Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF

Many of its inflections were altered, and many were lost altogether. The power of expressing different shades of meaning by the change of termination in verbs and nouns, or by the addition of prefixes, fell into disuse. Prepositions and auxiliary verbs were employed instead. The greater inherent strength of the Saxon language, however, at last enabled it to overcome and root out its rival, and establish itself firmly as the English tongue. In the hands of Geoffrey Chaucer, and other writers, it was moulded almost into its present form; but it must be remembered, that the Anglo-Saxon and modern English are now totally different. Many words of Norman origin are retained. All those relating to the chase, falconry, cookery, &c. are derived from this source, as also many law terms. Shakspere and Milton did a vast deal to fix the English language on a firm basis, and their works prove how easily it may be adapted to the highest purposes of oratory and poetry. At a later period, Dr. Johnson and other writers made it more flowing, sonorous, and majestic, by the introduction of many words of Greek and Latin origin; and it is now unequalled by any language in the world, for harn only, richness, variety, force, and precision. Every Englishman ought to account it his duty and his honour, to be well acquainted with the language .# his own country, not only for its own sake, but as it will be a key to the knowledge of those of other countries. The power of making thoughts known, either by speaking or by writing, is peculiar to human beings. But, in order that we may express our real meaning, we must write and speak according to some given rules. These rules make up what is called GRAMMAR. The RULEs of GRAMMAR therefore must be understood. Their study may seem rather dry and difficult at first; but by a little attention and the exercise of memory you will be able to master one rule at a time, and by degrees you will master the whole. And this is well worth a little trouble ; because you will then speak and write ‘. and 3. will be able to see and enjoy the beauty of the different books you may have the means of reading. Books will" thus become a rich treat, and the knowledge you get from them will be of great service to you through life, whatever station you may be called to hi. The word GRAMMAR is formed from the Greek word gramma, signifying literature; and it means the art of speaking or writing a language properly;-that is, according to rules agreed upon in the country in which a person lives. £Nglish Grammar is the art of speaking, or writing the English language so that every word shall have its proper place in a sentence, and every sentence be placed in proper order. Unless these rules be understood and attended to, a person will neither make his own meaning plain, nor will other persons understand what he writes or says. English Grammar is divided into four parts:— First, ORTHogli Aphy. This word is formed from the Greek word orthographia, o writing correctly; and it teaches the shape and sound of the letters of the alphabet, the art or practice of spelling rightly, or the putting of the letters properly together, as their nature and sounds may require, so as to form words according to rule. Under this head is included ORTHoery, a word formed from the Greek word orthoepeia, signifying correct speaking; and it means the art of pronouncing words properly. Secondly, Ery Mology. is word is formed from the Greek word etymologia, signifying the analysis of a word so as to find its origin; and it means à. science which explains the true nature and meaning of words by pointing out how they have been formed; also the several kinds of words and the changes of which they admit. Thirdly, SYNTAx:—from the Greek word syntaris, signifying a putting together in order. It means that Fo of grammar which teaches the mutual connexion and dependence of words, and how they should be put together so as to form regular and connected sentences. Fourthly, Prosody, from the Greek word prosodia, signifying the aoctrine of accentuation and rhythm. It is that part of £o. which teaches in what tone and emphasis words are be pronounced ; also the measure of verse or poetry; so that we may know how sentences, either in

prose or verse, ought to be written, spoken, or read.

Each of the above parts of English Grammar will now be considered separately, I, ORT hography and ORTHorry, or the correct spelling and pronunciation of words. Words are formed of the letters in the alphabet. ALPHARET is the name given to the whole set of letters in any language; it is so called from the first two letters in the Greek Alphabet, namely, alpha and beta, In the English Alphabet there are twenty-six letters, a, b, c, d, e..f. 9, h, i,j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, to, to, td, or y, z. Now, before we can put any of these letters properly together so as to make words, we must understand the nature of their rounds, otherwise we might put letters together which would not make a word, and which could not be spoken. For instance, the letters g, m, r, if put together, will not make a word, but the letters 9, r, a, m, m, a, r, put together, make the word grammar. The letters used in the English language are divided into two classes, vowels and consonants. Vowels are letters having a clear and distinct sound, and which may be uttered by themselves: they are six in number ; a, e, i, o, u, and y. The remaining twenty letters are called consonants, because they cannot be distinctly sounded unless a vowel be added to them; n, p, and g, are consonants, but in order to sound them we must add a vowel, as en, pe, gee.

