Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

degree will Atrike us more immedi. science with a number of new disa ately, if we take the Englith words coveries, confers a second general what, or fuch (as), which answer to benefit, by enriching the language the Latin prouominaladjective Quale, in which he treats of thein, by all and add one of the substantive ter- such terms as fhall be requilite to do minations Choud] or [ness] to either, it in the best manner. to make a philofuphical term of it. " Cicero, repeating his new term 1 ask the severe grammarians, who quolity, adds with great philosophi• . protest against the class of new deri. cal pleasantry, • Faciamus tractando Vatives in the philosophical language usitatius hoc verbum, et tritius. of Linnaeus, to produce among them And it may be said of the terms of a boider example of the creation of natural history, that our elegant claf. a new term,

sical scholars will find their afperi. “And by the same authority, we ties wear off very soon, if, by adding inay defend his impoling new figni, to their former acquisitions a know. fications on old words; for in a few ledge of this new philosophy, they Kues after the conclusion of the ex- make themselves practically versed tract, there occurs a liberty of this in the use of them. There may rekind, and as remarkable as the main some precisely descriptive, former; for Cicero there gives a which may be vet added; some renew sense to the pronominal adjec- formation may be wanted in those rive Quale, in correspondence to that which may have been haftily adopts of his new derivative Qualitas; ufing ed; and from them we may expect it subftantively to fignify any being it. or thing, as compounded of sub " It is to be observed, that these stanice and acciderit, or matter and arguments defend the liberty, not qualities : Et ita effeci quæ appel. the licentiousness, of introducing ilant qualia ; e quibus in omoi na. new ternis; and defend it upon the

tura cohærente, et continuata cum footing of necessity only; and there. soninibus fuis partibus, effectum fore extend that liberty no further effe mundum.'

than such necessity actually ex" It deserves to be reinarked re- tends. specting these innovations, that this ." I had thought to have finished affertion of the legitimacy of the here: but having made so much use practice in all like cases is here put of the authority of the great orna. by Cicero into the mouth of Varro, inent of the Roman forum, the fenthe greatest critic and grammarian timents of the elegant expositor of of the Augustan age; who wrote on our own laws on this subject are uot the Latin language, and addressed to be passed by. These, with a mi. his works to Cicero hin self. nute change to avoid the introduce

“ Hence it appears, that philofo. tion of freih matter, are as follows: ply is not restrained to the use of “This is a technical language calcu. The common terms of any language; “lated for eternal duration, and easy nor, for the same reason, to those of "to be apprehended both in present the historians, orators, dramatic and future times: and on these ac. writers, poets, &c. of that language, !counts best suited to preserve those either separately or conjointly: but, memorials which are intended to . as every art has terms of its own, so perpetuate every discovery in na. has every branch of science.

jural history). It is true indeed, “ Thus he who enriches any that many of the terms of art with 1997:

H

which

• which it abounds, may, as Mr. cam, aut phyficam, aut diale&icam . Selden observes, give offence to appellem, quibus, ut aliis multis, • some grammatical and squeamith consuetudo jam utitur pro Latinis. • ftomachs, who would rather choose Qualitates igitur appellavi, quas

to live in ignorance of things moft WOLOTnias Græci vocant: quod ip• useful and important, than to have sum apud Græcos non est vulgi • their delicate ears wounded by the verbum, sed philosophorum, atque • use of a word unknown to Cicero, id in multis. Dialecticorum vero ver. Salluft, or the oiher writers of the ba nulla funt publica ; suis utuntur. • Augustan age.

Et id quidem commune omnium

ferè eft artium. Aut enim nova « * Cic. Op. omnia, Gronovii.. sunt rerum novarum facienda no

Acad. Quest. L. I.. mina, aut ex aliis transferenda, quod “ 24. *** Dabitis enim profectò, fi Græci faciunt, qui in iis rebus tot ut in rebus inufitatis quod Græci jam fæcula verfantur, quanto id m. jpli faciunt, a quibus hæc jamdiu gis nobis concedendum eft, qui kas tractantur, utamur verbis interdum nunc primum tračiare conamur ? inauditis.

26. Tu verò, inquam, Varro, 25. Nos verò, inquit Atticus, bene etiam meriturus mihi videris, Quin etiam Græcis licebit utere, cum de tuis civibus, fi eos non modo copie voles, li te Latina forte deficient. rerum auxeris ut effecifli, fed etiam Bene fanè facis : sed enitar ut La- verborum. Audebimus ergo, inquit,

tinè loquar, nisi in hujus modi ver. novis verbis uti, te auctore."** 1 bis, ut pbilosophiam, aut rhetori.

OBSERVATION3 on the NATURE of the CHINESE LANGUAGE.

[From SirGEORGE STAUNTON'S ACCOUNT of the EMBASSY to CAINA.]

