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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

102

The Loom of Language

turns up m are, is the single urunflected form er of the Danish 01
Norwegian "present tense" given above We meet it again m the Latin
imperfect (p 105) What is most rhancteristic of the Teutonic group is
the WAS-WAR root corresponding to our English was and were

The modern forms of the verb to be m languages most closely allied
to English are m the table below Those of languages nearest to French
are on p 183 If we go back to Old English, to Old Norse, and
to the earliest known Teutonic language, which is the Gothic of the
Bible translated by Bishop Ulfilas somewhere about A.D. 350, the
sharp contrast between the forms used in contemporary Teutonic and
Romance languages is blurred. The next table shows this:

FOSSIL FORMS OF THE PRESENT TENSE OF  TO BE

OLD FNGLISH

am   or   biom (bco)
arj?          hist

is          bij>

suit

or
aron

Agglutination of pronouns to other words is a very chaiactenstic
feature of the Celtic languages In all of them pronouns also form
contracted derivatives by fusion with directives (prepositions), LC. such
words as with, my to9 from, Welsh has two forms of the first personal
pronoun,, mi and ji) recognizable m corresponding personal flexions of
the prepositions, e.g.


	LATIN
	GOTHIC
	or n NOHSJ

I am
	sxim
	am
	cm

thou art
	es
	IS
	csf

he is
	CvSt
	1st
	es

we arc
	sumus
	sijum
	crom

you are
	CvStr
	81JU|?
	cro)?

they arc
	stint
	Mnd
	cro

i   (to or into)
at (to or tnward\)

mi
h

im (to me)
ataf (to rnc)

The tenses of the old Aryan be verb in its Welsh form (BOD) have two
corresponding types of flexion in the first person singular. We recognize
them without difficulty in the endings of*

bum      I wa$v                     byddaf   *   I shall be

Any doubt about the meaning of this coincidence disappears when we
compare them with the corresponding forms of the second person plural
The Welsh Ewyott is chw and the Welsh for they is hwynt* The aggluti-
native character of the personal flexion is therefore unmistakable m:

danoch* under you
danynt) under them

you were
i they were

^ you will be
byddant, they will be