« AnteriorContinuar »
respect, they have a nearer affinity to Greek than this last lias to the Latin.
Besides some of the more common changes of letters, the Cornish, in common with the above-mentioned languages, is materially affected by the digamma. It is thus that we find bara, bread, from far; haloin, from ans, salt; houl, from acos, the sun; and huigeren, a father-in-law, from écupós. It is, however, in compound words tbat it is most conspicuous, as fymara, my head, where m is substituted for b, to suit the euphony of the Cornish; or where the / vanishes in composition, as in Boscawenún, Boscawen downs ; Lan-y-ún, the church on the downs ; or where the b and g disappear in certain words, as in Goonhilly, the coll's downs ; and in streil,' strigil, a flesh brush. The f and c are also removed in hoari, iron; halan, the calends; and horf, from corpus. The l is sometimes prefixed for euphony, as lavalu, instead of avalu, an apple-tree. The b, s, m, and p, are changed into o in composition, and thus bara, bread; sos, a ditclı; mean, a stone; and penedh a bill, become vara, vos, rean, and renedk. The s after having been removed is compeusated by an aspirate, as in henn, senex ; hoch, sus; and huib sex.
15. The digamma is found in the middle of words, or as I mean by the term, when any letter is suppressed. This happens to several Greek words, which in Latin assume the v, as Bóes, boves ; deños, lævis; and vës, ovis. This also applies to other letters, and it is on this principle that I take the Portuguese, Lisboa and coroa, to be digammated ; and as when the Attics drop the o in yopew, ointiū. The I disappears in Portuguese as in coor, door, which have been since circumflexed in côr and dôr; so does the g, as in ler, and the d, as in crer ; or the L in Cornish, as in Gooneilly, which is now contracted and Anglicised into Goon-hilly. It is therefore obvious that the digayima is expressed by different letters in the middle, as well as in the beginning of words; so that those scholars are by no means to be depended on who invariably reduce words to their primitive form by adding to them anf or a v, which, on the contrary, often prevents them from arriving at the true derivation.
. 16. The application of the diganima to Homer was a lucky thought, and the pietre itself is the best guide where it ought to be iuserted. This brings it to a degree of certainty which could not have been attained if the lliad had been in prose. I am of opinion that the poet wrote the words complete, but that they have been since' modified and altered by the same genius, which has made horf of corpus, hermano of germanus, and roar of volare. The consonants having since
The digamma of ego is remarkable throughout the modern languages; Io, Ir.; yo, Sp.; ru, Port.; je, Freuch; ich, German; add 1, Eng. Originally Goonebilly, from goon, a downs, and ebol, a colt
. It is a down of some miles in estent, not far from the Lizard, and formerly celebrated fur its small and hardy horses, the brced of which was destroyed by some reguo lations of Henry VIII, The down took its name from the horses, and bas since beco made into an awkward English compound, Goon-hilly.
been left out in pronunciation, Homer began to be written as lie is now. The consequence of this would be, an: it so happened, that the metre should become defective, so that it could be restored only by reverting to the old orthography and pronunciation. The application of the digamma bas afforded a most ingenious approximation to this point.
17. It may be remarked, that this discrepancy in the Greek pronunciation affords an additional argument for the antiquity of Honer. In the time of Herodotus, Greek was written as at present; revolutions in language require ages to be effected, and therefore since the digamma had so early disappeared from pronunciation and writing, it is a very natural conjecture that a long period must have already elapsed between Homer and Herodotus. It is thus that philology supports chronology, front which we learn that the former lived 900 years before Christ, and more than 450 before the latter. The digamma also affords an indirect proof that the poems of Homer could not have been the work of some more recent wriier, as it is not likely that any literary impostor could have made so inany deviations from the common prosody. Though apparently irregularities, these, when examined by means of the digammatic principle, appear to be free from every anomaly.
18. The Homeric digamma differs from that in the modern languages, because it was inserted at an ancient, and afterwards omitted at a niore recent period; while in these it is very recent, and only of the same age with their formation from barbarous dialects. The digamma was lost in Greek after that language had attained its highest purily; but the Spanish one has not only been adopted in that country, but it still continues in use. Where nothing lias been lost, no deficiency can be felt, and iherefore no inquiry is made. It is the truncated state of Homer's verses, which led the critic to this discovery; but in the modern languages, where the digammated letters were lost at their first formation, ibat has not been perceived, the disguise has been uninvestigated, and therefore it has not been established that the present modern digamma, which, by vanishing, has disfigured so many Latin and other foreign words, has acted on the sanie principle as that which has disappeared from the orthography of Homer.
19. The following remarkable passage occurs in the preface to Lhuyd's Cornish Grammar, and which is the more valuable for an illustration, as he cannot be supposed to have been making in it the most distant allusion to our digammatic theory. " When you see that we turn the English words, to laugh, to play, to whistle, bitter, six, sister, in the language of Guench, ruerthin, xuare, xuibany, rucru, xuer, xuner; and in the Armoric, xoasin, xoari, xuibanat, cuero,
It would appear from the following passage, that the digamma or trunca!ing of words was already beginning to be introduced in the age of Homer.
“Ως Οδυσεύς, έλεινόν υπ' όφρύσι δάκρυον EIBEN.
