1902 Encyclopedia > Greece > Origin of the Greek Language

Greece
(Part 18)




UNIT III: GREEK LANGUAGE (cont.)

Origin of the Greek Language

Origin of the Greek Language. Comparative philology shows us that there was a time The when the ancestors of the various nations which speak common what are generally known as Indo-Germanic languages ^"^anic lived together and had a common speech. From the extent iangna™ and character of the agreement between these various languages at the time when they first become known to us from written records, it is possible to a certain extent to determine which groups remained the longest in con-nexion with each other, and which parted off the soonest from the common stock. Unfortunately scholars are as yet by no means at one as to the results to which this method of inquiry leads us. Schleicher, e.g., held that the agreement between the Aryan or Asiatic group of languages and the South-European (in which he includes not only Greek and Italian, but also Celtic) is closer and more significant than that between the latter and the North-European, i.e., the Teutonic and the Letto-Slavonic group. Max Miiller and Joh. Schmidt maintain that the relations of the various languages are so compli-cated that it is impossible to establish any " genealogical

ITS ORIGIN.]
GREECE
127
tree," or to determine the order in which they separated from each other (see Schmidt's Die Verwandtschafts-ver/idltnisse der Indogermanischen Sprachen, Weimar, 1872). But the prevailing view is still that of Lottner, Curtius, Jolly, Fick, and Scherer, that we may with confidence assume the first division to have been that between the Aryan or Asiatic (Indo-Persian) and the European groups, and that there are sufficient points of agreement between all the European languages to warrant us in assuming that there was a period of some duration during which the European peoples remained united.
The Of these points of agreement the most important are the
common following :—
European 1 Tn(} yowel a jg foimd tQ have ««gp]it,. Qn European son ;nto anguage. ^a ^ree voweis e> a; 0j—that js to say, there are numerous instances in which the European languages agree in degrading a primitive a into e or o when the Asiatic tongues either retain the a or weaken it quite independently into i.
2. The Europeans agree in softening a primitive r into I, where the Asiatics have retained r.
3. There are a large number of new words, and apparently even some new roots, common to most, if not to all, the European lan-guages, of which no trace is to be found among the Indo-Persians.
These facts cannot be set aside by instances of agreement
in inflexion or syntax between Greek and Sanskrit, for
example, for it is much easier to believe that at the com-
paratively late date at which any Teutonic language is
known to us,—and much more so, at the far later date of
the earliest Celtic records,—the inflexions which they pre-
sumably once had in common with Greek had become to a
large extent worn away and unrecognizable and the syn-
tactic constructions modified, than to suppose that such
numerous instances of agreement were wholly fortuitous.
The A similar course of argument fairly leads to the pre-
the Celtic inflexions is not now generally accepted.
Graco- sumption of a common Graeco-Italic nationality. The agreement in vocabulary is still closer than that between the various members of the united European group: for in-stance, while the general terms for agriculture are shared not only by Greeks and Italians, but also by Teutons, Celts, Slavs (though not by Indo-Persians), there are many special terms which are only found on Greek and Italian soil, the most interesting among them being perhaps the words for wine and oil. Other words, again, which are used with a more indefinite meaning by the Europeans generally are specialized and differentiated in Graeco-Italic (Fick, Vergl. Worterb., ii. pp. 1-288; Curtius's Principles, 230b, 234, 597, &c). Whether we may also assume (as is done, e.g., by Professor E. Curtius, History of Greece, vol. i. p. 19) that there was a common Graeco-Italic law of accentuation is very doubtful, in face of the arguments advanced by Corssen in favour of a freer law of accents in the earlier times, both in Greek and in Latin. It is much more probable that the rigidity of the Latin system, and the exquisite flexibility and harmony of the Greek, were developed quite separately from a more fluid state. But undoubtedly there is a far greater similarity in the inflexional system of Greek and Latin than