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The Philosophic Grammar of American Languages   By: (1837-1899)

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Transcriber's Note

A number of typographical errors have been maintained in this version of this book. They have been marked with a [TN ], which refers to a description in the complete list found at the end of the text.

Text surrounded with ~ was originally printed in Greek.

The following codes for less common characters were used:

[=a] a with macron [=u] u with macron dagger double dagger double vertical line

THE

PHILOSOPHIC GRAMMAR

OF

AMERICAN LANGUAGES,

As Set Forth by Wilhelm von Humboldt;

WITH THE TRANSLATION OF AN UNPUBLISHED MEMOIR BY HIM ON THE AMERICAN VERB.

BY

DANIEL G. BRINTON, A.M., M.D.,

PROFESSOR OF ETHNOLOGY AND ARCHÆOLOGY AT THE ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES, PHILADELPHIA.

President of the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia; Member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Antiquarian Society, the Pennsylvania Historical Society, etc.; Membre de la Société Royale des Antiquaires du Nord; de la Société Américaine de France; Délégué Général de l'Institution Ethnographique; Vice Président du Congrès International des Américanistes; Corresponding Member of the Anthropological Society of Washington, etc.

( Read before the American Philosophical Society, March 20, 1885. )

PHILADELPHIA: PRESS OF MCCALLA & STAVELY, 237 9 DOCK STREET. 1885.

CONTENTS.

The Philosophic Grammar of American Languages.

§1. Introduction, p. 3. §2. Humboldt's Studies in American Languages, p. 4. §3. The Final Purpose of the Philosophy of Language, p. 7. §4. Historical, Comparative and Philosophic Grammar, p. 9. §5. Definition and Psychological Origin of Language, p. 10. §6. Primitive Roots and Grammatical Categories, p. 11. §7. Formal and Material Elements of Language, p. 13. §8. The Development of Languages, p. 14. §9. Internal Form of Languages, p. 16. §10. Criteria of Rank in Languages, p. 17. §11. Classification of Languages, p. 21. §12. Nature of Incorporation, p. 22. §13. Psychological Origin of Incorporation, p. 24. §14. Effect of Incorporation on Compound Sentences, p. 25. §15. The Dual in American Languages, p. 27. §16. Humboldt's Essay on the American Verb, p. 28.

On the Verb in American Languages. By Wilhelm von Humboldt, p. 29.

Verbal forms classified as they indicate the notion of Being:

I. When the notion of Being is expressed independently, p. 31.

1. When the notion of Being is understood, p. 32. 2. When the notion of Being is expressed by a special word, but without a phonetic radical, p. 35.

II. The notion of Being is incorporated with the verb as an auxiliary, p. 37.

Analysis of the Maya Verb, p. 38. Other Examples. The idea of past time as related to death and negation, p. 40.

III. The notion of Being is present in the verbal form only in idea, p. 41.

Case 1st. When the person, tense and mode signs are separable, p. 41. Case 2d. When either the person, or the tense and mode signs, are attached to the verb, p. 41. Case 3d. When both person and tense and mode signs are attached to the verb. 1. Approach toward a Fixed Form, p. 44. 2. Divisibility of Verbal Forms to allow the insertion of governed parts of speech, p. 47. General Conclusions on the organism of American Languages, p. 48.

Notes (by the Translator) on the various American Tribes and Languages mentioned by Humboldt in the preceding Memoir, p. 49.

The Philosophic Grammar of American Languages.

§ 1. INTRODUCTORY.

The foundations of the Philosophy of Language were laid by Wilhelm von Humboldt (b. June 22, 1767, d. April 8, 1835). The principles he advocated have frequently been misunderstood, and some of them have been modified, or even controverted, by more extended research; but a careful survey of the tendencies of modern thought in this field will show that the philosophic scheme of the nature and growth of languages, which he set forth, is gradually reasserting its sway, after having been neglected and denied through the preponderance of the so called naturalistic school during the last quarter of a century... Continue reading book >>




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