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Crawfurd says:—“The origin, as our old English has it, of the 'outlandish persons calling themselves Egyptians or Gypsies,' and constituting 'a strange kind of commonwealth among themselves of wandering imposters and jugglers,' is, at least, a subject of great curiosity, not to say of etymological import. Although their first appearance in Europe be coeval with the century which witnessed the discovery of the New World and the new passage to the Indies, no one thought of ascribing to them a Hindu origin, and this hypothesis, the truth of which I now propose to examine, is but of very recent date. Their Hindu origin was not for a long time even suspected; it has of late years, however, received general credence, and, I think, justly. The arguments for it consist in the physical form of the people, in their language, and in the history of their migration. The evidence yielded by physical form will certainly not prove the gypsies to be of Hindu origin. The Hindus are all more or less black; and assuredly no nation or tribe of Hindus now exists, or is even known to have ever existed, as fair as the gypsies of Europe. It is on language chiefly that we must rely for evidence of the Hindu origin of the gypsies, and even this is neither very full nor satisfactory. The dialects spoken by the different tribes of this people, although agreeing in several words, differ very materially from each other. Besides the genuine Indian words to be found in the language of the gypsies, they all contain a large intermixture of foreign tongues, consisting of words of the languages of the people they dwell or have dwelt amongst,-of Persian, of Arabic, of Turkish, of Greek, of Hungarian, and of various Sclavonian tongues; these being, in some cases, -as, for example, in the Persian,-more numerous than the Hindu words. This is what was to be looked for from four hundred years' residence in Europe, and their sojourn among oriental nations in their necessarily slow journey westward. The Indian words which exist in the language of the gypsies are by no means so numerous as the Latin ones which are found in the Welsh and Armorican, or in the Irish and Gaelic, and there will be found wanting in the Gypsy language classes of words which are indispensable towards proving it of Indian parentage. Of the migration of the Gypsies from India there is assuredly no record in Indian history, neither have we of their arrival in any Asiatic country before they reached Europe. In both France and Italy their first appearance was in an inland city, in both of which they began at once to tell fortunes; a fact which supposes, of course, some acquaintance with the language of the people whose fortunes they pretended to predict. From these two facts, it may be inferred that the Gypsies
ersians, ing, they
were in France and Italy for some time before their appearance in Paris and Bologna. Most probably they came to Italy from Wallachia, through Servia, Bosnia, and Dalmatia, crossing the Adriatic; but what internal commotion led to their adventure is unknown. From Italy, where they were seen five years before they reached France, they probably found their way into the latter country. If the Gypsies were originally an Indian people (and there is no other evidence of their having been so than a few words of an Indian language), they were most probably captives, carried off by some western invader with the hope of peopling his own desert lands. I must come to the conclusion that the Gypsies, when above four centuries ago they first appeared in Western Europe, were already composed of a mixture of many different races, and that the present Gypsies are still more mongrel. In the Asiatic portion of their lineage there is probably a small infusion of Hindu blood; but this, I think, is the utmost that can be predicted of their Indian pedigree. Strictly speaking, they are not more Hindus in lineage than they are Persians, Turks, Wallachians, or Europeans; for they are a mixture of all of these, and in that in proportions impossible to be ascertained.”
The Celtic languages in reference to the question of race. By Mr. John CRAWFURD. There exist two living European languages which, going under the name of Celtic, are usually believed to be one tongue, or at least, sister languages of one origin, and spoken by the same race of men. These are, on one hand, the native language of Ireland and of the mountainous part of Scotland, which are beyond doubt essentially the same, and the native language of Wales and Brittany - which are equally sister tongues. I have long been of opinion that the two languages in question are really different and distinct tongues. The words which seem to me most distinctly to prove languages to be cognate are prepositions, auxiliary verbs and conjunctions, adverbs of time and place, those parts of speech, in fact, which form the link of language, and without which sentences cannot be constructed. When these are essentially the same in any two languages, these languages may be pronounced at once as sister tongues, while, when they differ, they may with equal confidence be pronounced as different tongues, or of different origin, although they may contain words in common. Tried by the test which I have endeavoured to describe, the Gaelic and Welsh languages will be found to be, not sister tongues derived from the same parent, as are Italian and French, but two distinct languages. Their particles and auxiliaries are wholly different. The
Irish Dic have complatively small,
phonetic character of the two languages differs very materially, and, with the exception of a comparatively small number, their words are wholly different. I have compared, with all the care I could command, the Irish Dictionary of O'Reilly, with the Welsh of Spurrel. The first contains better than 50,000 words, and the last above 33,000; and, in this multitude, I could discover not more than 200 which were common to the two languages. In nearly every case of these there was a difference in the form of the words in the two languages, and this independent of the factitious difference arising from disagreement in their orthographic systems. If the facts and arguments adduced in the course of this paper are admitted, we must come to the conclusion that the Gaelic of Ireland and Scotland, with the dialect of the Isle of Man, on one hand, are the same language, while the Welsh and Breton, with the now extinct Cornish, are essentially the same on the other, the two classes of languages being essentially separate and distinct. So far, then, as language can be considered a test of race, and to the extent that one European race of man differs from another, the parties speaking the two languages must be viewed as distinct original races. The difference between the two peoples in intellectual endowment may not be appreciable, any more than it is in other European races; but, physically, I think it is admitted that the Welsh are shorter in stature and darker in complexion than the people at least of the western part of Ireland, where there has been the least admixture of foreign blood.