can be established between either of these and any other member of the group. Stages of At the time when the common Indo-European unity was menUn ^rs^ Drok-en UP> *-ne language had reached a stage of develop-inflexion. meQt which may be given with some confidence as follows. The steps assumed are those which have been established by Professor Curtius in his monograph, Zur Chronologie der Indogermanischen Sprachforschung (2d edition, Leipsic, 1873). In spite of the criticisms to which this scheme has been subjected, by far the most important of which are those by Max Miiller and Ascoli, it may fairly be said to maintain its ground, and it is reasserted with full confidence in Curtius's admirable work on the Greek verb.
We start with the period in which roots alone were em- Roots, ployed as words. As to the origin of these roots, philology is as yet quite unable to speak with any positiveness: all that can be said is that the imitative or onomatopoetic theory has not been proved to be capable of producing all the roots which we are compelled to postulate, while, on the other hand, no theory has been generally recognized as fit to be regarded as a serious rival. It is clear, however, that we must admit an extremely early, if not an absolutely primi-tive, distinction of roots into verbal and pronominal roots, i.e., (1) such combinations of sound as were significant, and carried with them a notion which was vague and general, if not philosophically abstract, and (2) such as had no mean-ing in themselves, but only served to denote relations.
The second stage is that of the "determination" of roots, Roots wherein, by the addition of different phonetic elements, they "d6'61^ acquired a differentiated meaning—e.g., when the very vague mined-ju, "join," became ju-g, "join together," ju-dh, "join in battle." (It may here, however, be open to question whether the fuller forms were developed from the shorter by addi-tions, or the shorter abstracted from the group of similar fuller forms, as Max Muller is rather inclined to hold.)
The third stage is that of the formation of verbs, by the Verbs, close combination of a verbal root with one or more prono-minal roots, to denote the character of the subject of the verb. It is in the nature of this combination that we find the distinguishing feature of the Indo-Germanic stock of languages. At the same time we find (1) the " strengthen-ing " of the vowel of the root, by the addition of the simplest vowel-sound a, to denote repeated or continuous as distinct from momentary action; (2) reduplication, originally producing the same effect, but afterwards, in a specialized form, denoting the continued result in the present of an act done in the past; (3) the augment, a particle, originally demonstrative in its nature, prefixed to a verb to denote that the action expressed by the verb took place at a time removed from the present, i.e., in the past. To the same stage (though possibly to a later part of it) belongs the further development of terminations, so as to mark an action as having a special reference to the subject; this produces what is in Greek conventionally called the middle voice, but what is really a reflexive formation. We may take as types of the words created during this stage such forms as da-ta, " give there," i.e., he gives; da-da-ta, "he is giving;" a-da-m, "I gave;" da-da-mai, "I give with a view to myself."
In a fourth stage we get the expansion of the root Stems, into a stem, occasioned apparently, in the first instance, by the increasing need of distinguishing the noun from the verb. The earliest method of forming a stem was by the addition of a "thematic vowel" a to the root, to convey the notion of a continuous action; thus from bhar, " carry," came bliar-a, " carrying." Sometimes the vowel of the root was "strengthened" along with the addition of the thematic vowel; thus rih, "leave;" raika, "leaving." Afterwards other similar formative elements (or pronominal roots) such as ta, na, ma, tra, &c, were added to produce nominal stems of many various kinds. There is no reason to sup-pose that these were at first strictly differentiated in mean-ing; thus par-nu- is "filled" not "filling," hat su--nu- may be taken either actively or passively, " the begetter" or "the begotten," and tap-nu-is "the burning" fever. Sub-sequently the instinct of language availed itself of varia-tions in form to distinguish various relations, especially of gender. Again, when noun-stems came to be used, as the roots had previously been used, to form verbs by the addi-

