Page images


The Object and Use of Reduplication.


"Instead of the whole root, however, in Sanscrit, (to go no fur. ther for the present,) only the first radical sound, or of two initial consonants only the stronger is repeated, as of yoágo, réypapa. And then in place of a guttural the corresponding palatal is repeated, e. g. gam to go, perf. gagama, and in place of an aspirate the corresponding tenuis; e. g. dhi, perf. dadhi (vienu) as in Greek θύω τέθυκα ; φιλέω, πεφίληκα. Similar substitutions, but not according to any regular system, occur also in Hebrew..... The reduplicated syllable is, moreover, always abbreviated in Sanscrit as also in Greek, so that the tone usually falls upon the second syllable, in wbich the radical vowel, if it had been short, is almost always lengthened, or if it had been long, remains so; tūtinė, beside tătănă.p. 6.

"I hope, in what follows, to prove to a demonstration, that the Hebrew perfect had its origin in the reduplication of the radical syllable and herein agrees with the Sanscrit and its cognates. Only it may be proper for me at once to remark, and cursorily to prove, that the repetition and augmentation of the simple, radical syllable in the Semitic dialects, takes place in a greater variety of forms than in those languages, and hence has maintained a character peculiar to itself.” p. 7.

Here he stumbles upon the great difficulty of his undertaking. It may not require much skill to discover at least a semblance of reduplication in such forms as 377x, 317, np, bar, etc.; but it is notorious, that in the vast majority of Hebrew perfects the similarity lies between the last two radicals, e. g. uun, 320, and the whole class of sy verbs, together with such forms as, na, 773, 177, 329, 737, pns, etc. or between the first and third, e. giing, 070, sbs, unes, etc. where these are identical, together with such

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

.etc , פָּעַם יָדַע ,אָרַח , כָּלַח , כָּנַה , הָלַךְ ,as

But this mountain is a molehill before our author; he clears it with a leap. For what is the object of reduplication? It is to represent “an extension of the verbal idea.That is, we may compare the developed, perfect verbal form to the stem of a tree or horn of an ox, where the concentric circles prove the past development of the object. Now in the Indo-European family of languages, this extension of the verbal idea is represented in all cases, by prefixing to the root the root itself in a modified form; that is, the root has developed itself into a stem in a certain direction. The Hebrew roots, however, whether from greater fertility in the mental glebe of patriarchal times, or for some other cause unknown, shot forth in various directions. The Semitic

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

languages exhibit not merely a prae-reduplication, (Vorn-verdoppelung) as in the Indo-European family, but also a post-reduplication, (Hinten-verdoppelung). In the words of our author, “ This reduplication can occur:

I. In the beginning of the word, by the repetition of the first radical; e. g. 1977, 27, ban, from the roots o, p, and do.!

II. In the end of the word; either 1. By the repetition of the first radical, as 27, 7, 10, etc. or 2. By the repetition of the second, as 5577, rre, etc.

III. The deficient reduplication can be compensated for by a kind of guna-formation ;2 e. g. 67, 77, nę, comp. lĕgo, légi; moveo, móvi; lăvo, làvi, etc. This prolongation takes the place of reduplication and corresponds precisely to the lengthening of the radical syllable, some traces of which we find already in the Sanscrit, e. g. mēne, I meant.” Ib.

Taking it now for granted that this method of prae and post reduplication was followed in the development of the original roots, the next question would be, whence the almost infinite variety in the verbal consonants? This difficulty also vanishes at the magic touch of our author, for “ In general, it is to be observed, that the language endeavors, both in the first and second of these classes, to avoid the repetition of the same consonant both in the beginning and end of the word, and hence changes the reduplicated letter into one nearly related to it. This gives rise to great variety in the development of the stems and in the secondary significations, which same end is attained in the Indo-European family by composition with prepositions ,3 e. g. 297, for non, perf. of

"The root is, by the theory, doubled, 3352 ; the first is then omitted, as in cucurri for cu(r)curri; and finally the first > for the sake of euphony, changed into 17, of the same organ. This is in few words, the author's theory, applied equally at the beginning or end of the root and carried out consistently through the whole work.

