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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/516

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

Let us now see under what conditions does one race or people borrow the language of another. Slaves, of course, take over the language of their masters, but we have to consider (1) the adoption by a conquering people of the language of the conquered, (2) the adoption by a conquered people of that of their conquerors, and (3) the adoption by a people themselves unconquered of the language of their neighbors. Under what conditions do the conquerors adopt the language of the conquered? Ireland affords us at least two certain examples. Cromwell planted large bodies of his English soldiers in Tipperary, but they had no English women, and therefore took as wives the daughters of the land, who spoke the Irish language. From this union resulted a splendid offspring, who spoke chiefly the language of their Irish mothers, and not their fathers' English. So it came to pass that in a single generation the progeny of Cromwell's Puritans were in language as Irish as the purest-blooded aboriginal of Munster. Yet this adoption of the Irish language by the great majority of the children of these settlers took place in spite of the effect which the reading of books in English must have exerted to counteract the tendency to adopt the Irish language. Let us go back five hundred years in Irish history and we find exactly the same process going on. The Normans who followed Strongbow into Ireland, like their captain, frequently married native women. It is a matter of common knowledge that the Anglo-Norman settlers in a short time became Hiberniores ipsis Hibernis.

These and other examples too numerous to cite here prove that the children of bodies of conquerors who marry the women of the land will have an inevitable tendency to follow their mothers' speech. We may also lay down as a solid factor in the tendency of the conqueror to merge into the conquered the isolation of the conquerors from their original homes and from the great mass of those who speak the same language.

Next we come to the case where the conquerors bring with them some women of their own race. This of course helps to keep their own language alive, as a certain number of the children speak it as their mothers' tongue. But even in these circumstances the invaders are liable to drop their own language and practically adopt that of the natives. Thus the Northmen who settled on the coast of France gradually abandoned their national tongue for French, though modifying dialectically their adopted language. When under the name of Normans they conquered and settled in England, they again adopted the language of the conquered, though modifying the English tongue by many words and phrases brought with them from Normandy, and we have just seen how some of their descendants who settled in Ireland for the third time changed their speech for that of the conquered.

Hitherto all our examples show the adoption by the conquerors of