« AnteriorContinuar »
ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 18-19, by
EDWARD J. HALLOCK, In the Clerk's Ofice of the District Court of Massachusetts,
THOMAS B. SMITH, STEREOTYPER
216 WILLIAM STREET, N. ¥.
The author presents to the public the following treatise, as exhibiting in his view the correct principles of English grammar, and the proper method of teaching them. There are several considerations which have induced him to attempt a work necessarily attended with so many difficulties, and requiring so much labor and careful investigation to render it in any degree useful to the cause of education. Having devoted several years to the business of teaching, he has had a favorable opportunity to examine with care most of the grammars now in use, and to know their excellencies and defects so far as he is able to judge correctly with respect to them. The views he has entertained upon the subject of grammar are in some respects essentially different from those exhibited in any treatise with which the author is acquainted. teaching this science, he has, therefore, been obliged to adopt text-books which, in his opinion, contained many erroneous principles, tending in many cases to mislead and perplex the young student, instead of making his path clear and easy. But the student is not the only sufferer. By such text-books the teacher is subjected to a serious inconvenience. He is compelled to teach what he believes to be false, or disprove what is inculcated in the text-book, and communicate his own views either in verbal or written lectures.
The author has preferred the latter course ; and the approbation with which his views and mode of teaching have met, both on the part of his pupils and the visitors of the Seminary with which he is conn
nnected; and the repeated requests that
he should make them public, were no slight considerations in leading him to attempt a task so laborious and difficult. In the execution of this work, the author has neither felt nor displayed a spirit of controversy or denunciation. He has aimed to explain the principles of grammar clearly and concisely, without stopping to controvert the opinions of others any farther than a clear exhibition of his own views required. Indeed he does not wish to give currency to his own work by unjust strictures upon those of others. He expects it will stand by its own merits if at all, and not by any adventitious circumstances that he can throw around it..
A partial exhibition of the mode in which this treatise is executed, will tend to illustrate more clearly the reasons which have led to its publication.
The subject-matter of this work is made to accord, as far as its utility will allow, with that which is adopted in treatises upon the same subject now in use. The author has not labored to make it singular, either in respect to manner or matter, merely for the sake of singularity.
But, although the general features of the plan are the same as those of other grammars, yet in the detail it is quite different. The general principles of the work are numbered by sections; and under each section, remarks are introduced, if necessary, which also are numbered in the order in which they follow their respective sections. This is done for the purpose of referring the student to the principles which apply to each given exercise. At the close of the discussion of each part of speech, examples are introduced to be parsed etymologically. In order to render the exercises simple and adapt them to the capacity of the young student, the rules of syntax are not introduced into the etymological exercises that precede them. In syntax, etymological and syntactical exercises are united. Under each rule there are exercises of false syntax, which the student should be required to correct orally according to the rule and remarks under which they are writ
ten. Following the syntax, a variety of extracts of prose and poetry are introduced for the student to parse and analyze ; and for the purpose of assisting him, references are written at the bottom of each page, directing him to those principles of grammar which are applicable to the exercises written above them. These exercises are so extensive and furnish such a variety of examples, that all the principles of grammar will be repeatedly called into requisition; and thus the student will be furnished with ample means for acquiring an extensive and thorough knowledge of grammar, without being subjected to the inconvenience of using a distinct book for the purpose of analysis and parsing.
The writer has, in this treatise, introduced some alterations in the classification of the parts of speech. To those words which are usually denominated demonstrative, distributive, and indefinite adjective pronouns, the term pronoun is not applied when they belong to nouns expressed or understood. That is usually called a demonstrative adjective pronoun, when it limits the meaning of a noun. But why call it a pronoun ? It surely does not supply the place of a noun. It is also sometimes used as a conjunction; and why can we not, with the same propriety, apply the term pronoun when used as such, and call it a pronominal conjunction ? When the words above named represent nouns, the term pronoun
should be applied, but in no other case. Such a course should be pursued in order to classify them consistently with the defini. tion given to the pronoun.
The potential mode is not adopted in this treatise, as the author can see no reason for its use. Those verbs that are usually parsed as being in this mode can, with perfect propriety, come under the indicative. The indicative mode affirms or denies something or asks a question. Now what verb, that is usually parsed as being in the potential mode, may not be arranged under the indicative ? Do not the propositions, I may walk, I might walk, I could walk, affirm that I have