the town Majari, on the Kuma.

A third Turkish tribe in the Caucasus are the Kumüks on the rivers Sunja,
Aksai, and Koisu: now subjects of Russia, though under native princes.

The southern portion of the Altaic mountains has long been inhabited by
the Bashkirs, a race considerably mixed with Mongolic blood, savage and
ignorant, subjects of Russia, and Mohammedans by faith. Their land is
divided into four Roads, called the Roads of Siberia, of Kasan, of Nogai,
and of Osa, a place on the Kama. Among the Bashkirs, and in villages near
Ufa, is now settled a Turkish tribe, the Mescheräks who formerly lived
near the Volga.

The tribes near the Lake of Aral are called Kara-Kalpak. They are subject
partly to Russia, partly to the Khans of Khiva.

The Turks of Siberia, commonly called Tatars, are partly original
settlers, who crossed the Ural, and founded the Khanat of Sibir, partly
later colonists. Their chief towns are Tobolsk, Yeniseisk, and Tomsk.
Separate tribes are the Uran’hat on the Chulym, and the Barabas in the
steppes between the Irtish and the Ob.

The dialects of these Siberian Turks are considerably intermingled with
foreign words, taken from Mongolic, Samoyedic, or Russian sources. Still
they resemble one another closely in all that belongs to the original
stock of the language.

In the north-east of Asia, on both sides of the river Lena, the _Yakuts_
form the most remote link in the Turkic chain of languages. Their male
population has lately risen to 100,000, while in 1795 it amounted only to
50,066. The Russians became first acquainted with them in 1620. They call
themselves Sakha, and are mostly heathen, though Christianity is gaining
ground among them. According to their traditions, their ancestors lived
for a long time in company with Mongolic tribes, and traces of this can
still be discovered in their language. Attacked by their neighbors, they
built rafts and floated down the river Lena, where they settled in the
neighborhood of what is now Yakutzk. Their original seats seem to have
been north-west of Lake Baikal. Their language has preserved the Turkic
type more completely than any other Turco-Tataric dialect. Separated from
the common stock at an early time, and removed from the disturbing
influences to which the other dialects were exposed, whether in war or in
peace, the Yakutian has preserved so many primitive features of Tataric
grammar, that even now it may be used as a key to the grammatical forms of
the Osmanli and other more cultivated Turkic dialects.

Southern Siberia is the mother country of the Kirgis, one of the most
numerous tribes of Turco-Tataric origin. The Kirgis lived originally
between the Ob and Yenisei, where Mongolic tribes settled among them. At
the beginning of the seventeenth century the Russians became acquainted
with the Eastern Kirgis, then living along the Yenisei. In 1606 they had
become tributary to Russia, and after several wars with two neighboring
tribes, they were driven more and more south-westward, till they left
Siberia altogether at the beginning of the eighteenth century. They now
live at Burut, in Chinese Turkestan, together with the Kirgis of the
“Great Horde,” near the town of Kashgar, north as far as the Irtish.

Another tribe is that of the Western Kirgis, or Kirgis-Kasak, who are
partly independent, partly tributary to Russia and China.

Of what are called the three Kirgis Hordes, from the Caspian Sea east as
far as Lake Tenghiz, the Small Horde is fixed in the west, between the
rivers Yemba and Ural; the Great Horde in the east; while the most
powerful occupies the centre between the Sarasu and Yemba, and is called
the Middle Horde. Since 1819, the Great Horde has been subject to Russia.
Other Kirgis tribes, though nominally subject to Russia, are really her
most dangerous enemies.

The Turks of Asia Minor and Syria came from Khorasan and Eastern Persia,
and are Turkmans, or remnants of the Seljuks, the rulers of Persia during
the Middle Ages. The Osmanli, whom we are accustomed to call Turks _par
excellence_, and who form the ruling portion of the Turkish empire, must
be traced to the same source. They are now scattered over the whole
Turkish empire in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and their number amounts to
between 11,000,000 and 12,000,000. They form the landed gentry, the
aristocracy, and bureaucracy of Turkey; and their language, the Osmanli,
is spoken by persons of rank and education, and by all government
authorities in Syria, in Egypt, at Tunis, and at Tripoli. In the southern
provinces of Asiatic Russia, along the borders of the Caspian, and through
the whole of Turkestan, it is the language of the people. It is heard even
at the court of Teheran, and is understood by official personages in

The rise of this powerful tribe of Osman, and the spreading of that
Turkish dialect which is now emphatically called the Turkish, are matters
of historical notoriety. We need not search for evidence in Chinese
annals, or try to discover analogies between names that a Greek or an
Arabic writer may by chance have heard and handed down to us, and which
some of these tribes have preserved to the present day. The ancestors of
the Osman Turks are men as well known to European historians as
Charlemagne or Alfred. It was in the year 1224 that Soliman-shah and his
tribe, pressed by Mongolians, left Khorasan and pushed westward into
Syria, Armenia, and Asia Minor. Soliman’s son, Ertoghrul, took service
under Aladdin, the Seljuk Sultan of Iconium (Nicæa), and after several
successful campaigns against Greeks and Mongolians, received part of
Phrygia as his own, and there founded what was afterwards to become the
basis of the Osmanic empire. During the last years of the thirteenth
century the Sultans of Iconium lost their power, and their former vassals
became independent sovereigns. Osman, after taking his share of the spoil
in Asia, advanced through the Olympic passes into Bithynia and was
successful against the armies of the Emperors of Byzantium. Osman became
henceforth the national name of his people. His son, Orkhan, whose capital
was Prusa (Bursa), after conquering Nicomedia (1327) and Nicæa (1330),
threatened the Hellespont. He took the title of Padishah, and his court
was called the “High Porte.” His son, Soliman, crossed the Hellespont
(1357), and took possession of Gallipoli and Sestos. He thus became master
of the Dardanelles. Murad I. took Adrianople (1362), made it his capital,
conquered Macedonia, and, after a severe struggle, overthrew the united
forces of the Slavonic races south of the Danube, the Bulgarians,
Servians, and Kroatians, in the battle of Kossova-polye (1389). He fell
himself, but his successor Bayazeth, followed his course, took Thessaly,
passed Thermopylæ, and devastated the Peloponnesus. The Emperor of
Germany, Sigismund, who advanced at the head of an army composed of
French, German, and Slavonic soldiers, was defeated by Bayazeth on the
Danube in the battle of Nicopolis, 1399. Bayazeth took Bosnia, and would
have taken Constantinople, had not the same Mongolians, who in 1244 drove
the first Turkish tribes westward into Persia, threatened again their
newly acquired possessions. Timur had grasped the reins fallen from the
hands of Chingis-khán: Bayazeth was compelled to meet him, and suffered
defeat (1402) in the battle of Angora (Ankyra) in Galatia.

Europe now had respite, but not long; Timur died, and with him his empire
fell to pieces, while the Osmanic army rallied again under Mahomet I.
(1413), and re-attained its former power under Murad II. (1421).
Successful in Asia, Murad sent his armies back to the Danube, and after
long-continued campaigns, and powerful resistance from the Hungarians and
Slaves under Hunyad, he at last gained two decisive victories; Varna in
1444, and Kossova in 1448. Constantinople could no longer be held, and the
Pope endeavored in vain to rouse the chivalry of Western Europe to a
crusade against the Turks. Mahomet II. succeeded in 1451, and on the 26th
of May, 1453, Constantinople, after a valiant resistance, fell, and became
the capital of the Turkish empire.

It is a real pleasure to read a Turkish grammar, even though one may have
no wish to acquire it practically. The ingenious manner in which the
numerous grammatical forms are brought out, the regularity which pervades
the system of declension and conjugation, the transparency and
intelligibility of the whole structure, must strike all who have a sense
of that wonderful power of the human mind which has displayed itself in
language. Given so small a number of graphic and demonstrative roots as
would hardly suffice to express the commonest wants of human beings, to
produce an instrument that shall render the faintest shades of feeling and
thought;—given a vague infinitive or a stern imperative, to derive from it
such moods as an optative or subjunctive, and tenses as an aorist or
paulo-post future;—given incoherent utterances, to arrange them into a
system where all is uniform and regular, all combined and harmonious;—such
is the work of the human mind which we see realized in “language.” But in
most languages nothing of this early process remains visible. They stand
before us like solid rocks, and the microscope of the philologist alone
can reveal the remains of organic life with which they are built up.

In the grammar of the Turkic languages, on the contrary, we have before us
a language of perfectly transparent structure, and a grammar the inner
workings of which we can study, as if watching the building of cells in a
crystal bee-hive. An eminent orientalist remarked “we might imagine
Turkish to be the result of the deliberations of some eminent society of
learned men;” but no such society could have devised what the mind of man
produced, left to itself in the steppes of Tatary, and guided only by its
innate laws, or by an instinctive power as wonderful as any within the
realm of nature.

Let us examine a few forms. “To love,” in the most general sense of the
word, or love, as a root, is in Turkish _sev_. This does not yet mean “to
love,” which is _sevmek_, or “love” as a substantive, which is _sevgu_ or
_sevi_; but it only expresses the general idea of loving in the abstract.
This root, as we remarked before, can never be touched. Whatever syllables
may be added for the modification of its meaning, the root itself must
stand out in full prominence like a pearl set in diamonds. It must never
be changed or broken, assimilated or modified, as in the English I fall, I
fell, I take, I took, I think, I thought, and similar forms. With this one
restriction, however, we are free to treat it at pleasure.

Let us suppose we possessed nothing like our conjugation, but had to
express such ideas as I love, thou lovest, and the rest, for the first
time. Nothing would seem more natural now than to form an adjective or a
participle, meaning “loving,” and then add the different pronouns, as I
loving, thou loving, &c. Exactly this the Turks have done. We need not
inquire at present how they produced what we call a participle. It was a
task, however, by no means so facile as we now conceive it. In Turkish,
one participle is formed by _er_. _Sev_+_er_ would, therefore, mean lov+er
or lov+ing. Thou, in Turkish, is _sen_, and as all modificatory syllables
are placed at the end of the root, we get _sev-er-sen_, thou lovest. You
in Turkish is _siz_; hence _sev-er-siz_, you love. In these cases the
pronouns and the terminations of the verb coincide exactly. In other
persons the coincidences are less complete, because the pronominal
terminations have sometimes been modified, or, as in the third person
singular, _sever_, dropped altogether as unnecessary. A reference to other
cognate languages, however, where either the terminations or the pronouns
themselves have maintained a more primitive form, enables us to say that
in the original Turkish verb, all persons of the present were formed by
means of pronouns appended to this participle _sever_. Instead of “I love,
thou lovest, he loves,” the Turkish grammarian says, “lover-I, lover-thou,

But these personal terminations are not the same in the imperfect as in
the present.

PRESENT.                    IMPERFECT.
Sever-im, I love,           sever-di-m, I loved.
Sever-sen,                  sever-di-ñ.
Sever,                      sever-di.
Sever-iz,                   sever-di-k (miz).
Sever-siz,                  sever-di-ñiz.
Sever-ler,                  sever-di-ler.

We need not inquire as yet into the origin of the _di_, added to form the
imperfect; but it should be stated that in the first person plural of the
imperfect a various reading occurs in other Tataric dialects, and that
_miz_ is used there instead of _k_. Now, looking at these terminations
_m_, _ñ_, _i_, _miz_, _ñiz_, and _ler_, we find that they are exactly the
same as the possessive pronouns used after nouns. As the Italian says
_fratelmo_, my brother, and as in Hebrew we say, _El-i_, God (of) I,
_i.e._ my God, the Tataric languages form the phrases “my house, thy
house, his house,” by possessive pronouns appended to substantives. A Turk

Bâbâ,          father,        bâbâ-m,        my father.
Aghâ,          lord,          aghâ-ñ,        thy lord.
El,            hand,          el-i,          his hand.
Oghlu,         son,           oghlu-muz,     our son.
Anâ,           mother,        anâ-ñiz,       your mother.
Kitâb,         book,          kitâb-leri,    their book.

We may hence infer that in the imperfect these pronominal terminations
were originally taken in a possessive sense, and that, therefore, what
remains after the personal terminations are removed, _sever-di_, was never
an adjective or a participle, but must have been originally a substantive
capable of receiving terminal possessive pronouns; that is, the idea
originally expressed by the imperfect could not have been “loving-I,” but
“love of me.”

How then, could this convey the idea of a past tense as contrasted with
the present? Let us look to our own language. If desirous to express the
perfect, we say, I have loved, _j’ai aimé_. This “I have,” meant
originally, I possess, and in Latin “amicus quem amatum habeo,” signified
in fact a friend whom I hold dear,—not as yet, whom I _have_ loved. In the
course of time, however, these phrases, “I have said, I have loved,” took
the sense of the perfect, and of time past—and not unnaturally, inasmuch
as what I _hold_, or _have_ done, _is_ done;—done, as we say, and past. In
place of an auxiliary possessive verb, the Turkish language uses an
auxiliary possessive pronoun to the same effect. “Paying belonging to me,”
equals “I have paid;” in either case a phrase originally possessive, took
a temporal signification, and became a past or perfect tense. This,
however, is the very anatomy of grammar, and when a Turk says “severdim”
he is, of course, as unconscious of its literal force, “loving belonging
to me,” as of the circulation of his blood.

The most ingenious part of Turkish is undoubtedly the verb. Like Greek and
Sanskrit, it exhibits a variety of moods and tenses, sufficient to express
the nicest shades of doubt, of surmise, of hope, and supposition. In all
these forms the root remains intact, and sounds like a key-note through
all the various modulations produced by the changes of person, number,
mood, and time. But there is one feature so peculiar to the Turkish verb,
that no analogy can be found in any of the Aryan languages—the power of
producing new verbal bases by the mere addition of certain letters, which
give to every verb a negative, or causative, or reflexive, or reciprocal

_Sev-mek_, for instance, as a simple root, means to love. By adding _in_,
we obtain a reflexive verb, _sev-in-mek_, which means to love oneself, or
rather, to rejoice, to be happy. This may now be conjugated through all
moods and tenses, _sevin_ being in every respect equal to a new root. By
adding _ish_ we form a reciprocal verb, _sev-ish-mek_, to love one

To each of these three forms a causative sense may be imparted by the
addition of the syllable _dir_. Thus,

    I. _sev-mek_, to love, becomes IV. _sev-dir-mek_, to cause to

    II. _sev-in-mek_, to rejoice, becomes V. _sev-in-dir-mek_, to
    cause to rejoice.

    III. _sev-ish-mek_, to love one another, becomes VI.
    _sev-ish-dir-mek_, to cause one to love one another.

Each of these six forms may again be turned into a passive by the addition
of _il_. Thus,

    I. _sev-mek_, to love, becomes VII. _sev-il-mek_, to be loved.

    II. _sev-in-mek_, to rejoice, becomes VIII. _sev-in-il-mek_, to be
    rejoiced at.

    III. _sev-ish-mek_, to love one another, becomes IX.
    _sev-ish-il-mek_, not translatable.

    IV. _sev-dir-mek_, to cause one to love, becomes X.
    _sev-dir-il-mek_, to be brought to love.

    V. _sev-in-dir-mek_, to cause to rejoice, becomes XI.
    _sev-in-dir-il-mek_, to be made to rejoice.

    VI. _sev-ish-dir-mek_, to cause them to love one another, becomes
    XII. _sev-ish-dir-il-mek_, to be brought to love one another.

This, however, is by no means the whole verbal contingent at the command
of a Turkish grammarian. Every one of these twelve secondary or tertiary
roots may again be turned into a negative by the mere addition of _me_.
Thus, _sev-mek_, to love, becomes _sev-me-mek_, not to love. And if it is
necessary to express the impossibility of loving, the Turk has a new root
at hand to convey even that idea. Thus while _sev-me-mek_ denies only the
fact of loving, _sev-eme-mek_, denies its possibility, and means not to be
able to love. By the addition of these two modificatory syllables, the
numbers of derivative roots is at once raised to thirty-six. Thus,

    I. _sev-mek_, to love, becomes XIII. _sev-me-mek_, not to love.

    II. _sev-in-mek_, to rejoice, becomes XIV. _sev-in-me-mek_, not to

    III. _sev-ish-mek_, to love one another, becomes XV.
    _sev-ish-me-mek_, not to love one another.

    IV. _sev-dir-mek_, to cause to love, becomes XVI.
    _sev-dir-me-mek_, not to cause one to love.

    V. _sev-in-dir-mek_, to cause to rejoice, becomes XVII.
    _sev-in-dir-me-mek_, not to cause one to rejoice.

    VI. _sev-ish-dir-mek_, to cause them to love one another, becomes
    XVIII. _sev-ish-dir-me-mek_, not to cause them to love one

    VII. _sev-il-mek_, to be loved, becomes XIX. _sev-il-me-mek_, not
    to be loved.

    VIII. _sev-in-il-mek_, to be rejoiced at, becomes XX.
    _sev-in-il-me-mek_, not to be the object of rejoicing.

    IX. _sev-ish-il-mek_, if it was used, would become XXI.
    _sev-ish-il-me-mek_; neither form being translatable.

    X. _sev-dir-il-mek_, to be brought to love, becomes XXII.
    _sev-dir-il-me-mek_, not to be brought to love.

    XI. _sev-in-dir-il-mek_, to be made to rejoice, becomes XXIII.
    _sev-in-dir-il-me-mek_, not to be made to rejoice.

    XII. _sev-ish-dir-il-mek_, to be brought to love one another,
    becomes XXIV. _sev-ish-dir-il-me-mek_, not to be brought to love
    one another.

Some of these forms are of course of rare occurrence, and with many verbs
these derivative roots, though possible grammatically, would be logically
impossible. Even a verb like “to love,” perhaps the most pliant of all,
resists some of the modifications to which a Turkish grammarian is fain to
subject it. It is clear, however, that wherever a negation can be formed,
the idea of impossibility also can be superadded, so that by substituting
_eme_ for _me_, we should raise the number of derivative roots to
thirty-six. The very last of these, XXXVI. _sev-ish-dir-il-eme-mek_ would
be perfectly intelligible, and might be used, for instance, if, in
speaking of the Sultan and the Czar, we wished to say, that it was
impossible that they should be brought to love one another.

_Finnic Class._

It is generally supposed that the original seat of the Finnic tribes was
in the Ural mountains, and their languages have been therefore called
_Uralic_. From this centre they spread east and west; and southward in
ancient times, even to the Black Sea, where Finnic tribes, together with
Mongolic and Turkic, were probably known to the Greeks under the
comprehensive and convenient name of Scythians. As we possess no literary
documents of any of these nomadic nations, it is impossible to say, even
where Greek writers have preserved their barbarous names, to what branch
of the vast Turanian family they belonged. Their habits were probably
identical before the Christian era, during the Middle Ages, and at the
present day. One tribe takes possession of a tract and retains it perhaps
for several generations, and gives its name to the meadows where it tends
its flocks, and to the rivers where the horses are watered. If the country
be fertile, it will attract the eye of other tribes; wars begin, and if
resistance be hopeless, hundreds of families fly from their paternal
pastures, to migrate perhaps for generations,—for migration they find a
more natural life than permanent habitation,—and after a time we may
rediscover their names a thousand miles distant. Or two tribes will carry
on their warfare for ages, till with reduced numbers both have perhaps to
make common cause against some new enemy.

During these continued struggles their languages lose as many words as men
are killed on the field of battle. Some words (we might say) go over,
others are made prisoners, and exchanged again during times of peace.
Besides, there are parleys and challenges, and at last a dialect is
produced which may very properly be called a language of the camp,
(Urdu-zebán, camp-language, is the proper name of Hindustání, formed in
the armies of the Mogul emperors,) but where it is difficult for the
philologist to arrange the living and to number the slain, unless some
salient points of grammar have been preserved throughout the medley. We
saw how a number of tribes may be at times suddenly gathered by the
command of a Chingis-khán or Timur, like billows heaving and swelling at
the call of a thunder-storm. One such wave rolling on from Karakorum to
Liegnitz may sweep away all the sheepfolds and landmarks of centuries, and
when the storm is over, a thin crust will, as after a flood, remain,
concealing the underlying stratum of people and languages.

On the evidence of language, the Finnic stock is divided into four

The Chudic,
The Bulgaric,
The Permic,
The Ugric.

The Chudic branch comprises the Finnic of the Baltic coasts. The name is
derived from Chud (Tchud) originally applied by the Russians to the Finnic
nations in the north-west of Russia. Afterwards it took a more general
sense, and was used almost synonymously with Scythian for all the tribes
of Central and Northern Asia. The Finns, properly so called, or as they
call themselves Suomalainen, _i.e._ inhabitants of fens, are settled in
the provinces of Finland (formerly belonging to Sweden, but since 1809
annexed to Russia), and in parts of the governments of Archangel and
Olonetz. Their number is stated at 1,521,515. The Finns are the most
advanced of their whole family, and are, the Magyars excepted, the only
Finnic race that can claim a station among the civilized and civilizing
nations of the world. Their literature and, above all, their popular
poetry bear witness to a high intellectual development in times which we
may call mythical, and in places more favorable to the glow of poetical
feelings than their present abode, the last refuge Europe could afford
them. The epic songs still live among the poorest, recorded by oral
tradition alone, and preserving all the features of a perfect metre and of
a more ancient language. A national feeling has lately arisen amongst the
Finns, despite of Russian supremacy, and the labors of Sjögern, Lönnrot,
Castrén, and Kellgren, receiving hence a powerful impulse, have produced
results truly surprising. From the mouths of the aged an epic poem has
been collected equalling the Iliad in length and completeness, nay, if we
can forget for a moment all that _we_ in our youth learned to call
beautiful, not less beautiful. A Finn is not a Greek, and Wainamoinen was
not a Homer. But if the poet may take his colors from that nature by which
he is surrounded, if he may depict the men with whom he lives, “Kalewala”
possesses merits not dissimilar from those of the Iliad, and will claim
its place as the fifth national epic of the world, side by side with the
Ionian songs, with the Mahábhárata, the Shahnámeh, and the Nibelunge. This
early literary cultivation has not been without a powerful influence on
the language. It has imparted permanency to its forms and a traditional
character to its words, so that at first sight we might almost doubt
whether the grammar of this language had not left the agglutinative stage,
and entered into the current of inflection with Greek or Sanskrit. The
agglutinative type, however, yet remains, and its grammar shows a
luxuriance of grammatical combination second only to Turkish and
Hungarian. Like Turkish it observes the “harmony of vowels,” a feature
peculiar to Turanian languages, as explained before.

Karelian and Tavastian are dialectical varieties of Finnish.

The Esths or Esthonians, neighbors to the Finns, speak a language closely
allied to the Finnish. It is divided into the dialects of Dorpat (in
Livonia) and Reval. Except some popular songs it is almost without
literature. Esthonia, together with Livonia and Kurland, forms the three
Baltic provinces of Russia. The population on the islands of the Gulf of
Finland is mostly Esthonian. In the higher ranks of society Esthonian is
hardly understood, and never spoken.

Besides the Finns and Esthonians, the Livonians and the Lapps must be
reckoned also amongst the same family. Their number, however, is small.
The population of Livonia consists chiefly of Esths, Letts, Russians, and
Germans. The number of Livonians speaking their own dialect is not more
than 5000.

The Lapps, or Laplanders, inhabit the most northern part of Europe. They
belong to Sweden and Russia. Their number is estimated at 28,000. Their
language has lately attracted much attention, and Castrén’s travels give a
description of their manners most interesting from its simplicity and

The Bulgaria branch comprises the Tcheremissians and Mordvinians,
scattered in disconnected colonies along the Volga, and surrounded by
Russian and Tataric dialects. Both languages are extremely artificial in
their grammar, and allow an accumulation of pronominal affixes at the end
of verbs, surpassed only by the Bask, the Caucasian, and those American
dialects that have been called Polysynthetic.

The general name given to these tribes, Bulgaric, is not borrowed from
Bulgaria, on the Danube; Bulgaria, on the contrary, received its name
(replacing Moesia) from the Finnic armies by whom it was conquered in the
seventh century. Bulgarian tribes advanced from the Volga to the Don, and
after remaining for a time under the sovereignty of the Avars on the Don
and Dnieper, they advanced to the Danube in 635, and founded the Bulgarian
kingdom. This has retained its name to the present day, though the Finnic
Bulgarians have long been absorbed by Slavonic inhabitants, and both
brought under Turkish sway since 1392.

The third, or Permic branch, comprises the idioms of the Votiakes, the
Sirianes, and the Permians, three dialects of one language. _Perm_ was the
ancient name for the country between 61°-76° E. lon. and 55°-65° N. lat.
The Permic tribes were driven westward by their eastern neighbors, the
Voguls, and thus pressed upon their western neighbors, the Bulgars of the
Volga. The Votiakes are found between the rivers Vyatka and Kama.
Northwards follow the Sirianes, inhabiting the country on the Upper Kâma,
while the eastern portion is held by the Permians. These are surrounded on
the south by the Tatars of Orenburg and the Bashkirs; on the north by the
Samoyedes, and on the east by Voguls, who pressed on them from the Ural.

These Voguls, together with Hungarians and Ostiakes, form the fourth and
last branch of the Finnic family, the Ugric. It was in 462, after the
dismemberment of Attila’s Hunnic empire that these Ugric tribes approached
Europe. They were then called Onagurs, Saragurs, and Urogs; and in later
times they occur in Russian chronicles as Ugry. They are the ancestors of
the Hungarians, and should not be confounded with the Uigurs, an ancient
Turkic tribe mentioned before.

The similarity between the Hungarian language and dialects of Finnic
origin, spoken east of the Volga, is not a new discovery. In 1253, Wilhelm
Ruysbroeck, a priest who travelled beyond the Volga, remarked that a race
called Pascatir, who live on the Yaïk, spoke the same language as the
Hungarians. They were then settled east of the old Bulgarian kingdom, the
capital of which, the ancient Bolgari, on the left of the Volga, may still
be traced in the ruins of Spask. If these Pascatir—the portion of the
Ugric tribes that remained east of the Volga—are identical with the
Bashkir, as Klaproth supposes, it would follow that, in later times, they
gave up their language, for the present Bashkir no longer speak a
Hungarian, but a Turkic, dialect. The affinity of the Hungarian and the
Ugro-Finnic dialects was first proved philologically by Gyarmathi in 1799.

A few instances may suffice to show this connection:—

Hungarian.        Tcheremissian.    English.
Atya-m            atya-m            my father.
Atya-d            atya-t            thy father.
Atya              atya-se           his father.
Atya-nk           atya-ne           our father.
Atya-tok          atya-da           your father.
Aty-ok            atya-st           their father.


             Hungarian.        Esthonian.        English.
Nom.         vér               werri             blood.
Gen.         véré              werre             of blood.
Dat          vérnek            werrele           to blood.
Acc.         vért              werd              blood.
Abl.         vérestöl          werrist           from blood.


Hungarian.        Esthonian.        English.
Lelem             leian             I find.
Leled             leiad             thou findest.
Leli              leiab             he finds.
Leljük            leiame            we find.
Lelitek           leiate            you find.
Lelik             leiawad           they find.

A Comparative Table of the NUMERALS of each of the Four Branches of the
FINNIC CLASS, showing the degree of their relationship.

                            1          2          3          4
Chudic, Finnish             yksi       kaksi      kolme      neljä
Chudic, Esthonian           iits       kats       kolm       nelli
Bulgaric, Tcheremissian     ik         kok        kum        nil
Bulgaric, Mordvinian        vaike      kavto      kolmo      nile
Permic, Sirianian           ötik       kyk        kujim      ujoli
Ugric, Ostiakian            it         kat        chudem     njeda
Ugric, Hungarian            egy        ket        harom      negy

                            5          6          7
Chudic, Finnish             viisi      kuusi      seitsemän
Chudic, Esthonian           wiis       kuas       seitse
Bulgaric, Tcheremissian     vis        kut        sim
Bulgaric, Mordvinian        väte       kóto       sisem
Permic, Sirianian           vit        kvait      sizim
Ugric, Ostiakian            vet        chut       tabet
Ugric, Hungarian            öt         hat        het

                            8           9          10
Chudic, Finnish             kahdeksan   yhdeksan   kymmenen
Chudic, Esthonian           kattesa     üttesa     kümme
Bulgaric, Tcheremissian     kändäxe     endexe     lu
Bulgaric, Mordvinian        kavsko      väikse     kämen
Permic, Sirianian           kökjâmys    ökmys      das
Ugric, Ostiakian            nida        arjong     jong
Ugric, Hungarian            njolcz      kilencz    tiz

We have thus examined the four chief classes of the Turanian family, the
Tungusic, Mongolic, Turkic, and Finnic. The Tungusic branch stands lowest;
its grammar is not much richer than Chinese, and in its structure there is
an absence of that architectonic order which in Chinese makes the
Cyclopean stones of language hold together without cement. This applies,
however, principally to the Mandshu; other Tungusic dialects spoken, not
in China, but in the original seats of the Mandshus, are even now
beginning to develop grammatical forms.

The Mongolic dialects excel the Tungusic, but in their grammar can hardly
distinguish between the different parts of speech. The spoken idioms of
the Mongolians, as of the Tungusians, are evidently struggling towards a
more organic life, and Castrén has brought home evidence of incipient
verbal growth in the language of the Buriäts and a Tungusic dialect spoken
near Nyertchinsk.

This is, however, only a small beginning, if compared with the profusion
of grammatical resources displayed by the Turkic languages. In their
system of conjugation, the Turkic dialects can hardly be surpassed. Their
verbs are like branches which break down under the heavy burden of fruits
and blossoms. The excellence of the Finnic languages consists rather in a
diminution than increase of verbal forms; but in declension Finnish is
even richer than Turkish.

These four classes, together with the Samoyedic, constitute the northern
or Ural-Altaic division of the Turanian family.

The southern division consists of the Tamulic, the Gangetic
(Trans-Himalayan and Sub-Himalayan), the Lohitic, the Taïc, and the Malaïc
classes.(305) These two divisions comprehend very nearly all the languages
of Asia, with the exception of Chinese, which, together with its
neighboring dialects, forms the only representative of radical or
monosyllabic speech. A few, such as Japanese,(306) the language of Korea,
of the Koriakes, the Kamchadales, and the numerous dialects of the
Caucasus, &c., remain unclassed; but in them also some traces of a common
origin with the Turanian languages have, it is probable, survived, and
await the discovery of philological research.

Of the third, or inflectional, stage, I need not say much, as we have
examined its structure when analyzing in our former Lectures a number of
words in Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, or any other of the Aryan languages. The
chief distinction between an inflectional and an agglutinative language
consists in the fact that agglutinative languages preserve the
consciousness of their roots, and therefore do not allow them to be
affected by phonetic corruption; and, though they have lost the
consciousness of the original meaning of their terminations, they feel
distinctly the difference between the significative root, and the
modifying elements. Not so in the inflectional languages. There the
various elements which enter into the composition of words, may become so
welded together, and suffer so much from phonetic corruption, that none
but the educated would be aware of an original distinction between root
and termination, and none but the comparative grammarian able to discover
the seams that separate the component parts.

If you consider the character of our morphological classification, you
will see that this classification, differing thereby from the
genealogical, must be applicable to all languages. Our classification
exhausts all possibilities. If the component elements of language are
roots, predicative and demonstrative, we cannot have more than three
combinations. Roots may either remain roots without any modification; or
secondly, they may be joined so that one determines the other and loses
its independent existence; or thirdly, they may be joined and be allowed
to coalesce, so that both lose their independent existence. The number of
roots which enter into the composition of a word makes no difference, and
it is unnecessary, therefore, to admit a fourth class, sometimes called
_polysynthetic_, or _incorporating_, including most of the American
languages. As long as in these sesquipedalian compounds, the significative
root remains distinct, they belong to the agglutinative stage; as soon as
it is absorbed by the terminations, they belong to the inflectional stage.
Nor is it necessary to distinguish between _synthetic_ and _analytical_
languages, including under the former name the ancient, and under the
latter the modern, languages of the inflectional class. The formation of
such phrases as the French _j’aimerai_, for _j’ai à aimer_, or the
English, _I shall do_, _thou wilt do_, may be called _analytical_ or
_metaphrastic_. But in their morphological nature these phrases are still
inflectional. If we analyze such a phrase as _je vivrai_, we find it was
originally _ego_ (Sanskrit _aham_) _vivere_ (Sanskrit _jîv-as-e_, dat.
neut.) _habeo_ (Sanskrit _bhâ-vayâ-mi_); that is to say, we have a number
of words in which grammatical articulation has been almost entirely
destroyed, but has not been cast off; whereas in Turanian languages
grammatical forms are produced by the combination of integral roots, and
the old and useless terminations are first discarded before any new
combination takes place.(307)

At the end of our morphological classification a problem presents itself,
which we might have declined to enter upon if we had confined ourselves to
a genealogical classification. At the end of our genealogical
classification we had to confess that only a certain number of languages
had as yet been arranged genealogically, and that therefore the time for
approaching the problem of the common origin of all languages had not yet
come. Now, however, although we have not specified all languages which
belong to the radical, the terminational, and inflectional classes, we
have clearly laid it down as a principle, that all languages must fall
under one or the other of these three categories of human speech. It would
not be consistent, therefore, to shrink from the consideration of a
problem, which, though beset with many difficulties, cannot be excluded
from the science of language.

Let us first see our problem clearly and distinctly. The problem of the
common origin of languages has no necessary connection with the problem of
the common origin of mankind. If it could be proved that languages had had
different beginnings, this would in nowise necessitate the admission of
different beginnings of the human race. For if we look upon language as
natural to man, it might have broken out at different times and in
different countries among the scattered descendants of one original pair;
if, on the contrary, language is to be treated as an artificial invention,
there is still less reason why each succeeding generation should not have
invented its own idiom.

Nor would it follow, if it could be proved that all the dialects of
mankind point to one common source, that therefore the human race must
descend from one pair. For language might have been the property of one
favored race, and have been communicated to the other races in the
progress of history.

The science of language and the science of ethnology have both suffered
most seriously from being mixed up together. The classification of races
and languages should be quite independent of each other. Races may change
their languages, and history supplies us with several instances where one
race adopted the language of another. Different languages, therefore, may
be spoken by one race, or the same language may be spoken by different
races; so that any attempt at squaring the classification of races and
tongues must necessarily fail.

