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The first question then is, Will etymology enable us to discover, in any words corresponding to these sounds of B. K, T, X.?
As all written words consist of letters, it is an undeniable corollary from the preceding pre-
and what languages,
To these questions I return this answer.
I think it possible,
1. To present words,—not from one language only—corresponding to the simple sounds of every consonant letter.
2. To shew, that these words, used in the position of prefixes and suffixes, retain the meaning which they possess when used alone.
Of the Sublime and Beautiful. Pref.
3. To shew, that these letters or literal words, interposed among other letters, do (in the instances produced) still manifestly retain the same meaning; and I may then assume the courage to affirm it to be an inference of sound reason that, though cases of interposed letters may be rapidly collected, in which it will be vain to attempt an explanation, yet that these letters, these literal roots, were interposed in their original meaning, or else by analogy, from other words that had been previously so constructed.
It is not probable that evidence to particular cases, should be carried very far among the complexity of words, consisting of many letters. Corruption will commence with the very it will act with all the powers of variation and combination, as soon as the work of compounding is begun; and the means of decomposing into the simple parts will soon elude the eye of the most vigilant sagacity. “But a theory (says Burke) founded on experiment and not assumed, is always good for so much as it explains. Our inability to push it indefinitely is no argument at all against it.” *
LET us proceed with the labials 'B' and 'M.'
The announced sound of the letter B is produced, when the closure of the lips intercepts the utterance of the breath (áb). And the enounced, when the utterance is continued after the aperture of the lips (bà). They are both heard in Abba. The same with the cognate letters P (áppà)—F (áƒ-ƒà) V (áv và).
The organic sounds of these letters will be recognized as the earliest distinct sounds spoken by children; and the direct inference is, that, from the constant repetition of speech, they become reciprocated as names for both parent and child.
'B.*—In Heb. Ab; in Arabic and Gothic, the conunciate Aba, in Heb. and other tongues Abba, are names of the male parent; and in some it may be added here, Am, em or emm (M) is the name for the female parent.
But B' is, in union with its cognates, in different languages a far more fruitful source; thus, applied to the parent ;—
B.-Persian, Ba-ba. Arabic, Ba-aba. Sanscrit, Bop.
P. Per. Pa-der. Sans. Pa-tera. Gr. IIa-πaç, Пa-rnp. Lat. Pa-ter. Eng. Pa-pa (with Πα-πας, Πα-τηρ. the Hottentots Bo, and in some American Islands Ba-ba.
Watcher, Pref. § 6).
F.-Goth. Fa-drein, pa-rentes. A.S. Fæ-der. Sw. Fa-dder. Dan. Fa-der. Eng. Father; and Chinese Fou.
V.-Dutch, Va-der. Ger. Va-ter.
It is worthy of remark, that the Persian and Arabic, together with the American Islands, referred to by Wachter, apply to the parent that organic sound of B reduplicated, which in so many other languages is applied to the child; thus,
B.-The Heb. Ba-bah, Syriac Ba-ba, are our English Babe.
The Pers. Buch. Sw. Bagge. Dan. Pog, are our Eng. Boy. And the Gr. Bat-oç, is pa-rvus.
P.-In Gr. Пa-ts. Lat. Pu-pus, pu-er, pu-pa, pu-ella.
The food of infants, and the source whence it flows, have names of the same sound, Bub, Lat. Ub-er, pap (also Ma-ma).
* To avoid the formal repetition of announced, enounced;—these marks' will in future be used.
M.-The letter M is the natural sound of lowing (mugitus) when the lips are shut and the sound proceeds from the nose; the announced sound is produced, while the lips are closed the enounced, after they are opened.
From M', applied to the parent, there are: Ar. and Heb. Mam. Pers. Mam. Ma-dur. San. Ma-ta, ma-tri. Hind. Ma-ttara. Gr. Ma-uua, μa-rno.' Lat. Ma-mma, ma-ter. A. S. Me-der, mo-der. Dan. and Sw. Mo-der. D. Moe-der, moe-r. Ger. Mu-tter. Eng. Mama, Mo-ther (and with the Egyptians Mov0.)†
In A. S. Ma-g, Ma-go, is both pa-rens, and pu-er, pu-ella. In Goth. Ma-gath. A. S. Ma-gth. Ger. Ma-gd. Dutch, Maa-gt. Dan. Moe. Sw. Moe. Isl. May, mey, is the English Ma-id, formerly (as in the A. S. also) written Mai. The Sanscrit has Moo-gdha, Ma-djaina; and the Pers. Made, mad-eh mad-een.
