Зображення сторінки

On the latter point, I have never been able to agree with Bunsen, who maintained that the combustion of the carbon in the luminous envelop must be effected by free oxygen penetrating into it; because its combustion at the expense of the reduction of carbonic acid and water, could not be the cause of such intense production of light and heat; and upon his authority, I reluctantly adhered to this view in my paper, above referred to. I believe with Kersten (1. c., p. 314), that the burning surface of the luminous cone, where carbonic oxyd and free hydrogen meet the oxygen of the air, is the sole source of the heat which causes the intense ignition of the interior, and that the oxydation of the free carbon is effected only through the medium of the intensely heated carbonic acid and steam which penetrate from the outside. I habitually compare the process taking place in the luminous envelop, to what would happen if illuminating gas were passed through an ignited tube into which steam and carbonic acid are injected through lines of lateral orifices. The ignited carbon set free by heat would render the interior atmosphere intensely luminous at the near end, but the luminosity would rapidly decrease toward the far end, where we would have such a mixture of carbonic oxyd and hydrogen as that which, I conceive, is burning on the surface of the luminous cone, and which there, above the point of the latter, produces the maximum temperature.

Unfortunately, a direct solution of the question by an investigation of the gases contained in the luminous envelop, is exceedingly difficult. Much remains to be done in the study of the details of the differentially variable processes by which the familiar phenomenon of a luminous flame is produced ; but what is known is at least worthy of a place in the text-books.

Art. XVII.-A Notice of some Manuscripts in Central Amer

ican Languages ; by DANIEL G. BRINTON, A.M., M.D.

THE natives of Yucatan and most of those who formerly inhabited the provinces of Vera Paz, Chiapas, Guatemala, and Tabasco, spoke closely related languages, the most prominent of which was the Maya, current on the peninsula. Its name has been applied generically to them all, and may thus be understood to include the Maya proper or Yucateca, the Cakchiquel or Guatemalteca, the Quiche or Utlateca, the Tzutuhil or Atiteca, the Zahlopakap, the Pokome, the Tzotzil, the Mam, the Tzendal supposed to be, or most nearly to resemble, the parent stem, and the Huasteca of Tamaulipas which was shown by the authors of the Mithridates to be an offshoot of the Maya. These various dialects resemble each other, both in vocabularies and grammatical forms as closely as the various Romanic tongues of modern Europe.

This linguistic family is of great interest for several reasons. It included the most highly civilized portions of the red race; their ruined cities are among the wonders of the New World ; they had elaborated a phonetic alphabet far superior to the picture writing of the Aztecs ; they had a body of mythology and poetry of which some very respectable relics stiil exist; and what of civilization was found in ancient Anahuac is supposed by many to have been inspired by them; moreover there is some philological ground to believe that the Natchez of Louisiana, the most cultivated aboriginal nation north of Mexico, had a large infusion of their blood.

They have deservedly therefore attracted the especial attention of those given to the study of native American languages. Mr. E. G. Squier has published a “Monograph of authors who have written on the languages of Central America, and collected vocabularies or composed works in the native dialects of that country” (New York, 1861); the Abbé E. C. Brasseur de Bourbourg has emphasized their importance and in his Collection de documents dans les langues indigènes" (Paris, 1862–64,) has laid before the world that most interesting Quiche document, the Popol Vuh ; Count Francisco Pimentel has treated of them at considerable length in his work on the languages of Mexico; M. H. de Charencey of Caen has inserted several excellent essays upon them in various scientific serials ; while Dr. H. Berendt of Tabasco has collected a vast amount of material in the different dialects, which he expects to send to press on his return from the explorations in Central America in which he is now engaged.

In addition to the materials here indicated for a comparative study of this group there are in the library of the American Philosophical Society at Philadelphia, some manuscripts presented by Mariano Galvez, Governor of Guatemala, in 1836. They seem to have escaped the notice of scholars, their very existence there having been entirely unknown even to Mr. Squier, of New York City, although he tells us in the introduction to the above mentioned monograph that he had “ given ten years of devotion to Central American subjects ;" while not one of them is included in the more recent list of works given by Pimentel,t nor in Ludewig's “Literature of

* Milhridates oder Allgemeine Sprachenkunde, T). III, Abth. III, S. 15, Berlin,

+ Cuadro Descriptivo de las Lenguas Indigenas de Bexico, Tom. II, p. 124, Mex. ico, 1865.



American Aboriginal Languages.” Some notice of them therefore will doubtless be welcome to "Americanistes."

The first I shall describe is a work on the Cholti dialect of the Maya by Francisco Moran. It is a small quarto of 92 leaves. The first three pages contain a narrative in Spanish, difficult to decipher, by Thomas Murillo, a layman, touching the missions in 1689–92. Then comes one leaf not numbered, with notes on the verso in Cholti, nearly illegible. On the recto of the fourth leaf,

Arte || en lengua cholti que qui || ere decir lengua de mil | peros. 32 pages in a clear hand, ornamented with scroll work and pen sketches of birds and grotesque animals. On page 35,

Libro de lengua cholti que quiere || decir lengua de milperos. 24 pages in a cramped but legible hand. At the end the colophon,

Fin del arte qe trae no. M. R.do P.e Frai Franco moran en libro de quartilla grande alto, que enquaderno i Recogio de nuestros Religiosos i barias cosas (añadió], el R.do P.e Frai Alonzo de Triana; Requiescant in pace todos. Amen Jesus, Maria Joseph.

A few notes on elegant phrases are added “que mi dio el P. Angel.”

This is a duplicate of the preceding Arte, differing from it, however, in several particulars, being more full and accurate. They both seem to be copies of the original of Moran, not the one of the other.