Souxps of THE Wow ELs.

a, the first letter or vowel in the alphabet, has three distinct sounds, as in the words all, an, and ale; the last two are the most proper sounds because they belong to this letter and to no other. e, has also three sounds, as in the words then, the, and me. The first and second are the most proper sounds of this letter, for the e in the, and the ee in thee, are not to be sounded exactly alike. From want of observing the exact sound, many words in the English language are sounded alike which ought to be sounded with some difference, as, for example, the and thee—meet and meat—beet and beat, and many more which might be named. i, has three sounds; as in the words find, third, and kill. The first of these is the proper sound, the second being nearly the same as the full u, and the third as the narrow sound of e. o, seems to have four distinct sounds, as in the words cloth, ton, bone, and womb. The third of these sounds is the most proper, as the first is very like the broad sound of the a, the second resembles the broad sound of the u, and the fourth that of oo. u, has three sounds, as in the words us, use, and mule; of these, the middle is the most pure and proper sound, as the first nearly resembles the second sound of o, and the third is like the sound of oo. y, is sounded nearly the same as i, and in many cases may be regarded as a substitute for it in sound. w, is used as a vowel when it does not begin a word or part of a word, as vow, towel; and y is used as a consonant when it begins a word, as you, yoke, &c. Besides these seven proper sounds of the vowels, there are some other sounds in the English language which can only be expressed by uniting two vowels, as ae, written ae, or oe, written oe, &c. These are called diphthongs, or double vowels; and where three vowels come together they are called triphthongs. The ar, though two letters, has but one sound, as Caesar sounded Cesar. The at also combines the sounds of the two vowels in on. as in praise, fail, rail, frail, &c.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

oe has one sound, as in Phoebe. ou has three sounds, as in noun, could, though. o y has one sound, as in toy, boy, joy. ua has two sounds, as in the words guard, persuade. u e has but one sound, as in true, blue. u i has three sounds, as in guide, guild, fruit. e a u has two sounds, as in the words beauty, beau. i e u has two sounds, as in lieu, and in lieutenant as it is usually pronounced, when it has the sound of ks, as lostenant. Diphthongs are divided into proper and improper. A proper do is one in which both §. vowels are sounded by a single effort of the voice, as o i in voice, or oy in joy. An improper diphthong is one in which though two vowels are . only one is sounded, as e a in beagle, and 0 a in boat, #. #. also triphthongs, as eau in beau, and iew in view,

THE Consox ANts.

Consonants are divided into three classes, semivowels or half vowels, liquids, and mutes. . Semivowels have a sound of their own, though it is not so perfect as that of the vowel; they are f.j, l, m, n, r, s, v, w, 2, and c and g soft. Four of these, l, m, n, r. are also called liquids, because they readily unite, and sound pleasantly with any other letters, as lemon, melon, nectar, rose, &c. The mutes are letters that cannot be sounded at all without the help of a vowel; they are b, d, k, p, q, t, and c, and hard. 57 Some letters require to be sounded hard and others soft, some sharp, and others flat. This should be borne in mind, so that your words may be pronounced ...}. C is either hard like k, as in cull, pronounced kull, or soft, likes, as in cell, pronounced sell. is always hard before a, o, u, and all consonants, and at the end of words, as call, coal, cut and public. It is soft before e, i, and y, as in cease, city, cypress. G is likewise either hard or soft; hard, as in gun; soft, as in gin. It is always hard before a, o, u, and all consonants, and at the end of words; as for example, get, got, gut, glad, jug. It is, for the most part, soft before e, i, and y, as in the words gem, gill, clergy. In most of the names of persons or places in the bible, g is sounded hard before e and i, as in Gera, Gilboa, Gilead, &c. Gis likewise hard in many English words before e and i, as in geeve, get, year, girl, give, giddy, dagger, anger, and many more. Ch has one hard and two soft modes of sound; hard, as in Baruch; soft, as in arch, chaise, &c. It is generally hard in words derived from the Greek and Hebrew; and soft in words that come from the French. Ph, when united in the same syllable, is sounded like f, as in asaph, elephant. S has a flat and a sharp sound; sharp as in this; fat, as in those. The flat sound prevails in all words made plural, or increased by the addition of a, as in pins, fores, gloves. Th also has a sharp and a flat sound; sharp, as in thin; flat, as in thine. To before a vowel is frequently softened down to sh; as in station, nation, &c.; in these words the sound of the is nearly if not quite lost. W when used as a vowel has the sound of u, as in few, new, but when used as a consonant, it has a sound peculiar to itself, as in the words William, we, &c. The letter h can hardly be called a vowel or a consonant; it is a sort of breathing or aspiration. It is found both at the beginning and in the middle of words, and also at the end. It is not necessary to remark on the other consonants, as they have little or no variation,

