Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/69

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HUMAN SPEECH

sentence. wọ̄o̯3 (rising from deep tone) 2 (rising from high) pʽā4 (sinking from middle) tʽā1 (high) may be literally translated "I not fear he," meaning "I do not fear him"; wọ̄o̯3 "I" as subject comes first; pʽā4 "fear" as predicate follows it; 2 "not," inasmuch as it limits the range of meaning given by the predicate, must precede it, hence stands between the subject and predicate; finally tʽā2 "he" as object follows the predicate. If we exchange the positions of wọ̄o̯3 and tʽā1 we change their syntactical bearing; wọ̄o̯3 "I" becomes "me" as object, while tʽā1, which in our first sentence was best translated as "him" now becomes "he" as subject, and the sentence now takes on the meaning of "he does not fear me."

In the second main type of language, generally known as the agglutinative, the words are not generally unanalyzable entities, as in Chinese, but consist of a stem or radical portion and one or more grammatical elements which partly modify its primary signification, partly define its relation to other words in the sentence. While these grammatical elements are in no sense independent words or capable of being understood apart from their proper use as subordinate parts of a whole, they have, as a rule, their definite signification and are used with quasi-mechanical regularity whenever it is considered grammatically necessary to express the corresponding logical concept; the result is that the word, though a unit, is a clearly segmented one comparable to a mosaic. An example taken from Turkish, a typical agglutinative language, will give some idea of the spirit of the type it represents. The English sentence "They were converted into the (true) faith with heart and soul" is rendered in Turkish džan u gönül-den iman-a gel-ir-ler[1] literally translated, "Heart and soul-from belief-to come-ing-plural." The case-ending -den "from" is here appended only to gönül "soul" and not to džan "heart," though it applies equally to both; here we see quite clearly that a case-ending is not indissolubly connected with the noun to which it is appended, but has a considerable degree of mobility and corresponding transparency of meaning. The verb form gel-ir-ler, which may be roughly translated as "they come," is also instructive from our present point of view; the ending -ler or -lar is quite mechanically used to indicate the concept of plurality, whether in noun or verb, so that a verb form "they come," really "come-plural," is to some extent parallel to a noun form like "books," really "book-plural." Here we see clearly the mechanical regularity with which a logical concept and its corresponding grammatical element are associated.

In the third, the inflective, type of language, while a word may be analyzed into a radical portion and a number of subordinate gram-

  1. The Turkish and Chinese examples are taken from F. N. Fisk's "Die Haupttypen des Sprachbaus."