Secondly, the problem of the common origin of languages has no connection
with the statements contained in the Old Testament regarding the creation
of man, and the genealogies of the patriarchs. If our researches led us to
the admission of different beginnings for the languages of mankind, there
is nothing in the Old Testament opposed to this view. For although the
Jews believed that for a time the whole earth was of one language and of
one speech, it has long been pointed out by eminent divines, with
particular reference to the dialects of America, that new languages might
have arisen at later times. If, on the contrary, we arrive at the
conviction that all languages can be traced back to one common source, we
could never think of transferring the genealogies of the Old Testament to
the genealogical classification of language. The genealogies of the Old
Testament refer to blood, not to language, and as we know that people,
without changing their name, did frequently change their language, it is
clearly impossible that the genealogies of the Old Testament should
coincide with the genealogical classification of languages. In order to
avoid a confusion of ideas, it would be preferable to abstain altogether
from using the same names to express relationship of language which in the
Bible are used to express relationship of blood. It was usual formerly to
speak of _Japhetic_, _Hamitic_ and _Semitic_ languages. The first name has
now been replaced by _Aryan_, the second by _African_; and though the
third is still retained, it has received a scientific definition quite
different from the meaning which it would have in the Bible. It is well to
bear this in mind, in order to prevent not only those who are forever
attacking the Bible with arrows that cannot reach it, but likewise those
who defend it with weapons they know not how to wield, from disturbing in
any way the quiet progress of the science of language.

Let us now look dispassionately at our problem. The problem of the
possibility of a common origin of all languages naturally divides itself
into two parts, the _formal_ and the _material_. We are to-day concerned
with the formal part only. We have examined all possible forms which
language can assume, and we have now to ask, can we reconcile with these
three distinct forms, the radical, the terminational, and the
inflectional, the admission of one common origin of human speech? I answer
decidedly, Yes.

The chief argument that has been brought forward against the common origin
of language is this, that no monosyllabic or radical language has ever
entered into an agglutinative or terminational stage, and that no
agglutinative or terminational language has ever risen to the inflectional
stage. Chinese, it is said, is still what it has been from the beginning;
it has never produced agglutinative or inflectional forms; nor has any
Turanian language ever given up the distinctive feature of the
terminational stage, namely, the integrity of its roots.

In answer to this it should be pointed out that though each language, as
soon as it once becomes settled, retains that morphological character
which it had when it first assumed its individual or national existence,
it does not lose altogether the power of producing grammatical forms that
belong to a higher stage. In Chinese, and particularly in Chinese
dialects, we find rudimentary traces of agglutination. The _li_ which I
mentioned before as the sign of the locative, has dwindled down to a mere
postposition, and a modern Chinese is no more aware that _li_ meant
originally interior, than the Turanian is of the origin of his
case-terminations.(308) In the spoken dialects of Chinese, agglutinative
forms are of more frequent occurrence. Thus, in the Shanghai dialect, _wo_
is to speak, as a verb; _woda_, a word. Of _woda_ a genitive is formed,
_woda-ka_, a dative _pela woda_, an accusative _tang woda_.(309) In
agglutinative languages again, we meet with rudimentary traces of
inflection. Thus in Tamil the root _tûngu_, to sleep, has not retained its
full integrity in the derivative _tûkkam_, sleep.

I mention these instances, which might be greatly multiplied, in order to
show that there is nothing mysterious in the tenacity with which each
language clings in general to that stage of grammar which it had attained
at the time of its first settlement. If a family, or a tribe, or a nation,
has once accustomed itself to express its ideas according to one system of
grammar, that first mould remains and becomes stronger with each
generation. But, while Chinese was arrested and became traditional in this
very early stage the radical, other dialects passed on through that stage,
retaining their pliancy. They were not arrested, and did not become
traditional or national, before those who spoke them had learnt to
appreciate the advantage of agglutination. That advantage being once
perceived, a few single forms in which agglutination first showed itself
would soon, by that sense of analogy which is inherent in language, extend
their influence irresistibly. Languages arrested in that stage would cling
with equal tenacity to the system of agglutination. A Chinese can hardly
understand how language is possible, unless every syllable is
significative; a Turanian despises every idiom in which each word does not
display distinctly its radical and significative element; whereas, we who
are accustomed to the use of inflectional languages, are proud of the very
grammar which a Chinese and Turanian would treat with contempt.

The fact, therefore, that languages, if once settled, do not change their
grammatical constitution, is no argument against our theory, that every
inflectional language was once agglutinative, and every agglutinative
language was once monosyllabic. I call it a theory, but it is more than a
theory, for it is the only possible way in which the realities of Sanskrit
or any other inflectional language can be explained. As far as the formal
part of language is concerned, we cannot resist the conclusion that what
is now _inflectional_ was formerly _agglutinative_, and what is now
_agglutinative_ was at first _radical_. The great stream of language
rolled on in numberless dialects, and changed its grammatical coloring as
it passed from time to time through new deposits of thought. The different
channels which left the main current and became stationary and stagnant,
or, if you like, literary and traditional, retained forever that coloring
which the main current displayed at the stage of their separation. If we
call the radical stage _white_, the agglutinative _red_, and the
inflectional _blue_, then we may well understand why the white channels
should show hardly a drop of red or blue, or why the red channels should
hardly betray a shadow of blue; and we shall be prepared to find what we
do find, namely, white tints in the red, and white and red tints in the
blue channels of speech.

You will have perceived that in what I have said I only argue for the
possibility, not for the necessity, of a common origin of language.

I look upon the problem of the common origin of language, which I have
shown to be quite independent of the problem of the common origin of
mankind, as a question which ought to be kept open as long as possible. It
is not, I believe, a problem quite as hopeless as that of the plurality of
worlds, on which so much has been written of late, but it should be
treated very much in the same manner. As it is impossible to demonstrate
by the evidence of the senses that the planets are inhabited, the only way
to prove that they are, is to prove that it is impossible that they should
not be. Thus on the other hand, in order to prove that the planets are not
inhabited, you must prove that it is impossible that they should be. As
soon as the one or the other has been proved, the question will be set at
rest: till then it must remain an open question, whatever our own
predilections on the subject may be.

I do not take quite as desponding a view of the problem of the common
origin of language, but I insist on this, that we ought not to allow this
problem to be in any way prejudged. Now it has been the tendency of the
most distinguished writers on comparative philology to take it almost for
granted, that after the discovery of the two families of language, the
Aryan and Semitic, and after the establishment of the close ties of
relationship which unite the members of each, it would be impossible to
admit any longer a common origin of language. It was natural, after the
criteria by which the unity of the Aryan as well as the Semitic dialects
can be proved had been so successfully defined, that the absence of
similar coincidences between any Semitic and Aryan language, or between
these and any other branch of speech, should have led to a belief that no
connection was admissible between them. A Linnæan botanist, who has his
definite marks by which to recognize an Anemone, would reject with equal
confidence any connection between the species Anemone and other flowers
which have since been classed under the same head though deficient in the
Linnæan marks of the Anemone.

But there are surely different degrees of affinity in languages as well as
in all other productions of nature, and the different families of speech,
though they cannot show the same signs of relationship by which their
members are held together, need not of necessity have been perfect
strangers to each other from the beginning.

Now I confess that when I found the argument used over and over again,
that it is impossible any longer to speak of a common origin of language,
because comparative philology had proved that there existed various
families of language, I felt that this was not true, that at all events it
was an exaggeration.

The problem, if properly viewed, bears the following aspect:—“_If you wish
to assert that language had various beginnings, you must prove it
impossible that language could have had a common origin._”

No such impossibility has ever been established with regard to a common
origin of the Aryan and Semitic dialects; while on the contrary the
analysis of the grammatical forms in either family has removed many
difficulties, and made it at least intelligible how, with materials
identical or very similar, two individuals, or two families, or two
nations, could in the course of time have produced languages so different
in form as Hebrew and Sanskrit.

But still greater light was thrown on the formative and metamorphic
process of language by the study of other dialects unconnected with
Sanskrit or Hebrew, and exhibiting before our eyes the growth of those
grammatical forms (grammatical in the widest sense of the word) which in
the Aryan and Semitic families we know only as formed, not as forming; as
decaying, not as living; as traditional, not as understood and
intentional: I mean the Turanian languages. The traces by which these
languages attest their original relationship are much fainter than in the
Semitic and Aryan families, but they are so of necessity. In the Aryan and
Semitic families, the agglutinative process, by which alone grammatical
forms can be obtained, has been arrested at some time, and this could only
have been through religious or political influences. By the same power
through which an advancing civilization absorbs the manifold dialects in
which every spoken idiom naturally represents itself, the first political
or religious centralization must necessarily have put a check on the
exuberance of an agglutinative speech. Out of many possible forms one
became popular, fixed, and technical for each word, for each grammatical
category; and by means of poetry, law, and religion, a literary or
political language was produced to which thenceforth nothing had to be
added; which in a short time, after becoming unintelligible in its formal
elements, was liable to phonetic corruption only, but incapable of
internal resuscitation. It is necessary to admit a primitive concentration
of this kind for the Aryan and Semitic families, for it is thus only that
we can account for coincidences between Sanskrit and Greek terminations,
which were formed neither from Greek nor from Sanskrit materials, but
which are still identically the same in both. It is in this sense that I
call these languages political or state languages, and it has been truly
said that languages belonging to these families must be able to prove
their relationship by sharing in common not only what is regular and
intelligible, but what is anomalous, unintelligible, and dead.

If no such concentration takes place, languages, though formed of the same
materials and originally identical, must necessarily diverge in what we
may call dialects, but in a very different sense from the dialects such as
we find in the later periods of political languages. The process of
agglutination will continue in each clan, and forms becoming
unintelligible will be easily replaced by new and more intelligible
compounds. If the cases are formed by postpositions, new postpositions can
be used as soon as the old ones become obsolete. If the conjugation is
formed by pronouns, new pronouns can be used if the old ones are no longer
sufficiently distinct.

Let us ask then, what coincidences we are likely to find in agglutinative
dialects which have become separated, and which gradually approach to a
more settled state? It seems to me that we can only expect to find in them
such coincidences as Castrén and Schott have succeeded in discovering in
the Finnic, Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, and Samoyedic languages; and such
as Hodgson, Caldwell, Logan, and myself have pointed out in the Tamulic,
Gangetic, Lohitic, Taïc, and Malaïc languages. They must refer chiefly to
the radical materials of language, or to those parts of speech which it is
most difficult to reproduce, I mean pronouns, numerals, and prepositions.
These languages will hardly ever agree in what is anomalous or inorganic,
because their organism repels continually what begins to be formal and
unintelligible. It is astonishing rather, that any words of a conventional
meaning should have been discovered as the common property of the Turanian
languages, than that most of their words and forms should be peculiar to
each. These coincidences must, however, be accounted for by those who deny
the common origin of the Turanian languages; they must be accounted for,
either as the result of accident, or of an imitative instinct which led
the human mind everywhere to the same onomatopoëtic formations. This has
never been done, and it will require great efforts to achieve it.

To myself the study of the Turanian family was interesting particularly
because it offered an opportunity of learning how far languages, supposed
to be of a common origin, might diverge and become dissimilar by the
unrestrained operation of dialectic regeneration.

In a letter which I addressed to my friend, the late Baron Bunsen, and
which was published by him in his “Outlines of the Philosophy of Universal
History”(310) (vol. i. pp. 263-521), it had been my object to trace, as
far as I was able, the principles which guided the formation of
agglutinative languages, and to show how far languages may become
dissimilar in their grammar and dictionary, and yet allow us to treat them
as cognate dialects. In answer to the assertion that it was impossible, I
tried, in the fourth, fifth, and sixth sections of that Essay, to show
_how_ it was possible, that, starting from a common ground, languages as
different as Mandshu and Finnish, Malay and Siamese, should have arrived
at their present state, and might still be treated as cognate tongues. And
as I look upon this process of agglutination as the only intelligible
means by which language can acquire a grammatical organization, and clear
the barrier which has arrested the growth of the Chinese idiom, I felt
justified in applying the principles derived from the formation of the
Turanian languages to the Aryan and Semitic families. They also must have
passed through an agglutinative stage, and it is during that period alone
that we can account for the gradual divergence and individualization of
what we afterwards call the Aryan and Semitic forms of speech. If we can
account for the different appearance of Mandshu and Finnish, we can also
account for the distance between Hebrew and Sanskrit. It is true that we
do not know the Aryan speech during its agglutinative period, but we can
infer what it was when we see languages like Finnish and Turkish
approaching more and more to an Aryan type. Such has been the advance
which Turkish has made towards inflectional forms, that Professor Ewald
claims for it the title of a synthetic language, a title which he gives to
the Aryan and Semitic dialects after they have left the agglutinative
stage, and entered into a process of phonetic corruption and dissolution.
“Many of its component parts,” he says, “though they were no doubt
originally, as in every language, independent words, have been reduced to
mere vowels, or have been lost altogether, so that we must infer their
former presence by the changes which they have wrought in the body of the
word. _Göz_ means eye, and _gör_, to see; _ish_, deed, and _ir_, to do;
_îtsh_, the interior, _gîr_, to enter.”(311) Nay, he goes so far as to
admit some formal elements which Turkish shares in common with the Aryan
family, and which therefore could only date from a period when both were
still in their agglutinative infancy. For instance, _di_, as exponent of a
past action; _ta_, as the sign of the past participle of the passive;
_lu_, as a suffix to form adjectives, &c.(312) This is more than I should
venture to assert.

Taking this view of the gradual formation of language by agglutination, as
opposed to intussusception, it is hardly necessary to say that, if I speak
of a Turanian family of speech, I use the word family in a different sense
from that which it has with regard to the Aryan and Semitic languages. In
my Letter on the Turanian languages, which has been the subject of such
fierce attacks from those who believe in different beginnings of language
and mankind, I had explained this repeatedly, and I had preferred the term
of _group_ for the Turanian languages, in order to express as clearly as
possible that the relation between Turkish and Mandshu, between Tamil and
Finnish, was a different one, not in degree only, but in kind, from that
between Sanskrit and Greek. “These Turanian languages,” I said (p. 216),
“cannot be considered as standing to each other in the same relation as
Hebrew and Arabic, Sanskrit and Greek.” “They are radii diverging from a
common centre, not children of a common parent.” And still they are not so
widely distant as Hebrew and Sanskrit, because none of them has entered
into that new phase of growth or decay (p. 218) through which the Semitic
and Aryan languages passed after they had been settled, individualized,
and nationalized.

The real object of my Essay was therefore a defensive one. It was to show
how rash it was to speak of different independent beginnings in the
history of human speech, before a single argument had been brought forward
to establish the necessity of such an admission. The impossibility of a
common origin of language has never been proved, but, in order to remove
what were considered difficulties affecting the theory of a common origin,
I felt it my duty to show practically, and by the very history of the
Turanian languages, how such a theory was possible, or as I say in one
instance only, probable. I endeavored to show how even the most distant
members of the Turanian family, the one spoken in the north, the other in
the south of Asia, the _Finnic_ and the _Tamulic_, have preserved in their
grammatical organization traces of a former unity; and, if my opponents
admit that I have proved the ante-Brahmanic or Tamulic inhabitants of
India to belong to the Turanian family, they can hardly have been aware
that if this, the most extreme point of my argument be conceded,
everything else is involved, and must follow by necessity.

Yet I did not call the last chapter of my Essay, “On the Necessity of a
common origin of Language,” but “On the Possibility;” and, in answer to
the opinions advanced by the opposite party, I summed up my defence in
these two paragraphs:—


    “Nothing necessitates the admission of different independent
    beginnings for the _material_ elements of the Turanian, Semitic,
    and Aryan branches of speech;—nay, it is possible even now to
    point out radicals which, under various changes and disguises,
    have been current in these three branches ever since their first


    “Nothing necessitates the admission of different beginnings for
    the formal elements of the Turanian, Semitic, and Aryan branches
    of speech;—and though it is impossible to derive the Aryan system
    of grammar from the Semitic, or the Semitic from the Aryan, we can
    perfectly understand how, either through individual influences, or
    by the wear and tear of speech in its own continuous working, the
    different systems of grammar of Asia and Europe may have been

It will be seen, from the very wording of these two paragraphs, that my
object was to deny the necessity of independent beginnings, and to assert
the possibility of a common origin of language. I have been accused of
having been biassed in my researches by an implicit belief in the common
origin of mankind. I do not deny that I hold this belief, and, if it
wanted confirmation, that confirmation has been supplied by Darwin’s book
“On the Origin of Species.”(313) But I defy my adversaries to point out
one single passage where I have mixed up scientific with theological
arguments. Only if I am told that no “quiet observer would ever have
conceived the idea of deriving all mankind from one pair, unless the
Mosaic records had taught it,” I must be allowed to say in reply, that
this idea on the contrary is so natural, so consistent with all human laws
of reasoning, that, as far as I know, there has been no nation on earth
which, if it possessed any traditions on the origin of mankind, did not
derive the human race from one pair, if not from one person. The author of
the Mosaic records, therefore, though stripped, before the tribunal of
Physical Science, of his claims as an inspired writer, may at least claim
the modest title of a quiet observer, and if his conception of the
physical unity of the human race can be proved to be an error, it is an
error which he shares in common with other quiet observers, such as
Humboldt, Bunsen, Prichard, and Owen.(314)

The only question which remains to be answered is this, Was it one and the
same volume of water which supplied all the lateral channels of speech?
or, to drop all metaphor, are the roots which were joined together
according to the radical, the terminational, and inflectional systems,
identically the same? The only way to answer, or at least to dispose of,
this question is to consider the nature and origin of roots; and we shall
then have reached the extreme limits to which inductive reasoning can
carry us in our researches into the mysteries of human speech.


“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. Thus, although it is
impossible to determine with certainty what the steps were by which any
particular language was formed, yet if we can show, from the known
principles of human nature, how all its various parts _might_ gradually
have arisen, the mind is not only to a certain degree satisfied, but a
check is given to that indolent philosophy which refers to a miracle
whatever appearances, both in the natural and moral worlds, it is unable
to explain.”(315)

This quotation from an eminent Scotch philosopher contains the best advice
that could be given to the student of the science of language, when he
approaches the problem which we have to examine to-day, namely, the origin
of language. Though we have stripped that problem of the perplexing and
mysterious aspect which it presented to the philosophers of old, yet, even
in its simplest form, it seems to be almost beyond the reach of the human

If we were asked the riddle how images of the eye and all the sensations
of our senses could be represented by sounds, nay, could be so embodied in
sounds as to express thought and excite thought, we should probably give
it up as the question of a madman, who, mixing up the most heterogeneous
subjects, attempted to change color into sound and sound into
thought.(316) Yet this is the riddle which we have now to solve.

It is quite clear that we have no means of solving the problem of the
origin of language _historically_, or of explaining it as a matter of fact
which happened once in a certain locality and at a certain time. History
does not begin till long after mankind had acquired the power of language,
and even the most ancient traditions are silent as to the manner in which
man came in possession of his earliest thoughts and words. Nothing, no
doubt, would be more interesting than to know from historical documents
the exact process by which the first man began to lisp his first words,
and thus to be rid forever of all the theories on the origin of speech.
But this knowledge is denied us; and, if it had been otherwise, we should
probably be quite unable to understand those primitive events in the
history of the human mind.(317) We are told that the first man was the son
of God, that God created him in His own image, formed him of the dust of
the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. These are
simple facts, and to be accepted as such; if we begin to reason on them,
the edge of the human understanding glances off. Our mind is so
constituted that it cannot apprehend the absolute beginning or the
absolute end of anything. If we tried to conceive the first man created as
a child, and gradually unfolding his physical and mental powers, we could
not understand his living for _one_ day without supernatural aid. If, on
the contrary, we tried to conceive the first man created full-grown in
body and mind, the conception of an effect without a cause, of a
full-grown mind without a previous growth, would equally transcend our
reasoning powers. It is the same with the first beginnings of language.
Theologians who claim for language a divine origin drift into the most
dangerous anthropomorphism, when they enter into any details as to the
manner in which they suppose the Deity to have compiled a dictionary and
grammar in order to teach them to the first man, as a schoolmaster teaches
the deaf and dumb. And they do not see that, even if all their premises
were granted, they would have explained no more than how the first man
might have learnt a language, if there was a language ready made for him.
How that language was made would remain as great a mystery as ever.
Philosophers, on the contrary, who imagine that the first man, though left
to himself, would gradually have emerged from a state of mutism and have
invented words for every new conception that arose in his mind, forget
that man could not by his own power have acquired _the faculty_ of speech
which is the distinctive character of mankind,(318) unattained and
unattainable by the mute creation. It shows a want of appreciation as to
the real bearings of our problem, if philosophers appeal to the fact that
children are born without language, and gradually emerge from mutism to
the full command of articulate speech. We want no explanation how birds
learn to fly, created as they are with organs adapted to that purpose. Nor
do we wish to inquire how children learn to use the various faculties with
which the human body and soul are endowed. We want to gain, if possible,
an insight into the original faculty of speech; and for that purpose I
fear it is as useless to watch the first stammerings of children, as it
would be to repeat the experiment of the Egyptian king who intrusted two
new-born infants to a shepherd, with the injunction to let them suck a
goat’s milk, and to speak no word in their presence, but to observe what
word they would first utter.(319) The same experiment is said to have been
repeated by the Swabian emperor, Frederic II., by James IV. of Scotland,
and by one of the Mogul emperors of India. But, whether for the purpose of
finding out which was the primitive language of mankind, or of discovering
how far language was natural to man, the experiments failed to throw any
light on the problem before us. Children, in learning to speak, do not
invent language. Language is there ready made for them. It has been there
for thousands of years. They acquire the use of a language, and, as they
grow up, they may acquire the use of a second and a third. It is useless
to inquire whether infants, left to themselves, would invent a language.
It would be impossible, unnatural, and illegal to try the experiment, and,
without repeated experiments, the assertions of those who believe and
those who disbelieve the possibility of children inventing a language of
their own, are equally valueless. All we know for certain is, that an
English child, if left to itself, would never begin to speak English, and
that history supplies no instance of any language having thus been

If we want to gain an insight into the faculty of flying, which is a
characteristic feature of birds, all we can do is, first, to compare the
structure of birds with that of other animals which are devoid of that
faculty, and secondly, to examine the conditions under which the act of
flying becomes possible. It is the same with speech. Speech is a specific
faculty of man. It distinguishes man from all other creatures; and if we
wish to acquire more definite ideas as to the real nature of human speech,
all we can do is to compare man with those animals that seem to come
nearest to him, and thus to try to discover what he shares in common with
these animals, and what is peculiar to him and to him alone. After we have
discovered this, we may proceed to inquire into the conditions under which
speech becomes possible, and we shall then have done all that we can do,
considering that the instruments of our knowledge, wonderful as they are,
are yet far too weak to carry us into all the regions to which we may soar
on the wings of our imagination.

In comparing man with the other animals, we need not enter here into the
physiological questions whether the difference between the body of an ape
and the body of a man is one of degree or of kind. However that question
is settled by physiologists we need not be afraid. If the structure of a
mere worm is such as to fill the human mind with awe, if a single glimpse
which we catch of the infinite wisdom displayed in the organs of the
lowest creature gives us an intimation of the wisdom of its Divine Creator
far transcending the powers of our conception, how are we to criticise and
disparage the most highly organized creatures of His creation, creatures
as wonderfully made as we ourselves? Are there not many creatures on many
points more perfect even than man? Do we not envy the lion’s strength, the
eagle’s eye, the wings of every bird? If there existed animals altogether
as perfect as man in their physical structure, nay, even more perfect, no
thoughtful man would ever be uneasy. His true superiority rests on
different grounds. “I confess,” Sydney Smith writes, “I feel myself so
much at ease about the superiority of mankind—I have such a marked and
decided contempt for the understanding of every baboon I have ever seen—I
feel so sure that the blue ape without a tail will never rival us in
poetry, painting, and music, that I see no reason whatever that justice
may not be done to the few fragments of soul and tatters of understanding
which they may really possess.” The playfulness of Sydney Smith in
handling serious and sacred subjects has of late been found fault with by
many: but humor is a safer sign of strong convictions and perfect safety
than guarded solemnity.

With regard to our own problem, no one can doubt that certain animals
possess all the physical requirements for articulate speech. There is no
letter of the alphabet which a parrot will not learn to pronounce.(320)
The fact, therefore, that the parrot is without a language of his own,
must be explained by a difference between the _mental_, not between the
_physical_, faculties of the animal and man; and it is by a comparison of
the mental faculties alone, such as we find them in man and brutes, that
we may hope to discover what constitutes the indispensable qualification
for language, a qualification to be found in man alone, and in no other
creature on earth.

I say _mental faculties_, and I mean to claim a large share of what we
call our mental faculties for the higher animals. These animals have
_sensation_, _perception_, _memory_, _will_, and _intellect_, only we must
restrict intellect to the comparing or interlacing of single perceptions.
All these points can be proved by irrefragable evidence, and that evidence
has never, I believe, been summed up with greater lucidity and power than
in one of the last publications of M. P. Flourens, “De la Raison, du
Génie, et de la Folie:” Paris, 1861. There are no doubt many people who
are as much frightened at the idea that brutes have souls and are able to
think, as by “the blue ape without a tail.” But their fright is entirely
of their own making. If people will use such words as soul or thought
without making it clear to themselves and others what they mean by them,
these words will slip away under their feet, and the result must be
painful. If we once ask the question, Have brutes a soul? we shall never
arrive at any conclusion; for _soul_ has been so many times defined by
philosophers from Aristotle down to Hegel, that it means everything and
nothing. Such has been the confusion caused by the promiscuous employment
of the ill-defined terms of mental philosophy that we find Descartes
representing brutes as living machines, whereas Leibniz claims for them
not only souls, but immortal souls. “Next to the error of those who deny
the existence of God,” says Descartes, “there is none so apt to lead weak
minds from the right path of virtue, as to think that the soul of brutes
is of the same nature as our own; and, consequently, that we have nothing
to fear or to hope after this life, any more than flies or ants; whereas,
if we know how much they differ, we understand much better that _our_ soul
is quite independent of the body, and consequently not subject to die with
the body.”

The spirit of these remarks is excellent, but the argument is extremely
weak. It does not follow that brutes have no souls because they have no
human souls. It does not follow that the souls of men are not immortal,
because the souls of brutes are not immortal; nor has the _major premiss_
ever been proved by any philosopher, namely, that the souls of brutes must
necessarily be destroyed and annihilated by death. Leibniz, who has
defended the immortality of the human soul with stronger arguments than
even Descartes, writes:—“I found at last how the souls of brutes and their
sensations do not at all interfere with the immortality of human souls; on
the contrary, nothing serves better to establish our natural immortality
than to believe that all souls are imperishable.”

Instead of entering into these perplexities, which are chiefly due to the
loose employment of ill-defined terms, let us simply look at the facts.
Every unprejudiced observer will admit that—

1. Brutes see, hear, taste, smell, and feel; that is to say, they have
five senses, just like ourselves, neither more nor less. They have both
sensation and perception, a point which has been illustrated by M.
Flourens by the most interesting experiments. If the roots of the optic
nerve are removed, the retina in the eye of a bird ceases to be excitable,
the iris is no longer movable; the animal is blind, because it has lost
the organ of _sensation_. If, on the contrary, the cerebral lobes are
removed, the eye remains pure and sound, the retina excitable, the iris
movable. The eye is preserved, yet the animal cannot see, because it has
lost the organs of _perception_.

2. Brutes have sensations of pleasure and pain. A dog that is beaten
behaves exactly like a child that is chastised, and a dog that is fed and
fondled exhibits the same signs of satisfaction as a boy under the same
circumstances. We can only judge from signs, and if they are to be trusted
in the case of children, they must be trusted likewise in the case of

3. Brutes do not forget, or as philosophers would say, brutes have memory.
They know their masters, they know their home; they evince joy on
recognizing those who have been kind to them, and they bear malice for
years to those by whom they have been insulted or ill-treated. Who does
not recollect the dog Argos in the Odyssey, who, after so many years’
absence, was the first to recognize Ulysses?(321)

4. Brutes are able to compare and to distinguish. A parrot will take up a
nut, and throw it down again, without attempting to crack it. He has found
that it is light; this he could discover only by comparing the weight of
the good nuts with that of the bad: and he has found that it has no
kernel; this he could discover only by what philosophers would dignify
with the grand title of syllogism, namely, “all light nuts are hollow;
this is a light nut, therefore this nut is hollow.”

5. Brutes have a will of their own. I appeal to any one who has ever
ridden a restive horse.

6. Brutes show signs of shame and pride. Here again any one who has to
deal with dogs, who has watched a retriever with sparkling eyes placing a
partridge at his master’s feet, or a hound slinking away with his tail
between his legs from the huntsman’s call, will agree that these signs
admit of but one interpretation. The difficulty begins when we use
philosophical language, when we claim for brutes a moral sense, a
conscience, a power of distinguishing good and evil; and, as we gain
nothing by these scholastic terms, it is better to avoid them altogether.

7. Brutes show signs of love and hatred. There are well-authenticated
stories of dogs following their masters to the grave, and refusing food
from any one. Nor is there any doubt that brutes will watch their
opportunity till they revenge themselves on those whom they dislike.

If, with all these facts before us, we deny that brutes have sensation,
perception, memory, will, and intellect, we ought to bring forward
powerful arguments for interpreting the signs which we observe in brutes
so differently from those which we observe in men.

Some philosophers imagine they have explained everything, if they ascribe
to brutes _instinct_ instead of _intellect_. But, if we take these two
words in their usual acceptations, they surely do not exclude each
other.(322) There are instincts in man as well as in brutes. A child takes
his mother’s breast by instinct; the spider weaves its net by instinct;
the bee builds her cell by instinct. No one would ascribe to the child a
knowledge of physiology because it employs the exact muscles which are
required for sucking; nor shall we claim for the spider a knowledge of
mechanics, or for the bee an acquaintance with geometry, because _we_
could not do what they do without a study of these sciences. But what if
we tear a spider’s web, and see the spider examining the mischief that is
done, and either giving up his work in despair, or endeavoring to mend it
as well as may be?(323) Surely here we have the instinct of weaving
controlled by observation, by comparison, by reflection, by judgment.
Instinct, whether mechanical or moral, is more prominent in brutes than in
man; but it exists in both, as much as intellect is shared by both.

Where, then, is the difference between brute and man?(324) 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. This
is our matter of fact answer to those who speak of development, who think
they discover the rudiments at least of all human faculties in apes, and
who would fain keep open the possibility that man is only a more favored
beast, the triumphant conqueror in the primeval struggle for life.
Language is something more palpable than a fold of the brain, or an angle
of the skull. It admits of no cavilling, and no process of natural
selection will ever distill significant words out of the notes of birds or
the cries of beasts.

Language, however, is only the outward sign. We may point to it in our
arguments, we may challenge our opponent to produce anything approaching
to it from the whole brute world. But if this were all, if the art of
employing articulate sounds for the purpose of communicating our
impressions were the only thing by which we could assert our superiority
over the brute creation, we might not unreasonably feel somewhat uneasy at
having the gorilla so close on our heels.

It cannot be denied that brutes, though they do not use articulate sounds
for that purpose, have nevertheless means of their own for communicating
with each other. When a whale is struck, the whole shoal, though widely
dispersed, are instantly made aware of the presence of an enemy; and when
the grave-digger beetle finds the carcass of a mole, he hastens to
communicate the discovery to his fellows, and soon returns with his _four_
confederates.(325) It is evident, too, that dogs, though they do not
speak, possess the power of understanding much that is said to them, their
names and the calls of their master; and other animals, such as the
parrot, can pronounce every articulate sound. Hence, although for the
purpose of philosophical warfare, articulate language would still form an
impregnable position, yet it is but natural that for our own satisfaction
we should try to find out in what the strength of our position really
consists; or, in other words, that we should try to discover that inward
power of which language is the outward sign and manifestation.

For this purpose it will be best to examine the opinions of those who
approached our problem from another point; who, instead of looking for
outward and palpable signs of difference between brute and man, inquired
into the inward mental faculties, and tried to determine the point where
man transcends the barriers of the brute intellect. That point, if truly
determined, ought to coincide with the starting-point of language: and, if
so, that coincidence ought to explain the problem which occupies us at

I shall read an extract from Locke’s Essay concerning Human Understanding.

After having explained how universal ideas are made, how the mind, having
observed the same color in chalk, and snow, and milk, comprehends these
single perceptions under the general conception of whiteness, Locke
continues:(326) “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.”

If Locke is right in considering the having general ideas as the
distinguishing feature between man and brutes, and, if we ourselves are
right in pointing to language as the one palpable distinction between the
two, it would seem to follow that language is the outward sign and
realization of that inward faculty which is called the faculty of
abstraction, but which is better known to us by the homely name of Reason.

Let us now look back to the result of our former Lectures. It was this.
After we had explained everything in the growth of language that can be
explained, there remained in the end, as the only inexplicable residuum,
what we called _roots_. These roots formed the constituent elements of all
languages. This discovery has simplified the problem of the origin of
language immensely. It has taken away all excuse for those rapturous
descriptions of language which invariably preceded the argument that
language must have a divine origin. We shall hear no more of that
wonderful instrument which can express all we see, and hear, and taste,
and touch, and smell; which is the breathing image of the whole world;
which gives form to the airy feelings of our souls, and body to the
loftiest dreams of our imagination; which can arrange in accurate
perspective the past, the present, and the future, and throw over
everything the varying hues of certainty, of doubt, of contingency. All
this is perfectly true, but it is no longer wonderful, at least not in the
Arabian Nights sense of that word. “The speculative mind,” as Dr. Ferguson
says, “in comparing the first and last steps of the progress of language,
feels the same sort of amazement with a traveller, who, after rising
insensibly on the slope of a hill, comes to look from a precipice of an
almost unfathomable depth to the summit of which he scarcely believes
himself to have ascended without supernatural aid.” To certain minds it is
a disappointment to be led down again by the hand of history from that
high summit. They prefer the unintelligible which they can admire, to the
intelligible which they can only understand. But to a mature mind reality
is more attractive than fiction, and simplicity more wonderful than
complication. Roots may seem dry things as compared with the poetry of
Goethe. Yet there is something more truly wonderful in a root than in all
the lyrics of the world.

