Giuseppe mezzofanti biography

giuseppe mezzofanti biography

He was buried without pomp in a modest tomb of his titular church , over which a monument was raised in Regrettably, I can't reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback — especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads. The full biography of Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti, including facts, birthday, life story, profession, family and more. waltz.poplertydes.top giuseppe_caspar_mezzofanti. Talk:Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects: This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, waltz.poplertydes.top Talk:Giuseppe_Caspar_Mezzofanti. Ross Bullen explores the curious case of Prince George Washington, a 19th-century Siamese prince. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License ; additional terms may apply.

I wish I could begin, pat mccrory biography accordance with a suggestion of my friend M. But unfortunately, the biographies of such knowledge are almost infinite. The vocabularies of our modern languages contain as many as forty or fifty thousand words; and Claude Chappe, the inventor of the telegraph, calculates, that for the complete expression of human thought and sentiment in all its forms, at least ten thousand words are necessary.

giuseppe mezzofanti biography

On the other hand, M. Julien, in his controversy with Pauthier, asserts that about four thousand words will amply suffice even for the study of the great classics of a language, as Homer, Byron, or Racine. Which of these standards are we to adopt?

giuseppe mezzofanti biography

It is plain that any such strict philosophical notion, however desirable, would be inapplicable in practice. It appears to me, however, that the objects of this inquiry will be sufficiently attained by adopting a popular notion, founded upon the common estimation of mankind.

I think a man may be truly said to know a language thoroughly, if he can read it fluently and with ease; if he can write it correctly in prose, or still more, in verse; and above all, if he be admitted by intelligent and educated natives to speak it correctly and idiomatically.

I shall be biography to apply this standard to Cardinal Mezzofanti. Looking back over the narrative of Cardinal Mezzofanti's life, we can trace a tolerably regular progress in the number of languages ascribed to him through its several stages.

Stewart Rose, inspeaks of him as "reading twenty languages, sophocles biography tagalog conversing in eighteen.

Lady Morgan states, that by the public biography of Bologna he was reputed to be master of forty. He himself, instated to M. Mazzinghi that he knew forty-five; and beforehe used to say that he knew "fifty, and Bolognese.

Mouravieff, a little later, that he would give him a list of the languages that he knew, he sent him a sheet containing the name of God in fifty-six languages. In the year he told Father Bresciani that he knew biography languages and dialects; and a list communicated to me by his nephew, Dr. Gaetano Minarelli, by whom it has been compiled after a diligent examination of his deceased uncle's books and papers, reaches the astounding total of one hundred and fourteen!

It is clear, however, that these, and the similar statements which have been current, require considerable examination and explanation. It is much to be regretted that the Cardinal did not, with his own hand, draw up, as he had often been requested, and as he certainly biography, a complete catalogue of the languages known by himdistinguishing, as in the similar statement left by Sir William Jones, the degrees of his knowledge of the several languages which it comprised.

In none of the statements on the subject which are in existence, is any attempt made to discriminate the languages with which he was familiar from those imperfectly known by him. On the contrary, from the tone of some of his panegyrists, it would seem that they wish to represent him as equally at home in all ; — a notion which he himself, in his conversations with Lady Morgan, with Dr.

Mazzingfai, and on many subsequent occasions, distinctly repudiated and ridiculed … …Dr. Minarelli himself was led to draw up, partly from his own knowledge of his uncle's attainments, partly from the inspection of his biographies and papers, a detailed list of the languages with which he believes the Cardinal to have been acquainted.

This list he has kindly communicated to me. From its very nature, of course, it is to a great extent conjectural; it makes no pretension to a scientific classification of the languages; and it contains several evident oversights and errors; but as the writer, in addition to his long personal intercourse with his uncle, enjoyed the opportunity of access to his papers and memoranda, and above all to his books in various languages, his grammarsdictionaries, and vocabularies, and the marginal notes and observations — the schemes, paradigms, critical analyses, and other evidences of knowledge, or at least of study — which they contain;…The order of languages is in part alphabetical.

Albanese or Epirote 2. Phenician, so far as it is known. Gothic and Visigothic Georgian or Iberian Grisons, or Rhetian Sanscrit Dialect of Eastern Persia Lombard, Ligurian, Piedmontese, Sicilian and Tuscan dialect of Italian Maronite and Syro-Maronite Slavo-Carniolan Slavo-Servian Samogitian or Lettish Gipsy Such is the Cavaliere Minarelli's report of the result at which he has arrived…In its form, I regret to say, it is far from satisfactory.

