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broad and characteristic use of the conjunction. The pupils should be taught to see in the presence of a conjunction the coupling of affirmations; and although these may be united in one clause, they are still to be treated as distinguishable facts.
The restricting of the conjunction to affirmations effectually separates it from the preposition. For although a few prepositions, such as ' for ', 'before', after', 'since', connect clauses, they are held, in so doing, to be conjunctions and not prepositions; it being a familiar fact in gramınar, that the same word may play two different parts.
THE USE OF THE DEFINITIONS IN TEACHING.
An English teacher once observed to me that the pupils, in singling out proper Nouns, follow the cue of the capital letter. The observation may be made more general. For all the Parts of Speech, some mark is hit upon quite apart from the definition. As regards Pronouns, Prepositions, and Conjunctions, the fewness of their number allows of their being soon known individually. Then for the Adverbs, the ending in ‘ly' is a test that answers with the vast majority. The Verb is known by its forms of conjugation. The Adjective is scented out by meaning, by position, and by the use of comparison. The Abstract Noun, the most abstruse of all words, is soon known by the prevalent ending 'ness’; the teacher does not expect a young pupil to know the others.
All this, however, is not teaching, but evasion or subterfuge, whether conscious or unconscious on the part of the teacher. If a definition is taught, it should be understood and acted on when occasion offers. The teacher should, in suitable instances, ask why a word, stated by the pupil to be a preposition, is a preposition and not a conjui ction, an adverb, or any other part of speech. Should this exercise go beyond the ability of the pupils, they have entered on grammar too soon.
The Parts of Speech are at the foundation of all the rules of grammar; the meaning of each Part of Speech is given in its definition, and if the definitions are not understood, everything is chaotic.
Should INFLEXION be taught along with the Parts of Speech, or under a separate head ?
On the one side, there seems to be a suitableness in giving, under the Noun, not only its definition and divisions, but also its Declension and changes for Gender. Likewise with the Adjective; the Comparison of adjectives would appear to follow naturally in the account of the adjective as a Part of Speech. And the same for the other inflected Parts of Speech-Pronoun, Verb, Adverb. Accordingly, the greater number of grammarians proceed upon this plan.
On the other side, it may be contended that the operations of defining and classifying are distinct, important, and diffi
and that there is a propriety in going through these operations for all the parts of speech, before beginning the peculiar process of Inflexion. Any one may notice that the treatment of the Parts of Speech themselves (defining and classifying) is not usually so full and thorough in the grammars that take Inflexion along with definition and classification, as in those that separate the two heads.
In the same way, the operations placed under Inflexion, are distinct and important; and, unless exhibited apart, they can scarcely obtain the prominence they deserve. Moreover, Declension is common to the Noun and the Pronoun; the discussion of case, and of number, therefore, applies equ to both: while to Conjug
the Verb is a vast process, not necessarily connected with the defining and the classifying of verbs. It concerns both the perspicuity and the elegance of style to discriminate precisely the meanings of the cases of the Noun and Pronoun, and the tenses of the Verb. Even the limited subject—Gender-admits of niceties of handling.
If under the head 'Noun', we are to exhaust everything relating to Nouns, we should be led into Syntax also; yet the rules of Syntax have never been mixed up with the Parts of Speech.
DERIVATION. A very full discussion is given to this department, under the two heads-Sources of Vocabulary and Composition of Words. The purpose is partly to make the information more complete than in the Grammar, and partly to show how the subjects can be rendered interesting to the pupils, and useful as a means of improving them in English Composition.
I have already expressed my sense of the great value of the Analysis of Sentences. I consider, however, that additional examples are here uncalled for. Indeed, I am not sure that too much is not made of the formal scheme of Analysing Sentences. Not only is it not the main part of Syntax, but it is apt to disguise what appears to me the main part—the Order of Words. After we have thrown the different parts of a sentence into the form prescribed, we have still to go back and consider how the sentence stands originally, and whether the words, phrases, and clauses, are so disposed to each other as to give the meaning with sufficient clearness. It is to this that I have devoted the larger portion of the examples and illustrations given under SYNTAX.
PARTS OF SPEECH.
ENOUGH was said in the Introduction respecting the different modes of defining the Noun. Reasons were given for the threefold definition in the Grammar, which is believed to be fully adequate to distinguish the noun from other parts of speech. The examples now to be given will show the manner of applying the definition.
CLASSIFICATION OF NOUNS.
In classifying or subdividing any part of speech, the first question to ask is—what grammatical purpose is to be served by the classification ? The common definition of the Nounthe name of a person, place, or thing—is, I have said, not a definition at all; if it be any thing, it is a classification or subdivision of nouns into names of places, names of persons, and names of things. As regards the two last classespersons and things,—there are occasions when the distinction is grammatically important; as in the use of pronouns, and in the designations for gender. The distinction between place and thing never determines any grammatical construction.
But in actually classifying Nouns, grammarians do not introduce any of these distinctions, but proceed on a totally different plan. The classes given have varied in number from three to five; while all are agreed upon three of them. The oldest and most familiar classification is - Proper, Common, and Abstract.
The two additional classes, recently added, are Collective and Material.
Each of these classes has some grammatical peculiarity. According to class, there may be variety of usage in one or more of three things :—first, the Plural Number; second, the use of the Articles ; third, the Plural Concord, in Syntax.
The PROPER, Singular, or Meaningless Noun, is by its nature the name of one thing : ‘Noah', 'Lebanon', 'Mississippi'. It cannot take a plural, and it is used without the indefinite article ; neither can it have the definite article. When it seems to have the plural or an article, there is some departure from the usual modes of speaking.
The COMMON, General, Significant Noun, is the name for a number of objects : 'father', 'mountain ', 'river'. Sometimes only one of these is spoken of, at other times several. There are distinct grammatical usages for the two cases: in the first case, the noun is singular, with the indefinite article prefixed, a father'; in the second, the noun is plural, without the article, 'fathers '.
The ABSTRACT Noun is a very remarkable kind of noun differing in grammatical usage from the Common or General Noun, and yet not agreeing with the Proper Noun. Examples—darkness', fulness', 'motion'. As expressing a single circumstance, the abstract noun cannot be plural, except by ceasing to be abstract; we do not say 'darknesses'. It is not preceded by the indefinite article—' a darkness'unless where some word is left out-'a (kind of) coolness '.
It is grammatically important to divide Abstract Nouns into Adjective Abstract, and Verb Abstract.
The Adjective abstracts are formed from adjectives: they include the nouns made up by affixing ‘ness ’ to adjectives—whiteness', 'roundness', 'plainness'; and nouns in ‘ty', such as‘veracity',
validity', 'honesty', 'stupidity'; also nouns in 'nce', as 'temperance', 'patience', 'forbearance', 'reticence'. The Verb abstracts are verbal nouns, or nouns formed from verbs and expressing the action of the verb—' occupation', 'contradiction', 'division', 'belief', 'proof', 'death'.
The Noun of MATERIAL has peculiarities similar to the Abstract Noun. It cannot become plural, and it does not take the indefinite article; we do not say 'golds', 'a gold'. As in the case of the abstract noun there are apparent