« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Z 7 & 24
SAMUEL S. GREENE, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of Rhode Island.
MEARS & DUSENBERY, ELECTROTYPERs.
IT is now more than twelve years since the first publication of the “Analysis of Sentences.” During this period the work has passed through many editions, and has received the most flattering testimonials from teachers and educators throughout the country. The tests to which it has been subjected in the hands of the most skilful instructors, have gone far to show that it has developed the true method of analyzing the English sentence. As this was the first, so it has been the basis of all the author's other books upon the English Language. An abridgment under the title of “First Lessons in Grammar” was published in 1848. This book, though destitute of Oral Exercises, was adapted to a class of learners not yet prepared for the more rigid course developed in the Analysis. To supply the want of Oral Exercises, the “Elements of English Grammar” was published in 1853. This work contained an Introductory course wholly oral, besides the exercises interspersed among the definitions. In these oral lessons, the pupil's acquaintance with familiar objects was made the means of developing all the fundamental distinctions in grammar. They were constructed upon the obvious principle that what is seen by a child reaches the understanding at once, and defines itself by appealing directly to his own judgment; while that which is defined in words, must be committed to memory as the result of another's judgment. Exercises like these, if faithfully given, must lay the foundation for a satisfactory, because intelligible, course of study in Grammar. These exercises were necessarily very numerous, and were often too full for the wants of advanced pupils. From the suggestions of many teachers who
placed the highest value upon the oral exercises, it has been thought best to divide the work into two books—the first containing an introductory course of Oral Lessons, with enough of the principles of grammar to make it a suitable book for beginnersthe second containing a full course of study in English Grammar. The “Introduction to the Study of English Grammar” was issued in 1856, and has been found to meet an important want in our schools. It contains an easy and gradual opening of the subject, and suggests a ready way of teaching the parts of speech, as well as the construction and analysis of sentences, without the disgust and discouragement usually attendant upon the commencement of the study. Indeed, in the hands of a skilful teacher, who could readily supply such matter as must necessarily be excluded from a merely elementary book, it will be found sufficient for ordinary school purposes. The following work contains a full discussion of the principles of English Grammar. It is the result of an earnest endeavor to prepare a text book, in itself complete, and, at the same time, suitable for the school-room. To render it complete, it has been necessary to discuss many topics belonging only to an advanced course; and to adapt it to the wants of the school-room, much of this matter is exhibited in smaller type, to distinguish between that which is of universal, and that which is only of occasional application—that which is to be learned, and that which is to be only carefully read over. One can scarcely analyze a single paragraph, even of easy composition, without falling upon some idiomatic or rare construction not explained in the general rules. It is believed that most of these cases have been provided for in the following pages. Whenever it has been possible to refer such examples to some modification of a general analogy, it has been done; and its relation to the regular construction has been indicated. As a guide to the learner, constant references to topics related to each other are kept up, particularly in the Syntax. An outline of the subjects discussed on each page may be found at the bottom. In addition to these, a copious table of contents will enable one to find any topic at pleasure. To aid the learner in acquiring correct habits of analysis and parsing, numerous models, embracing all the varieties of construction and parts of speech, will be found in the different parts of the book, accompanied with Exercises for practice. In cases where the learner is in danger of adopting ungrammatical constructions, he is furnished with the necessary Cautions, which also serve as guides in correcting false Syntax. A system of Punctuation, growing directly from the analysis of sentences, is appended to the Syntax, and will be found easy of application to any one who has thoroughly studied the discussion of Elements in 153–186 inclusive. The fundamental principle upon which the subject has been developed is, that no theory of grammar is true or reliable, that cannot be abundantly verified by direct appeals to the usage of standard authors. The grammar of a language should be derived from the language itself. It is not the province of the grammarian to legislate in matters of language, but to classify and arrange its forms and principles by a careful study of its analogies as seen in the usage of the best writers. He does not make the rules and definitions which express these analogies; they had already existed, and were obeyed,—unconsciously, it is true, long before he formed them into words and published them. Nor are they authoritative because he has uttered them, but simply because they are just and faithful interpretations of the already existing laws which underlie and pervade the language itself. He is a discoverer—not an inventor, not a dictator; but is true to his task just so far as he investigates and reinvestigates original sources found in the language itself—not, of course, rejecting the light which cotemporary or previous labor has shed upon his pathway. In the following classification of the principles of Grammar, greater prominence has been given to ideas than to mere forms. The complete sentence is at first regarded as a unit—an expression of a single thought, and that too whatever may be the number of propositions combined in it, or whatever may be the characteristic of the thought, as a statement, a command, an inquiry, or an exclamation. The thought determines the sentence. The classification of the sentence depends upon its specific peculiarities. Again, in separating the sentence into its parts, the element is taken as the unit, an expression of a single idea of the full thought—and that too whether it be a single word, or a group of words, or whatever may be its form, structure, rank, or 1 %