tion of the personal terminations, this modification of the stem served to distinguish mood. Thus when the vowel a was added to a root from which a verb was already formed, the inflexions of this extended root or stem denoted an action intended to be performed, and thus acquired the force of a conjunctive mood. The addition of the vowel having thus obtained this differentiating power, it was afterwards affixed with the same force to stems already provided with a, the contraction of a + a giving a; hence, just as han-ti is " he kills," han-a-ti, " let him kill," so we get bhara-ti, "he is carrying," bhara-ti, "let him be carrying."
Com- In a fifth stage compound verbal forms make their pound appearance, i.e., tense-stems are produced by the union of stems, primary verb-stems with the roots of verbs which have become simply auxiliary. That this must have been at a later stage than the preceding processes is clear from the fact that verbs only gradually lose their full meaning, and sink into auxiliaries. The verbs so used are (1) as, originally "breathe," afterwards "be"; (2)ja, "go"; (3) dha, "do." From the composition of the first with a verb-stem we get forms like those of the compound or so-called first aorist— e.g., a-dik-sa-t, " he pointed" ( = c-SetK-o-e-r). Here we have the union of a root (in this case acting as a noun-stem) with the auxiliary verbs in the third person, preceded by the augment; a-dik-sa-t is to the earlier form a-da-t much as "turn dicens erat" is to "turn dans." These formations belong to the earliest stratum of this period, inasmuch as the stem appears in its simplest form. For a like reason we must assign to the same stratum the compounds of ja with the simple stem. This auxiliary is used to denote relations which were at first somewhat indefinite but were afterwards more precisely differentiated. There is (1) the present of duration : e.g., svid-jd-mi, "I am sweating;" (2) the passive force thus derived, as in Sanskrit ja is a sign of the passive: e.g. bddh-a-ti, "he knows," bodh-jd-te, "he is known;" (3) the tendency to do a thing, i.e., the optative mood: as in as-ja-m, the primitive form of siem (sim) and tiijv. There is also to be noted, as belonging to this stage, the very important present of duration from the root as, i.e., as-jd-mi, which acquired for itself, and when affixed to roots or stems gave to them, the force of a future. With regard to the root dha, the widely varying force which its compounds have in the different cognate languages prevents us from determining with certainty the manner in which it was originally employed in composition (cf. Curtius, Das Verburn, ii. 352). To a second stratum of the same period must be assigned those compound verbal formations in which the stem is not a pure root, but has already been developed into a stem which has the character of a noun. If we com-pare, e.g., bhdra-jd-mi (= <pope-ja>-fu), " I am bearing," with soid-jd-mi, we find in the first a nominal theme employed for composition and inflexion, in the second a simple root. It is of much importance to notice that here too the verbal formation must have preceded the formation of cases. Had the accusative bhdra-m been in use, it would have been impossible not to employ it in connexion with a verb-form \\kejd-mi, just as the Romans said venum dare, datum iri, and the like, and as Sanskrit forms the periphrastic perfect of the tenth conjugation, by uniting the auxiliary verb with the accusative—e.g., k'orajdm k'dkdra, bodhajam babhUva, &c. We are led to the same conclusion by considering forms like a-dik-sa-nt, by which the absence of plural inflexion is not less clearly indicated than the lack of case-inflexions by bhdra-jd-mi. It has been urged, e.g., by Professor Max Miiller, that this argument is a weak one, because our ancestors must have felt the need for clearly distinguishing the plural from the singular, and the nominative from the accusative, before the need for denoting the differences between the persons. To this it may be replied (1) that
the argument from what must have been is one of the most dangerous that can possibly be used in philology; conclu-sions a priori have again and again been disproved by a more complete acquaintance with the facts of the history of language; (2) that, as a fact, incompletely developed languages do find it more easy to do without distinct marks of the cases than to dispense with personal inflexions, and that this is confirmed by languages like English and French, which have returned to an uninflected state more completely in the case of nouns than in that of verbs ; (3) that in the inflexion of nouns the sign of the plural is added to the case-suffix and not vice versa (e.g., XVKOV4 = XVKOV-% = varka-m-s), so that the use of the sign of case must have preceded that of the sign of number, although the latter might have seemed to us the more indispensable. Professor Muller's argument that composition might have taken place in times subsequent to nominal inflexion, because the stem-forms show themselves in certain cases of declension, and therefore might have remained present in the conscious-ness of those using the language, breaks down upon the essential distinction between the nature of the composition of the verbal forms in primitive times and of the construc-tion of compound verbs within the historical period. We may therefore safely follow Curtius in holding it as at least highly probable that verbs were already inflected according to person, tense, mood, and voice at a time wdien nouns were still in the state either of simple roots (e.g., vale) or nominal themes (bhara, akva, sumi,pati, and the like). The needs of language at this stage were probably helped out (as at present in uninflected languages) by the position of the words, by the stress of the voice, and by a free use of pro-nominal roots, which may have been already acquiring somewhat of a prepositional force. But one of the most Com-important means of expression was undoubtedly composi- pounds, tion. The form which the elements of compounds take, rarely (and apparently never in any early word) appearing with any case-inflexion of the first element (as in ov&evocrvpa., ________, __._________';), but presenting themselves simply as stems (____-_____-_, &c), shows that at any rate the mould in which they were cast, the analogy on which later compounds were freely fashioned, was constructed at a time when nouns were not inflected. The various relations which the factors of the compounds bear to each other point to the same fact. We find in Greek, according to the o very clear and careful statement of Curtius (Grammar,^ 359; cf. Elucidations, pp. 172-178) three kinds of compounds : (1) determinative, in which the second factor is the principal, which, without altering its meaning, has it defined by the first; e.g., __________ = ____ TTO/US; (2) attributive, where the first factor defines the second, but so as to alter its mean-ing, the two combining to form anew idea ; e.g., _,____-_^_ = _.____<; xetpa? %X<J>V > (3) objective, in which one of the two words is grammatically governed by the other, so that in paraphrasing one of the two must be put in an oblique case; e.g., ijvi-oyo-s = __ rjvia £\ov, ___-_-_____-_ = _ ras Movo-as _____, a^to-Aoyo-s = \oyov af 109, ___-/___/___ = viro 6e.ov /3ef3\ap.p.evo<s, Y«po-7rotrrro-s = XEPCRL- TOIYJTOS. (Simi-larly Max Miiller, Sanskrit Grammar, § 513, gives six classes of Tatpurusha compounds, according as the first element stands in an accusative, instrumental, dative, ablative, genitive, or locative relation to the second, with numerous examples.) Curtius justly calls attention to the epithet o_-______^_ as applied in the Odyssey to .Egistheus in relation to Orestes, " one who had slain his father." It is evident that composition, used as freely as forms like these indicate, could have taken very largely the place of case-inflexions.