Odvo. O. OT. X. 531.
ceux, xosr; but in the Cornislı, huerthin, quare, huibanat, huero, hui, kor, we know then very easily that the Cornish is changed. For the like passages are never thus turned by the people of the Welşlı Guenez and the people of Lezou have learned from them.” It seems, then, that the Welsh and Armoric x has been in Cornish changed into h; but r in some languages is either turned into 8, or pronounced as such, as in Serse, Alessandro, Xabon, Xeringa, instead of Xerxes, Alexander, sapo, syrina. By applying this rule to the Welsh, its x will then be to be only considered as a differently shaped s, the hissing sound of wbich was afterwards changed for a cognate aspirate in Cornish. Next to the f and e', there is not a letter that more often supplies the place of the digamma in Greek than 8, thus, äls, sal; ekspòs, socer ; épmw, serpo; üln, sylva ; ūs, sus, &c. It is rightly observed in Valpy's Greek Grammar, p. 193, “ The aspirate is generally expressed in Latin by 8,” or, in other words, that the aspirate becomes s, and that at a further remove it may be written, if not pronounced, x. It is therefore a striking affinity that Cornish and common Greek should have removed the s to compensate it by an aspirate.
But there is still another point of view. The Cornish bears nearly the same relation to Welsh, or its derivate, which the common tongue of Greece does to the diction of Homer. The old Greeks and the language of Guench wrote their words complete, which in cognate dialects, and at more recent periods, were truncated of their digam
The Cornish and the common Greek are therefore nothing but modernised forms of the two more ancient languages. There are no languages that have not some sounds which are common and the same in each, and therefore since the disappearance of the digammatic s is so evident in Cornish, the parallel in Greek must have bappened from the same cause, a difficulty of pronouncing the s; so that this structure of Cornish words, as reinarked by Mr. Lloyd, materially confirms the conjectures of former critics concerning the Homeric digamma.
These are a few of the numerous aspects under which words appear to have been corrupted in different languages. I have treated the subject only cursorily, and no farther than my present object required, that I might vindicate myself from the imputation of haviug been perhaps wbimsical in some of my derivations. It is, however, of that importance in a philological point of view, and is calculated to throw so much light on the origin, the pursuits, and the history of natious, that it would deserve to be discussed in a separate essay, and by a more learned, acute, and able pen than mine. It is, however, with reluctance that I close my observations on this part of the subject.
IN EURIPIDEM COMMENTARII Joannis SEAGER, A. B. Bicknor. Wallicæ in comitalu
No. II. [Continued from No. XXXIX, p. 87.]
Iphig. in Taur. v. 1288.
Chorus. Τί δ' έστιν; εί χρή μη κελευσθείσαν λέγειν; En alius locus, quem, post inanes interpretuin et emendatorum curas, restituisse me confido : sic enim constituo,' ti do έστιν; εί ΜΕ χρή κελευσθείσαν λέγειν. Quid vero est ? si opus sit me jussam dicere. (Thoanti scilt.)-ut, si jubear, possim Thoanti dicere, quid sit, quare illo convento opus est tibi.
Iphig. in Taur. v. 1388 et 1389. Pyladem et Orestem qui jam navem conscendissent, in Græciam e Taurica Chersoneso reversuri, alloquitur signum quod secum rapuissent: :
Τόδ' ουρανού πέσημα, της Διός κόρης
Συμπληγάδων έσωθεν εισεπλεύσαμεν.
Iphigenia in Tauris. v. 1414. Nuntius Thoantem, Tauricæ tyrannum, certiorem facit, Pyladen et Orestem, rapta Dianæ statua, cum Iphigenia in altum provectos esse ; additque,
'Αλλ' έρπε, δεσμά και βρόχους λαβων χερούν:
Σεμνός Ποσειδών, Πελοπίδαις τ’ εναντίος. Trojæ inimicus fuerat Neptunus : sed si maxime dilexisset, tunc ejus non potuit curam gerere, quæ jam ante perierat: Le
gendum igitur puto, Πόντου δ' ανάκτωρ ΙΛΕΩΣ Σ επισκοπεί, Rer maris tibi furet, propilius est ;-te placido lumine videt. Priina syllaba του ίλεως Ιonga est in Iphig. Taur. V. 971.
Iphigenia in Tauris. v. 1470.
Τάσδε δ' εκπέμπειν χθονός
Νικάν, ισάρεις όστις αν ψήφους λάβη. Canterus, probante Marklando, legit εξέσωσα, quod probat et Ileathius, qui omnia credit fore integra, si plene distinguatur post oύνεκ', ita ut bec particula cum γνώμης δικαίας jungatur, et ad Gracas mulieres, ex quibus constabat chorus, referatur. Restituo itaque,
Τάσδε δ' εκπέμπειν χθονός
Rhesus. v. 43.
Διϊπετή δε νεών πυρσοί σταθμά. Quia Auvii διϊπετείς dicuntur, ea re idem epitlieton adjungit Εuripides statiouibus navium, quæ ad ostia fluviorum Trojanorum erant.
Rhesus. v. 304. “Ορώ δε Ρήσον, ώστε δαίμονα, Εστώτ' εν ίπποις θρηκίοις τ' οχήμασιν. Χρυσή δε πλάστιγξ αυχένα ζυγηφόρων Πώλων έκλης, χιόνος εξαυγεστέρων.
Πλάστιγξ Ηesychio est μάστιξ. Malim itaque Χρυσή δε πλάστιγξ αυχένα ζυγηφόρων Πώλων "ΕΠΛΗΞΕ χιόνος εξαυγεστέρων.
Rhesus, v. 323.
"Εφαυσε λαίφη τήσδε γης μέγας πνέων. Inter alias conjecturas poni potuisset, "ΕΘ.ΛΑΣΣΕ λαίφη τήσδε γής.
Rhesus v. 450.