페이지 이미지

wrought into a thorough digest of Syntax; by which all good English can be parsed, without torturing it by transpositions or interpolations, or grouping the words off in "adverbial phrases," or in any other wholesale manner.

5. The subject is more distinctly and thoroughly illustrated than usual, by the use of clear and appropriate examples and exercises at every step of the pupil's progress.

6. The most important and distinguishing feature of improvement, is the method of instruction. The greatest and most embarrassing defect of the grammars in use is their improper and antiquated system of instruction. Grammar has been permitted to fall in the rear of other sciences in this respect. Induction-the great element of school instruction at the present day—may be set down as unknown, or very nearly so, in the grammar class. The common method is to teach the pupil words, primarily and mainly, instead of ideas; and to teach the rules in an arbitrary manner, without attempting to give the reasons of them: thus depending more on the memory than the understanding. It is this method of instruction that renders grammar "such a dry study," and produces so few good grammarians among the thousands engaged in it.

Rules in science are the abstractions of cultivated minds, therefore it is impossible to understand them well without knowing the course of reasoning or the classification of facts that has produced them.

The mode of instruction adopted in this work, is, first to teach the pupil the idea, and illustrate it plainly, and then exercise him thoroughly upon it, and after this preparatory training, require him to commit the words to memory. This method of teaching saves the pupil more than half of the irksome toil of committing to memory, on the old plan, and he understands his subject much better. He is taught the rules of syntax by regular induction, on a plan similar to the approved method of teaching arithmetic. In this way he easily comprehends the reason and force of the rules, therefore, they are much more

easily applied by the understanding, and retained in the


The attention of the pupil is confined to a single point, and he is exercised upon it exclusively, until he understands it; and then he is required to combine it with what has gone before, and practice upon the whole; but not allowed to extend the exercise to any thing which he has not learned.

7. A well digested system of elementary composition is here combined with the elements of grammar. This, so far as I know, has, hitherto, been a desideratum.

The lessons in composition are strictly elementary and progressive, and so combined with the study of grammar, as to enable the two branches mutually to promote the acquisition of each other. These lessons, instead of following the beaten track of thinking for the pupil, by furnishing him with lists of words and broken sentences, teach him how to think for himself and write his own lists of words and broken sentences. writes words on this plan, he knows what they are.

When he

In preparing this system of grammar, the following works on philosophical grammar, have been consulted. Harris' Hermes, Monboddo, Cobbett's Grams. Lewis' An. Outlines &c. Tooke's Purley, De Sacy, Encycl. Brit.-Edin. Encyal. (Brewster's) Crombie's Syntax, Webster's Grams. Latham's Gram. and others. And on practical grammar, besides the grammars in common use, Ben Jonson, Lowth, Andrew, Buchanan, Lennie, Sutcliffe, Richard Hiley, and others of Europe: and Alexander, Comley, Chandler, Cardell, Cooper, Alger, Pond, Fowle, Frost, Green, Hull, Ingersol, Nutting, Parkhurst, Pickett, Brace, Goodenow, Parker and Fox, Pierce, Wright, Hazen, Cornell, Pue and others of our own country.

I embrace this opportunity to acknowledge my obligation to Rev. Preston Cooper, of whom I received some valuable ideas on the induction of grammar.



.* ENGLISH GRAMMAR is that science which teaches the structure of the English Language.t

The science consists of a System of Principles and Rules: some of which are founded on the natural distinctions and relations of words, and others, on the arbitrary authority of usage.

. Grammar is divided into four parts; Orthography, Etymology, Syntax and Prosody.

Orthography teaches the sounds and use of the letters, and the correct method of spelling words.

Etymology treats of the different classes of words, their derivation, and their various inflections and changes, to express gender, person, number, case, time and manner.

Syntax is a system of rules for the construction of sen


Prosody teaches the pronunciation of words, and the laws of versification.