What, then, are these roots? In our modern languages roots can only be
discovered by scientific analysis, and, even as far back as Sanskrit, we
may say that no root was ever used as a noun or as a verb. But originally
roots were thus used, and in Chinese we have fortunately preserved to us a
representative of that primitive radical stage which, like the granite,
underlies all other strata of human speech. The Aryan root _DÂ_, to give,
appears in Sanskrit _dâ-nam_, _donum_, gift, as a substantive; in _do_,
Sanskrit _dadâmi_, Greek _di-dō-mi_, I give, as a verb; but the root DÂ
can never be used by itself. In Chinese, on the contrary, the root TA, as
such, is used in the sense of a noun, greatness; of a verb, to be great;
of an adverb, greatly or much. Roots therefore are not, as is commonly
maintained, merely scientific abstractions, but they were used originally
as real words. What we want to find out is this, What inward mental phase
is it that corresponds to these roots, as the germs of human speech?

Two theories have been started to solve this problem, which, for
shortness’ sake, I shall call the _Bow-wow theory_ and the _Pooh-pooh

According to the first, roots are imitations of sounds, according to the
second, they are involuntary interjections. The first theory was very
popular among the philosophers of the eighteenth century, and, as it is
still held by many distinguished scholars and philosophers, we must
examine it more carefully. It is supposed then that man, being as yet
mute, heard the voices of birds and dogs and cows, the thunder of the
clouds, the roaring of the sea, the rustling of the forest, the murmurs of
the brook, and the whisper of the breeze. He tried to imitate these
sounds, and finding his mimicking cries useful as signs of the objects
from which they proceeded, he followed up the idea and elaborated
language. This view was most ably defended by Herder.(328) “Man,” he says,
“shows conscious reflection when his soul acts so freely that it may
separate, in the ocean of sensations which rush into it through the
senses, one single wave, arrest it, regard it, being conscious all the
time of regarding this one single wave. Man proves his conscious
reflection when, out of the dream of images that float past his senses, he
can gather himself up and wake for a moment, dwelling intently on one
image, fixing it with a bright and tranquil glance, and discovering for
himself those signs by which he knows that _this_ is _this_ image and no
other. Man proves his conscious reflection when he not only perceives
vividly and distinctly all the features of an object, but is able to
separate and recognize one or more of them as its distinguishing
features.” For instance, “Man sees a lamb. He does not see it like the
ravenous wolf. He is not disturbed by any uncontrollable instinct. He
wants to know it, but he is neither drawn towards it nor repelled from it
by his senses. The lamb stands before him, as represented by his senses,
white, soft, woolly. The conscious and reflecting soul of man looks for a
distinguishing mark;—the lamb bleats!—the mark is found. The bleating
which made the strongest impression, which stood apart from all other
impressions of sight or touch, remains in the soul. The lamb
returns—white, soft, woolly. The soul sees, touches, reflects, looks for a
mark. The lamb bleats, and now the soul has recognized it. ‘Ah, thou art
the bleating animal,’ the soul says within herself; and the sound of
bleating, perceived as the distinguishing mark of the lamb, becomes the
name of the lamb. It was the comprehended mark, the word. And what is the
whole of our language but a collection of such words?”

Our answer is, that though there are names in every language formed by
mere imitation of sound, yet these constitute a very small proportion of
our dictionary. They are the playthings, not the tools, of language, and
any attempt to reduce the most common and necessary words to imitative
roots ends in complete failure. Herder himself, after having most
strenuously defended this theory of Onomatopoieia, as it is called, and
having gained a prize which the Berlin Academy had offered for the best
essay on the origin of language, renounced it openly towards the latter
years of his life, and threw himself in despair into the arms of those who
looked upon languages as miraculously revealed. We cannot deny the
possibility that _a_ language might have been formed on the principle of
imitation; all we say is, that as yet no language has been discovered that
was so formed. An Englishman in China,(329) seeing a dish placed before
him about which he felt suspicious, and wishing to know whether it was a
duck, said, with an interrogative accent,

_Quack quack?_

He received the clear and straightforward answer,


This, no doubt, was as good as the most eloquent conversation on the same
subject between an Englishman and a French waiter. But I doubt whether it
deserves the name of language. We do not speak of a _bow-wow_, but of a
dog. We speak of a cow, not of a _moo_. Of a lamb, not of a _baa_. It is
the same in more ancient languages, such as Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit. If
this principle of Onomatopoieia is applicable anywhere, it would be in the
formation of the names of animals. Yet we listen in vain for any
similarity between goose and cackling, hen and clucking, duck and
quacking, sparrow and chirping, dove and cooing, hog and grunting, cat and
mewing, between dog and barking, yelping, snarling, or growling.

There are of course some names, such as _cuckoo_, which are clearly formed
by an imitation of sound. But words of this kind are, like artificial
flowers, without a root. They are sterile, and are unfit to express
anything beyond the one object which they imitate. If you remember the
variety of derivatives that could be formed from the root _spac_, to see,
you will at once perceive the difference between the fabrication of such a
word as _cuckoo_, and the true natural growth of words.

Let us compare two words such as _cuckoo_ and _raven_. _Cuckoo_ in English
is clearly a mere imitation of the cry of that bird, even more so than the
corresponding terms in Greek, Sanskrit, and Latin. In these languages the
imitative element has received the support of a derivative suffix; we have
_kokila_ in Sanskrit, and _kokkyx_ in Greek, _cuculus_ in Latin.(330)
_Cuckoo_ is, in fact, a modern word, which has taken the place of the
Anglo-Saxon _geac_, the German _Gauch_, and, being purely onomatopoëtic,
it is of course not liable to the changes of Grimm’s Law. As the word
_cuckoo_ predicates nothing but the sound of a particular bird, it could
never be applied for expressing any general quality in which other animals
might share; and the only derivatives to which it might give rise are
words expressive of a metaphorical likeness with the bird. The same
applies to _cock_, the Sanskrit _kukkuṭa_. Here, too, Grimm’s Law does not
apply, for both words were intended to convey merely the cackling sound of
the bird; and, as this intention continued to be felt, phonetic change was
less likely to set in. The Sanskrit _kukkuṭa_ is not derived from any
root, it simply repeats the cry of the bird, and the only derivatives to
which it gives rise are metaphorical expressions, such as the French
_coquet_, originally strutting about like a cock; _coquetterie_; _cocart_,
conceited; _cocarde_, a cockade; _coquelicot_, originally a cock’s comb,
then the wild red poppy, likewise so called from its similarity with a
cock’s comb.

Let us now examine the word _raven_. It might seem at first, as if this
also was merely onomatopoëtic. Some people imagine they perceive a kind of
similarity between the word _raven_ and the cry of that bird. This seems
still more so if we compare the Anglo-Saxon _hrafn_, the German _Rabe_,
Old High-German _hraban_. The Sanskrit _kârava_ also, the Latin _corvus_,
and the Greek _korōnē_, all are supposed to show some similarity with the
unmelodious sound of _Maître Corbeau_. But as soon as we analyze the word
we find that it is of a different structure from _cuckoo_ or _cock_. It is
derived from a root which has a general predicative power. The root _ru_
or _kru_ is not a mere imitation of the cry of the raven; it embraces many
cries, from the harshest to the softest, and it might have been applied to
the nightingale as well as to the raven. In Sanskrit this root exists as
_ru_, a verb which is applied to the murmuring sound of rivers as well as
to the barking of dogs and the mooing of cows. From it are derived
numerous words in Sanskrit. In Latin we find _raucus_, hoarse; _rumor_, a
whisper; in German _rûnen_, to speak low, and _runa_, mystery. The Latin
_lamentum_ stands for an original _ravimentum_ or _cravimentum_. This root
_ru_ has several secondary forms, such as the Sanskrit _rud_, to cry; the
Latin _rug_ in _rugire_, to howl; the Greek _kru_ or _klu_, in _klaiō_,
_klausomai_; the Sanskrit _kruś_, to shout; the Gothic _hrukjan_, to crow,
and _hropjan_, to cry; the German _rufen_. Even the common Aryan word for
hearing is closely allied to this root. It is _śru_ in Sanskrit, _klyō_ in
Greek, _cluo_ in Latin; and before it took the recognized meaning of
hearing, it meant to sound, to ring. When a noise was to be heard in a far
distance, the man who first perceived it might well have said I ring, for
his ears were sounding and ringing; and the same verb, if once used as a
transitive, expressed exactly what we mean by I hear a noise.

You will have perceived thus that the process which led to the formation
of the word _kârava_ in Sanskrit is quite distinct from that which
produced _cuckoo_. _Kârava_(331) means a shouter, a caller, a crier. It
might have been applied to many birds; but it became the traditional and
recognized name for the crow. Cuckoo could never mean anything but the
cuckoo, and while a word like _raven_ has ever so many relations from a
_rumor_ down to _a row_, cuckoo stands by itself like a stick in a living

It is curious to observe how apt we are to deceive ourselves when we once
adopt this system of Onomatopoieia. Who does not imagine that he hears in
the word “thunder” an imitation of the rolling and rumbling noise which
the old Germans ascribed to their God Thor playing at nine-pins? Yet
_thunder_ is clearly the same word as the Latin _tonitru_. The root is
_tan_, to stretch. From this root _tan_, we have in Greek _tonos_, our
tone, _tone_ being produced by the stretching and vibrating of cords. In
Sanskrit the sound thunder is expressed by the same root _tan_, but in the
derivatives _tanyu_, _tanyatu_, and _tanayitnu_, thundering, we perceive
no trace of the rumbling noise which we imagined we perceived in the Latin
_tonitru_ and the English _thunder_. The very same root _tan_, to stretch,
yields some derivatives which are anything but rough and noisy. The
English _tender_, the French _tendre_, the Latin _tener_, are derived from
it. Like _tenuis_, the Sanskrit _tanu_, the English _thin_, _tener_ meant
originally what was extended over a larger surface, then _thin_, then
_delicate_. The relationship betwixt _tender_, _thin_, and _thunder_ would
be hard to establish if the original conception of thunder had really been
its rumbling noise.

Who does not imagine that he hears something sweet in the French _sucre_,
_sucré_? Yet sugar came from India, and it is there called _śarkhara_,
which is anything but sweet sounding. This _śarkhara_ is the same word as
_sugar_; it was called in Latin _saccharum_, and we still speak of
_saccharine_ juice, which is sugar juice.

In _squirrel_ again some people imagine they hear something of the
rustling and whirling of the little animal. But we have only to trace the
name back to Greek, and there we find that _skiouros_ is composed of two
distinct words, the one meaning shade, the other tail; the animal being
called shade-tail by the Greeks.

Thus the word _cat_, the German _katze_, is supposed to be an imitation of
the sound made by a cat spitting. But if the spitting were expressed by
the sibilant, that sibilant does not exist in the Latin _catus_, nor in
_cat_, or _kitten_, nor in the German _kater_.(332) The Sanskrit
_mârjâra_, cat, might seem to imitate the purring of the cat; but it is
derived from the root _mṛij_, to clean, _mârjâra_, meaning the animal that
always cleans itself.

Many more instances might be given to show how easily we are deceived by
the constant connection of certain sounds and certain meanings in the
words of our own language, and how readily we imagine that there is
something in the sound to tell us the meaning of the words. “The sound
must seem an echo to the sense.”

Most of these Onomatopoieias vanish as soon as we trace our own names back
to Anglo-Saxon and Gothic, or compare them with their cognates in Greek,
Latin, or Sanskrit. The number of names which are really formed by an
imitation of sound dwindle down to a very small quotum if cross-examined
by the comparative philologist, and we are left in the end with the
conviction that though _a_ language might have been made out of the
roaring, fizzing, hissing, gobbling, twittering, cracking, banging,
slamming, and rattling sounds of nature, the tongues with which _we_ are
acquainted point to a different origin.(333)

And so we find many philosophers, and among them Condillac, protesting
against a theory which would place man even below the animal. Why should
man be supposed, they say, to have taken a lesson from birds and beasts?
Does he not utter cries, and sobs, and shouts himself, according as he is
affected by fear, pain, or joy? These cries or interjections were
represented as the natural and real beginnings of human speech. Everything
else was supposed to have been elaborated after their model. This is what
I call the Interjectional, or Pooh-pooh, Theory.

Our answer to this theory is the same as to the former. There are no doubt
in every language interjections, and some of them may become traditional,
and enter into the composition of words. But these interjections are only
the outskirts of real language. Language begins where interjections end.
There is as much difference between a real word, such as “to laugh,” and
the interjection ha, ha! between “I suffer,” and oh! as there is between
the involuntary act and noise of sneezing, and the verb “to sneeze.” We
sneeze, and cough, and scream, and laugh in the same manner as animals,
but if Epicurus tells us that we speak in the same manner as dogs bark,
moved by nature,(334) our own experience will tell us that this is not the

An excellent answer to the interjectional theory has been given by Horne

“The dominion of speech,” he says,(335) “is erected upon the downfall of
interjections. Without the artful contrivances of language, mankind would
have had nothing but interjections with which to communicate, orally, any
of their feelings. The neighing of a horse, the lowing of a cow, the
barking of a dog, the purring of a cat, sneezing, coughing, groaning,
shrieking, and every other involuntary convulsion with oral sound, have
almost as good a title to be called parts of speech, as interjections
have. Voluntary interjections are only employed where the suddenness and
vehemence of some affection or passion returns men to their natural state;
and makes them for a moment forget the use of speech; or when, from some
circumstance, the shortness of time will not permit them to exercise it.”

As in the case of Onomatopoieia, it cannot be denied that with
interjections, too, some kind of language might have been formed; but not
a language like that which we find in numerous varieties among all the
races of men. One short interjection may be more powerful, more to the
point, more eloquent than a long speech. In fact, interjections, together
with gestures, the movements of the muscles of the mouth, and the eye,
would be quite sufficient for all purposes which language answers with the
majority of mankind. Lucian, in his treatise on dancing, mentions a king
whose dominions bordered on the Euxine. He happened to be at Rome in the
reign of Nero, and, having seen a pantomime perform, begged him of the
emperor as a present, in order that he might employ him as an interpreter
among the nations in his neighborhood with whom he could hold no
intercourse on account of the diversity of language. A pantomime meant a
person who could mimic everything, and there is hardly anything which
cannot be thus expressed. We, having language at our command, have
neglected the art of speaking without words; but in the south of Europe
that art is still preserved. If it be true that one look may speak
volumes, it is clear that we might save ourselves much of the trouble
entailed by the use of discursive speech. Yet we must not forget that
_hum!_ _ugh!_ _tut!_ _pooh!_ are as little to be called words as the
expressive gestures which usually accompany these exclamations.

As to the attempts at deriving some of our words etymologically from mere
interjections, they are apt to fail from the same kind of misconception
which leads us to imagine that there is something expressive in the sounds
of words. Thus it is said “that the idea of disgust takes its rise in the
senses of smell and taste, in the first instance probably in smell alone;
that in defending ourselves from a bad smell we are instinctively impelled
to screw up the nose, and to expire strongly through the compressed and
protruded lips, giving rise to a sound represented by the interjections
faugh! foh! fie! From this interjection it is proposed to derive, not only
such words as _foul_ and _filth_, but, by transferring it from natural to
moral aversion, the English _fiend_, the German _Feind_.” If this were
true, we should suppose that the expression of contempt was chiefly
conveyed by the aspirate f, by the strong emission of the breathing with
half-opened lips. But _fiend_ is a participle from a root _fian_, to hate;
in Gothic _fijan_; and as a Gothic aspirate always corresponds to a tenuis
in Sanskrit, the same root in Sanskrit would at once lose its expressive
power. It exists in fact in Sanskrit as _pîy_, to hate, to destroy; just
as _friend_ is derived from a root which in Sanskrit is _prî_, to

There is one more remark which I have to make about the Interjectional and
the Onomatopoëtic theories, namely this: If the constituent elements of
human speech were either mere cries, or the mimicking of the cries of
nature, it would be difficult to understand why brutes should be without
language. There is not only the parrot, but the mocking-bird and others,
which can imitate most successfully both articulate and inarticulate
sounds; and there is hardly an animal without the faculty of uttering
interjections, such as huff, hiss, baa, &c. It is clear also that if what
puts a perfect distinction betwixt man and brutes is the having of general
ideas, language which arises from interjections and from the imitation of
the cries of animals could not claim to be the outward sign of that
distinctive faculty of man. All words, in the beginning at least (and this
is the only point which interests us), would have been the signs of
individual impressions and individual perceptions, and would only
gradually have been adapted to the expression of general ideas.

The theory which is suggested to us by an analysis of language carried out
according to the principles of comparative philology is the very opposite.
We arrive in the end at roots, and every one of these expresses a general,
not an individual, idea. Every name, if we analyze it, contains a
predicate by which the object to which the name applies was known.

There is an old controversy among philosophers, whether language
originated in general appellations, or in proper names.(337) It is the
question of the _primum cognitum_, and its consideration will help us
perhaps in discovering the true nature of the root, or the _primum

Some philosophers, among whom I may mention Locke, Condillac, Adam Smith,
Dr. Brown, and with some qualification Dugald Stewart, maintain that all
terms, as at first employed, are expressive of individual objects. I quote
from Adam Smith. “The assignation,” he says, “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 endeavor to make their mutual wants
intelligible to each other by uttering certain sounds whenever they meant
to denote certain objects. Those objects only which were most familiar to
them, and which they had most frequent occasion to mention, would have
particular names assigned to them. The particular cave whose covering
sheltered them from the weather, the particular tree whose fruit relieved
their hunger, the particular fountain whose water allayed their thirst,
would first be denominated by the words _cave_, _tree_, _fountain_, or by
whatever other appellations they might think proper, in that primitive
jargon, to mark them. Afterwards, when the more enlarged experience of
these savages had led them to observe, and their necessary occasions
obliged them to make mention of, other caves, and other trees, and other
fountains, they would naturally bestow upon each of those new objects the
same name by which they had been accustomed to express the similar object
they were first acquainted with. The new objects had none of them any name
of its own, but each of them exactly resembled another object which had
such an appellation. It was impossible that those savages could behold the
new objects without recollecting the old ones; and the name of the old
ones, to which the new bore so close a resemblance. When they had
occasion, therefore, to mention or to point out to each other any of the
new objects, they would naturally utter the name of the correspondent old
one, of which the idea could not fail, at that instant, to present itself
to their memory in the strongest and liveliest manner. And thus those
words, which were originally the proper names of individuals, became the
common name of a multitude. A child that is just learning to speak calls
every person who comes to the house its papa or its mamma; and thus
bestows upon the whole species those names which it had been taught to
apply to two individuals. I have known a clown who did not know the proper
name of the river which ran by his own door. It was _the river_, he said,
and he never heard any other name for it. His experience, it seems, had
not led him to observe any other river. The general word _river_ therefore
was, it is evident, in his acceptance of it, a proper name signifying an
individual object. If this person had been carried to another river, would
he not readily have called it _a river_? Could we suppose any person
living on the banks of the Thames so ignorant as not to know the general
word _river_, but to be acquainted only with the particular word _Thames_,
if he were brought to any other river, would he not readily call it a
_Thames_? This, in reality, is no more than what they who are well
acquainted with the general word are very apt to do. An Englishman,
describing any great river which he may have seen in some foreign country,
naturally says that it is another Thames.... 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_.”

This extract from Adam Smith will give a clear idea of one view of the
formation of thought and language. I shall now read another extract,
representing the diametrically opposite view. It is taken from
Leibniz,(338) who maintains that general terms are necessary for the
essential constitution of languages. He likewise appeals to children.
“Children,” he says, “and those who know but little of the language which
they attempt to speak, or little of the subject on which they would employ
it, make use of general terms, as _thing_, _plant_, _animal_, instead of
using proper names, of which they are destitute. And it is certain that
all proper or individual names have been originally appellative or
general.” And again: “Thus I would make bold to affirm that almost all
words have been originally general terms, because it would happen very
rarely that man would invent a name, expressly and without a reason, to
denote this or that individual. We may, therefore, assert that the names
of individual things were names of species, which were given _par
excellence_, or otherwise, to some individual; as the name _Great Head_ to
him of the whole town who had the largest, or who was the man of the most
consideration of the great heads known.”

It might seem presumptuous to attempt to arbitrate between such men as
Leibniz and Adam Smith, particularly when both speak so positively as they
do on this subject. But there are two ways of judging of former
philosophers. One is to put aside their opinions as simply erroneous where
they differ from our own. This is the least satisfactory way of studying
ancient philosophy. Another way is to try to enter fully into the opinions
of those from whom we differ, to make them, for a time at least, our own,
till at last we discover the point of view from which each philosopher
looked at the facts before him, and catch the light in which he regarded
them. We shall then find that there is much less of downright error in the
history of philosophy than is commonly supposed; nay, we shall find
nothing so conducive to a right appreciation of truth as a right
appreciation of the error by which it is surrounded.

Now, in the case before us, Adam Smith is no doubt right, when he says
that the first individual cave which is called cave gave the name to all
other caves. In the same manner, the first _town_, though a mere
enclosure, gave the name to all other towns; the first imperial residence
on the Palatine hill gave the name to all palaces. Slight differences
between caves, towns, or palaces are readily passed by, and the first name
becomes more and more general with every new individual to which it is
applied. So far Adam Smith is right, and the history of almost every
substantive might be cited in support of his view. But Leibniz is equally
right when, in looking beyond the first emergence of such names as cave or
town or palace, he asks how such names could have arisen. Let us take the
Latin names of cave. A cave in Latin is called _antrum_, _cavea_,
_spelunca_. Now _antrum_ means really the same as _internum_. _Antar_ in
Sanskrit means _between_ and _within_.(339) _Antrum_, therefore, meant
originally what is within or inside the earth or anything else. It is
clear, therefore, that such a name could not have been given to any
individual cave, unless the general idea of being within, or inwardness,
had been present in the mind. This general idea once formed, and once
expressed by the pronominal root _an_ or _antar_, the process of naming is
clear and intelligible. The place where the savage could live safe from
rain and from the sudden attacks of wild beasts, a natural hollow in the
rock, he would call his _within_, his _antrum_; and afterwards similar
places, whether dug in the earth or cut in a tree, would be designated by
the same name. The same general idea, however, would likewise supply other
names, and thus we find that the _entrails_ were called _antra_ (neuter)
in Sanskrit, _enteron_ in Greek, originally things within.

Let us take another word for cave, which is _căvea_ or _căverna_. Here
again Adam Smith would be perfectly right in maintaining that this name,
when first given, was applied to one particular cave, and was afterwards
extended to other caves. But Leibniz would be equally right in maintaining
that in order to call even the first hollow _cavea_, it was necessary that
the general idea of _hollow_ should have been formed in the mind, and
should have received its vocal expression _cav_. Nay we may go a step
beyond, for _cavus_, or hollow, is a secondary, not a primary, idea.
Before a cave was called _cavea_, a hollow thing, many things hollow had
passed before the eyes of men. Why then was a hollow thing, or a hole,
called by the root _cav_? Because what had been hollowed out was intended
at first as a place of safety and protection, as a cover; and it was
called therefore by the root _ku_ or _sku_, which conveyed the idea of to
cover.(340) Hence the general idea of covering existed in the mind before
it was applied to hiding-places in rocks or trees, and it was not till an
expression had thus been framed for things hollow or safe in general, that
caves in particular could be designated by the name of _cavea_ or hollows.

Another form for _cavus_ was _koilos_, hollow. The conception was
originally the same; a hole was called _koilon_ because it served as a
cover. But once so used _koilon_ came to mean a cave, a vaulted cave, a
vault, and thus the heaven was called _cœlum_, the modern _ciel_, because
it was looked upon as a vault or cover for the earth.

It is the same with all nouns. They all express originally one out of the
many attributes of a thing, and that attribute, whether it be a quality or
an action, is necessarily a general idea. The word thus formed was in the
first instance intended for one object only, though of course it was
almost immediately extended to the whole class to which this object seemed
to belong. When a word such as _rivus_, river, was first formed, no doubt
it was intended for a certain river, and that river was called _rivus_,
from a root _ru_ or _sru_, to run, because of its running water. In many
instances a word meaning river or runner remained the proper name of one
river, without ever rising to the dignity of an appellative. Thus
_Rhenus_, the Rhine, means river or runner, but it clung to one river, and
could not be used as an appellative for others. The Ganges is the Sanskrit
_Gangâ_, literally the Go-go; a word very well adapted for any majestic
river, but in Sanskrit restricted to the one sacred stream. The Indus
again is the Sanskrit _Sindhu_, and means the irrigator, from _syand_, to
sprinkle. In this case, however, the proper name was not checked in its
growth, but was used likewise as an appelative for any great stream.

We have thus seen how the controversy about the _primum cognitum_ assumes
a new and perfectly clear aspect. The first thing really known is the
general. It is through it that we know and name afterwards individual
objects of which any general idea can be predicated, and it is only in the
third stage that these individual objects, thus known and named, become
again the representatives of whole classes, and their names or proper
names are raised into appellatives.(341)

There is a petrified philosophy in language, and if we examine the most
ancient word for name we find it is _nâman_ in Sanskrit, _nomen_ in Latin,
_namo_ in Gothic. This _nâman_ stands for _gnâman_, which is preserved in
the Latin _co-gnomen_. The _g_ is dropped as in _natus_, son, for
_gnatus_. _Nâman_, therefore, and name are derived from the root gnâ, to
know, and meant originally that by which we know a thing.

And how do we know things? We perceive things by our senses, but our
senses convey to us information about single things only. But to _know_ is
more than to feel, than to perceive, more than to remember, more than to
compare. No doubt words are much abused. We speak of a dog _knowing_ his
master, of an infant _knowing_ his mother. In such expressions, to know
means to recognize. But to know a thing, means more than to recognize it.
We know a thing if we are able to bring it, and any part of it, under more
general ideas. We then say, not that we have a perception, but a
conception, or that we have a general idea of a thing. The facts of nature
are perceived by our senses; the thoughts of nature, to borrow an
expression of Oersted’s, can be conceived by our reason only.(342) Now the
first step towards this real knowledge, a step which, however small in
appearance, separates man forever from all other animals, is the _naming
of a thing_, or the making a thing knowable. All naming is classification,
bringing the individual under the general; and whatever we know, whether
empirically or scientifically, we know it only by means of our general
ideas. Other animals have sensation, perception, memory, and, in a certain
sense, intellect; but all these, in the animal, are conversant with single
objects only. Man has sensation, perception, memory, intellect, and
reason, and it is his reason only that is conversant with general

Through reason we not only stand a step above the brute creation: we
belong to a different world. We look down on our merely animal experience,
on our sensations, perceptions, our memory, and our intellect, as
something belonging to us, but not as constituting our most inward and
eternal self. Our senses, our memory, our intellect, are like the lenses
of a telescope. But there is an eye that looks through them at the
realities of the outer world, our own rational and self-conscious soul; a
power as distinct from our perceptive faculties as the sun is from the
earth which it fills with light, and warmth, and life.

At the very point where man parts company with the brute world, at the
first flash of reason as the manifestation of the light within us, there
we see the true genesis of language. Analyze any word you like, and you
will find that it expresses a general idea peculiar to the individual to
which the name belongs. What is the meaning of moon?—the measurer. What is
the meaning of sun?—the begetter. What is the meaning of earth?—the
ploughed. The old name given to animals, such as cows and sheep, was
_pasú_, the Latin _pecus_, which means _feeders_. _Animal_ itself is a
later name, and derived from _anima_, soul. This _anima_ again meant
originally blowing or breathing, like spirit from _spirare_, and was
derived from a root, _an_, to blow, which gives us _anila_, wind, in
Sanskrit, and _anemos_, wind, in Greek. _Ghost_, the German _Geist_, is
based on the same conception. It is connected with _gust_, with _yeast_,
and even with the hissing and boiling _geysers_ of Iceland. _Soul_ is the
Gothic _saivala_, and this is clearly related to another Gothic word,
_saivs_,(344) which means the sea. The sea was called _saivs_ from a root
_si_ or _siv_, the Greek _seiō_, to shake; it meant the tossed-about
water, in contradistinction to stagnant or running water. The soul being
called _saivala_, we see that it was originally conceived by the Teutonic
nations as a sea within, heaving up and down with every breath, and
reflecting heaven and earth on the mirror of the deep.

The Sanskrit name for love is _smara_; it is derived from _smar_, to
recollect; and the same root has supplied the German _schmerz_, pain, and
the English _smart_.

If the serpent is called in Sanskrit _sarpa_, it is because it was
conceived under the general idea of creeping, an idea expressed by the
word _srip_. But the serpent was also called _ahi_ in Sanskrit, in Greek
_echis_ or _echidna_, in Latin _anguis_. This name is derived from quite a
different root and idea. The root is _ah_ in Sanskrit, or _anh_, which
means to press together, to choke, to throttle. Here the distinguishing
mark from which the serpent was named was his throttling, and _ahi_ meant
serpent, as expressing the general idea of throttler. It is a curious root
this _anh_, and it still lives in several modern words. In Latin it
appears as _ango_, _anxi_, _anctum_, to strangle, in _angina_,
quinsy,(345) in _angor_, suffocation. But _angor_ meant not only quinsy or
compression of the neck; it assumed a moral import and signifies anguish
or anxiety. The two adjectives _angustus_, narrow, and _anxius_, uneasy,
both come from the same source. In Greek the root retained its natural and
material meaning; in _eggys_, near, and _echis_, serpent, throttler. But
in Sanskrit it was chosen with great truth as the proper name of sin. Evil
no doubt presented itself under various aspects to the human mind, and its
names are many; but none so expressive as those derived from our root,
_anh_, to throttle. _Anhas_ in Sanskrit means sin, but it does so only
because it meant originally throttling,—the consciousness of sin being
like the grasp of the assassin on the throat of his victim. All who have
seen and contemplated the statue of Laokoon and his sons, with the serpent
coiled round them from head to foot, may realize what those ancients felt
and saw when they called sin _anhas_, or the throttler. This _anhas_ is
the same word as the Greek _agos_, sin. In Gothic the same root has
produced _agis_, in the sense of _fear_, and from the same source we have
_awe_, in awful, _i.e._ fearful, and _ug_, in _ugly_. The English
_anguish_ is from the French _angoisse_, the Italian _angoscia_, a
corruption of the Latin _angustiæ_, a strait.

And how did those early thinkers and framers of language distinguish
between man and the other animals? What general idea did they connect with
the first conception of themselves? The Latin word _homo_, the French
_l’homme_, which has been reduced to _on_ in _on dit_, is derived from the
same root which we have in _humus_, the soil, _humilis_, humble. _Homo_,
therefore, would express the idea of a being made of the dust of the

Another ancient word for man was the Sanskrit _marta_,(347) the Greek
_brotos_, the Latin _mortalis_ (a secondary derivative), our own _mortal_.
_Marta_ means “he who dies,” and it is remarkable that where everything
else was changing, fading, and dying, this should have been chosen as the
distinguishing name for man. Those early poets would hardly have called
themselves mortals unless they had believed in other beings as immortal.

There is a third name for man which means simply the thinker, and this,
the true title of our race, still lives in the name of _man_. _Mâ_ in
Sanskrit means to measure, from which you remember we had the name of
moon. _Man_, a derivative root, means to think. From this we have the
Sanskrit _manu_, originally thinker, then man. In the later Sanskrit we
find derivatives, such as _mânava_, _mânusha_, _manushya_, all expressing
man. In Gothic we find both _man_, and _mannisks_, the modern German
_mann_ and _mensch_.

There were many more names for man, as there were many names for all
things in ancient languages. Any feature that struck the observing mind as
peculiarly characteristic could be made to furnish a new name. The sun
might be called the bright, the warm, the golden, the preserver, the
destroyer, the wolf, the lion, the heavenly eye, the father of light and
life. Hence that superabundance of synonymes in ancient dialects, and
hence that _struggle for life_ carried on among these words, which led to
the destruction of the less strong, the less happy, the less fertile
words, and ended in the triumph of _one_, as the recognized and proper
name for every object in every language. On a very small scale this
process of _natural selection_, or, as it would better be called,
_elimination_, may still be watched even in modern languages, that is to
say, even in languages so old and full of years as English and French.
What it was at the first burst of dialects we can only gather from such
isolated cases as when Vón Hammer counts 5744 words relating to the

The fact that every word is originally a predicate, that names, though
signs of individual conceptions, are all, without exception, derived from
general ideas, is one of the most important discoveries in the science of
language. It was known before that language is the distinguishing
characteristic of man; it was known also that the having of general ideas
is that which puts a perfect distinction betwixt man and brutes; but that
these two were only different expressions of the same fact was not known
till the theory of roots had been established as preferable to the
theories both of Onomatopoieia and of Interjections. But, though our
modern philosophy did not know it, the ancient poets and framers of
language must have known it. For in Greek language is _logos_, but _logos_
means also reason, and _alogon_ was chosen as the name, and the most
proper name, for brute. No animal thinks, and no animal speaks, except
man. Language and thought are inseparable. Words without thought are dead
sounds; thoughts without words are nothing. To think is to speak low; to
speak is to think aloud. The word is the thought incarnate.

And now I am afraid I have but a few minutes left to explain the last
question of all in our science, namely—How can sound express thought? How
did roots become the signs of general ideas? How was the abstract idea of
measuring expressed by _mâ_, the idea of thinking by _man_? How did _gâ_
come to mean going, _sthâ_ standing, _sad_ sitting, _dâ_ giving, _mar_
dying, _char_ walking, _kar_ doing?

