« PreviousContinue »
ing pages. The work here presented to the public embraces the previous one entire, with its Lessons, Questions, and Illustrations. Immediately following most of the Lessons will be found, in smaller type, what is called a Review, containing such remarks, explanations, and examples, as were thought necessary to exhibit the subject to advantage. This part the scholar is expected to omit, until, having made some proficiency in parsing, his grammar is more thoroughly reviewed. Questions are for the most part appended, not only to the Lessons, but to the Review.
Immediately following the Rules and their explanations, are Exercises in false Syntax. These are thought to be an important part of the system, and it is earnestly recommended that every scholar be required to correct them. Perhaps the most eligible mode of doing this will be to take the Exercises as lessons in parsing.
That part of the work which succeeds to the Exercises, should be carefully studied when the grammar is reviewed. This may not be necessary in order to correct syntactical parsing, but it is necessary to a proper understanding of the general principles of language.
I call this work a compilation, because, to a very considerable extent, it is so. The greater part of it is extracted from the different publications of Mr. Murray. In selecting, arranging, and sometimes altering, I have exercised my own judgement, and much that is original will be found. It is believed that the work, wherever introduced, will not only answer every purpose which could be answered by Murray's larger abridgementbut supplies some defects which attach to that work
has superior advantages, particularly on the score of arrangement--and is, on the whole, better adapted for the use of schools.
Much is said in some parts of our country on the propriety of discarding Murray's system entirely, and of adopting what are regarded as more philosophical views. But after considerable reflection on the subject, the writer is satisfied that nothing would be gained, but much lost, by such a procedure. Indeed he is satisfied that what are thought by some to be more philosophical views are not so in reality. We accord due praise to the celebrated Horne Tooke for tracing the derivation of many of our small words; but the more interesting question, after all, is, not what were these words originally?—but what are they now? If, and, and but may have been originally verbs in the imperative mode; but this does not prove that they are such now. They are ased, at present, as connective particles, and the name conjunction is very fitly applied to them. be derived from one; and the may come from that or these; but these particles are now used in connexions where the adjective pronouns cannot be substituted for them with any tolerable sense or propriety, and consequently should be regarded as distinct parts of speech.
A or an may
The writer has no difficulty with those who have means and leisure, and are disposed to amuse themselves with investigating the roots of English words; but they, who urge the results of such investigations to overturn the established principles of our language, al lowing but two or three parts of speech; making no distinction between active, neuter, and passive verbs; admitting only three modes and tenses; with other inno
vations equally unfounded and ridiculous; and who would bring all this into common schools, under the imposing title of scientific and philosophical grammar;such persons, he honestly thinks, might be better employed. It is obviously a much more useful exercise, to take the principles of our language, as taught by the best masters, and approved by standard English writers, and endeavour to simplify them, arrange them in che most natural order, and make them plain to the capacities of learners, than to raise new theories, however specious, and however captivating to the lovers of povelty
Ward, April, 1828.
English GRAMMAR is the art of speaking and writing the English language with propriety..
It is divided into four parts, viz. OrthogRAPHY, ETYMOLOGY, SYNTAX, and PROSODY.
ORTHOGRAPHY teaches the nature and power of letters, and the just method of spelling words.
A letter is the first principle, or least part of a word. The letters of the English language, called the Enylish Alphabet, are twenty-six in number.
These letters are the representatives of certain articulate sounds, formed by the organs of speech, and are divided into vowels and consonants.
A vowel is antarticulate sound, that can be perfectly uttered by itself; as, a, e, o, which are formed without the help of any other sound.
A consonant is an articulate sound, which cannot be perfectly uttered without the help of a vowel; as, b, d, f, 1, which require vowels to express them fully.
The vowels are, a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes w, and y.
W and y, are consonants when they begin a word or syllable; but in every other situation they are vowels
Consonants are divided into mutes and semi-vowels
The mutes cannot be sounded at all, without the aid of a vowel. They are b, p, t, d, k, and c, and g, hard.
The semi-vowels have an imperfect sound of themselves. They are f, l, m, n, 1, , 5, 2, 2, and c, and g, soft.
Four of the semi-vowels, l, m, n, r, are called liquids, from their readily uniting with other consonants, and flowing, as it were, into their sounds.
A diphthong is the union of two vowels, pronounced by a single impulse of the voice; as, ea in beat, ou in sound.
A triphthong is the union of three vowels, pronounced in like manner; as, eau in beau, iew in view.
A proper diphthong is that in which both the vowels are sounded; as, oi in voice, ou in ounce.
An improper diphthong has but one of the vowels sounded; as, ea in eagle, oa in boat.
Questions on the Review.
When are w and y consonants?
-How are the consonants divided?-Which are the mutes?-Which of the semi-vowels are called liquids ?- What is a diphthong :- What is a triphthong ?-What is the difference between a proper and an improper diphthong ?- Is there a diphthong or triphthong in the word heaven?-Is it proper or improper?--How many vowels in the word wonder?- Is there a diphthong or triphthong in the word youth?-Is it proper or improper?
A SYLLABLE is a sound, either simple or compounded, pronounced by a single impulse of the voice, and constituting a word, part of a word: as, a, an, ant.
Spelling is the art of rightly dividing words into their syllables, or of expressing a word by its proper letters.