Page images
PDF
EPUB

elucidate the local dialects, have submitted interesting papers, which will now be read; after which M. de Rosny, the distinguished President of the last Congress, desires to offer some observations.

In connexion with this branch I may call attention to the dictionary of the Chinese dialect of Amoy, by the Rev. Carstairs Douglas (1873), which possesses this remarkable quality, that the Chinese signs are represented by Roman characters, an ingenious experiment, carrying out in some degree the suggestions thrown out in the President's Address for the adoption of an alphabet suited to all languages. I may also notice the Rev. Dr. Legge's translation of the Chinese classics, comprising seven works, and filling eight volumes, five of which have appeared, as of the greatest value to every one engaged with the literature of the Celestial Empire. Dr. Legge is still continuing his valuable labours.

Of the T'hai languages I can say little, and of the Malayan still less. Leyden's essay on the Indo-Chinese languages, in the tenth volume of the Asiatic Researches, gives an excellent compendium of their affinities, as applicable now as at the time it was written. The Journal of the Eastern Archipelago, commenced in 1847, will be found a storehouse of information, to which I can confidently refer any one desirous of becoming better acquainted with them. The work was edited by Mr. J. R. Logan, he himself being a principal contributor, particularly in the departments of philology and ethnology, in which he did not confine himself to the topographical limits indicated by the title of the serial, but extended his investigations to the languages of India as well. After carrying the Journal through eleven volumes, it closed abruptly with the issue of the first part of the twelfth, in 1859. In the fifth volume will be found a notice of the T'hai Grammar of Bishop Pallegoix, Vicar Apostolic in Siam (1850).

I will now call on Professor Hunfalvy to read his paper.

ON THE STUDY OF

THE TURANIAN LANGUAGES.

BY PROFESSOR HUNFALVY.

The notion of the Turanian languages generally accepted by the linguistic literature of this country is as ill-defined as its results are in the whole of a negative character. But, I believe, a description of any of those languages, showing clearly the relations existing between that and other ones belonging to the same group, may conduce to some positive results, which will be of great value in the classification of languages. For both these purposes I choose Hungarian, examining firstly the fundamental stock of words in its vocabulary, and then the grammatical forms of the words. The other languages with which the Hungarian words will be compared are the Vogul, the Ostiak, and the Finnish.

The fundamental portion of the vocabulary of every language consists of words which denominate the parts of the human body, the principal events of physical and moral life, the facts and phenomena of nature, the first elements of social life, economy, industry, religious belief, and science, the numerals, the pronouns and (pre-or) post-positions. The last two categories of words lead us to the grammar, about which any considerable mistake is almost impossible.

A.

HUMAN BODY.

og sem

szem

sem

suu

[ocr errors]

17 span

arasz

ENGLISH. HUNGARIAN. VOGUL. OSTIAK. FINNISH. 1 head

fej, föv, f8
pong

pää
2 cranium
agy

aju 3 eye

silmä 4 tear köny (sem-vit)

kyynö 6 ear

fül
pal

pal 6 mouth száj

sop

(ong) 7 tooth

fog
ponk penk

pii 8 tongue nyelv

n'elm

n'alim (kieli) 9 throat

tor-ok
tur
tor

turkku 10 gum, jaw iny

egn

angen 11 skin

haj
sau

sah 12 hair

fan
pun

pun 13 hand

kéz
kat

käte (kasi)
14 arm, elbow,
bosom öl

tal
tel

syli
15 finger
új, újj tul'c

luj

(sormi) 16 ring-finger nevetlen újj nimtal tul'c nemla luj

nimitön (sormi)

soros 18 elbow könyök

kavan kynärä 19 breast melly majl

mejl 20 liver

máj
majt

mugol maksa 21 mark

vel8
valem

velim ytime
22 blood
vér

vir

veri 23 heart szü, szú sim

syömi, sydäme We may be sure that these twenty-three words do not exhaust all the terms for the parts of the human body. Every language has some words peculiar to it, every one has certainly lost some words of the common stock. For instance, in the old Hungarian translation of the Bible (about 1466) we find the word tügy cheek,' which corresponds to the Finnish tykö apud,' penes.' In Modern Hungarian this word tügy is quite obsolete.

Besides the resemblance of the words themselves, we must also observe the mutations of sounds; such mutations, following definite rules, are always the surest proofs of the genealogical relationship of languages.