" THE sounds of several letters - The nice distinctious between

1 in moft alphabets, such as the tones and accents of words near B, D, R, and X, are utterly in ly resembling each other in found, known in the Chinese tongue. The but varying much in fense, require, organs of speech in a native of Chi. no doubt, a nicety of ear to distin. na are not in the habit of pronoun- guill, and of vocal powers to render, cing them. In endeavvuring to ut- them exa&ly. Tu succeed in mak. ter one of these, another to which ing those diftin&tions perfe&tly, a the same organ has been habitualed stranger ihould begin to learn thern is generally founded: instead of the at an early age, while his organs are letter R, the liquid L is usually pro. flexible and acute. A material nounced by a Chinese; who ibus aid, however, towards taking each occasionally falls into ridiculous mil word in its proper fense is afforded takes.' A Chinese dealer in rice, often by the general context of the for example, is sometimes heard to fentence in which they are used. offer for sale what few persons An English reader, for example, would be disposed to purchase. will scarcely recollect, when in con.

· verfation, pressed.

Wersation, he had any difficulty in never says that he will depart to determining whether the idea of sun morrow; because the expression of (which hines), or that of fon (obeythe morrow is sufficient to ascertain ing his father, was meant to be that his departure must be future. conveyed, though the words are not The plural number is marked by to be distinguillied in the pronuncia- the acidition of a word, without tion. Synonymous words are also which the Angular always is implivery frequently introduced in Chi. ed. Neither the memory nor the nele dialogue, as has been before organs of speech are burthened with observed, to prevent any doubt a. the pronunciation of more sounds to bout the intended sense. If, how- expreís ideas, than are absolutely ever, in an intricate discussion, any necesary to mark their difference. uncertainty Thould still remain as to The language'is entirely monosyilathe neaning of a particular exprel. bic. A single syllable always exsion, recourse is had to the ultimate presses a complete idea. Each sylcriterion of tracing with the finger lable may be founded by an Euro. in the air, or otherwise, the form of pean consonant preceding a vowel, the character, and thus asceriaining sometimes followed by a liquid. at once which was meant to be ex. Such an order of words prevents

the harshess of succeeding conso“ The learner of Chinese is, bes nants founding ill together; and Gdes, not puzzled with many minute renders the language as soft and rules of grammar, conjugation, or harmonious as the Italian is felt to declension. There is no necesity of be, from the rarity of consonants, distinguiling, fubitantives, adjec. and the frequency of its vowel tertives, or verbs: nor any accordance miuations. of gender, number; and care, in a “ The first rounds emitted proChinese sentence. That language bably by man, were exclamations furnithes, indeed, a practical proof, consisting of single sounds, or monothat the laborious structure, and in- syllables. The naines, or sounds, tricate machinery of the Greek and by which men may be first fupposed Arabic tongues, are by no means to have distinguished other animals, neceffary either for a complete when occasion offered to designate communication on all the busin them in their absence, were atness of life, or even the grace of lempts at an imitation of the sounds elocution, or to the harmony of peculiar to those beings; and still, verse. The beginning or end of in Chinese, the name, for example, words is not altered,' as it is in the of a cat, is a pretty near resemGreek verb alone, in above one biance of its usual cry. It occurthousand instances, by the times of red as naturally to endeavour, in performing the action meant to be speaking, to innitate the voice, if exprefled, or the cases in which the practicable, as it was in writing, tą things mentioned are intended to be sketch a rude figure of the object of placed. A very few particles de description. It is observable, that pute ihe pait, the present, and the the radical words of most languages, future; por are those auxiliaries em- separated from the servile: leiters, ployed when the intended time may which mark their infections, aço be az erwise inferred with certainty. cording to their conjugations, oc de. A Chinese who means to declare his clensions, are monosyllabic. A part inien,ion of departiog to-morrow, of each radical word is retained in

H2: - concomposition to denote the meaning the written language, there are at and etymology of the con pound, least eighty thousand characters, or which thus becomes polysyllabic; different forms of letters; which but the Chinese grammarians, a• number divided by the first, gives ware of the inconvenierce resulting nearly fifty fenires, or characters, upfrom the length and complication of on an average, tu every sound exsound:, confined all their words, prefied; a disproportion, however, however significant of combined that gives more the appearance, ideas, to fingle sounds; and retain- than the reality, of equivocation and ed only, in writing, some part, at uncertainty :o the oral language of least, of the form of each character the Chinese, Johnson's Englich denoting a simple idea, in the cona. Dictionary affords instances of words pound characters conveying com- taken in upwards of one hundred plex ideas.

