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definition propounded as if the English verb denoted action either terminated or not terminated, is not free from objections. We have no wish to discard the affix ed; but it is evidently much less necessary or useful than grammatists would readily admit; for many verbs are destitute of it, such as shut, set, thrust, spread, &c., without any inconvenience or loss of significancy; and when ungrammatic people omit the affix, or employ what is called the present instead of the imperfect, their meaning is perfectly intelligible. The truth is, we are very apt to fancy that useless things are necessary, merely because we have been used to them; and we have not the smallest doubt that, if the affix in question had never been adopted, our language would have been as significant without, as it now is with, this termination. But if it were regularly affixed, there would be no objection to its existence: the great grammatic evils we have to complain of, are those irregularities which so much abound; and which serve only to render the verbal appparatus difficult and unwieldy. If we discard all useless parts and irregularities, what are called the auxiliary verbs will appear in the following manner: I do, thou do, he, she, or it do. We do, you do, they do. I doed, thou doed, he, &c., doed. We doed, you doed, they doed. To do, doing, doed, I have, thou have, he, &c., have. We have, you have, they have. I haved, thou haved, he, &c., haved. We haved, you haved, they haved. To have, having, haved. In consequence of haved being contracted into had, we have such extraordinary combinations as the following: I have had, I had had ; and not only the former, but the latter of these expressions is set forth in proper grammatic order, as a necessary and regular tense. Let and must require no notice in this place. Can and may merely express power: I can go, is equivalent to, I am able to go—I have power, permission, liberty, &c., to go. I may resign, is equivalent to, I have power to resign; and in spite of idle doctrines concerning potentials, the shorter is merely an abridged form of the longer expression. May, when the affix ed is assumed, is corrupted into might instead of mayed. Will, Vol-o, is, I will, thou will, he, &c., will. We will, you will, they will. I willed, corrupted into would, thou willed, he, &c., willed. To will, willing, willed. Shall, I shall, thou shall, he, &c., shall; we shall, &c.: I shalled, corrupted into should, &c. Shall seems most entitled to the designation auxiliary verb, for it does not appear to have much distinct significancy of its own; but it is, we believe, merely a diversity of will; and considering the perplexity caused by it, not only to Scotchmen and foreigners, but even to the English themselves, who often blunder in applying shall and will, its existence is no grammatic cause of congratulation. The preceding verbs have some irregularities;
but they are simplicity itself when compared with the verb be; in which there is findre of wanton anomaly than could well be found within the same compass, if we were to search all the languages of the world. The remark of Mr. Turner applies equally to the English substantive verb: ‘The Anglo Saxon substantive verb is compounded of several verbs. We can trace no fewer than five in its different inflections.” Words much in use are most liable to be corrupted and rendered irregular. Our ancestors adopted many irregularities, of what is called the substantive verb, from their literary neighbours: but confusion is worse confounded by their unskilful agency. Am is plainly spot, Gr. ; sum, Lat. : is, a corruption of esti, est; was is a corruption of esse; were is fuere, furent, Fr.; furono, It.; art and are seem corrupted from 1 weorth, to be, be made : thus far we have a jumble of anomaly; but in what remains we have an entirely different word, and one which might be very easily rendered a competent substantive verb, at once simple and regular. Be, I bec and I bio, i.e. fio, i.e. bioo. The illiterate, particularly the peasantry, for they always adhere more closely to analogy than their grammatic superiors, have this as the sole substantive verb in the following manner: To be, being, beed. I be, thou be, he, &c., be; we be, you be, they be : I beed, thou beed, he, &c., beed; we beed, you beed, they beed. Thus, by merely removing those nuisances, est, eth, es, or s; and by making the regular affix ed supersede the obsolete affix en; we have such simplicity and regularity, that even a child could not err in employing this familiar, household word. Fortunately be remains unchanged in what are called the future tense, and the subjunctive and potential moods: as, I shall be, thou shalt be, he shall be, &c. If I be, if thou be, &c. I may be, he may be, &c. Having reviewed the grammatic auxiliaries, we may now approach the main body of verbs, which consist . very irregular forces: and, for the conceit of the allusion, we will make train our fugleman. To train, training, trained. I train, thou train, he train, we train, &c. : I trained, thou trained, he trained, &c. This is such simple manoeuvring that a child might go through the whole exercise; yet it is all that is either necessary or useful: and to change train from an active to what is called a passive state, all that is necessary is, be put before it, as accompanied with the affix ed. Thus, I be loved, thou be loved, &c. I beed loved, &c. To be loved, being loved: having been loved. We have no doubt that if ed had never been adopted as a verbal affix, the business could have been well accomplished without it; but, having been adopted, it may remain; only irregularities deserve to be banished. When the auxiliaries are united with the regular verbs, the junction is effected in the following manner:
I do train, thou do train, he do train, &c.: I doed train, thou doed train, he doed train, &c. I have trained, &c.: I haved trained, &c. I will train, thou will train, he will train, &c. I shall train, &c. I shall have trained, thou shall have trained, he shall or will have trained.