The origin of the cases, which marks a sixth stage, pre- Cases sents much more difficulty than the origin of verbal flexion. But one broad division may at once be made. The voca-

tive, nominative, and accusative are connected together much more closely than the remaining cases; they coincide in the neuter gender, and no one of them ever interchanges with or becomes equivalent to any one of the other group. On the other hand, in Sanskrit the ablative often coincides with the genitive, and the locative (in the dual) with the genitive or dative, while in Greek the instrumental is re-placed by the dative, in Latin by the ablative; dative and genitive coincide in the Greek dual, dative and ablative in the Latin plural, and the locative always in Latin coincides in form with genitive, dative, or ablative. The vocative may be regarded as a relic of the preceding uninflected stage. The nominative and accusative are closely connected with theme-formation, and seem to have been but a new develop-ment of the same principle. From a root svap, " sleep," came, as has been seen, at an early stage svap-na, " sleep-ing"; from kar, "make," came kar-ta, "made." It was only an extension of the same method when the pro-nominal sa and ma were added to the themes thus formed. Nominal inflexion was created as soon as it came to be re-cognized that the last additions were movable, and that the same stem might, according to circumstances, appear with one or the other or with neither. The fact that -m is found as the suffix of the nominative in some pronouns (e.g., Sanskrit aha-m = eyco-v, tva-m = Tvvrj, &c.) seems to point to a time when this was used as a determinative for nominative and accusative alike; but it soon became specialized as a characteristic of the latter. There is reason to believe that this process was facilitated, if not occasioned, by the use of the wi-suffix to denote gender, or more strictly the absence of gender, in neuter nouns. It was only natural that the same suffix which distinguished the theme as a living being should be applied to mark it out as the subject or source of an action, while, conversely, that which denoted the absence of life should be used to mark the object. It is no improbable conjecture which finds in this accusative character of the sign of the neuter the ex-planation of the ordinary Greek idiom which constructs a neuter plural substantive with a singular verb; TO. &3a rpc^h " the animals are running." Further, the wide and varied usage of the accusative case in Greek appears to point to a time when it was the only oblique case. At a Second later period the second group of cases made its appearance ; group of this includes at least the genitive, ablative, dative, locative, oases. instrumental, and sociative. Whether we are also to regard the various terminations which appear in some adverbs, which cannot be referred to any one of these, as originally case-suffixes is a question not easy to determine, and one which is, after all, rather one of terminology than of any real importance. The theory of the purely local force of the cases, attractive as it is at first sight from its simplicity, and its apparent conformity with the sound theory which bids us, in dealing with language, proceed from the concrete to the abstract, and not vice versa, breaks down when we come to apply it in detail. For the genitive, at any rate, it is much safer to postulate an original adjectival force, a view borne out both by striking similarity of formation in some instances (cf., e.g., Srjp.o-o-io, the earlier form of the Homeric Si^ioio, the Attic Sijixov, and 8^o-crio-s, " belong-ing to the people") and by numerous analogies from various languages. It has even been conjectured, though perhaps on inadequate grounds, that the genitive had originally the final s, which was dropped only when the sense of its origin became obscured. In the ablative we have apparently a use of the pronominal element -ta corresponding to that of -sa in the genitive, and originally in the nominative, the a being afterwards dropped, so that vdk-a-s = vocis is to vak-a-t = voce(d) as ja-s = is is to ja-t = i-d. The syntactic force of the ablative may often be represented as adjectival; and the differentiation of the two cases may
