« ZurückWeiter »
in Albanian, Bulgarian, and Rumanian. In the Albanian name of Scutari, Shkódra (cf. Scodra, Livy 44.31), the final a represents the definite article; without the article the form is Shkóder. For the postpositive article in Norwegian and Swedish, we must remember that there seems to have been in Norway a fishing and hunting population which was neither Indo-European nor Finno-Ugric, as far back as c. 6000 B.C. The Lapps entered Norway c. A.D. 900-1000, while the Teutonic element cannot be traced in Southern Norway before B.C. 1700, and the invaders' advance northward was extremely slow. Braun thinks that there may be Caucasian influence in the Germanic weak preterit with dental suffix, the exuberance of the n-stems, the prefix ga-, the suffix -isk, as well as in a number of Germanic words like berry, sheep, hand, fist, sea, hut; but his Caucasian etymologies are very precarious (OLZ 27.179; cf. 128,169). Excavations at Tartessos may shed light on these interesting problems (ZMDG 78.16). Cf. the two papers The Hittite Name of Troy and Ascanius and Alba Longa in The American Journal of Philology 45.252-259.
Professor FRANZ BOAS (Columbia University), The Problem of Kinship among American Indian Languages:
At the present time, the American Indian languages are so distributed that a large number are confined to small districts, while others occupy extended areas. The extension of the larger groups of languages seems to be in every case a recent phenomenon. It can be shown that many languages have perished and that their areas are now occupied by peoples speaking languages belonging to other stocks. It may be inferred that a great local differentiation of languages, similar to a great local differentiation of cultural life, was characteristic of earlier times.
At the present time, many primitive languages show certain similarities which are not sufficiently detailed to permit the claim that they are members of the same linguistic family. The question arises whether these differences may be explained as due to long continued historical changes and whether these languages are actually derived from the same
Another possibility would be the occurrence of hybrid languages, which would be analogous to the development of modern cultural types which have developed from the contact and integration of distinctive developments. It is doubtful whether historical proof of this process can ever be given. Numerous examples are known of the hybridization of lexicographical material, and it can also be shown that phonetic
features may be imposed upon distinctive linguistic stocks. It is more doubtful whether fundamental morphological traits can be transferred from one language to another one. The only possible method of approach to this problem is a study of the distribution of definite morphological features. If it is found that a group of languages which are contiguous have certain morphological traits in common, and that one or the other of this group of languages has other features in common with languages of another area, the conclusion seems admissible that such overlapping distribution must be due to the dissemination of morphological traits. The only other possible explanation would have to be based upon the assumption of a community of certain traits over a large area, which partially disappeared in different local groups. The latter explanation does not seem plausible.
It may also be pointed out that linguistic mixture among primitive peoples differs from the type of mixture which has taken place among peoples speaking Indo-European languages. Since many primitive languages are spoken by a very small number of individuals, and since the habit prevails among primitive tribes of bringing foreign women into the tribe, the social conditions of mixture are quite different from those prevailing in Europe, even as early as two or three thousand years ago.
Professor HENRY ALFRED TODD (Columbia University), The Complete Phonetic Elimination of Certain Monosyllabic Words in the Sentence Structure of Old French:
The phenomenon of which I shall speak has long been observed and commented on by Old French scholars, but without eliciting, as it seems to me, a clear explanation of its real nature and history.
In an Old French sentence in which two personal pronouns of the third person, being the direct and indirect objects of a verb, immediately succeed one another, the direct object is very frequently suppressed; thus jo le li done (Modern French je le lui donne) very often becomes jo li done.
For a long time the commentators of texts varied in their accounts of the relative frequency or regularity of this suppression, some declaring that the omission of the direct object pronouns was virtually constant, others discovering as time went on that the occurrence or non-occurrence of the direct object was apparently a haphazard affair, in which it was difficult to determine whether the phenomenon was normal or abnormal. At last, in 1895, Georg Ebeling edited elaborately and admirably for Max Niemeyer of Halle a brief poem of 670 verses, under the title Auberce:
Altfranzösisches Fabel, mit Einleitung und Anmerkungen, in which he traced the history of the discussion, and contributed a very large collection of examples of the presence and the absence of the direct object pronoun under the conditions named. His treatment of the subject appears in the form of a highly elaborated note to verse 655 of the poem, covering several pages of fine print.
It is not my purpose here to summarize the opinions of his predecessors as set forth in his note, nor even those of himself; but rather on the contrary to point out what I conceive to be the very simple situation of the case.
