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THE first thing in the description of a language is its affinities with other languages: and the consideration of this belongs to what is called Comparative Philology. The English is one of the languages of the great Indo-European family, the members of which have been traced across the double continent of Asia and Europe through the Sanscrit, Persian, Greek, Latin, Slavonic, Gothic, and Keltic languages. In order to illustrate the right of our English language to a place in this series, it will suffice to exhibit a few proofs of definite relationship between our language on the one hand, and the classical languages of Greece and Italy on the other. The readiest illustration of this is to be found in the transition of consonants. When the same words appear under altered forms in different members of the same family of languages, the diversity of form is found to have a regular method and analogy. Such an analogy has been established between the varying consonants which

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hold analogous positions in cognate languages, and their variation has been reduced to rule by the German philologer Jacob Grimm. He has founded the law of consonantal transition, or consonantal equivalents. A few easy examples will put the reader in possession of the nature of the thing. When a Welshman speaks English in Shakspeare he often substitutes P for B, as Fluellen in Henry V. act v. sc. I : “pragging knave, Pistoll, which you and your self and all the world know to be no petter than a fellow, looke you now, of no merits: hee is come to me, and prings me pread and sault yesterday, looke you, and bid me eate my leeke,’ &c. The Welsh parson, Sir Hugh Evans, in Merry Wives, puts T for D: ‘it were a goot motion’—‘The tevil and his tam'—and ‘worts' for words, as : ‘Evans. Pauca verba; (Sir John) good worts. FALSTAFFE. Good worts? good cabidge.’ Likewise F for v. ‘It is that ferry person for all the orld’; and “fidelicet' for videlicet—‘I most fehemently desire you,' &c. Between closely cognate languages an interchange of this sort often exhibits great system and regularity. Everybody knows that Hebrew and Chaldee are cognate languages. Between them there is a well-marked interchange of z and D; while a third dialect, which we may call Phoenician, would in the same place put a T. The Hebrew pronoun for this is ZEH ; but in Chaldee it becomes DAA and DEN and DI: the Hebrew word for male is ZAKAR ; but in Chaldee it appears as DEKAR: the Hebrew verb to sacrifice is zAvACH; but in Chaldee it is DEVACH: the Hebrew verb for being timid is ZACHAL; but in Chaldee it is DECHAL. But if we compare Hebrew with the third dialect we get T for z. The Hebrew word for rock is zoor or Tsoor, after which a famous Phoenician city seated

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