well be a product of later times. The earliest forms of the other cases, the formation of which has not hitherto been satisfactorily explained, will be pointed out below.
In the seventh period assumed by Curtius we have the Adverbs petrifaction of some forms of particular themes with case- an<l Pre-suffixes, which were no longer declined throughout, and Positions-thus gave rise to adverbs and prepositions. The adverbial force was undoubtedly the earlier, as we can see from in-dications in the Homeric poems; the prepositional force came later, first perhaps in connexion with verbs, and afterwards as governing cases. To the same period pro- infini-bably belongs the singularly interesting form of petrified tives. cases presented by infinitives. These have long been re-cognized as cases of verbal nouns (nomina actionis) no longer inflected throughout. The agreement of the cognate languages in the use of this device for extending the range of language seems to be a sufficient indication that it had been introduced before the original unity broke up. At the same time the great variety of the forms actually selected by different languages as the basis of this con-struction is a clear proof that no well-defined system of infinitives had then been brought into use.
Such were the stages by which, according to our greatest Kecon-living authority, that language grew which was destined stmction to be the mother, not only of Greek and Latin, but of al- J*^8 most all the tongues in which human culture has found an Germanic utterance. It is by no means impossible to reconstruct it, lan-at least in outline, as it must have been spoken before the guages. original unity broke up. This task has been attempted, so far as its phonetic laws and inflexional forms are concerned, by Schleicher in his well-known Compendium der ver-gleichenden Grammatik der Indogermanischen Sprachen (3d edition, Weimar, 1871); and its vocabulary has been recon-structed by Fick in his Vergleichendes Wörterbuch already referred to, Schleicher indeed ventured to narrate a brief story in this primitive language (Kuhn's Beiträge, vol. v. pp. 206 sqq.).1 On particular points he may well have been mistaken. The tendency of modern philology is to admit within the period of the united national life a fuller develop-ment than that assumed by Schleicher. Several scholars, working along different lines of research and entirely independently, have established the great probability of a bifurcation of the gutturals ; and it is by no means certain that the vowel system was not already becoming more rich and varied. We have probably to admit that dialectic differences already existed, such as could hardly have failed to arise, even before the nation broke up completely, so soon as it attained any considerable magnitude. And above all it must never be forgotten that we are dealing with the pro-ducts of a period to which chronological limits cannot well be fixed, but which language gives us strong reasons to be-lieve must have been at least as long as that to which the data of other branches of anthropology appear to point. It is impossible to be sure that all the elements which are introduced were ever strictly contemporaneous. Our review of the history of the language thus far is enough to show that one form may have begun to show traces of phonetic decay at a time when another form was not yet created. Hence M. Breal (Melanges, p. 376) does well to warn us against the common error of philologists in endeavouring to get more out of the reconstructed " primi tive speech" than the facts on which it is based will warrant. But used with discretion it affords a highly convenient means for stating the results to which the com-parison of languages brings us.
For our present purpose it will be well to mark one intermediate stage between the source of the Greek lan-


1 Mr J. P. Postgate has published a similar composition (Academy, June 14, 1879), re-written by Mr T. C. Snow (ib., June 28) on tha principles of Brugmiui and De Saussure.


guage thus revealed to us and the language itself as given in its earliest records, by noting the common Graeco-Italic modifications of the primitive speech.
Indo- The original sounds of Indo-Germanic speech may be
Germanic, conveniently tabulated thus:—
sounds. .
Consonants. Vowels.