* The portions marked thus (†) are to be omitted till the review. Let the beginner commence on the 18th page.



The elements of the English language, spoken, consist of thirty-six primitive sounds and articulations; and these are represented by the twenty-six letters of the alphabet, which constitute the elements of the language written.

These elementary sounds are divided into five vowel sounds; eleven diphthongal sounds, and twenty articulations.

NOTE 1. An Articulation is a joint; and therefore, an articulate sound is a jointed sound.

NOTE 2. Spoken Language consists of vowel and diphthongal sounds, variously connected by articulations or joints.

REMARK 1. The Power of connecting sounds by articulations or joints, is a peculiar characteristic and privilege of man above the mere animal creation.

REMARK 2. And hence, he who articulates the best; i. e. the most DISTINCTLY, rises the highest in this DISTINGUISHING



Vowels and Diphthongs.

E,* and w,† are always vowels.

I, O, and y,‡ are sometimes vowels, and sometimes diphthongs.

A, and u, are always diphthongs.

The rest are consonants or articulations.

*EXCEPTION. E seems to have a diphthogal sound (like the sound of y in ye) in some words; as in ewer, ewry, eulogy, Europe, eucharist, truncheon, righteous, &c.

+ W is usually represented by oo, in illustrating its sound, and therefore it is properly a vowel, because it has the sound of oo, which is a vowel sound. "W is also a vowel." Webster's Speller, p. 8. "W is properly a vowel." Webster's 4to Dic.

Y seems to be, improperly, called a consonant when it begins a word or syllable; as in year, beyond.

A consonant represents an articulation, which is formed by closing the organs; but this sound of y, is commenced with the organs open, (tho' close like long e) and uttered by opening them wider, with a quick mus. cular motion; as ye: and therefore it is properly a diphthongal sound, and

The vowel sounds are produced with the organs open, and without changing their position.

The diphthongal sounds differ from the vowel sounds, in requiring the position of the organs to be changed, but without closing them, during their utterance; by which they are known not to be simple, but compound sounds: some of which are represented by single letters; as, i, in fine; u, in tube; and others by two, in one syllable; as oi, in toil, ou, in count.

A digraph is two vowels in a syllable, when only one is sounded; as ea in eagle; oa in boat, &c.

NOTE. The digraphs are so various that no general rules can be given for their pronunciation.

A triphthong is a union of three vowels in one syllable; as ieu in adieu.

not an articulation; and hence; y, the letter representing it, should be called a diphthong.

Y has the same sound in year, yankee, beyond, &c., (where it is called a consonant) that i has in valiant, alien, union, familiar, junior, &c., and e has the same sound in Europe, eulogy, eucharist, ewer, ewry, puncheon, truncheon, righteous, &c., and u, in use, union, &c.

Now if this sound is an articulation, then all the letters which represent it; to wit, e, i, u and y, should be called consonants, or articulations, in all such situations; but if it is a diphthongal sound, then y should not be called a consonant in any place.

Many writers on Orthography call y a consonant, at the beginning of words and syllables, and then use it in the same situation to represent the sound of e, i and u: that is, they use a consonant to represent a vowel sound, according to their own principles. G. Brown's Gram. p. 30. Also, Walker's large Dic., Principles, &c., p. 16, and the words ewer,' ewe, alien, union, companion, dernier, and many others.

Mr. Walker says, (in his direction to foreigners, prefixed to his large Dictionary, p. 12,) that w is no more than the French diphthong ou; thus, West is equivalent to Ouest, and wall to ouall:" and that "y is perfectly equivalent to the French letter of that name, and may be supplied by i; thus, yoke, you, &c., are expressed by ioke, iou, &c.," and then four pages after, he lays it down as an established doctrine, "that y and w are consonants when they begin a word." Such a contradiction needs no comment.

Y is a vowel "sometimes at the beginning of a syllable, as in beryl, paroxysm." Cobb's Speller, p. 163.

« 이전계속 »