Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/876

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

Franklln. Pp. 192. No. 4. Tho Complete Angler. by Izaak Walton. Pp. 192. No. 5, The Man of Feeling. Ry Henry Mackenzie. Pp. 191. New York: Cassell & Co. 10 cents each.

Three Years of Arctic Service. By Adolphus Greely. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 2 vols. Pp. 428 and 444, with Maps and Plates. Sold by subscription.

The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States. By George Brown Goode. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 2 vols. Pp. xx and 895, with 277 Plates.

 


POPULAR MISCELLANY.

The Study of American Languages.—Dr. D. G. Brinton has published an address, which he recently delivered before the Pennsylvania Historical Society, on the importance of studying American languages. Referring to the prominent place which is given to language in the study of ethnology, he shows that its study is particularly essential in the ethnology of America, for "language is almost our only clew to discover the kinship of those countless scattered hordes who roamed the forests of this broad continent." Through the aid of this study alone, Dr. Brinton says, we have already reached the positive knowledge that most of the area of South America, including the whole of the West Indies, was occupied by three great families of nations, not one of which had formed any important settlement on the northern continent. By similar evidence we know that the tribe which greeted Penn when he landed on the site of Philadelphia was a member of one vast family—the Algonquin stock—whose various clans extended from Carolina to Labrador, and from the easternmost cape of Newfoundland to the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, over 20° of latitude and 50° of longitude. We also know that the general trend of migration in the northern continent has been from north to south, and that this is true of the more nearly civilized as well as of the more savage tribes. But such external information is only a part of what these languages are capable of disclosing, for when rightly used they may reveal the inner life of the aborigine and the origin of his customs, laws, superstitions, and religions. Yet the number of those who are giving attention to the study of them is small. In Germany there are Von Tschudi, who has published a volume on the "Qquichua of Peru"; Dr. Stoll, who makes a specialty of the languages of Guatemala; Mr. Julius Platzmann; and Professor Friedrich Müller; in France, the Count de Charency, M. Lucien Adam, and a few other students; while Maisonneuve has published a commendable series of American grammars. In the United States we have the investigations of the Bureau of Ethnology; Dr. John Gilmary Shea, who began a "Library of American Linguistics"; Mr. Horatio Hale; Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull; Dr. Washington Matthews; the Abbé Cuoq, and others; all of whom have worked without reward or the hope of reward, without external stimulus, and almost without recognition. Dr. Brinton thinks that some of our colleges, learned societies, or patrons of science should offer inducements for this study, and asks the pertinent question, "Shall we have fellowships and professorships in abundance for the teaching of the dead languages and dead religions of another hemisphere, and not one for instruction in those tongues of our own land which live in a thousand proper names around us, whose words we repeat daily, and whose structure is as important to the philosophic study of speech as any of the dialects of Greece or India?"

 

The Southern Limits of Glacial Action.—Since Mr. H. Carvill Lewis described his tracing of the terminal glacial moraine across Pennsylvania, attention has been called by different observers to what appeared to them local evidences of glacial action in the region south of the line fixed by him. Eleven such spots have been particularly mentioned, one of which is as far south as West Philadelphia. Mr. Lewis has made personal examinations of all these places for the purpose of ascertaining whether the supposed evidences were real, and states, in the paper which he has published on the subject, as the result of his investigations, that he has found no reason to change his definition of the terminal line. In every instance he has found positive evidence of glacial action wanting, and that the marks relied upon by those who have supposed such action, in support of their views, can be amply accounted for as effects of water, or of atmospheric or other agencies than that of glacial ice. The