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ject. Of these interchanges it may be just remarked, that they evidently point out a difference of meaning. In the one instance, viz. object large, an affirmation is made respecting the thing or object; in the other, viz. large object, (according to the English idiom) an affirma tion is not made: large object is a mere name, a mark or sign of an idea, and nothing else. This I shall endea vour to explain in its proper place. But suppose the person to have discovered the moving of the object, (presupposing that he was before conscious of the state of not moving, but which, perhaps, is not very good reasoning), before he noticed it to have consisted of a number of separate objects: the current idea in his mind, in this (supposed) case, would entirely correspond with the meaning which we affix to the word moving. Object moving or moving object. The same remarks respecting the interchanges are applicable as before; viz. that in the one instance an affirmation is made, in the other that an affirmation is not made: and that all these signs, large, small, and moving, are signs of "qualities, modes, or accidents:" but the last sign or part of speech exhibits a relation very different from that of large or small. These are attributes of the object or thing; moving is not: it is an instance of the same object or thing with all its attributes in the state of moving. But we will suppose the vessels to have now arrived, and the beholders to be viewing with wonder and astonishment the stupendous machinery-the variety of stores; to be ob serving the qualities, size, make, shape, colour, teint, and shade of the things. No sooner have their wonder and their admiration subsided, than they begin to mark the fitness of each to some particular end; and, in order that they may reason upon their various properties and uses,

without the labour and inconvenience of resorting to violent gesticulation, they adopt oral distinctions. Appropriate signs are very soon invented to correspond with the various qualities, and these are added as before to the term thing already fixed upon: the latter of which, in the course of time, becomes obsolete, and the former is agreed upon by mutual compact to be the sign, type, or name, of the particular object or thing." To assign names to surrounding objects," says Dr. Crombie, "would be the first care of barbarous nations; their next essay would be to express their most common actions or states of being. This, indeed, is the order of nature-the progress of intellect."*

Two balls, of equal size and colour, placed upon a table, will serve for further elucidation. Two adjectives, small and red, explain the size and colour of the balls: and, as far as both adjectives are concerned, what is true of the one is true of the other. But one of the balls is seen to move, while the other remains stationary: here, then, is a new relation. The ball moving or the moving ball: and the ball remaining or resting, or the remaining or resting ball. The moving ball is seen to strike the resting ball: here we have another relation, or passive state of the thing or object: a third ball is now introduced, which is observed to move swifter than the other moving ball: and now another relation is discovered: the manner of the moving. Let it now be supposed that the three balls are stationary. I take one of them, and, placing it closely to one of the remaining, set it in motion towards the other. The spectator observes another relation, viz. moving to one, and moving from the other;

* Dr. Crombie's Treati on the Etymology and Syntax of the English Language.

so that to and from are middle terms, appearing to belong to one ball as much as to the other; yet we can distinctly trace an adjective meaning in both; viz. the to-moving-ball and the from-moving-ball. Let it again be supposed, that the balls are at rest, and that a fourth ball is introduced moving. We now observe the relation of time; the present-moving-ball, and the past-movingball: and here might be developed the various relations of the tenses of a verb.

Novelty is the most natural feeling of the mind; and the faculty by which we discover the objects of novelty is called judgment. The business of the judgment is that of discovering differences. In the very threshold of the philosophy of language, this faculty, though in a state of infancy, exerts its influence: the conceptions of novelty give birth to the expression of ideas, to the various modifications of them, and to all the signs and characteristic marks of the qualities of their differences, whether they be the mode and manner of their being, acting, or suffering.

It is now easy to conceive, that the substantive must have been the original part of speech, and that, according to the nature and proportion of differences in substantives, soon were invented the adjective, the verb, and the adverb: the thing or object being the substantive, and the "mode, accident, or quality," the adjective, verb, or adverb. And this corresponds exactly with Locke's notion of substance, and agrees entirely with the conceptions of the Bishop of Worcester, who opposed some of the passages in "The Essay of Human Understanding," in his discourse in vindication of the Trinity where he says "we find we can have no true conception of any mode or accidents, but we must con


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ceive a SUBSTRATUM or SUBJECT WHEREIN THEY ARE? since it is a repugnancy to our conceptions of things, that modes or accidents should subsist by themselves."*

As, therefore, the differences in the appearances of things or objects, in the infancy of language, were designated by the new sign signifying quality, so arose the adjectives and further, as the differences in the qualities of things or objects, at the next step towards the improvement of language, were distinguished by another new sign, signifying being, acting, or suffering, so arose the verb and what the adjective is to the substantive, so the adverb is to the verb: the adjective defines the quality of the substantive, the adverb defines the quality of the verb-that is to say, the state of the substantive.


If we consider the nature of the transpositive idiom, the order of words as they occur in the construction of sentences in the Greek and Latin tongues, the present hypothesis will be furnished with an additional argument in its favour. The nature of language will be then further unfolded to our view: the consideration will, moreover, present to us one of the principal causes which have influenced the alteration of language during the progress of man's civilization. But we must traverse back, as before, to the most uncultivated period of society; and a short extract from the writings of Dr. Blair will not only answer our purpose, but also serve for general corroboration.

"Let us figure to ourselves a savage, beholding some object, such as fruit, which he earnestly desires, and requests another to give him. Suppose him unacquainted with words: he would then strive to make himself un

* Bishop of Worcester, quoted in Locke's first Letter, page 41.

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derstood by pointing eagerly at the object which he desired, and uttering at the same time a passionate cry. Supposing him to have acquired words, the first word which he uttered would, consequently, be the name of that object. He would not express himself according to our order of construction, Give me fruit,' but according to the Latin order, Fruit give me,'-' Fructum da mihi:' for this evident reason, that his attention was wholly directed towards fruit, the object of his desire. From hence," says Dr. Blair, "we might conclude, à priori, that this would be the order in which words were most commonly arranged in the infancy of language; and accordingly we find, in reality, that in this order words are arranged in most of the ancient tongues, as in the Greek and the Latin; and it is said likewise, in the Russian, the Sclavonic, and Gaelic, and several of the American tongues."*

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If the arguments which I have adopted are just, then it undeniably follows, that the noun or adjective is the original or fundamental part of speech; and that the theory which embraces a principle to shew that the verb is the original part of speech, must be false; not only because it sets forward upon the supposition that man, grown in intellect, contemplates the nature of his necessities, and so discovers, or endeavours to select such objects as shall be likely to alleviate and satisfy them; but because the supposition implies in itself an evident contradiction. The promulger of such a theory supposes that the want or desire of an individual is really the action of the verb in artificial language. But if this mode of reasoning were accurate, the mere want or desire would not con

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* Dr. Blair's Lectures.

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