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Post Svo, pp. viii.—266, cloth, price gs.
LINGUISTIC ESSAY S.
BY CARL BEL, Ph.D.
Language as the Expression of National The Connection between Dictionary and
Language for all Slavs. The English Verbs of Command.
The Order and Position of Words in the The Discrimination of Synonyms.
Proving the signification of words and forms to reflect a nation's general view of the universe, the Author advocates a psychological study of language, to supplement the prevailing formalism of ordinary grammar. To this end English and other familiar linguistic notions are tested by a new method of national and international analysis, which combines the dictionary and the grammar; the origin of language and the primitive significance of sounds are unravelled in essays, containing striking results of etymological research; while in the connection between philology, pyschology, and politics, the bearing of linguistic lore upon the general concerus of mankind is conclusively evidenced. The most enjoyable faculty in the exercise, but, frequently, the one least enjoyed in the study, speech, in these treatises is shown to constitute at once the most faithful and the most attractive record of the history of the human, and more especially the national, mind.
Opinions of the Press. “Dr. Abel maintains, with justice, that sounds do not constitute a language until sense and meaning are breathed into them, and that, consequently, in linguistic investigation we must have regard quite as much to psychology as to phonology. Language is the mirror in which the ideas and beliefs of a people are reflected, and in dealing with it we cannot afford to forget this fact. Dr. Abel's views on the origin and growth of speech
are best exemplified in an essay which is now published for the first time.
The attractive style and admirable English of Dr. Abel, give his views an unusually good chance of being heard.”— Academy.
“No doubt it is to the discovery that all phonetic changes are regulated by strict law that modern linguistic science owes its origin; no doubt, too, the chief progress hitherto made in the scientific study of language has been upon the physiological rather than upon the psychological side of speech ; but this ought not to blind us to the importance of a psychological investigation of the words we utter, and the necessity of discovering the laws which regulate the development of ideas and significations. This is the task to which Dr. Abel has devoted himself, and carried out in the series of works prefixed to this article. The student of comparative philology will welcome the presence of so honest and learned a labourer in a field which has been generally left to the poet or the untrained dilettante.” -A. H. SaYcE in Academy.
“We part with Dr. Carl Abel with feelings of great pleasure, and we trust that his volume will have the sale, both in England and Germany, that it well deserves.”—Evening News.
Die allgemeine Grammatik beabsichtigt nur den allgemeinen Sinn der fremden Sprache zum Zwecke ungefähren Uebersetzens zu lehren, oder, wo sie tiefer greift, isolirte Punkte der Etymologie, Synonymik oder Syntax zu erklären, ohne den das Geistige erst recht aufdeckenden Zusammenhang mit allem verwandten Geistigen zur Geltung zu bringen. Abel dagegen verlangt, und eben hierin ist er, so viel ich sehe, bahnbrechend, dass wir uns über dies mehr formale Verfahren erheben und durch Vereinigung des Wörterbuchs und einer umfassenden Synonymik mit der Grammatik vor allem den sachlichen Bedeutungsgehalt der Wörter ins Auge fassen. Er will die in einer Sprache niedergelegten Anschauungen eines Volkes nach ihrem Inhalte gruppiren, den Bedeutungen der selbstständigen Worte eine umfassende Bearbeitung zukommen lassen, von der Vergleichung einiger weniger Synonyma auf die gemeinsame Behandlung der Wörter ganzer Gedankenklassen übergehen, gleichviel welchem Redetheile sie angehören, hierauf endlich mehrere Sprachen in derselben Weise behandeln und zuletzt die Ergebnisse unter einander vergleichen. Ueberall erweitert sich die Sprachkenntniss zur Sachkenntniss; wir erhalten neue Aufschlüsse über die Veränderungen der Gedanken und Gesinnungen, wir bereichern unsere eigene Anschauungen.”—Professor NERLICH in National Zeitung, December 13, 1882.
“Dieses Buch gehört zur Literatur des In- und des Auslandes ; denn es hat einen deutschen Verfasser, ist zum Teil aus dem Deutschen übersetzt und wird eine Zierde der englischen wissenschaftlichen Literatur sein. Wir kennen den Dr. Abel längst als einen der Seltenen, welche zugleich durch Strenge der wissenschaftlichen Methode und Sicherheit des empirischen Takts, wie durch Feinheit des Sprachgefühls, in das Wesen einzelner Sprachen mit der Absicht und mit dem Erfolge eindringen, das Wesen menschlicher Sprache überhaupt tiefer zu erkennen. Denn auch von dem grösseren Werke des Verfassers über das Koptische abgesehen, durch welches er sich eine Stelle in der vordersten Reihe der deutschen Sprachforscher eworben hat, dessen Würdigung aber über die Grenzen dieses Magazins wie über den sprachlichen Horizont des Referenten hinausgeht, hat sich Dr. Abel, dem deutschen gebildeten Publikum durch einige deutsch geschriebene Abhandlungen, welche in dem vorliegenden Buche englisch wieder erscheinen, als ein Meister in der Erweiterung und Vertiefung der Bedeutungslehre bekannt gemacht.”—Professor LAZARUS in Magazin f.d. Literatur d. In- und Auslandes, Nov. 3, 1883.
