Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/68

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languages. As a process of definite grammatical significance, however, musical accent is not so wide-spread. It is found, to give but one example, in the earlier stages of Indogermanic, as exemplified, among others, by classical Greek and by Lithuanian.

Having thus briefly reviewed the various grammatical processes used by different languages, we may ask ourselves whether the mapping out of the distribution of these processes would be of more service to us in our quest of the main types of language than we have found the grammatical treatment of logical concepts to be. Here a difficulty presents itself. If each linguistic stock were characterized by the use of just one or almost entirely one formal process, it would not be difficult to classify all languages rather satisfactorily on the basis of form. But there are great differences in this respect. A minority of linguistic stocks content themselves with a consistent and thoroughgoing use of one process, as does Eskimo with its suffixing of grammatical elements, but by far the larger number make use of so many that their classification becomes difficult, not to say arbitrary. Thus in Greek alone every one of the processes named above, excepting consonant change, can be exemplified. Even if we limit ourselves to a consideration of grammatical processes employed to express the relational concepts, we shall find the same difficulty, for the same language not infrequently makes use of several distinct processes for concepts of this class.

On a closer study of linguistic morphology, however, we find that it is possible to look at the matter of form in language from a different, at the same time more generalized, point of view than from that of the formal processes employed themselves. This new point of view has regard to the inner coherence of the words produced by the operation of the various grammatical processes, in other words, to the relative degree of unity which the stem or unmodified word plus its various grammatical increments or modifications possesses, emphasis being particularly laid on the degree of unity which the grammatical processes bring about between the stem and the increments which express relational concepts. On the basis of this formal criterion we may classify languages, at least for the purposes of this paper, into the three main types of linguistic morphology generally recognized. The first type is characterized by the use of words which allow of no grammatical modification whatever, in other words the so-called isolating type. In a language of this type all relational concepts are expressed by means of the one simple device of juxtaposing words in a definite order, the words themselves remaining unchangeable units that, according to their position in the sentence, receive various relational values. The classical example of such a language is Chinese, an illustration from which will serve as an example of the isolating type of