« ZurückWeiter »
aiding composition. Besides distinguishing between Saxon or native and Classical prefixes and suffixes, I single out for special notice all those that have a felt meaning, as well as those that are still used for new compounds. Such as comply with neither of those conditions may be looked upon as dead or dormant, and a reference to them is of use only to impress by contrast the living particles. One of the uses of this part of Derivation being to preserve the consistency of the language in the composition of words, instances of irregularity are cited as warnings.
Derivation, in both heads, is the part of grammar that most directly operates in enlarging the pupils' vocabulary. This, however, is an effect that will be produced only in proportion to the living interest that can be evoked in teaching the department.
In Syntax, as in the other portions, I avoid repeating the general rules of the Grammar. The first point selected for discussion is the use to be made of that accident and superfluity of language-the scheme of Concords. Besides exemplifying the doubtful Concords of Number in nouns of multitude and in the couplings of singular nouns, I have endeavoured to specify the occasions when these concords impart energy and emphasis to the meaning
The largest part of Syntax, and the most important thing in the whole compass of Grammar, is the consideration of the Order of Words. The placing of words, phrases, and clauses, in the entire sentence, vitally effects both the clearness and the force of the composition ; and I have thought nearly one fifth of the volume not too much for exemplifying the modes of arrangement under many varieties of sentence structure.
I have raised sundry questions not previously agitated within the sphere of English Grammar; and have in various instances expressed peculiar views upon the recognised topics. Reasons, good or bad, have been offered for all the conclusions arrived at.
Perhaps much that is here laid down, even if not condemned as erroneous, will be treated as ove
ver-refining and impossible to carry out. The reply is, that whatever is suggested as an improvement is worthy of being considered. In the rapid dispatch of actual business, our composition cannot always embody even the merits that we are masters of; yet, in the great variety of literary efforts, there will come a time and a place for every genuine refinement.
Long experience has convinced me that the greatest trouble in beginning the study of composition is to fix the attention upon anything in particular ; to find any exercise to the judgment, or any motive to choose between competing modes of expression. Hence, in teaching English, the most effective course of all seems to me to be this : having selected an exemplary passage, first to assign its peculiar excellence and its deficiency, and next to point out what things contribute to the one, what to the other, and what are indifferent to both. The pupils are thus accustomed to weigh every expression that comes before them, and this I take to be the beginning of the art of composition.
Although professing to be a Companion to my Higher English Grammar, the present work may be readily understood by pupils taught upon any of the grammars now in use, and indeed by any person of ordinary in. telligence. It is not so much a compilation from writers on English as a reproduction of the remarks that have occurred to myself in studying the devices of composition. Works of this class cannot be too numerous, and they do not necessarily exclude each other.
The scope of Grammar itself left at the outset undefined...
Various wording of the definition ; the best form.
Prepositions stand between verbs and nouns, intimating the
course of the verb action.....
They connect adjective and noun ; explanation.
Empirical parsing a mere evasion...
Superior reasons for separate handling..