In the Old French sentence structure, and elsewhere in various languages, monosyllabic pronouns tended strongly to become enclitics and at the same time to lose their vowel element. The unstressed object pronouns of the third person all have the initial l: direct object, le la les; indirect object, li lors.
[Professor Todd's notes, so far as they could be found after his death, end at this point. The balance is supplied by the Secretary of the Society, from memory:
It follows that with the loss of the vowel of the direct object in jo le li done, there is left jo l li done. This is found jol li done, and also jo li done. Metrical needs may be responsible for the variation between jo le li done and jol li done or jo li done. This is the explanation of the apparent complete loss of the direct object pronoun, and of the assumption of double value by the indirect object.
A similar phenomenon is seen in Portuguese, where the feminine article a is contracted with a preceding preposition a to á, differentiated to the eye by a printed accent, but not distinguishable to the ear from the mere preposition.]
NOTES AND PERSONALIA
LANGUAGE, the official organ of the LINGUISTIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA, will appear quarterly, and will be sent to all members of the Society. Its size will be increased as rapidly as the finances of the Society warrant, and that is dependent upon the number of members. Every present member should be a recruiting agent.
The second number of this journal, to appear in June, will contain scholarly papers of more than usual general interest. Members are urged to submit to the Chairman of the Committee on Publications, Professor George Melville Bolling, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, the typewritten copy of articles on linguistic subjects, for consideration for the third and fourth issues. As Professor Bolling will be abroad this summer, such typescripts should be sent to him at once. Attention of members is called to the selected advertising leaflets inserted in this copy. The arrangement is financially advantageous to the SOCIETY, but cannot be continued unless the members make it advantageous to the advertisers.
The LINGUISTIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA has received much favorable publicity in the journals of other American societies. The Secretary has received also the following from Professor A. Meillet, the distinguished Secretary of the Société de Linguistique de Paris, writing on February 15:
Merci de m'avoir appris la fondation de votre Linguistic Society. Les noms des fondateurs garantissent l'avenir de la fondation. Permettez-moi néanmoins de vous souhaiter bonne chance et de vous dire avec quelle sympathie notre Sociéte, déja vieille, suivra le progrès de votre jeune Société, qui sera bientôt grandie.
Je suis très sensible de la façon dont vous avez bien voulu évoquer notre Société lors de la fondation. Je ne manquerai pas de signaler la fondation lors de notre prochaine séance, samedi prochain. Par là même elle sera arrivée dans notre Bulletin; et la Société vous enverra certainement ses félicitations.
HENRY ALFRED TODD, Professor of Romance Philology at Columbia University since 1893, died on January 3, 1925, at the age of seventy years. He was a distinguished leader in his field; he was a founder of of Modern Language Notes and of the Romanic Review; he inspired many
graduate students to a career of scholarship. He united profound scholarship with a rare modesty and a gracious personality, never better exemplified than when, six days before his death, at the first meeting of the LINGUISTIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA, he read with his usual dignity and charm a paper whose far-reaching purport won the enthusiastic approval of his hearers.
CARLOS EVERETT CONANT, a signer of the call which led to the formation of the LINGUISTIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA, died in Boston on January 27, 1925, at the age of fifty-four years. He had had a wide experience in teaching and study in America and in Europe, specializing in Romanic languages. For several years he was in the Philippine Islands in educational work, where he translated portions of the New Testament into native dialects and became a leading authority on Philippine languages. His untimely death is a great loss to linguistic studies in America.
LOUIS H. GRAY, Professor of Comparative Philology and Oriental Languages in the University of Nebraska, has accepted an invitation to deliver the first course of lectures on the Ratanbai Katrak Foundation for the Theological, Historical and Philological Knowledge of Zoroastrianism, at Wadham College, Oxford, England, in October of the current year.
JAMES R. WARE, Instructor in Latin at Lehigh University, has been appointed to an American Field Service Fellowship for French Universities, in Oriental Languages and Literatures. He will spend the academic year 1925-26 in Paris, at the Sorbonne, devoting himself to the study of Sanskrit and Chinese.
GEORGE MELVILLE BOLLING, Professor of Greek in the Ohio State University, will spend the summer in England, in order to expedite the appearance of his volume of studies, The External Evidence for Interpolation in Homer, which is being published by the Clarendon Press.
ROLAND G. KENT, Professor of Comparative Philology in the University of Pennsylvania, will sail for France on May 30, and will go at once to Paris, as he has been invited to lecture at the Sorbonne in June. He will be also the main speaker at the meeting of the Société des Etudes Latines on June 13; his topic will be L'Accentuation Latine: