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arises tialir, to blow. This grouping of roots is unlimited, and, to recall an example often employed, the Osmanli is able to express in a single word the idea of incapable of being induced to love one another, by the group sev-isch-dir-il-eme. Inflected languages also admit, however, of an extraordinary accumulation of defining particles; for instance, the following series occurs in English, true, tru-th, truth-ful, truthful-ness, un-truthfulness. The simplicity of the system of adding suffixes, the prospect of expressing a complex idea in a single group of syllables, may at first appear seductive, yet such languages have never succeeded in forming a verb, but rest contented with naming the subject of the action (nomina verbi), which almost answers to such expressions of ours as the living (nomen presentis), the deceased (nomen perfecti), the imprisoned, the sender. to In Turkish the construction is
dog-mak, to beat
The languages spoken by the Ural-Altaic nations illustrate the process of verbal construction. The structure of their language is confined to the agglutination of syllables. Something similar still occurs even in languages in which fusions are otherwise habitual. If two syllables are joined without alteration, and without losing their independent meaning, they are but loosely agglutinated. If we divide such words as note-worthy, care-less, trace-able, into their two halves, the substantive and the defining suffix can each exist alone. The Ural-Altaic languages, in common with all merely agglutinative languages, are confined to constructions such as these. But where these roots were long employed chiefly as definitions of meaning, and were no longer used independently, but solely as auxiliaries, their original and independent signification was presently forgotten and a higher degree of integration of linguistic structure was already attained. This case is represented in English by formations such as virtu
io Steinthal, Sprachtypen, p. 193.
I 2 I
ous, bare-ly, in-distinct. The suffixes ous and ly, and the affix in, can no longer stand independently in our language, but have forfeited their liberty, since their original form and their old signification have been removed beyond ken. A third case is conceivable; namely, that, in consequence of agglutination, the defining root has effected a phonetic modification in the principal root, and both combinations are fused in such a manner that neither can any longer exist independently, as in such formations as scholar.
A germ of phonetic modification is already latent in the UralAltaic languages, though it is only due to a desire for euphony (Vocalharmonie). The eight vowels of these languages are divided into heavy and light, hard and soft, and by the custom of the language the same or some other particular vowel must be contained in the succeeding suffix-root. Thus in the Yakut language, the plural suffix-root consists of the syllable 1r, but which vowel is to be inserted between 1 and r is determined by the vowel of the principal root, so that the formula is axa-lar, the fathers, Oxo-lor, the children, äsä-lär, the bears. This musical attempt may in the course of time effect the complete fusion of the suffix with the principal root. The fact is significant that in another linguistic province, namely, among the Dravida group or non-Aryan inhabitants of Southern India, we likewise find laws of euphony, but acting in the reverse direction. There the vowel of the defining syllable is dominant, and compels the vowel of the principal root into harmony with itself. The words katti, knife, and puli, tiger, are transformed by the suffix lu, indicating the plural, not into katti-lu and puli-lu, but into kattulu, the knives, and pululu, the tigers. Whereas the Ural-Altaic languages always place the defining roots after the principal root, and are, therefore, reckoned as suffixing languages, we find in the whole of South Africa, as far as the equator, with the sole exception of the languages of the Hottentots and Bushmen, closely allied languages, which all place the defining syllable before the principal root, but yet do not exclude the use of suffixes. Southwards from Delagoa Bay, on the east coast, we find rivers bearing the names of Um-komanzi,
12 F. Müller, Reise der Fregatte Novara. Language, p. 81.
Um-zuti, Um-kusi, Um-volosi, Um-hlutane, Um-lazi, Um-gababa, Um-kamazi, Um-tenta, and so on.13 It might, therefore, be inferred that the prefix um signifies water, as does the suffix ach in German names, such as Bacharach, Aichach, Stockach, Lörrach, Elzach. Yet there are South African names for mountains and places, which are preceded by the syllable um. Names of tribes are formed by the prefix ma, Ma-tabele, Ma-sai, Ma-kua, Ma-ravi, Ma-kololo, or by the double prefix a-ma, as Ama-xosa, Ama-pondo, Ama-tonga, Ama-zulu, for which we might substitute the people of the chief Xosa, Pondo, Tonga, Zulu. Perhaps, at a period not very remote, there was a chief of the name of Suto, the eponym of the Ba-suto; each individual was called a Ma-suto, their territory Le-suto, and their language Se-suto. This example indicates the definitions implied by the prefixes Ba, Ma, Le, and Se. Where these series of prefixes have been maintained in their full integrity we find sixteen, or perhaps eighteen, of which the greater number indicate either the plural or the singular exclusively. Only two of these syllables unequivocally distinguish natural differences, namely, Mu and Ba, of which both represent persons, one in the singular, the other in the plural; possibly Mu formerly signified person, Ba people.14 Each substantive and each expression of activity (we can hardly say verb), is provided with an antecedent syllable, so that a prefix thus becomes an ingredient of the word, as inseparable as is the suffix in the older branches of the Aryan family of languages. 15 We may confidently assert that the prefixes were once independent words, but their significations are now unknown to the existing generation, and in this case the linguistic integration has advanced so far that certain phonetic combinations are applied exclusively to grammatical purposes. The employment of prefixes requires, among other things, that the same syllable should be affixed to the adjective as to the substantive. Were Latin a