Momentary. Continuous.


Unaspirated. Aspirated. Spirant. Nasal.

Guttural Palatal .. Lingual . Dental... Labial ... Surd.
k
t
P Sonant.
g
"d 6(?) Sonant.
gh
dh bh Surd. s Sonant.
i (y)
v (w) r
il m a
i ai u au
Changes That the later surd aspirates (kh, th, ph) were developed in time from the sonant by the influence of the aspiration seems to Graico nave been clearly, proved by the very careful researches of Italic Curtius. The fact that while Greek has surd (%, 6, <f>) the unity. Latin representatives of the same are initially the pure aspirate (h) or the spirant / and medially the correspond-ing sonants (b, d, g) is enough to show that they had not lost their sonant character in Graeco-Italic times.
On the whole the mutes must have remained unchanged. The numerous modifications of the k found in Greek (K, y, tr, T) are not to be traced in Latin, and although p often replaces it in Oscan and Umbrian, the fact that it rarely if ever does in Latin proves that the guttural was unchanged at the time of the separation except in the way of generating a parasitic w (v) or y (j).
In the same way Latin shows no trace of the change of g to P, though it has the parasitic v which sometimes causes the loss of the g; thus /Stos and vivus point to a Grieco-Italic gvigva-s. It is doubtful whether the primitive language ever used b unaccompanied by the aspiration ; but Greek and Latin furnish us with sufficient words agreeing in this respect—Fick quotes 25—to make it clear that this letter was so used before the separation.
If Schleicher is right in denying I to the primitive language—and this seems very doubtful in face of the facts collected by Curtius (Principles, ii. 174)—there can be no doubt that this was abundantly developed by the European unity ; and there seems to be no single instance of an r retained in Latin where Greek has X, while villus as compared with tpiov is the only case of the converse. The spirants undoubtedly remained in their full vigour.
But while the Graeco-Italic consonants are on the whole the same as those of the primitive tongue, there is a highly important and significant change in the vowel-system. The original a, retained for the most part in Sanskrit, and modified in Zend only under conditions which make it plain that this is not a phenomenon of very ancient date there, has in Europe undergone a change in two directions. The very valuable paper by Curtius previously mentioned con-tains five tables, from which it clearly appears that a
(1) is retained in 106 Greek and Latin words;
(2) becomes e (i) in 102 ;
(3) becomes o (u) in 56 ;
(4) (a) is retained in Greek, becoming e (i) in Latin in 21;

(b) ditto, becoming o (u) in Latin in 18 ;
(c) remains in Latin, but becomes e in Greek in 18 ;
(d) ditto, becoming o in Greek in 11 ; while there are
(e) 19 words in which Greek e (t) answers to Latin
o (u), and
(/) 10 in which Greek o answers to Latin e (i). Hence it is abundantly plain that the "thinning" of the primitive a to e and its " dulling " to o must have taken place in the great majority of instances during the





Graeco-Italic period. The instances of agreement are three times as numerous as those of disagreement, and most of the latter are to be ascribed to the operation of well-known phonetic tendencies distinctive of the two stocks after their separation. It is worth noticing as to the other members of the European stock that, while there is a striking agree-ment in the cases of the retention of the a or of its weakening into e, this is not found with the third process, the dulling of a into o ; it is therefore legitimate to assume that the first was common to the European family, while the second was specifically Graeco-Italic. Thus the numeral , octo, the roots gno, "know," mor, "die," od, " smell," ok (op), " see," and the words ovi-s, poii-s, porko-s, ovo-m, are all Graeco-Italic but not European.
The inflexion of nouns was complete before the time of Inflexion the separation of languages. We have no reason to believe of nouns, that any new case-form was developed either in the Euro-pean unity or in any individual nation after this date. The changes are wholly in the direction of loss. The cases which can be shown to have existed, and the terminations by which they were denoted, were as follows :—