But, if the moods be abandoned, the tenses yet remain.
The truth is, as before intimated, if any notion as to time ever exist in connexion with any verb, it is wholly accessory or associated, and not signified by the verb itself. In general what is called the present tense simply indicates action, being, relation, &c.: what are called the past tenses, generally indicate existence, action, relation, &c., as terminated; which, of course, is closely associated in the mind with the notion of the past. What is called future tense properly indicates volition. Thus, if I say, I will publish the present work in the month of May: the sentence is equivalent to, I intend to publish in the month of May; or, I am resolved to publish in the month of May. Here the notion of future is manifestly an associated, not the primary notion. It is true that the word is applied to many objects in which volition does not exist; as in the following expressions: The moon will rise at eight to-night; the sun will rise at six to morrow morning. These are instances of a very numerous class of expressions which are metaphoric or allusive, rather than strictly and literally proper, though, from having been long used, they appear quite literal.
If the grammatic doctrine of tenses were admitted, what is gained by it ! Does it impart any instruction? Does it render Tyro better acquainted with language or more master of composition ? If it does not answer such a purpose,
it is evidently worse than useless.
Irregular verbs, like all anomalies, are exceedingly troublesome, especially to learners. Most of them, evidently, originated in blundering carelessness; or in that aversion to polysyllables which operated so powerfully on our Saxon ancestors. Had grammar-makers endeavoured to remove such irregularities, they would have done some good; but, instead of such useful service, their first labor was to consecrate and confirm all the perversions which they found actually existing; and thus they prevented our language from righting itself, as it would have done, to a considerable degree, if it had been left wholly to analogy, free from the fetters of arbitrary rules established on anomalous precedents; for there is a constant effort on the part of children and foreigners, and all the ungrammatic, to restore uniformity; which effort is so well backed by reason, that it would doubtless prevail but for the despotic authority of written grammar.
With the view of inducing influential writers and speakers to set the example of banishing irregularities from the verbs, we will present them in the following distributions:—
First, Verbs that have both a regular and irregular form.
