Liuthprandus sedit ann. Arechis sedit ann. Grimoaldus filius eius ann. Grimoaldus alter storesayz sedit ann. II, mensem I et dies Sico exul de civitate Spoletina sedit ann.
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In that work I had traced out the history of French grammatical forms with a view to the completion of my task, and the full cycle of the history of the language, I was bound torical : to write also a history of its vocabulary. This is attempted in this volume, which seeks to register for general use the results of philological enquiry, hitherto too much confined to a narrow circle of literary is men.
In the anarchical period of philology the period between the sixteenth century and our day, during which philology was little but a confused mass of erudite errors two etymological Dictionaries were written, that of Manage in , and that of Roquefort in Seven years later the illustrious Frederick Diez pubHshed at Bonn the first volume of his Grammar of the Rornance Languages , a comparative history of the six languages which have sprung from the Latin, in which he showed by what invariable laws Latin passed into French, Italian, Spanish, Portugese, Wallachian; at the same moment he created a scientific history of the French tongue.
Raynouard, had already prepared the way by a comparative study of the six Neo-Latin tongues still to M. Diez belongs the honour of having created the science by introducing into French philology an exactitude quite unknown before his time. It may therefore seem needless to wish to swell the catalogue with a new philological Dictionary but still I have decided on writing this book for there is a blank to be filled up.
In scientific subjects there is always room for two kinds of books those which teach established scientific knowledge and transmit our learned acquisitions in a collective form, and those which leave former discoveries alone, in order to attempt new research, to work out the solution or the discussion of problems hitherto untouched. Thus, in zoology, a treatise intended for the general public would be silent as to all doubtful or unsettled questions such as the origin of species, or the like , and would occupy itself solely with the minute proof of established truths but if on the other hand the treatise were addressed to the narrower class of professed naturalists, it would be satisfied with simply stating known facts assuming their proof to be known by the reader and would set itself specially to elucidate by new observations or hypotheses those problems which were yet uncertain.
This distinction applies with equal force to etymological Dictionaries, ; according as they address themselves to students of philology only or to the general literary public in the former case the main task of the author will be to attempt unsolved etymological problems, simply stating established etymologies without stopping to give the proofs. But by the side of these works, which assume in the reader a previous acquaintance with philological principles and a knowledge of the position of each question that comes up, there is room for another Dictionary which shall take the science in its present condition, shall provisionally regard the etymology of all words : is still under discussion as unknown, shall limit itself statement of etymologies already settled, and shall then lay before the eyes of the reader all the philological principles on which these interesting results depend.
ETYMOLOGICAL DICTIONARY OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE