« ForrigeFortsett »
Grimm's Grammar on the theory of of comparison. The eighth of dimithe Teutonic conjugations, embody a nution, or the formation of diminulist of 460 strong or primitive verbs, tives; the ninth of the forms of with their comparative forms in the negative words, and the tenth of those different dialects, which deserve to expressing question and answer. be familiarly known to all Teutonic The Fourth Book is devoted to synphilologers, as collecting together the tax, a subject which the author has not most valuable materials for etymolo- yet completed, or rather has scarcely gical illustration.
commenced; his fourth volume, which The Third Book is devoted to the is the latest published, being confined formation of words by derivation and to the syntax of the shortest and simcomposition. The subject is as fully plest models of a complete sentence. as it is ably discussed, and occupies The more complex forms of phraseo. two volumes, containing ten chapters. logy and composition are reserved for The first chapter explains the deriva- the continuation of the work. tion of cognate words from the various It is not our intention, if it were in conjugational parts of the strong our power, to raise or revive any quesverbs. A very large mass of vocables tion as to the accuracy of all the views from all the Teutonic languages are adopted by Grimm, in reference to inbere brought together, and the com- dividual languages. His great work, mon bond of their connexion deve minute and detailed as for the most loped by Grimm-a task which had part it is, must yet be considered before been laboriously and usefully, chiefly as a Comparative Grammar, in but somewhat loosely, performed in which it cannot be expected that in the Dutch work of Lambert Ten each particular department the slighter Kate. * The suggestions made by features should be as strongly delineGrimm as to the possible forms of ated as the more considerable ; or that strong verbs now lost, but of which the same clearness of perception or ac. the dispecta membra survive in their curacy of knowledge should be exhibitderivatives, may occasion differences ed, as if it consisted of different and diof opinion among philologers, but vided dissertations on its several topics. are at least highly valuable as illus- A geographical treatise may be allowed trations of the limits within which sometimes to be loose or incorrect as the affiliation of words may with to the topography or statistics of a certainty range. The second chap- county or a parish, and its oversights ter treats more peculiarly of de- may be detected by microscopical obrivation, and digests under distinct servers who are incapable of reaching heads the various terminational por- or of understanding its comprehensive tions of words by which the root is results. The Teutonic Grammar is lengthened in form and modified naturally fuller and more perfect in in signification. The third chap- some departments than in others: as, ter treats of the composition of for instance, in the Gothic and in the words in all its varieties, and illus- Old and Middle High-German. But in trates the subject with copious ex- all its parts, so far as we can judge or amples. The fourth treats of the learn, it is more minutely correct than formation of pronouns. The fifth of most of the existing individual gramthat of adverbs, prepositions, and par- mars ;
while with that minuteness it ticles generally The sixth embraces combines in an unparalleled degree the the difficult subject of gender, which is advantages of historical deduction and discussed with more fulness and syste, varied illustration. matic arrangement than, we think, have It is manifest that a complete surbefore been bestowed upon it; while vey of the Teutonic languages, in the the illustrations given may be said to spirit which we have attempted to furnish in themselves a rich trea- explain, must be of the utmost service sure of information on many points to philology. It has been fully estaof ancient Teutonic manners and blished, what was at one time but immodes of thinking, as well as of ter- perfectly understood, that the whole minology. The seventh chapter treats of the languages thus considered are
* Aenleiding tot de Kennisse van het verhevene Deel del Nederduitsche Sprake. Door Lambert Ten Kate. 2 vols. 4to. Amsterdam, 1723.
originally identical, not only in their It is a frequent and a flattering reradical words, but in their structure mark that the English name of the and inflections. It becomes apparent, Deity, God, is, à derivative from at the same time, not only that it is good," and must have been selected impossible scientifically to understand by our ancestors as indicating the best any modern Teutonic language with and loveliest of the Divine attributes. out a knowledge of its more ancient Junius,a writer whose own learning and form, but that it is equally impossible ingenuity have greatly assisted bis sucto know thoroughly the character of cessors in correcting his numerous erany one branch of the common stock rors, has, in his Etymologicum Anglia without a reference to the correspond. cum, expressed himself thus under the ing features of its sister shoots. Above word God: “Origo vocabuli dilucidè all, we may be allowed to say, a sci. satis desumpta est ex A. S. god, bonus. entific acquaintance with the Gothic Nam ut sapientissimi Teutonicæ language is essential to a thorough linguæ authores, hominem, inexhausknowledge of any of the other varie. tum omnium vitiorum turpitudinumties of Teutonic speech, whether an. que gurgitem, man dixerunt, a man, cient or modern.
