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1. Substantives are derived from verbs : as, from “ * love," comes “ lover;" from “to visit, visiter;" fron " to survive, surviver ;" &c.
In the following instances, and in many others, it is difhcult to determine whether the verb was deduced froin the noun, or the noun from the verb, viz. “ Love, to love, hate. to hate ; fear, to fear; sleep, to sleep; walk, to walk ; ride, to ride ; act, to act,” &c.
2. Verbs are derived from substantives, adjectives, and sometimes from adverbs : as, from the substantive salt, comes “ to salt;" from the adjective warm,“ to warm ;" and from the adverb forward, " to forward." Sometimes they are formed by lengthening the vowel, or softening the consonant; as, from “grass, to graze :” sometimes by adding en; as, from “ length, to lengthen;" especially to adjectives: as, from “ short, to shorten; bright, to brighten."
3. Adjectives are derived from substantives, in the following manner: Adjectives denoting plenty are derived from substantives by adding y: as, from “Health, healthy ; wealth, wealthy; might, mighty,” &c.
Adjectives denoting the matter out of which any thing is made, are derived from substantives by adding en :
Oak, oaken ; wood, wooden; wool, woolAdjectives denoting abundance are derived from sub stantives, by adding ful: as, from “ Joy, joyful; sin, sin ful; fruit, fruitful, &c.
Adjectives denoting plenty, but with some kind of dimi nution, are derived from substantives, by adding some : as, from “ Light, lightsome ; trouble, troublesome ; toil, toil some,” &c.
Adjectives denoting want are derived from substantives, by adding less: as, from “Worth, worthless ;" from "care, careless; joy, joyless," &c.
Adjectives denoting likeness are derived from substantives, by adding ly: as from “Man, manly ; earth, earthly; court, courtly,” &c.
Some adjectives are derived from other adjectives, or from substantives, by adding ish to them ; which termination when added to adjectives, imports diminution, ar
as, from en,” &c.
lessening the quality: as, “White, whitish;" i. e. some. what white. When added to substantives, it signifies simi litude or tendency to a character: as, Child, childish thief, thievish.”
Some adjectives are formed from substantives or verbs, o by adding the termination able ; and those adjectives signify capacity : as, “ Answer, answerable ; to change, changeable."
4. Substantives are derived from adjectives, sometimes by adding the termination ness : as, White, whiteness ; swift, swiftness :" sometimes by adding th or t, and making a small change in some of the letters: as, “ Long, length; high, height.”
5. Adverbs of quality are derived from adjectives, by adding ly, or changing le into ly; and denote the same quality as the adjectives from which they are derived : as, from “ base," comes basely ;" from “ slow, slowly;" from “ able, ably.”
There are so many other ways of deriving words from one another, that it would be extremely difficult, and nearly impossible, to enumerate them. The primitive words of any language are very few; the derivatives form much the greater number. A few more instances only can be given here.
Some substantives are derived from other substantives, by adding the terminations hood or head, ship, ery, wick, rick, dom, ian, ment, and age.
Substantives ending in hood or head, are such as signify character or qualities: as, “ Manhood, knighthood, false. hood," &c.
Substantives ending in ship, are those that signify office, employment, state, or condition: as, “Lordship, stewardship, partnership,” &c. Some substantives in ship, are de rived from adjectives: as, “ Hard, hardship," &c.
Substantives which end in ery, signify action or habit : as, “Slavery, foolery, prudery," &c. Some substantives of this sort come from adjectives; as, “ Brave, bravery," &c.
Substantives ending in wick, rick, and dom, denote dominion, jurisdiction, or condition : as, “Bailiwick, bishoprick, kingdom, dukedom, freedom," &c.
Substantives which end in can, are those that signify profession; as, “ Physician, musician," &c. Those that end in ment and age, come generally from the French, and commonly signify the act or habit: as, “Commandment, usage.'
Some substantives ending in ard, are derived from verbs or adjectives, and denote character or habit: as, “Drunk, drunkard; dote, dotard.”
Some substantives have the form of diminutires; but these are not many. They are formed by adding the terminations, kin, ling, ing, ock, el, and the like: as, “ Lamb, lambkin; goose, gosling: duck, duckling; hill, hillock; cock, cockerel," &c.