?" Guna consists in the prefixing of a short a and Vriddhi in that of a long one; but in both cases the prefixed a sound, according to settled laws of eu. phony, forms a diphthong with the radical vowel.” Bopp. Vergliechende Gram. des Sanscr., etc. I. § 26.

* Take the following from page 8, as an illustration : “ From the stem ona [cut], which is to be looked upon as a new ground-forın or original stem, we find the following sub-stems have grown forth. ang=ura lo strike, hammer, pr.split, break in pieces; further, with a change of s into rara, lo kerp off, pr, attack; nano section, end, point; hence, the head of a pillar, chapter. From this stem there is further derived, by a change of , into's, sną, to separate, divide; hence smaa wall, pr. that which shuts out, separates; comp. 307 to separate, pierce through, hew down, kill. Also, with a change of 3 into 7, na to separate, keep off, cover ;

[ocr errors]


Prae-reduplicated verbal Stems.


the root 7n; , from the root 2, to separate, bend, softened from po; also 37, instead of 171, from the root 72, to separate ; ymp for 22; etc. Especially frequent is the change of the T into the S sounds, and the reverse, according to established and well-known laws; e. g. rex instead of yex from the root ox, to bind together ; con to seize, for non from on, etc.

This subject of changes and substitutions among the similar and related sounds, the author takes up in extenso and makes indeed the system of transmutations the subsidiary basis of his whole arrangement, to the utter disregard of all alphabetic order. The want of this though in some measure atoned for by full indexes at the end), together with the fact that sufficient prominence is not given in the unbroken paragraphs, either to the "stems" or "branches," renders the work unnecessarily heavy.

In the arrangement of the materials, he has collected, in the first place, all the PRAE-REDUPLICATED VERBAL STEMs) and classified them in the following way: I Those in which the first radical is, as in Sanscrit, repeated


Mes, close, compact,


hence, clothes, comp.

to separate, keep off, conceal ; of a seam; , to surround. The under-garment, nano, is purely Semi. tie and passed hence to the Greek XLTÚv, kitøv, and by transposition tunica."

It may interest the reader, to see, in juxtaposition with this description of the supposed development of the root na (cut), the Indo-Germanic method of indicating the various modifications of the same idea, as presented by the author, p. 86. The stem appears in German, as Schneiden, assuming, by the prefring of prepositions, among others, the following variety of forms and shades of meaning. Schneiden, to cut; beschneiden, to circumcise ; der-schneiden, to cot up, castrate ; an-schneiden, to carve ; zu-schneiden, to cut out, as cloth for a coat ; aus-schneiden, cut out; auf.schneiden, to cut open ; vor-schneiden, lead in cutting ; zer-schneiden, to cut to pieces ; ub-schneiden, to cut off; ein-schneiden, to cut in; durch-sehneiden, to cut through ; etc.

'He asserts that there are no original substantives, or nominal roots, in Hebrew, but that our present nouns, without exception, are an aster-growth from the verbal stems, p. XLV. Pref. He admits, however, a second class of roots in the demonstrative and personal pronouns (which in fact appear to be com. mon to almost all known languages, cf. Nordheimer's Heb. Gr. § 125 sq., and p. XVIII. Pref.) but denies the simple interjections, ah, 0, ha ! etc., a place in the sphere of rational language (cf. Ewald I. c. § 201), inasmuch as “they are merely mechanical expirations which involuntarily escape from the lungs in gaping or sighing." The language of irrational animals consists of interjections. In the present work he leaves out of view the pronouns and interjections, and confines himself mainly to the discussion of the verbal roots, with their development into perfects, nouns substantive and adjective, etc.

and usually softened; as osm from -s, to bring together; p from up to separate.