Hear heared theard
Lie fied +lay flain
Pay payed #paid
See seed +saw ', tseen
Fight fighted + fought
The following have no change of termination; yet, as already noticed, they answer every pur
pose of speech as well as those that have the
affix ed: having a great affection for simplicity we are rather partial to such unchanged verbs; but as ed has been adopted, and has become the general rule, perhaps it ought to be uniformly affixed: thus, beat, beated; burst, bursted; cast, casted; cost, costed; cut, cutted; eat, eated, teaten; hit, hitted; let, letted; put, putted; read, readed; rid, ridded; set, setted; shed, sheded; shred, shreded; shut, shutted; split, splitted; spread, spreaded; sweat, sweated; thrust, thrusted. Observe, 1. That most of the irregular verbs have descended from Saxon times; when there was a different manner of forming what is called the imperfect besides affixing ed. 2. The termination en, which appears so often in what is called the perfect passive participle, is a relic of a regular affix, now obsolete; and, for the same reason that it has been wholly discontinued in what is called the infinitive mood (for we never say or write to loven, &c.), it ought to be entirely disused, except as an immoveable affix; as, flaren, golden, flatten, blacken, &c. Many of the irregularities, exhibited above, are merely contractions or corruptions of the verbs with the regular affix: as, berest contraction of bereaved; clad of clothed; dealt of dealed; dwelt of dwelled; gilt of gilded; spilt of spilled; cleft of cleaved; crept of creeped; felt of feeled; fled of fleed; kept of keeped; left of leaved; shod of shoed; slept of sleeped; wept of weeped; &c. There is still a great tendency to such contractions as, smelt for smelled; learnt for learned, &c.; but the grammarians have very properly remonstrated against such instances; and, for the same reason, the author remonstrates against all irregularities, whether more or less modern. Instead of indulging foolish mirth or contemptuous ridicule, when children, foreigners, and illiterate natives follow the guidance of analogy and say, growed, knowed, blowed, seed, &c.; men ought to be ashamed of their own want of reflection—their appreciation of worthless distinctions—their blind reverence for anomalies, made up of blunders and corruptions—and their slavish submission to the tyranny of an arbitrary kind of grammar, which attempts to prove its legitimacy by giving reasons for what reason never dictated.
PART III. PREFIXES AND AFFIXES.
Prefixes are those words which are joined on the left or at the beginning of other words: as, unknown, revisit, &c.; affixes or postfixes are those words which are joined on the right or at the end of other words: as, heedless, mindful, &c. It is evidently of some importance that these should be explained; especially such of them as have no separate existence in the English language. ... Such words are generally particles; i.e. small parts of compound words: and some of them are fragments of sentences. Post, after, (for example), is evidently what is called p. p. of pono, (hence pone, behind), and must have been originally connected with other words to express the meaning now indicated by it alone, in some such manner as the following: positum a tergo, &c.
It is only on this supposition, that the actual meaning of many words can be accounted for.
SECT. I.-OF PREFIxEs.
This term is more definite than preposition; which last term was originally employed for the same purpose as we now employ the former; and in this view there are both meaning and sense; in any other view there is neither: hence, as already intimated, the unmeaning definition of preposition, as commonly given by the grammatists. The prefixes may be presented in the following classes:— 1. GREEK.—An (both an and un in Gothic), tn, and both in and un with us: as, involuntary, unwilling; i.e. not voluntary, not willing : so that the prefix an, in, un, has precisely the meaning of me, non (i. e. ne, ne), not: it is a negative prefix. The Greek grammarians have made the same mistake about the above prefix as the English grammarians, concerning what they call the indefinite article. Both say that a becomes an before a word beginning with a vowel; whereas, an becomes a before a word beginning with a consonant. Observe again, that one of our duplicates of this prefix, i.e. un, is derived directly from Greek, through our Gothic ancestors; the other from the Latin. Hence we prefix un to Saxon words (themselves corruptions of Greek and Latin); and in, the Latin corruption of an, to Latin words: as, involuntary, unwilling. We perceive something of impropriety, or uncouthness, 1.e. a departure from established usage, if we interchange them: inwilling, unvoluntary; but the latter being more vernacular, or idiomatic, does better than the former. Of course, as a consistent advocate of simplicity and uniformity, the author would have one of these duplicates of the negative prefix discontinued; and that which was adopted from the Latin, as being less idiomatic, should be turned off; but to this
