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cate existence, and succeeds in doing what he wants, that is all that he or we could require. Mr. Garnett tells us * that the Coptic is defective as regards the substantive verb, but he significantly adds that the Egyptians “had at least half a dozen methods of rendering the Greek verb-substantive when they wished to do so. . . . If a given subject be 'I,' 'thou,' 'he,' 'this,' 'that,' 'one;' if it be ‘here,' 'there,' 'yonder, 'thus,' 'in,' 'on,' 'at,' by ;' if it be ‘sits, stands,' 'remains,' or 'appears,' we need no ghost to tell us that it is.”
Mr. Romanes next depicts what he regards as the gradual impoverishment of language as we go backwards in time through progressive simplifications, as to all which, though we do not profess agreement, we have, for our purpose, no occasion whatever to contest his assertions. “In view of these facts,” he tells us, “it is impossible to withhold assent from the now universal doctrine of philologists—'language diminishes the farther we look back, in such a way that we cannot forbear concluding it must once have had no existence at all.'” This “universal doctrine ” is a quotation from Geiger, whose ignorant prejudice is apparent to every qualified observer. But we fully allow there was a time when no rational language existed, and it was a time which existed before man's appearance on the surface of this planet. With the advent of man, the advent of language simultaneously occurred.
Mr. Romanes, in his effort to show the evolution. of language (which evolution he deems, so mistakenly, * p. 310.
† p. 314.
to be fatal to his opponents), calls in the aid of other writers, and, amongst them, he once more quotes from Mr. Sweet * as to Primitive Man not having used the copula, but only placed words in apposition. Thus, he tells us, "the verb gradually came to assume the purely formal function of predication.” He continues, “The use of verbs denoting action necessitated the formation of verbs to denote ‘rest,' 'continuance in state,' and when, in course of time, it became necessary in certain cases to predicate permanent as well as changing attributes, these words were naturally employed for the purpose, and such a sentence as 'The sun continues bright' was simply ‘The bright sun’in another form." But this is what we meant by saying the simplest element of thought is a judgment. The concept “bright sun” is implicitly the judgment “the sun is bright.” But what is meant by the expression,“ when it became necessary”? Necessary: why, and for whom? There could be no necessity save for man, "the meaner," when he felt a need to give expression to his “meaning.” But to feel the necessity of expressing his meaning, he must first have it. Therefore it is manifest that the thought must have preceded the expression. It was not and could not have been formed by a word ; but it existed, and so formed the word. The same writer goes on to say that not only the order but" the very idea of the distinction between subject and predicate is purely linguistic, and has no foundation in the mind itself. In the first place, there is no necessity for a subject at all : in such a sentence as 'It rains' there is no subject whatever, the it and the terminal s being merely formal signs of predication.” This is a great mistake: not only in “it rains,” but also in the mere concept “rain,” subject, predicate, and copula may truly and implicitly exist. What is meant by the word “rain," and still more by “it rains," uttered in the sense meant, is really this : (1) The conception of the falling of rain ; (2) the conception of time present; and (3) the conception of the existence of the falling action during present time. “Falling rain is present now” is the full explicit statement of the implicit predication contained in the words “rain" and "it rains.” He goes on, “ It rains : therefore I will take my umbrella,' is a perfectly legitimate train of reasoning, but it would puzzle the cleverest logician to reduce it to any of his figures.” But this is not true. It is most easily so reduced as follows:
* p. 315.
A time of falling rain is the time to take an umbrella. The present time is a time of falling rain ; therefore the present time is the time to take an umbrella.
But of course we do not, for we have no need to, consciously go through any such explicit process, on account of the lightning-like rapidity of thought.
He continues, * " Again, the mental proposition is not formed by thinking first of the subject, then of the copula, and then of the predicate; it is formed by thinking of the three simultaneously.” Of course it is : they are evolved simultaneously into explicit recognition from their implicit coexistence in a concept. Again, he says, " When we formulate in our minds the proposition, ‘All
* p. 316.
men are bipeds,' we have two ideas, all men' and 'an equal number of bipeds, or, more tersely, 'as many men, as many bipeds, and we think of the two ideas simultaneously (i.e., in apposition), not one after the other, as we are forced to express them in speech.” But who supposes that our thoughts are bound to follow the order which may be necessary for expression ? Only a Nominalist would be guilty of such an absurdity. Besides this, the statement is doubly erroneous : it errs both by excess and defect. We have no need of the conception of equality of numbers, or of any numerical relation at all, in thinking "all men are bipeds.” On the other hand, the ideas of coexistence and identity are absolutely essential. In the form which Mr. Romanes gives, however, these ideas of coexistence and identity have no place. The words “as many men, as many bipeds” are quite insufficient to express the notion “all men are bipeds.” “As many X, as many Y” might mean things existing in succession, or coexisting, but distinct in kind. Thus, in speaking of trains of railway carriages, we may say, “As many foremost vehicles, so many hindmost vehicles,” or we may say, of sheep in a flock, “As many sheeps' heads, as many sheeps' tails.” But in saying, “All men are bipeds,” we mean that the men actually are identical with the bipeds supposed, and that they all were, are, and will be bipeds, twofootedness and humanity being recognized as coexisting. Therefore the idea of “existence" forms a necessary part of the notion, and, however its expression may be suppressed, must be present in the conception if it is not to be meaningless. Therefore the author cited is
utterly wrong in saying, “When we formulate in our minds the proposition,‘All men are bipeds,' we have two ideas." We have three ideas: (1) men ; (2) twofootedness; and (3) identity of existence.
Mr. Romanes next observes * that“ we are not left to mere inference touching the aboriginal state of matters with regard to predication. For in many languages still existing we find the forms of predication in such low phases of development, that they bring us within easy distance of the time when there can have been no such form at all.”
As an example, he tells us † that “in Dayak, if it is desired to say, 'Thy father is old,' «Thy father looks old,' etc., in the absence of verbs it is needful to frame the predication by mere apposition, thus :— Father-of-thee, age-of-him.' Or, to be more accurate, . . . ‘His age, thy father.' Similarly, if it is required to make such a statement as that 'He is wearing a white jacket,' the form of the statement would be, ‘He-with-white withjacket,' or, as we might perhaps more tersely translate it, • He jackety whitey.'” But how does this in the least tell against the presence of distinct intellectual meaning in the utterance of such phrases ? They may strike the imagination of the unthinking, but, in sober truth, the assertion, “He jackety whitey,” is essentially as good as the assertion, “That man's upper outmost vesture has the hue of snow."
Again, he tells us, I “In Feejee language the functions of a verb may be discharged by a noun in construction with an oblique pronominal suffix, e.g.,
* P. 316. p317. p. 318.