Use of the LETTERs of the ALPHABET,

Of the letters of the alphabet, words, syllables, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and volumes are made. A word is composed of one or more syllables. A syllaBLE is any complete sound spoken at one effort, as man, book, give, take, &c. A word of one syllable, as man, is called a monosyllable; a word of two syllables, as manly, a dissyllable; a word of three syllables, as man ess, a trisyllable ; and a word of four or more syllabl , as polyanthus, is call d a polysyllable.

A sentence is as many words put together as will make complete sense, or express a whole thought or a distinct divi

sion of a train of thoughts; as, “I wish to learn grammar.” —“If I knew the rules of grammar, I should be able to write and speak correctly.”—“I mean to take in the Popular Educator, and hope by reading it carefully that I shall become acquainted with many useful branches of knowledge of which at present I know little or not'ing.” These are all Sentences.

A PARAGRAPH consists sometimes of one long sentence, but more commonly of several sentences P. together in proper order, so as to form a distinct part of a letter or discourse, Paragraphs are often used to break into shorter #: a : discourse, or essay, which might otherwise fatigue the reader.

A section, or chAPTER, consists of a number of paragraphs put together in order, either to form one complete part of a whole work, or to give the reader a little time to rest or think. For instance, the instructions in grammar in the Popular Educator, which contain a number of paragraphs, are put together so as to form one complete lesson or chapter.

A Book, or a volume, is made up of many sentences, paragraphs, sections, or chapters, and varies in length and bulk, according to the nature of the subject, or the intention of the writer.

QUEstions on THE FOREGOING LEsson.

What is grammar *

Why is a knowledge of it necessary?

Into how many parts is English grammar divided ?

What is orthography?

What is orthoepy?

What is etymology

What is syntax *

What is prosody ?

What part of grammar is that which teaches the art of spelling and pronouncing words correctly

How many letters are there in the English alphabet

Is there more than one class of letters in the alphabet 2

Which are called vowels

How many sounds has the letter a

What are the sounds of the other vowels 2

What are the names given to the double and treble vowels

Mention the sounds of some of the diphthongs.

What is the difference between a proper and an improper diphthong 2

What are consonants 2

How are they divided ?

Describe a semi-vowel, a liquid, and a mute,

How are consonants sounded ?

Give an example of the hard sound.

Also of the letters sounded softly.

How is a word or syllable made up?

What is a sentence 2

What is that portion of a letter, speech, or discourse called which contains either one long sentence, or several sentences 7

What is a section, or chapter?

What is the principal subject of this lesson 7

MATHEMATICS.

The word mathematics, which is derived from the Greek verb, manthano (to learn), was originally applied to learning in general, but it was afterwards restricted to the knowledge of what are now called the eract sciences. This restriction began with Plato and Aristotle, in whose writings the term was especially applied to skillin the sciences of Arithmetic, Geometry, and Astronomy, the latter science having been cultivated at a very early period of the world's history. So high an opinion had the former philosopher of the value of these sciences, and particularly of the second, that he placed over the door of the academy or school founded by him at Athens, this inscription: “Let none ignorant of geometry enter here.” Passing over the “dark ages,” when religion and philosophy were alike encrusted with the ignorance and prejudice of mankind, we come to the opinion of one who mightily assisted in the “advancement of learning." Lord Bacon, in his treatise on this subject, expresses his opinion of the nature and value of the exact sciences, in the following appropriate words: “The mathematics are either pure, or mixed. To the pure mathematics belong those sciences which handle quantity determinate, merely severed from any axioms of natural philosophy, and these are two, geometry and arith

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]

After the tys, or multiples often, by the first nine names, which are again combined by addition with the same names, so as to reach from twenty-one up to ninety-nine, a new series commences by the adoption of a new name for ten times ten, or tenty—viz., a hundred. This enables us, by the help of previous combinations, to, reach from one hundred and one up to nine hundred and ninety-nine, when a new series commences by the adoption of the new name, a thousand, for ten hundred. After this, no new name occurs till we reach a million, or a thousand times a thousand. It is true, that we have adopted from the Greek the term myriad, which signifies ten thousand, and which might properly commence a new series; but it has not been admitted into the nomenclature of our system of numeration. If the same process of analogy had been followed out, a new name ought also to have been adopted for a hundred thousand; but this has nut been done, evidently for the simple reason that such high numbers were seldom in use, either in speaking or in writing. Names, indeed, would have increased so fast, and their combinations would have become so laborious to remember and to apply, in any language, that the adoption of a conventional system of signs to denote numbers, was absolutely necessary to supply the wants of mankind. Accordingly, we find that at a very early period a variety of signs or characters were invented and employed to denote numbers, and to enable men not only to express very large numbers by a few of these characters, but to make calculations of various kinds, essential both for the purposes of commerce and seience.