After the Libro follow eight leaves of questions and answers at the confessional, etc., in Cholti. On p. 77 commences,

Confessionario en lengua | cholti, escrito en el pueblo de san lucar salac de || el chol, año de 1685 : three leaves ending with a catchword indicating that it is but a fragment.

The remaining leaves are occupied by a vocabulary, Spanish and Cholti, chiefly on the rectos only. At the commencement is the following marginal note,

Todo el Vocabulario grande de no. M. R. P.e fr. franco moran esta tra Dusido en este libro, Por el A Besedario, i algunos bocablos mas.

The colophon is,

En este pueblo de lacandones llamado de Nta Señora de los dolores en 24 de Junio dia de S. Juan de 1695 años.

We have here therefore two copies of the grammar and one of the vocabulary of the Dominican missionary Francisco Moran, referred to by Father Francisco Vasquez in his Cronica (1714) as written in the characters invented by the Franciscan friar Francisco de la Parra (about 1550) to express the five peculiar consonants of the Maya group of languages. These are modifications of k, p, ch, t, and tz.* Both these copyists have, however, adopted Roman letters. Neither the original nor any other copies are known to exist, nor any other work in the Cholti dialect, though a certain Father Córdoba also wrote a grammar of it.t It has even been uncertain whether the Cholti was an independent dialect. It is not mentioned at all in Ludewig's “Literature of American Aboriginal languages," and Mr. Squier gives the title of Moran's work from Vasquez thus,

“ Arte de la Lengua Cholti (Chorti ?)."I

The Chorti, however, was spoken in Chiquimula and vicinity, while the Cholti, Chol, or Putum, was the dialect of the village of Belen in Vera Paz, of parts of Chiapas, and generally of the eastern Lacandones among the mountains between the former province and Guatemala. The name chol means cornfield, in Mexican Spanish milpa, and ahcholob or cholti owners or cultivators of cornfields, milperos. From the short vocabulary of Chorti collected by Mr. Stevens at Zacapa it appears to be farther than the Cholti from pure Maya.

The grammar of Moran is succinct, clear, and comprehensive, and eminently deserves publication, together with selections from the vocabulary. I have made a careful copy of it for my own use and have found it of great service as illustrating certain points of growth in these idioms, for instance with reference to the development of the personal pronouns, recently discussed in a scholarly essay by M. de Charencey;$ and affording some additional illustration of the “vowel echo," l'echo vocalique of the Maya dialects, to which the same writer has called attention as analogous to the law of the harmonic sequence of vowels common in Scythian languages.

The remaining manuscripts are in the Cakchiquel dialect, at one time and even yet much spoken and studied in Guatemala, and hence called Guatemalteca.

* I have also noticed the occasional use in these manuscripts of a peculiar vowel sound represented by an i with a diacritical mark beneath it.

† Pimentel. Cuadro Descriptivo de las Lenguas Indigenas de México, T. II, p. 234. Córdoba is not mentioned by Mr. Squier.

| Monograph of Authors, etc., p. 38. § Le pronom personnel dans les idiomes de la famille Tapachulane- Huastèque :

| Etude comparative sur les langues de la famille Maya-Quiché, Revue Ameri. caine, Tom. I.

Caen. 1868.

Calepino || en lengua cakchi || quel por Fray Francis || co de Varea hijo de esta S. Provincia del || SS, nombre de Jesys | de Religiosos de || N. P. S. Francisco de Goatema || la.

A small 4to, one unnumbered leaf, 227 leaves paged, 11 unnumbered leaves of additions. Colophon at foot of page 453,

Acabase de escrevir y trasladar este bocabulario yo fray franco ceron, siendo guardian aunque sine meritis deste convento de S. Pedro de la laguna, oy dia catorse de enero del año del Señor de mil seyscientos y noventa y nuebe, dia del Dulcissimo nombre de Jesus Patron de nuestra S. Prova de Guatta y en el tercer año del Provincialato de N. M. R. P. fr. Juan Bautista.

The title is on the recto of the second leaf. On the recto of the first leaf is the form of absolution in Latin and Cakchiquel ; on the verso a note dated 1732 to the effect that the owner, a priest, received this volume in payment for masses for the soul of its previous possessor, a certain Señor Achutegui.

The dictionary is Cakchiquel and Spanish, written closely but legibly, with 35 lines to a page and averaging about four lines of examples to each word. An abundance of phrases and forms are given, but the alphabetical order is not strictly preserved. The characters of Parra are used throughout.

No author of the name of Varea is mentioned by Mr. Squier. But Francisco Varela is said to have gone to Guatemala in 1596 and to have composed a “Calepino” in 400 pages folio. No doubt this is the same person, and unless the original still exists in the convent of San Francisco de Guatemala, this is probably the only monument of his labor extant.

The next manuscript is a large folio, bound like the preceding in parchment, of 476 leaves numbered on the recto. The

title is,

Vocabulario || De la Lengua cakchiquel, v, Guatimalteca | Nueuamente hecho y recopilado con summo estudio | trauajo y erudicion

por el P. F. Thomas Coto. Pre || dicador y Padre de esta Prouj.a de el S.S.mo Nõbre | de Jesus "de Guatimala. En que se contienen || todos los modos y frases elegantes conque los | Natirales la hablan y d. q. se pueden valer || los Vinistros estudiossos para su mejor | educacion y enseñanza.

This dictionary is a splendid testimonial to the zeal and scholarship of the Franciscan missionaries. The pages are large, with double columns, 37 lines to a page, written quite distinctly though here and there the ink has faded so that it is difficult to read. The first 15 pages are handsomely written

* Monograph, etc., p. 47.

« НазадПродовжити »