Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/390

This page needs to be proofread.


320 NOTES AND QUERIES. [12 S.X.APBH, 44,1922. sentimental we have an entertaining note by Sterne's translator. " Le mot anglois sentimental n'a pu se rendre en franQois par aucune expression qui put y r^pondre, et on J'a laisfc subsister." In oppressij we have a French word which had died out after the fifteenth century and was brought back at the end of the eighteenth through the English use of " oppressive " in connexion with government and taxation. Tract VIII. is a rather slight resume" of Remy de Goncourt's ' Esthetique de la langue franchise.' De Goncourt recognizes three classes of words: de form- ation populaire : deformation savante ; mots Grangers. The two latter classes tend to be but slightly, or not at all, assimilated, and their existence constitutes a main problem to be solved. Mr. Barnes criti- cizes effectively de Goncourt's mistakes and extra- vagances, and drives home bis good suggestions. Primitive Speech. Part I. A Study in African Phonetics. By W. A. Crabtree. (S.P.C.K. 5s.) MB. Crabtree tells us that this study is based on work begun thirty years ago, at a time, that is, when the white man had hardly penetrated into the interior of Africa, and when the study of African languages had advanced little beyond Swahili. Although, in the interval, much has been accom- plished, the great desideratum yet remains the establishment on a dominant tongue of a vocabulary, grammar and phonetic theory which would serve as a key to the countless allied tongues and dialects of the continent, and also as a means of discriminating both between these and native languages which are outside the family, and between archaic and modern types of speech. Mr. Crabtree believes that Bantu can be made so to serve. For this he makes out a good case, based on its primitive character, its wide extension, its frequent permeation of non-Bantu languages, and its (not improbable) kinship with languages apparently unrelated. The first business is to master the primitive system of African phonetics, to realize its dependence on physiology, discover the values of intonation, of vowel-changes and consonant changes and of sounds peculiar to the language, and trace out the natural scheme of rhythm. Mr. Crabtree performs these and the other like tasks with great minuteness and care, and makes his exposition the more enlightening by suggested comparison between this early scheme of articu- late sounds and that of better-known tongues, especially Hebrew. This is an original contri- bution in a field of work where a good deal has been done but much more remains to do, and should receive the attention of all students of African tongues, whether their interest is practical or theoretic. Report on the MSS. of the late Allan George Finch, Esq., of Burley-on-the-Hill, Rutland. Vol. ii. (H.M. Stationery Office. 10s. net.) WE have received the second volume of this valuable series of papers. The chief figures are now Sir Heneage Finch, first Earl of Nottingham ; his eldest son, Daniel ; and his brother, Sir John Finch. The period covered is that from June, 1670, to December, 1690. Among the letters of public interest are the correspondence between Nottingham and the Admirals of the Fleet, which throws much light on the state of the Navy, and two or three intercepted letters to France revealing the condition of Ireland and the progress of military operations in the autumn of 1690. Inter- cepted letters from Jacobite ladies in France use a system of cipher-names for which a key on a scrap of paper in Nottingham's handwriting furnished the solution. An intercepted letter from William Hendrix to Paris gives a number of stories about James II. and William III., which though obviously " propaganda " are rather interesting. Some of the domestic letters will be found charm- ing, and yet more attractive are the various papers concerning the travels of Sir John Finch and his inseparable friend, Sir Thomas Baines, in Italy and Turkey. There they pursued philosophical in- quiries in many directions and conversed with savants and Roman ecclesiastics and other remark- able personages. Mrs. S. C. Lomas, who has edited this Report and compiled the index (a most satisfactory one so far as we have tested it), pro- vides a readable Introduction, which gives a good idea of the contents of the volume. The Battle of Brunanburh. By J. B. McGovern, (Manchester, Sherratt and Hughes.) IN 1861, at 1 S. ix. 249. Dr. John Thurnam of Devizes discussed in our colums the unsolved, and insoluble, problem of the site of the Battle of Brunanburh. In view of new theories which have arisen since that day our correspondent, Mr. J. B. McGovern in a paper contributed to the Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society has gone through the evidence once more, and has examined the princi- pal claims, based upon different interpretations of it, which local antiquaries have put forward. Saxifield near the Lancashire Brun ; Burnswork Hill in Dumfriesshire ; Bromborough on the Mersey ; and Bourne in Lincolnshire are the four which make the basis of his paper, to which he adds a discussion of the identity of the Battles of Brunanburh and Viniheith in the light of recent conjecture on the question. The claims being set out, Mr. McGovern proceeds to estimate their respective merits, and Dr. Neilson's plea for Dumfriesshire commands his, naturally doubtful, adhesion, as the nearest approach to a demonstra- tion where, on the evidence, real demonstration can hardly be. The problem, as such, re- mains a fascinating one, a ad the present position in regard to it is usefully and vivaciously outlined in these pages. J?ottce to EDITORIAL communications should be addressed to " The Editor of ' Notes and Queries ' " Adver- tisements and Business Letters to " The Pub- lisher " at the Office, Printing House Square, London, E.G. 4 ; corrected proofs to The Editor, ' N. & Q.,' Printing House Square, London, B.C. 4. ALL communications intended for insertion in our columns should bear the name and address of the sender not necessarily for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith.