Imágenes de páginas

by far the most prominent part of the whole sign-word, performs no other function than that of indicating the pronunciation, and that whatever reference there is to signification is to be sought in the remaining part previously called the modifier. Hence he gives to the primitive the name of phonetic, and to the modifier (or radical) that of classifier, as he considers it a sign of the class of ideas to which the word relates. This is what he denominates the phonetic system. He rejects entirely the theory of Mr. Marshman, that the primitive gives the general meaning, and the modifier the particular one, and derides the attempt of Mr. Lay to establish a relationship of idea between all the words having the same vocal utterance, or, in other words, between all the numerous meanings of the same syllabic word.

“ It will be observed, that the sign-words having in them the same primitive (phonetic), are not sufficiently numerous to signify all the various meanings of a single syllabic word. Hence there are other homophonous sign-words having different primitives (phonetics) in their composition, which denote other meanings of the same vocal utterance. Hence, again, there are several phonetics (considering them as such), generally as many as five or six, employed to signify the same vocal utterance or syllabic word, and having no other function. This M. Callery supposes to be so, and he accounts for whatever of seeming relation there may be in the meaning of sign-words having the same phonetic (primitive), on the ground that the inventer of this system of writing, having before him several phonetics, for the same sound would naturally select a given one of them for those meanings which should happen to be most alike, and so of the others. These several views may be shortly stated thus :

“ Mr. Marshman held that all the sign-words which have the same primitive (phonetic) must represent ideas which have something in common, and that the primitive is the representative of that common element of thought, like the root pel, in the words expel, compel, repel, &c. Of this he adduced some illustrations and presumptive evidence, which are disposed of by M. Callery as just stated.

“ Mr. Lay went farther, and held that this common element of thought must be not only coextensive with a single primitive (phonetic) among the written sign-words, but with the spoken syllabic word itself, for which, as before stated, there are several primitives. This theory, the boldest which has been put forth, and which is not, as M. Callery scems to suppose, identical with that of Mr. Marshman, is not

very clearly stated by Mr. Lay, and is supported by a few illustrations so utterly fanciful as fully 10 justify M. Callery in deriding them.

“M. Callery denies the existence of this common element of thought among ideas signified either by the same syllabic word or by sign-words having a common primitive (phonetic). He holds that that part of a compound character called the primitive, having been originally invented to represent a syllabic word in a given sense, was then transferred to and combined with other sign-words, representing the same syllabic word in senses totally different, and for the sole purpose of indicating that the pronunciation is still the same.”

Mr. A. further observed, that several of the terms which he now employed, such as syllabic word, sign-word, and tone-word, were his own ; that he employed them in order to render more palpable the differences between these learned writers, as he was able to gather them from their works, than he could do by quoting their own language. It was with extreme diffidence that he ventured to dis. sent from so ripe and distinguished a scholar as M. Callery. His own studies had led him, however, before he was aware that any such view had been advanced, to the conviction that the theory which he had just now stated, as that of Mr. Lay (and which it must be admitted is but obscurely defined and poorly sustained by Mr. Lay himself), is true. He believes, also, that the observations made by M. Callery (though not his theory), are true likewise, and that the former furnishes the reason of the latter.

In other words, Mr. A. believes, as previously stated to the Academy, that “all the numerous meanings of the same vocal syllable or word in the Chinese language, being in some instances as many as several hundreds, and seeming at first view to have no connection with each other, are in fact legitimately and closely related in idea, or that all of these numerous significations constitute a family of ideas, which family is denoted generically by the single Chinese syllabic word, and specifically in other languages by a family of words, which then have corresponding etymological relationships, and specifically likewise in the Chinese written system, first, by groups of homophonous sign-words, having a different primitive to each group, and then by the particular sign-words within each group having different modifiers. Or, differently stated, that a given group of Chinese sign-words have the same primitive, not merely because they sound alike, but that they both have the same primitive and do sound alike

for the reason lying still farther back, that they mean alike ; and further, that this likeness of meaning is not confined to a group of sign-words having the same primitive, but that it can be traced throughout the whole family of homophonous sign-words."

“ The Chinese written system is not to be considered as an invention, as M. Callery seems to do, but as a growth, perhaps of sev. eral ages, quite similar to the gradual formation of spoken languages in other countries. The law of its growth is to be sought in the spoken language of China which previously existed. It is the greatest of mistakes to suppose the written system to be something quite distinct from and disconnected with the spoken. In order to make out an obvious relation between the numerous and apparently diverse meanings of a Chinese syllabic word, recourse must be had to processes of investigation somewhat new in their kind. The natural relations of ideas to each other must be sought out. Etymology has been too much studied, as the Chinese study anatomy, by mapping out the surface of the body. What we want is that science which shall enable us to trace out a positive relationship between ideas superficially the most remote from each other, as the nerves, and arteries, and veins of the body connect and cause to sympathize parts apparently the least related. These relationships of ideas must be shown to exist metaphysically, and at the same time it must be shown that they are testified to by parallel processes of derivation in various languages, except only the Chinese and a few others, which do not admit of derivation."

