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dance, elegance, constancy, decency; ism (Greek)—rationalism; tude-plenitude; ty (Latin and French)-cruelty, equity; or y-philosophy. The verb abstracts are derived from verbs. The native termination is ing—being; the classical are—first of all, ion, next, age, al, ment, th, ure, y.
Second. Another class of verbal nouns that play a great part in grammar is the class expressing the agent ; formed by the suffix er, ar, or: maker, speaker, liar, inspector, visitor.
The use of this poun is one of the equivalents of the verb: for “ he proposed terms' we may say ‘he was the proposer of terms'. A transitive verb with an object is thus transformed into a noun followed by a phrase, which phrase is the object preceded by 'of'. A new shade of meaning is usually attached to this transformation of the verb, namely, habitual action. These nouns are found the convenient names for trades, avocations, and professions ; the work itself being first stated as a verb. Hence to say he was the proposer of terms of peace', means that he was selected and entrusted with a special office or function, being his occupation for the time. “Jupiter thunders' means one act; Jupiter was the thunderer’ is a permanent characteristic. So ‘he dissembled '(on some one occasion), 'he was a dissembler' (habitual).
The old endings, man, ster, ess, have a similar use. They denote characters, avocations, trades.
In' claimant’ we have another derivative expressing the agent. Claimer' is not so easy to pronounce as 'claimant', which follows the analogy of 'agent', 'client', 'tenant',
vagrant', obtained from the present participle of the verbs.
Third. Nouns for the products or results of Action are not a very large class; they are mostly a secondary usage of the verb abstract. The greatest number end in ment: appointment, commandment, fragment, ornament. A few old forms end in m: bloom, gleam. Some in y: delivery, discovery. Some in t, and th: gift, flight, birth, death. Also : breakage, fissure, union, imposition, &c.
The ending la is used with some verbs to give verbal nouns, analogous to the Saxon ‘ing’: arrival, betrothal, burial, carousal, denial, dismissal, recital, renewal, reprisal, requital, revisal, revival. A compound of this class has recently come into prominence in connexion with the early history of mankind—survival', something that survives.
A new form of verbal noun has lately come in: 'percept' for the thing perceived, the object of the verb made general; so 'concept’for the thing conceived in the act of conceiving. Our great Exhibitions of late years have introduced the term
exhibit', as a noun for the things exhibited. In Chemistry a similar operation is performed in the verb 'distil', which yields distillate'; 80-conglomerate, precipitate.
Fourth. Diminutives are a curious and interesting class. Their history is illustrative of feelings and manners; but their grammatical handling needs little commentary.
Fifth. Collective Nouns are usually compounds. They are often secondary usages of abstract nouns, or of class nouns (especially of such as denote place).
The suffixes are: y-aviary, infirmary, library, purgatory, reformatory, treasury; age-assemblage, foliage; hoodbrotherhood, priesthood; (e)ry-finery, grapery, pleasantry; ism-positivism.
In compounding Adjectives, the leading purposes are these :
First. Negation; for which we have the Saxon ending less (loose from): causeless, careless, cheerless, faithless, godless, needless, penniless, pithless, prayerless, purposeless, thankless, treeless, witless.
This does not give negation in the scientific or logical sense, but negation growing out of the marked absence of a certain thing, or quality ('careless', the absence of care), with an insinuation of the presence of some opposite or contrary quality. Many of them are intensified expressions of the logical negatives made up by the prefix un: unfaithful, faithless; unmerciful, merciless; unthankful, thankless; unwise, witless. So: innocent, guiltless; impenetrable (forests), cp. pathless: unimpassioned, dispassionate, passionless.
Second. In order to express, in an Adjective form, the prominent quality of a noun, there is a strong array of endings—Saxon and classical. Of the first, we have edspirited; ful—deceitful; ish-boyish ; like or ly—businesslike, homely; some-burdensome.
This process is attended with considerable vagueness. In the first place, there is not a well-sustained distinction among the different endings. In some words, ‘ish' is diminutive and slighting, as 'boyish', 'Romish'. But, in the main, sound determines the selection : 'beautiful' sounds well, and so does lovely’; but the reversed endings would be hard to pronounce.
The ending y is kept very closely to nouns of material: less frequently it joins with abstract nouns, and sometimes with class nouns.
The ending ed is the perfect participle of the new or modern verbs ; but, in a few instances, it is applied to nouns.
