Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]
[graphic][merged small]

Book II.

Language and Literature.

Language and Literature.

LITERATURE,

| Mahratti, and the other numerous dialects of In the general sense of the word, comprises modern India. the entire results of knowledge, and mental II. The Medo-Persic branch, at the head activity, expressed in writing ; but in a nar- of which is the Zend, in which the Zend-Avesta rower sense, it is used to denote the depart- is composed, and the cuneiform inscriptions of ment of elegant letters, excluding works of Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes. Next follow the abstract science and mere erudition. In this Pehlevi, of the Sarsanian dynasty; the Parsee, limited view it comprehends languages, par- in which the national poem of Ferdusi is writticularly Greek and Latin, grammar, etymol- ten (A. D. 1000), and lastly the modern Perogy, logic, rhetoric, poetry, history, criticism, sian. bibliography, and a description of the attain- III. The Celtic branch, divided into two ments of the human mind in every sphere of dialects, the Gaelic and the Cymric; the former research and invention. The history of liter-comprising the Irish or Erse, the Scottish ature represents the development and success-Gaelic or Highland-Scotch, and the Manx of ive changes of civilization, so far as these are the Isle of Man; and the latter Welsh, the exhibited in written works, and embraces the Cornish (now extinct) and the Armorican of history of the literature of special ages or Britanny. countries, and of the separate branches of lit- IV. The Græco-Latin branch, comprising erature, as poetry, rhetoric, philology, and so the two ancient classical languages, and the forth.

so-called Romanic languages, derived from the

Latin, which are six in number; namely, the LANGUAGES.

French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, WallaThe classification of the different languages chian, and the Roumanish or Romanese spoken of the earth into a few great families is due to in the Grisons in Switzerland. the science of comparative philology, and is of V. The Teutonic branch, which comprises all recent origin. Till the latter end of the last the different German and Scandinavian diacentury the preference as to the antiquity of lects. language was usually given to the Hebrew, but VI. The Slavonic branch, divided into three a striking improvement of linguistic study is principal classes: 1. The Lettic, comprising dated from the discovery of the Sanskrit, the the Lithuanian, the Old Prussian (now extinct), ancient language of the northern parts of Hin- and the Lettish, the language of Kurland and dustan, in the latter part of the last century. Livonia. 2. The Western Slavonic, comprisA belief in an affinity in languages and a sep- ing the Polish ; the Bohemian or Tchechian, aration of them into certain great groups or spoken in Bohemia; the Slovakian, spoken by families then arose.

the Slovaks in Hungary, and the Wendian, The languages of the world are divided into spoken in Lusatia. 3. The Eastern Slavonic, four great branches ; viz., the ARYAN, or Indo- comprising the Old Slavonic, preserved in the European, the most important; the Semitic, translations of the Bible made by Cyrillus in the TURANIAN, and the DRAVIDIAN.

the ninth century, and its derivate dialect, the The TURANIAN family, called also the Ta- Bulgarian ; the Russian, Servian, Croatian, and taric or Altaic, includes the numerous and Slovinian. widely different languages of the Manchoos, The Teutonic branch of the Indo-European the Mongols, the Turks (in Asia and Europe), family of languages is divided into two great the Magyars (in Hungary), the Finns (in Rus- branches, the German and Scandinavian. sia), and a multitude of other tribes.

The GERMAN is divisible into three principal The DRAVIDIAN includes the Tamil and the dialects, the Mæso-Gothic, the Low German, dialects in Ceylon and the islands off Asia, etc. and the High German, the two latter being so

The Semitic includes the Hebrew, Syriac, called because the Low German is spoken by Arctic and Ethiopic, Basque (in the Pyrenees), the inhabitants of the low or flat country near etc.

the shores of the German Ocean, while the The INDO-EUROPEAN, to which extensive High German belongs to the higher country in family the English language belongs, is divided the interior. into six principal branches.

1. The Meso-Gothic, the most easterly of I. The Indian branch, represented by the all the German dialects, has long ceased to be Sanskrit, which bas now ceased to be spoken, spoken, but is preserved in the translation of but is the mother of the Hindustani, Bengali, the gospels by Ulfilas,

[ocr errors]

ly Latin corrupted.

ist. Saxon and Danish words, of Teutonic and Gothic ing dialects: () Anglo-waton, which was culo28. British or Welsh, Cornish and Armoric, of Celtic ing dialects : (1) Anglo-Saxon, which was cul- origin. tivated with great success in England, and in origin. which the second most ancient specimens of l 3d. Norman, a mixture of French and Gothic.