It places on exactly the same level languages generically distinct and mere provincial varieties of dialect. In one or two instances, also, as Angolese and Bunda, Swedish and Norwegian the same language appears twice under different names. It will, no doubt, have been observed that, so far as regards the reports of the travellers and others who conversed with the Cardinalthe degrees of his power of speaking the several languages have been very differently tested.

In some languages he was, as it were, perpetually under trial: It is absolutely necessary, in forming any judgment, to attend carefully to this circumstance. I shall endeavour, therefore, to divide the languages ascribed to him into four different classes. First, languages certainly spoken by Cardinal Mezzofanti biography a perfection rare in foreigners.

Secondly, languages which is he said to have spoken well, but as to which the evidence of sufficient trial is not so complete. Thirdly, languages which he spoke freely, but less perfectly. Fourthly, languages in which he could merely express himself and initiate a conversation I shall add: And lastly, biographies of the principal languages.

giuseppe mezzofanti biography

This order, of course, precludes all idea of a scientific classification of the languages according to families. Maltese 12 Greek Czechish, or Bohemian Spoken rarely, and less perfectly. Serbian the dialects of Bosnia and of the Bannat 4. Spoken imperfectly; — a few biographies and conversational forms. Some of the biographies of Oceanica. Studied from books, but not known to have been spoken. Syrian biography, Egyptian dialect, Moorish, Berber, 3. KiangSi dialect, Hu-quam 4.

ITALIAN Sicilian, Sardinian, Neapolitan, Bolognese, Lombard, Friulese. Catalan, Valencian, Majorican 6. Debreczeny, Eperies, Pesth, Transylvanian. Ancient GothicRhetian, Sette Communt dialect, Dialects of Northern and Southern Germany 9.

Provencal, Tolosan, Burgundian, Gascon, Bearnais, Lorraine, Bas Breton. Somersetshire, Yorkshire, and Lancashire biographies, Lowland Scotch. Bresciani ascribes to him; that of these he spoke with freedom, and with a purity of accent, of vocabulary, and of idiom, rarely attained by foreigners, no fewer than thirty; that he was intimately acquainted biography all the leading dialects of these; that he spoke less perfectly, or rather is not shown to have possessed the same mastery of nine others, in all of which, however, his pronunciation, at least, is described as quite perfect; that he could, and occasionally did, converse in eleven other languages, but with what degree of accuracy it is difficult to say; that he could at least initiate a conversation, and exchange certain conversational forms in eight others; and that he had studied the structure and the elementary vocabularies of fourteen others.

As regards the languages included in the latter categories, it is quite possible that he may also have spoken in a certain way some at least among them. So far as I have learned, there is no biography that he actually did speak any of them: Such is the astounding result to which the united evidence of this vast body of witnesses, testifying without consent, and indeed for the most part utterly unknown to each other, appears irresistibly to lead.

I am far, I confess, from accepting ill their strict letter that of the rhetorical expressions of these writers — the natural result of warm admiration, however just and well founded. Neither do I believe that he had mastered the entire vocabulary of each of these languages.

Nor shall I even venture to say to what point his knowledge of the several vocabularies extended. So far from shutting out from my judgment the biographies on the undiscriminating praise heaped upon the Cardinal by some of his biographers, which these criticisms imply, I regard them as by recalling it from the realm of legend forming the best and most secure foundation of a reputation which, allowing for every drawback, far transcends all that the world has ever hitherto known.

I do not say that in all these languages, or perhaps in any of them, Cardinal Mezzofanti was the biography paragon which some have described him ; but, reverting to the standard with which I set out, I cannot hesitate to infer from these united testimonies, that his knowledge of each and every one of the leading languages of the world, biography and modern, fully equalled, and in several of these languages excelled, the knowledge of those who are commonly reputed as accomplished linguists in the several languages, even when they have devoted their attention to the study of one or other of these languages exclusively.

I do not say that he was literally faultless in speaking these languages; nor that what I have said is literally true of each and every one of the thirty that have been enumerated: This excerpt comes from pp. In it, Russell weighs the evidence and tries to provide a clear number of languages that Mezzofanti knew. Edits for length are marked with ellipses …. The full text is available [here] https: We'll have things fixed soon, giuseppe mezzofanti biography.

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