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TO THE THIRD OCTAVO EDITION,
The improvements contained in the THIRD EDITION of the octavo grammar, consist of many corrections and alterations of particular passages, in the first volume, and of more than forty pages of additional matter, dispersed in various parts of it: and also of a considerable modification of the first part of the second volume ; namely, the Exercises which respect the nature and principles of Parsing. The last section under the head of Parsing, contains a large number of recent exercises on some of the more difficult rules of grammar: and they are exhibited in a peculiar form, calculated to give the student a radical and satisfactory view of those rules.
The author indulges a hope, that these enlargements and variations will meet the approbation of the judicious reader; and render the new edition, what he has sedulously endeavoured to make it, a material improvement of the work.
He also ventures to presume, that the numerous exemplifications, of a moral and improving nature, with which all the editions of the work are interspersed; and the short subsidiary disquisitions of the present edition, as well as those of former impressions; will afford some relief to the subject of grammar, and render it less dry and uninteresting to the student. Perhaps they will be found to contribute, in some degree, to invite and encourage him to acquire an art, which, in its own nature, does not, 10 young minds especially, present many attractions.
Holdgate, near York.-1816.
ENGLISH GRAMMAR is the art of speaking and writing the English language with propriety. It is divided into four parts, viz.
3. SYNTAX, AND
This division may be rendered more intelligible to the student, by observing, in other words, that Grammar treats,
First, of the form and sound of the letters, the combination of letters into syllables, and syllables into words;
Secondly, of the different sorts of words, their various modifications, and their derivation :
Thirdly, of the union and right order of words in the formation of a sentence; and
Lastly, of the just pronunciation, and poetical construction of sentences.
Grammar may be considered as consisting of two species, Universal and Particular. Grammar in general, or Universal Grammar, explains the principles which are common to all languages. Particular Grammar applies those general principles to a particular language, modifying them according to he genius of that tongue, and the established practice of the est speakers and writers by whom it is used. VOL. 1.
OF THE LETTERS.
Of the letters--of languagemand of a perfect alphabet..
ORTHOGRAPHY teaches the nature and powers 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 English Alphabet, are twenty-six in number.
These letters are the representatives of certain articulate sounds, the elements of the language. An articulate sound is the sound of the human voice, formed by the organs of speech.
“ Language, in the proper sense of the word, signifies the expression of our ideas, and their various relations, by certain articulate sounds, which are used as the signs of those ideas and relations. The faculty of speech is one of the distinguishing characters of our nature; none of the inferior animals being in any degree possessed of it. For we must not call by the name of speech that imitation of human articulate voice which parrots and some other birds are capable of : speech implying thought, and consciousness, and the power of separating and arranging our ideas, which are faculties peculiar to rational minds.
That some inferior animals should be able to mimic human articulation, will not seem wonderful, when we recollect, that even by machines certain words have been expressed in this manner. But that the parrot should annex thought to the