On Celtic Languages in reference to the question of Race. By RICHARD STEPHEN CAARNOCK, F.S.A., F.R.G.S., F.A.S.L. At a late meeting of the Ethnological Society of London, John Crawfurd, Esq., F.R.S., read a paper on the “So-called Celtic Languages in reference to the question of Race”; which paper has since been printed by the author. The paper is so badly arranged, that it would be impossible to criticise it as a whole; I therefore propose to deal with it paragraph by paragraph.
The design of the essay is to show that the Gaelic and Welsh are two distinct languages, and are not derived from a common stock. “I have long been of opinion”, says Mr. Crawfurd, “that the two languages in question are really different and distinct tongues; and having made such inquiries as were in my power, with the view of determining the question, I propose to state the result in the present paper. The qualifications which I bring to this task are soon told. One of the two languages, the Gaelic, was the language of my childhood (I still retain some colloquial acquaintance with it); and of the languages of some oriental nations, probably in as advanced a state when their tongues took their present shape as were the Welsh and Irish when theirs did so." This sentence is not wholly undecipherable; but it might have been a little clearer. “In order to determine the consanguinity of languages, the first thing necessary is to find a test by which consanguinity can be certainly ascertained.” The following is the author's test. “When between two or more languages there is a substantial agreement in phonetic character, in grammatical structure, and in the great body of their words, such languages may confidently be pronounced to be cognate tongues, or languages having a common parentage.” No doubt; but are we to understand that it cannot also be the case unless all these circumstances intervene? In the very next sentence Mr. Crawfurd seems to contradict himself; or, at all events, to lay down a very different proposition. He says, “the words which seem to me most distinctly to prove languages to be cognate are prepositions, auxiliary verbs, and conjunctions, adverbs of time and place -those parts of speech, in fact, which form the links of language, and without which sentences cannot be constructed. When these are essentially the same in any two languages, these languages may be pronounced at once as sister tongues; while, when they differ, they may with equal confidence be pronounced as different tongues, or of different origin, although they may contain many words in common.” We are told that the languages of Southern Europe all contain a considerable admixture of Teutonic words, but that they are written easily in words derived from Latin without their assistance, while it is impossible to construct a single sentence of them with words purely Teutonic. When our author speaks of the languages of Southern Europe, I take it he refers to the Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romance languages. If so, after a careful comparison of these languages with the Teutonic, I am inclined to think that Mr. Crawfurd has made use of the word considerable for inconsiderable. “ The proportion of Norman-French in our vocabulary is usually reckoned at one-sixth part, or five-sixths of our language is of German origin, although in use, from the nature of the words of the latter, the proportion is much greater.” Whence did Mr. Crawfurd obtain this information? If he means to apply it to what is now called English, he must have consulted some old work on the language. in the first instance, the author of the paper is wrong in making use of the term German. But I will not quibble with words, as doubtiess Anglo-Saxon is intended. It is necessary to notice this, because not only is there a great difference between these two lanVOL. I. - NO. III.
guages, but the Anglo-Saxon (at all events, in proportion to the words that it possesses) contains a much larger number of words of Latin origin than do the German languages. I am aware that Hickes maintained that nine-tenths of the English dictionary was of Saxon origin, because there were only three words of Latin origin in the Lord's Prayer; that Sharon Turner was of opinion that the relation of Norman to Saxon was as four to six ; and that another writer, who estimates the whole number of English words at 38,000, assigns 23,000 to a Saxon, and 15,000 to a classical source. Thommerel was of opinion that of 43,566 words, 20,853 were of classical, 13,230 of Teutonic (Anglo-Saxon ?) origin, and that the remainder were from miscellaneous sources. None of these statements, however, will hold water at the present day. Out of the 80,000 words which now make up our language, considerably more than 30,000 may be traced to the Latin and Greek. As for the Norman element, instead of its constituting, as Mr. Crawfurd states, one-sixth part of the English language, it probably does not constitute one-fiftieth part. After descanting at some length on the Welsh and Gaelic, in order to prove that they are distinct languages, the author of the paper arrives at the question of grammatical structure. “I come next to the question of grammatical structure as a test of the affinity, so much relied upon of late by learned Germans. It is by this they come to the startling conclusion, that the leading languages of ancient and modern Europe have all sprung out of a dead language of India, or yet more extravagantly, from a language of the highest table-land of Central Asia, of which the very name and locality are pure myths. The corollary follows that all the races speaking them-black, brown, and fair, the Celts included-are of Eastern origin;" but, as we have shown elsewhere, it is not a corollary at all. In order to illustrate what is said in the previous passages, with regard to the European languages, Mr. Crawfurd very unreasonably refers to the American languages (1,200 in number), which he says have a common grammatical structureone which distinguishes them from all the other languages of the world. He says, “ that this, adopting the German test of affinity, ought to prove that all the American languages had one common origin, but that the theory is at once demolished by the crushing fact that, with the exception of the languages of a few neighbouring tribes and nations which have borrowed a small number of words from each other, the vocabularies of the numerous languages in question are wholly different; and that an agreement in grammatical structure is, therefore, in this case, no evidence of language; nor does