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ALEXANDER BAIN, LL.D.,
PROFESSOR OF LOGIC IN THE UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN.
LONDON: LONGMANS AND CO.
ABERDBEN: PRINTED BY ARTHUR KING AND COMPANY, PRINTERS AND STEREOTYPERS
CLARK'S COURT, TOP OF BROAD STREET.
This work is designed to be a First or Elementary English Grammar, preparing the way for the larger and complete works. While omitting entirely one division of Grammar-Derivation, in regard to the rest, it passes over such explanations and details as are deemed unsuitable for beginners.
There are, however, certain matters essential even to the most elementary Grammar. I refer not merely to the leading departments of Parts of Speech, Inflection, and Syntax, but also to the way of dealing with the several topics.
Grammar is a science, or nothing. It has the outward form of a science, and its difficulties spring out of its scientific character. There are Definitions to be framed, Principles to be stated, Rules to be prescribed ; all which operations, if entered upon at all, should be carried out in a scientific spirit. A loose way of proceeding in
this respect fails to answer the ends of Grammar, and fails still more as a mental discipline.
The chief peculiarity in the plan of the present work lies in anticipating the unavoidable difficulties of the subject by a previous handling of certain elementary notions (belonging to all science), without which no one can hope to understand the scope or method of Grammar. This preparatory portion explains, by the help of familiar instances, first, the meanings of Individual, General, Abstract, Class, Genus, Species, Co-ordinate, Subordinate, and Definition ; secondly, the constituents of a Preposition, and the kinds of Prepositions; and lastly, the Sentence, from which are evolved the Parts of Speech.
After such preliminary explanations, I make no scruple to introduce the strict mode of defining the PARTS OF SPEECH adopted in my former Grammar. I also exemplify the leading subdivisions or classes of each. Moreover, I bring forward at once the equivalent phrases, which, in the case of the Adverb in particular, are used more frequently than single words. On this method, the Grammatical parsing of a sentence directs attention forcibly to the meaning.
INFLECTION is treated, if not with the fulness, at least with the exactness, of the larger Grammar. The ANALYSIS OF SENTENCES, although in a great
measure anticipated by the extended view taken of the Parts of Speech, is explained and exemplified. The proper processes of SYNTAX—Concord, Government, and Order of Words—are succinctly stated; and examples given of the more usual
The Key is framed to assist the teacher in comprehending the exact drift of the Exercises and the Questions appended to each head; but it is not confined to this. It exhausts the whole of the important grammatical bearings of each example, and varies the points raised in the Questions. It also includes a large selection of additional examples, which are commented on with a view to set forth still farther the methods of parsing, and to illustrate the constructions and idioms of the language.
ABERDEEN, January, 1872.