1. The power of speech is a natural endowment of the human race.

Men speak because they are men, and so are rational and social beings.

2. This gift of speech is stimulated and directed in early childhood by the example of others who use language in the hearing of the child, and directly address him in words. This example determines whether a child shall speak English, French, or some other tongue.

3. This example also determines, wholly in childhood and in great part for the entire life, whether the use of a tongue is correct or not, whether it is modeled on the national speech as written and spoken by the educated classes or on a dialect peculiar to some part of a country, and, in short, whether it is grammatical or ungrammatical ; and this because the child has no other guide to the forms of speech he acquires than the example of those he hears.

4. Presently, school-mates and other companions, teachers and lessons, and the books the child reads, add their influence, and either modify or confirm habits previously formed or tendencies already at work.

5. Pupils bring to the study of grammar, therefore, habits of speech more or less firmly fixed, and this study does not directly or generally influence, to any considerable degree, ordinary use of language, nor should this be made its exclusive or main design.

6. Grammar, then, whether as a subject of school study, or as a strict investigation of language, follows, not precedes, the acquisition of a language as spoken. In neither case does it form or essentially change existing modes of speech.

%. Grammar investigates a language, as it already exists, in its approved spoken and written forms, and inquires,

(a) how its words may be classified ;
(6) how they are varied to express different ideas;
(c) how they are constructed into sentences.

8. Grammar, also, properly considers the derivation and history of words, and the relation of words in different languages; but these and kindred topics are generally treated as a separate science, namely, Philology. Grammar is for the most part restricted to the topics given above.

9. Grammar is, therefore, properly a science, and should be studied as a science, and not by children. It may be defined, in general, as the science of language.

10. The study of grammar, however, influences speech in

two ways :

(a.) By enabling the student to correct faults, if he will take the necessary pains to do so, through the knowledge of correct uses which it gives, and especially as to forms of words and common constructions.

(6.) By bringing the student into close and studious contact in all grammatical exercises with the manner of expression used by good writers. Such study adds to the forces already influencing an individual's mode of speech the power of another sort of example, which is impressive in proportion to the attention it receives and the extent to which the study, in this or in any other way, is carried.

11. In so far as this is done, the study of grammar may

lead both to correct use of language and to knowledge of its laws, while its proper province is the latter.

12. The general grammatical exercises are : (a.) Dividing words into classes, and learning their forms, such as are given under the heads of declension, comparison and conjugation ; (6.) Analysis of correct sentences.

13. This analysis may be of two kinds : (a.) Verbal, which deals with single words, their properties and construction. (b.) Logical, which reduces a sentence to thought-elements and determines their relation to each other.

These two generally go by the name of parsing and analysis, and the analysis is generally treated as grammatical.

14. The method of procedure should be to study correct sentences in such number and variety as will bring the learner into contact with all authorized forms of speech.

15. The test of proficiency in language should be (a) correct use of it in both speaking and writing; and (6) ability to account in a rational way for all correct forms of expression, and to assign to each factor of a sentence its proper function.


NOTE.— The numbers refer to the paragraphs in the preceding text.

1. What is the origin of the power of speech? 2. How is it stimulated and directed ? What determines what language a child shall speak? 3. What is the influence of example on correctness of speech ? 4. What beside the example of those about the child at home influences modes of speech? What is the effect of these? 5. In what condition, as to language, do pupils come to the study of grammar? Does this study exert direct influence on modes of speech? Is it directed to this end? 6. Which comes first in order, grammar or language? 7. What does grammar investigate? What does it inquire? 8. How does grammar differ from Philology? 9.

How does grammar consider language? By whom should it be studied ? Define grammar. 10. In what ways does the study of Grammar influence speech? How, and to what extent ? 11. To what ends may the study of grammar lead ? 12. What are the two general forms of grammatical exercises ? 13. What are the two kinds of analysis ? What is each called? 14. How is a full knowledge of grammar acquired ? 15. What is the test of proficiency in both language and grammar!




1. As words, whether single or in groups, are the material of which sentences are composed, it is necessary to make a fundamental distinction among them, preliminary to any naming of parts of speech or other grammatical elements.

2. Words, all words, are signs, or representatives of something

3. Some words--e.g., lake, circle, justice, wise, sweet, blue, buy, promise, study, when once learned in connection with what they stand for, bring this to mind whenever they are seen or heard with attention. The thing, e.g., lake, suggests the name, and the name, when used in any way, suggests an idea or picture of the thing. The two, idea and name, are so associated that one carries the other with it. These words are called idea-words because they thus carry with them a picture, or representation of that for which they stand. They are also called notional words. The term idea-word will be used in this book.

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