That part of derivation which consists in tracing Eng. Jish words to the Saxon, Greek, Latin, French, and other languages, must be omitted, as the English scholar is not gupposed to be acquainted with these languages. The best English dictionaries will, however, furnish some information on this head, to those who are desirous of ob. taining it. The learned Horne Tooke, in his “ Diversions of Purley," has given an ingenious account of the deriva. tion and meaning of many of the adverbs, conjunctions, and prepositions.
It is highly probable that the system of this acute grammarian, is founded in truth; and that adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions, are corruptions or abbreviations of other parts of speech. But as many of them are derived from obsolete words in our own language, or from words in kindred languages, the radical meaning of which is, therefore, either obscure, or generally unknown; as the system of this very able etymologist is not universally ad. mitted; and as, by long prescription, whatever may have been their origin, the words in question appear to have acquired a title to the rank of distinct species; it seems proper to consider them, as such, in an elementary treatise of grammar: especially as this plan coincides with that, by which other languages must be taught; and will render the study of them less intricate. It is ot' small moment, by what names and classification we distinguish these words, provided their meaning and use are well un. derstood. A philosophical consideration of the subject, may, with great propriety, be entered upon by the gram,
aatical student, when his knowledge and judginent be. come more improved.
Section 2. A sketch of the steps, by which the English Lan.
guage has risen to its present state of refinement. BEFORE we conclude the subject of 'derivation, it will probably be gratifying to the curious scholar, to be informed of some particulars' respecting the origin of the English language, and the various nations to which it is indebted for the copiousness, elegance, and refinement, which it has now attained.':
• When the ancient Britons were so harassed and oppressed by the invasions of their northern neighbours, the Scots and Picts, that their situation was truly miserable, they sent an embassy (about the middle of the fifth century) to the Saxons, a warlike people inhabiting the north of Germany, with solicitations for speedy relief. The Saxons accordingly came over to Britain, and were successful in repelling the incursions of the Scots and Picts; but seeing the weak and defenceless state of the Britons, they resolved to take advantage of it; ondet length established themselves in the greater part of SouthBritain, after having dispossessed the original inhabitants.
6 From these barbarians, who founded several petty kingdoms in this island, and introduced their own laws, language, and manners, is derived the groundwork of the English language; which, even in its present state of cultivation, and notwithstanding the successive augmentations and improvements, which it has received through various channels, displays very conspicuous traces of its Saxon original.
“ The Saxons did not long remain in quiet possession of the kingdom ; for before the middle of the ninth century, the Danes, a hardy and adventurous nation, who had long infested the northern seas with their piracies, began to ravage the English coasts. Their first attempts were,
in general, attended with euch success, that they were encouraged to a renewal of their ravages; till, at length, in the beginning of the eleventh century, they made them. selves masters of the greater part of England.
Though the period, during which these invaders oc
cupied the English throne, was very short, not greatly exceeding half a century, it is highly probable that some change was introduced by them into the language spoken by those, whom they had subdued: vut this change cannot be supposed to have been very considerable, as the Danish and Saxon languages arose from one common source, the Gothic being the parent of both.
“ The next conquerors of this kingdom, after the Danes, were the Normans, who, in the year 1066, introduced their leader Wiliiam to the possession of the English throne. This prince, soon atter his accession, endeavoured to bring his own language (the Norman-French) into use among his new subjects ; but his efforts were not very successful, as the Saxons entertained a great antipathy to these haughty foreigners. "In process of tiine, however, many Norman words and phrases were incorporated into the Saxon language : but its general form and construction still remained the same.
“ F'rom the Conquest to the Reformation, the language continued to receive occasional accessions of foreign Varde till it acquired such a dece of copiousness and strength, as to render it susceptible of that polish, which it has received from writers of taste and genius, in the last and present centuries. During this period, the learned have enriched it with many significant expressions, drawn fiom the treasures of Greek and Roman literature ; the ingenious and the fashionable have imported occasional supplies of French, Spanish, Italian, and German words, gleaned during their foreign excursions ; and the conner. ions which we maintain, through the medium of government and commerce, with many remote nations, bave made some additions to our native vocabulary,
“ lo this manner did the ancient language of the AngloSaxons proceed, through the various stages of innovation, and the several gradations of refinement, to the forination of the present English tongue.”
See the Twelfth chapter of the Octavo Grammar.