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which have more terminations even than Greek and Latin. In Finnish there are fifteen cases, expres; sive 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 lan
guages 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 answered.
preserves) sin (in the heart), i. e., humanitatem conservat corde. I (taking) tchi (right) wêï (to make) k’ið (crooked), i. e., rectum facere curvum. Pao (to protect) hou (sign of accus.) min (the people).
5. The ablative is expressed –
(a) By means of prepositions, such as thsong, yeou, tsen, hou. Ex. thsong (ex) thien (cælo) laï (venire); te (obtinere) hou (ab) thien (cælo).
(6) 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).
(6) 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 text.
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.
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 (réxvn) of language, or grammar.
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 forin 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 SemiSaxon from 1230 to 1100; and Semi-Saxon to AngloSaxon.1 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. 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.
1 See some criticisms on this division in Marsh's Lectures on the English Language, p. 48.
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.
1" Goddspell onn Ennglissh nemmnedd iss
God word, annd god ti pennde,
God errnde,” &c. Ormulum, pref. 157. " And beode per godes godd-spel.” — Layamon, iii. 182, v. 29,507.
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,' 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 etymol
1 Diez, Lexicon Comparativum. Columella, vii. 8.