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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

190

The Loom of Language

as a rustic dialect of the province of Latium; but nobody can tell
where the speakers of proto-Aryan lived;, whether tn Southern Russia,
or on the Iranian plateau^ or somewhere else If, as some philologists
believe, Old Indie, and the Persian of the Avetfa have the most archaic
features of Aryan languages known to us, it is not necessaiily true that
the habitat of the early Aiyan-speaking people was nearer to Asia than
to Europe The example of Icelandic shows that a language may stray
far away from home and still preserve char ictenstics long ago discarded

TEUTONIC  COMPARISON

ANGl O-AMriUCAN

(a) Regular typi

swunsu

DANISH

MUCH

tl KMAN

men RICHLR than
 RICHESr
	nk nkarc an iikast
	ug ngcre ( nd ngcst
	njk xijkct dan ujksi
	icich nnthtn icichst
	als

(b) Irregular forms *
					

(l) GOOD
 BJ i ru<
 BL6T
	gor bame bast
	1«* bcdre Kdst
	goed bctcr b<
	gut bev.tsr :st
	

(ll) MUCH MOKE
	mydcttwC/") inera
	n»egc«(0 nici c
	vcel nuccr
	vicl inciii
	

MOM
	mcst
		incut
	mu »t
	

(m) LirrtE
 LL$S LHASr
	htc«(z) hlla (pi.) nni mmsc
	hllc
 idrc mnidst
	wcinig
 xiimder mmst
	wemj; wcnigcr (minder)
 weiugst (mindcst)
	
* The -r ending is that ot the neuter form
by those that stayed behind. Only one thing seems certain When the
recorded history of Aryan begins with the Vedic hymns, the dispersal
of the Aryan-speaking tribes had already taken place.
From the writings of some German authors we might gain the base-
less impression that we are almost as weU-mformed about the language
and cultuial life of the proto-Aryans as we are about Egyptian civili-
zation* One German linguist has pushed audacity so far as to compile a
dictionary of hypothetical primitive Aryan, and another has surpassed
him by telling us a story m it* Others have asserted that the proto-
Aryans were already tilling the soil with the ox and the yoke. The proof