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190. All words must originally have had only one meaning, but subsequently they come to have various secondary significations. These are attached to them according to fixed laws of the association of ideas; but in the case of each individual word, the signification must be inferred from the relation which it bears to the other words with which it stands connected.
191. A very large and important class of words, whose primary signification refers to the operation of sensible things, are applied secondarily to modes of thinking; as, imagine, apprehend, comprehend, adhere, conceive, instil, disgust, disturbance, tranquillity, abstraction, sincere, foresight, penetration, acuteness, inclination, aversion, deliberation, sagacity, attention, &c.
192. Secondary significations are often formed by the primary meaning of the word being extended. For instance, calamity, from the Latin calamus, a reed or stalk of corn, would mean etymologically the misfortune inflicted on the farmer by a storm which broke the stalks of corn, and so prevented it from coming to maturity ; but the word has been generalized to mean misfortune of any kind. As examples of the same class of words, the following may be mentioned : -Hypocrite, talent, ambition, assassin, sycophant, emolument, capricious, sincere, absurd, pagan, tariff, &c.
193. A process, the reverse of this, sometimes takes place, and the meaning of a word is restricted. Thus, the word prelate, from pre, before, and latus, carried, would properly mean one advanced above others formerly his equals; but,
use, it is restricted to one advanced to a particular dignity in the church. Other words of the same kind are, synagogue, congregation, parliament, congress, rector, laconic, vagabond, extravagant, catholic, conversation, &c.
194. We already (56) referred to the fact that most of our prepositions and conjunctions are contractions for nouns, adjectives, or verbs, and we shall now illustrate this by a few examples.
Above, from ufa, high.
Beyond, from be and goned, from the verb to go.
or from a verb signifying to add. Originally but and and were
the assertions between which it is placed oppose each other. If, probably from the verb to give. These are given rather as examples than as a complete list of prepositions and conjunctions.
195. As a practical exercise in etymology, we shall analyze a passage from Johnson ; and we shall subjoin several passages to be analyzed in the same manner.
“Such is the pleasure of projecting, that many content themselves with a succession of visionary schemes, and wear out their allotted time in the calm amusement of contriving what they never attempt or hope to execute." Derivatives.
Prefix or Affix. Other Derivatives.
con,together Tenement, abstain Succession Cessus, gone sub, under Succeed, recede Visionary Visus, seen
Vision, providence Schemes Schema (Gr.), plan
Schemer Allotted Lot (Sax.)
(ad, to Allotment Amusement Musa, study acĠr.),from Amusing, amusive Contriving Trouver(Fr.),tofind con Contriver,contrivance Attempt Tento, I try lad
Attempter,temptation Execute Sequor, I follow
Execution, executive 196. Another exercise well calculated to improve the student in this department of etymology, is to take a passage
in which words of Latin or Greek derivation predominate, and translate it into Saxon-English—no more changes being made on the structure of the sentence than are rendered necessary by the substitution of one word for another. *
* Exercises of this sort have a much higher value in education than merely serving to familiarize the pupil with vocables, as has
Translation. The old man trusts wholly to The old man trusts wholly to slow contrivance and gradual slow planning and going forward progression. The youth expects step by step. The youth thinks to to force his way by genius,
vigour, force his way by native power and and precipitance. The old man headlong strength. The old man deifies prudence. The youth com- worships wisdom as a goddess. mits himself to magnanimity and The youth trusts himself
to boldchance. Age looks with anger ness and chance. Age is angry on the temerity of youth, and with the rashness of youth, and youth with contempt on the scru- youth despises the great caution pulosity of age.—Johnson.
1. What is the meaning attached to the word derivation? What is meant by saying that the significations attached to words are arbitrary and conventional ? How is the present signification of a word to be ascertained ? Does the original signification always agree with the present use of a word ? Into what three classes may words be divided ? Give three examples of each sort. From what does the great body of the English language come? From what other languages are many of our words taken ? Explain the meaning of the terms affix, root, prefix, and illustrate them by examples. Give instances of words which originally meant physical qualities, but which are now used with respect to moral qualities.
2. Form abstract nouns from—slow, free, king, fellow, man, worth, white, poor, and false.
Form adjectives from-joy, toil, wealth, heart, earth, gold, help, expense, method, father, art, life, and bounty.
