CHAP. XL AND NEGATION. 373 might likewise come to serve as signs of negation. 'Mr. Wedgwood remarks on this subject/8 that " when the voice is exerted with closed teeth or lips, it produces the sound of the letter n or m. Hence we may account for the xise of the particle ne to signify negation^ and possi- bly also of the Greek ^ in the same sense." That these signs are innate or instinctive, at least with Anglo-Saxons, is rendered highly probable by the blind and deaf Laura Bridgman " constantly accom- panying her yes with the common affirmative nod, and her no with our negative shake of the head." Had not Mr. Lieber stated to the contrary,10 I should have imag- ined that these gestures might have been acquired or learnt by her, considering her wonderful sense of touch and appreciation of the movements of others. With microcephaloxis idiots, who are so degraded that they never learn to speak, one of them is described by Vogt,20 as answering, when asked whether he wished for more food or drink, by inclining or shaking his head. Schmalz, in his remarkable dissertation on the edxication of the deaf and dumb., as well as of children raised only one degree above idiotcy, assumes that they can always both make and understand the common signs of affirmation and negation.21 Nevertheless if we look to the various races of man, these signs are not so universally employed as I should have expected; yet they seem too general to be ranked as altogether conventional or artificial. My informants assert that both signs are used by the Malays, by the natives of Oeylon, the Chinese, the negroes of the Gxxinea 18 * On the Origin of Language,' 1866, p. 91. 10 'On the Vocal Sounds of L. Bridgman; ' Smithsonian Contributions, 1851, vol. ii. p. 1.1. 20 * M&moire sur les Mierocephales,' 1867, p. 27. 21 Quoted by Tylor, * Early History, of Mankind,' 2nd edit. 1870, p. 38.