Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

This is something like the bed of Procrustes, and has a double disadvantage. It often leaves great vacant spaces, and it fails altogether to shew the real relations of words, phrases and sentences to one another.

Some sentences contain only one or two elements, and may be dismissed in two lines. Others require the statement of many more particulars than are provided for in such a diagram. The essential points in relation to the analysis are (1) That an account shall be given of every separate logical element in the sentence; (2) That the meaning and force of each of the connective words which are not strictly in the sentence but which indicate the character of subordinate sentences, shall be described ; and (3) That the relation of the several sentences to each other whether as coordinate or subordinate shall also be clearly shewn. These conditions will be found to be fulfilled in the example on the next page. After some exercises of this kind in logical parsing, or Gram

matical concurrently with them, it is useful to give the ordinary

Analysis. drill in grammatical parsing. But here it is necessary to distinguish between the proper province of logic and that of pure grammar. For instance, the difference between Common and Proper nouns is the logical difference between universals and particulars, and has no place in grammar whatever. And the distinction of sex is in no sense logical, and in English is hardly gramınatical. It determines the form of our nouns and pronouns in only a very limited number of cases; and we have no conventional sex, as in Latin and French, which affects the concord of adjectives. Hence the enumeration of Gender among the attributes of English words has little to do with Etymology and less with Syntax, and in fact serves no grammatical purpose at all.

I But

2 now

4

Specimen of But now farewell. I am going a long way
Analysis.

With these thou seest-if indeed I go
(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt) -
To the island valley of Avilion ;
Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,
Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
Deep-meadowed, happy, fair with orchard lawns,
And bowery willows crowned with summer sea,
Where I will heal me of my grievous wound.

TENNYSON.
Particle connecting sentence with

the preceding.

Adverbial adjunct to 3.
A.
3 farewell

Predicate.
I

Subject.
B

5 am going Predicate.
6 a long way

Adverbial adjunct to 5.
7 with these

8 (whom] Object. C.

Subject. 10 seest

Predicate.

Particle introducing sentence D. 12 indeed

Adverbial adjunct to 14.
D.

Subject.
14 go

Predicate.

Particle introducing sentence E.
16 all my mind Subject.
C.
17 is clouded

Predicate.
18 with a doubt Adverbial adjunct to 17.

19 To the island
Continu-

valley Adverbial adjunct to 5.
ation of B.
20 of Avilion

Adjectival adjunct to“valley” in 19. 21 Where

=in which. Adverbial adjunct to 22.
Predicate.
Negative adjunct to 22.
Subject.

Alternative subject.
( 26 or any snow

Alternative subject.

9 thou

II If

13 I

15 For

I.

22 falls
23 not
24 hail
25 or rain

[blocks in formation]

34 lies

H.

33 it

Subject.

Predicate. 35

deep

meadowed Adjectival adjunct to 33.
36 happy
37 fair, with orchard

lawns and bowery

hollows
38 crowned with

summer sea Adjectival adjunct to "hollows” in 37. 39 Where

Adverbial adjunct to 41.
40 I

Subject.
41 will heal me Predicate.
42 of my grievous
wound

I.

Adverbial adjunct to 41.

A. Principal sentence.
B.

co-ordinate with A.
C. Adjective sentence to the word “these” in B.
D. Conditional sentence subordinate to B.

E. Causative sentence subordinate to D.

F. Adjective sentence to "valley” in B.
G. Co-ordinate sentence to F.
H. Co-ordinate sentence to G.
I. Adverbial sentence to 34 in H.

Note. The last sentence I. might be interpreted in the same way as F., as an adjective sentence qualifying 33.

A lesson on Let me now give you an illustration of another kind
Auxiliary
Verbs.

of lesson, in which, as indeed in all other enquiries into
English, a knowledge of the elements of Old English
Grammar will be of great help to you. Begin with a
few examples of the use of Auxiliary verbs. You observe
that there is no inflectional provision for Perfect, Plu-
perfect, or Future tense in English, nor for the Potential
Mood, but these modifications of meaning are shewn by
auxiliaries. The old grammars recognized a fundamental
distinction between this method and that of accidence.
In Ben Jonson's Grammar for instance, you will find
the statement that the English Language has no Future
tense but that its place is supplied by a Syntax. With
this in view, it is worth while to give several special
lessons on the peculiar function and use of auxiliaries in
English. And in doing this, you will choose first
examples of the use of these words not as auxiliaries,
but as principal and independent verbs. · Before Abra-
ham was I am.' Here the verb be is independent and
means existence. Afterwards and in ordinary modern
use, it becomes a mere copula. "He was going, I am a
soldier.' Again 'I have a book, I have finished the
book.' The first and independent meaning of the word
have' is seen to be that of possession, the subsequent
meaning that of completion. You shew that will'
simply implies volition in such a sentence as “If I will
that he tarry till I come;" but that in the sentence ‘He
will go,' it implies futurity. You ask why in merely
stating a fact about a future act, you say 'I shall come;'
but “They will come ;' yet that if you desire to express
the same thing with more positiveness you change the form
and say “I will,' and 'They shall. And having traced
this usus ethicus by means of the analogous forms should
and would, you come to the conclusion that though these

6

6

6

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

two words have come in time to be auxiliaries, some faint reminiscence of their early signification still clings to them, and that even in their modern use, we can discern traces of the idea of volition in will and would, and of obligation in shall and should. The same thing is seen on examination to be true of all the auxiliary verbs. They have in becoming mere substitutes for inflection parted with much of their original meaning, but in all cases, some flavour of that original meaning remains. The result of these enquiries may then be tabulated in some such form as this:

English Auxiliary Verbs.
Primitive Meaning.

Derived or Secondary Meaning.
Be Buon
Existence

Copula.
Have Habban Possession

Completed action. Will Wyllan

Futurity (1) WOULD

yllan} Volition

SHALL Scealan} Obligation

Futurity (2).
SHOULD
MAY Magan
Ability, Power

Permission.
Can Cunnarz Knowledge

Ability. MUST Mot Compulsion

Obligation. Do Don

Action * Contributes by itself no additional meaning to the verb, but serves (1) to carry emphasis, as I do wish; (2) to furnish a place for a negative or other adverb, as I did not go; or (3) to help the construction of an interrogative sentence, as Did I forget ?

Word-building and analysis—the investigation of the Verbal parts of words and the separate significations of each Analysis. part—form a most useful exercise. You take the word Unselfishness and decompose it. Self is seen to be here used as a noun. This noun becomes an adjective by the termination ish. The adjective thus formed is nega

« PreviousContinue »