Singular. Plural. Dual.
Nominative
Accusative
Ablative
Genitive
Locative
Instrumental (i. )
Instrumental (ii. ) ...
(Sociative)
Vocative -s
-am -at
_as (asja)
-i
-ai

-bhi
(no sign). (s)a-s
am-s
bhjam-s
(s)äm-s
sva(s)
-bhjam-s
obhi-s ?»
bhjäm-s. _aus(t).
bhjam-s. J )
In some cases these were modified according to the ter-mination of the stem to which they were suffixed ; and the stems themselves suffered phonetic adaptation to the ter-mination. Otherwise there was no distinction of declen-sion, except that the fuller form of the genitive was used for the most part in the case of a-stems.
If we examine the changes which may be assumed for Grceco-the Graeco-Italic period we find (1) the first instrumental Italic, case is retained only in a few Greek and (possibly) Latin ad- cnanSea | verbs, so that this may be supposed to have dropped out of I ordinary flexion ; (2) the ablative is retained in Latin, and hence it was a Graeco-Italic case, though it appears in his-toric Greek only in adverbs (xaASs, &, &c.) ; (3) the loss of the dual in Latin makes it impossible for us to determine exactly the form of its inflexions at this period ; probably they had already become worn down to something like the form in which we find them in Greek; (4) the existence of a final s in the nom. plur. of o-stems in some Italian dia-lects (Old Latin equis, Oscan -os, Umbrian -as, Oscan fern. _as, Umbrian -as, -ar) shows that the analogy of the pro-nominal declension had not yet established exclusively the -oi, -ai terminations, though these were doubtless already in use.
In the flexion of adjective pronouns there is an agree-ment in the nom. plur. (cf. TOI, rat, is-ti, is-tce) which may be a Graeco-Italic development, the origin of the termin-ation being obscure. I In the declension of the personal pronouns it is to bo \ noticed that the complete distinction of the stems used in the first and second persons plural (afipt- rj/jie-, v/x/xe- v/xe-, as compared with nos, vos) proves that the parallel forms asma-, nas, and jusma-, vas to which Sanskrit points as concur-rently existing, were still used side by side.
The comparison of adjectives was made by the employ-ment of the same stem-suffixes (jans or tara, and ta, tama, &c), though a different selection became the normal I one in Greek and in Latin.
The inflexion of verbs underwent far greater changes than that of nouns, after the separation, but mainly in the