there is certainly a great obstacle; for many words compounded of in have been received into our language; as infirm, infallible, &c. In addition to all the other anomalies, there are many useless diversities of the same word, which have been adopted first directly from the Greek, then from Latin, Italian, French, &c. &c. : thus many forms of the same verb, noun, &c., have been imported from other languages; and then these have been yet more diversified by the caprices of spelling and pronunciation. Ana or an, which is the same in German, and with us changed into on. This is a word of frequent occurrence; but it is not much used as a prefix. An is changed into en, changed into in; which we have both as a prefix and a preposition. Of this, also, we have a duplicate, which we borrowed from the French; as, inquire, enquire; indite, endite; &c. It would certainly be advisable to discard the French and adhere uniformly to the Latin form of spelling; as, inchant, tou ; indict, tendict; ingrave, tengrave, &C. There can hardly be any reasonable doubt that ana, an, en (with us on, in), and an, a (in, with us un and in negative), are but one and the same word, or fragment of a word; and that the disference of meaning is owing to ellipsis, i.e. dis. ference of composition. Anti, in front of, directed to, opposed to: it has only the last meaning when a prefix with us: as, antireformer, i.e. one who is opposed to reform; antiabolitionist, one who is opposed to the abolition of negro-slavery. Ante (i.e. anti) is equivalent to, in the front, ahead of, before: antediluvian, i.e. before the diluvium, corrupted into deluge; antemeridian, i.e. before the sun be at the meridian—before noon. From ante is avante (It.), (i.e. a-ante) contracted into run. Apo, ab, contracted into a, and Ger. I aff, fas, off, of. Both off and of are frequently used; but only the former is employed as an affix, that but seldom. Ek, er, er, contracted into e, corrupted into fuss, fust, aus, Ger., out. Out is not much used as a prefix: er is much employed as a prefix in Greek and Latin, and aus in Ger. The ge. neral meaning is the same in all the different languages; i.e. it is compounded of that of th: prefix, and of that of the other word. Erler and outlaw both mean out of, or without law; only the first is a person that is not subject to law; the second is a person that has not the protection of law. On er is formed ertra, i.e. out of, beyond; ertraordinary, beyond ordinary; ertraparochial, not comprehended within any parish. Hemi, semi, i. e. half: as, hemisphere, i. e. * half sphere; semicircle, a half circle, or the half of a circle. Hemi is a contraction of hemish" contraction of he messe; i. e. the feminine as ticle, and messe, media, medium, middle. Para, peri, per, &c., per. This, like so many other particles, or verbal fragments much in use, is exceedingly vague. As a Greek prefix; " occurs in but few words adopted into the Englio language. As a Latin prefix: per means through, completely, much : as, perfect, completely do. finished, complete; perform, to form completely; to finish, &c. When not employed as a prefix, per is equivalent to by ; as, per centum—by the hundred. Pro, pro, prae, corrupted into for, fore. Prae, pre, and fore, as prefixes, are exactly equivalent: as, preordain, foreordain; predict, foretell, &c. Pro is generally equivalent to forward, i. e. foreward, or forth: as, produce, i. e. to lead forward, or bring forth; propel, drive forward, &c. For is prefixed to very few words, and is equivalent to pro in some of its connexions and applications. Huper, or hyper, super, supra, corrupted into up, : . . d. I aber, o: Heb. over, I bove, boven Dut., i.e. be over, whence above. It is not meant that ober, Heb., I aber, &c., are derived from huper, as super, &c.; but they are all manifestly the same word with the same meaning. Hypercritical, i.e. over critical; supernatural, above natural, or above the course of nature; supervisor, overseer, &c. Super is contracted into sur by the French: surcharge, surfeit, survey, &c.; i. e. overcharge, overdo, overlook, or view all over, &c. Aber, in the names of towns, means