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Greek; glucken, klokken, cioccan, cluck, exclaim German, Dutchman, Saxon and Yankee, all together.
These are only two instances of a thousand, to which I might cite you, were it necessary.
In farther illustration of this principle of imitation, allow me
to relate an incident of recent date, which occurred upon
the borders of one of our western rivers. When the first steamboat ploughed its waters, hitherto unrippled, save by the light canoe, a tribe of Indians that encamped in the vicinity, gathered upon its banks. As the s'iron horse" came panting and puffing up the stream, they gazed in speechless amazement. No sound escaped them, but the Indian's one ejaculation, “ugh!" What thoughts . they had, or in what speculations they indulged, I am unable to inform you. Perhaps they imagined it some anomalous sea-monster, corresponding to the traditionary Mastodon of their native wilds; perhaps a messenger from Manitou; but on it came, snorting and belching a mingled volume of smoke, steam and cinders. As it neared them, and passed, one of them uttered a sound, imitative of the rushing steam; the natives' ready ears caught it, and it rang from mouth to mouth, till it almost brought the fishes up, so loud the din. That sound became a word, and that word a name; and if a Webster should rise up among them, he would hafa ohe more word to enumerate and define, than if no steamboa pahad appeared among them.
Not only is every language constantly receiving accessions." through this channel, but a multitude of tributaries are ever pouring their wealth of words into it. Our own language ! Trace its mighty tide back to the period, ere it was dignified with any other name than English tongue; and farther yet, till you find it, nineteen hundred years by-gone, a detached
dialect of the rude tribes that roamed over Britain. Now,
_"*from the dim church-tower,
In England's olden time !" Knowing the assimilating influence of a common language, the Conqueror made the Norman-French, the language of court and camp; and though the sturdy Saxons resisted as they best could, such cruel innovation, yet despite their op. position, much of Norman refinement was blended with Sax. on strength. In 1453, we find the crescent-banner floating
† Fire-covering bell, rung at 8 P. M. at which signal, the fires were to be extinguished.
from the towers of Constantinople; and the Greeks fleeing before the Turkish scimetar, are dispersed over Europe, bearing with them, what they could not leave behind them, their language, which undoubtedly had an influence upon our vernacular.
Soon we find such men as Dante, Petrarch and Ariosto, giving character and importance to the Italian, which, being diffused over Europe, necessarily produced an effect upon the English. In the fifteenth century, Spain occupied a conspicuous place among the nations, and contributed her share to the wealth of our tongue. Trace it down to the 18th century, when a new impulse was given to the Natural Sciences; when the Astronomer discovered new worlds; the Botanist, new plants; the Chemist, new minerals, and the Philosopher, properties of matter before unknown. Thus a mul. titude of terms, gathered from many tongues, enriched the treasures of our literature. Intercourse with foreign nations must not be omitted; the American Government has, at the present time, near two hundred officers in the different courts of foreign countries. Such are a few of the agents which are ever acting to modify and enrich a language.
“Ah! who can hope his line should long
Last in a daily changing tongue?” Look at the English language as it now is. So extended and copious, that no thought need go naked and be repressed, for want of a word to clothe it; no idea is necessarily confined at home, because there is no term to express it, but clothing for all sorts of thoughts is ready for use, large and small, for infancy and age. It is the language of a vast portion of the new world, while it is spoken in the mightiest kingdom of the old. To it, the muscular Saxon has given his gutturals, and the Dane his vowels. The Greek has contributed strength
and expressiveness; the Italian, melody; and the French, his liveliness. War has drawn many of its characteristics in blood; aggression has grafted new terms upon it; commerce brings her gleanings, scholars polish, and time modifies it.
Connection between natural and artificial language-Elements
of artificial language-Glottis or unwel sounils—The brain the organ of language-O'Kelly's parrot— Vocal tubes Marshaling the Alphabet.
With this sketch of the progress of our language, which, brief as it is, has extended farther than I designed, I must pass to a notice of the sounds which are employed in artificial spoken language. - As we have already remarkci, between natural and artificial language, there is no intermediate chasm, or bridgeless gulf to be o’orlcaped; but the transition is easy, and the connection indissoluble. In the former class, we find expressions of fear, and exclamations of delight; in the latter, we find - these very sounds composing its material. Indeed coughing, sneezing, shrieking and laughing, all contribute their shares to the fund of artificial language. The child of tender age, or the wild man, (if such a one there be,) each rings his changes of boisterous mirth upon the syllables "ha! ha! he! he! hi! hi! ho ! ho !" and these very sounds are the constituents of artificial, vocal language. The Interjection of the Grammars, or as it may, with greater propriety, be termed, the
Exclamation, though a place is assigned to it, among human inventions, strictly belongs to the species which has already been discussed. The expression of emotion, rather than of thought, if we continuo to give it a name and a place in arti. ficial language, it must be as the link that binds the two great divisions together.
All the changes which time and the elements have wrought on lake, river and plain, tracing the deep-worn furrows of six thousand years upon the fair face of Nature-all the rev. olutions which have telegraphed the ages as they roll, and all the different phases of thought, feeling and action, which ev. ery new generation of man has presented, all these have been unable to modify, multiply or improve these elements of artificial language. I refer to the glottis, vocal, or as they are commonly called, vowel sounds. Whatever of ful. ness, clearness, clegance, or life, belongs to the artificial medium, is derived directly from the natural. These ele. ments are actually heard in the voice of the dog, the bird, and the infant; in the infant, I mean, whatever may be its vernacular; whether it dangles from the back of an Esquimaux mother, or plays upon the banks of the Ganges. These voice or vowel sounds, are the fluid material of all artificial languagc, which would naturally flow on, in a current of continuous sound, did not the skill of man, form, limit and distinguish it. On the other hand, the mouth-sounds or consonants compose all that is strictly artificial in spoken language; here the superiority of our race is clearly seen; not in the ear, not perhaps in the vocal organs, but something infinitely nobler than mcre dust, however, refined :-intellectual pre-eminence. That man might produce and combine these sounds, giving casc and elcgance to the frame-work of lan. guage, otherwise unyielding and awkward, without evincing