Editorial Correspondence -- By: Anonymous
BSac 14:54 (April 1857) p. 425
We have received the following Notes from a valued literary correspondent: —
Hebrew Parallelism. The poetic parallelism of members, as a leading characteristic of Hebrew versification, is well known. This form of composition has been thought peculiar to the Shemites. But it has been pointed out in the poetry of the ancient Finns, before their conversion to Christianity.
In a poem to Tapio, the god of the woods, we have the following invocation :
“O, thou Bee, smallest of birds,
Bring me honey from the house of the woods,
Sweet juice from the hall of Tapio.”
BSac 14:54 (April 1857) p. 426
The following invocation, also, occurs in a hymn to the Finnish goddess of disease, who is styled the daughter of Death. It is translated into Latin by Lenequist.
“Morbus puella, Mortis virgo (scil. filia),
Morbos captivos factos includito
In variegatum vas,
In splendidam capsam.”
It is observable that disease, here, is called the virgin (scil. daughter) of death, much in the same way as the most deadly disease is called, in Hebrew, the first-born (scil. son) of death. See Job 18:13, “the first-born of death shall devour his strength.”
The parallelism has sometimes passed into the prose style of the New Testament; see Matt. 20:22, 23, 25, 26-27. Rev. 22:11.
Vocalic Harmony. This is a peculiar trait of the Turanian or Tartar stock of languages. The principle is this: that the leading vowel of a word controls and assimilates to itself the other vowels of the same word.
This vocalic harmony is seen in the very names of the tribes that belong to this stock, viz. Tunguses, Orotongs, Mongols, Khalkhas, Ölöts, Tatars, Kirgises, Uigurians, Siberians, Magyars, etc.
Also in names of places; as, Astrachan, Cashgar, Ishim, Kamtchatka, Kasan, Koondooz, Khooloom, Ladak, Lassa, Ochotsk, Revel, Samarcand, Simbink, Tobolsk, Yarkand, etc.
It is seen in the religious terms of the Mongols: as, lama, a priest; kootooktoo, a high-priest; obo, an altar; Okhon, a consecrated island, in Lake Baikal, etc.
It is seen in the tables of Turkish inflections, where the vowel of the suffix conforms to the vowel of the word to which it is attached. See Buns...
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