I do not affect to be original or even singular, in ascribing a common origin to the great majority of these words; but I am certainly not aware that I have been anticipated in fixing upon the stirps of the whole progeny. I say of the whole progeny; for, with regard to part of it, the parental names, the very learned Wachter, whose German Glossary is a mine of inestimable value to the Etymologer, has long preceded me.
It is worthy of observation, he tells us, "Quod primi conatus puerorum utendi voce sint literæ labiales." Hence, he adds, we may believe, "Ap, pap, em, mem, quæ sunt infantilis linguæ prima rudimenta, et naturalia lallantium puerorum blandimenta, esse voces secreto naturæ instinctu prolatas, vel potius ab ipsa natura in puerorum labiis formatas, et postea, a parentibus, ut par erat, in omnibus fere linguis, etiam antiquissimis adoptatas." He then produces from different languages the different synonyms for father and mother, but he does not here or elsewhere appear to have suspected any of these naturalia blandimenta to have been applied for names to the child, as well as adopted by the parents for names of themselves.§ Thus much then, though shortly, yet seems to be clearly established, that the organic sounds of B with its cognates, and M, were primarily appropriated as names for both parent and child. Various syllabic terminations, as we now denominate them, have in various tongues been affixed, the meaning of which it is the province of Etymology to ascertain
* The Greek etymologists derive IIa-rnp, and Ma-rnp, from the third person singular, Пe-a-rai, μɛ-μa-raι, of the pret. per. pass. of the verbs α-v, alere, pascere; μa-ɛɩv, am-are.
+ The learned reader may see this pursued through various other languages in "Tableaux Synoptiques de Mots Similaires." Par H. A. Le Pileur.
Prefatio ad Germanos, § 6. See also his Gloss. in V. Mutter.
The Lat. Pa-ter, he supposes to be pa-pa-ter, for ter he considers to be a mere termination, and rather a deformity than an ornament. And I must not omit to add, that he asserts all letters, vowels, diphthongs, consonants, to signify something, in all languages; thus he says A in A. S. is semper; I in English is Ego; Be in English is Sum, &c.
So far as to the origin of these reciprocated names; nouns and pronouns.
We have also a word found, generally, in Eastern and Northern languages, and of which Etymologists have not yet attempted to trace the origin, the pronoun Me, which may have, rather must have, derived its reference and appropriation to the individual speaking, from the persevering, reiterated, cry of the speaker to enforce attention to its wants.
Me.-The Pronoun, in Sans. Me, ma. Hind. Mu-gh: but in Persian, Am. Gr. μe, eue. Goth. Mi-c. Ger. Mi-ch. Dutch, Mij. Dan. and Swed. Mi-g. And hence, it may be inferred (though by anticipation), that the first person of the Gr. and Sans. Verb, in Mɩ, is formed by affixing this pronoun ma, me, or mi.
We must proceed to the consideration of an assemblage of words, which, although they appear to stand at a little remove from these literal roots, or radical nouns, yet receive their signification immediately from them.
'B,-Is expressed in the Lat. Prep. Ab,-in the Twelve Tables written Af; its cognates in the Gr. a-o, aq,* E-ɩ, oп-n, vπ-εр. In the Danish, Dutch, Swedish, and also επι, οπ-η, υπερ. Gothic, Af. A. S. Of. Ger. Ab. Lat. ib-i, ob, ub-i.
In Persian, Ab, is source;† and the Lat. preposition ab, and the corresponding English be, bi, or by are apposed, and thus denote or refer to that, being or biding (bi) which any thing also has been; from which any thing receives or derives its beginning or origin, has its rise, its source, its spring, its cause: to that point, being or biding which, whence or from which, where or when, motion or action, or sensation, begins or commences.
Ger. Ab-en. D. Ebb-en, to Lat. Ab-ire.
