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use as infinitive, but other than this, no correspondence has been traced between the infinitives of Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and Gothic. It is quite otherwise with regard to the verbal adjectives, the participles. The present participle active is in each of these four great branches of the family, formed by the same suffix, nt. The differences here between Latin and Greek are common differences of declension merely. The Latin gerund in -ndi, -ndo, etc. is undoubtedly a derivative from this participle, by the softening of the final consonant of the suffix, and the addition of a vowel of declension; nor does it seem possible to assign to the future passive participle in ndus a different origin, although the transition of signification which it presents remarkable and hard to explain. The suffix turus, of the future active participle, is to be compared with the Latin suffix tor, Greek tng, two, forming nouns denoting the agent; daturus being just such an expanded form of dator (Gr. 8wrig) as dandus of dant. This is proved beyond all doubt by the Sanskrit, which forms by the unextended suffix words that bear both significations. The passive participle in tus has in Greek been degraded indeed from its position of participle, yet, as the verbal in rós, still plays in that language an important part. The Latin relics of the participle in μɛvos we shall have occasion to speak of hereafter.

The passives next claim our attention. They are plainly entirely distinct and independent formations, and offer one of the most striking points of difference between the two verbs which we have presented for our consideration. We have to inquire, then, respecting them, whether either was ever the common property of both languages, and, if this question be answered in the affirmative, we have further to ask what has caused the loss by the loser of this original passive, and on what principle, and by what means, the loss has been supplied by a new construction. To the first inquiry it may with confidence be replied that the Greek passive formation is original, and was in the possession of the whole family of languages ere their dispersion. This appears, first, from the nature of the mechanism which has been made use of in its formation. Comparative philology has demonstrated that the passive is in all cases originally a middle, and that the passive signification is a secondary one, derived through the reflexive. This is a law of language which it might not be easy to arrive at by a priori reasoning, but its truth is not to be denied. That its authority is not quite extinct even in the latest times is shown by the use in modern French of such phrases as il se dit, it says itself, il se faisait, it made itself, for, it is said, there was made. The Greek middle, then, to call it henceforth by its proper name, is evidently


Greek and Latin Verbs.

derived from the active by a modification of the personal endings. Two modes of explaining this modification have been suggested. The one supposes it to be a doubling of the personal endings in such wise that μαι, σαι, ται, stand for μαμι, σασι, τατι, (the one pronoun of course standing in the nominative, the other in the accusative relation,) and that the medial consonant has been dropped, and the two vowels contracted into a diphthong. The other regards it as a mere expansion or strengthening of the ending, a dwelling of the voice upon it with greater force and fulness, to signify the greater concern of the actor with the action, as not only proceeding from, but also terminating in him. Whichever of these two explanations we adopt (and a thorough examination of the subject can hardly fail to lead us to prefer the latter) it is evident that such means could have been employed only in the earliest period of language, when it was still fully self-conscious, and in possession of all its resources of formation, and that a middle thus generated must have been the first of middles, established to answer the first felt need of such a voice. All the verbal forms which can be shown to have originated since the dispersion are of quite another stamp. Again, the Gothic, down to the middle of the fourth century, still retained fragments of this middle, and although this fact adds to our surprise on finding that the Latin, at the earliest period of our acquaintance with it, had not only entirely lost this ancient voice, but had already gone through all the steps of the process by which it had provided itself with a substitute, yet, as it seems impossible to assume that the Teutonic tribe left their home earlier than the Latin, or have inherited any of the original possessions of the family in which the Latin can claim no share, we must conclude that the Greek middle once formed part of the property of the Latin language. We might perhaps add to these grounds the frequent remains in Latin of the participle in uevos, but the conclusion hardly needs support, and moreover so weak is the connection between the participle and the verb, such an argument will not bear to be leaned hard upon.

How the Latin verb came to be deprived thus early of its passive, we may not find it possible to explain to our entire satisfaction, yet, considering that the characteristic of the voice lay wholly in the final vowel of the personal endings, we can hardly fail to recognize in this loss an effect of the same phonetic tendency which, as we have already seen, wore off those final vowels from the active endings, caused the total extinction of the augment, and nearly made way with the reduplication also. Here, then, as in the case of the imperfect, an important member of the verbal family was relinquished in obedience to


phonetic laws, and here as there, recourse was necessarily had to a composition in order to fill up the chasm that had been left.