The system of numeration adopted in our language, and explained above, proceeds on the decimal scale of numbers, in which every new name or rank is tenfold, or ten times, greater than the preceding—a system which is evidently founded on the digital structure of the human hand. So natural, indeed, is the practice of counting by the fingers, that both learned and unlearned adopt it, whenever any calculation is to be made which does not require the pen. The names of the successive ranks of numbers in their decimal order, to a certain extent, are the following:

Decimal System of Numeration. UNITs (ones). Tens of units. Hundreds of units. Thousands of units. Tens of thousands of units. Hundreds of thousands of units. MILLIons (thousands of thousands). Tens of millions. Hundreds of millions. Thousands of millions. Tens of thousands of millions. Hundreds of thousands of millions. BILLions (millions of millions). Tens of billions. Hundreds of billions. Thousands of billions. Tens of thousands of billions. Hundreds of thousands of billions, &c.

In the preceding table, the first six ranks of names are called the first period of numbers; the next six, the second period; the six after this, the third period ; and so on. It will be ob•erved that after the first period of units, the same names are applied, in the same order, to the second period of millions; and then, to the third period of billions. This process is continued, in our system of numeration, and the table may be extended to any length required, by applying the same names to each successive period in order, the names of these periods being as follows:

The Higher Periods. Taillions (millions of o QUADRILLions (millions of trillions). Quintillions (millions of quadrillions). SExtillions (millions of quintillions). Septillions (millions of sexillions). Ocrillions (millions of septillions). NoNILLIons (millions of octillions), &c.

The preceding system of numeration is that adopted by all the oldest and best English writers on arithmetic; and, up to the last name in the higher periods above mentioned, is capa

ble of expressing a number containing sixty figures in the common system of notation. In many of our recent works on arithmetic, the French system of numeration is adopted, which differs very considerably from ours, and which has the merit of greater simplicity to recommend it; but what it gains in simplicity, it loses in power. Instead of dividing numbers into periods of six ranks each, they divide them into

periods of three ranks each, the first period being called units;

the second, thousands; the third millions; and so on, as in the following table: French System of Numeration.

UNITs (ones).

Tens of units.

Hundreds of units.

Thousands (in French, Mille).

Tens of thousands.

Hundreds of thousands.

MILLIoxs oni, of thousands).

Tens of millions.

Hundreds of millions.

BILLIONS (thousands of millions).

Tens of billions.

Hundreds of billions.

Thillions (millions of millions).

Tens of trillions.

Hundreds of trillions, &c.

This table, when compared with the table of the English

system of numeration, will clearly show the difference between the two systems... For example, trillions in the preceding table signifies only millions of millions; whereas in the English table it signifies millions of millions of millions. This comes of the French using the word mille for a thousand, and the word million for a thousand thousand; hence, also, the confusion arising from the similarity of the names. In consequence of the French division of the numeration table into periods of three ranks instead of six, it is plain that with the exception of one period, viz., the thousands, their system is capable of expressing a number containing only half the quantity of figures which the English system can express; and is therefore so much inferior in power.

QUESTIONs on THE PRECEDING LEsson. What is the origin of the term, Arithmetic, and to what science is it properly applied ? How many primitive words, as names of numbers, are to be found in almost all languages 2 How are names obtained for the numbers beyond ten ? When is it necessary to invent new names for numbers * State the combinations by addition of the primitive names of numbers in English. State the combinations by multiplication of the same primitives. Give an idea of the manner in which the names of numbers, up to one hundred, are filled up. What is the meaning of the name myriad What is the name of the next rank after myriads, which, accord ing to analogy, would have required a new name * What method was necessary to denote numbers to prevent the increase of names * What are the advantages of denoting numbers by characters or signs f hat scale of numbers, or system of numeration, is adopted in English 2 What is the origin of this system State the different ranks of numbers in our system of numeration up to trillions. Mention the names of the higher periods, and states how many ranks each period consists of. Give some account of the French system of numeration. State the difference between the French and English systems and the advantages of each.