The initial consonant of the words numbered 1, 5, 7, 12 is in Hungarian f, in the other languages p. We may expect, then, that this will generally be the case."

ver

sam

6

6

[ocr errors]

1 1. F=P.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1

At the end of the words numbered 8, 16, the Hungarian has v, the others m. The Hungarian név .name,' becomes in the others nem, nim; hence Hungarian nev-etlen is there nem-tal. (The 'ringfinger' is called in these languages the finger without a name.' We shall find opportunity to recur to this fact.)' In such words the Hungarian v orj is sometimes absorbed by a long vowel; hence 21, velő for velej in Vogul and Ostiak, is valem, velim; and 23, szü for szú is in the others sim, sam, syömi, or sydäme. In corresponding words we find also p for v, j; for instance 6, the Vogul sop 'mouth,' becomes in Finnish suu, as if it were suv or suj, in Hungarian száj

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

B.

PHYSICAL AND MORAL LIFE.

In citing verbs I cite the roots, not the infinitive. When a syllable or letter does not belong to the root, attention is called to the fact.

ENGLISH.

HUNGARIAN.

VOGUL.

OSTIAK,

FINNISH.

[blocks in formation]

31 to go

men

man lol unl

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

24 soul

lél-ek 25 mind

ész 26 to live

él 27 to be, exist val 28 to die

hal 29 to hear

hall 30 to lie

hál

men 32 to stand úll 33 to sit

ül 34 to swim

U-SZ 35 to regard né-z 36 to see

lát 37 to do

te', tev 38 to eat

e', ev 39 to drink 40 to bear

vi', viv 41 to take ve', vev 42 to become, to be le', lev 43 to believe hi', hiv 44 to call

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

uj nähvaat (Esthonian) teh syö juo vie ot lie

te
aj
vi
vi
jejm-t
äu-t, ag-t
vau
tel
nál

比团n.

li
ja
vi
vi
ji
ev-il
vog
ti, ti-il
nel

[ocr errors]

hiv 45 to be borne szül-et 46 to swallow nyel

!

synt
niel

1 II. Final v or j=m, sometimes =p.

ENGLISH.

HUNGARIAN.

VOGUL.

OSTIAK.

FINNISH.

pul pol' pel

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

lel

mar

vesz

uos

[ocr errors]

ant

47 to lick nyal

n'ol-id

nuol 48 to flow fú

pu

puh 49 to freeze faz

pot 50 to fear fél

pil

pelj 51 voice

szó
suj

sij 52 to speak szól

sujt

sijal 53 to read, count olv-as

lau
lung-

luk 54 to stand up

kel
kval
kil

käy 55 to kill

öl
al

vel 56 to find

löy 57 to shut


li
jou-t

luo 58 to bite

pur
pur

pur 59 to vanish

uš 60 to make vanish vesz-t

uos-t

uš-t 61 to laugh

mev-et, nev-et mau-int noh 62 sleep, dream álom

ulem

olim, ulim 63 to sleep

alu, alv aj (al) 64 to dream álmod ajlmät 65 to ascend hág

kang

kang 66 to give ad

The word numbered 24 lél-ek, lil, soul,' offers us an opportunity for observing the difference between formative syllables and suffixes. The formatives joined to the roots form different categories of words, and can be added on one after another. For instance, the root lél, with the formative k, becomes lélek, to which other formatives (such as i, é, etlen, ú, ség) can be joined, as lelk-i belonging to the soul'; lelk-es having a soul,' lelk-etlen being without soul,' lelk-ż which is always preceded by some adjective, as kis lelkü “low-minded,' nagy lelkü 'great-minded,' lelk-es-ség and lelki-ség, abstract substantives, meaning soulhood, if such a term were allowable. .

The suffixes do not form new words; they are only exponents of the different relations in which the words stand to one another. For this reason they cannot be added on one after the other. The suffixes constitute the “ cases” of the nouns and the terminations of the verbs. In the words hitherto cited, or which may hereafter be cited, formatives may sometimes be found, but never suffixes.

Having made the foregoing observations, we now cite as examples the words numbered 9, 18, 24, where the Hungarian words appear with the formative k; other examples will follow.

Continuing our observations upon the mutations of sounds, we find that in 28, 29, 30, 65, the initial of the Hungarian words is h,

[ocr errors]

6

« PreviousContinue »