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is also true, as Fuller further observes, that he found it“ very very bad.” The great poetical merit of Chaucer, the popular character of his subjects, and his own high social position, gave him an ascendency in the rising literature of England that scarcely any subsequent writer has attained ; and there is perhaps no English author who has done more to mould, or rather to fix, the standard of the language, and to develop its poetical capabilities, than this great genius.* From this period to the introduction of printing by Caxton, and the consequent diffusion of classical literature in England, about the close of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century, the language remained nearly stationary; but at that period a revolution commenced, which was promoted by the Reformation, and, for a hundred years, English was in a state of transition. At the close of the period to which I have proposed to apply the name Middle-English, or about the year 1575, that revolution had produced its first great and most striking effect upon the structure and vocabulary of our tongue, and thus rendered possible the composition of such writings as those of the great theologian and the great dramatist, which signalized the commencement of the last and greatest era of our literature. English now became fixed in grammar and vocabulary, so far as a thing essentially so fleeting as speech can ever be said to be fixed, and for nearly three centuries it has undergone no very important change. Our orthography has indeed become more uniform, and our stock of words has been much enlarged, but he that is well read in Spenser, Hooker, and Shakespeare, not to speak of other great luminaries of that age, and above all, of the standard translation of the Bible, which, however, appropriately belongs to an earlier period, will doubt whether it has gained much in power to expand the intellect or touch the heart. *
* See Lectures i., V., vi., and vii.
Besides the words which express the general subject of the present course, I must here notice certain other terms of art, and apologize for an occasional looseness in the use of them, which the poverty of the English grammatical nomenclature renders almost unavoidable. Our word language has no conjugate adjective, and for want of a native term, English scholars have long employed the Greek derivative, philological, in a corresponding sense. But philology, and its derivative adjective, have acquired, in the vocabulary of Continental science, a different meaning from that which we give them, more comprehensive in one direction, more limited in another, and, to supply the want which a restriction of their earlier sense has created, linguistic or linguistics, a term Latin in its radical, Greek in its form, has been introduced. Philology was originally applied in Germany to the study of the classical languages and literature of Greece and Rome, as a means of general intellectual culture.
In its pres
* "I take this present period of our English tung to be the verie height thereof, bycause I find it so excellently well fined both for the bodie of the tung itself, and for the customarie writing thereof, as either foren workmanship can giue it glosse, or as home-wrought hanling can giue it grace. When the age of our people which now vse the tung so well, is dead and departed, there will another succede, and with the people the tung will alter and change ; which change in the full haruest thereof maie prove comparable to this, but sure for this which we now vse, it seemeth euen now to be at the best for substance, and the brauest for circumstance, and whatsoever shall become of the English state, the English tung cannot prove fairer than it is at this daie, if it maie please our learned sort so to esteme of it, and to bestow their trauell upon such a subject."Mulcaster, First Part of the Elementarie, 159. A. D. 1582.
ent use, it is defined as a “historical science, whose and is the knowledge of the intellectual condition, labors, and products of a nation, or of cognate nations, at particular epochs of general chronology, with reference to the historical development of such nations." * There are, then, not one, namely, a Greek and Roman, but many philologies, as many, indeed, as there are distinct peoples, or families of peoples, whose intellectual characters and action may be known through their languages. In philology thus considered, the study of languages is a means to the end specified in the definition just given. In linguistics, on the other hand, language itself, as one of the great characteristics of humanity, is the end, and the means are the study of general and comparative gram
Every philology is the physiology of a species in language; linguistics, the comparative anatomy of all the several systems of articulate communication between man and man. Linguistics, as a noun, has hardly become an English word. Philology, as used by most English and American writers, embraces the signification of the two words by which, in Continental literature, the study of language is characterized, according to the methods by which, and the objects for which, it is pursued. The adjectives, philological and linguistic, are employed, sometimes interchangeably in the same sense as philology, and sometimes as adjectives conjugate in meaning to the noun language. I shall not attempt, in this course, a strict conformity to Continental usage in the employment of these words, nor, indeed, would it be practicable to do so, until a new adjective shall be coined to relieve one of them of its double meaning; but I shall endeavor so to use them all, that the context or the subject matter will determine the sense which they are intended to bear for the occasion.*
Heyse: Sprachwissenschaft, ff. 17.
From the distinction here pointed out, it results that philology concerns itself chiefly with that which is peculiar to a given speech and its literature, linguistics with those laws and properties which are common to all languages. Philol- . ogy is conversant with distinctions; linguistics with analogies. The course of lectures I am commencing is intended to be strictly philological, and I shall introduce illustrations from the field of linguistics only when they are necessary for etymological reasons, or to make the distinguishing traits of English more palpable by the force of contrast.
* Our English grammatical and philological vocabulary is poor. We have no adjective strictly conjugate to speech, tongue, language, verb, noun, and many other terms of art in this department. Linguistic is a barbarous hybrid, and, in our use, equivocal, as are also the adjectives verbal, nominal, and the like. A native equivalent to the sprachlich of some German writers, corresponding nearly to our old use of philological, as in the phrase, sprachliche Forschungen, where the adjective embraces the meaning both of philologi. cal and linguistic, is much wanted.
PRACTICAL USES OF ETYMOLOGY.
In the last lecture, the distinction made in recent grammatical nomenclature between philology and linguistics was illustrated by comparing the former to the physiology of a single species, the latter to the comparative anatomy of different species. Etymology, or the study of the primitive, derivative, and figurative forms and meanings of words, must of course have different uses, according to the object for which it is pursued. If the aims of the etymological inquirer be philological, and he seek only a more thorough comprehension and mastery of the vocabulary of his own tongue, the uses in question, though not excluding other collateral advantages, may be said to be of a strictly practical character; or, in other words, etymology, so studied, tends directly to aid us in the clear understanding and just and forcible employment of the words which compose our own language. If, on the other hand, the scholar's objects be ethnological or linguistic, and he investigate the history of words for the purpose of tracing the relations between differont races or different languages, and of arriving at those gen