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with the guineas and dollars in it, were stolen ;" for if we say
was stolen," it is possible for us to mean that the bag only was stolen.
“Sobriety with great industry and talent, enable a man to perform great deeds," and not enables ; for sobriety alone would not enable a man to do great things.'
444. Here we observe a confusion of form and meaning. As a general rule, a subject-nominative in the singular must have a predicate-verb in the singular. Any number of nouns, under government of the preposition with, cannot discharge the function of subject-nominatives.
Even if these nouns represent persons, that makes no difference; because they are not formally stated as nominatives. The use of the objective in the phrase with them, when a pronoun is substituted for the noun, evidently suggests a doubt to Mr. Cobbett's mind; but he has recourse to the artifice of understanding,' and he says that the understood nouns make part of the nominatives.' The brothers may have been actors in the work, but to maintain that they form part of the actors in the sentence' is quite wrong. He confounds the actors in a work with the subjectnominatives in a sentence, the meaning with the grammatical form. The sentence should be, 'He, with his brothers, is able to do much.'
“The bag with the guineas and dollars in it was stolen' is equivalent to the bag containing guineas and dollars was stolen.' To allege that this construction might imply that the bag only was stolen' is a piece of special pleading.
445. Horne Tooke confounds the origin of conjunctions with their function in a sentence; and because all conjunctions may, as he thinks, be etymologically traced to other kinds of words, he denies them to be a separate sort of words or Part of Speech.
First of all, he endeavours to show that if and an, which have been called conditional conjunctions, are merely the original imperatives of the verbs gifan 'to give,' and annan 'to grant.' Then he says that those words which are called conditional conjunctions are to be accounted for in all languages, in the same manner as he has accounted for if and an. Not, indeed, that they must all mean precisely give and grant; but that they have some equivalent meaning, such as, be it, suppose, &c. Hence he discards all supposed mystery, not only about these conditionals, but about all those words called conjunctions of sentences. He denies them to be a separate sort of words; and he contends, that the peculiar signification of each must be traced among other parts of speech, by the help of the particular etymology of each respective language. . In short,' he says, there is not such a thing as a conjunction in any language, which may not, by a skilful herald, be traced down to its own family and origin.'— Diversions of Purley, pp. 109–126.
This may or may not be the case; but even if true, it is nothing to the purpose, unless we are prepared to admit the principle that Parts of Speech are to be arranged according to signification and not according to function. Sir John Stoddart allows that Horne Tooke has accurately ' traced home' some conjunctions; while, in regard to others, he has been mistaken. But whether right or wrong in the particular instances, his general doctrine can derive no benefit from them. To prove that a word performs one function at one time, does not disprove its performing another function at another time.
To which we may add, that the etymology of a word has nothing necessarily to do with its function in a sentence; just as a man's pedigree is not absolutely connected with his occupation as a citizen.-See Universal Grammar, p. 159; and compare $$ 405, 461.
446. On the whole, there is no sufficient reason against the doctrine, that conjunctions may join together individual words; and by admitting this principle, we gain an advantage in the analysis of what are termed contracted sentences.' Take for example the sentence. He saw you and me.' Now, if conjunctions cannot couple individual words, this sentence must be analysed thus : (1) He saw you, and (2) He saw me. Whereas, if we admit that the conjunction and couples you and me, we may take you and me as a compound objective dependent upon the verb saw.
Nor can there be any great difficulty in distinguishing between conjunctions and prepositions. A preposition can govern nouns, but a conjunction can not. The two words joined by a conjunction are both affected by a common concord or government: as, ' You and I will accompany him and them. A conjunction can join sentences together, which is never the office of a preposition. When, for instance, before is used to introduce a subordinate sentence, as, 'He came before they left,' it ceases to be a preposition and becomes a conjunction (or conjunctive adverb). Lastly,, a preposition may denote various relations of time and place; while the relations denoted by a conjunction are chiefly three: (1) Addition, as and; (2) Alternation, as or; (3) Opposition,
447. Accordingly we divide conjunctions into three classes : (1) Copulative; (2) Alternative; (3) Adversative. These are also termed Co-ordinating Conjunctions, because they join together co-ordinate sentences, that is, sentences of equal rank. The so-called Subordinating Conjunctions will be considered separately. See Chapter xiv.
