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explained in Lecture VI. In parsing, you may generally know an adjective by its qualifying a noun or pronoun.
Most words ending in ing are present participles. These are frequently used as adjectives ; therefore, most participles will make sense with the addition of the word thing, or any other noun, after them; as, a pleasing thing, a moving spectacle, mouldering ruins.
In the Latin language, and many others, adjectives, like nouns, have gender, number, and case ; but in the English language, they have neither gender, person, number, nor case. These properties belong to creatures and things, and not to their qualilies; therefore gender, person, number, and case, are the properties of nouns, and not of adjectives. Adjectives are varied only
to express the degrees of comparison) They have three degrees of comparison, the Positive, the Comparative, and the Superlative.
The positive degree expresses the quality of an object without any increase or diminution; as, good, wise, great.
The comparative degree increases or lessens the positive in signification; as, better, wiser, greater, less wise.
The superlative degree increases or lessens the positive to the highest or lowest degree; as, best, wisest, greatest, least wise.
be that which is ordered or directed. The right hand is that which your parents and custom direct you to lise in preference to the other. And when you employ that in preference, the other is the leaved, leav'd, or left hand; 1. e. the one leavci or ieft. " The one shall be taken, and the other (leavedi
Oun. Formerly a inan's own was what he worked, for, own being a past participle of a verb signifying to work.
liestrictives. Some restrictives, in modern times, are applied only to sin gular nouns; such as a or an, another, one, this, that, each, every, either. Others, oniy to plural nouns; as, these, thom, two, three few, several, all. restrictives, like adjectives, are applied to both singular and plural nouns : jlret, secorrid, last, the, former, luller, any, such, same, some, which, what.
Nimeruls. All numeration was, doubtless, originally performed by the fergers; for the number of the fingers is still the utmost extent of its signification. T'en is the past participle of lynain, to close, to shut in. The hands iyneu, leric:l, closed, or shut in, signified len; for there numeration closed. Tu denote a number greater than ien, we must begin again, ten and one, ten and 1100, &c
COMPARISON OF ADJECTIVES. More and most form the comparative and superlative degrees by increasing the positive; and less and leasi, by diminishing it.
Comparison by increasing the positive.
greater, greatest. wise, wiser,
more holy, most holy. frugal,
more frugal, most frugal.
Comparison by diminishing the positive.
less wise, least wise. holy, less holy,
least holy. frugal, less frugal,
least frugal. NUMERAL ADJECTIVES. Words used in counting, are called numeral adjectives of the cardinal kind; as, one, two, three, four, twenty, fifty, &c.
Words used in numbering, are called numeral adjectives of the ordinal kind; as, first, second, third, fourth, twentieth, fiftieth, &c.
Note. The words many, few, and several, as they always refer to an in definite number, may be properly called numeral adjectives of the indefinite kind.
NOTES. 1. The simple word, or Positive, becomes the Comparative by adding.Te or er; and the Positive becomes the Superlative, by adding st, or est, to the end of it; as, Pos. wise, Com. wiser, Sup. wisest; rich, richer, richest; bold, bolder, boldest. The adverbs, more and most, less and least, when placed before the adjective, have the same effect; as, Pos. wise, Com. more wise, Sup. most wise; Pos. wise, Com. less wise, Sup. least wise.
Twain, froa-in, twa-ain, two-ane, is a compound of two (twa, tuae, twee tri, two or dwo or dro) and one (ane, ain, an.) It signifies two units joined, united,aned, or onca. Trenty (twa-ane-ten)signifies two tens aned, oned, or united. Things separated into parcels of twenty cach, are called scores score is the past participle of shear, to separate.
The Ordinals are formed like abstract nouns in eth. Fifih, sixth, or tenth, is the number which fiv-cth, si.t-eth, lcn-eth, or mak-cth up the num. ber fre, sir, or ten.
