The Coming Race HTML version

Chapter 12
The language of the Vril-ya is peculiarly interesting, because it seems to me to exhibit
with great clearness the traces of the three main transitions through which language
passes in attaining to perfection of form.
One of the most illustrious of recent philologists, Max Muller, in arguing for the analogy
between the strata of language and the strata of the earth, lays down this absolute dogma:
"No language can, by any possibility, be inflectional without having passed through the
agglutinative and isolating stratum. No language can be agglutinative without clinging
with its roots to the underlying stratum of isolation."- 'On the Stratification of Language,'
p. 20.
Taking then the Chinese language as the best existing type of the original isolating
stratum, "as the faithful photograph of man in his leading-strings trying the muscles of his
mind, groping his way, and so delighted with his first successful grasps that he repeats
them again and again," (Max Muller, p. 13)- we have, in the language of the Vril-ya, still
"clinging with its roots to the underlying stratum," the evidences of the original isolation.
It abounds in monosyllables, which are the foundations of the language. The transition
into the agglutinative form marks an epoch that must have gradually extended through
ages, the written literature of which has only survived in a few fragments of symbolical
mythology and certain pithy sentences which have passed into popular proverbs. With the
extant literature of the Vril-ya the inflectional stratum commences. No doubt at that time
there must have operated concurrent causes, in the fusion of races by some dominant
people, and the rise of some great literary phenomena by which the form of language
became arrested and fixed. As the inflectional stage prevailed over the agglutinative, it is
surprising to see how much more boldly the original roots of the language project from
the surface that conceals them. In the old fragments and proverbs of the preceding stage
the monosyllables which compose those roots vanish amidst words of enormous length,
comprehending whole sentences from which no one part can be disentangled from the
other and employed separately. But when the inflectional form of language became so far
advanced as to have its scholars and grammarians, they seem to have united in extirpating
all such polysynthetical or polysyllabic monsters, as devouring invaders of the aboriginal
forms. Words beyond three syllables became proscribed as barbarous and in proportion
as the language grew thus simplified it increased in strength, in dignity, and in sweetness.
Though now very compressed in sound, it gains in clearness by that compression. By a
single letter, according to its position, they contrive to express all that with civilised
nations in our upper world it takes the waste, sometimes of syllables, sometimes of
sentences, to express. Let me here cite one or two instances: An (which I will translate
man), Ana (men); the letter 's' is with them a letter implying multitude, according to
where it is placed; Sana means mankind; Ansa, a multitude of men. The prefix of certain
letters in their alphabet invariably denotes compound significations. For instance, Gl
(which with them is a single letter, as 'th' is a single letter with the Greeks) at the
commencement of a word infers an assemblage or union of things, sometimes kindred,
sometimes dissimilar- as Oon, a house; Gloon, a town (i. e., an assemblage of houses).