Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

T

may have

O exhibit by extraneous characters, with propriety or success, any Lan

guage whatever, can hardly be expected ; and as no less than three concur in the formation of the Hindoostanee, accumulated difficulties, with the failure of my philological predecessours herein, have deterred me from expressing it by the Roman alone ; with this therefore, besides taking some indirpensable liberties, I have regularly contrasted in my orthographical fynopsis below, its Arabic, Persian, and Hinduwee correlatives; that every

scholar it in his power to collate the English letters with their several homogeneous prototypes, and, assisted by an expert moonshee, correct my system, wherever it is found to be anomalous, defective, erroneous, or redundant.

To prove the necessity of adopting some such plan now, would only be repeating all that an elegant writer has already urged thereon, but which I had not the good fortune to meet with, till the publication of my Dictionary, in great measure, precluded from these sheets much of the instruction resulting from the only valuable and scientific dissertation that I know, on this interesting subject(a). Though the method of rendering Asiatic words here has been stu

(2) See Asiatic Researches, Vol. I. page I.

B

diously

پرده ,unbur amber ونبر

,Moofee Mofes موسی

diously founded more on the Orthoepy, than Orthography, of their respective character and language, the latter hath nevertheless been treated with due attention on many occasions ; to avoid, if possible, the solid objections that

may

be started against the rigid adoption of either of these guides, to the entire exclusion of the other. Conformably to the first mollis s Asufool doulu (the present Nuwwab)

, purduh a curtain, Ś kih that, ygvä tuqwee piety, wylo suloot prayer--will ever be found, iif the present work, thus, Asuf ood doulu (or Asu food doulu) umbur, purdi, ki, Moosa, tuqwa, sulat ; the natives invariably pronouncing them in this way, as nobody, surely, would distract a foreigner with colonel (kurnil) who barely wished to learn the oral denomination of a gentleman holding such a rank in our service; were more required, Sheridan could easily be consulted, and the foregoing examples being also inserted in their original symbols, the inquisitive reader is enabled at the fame time to acquire their actual orthography, should he be at all solicitous about it here, which, I imagine, will very seldom be the case. On the contrary, wel hawun (or buwan ) a mortar, has fufeel a rampart, lis göóful a lock, will be found so in the Dictionary; although by a general, but vitious, metathesis, they might be more familiarly written humam, fufeel, qööluf; and to prevent the introduction of heterogenous vowels in words like

, azmaesh , khood self, jangan kheo pleasant, I ' prefer this mode, to azmaish, khöösh, which may perhaps be a trifle nearer the true pronunciation, but would break in upon the systematical restriction of é, to 6 and i to a solicitude that (should it lead me in one or two very trivial instances, a little astray,) will probably in the end conduce much to the learner's improvement, by preserving the general confor'mity between the primitive and typical letters exhibited in the sketch below, The above will tend to illustrate the principles on which my

scheme is conducted; but to dwell longer upon it in this place, would be anticipating what properly belongs to the alphabet itself. I who see the absurdity of being wedded so far to my own method, as to imagine it will ever be generally followed, naturally expect, that it must take the chance of being treated with the same freedom, that has been used by myself with regard to others: an event rather to be wished for than deprecated, since no

thing

/arae آرایش

zer:

[ocr errors]

thing injures science so much, as a servile and implicit reliance on the labours of those who have preceded us, ing any branch of literature whatever. If the subject now treated of, can never arrive at perfection, a spirit of exertion, and enquiry, becomes the more requisite, for its progressive improvement, to the ne plus ultra, that may soon be reasonably expected from the united efforts of our indefatigable countrymen in this extensive empire; won by their valour, supported by their wisdom, and which will most likely be better managed, and longer preserved, by our becoming every day more intimately acquainted with the languages, laws, religion, manners, policy, and interests, of its innumerable and multifarious inhabitants.

The present work being expressly designed for the improvement and advantage of British subjects only, a general or continental pronunciation has been little attended to; such foreigners, however, as may honour the orthographical table and notes with a careful perusal, will perceive that they are by no means neglected; though I have certainly left them the merit and trou

ble of expressing or illustrating my system, in whatever way, may be deemed most congenial with their own language and its immediate symbols. When English letters are used to denote sounds here which they never have in that language, an arbitrary mark (6) enlarges, restricts, or varies their powers; that each may

have its own separate and distinct character, and this its definite appropriated sound; whence every Hindoostanee word may be uniformly and easily rendered, by annalogous representative figns, as all our combinations, and letters, already adapted to my purpose, are assiduously retained; while every one that is servile, mute, ambiguous, unnecessary, and superfluous, has either been modified or expunged, but with the caution and judgement requisite to all innovations: it having been

why? jubaï where, is the French well-known nasal ; but in u 1,7 juban the world, jung

a

(6)ě, ř, ř, with their aspirates å, h, ř,h, th, are much harsher than our d, 7, 4,; also aspirated by d, h &c. which will be made more obvious elsewhere: gh, kh, are the harsh guttural g and k; while gh, k,h, exhibit these letters fully aspirated— also is a deep guttural k. The pb in uphill not of Philip., The nin stone, it is our n of any, fung, &c. the combination ng, being the same in the Hindoostanec as in our own language : zh is the , of measure. Ő and į ū are short, as in shook, pack; and not the long 09,o in toal, toll. ra, yo, &c. of yawn, yoke. Should this note, however,' be considered premature, nothing can be more easy than to proceed without it.

my

1

my invariable aim to unite simplicity with precision, that this subject may; if possible, possess the charms of the one, blended with the utility of the other. The proper

Hinduwee is,' like European languages, the reverse of Persian, being written and read from left to right, in a character called Naguree, from Nugur, the city in Hindoostan, where it was first used; but by whom or when invented is not ascertained, unless we believe, with the Hindoos, that it is the work of the Divinity himself, and was communicated to mankind in the earliest ages of antiquity. Before the Moosulmans established themselves, their detters and religion, with fire and sword in this country, the Naguree was to India, what the Roman alphabet is now to Europe ; but it has long ago been fuperseded as a general character, by the Arabic, and Persian.

To facilitate the acquisition of the Hindoostanee language, therefore, and to preserve the uniformity requisite in a Dictionary, it became as incumbent on me to apply the foregoing letters even to Hinduwee words, as our lexicographers at home find it necessary to exhibit the component parts of their leveral languages, whether Grecian, Latin, Celtic, or Saxon, in one uniform

Wey, by the Roman; which, as a general symbol, is little better qualified than that em? ployed here. Every Moosulman and Hindoo, who would assume the office of a moonshee (prop. a writer, secretary), or' teacher of Hindoostanee, can read Persian ; whereas few of the former, and not many of the latter even, are at all acquainted with the Hinduwee in its native dress ; however able they may be to decypher it when clothed in the adopted character to which they have long been accustomed.–From what has been observed above, it is obviously not my intention to be

very
diffuse on an alphabet

an alphabet confined to the Hinduwee alone ;---further than connected with the illustration and detail of my own plan ; nor is there the least necessity for giving a fuller account of the Persian and Arabic, than will be found in the sequel ; as the learner who means to be guided by the Roman letters, will never think of attending to the others ; while those who do, may with satisfaction and advantage, consult the two excellent grammars we have of these languages ; and it must not be forgotten, that my intention is to teach a foreign tongue, in our own, not its character ; this being no further useful than to support, and confirm, by the testimony of the natives, all that I may advance, since not above five in one hundred readers will take that trouble themselves.

To

« PreviousContinue »