Philosophical writers who limit our acceptation of words to that in which they were originally employed, and suppose that all the complicated, yet often definable, associations which the gradual progress of language and intelleet has connected with words, are to be reduced to the standard of our
2. Monosyllables are generally compared by adding er and est ; dissyllables, * frisyllables, &c. by more and most; as, mild, milder, mildest ; frugal, more frugal, most frugal; virtuous, more virtuous, most virtuous. Dissyllables ending in y; as, happy, lovely; and in le after a mute; as, able, ample; and dissyllables accented on the last syllable ; as, discreet, polite ; easily admit of er and est; as, happier, happiest; politer, politest. Words of more than two syllables very scidom admit of these terminations.
3. When the positive ends in d, or t, preceded by a single vowel, the consonant is doubled in forming the comparative and superlative degrees; as, red, redder, reddest; hot, hotter, hottest.
4. In some words the superlative is formed by adding most to the end of them; as, nethermost, uttermost or utmost, undermost, uppermost, fore.
5. In English, as in most languages, there are some words of very common use, (in which the caprice of custom is apt to get the better of analogy,) that are irregular in forming the degrees of comparison ; as, “Good, better, best, bad, worse, worst; little, less, least; much or many, more, most; near nearer, nearest or next; late, later, latest or last; old, older or elder, oldest or cldest;" and a few others.
6. The following adjectives, and many others, are always in the superla live degree, because, by expressing a quality in the highest degree, they car ry in themselves a superlative signification : chief, extreme, perfect, right, wrong, honest just, true, correct, sincere, vast, immense, ceaseless, infinile, endless, unparalleled, universal, supreme, unlimited, omnipotent, all-wise, eternal
. 7. Compound adjectives, and adjectives denoting qualities arising from the figure of bodies, do not admit of comparison; such as, well-formed, frostbitten, round, square, oblong, circular, quadrangular, conical, &c.
8. The termination ish added to adjectives, expresses a slight degree of quality below the comparative; as, black, blackish; salt, saltish. Very, prefixed to the comparative, expresses a degree of quality, but not always a superlative degree.
Read this Lecture carefully, particularly the Notes; after which you may parse the following adjectives and neuter verb, and, likewise, the examples that follow. If you cannot repeat all the definitions and rules, spread the Compendium when you parse. But before you proceed, please to commit the
SYSTEMATICK ORDER OF PARSING. The order of parsing an ADJECTIVE, is-an adjective, and why?-compare it-degree of comparison, and why?-to what noun does it belong?-RULE.
forefathers, appear not to have sufficiently attended to the changes which this principle of association actually produces. As language is transmitted from generation to generation, many words become the representatives of ideas with which they were not originally associated ; and thus they undergo a change, not only in the mode of their application, but also in their meaning, Words being the signs of things, their meaning must necessarily change as much, at least, as things themselves change ; but this variation in their import more frequently depends on accidental circumstances. Among the ideas connected with a word that which was once of primary, becomes only
That great nation was once powerful; but now it is feeble."
Great is an adjective, a word added to a noun to express its quality—pos. great, comp. greater, sup. greatest-it is in the positive degree, it expresses the quality of an object without any increase or diminution, and belongs to the noun nation,” ac cording to
RULE 18. Adjeclives belong to, and qualify, nouns expressed or understood.
Was is a verb, a word that signifies to be-neuter, it expresses neither action nor passion, but being or a state of beingthird person singular, because its nominative “nation” is a noun of multitude conveying unity of idea-it agrees with “nation," agreeably to
Rule 10. ( noun of multitude conveying unity of idea, may have a verb or pronoun agreeing with it in the singular.
Powerful is an adjective belonging to “nation,” according to Rule 18. Feeble belongs to "it" according to Note 1, unde Rule 18. Is is a neuter verb agreeing with “ it,” agreeably to Rule 4.
“ Bonaparte entered Russia with 400,000 men.” Four-hundred-thousand is a numeral adjective of the cardinal kind, it is a word used in counting, and belongs to the noun “men,” according to Note 2, under Rule 18. Numeral adjectives belong to nouns, which nouns must agree in number with their adjectives,
If, in parsing the following examples, you find any words about which you are at a loss, you will please to turn back, and parse all the foregoing examples again. This course will enablo vou to proceed without any difficulty.
