Some affect to despise all etymological researches, because of their uncertainty. But many other branches of science are equally liable to this objection. Was it a clear proof of the wisdom conferred on our common parent, that he gave names to all the inferior creatures, according to their peculiar natures 9 And may we not discern a considerable vestige of his primeval state, in the propriety of many of the names imposed on things, even in modern languages? An inquiry into the reasons of these is not, therefore, a matter of mere unprofitable curiosity. It is no contemptible mean of investigating the operations of our intellectual powers.
The structure of language is, indeed, one important branch of that philosophy which so nearly interests man, - the philosophy of his own mind - a branch which, although less attended to than many others, and often more obscured than elucidated by system, extends its in?uence through all nations; is, practically at least, as well known to the peasant as to the prince, to the savage as to the man of letters; in the most lively manner, in many instances, delineates the objects with which we are conversant, exhibiting to others a faithful copy of the im pressions which these make on our own minds forcibly illustrates, as far as the oblique signification of words are concerned, the singular associations of our ideas; appears, by its striking analogies, as a grand link among the various individuals of the same species, how remote soever from each other as to situation; frequently affords a proof of the near affinity of particular nations and, by the general diffusion of certain primitive terms, or by certain rules of formation universally adopted, assigns a common origin to mankind, although scattered on the face of the whole earth.
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Publisher - Forgotten Books
Language - English
Author(s) - John Jamieson
Published Date - August 25 2019
ISBN - 9781331896203
Dimesions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 3.6 cm
Page Count - 665
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