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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

186                The Loom of Language
conclude that each pair of words has been derived from a single and
earlier one. If we notice several types of sound-replacement., each sup-
ported by a large iiumbex of examples, we can icgard relationship as
certain. This conclusion is of great piactical value ro anyone who is
learning a language, Sound-transformations between related languages
such as English and German, or French aad Spanish, aic not mete
historical curios, like the sound-changes in the earlier history of the
Indo-European group, I low to xecogm^e them should take its place m
the technique of learning a foreign language, because knowledge of them
is an aid to memory, and often helps at. to spot the familiar equivalent
ot an unfamiliar word Use of such rules, set forth more specifically m
Chapter VI of The Lowny should be pail of the laboratory txaining of
the home student who is learning a new language. The reader who
takes advantage of the exhibits in the language museum of Part IV can
exchange the monotony of learning lists of unrelated items for the
fun of recognising when the rules apply* of noticing exception^ and
of discovering why they arc exceptions
One of the words in the preceding hsts illustrates this forcibly. At
first sight there is no resemblance between the Spanish word hccho and
the Latm-Lnglish word fact or its French equivalent fait Anyone who
has been initiated into the sound-shifts of the Romance languages
iccogm/es two uade-rmiks of Spanish One is the CII which corre-
sponds to IT in words of Old French ongm» or CT in modern French
and English words of Latm descent. The other is tine imtiai silent //
whfch often replaces/, as illustrated by the Spanish (hcwa) and Indian
(fava) words for bean. If an American or British student of German
knows that the initial German D replaces our 7H, there if? no need to
consult a dictionary tor the meaning of Ding and DunL
If we apply our three tests—community of basic vocabulary, simi-
larity of grammatical structure, and regularity of sound-*corre$pondence
—to English, Dutch, Gcnxtan and the Scandinavian languages, all the
findings suggest unity of origin. Naturally, it is not possible to exhibit
the full extent of word-community within the limits of this book; but
the reader will find abundant relevant material ux the word lists of
Part IV. Here we must content ourselves with the illustration already
given on p. ziy where a request contained in the Lord's Prayer is
printed in five Teutonic and in five Romance languages. The reader
may also refer to the tables of personal pronouns printed on pages 126
and 127,
The grammatical apparatus of the Teutonic languages points to the