« ForrigeFortsett »
And the flood-tide began to run
In ripples round the ship,
XI. and XII. are cover'd o'er-
Oh! for six inches more!
To float her from that rocky bed; And now the sea with many a sail
(So quick the news has spread) Is dotted, as round Bembridge Point they crowdAnd bright shines forth the sun-the sky's without a cloud.
20. Oh, lovely from the upland height
To watch the busy scene below!
Of bright birds, to and fro
To gaze upon their wounded king,
Powerless of beak and wing,
Like vulture hurrying to the fray,
By flashing foam and spray,)
His fiery strength, and shook the sea
Like wild steed, rushing free-
And follows in the giant's wake;
Upon her bows that break !
GRIMM'S TEUTONIC GRAMMAR.
The name of James Grimm de dispensable explanation of the niore serves to be dear to the lovers of an- modern forms: and from this point tiquarian lore of every class: to critics the transition was natural and neand to philosophers, to the prattlers in cessary to the Gothic, which is the the nursery and the wranglers at the master-key to all the rest. The vabar. Whatever subjects he has hand- rious other languages of the Teutonic led, and they are not few, he has both family were successively the objects exhausted and embellished. His col- of his attention, as mutually illustratlections of popular tales have given to ing each other, and as pointing to a juvenile Germany an alluring vision general and primitive type of the whole of that imaginary world which so powerfully evolves the moral powers Thus originating and thus expandwhile it gratifies curiosity. His il- ing, the “ Deutsche Grammatik” emlustrations of the early poetry of his braces the following circle of languages, own country, are interesting to many comprising, indeed, the whole distin. beyond the class to which they are guishable divisions of the Teutonic specially addressed : and his Mytho- tribe of which any memorable mology and Legal Antiquities have numents remain. severally provided a treasure of im- 1. The Gothic, or, as it has bee laxly provement and delight to the most called, the Maso-Gothic, the parent or mature and the most profound under the eldest sister of the Teutonic family, standings. But the noblest monu. that venerable and, to us, invaluable ment which he has erected to his ge- language into which the Scriptures nius, and the richest gift which litera- were translated by Ulphilas in the ture has received from him, is to be 4th century. 2. The Old High-Ger. found in the great, but as yet unfinishman, a remarkable and peculiar dia. ed, work which we propose for the lect, or cluster of dialects, adopted subject of our present observations. and diffused by the writers of Upper Under the simple title of a “ Deutsche or Southern Germany during the 7th, Grammatik," he has produced a phi- llth, and intermediate centuries. 3. lological treatise, which, reconciling The Old Saxon, the language of the the conflicting qualities of learning, Lower or Northern parts of Germany, judgment, and originality, has im.' of which the chief monuments are measurably elevated the standard of referable to the 9th century. 4. The grammatical discussions, and is almost Anglo-Saxon, the language of Low without a rival in any age or country. Germany, as naturalized and culti
It is interesting to learn that we owe vated in England. 5. The Old Friesic, this amazing production in so abstruse the language which, in the 13th and a department of study to its author's 14th centuries, prevailed in Friesland, love of refined literature, and to his and some of the western portions of partiality for the earlier poets of bis North Germany. 6. The Icelandic, native country.
An admiration for the oldest form of the Scandinavian the remarkable mass of poetry which branch, and one of the richest and Germany can boast of having pro- most valuable of the Teutonic stock. duced during the middle age of 7. The Middle High-German, the her literary history, appears at an language of that abundant store of early period to have seduced Grimm romantic poetry, including the Nibefrom the weightier pursuits of the lungen-Lied, and other German prolaw, to which he was worthily brought ductions of the chivalrous or heroic up at the feet of Savigny. His period, which are regarded with so favourite study, when cultivated in much enthusiasm by their admirers, a spirit of accurate and enlightened and of which the study deserves in criticism, led him forward to the exa- every way to be further promoted, mination of the oldest dialect of the whether for its own sake, or for High: German, which supplies an in- its value in illustrating the corre
Deutsche Grammatik, von Jacob Grimm.
sponding literature of other coun- more universal principles. Those," tries. 8. The Middle Low-German. he adds, “who now or hereafter may 9. The Middle Dutch, or Flemish. be prepared to take a wider range, 10. The Middle English, the language can thus with the more fearless se. of England in the 13th and 14th cen- curity avail themselves of the results turies, of which Chaucer affords the of my investigations.” fullest and most finished specimen. We confess that we despair of see11. The Modern German. 12. The ing, even after many years, an English Modern Dutch. 13. The Modern translation of the Teutonic Grammar. English