malitia, &c., ita Deum, perennem The importance of a comparative bonitatis æternæ fontem, antithesi study of the Teutonic languages, in a valde manifestâ atque illustri God manner at once comprehensive and dixerunt, a god, bonus." A similar minute, must be peculiarly apparent derivation and remark is to be found in with reference to all enquiries of an * Mr Bosworth’s very useful Anglo-Saxon etymological nature. It will often Dictionary. But both of the etymohappen that the root of an extensive logies here referred to are shown to class of words is only to be found in be more than questionable, by referone or in a small number of the Teu- ence to the same words in other lantonic languages, while its derivatives guages. It is only, however, as to are widely diffused, or exclusively one of them that we shall here point confined to others of the family. We out the fallacy. It is true that God, shall sometimes, again, discover the Deus, and god, bonus, are spelled in the primitive or proper meaning of a word same way in Anglo-Saxon, though the in one tongue, while in others it has prosody is different; but a wider exabeen diverted to a merely secondary mination shows that the words are es. or figurative signification. A wide sentially distinct: the radical vowel view of the whole field will at once in the name of the Deity being a short conduct us to discovery, and guard us u, while in the adjective for good it against those errors of precipitate and is a long or double a.
There is no presumptuous dogmatism, which have principle by which, in the 'Teutonic often made the school of Horne Tooke languages, the vowels, thus diversified, a legitimate laughing-stock. In endea- can warrantably be referred to the vouring, for example, to analyse a sup- same roof. The true etymology of posed derivative word in any one lan the Divine name is still a dark and guage, we may be rashly led to imagine disputed question. resemblances to simple elements, whe- Again, to take another and humbler ther in form or meaning, which a instance :-Acorn, in Johnson's Dic. larger examination of the affiliated tionary, and even in more modern dialects would prove to be erroneous.
works, is described as being compoundIf in two or more Teutonic languages, ed of Ac, Anglo-Saxon for oak, (aik, of equivalent authority, we have the Scot.,) and corn or cern, as Anglosame word which we propose to Saxon for a grain or nut. This is vioexplain, and if in those languages lent enough, even upon Anglo-Saxon we have also the elementary words of principles; but the theory is discrewhich we conceive it to be a product, dited by the existence of the word in we ought not to infer that our supposed other languages, in such a form as to etymology is correct, unless in all of throw the utmost doubt on the identity these languages our conjecture be of the alleged compound with its comequally consistent with their forms and ponent parts. Thus, in Icelandic, rules of derivation. We may point Akarn is the word answering to acorn; out one or two common fallacies in but the Icelandic Akarn cannot with etymology, which we think have in this any propriety be derived from its manner been detected,
supposed elements, of which the forms
in that language are eik, quercus, and corruptions of rudeness, and the refinekorn, granum. The Gothic Akran, ments of affectation, we can have no glans, fructus, is most probably the difficulty in understanding how lanoriginal of acorn, and is certainly de- guages, diverging from a common rived from Akrs, ager. It thus means centre, should in time lose any obvious literally the produce of the earth, and trace of mutual affinity. The instance has only become applicable to the fruit given by Dr Watts of the apparent of the oak, as being a distinguished dissimilarity and real identity of the article of diet in that stage of society, words bishop and evêque affords a " When wild in woods the noble savage
good measure of the divergences that
have taken place in the diffusion of the ran."
Roman language among different • Glandis appellatione," say the countries since the establishment of civilians, “ omnis fructus contine Christianity. Another and less famitur.” It is possible, however, that, in liar example may be given, which some of the dialects at least, the term reaches into a higher period of antimay have come to be more peculiarly quity. applied to the fruit of the oak, from There is no doubt that the Eng. a vague feeling of its resemblance to lish word tear, and the French word the name of that tree; a process which larme, are the same in etymological we believe to operate insensibly in origin as well as in meaning. Tear is the use of language to a considerable referable, through the Anglo-Saxon extent.