I shall try to answer as briefly as possible. The 400 or 500 roots which
remain as the constituent elements in different families of language are
not interjections, nor are they imitations. They are _phonetic types_
produced by a power inherent in human nature. They exist, as Plato would
say, by nature; though with Plato we should add that, when we say by
nature, we mean by the hand of God.(349) There is a law which runs through
nearly the whole of nature, that everything which is struck rings. Each
substance has its peculiar ring. We can tell the more or less perfect
structure of metals by their vibrations, by the answer which they give.
Gold rings differently from tin, wood rings differently from stone; and
different sounds are produced according to the nature of each percussion.
It was the same with man, the most highly organized of nature’s
works.(350) Man, in his primitive and perfect state, was not only endowed,
like the brute, with the power of expressing his sensations by
interjections, and his perceptions by onomatopoieia. He possessed likewise
the faculty of giving more articulate expression to the rational
conceptions of his mind. That faculty was not of his own making. It was an
instinct, an instinct of the mind as irresistible as any other instinct.
So far as language is the production of that instinct, it belongs to the
realm of nature. Man loses his instincts as he ceases to want them. His
senses become fainter when, as in the case of scent, they become useless.
Thus the creative faculty which gave to each conception, as it thrilled
for the first time through the brain, a phonetic expression, became
extinct when its object was fulfilled. The number of these _phonetic
types_ must have been almost infinite in the beginning, and it was only
through the same process of _natural elimination_ which we observed in the
early history of words, that clusters of roots, more or less synonymous,
were gradually reduced to one definite type. Instead of deriving language
from nine roots, like Dr. Murray,(351) or from _one_ root, a feat actually
accomplished by a Dr. Schmidt,(352) we must suppose that the first
settlement of the radical elements of language was preceded by a period of
unrestrained growth,—the spring of speech—to be followed by many an

With the process of elimination, or natural selection, the historical
element enters into the science of language. However primitive the Chinese
may be as compared with terminational and inflectional languages, its
roots or words have clearly passed through a long process of mutual
attrition. There are many things of a merely traditional character even in
Chinese. The rule that in a simple sentence the first word is the subject,
the second the verb, the third the object, is a traditional rule. It is by
tradition only that _ngŏ ģin_, in Chinese, means a bad man, whereas _ģin
ngŏ_ signifies man is bad. The Chinese themselves distinguish between
_full_ and _empty_ roots,(353) the former being predicative, the latter
corresponding to our particles which modify the meaning of full roots and
determine their relation to each other. It is only by tradition that roots
become empty. All roots were originally full whether predicative or
demonstrative, and the fact that empty roots in Chinese cannot always be
traced back to their full prototypes shows that even the most ancient
Chinese had passed through successive periods of growth. Chinese
commentators admit that all empty words were originally full words, just
as Sanskrit grammarians maintain that all that is found in grammar was
originally substantial. But we must be satisfied with but partial proofs
of this general principle, and must be prepared to find as many fanciful
derivations in Chinese as in Sanskrit. The fact, again, that all roots in
Chinese are no longer capable of being employed at pleasure, either as
substantives, or verbs, or adjectives, is another proof that, even in this
most primitive stage, language points back to a previous growth. _Fu_ is
father, _mu_ is mother; _fu mu_ parents; but neither _fu_ nor _mu_ is used
as a root in its original predicative sense. The amplest proof, however,
of the various stages through which even so simple a language as Chinese
must have passed is to be found in the comparatively small number of
roots, and in the definite meanings attached to each; a result which could
only have been obtained by that constant struggle which has been so well
described in natural history as the struggle for life.

But although this sifting of roots, and still more the subsequent
combination of roots, cannot be ascribed to the mere working of nature or
natural instincts, it is still less, as we saw in a former Lecture, the
effect of deliberate or premeditated art, in the sense in which, for
instance, a picture of Raphael or a symphony of Beethoven is. Given a root
to express flying, or bird, and another to express heap, then the joining
together of the two to express many birds, or birds in the plural, is the
natural effect of the synthetic power of the human mind, or, to use more
homely language, of the power of putting two and two together. Some
philosophers maintain indeed that this explains nothing, and that the real
mystery to be solved is how the mind can form a synthesis, or conceive
many things as one. Into those depths we cannot follow. Other philosophers
imagine that the combination of roots to form agglutinative and
inflectional language is, like the first formation of roots, the result of
a natural instinct. Thus Professor Heyse(354) maintained that “the various
forms of development in language must be explained by the philosophers as
_necessary_ evolutions, founded in the very essence of human speech.” This
is not the case. We can watch the growth of language, and we can
understand and explain all that is the result of that growth. But we
cannot undertake to prove that all that is in language is so by necessity,
and could not have been otherwise. When we have, as in Chinese, two such
words as _kiai_ and _tu_, both expressing a heap, an assembly, a quantity,
then we may perfectly understand why either the one or the other should
have been used to form the plural. But if one of the two becomes fixed and
traditional, while the other becomes obsolete, then we can register the
fact as historical, but no philosophy on earth will explain its absolute
necessity. We can perfectly understand how, with two such roots as _kûŏ_,
empire, and _ćung_, middle, the Chinese should have formed what we call a
locative, _kŭŏ ćung_, in the empire. But to say that this was the only way
to express this conception is an assertion contradicted both by fact and
reason. We saw the various ways in which the future can be formed. They
are all equally intelligible and equally possible, but not one of them is
inevitable. In Chinese _ỳaó_ means to will, _ngò_ is I; hence _ngò ỳaó_, I
will. The same root _ỳaó_, added to _ḱiú_, to go, gives us _ngò ỳaó ḱiú_,
I will go, the first germ of our futures. To say that _ngò ỳaó ḱiú_ was
the necessary form of the future in Chinese would introduce a fatalism
into language which rests on no authority whatever. The building up of
language is not like the building of the cells in a beehive, nor is it
like the building of St. Peter’s by Michael Angelo. It is the result of
innumerable agencies, working each according to certain laws, and leaving
in the end the result of their combined efforts freed from all that proved
superfluous or useless. From the first combination of two such words as
_ģin_, man, _kiai_, many, to form the plural _ģin kiai_, to the perfect
grammar of Sanskrit and Greek, everything is intelligible as the result of
the two principles of growth which we considered in our second Lecture.
What is antecedent to the production of roots is the work of nature; what
follows after is the work of man, not in his individual and free, but in
his collective and moderating, capacity.

I do not say that every form in Greek or Sanskrit has as yet been analyzed
and explained. There are formations in Greek and Latin and English which
have hitherto baffled all tests; and there are certain contrivances, such
as the augment in Greek, the change of vowels in Hebrew, the Umlaut and
Ablaut in the Teutonic dialects, where we might feel inclined to suppose
that language admitted distinctions purely musical or phonetic,
corresponding to very palpable and material distinctions of thought. Such
a supposition, however, is not founded on any safe induction. It may seem
inexplicable to us why _bruder_ in German should form its plural as
_brüder_; or _brother_, _brethren_. But what is inexplicable and
apparently artificial in our modern languages becomes intelligible in
their more ancient phases. The change of _u_ into _ü_, as in _bruder_,
_brüder_, was not intentional; least of all was it introduced to expressed
plurality. The change is phonetic, and due to the influence of an _i_ or
_j_,(355) which existed originally in the last syllable and which reacted
regularly on the vowel of the preceding syllable; nay, which leaves its
effect behind, even after it has itself disappeared. By a false analogy
such a change, perfectly justifiable in a certain class of words, may be
applied to other words where no such change was called for; and it may
then appear as if an arbitrary change of vowels was intended to convey a
grammatical change. But even into these recesses the comparative
philologist can follow language, thus discovering a reason even for what
in reality was irrational and wrong. It seems difficult to believe that
the augment in Greek should originally have had an independent substantial
existence, yet all analogy is in favor of such a view. Suppose English had
never been written down before Wycliffe’s time, we should then find that
in some instances the perfect was formed by the mere addition of a short
_a_. Wycliffe spoke and wrote:(356) _I knowlech to a felid and seid þus_;
_i.e._ I acknowledge to have felt and said thus. In a similar way we read:
_it should a fallen_; instead of “it should have fallen;” and in some
parts of England common people still say very much the same: _I should a
done it_. Now in some old English books this _a_ actually coalesces with
the verb, at least they are printed together; so that a grammar founded on
them would give us “to fall” as the infinitive of the present, _to
afallen_ as the infinitive of the past. I do not wish for a moment to be
understood as if there was any connection between this _a_, a contraction
of _have_ in English, and the Greek augment which is placed before past
tenses. All I mean is, that, if the origin of the augment has not yet been
satisfactorily explained, we are not therefore to despair, or to admit an
arbitrary addition of a consonant or vowel, used as it were algebraically
or by mutual agreement, to distinguish a past from a present tense.

If inductive reasoning is worth anything, we are justified in believing
that what has been proved to be true on so large a scale, and in cases
where it was least expected, is true with regard to language in general.
We require no supernatural interference, nor any conclave of ancient
sages, to explain the realities of human speech. All that is formal in
language is the result of rational combination; all that is material, the
result of a mental instinct. The first natural and instinctive utterances,
if sifted differently by different clans, would fully account both for the
first origin and for the first divergence of human speech. We can
understand not only the origin of language, but likewise the necessary
breaking up of one language into many; and we perceive that no amount of
variety in the material or the formal elements of speech is incompatible
with the admission of one common source.

The Science of Language thus leads us up to that highest summit from
whence we see into the very dawn of man’s life on earth; and where the
words which we have heard so often from the days of our childhood—“And the
whole earth was of one language and of one speech”—assume a meaning more
natural, more intelligible, more convincing, than they ever had before.


And now in concluding this course of Lectures, I have only to express my
regret that the sketch of the Science of Language which I endeavored to
place before you, was necessarily so very slight and imperfect. There are
many points which I could not touch at all, many which I could only allude
to: there is hardly one to which I could do full justice. Still I feel
grateful to the President and the Council of this Institution for having
given me an opportunity of claiming some share of public sympathy for a
science which I believe has a great future in store; and I shall be
pleased, if, among those who have done me the honor of attending these
Lectures, I have excited, though I could not have satisfied, some
curiosity as to the strata which underlie the language on which we stand
and walk; and as to the elements which enter into the composition of the
very granite of our thoughts.


[Transcriber’s Note: The Appendix contains genealogical tables of the
language families. In the original, they were displayed as wide landscape
pages, which could not be rendered effectively in e-book format.  The
information in them has been reproduced here in textual paragraphs.]

No. 1. Genealogical Table of the Aryan Family of Languages.

The Aryan Family consists of two Divisions: The Southern Division, and the
Norther Division.

The Southern Division consists of two Classes: the Indic and Iranic.

The Indic Class consists of the dead languages Prakrit and Pali, Modern
Sanskrit, and Vedic Sanskrit, and the modern Dialects of India, and the
Dialects of the Gipsies.

The Iranic Class consists of the dead languages Parsi, Pehlevi, Cuneiform
Inscriptions, Zend, and Old Armenian; the the living languages of Persia,
Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Bokhara, Armenia, and Ossethi.

The Northern Division consists of six Classes: Celtic, Italic, Illyric,
Hellenic, Windic, and Teutonic.

The Celtic Class consists of two Branches: Cymric and Gadhelic.

The Cymric Branch consists of the dead language Cornish, and the living
languages of Wales and Brittany.

The Gadhelic Branch consists of the living languages of Scotland, Ireland,
and Man.

The Italic Class consists of the dead languages Oscan, Latin, and Umbrian,
together called Lingua Vulgaris, or Langue d’oc and Langue d’oil, and the
living languages of Portugal, Spain, Provençe, France, and Italy.

The Illyric Class consists of the living languages of Wallachia, the
Grisons, and Albania.

The Hellenic Class consists of the dead Κοινή languages, Doric, Æolic,
Attic, and Ionic, and the living language of Greece.

The Windic Class consists of three Branches: Lettic, South-East Slavonic,
and West Slavonic.

The Lettic Branch consists of the dead language Old Prussian, and the
living languages of Lithuania, Kurland and Livonia (Lettish).

The South-East Slavonic Branch consists of the dead language
Ecclesiastical Slavonic, and the living languages of Bulgaria, Russia
(Great, Little, White Russian), Illyria (Slovenian, Croatian, Servian).

The West Slavonic Branch consists of the dead languages Old Bohemian and
Pelabian, and the living languages of Poland, Bohemian (Slovakian), and

The Teutonic Class consists of three branches: High-German, Low-German,
and Scandinavian.

The High-German Branch consists of the dead languages Middle High-German
Old High-German, and the living language of Germany.

The Low-German Branch consists of the dead languages Gothic, Anglo-Saxon,
Old Dutch, Old Friesian, and Old Saxon, and the living languages of
England, Holland, Friesland, and North of Germany (Platt-Deutsch).

The Scandinavian Branch consists of the dead language Old Norse, and the
living languages of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland.

No. 2. Genealogical Table of the Semitic Family of Languages.

The Semitic Family Family consists of three Classes: the Arabic or
Southern, the Hebraic or Middle, and the Aramaic or Northern.

The Arabic or Southern Class consists of the dead languages Ethiopic and
the Himyaritic Inscriptions, and the living languages of Arabic and

The Hebraic or Middle Class consists of the dead languages Biblical
Hebrew, the Samaritan Pentateuch (third century, A. D.), the Carthaginian,
Phœnician Inscriptions, and the living language of the Jews.

The Aramaic or Northern Class consists of the dead languages Chaldee
(Masora, Talmud, Targum, Biblical Chaldee), Syriac (Peshito, second cent.
A. D.), Cuneiform Inscriptions of Babylon and Nineveh, and the living
language Neo-Syriac.

No. 3. Genealogical Table of the Turanian Family of Languages, Northern

The Northern Division of the Turanian Family consists of five Classes: the
Tungusic, Mongolic, Turkic, Samoyedic, and Finnic (Uralic).

The Tungusic Class consists of two Branches: Western and Eastern.

The Western Branch consists of the languages of the Chapogires (Upper
Tunguska), Orotongs (Lower Tunguska), and the People of Nyertchinsk.

The Eastern Branch consists of the languages of the Lamutes (Coast of
O’hotsk) and Mandshu (China).

The Mongolic Class consists of three Branches: Eastern or Mongols Proper,
Western Mongols, and Northern Mongols.

The Eastern or Mongols Proper Class consists of the languages of the
Sharra-Mongols (South of Gobi), Khalkhas (North of Gobi), and Sharaigol
(Tibet and Tangut).

The Western Mongols Class consists of the languages of the Chosot
(Kokonúr), Dsungur, Torgod, Dürbet, Aimaks (tribes of Persia), and Sokpas

The Northern Mongols Class consists of the language of the Buritäs (Lake

The Turkic Class consists of three Branches: Chagatic, S. E., Turkic, N.,
and Turkic, W.

The Chagatic Branch consists of the languages of the Uigurs, Komans,
Chagatais, Usbeks, Turkomans, and People of Kasan.

The N. Turkic Branch consists of the languages of the Kirgis, Bashkirs,
Nogais, Kumians, Karachais, Karakalpaks, Meshcheryäks, People of Siberia,
and Yakuts.

The W. Turkic Branch consists of the languages of the People of Derbend,
Aderbijan, Krimea, Anatolia, and Rumelia.

The Samoyedic Class consists of two Branches: Northern and Eastern.

The Northern Branch consists of the languages of the Yurazes, Tawgi, and

The Eastern Branch consists of the languages of the Ostiako-Samoyedes, and
the Kamas.

The Finnic (Uralic) Class consists of four Branches: Ugric, Bulgaric,
Permic, and Chudic.

The Ugric Branch consists of the languages of the Hungarians, Voguls, and

The Bulgaric Branch consists of the languages of the Tcheremissians and

The Permic Branch consists of the languages of the Permians, Sirianes, and

The Chudic Branch consists of the languages of the Lapps, Finns, and

No. 4. Genealogical Table of the Turanian Family of Languages, Southern

The Southern Division of the Turanian Family consists of six Classes: the
Taïc, Malaic, Gangetic, Lohitic, Munda (See Turanian Languages, p. 175),
and Tamulic.

The Taïc Class consists of the languages of Ahom, Laos, Khamti, and Shan

The Malaic Class consists of the languages of the Malay and Polynesian
Islands. (See Humboldt, Kavi Sprache.)

The Gangetic Class consists of two Branches: the Trans-Himalayan, and the

The Trans-Himalayan Branch consists of the languages Tibetan, Horpa (N.W.
Tibet, Bucharia), Thochu-Sifan (N.E. Tibet, China), Gyarung-Sifan (N.E.
Tibet, China), Manyak-Sifan (N.E. Tibet, China), and Takpa (West of

The Sub-Himalayan Branch consists of the languages Kenaveri (Setlej
basin), Sarpa (West of Gandakéan basin), Sunwár (Gandakéan basin), Gurung
(Gandakéan basin), Magar (Gandakéan basin), Newár (between Gandakéan and
Koséan basins), Murmi (between Gandakéan and Koséan basins), Limbú (Koséan
basin), Kiranti (Koséan basin), Lepcha (Tishtéan basin), Bhutanese
(Manaséan basin), and  Chepang (Nepal-Terai).

The Lohitic Class consists of the languages of Burmese (Burmah and
Arakan), Dhimâl (between Konki and Dhorla), Kachari-Bodo (Migrat. 80° to
93-1/2°, and 25° to 27°), Garo (90°-91° E. long.; 25°-26° N. lat.),
Changlo (91°-92° E. long.), Mikir (Nowgong), Dophla (92° 50’-97° N. lat.),
Miri (94°-97° E. long.?), Abor-Miri, Abor (97°-99° E. long.),
Sibsagor-Miri, Singpho (27°-28° N. lat.), Naga tribes (93°-97° E. long.;
23° N. lat.) (Mithan) E. of Sibsagor, Naga tribes (Namsang), Naga tribes
(Nowgong), Naga tribes (Tengsa), Naga tribes (Tablung N. of Sibsagor),
Naga tribes (Khaü, Jorhat), Naga tribes (Angami, South), Kuki (N.E. of
Chittagong), Khyeng (Shyu) (19°-21° N. lat. Arakan), Kami (Kuladan R.
Arakan), Kumi (Kuladan R. Arakan), Shendus (22°-23° and 93-94°), Mru
(Arakan, Chittagong), Sak (Nauf River, East), and Tungihu (Tenasserim).

The Munda Class consists of the languages Ho (Kolehan), Sinhbhum Kol
(Chyebossa), Sontal (Chyebossa), Bhumij (Chyebossa), Mundala (Chota
Nagpur), and Canarese.

The Tamulic Class consists of the languages Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam,
Gond, Brahvi, Tuluva, Toduva, and Uraon-kol.


Abdu-l-Kadir Maluk, Mulla, Shah of Badáún, his general history of India,
            and other works, 151 _note_.

Abhîra, or Âbhîra, at the mouth of the Indus, 204.

Abiria, the, of Ptolemy, 204.

Ablative, the, in Chinese, 119 _note_.

Abraham, the language of, 278.

Abu Saleh, his translation from Sanskrit into Arabic, 150.

Abyssinian language, ancient and modern, 281.

Academy, New, doctrines of the, embraced in Rome, 107.

Accusative, formation of the, in Chinese, 118 _note_.

Achæmenian dynasty, inscriptions of the, 210.

Adelung, his Mithridates, 142.

Adjectives, formation of, in Tibetan, 113 _note_.
  in Chinese, 119 _note_.

Ælius Stilo, Lucius, his lectures in Rome, on Latin grammar, 109.

Affinity, indications of true, in the animal and vegetable world, 26, 27.

Afghanistan, the language of, 210.

Africa, South, dialects of, 64.

African language, an imaginary, 223.

_Âge_, history of the French word, 292.

Agglutination in the Turanian family of languages, 291.

Aglossoi, the, of the Greeks, 92.

Agriculture of the Chaldeans, work on the, 279.
  Punic work of Mago on, 94 _note_.

Ahirs, the, of Cutch, 204.

Akbar, the Emperor, his search after the true religion, 151.

Akbar, his foundation of the so-called Ilahi religion, 151.
  works translated into Persian for him, 151.
  not able to obtain a translation of the Veda, 152.

_Albania_, origin of the name, 242.

Albanian language, origin of the, 201.

Albertus Magnus, on the humanizing influence of Christianity, quoted, 129

Alchemy, causes of the extinction of the science, 19.

Alexander the Great, influence of his expedition in giving the Greeks a
            knowledge of other nations and languages, 93.
  his difficulty in conversing with the Brahmans, 93.

Alexandria, influence of, on the study of foreign languages, 96.
  critical study of ancient Greek at, 97.

Algebra, translation of the famous Indian work on, into Arabic, 149.

Algonquins, the one case of the, 221 _note_.

America, Central, rapid changes which take place in the language of the
            savage tribes of, 62.
  great number of languages spoken by the natives of, 62.
  Hervas’s reduction of them to eleven families, 63.

Amharic, or modern Abyssinian, 281.

Anatomy, comparative, science of, 27.

Anglo-Saxon, the most ancient epic in, 177.

Angora, in Galatia, battle of, 308.

Anquetil Duperron, his translation of the Persian translation of the
            Upanishads into French, 154.
  his translation of the works of Zoroaster, 168, 206.

Apollo, temple of, at Rome, 102.

AR, the root, various ramifications of, 252.

Arabic, influence of, over the Turkish language, 83.
  ascendency of, in Palestine and Syria, 281.
  original seat of Arabic, 281.
  ancient Himyaritic inscriptions, 281.
  earliest literary documents in Arabic, 281.
  relation of Arabic to Hebrew, 281.

Aramaic division of Semitic languages, 276.
  two dialects of, 276.

Ariana, the, of Greek geographers, 240.

_Ariaramnēs_, father of Darius, origin of the name, 241.

Aristotle on grammatical categories, 97, 126.

_Armenia_, origin of the name, 242.

Arpinum, provincial Latin of, 67.

_Article_, the, original meaning of the word, 98.
  the Greek, restored by Zenodotus, 99.

Ârya. _See_ Aryan.

Ârya-âvarta, India so called, 237.

Aryan, an Indo-European family of languages, 43, 80, 177.
  mode of tracing back the grammatical fragments of the Aryan languages to
              original independent words, 231-233.
  Aryan grammar, 234.
  northern and southern divisions of the, 211.
  the original Aryan clan of Central Asia, 212.
  period when this clan broke up, 212.
  formation of the locative in all the Aryan languages, 219.
  Aryan civilization proved by the evidence of language, 235.
  origin and gradual spreading of the word _Arya_, 236.
  original seat of the Aryans, 238.
  the Aryan and Semitic the only _families_ of speech deserving that
              title, 282.
  genealogical table, 394, 395.

Asia Minor, origin of the Turks of, 306.

Asiatic Society, foundation of the, at Calcutta, 158.

Aśoka, King, his rock inscriptions, 146.

_Assyria_, various forms of the name, 247.

Astrology, causes of the extinction of the science, 19.

_Astronomy_, origin of the word, 16.
  the Ptolemæan system, although wrong, important to science, 26.

Auramazda, of the cuneiform inscriptions, 207. _See_ Ormuzd.

Auxentius on Ulfilas, 181-186 _note_.

Baber, his Indian empire, 299.

Babylonia, literature of, 278.
  probability of the recovery of, from the cuneiform inscriptions, 278.

Barabas tribe, in the steppes between the Irtish and the Ob, 304.

Barbarians, the, of the Greeks, 91.
  seemed to have possessed greater facility for acquiring languages than
              either Greeks or Romans, 94.
  the term Barbarian as used by the Greeks and Romans, 127.
  unfortunate influence of the term, 127.

Bashkirs, race of the, in the Altaic mountains, 303.

Basil, St., his denial that God had created the names of all things, 40

Baziane tribe, in the Caucasus, 303.

Beaver, the, sagacity of, 24.

Behar, Pâli once the popular dialect of, 146.

Beowolf, the ancient English epic of, 177.

Berber, dialects of Northern Africa, origin of the, 282.

Berners, Juliana, on the expressions proper for certain things, 72.

Berosus, his study and cultivation of the Greek language, 94.
  his history of Babylon, 95.
  his knowledge of the cuneiform inscriptions, 95.

Bible, number of obsolete words and senses in the English translation of
            1611, 45.

Bibliandro, his work on language, 131 _note_.

Birúni, Abu Rihan al, 150.
  his “Taríkhu-l-Hind,” 150.

Bishop and sceptic derived from the same root, 257.

Boëthius, Song of, age of the, 196.

Bohemian, oldest specimens of, 201.

Bonaparte, Prince L., his collection of English dialects, 70.

Booker’s “Scripture and Prayer-Book Glossary” referred to, 45.

Books, general destruction of, in China in 213, B. C. 227.

Bopp, Francis, his great work, 166.
  results of his “Comparative Grammar,” 234.

_Botany_, origin of the word, 15.
  the Linnæan system, although imperfect, important to science, 26.

Brahman, the highest being, known through speech, 88.

Brahmans, their deification of language, 87.
  their early achievements in grammatical analysis, 88.
  difficulties of Alexander in conversing with them, 93.

Brâhmanas, the, on language, 87.

Brennus, 199.

Brown, Rev. Mr. on the dialects of the Burmese, 63.

Brutes, faculties of, 351.
  instinct and intellect, 353.
  language the difference between man and brute, 354.
  the old name given to brutes, 379.

Buddhism, date of its introduction into China, 147.

Bulgarian Kingdom on the Danube, 319.
  language and literature, 200.

Bulgaric branch of the Finnic class of languages, 319.

Bulgarian tribes and dialects, 319.

Buriates, dialects of the, new phase of grammatical life of the, 64.

Burmese language and literature, 63.
  dialects, 63.

Burnouf, Eugène, his studies of Zend, 168, 206.
  and of cuneiform inscriptions, 168.

Cæsar, Julius, publication of his work “De analogia,” 110.
  invented the term _ablative_, 110.

Carneades forbidden by Cato to lecture  at Rome, 109.

Carthaginian language, closely allied to Hebrew, 280.

_Case_, history of the word, 111.

Cases, formation of, in the Aryan languages, 218.

Cassius, Dionysius, of Utica, his translation of the agricultural work of
            Mago, 95 _note_.

Castor and Pollux, worship of, in Italy, 102.

Castren on the Mongolian dialects, 64.

_Cat_, origin of the word, 365.

Catherine the Great of Russia, her “Comparative Dictionary,” 143.

Cato, his history of Rome in Latin, 104.
  his acquisition of the Greek language in his old age, 106.
  reasons for his opposition to everything Greek, 106.

Caucasus, tribes of the, 303.

Celtic language, substantive existence of, 79.

Celtic, a branch of the Indo-European family of languages, 198.

Celts, their former political autonomy, 198.

Chaldee, in what it consisted, 276.
  fragments in Ezra, 276.
  language of the Targums, 277.
  literature of Babylon and Nineveh, 278.
  the modern Mendaïtes or Nasoreans,  279.

Changes, historical, affecting every variety of language. 44.
  rapid changes in the languages of savage tribes, 44.
  words or senses obsolete in English since 1611, 45.
  smaller changes, 45.
  grammatical changes, 46.
  laws of, in language, 73.

Children, probable influence of the language of, on the gradual
            disappearance of irregular conjugations and declensions, 75.

Chili, language of, 293 _note_.

China, date of the introduction of Buddhism into, 147.
  Chinese Buddhist pilgrims to India, 149.
  conquered by the Mongols, 299.

Chinese language, ancient, no trace of grammar in, 86, 117.
  notes by M. Stanislas Julien, on Chinese substantives and adjectives,
              118 _note_.
  formation of the locative in Chinese, 218.
  and of the instrumental, 218.
  number of roots in Chinese, 265.
  number of words in the Chinese dictionary, obsolete, rare, and in use,
              265 _note_.
  no analysis required to discover its component parts, 272.
  mode of using a predicative root in, 268.
  roots in Chinese, 287.
  the parts of speech determined in Chinese by the position of the word in
              a sentence, 288.
  rudimentary traces of agglutination in Chinese, 329.
  imitative sounds in, 366 _note_.
  list of Chinese interjections, 369 _note_.
  natural selection of roots in, 386.

Chingis-Khán, founds the Mongolian empire, 296.

Christianity, humanizing influence of, 128.

Chudic branch of the Finnic languages, 317.

Chudic, the national epic of the Finns, 317.

Cicero, his provincial Latin, 67.
  quoted as an authority on grammatical questions, 109.
  Cæsar’s _De analogia_ dedicated to Cicero, 110.

Class dialects, 66.

Classical, or literary languages, origin of, 65.
  stagnation and inevitable decay of, 68.

Classification, in the physical sciences, 24.
  object of classification, 27.

Colchis, dialects of, according to Pliny, 61.

Conjugation, most of the terminations of, demonstrative roots, 270.

Constantinople, taking of, 308.

Copernicus, causes which led to the discovery of his system, 29.

Cornish, last person who spoke, 80.

Cosmopolitan Club, 107.

Crates of Pergamus, his visit to Rome, 109.
  his public lectures, there on grammar, 109.

_Cuckoo_, the word, 361.

Cuneiform inscriptions, the, deciphered by Burnouf, 168.
  importance of the discovery of the inscriptions of Darius and Xerxes,
  progress in deciphering, 278.
  letter from Sir H. Rawlinson quoted, 278.

D, origin of the letter, in forming English preterites, 231.

Dacian language, the ancient, 126 _note_, 195 _note_.

_Dame_, origin of the word, 226.

Danish language, growth of the, 71, 191.

Darius, claimed for himself an Aryan descent, 241.

Dative, case in Greek, 221.
  in Chinese, 118 _note_.

_Daughter_, origin of the word, 57.

Decay, phonetic, one of the processes which comprise the growth of
            language, 51.
  instances of phonetic decay, 52-54.

Declension, most of the terminations of, demonstrative roots, 270.

_Dello_, _dell_, origins of the Italian, 75.

Democritus, his travels, 94.

Dialect, what is meant by, 58.

Dialects, Italian, 58, 69.
  French, 59.
  Modern Greek, 58.
  Friesian, 59.
  English, 60.
  the feeders rather than the channels of a literary language, 60, 70.
  Grimm on the origin of dialects in general, 60.
  difficulty in tracing the history of dialects, 61.
  American dialects, 63.
  Burmese, 63.
  of the Ostiakes, 63.
  Mongolian, 64.
  Southern Africa, 64.
  class dialects, 66.
  unbounded resources of dialects, 71.
  dialectical growth beyond the control of individuals, 74.

Dictionary, Comparative, of Catherine the Great of Russia, 143.

_Did_, origin of, as a preterite, 233.

Diez, Professor, his “Comparative Grammar of the Six Romance Dialects,”

Dionysius Thrax, the author of the first practical Greek grammar, 100.

Dionysius of Halicarnassus, on the Pelasgi, 125 _note_.

_Discussion_, etymology of, 52.

Dorpat dialect of Esthonian, 318.

_Du_, origin of the French, 74.

Dual, the, first recognized by Zenodotus, 99.

Dumaresq, Rev. Daniel, his “Comparative Vocabulary of Eastern Languages,”

Duret, Claude, his work on language, 132 _note_.

Dutch language, work of Goropius written to prove that it was the language
            spoken in Paradise, 135.
  age of Dutch, 178.

Earl, origin of the title, 226.

Earth, guess of Philolaus as to its motion round the sun, 29.

Eddas, the two, 191.
  the name Edda, 194 _note_.

Egypt, number of words in the ancient vocabulary of, 266.

Egyptian language, family to which it is referable, 282.

Elder, origin of the word, 226.

Elements, constituent, of language, 250.

English language, changes in the, since the translation of the Bible in
            1611, 46.
  richness of the vocabulary of the dialects of, 60.
  real sources of the English language, 69.
  Prince L. Bonaparte’s collection of English dialects, 70.
  the English language Teutonic, 80.
  full of words derived from the most distant sources, 84.
  proportion of Saxon to Norman words, 84.
  tests proving the Teutonic origin of the English language, 85.
  genitives in English, 117.
  nominatives and accusatives, 119.
  origin of grammatical forms in the English language, 120.
  number of words in the English language, 266 _note_.
  number of words in Milton, Shakspeare, and the Old Testament, 267.

Ennius, 105.
  his translations from Greek into Latin, 105.

Eos, original meaning of the name, 21.

Ephraem Syrus, 276 _note_.

Epicharmus, his philosophy translated into Latin by Ennius, 105.

Epicurus, doctrines of, embraced, in Rome, 107.

_Erin_, Pictet’s derivation of the name, 245.
  Mr. Whitley Stokes’s remarks on the word Erin, 245 _note_.

_Espiègle_, origin of the word, 260.

Esths, or Esthonians, their language, 318.
  dialects of, 318.

Estienne, Henry, his grammatical labors anticipated by the Brahmans, 500
            B. C. 88.
  his work on language, 131 _note_.

Ethiopic, or Abyssinian, origin of the, 281.

Eudemos, on the Aryan race, 241.

Euhemerus, of Messene, his neologian work translated into Latin, by
            Ennius, 105.

Eulalia, Song of, age of the, 196.

Euripides, first translated into Latin, by Ennius, 105.

Ewald, on the relation of the Turanian to the Aryan languages, 338.

Ezour-Veda, the, 156 _note_.

Ezra, Chaldee fragments in the Book of, 276.

Fabius Pictor, his history of Rome in Greek, 104.

Fa-hian, the Chinese pilgrim to India, his travels, 149.

Families of languages, tests for reducing the principal dialects of Europe
            and Asia to certain, 172.

_Fatum_, original meaning of the name, 21.

_Feeble_, origin of the word, 123.

Feizi and the Brahman, story of, 152.

_Feu_, origin of the French word, 123.

Finnic class of languages, 315.
  branches of Finnic, 316.
  the “Kalewala,” the “Iliad” of the Finns, 318.
  tribes, original seat of the, 315.
  their language and literature, 317.
  national feeling lately arisen, 317.

Finnish, peculiarity of its grammar, 119.

Firdusi, language in which he wrote his “Shahnameh,” 210.

Fire-worshippers. _See_ Parsis.

Firoz Shah, translations from Sanskrit into Persian, made by order of,

Flaminius, his knowledge of Greek, 103.

Flemish language and literature, 178.

French dialects, number of, 58.
  laws of change in the French language, 73.
  nominatives and accusatives, 119.

French, origin of grammatical terminations in French, 229.
  origin of the French future in _rai_, 229.

Friesian, multitude of the dialects of, 59.
  language and literature, 178.

_Fromage_, origin of the French word, 123.

Future, the, in French, 229.
  in Latin, 230.
  in Greek, 230.
  in Chinese, 388.
  in other languages, 231.