Form verbs from—pure, assassin, hard, white, equal, quick, human.
Attach roots to the following prefixes,-ad, con, re, se, pro, pre, de, di, inter, in, a, sub, ex; amphi, dia, hyper, para, syn, and apo.
been fully shown by Isaac Taylor in his “ Home Education," one of the most original and valuable works on the theory and practice of education which this age and country have produced. After suggesting and recommending such exercises, Mr Taylor gives the following directions :-" The learner may exhibit his ingenuity in re-writing a given description, substituting, wherever it can be done with propriety, other terms for those which he finds before him. Let him follow his original, step by step, sentence by sentence, word by word; replacing each by an equivalent, or by two or three, equiv. alent to the one; or by one, condensing the power of two or three.". The whole work, but particularly the Tenth Chapter–Culture of the Conceptive Faculty in Connexion with Language—will amply repay the profound study of all who have to teach grammar.
Draw out a list of derivatives from the following roots,-duco, pono, mitto, litera, opus, pater, terra, and caput.
Form compounds (187) from these words,-coach, road, sea, fire, well, sun, star, way, warrior, sailor, lady, dance, and song.
3. Analyze the following passages, after the example given in
There are few personages in history who have been more exposed to the calumny of enemies, and the adulation of friends, than Queen Elizabeth; and yet there is scarce any whose reputation has been more certainly determined by the unanimous consent of posterity. The unusual length of her administration, and the strong features of her character, were able to overcome all prejudices; and obliging her detractors to abate much of their invectives, and her admirers somewhat of their panegyrics, have at last, in spite of political factions, and, what is more, of religious animosities, produced a uniform judgment with regard to her conduct.-Hume.
While the nobility of France basely fled on the first appearance of danger, while the higher orders of the clergy betrayed their religion by their pusillanimity, or disgraced it by their profligacy, the dignity of patriotism, the sublimity of devotion, appeared amidst the simplicity of rural life ; and the peasants of La Vendée set an example of heroism which might well put their superiors to the blush, for the innumerable advantages of fortune which they had misapplied, and the vast opportunities of usefulness which they had neglected. It was there too, as in the first ages of Christianity, that the noblest examples of religious duty were to be found; and while the light of reason was unable to restrain its triumphant votaries from unheard of excesses, and stained with blood the efforts of freedom, the village pastors and uneducated flocks of La Vendée bore the temptations of victory without seduction, and the ordeal of suffering without dismay.-Alison.
Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best,
4. In the following extract change words of Latin or Greek derivation into others of Saxon origin, as in 196.
We sympathize even with the dead, and overlooking what is of real importance in their situation, that awful futurity which awaits them, we are chiefly affected by those circumstances which strike our senses, but can have no influence upon their happiness. It is miserable, we think, to be deprived of the light of the sun ; to be shut out from life and conversation ; to be laid in the cold grave, a prey to corruption and the reptiles of the earth; to be no more thought of in this world, but to be obliterated in a little time from the affections, and almost from the memory, of their dearest friends and relations.
That our sympathy can afford them no consolation, seems to be an addition to their calamity; and to think all we can do is unavailing, and that what alleviates all other distresses, the regret, the love, and the lamentations of their friends, can yield no comfort to them, seems only to exasperate our sense of their misery.-Adam Smith.
5. Trace the etymology of the following words,-examine, discuss, exaggerate, induce, cogitate ; diligence, vigilance, caution, valour, virtue, acuteness, sagacity, energy ; sincere, cordial, circumspect, crafty, wary, prudent, alert.
6. Give the adjectives of Latin derivation corresponding to the following nouns,—beginning, cat, dog, eye, finger, hand, house, light, nose, ring, sea side, spring, sun, tooth, and whale.
7. Give the etymology of the following words :-Monk, clergy, parallel, autograph, Druid, demagogue, euphony, sarcophagus, chronology, telescope, hemisphere, epitaph, theocracy, anomaly, pano
197. Syntax, from two Greeks words our (syn), together, and Tağıs (taxis), a putting or placing, is that part of grammar which shows how words are connected and arranged. CONSTRUCTION is a synonymous word derived from the Latin.
198. Etymology, we have seen, treats of the materials of language, individual words ; but it is the business of Syntax to point out by what rules these words are put together, so as to form sentences. By a sentence is meant a number of words so united as to make sense ; that is, to declare or