II. Those in which the gutturals and palatals P, S, a, 17 and , have been changed in the reduplicated syllable into - or ; as

[ocr errors]

.etc ,יָקֵץ יָחַל, יָחַם , וָעֶד

.etc ,אָכַל אָחַל , אָגַד

All the stems, or developed perfects, thus formed, (between seventy and eighty in number, he believes himself able to trace up distinctly to six principal roots, whence he accounts for their striking similarity of signification. He thus arranges them :

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


.עט , עד , חד , גד , כד , קר .1

;עס , עץ , עז , חז, גז, כס : קץ 2 .אש , עש , חש ,כש , קש ,further

,הר , ער ,חר , גר ,כר , קר .3

.אל , הל , על , חל , גל , כל , קל .4
.ין ,ין , כן , חן , גן ,כן .5 ;יב , הב , גב , קב , כף , חף , קף , כף

,כם .6

which are related to ba, SM, bs, (--). He next proceeds to the discussion of the Post-REDUPLICATED Stems, which embrace by far the greater number.

The first class here includes such as repeat the first radical,

etc.; or with some , נָגַן נָתַן , סרסר for פָרַס either unchanged, as

modifications, rarely euphonic, but generally according to strict principles based upon the nature of the sounds themselves, e. g.

1. Gutturals are exchanged for each other and the palatals; 2 from in, where the reduplicated has been supplanted by

.etc ;הָלָה for הָלַךְ ; עָנַע for עָנָה ;ךְ the

2. Dentals and linguals interchanged; as bon, bai, bad, bx,

795, etc.

3. Labials interchanged; as bhp, n, etc. 4. Consonants of different organs; a) Gutturals into s and t sounds; as 792, yo, NON, WS,

etc. b) Dentals and linguals into gutturals; as sau, 278, mbas,

aru, etc. c) Gutturals and palatals into labials; as byx, aw;,"927. The second class includes such as repeat the second radical. 1. Those that begin with a guttural; as wp, yp, on, etc.

From these are formed wur, nn, 70, etc.


1847.) Relation of the Egyptian to the Semitic Dialects. 2. Those beginning with s and t sounds; pn, pw, etc.

From these we have PP, Xping, som, etc. 3. Those beginning with labials; as po, no, etc.

From these are formed PET, TI, cup, etc. 4. Those beginning with liquids ; as p1, p3, ps, etc.

.etc ,לָתֵת , הָעַע ,לָרַק , רָקָק

FP, 22, mms, 32, etc.

PEP, MOE, OD The third class embraces the Monosyllabic Perfects, formed by contraction. The author, in order to be consistent, has here to assume, at an early period of the history of the language, a development of some of the original roots into triliterals and their subsequent contraction into the forms in which we now find them. Such are wap from the root up, contracted from usp; OP

.etc ,מָאַת for מות , אָמַר for אור ,חבק for חוק ;קם from ,קאם for

Among the most attractive portions of this interesting work are the Appendices, in the first of which the author discusses the Quadriliterals and finds in the manifold and manifest reduplications of simple roots a powerful argument in favor of his theory of the formation of the perfect.

In the second appendix he treats of the foreign words which at various periods were introduced into the Hebrew. Many that have been commonly held to be such, the flexibility of the language, according to his theory of its development, enables him to account for on the supposition of their Semitic origin.

In the third, he discusses the relation of the language of Egypt to the Semitic dialects. He regards them as essentially different, hotwithstanding their similarity in the pronoun, in the want of a neuter gender, in the method of forming the comparative, etc., "which may be accounted for sufficiently, by the simplicity and antiquity of both families.” The items of difference are of much greater importance, affecting their original development and organic structure, e. g. the affixes to the verbs are separable and the root usually remains unchanged; the original roots in the Egyptian frequently terminate in a vowel; compound substantives, aside from proper names, here frequently occur, etc. On the other hand, such facts as the following, viz: 1. “ That the names of the country, of the principal river, and of the inhabitants are nearly all of Semitic origin; p. 728. Egyptian designations of arts, vessels, measures, buildings, and

2. That many

« PreviousContinue »