13 Bacmeister in the Ausland, p. 577. 1871.
14 W. H. Bleek, Comparative Grammar of South African Languages, p. 95. 1869.
15 Whitney, Study of Language, p. 345. 1867. In the Suto languages they say ba-ntu (men), ba-otle (all), ba-molemo (good), ba-lefatse (the world), ba-ratoa (the beloved), which means, in the world, all good men are beloved (Casalis, Les Basoutos, p. 339. Paris, 1859).
prefixing language, instead of vin-um bon-um, it would run um-vin um-bon. In Zulu tyi signifies stone, and bi ugly, i is the indefinite article, and li the indispensable representative prefix. Thus arises i-li-tyii-li-bi, an ugly stone. Even the genitive is expressed by the prefix of the nominative, and in Zulu the woman's dish is called i-si-tya s-o-m-fazi, and the food of the woman u-ku-dhla kw-o-m-fazi. S-o-m-fazi and kw-o-m-fazi are the genitives of u-m-fazi, woman, and harmonize with the prefix of the substantive. 16 South African languages, however, employ suffixes also in the construction of highly compound words."7
We find a different linguistic structure among the American nations, with the exception of the Eskimo. Wilhelm von Humboldt has termed their system “incorporative,” because the structure of the sentence may be entirely supplanted by the structure of the word. The aborigines of America are able to build up a complex idea into a single word. In the Cherokee language wi-ni-taw-ti-ge-gi-na-li-skaw-lung-ta-naw-ne-le-ti-se-sti is equivalent to "they will by this time have come to an end of their declarations (of favour) to you and me.” Even in those American languages which allow only a moderate use of “incorporation,” the object is always placed between the subject and the verb. Moreover, some syllables of the inserted words are suppressed, and the phonetic combination, thus mutilated, remains intelligible only in its context. In the Delaware language, from opik, white, and assuun, stone, is formed opposuun, or white stone, by which silver is meant. 19 Although it is not an invariable law that among highly civilized nations we find also highly developed languages, for we have just observed the contrary among the Chinese, while conversely from the Hottentot language we shall presently learn that a highly developed language does not always imply a correspondingly high civilization, yet a highly developed
16 Bleek in the Journal of the Anthrop. Institute, vol. i. p. 71. London, 1872.
17 From bona, to see, arises isi-bono, the object seen, isi-boniso, vision, bon-akala, to appear, isi-bonakala, appearance, isi-bonakaliso, revelation. F. Müller, Reise der Fregatte Novara, vol. iii. p. 112.
18 Whitney, Study of Language, p. 349.
language leads us to expect to find a more matured social constitution in its territory. In America, the most highly civilized people, the ancient Mexicans, spoke the most developed language, Nahuatl.
The name alone, by its termination tl, indicates an advance. The Ural-Altaic languages were still quite incapable of any true word-construction when substantives were already recognizable by the termination tl in ancient Mexican. In composition, the word teo-tl, God, loses the appended consonants, as in teo-calli, God's house or temple, and in teo-tlaltolli, God's word. These examples also show that not all Nahuatl substantives have the suffix tl. Ancient Mexican, in common with all American languages, is incorporative, inserting the object between the subject and the verb, so that from schotschi-ll, flower, and ni-temoa, I seek, is formed ni-schotschi-temoa, I seek flowers ; but another arrangement of the sentence is also used, in which only the pronoun it (k), or somebody (te), or something (tla), is intercalated between subject and verb, while the object is placed last. From ni, I, k, it, miktia, to kill, se, one, totolin, chicken, the Nahuatl forms ni-k-miktia se totolin, I it kill a chicken. The excessive tendency to incorporation is thus again checked. Plurals which occur only in the case of living things (in which category the stars are included), are expressed by the addition of the suffixes mê and tin, as itschka-tl, sheep, itschka-mê, sheep in the plural), or ta-tli, father, ta-tin, fathers. Nor is there any lack of ingenuity in the formation of words ; from ome, two, and yolli, heart, arises omeyolloa, to doubt; from nakastli, ear, and tsatsi, to scream, nakatsatsa-ti, in whose ear one must scream-a deaf person.20
In the prefix languages of the South African negroes um-tu signifies a man, um-fazi, a woman, um-ti, a tree. The same prefix, therefore, serves for objects which ought to be viewed as masculine, feminine, and neuter. When the substantive is once distinguished from the verb by perceptible phonetic terminations, the gender of the substantive can also be distinguished. We have hitherto been dealing only with languages which do not distinguish grammatical genders, but we shall now turn to those which express
20 Steinthal, Characteristik, p. 203.