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OF THE ELEMENTS.
O exhibit by extraneous characters, with propriety or fuccefs, any Language whatever, can hardly be expected; and as no lefs than three concur in the formation of the Hindooftanee, accumulated difficulties, with the failure of my philological predeceffours herein, have deterred me from exprefsing it by the Roman alone; with this therefore, befides taking fome indifpenfable liberties, I have regularly contrafted in my orthographical fynopfis below, its Arabic, Perfian, and Hinduwee correlatives; that every scholar may have it in his power to collate the English letters with their feveral homogeneous prototypes, and, affifted by an expert moonshee, correct my fyftem, wherever it is found to be anomalous, defective, erroneous, or redundant.
To prove the neceffity of adopting fome fuch plan now, would only be repeating all that an elegant writer has already urged thereon, but which I had not the good fortune to meet with, till the publication of my Dictionary, in great measure, precluded from these sheets much of the inftruction refulting from the only valuable and scientific differtation that I know, on this interefting subject(a). Though the method of rendering Afiatic words here has been stu
(a) See Afiatic Researches, Vol. I. page I.
diously founded more on the Orthoepy, than Orthography, of their respective character and language, the latter hath nevertheless been treafed with due attention on many occafions; to avoid, if poffible, the folid objections that may be started against the rigid adoption of either of thefe guides, to the entire exclufion of the other. Conformably to the first Afufool doulu (the present Nuwwab) unbur amber, purduh a curtain,kih that, tuqwee piety, fuloot prayer will ever be found, in the prefent work, thus, Afuf ood doulu (or Afu food doulu) umbur, purdu, ki, Moofa, tuqwa, fulat; the natives invariably pronouncing them in this way, as nobody, furely, would distract a foreigner with colonel (kurnil) who barely wished to learn the oral denomination of a gentleman holding fuch a rank in our fervice; were more required, Sheridan could cafily be confulted, and the foregoing examples being also inserted in their original fymbols, the inquifitive reader is enabled at the fame time to acquire their actual orthography, should he be at all folicitous about it here, which, I imagine, will very seldom be the cafe. On the contrary, r hawun (or buwan) a mortar, fufeel a rampart, gooful a lock, will be found fo in the Dictionary; although by a general, but vitious, metathefis, they might be more familiarly written humam, fufeel, qõõluf; and to prevent the introduction of heterogenous vowels in words like araç I prefer this mode, to azmaish, khooh, which may perhaps be a trifle nearer the true pronunciation, but would break in upon the fyftematical restriction of e, to and i to zer: a folicitude that (fhould it lead me in one or two very trivial inftances, a little aftray,) will probably in the end conduce much to the learner's improvement, by preferving the general conformity between the primitive and typical letters exhibited in the sketch below. The above will tend to illuftrate the principles on which my scheme is conducted; but to dwell longer upon it in this place, would be anticipating what properly belongs to the alphabet itself. I who fee the abfurdity of being wedded fo far to my own method, as to imagine it will ever be generally followed, naturally expect, that it must take the chance of being treated with the fame freedom, that has been used by myself with regard to others: an event rather to be wished for than deprecated, fince no
,Moofee Mores موسی
آرایش ,khoob pleafant خوش ,asmael trial, khood felf آزمایش ,ornament
thing injures fcience fo much, as a fervile and implicit reliance on the la bours of those who have preceded us, in any branch of literature whatever. If the fubject now treated of, can never arrive at perfection, a spirit of exertion, and enquiry, becomes the more requifite, for its progreffive improvement, to the ne plus ultra, that may foon be reasonably expected from the united efforts of our indefatigable countrymen in this extenfive empire; won by their valour, fupported by their wisdom, and which will most likely be better managed, and longer preserved, by our becoming every day more intimately acquainted with the languages, laws, religion, manners, policy, and interefts, of its innumerable and multifarious inhabitants.
The prefent work being expreffly defigned for the improvement and advantage of British subjects only, a general or continental pronunciation has been little attended to; fuch foreigners, however, as may honour the orthographical table and notes with a careful perufal, will perceive that they are by no means neglected; though I have certainly left them the merit and trouble of expreffing or illustrating my system, in whatever way, may be deemed most congenial with their own language and its immediate symbols. When English letters are used to denote founds here which they never have in that language, an arbitrary mark (b) enlarges, reftricts, or varies their powers; that each may have its own feparate and diftinct character, and this its definite appropriated found; whence every Hindooftanee word may be uniformly and easily rendered, by annalogous representative figns, as all our combinations, and letters, already adapted to my purpose, are affiduously retained; while every one that is fervile, mute, ambiguous, unneceffary, and fuperfluous, has either been modified or expunged, but with the caution and judgement requifite to all innovations: it having been
(6) ď, ř, ž, with their aspirates ďh, řh, th, are much harsher than our d, r,t,; also aspirated by d1⁄2 &c. which will be made more obvious elsewhere: gh, kh, are the harsh guttural g and k; while gh, kh, exhibit these letters fully aspirated-q alfo is a deep guttural k. The pb in uphill not of Philip. jubaй where, is the French well-known nafal; but in
juhan the world, fung
stone, it is our n of any, fung, &c. the combination ng, being the fame in the Hindooftanec as in our own language: zh is the fof measure. Ŏ and oo are fhort, as in fbook, fbeck; and not the long 00, in toal, toll. Ya, yo, &c. of yawn, yoke. Should this note, however, be confidered premature, nothing can be more eafy than to proceed without it.
my invariable aim to unite fimplicity with precision, that this fubject may, if poffible, poffefs the charms of the one, blended with the utility of the other.. The proper. Hinduwee is, like European languages, the reverse of Perfian, being written and read from left to right, in a character called Naguree, from Nugur, the city in Hindooftan, where it was first used; but by whom or when invented is not ascertained, unlefs we believe, with the Hindoos, that it is the work of the Divinity himself, and was communicated to mankind in the earlieft ages of antiquity. Before the Moofulmans established themselves, their letters and religion, with fire and fword in this country, the Naguree was to India, what the Roman alphabet is now to Europe; but it has long ago been fuperfeded as a general character, by the Arabic, and Perfian.
To facilitate the acquifition of the Hindooftance language, therefore, and to preserve the uniformity requifite in a Dictionary, it became as incumbent on me to apply the foregoing letters even to Hinduwee words, as our lexicographers at home find it neceffary to exhibit the component parts of their feveral languages, whether Grecian, Latin, Celtic, or Saxon, in one uniform way, by the Roman; which, as a general fymbol, is little better qualified than that em ployed here. Every Moofulman and Hindoo, who would affume the office of a moonshee (prop. a writer, fecretary), or teacher of Hindooftance, can read Perfian; whereas few of the former, and not many of the latter even, are at all acquainted with the Hinduwee in its native drefs; however able they may be to decypher it when clothed in the adopted character to which they have long been accustomed.-From what has been obferved above, it is obviously not my intention to be very diffufe on an alphabet confined to the Hinduwee alone;further than connected with the illuftration and detail of my own plan; nor is there the leaft neceffity for giving a fuller account of the Perfian and Arabic, than will be found in the fequel; as the learner who means to be guided by the Roman letters, will never think of attending to the others; while those who do, may with fatisfaction and advantage, confult the two excellent grammars we have of these languages; and it must not be forgotten, that my intention is to teach a foreign tongue, in our own, not its character; this being no further useful than to fupport, and confirm, by the teftimony of the natives, all that I may advance, fince not above five in one hundred readers will take that trouble themselves.