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General Observations.

As the present work differs in many respects from other grammars in use, it may be desirable that I should briefly note some of the more important changes which I have made, and in some cases discuss the grounds of the change. In the work itself I have refrained from dissertation, and aimed at giving the facts of the language in as few words as possible. If facts are stated with their real limitations, they either explain themselves, or at least afford a sound basis for theory to work on. If they are grouped according to their natural affinities and arranged on natural principles, the briefest statement is the most illustrative.

I have called the book, A Grammar of the Latin Language from Plautus to Suetonius. Now first, by Grammar, I mean an orderly arrangement of the facts which concern the form of a language, as a Lexicon gives those which concern its matter. The ordinary division into four parts seems to me right and convenient. The first three Books on Sounds, Inflexions, and Word-formation, are often comprehended under the general term Formenlehre. The fourth Book, on Syntax, contains the use of the inflexions and of the several classes of words. I have given much greater extension than is usual to the treatment of Sounds and Word-formation, and on the other hand, have cut away from the 2nd and 4th Books several matters which do not properly belong to them. For instance, numerals and pronouns are often included in Book II. in a way which conceals the fact, that it is only so far as their inflexions are peculiar, that they demand specific notice. Again, the use of prepositions and conjunctions is often discussed in the Syntax; whereas so far as the use depends not on the class to which a word belongs, but on the meaning of the individual, the discussion belongs to lexicography. The error lies in thinking, that because certain words


are more general than others in their application, they are therefore formal. However there is no doubt a convenience in including some of these matters in a Grammar, and accordingly I have put them, or some of them, in the Appendices to this or the second volume. Further, I have not attempted to twist the natural arrangement of the facts so as to make it suitable for persons who are first learning the language and cannot be trusted to find their own way. There are plenty of other books for that purpose.

Secondly, it is a Grammar of the Latin language. It is not a Universal Grammar illustrated from Latin, nor the Latin section of a Comparative Grammar of the Indo-European languages, nor a Grammar of the group of Italian dialects, of which Latin is one. I have not therefore cared to examine whether the definitions or arrangement which I have given are suited to other languages of a different character. A language in which like Latin, the Verb is a complete sentence, or in which e. g. magnus can be made to denote great men by a change in the final syllable, may obviously require very different treatment from one in which, like English, the verb requires the subject to be separately expressed, or the adjective great requires, in order to gain the same meaning as magni, the prefix of the definite article, or the addition of the word men. I have confined myself, with rare exceptions, strictly to Latin, and this for two reasons. First, Latin is the only language which I have studied with sufficient care to enable me to speak with any confidence about its Grammar, and I have learnt in the process, how little trustworthy are the results of an incomplete examination. Greek I have referred to in Books I. and III. because of its close connexion with Latin, and I could rely, for the purposes for which I have used it, on Curtius' Griechische Etymologie. The Italian dialects, other than Latin, I have studied but little. Such results, as can be drawn from the scanty remains which we have, will probably be found in Corssen's pages, but I hesitate to regard them as sufficiently solid to allow one to rest any theories of Latin Grammar upon them. My second reason for declining frequent reference to other languages, is the belief that such reference is incompatible with a natural treatment of my own proper subject. Each language has its own individuality, and this is distorted or disguised by being subjected to a set of general categories, even though

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