Imágenes de página

them, be quunff, or quinff; but, by thus mutilating the word, they produce Funff. The Dutch keep the u, finking the q, and call it viff; but if the original initial ch, was kept, then it would be chuif, or quif. The Swedes and Danes fay fern, which has some affinity with pente, or the Welsh pymp. The Saxons fay fife, and, from them, the English fay Jive. The Poles fay piecz, which would be near the other Northern dialects; if the p was any, then it would be fiecz; but as the cz is the termination, if the original ch, or q, was the initial, then it would be chiecz, or quiecz, and have the due affinity to the original chuing, or quing. So that, take it in any light, we naturally must recur to the source; but for the Hungarian et, the number jive, I cannot find any origin, in the course of my research.

As to the number fix, the Irish Jhe, is changed, in the IVeljh, to chuech, by a difference of dialect; and the Greeks have sunk the s, or ch, and made the termination x\ hence they fay ex: all others, in the table of numerals, appear to be the fame word, allowing for the change of syllabication, according to the different modes of their pronunciation, except the Hungarian hat, for fix, the origin of which I cannot pretend to find out.

The number seven is called, in Irish, jheaghd, and, in Weljh^ saith; these differ very little from each other, each nation assuming a syllabication from their own manner of pronouncing it: thus, I have often, in France, heard many words pronounced one way in one house, and differently in another; one example will be sufficient, as, boucle, a buckle, which is pronounced blouc by many: this

T t 2 ' fort sort of transposition is common in every nation, and no where more than in our own country. The Greeks have funk the original initials and changed the gh of the Irish, and the th of the Weljh, into pt; and fay epta. All the other Europeans keep the original initial s, except the Hungarians^ who fay het forseven, which, if they had kept it, would have been set, and its affinity would have been more apparent; but, indeed, the Dutch use a %, instead of thes, which is an equivalent letter. The Latins and French have kept the pt; but the Italians and Spaniards the / only; which has been changed into a v, by the Germans, Dutch, Swedes, Danes, and Engliflj; although the Saxons have adopted an f, and the Poles a d; the Hungarians have also kept the as appears above.

It is not uncommon, in the Welfi language, to change the ht, which is guttural, with its vowel before it, in the Irish tongue,. to th; and therefore the Irish ocht, eight, is changed to the Welsh uith: this is followed only by the French huit; whereas, the Greek, Latin, Italian and Spani/h are nearly the fame with the Irish. The Germans, Dutch, Saxons and Engli/h have changed the initial o into a, but have preserved the ht of the original; but the Swedes and Danes are clofe to the Italians, in this number. And, lastly, the affinity to this number, ocht, is easily seen in the Polish osm, and the Hungarian niolcz, notwithstanding both have deviated so much; the Poles have preserved the original initial, which is sufficient to warrant its parentage, and if the ni be taken from the Hungarian name for eight, it will then be olcz, and sufficiently point out from whence it sprung*


The next number, in course, is the nine, which is called nyi, in Irish, and naw in Welfo. It is easy to fee that these are very little varied; for, as to a change of vowels, the reader will fee such vriations throughout the whole table. The initial letter is kept in every one of the languages I have considered, except the Greek, Poli/h and Hungarian; and,. in the first, if the en is taken away, then the nea is the fame with the originals; for the en has nothing to do with the number at all, but is placed before it, according to the manner of the Greeks, who. have frequently added syllables to the beginning or ending of words. As. to the Polijh name, there seems to be no manner of affinity with any other of the European * tongues and that;. but the Hungarian has the last syllable, nez, in kilenez, which agrees with the original, and all the rest.

The last of the unit numbers, ten., is called, by the Irish, deic, or deg; and, by the Welsh, deg. The Greeks, by adding a syllable, have made it dekas; the Latins too, have added em\ the Italians an /; the Spaniards a z\ and, from a desire of softening, the French have changed the last letter to an x; but they pronounce it as tenderly as if it was a %: all these, however,. have preserved the initial cL The Germans first change this letter for z, and instead of the original termination, c or g, terminate it in an n, making it zehen; but the Dutch, Swedes, Saxons and English assume the initial/; yet this was no. great matter, iri the first change ;. for the Germans themselves pronounce the d as a/, and, vias versa, and pronounce the^ like tz\. so that, whether it be a t, or. a d, that is the in

5> itiat itial to the name of this number, the affinity to the original cannot be disputed. The Poles have, for this number, drejfiec, and, if we take away the first syllable, and change the z to a d, or /, it will make tiec, or dice, which will be a strong claim to its affinity with the original; and the Hungarians have followed thofe who have adopted the t for the initial, and fay tiz.

Thus far the names of the unit numbers have been considered, and their true origin ascertained. The succeeding numbers, from ten to twenty, being only compofed of the units added, in their succestlon, to ten, appear to go on much the fame w^y in all; yet there are differences peculiar to some of the nations, which I shall take due notice of, in the placing the units either before or after the tens, or in abbreviating the combined numbers. The Irish put the units before the tens all the way to twenty: as, un-deg, do-deg, tri-deg, &c. The Welsh do the fame, but in their own manner; they sa.y,yn ar deg, one and ten, and so on, till they come to fifteen, which they call fymtheg, and then fay yn ar bymtheg, one and fifteen, for fixteen; daw ar bymtheg, for seventeen; and for eighteen, day naw, two nines; then, for nineteen, they have pedwar ar bymtheg, four and fifteen. The Greeks begin with endeka, one and ten; dodeca, two and ten; triskaideca, three and ten \ and then, in the fourteen and fifteen, they put the ten first; in the fixteen and seventeen, the units first, and,. in the eighteen and nineteen, the ten first. The Latins follow the Iri/h exactly, from ten to twenty; so do the Italians, as far as fixteen, and then put the ten before the seven, eight, nine, for seventeen, eighteen, 6 ninetee?i.

nineteen. The Spaniards and French have the very fame method of abridging these following numbers; and both fay onze; dose, Sp. clouze, Fr. trez, Sp. treize, Fr. catorze, Sp. quatorze, Fr. quindeci, Sp. quinze, Fr. then they put the ten first, in the remaining four numbers, except the seize, for fxteen, in the French.

For the numbers eleven and twelve, the Germans have adopted names differing from all these, and for which I cannot account; and in this they are followed by the Dutch, Swedes, Danes, Saxons and EngliJJj: the Germans fay et'1st, zwolfj the Dutch fay elf, twaalf; the Swedes y elfwa, talf; the Danes, eleve, tolv; the Saxons, endHas a, twelf; and the English, eleven, twelve. The Poles, however, have maintained the manner of the Irish, in placing the units before the tens, as in ieden nescie for eleven, one and ten: now, if the n, in nafcie, be changed to a d, then it will be clafcie, which has an affinity to degt and the i and d, from ieden, then the combined number will make een dafcie, like^72 deg, which is the root of ieden nascie. The Hungarian name for eleven can have no other source, if we do it- justice: they call this number tizen egy: now, the z being funk in the first word, it is the tien of the Dutch, for ten, and the egi is the en of most of the Northern nations, which make up the een tienr yn deg. The Poles call twelve, dwa nafcie, or dafcie, two and ten, from the original do deg; and the Hungarian tizen ketto, for the fame number; which makes tien to, if the z be lost, and the first syllable of ketto,: ten and two; and both these nations have clofely followed the original mode, of the repetition of their /*»,with the increasing


« AnteriorContinuar »