The syllable en (Anglo-Saxon genitive) was in use to form a class of adjectives from nouns of material, to express ‘being made of', 'like': flaxen, golden, wooden.
Classical endings :-al-celestial, ceremonial, constructional, postal, substantial; ar-globular, regular, vulgar; arian-latitudinarian; ary, ory-pecuniary, sanitary, tradi. tionary, statutory; ate (rare)-affectionate, passionate ; esque-grotesque, picturesque; ian-antediluvian, Baconian; ic-gigantic, monarchic, nitric; ist-ic-altruistic, Calvinistic, characteristic, materialistic, ritualistic; ose, ous-jocose, igneous, joyous, porous.
Of al I had occasion to remark in discussing the Adjective. It has really no meaning, unless what may grow up in connection with particular words. It gives the form of an Adjective to the reality of a noun. *Postal communication' gives only the meaning that could be got from 'Post communication'; ceremonial law' does not throw any new light upon what is divined from 'ceremony law'; 'personal application' is 'application in person'.
The addition of 'al' is often melodious; and the compound may at last be differentiated so as to give a meaning different from the mere noun in position. The patriarchal state' is more agreeable to the ear than the 'patriarch state': and it has taken on a particular meaning, which would not be suggested by the nouns—the state of society where the rulers are the chiefs of families.
A similar remark applies to an, rian, which are variations regulated mainly by sound. They mean nothing that could not be inferred by taking the two nouns together. A unitarian hypothesis or scheme' is more simply a ‘unity scheme'; we may make of it what we can.
The foreign ending ous is of wide-spread occurrence; and its compounds have generally a distinctive meaning, which they have inherited from their Latin usage.
The Adjectives compounded from other Adjectives are mostly formed by prefixes. Of these, the most notable are the ones for negation-un, dis, non, in (im).
A slightly diminutive effect is given by the suffix ish -reddish, sweetish, ticklish. The addition of ly to an existing adjective leads to new shades of meaning: 'good' and 'goodly' are somewhat different. The ending ary gives such words as-secondary, solitary, &c.
The derivation of Adjectives from Verbs is next to be noted. Foremost are the two participles, which pass into Adjectives by an easy step; 'a living poet', a celebrated general'. The shortening of qualifying clauses leads to this usage; and there comes a stage when we must parse such words as adjectives solely; that is, when, without reference to the original verb form, they have been habitually coupled with nouns, and still more, if, in being so coupled, they have taken on new shades of meaning.
The termination ble gives origin to a very characteristic meaning, which ought to be maintained consistently. The irregularity of using 'sensible' (man) as (a man) of sense is pointed out in the grammar. Another questionable compound is 'pleasurable ', which cannot be rendered according to the regular meaning of ble’; we might have 'pleasable'
for one that can be pleased' (like 'placable'). Equally uncouth is 'seasonable', which might be used for a soup that did not refuse to take on seasoning. In both these instances the meaningless 'al' would have been more in keeping. With the forms 'pleasing' and 'pleasant', it is difficult to discover the need of pleasurable'. (For · ble', see p. 259.)*
This is one of the most valuable endings in our language. The situation of possibility or potentiality is of constant occurrence; and one of the merits of Aristotle was to have been the first to given it expression. Moreover, it is a soft and pleasing termination, and a relief in sound from our heavy verbal ending ed, which is unavoidably frequent. The old potential mood, made up by may and can, is in. tended for the same purpose; and gives also the distinction, sometimes useful, between permission and physical ability.
passive gerund sometimes gives the meaning of possibility: 'that is not to be thought of '.
The classical ending ive is of value in stating the active meaning of the verb, in much the same way as the imperfect participle : repressive (repressing), imaginative (imagining).
As usual, when there are two forms for the same thing, there is a tendency to assume a various shade of meaning; so that the compound in ‘ive' does not always signify the same as the participle. ‘Active', 'passive', 'sensitive', and conservative', are words of great consequence, with no precise equivalents.
The termination should not be used passively, as is sometimes done : 'collective strength' ought to be collected'; derivative' sometimes means 'what is derived', a 'derivate'
* In Latin, the termination was used actively as well as passively. In late Latin, and in French, the active use seems to have been fully maintained. The addition of ble’ to nouns-reasonable (Latin ‘rationabilis', French ‘ raisonnable'), peacable (paisible), profitable-has been frequently made in English, with not very satisfactory results. As examples, we have 'statutable' (which might have followed the general law), and conscionable' (apparently imitating the French).