Galatia, foundation and language of, 199.

Galla language of Africa, family to which it belongs, 282.

Ganas, the, or lists of remarkable words in Sanskrit, 116.

Garo, formation of adjectives in, 113 _note_.

Gâthâs, or songs of Zoroaster, 209.

Gebelin, Court de, his “Monde Primitif,” 140.
  compared with Hervas, 140.

Gees language, 281.

Genitive case, the term used in India, 111.
  terminations of the genitive in most cases, identical with the
              derivative suffixes by which substantives are changed into
              adjectives, 112.
  mode of forming the genitive in Chinese, 118 _note_.
  formation of genitives in Latin, 220.

_Geometry_, origin of the word, 15.

German language, history of the, 179.

Gipsies, language of the, 211.

Glass, painted, before and since the Reformation, 20.

Gordon, Captain, on the dialects of Burmese, 63.

Goropius, his work written to prove that Dutch was the language spoken in
            Paradise, 135.

_Gospel_, origin of the word, 122.

Gothic, a modern language, 122.
  similarity between Gothic and Latin, 127.
  class of languages to which Gothic belongs, 189.
  number of roots in it, 265 _note_.

Goths, the, and Bishop Ulfilas, 187.

Grammar, the criterion of relationship in almost all languages, 85.
  English grammar unmistakably of Teutonic origin, 85.
  no trace of grammar in ancient Chinese, 86.
  early achievements of the Brahmans  in grammar, 88.
  and the Greeks, 89.
  origin of grammar, 90.
  causes of the earnestness with which Greek grammar was taken up at Rome,
  the Hindú science of grammar, 116.
  origin and history of Sanskrit grammar, 116.
  origin of grammatical forms, 120.
  historical evidence, 121.
  collateral evidence, 122.
  genealogical classification, 124.
  comparative value of grammar in the classification of languages, 170.
  comparative grammar, 214.
  Bopp’s “Comparative Grammar,” 214.
  origin of grammatical forms, 215.
  mode of tracing back the grammatical framework of the Aryan languages to
              original independent words, 231-234.
  result of Bopp’s “Comparative Grammar,” 234.
  Aryan grammar, 234.
  Turkish grammar, 308.
  Turkic grammar, 309.

Grammatici, the, at Rome, 103.

Greek language, the, studied and cultivated by the barbarians, Berosus,
            Menander, and Manetho, 94, 95.
  critical study of ancient Greek at Alexandria, 97.
  the first practical Greek grammar, 100.
  generally spoken at Rome, 101.

Greek, earnestness with which Greek grammar was taken up at Rome, 108,
  principles which governed the formation of adjectives and genitives, 113
  spread of the Greek grammar, 114.
  genitives in Greek, 117.
  the principle of classification, never applied to speech by the Greeks,
  Greeks and Barbarians, 125.
  Plato’s notion of the origin of the Greek language, 126.
  similarity between Greek and Sanskrit, 142.
  affinity between Sanskrit and Greek, 159.
  formation of the dative in Greek, 221.
  the future in Greek, 230.
  number of forms each verb in Greek yields, if conjugated through all its
              voices, tenses &c., 272 _note_.
  modern, number of the dialects of, 58.

Greeks, their speculations on languages, 89.
  the Grammarians, 90.
  reasons why the ancient Greeks never thought of learning a foreign
              language, 92.
  first encouragement given by trade to interpreters, 93.
  imaginary travels of Greek philosophers, 94 _note_.
  the Greek use of the term Barbarian, 127.

Gregory of Nyssa, St., his defence of St. Basil, 40 _note_.

Grimm, on the origin of dialects in general, quoted, 60.
  on the idiom of nomads, quoted, 71.
  his “Teutonic Grammar,” 167.

Growth of language, 47, 66.
  examination of the idea that man can change or improve language, 48.
  causes of the growth of language,  50.

Guichard, Estienne, his work on language, 132 _note_.

Guebres. _See_ Parsis.

Halhead, his remarks on the affinity between Greek and Sanskrit, quoted,
  his “Code of Gentoo Laws,” 159 _note_.

Hamilton, Sir W., on the origin of the general and particular in language,
            377 _note_.

Harald Ilaarfagr, King of Norway, his despotic rule and its consequences,

Haru-spex, origin of the name, 259.

Harun-al-Rashid, translations made from Sanskrit works at his court, 149.

Haug, his labors in Zend, 209.

Haussa language of Africa, family to which it belongs, 282.

Hebrew, idea of the fathers of the church that it was the primitive
            language of mankind, 132.
  amount of learning and ingenuity wasted on this question, 133.
  Leibniz, the first who really conquered this prejudice, 135.
  number of roots in, 265.
  ancient form of the, 280.
  Aramean modifications of, 280.
  swept away by Arabic, 281.

Hekate, an old name of the moon, 22.

“Heljand,” the, of the Low Germans, 178.

Hellenic branch of the Indo-European family of languages, 198.

Herat, origin of the name, 247.

Hermippus, his translation of the works of Zoroaster into Greek, 96.

Herodotus, his travels, 94.
  on the Pelasgi, 125 _note_.

Hervas, his reduction of the multitude of American dialects to eleven
            families, 63.
  his list of works published during the 16th century, on the science of
              language, 131 _note_.
  account of him and of his labors, 139.
  compared with Gebelin, 140.
  his discovery of the Malay and Polynesian family of speech, 141.

Hickes, on the proportion of Saxon to Norman words in the English
            language, 84.

Himyaritic, inscriptions in, 281.

Hindústání, real origin of, 70.
  the genitive and adjective in, 113 _note_.
  Urdu-zeban, the proper name of Hindústání, 316.

Hiouen-thsang, the Chinese pilgrim, his travels into India, 149.

Hiram, fleet of, 202.

History and language, connection between, 76.

Hliod, or quida, of Norway, 193.
  Saemund’s collection of, 193.

Hoei-seng, the Chinese pilgrim to India, his travels, 149.

Homer, critical study of, at Alexandria, 97.
  influence of the critical study of, on the development of grammatical
              terminology, 98.

Horace, on the changes Latin had undergone in his time, 67.

_Hors_, origin of the French word, 123.

_House_, name for in Sanskrit, and other Aryan languages, 236, and _note_.

Humanity, the word not to be found in Plato or Aristotle, 128.

Humboldt, Alex. von, on the limits of exact knowledge, quoted, 29.

Humboldt, William von, his patronage of Comparative Philology, 167.

Hungarians, ancestors of the, 320.
  language of the, 320, 321.
  its affinity to the Ugro-Finnic dialects, 321.

Huron Indians, rapid changes in the dialects of the, 62.

Hyades, origin of the word, 17.

Ibn-Wahshiyyah, the Chaldean, his Arabic translation of “the Nabatean
            Agriculture,” 279.
  account of him and his works, 279 _note_.

Iceland, foundation of an aristocratic republic in, 192.
  intellectual and literary activity of the people of, 192.
  later history of, 193.

Icelandic language, 190.

Iconium, Turkish, sultans of, 307.

Illumination of Manuscripts, lost art of, 20.

Illyrians, Greek and Roman writers on the race and language of the, 126

Illyrian language, the ancient, 196 _note_.

Illyrian languages, 200.

India, the Mulla Abdu-l-Kádir Maluk’s general history of, 151 _note_.
  origin of the name of _India_, 228.

Indian Philosophers, difficulty of admitting the influence of, on Greek
            philosophers, 94 _note_.

_Indies, East_ and _West_, historical meaning of the names, 227.

Indo-European family of languages. _See_ Aryan.

Inflectional stage of language, 324.

Instrumental, formation of the, in Chinese, 119 _note_, 218.

Interjectional theory of roots, 367.

Interpreters, first encouragement given to, by trade, 93.

Irán, modern name of Persia, origin of the, 242.

Iranic class of languages, 205.

_Iron_, name for, in Sanskrit and Gothic, 236.

Iron, the Os of the Caucasus calling themselves, 243.

Italian dialects, number of, 58, 197.
  natural growth of, 67.
  real sources of, 69.

Italians, the, indebted to the Greeks for the very rudiments of
            civilization, 101.

Italic class of languages, 196.

Italy, dialects spoken in, before the rise of Rome, 197.

_Its_, as a possessive pronoun, introduction of, 46.

Jerome, St., his opinion that Hebrew was the primitive language of
            mankind, 132.

Jews, literary idiom of the, in the century preceding and following the
            Christian era, 277.
  and from the fourth to the tenth centuries, 277.
  their adoption of Arabic, 277.
  their return to a kind of modernized Hebrew, 277.

Jones, Sir William, his remarks on the affinity between Sanskrit and
            Greek, 159.

Julien, M. Stanislas, his notes on the Chinese language, 118 _note_.

Justinian, the Emperor, sends an embassy to the Turks, 302.

“Kalewala,” the, the “Iliad” of the Finns, 318.

Kalmüks, the, 296, 300.

Kapchakian empire, the, 297.

Kara-Kalpak tribes near Aral-Lake, 304.

Karelian dialect of Finnic, 318.

Karians, Greek authors on the, 125 _note_.

Kempe, André, his notion of the languages spoken in Paradise, 135 _note_.

Kepler, quoted, 129 _note_.

Khi-nie, the Chinese pilgrim, his travels into India, 149.

Kirgis tribe, the, 305.

Kirgis Hordes, the three, 305.

Kirgis-Kasak, tribe of the, 305.

Kumüks, tribe of the, in the Caucasus, 303.

Kuthami, the Nabatean, his work on “Nabatean Agriculture,” 280.
  period in which he lived, 280 _note_.

Laban, language of, 278.

Language, science of, one of the physical sciences, 11, 31.
  modern date of the science of, 13.
  names of the science of, 14.
  meaning of the science of, 14.
  little it offers to the utilitarian spirit of our age, 20.
  modern importance of the science of, in political and social questions,
  the barrier between man and beast, 23.
  importance of the science of, 33.
  realm of, 35.
  the growth of, in contradistinction to the history of, 38.
  Dr. Whewell on the classification of, 38 _note_.
  examination of objections against the science of, as a physical science,
  considered as an invention of man, 39.
  the science of, considered as a historical science, 42.
  historical changes of, 44.
  almost stationary amongst highly civilized nations, 45.
  growth of, 47.
  the idea that man can change or improve language examined, 48.
  causes of the growth of, 50.
  processes of the growth of:—
  1. phonetic decay, 51.
  2. dialectical regeneration, 58.
  laws of change in, 73.
  futile attempts of single grammarians and purists to improve, 75.
  connection between language and history, 77.
  independent of historical events, 79.
  no possibility of a mixed, 82.
  the Empirical Stage in the historical progress of the science of, 87.
  speculations of the Brahmans and Greeks, 87.
  the classificatory stage of, 115.
  empirical or formal grammar, 117.
  genealogical classification of, 124.
  Hervas’s catalogue of works published during the 16th century on the
              science of language, 131 _note_.
  Leibniz, 135 _et seq_.
  Hervas, 139.
  Adelung, 142.
  Catherine the Great, 143.
  importance of the discovery of Sanskrit, 146, 170.
  value of comparative grammar, 170.
  glance at the modern history of language, 173.
  distinction between the radical and formal elements of, 215.
  constituent elements of, 250.
  morphological classification, 275, 286.
  the inflectional stage of, 324.
  consideration of the problem of a common origin of languages, 326 _et
  former theories, 345.
  proper method of inquiry, 347.
  man and brutes, faculties of, 350.
  the difference between man and brute, 354.
  the inward power of which language is the outward sign and
              manifestation, 355.
  universal ideas, 356.
  general ideas and roots, 356.
  the primum cognitum and primum  appellatum, 370.
  knowing and naming, 378.
  language and reason, 383.
  sound and thought, 384.
  natural selection of roots, 386.
  nothing arbitrary in language, 389.
  origin and confusion of tongues, 391.
  the radical stage of language, 285, 286.
  the terminational stage, 285, 288.
  the inflectional stage, 285.

Languages, number of known, 35.
  teaching of foreign languages comparatively a modern invention, 91.
  reason why the ancient Greeks never learned foreign languages, 91.
  “The Mountain of Languages,” 93.
  genealogical classification of, 166.
  tests for reducing the principal dialects in Europe and Asia to certain
              families of languages, 174.
  genealogical classification not applicable to all languages, 174.
  radical relationship, 176.
  comparative grammar, 214.

Languages, formal and radical elements of, 216.
  all formal elements of language originally substantial, 228.
  degrees of relationship of, 284.
  all languages reducible in the end to roots, 286.

Langue d’Oil, ancient song in the, 198.

Laps, or Laplanders, 319.
  their habitat, 319.
  their language, 319.

Latin, what is meant by, 67.
  changes in, according to Polybius, 67.
  the old Salian poems, 67.
  provincialisms of Cicero, 67.
  stagnation of Latin when it became the language of civilization, 68.
  Latin genitives, 117.
  similarity between Gothic and Latin, 127.
  genealogical relation of Latin to Greek, 172.
  the future in Latin, 230.

Leibniz, the first to conquer the prejudice that Hebrew was the primitive
            language of mankind, 135.
  and the first to apply the principle of inductive reasoning to the
              subject of language, 135.
  his letter to Peter the Great, quoted, 136.
  his labors in the science of language, 137.
  his various studies, 138.
  on the formation of thought and language, quoted, 373.

Lesbos, dialects of the island of, 59.

Lettic language, the, 199.

Lewis, Sir Cornewall, his criticisms on the theory of Raynouard, 171.

Linnæus, his system, although imperfect, important to science, 26.

Literary languages, origin of, 65.
  inevitable decay of, 68.

Lithuanian language, the, 199.
  the oldest document in, 199.

Livius Andronicus, 104.
  his translation of the Odyssey into Latin verse, 104.

Livonians, dialect of the, 318.

Locative, formation of the, in all the Aryan languages, 219.
  in Chinese, 119 _note_, 218.
  in Latin, 220.

Locke, John, on language as the barrier between man and brutes, quoted,
  on universal ideas, quoted, 356.
  his opinion on the origin of language, 40.

_Lord_, origin of the word, 122.

Lord’s Prayer, number of languages in which it was published by various
            authors in the 16th century, 131 _note_.

Lucilius, his book on the reform of Latin orthography, 109.

Lucina, a name of the moon, 21.

Luna, origin of the name, 21.

Lusatia, language of, 200.

Lycurgus, his travels mythical, 94.

Macedonians, ancient authors on the, 125 _note_.

_Madam_, origin of word, 226.

Mago, the Carthaginian, his book on agriculture in Punic, 94 _note_.

_Man_, ancient words for, 381.

Man and brutes, faculties of, 349.
  difference between man and brutes, 354.

Mandshu tribes, speaking a Tungusic language, 296.
  grammar of, 323.
  imitative sounds in, 366 _note_.

Manetho, his study and cultivation of the Greek language, 95.
  his work on Egypt, 95.
  his knowledge of hieroglyphics, 95.

Manka, the Indian, his translations from Sanskrit into Persian, 149.

Masora, idiom in which it was written, 277.

Maulána Izzu-d-din Khalid Khani, his translations from Sanskrit into
            Persian, 150.

_Même_, origin of the French word, 57.

Menander, his study and cultivation of the Greek language, 95.
  his work on Phenicia, 95.

Mendaïtes, or Nasoreans, the “Book of Adam” of the, 279.

_Ment_, origin of the termination in French adverbs, 55.

Mescheräks, tribe of the, their present settlements, 304.

Milton, John, number of words used by, in his works, 267.

Ming-ti, the Emperor of China, allows the introduction of Buddhism into
            his empire, 147.
  sends officials to India to study the doctrines of Buddha, 148.

Missionaries, their importance in elucidating the problem of the
            dialectical life of language, 62.

Moallakat, or “suspended poems,” of the Arabs, 281.

Moffat, Rev. Robert, on the dialects of Southern Africa, 64.

Monboddo, Lord, on language as the barrier between man and brutes, quoted,
  his “Ancient Metaphysics” quoted, 160 and _note_.

Mongolian dialects, entering a new phase of grammatical life, 64.

Mongolian class of languages, 296.
  grammar of, 323.

Mongols, their original seat, 296.
  three classes of them, 296.
  their conquests, 297.
  dissolution of the empire, 299.
  their present state, 300.
  their language, 300.

_Moon_, antiquity of the word, 16.

Moravia, devastated by the Mongols, 299.

_Mortal_, origin of the word, 382.

_Much_ and _Very_, distinction between, 48.

Muhammed ben Musa, his translation of the Indian treatise on algebra into
            Arabic, 149.

Mythology, real nature of, 21, 237.

Nabateans, the, supposed to have been descendants of the Babylonians and
            Chaldeans, 279.
  the work of Kuthami on “Nabatean  Agriculture,” 280.

National languages, origin of, 64.

Nature, immutability of, in all her works, 42.
  Dr. Whewell quoted, 42.

Nebuchadnezzar, his name stamped on all the bricks made during his reign,

Neo-Latin dialects, 196.

Νεμέτζιοι, the, of Constantinus Porphyrogeneta, 91 _note_.

Nestorians of Syria, forms and present condition of their language, 276,

Nicopolis, battle of, 307.

_No_ and _nay_, as used by Chaucer, 225.

Nobili, Roberto de, 155.
  his study of Sanskrit, 155.

Nogái tribes, history of the, 303.

Nomad languages, 290.
  indispensable requirements of a nomad language, 292.
  wealth of, 71.
  nomadic tribes and their wars, 315.
  their languages, 316.

Nominalism and Realism, controversy between, in the Middle Ages, 22.

Norman words in the English language, proportion of, to Saxon words, 84.

Norway, poetry of, 192.
  the _hliod_ or _quida_,193.
  the two Eddas, 191-194.

Norwegian language, stagnation of the, 70.

Number of known languages, 35.

Obsolete words and senses since the translation of the Bible in 1611, 45.

Onomatopoieia, theory of, 358.

Ophir of the Bible, 203.

Origen, his opinion that Hebrew was the primitive language of mankind,

Origin of language, consideration of the problem of the common, 326 _et

Ormuzd, the god of the Zoroastrians, mentioned by Plato, 207.
  discovery of the name Auramazda  in the cuneiform inscriptions, 207.
  origin of the name Auramazda or Ormuzd, 207.

Os, the, of Ossethi, calling themselves Iron, 243.

Oscan language and literature, the 196.

Osmanli language, the, 301, 306.

Ostiakes, dialects of the, 63.

Owl-glass, stories of, 260.

Pâli, once the popular dialect of Behar, 146.

Panætius, the Stoic philosopher at Rome, 107.

Pânini, Sanskrit grammar of, 116.

Pantomime, the, and the King, story of, 368.

Paolino de San Bartolomeo, Fra, first Sanskrit grammar published by, 142,

Paradise, languages supposed by various authors to have been spoken in,
            135, 136.

Parsi, period when it was spoken in Persia, 210.

Parsis, or fire-worshippers, the ancient, 205.
  their prosperous colony in Bombay, 205.
  their various emigrations, 205 _note_.
  their ancient language, 205, 210.

Pascatir race, the, 320.

_Pater_, origin of the Latin word, 57.

_Pay, to_, origin of the word, 124,

Pedro, Padre, the missionary at Calicut, 154.

Pehlevi, or Huzvaresh language, 210.

Pelasgi, Herodotus on the, 125 _note_.
  Dionysius of Halicarnassus on the, 125 _note_.

_Percussion_, etymology of, 53.

Perion, his work on language, 131 _note_.

Permian tribes and language, 320.

Permic branch of the Finnic class of languages, 319.
  the name of Perm, 319.
  the Permic tribes, 320.

Persia, origin of the Turkman, or Kisilbash of, 302.

Persian language, 83.
  influence of the, over the Turkish language, 83.
  the ancient Persian language. _See_ Zend, Zend-avesta.

Persian, subsequent history of Persian, 210.

_Peshito_, meaning of the word, 276 _note_.

Philolaus, the Pythagorean, his guess on the motion of the earth round the
            sun, 29.

Philology, comparative, science of, 31.
  a historical science, 32.
  aim of the science, 81.

Phœnician, closely allied to Hebrew, 280.

Plato, his notion of the origin of the Greek language, 126.
  on Zoroaster, quoted, 206 _note_.

Plautus, Greek words in the plays of, 104.
  all his plays mere adaptations of Greek originals, 104.

_Pleiades_, the, origin of the word, 17.

Poland invaded by the Mongols, 299.

Polish, oldest specimens of, 200.

Polybius, on the changes Latin had undergone in his time, 67.

Pons, Father, his report of the literary treasures of the Brahmans, 157.

Pott, Professor, his “Etymological Researches,” 167.
  his advocacy of the polygenetic theory, 342 _note_.

Prâkrit idioms, the, 146.

Prâtiśâkhyas, the, of the Brahmans, 116.

_Priest_, origin of the word, 122.

Priscianus, influence of his grammatical work on later ages, 114.

Protagoras, his attempt to change and improve the language of Homer, 48.

Provençal, the daughter of Latin, 171.
  not the mother of French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, 171.
  the earliest Provençal poem, 196.

Prussian, the old, language and literature of, 200.

Ptolemy, his system of astronomy, although wrong, important to science,

Ptolemy Philadelphus and the Septuagint, 96 _note_.

Ptōsis, meaning of the word in the language of the Stoics, 111.

Publius Crassus, his knowledge of the Greek dialects, 106.

Pushtú, the language of Afghanistan, 210.

Pythagoras, his travels mythical, 94.

Pyrrha, original meaning of the name, 22.

Quatremère on the Ophir of the Bible, 204 _note_.

_Quinsy_, origin of the word, 380 _note_.

Quintilian, on the changes Latin had undergone in his time, 67.
  on the omission of the final _s_ in Latin, 68 _note_.

Radical relationship of languages, 176.

Radicals. _See_ Roots.

Rask, Erasmus, his studies of Zend, 167, 206.

_Raven_, the word, 362.

Raynouard, his labors in comparative grammar, 171.
  criticisms of his theory of the Langue Romane, 171.

Realism and Nominalism, controversy between, in the Middle Ages, 22.

Regeneration, dialectical, one of the processes which comprise the growth
            of language, 58.

_Respectable_, origin of the word, 256.

Reval dialect of Esthonian, 318.

Rig-Veda, the, quoted, 88 _note_.

Romance languages, their Latin origin, 170.
  modifications of, 195.
  their origin in the ancient Italic languages, 196.

Romane, the Langue, 171.

Romanese language of the Grisons, 196.
  translation of the Bible into, 196 _note_.
  lower, or Enghadine, 196 _note_.

Romans, their use of the term Barbarian, 127.

Rome, Greek generally spoken at, 101
  influence of Greece on Rome 102.
  changes in the intellectual atmosphere of, caused by Greek civilization,
  the religious life of Rome more Greek than Roman, 107.
  expulsion of the Greek grammarians and philosophers from Rome, 108.
  compromise between religion and philosophy, 108.
  wide interest excited by grammatical studies in Roman society, 109.

Roots or radicals, 252.
  classes of roots, primary, secondary, and tertiary, 262-264.
  demonstrative and predicative roots, 267.
  how many forms of speech may be produced by the free combination of
              these constituent elements, 275.
  all languages reducible in the end to roots, 286.
  the radical stage of language, 287.
  general ideas and roots, 356.
  origin of roots, 357.
  the bow-wow theory, 358.
  the pooh-pooh theory, 366.
  natural selection of roots, 386.

Russia devastated by the Mongols, 299.

Sabius, a word not found in classical Latin, 103 _note_.

Sænund, Sigfusson, his collection of songs in Iceland, 193.

Sagard Gabriel, on the languages of the Hurons, quoted, 62.

Salian poems, the, and later Latin, 67.

Sálotar, translation of his work on veterinary medicine from Sanskrit into
            Persian, 150.

Sanskrit, formation of adjectives in, 113 _note_.
  grammar, 116.
  similarity between Greek and, 142.
  importance of the discovery of, 146.
  history of the language, 146.
  doubts as to its age and authenticity examined, 147.
  accounts given by writers of various nations who became acquainted with
              the language and literature of India, 148.
  the Muhammedans in India, and their translations of Sanskrit  works into
              Arabic and Persian, 149.
  European Missionaries, 155.
  studies and work of Frederick Schlegel, 164.
  importance of the discovery of, in the classification of languages, 172.
  its genealogical relation to Greek and Latin, 172.
  antiquity of, 202.
  Iranic languages, relation to, 205.
  formation of the locative in, 219.
  number of roots in, 265.

Sassanian dynasty, Persian language of the, 210.

Saxon language, proportion of Saxon to Norman words in the English
            language, 84.

Savage tribes, rapid changes which take place in the languages of, 44, 62.

Scaliger, I. I., his “Diatribe de Europæorum Linguis,” 132 _note_.

Scandinavian branch of the Teutonic class of languages, 190.
  the East and West Scandinavian races, 191.

Schlegel, Frederick, his Sanskrit studies, 164.
  his work “On the Language and Wisdom of the Indians,” 164.
  how his work was taken up in Germany, 166.
  his view of the origin of language, 216.
  August W. von, his “Indische Bibliothek,” 167.
  his criticism of the theory of Raynouard, 171.

Sciences, uniformity in the history of most, 14.
  the empirical stage, 15.

Sciences, the necessity that science should answer some practical purpose,
  the classificatory stage, 25.
  the theoretical or metaphysical stage, 28.
  impulses received by the physical sciences from the philosopher and
              poet, 29.
  difference between physical and historical science, 32.

Scipios, influence of the “Cosmopolitan Club” at the house of the, 107.

Scythian words mentioned by Greek writers, 243.

Semitic family of languages, 43.
  study of, 131.
  constituent elements of the, 272.
  divisions of the Semitic family of speech, 275.
  Aramaic class, 276.
  Hebraic class, 280.
  Arabic class, 281.
  intimate relations of the three classes to each other, 281.
  Berber dialects, 282.
  the Semitic and Aryan, the only _families_ of speech deserving that
              title, 282.
  genealogical table, 396.

_Senior_, the title, 226.

Septuagint, the, and Ptolemy Philadelphus,  96 _note_.

_Serpent_, origin of the word, 380.

Shakespeare, William, total number of words used by, in his plays, 267.

Siberia, Tungusic tribes of, 296.
  Turkic tribes settled there, in, 304.
  dialects, 304.

_Sibulla_, meaning of the word, 103 _note_.

Sibylla of Cumæ, oracles of the, written in Greek, 103.

Sigfusson. _See _ Sænund.

Sigismund, the Emperor, and the Bohemian schoolmaster, anecdote of, 47.

Silesia invaded by the Mongols, 299.

_Sir_, origin of the word, 226, 227.

Siriane tribes, their habitat, 320.
  their language, 319.

_Sister_, origin of, 57.

“Skalda,” the, of Snorri Sturluson, 193.

Slavonic tribes, their settlement in Moesia, 196 _note_.
  languages, properly so called, 200.

Slovinian language, the, 200.

Smith, Adam, his opinion on the origin of language, 40.
  on the formation of thought and language, quoted, 371.
  Sydney, on the superiority of mankind over brutes, quoted,  348.

Snorri Sturluson, his prose Edda, 193.
  his “Heimskringla,” 193.
  his “Skalda,” 193.

Solomon’s fleet of Tharshish, 202.

Song-yun, the Chinese pilgrim to India, his travels, 149.

Sound, small number of names formed by the imitation of, 365.

_Spec_, offshoots of the root, 257.

_Species_, origin of the Latin, 260.

_Squirrel_, origin of the name, 365.

Stewart, Dugald, his opinion on the origin of language, 41.
  his doubts as to the age and authenticity of Sanskrit, 147.
  his view of the affinity of Greek and Sanskrit, 164.
  on the origin of language, quoted, 343.

Stoics, philosophy of the, in Rome, 107.

Strabo on the Barbarians, 125 _note_.

Sturluson. _See_ Snorri.

_Sugar_, origin of the word, 364.

Swedish language, growth of the, 71, 191.

Syria, origin of the Turks of, 306.

Syriac language, date of the translation of the Bible into the, 276.
  meaning of Peshito, 276 _note_.
  decline and present position of the language, 276.

Talmud of Jerusalem, and that of Babylon, literary idiom of the Jews in
            the, 277.

Targums, language in which they were written, 277.

Targums, most celebrated of them, 277 _note_.

“Tarikhu-l-Hind,” the, of Al Birúni, 150.

Tatar tribes, 297.
  terror caused by the name, 297.
  the Golden Horde, 298.

Tataric language, 297.
  sometimes used in the same sense as Turanian, 297.

Tavastian dialect of Finnic, 318.

Terminations, grammatical, Horne Tooke’s remarks on, quoted, 251.

Terminology, grammatical of the Greeks and Hindus, coincidences between
            the, 115.

Testament, the New, translated into Persian, 151.
  Old, number of words in the, 267.

Teutonic class of languages, 177.
  the English language, a branch of, 80.

Tharshish, Solomon’s fleet of, 202.

Themistocles, his acquaintance with the Persian language, 93.

Thommerel, M., on the proportion Saxon words bear to Norman in the English
            language, 84.

Thracians, ancient authors on the, 126 _note_.

_Thunder_, origin of the word, 364.

Tiberius Gracchus, his knowledge of Greek, 103.

Tiberius the Emperor, and the grammarians, anecdote of, 47.

Tibetan language, how adjectives are formed in the, 113 _note_.

Timur, Mongolian empire of, 299.

Tooke, Horne, on grammatical terminations, quoted, 251.
  his answer to the interjectional theory of roots, 367.

Torgod Mongols, the, 300.

Trade first encouraged the profession of interpreters, 93.

Turanian family of languages, 43.
  origin of term Turanian, 238.
  Turanian races, 243.

Turanian names mentioned by Greek writers, 243.
  component parts of Turanian speech, 272.

Tungusic idioms, new phase of grammatical life of the, 64.

Tungusic class of languages, 296.
  geographical limits of the, 296.
  grammar of, 323.

Turanian family of languages, 288.
  a terminational or agglutinative family of languages, 288, 291.
  divisions of the Turanian family, 289.
  the name Turanian, 289.
  characteristic features of the Turanian languages, 290, 291.
  account of the languages of the Turanian family, 296.
  genealogical table, 397.

Turkic class of languages, 300.
  grammar, 309.
  profuse system of conjugation, 323.

Turkish language, influence of imported words over the whole native aspect
            of the, 83.
  two classes of vowels in, 295.
  ingenuity of Turkish grammar, 308.
  its advance towards inflectional forms, 337.

Turkman, or Kisil-bash, origin of the, of Persia, 302.

Turks, history of the, 301.
  origin of the Turks of Asia Minor and Syria, 306.
  origin and progress of the Osmanlis, 306.
  spread of the Osmanli dialect, 306.

Turner, Sharon, on the proportion of Norman to Saxon words in the English
            language, 84.

Turvasa, the Turanian, 243.

Twenty, origin of the word, 52.

Ugric branch of the Finnic class of languages, 320.

Ulfilas, Bishop, notice of him and of his Gothic translation of the Bible,

Umbrian language and literature, 197.

Upanishads, the, translated from Sanskrit into Persian by Dárá, 154.
  translated into French by Anquetil Duperron, 154.

Uralic languages, 315.

Uran’hat tribes, on the Chulym, 304.

Urdu-zeban, the proper name of Hindustání, 316.

Usbeks, history of the, 302.

Vâch, the goddess of speech, her verses quoted from the Rig-Veda, 88

Varro, de Re Rust, on Mago’s Carthaginian agricultural work, quoted, 95
  his work on the Latin language, 109.
  appointed by Cæsar librarian to the Greek and Latin library in Rome,

Vasco da Gama, takes a missionary to Calicut, 154.

Vedas, the, 116.
  differences between the dialect of the Vedas and later Sanskrit, 116.
  objections of the Brahmans to allow the Vedas to be translated, 152.
  story of Feizi, 152.

Verbs, formation of the terminations  of, in the Aryan dialects, 222.
  modern formations, 222.

_Very_ and _much_, distinction between, 48.

Vibhakti, in Sanskrit grammar, 116.

Voguls, the, 320.

Votiakes, idiom of the, 319.
  habitat of the, 320.

Vyâkarana, Sanskrit name for grammar, 116.

Wallachian language, the, 195 _note_.

Wends, language of the, 201.

Whewell, Dr., on the science of language, 38 _note_.

Wilkins, Mr., on the affinity between Sanskrit and Greek, 160.

Windic, or Slavonic languages, 199.
  divisions and subdivisions of, 199.

Witsen, Nicholas, the Dutch traveller, his collection of words, 136

Xavier, Francis, his organization of the preaching of the Gospel in India,
  his gift of tongues, 154.

Yakuts, tribe of the, 304.
  dialect of the, 305.

_Yea_ and _Yes_, as used by Chaucer, 225.

Zend, Rask’s studies of, 167.
  Burnouf’s, 168.

Zend-avesta, the, 167.
  antiquity of, 205, 206.
  the words _Zend_ and _Zend-avesta_, 205 _note_.
  Anquetil’s translation of, 206.
  Rask and Burnouf’s labors, 206.

Zend-avesta, authority of the Zend-avesta for the antiquity of the word
            Arya, 239.

Zenodotus, his restoration of the article before proper names in Homer,
  the first to recognize the dual, 99.

Zeus, original meaning of the word, 21.

Zoroaster, or Zarathustra, his writings (the Zend-avesta) translated  into
            Greek, 96.
  translated by Anquetil Duperron,  168.
  his Gâthâs, or songs, 209.
  age in which he lived, 209.
  not the same as Jaradashti in the Veda, 209.

Zoroastrians. _See_ Parsis.
  original seat of the, 248.


    1 See Jessen, Was heisst Botanik? 1861.

    2 Kuhn’s Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Sprachforschung, b. ix. s. 104.

    3 Horne Tooke, p. 27, _note_.

    4 See Curtius, Griechische Etymologie, s. 297.

    5 Ideler, Handbuch der Chronologie, b. i. s. 241, 242.

    6 As early as the times of Anaximenes of the Ionic, and Alcmæon of the
      Pythagorean, schools, the stars had been divided into travelling
      (ἄστρα πλανώμενα or πλανητά), and non-travelling stars (ἀπλανεῖς
      ἀστέρες, or ἀπλανῆ ἄστρα). Aristotle first used ἄστρα ἐνδεδεμένα, or
      fixed stars. (See Humboldt, Cosmos, vol. iii. p. 28.) Πόλος, the
      pivot, hinge, or the pole of the heaven.