way of a fuller development. In Latin, however, we must assume a very extensive replacing of earlier formations by those of later origin; for of many inflexions which are shown to have been Graeco-Italic by the coincidence of Greek and Sanskrit, there are few if any traces to be found in Latin. The following principles of verbal flexion, the chief stages of whose development we have noticed above, had been established in the parent language:—
1. Stems were inflected by the use of suffixes denoting the three
persons of the three numbers—singular, dual, and plural.
2. Themes variously expanded were used instead of roots for stems,
e.g., bhara-ti by the side of as-ti. Greek and Latin agree essen-tially in the methods used for forming present themes.
3. Middle or reflexive inflexions were developed by the side of those
of the active voice. In Latin this system appears to have lost its significance by the gradual wear and tear of inflexions, and to have been replaced by one based on a wholly different principle.
4. A distinction grew up between primary inflexions, used for
present and future tenses, and secondary inflexions, used for past tenses, where the increased length given to the word by the use of the augment caused the lightening of the termina-tion, usually by the loss of the final vowel.
5. To form the conjunctive and optative moods a and ja (i) were
added to the tense-stems before inflexion.
6. A past tense was formed by the use of the augment and the
secondary terminations. This became differentiated afterwards in Greek into (1) past imperfect, (2) simple aorist, according as the theme was or was not used without modification for the present tense. In Latin this tense was as a rule dropped in favour of the compounded past imperfect or perfect, but Curtius has discovered some traces of it still in use.
7. A compound aorist was formed by the help of the verbal root
as. This is also replaced in Latin by a tense of later creation— the perfect; but its occurrence in Sanskrit establishes it as Graeco-Italic.
8. A future was formed by the combination of the roots as and ja.
Of this, again, there are but slight traces in Latin, the ordinary future being either a later compound with the root bhu, or an optative in origin; but the agreement of Sanskrit and Greek establishes it for this period.
9. Participles or verbal adjectives were formed by the use of the
suffixes ant, vant for the active and inana {meno), ta for the reflexive respectively.
10. The dative or (possibly) locative case of a neuter verbal sub-
stantive was used as an infinitive. It is certain that Latin in
all cases adopted a substantive with the suffix as (giving -asai
— ere), while Greek in some instances employed one with the
suffix man or an (giving -pevtu, -evca, and perhaps in the
accusative form fj.6v); it is not clear whether the more common
Greek termination -eiy is closely connected with the Latin -ere
(Ae'76_=Ae76(cr)6y=legese = legere) as Curtius is inclined to
think, or is of distinct origin.
The researches of Curtius on the Graeco-Italic vowel-system enable us to determine with some confidence the phonetic character assumed by these inflexions. We may give as the common possession, not hharami, &c, but
bheromi, bheresi, bhereti, bheromes, bheretes, bheronti; not akvos, &c, but
ekvos, ekvom, ekvod, ekvois, ekvui, ekvoi, ekve, &c.
It was at this stage of inflexional development, and with a stock of roots and words which can still be ascertained with some approach to completeness, that the Greek language started on its separate career and commenced its independent history. The shape which it has assumed when it first becomes known to us from literary and epigraphic records is due to the action of its characteristic laws, some purely phonetic, and some due rather to the intellectual tendencies of those who used it. Of the phonetic laws four are especially distinctive :—
1. Loss of Spirants.—This is most extensive and important in its results : j (y) has entirely disappeared from the written lan-guage, and its existence is only to be detected from isolated traces in Homer, and perhaps in some inscriptions where / is probably used to denote it; v (to) in the form of / is found on some of the older inscriptions, and its introduction into the text of Homer is often required by the metre; but it is unknown to the ordinary written language; s remains when final, and when in immediate contact with mutes, and also when it has assimilated to itself another consonant; but before vowels it passes into the rough breathing, and between vowels it is as a rule entirely dropped. Instances of the effect of this loss of the spirants abound; as an example we may take the primitive navasja, which becomes vzfoajo, yeoio, veoo, and so veov.
2. Softening of the Gutturals by Labialism.—It has been calculated
that not less than one-sixth of the roots originally containing k or g present IT or /3 in Greek. Hence the reduplicated past tense (1st sing.) from vak, "speak," avavakam, in Greek be-comes e/e/Woy, the Homeric eenroy, Attic elirof.
3. Lightening of the Endings.—Greek allows no consonants to end a
word except s, v, and p, and shows a marked preference for vowel endings. Hence we often find one or more consonants dropped at the end. This gives a liquid flow to the language in which it has few rivals. i. Rich Development of the Vowel System.—In this again Greek is almost unrivalled. While Latin shared with it the original splitting of the a, by its tendency to the loss of the diphthongs this language soon impaired the variety and expressiveness of its vocalisation, while Greek retained the full range undimin-ished. This was an advantage not merely for the euphony of the language, it added greatly to its expressiveness. Curtius has shown by many examples {Comparative Philology and Clas-sical Scholarship, p. 33 jf.) how easily distinctions in meaning were given by this variety of vowels, which are expressed far more clumsily in other languages.
We may notice here also the wide influences of zetacism. This is not limited to Greek, as Schleicher showed in the essay which first set forth its importance properly : but it is more operative in Greek than in any language owing to the more complete disappearance of the/, which coalesces with some other consonant, usually a d, original, modified, or parasitic, to produce it. Thus sad-ja-mai became e£cp.a<., varg-ja-mi, pe£u, &c.
While these laws act naturally, and, so to say, roechani- New cre-cally, we must ascribe to the intellectual character of the ation of Greeks another marked feature of this language, the enor- verDal mous development given to their verbal system. Six tolmso wholly new tenses were created after the separation from the Italian stock,—the future perfect, the compound plu-perfect, two passive aorists, and two future passives. Be-sides, the whole system was worked out with wonderful completeness ; so that while an ordinary Latin verb has 143 possible inflexions, a corresponding Greek verb has no less than 507. In some instances we can see the creative pro-cess still at work, as, e.g., in the case of the perfects in -/«*, which are all but unknown to Homer,


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