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Perhaps it may seem to the reader that not only the abovenamed English and American philologists have received insufficient consideration, but that the same is true of other foreigners, as for instance those exact scholars of whose views the "Mémoires de la société de linguistique” may be considered the exponent. I cannot wholly deny the justice of this criticism, but the following considerations will serve to explain my course. This book was written with the aim (how far it has been attained, I will leave others to judge) of contributing to the history of the German mind. It is universally acknowledged, by those who have traced the history of German development, that there is an immense gulf between the views of the Germans of today and those prevalent up to the fourth or fifth decennium of this century. This difference of view is almost as great in scientific fields as in the domain of politics. One side of this mighty revolution can be concisely expressed in the statement that we have passed from a philosophical epoch into a historical one. I attempted to show (as no one to my knowledge had done before) that the science founded by BOPP stands in evident connection with the philosophical endeavors of German scholars, and also how it has come about that in linguistic science a sort of metaphysics has arisen, which is at present undergoing a process of dissolution. But at the same time I wished at least to intimate that it is wrong to undervalue endeavors of this nature, since the occasion for such investigations is found in the linguistic material itself, and will probably continue in the future.

I would beg that my estimate of linguistic science and of the great philologists may be judged from this more general stand-point. It was not my intention to write a glorification of linguistic science, but to contribute toward a just estimate of it. My position with regard to the great philologists BOPP, GRIMM and others is as untrammeled as that we occupy to


ward SHAKESPEARE and GOETHE. If a historian of literature asks whether GOETHE possessed dramatic talent in the highest and truest sense, no one will charge him with lack of reverence, but it will be recognized that he has only done his duty in proposing and answering this question. In the same sense I claim for myself the right to investigate what constitutes the actual power of that richly-endowed master to whom we owe the foundation of our science. Whoever reads with unprejudiced mind my sketch of BOPP and SCHLEICHER will, I hope, be impressed with the fact that my pen was guided by both love of truth and a feeling of veneration for these great


With the above remarks I would commend this book to the kind indulgence of the English and American public.


When I began to translate this little book, shortly after its publication, I did not anticipate the various delays and interruptions which have postponed the completion of my task for a whole year. So long a delay might be fatal to the usefulness of a translation, in the case of a work which aimed at a systematic exposition of the whole science of comparative philology, down to the latest development of its smallest detail, and the discussion of all disputed questions relative to both method and practice. A treatise with such an aim in view would require constant revision and extension, and would be completely antiquated in the course of a year. The present work, however, only proposes to exhibit the historical development of the science, and while discussing the chief problems which now present themselves in this field, it does not claim to chronicle all the various attempts to solve them, nor to initiate the reader into the intricate details of a philological warfare which is today raging at its hottest. Therefore this little volume may be said to fulfil its avowed purpose as well at present as it did a year ago.

I was impelled to undertake this translation by the consideration that I had never found a book which appeared to me to give so clear und succinct an account of the rise and development of comparative philology in Germany. It therefore

seemed particularly desirable that this condensed sketch of the progress in linguistic methods should be made accessible to those who are not conversant with German philological literature, more especially to those who are desirous of subsequently devoting more attention to the subject. If this translation shall serve to awaken or strengthen an interest in the science which owes its origin as well as many of its most able representatives to Germany, I shall feel amply repaid for any time and labor spent upon it.

A few words will suffice in explanation of the method I have pursued. My first aim was to render the sense of the German with the utmost possible accuracy, so that if I have erred, it has been on the side of too close adherence to the text of the original. In those instances where trivial alterations have been made, this has occurred with the knowledge and consent of the author, and the same is true of the very few notes I have ventured to add, which are always designated as the translator's. No one who has not made a similar attempt can realize the peculiar difficulties of transferring the German philological nomenclature to the English tongue, where certain of the technical terms, it is true, already have their recognized equivalents, but others are either differently rendered by different scholars, or are not represented at all in the language. In many cases where an important term could not be adequately translated, I have thought it only fair to introduce the German word in brackets. The titles of the German works quoted I have thought it more advisable to repeat in their original shape, since few of these works are translated, and for purposes of reference the German title would be necessary. Whenever Prof. WHITNEY has been quoted, I have naturally referred to his own book, instead of to JOLLY's German translation, and similarly, the extracts from BOPP's Analytical Comparison appear in their original English form, as

well as the remarks of Sir WILLIAM JONES on page 1. Two or three of the longer sentences from CURTIUS' Grundzüge have been quoted in the English translation, in which case the page of the translation has been added in square brackets. In my transcription of Sanskrit words I have adopted the method recommended by Prof. WHITNEY in the "Proceedings of the American Oriental Society” for Oct. 1880, and used by him in his Sanskrit Grammar, which forms the second volume of this series; for Zend, HÜBSCHMANN's transcription, advocated by him in Kuhn's Zeitschrift, 24, page 328 seq., has been employed.

In conclusion, I must express my heartiest gratitude to Prof. DELBRÜCK for the cordial sanction he has given to my undertaking, and above all, to Prof. SIEVERS, who was so kind as to read over the whole translation, and to offer many valuable hints and suggestions. Leipzig, Dec. 1881.


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