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Oriental and Linguistic Studies in 2 Volumes (An Old and Rare Book)

Oriental and Linguistic Studies in 2 Volumes (An Old and Rare Book)
Item Code: NAS558
Author: William Dwight Whitney
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 1874
ISBN: 8170301149
Pages: 870 (1 Chart Illustration)
Other Details: 9.00 X 6.00 inch
About the Book

The present volumes by eminent Indologist and Linguistic W.D. Whitney contains valuable and important research articles. The volume One contains 13 articles namely—The Vedas; The Vedic doctrine of a future life; Muller's History of Vedic literature; The translation of the Veda; Muller's Rig Veda translation; The Avesta; Indo-European philology and Ethnology; Muller's lectures on language; Present state of the question as to the origin of language; Bleek and the Simious theory of language; Schleicher and the Physical theory of language; Steinthal and the Psychological theory of language; Language and education. In the end an index of the words.

Volume two contains articles pertain- ing to the East and West; Religion and mythology; orthography and phonology; Hindu astromony etc. This volume contains 12 articles. They are: The British in India; China and the Chinese; Chinese and the West; Muller's Chips from a German workshop; Cox'x Aryan mythology; Alford's Queen's English; How shall we spell? The elements of English pronunciation; The relation of Vowel and Consonant; Bell's visible speech; On the accent in Sanskrit and on the Lunar Zodiac of India, Arabia and China. An index in the end.

Volume - 1


It is at the suggestion and by the advice of friends in whose judgment I have more confidence than in my own, that I put forth this volume of collected essays. The subjects of which they treat are now engaging not a little attention from scholars and from men of reading, and, although much written upon, are yet very far from being exhausted. The paper on the Vedas was, so far as I know, the very first in which the main results of mod- ern study respecting the most ancient period in Indian history were made accessible in English. When it was prepared, I had been attending during two seasons upon the lectures and other instructions of Professor Roth, of Tubingen, and, to an extent so considerable that it calls for special acknowledgment here, the exhibition of the subject was a digest of his teachings. It, as well as the essays that follow it, is left in the main as it was origin- ally drawn up; although there are, naturally enough, passages to which, if the essays were to be produced anew, I should give a somewhat different coloring. The Avestan article has been rewritten, especially in its bibliographical portion, so as to be brought down to the present time as regards the notices of European scholars and their works.

The essays bearing upon the science of language will be found, I trust, not less called for than the rest by the circumstances of the time. Notwithstanding all that has been doing of-late for the furtherance of this science, even its fundamental principles are still subjects of the widest difference of opinion, and of lively controversy. In Germany itself, where the methods of comparative philology have received an elaboration and a definite and fruitful application elsewhere unequaled and un-approached, linguistic science remains far behind; opinions are still in state almost to be termed chaotic, and one comparative philologist of rank and fame after another comes forward with doctrines that are paradoxical or wholly indefensible. My own system of scientific views respecting language was put forth some years ago in a work entitled ‘ Language and the Study of: Language " (first edition, New York and London, 1867) ; in the last few essays of this volume I have endeavored to uphold and urge them, in opposition to the discordant teachings of other scholars. These main truths — that, on the one hand, the capacity of speech is an endowment of human nature, not, how- ever, the only characteristic one, nor a simple one, but the sum and combined effect of qualities which have other and hardly less characteristic modes of exhibition ; that every language, on the other hand, is a concrete result of the working out of that capacity, an institution of gradual historic growth, a part of the culture of the race to which it belongs, and handed down by tradition, from teacher to learner, like every other part of culture; and hence, that the study of language is a historical science, to be pursued by historical methods — these truths I have attempted to inculcate, persuaded that there is no other sound and defensible basis for linguistic science.

I have not thought it worth while so to recast the different essays as to take away the special style which the circumstances of first publication impressed on them. A little repetition will be observed here and there, as the result of the same circumstances; but not, I believe, in any important degree. I have, of course, allowed myself some omissions and modifications of expression.

If the reception accorded to this volume be sufficiently encouraging, it will perhaps be followed by another, composed of essays on another class of themes.

Volume - 2


I put forth this second volume of essays on subjects connected with language and with the Orient, in compliance with a conditional promise given two years ago, at the end of the Preface to the first volume. The condition, "if the reception accorded to its predecessor were sufficiently encouraging," has been at least measurably fulfilled; I have no might to complain of the way in which the somewhat doubtful venture has been met, both by the general public and by the narrower and more critical community of scholars. The intrinsic and widely felt interest of the themes treated has been enough to insure a welcome to even such imperfect attempts at their carnest discussion. I hope that the same fortune may attend this continuation of the series.

It is also in strict adherence to the terms of my promise, that the essays here published are throughout on other classes of subjects than those before treated. I have even excluded any further discussions of the foundation and methods of linguistic study —the matter which I had most at heart in the making up of the former volume. I might have felt called upon to do differently in this regard, if there had appear in the interval anything which demanded notice as placing the subject in a new light; or, especially, any serious al- tempt to controvert my views and the reasoning by which they were sustained. But that is not the case; though the essays have provoked in one or two quarters a certain amount of vituperation, they have not been met on their own ground, of fact and argument; and I believe that I am not mistaken in claiming that their general theory of language and of the method of its study has been and is steadily gaining ground among scholars.

Most of the articles composing the volume are reproduced here nearly as when first issued,! with only a careful revisal. To the first, however, I have made an addition, obviously called for; and to the fourth (on Miiller’s " Chips") JI have appended a brief notice of other later works of the same author, chiefly made up from criticisms furnished at the time to the columns of the " Nation"? (New York). But the eighth, ninth, eleventh, and twelfth articles are entirely rewritten, though including. more or less matier already published. The eighth is almost wholly new, except as many of its views and descriptions are nearly identical with those given in two articles on the Standard Alphabet of Professor Lepsius, in the seventh and eighth volumes of the Journal of the American Oriental Society. The ninth is founded in good measure on an appendix to the latter of the articles just mentioned.? The eleventh in like manner has for its basis a paper in the Transactions of the American Philological Association for 1870, and it contains elements from other articles quoted or referred to in its notes. The subjects compendiously discussed, finally, in the twelfth have been for the most part treated in greater detail in the notes to the Sarya-Siddhanta, in two articles in the eighth volume of the Journal of the American Oriental Society, in an- other in the first volume (new series) of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (London), and in a note to Cowell’s new edition of Colebrooke’s Essays (vol. 1., p. 126 seg.). The added illustrative chart is from the Sirya-Siddhanta.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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