tæher, to the Gothic tagrs, which is of The multiplication of checks and similar meaning, while tagrs is demonassistances of this kind seems essen- strably identical with the Greek daugu. tial to the due prosecution of philology, Aangu, however, or its derivative and whether we contemplate the wide field synonyme danguje, is, without doubt, anof discovery which it opens to us, or otherform of the Latin lacryma, through remember the snares and pitfalls to the interchange, which not unfrequente which our progress in it is exposed. ly occurs, of the letters land d. Final
The first elements of language, like ly, lacryma, which is thus traced to the primitive atoms of matter, lie hid be a cognate of tear, is the acknowand disguised in their actual exist- ledged parent of the French larme. A ence under innumerable varieties of connexion is here established, by a form and combination, eluding the plain and necessary procession of eye of superficial observation : and proofs, between two words which bave it is only by systematic study that we no external resemblance whatever. The are even partially enabled to reproduce steps of the deduction appear simple them in a more simple state, and to when they are shown; but if we were discover, on the one hand, the real unacquainted with the Greek and Goidentity of objects that appear differ- thic links of the chain, we should never ent, and the real diversity of others that suspect the intrinsic relation of the exappear the same. As the original treme points. To a great extent we are sources of human speech are bid in the placed in that supposed state of ignodarkest antiquity, it is conceivable that rance as to the common bonds by all, or many of the languages with which diversities of language are re... which we are acquainted, though their conciled; an ignorance which in the courses and channels be now far dis- case put would have left room for tant, or mutually opposed, may yet boundless conjecture, instead of the have flowed from fountains springing direct demonstration afforded by a fuller up in the same spot or vicinity. The knowledge. inhabitants of Leyden and Lyons may The latitude of speculation which is unconsciously drink the snows of al. opened up by these peculiarities of the most the same glacier; and the German science constitutes one danger, as well or Scottish peasant never dreams that as one attraction, of etymological purthe unintelligible dialects of the stranger suits. Because infinite analogies and or scholar are often mere varieties affinities may be conceived among reof his vernacular tongue. If we con- mote forms of speech, the etymologist sider the infinite combinations of which often hastily and falsely infers that he elementary sounds are susceptible, and has discovered their existence. The the infinite changes to which they may interest and the extent of the subject be subjected by the attrition of use, the heat the imagination of the enquirer,
and, like the day-dreamer gazing on gressive discovery of her laws is prothe clouds, or on the embers of his mised to us by past experience, so long winter fire, he is prepared to trace the as the study of her works shall be most fanciful and unsubstantial resem- prosecuted in a humble and hopeful blances, where the sober eye of reason spirit, and with a firm reliance on the can make no such discovery. Occa- wisdom and uniformity of her operasional results, too, of real value lure tions. him on, like the alchymist, in the search The field of enquiry which chiefly of some universal solvent of all diffi- seems, in our own day, to call for culties, that has either no actual or no the labours of the philologer, is at relative existence, and only leads to once extensive and captivating, and absurdities that bring the study into is becoming daily better defined and disrepute.
understood. It comprehends that vast It is only by treating philology as a family of languages which, reaching proper science that its reputation can from India to Iceland, has embraced be sustained, or its progress promoted. within its bosom almost the whole If it is at all a fit subject of accurate range of human civilisation and unininvestigation, it must be dealt with, spired literature. The Indo-Germanic like any other branch of inductive tongues present a subject of study of the knowledge, by the twofold process of most sublime and inexhaustible interest. collecting, extensively and minutely, Their original identity, not merely in the facts connected with it, and of en- their radical words, but in their whole deavouring to generalize those facts system of inflections, appears to have into distinct laws. The facts collected been fully demonstrated. What has ought undoubtedly to be extensive, at been so thoroughly accomplished for least within the particular province the Teutonic languages by Grimm, is that may be selected for examination, now in the course of being still further otherwise no comprehensive or safe extended by Bopp, in his “ Compararesults can be obtained. But it is the tive Grammar of the Sanscrit, Zend, spirit of generalization that can alone Greek, Latin, Lithuanian, Old Sclareduce the chaos of our materials into vonic, Gothic, and German ;''
a work order, or animate them with life. We of profound learning and consummate have no reason to believe that any of ability, of which, so far as we can the phenomena of nature are governed judge of it with a very limited knowby a lawless caprice. The heavenly ledge of its subjects, the execution apbodies do not roll on high without a pears to be answerable to the promise fixed decree to impel and restrain them. which its title puts forth. It remains The wildest brook that wanders across to follow out the same principles into the plains obeys, in all its windings, the apparent dissimilarities of Celtic the dictates of a steadfast rule. We are philology, an object which, until lately, not to infer that language, one of the has been too much neglected by the noblest gifts of God, is left to shift and scientific students of comparative phifluctuate from tribe to tribe, and from lology; but which is now, we believe, generation to generation, without re- begun to be widely considered in its gular and constant principles ofchange. true light. Although compelled to In this, as in all other departments of acknowledge our ignorance of this observation, we may rejoice to address important branch of the subject, ourselves in the language of the
see evidence that in our poet:
own country we have both classi.