    7 Bunsen’s Egypt, vol. iv. p. 108.

    8 According to a writer in “Notes and Queries” (2d Series, vol. x. p.
      500,) astrology is not so entirely extinct as we suppose. “One of
      our principal writers,” he states, “one of our leading barristers,
      and several members of the various antiquarian societies, are
      practised astrologers at this hour. But no one cares to let his
      studies be known, so great is the prejudice that confounds an art
      requiring the highest education with the jargon of the gypsy

    9 “Man has two faculties, or two passive powers, the existence of
      which is generally acknowledged; 1, the faculty of receiving the
      different impressions caused by external objects, physical
      sensibility; and 2, the faculty of preserving the impressions caused
      by these objects, called memory, or weakened sensation. These
      faculties, the productive causes of thought, we have in common with
      beasts.... Everything is reducible to feeling.”—_Helvetius_.

   10 “The generative organs being those which are most remotely related
      to the habits and food of an animal, I have always regarded as
      affording very clear indications of its true affinities.”—_Owen, as
      quoted by Darwin, Origin of Species_, p. 414.

   11 Die Pflanze und ihr Leben, von M. T. Schleiden. Leipzig, 1858.

   12 Sir J. Stoddart, Glossology, p. 22.

   13 Dr. Whewell classes the science of language as one of the
      palaitiological sciences; but he makes a distinction between
      palaitiological sciences treating of material things, for instance,
      geology, and others respecting the products which result from man’s
      imaginative and social endowments, for instance, comparative
      philology. He excludes the latter from the circle of the physical
      sciences, properly so called, but he adds: “We began our inquiry
      with the trust that any sound views which we should be able to
      obtain respecting the nature of truth in the physical sciences, and
      the mode of discovering it, must also tend to throw light upon the
      nature and prospects of knowledge of all other kinds;—must be useful
      to us in moral, political, and philological researches. We stated
      this as a confident anticipation; and the evidence of the justice of
      our belief already begins to appear. We have seen that biology leads
      us to psychology, if we choose to follow the path; and thus the
      passage from the material to the immaterial has already unfolded
      itself at one point; and we now perceive that there are several
      large provinces of speculation which concern subjects belonging to
      man’s immaterial nature, and which are governed by the same laws as
      sciences altogether physical. It is not our business to dwell on the
      prospects which our philosophy thus opens to our contemplation; but
      we may allow ourselves, in this last stage of our pilgrimage among
      the foundations of the physical sciences, to be cheered and animated
      by the ray that thus beams upon us, however dimly, from a higher and
      brighter region.”—_Indications of the Creator_, p. 146.

   14 Gen. ii. 19.

   15 St. Basil was accused by Eunomius of denying Divine Providence,
      because he would not admit that God had created the names of all
      things, but ascribed the invention of language to the faculties
      which God had implanted in man. St. Gregory, bishop of Nyssa in
      Cappadocia (331-396), defended St. Basil. “Though God has given to
      human nature its faculties,” he writes, “it does not follow that
      therefore He produces all the actions which we perform. He has given
      us the faculty of building a house and doing any other work; but we
      surely are the builders, and not He. In the same manner our faculty
      of speaking is the work of Him who has so framed our nature; but the
      invention of words for naming each object is the work of our mind.”
      See Ladevi-Roche, De l’Origine du Langage: Bordeaux, 1860, p. 14.
      Also, Horne Tooke, Diversions of Purley, p. 19.

   16 D. Stewart, Works, vol. iii. p. 27.

   17 History of Inductive Sciences, vol. iii. p. 531.

   18 Names ending in _ic_, are names of classes as distinct from the
      names of single languages.

   19 Lectures on the English Language, by G. P. Marsh: New York, 1860, p.
      263 and 630. These lectures embody the result of much careful
      research, and are full of valuable observations.

   20 Marsh, p. 532, _note_.

   21 Marsh, p. 589.

   22 Sir J. Stoddart, Glossology, p. 60.

   23 Trench, English Past and Present, p. 114; Marsh, p. 397.

   24 As several of my reviewers have found fault with the monk for using
      the genitive _neutri_, instead of _neutrius_, I beg to refer to
      Priscianus, 1. vi. c. i. and c. vii. The expression _generis
      neutrius_, though frequently used by modern editors, has no
      authority, I believe, in ancient Latin.

   25 Castelvetro, in Horne Tooke, p. 629, _note_.

   26 Bopp, Comparative Grammar, § 320. Schleicher, Deutsche Sprache, s.

   27 Foucaux, Grammaire Tibetaine, p. 27, and Preface, p. x.

   28 Fuchs, Romanische Sprachen, s. 355.

   29 Quint., v. 10, 52. Bonâ mente factum, ideo palam; malâ, ideo ex

   30 Sanskrit _s_ = Persian _h_; therefore _svasar_ = _hvahar_. This
      becomes _chohar_, _chor_, and _cho_. Zend, _qaņha_, acc. _qaņharem_,
      Persian, _kháher_. Bopp, Comp. Gram. § 35.

   31 Schleicher, Beiträge, b. ii. s. 392: _dci_ = _dŭgti_; gen. _dcere_ =

_   32 Hui_ = _hodie_, Ital. _oggi_ and _oggidi_; _jour_ = _diurnum_, from

   33 See M. M.’s Letter to Chevalier Bunsen, On the Turanian Languages,
      p. 67.

   34 See Marsh, p. 678; Sir John Stoddart’s Glossology, s. 31.

   35 Glossology, p. 33.

   36 Ibid., p. 29.

   37 Nea Pandora, 1859, Nos. 227, 229. Zeitschrift für Vergleichende
      Sprachforschung, x. s. 190.

   38 Grimm, Geschichte der Deutschen Sprache, p. 668: Marsh, p. 379.

   39 “Some people, who may have been taught to consider the Dorset
      dialect as having originated from corruption of the written English,
      may not be prepared to hear that it is not only a separate offspring
      from the Anglo-Saxon tongue, but purer, and in some cases richer,
      than the dialect which is chosen as the national speech.”—Barnes,
      _Poems in Dorset Dialect_, Preface, p. xiv.

   40 Geschichte der Deutschen Sprache, s. 833.

   41 Pliny, vi. 5; Hervas, Catalogo, i. 118.

   42 Pliny depends on Timosthenes, whom Strabo declares untrustworthy
      (ii. p. 93, ed. Casaub.) Strabo himself says of Dioscurias,
      συνέρχεσθαι ἐς αὐτὴν ἐβδομήκοντα, οἱ δὲ καὶ τριακόσια ἔθνη φασίν οἴς
      οὐδὲν τῶν ὄντων υέλει (x. p. 498). The last words refer probably to

   43 Du Ponceau, p. 110.

   44 S. F. Waldeck, Lettre à M. Jomard des environs de Palenqué, Amérique
      Centrale. (“Il ne pouvait se servir, en 1833, d’un vocabulaire
      composé avec beaucoup de soin dix ans auparavant.”)

   45 Catalogo, i. 393.

   46 Turanian Languages, p. 114.

   47 Ibid., p. 233.

   48 Turanian Languages, p. 30.

   49 Quintilian, ix. 4. “Nam neque Lucilium putant uti eadem (s) ultima,
      cum dicit Serenu fuit, et Dignu loco. Quin etiam Cicero in Oratore
      plures antiquorum tradit sic locutos.” In some phrases the final _s_
      was omitted in conversation; _e.g._ _abin_ for abisne, _viden_ for
      videsne, _opu’st_ for opus est, _conabere_ for conaberis.

   50 Marsh, Lectures, pp. 133, 368.

   51 “There are fewer local peculiarities of form and articulation in our
      vast extent of territory (U. S.), than on the comparatively narrow
      soil of Great Britain.”—_Marsh_, p. 667.

   52 Marsh, Lectures, pp. 181, 590.

   53 The Gothic forms _sijum_, _sijuth_, are not organic. They are either
      derived by false analogy from the third person plural _sind_, or a
      new base _sij_ was derived from the subjunctive _sijau_, Sanskrit

   54 Some excellent statistics on the exact proportion of Saxon and Latin
      in various English writers, are to be found in Marsh’s Lectures on
      the English Language, p. 120, _seq._ and 181, _seq._

   55 “En este estado, que es el primer paso que las naciones dan para
      mudar de lengua, estaba quarenta años ha la araucana en las islas de
      Chiloue (como he oido á los jesuitas sus misioneros), en donde los
      araucanos apénas proferian palabra que no fuese española; mas la
      proferian con el artificio y órden de su lengua nativa, llamada
      araucana.”—_Hervas, Catalogo_, t. i. p. 16. “Este artificio ha sido
      en mi observacion el principal medio de que me he valido para
      conocer la afinidad ó diferencia de las lenguas conocidas, y
      reducirlas á determinadas classes.”—_Ibid._, p. 23.

   56 Colebrooke, Miscellaneous Essays, i. 32. The following verses are
      pronounced by Vâch, the goddess of speech, in the 125th hymn of the
      10th book of the Rig-Veda: “Even I myself say this (what is) welcome
      to Gods and to men: ‘Whom I love, him I make strong, him I make a
      Brahman, him a great prophet, him I make wise. For Rudra (the god of
      thunder) I bend the bow, to slay the enemy, the hater of the
      Brahmans. For the people I make war; I pervade heaven and earth. I
      bear the father on the summit of this world; my origin is in the
      water in the sea; from thence I go forth among all beings, and touch
      this heaven with my height. I myself breathe forth like the wind,
      embracing all beings; above this heaven, beyond this earth, such am
      I in greatness.’ ” See also Atharva-Veda, iv. 30; xix. 9, 3. Muir,
      Sanskrit Texts, part iii. pp. 108, 150.

   57 Sir John Stoddart, Glossology, p. 276.

   58 The Turks applied the Polish name _Niemiec_ to the Austrians. As
      early as Constantinus Porphyrogeneta, cap. 30, Νεμέτζιοι was used
      for the German race of the Bavarians. (Pott, Indo-Germ. Sp. s. 44.
      Leo, Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Sprachforschung, b. ii. s. 258.)
      Russian, _njemez’_; Slovenian, _nĕmec_; Bulgarian, _némec_; Polish,
      _niemiec_; Lusatian, _njemc_, mean German. Russian, _njemo_,
      indistinct; _njemyi_, dumb; Slovenian, _nĕm_, dumb; Bulgarian,
      _nêm_, dumb; Polish, _njemy_, dumb; Lusatian, _njemy_, dumb.

   59 Leo, Zeitschrift für Vergl. Sprachf. b. ii. s. 252.

   60 Humboldt’s Cosmos, vol. ii. p. 141.

   61 This shows how difficult it would be to admit that any influence was
      exercised by Indian on Greek philosophers. Pyrrhon, if we may
      believe Alexander Polyhistor, seems indeed to have accompanied
      Alexander on his expedition to India, and one feels tempted to
      connect the scepticism of Pyrrhon with the system of Buddhist
      philosophy then current in India. But the ignorance of the language
      on both sides must have been an insurmountable barrier between the
      Greek and the Indian thinkers. (Fragmenta Histor. Græc., ed. Müller,
      t. iii. p. 243, _b._; Lasson, Indische Alterthumskande, b. iii. s.

   62 On the supposed travels of Greek philosophers to India, see Lassen,
      Indische Alterthumskunde, b. iii. s. 379; Brandis, Handbuch der
      Geschichte der Philosophie, b. i. s. 425. The opinion of D. Stewart
      and Niebuhr that the Indian philosophers borrowed from the Greeks,
      and that of Görres and others that the Greeks borrowed from the
      Brahmans, are examined in my Essay on Indian Logic, in Thomson’s
      Laws of Thought.

   63 See Niebuhr, Vorlesungen über Alte Geschichte, b. i. s. 17.

   64 The translation of Mago’s work on agriculture belongs to a later
      time. There is no proof that Mago, who wrote twenty-eight books on
      agriculture in the Punic language, lived, as Humboldt supposes
      (Cosmos, vol. ii. p. 184), 500 B. C. Varro de R. R. i. 1, says: “Hos
      nobilitate Mago Carthaginiensis præteriit Pœnica lingua, quod res
      dispersas comprehendit libris xxix., quos Cassius Dionysius
      Uticensis vertit libris xx., Græca lingua, ac Sextilio prætori
      misit: in quæ volumina de Græcis libris eorum quos dixi adjecit non
      pauca, et de Magonis dempsit instar librorum viii. Hosce ipsos
      utiliter ad vi. libros redegit Diophanes in Bithynia, et misit
      Dejotaro regi.” This Cassius Dionysius Uticencis lived about 40 B.
      C. The translation into Latin was made at the command of the Senate,
      shortly after the third Punic war.

   65 Ptolemæus Philadelphus (287-246 B. C.), on the recommendation of his
      chief librarian (Demetrius Philaretes), is said to have sent a Jew
      of the name of Aristeas, to Jerusalem, to ask the high priest for a
      MS. of the Bible, and for seventy interpreters. Others maintain that
      the Hellenistic Jews who lived at Alexandria, and who had almost
      forgotten their native language, had this translation made for their
      own benefit. Certain it is, that about the beginning of the third
      century B. C. (285), we find the Hebrew Bible translated into Greek.

   66 Plin. xxx. 2. “Sine dubio illa orta in Perside a Zoroastre, ut inter
      auctores convenit. Sed unus hic fuerit, an postea et alius, non
      satis constat. Eudoxus qui inter sapientiæ sectas clarissimam
      utilissimamque eam intelligi voluit, Zoroastrem hunc sex millibus
      annorum ante Platonis mortem fuisse prodidit. Sic et Aristoteles.
      Hermippus qui de tota ea arte diligentissime scripsit, et vicies
      centum millia versuum a Zoroastre condita, indicibus quoque
      voluminum ejus positis explanavit, præceptorem a quo institutum
      disceret, tradidit Azonacem, ipsum vero quinque millibus annorum
      ante Trojanum bellum fuisse.”—“Diogenes Laertius Aristotelem
      auctorem facit libri τὸ Μαγικόν. Suidas librum cognovit, dubitat
      vero a quo scriptus sit.” See Bunsen’s Egypten, Va, 101.

   67 M. M.’s History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 163.

   68 ἄρθρον προτασσόμενον, ἄρθρον ὑποτασσόμενον.

   69 Suidas, s. v. Διονύσιος. Διονύσιος Ἀλεξανδρεός, Θρᾷξ δὲ ἀπὸ πατρὸς
      τούνομα κληθεὶς, Ἀριστάρχου μαθητὴς, γραμματικὸς ὁς ἐσοφίστευσεν ἐν
      Ῥώμη ἐπὶ Πομπηιοῦ τοῦ Μεγάλου.

   70 Quintilian, i. 1, 12.

   71 See Mommsen, Römische Geschichte, b. i. s. 197. “The Latin alphabet
      is the same as the modern alphabet of Sicily; the Etruscan is the
      same as the old Attic alphabet. _Epistola_, letter, _charta_, paper,
      and _stilus_, are words borrowed from Greek.”—_Mommsen_, b. i. s.

   72 Mommsen, Römische Geschichte, b. i. s. 186. _Statera_, the balance,
      the Greek στατήρ; _machina_, an engine, μηχανή; _númus_, a silver
      coin, νόμος, the Sicilian νοῦμμος; _groma_, measuring-rod, the Greek
      γνώμων or γνῶμα: _clathri_, a trellis, a grate, the Greek κλῆθρα,
      the native Italian word for lock being _claustra_.

_   73 Gubernare_, to steer, from κυβεονᾶν; _anchora_, anchor, from
      ἀγκῦρα; _prora_, the forepart, from πρῶρα. _Navis_, _remus_,
      _velum_, &c., are common Aryan words, not borrowed by the Romans
      from the Greeks, and show that the Italians were acquainted with
      navigation before the discovery of Italy by the Phocæans.

   74 Mommsen, i. 154.

   75 Ibid. i. 408.

   76 Mommsen, i. 165.

_   77 Sibylla_, or _sibulla_, is a diminutive of an Italian _sabus_ or
      _sabius_, wise; a word which, though not found in classical writers,
      must have existed in the Italian dialects. The French _sage_
      presupposes an Italian _sabius_, for it cannot be derived either
      from _sapiens_ or from _sapius_.—_Diez, Lexicon Etymologicum_, p.
      300. _Sapius_ has been preserved in _nesapius_, foolish. _Sibulla_
      therefore meant a wise old woman.

   78 Mommsen, i. 256.

   79 Ibid. i. 425, 444.

   80 Ibid. i. 857.

   81 Mommsen, i. 902.

   82 Mommsen, i. 892.

   83 Ibid. i. 843, 194.

   84 Ibid. i. 911.

   85 Mommsen, ii. 407.

   86 Mommsen, ii. 410.

   87 Ibid. ii. 408.

   88 Ibid. ii. 437, _note_; ii. 430.

   89 Zeno died 263; Epicurus died 270; Arcesilaus died 241; Carneades
      died 129.

   90 Mommsen, ii. 417, 418.

   91 Ibid. i. 845.

   92 Ibid. ii. 415, 417.

   93 Mommsen, ii. 413, 426, 445, 457. Lucius Ælius Stilo wrote a work on
      etymology, and an index to Plautus.—_Lersch_, _Die Sprachphilosophie
      der Alten_, ii. 111.

   94 Lersch, ii. 113, 114, 143.

   95 Lersch, iii. 144.

   96 Mommsen, iii. 557. 48 B. C.

   97 Lersch, ii. 25. Περὶ σημαινόντων, or περὶ φώνης; and περὶ
      σημαινομένον, or περὶ πραγμάτων.

   98 Beiträge zur Geschichte der Grammatik, von Dr. K. E. A. Schmidt.
      Halle, 1859. Uber den Begriff der γενικὴ πτῶσις, s. 320.

   99 In the Tibetan languages the rule is, “Adjectives are formed from
      substantives by the addition of the genitive sign,” which might be
      inverted into, “The genitive is formed from the nominative by the
      addition of the adjective sign.” For instance, _shing_, wood; _shing
      gi_, of wood, or wooden: _ser_, gold; _ser-gyi_, of gold, or golden:
      _mi_, man; _mi-yi_, of man, or human. The same in Garo, where the
      sign of the genitive is _ni_, we have; _mánde-ní jak_, the hand of
      man, or the human hand; _ambal-ní ketháli_, a wooden knife, or a
      knife of wood. In Hindustání the genitive is so clearly an
      adjective, that it actually takes the marks of gender according to
      the words to which it refers. But how is it in Sanskrit and Greek?
      In Sanskrit we may form adjectives by the addition of _tya_.
      (Turanian Languages, p. 41, _seq._; Essay on Bengálí, p. 333.) For
      instance, _dakshiņâ_, south; _dakshiņâ-tya_, southern. This _tya_ is
      clearly a demonstrative pronoun, the same as the Sanskrit _syas_,
      _syâ_, _tyad_, this or that. _Tya_ is a pronominal base, and
      therefore such adjectives as _dakshiņâ-tya_, southern, or _âp-tya_,
      aquatic, from _âp_, water, must have been conceived originally as
      “water-there,” or “south-there.” Followed by the terminations of the
      nominative singular, which was again an original pronoun, _âptyas_
      would mean _âp-tya-s_, _i.e._, water-there-he. Now, it makes little
      difference whether I say an aquatic bird or a bird of the water. In
      Sanskrit the genitive of water would be, if we take _udaka_,
      _udaka-sya_. This _sya_ is the same pronominal base as the adjective
      termination _tya_, only that the former takes no sign for the
      gender, like the adjective. The genitive _udakasya_ is therefore the
      same as an adjective without gender. Now let us look to Greek. We
      there form adjectives by σιος, which is the same as the Sanskrit
      _tya_ or _sya_. For instance, from δῆμος, people, the Greeks formed
      δημόσιος, belonging to the people. Here ος, α, ον, mark the gender.
      Leave the gender out, and you get δημοσιο. Now, there is a rule in
      Greek that an ς between two vowels, in grammatical terminations, is
      elided. Thus the genitive of γένος is not γένεσος, but γένεος, or
      γένους; hence δημόσιο would necessarily become δήμοιο. And what is
      δήμοιο but the regular Homeric genitive of δῆμος, which in later
      Greek was replaced by δήμου? Thus we see that the same principles
      which governed the formation of adjectives and genitives in Tibetan,
      in Garo, and Hindustání, were at work in the primitive stages of
      Sanskrit and Greek; and we perceive how accurately the real power of
      the genitive was determined by the ancient Greek grammarians, who
      called it the general or predicative case, whereas the Romans
      spoiled the term by wrongly translating it into _genitivus_.

  100 See M. M.’s History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 158.

  101 The following and some other notes were kindly sent to me by the
      first Chinese scholar in Europe, M. Stanislas Julien, Membre de

      The Chinese do not decline their substantives, but they indicate the
      cases distinctly—

      A. By means of particles.
      B. By means of position.

      1. The nominative or the subject of a sentence is always placed at
      the beginning.

      2. The genitive may be marked—

      (_a_) By the particle _tchi_ placed between the two nouns, of which
      the first is in the genitive, the second in the nominative. Example,
      _jin tchi kiun_ (hominum princeps, literally, man, sign of the
      genitive, prince.)

      (_b_) By position, placing the word which is in the genitive first,
      and the word which is in the nominative second. Ex. _koue_ (kingdom)
      _jin_ (man) _i.e._, a man of the kingdom.

      3. The dative may be expressed—

      (_a_) By the preposition _yu_, to. Ex. _sse_ (to give) _yen_ (money)
      _yu_ (to) _jin_ (man).

      (_b_) By position, placing first the verb, then the word which
      stands in the dative, lastly, the word which stands in the
      accusative. Ex. _yu_ (to give) _jin_ (to a man) _pe_ (white) _yu_
      (jade), _hoang_ (yellow) _kin_ (metal), _i.e._, gold.

      4. The accusative is either left without any mark, for instance,
      _pao_ (to protect) _min_ (the people), or it is preceded by certain
      words which had originally a more tangible meaning, but gradually
      dwindled away into mere signs of the accusative. [These were first
      discovered and correctly explained by M. Stanislas Julien in his
      Vindiciæ Philologicæ in Linguam Sinicam, Paris, 1830.] The particles
      most frequently used for this purpose by modern writers are _pa_ and
      _tsiang_, to grasp, to take. Ex. _pa_ (taking) _tchoung-jin_ (crowd
      of men) _t’eou_ (secretly) _k’an_ (he looked) _i.e._, he looked
      secretly at the crowd of men (hominum turbam furtim aspiciebat). In
      the more ancient Chinese (_Kouwen_) the words used for the same
      purpose are _i_ (to employ, etc.), _iu_, _iu_, _hou_. Ex. _i_
      (employing) _jin_ (mankind) _t’sun_ (he preserves) _sin_ (in the
      heart), _i.e._, humanitatem conservat corde. _I_ (taking) _tchi_
      (right) _wêï_ (to make) _k’iŏ_ (crooked), _i.e._, rectum facere
      curvum. _Pao_ (to protect) _hou_ (sign of accus.) _min_ (the

      5. The ablative is expressed—

      (_a_) By means of prepositions, such as _thsong_, _yeou_, _tsen_,
      _hou_. Ex. _thsong_ (ex) _thien_ (cœlo) _laï_ (venire); _te_
      (obtinere) _hou_ (ab) _thien_ (cœlo).

      (_b_) By means of position, so that the word in the ablative is
      placed before the verb. Ex. _thien_ (heaven) _hiang-tchi_
      (descended, _tchi_ being the relative particle or sign of the
      genitive) _tsaï_ (calamities), _i.e._, the calamities which Heaven
      sends to men.

      6. The instrumental is expressed—

      (_a_) By the preposition _yu_, with. Ex. _yu_ (with) _kien_ (the
      sword) _cha_ (to kill) _jin_ (a man).

      (_b_) By position, the substantive which stands in the instrumental
      case being placed before the verb, which is followed again by the
      noun in the accusative. Ex. _i_ (by hanging) _cha_ (he killed)
      _tchi_ (him).

      7. The locative may be expressed by simply placing the noun before
      the verb. Ex. _si_ (in the East or East) _yeou_ (there is)
      _suo-tou-po_ (a sthúpa); or by prepositions as described in the

      The adjective is always placed before the substantive to which it
      belongs. Ex. _meï jin_, a beautiful woman.

      The adverb is generally followed by a particle which produces the
      same effect as _e_ in bene, or _ter_ in celeriter. Ex. _cho-jen_, in
      silence, silently; _ngeou-jen_, perchance; _kiu-jen_, with fear.

      Sometimes an adjective becomes an adverb through position. Ex.
      _chen_, good; but _chen ko_, to sing well.

  102 See some criticisms on this division in Marsh’s Lectures on the
      English Language, p. 48.

  103 “Goddspell onn Ennglissh nemmnedd iss
      God word, annd god tiþennde,
      God errnde,” &c.—_Ormulum_, pref. 157.

      “And beode þer godes godd-spel.”—_Layamon_, iii. 182, v. 29, 507.

  104 Diez, Lexicon Comparativum. Columella, vii. 8.

  105 Strabo, viii. p. 833. Τὴν μὲν Ἰάδα τῇ παλαιᾷ Ἀτθίδι τὴν αὐτὴν φαμέν,
      τὴν δὲ Δωρίδα τῇ Αἰολίδι.

  106 Herodotus (vii. 94, 509) gives Pelasgi as the old name of the
      Æolians and of the Ionians in the Peloponnesus and the islands.
      Nevertheless he argues (i. 57), from the dialect spoken in his time
      by the Pelasgi of the towns of Kreston, Plakia, and Skylake, that
      the old Pelasgi spoke a barbarous tongue (βάρβαρον τὴν γλῶσσαν
      ἱέντες). He has, therefore, to admit that the Attic race, being
      originally Pelasgic, unlearnt its language (τὸ Ἀττικὸν ἔθνος ἐὸν
      Πελασγικόν, ἅμα τῇ μεταβόλη τῇ ἐς Ἕλληνας, καὶ τὴν γλῶσσαν
      μετέμαθε). See Diefenbach, Origines Europææ, p. 59. Dionysius of
      Halicarnassus (i. 17) avoids this difficulty by declaring the
      Pelasgi to have been from the beginning a Hellenic race. This
      however, is merely his own theory. The _Karians_ are called
      βαρβαρόφωνοι by Homer (II. v. 867); but Strabo (xiv. 662) takes
      particular care to show that they are not therefore to be considered
      as βάρβαροι. He distinguishes between βαρβαροφωνεῖν, _i.e._, κακῶς
      ἑλληνίζειν, and Καριστὶ λαλαεῖν, καρίζειν καὶ βαρβαρίζειν. But the
      same Strabo says that the Karians were formerly called Λέλεγεs (xii.
      p. 572); and these, together with Pelasgians and Kaukones, are
      reckoned by him (vii. p. 321) as the earlier _barbarous_ inhabitants
      of Hellas. Again he (vii. p. 321), as well as Aristotle and
      Dionysius of Halicarnassus (i. 17), considers the Locrians as
      descendants of the Leleges, though they would hardly call the
      Locrians barbarians.

      The _Macedonians_ are mentioned by Strabo (x. p. 460) together with
      “the other Hellenes.” Demosthenes speaks of Alexander as a
      barbarian; Isokrates as a Heraclide. To judge from a few extant
      words, Macedonian might have been a Greek dialect. (Diefenbach,
      Orig. Europ. p. 62.) Justine (vii. 1) says of the Macedonians,
      “Populus Pelasgi, regio Pæonia dicebatur.” There was a tradition
      that the country occupied by the Macedonians belonged formerly to
      Thracians or Pierians (Thuc. ii. 99; Strabo, vii. p. 321); part of
      it to Thessalians (ibid.).

      The _Thracians_ are called by Herodotus (v. 3) the greatest people
      after the Indians. They are distinguished by Strabo from Illyrians
      (Diefenbach, p. 65), from Celts (ibid.), and from Scythians (Thuc.
      ii. 96). What we know of their language rests on a statement of
      Strabo (vii. 303, 305), that the Thracians spoke the same language
      as the Getæ, and the Getæ the same as the Dacians. We possess
      fragments of Dacian speech in the botanical names collected by
      Dioskorides, and these, as interpreted by Grimm, are clearly Aryan,
      though not Greek. The Dacians are called barbarians by Strabo,
      together with Illyrians and Epirotes. (Strabo, vii. p. 321.)

      The _Illyrians_ were barbarians in the eyes of the Greeks. They are
      now considered as an independent branch of the Aryan family.
      Herodotus refers the Veneti to the Illyrians (i. 196); and the
      Veneti, according to Polybius (ii. 17), who knew them, spoke a
      language different from that of the Celts. He adds that they were an
      old race, and in their manner and dress like the Celts. Hence many
      writers have mistaken them for Celts, neglecting the criterion of
      language, on which Polybius lays such proper stress. The Illyrians
      were a widely extended race; the Pannonians, the Dalmatians, and the
      Dardanians (from whom the Dardanelles were called), are all spoken
      of as Illyrians. (Diefenbach, Origines Europææ, pp. 74, 75.) It is
      lost labor to try to extract anything positive from the statements
      of the Greeks and Romans on the race and the language of their
      barbarian neighbors.

  107 Albert, Count of Bollstädten, or, as he is more generally called,
      Albertus Magnus, the pioneer of modern physical science, wrote: “God
      has given to man His spirit, and with it also intellect, that man
      might use it for to know God. And God is known through the soul and
      by faith from the Bible, through the intellect from nature.” And
      again: “It is to the praise and glory of God, and for the benefit of
      our brethren, that we study the nature of created things. In all of
      them, not only in the harmonious formation of every single creature,
      but likewise in the variety of different forms, we can and we ought
      to admire the majesty and wisdom of God.”

  108 These are the last words in Kepler’s “Harmony of the World,” “Thou
      who by the light of nature hast kindled in us the longing after the
      light of Thy grace, in order to raise us to the light of Thy glory,
      thanks to Thee, Creator and Lord, that Thou lettest me rejoice in
      Thy works. Lo, I have done the work of my life with that power of
      intellect which Thou hast given. I have recorded to men the glory of
      Thy works, as far as my mind could comprehend their infinite
      majesty. My senses were awake to search as far as I could, with
      purity and faithfulness. If I, a worm before thine eyes, and born in
      the bonds of sin, have brought forth anything that is unworthy of
      Thy counsels, inspire me with Thy spirit, that I may correct it. If,
      by the wonderful beauty of Thy works, I have been led into boldness,
      if I have sought my own honor among men as I advanced in the work
      which was destined to Thine honor, pardon me in kindness and
      charity, and by Thy grace grant that my teaching may be to Thy
      glory, and the welfare of all men. Praise ye the Lord, ye heavenly
      Harmonies, and ye that understand the new harmonies, praise the
      Lord. Praise God, O my soul, as long as I live. From Him, through
      Him, and in Him is all, the material as well as the spiritual—all
      that we know and all that we know not yet—for there is much to do
      that is yet undone.”

      These words are all the more remarkable, because written by a man
      who was persecuted by theologians as a heretic, but who nevertheless
      was not ashamed to profess himself a Christian.

      I end with an extract from one of the most distinguished of living
      naturalists:—“The antiquarian recognizes at once the workings of
      intelligence in the remains of an ancient civilization. He may fail
      to ascertain their age correctly, he may remain doubtful as to the
      order in which they were successively constructed, but the character
      of the whole tells him they are works of art, and that men like
      himself originated these relics of by-gone ages. So shall the
      intelligent naturalist read at once in the pictures which nature
      presents to him, the works of a higher Intelligence; he shall
      recognize in the minute perforated cells of the coniferæ, which
      differ so wonderfully from those of other plants, the hieroglyphics
      of a peculiar age; in their needle-like leaves, the escutcheon of a
      peculiar dynasty; in their repeated appearance under most
      diversified circumstances, a thoughtful and thought-eliciting
      adaptation. He beholds, indeed, the works of a being _thinking_ like
      himself, but he feels, at the same time, that he stands as much
      below the Supreme Intelligence, in wisdom, power, and goodness, as
      the works of art are inferior to the wonders of nature. Let
      naturalists look at the world under such impressions, and evidence
      will pour in upon us that all creatures are expressions of the
      thoughts of Him whom we know, love, and adore unseen.”

  109 Rom. i. 20.

  110 Hervas (Catalogo, i. 37) mentions the following works, published
      during the sixteenth century, bearing on the science of
      language:—“Introductio in Chaldaicam Linguam, Siriacam, atque
      Armenicam, et decem alias Linguas,” a Theseo Ambrosio. Papiæ, 1539,
      4to. “De Ratione communi omnium Linguarum et Litterarum
      Commentarius,” a Theodoro Bibliandro. Tiguri, 1548, 4to. It contains
      the Lord’s Prayer in fourteen languages. Bibliander derives Welsh
      and Cornish from Greek, Greek having been carried there from
      Marseilles, through France. He states that Armenian differs little
      from Chaldee, and cites Postel, who derived the Turks from the
      Armenians, because Turkish was spoken in Armenia. He treats the
      Persians as descendants of Shem, and connects their language with
      Syriac and Hebrew. Servian and Georgian are, according to him,
      dialects of Greek.

      Other works on language published during the sixteenth century
      are:—“Perion. Dialogorum de Linguæ Gallicæ origine ejusque cum Græca
      cognatione, libri quatuor.” Parisiis, 1554. He says that as French
      is not mentioned among the seventy-two languages which sprang from
      the Tower of Babel, it must be derived from Greek. He quotes Cæsar
      (de Bello Gallico, vi. 14) to prove that the Druids spoke Greek, and
      then derives from it the modern French language!

      The works of Henri Estienne (1528-1598) stand on a much sounder
      basis. He has been unjustly accused of having derived French from
      Greek. See his “Traicté de la Conformité du Langage français avec le
      grec;” about 1566. It contains chiefly syntactical and grammatical
      remarks, and its object is to show that modes of expression in
      Greek, which sound anomalous and difficult, can be rendered easy by
      a comparison of analogous expressions in French.

