Page:Poetry of the Magyars.djvu/33

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viii
INTRODUCTION.

Whatever changes the language, brought by the Magyars into Europe, has undergone in conse- quence of their intercourse with their neighbours, the construction has been little changed, and re- tains its Asiatic forms. The words which have been introduced have mostly undergone an Hun- garian modification, and of late the language has obtained a decided mastery over the Latin, which, for many centuries, had been the instrument of law and literature. That it presents many diffi- culties to the student, is certain. It has sounds which, though they may be collected from other languages, are combined in none — the French eu, u, and j, the German ö and ü, the Spanish ll, ñ, the Russian Ч and Щ, the Italian gi, and many others. Then again its Eastern peculiari- ties. Its precision, however, facilitates the right understanding of it, as do the simple and efficient rules by which all its conjugates are made. Of any adjective an active verb may be formed by the addition of etni, and a substantive by the addi- tion of ság or ség. The same form of conjugates is used for substantives, pronouns, adjectives, numerals, and verbs. These conjugates are sim- ple additions to, and never alterations of, the root, and are throughout postpositions, which some- times, when gathered up one after another, pre-