Two hundred and ninety-second Meeting.

March 2, 1847. — MONTHLY MEETING. The PRESIDENT in the chair.

Mr. Andrews presented a dissertation on the Tones of the Siamese Language, by Mr. J. Caswell, American Missionary in Siam, which was referred to the Committee on Publication.

Dr. C. T. Jackson read a paper on the recent discovery, claimed by himself, of the effects of the inhalation of sulphuric ether in producing insensibility to pain.

Two hundred and ninety-third Meeting.

March 16, 1847. - SPECIAL MEETING. The PRESIDENT in the chair.

Professor Peirce communicated to the Academy the following notice of the computations of Mr. Sears C. Walker, who found that a star was missing in the Histoire Céleste Française, observed by Lalande on the 10th of May, 1795, near the path of the planet Neptune, at that date, which may possibly have been this planet.

“Shortly after the arrival of the news of the physical discovery of Neptune at Berlin, on a suggestion by Mr. E. C. Herrick of its probable identity with the Wartman planet of 1831, Mr. Walker engaged in the study of the orbit of the former, and soon concluded that they could not have been the same, and that no set of elements could be found, with a mean distance at all probable, which would represent the four places of Wartman's planet, as published in the Comptes Rendus for 1836.

“ His first examination of the orbit of Neptune led to the presumption that the orbit is nearly circular. Also, the large planets lead by analogy to the same conclusion. The eccentricity of

Jupiter is 0.048

Uranus 0.047

Neptune < 0.060, conjectured. “ With a small eccentricity, it was impossible for the sun's mass at that distance to impress much daily variation of the radius vector. Accordingly, an approximate solution was made from the places observed on the 26th of September, 26th of October, and 21st of November, on the supposition of a constant radius vector. The concluded true sidereal orbital motions n', n, and n", together with the mean daily sidereal motion y, for the radius vector r = the semi-axis major = a, are here given. First thirty days. Average motion.

Last 28 days. 34

12.8 16.7 1997 17.90 33 14.6 17.7 20.3

18.71 32 16.6 18.8 20.8

19.60 31 19.4 20.1 21.2

20.56 30 21.7 21.6 21.6

21.58 29 24.1 23.4 22.0




= Me

“ The most plausible value of r from this table is that in which (n — n')2 + (n - n")? is a minimum. This value by the table is 30 nearly, and for this value we have very nearly n = n = n" Hence the orbit comes out nearly a circle, unless we suppose the planet now to present the possible, but still improbable, case of a great eccentricity and true anomaly nearly 900.

“ Accordingly, he selected for the next trial the circular hypothesis, for which two places of the planet sufficed, those of the 26th of September, from the mean of nine European observations, and the 26th of December, from the mean of 33 transits and 11 measures in declination of Neptune (compared with the same two stars used in September) by himself with the Washington equatorial. All the small corrections were taken into account. In this manner he obtained Elements I. in the table below. These elements enabled him to compute an ephemeris of Neptune for the six months following August 1st, 1846, with which he compared one hundred and sixteen nights' works, seventy of the European and forty-six of the Washington Observatory, and derived from them sixteen normal places, which indicated the following corrections of the geocentric longitude computed from Elements I.


No. of place.

No. of

obs. S

No. of




hihi Date, 1846 yrs. Mean Time, Obs. Geo. lon.

Obs. Geo. lat.

Obs. — Eph. Obs.--Eph. Greenwich 1 215.5670 327 4934 1-0 31 36.24 1 - 16.75

6.63 2 223.5441 326 57 9.04 | 1

44.09 1 7.27 1.03 3 270.5 325 46 25.82 16

57.99 16 1.02 0.84 4 276.5

39 54.23 13 56.14 13 + 0.27 1.51 5 282.5 34 16.11 13 56.09 13 + 1.12

0.03 6 290.5 28 21.99 12

53.16 12 3.13 0.30 7 298.5 24 25.25 15

51.13 19 4.19 0.56 8 306.5

22 32.466 47.616 3.02 0.23 9 313.5 22 40.00 4 45.15 31+ 2.40

0.68 10 319.5 24 6.40 | 4

41.51 | 6 1.95 + 0.51 11 325.5 26 50.59? 4

37.30? 4 3.77? 2.21? 12 334.5 33 9.44 | 7

33.92 | 6 2.46 . 1.13 13 345.5 44 26.93

30.79 4 0,96 0.03 14 353.5 54 58.01

27.10 2 0.72 +1.51 15 359.5 1326 4 2.52 3

26.04 3 0.23 +0.77 16 372.5 326 26 39.11 3

23.60 3 4.40 + 1.28

« AnteriorContinuar »