      The Lord’s Prayer was published in 1548 in fourteen languages, by
      Bibliander; in 1591 in twenty-six languages, by Roccha (“Bibliotheca
      Apostolica Vaticana,” a fratre Angelo Roccha: Romæ, 1591, 4to.); in
      1592 in forty languages, by Megiserus (“Specimen XL. Linguarum et
      Dialectorum ab Hieronymo Megisero à diversis auctoribus collectarum
      quibus Oratio Dominica est expressa:” Francofurti, 1592); in 1593,
      in fifty languages, by the same author (“Oratio Dominica L. diversis
      linguis,” cura H. Megiseri: Francofurti, 1593, 8vo.).

  111 At the beginning of the seventeenth century was published “Trésor de
      l’Histoire des Langues de cet Univers,” par Claude Duret; seconde
      edition: Iverdon, 1619, 4to. Hervas says that Duret repeats the
      mistakes of Postel, Bibliander, and other writers of the sixteenth

      Before Duret came Estienne Guichard, “l’Harmonie Etymologique des
      Langues Hebraique, Chaldaique, Syriaque—Greque—Latine, Françoise,
      Italienne, Espagnole—Allemande, Flamende, Anglaise, &c.:” Paris,

      Hervas only knows the second edition, Paris, 1618, and thinks the
      first was published in 1608. The title of his book shows that
      Guichard distinguished between four classes of languages, which we
      should now call the Semitic, the Hellenic, Italic, and Teutonic: he
      derives, however, Greek from Hebrew.

      I. I. Scaliger, in his “Diatriba de Europæorum Linguis” (Opuscula
      varia: Parisiis, 1610), p. 119, distinguishes eleven classes: Latin,
      Greek, Teutonic, Slavonic, Epirotic or Albanian, Tartaric,
      Hungarian, Finnic, Irish, British in Wales and Brittany, and Bask or

  112 “Initium oris et communis eloquii, et hoc omne quod loquimur,
      Hebræam esse linguam qua vetus Testamentum scriptum est, universa
      antiquitas tradidit.” In another place (Isaia, c. 7) he writes,
      “Omnium enim fere linguarum verbis utuntur Hebræi.”

  113 “Mansit lingua per Adam primitus data, ut putamus, Hebræa, in ea
      parte hominum, quæ non pars alicujus angeli, sed quæ Dei portio

  114 Guichard went so far as to maintain that as Hebrew was written from
      right to left, and Greek from left to right, Greek words might be
      traced back to Hebrew by being simply read from right to left.

  115 Among the different systems of Rabbinical exegesis, there is one
      according to which every letter in Hebrew is reduced to its
      numerical value, and the word is explained by another of the same
      quantity; thus, from the passage, “And all the inhabitants of the
      earth were of one language.” (Gen. xi. 1), is deduced that they all
      spoke Hebrew, שכה being changed for its synonym לשון, and הקרש, (5 +
      100 + 4 + 300 = 409) is substituted for its equivalent אחת (1 + 8 +
      400 = 409). _Coheleth_, ed. Ginsburg, p. 31.

  116 Hermathena Joannis Goropii Becani: Antuerpiæ, 1580. Origines
      Antverpianæ, 1569. André Kempe, in his work on the language of
      Paradise, maintains that God spoke to Adam in Swedish, Adam answered
      in Danish, and the serpent spoke to Eve in French.

      Chardin relates that the Persians believe three languages to have
      been spoken in Paradise; Arabic by the serpent, Persian by Adam and
      Eve, and Turkish by Gabriel.

      J. B. Erro, in his “El mundo primitivo,” Madrid, 1814, claims Bask
      as the language spoken by Adam.

      A curious discussion took place about two hundred years ago in the
      Metropolitan Chapter of Pampeluna. The decision, as entered in the
      minutes of the chapter, is as follows:—1. Was Bask the primitive
      language of mankind? The learned members confess that, in spite of
      their strong conviction on the subject, they dare not give an
      affirmative answer. 2. Was Bask the only language spoken by Adam and
      Eve in Paradise? On this point the chapter declares that no doubt
      can exist in their minds, and that “it is impossible to bring
      forward any serious or rational objection.” See Hennequin, “Essai
      sur l’Analogie des Langues,” Bordeaux, 1838. p. 60.

  117 Guhrauer’s Life of Leibniz, ii. p. 129.

  118 Guhrauer, vol. ii. p. 127. In his “Dissertation on the Origin of
      Nations,” 1710, Leibniz says:—“The study of languages must not be
      conducted according to any other principles but those of the exact
      sciences. Why begin with the unknown instead of the known? It stands
      to reason that we ought to begin 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 tongues, the analysis of which must lead us
      to the only trustworthy conclusions.”

  119 Nicolaes Witsen, Burgomaster of Amsterdam, travelled in Russia,
      1666-1677; published his travels in 1672, dedicated to Peter the
      Great. Second edition, 1705. It contains many collections of words.

  120 Catherinens der Grossen Verdienste um die Vergleichende Sprachkunde,
      von F. Adelung. Petersburg, 1815. Another letter of his to the
      Vice-Chancellor, Baron Schaffiroff, is dated Pirmont, June 22, 1716.

  121 Collectanea Etymologica, ii. 255. “Malim sine discrimine Dialectorum
      corrogari Germanicas voces. Puto quasdam origines ex superioribus
      Dialectis melius apparituras; ut ex Ulfilæ Pontogothicis, Otfridi

  122 Monde primitif analysé et comparé avec le monde moderne: Paris,

  123 Catalogo, i. 63.

  124 “Mas se deben consultar gramaticas para conocer su caracter proprio
      por medio de su artificio gramatical.”—_Catalogo_, i. 65. The same
      principle was expressed by Lord Monboddo, about 1795, in his Ancient
      Metaphysics, vol. iv. p. 326. “My last observation is, that, as the
      art of a language is less arbitrary and more determined by rule than
      either the sound or sense of words, it is one of the principal
      things by which the connection of languages with one another is to
      be discovered. And, therefore, when we find that two languages
      practise these great arts of language,—derivation, composition, and
      flexion,—in the same way, we may conclude, I think, with great
      certainty, that the one language is the original of the other, or
      that they are both dialects of the same language.”

  125 Catalogo, ii. 468.

  126 Ibid. i. 49. Witsen, too, in a letter to Leibniz, dated Mai 22,
      1698, alludes to the affinity between the Tataric and Mongolic
      languages. “On m’a dit que ces deux langues (la langue Moegale et
      Tartare) sont différentes à peu près comme l’Allemand l’est du
      Flamand, et qu’il est de même des Kalmucs et Moegals.”—_Collectanea
      Etymologica_, ii. p. 363.

  127 Leibniz held the same opinion (see Hervas, Catalogo, i. 50), though
      he considered the Celts in Spain as descendants of the Iberians.

  128 Catalogo, i. 30. “Verá que la lengua llamada _malaya_, la qual se
      habla en la península de Malaca, es matriz de inumerables dialectos
      de naciones isleñas, que desde dicha península se extienden por mas
      de doscientos grados de longitud en los mares oriental y pacífico.”

      Ibid. ii. 10. “De esta península de Malaca han salido enjambres de
      pobladores de las islas del mar Indiano y Pacífico, en las que,
      aunque parece haber otra nacion, que es de negros, la _malaya_ es
      generalmente la mas dominante y extendida. La lengua malaya se habla
      en dicha península, continente del Asia, en las islas Maldivas, en
      la de Madagascar (perteneciente al Africa), en las de Sonda, en las
      Molucas, en las Filipinas, en las del archipiélago de San Lázaro, y
      en muchísimas del mar del Sur desde dicho archipiélago hasta islas,
      que por su poca distancia de América se creian pobladas por
      americanos. La isla de Madagascar se pone á 60 grados de longitud, y
      á los 268 se pone la isla de Pasqua ó de Davis, en la que se habla
      otro dialecto malayo; por lo que la extension de los dialectos
      malayos es de 208 grados de longitud.”

  129 Catalogo, ii. 134.

  130 Ibid. ii. 135.

  131 The first volume appeared in 1806. He died before the second volume
      was published, which was brought out by Vater in 1809. The third and
      fourth volumes followed in 1816 and 1817, edited by Vater and the
      younger Adelung.

  132 Evidence of this is to be found in Strahlenberg’s work on the “North
      and East of Europe and Asia,” 1730; with tabula polyglotta, &c.; in
      Messerschmidt’s “Travels in Siberia,” from 1729-1739; in
      Bachmeister, “Idea et desideria de colligendis linguarum
      speciminibus:” Petropoli, 1773; in Güldenstädt’s “Travels in the
      Caucasus,” &c.

  133 The empress wrote to Nicolai at Berlin to ask him to draw up a
      catalogue of grammars and dictionaries. The work was sent to her in
      manuscript from Berlin, in 1785.

  134 “Glossarium comparativum Linguarum totius Orbis:” Petersburg, 1787.
      A second edition, in which the words are arranged alphabetically,
      appeared in 1790-91, in 4 vols., edited by Jankiewitsch de Miriewo.
      It contains 279 (272) languages, _i.e._ 171 for Asia, 55 for Europe,
      30 for Africa, and 23 for America. According to Pott,
      “Ungleichheit,” p. 230, it contains 277 languages, 185 for Asia, 22
      for Europe, 28 for Africa, 15 for America. This would make 280. It
      is a very scarce book.

  135 The Singhalese call Pali, Mungata; the Burmese, Magadabâsâ.

  136 Works, vol. iii. p. 72.

  137 M. M.’s Buddhism and Buddhist Pilgrims, p. 23.

  138 Méthode pour déchiffrer et transcrire les noms Sanscrits qui se
      rencontrent dans les livres chinois, inventée et démontrée par M.
      Stanislas Julien: Paris, 1861, p. 103.

  139 “Fan-chou (brahmâkshara), les caractères de l’écriture indienne,
      inventée par Fan, c’est-à-dire Fan-lan-mo (brahmâ).”—_Stanislas
      Julien, Voyages des Pèlerins Bouddhistes_, vol. ii. p. 505.

  140 Sir Henry Elliot’s Historians of India, p. 259.

  141 See Professor Flügel, in Zeitschrift der D. M. G., xi., s. 148 and

  142 Elliot’s Historians of India, p. 96. Al Birúni knew the Harivanśa,
      and fixes the date of the five Siddhântas. The great value of Al
      Birúni’s work was first pointed out by M. Reinaud, in his excellent
      “Mémoire sur l’Inde,” Paris, 1849.

  143 In the Persian work Mujmalu-t-Tawárikh, there are chapters
      translated from the Arabic of Abu Saleh ben Shib ben Jawa, who had
      himself abridged them, a hundred years before, from a Sanskrit work,
      called “Instruction of Kings” (Râjanîti?). The Persian translator
      lived about 1150. See Elliot, l. c.

  144 Sâlotar is not known as the author of such a work. Śâlotarîya occurs
      instead of Śâlâturîya, in Rája Rádhakant; but Śâlâturîya is a name
      of Pâņini, and the teacher of Suśruta is said to have been Divodâsa.
      An Arabic translation of a Sanskrit work on veterinary medicine by
      Châņakya is mentioned by Háji Chalfa, v. p. 59. A translation of the
      Charaka from Sanskrit into Persian, and from Persian into Arabic, is
      mentioned in the Fihrist, finished 987 A. D.

  145 See Vans Kennedy, “Notice respecting the Religion introduced by
      Akbar:” Transactions of the Literary Society of Bombay: London,
      1820, vol. ii. pp. 242-270.

  146 Elliot, Historians of India, p. 249.

  147 Müllbauer, Geschichte der Katholischen Missionen Ostindiens, p. 134.

  148 Elliot, Historians of India, p. 248.

  149 Ibid. pp. 259, 260. The Tarikh-i-Badauni, or Muntakhabu-t-Tawárikh,
      written by Mulla Abdu-l-Kádir Maluk, Shah of Badáún, and finished in
      1595, is a general history of India from the time of the Ghaznevides
      to the 40th year of Akbar. The author is a bigoted Muhammedan and
      judges Akbar severely, though he was himself under great obligations
      to him. He was employed by Akbar to translate from Arabic and
      Sanskrit into Persian: he translated the Râmâyaņa, two out of the
      eighteen sections of the Mahâbhârata, and abridged a history of
      Cashmir. These translations were made under the superintendence of
      Faizi, the brother of the minister Abu-l-Fazl. “Abulfacel, ministro
      de Akbar, sevalió del Amarasinha y del Mahabhárata, que traduxo en
      persiano el año de 1586.”—_Hervas_, ii. 136.

  150 See M. M.’s History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 327.

  151 History of the Settlements of the Europeans in the East and West
      Indies, translated from the French of the Abbé Bernal by J.
      Justamond: Dublin, 1776, vol. i. p. 34.

  152 Müllbauer, p. 67.

  153 Ibid. p. 80. These Brahmans, according to Robert de Nobili, were of
      a lower class, not initiated in the sacred literature. They were
      ignorant, he says, “of the books Smarta, Apostamba, and
      Sutra.”—_Müllbauer_, p. 188. Robert himself quotes from the
      Âpastamba-Sûtra, in his defence, ibid. p. 192. He also quotes Scanda
      Purâna, p. 193; Kadambari, p. 193.

_  154 The Ezour-Veda_ is not the work of Robert de Nobili. It was
      probably written by one of his converts. It is in Sanskrit verse, in
      the style of the Pûraņas, and contains a wild mixture of Hindu and
      Christian doctrine. The French translation was sent to Voltaire and
      printed by him in 1778, “L’Ezour Vedam traduit du Sanscritam par un
      Brame.” Voltaire expressed his belief that the original was four
      centuries older than Alexander, and that it was the most precious
      gift for which the West had been ever indebted to the East. Mr.
      Ellis discovered the Sanskrit original at Pondichery. (Asiatic
      Researches, vol. xiv.) There is no evidence for ascribing the work
      to Robert, and it is not mentioned in the list of his works.
      (Bertrand, la Mission du Maduré, Paris, 1847-50, t. iii. p. 116;
      Müllbauer, p. 205, _note_.)

  155 In 1677 a Mr. Marshall is said to have been a proficient in
      Sanskrit. Elliot’s Historians of India, p. 265.

  156 See an excellent account of this letter in an article of M. Biot in
      the “Journal des Savants,” 1861.

  157 Sidharubam seu Grammatica Samscrdamica, cui accedit dissertatio
      historico-critica in linguam Samscrdamicam, vulgo Samscret dictam,
      in qua hujus linguæ existentia, origo, præstantia, antiquitas,
      extensio, maternitas ostenditur, libri aliqui in ea exarati critice
      recensentur, et simul aliquæ antiquissimæ gentilium orationes
      liturgicæ paucis attinguntur et explicantur autore Paulino a S.
      Bartholomæo. Romæ, 1790.

  158 The earliest publications were the “Bhagavadgîta,” translated by
      Wilkins, 1785; the “Hitopadeśa,” translated by Wilkins, 1787; and
      the “Sakuntalâ,” translated by W. Jones, 1789. Original grammars,
      without mentioning mere compilations, were published by Colebrooke,
      1805; by Carey, 1806; by Wilkins, 1808; by Forster, 1810; by Yates,
      1820; by Wilson, 1841. In Germany, Bopp published his grammars in
      1827, 1832, 1834; Benfey, in 1852 and 1855.

  159 Halhed had published in 1776 the “Code of Gentoo Laws,” a digest of
      the most important Sanskrit law-books made by eleven Brahmans, by
      the order of Warren Hastings.

  160 “On the Origin and Progress of Language,” second edition, Edinburgh,
      1774. 6 vols.

  161 “I have supposed that language could not be invented without
      supernatural assistance, and, accordingly, I have maintained that it
      was the invention of the Dæmon kings of Egypt, who, being more than
      men, first taught themselves to articulate, and then taught others.
      But, even among them, I am persuaded there was a progress in the
      art, and that such a language as the Shanskrit was not at once
      invented.”—_Monboddo, Antient Metaphysics_, vol. iv. p. 357.

  162 Origin and Progress of Language, vol. vi. p. 97.

  163 Antient Metaphysics, vol. iv. p. 322.

  164 Conjugationssystem: Frankfurt, 1816.

  165 New edition in 1856, much improved.

  166 Second edition, 1859 and 1861. Pott’s work on the Language of the
      Gipsies, 1846; his work on Proper Names, 1856.

  167 “Although the Old Friesian documents rank, according to their dates,
      with Middle rather than with Old German, the Friesian language
      appears there in a much more ancient stage, which very nearly
      approaches the Old High-German. The political isolation of the
      Friesians, and their noble attachment to their traditional manners
      and rights, have imparted to their language also a more conservative
      spirit. After the fourteenth century the old inflections of the
      Friesian decay most rapidly, whereas in the twelfth and thirteenth
      centuries they rival the Anglo-Saxon of the ninth and tenth
      centuries.”—_Grimm_, _German Grammar_ (1st ed.), vol. i p. lxviii.

  168 The dialects of Swabia (the Allemannish), of Bavaria and Austria, of
      Franconia along the Main, and of Saxony, &c.

  169 Über das Leben und die Lehre des Ulfila, Hannover, 1840. Über das
      Leben des Ulfila von Dr. Bessell, Göttingen, 1860.

  170 Bessell, l. c. p. 38.

  171 Sozomenus, H. E. vii. 6.

  172 Auxentius thus speaks of Ulfilas, (Waitz, p. 19:) “Et [ita
      prædic]-ante et per Cristum cum dilectione Deo Patri gratias agente,
      hæc et his similia exsequente, quadraginta annis in episcopatu
      gloriose florens, apostolica gratia Græcam et Latinam et Goticam
      linguam sine intermissione in una et sola eclesia Cristi
      predicavit.... Qui et ipsis tribus linguis plures tractatus et
      multas interpretationes volentibus ad utilitatem et ad
      ædificationem, sibi ad æternam memoriam et mercedem post se
      dereliquid. Quem condigne laudare non sufficio et penitus tacere non
      audeo; cui plus omnium ego sum debitor, quantum et amplius in me
      laboravit, qui me a prima etate mea a parentibus meis discipulum
      suscepit et sacras litteras docuit et veritatem manifestavit et per
      misericordiam Dei et gratiam Cristi et carnaliter et spiritaliter ut
      filium suum in fide educavit.

      “Hic Dei providentia et Cristi misericordia propter multorum salutem
      in gente Gothorum de lectore triginta annorum episkopus est
      ordinatus, ut non solum esset heres Dei et coheres Cristi, sed et in
      hoc per gratiam Cristi imitator Cristi et sanctorum ejus, ut
      quemadmodum sanctus David triginta annorum rex et profeta est
      constitutus, ut regeret et doceret populum Dei et filios Hisdrael,
      ita et iste beatus tamquam profeta est manifestatus et sacerdos
      Cristi ordinatus, ut regeret et corrigeret et doceret et ædificaret
      gentem Gothorum; quod et Deo volente et Cristo aucsiliante per
      ministerium ipsius admirabiliter est adinpletum, et sicuti Josef in
      Ægypto triginta annorum est manifes[tatus et] quemadmodum Dominus et
      Deus noster Jhesus Cristus Filius Dei triginta annorum secundum
      carnem constitutus et baptizatus, cœpit evangelium predicare et
      animas hominum pascere: ita et iste sanctus, ipsius Cristi
      dispositione et ordinatione, et in fame et penuria predicationis
      indifferenter agentem ipsam gentem Gothorum secundum evangelicam et
      apostolicam et profeticam regulam emendavit et vibere [Deo] docuit,
      et Cristianos, vere Cristianos esse, manifestavit et multiplicavit.

      “Ubi et ex invidia et operatione inimici thunc ab inreligioso et
      sacrilego indice Gothorum tyrannico terrore in varbarico
      Cristianorum persecutio est excitata, ut Satanas, qui male facere
      cupiebat, nolens faceret bene, ut quos desiderabat prevaricatores
      facere et desertores, Cristo opitulante et propugnante, fierent
      martyres et confessores, ut persecutor confunderetur, et qui
      persecutionem patiebantur, coronarentur, ut hic, qui temtabat
      vincere, victus erubesceret, et qui temtabantur, victores gauderent.
      Ubi et post multorum servorum et ancillarum Cristi gloriosum
      martyrium, imminente vehementer ipsa persecutione, conpletis septem
      annis tantummodo in episkopatum, supradictus sanctissimus vir beatus
      Ulfila cum grandi populo confessorum de varbarico pulsus, in solo
      Romanie a thu[n]c beate memorie Constantio principe honorifice est
      susceptus, ut sicuti Deus per Moysem de potentia et violentia
      Faraonis et Egyptorum po[pulum s]uum l[iberav]it [et Rubrum] Mare
      transire fecit et sibi servire providit, ita et per sepe dictum Deus
      confessores sancti Filii sui unigeniti de varbarico liberavit et per
      Danubium transire fecit, et in montibus secundum sanctorum
      imitationem sibi servire de[crevit] ..... eo populo in solo Romaniæ,
      ubi sine illis septem annis, triginta et tribus annis veritatem
      predicavit, ut et in hoc quorum sanctorum imitator erat [similis
      esset], quod quadraginta annorum spatium et tempus ut multos .....
      re et .... a[nn]orum ..... e vita.” .. “Qu[i] c[um] precepto
      imperiali, conpletis quadraginta annis, ad Constantinopolitanam
      urbem ad disputationem ..... contra p ... ie ... p. t. stas
      perrexit, et eundo in .... nn .. ne. p ... ecias sibi ax ..... to
      docerent et contestarent[ur] .... abat, et inge . e .... supradictam
      [ci]vitatem, recogitato ei im .... de statu concilii, ne arguerentur
      miseris miserabiliores, proprio judicio damnati et perpetuo
      supplicio plectendi, statim cœpit infirmari; qua in infirmitate
      susceptus est ad similitudine Elisei prophete. Considerare modo
      oportet meritum viri, qui ad hoc duce Domino obit Constantinopolim,
      immo vero Cristianopolim, ut sanctus et immaculatus sacerdos Cristi
      a sanctis et consacerdotibus, a dignis dignus digne [per] tantum
      multitudinem Cristianorum pro meritis [suis] mire et gloriose

      “Unde et cum sancto Hulfila ceterisque consortibus ad alium
      comitatum Constantinopolim venissent, ibique etiam et imperatores
      adissent, adque eis promissum fuisset conci[li]um, ut sanctus
      Aux[en]tius exposuit, [a]gnita promiss[io]ne prefati pr[e]positi
      heretic[i] omnibus viribu[s] institerunt u[t] lex daretur, qu[æ]
      concilium pro[hi]beret, sed nec p[ri]vatim in domo [nec] in publico,
      vel i[n] quolibet loco di[s]putatio de fide haberetur, sic[ut]
      textus indicat [le]gis, etc.”

  173 Theodoret. H. E. V., 30.

  174 For instances where Old High-German is more primitive than Gothic,
      see Schleicher, Zeitschrift für V. S., b. iv. s. 266. Bugge, ibid.,
      b. v. s. 59.

  175 See Schleicher, Deutsche Sprache, p. 94.

  176 Ibid. s. 60.

  177 Weinhold, Altnordisches Leben, p. 27; Gunnlaugssaga, c. 7.

  178 See Dasent’s Burnt Njal, Introduction.

  179 The name Edda is not found before the fourteenth century. Snorri
      Sturluson does not know the word Edda, nor any collection of ancient
      poems attributed to Saemund; and though Saemund may have made the
      first collection of national poetry, it is doubtful whether the work
      which we possess under his name is his.

  180 The people whom we call Wallachians, call themselves Romàni, and
      their language Romània.

      This Romance language is spoken in Wallachia and Moldavia, and in
      parts of Hungary, Transylvania, and Bessarabia. On the right bank of
      the Danube it occupies some parts of the old Thracia, Macedonia, and
      even Thessaly.

      It is divided by the Danube into two branches: the Northern or
      Daco-romanic, and the Southern or Macedo-romanic. The former is less
      mixed, and has received a certain literary culture; the latter has
      borrowed a larger number of Albanian and Greek words, and has never
      been fixed grammatically.

      The modern Wallachian is the daughter of the language spoken in the
      Roman province of Dacia.

      The original inhabitants of Dacia were called Thracians, and their
      language Illyrian. We have hardly any remains of the ancient
      Illyrian language to enable us to form an opinion as to its
      relationship with Greek or any other family of speech.

      219 B. C., the Romans conquered Illyria; 30 B. C., they took Moesia;
      and 107 A. D., the Emperor Trajan made Dacia a Roman province. At
      that time the Thracian population had been displaced by the advance
      of Sarmatian tribes, particularly the Yazyges. Roman colonists
      introduced the Latin language; and Dacia was maintained as a colony
      up to 272, when the Emperor Aurelian had to cede it to the Goths.
      Part of the Roman inhabitants then emigrated and settled south of
      the Danube.

      In 489 the Slavonic tribes began their advance into Mœsia and
      Thracia. They were settled in Mœsia by 678, and eighty years later a
      province was founded in Macedonia, under the name of Slavinia.

  181 The entire Bible has been published by the Bible Society in
      Romanese, for the Grisons in Switzerland; and in Lower Romanese, or
      Enghadine, as spoken on the borders of the Tyrol.

  182 “Ed il primo, così Dante, che cominciò a dire come poeta volgare, si
      mosse, perocchè volle far intendere le sue parole a donna alla quale
      era malagevole ad intendere versi Latini.”—_Vita Nuova_.

  183 Schleicher, Beiträge, i. 19.

  184 Oldest dated MS. of 1056, written for Prince Ostromir. Some older
      written with Glagolitic letters. Schleicher, Beiträge, b. i. s. 20.

  185 Schleicher, s. 22.

  186 Schleicher, Deutsche Sprache, s. 77.

  187 1 Kings viii. 21.

  188 1 Kings ix. 26.

  189 1 Kings x. 11.

_  190 Gutta_ in Malay means _gum_, _percha_ is the name of the tree
      (Isonandra gutta), or of an island from which the tree was first
      imported (Pulo-percha).

  191 See Lassen, Indische Alterthumskunde, b. i. s. 537.

  192 See also Sir Henry Elliot’s Supplementary Glossary, s. v. Aheer.

  193 The arguments brought forward by Quatremère in his “Mémoire sur le
      Pays d’Ophir” against fixing Ophir on the Indian coast are not
      conclusive. The arguments derived from the names of the articles
      exported from Ophir were unknown to him. It is necessary to mention
      this, because Quatremère’s name carries great weight, and his essay
      on Ophir has lately been republished in the Bibliothèque Classique
      des Célébrités Contemporaines. 1861.

  194 Job xxii. 24.

_  195 Zend-avesta_ is the name used by Chaqâni and other Muhammedan
      writers. The Parsis use the name “_Avesta_ and _Zend_,” taking
      _Avesta_ in the sense of text, and _Zend_ as the title of the
      Pehlevi commentary. I doubt, however, whether this was the original
      meaning of the word _Zend_. _Zend_ was more likely the same word as
      the Sanskrit _chhandas_ (scandere) a name given to the Vedic hymns,
      and _avesta_, the Sanskrit _avasthâna_, a word which, though it does
      not occur in Sanskrit, would mean settled text. _Avasthita_, in
      Sanskrit, means laid down, settled. The Zend-avesta now consists of
      four books, Yasna, Vispered, Yashts, and Vendidad (Vendidad =
      vidaeva dâta; in Pehlevi, Juddivdad). Dr. Haug, in his interesting
      lecture on the “Origin of the Parsee Religion,” Bombay, 1861, takes
      _Avesta_ in the sense of the most ancient texts, _Zend_ as
      commentary, and _Pazend_ as explanatory notes, all equally written
      in what we shall continue to call the Zend language.

  196 “According to the Kissah-i-Sanján, a tract almost worthless as a
      record of the early history of the Parsis, the fire-worshippers took
      refuge in Khorassan forty-nine years before the era of Yezdegerd
      (632 A. D.), or about 583. Here they stayed 100 years, to 683, then
      departed to the city of Hormaz (Ormus, in the Persian Gulf), and
      after staying fifteen years, proceeded in 698 to Diu, an island on
      the south-west coast of Katiawar. Here they remained nineteen years,
      to 717, and then proceeded to Sanján, a town about twenty-four miles
      south of Damaun. After 300 years they spread to the neighboring
      towns of Guzerat, and established the sacred fire successively at
      Barsadah, Nauśari, near Surat, and Bombay.”—_Bombay Quarterly
      Review_, 1856, No. viii. p. 67.

  197 Alc. i. p. 122, _a_. Ὁ μὲν μαγείαν διδάσκει τὴν Ζωροάστρου τοῦ
      Ὠρομάζον; ἔστι δὲ τοῦτο θεῶν θεραπεία.

  198 In the inscriptions we find, nom. _Auramazdâ_, gen. _Auramazdâha_,
      acc. _Auramazdam_.

  199 Gen. _Ahurahe mazdâo_, dat. _mazdâi_, acc. _mazdam_.

  200 Haug, Lecture, p. 11; and in Bunsen’s Egypt.

  201 Berosus, as preserved in the Armenian translation of Eusebius,
      mentions a Median dynasty of Babylon, beginning with a king
      Zoroaster, long before Ninus; his date would be 2234 B. C.

      Xanthus, the Lydian (470 B. C.), as quoted by Diogenes Laertius,
      places Zoroaster, the prophet, 600 before the Trojan war (1800 B.

      Aristotle and Eudoxus, according to Pliny (Hist. Nat. xxx. 1),
      placed Zoroaster 6000 before Plato; Hermippus 5000 before the Trojan
      war (Diog. Laert. proœm.).

      Pliny (Hist. Nat. xxx. 2) places Zoroaster several thousand years
      before Moses the Judæan, who founded another kind of Mageia.

  202 Printed at the end of these Lectures.

  203 See Schleicher, Deutsche Sprache, s. 81.

  204 Farrar, Origin of Languages, p. 35.

  205 “It has been common among grammarians to regard those terminational
      changes as evolved by some unknown process from the body of the
      noun, as the branches of a tree spring from the stem—or as elements,
      unmeaning in themselves, but employed arbitrarily or conventionally
      to modify the meanings of words. This latter view is countenanced by
      Schlegel. ‘Languages with inflexions,’ says Schlegel, ‘are organic
      languages, because they include a living principle of development
      and increase, and alone possess, if I may so express myself, a
      fruitful and abundant vegetation. The wonderful mechanism of these
      languages consists in forming an immense variety of words, and in
      marking the connection of ideas expressed by these words by the help
      of an inconsiderable number of syllables, _which, viewed separately,
      have no signification_, but which determine with precision the sense
      of the words to which they are attached. By modifying radical
      letters and by adding derivative syllables to the roots, derivative
      words of various sorts are formed, and derivatives from those
      derivatives. Words are compounded from several roots to express
      complex ideas. Finally, substantives, adjectives, and pronouns are
      declined, with gender, number, and case; verbs are conjugated
      throughout voices, moods, tenses, numbers, and persons, by
      employing, in like manner, terminations and sometimes augments,
      which by themselves signify nothing. This method is attended with
      the advantage of enunciating in a single word the principal idea,
      frequently greatly modified, and extremely complex already, with its
      whole array of accessory ideas and mutable
      relations.’ ”—_Transactions of the Philological Society_, vol. ii.
      p. 39.

  206 Endlicher, Chinesische Grammatik, p. 172.

  207 Endlicher, Chinesische Grammatik, s. 172.

  208 “The Algonquins have but one case which may be called locative.” Du
      Ponceau, p. 158.

  209 Marsh, p. 579.

  210 In Old Portuguese, Diez mentions _senhor rainha, mia sennor
      formosa_, my beautiful mistress.

  211 Marsh, p. 387. Barnes, Poems in Dorsetshire Dialect.

  212 Survey of Languages, p. 21.

  213 Fuchs, Romanische Sprachen, s. 344.

  214 The Greek term for the future is ὁ μέλλων, and μέλλω is used as an
      auxiliary verb to form certain futures in Greek. It has various
      meanings, but they can all be traced back to the Sanskrit _man_
      (_manyate_), to think. As _anya_, other, is changed to ἄλλος, so
      _manye_, I think, to μέλλω. Il. ii. 39: θήσειν ἔτ᾽ ἔμελλεν ἐπ ἀλγέα
      τε στοναchάς τε Τρωσί τε καὶ Δαναοῖσι, “he still thought to lay
      sufferings on Trojans and Greeks.” Il. xxiii. 544: μέλλεις
      ἀφαιρήσεσθαι ἄεθλον, “thou thinkest thou wouldst have stripped me of
      the prize.” Od. xiii. 293: οὐκ ἄρ᾽ ἔμελλες λήξειν; “did you not
      think of stopping?” _i.e._ were you not going to stop? Or again in
      such phrases as Il. ii. 36, τὰ οὐ τελέσεσθαι ἔμελλον, “these things
      were not meant to be accomplished,” literally, these things did not
      mean to be accomplished. Thus μέλλω was used of things that were
      likely to be, as if these things themselves meant or intended to be
      or not to be; and, the original meaning being forgotten, μέλλω came
      to be a mere auxiliary expressing probability. Μέλλω and μέλλομαι,
      in the sense of “to hesitate,” are equally explained by the Sanskrit
      _man_, to think or consider. In Old Norse the future is likewise
      formed by _mun_, to mean.

  215 Bopp, Comp. Grammar, § 620. Grimm, German Grammar, ii. 845.

  216 Barnes, Dorsetshire Dialect, p. 39.

  217 See M. M.’s Letter on the Turanian Languages, pp. 44, 46.

  218 Sk. _dama_; Gr. δόμος; L. _domus_; Slav. _domü_; Celt. _daimh_.

  219 See M. M.’s Essay on Comparative Mythology, Oxford Essays, 1856.

  220 Ârya-bhûmi, and Ârya-deśa are used in the same sense.