cal and modern scholars among us “ All nature is but art unknown to thee :
who are able to contribute valuable All chance, direction which thou canst
assistance in this department; and the not see."
labours of Williams and of Pritchard And this further is permitted us to must remove the idea, hitherto prevailbelieve, that although the ultimate se- ing, that where Celtic learning was crets of nature must be for ever hid concerned, the “ amare et sapere" from mortals, yet a partial and pro
were irreconcilable things. f
* Vergleichende Grammatik, &c. Von Franz Bopp. Berlin, 1833–37.
† We observe the announcement of a new work by Bopp, “ The Celtic Languages, in their relations to Sanscrit, Zend,” and the other languages included in his Comparative Grammar, which we have not yet seen, but from which very valuable results may, no doubt, be anticipated.
In a comparative study of the nume- ndes, to speak, are thus inflected in the rous household of affiliated languages, present tense: and no one, we think, to which we have now referred, it is can glance at the comparison without of the utmost importance to reduce, if seeing the essential identity of the possible, to definite laws the principles terms. of transition which prevail among
фа-ді them. Nothing can be more unsatis
06-01 factory than the system, which so long
Quato existed, of inferring resemblances from
φα-μες mere external appearance and gen
06-78 eral impressions, without a minute bbâ-nti
Qu-YTI. deduction of the historical etymology Donaldson's Cratylus, p. 558. of words, under the separate heads of structure and signification. The Gram- Clarus, clear, is, in like manner, an mar of Grimmought to introduce a new epithet equally applicable to the objects era in studies of this description. It of hearing and of vision. The English has placed it beyond a doubt that a fixed loud, representing intensity of sound, is principle prevails in comparative phi- very probably a relative of the German lology, where every thing was formerly lauter, signifying bright, pellucid; and thought to be arbitrary and accidental. both words appear to be connected It has contributed to shed a clear with clarus. Dim and dumb seem to and steady light on a dark domain of be cognate terms, indicating the obscience, wliere before we had nothing scuration of sound or colour; and on to guide us but an occasional Will of the same principle there is reason to the Wisp, that almost always led us connect together the Latin surdus and out of the right road, and generally the Teutonic swart, which, though diflanded us in a quagmire.
ferently applied, refer severally
to the Etymology, as already hinted, may absence or negation of those kindred be considered as consisting of two qualities. branches, which ought ever to go
With respect to the structural part hand in hand; the physical and the of etymology, it appears to be now demetaphysical:--the one treating of monstrated that a very singular and sounds, the other of ideas, in their settled relation subsists between the several relations and susceptibilities chief tribes of the Indo-Germanic race of variation. Each of these divisions of languages. The liquids, sibilants, presents a large field of enquiry, and and semi-vowels, remain generally in each there is ample room for the unchanged in them all, under certain application of philosophical principle. known modifications in individual
Let us take, among many illustra- cases, such as the frequent substitute tions, a remarkable example of a na.. in Greek of the simple aspirate for tural affinity subsisting between differ. the ordinary sibilant, and the ultimate ent ideas, and leading to a modifica- disappearance or modification of the w tion of the meaning of cognate words, or digamma in the same language. which has had an important influence But the history and position of the on language.
mute consonants in those tongues, is Sound and light, the objects of the more peculiar. The general rule as kindred senses of hearing and seeing to these is, that, in the transmission are bound together by strong mental through different languages of words analogies, and the same radical word characterised by those consonants, they is often, in the same or in cognate undergo a certain fixed and regular languages, employed to signify those modification. We are not, of course, several conceptions. To give forth now speaking as to any change under. sound, and to give forth light, to gone by words imported directly from speak and to shine, though often very one language into another, such as the different things in the House of Com- Latin, Greek, or Norman terms, which mons, are in Greek and in Sanscrit abound in ordinary English speech. denoted severally by the same root. We refer to those more venerable Bhâmi the Sanscrit verb signifying vocables which appear as natives in a to shine, and pops, the Doric form of great variety of languages of different
* Pliny uses the expression surdus color, for what is dull or dark.