different renies, without any doubt “ There is in the Chinese a cer- being thereby felt in English con. tain order, or settled syntax in the versation; where, indeed, if there succession of words in the same len were, no reco!!rle can be had for tences; a succession fixed by custom, ascertaining its precise sense, as in differently in different languages, but the Chinese, to the form of the write founded on no rule or natural order ten character peculiar to each sense of ideas, as has been sometimes up in which the word is received. posed; for though a fen ence con. " The number of words in any filis of several ideas, to be rendered language, or at least of senses in by several words, these ideas all whicb each word is understood, exift and are connected together in muft depend chiefly on the state of the same intrant: forming a picture, civilization to which the people that or imaye, every part oi which is use it are arrived ; and in some deconceived at once. The formation gree also, on the population of the of Chinese sentences' is often the country, and on the arts flourishing 'fimplest and most artless poflible, among them. It is not surprising, and fucli as may naturally have oc. therefore, that the Chinese dictioncurred at the origin of society. To arv Phould contain at least eighty interrogate, for example, is often, at thcurand characters. Perhaps if least, to require the folution of a every sense in which an English question, whether the subject of term is someti:nes received, were doubt be in a particular way, or the confidered as a distinct word, and contrary; and accordingly, a Chin the vaft variety of those employed nese inquiring about his friend's in the different arts and occupations health, will sometimes say hou, pou of lite were taken into the account, hou? The literal meaning of which the number would not be much is, well, uot we'l?' A Gimple cha fewer than that of the Chinese. racter, repeated, stands foincrimes "The characters of the Chinese for more than one of the objects, language were originally traced, in which, fingly, it denotes; and moft inftances, with a view to ex. sometimes for a collective quantity press either real images, or the alle of the lanie thing. The character gorical signs of ideas; a circle, for of mw, lingly, is a tree; repeated, example, for the fun, and a crescent is a thicket; and tripled, is a fo. for the moon. A man was repre•

sented by an erect figure, with lines “ In Chinese, there are scarcely to mark the extremities. It was evi. fitoen hundred diftin&t sounds. In dent that the difficulty and tedious

reft.

nels

nels of imitation will have occasion. nus, of which the representation of a
ed soon a change to traits more fim. curve line approaches somewhat to
ple, and more quickly traced. Of the form of the object; and the
the entire figure of a man, little species referable to it include all the
more than the lower extremities on. sentiments, passions, and affections,
ly continue to be drawn, by two that agitate the buina:1 breast.
lines forming an angle with each Each species is accompanied by
other. A faint resemblance, in some some mark denoting the genus, or
few instances, still remains of the o- heart. Under the genus . hand,' are
riginal forms in the prełent hiero. arranged most trades and manual ex-
glyphic characters; and the grada. ercises. Under the genus 'word,'
tion of their changes is traced in se- every sort of speech, study, writing,
veral Chinese books. Not above understanding, and debate. A ho.
half a dozen of the present charac. rizontal line marks a unit; crossed.
ters confift each of a single line; by another line, it stands for ten, as
but most of them consist of many, it does in every nation which re.
and a few of so many as seventy dif. peats the units after that number.
ferent strokes. The form of those The five elements of which the
characters has not been so flux as Chinese suppose all bodies in nature
the sound of words, as appears in to be compounded, form fo many
the instance of almost all the coun. genera, each of which comprehends
tries bordering on the Chinese fea, a great number of species under it.
or Eastern Asia, where the Chinese As in every compound character, or
written, but not the oral language, species, the abridged mark of the
is understood; in like manner as genus is difceruible by a student of
one form of Arabic figures to de- that language, in a little time, he is
note numbers, and one set of notes enabled to consult the Chinese dic-
for music, are uniform and intelli- tionary, in which the compound
gible throughout Europe, notwith characters, or species, are arranged
standing the variety of its lan- under their proper gevera. The
guages.

characters of these genera are placed
“ A certain order or connection is at the beginning of the dictionary,
to be perceived in the arrangement in an order, which, like that of the
of the written characters of the alphabet, is invariable, and foon be-
Chinese; as if it had been formed comes familiar to the learner. The
originally upon a system to take species under each genis follow
place at once, and not grown up, as each other, according to the num-
other languages, by now and distant ber of strokes of which each coue
intervals. Upwards of two hundred Gsts, independently of the one, or
characters, generally consisting each few, which serve to point out the
of a few lines or strokes, are made genus. The species wanted is thus
to mark the principal objects of na. Toon found out. Its meaning and
ture, somewhat in the manner of pronunciation are given through o.
bihop Wilkins's divisions in his in- ther words in common use, the first
genious book on the subject of uni- of which denotes its signification,
versal language, or real character. and the other, its found. When
These may be considered as the ge. no one common word is found to
nera, or roots of language, in which render exactly the same sound, it is
every other word, or species, in a communicated by two words, with
systematic sense, is referred to its marks, to inform the inquirerthaethe
proper genus. The heart is a ge- consonant of the first word, and the

H3

vowel

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« ZurückWeiter »