Ab first appears in verbal composition in the A.S. Ebb-an. ebb; also Dutch (Vetus et obsoletum), Av-en. Gr. aplɛobal. αφιεσθαι. It then appears in the Goth. Ab-al, which is the Gr. B-a; Lat. V-is (ab-ility) power. The Goth. and A.S. Hab-ban, was also used as equivalent to some of the tenses of the Verb To be.
B'. and its cognates.-In A.S. Be-on. Sans. Bhu. Pers. Bu-d-en. Russian, Bu-it. Eng. o be. Welsh, Byw or Vyw. Erse, Beo.
The Ar. Per. and Goth. Bi, the A.S. Be, bi, Ger. Bei. Dan. By. Eng. By; variously written like the A. S. Be, bi, or by.
* Vetus Latium pro ab af dixisse, ut in Lege duodecim tabularum. Sei Pater filiom ter venum duit, af Patre liber estod. Priscian, 1. i. c. 13.
+ See Pileur, Tableaux Synoptiques, p. 93, note 43.
This word seems to have escaped the notice of Pileur; or perhaps it was not recognized by him in this relationship. See his concluding remarks in N. 43.
Then in the A.S. By-an, (bi-d-an, bi-ed-an) to bi-de, to continue to be, to dwell. (Dan. Bye,
Gr. Bai-av, Bai-v-ev. Lat. Va-DERE, Fa-RAN, to Fa-re, to go.
Gr. Bi-oc. Lat. vi-TA. Gr. Bi-a. Lat. Vi-s, (and up), whence the Lat. term. ivus.
Gr. Ba-v. Lat. vo-care, (to bay, to ba-wl).
Gr. Bov-A-soal. Lat. Vo-l-o, ve-lle. Goth. Wi-l-jan. A.S. Wi-ll-an. Dutch, Wi-llen.
Ger. Wo-llen. Sw. Wo-lja. Dan. Vi-lle. Eng. To Wi-ll.
P.-Gr. Пla-0-av. Lat. pa-ti. Eng. To fe-el.
Gr. Пla-uv. Lat. pa-scere, to fe-ed.
Gr. Il-v-av. Lat. bi-b-ere, po-tare, to drink (the bub).
Gr. IIa-vev, to bi-de, (to cease).
Gr. Пo-av. Lat. fa-c-ere, to fag, to do, to make.
F.-Gr. Qv-v. Lat. fi-eri, pa-rere, to be, to be-ar, (Lat. fuo).
Gr. Pa-uy Lat. fa-ri. A. S. Fa-r-an, to fa-re, to utter, to go or move forth, to be far.
Gr. Pa-v-eola. Lat. vi-deri, (to fa-ncy).
V.—These abound in the Latin: Va-dere, Va-lere, Vi-dere, ve-lle, va-gire, Va-tes, Vi-r,
Vi-s, Vi-ta, vi-a, va-por.
'M.-Our English Am, is found in the Gr. -. San. Am, asmi. Per. Am, oum. Goth. Im, originally (Grimm asserts) is-um or esum. A. S. Eom. Lat. S-um, esum, (the s must hereafter be accounted for). The Goth. had also the simple breathing A, and Gr. a-uv, to breathe, a-av, to hear.
Am, then appears in the Lat. Am-are, equivalent to the Gr. μα-ειν, whence αμα, sim-ul. Lennep supposes a Gr. primitive au-w.
The Gr. a--, is also ire, to go, and A. S. Ha-m-ian† is co-i-re, to go or be together (aμa). M'.-Gr. μa-tv, am-are, to love.
Goth, and A. S. Ma-g-an. D. and G. Mo-g-en. Sw. Mae. Dan. Maae. Eng. to may, to have power, might. Per. Mih. Sans. Mah-n. Gr. μe-y-ac. Lat. Ma-g-nus (ma-igen-us). Gr. μa-x-eodaι, to fight, to use might, force, violence; and here also should be noticed Ma-n, existing in Persian and all the Northern dialects.
* See By, in the Dictionary.
The A. S. Ma-c-an (ma-ic-an). D. Ma-chen. Ger. Ma-ken. Sw. Ma-ka. Eng, to ma-ke
un-xavn, a ma-chine.
Goth. Mu-n-an, mu-nyan. A. S. mu-n-an, mæ-n-an, (mu-en-an, mæ-en-an). D. mee-n-en.
+ See Ham, Home, in the Dictionary.