Three Linguistic Dissertations: Read at the Meeting of the British Association in Oxford

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Richard and John E. Taylor, 1848 - Bengali language - 97 pages
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Page 320 - The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a 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 stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists...
Page 329 - They are too voluminous for a complete translation of the whole; and what they contain would hardly reward the labour of the reader; much less that of the translator. The ancient dialect in which they are composed, and especially that of the three first Vedas, is extremely difficult and obscure: and, though curious, as the parent of a more polished and refined language...
Page 286 - ... de leur assigner à toutes une marche uniforme et mécanique qui les traînerait pas à pas depuis le commencement le plus grossier jusqu'à leur perfectionnement, j'embrasserais l'opinion de ceux qui rapportent l'origine des langues à une révélation immédiate de la divinité. Ils reconnaissent au moins l'étincelle divine qui luit à travers tous les idiomes, même les plus imparfaits et les moins cultivés.
Page 286 - ... empruntent une force plus vive de la nouveauté des impressions, où l'homme peut pressentir des combinaisons auxquelles il ne serait jamais arrivé par la marche lente et progressive de l'expérience.
Page 275 - ... language the badge of their young nationality. The remodeling cause of the formation of those languages was therefore Germanic. The element upon which it worked was the Latin tongue, represented by a decaying Roman nationality, which (with the exception of Italy proper) had been engrafted in the South upon a Celtic, and in Valachia upon a Slavonic population. The active movement of the Germanic mind, operating upon the subject Roman population, dissolved, and as it were burst the compact structure...
Page 286 - Ce génie créateur peut franchir les limites qui semblent prescrites au reste des mortels, et s'il est impossible de retracer sa marche, sa présence vivifiante n'en est pas moins manifeste. Plutôt que de renoncer dans l'explication de l'origine des langues, à l'influence de cette cause puissante et première, et de leur assigner à toutes une marche uniforme et mécanique, qui les traînerait...
Page 287 - We found that every word had first a substantial object in the outward world, and received only in process of time an application to the inward. In order to arrive at the law which we are endeavouring to find, let us first assume, as Geology does, that the same principles which we see working in the development, were also at work at the very beginning, modified in degree and in form, but essentially the same in kind.
Page 303 - Gaul, here divided itself into three branches, the northern of which terminated in Great Britain and Ireland, the southern in Italy, and the eastern, running along the Alps and the Danube, terminated only near the Black Sea, not far from the point where the whole stream is likely to have originated. The other great stream...
Page 254 - Semitic, or the languagns of the family of Shem. It is equally connected by identity of origin with those still more numerous and illustrious tribes which occupy now the greatest part of Europe, and may perhaps, alone or with other families, have a right to be called the family of Japhut.
Page 283 - Egyptian language was a form of speech only just emerging from the monosyllabic state and the absolute isolation of words ; and it expressed very clumsily and incompletely, by mere agglomeration, that to which the Semitic and Japetic tongues could give much more distinct utterance by the system of inflections. The Egyptian mind,

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