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guages, contain nine kinds of words, or parts of speech, named as above; and the science of grammar merely supplies general rules for their arrangement and gove ernment.

402. The classification of all words into nine kinds, enables grammarians to simplify the rules which direct the construction of language; and instead of a rule for every word, a few rules, are all that become necessary to regulate fifty thousand words.

Obs. For the details of grammer, I must refer the student to my own Practical Grammar; or to any other modern grammar which is not too long and complex. My own Grammar is in its sixth edition; and has been most flatteringly received by many eminent schoolmasters.

403. All names of things, are called nouns or substantives; all qualities of things, are called ad-nouns, or adjectives.

All actions are expressed by verbs. All verbs which modify actions or qualities, are called ad-verbs.

All words, which describe the position of persons and things, are called pre-positions.

All words, which are used instead of nouns, or for nouns, are called pro-nouns.

All words, which are used to join sentences or parts of sentences are called conjunctions.

The words a or an, and the, are called articles.

The exclamatory words, which express earnestness or surprise, are called interjections.

404. The first written signs of words were hireroglyphics or characters, which represented the object named by the character; and, of course, there were nearly as many characters as ideas. The characters now used for the signs of the Zodiac and the Planets are specimens of this kind of character; and so is a circle or snake, when used to signify eternity.

405. The invention of letters, by combining which all sounds could be represented, is ascribed to some

Γη

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Ζήτα

Η η

e long

Ιι

wise man in the reign of Cadmus, king of Thebes. This simple contrivance facilitated the propagation and preservation of knowledge, by enabling us to express a million of words, if we desired it, by the various combination of only twenty-four or five characters.

Obs. 1.- In the Greek Language there are twenty-four letters; of which seven are vowels, and seventeen conso. nants :-Αα Alpha

"Αλφα В в Beta

Βήτα

b
Gamma Γάμμά

Delta Δελτα
EE
Epsilon 'Εψιλον

je short

Zeta

α
Eta

Ητα
Θ και ο Theta Θητα Ith

Iota Ιωτα i
K x Kappa Καππα k c
Αλ Lamda Λαμβδα 1

Mu Μυ
N

Nu Νυ

Xi Ξι
Ο ο

Omicron 'Ouexpov o short
Pi
Πι

p
Rho Ρώ
Sigma Σίγμα

Tau Ταυ It

Upsilon 'Υψιλον
Φφ
Phi

Iph
Chi Χι
Psi Ψι

Ips
Omega 'Ωμέγα lo long

The vowels are α, ε, η, ι, ο, υ,"ω. 2. The following is the ancient Hebrew Alphabet of twenty-two letters, of which five are vowels, and the rest are consonants.

Μμ

m

n

X

Π π

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Ir

S

Σ σ ς Ττ

Ich

Χα Ψ Ψ

Ωω

ג

Vau

Z

[ocr errors]

li like ee.

m

Name. Form.

English Sound. Aleph

a broad, as in war. Beth

b Gimel

3 g hard, as in give, get, Daleth

id He

a

Je, as in where

1 u, as oo, w before a vowel. Zain Heth or Cheth

h hard aspirate Teth

th
Yod
Caph

k or c hard, as come.
Lamed
Mem
Nun
Samech

Ish
Oin

o long, as whole. Pe

р Tzadi

soft, as s in treasure. Koph

19 or qu
Resch
Shin or Sin
Tau

The vowels are &, 07, ', ', Y. 406. The English language consists of about forty thousand words; and is derived from the Celtic, Gothic, and Latin ; successively incorporated by the Welsh, Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans; and by the terms used in the sciences, derived from the Greek, French, Italian, and German languages.

407. Grammar, in a limited sense, is the art which teaches the construction of phrases and sentences; but, in an extended sense it embraces the whole science of language.

The study of language is properly divided into the seven following branches :-Orthoepy, Orthography, Accidence, Syntax, Prosody, Rhetoric and Composiion.

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r

S

proper and

408. Orthoepy consists of rules for pronouncing letters and syllables according to the established usage. Orthography is the art of writing words with thnecessary

letters. The Accidence treats of the modification of the different kinds of words, called parts of speech. Syntax furnishes the rules for the

proper

construction and just disposition of words in a sentence.

409. Prosody teaches the right accentuation of syllables ; and the different measures of verses.

Rhetoric enables us to affect or convince those whom we address in speaking or in writing, by using suitable figures of speech.

Composition teaches us to arrange our thoughts with precision and elegance; and is, consequently, the object and end of the study of language.

410. The nine kinds of words, or nine parts of speech, coinpose most languages ; and there are in the English language about 20,500 nouns, 40 pronouns, 9,200 adnouns, or adjectives, 8,000 verbs, 2,600 adverbs, 69 prepositions, 19 conjunctions, 68 interjections, and 2 articles ;-in all above forty thousand words.

411. After we have acquired a stock of words by reading and copying the best authors, and mixing in good company, we should learn to arrange and combine them in a sentence with elegance; and in such manner, as exactly to express the sense we intend to convey,

and no other than that sense ;-a power of writing, which is called perspicuity.

412. The great rule for the attainment of the art of composition, is to conceive ourselves, that sentiment which we propose to convey to others, by previously reflecting upon it; as it is impossible to express clearly to others what we do not well understand ourselves.

413. We should never desire to express too many ideas in a sentence; but dispatch them one after anoth er in their proper order; and confine ourselves to sim

ple and short sentences till we have acquired facility in the management of them.

Obs. The best exercise in writing and speaking is to read a short story; and then write or speak it, in our own phraseology. Such an exercise continued every day for two years, one day writing and the other day speaking, would teach the arts of spelling, writing, and speaking, at the same instant.

414. We should avoid all quaint phrases, cant words, vulgar proverbs, and foreign idioms; and make our choice from the phraseology of the Old or New Testaments, the works of Addison or Shakespeare ;and avoid the latinized phraseology of Johnson, and the Gallic phraseology of some other modern writers.

Obs.-Happily, the translation of the Bible has served to preserve our language ; or it would have been lost amidst the barbarous affectations of Johnson and his followers. We have no where such variety of beautiful and affecting language as in the'Old and New Testaments; and these, and the works of our immortal Shakespeare, will, I hope, preserve our language from the corruptions and innovations daily making in it, by those who prefer sound to sense.

415. To speak or write our ideas in an able and persuasive manner, we ought to possess ourselves of various knowledge; to read the best books on all subjects; to suffer no hour to pass, without making some improvement; and think, talk, and write ourselves on subjects, on which we have perused the opinions of others.

416. We should commit to memory the terms and leading facts of the various Arts and Sciences; and frequently reduce to writing, striking facts or important sentiments which we meet with in reading. We should compare one author with another on the same subject; and frequently converse with others, on any points in which authors do not satisfy our curiosity.

Obs.-Dr. Irving's Elements of Composition is a library for young persons; and the study of it should follow that of ev

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