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THE ENGLIST LANGUAGE, as the depository of the wisdom and experience of past generations, has come to us, by inheritance, to be transmitted to the ages to come, enlarged, and, if possible, improved. “ A man should venerate his native language as the first of his benefactors; as the awakener and stirrer of his spiritual thoughts—the form, and mould, and rule of his spiritual being; as the great bond and medium of intercourse with his fellows; as the mirror in which he sees his own nature, and without which he cannot commune even with himself; as the image which the wisdom of God has chosen to reveal itself to him.”
It was in some such spirit, and under some such impressions, that the present work was undertaken, and carried on to completion. In preparing it for publication, great pains have been taken in collecting and combining the materials. The best authorities in Europe have been consulted, and the aid and advice of learned and judicious friends have been obtained. The endeavour has been to make the work such that every learner may study it with advantage, at the same time that it may furnish a reference-book for teachers in primary schools, a text-book for the higher institutions, and a work which advanced students and intelligent men, in professional life, may keep by them as a book of reference and occasional perusal, for the cultivation and preservation of a correct taste in the use of language. “The grammar of a language,” says Locke, “is sometimes to be studied by a grown man."
The work is divided into Nine Parts, in which the English Language is presented under Nine different aspects. Each Part is intended to be distinct in itself, and yet all of them, in their mutual relation, to constitute one logical whole. A glance at the table of contents will show that the work is intended to present a full GRAMMAR of the Language. In the Syntactical Part the laws of
construction are given in the rules and notes, illustrated by Examples. In the Exercises, an example of correct or of false Syntax is furnished for the application of each rule or note, that the learner may repeat to the teacher the rule or note which it suggests. It has been thought better, for the most part, to present as examples forms of expression which are correct rather than those which are exceptionable. By becoming familiar with incorrect forms of speech, one is in danger of falling into the use of them, even though he may wish to follow the rule which condemns them. Language is largely a matter of imitation. Hence we infer the importance of a familiarity with good models. The Editors believe that the Part entitled “Historicai Elements of the English Language” will be read with deep interest, abounding as it does with facts and illustrations.
The labour and the difficulty of preparing a work upon the Language, in which each part shall be exhibited in its specific distinctness, and the whole in its generic complexity, in such a manner as at once to satisfy the ripe scholar and to attract the learner, cannot be readily appreciated. The exactness of certain sciences should not throughout be demanded. Many facts and principles pertaining to the language are, indeed, settled ; but, in respect to others, only an approximation to exactness can be expected. Authorities are often divided; those upon whom we may rely may have fallen into error, , and apparent facts often lead different scholars to opposite conclusions.
The Editors regard this volume as an important, if not an indispensable, portion of THE EDUCATIONAL COURSE; and they indulge the confident hope that it may prove a valuable help to those who desire a thorough acquaintance with the origin and history, the structure and laws, the elements and forms, of the English Language.
London, April, 1857.
in the English Language 70 | 105. English the universal Language
101. The Kind of Anglo-Saxon Words 70 106. Prospects of the English Language
70 107. Historical Analysis
PHONETIC ELEMENTS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
SEPARATE PHONETIC ELEMENTS.
75 111. Vocalic or Vowel Sounds
109. Organs of Production
76 / 112. Consonantal or Consonant Sounds
110. Classification of the Phonetic 113. Articulate Sounds
76 | 114. Analysis of Syllabic Sounds