L E S S O N S IN FR E N C H.-No. I.
By Professor Louis FAsquELLE, LL.D.

IN commencing those French Lessons, we have thought it
best to begin with a chapter exclusively devoted to the
pronunciation of words, and the variations which are. caused
in the sounds of vowels and consonants by changes in their
relative position. We shall then enter into the construction
of the language, and endeavour in as plain a manner as
sible to make our readers familiar with its various

* ...

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

**kse. ++ se in rose.

3: This, accent indicates the suppression of the letters after the vowel on which it is placed, thus: fote, tete, běte, were formerly written, feste, teste, beste, the s was not sounded, but gave to the preceding vowes that

prolonged sound now represented by the circumflex accent,

9. o nearly like o in rob, Ex, robe, robe; globe, globe; cachot, dungeon; haricot, bean, 10.6 like o in bone. Ex. dépát, deposit; prévôt, provost; bientôt, soon; suppét, supporter. The exact French sound of this letter is not found in English: The position of the lips in whistling, is very nearly the position which they should have in emitting the French u. Ex. urne, turns lune, moon ; but, aim; tribu, tribe; tribut, tribute ; 6lu, elected. 12. a is the u with a prolonged sound. Ex. mare, mulberry, dil, due ; crti, growth; brûler, to burn. y. See 28, y.

11. u.

13. The DIPHTHoNgs.

A vowel surmounted by an accent cannot form a dipththong with another vowel, it must be pronounced separately. Ex...obeir, to obey; deité, denoy; réussite, success. Exceptions, oil, where—pronounced so; i and e accented (ife follow i) form a diphthong. A vowel surmounted by a diaeresis (“) follows the above rule. Ex...hai, hated; paien, pagan; mais, maize, Exceptions; u followed by é at the end of a few words, as in ciguë, hemlock, is pronounced like (, alone. ai is like a in fate. Ex. j'ai, I have; je ferai, I will make baie, bay; mai, May; balai, broom. When the diphthong ai is followed by s, d, or t, it assumes a broader sound, resembling the French e, or ai in the English word, pair. Ex.j'avais, I had; je ferais, I should make : lait, milk; laid, ugly, au nearly like oh 1 in English. Ex, taux, rate; chaud, warm, e preceding gu is blended with that diphthong without changing its sound. Ex, beau, handsome, château, castle; tableau, picture; eau, water. ei nearly like a in fate. Ex. beige, serge; neige, snow; seigle, rye; reine, queen, peigne, comb. eu approaches the sound of u in tub. Ex. jeu, play; lieu, place ; peu, little; peur, fear; chaleur, heat. Exceptions, in eu, had j'eus, &c., I had, j'eusse, &c., I might have ; eu is pronounced like u alone. ia nearly like ia in medial. Ex. il lia, he bound; il cria, he cried; dialogue, dialogue. ie like ee in bee. Ex. illie, he binds; il étudie, he studies; harpie, harpy, mie, the soft part of bread. oi nearly like wa in was. Ex. croix, cross; il boit, he drinks; roi, king. ou like oo in cool. Ex. doux, soft ; coup, blow; nous, we ; vous, you ; cou, neck. : Il salua, he saluted; il remua, he moved; il contribua, he contributed. Il salue, he salutes; il remue, he moves; il contribue, he contributes, produit, produce; conduite, conduct; lui, him ; bruit, noise; il réduit, he reduces. ulo duo, duet, y when initial, when coming between two consonants, or. when forming a syllable of itself, has the sound of the French i. x, style, style; type, type ; yeux, eyes; Ppres, Ypres; y, there; between two vowels y has the power of two i's, one of which forms a diphthong with the preceding, and the other with the following vowel; the syllabic division taking place between the i's. Ex. moyen, means ; essayer, to try; nettoyer, to clean ; citoyen, citizen ; abbaye, abbey; these words are pronounced as if they were written moi-ien, essal-ier, nettoi-ier, citoi-ien, abbai-ie. The words, pays, country, paysage, landscape; paysan, peasant, are pronounced pé-is, pe.isage, pet-san.

THE NASAL Sounds,

29. The combination of the vowels with the consonant m or n, produces what the French call le son nasal, the nasal sound. When the consonant m or n is doubled, or is immedi” ately followed by a vowel" the nasal sound does not

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

30.

[ocr errors]
« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »