Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

lib or lif (Lith. likti ; Goth. aflifnan, linqui, relinqui, remanere ; Goth. laibos reliquiæ), each having the original signification of E. leave, so that eleven and twelve would have to be explained, 'ten remaining, one,''ten remaining, two,' a mode of speech which is generally felt to be little in accordance with the earliest efforts of an uncultivated mind to express these compounds. “It would be to be expected,” says

Professor Wilson, in his note on the passage of Bopp, "if the language wished to designate the numbers eleven and twelve as that which they contain more than ten, they would have selected for combination with one and two, a word which signifies and over,' or 'more,' and not an exponent of the idea to leave, to remain.In accordance with this observation, the Old Slavonic has chetyri na desyati, four over ten, fourteen; the Lapp akta lokke naln (lokko=ten; naln=on, in), one upon ten, eleven. And the meaning which Wilson calls for in the element united with one and two, in order to express eleven and twelve, is precisely that which we have shown to be the original import of the Finnish root lik. The notion of remaining, continuing, is a subsequent development, and is constantly expressed by means of words signifying over, above. Thus we have Lat. superesse, to remain; G. übrig, remaining, left; das übrige, the rest, the remainder, the remaining part; über-schuss, surplus, overplus, residue; (Küttner).

The Lith. lykus, overplus, is given as the theme under which is classed the verb lēkmi, likti, to remain over, to leave. Lat. linquere, relinquere, relictus, is doubtless from the same root, and the Gr. LELTÁ, Ajiravo, from an equivalent root Aun, E. leave, with the usual interchange of k and .

From Lith. likti is formed tekanas, relics, lekas, remaining over, uneven, odd, a word also used in the formation of the ordinal numbers, antras lēkas, the twelfth, treccias Tekas, the thirteenth. Now we use the term odd in English to designate something in excess of a collective number expressed or understood; twenty odd is an uncertain number in excess of twenty and below thirty; two pound odd is an uncertain number of shillings in excess of two pounds. Here

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

the nature of the expression enables us to leave the word shillings to be understood without danger of ambiguity, while in Lith. antras lēkas, literally the second in excess, it is the word ten which has to be understood—the second in excess (of ten).

The numerals eleven, twelve, &c. are expressed in a closely analogous manner in the Finnish dialects. The Lapp, in addition to the expression above mentioned, has akta mubbe lokkai, one in the second ten, i.e. eleven; wuoste mubbe lokkai, the first in the second ten, or eleventh. In Esthon. and Finnish, the word for ten is sometimes expressed and sometimes left understood. Esthon. teist wisi, in another manner; üks teist, or üks teist kummen, one in the second, or one in the second ten-eleven. Finn. yxi-toista, eleven, from toinen, toisen, the second, while the entire sentence is preserved in the expression for the 'twelfth,' toinen toista kymmentå, the second in the second ten.

In accordance with the foregoing I should explain wienolika, dvylika, &c., an odd one, odd two, &c. or one, two, &c. in excess (of ten).

When we compare lēkmi, the first person present, with likti, the infinitive of the Lith. form of the verb to leave, it seems hardly possible to separate the lika of the cardinal rank, wienolika, dwylika, eleven, twelve, &c., from the lekas of the ordinal rank, pirmas lēkas, antras lēkas, the eleventh, twelfth, &c.; and to suppose that these two sets of expressions are formed on a totally different plan, is surely a far greater neglect of analogies than to treat the element lika as radically distinct from deka, notwithstanding the presumption arising from the double form in Sanskrit, dasa, lasa. Doubtless lika might be identical with deka, but there is no logical pressure in favour of that supposition. We have seen that the designation of eleven, twelve, &c., by reference to the notion of excess above ten, is in strict accordance with the practice of the adjoining nations, and it seems the natural tendency of man, in the first naming of these numbers, to make use of an expression corresponding to the complexity in which the idea must first present itself to him, while the reduction of the expression to the simplicity of the form ten-one, ten-two, &c., is the operation of a more cultivated period.