  221 Pân. iii. 1, 103.

  222 In one of the Vedas, _arya_ with a short _a_ is used like _ârya_, as
      opposed to Śûdra. For we read (Vâj-San. xx. 17): “Whatever sin we
      have committed in the village, in the forest, in the home, in the
      open air, against a Śûdra, against an Arya,—thou art our

  223 Lassen, Ind. Alt. b. i. s. 6.

  224 Ibid. b. i. s. 526.

  225 Ptolemy knows Ἀριάκαι, near the mouth of the Yaxartes. Ptol. vi. 14;
      Lassen, loc. cit. i. 6.

  226 Burnouf, Yaśna, notes, 61. In the same sense the Zend-avesta uses
      the expression, Aryan provinces, “airyanâm daqyunâm” gen. plur., or
      “airyâo dainhâvô,” provincias Arianas. Burnouf, Yaśna, 442; and
      Notes, p. 70

  227 Burnouf, Notes, p. 62.

  228 Strabo, xi. 7, 11. Plin. Hist. Nat. vi. 19. Ptol. vi. 2. De Sacy,
      Mémoires sur diverses antiquités de la Perse, p. 48. Lassen,
      Indische Alterthumskunde, i. 6.

  229 Strabo. xi. 11; Burnouf, Notes, p. 110. “In another place
      Eratosthenes is cited as describing the western boundary to be a
      line separating Parthiene from Media, and Karmania from Parætakene
      and Persia, thus taking in Yezd and Kerman, but excluding
      Fars.”—_Wilson, Ariana antiqua_, p. 120.

  230 Hellanicus, fragm. 166, ed. Müller. Ἄρια Περσικὴ χώρα.

  231 Joseph Müller, Journal Asiatique, 1839, p. 298. Lassen, loc. cit. i.
      6. From this the Elam of Genesis. Mélanges Asiatiques, i. p. 623.

  232 Heeren, Ideen, i. p. 337: ὁμόγλωττοι παρὰ μικρόν. Strabo, p. 1054.

  233 One of the Median classes is called Ἀριζαντοί, which may be
      _âryajantu_. Herod, i. 101.

  234 Μάγοι δὲ καὶ πὰν τὸ Ἄρειον γένος, ὡς καὶ τοῦτο γράφει ὁ Εὔδημος, οἱ
      μὲν, τόπον, οἱ δὲ χρόνον καλοῦσι τὸ νοητὸν ἅπαν καὶ τὸ ἡνωμένον; ἐξ
      οὐ διακριθῆναι ἡ θεὸν ἀγαθὸν καὶ δαίμονα κακὸν ἢ φῶς καὶ σκότος πρὸ
      τούτων, ὡσ ἐνίους λέγειν. Οὐτοι δὲ οὖν καὶ αὐτοὶ μετὰ τὴν ἀδιάκριτον
      φύσιν διακρινομένην ποιοῦσι τὴν διττὴν συστοιχὴν τῶν κρειττόνων, τῆς
      μὲν ἡγεῖσθαι τὸν Ὀρομάσδη, τῆς δὲ τὸν Ἀρειμάνιον.—Damascius,
      quæstiones de primis principiis, ed. Kopp, 1826, cap. 125, p. 384.

  235 De Sacy, Mémoire, p. 47; Lassen, Ind. Alt. i. 8.

  236 Burnouf, Notes, 107. Spiegel, Beiträge zur Vergl. Sprachf. i. 131.
      Anquetil had no authority for taking the Zend _airyaman_ for

  237 Bochart shows (Phaleg, l. 1, c. 3, col. 20) that the Chaldee
      paraphrast renders the Minî of Jeremiah by Har Minî, and as the same
      country is called Minyas by Nicolaus Damascenus, he infers that the
      first syllable is the Semitic Har, a mountain. (See Rawlinson’s
      Glossary, s. v.)

  238 Lassen, Ind. Alt. i. 8, note. _Arikh_ also is used in Armenian as
      the name of the Medians, and has been referred by Jos. Müller to
      Aryaka, as a name of Media. Journ. As. 1839, p. 298. If, as
      Quatremère says, _ari_ and _anari_ are used in Armenian for Medians
      and Persians, this can only be ascribed to a misunderstanding, and
      must be a phrase of later date.

  239 Sjögren, Ossetic Grammar, p. 396. Scylax and Apollodorus mention
      Ἄριοι and Ἀριάνια, south of the Caucasus. Pictet, Origines, 67;
      Scylax Perip. p. 213, ed. Klausen; Apollodori Biblioth. p. 433, ed.

  240 Burnouf, Notes, p. 105.

  241 Ptol. vi. 2, and vi. 14. There are Ἀναριάκαι on the frontiers of
      Hyrcania. Strabo, xi. 7; Pliny, Hist. Nat. vi. 19.

  242 On Arimaspi and Aramæi, see Burnouf, Notes, p. 105; Plin. vi. 9.

_  243 Qairizam_ in the Zend-avesta, _Uvârazmis_ in the inscriptions of

  244 Stephanus Byzantinus.

  245 Grimm, Rechts alterthümer, p. 292, traces Arii and Ariovistus back
      to the Gothic _harji_, army. If this is right, this part of our
      argument must be given up.

  246 Pictet, Les Origines Indo-Européennes, p. 31. “_Iar_, l’ouest, ne
      s’écrit jamais _er_ ou _eir_, et la forme _Iarin_ ne se rencontre
      nulle part pour Erin.” Zeuss gives _iar-rend_, insula occidentalis.
      But _rend_ (recte _rind_) makes _rendo_ in the gen. sing.

  247 Old Norse _írar_, Irishmen, Anglo-Saxon _ira_, Irishman.

  248 Though I state these views on the authority of M. Pictet, I think it
      right to add the following note which an eminent Irish scholar has
      had the kindness to send me:—“The ordinary name of Ireland, in the
      oldest Irish MSS., is (_h_)_ériu_, gen. (_h_)_érenn_, dat.
      (_h_)_érinn_. The initial _h_, is often omitted. Before
      etymologizing on the word, we must try to fix its Old Celtic form.
      Of the ancient names of Ireland which are found in Greek and Latin
      writers, the only one which _hériu_ can formally represent is
      _Hiberio_. The abl. sing. of this form—_Hiberione_—is found in the
      Book of Armagh, a Latin MS. of the early part of the ninth century.
      From the same MS. we also learn that a name of the Irish people was
      _Hyberionaces_, which is obviously a derivative from the stem of
      _Hiberio_. Now if we remember that the Old Irish scribes often
      prefixed _h_ to words beginning with a vowel (_e.g._ _h-abunde_,
      _h-arundo_, _h-erimus_, _h-ostium_), and that they also often wrote
      _b_ for the _v_ consonant (_e.g._ _bobes_, _fribulas_, _corbus_,
      _fabonius_); if, moreover, we observe that the Welsh and Breton
      names for Ireland—_Ywerddon_, _Iverdon_—point to an Old Celtic name
      beginning with _iver_—, we shall have little difficulty in giving
      _Hiberio_ a correctly latinized form, viz. _Iverio_. This in Old
      Celtic would be _Iveriu_, gen. _Iverionos_. So the Old Celtic form
      of _Fronto_ was _Frontû_, as we see from the Gaulish inscription at
      Vieux Poitiers. As _v_ when flanked by vowels is always lost in
      Irish, _Iveriû_ would become _ieriu_, and then, the first two vowels
      running together, _ériu_. As regards the double _n_ in the oblique
      cases of _ériu_, the genitive _érenn_ (_e.g._) is to _Iverionos_ as
      the Old Irish _anmann_ ‘names’ is to the Skr. _nâmâni_, Lat.
      _nomina_. The doubling of the _n_ may perhaps be due to the Old
      Celtic accent. What then is the etymology of _Iveriû_? I venture to
      think that it may (like the Lat. _Aver-nus_, Gr. Ἄφορ-νος) be
      connected with the Skr. _avara_, ‘posterior,’ ‘western.’ So the
      Irish _des_, Welsh _deheu_, ‘right,’ ‘south,’ is the Skr.
      _dakshina_, ‘dexter,’ and the Irish _áir_ (in _an-áir_), if it stand
      for _páir_, ‘east,’ is the Skr. _pûrva_, ‘anterior.’

      “M. Pictet regards Ptolemy’s Ἰουερνια (Ivernia) as coming nearest to
      the Old Celtic form of the name in question. He further sees in the
      first syllable what he calls the Irish _ibh_, ‘land,’ ‘tribe of
      people,’ and he thinks that this _ibh_ may be connected not only
      with the Vedic _ibha_, ‘family,’ but with the Old High German
      _eiba_, ‘a district.’ But, first, according to the Irish phonetic
      laws, _ibha_ would have appeared as _eb_ in Old, _eabh_ in
      Modern-Irish. Secondly, the _ei_ in _eiba_ is a diphthong = Gothic
      _ái_, Irish _ói_, _óe_, Skr. _ê_. Consequently _ibh_ and _ibha_
      cannot be identified with _eiba_. Thirdly, there is no such word as
      _ibh_ in the nom. sing., although it is to be found in O’Reilly’s
      dictionary, along with his explanation of the intensive prefix
      _er_—, as ‘noble,’ and many other blunders and forgeries. The form
      _ibh_ is, no doubt, producible, but it is a very modern dative
      plural of _úa_, ‘a descendant.’ Irish districts were often called by
      the names of the occupying clans. These clans were often called
      ‘descendants (_huí_, _hí_, _í_) of such an one.’ Hence the blunder
      of the Irish lexicographer.”—W. S.

  249 See Rawlinson’s Glossary, s. v.

  250 W. Ouseley, Orient. Geog. of Ebn. Haukal. Burnouf, Yasna, Notes, p.

  251 Ptol. vi. c. 17.

  252 It has been supposed that _harôyûm_ in the Zend-avesta stands for
      _haraêvem_, and that the nominative was not _Harôyu_, but _Haraêvô_.
      (Oppert, Journal Asiatique, 1851, p. 280.) Without denying the
      possibility of the correctness of this view, which is partially
      supported by the accusative _vidôyum_, from _vidaêvo_, enemy of the
      Divs, there is no reason why _Harôyûm_ should not be taken for a
      regular accusative of _Harôyu_. This _Harôyu_ would be as natural
      and regular a form as _Sarayu_ in Sanskrit, nay even more regular,
      as _harôyu_ would presuppose a Sanskrit _sarasyu_ or _saroyu_, from
      _saras_. M. Oppert identifies the people of _Haraiva_ with the
      Ἀρεῖοι, but not, like Grimm, with the Ἄριοι.

  253 It is derived from a root _sar_ or _sṛi_, to go, to run, from which
      _saras_, water, _sarit_, river, and _Sarayu_, the proper name of the
      river near Oude; and we may conclude with great probability that
      this Sarayu or Sarasyu gave the name to the river Arius or Heri, and
      to the county of Ἄρια or Herat. Anyhow Ἄρια, as the name of Herat,
      has no connection with Ἄρια the wide country of the Âryas.

  254 Diversions of Purley, p. 190.

  255 AR might be traced back to the Sanskrit root, _ṛi_, to go (Pott,
      Etymologische Forschungen, i. 218); but for our present purposes the
      root, AR, is sufficient.

  256 If, as has been supposed, the Cornish and Welsh words were
      corruptions of the Latin _arâtrum_ they would have appeared as
      _areuder_, _arawd_, respectively.

  257 Grimm remarks justly that _airtha_ could not be derived from
      _arjan_, on account of the difference in the vowels. But _airtha_ is
      a much more ancient formation, and comes from the root _ar_, which
      root, again, was originally _ṛi_ or _ir_ (Benfey, Kurze Gr., p. 27).
      From this primitive root _ṛi_ or _ir_, we must derive both the
      Sanskrit _irâ_ or _iḍâ_, and the Gothic _airtha_. The latter would
      correspond to the Sanskrit _ṛita_. The true meaning of the Sanskrit
      _iḍâ_ has never been discovered. The Brahmans explain it as prayer,
      but this is not its original meaning.

  258 Grimm derives _arbeit_, Gothic _arbaiths_, Old High-German
      _arapeit_, Modern High-German _arbeit_, directly from the Gothic
      _arbja_, heir; but admits a relationship between _arbja_ and the
      root _arjan_, to plough. He identifies _arbja_ with the Slavonic,
      _rab_, servant, slave, and _arbeit_ with _rabota_, _corvée_,
      supposing that sons and heirs were the first natural slaves. He
      supposes even a relationship between _rabota_ and the Latin _labor_.
      German Dictionary, s. v. _Arbeit_.

  259 Latin _remus_ (O. Irish _rám_) for _resmus_, connected with ἐρετμός.
      From ἐρέτης, ἐρέσσω; and ὑπηρέτης, servant, helper. _Rostrum_ from

  260 Cf. Eur. Hec. 455, κώπη ἁλιήρης. Ἀμφήρης means having oars on both

  261 From Sanskrit _plu_, πλέω; cf. fleet and float.

  262 Other similes: ὕνις, and ὕννις, ploughshare, derived by Plutarch
      from ὗς, boar. A plough is said to be called a pigsnose. The Latin
      _porca_, a ploughed field, is derived from _porcus_, hog; and the
      German _furicha_, furrow, is connected with _farah_, boar. The
      Sanskrit _vṛika_, wolf, from _vraśch_, to tear, is used for plough,
      Rv. i. 117, 21. _Godaraņa_, earth-tearer, is another word for plough
      in Sanskrit. Gothic _hoha_, plough = Sk. _koka_, wolf. See Grimm,
      Deutsche Sprache, and Kuhn, Indische Studien, vol. i. p. 321.

  263 In the Vale of Blackmore, a waggon is called _plough_, or _plow_,
      and _zull_ (A.-S. syl) is used for _aratrum_ (Barnes, Dorset
      Dialect, p. 369).

  264 Pott, Etymologische Forschungen, p. 267; Benfey, Griechisches
      Wurzelwörterbuch, p. 236.

  265 The Greek υποδρα, askance, is derived from ὑπὸ, and δρα, which is
      connected with δέρκομαι, I see; the Sanskrit, dṛiś.

  266 Generi coloniali, colonial goods. Marsh, p. 253. In Spanish,
      generos, merchandise.

  267 Many derivatives might have been added, such as _specimen_,
      _spectator_, _le spectacle_, _specialité_, _spectrum_, _spectacles_,
      _specious_, _specula_, &c.

  268 Benloew, Aperçu Général, p. 28 _seq._

  269 Benfey, Grammatik, § 147:—

      Roots of the 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 classes: 226
      Roots of the 1, 4, 6, 10 classes: 1480
      Total: 1706, including 143 of the 10th class.

  270 Renan, Histoire des Langues sémitiques, p. 138. Benloew estimates
      the necessary radicals of Gothic at 600, of modern German at 250, p.
      22. Pott thinks that each language has about 1000 roots.

  271 The exact number in the Imperial Dictionary of Khang-hi amounts to
      42,718. About one-fourth part has become obsolete; and one-half of
      the rest may be considered of rare occurrence, thus leaving only
      about 15,000 words in actual use. “The exact number of the classical
      characters is 42,718. Many of them are no longer in use in the
      modern language, but they occur in the canonical and in the
      classical books. They may be found sometimes in official documents,
      when an attempt is made at imitating the old style. A considerable
      portion of these are names of persons, places, mountains, rivers,
      &c. In order to compete for the place of imperial historian, it was
      necessary to know 9,000, which were collected in a separate
      manual.”—_Stanislas Julien._

  272 The study of the English language by A. D’Orsey, p. 15.

  273 This is the number of words in the Vocabulary given by Bunsen, in
      the first volume of his Egypt, pp. 453-491. Several of these words,
      however, though identical in sound, must be separated
      etymologically, and later researches have still further increased
      the number. The number of hieroglyphic groups in Sharpe’s “Egyptian
      Hieroglyphics,” 1861, amounts to 2030.

  274 Marsh, Lectures, p. 182. M. Thommerel stated the number of words in
      the Dictionaries of Robertson and Webster as 43,566. Todd’s edition
      of Johnson, however, is said to contain 58,000 words, and the later
      editions of Webster have reached the number of 70,000, counting the
      participles of the present and perfect as independent vocables.
      Flügel estimated the number of words in his own dictionary at
      94,464, of which 65,085 are simple, 29,379 compound. This was in
      1843; and he then expressed a hope that in his next edition the
      number of words would far exceed 100,000. This is the number fixed
      upon by Mr. Marsh as the minimum of the _copia vocabulorum_ in
      English. See _Saturday Review_, Nov. 2, 1861.

  275 Renan, Histoire, p. 138.

  276 Endlicher, Chinesische Grammatik, § 128.

  277 If two words are placed like _jin ta_, the first may form the
      predicate of the second, the second being used as a substantive.
      Thus _jin ta_ might mean the greatness of man, but in this case it
      is more usual to say _jin tci ta_.

      “Another instance, _chen_, virtue; Ex. jin tchi chen, the virtue of
      man; _chen_, virtuous; Ex. chen jin, the virtuous man; _chen_, to
      approve; Ex. chen tchi, to find it good; _chen_, well; Ex. chen ko,
      to sing well.”—_Stanislas Julien._

  278 Grimm, Deutsche Grammatik, b. ii. s. 521.

  279 Each verb in Greek, if conjugated through all its voices, tenses,
      moods, and persons, yields, together with its participles, about
      1300 forms.

  280 Histoire Générale et Système Comparé des Langues sémitiques, par
      Ernest Renan. Seconde édition. Paris, 1858.

_  281 Peshito_ means simple. The Old Testament was translated from
      Hebrew, the New Testament from Greek, about 200, if not earlier.
      Ephraem Syrus lived in the middle of the fourth century. During the
      eighth and ninth centuries the Nestorians of Syria acted as the
      instructors of the Arabs. Their literary and intellectual supremacy
      began to fail in the tenth century. It was revived for a time by
      Gregorius Barhebræus (Abulfaraj) in the thirteenth century. See
      Renan, p. 257.

  282 Messrs. Perkins and Stoddard, the latter the author of a grammar,
      published in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. v.

  283 Renan, p. 214 _seq._, “Le chaldéen biblique serait un dialecte
      araméen légèrement hébraisé.”

  284 Arabic, _tarjam_, to explain; _Dragoman_, Arabic, _tarjamân_.

  285 The most ancient are those of Onkelos and Jonathan, in the second
      century after Christ. Others are much later, later even than the
      Talmud. Renan, p. 220.

  286 Renan, pp. 220-222.

_  287 Talmud_ (instruction) consists of _Mishna_ and _Gemara_. _Mishna_
      means repetition, viz. of the Law. It was collected and written down
      about 218, by Jehuda. _Gemara_ is a continuation and commentary of
      the Mishna; that of Jerusalem was finished towards the end of the
      fourth, that of Babylon towards the end of the fifth, century.

  288 First printed in the Rabbinic Bible, Venice, 1525.

  289 Quatremère, Mémoire sur les Nabatéens, p. 139.

  290 Renan, p. 241.

  291 Ibid. p. 237.

  292 Quatremère, Mémoire sur les Nabatéens, p. 116.

  293 Ibn-Wahshiyyah was a Mussulman, but his family had been converted
      for three generations only. He translated a collection of Nabatean
      books. Three have been preserved, 1, the Nabatean Agriculture; 2,
      the book on poisons; 3, the book of Tenkelusha (Teucros) the
      Babylonian; besides fragments of the book of the secrets of the Sun
      and Moon. The Nabatean Agriculture was referred by Quatremère
      (Journal Asiatique, 1835) to the period between Belesis who
      delivered the Babylonians from their Median masters, and the taking
      of Babylon by Cyrus. Prof. Chwolson, of St. Petersburg, who has
      examined all the MSS., places Kuthami at the beginning of the
      thirteenth ceatury B. C.

  294 Renan, Mémoire sur l’âge du livre intitulé Agriculture Nabatéenne,
      p. 38. Paris, 1860.

  295 See Letter on Turanian Languages, p. 62.

  296 Renan, Histoire des Langues sémitiques, p. 137.

  297 Pococke, Notes to Abulfaragius, p. 153; Glossology, p. 352.

  298 Endlicher, Chinesische Grammatik, p. 223.

  299 Endlicher, Chinesische Grammatik, p. 339.

  300 “In this word _tse_ (tseu) does not signify son; it is an addition
      of frequent occurrence after nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Thus,
      _lao_, old, + _tseu_ is father; _neï_, the interior, + _tseu_ is
      wife; _hiang_, scent, + _tseu_ is clove; _hoa_, to beg, + _tseu_, a
      mendicant; _hi_, to act, + _tseu_, an actor.”—_Stanislas Julien_.

  301 Letter on the Turanian Languages, p. 24.

  302 Survey of Languages, p. 90.

  303 The Abbé Molina states that the language of Chili is entirely free
      from irregular forms. Du Ponceau, Mémoire, p. 90.

  304 Letter on Turanian Languages, p. 206.

  305 Of these I can only give a tabular survey at the end of these
      Lectures, referring for further particulars to my “Letter on the
      Turanian Languages.” The Gangetic and Lohitic dialects are those
      comprehended under the name of Bhotîya.

  306 Professor Boller of Vienna, who has given a most accurate analysis
      of the Turanian languages in the “Transactions of the Vienna
      Academy,” has lately established the Turanian character of Japanese.

  307 Letter on the Turanian Languages, p. 75.

  308 M. Stanislas Julien remarks that the numerous compounds which occur
      in Chinese prove the wide-spread influence of the principle of
      agglutination in that language. The fact is, that in Chinese every
      sound has numerous meanings; and in order to avoid ambiguity, one
      word is frequently followed by another which agrees with it in that
      particular meaning which is intended by the speaker. Thus:—

      _chi-youen_ (beginning-origin) signifies beginning.
      _ken-youen_ (root-origin) signifies beginning.
      _youen-chi_n (origin-beginning) signifies beginning.
      _meï-miai_ (beautiful-remarkable) signifies beautiful.
      _meï-li_ (beautiful-elegant) signifies beautiful.
      _chen-youen_ (charming-lovely) signifies beautiful.
      _yong-i_ (easy-facile) signifies easily.
      _tsong-yong_ (to obey, easy) signifies easily.

      In order to express “to boast,” the Chinese say _king-koua_,
      _king-fu_, &c., both words having one and the same meaning.

      This peculiar system of _juxta-position_, however, cannot be
      considered as agglutination in the strict sense of the word.

  309 Turanian Languages, p. 24.

  310 These “Outlines” form vols. iii. and iv. of Bunsen’s work,
      “Christianity and Mankind,” in seven vols. (London, 1854: Longman),
      and are sold separately.

  311 Göttingische Gelehrte Anzeigen, 1855, p. 298.

  312 Ibid., p. 302, note.

  313 “Here the lines converge as they recede into the geological ages,
      and point to conclusions which, upon Darwin’s theory, are
      inevitable, but hardly welcome. The very first step backward makes
      the negro and the Hottentot our blood-relations; not that reason or
      Scripture objects to that, though pride may.” Asa Gray, “Natural
      Selection not inconsistent with Natural Theology,” 1861, p. 5.

      “One good effect is already manifest, its enabling the advocates of
      the hypothesis of a multiplicity of human species to perceive the
      double insecurity of their ground. When the races of men are
      admitted to be of one species, the corollary, that they are of one
      origin, may be expected to follow. Those who allow them to be of one
      species must admit an actual diversification into strongly marked
      and persistent varieties; while those, on the other hand, who
      recognize several or numerous human species, will hardly be able to
      maintain that such species were primordial and supernatural in the
      ordinary sense of the word.” Asa Gray, Nat. Sel. p. 54.

  314 Professor Pott, the most distinguished advocate of the polygenetic
      dogma, has pleaded the necessity of admitting more than one
      beginning for the human race and for language in an article in the
      Journal of the German Oriental Society, ix. 405, “Max Müller und die
      Kennzeichen der Sprachverwandtschaft,” 1855; in a treatise “Die
      Ungleichheit menschlicher Rassen,” 1856; and in the new edition of
      his “Etymologische Forschungen,” 1861.

  315 Dugald Stewart, vol. iii. p. 35.

  316 Herder, as quoted by Steinthal, “Ursprung der Sprache,” s. 39.

  317 “In all these paths of research, when we travel far backwards the
      aspect of the earlier portions becomes very different from that of
      the advanced part on which we now stand; but in all cases the path
      is lost in obscurity as it is traced backwards towards its starting
      point:—it becomes not only invisible, but unimaginable; it is not
      only an interruption, but an abyss, which interposes itself between
      us and any intelligible beginning of things.” Whewell, Indications,
      p. 166.

  318 “Der Mensch ist nur Mensch durch Sprache; um aber die Sprache zu
      erfinden, müsste er schon Mensch sein.”—_W. von Humboldt, Sämmtliche
      Werke_, b. iii. s. 252. The same argument is ridden to death by
      Süssmilch, “Versuch eines Beweises dass die erste Sprache ihrem
      Ursprung nicht vom Menschen, sondern allein vom Schöpfer erhalten
      habe.” Berlin, 1766.

  319 Farrar, Origin of Language, p. 10; Grimm, Ursprung der Sprache, s.
      32. The word βεκός, which these children are reported to have
      uttered, and which, in the Phrygian language, meant bread, thus
      proving, it was supposed, that the Phrygian was the primitive
      language of mankind, is derived from the same root which exists in
      the English, to bake. How these unfortunate children came by the
      idea of baked bread, involving the ideas of corn, mill, oven, fire,
      &c., seems never to have struck the ancient sages of Egypt.

  320 “L’usage de la main, la marche à deux pieds, la ressemblance,
      quoique grossière, de la face, tous les actes qui peuvent résulter
      de cette conformité d’organisation, ont fait donner au singe le nom
      d’_homme sauvage_, par des homines à la vérité qui l’étaient à demi,
      et qui ne savaient comparer que les rapports extérieurs. Que
      serait-ce, si, par une combinaison de nature aussi possible que
      toute autre, le singe eût eu la voix du perroquet, et, comme lui, la
      faculté de la parole? Le singe parlant eût rendu muette d’étonnement
      l’espèce humaine entière, et l’aurait séduite au point que le
      philosophe aurait eu grand’peine à démontrer qu’avec tous ces beaux
      attributs humains le singe n’en était pas moins une bête. Il est
      donc heureux, pour notre intelligence, que la nature ait séparé et
      placé, dans deux espèces très-différentes, l’imitation de la parole
      et celle de nos gestes.”—_Buffon_, as quoted by Flourens, p. 77.

  321 Odyssey, xvii. 300.

  322 “The evident marks of reasoning in the other animals,—of reasoning
      which I cannot but think as unquestionable as the instincts that
      mingle with it.”—_Brown, Works_, vol. i. p. 446.

  323 Flourens, De la Raison, p. 51.

  324 To allow that “brutes have certain mental endowments in common with
      men,” ... “desires, affections, memory, simple imagination, or the
      power of reproducing the sensible past in mental pictures, and even
      judgment of the simple or intuition kind;”—that “they compare and
      judge,” (Mem. Amer. Acad. 8, p. 118,)—is to concede that the
      intellect of brutes really acts, so far as we know, like human
      intellect, as far as it goes; for the philosophical logicians tell
      us that all reasoning is reducible to a series of simple judgments.
      And Aristotle declares that even reminiscence,—which is, we suppose,
      “reproducing the sensible past in mental pictures,”—is a sort of
      reasoning (τὶ ἀναμιμνήσκεσθαί ἐστι οἱον συλλογισμός τισ.) Asa Gray,
      Natural Selection, &c., p. 58, _note_.

  325 Conscience, Boek der Natuer, vi., quoted by Marsh, p. 32.

  326 Book ii. chapter xi. § 10.

  327 I regret to find that the expressions here used have given offence
      to several of my reviewers. They were used because the names
      Onomatopoetic and Interjectional are awkward and not very clear.
      They were not intended to be disrespectful to those who hold the one
      or the other theory, some of them scholars for whose achievements in
      comparative philology I entertain the most sincere respect.

  328 A fuller account of the views of Herder and other philosophers on
      the origin of language may be found in Steinthal’s useful little
      work, “Der Ursprung der Sprache:” Berlin, 1853.

  329 Farrar, p. 74.

  330 Pott, Etymologische Forschungen, i. 87; Zeitschrift, iii. 43.

_  331 Kârava_, explained in Sanskrit by _ku-rava_, having a bad voice, is
      supposed to be a mere dialectical corruption of _krava_ or _karva_.
      Κορώνη presupposes κορων = κοροον = _h_(_a_)_raban_. The Sanskrit
      _kârava_ may, however, be derived from _kâru_, singer; but in that
      case _kâru_ must not be derived from _kṛi_.

  332 See Pictet, Aryas Primitifs, p. 381.

  333 In Chinese the number of imitative sounds is very considerable. They
      are mostly written phonetically, and followed by the determinative
      sign “mouth.” We give a few, together with the corresponding sounds
      in Mandshu. The difference between the two will show how differently
      the same sounds strike different ears, and how differently they are
      rendered into articulate language:—

      The cock crows kiao kiao in Chinese, dchor dchor in Mandshu.
      The wild goose cries kao kao in Chinese, kôr kor in Mandshu.
      The wind and rain sound siao siao in Chinese, chor chor in Mandshu.
      Waggons sound lin lin in Chinese, koungour koungour in Mandshu.
      Dogs coupled together sound ling-ling in Chinese, kalang kalang in
      Chains coupled together sound tsiang-tsiang  in Chinese, kiling
      kiling in Mandshu.
      Bells coupled together sound tsiang-tsiang in Chinese, tang tang in
      Drums coupled together sound ḱan ḱan in Chinese, tung tung in

  334 Ὁ γὰρ Ἐπίκουρος ἔλεγεν, ὅτι οὑχὶ ἐπιστημόνως οὖτοι ἔθεντο τὰ
      ὀνόματα, ἀλλὰ φυσικῶς κινούμενοι, ὡς οἱ βήσσοντες καὶ πταίροντες καὶ
      μυκώμενοι καὶ ὐλακτοῦντες καὶ στενάζοντες.—Lersch,
      Sprach-philosophie der Alten, i. 40. The statement is taken from
      Proclus, and I doubt whether he represented Epicurus rightly.

  335 Diversions of Purley, p. 32.

  336 The following list of Chinese interjections may be of interest:—

      hu, to express surprise.
      fu, the same.
      tsai, to express admiration and approbation.
      i, to express distress.
      tsie, vocative particle.
      tsie tsie, exhortative particle.
      ài, to express contempt.
      ŭ-hu, to express pain.
      shin-ĭ, ah, indeed.
      pŭ sin, alas!
      ngo, stop!

      In many cases interjections were originally words, just as the
      French _hélas_ is derived from _lassus_, tired, miserable. Diez,
      Lexicon Etymologicum, s. v. _lasso_.

  337 Sir W. Hamilton’s Lectures, ii. p. 319.

  338 Nouveaux Essais, lib. iii. c. i. p. 297 (Erdmann); Sir W. Hamilton,
      Lectures, ii. 324.

  339 Pott, Etymologische Forschungen, p. 324, _seq._

  340 Benfey, Griech. Wurzel Lex. p. 611. From _sku_ or _ku_, σκῦτος,
      skin; _cŭtis_, _haut_.

  341 Sir William Hamilton (Lectures on Metaphysics, ii. p. 327) holds a
      view intermediate between those of Adam Smith and Leibniz. “As our
      knowledge,” he says, “proceeds from the confused to the distinct,
      from the vague to the determinate, so, in the mouths of children,
      language at first expresses neither the precisely general nor the
      determinately individual, but the vague and confused, and out of
      this the universal is elaborated by generification, the particular
      and singular by specification and individualisation.” Some further
      remarks on this point in the Literary Gazette, 1861, p. 173.

  342 “We receive the impression of the falling of a large mass of water,
      descending always from the same height and with the same difficulty.
      The scattering of the drops of water, the formation of froth, the
      sound of the fall by the roaring and by the froth, are constantly
      produced by the same causes, and, consequently, are always the same.
      The impression which all this produces on us is no doubt at first
      felt as multiform, but it soon forms a whole, or, in other terms, we
      feel all the diversity of the isolated impressions as the work of a
      great physical activity which results from the particular nature of
      the spot. We may, perhaps, till we are better informed, call all
      that is fixed in the phenomenon, _the thoughts of
      nature_.”—_Oersted, Esprit dans la Nature_, p. 152.

  343 “Ce qui trompe l’homme, c’est qu’il voit faire aux bêtes plusieurs
      des choses qu’il fait, et qu’il ne voit pas que, dans ces choses-là
      même, les bêtes ne mettent qu’une intelligence grossière, bornée, et
      qu’il met, lui, une intelligence _doublée d’esprit_.”—_Flourens, De
      la Raison_, p. 73.

  344 See Heyse, System der Sprachwissenschaft, s. 97.

  345 The word _quinsy_, as was pointed out to me, offers a striking
      illustration of the ravages produced by phonetic decay. The root
      _anh_ has here completely vanished. But it was there originally, for
      _quinsy_ is the Greek κυνάγχη, dog-throttling. See Richardson’s
      Dictionary, s. v. quinancy.

  346 Greek χαμαί, Zend _zem_, Lithuanian _zeme_, and _źmenes_, _homines_.
      See Bopp, Glossarium Sanscritum, s. v.

  347 See Windischmann, Fortschritt der Sprachenkunde, p. 23.

  348 Farrar, Origin of Language, p. 85.

  349 Θήσω τὰ μὲν φύσει λεγόμενα ποιεῖσθαι θείᾳ τέχνη.

  350 This view was propounded many years ago by Professor Heyse in the
      lectures which he gave at Berlin, and which have been very carefully
      published since his death by one of his pupils, Dr. Steinthal. The
      fact that wood, metals, cords, &c., if struck, vibrate and ring,
      can, of course, be used as an illustration only, and not as an
      explanation. The faculty peculiar to man, in his primitive state, by
      which every impression from without received its vocal expression
      from within, must be accepted as an ultimate fact. That faculty must
      have existed in man, because its effects continue to exist.
      Analogies from the inanimate world, however, are useful, and deserve
      farther examination.

  351 Dr. Murray’s primitive roots were, ag, bag, dwag, cwag, lag, mag,
      nag, rag, swag.

  352 Curtius, Griechische Etymologie, p. 13. Dr. Schmidt derives all
      Greek words from the root _e_, and all Latin words from the
      arch-radical _hi_.

  353 Endlicher, Chinesische Grammatik, p. 163.

  354 System der Sprachwissenschaft, p. 16.

  355 See Schleicher, Deutsche Sprache, p. 144.

  356 Marsh, p. 388.

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public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.