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Since Corasen's great work (last edition, Leipzig, 1868-70), there has been no book devoted to a separate investigation by Comparative Philological methods of the Latin Language, its declensions, its conjugations, its formation of the various parts of speech, and the changes of its pronunciation and orthography, if we except the short summary (last edition, Nördlingen, 1889) written by Professor Stolz for the Iwan Müller Series of Handbooks of Classical Antiquity. And yet the additions to our knowledge of the subject since Corssen's time have been very great. Not only has the whole Science of Comparative Philology been, by the help of men like Johannes Schmidt, Osthoff, and Brugmann1, set on a sounder basis, but a vast amount has been added to our knowledge of the Early Latin authors, especially Plautus, of the Umbrian, Osean, and other dialects of ancient Italy, of Romance, and above all of the Celtic family of languages, a family closely united with the Italic group. The time has surely come for a new treatment of the subject, such as I venture to offer in the ten chapters of this volume.
I should have liked to have added to them a fuller discussion of the relation of Latin to the other languages of Italy. But I had already exceeded the generous limits
'I take this opportunity of ac- Grammatik in chaps, iv-viii. and to
know-lodging to the fullest extent Seelmann, Aussprache des Latein in
possible my indebtedness to Brag- chap. ii. mann, rfrimrlriss der Vergleichenden
allowed by the Delegates of the Press, and it seemed to me that until more evidence is forthcoming in the shape of dialectal inscriptions certainty can hardly be attained. It is much to be desired that some of the money which is being raised every year for excavations should be devoted to this field of research. The records of peoples like the Saumites who fought so gallantly with Rome for the rule of Italy, and whose religion and manners so greatly influenced the ruling race, should not be allowed to lie neglected. And yet, while the Latin, Greek, and Etruscan inscriptions of Italy are carefully sought after year by year, there has been practically no organized search for the remains of Osean, Umbriaii, Pelignian, and the rest. I trust that some step may be taken ere long in this direction.
It remains for me to acknowledge with gratitude the kind help -which I have had from numerous correspondents, both in this country and abroad, as well as from my Oxford friends, such as my colleague, Mr. E. R. Wharton. My special thanks are due to Mr. Sweet for looking through the proof-sheets of my chapter on Latin Pronunciation, and to Professors Mommsen. Bormann, Huelsen, and Dressel for giving me access to the advance-sheets of the Corpus Inserí¡ilionmn Lalinarnm. My friend, Mr. J. A. Smith, Fellow of Balliol College, has been good enough to go over the whole book in proof, and to give me many valuable suggestions, especially on one of the most difficult problems of the language, the formation of the Perfect Tense.
Oxfobd, Aiejust, 1894.
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