" This is an extremely interesting volume. . . . The author's ultimate object is to render philology a comparative conceptology of nations ; and all his essays are so thoughtful, so full of happy illustrations, and so admirably put together, that we hardly know to which we should specially turn to select for our readers a sample of his workmanship. His first Essay, on · Language as the Expression of National Modes of Thought,' is quite a model of sound and suggestive criticism ; and not less admirable is the third Essay, which deals with the English verbs of command. Very striking, too, is the Essay on the Conception of Love in some Ancient and Modern Languages.
-The Tablet, July 29, 1882. “ Messrs. Trübner & Co., of London, have just published a volume of Linguistic Essays, by Dr. Carl Abel, of Berlin, who has rapidly taken rank among the first philologists of our time. Language, as not merely the expression, but the embodiment of a nation's general views of men and things, is the theme of the first six Essays. In the seventh Essay he discusses the possibility of a common literary language for the Slav nations. The eighth Essay, on “Coptic Intensification, and the ninth, ‘On the Origin of Language,' discuss the most mystical problem of the philologist by the latest historical light of Egyptian philology. The tenth and last Essay, 'On the Order and Position of Words in the Latin Sentence,' treats very ingeniously and learnedly of the intellectual principles of laws which determine the arrangement of words in a sentence. Dr. Abel is a leader of the ‘Junggrammatische Schule ' fast growing up in Germany, which is endeavouring to promote the growth of psychological linguistics, in contradistinction to the prevailing formalism of elementary and abstract gram
No one would suspect from reading these Essays that he was a Prussian, and not a born Englishman.—The Critic, New York, September
“Dr. Abel's Essays are representative of psychological linguistics, and the English public may be congratulated upon receiving so valuable a book on what in reality is the most conclusive account of the intellectual history of mankind. Max Müller, indeed, notwithstanding the different basis he starts from, adopts a similar method in some of his spirited inquiries; but he speedily leaves the psychological region and goes off in a different direction. Dr. Abel's Essays embrace the entire domain of linguistics. Inquiring into the origin of language by the light of the history of the Egypto-Coptic tongue, he analyses existing languages as the expression of distinct national individualities. The most delicate gradations of thought and feeling, as displayed in the notion of Love by Hebrews, Romans, English, and Russians, are accurately set forth by this learned and most intel. lectual investigator ; vowels are proved to supply a peculiar means of varying significations; the order and position of Latin words in the sentence, an intricate and not easily-controlled subject, is reduced to fundamental laws; the Slav languages, so little known to any except specialists, are discussed to show the expediency of making Russian the common literary medium of the race were any such medium ever introduced, &c. Synonymical, grammatical, lexicographical, and psychological, the wealth of these inquiries is as great as the instruction they convey, and the suggestive charm they exercise upon the student. - Dr. BRUCHMANN in Steinthal's Zeitschrift für Völker psychologie und Sprachwissenschajt-Band xiv., Heft 2, 1882.
“ This book is a somewhat miscellaneous collection of essays by a German scholar, who enjoys considerable reputation as a writer on language in general, and Egyptian philology in particular. His point of view is the psychological side of speech, a field in which Professors Lazarus and Stein
thal have worked with distinguished ability. The author lays down, as the basis of his studies, the proposition that a nation's language is an embodiment of its general views of men and things ; hence a comparative survey of the significations of words in the idioms of different races is a eady means of estimating their relative moral and intellectual qualities. It must be conceded that Dr. Abel has introduced us to a field which promises exceedingly important discoveries, but of which scholars are as yet scarcely beyond the border.”—Literary World, Boston, September 9, 1882.
“Dr. Abel, the author of a new German treatise upon Language, recently published in London, is one of the first philologists in Germany. Though still comparatively a young man, he is a leader of the Junggrammatische Schule, now rapidly recruiting in Germany, the aim of which is to promote the growth of psychological linguistics in contradistinction to the prevalent formalism of elementary and abstract grammar; in other words, to make philology yield fruit as well as leaves. Dr. Abel is one of the few German writers of eminence whose English style never betrays his Teutonic origin. No Englishman writes more faultless or idiomatic English. We see it announced that he is to deliver a course of lectures this season at Oxford, where he will renew his efforts to " cipate philology from the thrall of conventionalism, and to make its waste places blossom as the rose.'”—Harper's Magazine, October 1882.
“Comparative philology has not only solved some curious problems as to the origin and development of certain words, but it has proved an invaluable aid to ethnology, by indicating prominent stages in the history of individual races. Dr. Abel, in the volume before us, has carried the investigation a step further, and discussed the subject from an ethical point of view. His method is to point out how far language is an embodi. ment of a nation's views of men and things. While grammar deals only with the form and arrangement of words, he aims at appreciating the meaning conveyed in the substance as well as the form-in short, at advocating a psychological study of language instead of the ordinary unintelligent and mechanical method of learning.”—Professor PALMER in Standard.
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Post 8vo, pp. 568, with Map, cloth, price 16s.
THE INDIAN EMPIRE : ITS HISTORY, PEOPLE,
Being a revised form of the article “India," in the “Imperial Gazetteer," remodelled into chapters, brought up to date, and incorporating
the general results of the Census of 1881.
By W. W. HUNTER, C.I.E., LL.D.,
“The article 'India,' in Volume IV., is the touchstone of the work, and proves clearly enough the sterling metal of which it is wrought. It represents the essence of the 100 volumes which contain the results of the statistical survey conducted by Dr. Hunter throughout each of the 240 districts of India. It is, moreover, the only attempt that has ever been made to show how the Indian people have been built up, and the evidence from the original materials has been for the first time sifted and examined by the light of the local research in which the author was for so long engaged."-Times.