What the process was by which the Latin accomplished this object it is not difficult to discover. Analogies sufficiently numerous point the direction of our search. The Slavonic has created a passive by appending to the active persons its full reflexive accusative sya. The Lithuanian has gained a new voice by a similar addition of a remnant only of the reflexive, the simple consonant s, but has not yet made the transition from middle to passive signification. But it is the Scandinavian languages which most instructively illustrate the course that the Latin must have pursued. The old Norse stands in the closest connection with the Gothic, which, as before noticed, possessed remains of the ancient passive as late as the fourth century. By the thirteenth, however, of which date are our earliest Norse records, this passive has entirely disappeared, and the passive relation is expressed periphrastically, by auxiliaries. A distinct middle had meanwhile established itself in the language, a middle originally constructed by appending its proper reflexive to each of the active persons respectively, as still existing remnants of forms so constituted abundantly proved. But the reflexive of the third person, sik, by virtue of the mobility belonging to that pronoun to a greater or less degree in many languages as a general expression for self, had by degrees supplanted the other two, and finally, corrupted by a series of mutilations, to the single consonant s, fixed itself as the sign of the formation. No further modification of form then took place, but by a repetition of that same process of modification of meaning which the original middle underwent, this likewise gradually became a passive, and as such it distinctly appears in the modern Swedish and Danish languages. With these examples before us, and bearing in mind the customary corruption of s into r, we cannot fail to recognize in the r, characteristic of the Latin passive, the consonant of the reflexive se. This pronoun has been variously appended to the persons of the active verb; in the first, of both numbers, without a union-vowel; in the third, by the aid of such a vowel, to which, as in other cases, the liquid r has given the form u; in the second of the singular both methods were apparently adopted, and we have a double form, amaris for amasis, for amas-i-se, and amare, for amase, for amas-se. The second person plural evidently deviates entirely from the analogy of the five others, and in it has been recognized a remnant of the old participle in ueros, namely, its nominative plural masculine, of whose origin the language has lost all consciousness, so as to suffer it to stand without an auxiliary and for all genders. The resemblance in form is so striking (compare


Greek and Latin Verbs.

legimini, hɛyóμɛvo) that we cannot help accepting this explanation, supported as is by a similar usage in one of the Sanskrit tenses; and we may perhaps conjecture, as the reason why the periphrasis amamini, -ae, -a, estis, was retained until time had been given for the language to forget its true character, and corrupt it into its present form, that, after the analogy of the first person, from legitis only legitur could have been formed, and that hereby would have arisen à confusion between this and the third person singular. Hard to account for, however, is the existence of similar forms in the imperfect, and in the present and imperfect subjunctive, and we have nothing better to say for them than that they are probably imitations after the present indicative. We have abundant evidence that the Latin formerly possessed the participle in uɛvos, in such nouns as terminus (tar-minus, the overpassed; compare trans, tar-ans, overpassing, beyond) and alumnus, (alo-minus, the nourished). For such of the active tenses as are derived from the root of the perfect the Latin language never originated independent passive forms. The periphrasis with the participle in tus was so easy and natural as to render that extension unnecessary.

As to the Greek middle-passive itself, any special analysis of its forms is impossible within the necessary limits of our present inquiry. The general principle upon which those forms are constructed, the extension, namely, of the personal endings, has already been stated. To the action of that principle is the origin of them all, with greater or less distinctness, traceable. Exceptions only are the first and second aorists passive and the futures formed from them. These are apparently proper passive formations, which have never passed through the intermediate stage of middle, but their derivation is a difficult question which as yet remains undetermined.


We have thus gone through with the series of regular forms presented by verbs of corresponding conjugation in the two languages, drawing the comparison between them with sufficient clearness, it is believed, to furnish satisfactory replies to the inquiries which were proposed at the commencement of our examination. Want of space renders it necessary not only to omit a host of details and deviations from general rules, all more or less interesting, but also to forbear introducing, what might most properly follow here, a comparative consideration of the internal modifications of the roots, and the formation of derivative and denominative verbs, in either language. The subject is one of high importance throughout, and its discussion brings before our view some of the most interesting steps in the progress of the development of language. It might be well, if even in the earlier stages of instruction more regard could be had to these higher princi

ples of the study of language; and if the verb, instead of being committed to memory as a mere congeries of arbitrary forms, could be understood and learned as the beautiful structure, complete, and significant in every part, which philology proves it to be. Then might grammatical analysis be deprived of somewhat of the tediousness with which in the mind of the student it is now generally invested, and a new and nobler interest in linguistic pursuits be awakened.



By George I. Chace, Prof. of Chemistry and Geology, Brown University.

HAVING in a former article considered the proofs of an author of the universe, from the manifestations of intelligence and design in the outward world, we propose to inquire in the present, what light may be derived from the same source concerning his character. Previous to engaging in this inquiry, however, it may be well to direct our attention for a moment to its nature and the proper mode of conducting it.

When a chemist or natural philosopher enters upon the investigation of any new substance, he is guided in putting his questions by what he has already learned of the properties of other similar bodies. He first asks whether the substance be simple or compound? If on being subjected to the proper tests it prove to be an element, he then inquires what relations it holds to the other elementary bodies? with which of them it enters into union, what are the conditions necessary to such union, what are the phenomena attending it, what are the products resulting from it? He further investigates the relations of this new substance to the imponderable agents. He inquires whether it be an electro-positive or an electro-negative body? whether it be a conductor or a non-conductor of heat, a refractor or non-refractor of light? Having obtained answer to these and other similar questions suggested by his acquaintance with the ordinary properties of matter, he is unable to proceed further. He has no intuitions, no pre-conceptions to guide him in his inquiries. There are no ‘a priori' considerations, no antecedent probabilities of any kind that can be of avail to him. All his light must come from experience. If the substance under examination chance to possess properties different in kind from any with

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