More is an adverb. of and to are prepositions, governing the nouns that follow them in the objective case.
EXERCISES IN PARSING. A benevolent man helps indigent beggars. Studious scholars learn many long lessons. Wealthy merchants own large ships. The heavy ships bear large burdens; the lighter ships carry less burdens. Just poets 'isc figurative language. Unof secondary importance; and sometimes, by degrecs, it loses altogether its connexion with the word, giving place to others with which, from some accidental causes, it has been associated.
Two or three instances will illustrate the truth of these remarks. In an ancient English version of the New Testament, we find the following language: “I, Paul, a rascal of Jesus Christ, unto you Gentilcs," &c. But who, in the present acceptation of the word, woulů dare to call “the great pool ? of the Gentiles” a rascal ? Rascal formerly mcant a servant, one do
to the interest of another; but now it is nearly synonymous with
grammatical expressions offend a true critick's eaz. Weak criticks magnify trifling errours. No composition is perfect. The rabble was tumultuous. The late-washed grass looks green. Shady trees form a delightful arbour. The setting sun makes a beautiful appearance; the variegated rainbow appears more beautiful. Epaminondas was the greatest of the Theban generals ; Pelopidas was next to Epaminondas.
The first feet contained three hundred men; the second contained four thousand. The earth contains one thousand million inhabitants. Many a cheering ray brightens the good man's pathway.
Note. Like, Worth. The adjective like is a contraction of the participle likened, and generally has the preposition unto understood after it. “ She is like (unto) her brother ;" “They are unlike sto] him." “ The kingdom of heaven is like (likened or made like) unto a householder.”
The noun worth has altogether dropped its associated words. “The cloth 18 worth ten dollars'a yard;" that is, The cloth is of the worth of ten dollars by the yard, or for a, one, or every yard.
Some eminent philologists do not admit the propriety of supplying an ellip sis after like, worth, ere, but, except, and than, but consider them prepositions. See Anomalies, in the latter part of this work.
REMARKS ON ADJECTIVES AND NOUNS. A critical analysis requires that the adjective when used without its noun, should be parsed as an adjective belonging to its noun understood; as, “ The virtucus (persons) and the sincere (persons are always respected ; " Providence rewards the good (people,] and punishes the bad (people.]”
“ The evil (deed or deeds] that men do, lives after them;
“ The good (deed or deeds) is oft interred with their bonés.” But sometimes the adjective, by its manner of meaning, becomes a noun, and has another adjective joined to it; as, “the chief good;" “ The vast immense (immensity) of space."
Various nouns placed before other nouns, assume the character of adjeon tive according to their man of meaning; as, “Sea fish, iron mortar, wine vessel, gold watch, corn field, ineadow ground, mountain height."
The principle which recognises custom as the standard of grammatical ac curacy, might rest for its support on the usage of only six words, and defy all the subtleties of innovating skepticks to gainsay it. If the genius and analogy of our language were the standard, it would be correct to observe this analogy, and say, "Good, gooder, goodest; bad, badder, baddest ; little, littler, littlest; much, mucher, muchest.” "By this mean;" “ What are the
But such a criterion betrays only the weakness of those who at. tempt to establish it.
Regardless of the dogmas and edicts of the philo. sophical umpire, the good sense of the people will cause them, in this in. stance, as well as in a thousand others, to yield to custom, and say, “Good, villain. Villain once had none of the odium which is now associated with the term; but it signified one who, under the feudal system, rented or held. sands of another. Thus, Henry the VIII. says to a vassal or tenant, “ Ac you are an accomplished villain, I order that you receive £700 out of the publick treasury.” The word villain, then, has given np its original idea, and become the representative of a new one, the word tenant having supplante it. To prove that the meaning of words changes, a thousand examp! could be adduced; but with the intelligent reader, prool is upgecesser