14. The Swedish. 15. The number of scholars in England The Danish.
who can estimate and master its deNot circumscribed even by these tails may perhaps be increasing, but limits, the author of the Teutonic must still be inconsiderable; and even Grammar casts, at every stage of his those are not numerous by whom its progress, a glance beyond the fence of general bearings can be seen and aphis proper boundary, to mark the cor- preciated; while all who feel an interest responding features of the neighbour- in its extensive illustrations of Teutonic ing or not far distant territories of literature must be capable of consulting the Greek, Latin, Sanscrit, Lithuan- it in its original shape. On the other ian, and Sclavonic languages. The hand, a selection of its principles and more profound Orientalists have en- examples, adapted to merely English deavoured to show, and have perhaps readers, would destroy the character succeeded in showing, that many of the and value of a work, of which the esremarkable processes of Teutonic in- sence consists in the completeness of flection which Grimm has pointed out, its comparative view of the whole may be best illustrated by the rules of Teutonic tongues. Insulated portions Sanscrit philology. But, as far as we of it may be recast, expanded, and excan discover, nothing that they have plained, so as partially to adapt it to advanced has detracted from the the popular mind in this country; and merit of the Teutonic grammar- its great principles may find their way ian's labours. On the contrary, the into the works of native philologists, so suggestion of new theories for ar- as to produce more comprehensive or ranging the materials which he has more cautious opinions than those collected, confirms the unbiassed ac- which at present prevail. But, in curacy with which his enquiries have every view, it is important to give ad. been prosecuted, and gives a double ditional currency to the conviction, that testimony to the correctness of his the study of even any portion of Teuobservations. To those, indeed, who tonic philology cannot be successfully consider the immense extent of the prosecuted beyond its simplest limits, field which lay before him, and the without an acquaintance with those absolute impracticability of embracing results to which the grammar of with a powerful grasp the whole of Grimm affords the best or the only those divisions of speech that may
Although, therefore, it has serve as illustrations of each other, already been recommended to the atit will appear more remarkable that tention of English readers by very Grimm's conjectures should so often able critics, we cannot think that any have been confirmed, than that they attempt to make the nature and merits should sometimes have been contra- of this work more familiarly known dicted, by a fuller prosecution of col- can be either idle or unacceptable. lateral researches. On this subject The Grammar of Grimm, so far as he has himself said, with a fitting mix- it has yet reached us, consists of four ture of modesty and pride, “ that his volumes, divided into the same num. attention has been too exclusively en- ber of Books. grossed by the Teutonic languages, The First Book treats of the letters, to admit of his bestowing more than a subject which, as it may be called a hasty consideration upon remoter ob- the godmother of grammar, is also jects; that his first aim is to attain an essential guide and guardian to its perfection within his own department; progress in all its stages. The letters and that he feels that his discoveries in are minutely treated by Grimm with that field will possess a more endur- reference to their various powers, ing value than if he had prematurely properties, and combinations through, abandoned it to seek for higher or out the different languages embraced in his plan : and comparative views ject, which must be afterwards advert. are given of the different changes ed to. which they undergo, whether in the The Second Book treats of the inTeutonic forms of speech or in others flexion of words. A short experience of a cognate origin. This is one of enables us to see, that the modern the most important and elaborate por- forms of inflexion, limited as they are, tions of the work, and that, perhaps, cannot be understood without an acof which the value could least be sup- quaintance with the earlier types on plied from other sources. We shall, which they have been moulded, but in a subsequent part of this paper, of which the features are now often take occasion to notice some of its greatly, and somewhat unequally obresults in relation to the comparative literated. We presume it will be structure of the classical and Teutonic universally agreed, that in this part languages. With respect to the Teu- of his subject, and in so far, particutonic languages themselves, it may larly, as concerns the declensions and be observed that, except in the case of conjugations of the Gothic language, the High-German dialects, to be after the Grammar of Grimm has rendered wards mentioned, the consonants, for a great service to philology. As comthe most part, exhibitcomparatively lit- pared with any former grammar, and tle change in passing from one language especially with any of English producto another: but the vowels are on a tion, the progress in sound and sysdifferent footing This liquid and tematic arrangement is incalculable. fluctuating element of speech seems Particular importance is here due to the to assume a new aspect in every new formula of the twelve strong or primi. situation: and may be said to furnish tive conjugations; that is, of those conthe great feature of individual distinc- jugations which are effected by a retion between different dialects. The duplicative prefix, or by an internal changes, however, to which the vowels change of vowel, instead of receiving are subjected, seem capable of being the addition of an element correreduced to determinate rules, and these sponding to the ed of the preterite and it is obviously of great moment to as- past participle in English. certain. We would not argue that the It was long ago observed by Ben clear and certain principles of any Jonson, in his Grammar, that, while language are to be controlled by that conjugation in English which mere theory derived from others : but takes place by means of the suffix ed, it seems an indisputable proposition, “ the most useful forming of a that what is dark or doubtful in one verb, and thereby also the common inn of a family of dialects, may be illus- to lodge every strange and foreign trated and rendered plain by the light guest,” the other mode of conjugaof a regular analogy obtained from tion, by means of an internal change kindred sources. An attention to this of vowel, as fall, fell ; break, broke ; enquiry is also necessary, if we wish sing, sang, sung, &c., “entertaineth to trace the connexion between the none but natural and home-born words of one language and those of words, which, though in number another, as the disguises assumed in they be not many, a hundred and the process of transition are often twenty or thereabouts, yet, in vasuch as to elude or deceive a superfi- riation, are so divers and uncertain, cial observer. The following are ex- that they need much the stamp of some amples of the changes which the good logic to beat them into proporvowels undergo in passing through tion. We have set down,” he contisome of the chief Teutonic tongues. nues,“that thatin ourjudgment agreeth The convertible sounds are given in best with reason and good order, which, the same horizontal line.
