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variance with, each other. For deduction and induction are neither more nor less than the spiritual and the natural (or sensual) processes of reason; and when true order rules, in which the spiritual and natural man act in harmony, it is clear that their modes of thought and reasoning will also be found at one.
It is this Theoretical, or Rational, phase of science therefore, which must needs be most deeply interesting to those who believe that nature and the natural world are, and should be, subordinate to spirit and the spiritual world ; and comparatively little as this element of true rationality has as yet asserted its sway in the scientific world at large, we rejoice to see, in the latest developments of more than one branch of science, symptoms of preparation for this highest stage of scientific progress, in which its essential harmony with spiritual truth may be triumphantly brought to light. It is this aspect of the Science of Language which has chiefly rivetted our attention in Professor Müller's most able, and we think we may safely add, truly rational work.
But before dealing with this, it will be necessary rapidly to glance at the ground covered by these Lectures, as preparing the way for that theory of Language, in respect to its nature and origin, which it is their crowning aim to enunciate. And, first, the author undertakes to vindicate the right of the Science of Language to rank as a physical or natural, and not as a merely historical, science. The difference between physical and historical science he thus defines :
“ There are two great divisions of human knowledge, which, according to their subject matter, are called physical and historical. Physical science deals with the works of God; historical science with the works of man.” (p. 22.)
Thus, the science of optics, including all the laws of light and colour, is a physical science ; whereas the science of painting, with all its laws of manipulation and colouring, being that of a man-created art, is a purely historical science. In the former of these divisions no place has yet been assigned to the science of language; but this Mr. Müller regards as a mistake, the science of languages, or philology, having hitherto been confounded with the science of Language—the science, that is, of men's modes and habits, with the science of the God-given faculty, of speech. These two he desires carefully to distinguish; inasmuch as it is the latter alone which can claim to rank as a physical science. He protests, therefore, against the idea that the student of language need necessarily be a great linguist :
“We do not want to know languages, we want to know language; what language is, how it can form a vehicle or an organ of thought; we want to know its origin, its nature, its laws; and it is only in order to arrive at this knowledge that we collect, arrange, and classify all the facts of language that are within our reach." (pp. 23, 24.)
For, from the definition of physical science already given, it is clear that the origin of language can alone decide the claim of the science which treats of it, to be classed as such ; since if language be of human invention the plea cannot be sustained. The nature of the origin of language is, therefore, of primary importance for our.author's point of view; and we need scarcely say that he entirely rejects the idea that man invented language.
“ The generally received opinion on the origin of language is that which was held by Locke, which was powerfully advocated by ADAM SMITH in his Essay on the Origin of Language, appended to his Treatise on Moral Sentiments, and which was adopted, with slight modifications, by DUGALD STEWART. According to them man must have lived for some time in a state of mutism, his only means of communication consisting in gestures of the body, and in the changes of countenance, till at last, when ideas multiplied that could no longer be.pointed at with the fingers, 'they found it necessary to invent artificial signs, of which the meaning was fixed by mutual agreement.'” (pp. 29, 30.) And it may well excite surprise that this theory should ever have obtained general acceptance, and especially should have deceived the penetration of such acute and sagacious thinkers as those above named, when we see its utter want of rational foundation unveiled by Professor Müller's simple remark, that
“No one has yet explained how, without language, a discussion on the merits of each word, such as must necessarily have preceded a mutual agreement, could have been carried on.” (p. 31.)
Equally untenable, as a theory of the origin of language, he considers the view propounded by some theologians, who, “more orthodox even than the Bible,” which teaches that Adam, and not the Creator, gave names to all things, would assign to it a divine source, as being specially taught or revealed by God to man:
They do not see that, even if all their premisses were granted, they would have explained no more than how the first man might have learned a language, if there was a language ready-made for him. How that language was made would remain as great a mystery as ever.” (p. 331.)
Any true science of Language, therefore, must be based on some very different ground from either of the above theories; and it is to the preparation and demonstration of such ground that the whole of this very able work, consisting of nine lectures originally delivered before the Royal Institution, is directed.
In pursuance of the view that language is no mere human invention, the author points out and strongly insists on the fact, that individual languages have in all cases grown, and not been made; have developed, that is, in accordance indeed with the varying needs and states of mankind, but in a mode as little subject to human volition, as are the laws of circulation, or assimilation, in the human body. This growth of language comprises two distinct processes, which he designates as Dialectical Regeneration and Phonetic decay; the former being the activity of the creative element in language, which gives birth to new words or forms of expressions, as new external impressions, or newly developed thoughts or feelings, call them forth; the latter being the result of those modifications and transformations of words and expressions, in which the clear signification is sacrificed to euphony, brevity, or convenience ; as in the case—to give a familiar example of the word “twenty," which stands for “ Iwo tens." Mere cripples of words," as Professor Müller humorously calls them, thus remain, which have lost the power of expressing their own meaning; and need to be explained by tracing up, often through several different languages, the various stages of corruption through which they have passed. How significant are these two processes respectively, of the creative activity of the will and its affections, and of the formative, adaptive powers of the intellect; which last, when we in like manner sacrifice the internal to the external, and separate the knowledge from the love and practice of truth, the appearance from the living reality of good, make of us, too, mere spiritual abortions and cripples, no longer conscious of, or capable of diffusing upon others, the beauty and beneficence of that Divine Love and Wisdom of which we were by creation designed to be living representative images.