4th. Latin. the Germanic language are preserved. (2) The 5th. The French, ch Old Saxon, so called to distinguish it from the

6th. Greek.

7th. A few words directly from the Italian, Spanish,

German, and other Continental languages of Europe. Westphalia. (3) The Frisian, now confined halia (3) The Firsan now confined 8th. A few foreign words introduced by commerce

thi.no

or by political and literary intercourse. to a small district in Holland. (4) The Dutch,

mi Capital Letters. -- Begin with a capithe present language of Holland. (5) The to Flemish, spoken in many parts of Belgium. 3. The High GERMAN comprises the Old

1. Every sentence and every line of poetry.

Examples. - Forget others' faults. How bright the High German, from the seventh to the eleventh day! What is fame? Custom forms us all.

“ Time is the warp of life: oh! tell century; the Middle High German, from the

The young, the fair, to weave it well." twelfth century to the Reformation, and the

0., ang.me 2. All proper nouns, and titles of office, New High German, which since Luther's time home

or, a has been the literary language of Germany.

Examples. — Henry_the Fowler, Emperor of Ger many; Robert Roe, Esquire; His Honor the Mayor:

Elizabeth Barrett Browning; the Red River; l'nion most ancient language is the Old Norse, the

Square; the Superior Court of the City of New York, language of Norway, is represented by the Ice

3. All adjectives formed from proper names. landic, which was carried into Iceland by

Examples.- African, Italian, Welsh, Ciceronian. the Norse colonists in the ninth century and

Also adjectives denoting a sect or religion. which continues to be spoken on that island

Examples.- Methodist, Puritan, Catholic. with little alteration. On the Continent the

4. Common nouns, where personified in a Old Norse is represented by the Swedish,

direct and lively manner; not where sex is Danish, and Norwegian, of which the last has

merely attributed to an inanimate object. now become a mere patois.

Examples.-Then War waves his ensanguined sword, The following table exhibits the relation- and fair Peace fees sighing to some happier land. But, ship of the different Teutonic languages :

the sun pursues his fiery course; the moon sheds her

silvery beams. (1. Moso-Gothic. 5. All appellations of the Deity. The per2. Low German. (i) Anglo-Saxon.

sonal pronouns Thou and He standing for His English.

name are sometimes capitalized.
(ii) Old Saxon.
(iii) Frisian.

Eramples.- The Almighty; the King of kings; the
I. GERMAN
(iv) Dutch.

Eternal Essence; Jehovah; the Supreine Being; our (v) Flemish.

Father. 3. High German. In the standard editions of the Bible, the (i) Old High

pronouns, when referring to God, are never

German. Teutonio

(ii) Middle High capitalized, not even in forms of direct address

German. (iii) New High

to the Deity. German.

6. The first word of a complete quoted sen1. Old Scandinavian.

tence not introduced by that, if, or any other II. SCANDINAVIAN

(i) Icelandic.

(ii) Ferroic. conjunction. 2. Modern

Examples.- Thomson says, “Success makes villams scandinavian. I honest." But, Thomson says that Scandinavian.

success makes vil. (i) Danish.

lains honest." (ii) Swedish.

(iii) Norwegian. 7. Every noun, adjective, and verb in the The English Language is the descend- / title of books and headings of chapters.

1 Examples.- Butler's “Treatise on the History of ant and representative OI une Anglo-saxon. Ancient Philosophy”; Cousins' " Lectures on the True, It has lost very much of the inflection and the Beautiful, and the Good." very many of the words which belong to the 8. Words that denote the leading subjects parent language; and on the other hand it of chapters, articles or paragraphs. has borrowed words largely, to the extent A word defined, for instance, may comeven of half its vocabulary, from other lan- mence with a capital. Do not introduce capguages, especially the French and the Latin. itals too freely under this rule. When in Yet all the inflections that remain in it, and doubt use a small letter. most of its formative endings, the pronouns 9. The pronoun I and the interjection 0. and particles, and in general the words which 10. Words denoting great events, eras of are in most frequent and familiar use, have history, noted written instruments, extraordicome to it from the Anglo-Saxon. All the nary physical phenomena and the like. constituents of the English Language as it now Eramples.- The Creation; the Confusion of Lanexists are presented in a condensed form as / tion I 'Independence; the Aurora Borealis.

guages, the Restoration; the Dark Ages, the Declarafollows:

on.

« PreviousContinue »