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Nay, an thou dalliest, then I am thy foe.
Ben Jonson. See Wedgwood, Dictionary of English Etymology: AN.
The derivation is doubtful. Mr. Wedgwood thinks that both sense and form might well be taken from the English even, in the sense of ' eontinuous," unbroken,' 'level.'
I have sometimes thought, that the original idiom may have exhibited two co-ordinate forms; something like this:
And thou dalliest, and I am thy foe. But this is a more conjecture. Our wisest course is to reserve a knotty point like this for future investigation. 459. after. The same word as the preposition after. See
§ 472. In older English the usual form of the Con-
Relative Adverb, or Subordinating Conjunction.
Bain. as. Horne Tooke thinks that as is the same as the German
es, meaning it, that, or which. Sir John Stoddart approves of this etymology. Mr. Wedgwood, from a comparison of the German dialects, infers that as is a contraction from all-so, A.-S. eallswa, German also, als, as. Dr. Bosworth, in his Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, gives swa an 'adverb'so, thus; and swa a'conjunction' as, so as, as if. In Anglo-Saxon we constantly
swa used as correlatives, swa hit is swa thu segst, 'so it is as thou sayest. I have sometimes been tempted to think that as and so are both derived from swa. Termed:
Conjunctive or Connective Adverb, in some cases; Subordinative Conjunction, in other cases.--Mason.
Relative or Conjunctive Adverb; or Subordinating
Conjunction.-Bain. because. "by cause.' This word is not confined to sentences
denoting Cause and Effect; but is used to signify 'by reason,' in sentences expressing the connection of Reason and Conclusion.
find swa .
Usually called a Conjunction; better an Adverb.Mason.
Relative Adverb or Subordinating Conjunction.—Bain. before. The same word as the preposition before. See § 481.
· In older English, the usual form of the Connective was before that : as, · Before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles.'- Galatians ii. 2. Termed:
Usually called a Conjunction; better an Adverb.-Mason.
Relative Adverb or Subordinating Conjunction.-Bain. 460. for. The same word as the preposition for. See § 474. In older English, a common form of the connective is for
I doubt not but great troops would be ready to run; yet
for that the worst men are most ready to remove, I would wish them chosen by discretion of wise men.
Spenser, State of Ireland. We also find the forms for as much as and for why: For as much as the thirst is intolerable, the patient may
be indulged the free use of spaw water. --Arbuthnot,
might well carry one of them, being taken from the
Subordinating Conjunction.-Bain. how. A.-S. hu, originally an Interrogative Adverb, “how?'
in what manner ? It is frequently used to introduce indirect questions: as, they asked, how he was.'
461. if. This word plays a very important part in Horne
Tooke's argument about the origin of conjunctions. He contends that many of them were originally the imperative mood of verbs, and that if was gif, 'give,' 'grant:' as, Forgiff me, Virgil, gif I thee offend.
Douglas, Preface, p. 11. He shows that be, set, and many other verbs, are similarly used. See the whole argument, Diversions of Purley, i. 103, 134, 149. To the passages there quoted, we may add the following :Petruchio.
I will attend her here,
Taming of the Shrew, ü. 1. Sir John Stoddart says that the etymology deriving if from gif, the imperative of gifan 'to give,' was proposed by Skinner and has never been disputed. Mr. Tooke therefore is right so far as he follows Skinner, who first showed the connection between if and give; but he is wrong when, trusting to his own theory, he says, “Our corrupted if has always the signification of the English imperative give and no other.” In short he is right where he is not original, and original only where he is not right.'
Some modern grammarians reject Horne Tooke's etymology altogether, because they cannot find traces of the initial g in the cognate languages. Mr. Garnett says, that a comparison of the cognate languages proves that if is neither an imperative of give nor of any other verb; and quotes with approval the remark of Dr. Jamieson, in his Scottish Dictionary, that neither the Gothic jabai, the Alemannic ibu, ob, oba, nor the Icelandic if or ef can be formed from the verbs denoting to give in those languages. See Garnett, Philological Essays,
p. 24. Mr. Wedgwood compares the Gothic iba, whether;' Old High German ibu, ob, 'if,' whether;' Dutch of, oft, “if,'
whether,' 'or;' German ob, whether ;' Old Norse ef, 'if,' efa, ifa, 'to doubt.' He appears to think that the notion of doubt' lies at the root of the word. But the argument from analogy is not absolutely decisive. It is possible, that of all the cognate languages, English alone exhibits this derivative. There is a fair amount of probability in favour of this etymology.
Subordinating Conjunction.-Bain. 462. lest. The A.-S. adverb læs, 'less,' is used with the particles the and thy in the sense of lest: as, the læs
thy læs the
Subordinating Conjunction.-Bain. 463. since. In Anglo-Saxon we find the adjective sid, “ late,
and an adverb of the same form, 'lately.' We also find siððan, afterwards,' after that, then,' since,' 'further.' In Old English we meet with the forms sith, sithen, sithence, from which since appears to be
derived. And he axide his fadir how long is it sithe this hath falle
to him ?-Wiclif, Mark ix. For sithen the fadris dieden.-2 Peter iii. From signifying consequence in time, since is transferred to consequence in reasoning and causation : as,
O mighty God, if that it be thy will,
Chaucer, Man of Lawe's Tale. See Wedgwood, Dictionary of English Etymology.
Since: expressing a reason, Subordinative Conjunction.-Mason.
Adverbial clauses relating to Time begin either with the relative adverbs which denote time, or with the so-called conjunctions, before, after, since, &c. These words have no adverbial relation to any word in the clause which they introduce.—Mason, § 424.
The words before, since, after, until, are usually set down as conjunctions ; but they are in reality prepositions. The construction really consists of a preposition followed by a substantive clause. After [that] I arrived is tantamount to after my arrival.-Id. 8 289.
[This remark is applicable to before and after; but there is no evidence to show that since was originally a preposition.] Subordinating Conjunction.-Bain. A.-S. swa, 'so,''thus.' Termed :
Adverb.—Mason, $$ 433, 435.
80, 'by that,' 'to that measure.' Adverb of Comparison.—Bain, p. 43.
80, therefore. Co-ordinating Conjunction (Illative).
Id. p. 67. 464. than. Etymologically than and then are equally de
rived from A.-S. thonne or thænne. In older English
Than hadde the douke ich understond,
Amis and Amiloun.
Ballad on Alisoun. i.e. “Then had the duke, &c.' 'Her neck is whiter than the swan.'
Than is commonly set down as a conjunction. This is a mistake. It is a conjunctive adverb.'—Mason, $ 267, note; compare the examples discussed, Mason, $$ 545-571.
Relative or Conjunctive Adverb.-Bain. that. The same word as the pronoun that. Horne Tooke
discourses largely on this word. He endeavours to show that the word that, call it as you please, either Article or Pronoun or Conjunction, retains always one and the same signification. -See Diversions of Purley, i. 81, 135, 256; ii. 61, 514, 555.