Space forbids our following Professor Müller through the interesting chapters, in which he traces up and exemplifies this two-fold process of growth in the three great families of speech into which modern authorities—among whom he himself stands in the first rank—divide known languages, and which we must be content briefly to indicate by name:1. The Indo-European or Aryan, including Zend, Sanscrit, Persian, Hindì, and all the cognate Oriental tongues; with Greek, Latin, Celtic, Teutonic, in a word, all European tongues, with the exception of the Finnic, and, so far as it may be considered European, the Turkic: 2. The Semitic, including the Arabic, Hebraic, and Syriac: and 3. The Turanian, including all the nomad Asiatic tongues, Mongolic, Tungusic, Samoyedic, Turkic; and in Europe, the Finnic, which include the Lapp, Esthonian, and Magyar languages; also the Tamulic, Taic, and Malaic, wbich latter include the dialects of the Polynesian tribes.
But in this, which Prof. Müller terms the Genealogical classification of tongues, no place is assigned to the aboriginal dialects either of Africa or America (nor apparently, to the Chinese language), but all languages whatever he includes in his Morphological classification; which classifies tongues according to the various modes in which the roots, to which all alike
may be reduced, are combined together to form words. All roots, he tells us
“All those . . . component elements of language which remain in our crucible at the end of a complete grammatical analysis, are of two kinds, namely, Roots predicative and Roots demonstrative.” (p. 238.) The former are principal or substantive, the latter, secondary or qualifying. From roots, thus classed, three and only three, distinct forms of language can arise. First, the Radical, which Professor Müller considers the purest; "language comme il faut," as he expresses it; in which every separate word is a root, or pure monosyllabic utterance; which bears its own substantial meaning, and suffers no change whatever in its combinations with other roots to form compound words. The sole representative of this class is the Chinese, in which every monosyllable has its distinct meaning, and which, when a complex idea requires expression, effects it by employing the words that express its various parts ; thus for twenty in Chinese, we find simply the words "two” and “ten,” used conjointly (Eul-shi, two-ten). Second, the Terminational (to which the whole Turanian family belongs), in which, in the combination of roots, the secondary or demonstrative root is suffered to lose its integrity. And Third, the Inflectional, embracing both the Indo-European and Semitic families, in which both predicative and demonstrative roots lose their integrity in the process of combination, so that the constituent parts no longer express a substantive meaning. Under these three heads all languages and dialects known, or that may yet be discovered, must of necessity range themselves, according to their inherent construction. The first stage excludes phonetic corruption altogether; the second allows it in the demonstrative or secondary root; the third allows it in both; and is thus, according to Prof. Müller, the lowest stage of corruption a language can reach. Yet—and here again we meet a striking and beautiful correspondence—it is precisely at this stage, sometimes also appropriately called the Organic stage, that lan. guage acquires the greatest power and plasticity, and becomes subservient to the requirements of the loftiest and most enlightened intellects. All the tongues of all the most highly civilized nations of the world belong to this class. Such, in this progressive degeneration of language, to what so paradoxically becomes its highest and most perfect state, is the correspondence to that degeneration of the human race from its original condition of innocence, which nevertheless, by the successive development of all the human faculties in turn, renders man susceptible, in the lowest state to which it was possible for humanity to
fall, of being raised by regeneration to a far higher spiritual state than that originally forfeited. Theologians are found who lament the golden age of the infancy of mankind, even as our author appears disposed to lament that of the infancy of language, but in either case the innocence, the perfection forfeited, is that of ignorance, that of the child ; whereas, that still attainable is the perfection of wisdom, the innocence of the matured and chastened mind, which knows “ to refuse the evil and to choose the good.” Language may indeed lose its “self-consciousness," if we may so express it (the inherent power, that is, of each word and part of a word to express its own meaning), and man must subordinate his self-consciousness and self-will, in the process of regeneration ; but language like man was not created for self; and the loss is in fact a gain for the higher ends of existence in both cases.
But to return. We have said that all languages alike may be traced up to what philologians are agreed to call Roots, which are neither more nor less than monosyllabic words, dívided into various classes according to the number and arrangement of their vowels and consonants; all roots consisting of more than one syllable are not, Professor Müller considers, pure, but only derivative roots.
Of these roots he says• Let us now look back to the result of our former lectures. It was this. After we had explained everything in the growth of language that can be explained, there remained in the end, as the only inexplicable residuum, what are called roots. These roots formed the constituent elements of all languages. * What, then, are these roots ?” (pp. 342, 343.)
Here at last we touch the important question of the origin of language. How account for these primitive articulate sounds? Two theories have been propounded, on which we shall but briefly touch, referring our readers to the work itself for the ample grounds on which it rejects them both. One theory, called the Imitational, or Onomatopoetic, supposes roots to have been imitational applications, as names, to natural objects, of the sounds these produced, and this Prof. Müller whimsically but appropriately calls the Bow-wow theory; but then, as he reminds us, we do not, in point of fact, call the animal which barks a bow-wow, but a dog. The other, or Interjectional theory, supposes all articulate sounds to have been developed from interjections—Ah! Bah! Oh! and the like; but this Prof. Müller styles the Pooh-pooh! theory, and truly remarks that there is no more connection between the word “to laugh" and the interjection “ha! ha!” than between the noise produced by the act of sneezing and the word “to sneeze.”
But what, then, are these roots ? And this brings us to Professor Müller's own theory, for which we venture to bespeak all the attention