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be discovered that the little form-words are very necessary parts of the language, that the different words of this class are very few in number, and that in what is called simple writing, like Robinson Crusoe, they are relatively more in number than in what is called fine writing. Some of the class will also be interested in reading what is said about them in Trench's English, Past and Present, Lecture I. The entire lecture is good reading on the subject of these lessons.
STRUCTURE OF SENTENCES: JOINING OF WORDS.
1. IDEA-WORDS are the substance of sentences, but standing alone they express only detached ideas. It is necessary, next, to inquire how they are joined to express thought, or to make sentences.
2. Certain words enter into sentences simply by being placed together just as they are; that is, they are joined grammatically by putting one with the other directly. For example : in sweet sugar, sweet is written before sugar, just as it is; so are one and book directly joined in the phrase, one book; so are the three words in the sentence, I study grammar.
3. If the noun book and the adjective ten are to be connected, a change must be made in one of them ; we do not write ten book, but changing book to books—that is, making the noun plural number—we write ten books. So if the words John and book are to be joined, John is changed by adding an apostrophe and the letter s, and we write John's
book. If John is to be joined with study, the latter is changed to studies, and we write John studies.
In this case, also, words are joined directly, or immediately, but with some change in the form of one or both.
By such changes, which are learned in the grammars, words are made to express various relations of number, gender, case, mode, tense, etc. The change is in the form and not in the idea expressed by the word, which is essentially the same in whatever relation it stands to other ideas.
4. Other words can be joined only by the help of words standing between them. For example: if wise and man are to be joined, they are simply written together as wise man; but if the words wisdom and man are taken, it is necessary
to use a connecting word, and they are written man of wisdom. So if the word hill is to be joined with the expression the house stands, a relation-word is necessary and we write, the house stands on the hill. If to the sentence, I stuly grammar, it is desired to add geography, we write, I study grammar and geography.
5. That is to say: some words can be put into sentences so as to show by position alone in what relation the ideas expressed by them stand, while others cannot be put into the desired relations without the aid of words used expressly to show their relation. The first are joined immediately, either with or without change of form ; the second are joined mediately, that is, by some word, or words, standing between them for this purpose.
6. No precise or formal rule can be given to determine whether given words are to be joined in one or other of these three ways. Familiarity with language begets a habit or instinct which is, for the most part, a safe guide, and determines at once without conscious reasoning, or even inquiry, how the
words one desires to use go together into sentences in conformity with the idioms and usages of a language. The practical test is whether a given collocation of words agrees with good usage; or the simple question, is this the way in which others would put these words together and are they intelligible when so joined ? One learning to use a foreign language has no such instinct, and puts his words together in a manner ludicrous to the native.
7. It must be borne in mind, that sentences must have ideas as substance; that only related ideas can be joined ; that mere words, put together, with whatever skill, make no sentence, that is, non-sense, unless ideas are put into proper relations by means of the words used. Language-or the sentence—is but the expression or form ; it is with this, however, that grammar deals. It investigates the form in which thought appears, rather than the thought itself. It requires grammatical truth, rather than logical, though these agree with each other.
8. Conjunctions, prepositions and relative words generally, are the principal parts of speech used to express relations between ideas; in other words, by the help of these parts of speech idea-words are brought into grammatical connection, and so into sentences as their constituent parts.
9. Synopsis of the manner of joining words.
QUESTIONS. 1. What do idea-words standing alone express? What is necessary in order to make them into sentences ? 2. How is sweet joined to sugar, in the expression sweet sugar? 3. How is John joined with book? with study. 4. How is the word wisdom joined with man? the word hill to the expression the house stands ? 5. Make a general statement of the three ways of joining words. 6. How can the man ner of joining any given words be determined ? What questions give a practical test ? 7. What is the relation of words and sentences to ideas? With which of these does grammar deal ? 8. What words are used to express relations ? 9. Give a synopsis of the manner of joining words.
It is required to give the manner of joining the idea-words in the following passages. The three questions to be asked are : (1.) Is an idea-word ? (2.) With what is it joined ? (3.) How is it joined?
Note.-Besides the particular point of this lesson, such an exercise will necessarily direct the pupil's attention to the significance of each word as a factor of a sentence, and to the relation of ideas as expressed by the connection of words, and this will make a virtual analysis of the passage without technical terms. Of course, the second question above can be answered only from an understanding of the ideas expressed and their connection. Such an understanding should always precede formal analysis, and the latter then becomes only a methodical and technical statement of the relations of the different factors of a sentence.
NOTE.-In this exercise words substituted for others may be considered as idea-words, as their construction is practically the same.
NOTE.—In all cases, give the first form or root of a word and take all parts of a verb, e.g., was startled, as one word.
Note.—The practice may profitably be varied by asking what ideawords each relation-word joins. The points of the lesson are to show how each idea-word gets into its grammatical place in a sentence, and what is the office of each relation-word.
NOTE.-Once for all, the value of all practice in this subject, as in any other, depends on thoroughness and accuracy. If the passage given in any lesson is not sufficient to teach the lesson in this way, other passages, in the book or elsewhere, may be used.
MODEL. --I is joined directly with was expressing as its subject. Was expressing is a form of the verb express, and is joined directly with its subject, I. Cry is joined to startled by the preposition by. Guide is joined to cry by the preposition from. When joins its clause with was expressing.
“I was expressing my gladness, when I was startled by a loud cry from my guide, the first I had heard him utter. He pointed to the opposite side of the amphitheatre. There indeed sat an object of melancholy interest, a man who had either been unable to escape or had determined to die. Escape was now impossible. He sat in desperate calmness on his funeral pile. He was a gigantic Ethiopian slave, entirely naked. He had chosen his place, as if in mockery, on the imperial throne ; the fire was above him and around him; and under this tremendous canopy he gazed, without the movement of a muscle, on the combat of the wild beasts below; a solitary sovereign, with the whole tremendous game played for himself, and inaccessible to the power of man.”-Salathiel, Chap. XX.
“ And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
And over it softly her warm ear lays:
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
The Vision of Sir Launfal.