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lighten much the labours of the learner. The aid may be compared to furnishing a stranger in London with a map of the city.
The young Missionary may begin with Max Muller's “ Science of Language," if he has not previously studied the work. Additional details will be found in the same author's “ Survey of Languages.” Bopp's “ Comparative Grammar" is large, elaborate and expensive. Clark's “Student's Hand-book of Comparative Grammar,” gives the leading results in an abridged form. It does not however, treat, of any of the modern languages of India. Caldwell's " Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Languages,” will be found of great value to the Missionary in South India; and may be of some service to all. A corresponding work for North India is a desideratum.
It is not to be understood that the Missionary must master all the details of Comparative Grammar before he actually begins to acquire the language. A knowledge of some general principles is what is wanted at first. As he pursues his studies, he may go more deeply into the subject will pleasure and profit.
A few salient points may be briefly noticed.
Max Muller shows that originally language was monosyllabic and every word was distinctly significant. This he terms the Radical Stage. It is best represented by ancient Chinese. Every thing depends on the proper collocation of words in a sentence. Ngo ta ni means 'I beat thee ;' but ni ta ngo would mean • Thou beatest me.' Words may be joined, as hoangkin, yellow metal (i. e. gold); but each retains its primitive form.
In the second stage, of two roots which coalesce to form a word, one retains its radical independence, and the other sinks down to a mere termination. This is called the Terminational or Agglutinative Stage. “The conjugation and declension can still be taken to pieces; and although the terminations have by no means. pended."*
always retained their significative power as independent words; they are felt as modificatory syllables, and as distinct from the roots to which they are ap
** The root must never be changed, as in the English, take, took, though the terminations in some cases may vary.
By far the largest number of languages belong to the second stage. Among them are included Australian, Japanese, Malay, Siamese, the Dravidian languages of India, Mongolian, Turkish and Finnish. Formerly they were classed under the title of Scythian. Max Muller proposes the term Turanian, from tura, swiftness, expressing the wandering character of the tribes.
It is essential in Nomadic languages, that the radical portion should stand out clear, in order to be intelligible to many, though their intercourse be but scanty.
In the third stage all the roots may coalesce or have their original distinctness blurred by phonetic corruption. This is called the Inflectional or Amalgamating Stage. It is best represented by the Semitic and Aryant families. Max Muller remarks that “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 were cemented together.”
“ The Semitic family is divided into three branches, the Aramais, the Hebraic, and the Arabic.” “ 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 consonantai skeleton as much as possible intact." +
The etymological meaning of Arya seems to be" who ploughs.” It is connected with the root ar', Arare.
* Max Muller's Science of Language, p. 297, + Also called the Indo-European Family.
Science of Language, p. 287. ·
Originally it was applied to the cultivators of the soil; in time it acquired a wider signification. In later Sanskrit writers drya, derived from arya, means noble. The Aryan Family of languages is divided into two great divisions. The southern division includes Sanskrit and its derivatives, Pushtu or Afghan, Persian, and Armenian. The northern division comprehends Celtic, Italic, Hellenic, Slavonic, and Teutonic languages.
Max Muller observes, “The terms for God, for house, for father, mother, son, daughter, for dog and cow, for heart and tears, for axe and tree, identical in all the Indo-European idioms, are like the watch-words of soldiers. We challenge the seeming stranger; and whether he answer with the lips of a Greek, a German, or an Indian, we recognise him as one of ourselves. There was a time when the ancestors of the Celts, the Germans, the Slavonians, the Greeks, and Italians, the Persians, and Hindus, were living together within the same fences, separate from the ancestors of the Semitic and Turanian races.
A few illustrations of phonetic corruptions may be given. Compounds may be changed, as, yes, sir, is vulgarly pronounced yesr. Loved was originally love did; the Latin bo of amabo is the old future bhu, to become. The Sanskrit term vinsati, twenty, is compounded of dvi two, dasa, ten. The initial consonant is dropped in dvi ; from dasa, ten is derived dasati, a decad, which is reduced to sati. The Latin viginti, the Greek eikati, owe their origin to the same process. The French âge is derived from aevum. The changes were as follows: aevum, aevitas, aetas, aetaticum, edage, eage, âge.
Every inflectional language was once agglutinative, and every agglutinative language was once monosyllabic. The three stages, to some extent, blend into each
* Sanskrit literature, p. 14.
other. Some dialects of modern Chinese show signs of agglutination ; Turkish has made greatadvance towards inflectional forms. Proofs are gradually being collected of the common origin of language. Dr. Caldwell gives lists of glossarial affinities between Dravidian, Aryan, and Semitic vocables
The Dravidian languages of Southern India, the principal of which are Tamil, Telugu, Canarese, Malayalam, and Gond, are unquestionably Turanian in their structure, though they contain Sanskrit words in varying proportions. Dr. Caldwell observes :
“ Trencb's expression respecting the character of the contri. butions wbich our mother-English has received from AngloSaxon and from Latin respectively, are exactly applicable to the relation and proportion which the Native Dravidian element bears to the Sanskrit contained in the Tamil.
""All its joints, its whole articulation, its sinews and its ligaments, the great body of articles, pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions, numerals, auxiliary verbs, all smaller words which serve to knit together, and bind the larger into sentences, these, not to speak of the grammatical structure of the language, are exclusively Anglo-Saxon (Dravidian). The Latin (Sanskrit) may contribute its tale of bricks, yea of goodly and polished hewn stones to the spiritual building, but the mortar, with all that holds and binds these together, and constitutes them into a house is Anglo-Saxo: (Dravidian) throughout.'”+
Grammatical structure is oi far more consequence in determining the relationship of languages than a comparative vocabulary. Dr. Caldwell points out some of most essential differences in this respect between the Dravidian languages and the Sanskrit
. The whole should be studied with great care. A few of them are given below.
1. In Dravidian languages, the principal verb always occupies the last place in the sentence. He struck me, is rendered, He me struck.
* Dravidian Comparative Grammar, P, p. 437 - 489. † Dravidian Comparative Grammar, p. 32.
2. Prepositions become post-positions. To men, becomes men to; houses on hills, hills on houses.
3. Nouns are inflected, not by means of case-terminations, but by suffixed post-positions. The only difference between the declension of the plural and that of the singular is, that the inflexional signs are annexed in the singular to the base, in the plural to the sign of plurality.
4. The Dravidian dative ku, ki, orge, bears no analogy to any dative case-termination in any Indo-European language.
5. The existence of two pronouns of the first person plural, one of which includes, the other excludes the party addressed, is a peculiarity of the Dravidian dialects, as of many of the Scythian languages; but is unknown to the Sanskrit and the languages of the IndoEuropean family.
6. Relative participles are used instead of relative pronouns. The person who came, is rendered the whocame person.
7. Dravidian verbs have no passive voice, properly so called.
8. New verbal bases can be produced by the mere addition of certain letters, which give to every verb a negative or causative meaning.
9. Continuative participles are preferred to conjunctions.
The words of Sanskrit origin adopted in Tamil are chiefly technical terins. Tamil may be written without using any Sanskrit-derived words. The infusion of Sanskrit is larger in Canarese and Telugu. In the latter language the pure Telugu words are estimated at only one-half
, the bulk of the remaining moiety being Sanskrit words, pure or corrupted. Words of Sanskrit origin, on the other hand, greatly preponderate in the languages of Northern India, including Bengali, Oriya, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati and