(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

The Diseases of Language              413

has two living representatives. Lithuanian is the daily speech of some
two and a half million people, Lettish that of about one and a half
million in the neighbouring community, Latvia Of the two surviving
members of the Baltic group, Lithuanian is the more archaic. The
accompanying table which gives the singular forms of the Lithuanian
word for son side by side with the oldest Teutonic (Gothic) equi-
valents, shows that Lithuanian actually outstrips the latter, as it also
outstrips Latin, in the variety of its case-derivatives

LITHUANIAN                    GOTHIC

Nom   Sing.         sunus                    sunus

Ace         3            sunu                     sunu

Gen
Dat
Instr
Loc

sunaus                   sunaus

sunui                    sunau

sunumi
sunuje

Voc                   sunau                    sunau
East and south of the Baltic and Teutonic regions we now find the
huge group of Slavonic languages, spoken by some 190 million people.
Philologists classify them as follows.
A. EAST SLAVONIC*
1   Great Russian (100 millions)
2   Little Russian (30 millions)
3. White Russian (12 millions)
B   WEST SLAVONIC
1   Slovak and Czech (12 millions)
2   Polish (23 millions)
c SOUTH SLAVONIC:
1   Bulgarian (5 millions)
2   Serbo-Croatian and Slovene (12 millions)
At the beginning of our era the Slavs still inhabited the region
between the Vistula, the Carpathian Mountains, and the Dnieper.
During the fifth and sixth centimes, they swarmed over huge tracts of
Central and Western Europe At one tune they were in possession of
parts of Austria, Saxony, and the North German plains to the Elbe
During the Middle Ages, Slavonic surrendered all this territory to
Germany; but Polabian> a Slavonic dialect, persisted in the lower
regions of the Elbe up to the eighteenth century, and even to-day
Germany harbours a minute Slavonic language-island, the Serbian of
Upper Saxony While Slavonic has had to retreat from the West, it