The danger of assuming the identity of elements capable of being construed ten from mere similarity of sound, is well exemplified by Sainovic's comparison of Hung. egy tiz, eleven, with Finn. yxi-toista, where he very naturally identifies the second element of the Finnish numeral with Hung. tiz, ten. But the elements compared are in truth altogether unconnected, the meaning of toista being, as we have seen, simply in the second,' from toinen, the second, so that the apparent resemblance to the Hung. tiz is entirely the result of the inflexion.

IV.-ON THE TUSHI LANGUAGE.
By R. G. LATHAM, Esq., M.D.

[Read February the 5th.] So little light has been thrown upon the languages of Caucasus, that a publication of the year 1856, entitled Versuch über die Thusch-Sprache, by A. Schieffner, may be allowed to stand as a text for a short commentary.

The Tushi is a language belonging to the least known of the five classes into which Klaproth, in his Asia Polyglotta, distributes the languages of Caucasus : viz. (1.) the Georgian. (2.) the Osset or Iron. (3) the Lesgian. (4.) the Mizhdzhedzhi. And (5.) the Tsherkess or Circassian. It is to the fourth of these that the Tushi belongs; the particular district in which it is spoken being that of Tzowa, where it is in contact with the Georgian of Georgia; from which, as well as from the Russian, it has adopted several words.

The data consist in communications from a native of the district, Georg Ziskorow, with whom the author came in contact at St. Petersburg. They have supplied a grammatical sketch, a short lexicon, and some specimens in the way of composition, consisting of translations of portions of the Gospel, and two short tales of an Arabic or Persian rather than a truly native character. They are accompanied by a German translation.

Taking the groups as we find them in Klaproth, we may ask what amount of illustration each has received in respect to its grammar. In respect to the vocabularies, the Asia Polyglotta gives us specimens of them all.

The Georgian has long been known through the grammar of Maggi, published upwards of two centuries ago. The researches of Rosen on its several dialects are quite recent. Of the Osset there is a copious dictionary by Sjögren, and a short sketch of its grammar by Rosen. The alphabet is Russian, with additions. Rosen has also given a grammatical sketch of the Circassian. This, however, as well as his notice of the Osset, is exceedingly brief. Of the Lesgian we have no grammar at all; and of the Mizhdzhedzhi, or Tshetshent group, the first grammatical sketch is the one before us.

The alphabet is the ordinary Roman modified; the work being addressed to the Russians rather than the natives, and to the European savans in general rather than to the Russians. Otherwise the Georgian alphabet might have been used with advantage; for it is especially stated that the Georgian and Tushi sound-systems are alike. The modifications to which our own alphabet has been subjected, are those that Castrèn has made in his Samoyed grammar and lexicon. So that we may say, that it is in Castrèn’s Samoyed mode of writing that Schieffner's Tushi grammar and lexicon are exhibited.

In respect to the general relations of the language, the evidence of the work under notice is confirmatory (though not absolutely) of the views to which the present writer has committed himself, viz.—(1.) that the languages of Caucasus in general are so nearly mono-syllabic as to be with fitness designated pauro-syllabic; (2.) that the distinction drawn by Klaproth between the Mizhdzhedzhi and Lesgian groups is untenable; both belonging to the same class, a fact by which the philologic ethnography of Caucasus is, pro tanto, simplified. Upon the first of these points Schieffner writes, that the avoidance of polysyllabic forms has introduced all manner of abbreviations in the language; upon the second, that the little he has seen of the Lesgian grammar induces him to connect it with the Tshetshents. It should be added, how

D

ever, that in respect to its monosyllabic character, he maintains that the shortness of many of its words is due to a secondary process; so that the older form of the language was more polysyllabic than the present.

Of the chief details, the formation of the cases of the nouns comes first. The declension of the personal pronouns is as follows. With a slight modification it is that of the ordinary substantive as well.

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

Nominative ..
Genitive

ḥo....
hai

sai

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

oxu.
oux.
oxuin.
oxun.
ouxna.
oxus.
oxuse.
ouxse.
oxux.
oxugo.
ouxgo.
ouxxi.
oxxi (?).
oxuci.
ouxci.
oxci(?).
ouxgomci.
ouxgoh.
ouxgore.
ouxgoredah.

[blocks in formation]

THEY.

[blocks in formation]
« PredošláPokračovať »