1. COPULATIVE CONJUNCTIONS.
and. This is the chief of the class; it unites sentences,
where the meaning adds something to that which precedes. Horne Tooke derives the word from an-ad, which he expounds da congeriem. But this is altogether doubtful. It has been doubted whether anan meant to give,' or to grant,' and of the syllable ad which he translates congeriem,' we know nothing.
Mr. Wedgwood, in his Dictionary of English Etymology, considers and and an the same word; but he
does not throw any light upon the origin. both ... and. For the sake of emphasis, sometimes each co
ordinate sentence has a prefix. The word both is frequently used with the first sentence. It is originally ba-twa, 'both-two,' also written bu-twu and bu-tu.
Other forms are employed to join co-ordinate sentences, as 'not only ... but,' 'partly ... partly,' 'first
... then.' also and likewise are enumerated by Professor Bain among
co-ordinating conjunctions, Grammar, p. 64. On the other hand, Mr. Mason says that these words are not conjunctions, but demonstrative adverbs.—Grammar,
Also is A.-S. eall-swa, all-so;' and likewise is compounded of like and A.-S. wise, 'way,' 'manner; ' hence likewise signifies ' in like manner. Professor Bain mentions a play upon the word wise in this compound: a remark was made upon the son of a judge who had succeeded to his father's office, but not to his ability, that he was a judge also, but not like-wise.'
- Grammar, p. 64. eke. This word, as a conjunction, has become nearly ob
solete in modern English, with the exception of a few colloquial phrases, or in ballad poetry : as,
John Gilpin was a citizen
Of credit and renown;
Sir John Stoddart, Universal Grammar, p. 163;
2. ALTERNATIVE CONJUNCTIONS.
448. The chief word of this class is or, which appears to be contracted from the A.-S. pronoun oder, other;' though the A.-S. word corresponding in signification to or is oððe. In older English we find other in the sense of the modern or : as,
Ful feole and fille
Kyng Alisaunder. i. e. “Than to hear of God, or of St. Mary'
It is very important to distinguish between or when it is a true alternative, pointing out different things (Latin aut); and or, where it expresses an equivalent in other terms, and merely indicates a nominal difference (Latin id est, or alias).
Thus in the phrase Christ or the Messiah,' the particle introduces merely an alternative name, the person being the
And the same occurs when we say, A Sovereign or Supreme Ruler always rules in England.' But when we say, ' A king or queen always rules in England,' the difference is real, indicating distinct persons.
This word is formed from the negative ne and or. The corresponding A.-S. word is nador, nader, nawder, forms used sometimes as pronouns, and at other times
as conjunctions. We must remember that in some cases, nor has, not an alternative, but a copulative force, equivalent to and not :'as,
My ventures are not in one bottom trusted,
Merchant of Venice, i. 1.
449. In alternative sentences, it frequently happens that each clause has an introductory particle, as either ...or; and so in the negative, neither ... nor. either. This is one of the words variously termed an
adjective pronoun, or a pronominal adjective (see § 285). But it is also used as a conjunction. The A.-S. ægther, 'either,' is used in a similar manner; and
so is the pronominal form aðor, auðer. neither. This word is formed from the negative ne and either.
Where these particles are used, care should be taken to observe the correct sequence, either ... or, neither ... nor. Of course, neither ... or is quite wrong. Some critics say that nor should not be used, unless preceded by neither. If this rule is sound, and it needs verification, it must be restricted to the alternative use of nor.
In poetry, or is frequently substituted for either, nor for neither : as, Or by the lazy Scheldt, or wandering Po.—Goldsmith.
Addison. Either, or, neither, nor should be placed next the words to which they refer : as, ' Neither he, nor his friends were present.' • It neither improves the understanding, nor delights the heart.
3. ADVERSATIVE CONJUNCTIONS. 450. The principal conjunction in this class is but, originally a preposition, A.-S. be-utan, butan, "by-out,' corresponding in form, and even in signification, to 'with-out.' See § 473.
In older English, the forms bot and but occur. Horne Tooke attempts to set up a distinction between them, and derives bot from the imperative of botan, to boot,' that is,
to superadd.' See Diversions of Purley, i. 182, 306. This distinction is not considered tenable; but some of Horne Tooke's observations are well worth consulting. He shows that, in older English, but and without were indifferently used as prepositions and as conjunctions; but that in course of time, but ceased to be recognised as a preposition; and without ceased to be correctly used as a conjunction, p. 306.
His criticism of Locke's remarks on the word but, is given ibid. pp. 182–205.