over, like sur, upon, &c.; as, Aberdeen, i.e. over or upon the Don; Abergavenny, i.e. over the Gavenny; Aberistwyth, i.e. over the Istwyth, &c. Inver, i.e. infra, is just the opposite of aber: as, Inverness, i. e. under the Ness; Inverury, i.e. under the Ury, &c. Thus we have Newcastle-under-Line as well as Newcastle-uponTyne, &c. Hupo, or hypo, changed into sub, whence subter; all which are prefixes: we have few Greek words with the prefix hypo; but we have many Latin words with sub, &c.; as, subscribe, i. e. underwrite, or write under; sub-tenant, i. e. under-tenant, &c. Dia, dis, de, through, from, out, apart. The primary use of both dis and de may be termed separative: as, diffuse, to pour out, or asunder; depart, to part from, leave, go off: in many words they rather add to the force than to the meaning of words: demonstrate, to show forth (monstro, to show); despoil, to spoil, &c. In many words they are simply negative: discredit, not to credit, &c. In some words de has the signification of down or downwards: as, descend, go 'down; degrade, make to descend to a lower grade, step, or station; despise, literally, look down upon. Dis, de, like er, e, ab, se, are directly opposite to ad, con, ob, in. The last may be termed connectives: the first disconnectives. As negatives, dis, de, un, are exactly equivalent: discover, uncover (the first is now used only metaphorically); dethrone, unthrone; demoralise, to render immoral, &c. o Malus, mal, ill, bad, contracted into mes, me, Fr., mis: malecontent, mal-content, Fr.; malformation; misuse, misadventure, &c. Mésuser, mésaventure, Fr., i. e. not well content, bad formation, to use ill, a bad adventure: thus, miscalculate, misadvise, mistake, &c. The following are LATIN prefixes or prepositions: ad, corrupted into adu, ; du, now to, and into at; and contracted into a in It. Fr. Sp. and Fo as, abed, asleep, ashore, aground, &c.; ol. X.
i. e. in bed, in sleep, on shore, on ground, &c. In all such expressions as, to go a begging, a fishing, a hunting, &c., a is ad contracted; and the meaning is, to go to begging, to fishing, &c. Ad and its contraction a, and its diversified forms at, to, have precisely the same meaning. The last consonant of the prefix is usually changed into the first consonant of the word with which it is joined; as, adnuncio, annuncio, to announce; assulto, to assault, i.e. leap upon, to attack. The illiterate classes of the English, particularly cockneys, are guilty of using a, i.e. ad, most unreasonably: as, I was a saying, he was a hearing, he is a going. Circum, in a circle, round, about. Circumnavigate, to navigate round, or sail round; circumambulate, to amble, or walk round, &c. Inter, i. e. in and ter an adjective affix, within, between, among; interline, to write between lines; interlope, to leap between, or among; interregnum, interreign, the time between the reign of one king and that of another. Intro, in or into: introduce (duco, lead), to lead, or bring in, &c. Intra, within. Internus, Internalis, internal. Interior. Introeo, corrupted, through the Fr., into enter, whence entry, entrance, &c. Con, with, to : Concurro, concur, run together, unite; confront, to place front to front; confluent, flowing together; commingle, to mingle together. Contra, corrupted into counter; facing, opposite, against : contradict (dico, speak), to speak against, or deny; counteract, to act in opposition to; countermand, to order the contrary of what was ordered before, &c.
Contrarius, contrary; contrarietas, contra
oblige (Ligo, bind), bind to; occur (curro), run to, meet, happen. Trans, contracted into tra (It), and corrupted into through (and très, Fr.), thorough (durch, Ger): it answers to through, over, beyond ; transgress, trespass, to pass over; transatlantic, beyond the Atlantic ; translucid, shining through, clear. Très is employed by the French as we employ very, erceedingly. Ultra (corrupted into outre, Fr.), beyond, above, high, &c.; ultra-royalist, one' who has very high notions of royalty, a high tory. Ulterior, further. Sine, without, (i.e. sit me, be not), contracted into se, is strictly a separative or disconnective; segregate, to separate from the flock; seligo, selectum, select, to choose out of. This prefix has much the same use as de, dis, di, and un, in. Re, again, back: re-enact, enact again; restate, state again; rebound, bound back. In Dutch re is corrupted into her; as, herplant, replant; hermaak, remake. It is unnecessary to explain those words sometimes employed as prefixes, which have a separate existence in the language: such as, with, down, &c. There is but one * prefix 2