notwithstanding, if it seem to any to be
too rough-hewed, let him plane it out Gothic. 0. High-Germ. A. Saxon. Icelandic.
eor iar more smoothly, and I shall not only
not envy it, but, in the behalf of my ei, ê
ei country, most heartily thank him for eâ
so great a benefit, hoping that I shall
be thought sufficiently to have done The relation of the vowels in the my part, if, in tolling this bell, I may
Ι inflexion of words is an important draw others to a deeper consideration practical branch of the present sub- of the matter; for, touching myself, I
ir, ēr ur, or
au, ou, o
must needs confess that, after much of the comparative rules established painful churning, this only would come in the transition of vowels, afford a which here we have devised.”
solution to all the anomalies in the The bell was indeed long tolled modern forms of inflexion. It would before the summons was fully answer- be out of place to enter here into the ed; but we may now say that the thanks details of the subject : as it can only which Jonson promised have at last be mastered by a consultation of the been earned, and that a full elucidation original authorities. Grimm's Gramhas been finally given of the apparent mar is, of course, the basis of any such jumble of irregularities at which our study; but it ought to be accomexcellent dramatist had “ churned” so panied by a constant reference to the vigorously with so slender a result. writings of his fellow-labourers and The English strong conjugations followers in the same field. Bopp's have generally been called irregular, Review of Grimm, republished under and in one sense are well deserving the title of his Vocalismus,* is a highly of the name, as, when viewed by valuable guide; and useful assistance themselves, or even with the aid of the may also, we think, be got from the Anglo-Saxon, they appear a mass of explanation of the conjugations given confusion: while their Gothic proto- by the ingenious but somewhat specutypes present a remarkable model of lative Schmithenner in his little work clearness and precision, not surpassed on Etymology.t in
any other language; and, by the aid The concluding discussions in
* Vocalismus, &c., von Franz Bopp. Berlin, 1836.
+ Deutsche Etymologie von Friedrich Schmithenner. Darmstadt, 1833. See also the Introduction to his Kurzes Deutsches Wörterbuch. 1837.
We may be allowed, in a note, to shadow out some of the principles that appear to us to regulate the conjugation of the Gothic verb, though they are, in some points, borrowed rather from the theory of Bopp than from that of Grimm. We omit the reduplicative conjugations, which stand on a peculiar footing, and have left but faint, though important, vestiges of their character on modern grammar. The simplest of the other forms is that which is effected by converting the radical short a vowel of the present tense, into its corresponding long vowel in the preterite ; on a principle similar to what we see in some Latin conjugations, as in căpio, cēpi, captum ; but it is to be observed that the long a is in Gothic expressed by ô rather than by ê : Thus, to take a cognate word with capio, we have hafyan, hóf, hafans. In English, we have awake, awoke. Another form of conjugation is made by interchanging the vowel a with the weaker sound of i, somewhat in the same way as in Latin conju. gation and composition, where we have tango, tetigi ; tango, contingo. But the Gothic bas this peculiarity in contrast with the Latin, that the i occurs in the present tense, and the a in the preterite, as in sing, sang; give, gave. With this form there is combined sometimes a lengthening of the a into ê in some parts of the verb, and sometimes in others, particularly before liquids, a subsiding of the a into u; as in the English sing, sang, sung ; swim, swam, swum, &c. A similar range of mutations may be found in the conjugation and in the composition of some Latin verbs, as in colo, cultum ; vello, vulsum ; salio, exsilio, exsulto. Another mode of conjugation exhibits what in Sanscrit grammar is called Guna ; the interpolation, namely, in some parts of the verb, of an a vowel before a radical i or u, accompanied in other parts by the weakening of that interpolated a into an e or i. The formulæ in these cases are, ei, present tense, ai, preterite, i, past-participle; iu, present, au, preterite, and u past-partia ciple. Something similar to these processes occurs in the flexion of certain Greek verbs, as westw, we wortel, s-Wilor; Psuyo, e puyoy, where the roots are considered to be it and pin.
Our worthy mother, the Anglo-Saxon, was rather less particular about her vowels than our grandam the Gothic. Under the laws of vowel-change, which we have already partly explained, the Anglo-Saxon gave an undue ascendancy to the vowel a in the preterite ; and her daughter, the modern English, has further embroiled matters by frequently changing the a into o. Thus, in English, the preterites awoke, shone, chose, stole, would all in Gothic have had different forms belonging to four different conjugations, the vowel-sound in the first example being expressed by 0, in the second by ai, in the third by au, and in the fourth by a. No wonder that it now puzzles us to understand the English strong conjugations, when we have not studied their original principles, and traced their progressive modifications.