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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

The Classification of Languages          215
Latin) of which we have knowledge., is amalgamation, i e great irregu-
larity of affixation
At one tune comparative linguists distinguished an incorporating or
holophrastic type to accommodate the Amerindian languages, which
illustrate another peculiarity of sound-pattern It is extremely difficult
to recognize where one word begins and another ends in the language
of the Greenland Eskimo* The same is true of a great variety of indi-
genous, totally unrelated., vernaculars of the American continent How
far people distinguish one word from the next, especially in rapid
speech, vanes from one dialect to another within a small group In a
large family such as the Aryan, we find examples of highly holophrasttc
languages such as Fiench or highly staccato languages such as German
The peculiar sound pattern of the Aryan group which is now cus-
todian of the bulk of modern scientific knowledge has one result
relevant (p 508) to the design of a satisfactory international auxiliary
People who do not speak an Aryan language commonly distort words
of Aryan origin when they assimilate them Extraneous vowels break
up consonant clusters, 01 supplement closed syllables, and familiar
more or less related sounds replace foreign ones Thus the Roman
tianscnption of football and calcium after passing through the phonetic
sieve of Japanese is fotdboi u and karuskumu in which r deputizes for
the alien / Since Japanese does not tolerate a terminal consonant
other than #, assimilated words tack on a vowel e g infa. (ink), naihu
(knife) In fact, Japanese equivalents for technical terms of Greek
origin are reminiscent of Greek transcription in the Cypriottc sylla-
bary (Fig 14) Mencken has drawn attention to similar distortions by
Italian immigrants in the United States, e g atto (hat), orso (horse),
scioppa (shop), bosso (boss)
FURTHER READING
BLOOMFIELD                Language
FINCK                        Die Haupttypen dcs Spradibaus
FIRTH                         Speech
The Tongues of Men
GRAFF                       Language and Languages
MLHLLT                   Les Langucs dans r Europe nouvette
MLIIT Li and coniiN Le\ Larigues du Monde
PLDLR&LN                  Linguistic Science m the Nineteenth Century
SAPIR                          Languogp
1UGKLR                     Introduction to the Natural History oj Language
Life and Growth of Language