Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/584

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568
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

objects was m—m; a watch, plate, and the moon were mem, a large round dish or table was mum, and the stars were mim mim mim; an ordinary chair was lakail, a great armchair lukull, and a little doll's chair likill. The Rev. J. C. Ball, a distinguished philologist, and his young brother, when six or eight years old, had names of their own devising for their tools and toys. Mary Howitt's elder sister, Anna, did not learn to talk till she was four years old; and even then, having but few words, the children had to coin their own. To sneeze was okis-how—a sound, she thinks, one of their parents must have made in sneezing. By a similar onomatopoeia, an American child called cat mea; in another child's vocabulary, the extraordinary trisyllable shindikik designated that animal. The association of ideas and extension of meaning are often very suggestive—viz., migno-migno—water, wash, bath; waia waiar—black, darkness, negro. It is interesting, Mrs. Crane adds, to note the continued use of Mr. Stillman's boy's own name for water as a means of identifying the acquired Italian aqua for the same object, as frequently happens with adults struggling to express themselves in a foreign tongue. Reduplication seems also to characterize these child-languages like those of some savage tribes, and plurals are formed by repetition.

 

Botany in the Harvard Museum.—The provisions for the permanent display of the botanical section of the Harvard University Museum are nearly complete, and will be unusually comprehensive. The exhibition is planned to contain both dry and alcoholic preparations, representing nearly all the botanical regions. The genera of North America will be most completely illustrated, while the principal groups from other parts of the world will be properly related to them in accordance with an educational plan. The illustration of the economic plants of this country will be extended through all the stages of development, and will be a prominent feature. A unique feature in the department of imitative specimens will be the collection of glass models, which have been prepared after a secret method by Herr Blaschka. They exhibit the whole microscopic structure with the different phases of growth accurately in details, and in some cases very largely magnified. The collection has also been given a set of duplicates from Columbia College representing the South American collection of Dr. Morony. The exhibition-rooms will be connected by passage-ways with those of the Zoölogical Museum on one side and the mineralogical section on the other side, and this in turn will be connected with the proposed corner-piece extending to the Peabody Museum; so that there will be a quadrangle with an unbroken circuit through those parts of the University Museum which are planned for public exhibition.

 

Resources of Honduras.—Mr. W. Pilcher gave to the British Association the results of his observations in Honduras during three months when he traveled on muleback over a thousand miles, chiefly through that part of the country lying on the Pacific slope of the Cordilleras. On the Guayape and Jalun Rivers, in Olancho, the gold-washing provides an easy living for the natives. At the old Spanish mines of Opoteca and Yuscaran the mining camps of the Americans and Germans are at full work. Tropical vegetation abounds in the beautiful and fertile valleys and plateaus, and coffee, rice, maize, sugar-cane, bananas, plantains, guavas, oranges, lemons, and other fruits are continuously produced without fear of frost or adverse seasons. Herds of cattle and native horses are scattered over the country, and Honduras, with its natural advantages and its proximity to New Orleans, presents good opportunities to the foreign settler for the successful employment of his capital in the raising of cattle and the production of the fruits of the country.

 

Prof. Brooks's Studies in Oyster-culture.—Prof. H. Newell Martin refers the beginning of the scientific culture of the oyster to a paper by Prof. Brooks, which appeared in the first number of the Studies from the Biological Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University, "On the Development from the Eggs of a Certain Mollusk." It was followed in the next year by a treatise on the development of some fresh-water mollusca; and during the same year another member of