By F. Max Müller
This Elibron Classics booklet is a facsimile reprint of a 1861 variation through Longman, eco-friendly, Longman, and Roberts, London.
Read or Download Lectures on the Science of Language: Delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in April, May, and June, 1861 PDF
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Extra resources for Lectures on the Science of Language: Delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in April, May, and June, 1861
Henceforth those words or portions of words can be kept up only artificially or by tradition; and, what is important, a distinction is henceforth established between what is substantial or radical, and what is merely formal or grammatical in words. For let us now take another instance, which will make it clearer, how phonetic corruption leads to the first appearance of so-called grammatical forms. We are not in the habit of looking on twenty as the plural or dual of ten. But how was a plural originally formed?
Language exists in man, it lives in being spoken, it dies with each word that is pronounced, and is no longer heard. It is a mere accident that language should ever have been reduced to writing, and have been made the vehicle of a written literature. Even now 30 Sanskrit s = Persian h; therefore svasar = hvahar. This becomes chohar, chor, and cho. Zend, qaFha, acc. qaFharem, Persian, kháher. Bopp, Comp. Gram. § 35. 31 Schleicher, Beiträge, b. ii. s. 392: dci = dmgti; gen. dcere = dmgtere. 32 Hui = hodie, Ital.
We can connect two periods separated by thousands of years through the works of those who handed  36  Lectures on The Science of Language on the traditions of art from century to century; but we shall never meet with that continuous and unconscious growth which connects the language of Plautus with that of Dante. The process through which language is settled and unsettled combines in one the two opposite elements of necessity and free will. Though the individual seems to be the prime agent in producing new words and new grammatical forms, he is so only after his individuality has been merged in the common action of the family, tribe, or nation to which he belongs.