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     · 1843-1849
     · Recapitulation
      · Introduction
      · Definition
      · Stages
      * Table
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Home > Mezzofanti > Biography > Recapitulation > Table

During the course of this search, however, Dr. Minarelli himself was led to draw up, partly from his own knowledge of his uncle's attainments, partly from the inspection of his books 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 grammars, dictionaries, 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; and as he has been mainly guided by these in the compilation of his list of languages, I shall translate the paper in its integrity, merely correcting certain obvious errors, and striking out a few of the items in the enumeration, in which, clearly by mistake, the same language is twice repeated. The order of languages is in part alphabetical.

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Such is the Cavaliere Minarelli report of the re­sult at which he has arrived, after an examination of the books and manuscripts of his illustrious uncle. 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. Above all, the compiler has not attempted to classify the languages acccording to the degree of the Cardinal's acquaint­ance with each of them ; nor has he entered into any explanation of the nature of the evidence of acquaintance with each of them which is supplied by the documents upon which he relies.

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