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TO THE NINTH EDITION.
The eighth edition of this grammar received considerable alter ations and additions : but works of this nature admit of repeated iinprovements; and are, perhaps, never complete. The author, solicitous to render his book more worthy of the encouraging approbation bestowed on it by the public, has again revised the work with care and attention. The new edition, he hopes, will be found much improved. The additions, which are very considerable, are, chiefly, such as are calculated to expand the learner's views of the subject; to obviate objections; and to render the study of grammar both easy and interesting. This edition contains also a new and enlarged system of parsing; copious lists of nouns, arranged according to their gender and number; and many notes and observations, which serve to extend, or to explain, particular rules and positions.*
The writer is sensible that, after all his endeavours to elucidate the principles of the work, there are few of the divisions, arrangements, definitions, or rules, against which critical ingenuity can. not devise plausible objections The subject is attended with so much intricacy, and adınits of views so various, that it was not possible to render every part of it unexceptionable ; or to accommodate the work, in all respects, to the opinions and prepossessions of every grammarian and teacher. If the author has adopted that system which, on the whole, is best suited to the nature of the subject, and conformable to the sentiments of the most judi. cious grammarians; if his reasonings and illustrations, respecting particular points, are founded on just principles, and the peculiarities of the English language; he has, perhaps, done all that could reasonably be expected in a work of this nature; and he may warrantablý indulge a hope, that the book will be still more extensively approved and circulated.
* The author conceives that the occasional strictures, dispersed through the book, and intended to illustrate and support a number of important grammatical points, will nor, to young persons of ingenuity, appear to be dry and useless discussions. He is persuaded that, by such persons, they will be read with attention. And be presumes that these strictures will gratify their curiosity, stimulate application, and give solidity and permanence to their grammatical knowledge. In the Octavo edition of the grammar, the reader will find many additional discussions of this nature.
Höldgate, near York, 1804.
NGLISH GRAMMAR is the art of speaking and writing the English language with propriety.
It is divided into four parts, viz. Orthography, Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody.
This division may be rendered more intelligible to the stua dent, by observing, in other words, that Grammar treats, first, of the form and sound of the letters, the combination of letters into syllables, and syllables into words; secondly, of the different sorts of words, their various modifications, and their derivation; thirdly, of the union and right order of words in the formation of a sentence; and lastly, of the just pronunciation, and poetical construction of sentences
OF THE LETTERS.
SECTION 1. Of the nature of the letters, and of a perfect
alphabet. Orthography teaches the nature and powers of letters, and the just method of spelling words.
A letter is the first principle, or least part, of a word. The letters of the English language, called the English Alphabet, are twenty-six in number.
These letters are the representatives of certain articulate sounds, the elements of the language. An articulate sound, is the sound of the human voice, formed by the organs of speech.
i or eye.
The following is a list of the Roman, Italic, and Ola
see. D d D d
ນ E E e
ee., F f F
ef. G G.
jee. H H
jay. K k
k kay. L 1 L i
n en. 0 0
0 0. P р P P P p
pee. Q. 9 Q .. 0 q cue. R
r S S
tee. U U
u u U U or youlo V V V V 9
vee. W W
m w doubleu, X x X 1X 美
Z Z 3 zed.
A perfect alphabet of the English language, and, indeed, of every other language, would contain a number of letters, precisely equal to the number of simple articulate sounds belonging to the language. Every simple sound would have its distinct character; and that character be the representative of no other sound. But this is far from being the state of the English alphabet. It has more original sounds than distinct significant letters ; and, consequently, some of these letters are made to represent, not one sound alone, but seve eral sounds. This will appear by reflecting, that the sounds signified by the united letters th, sh, ng, are clementary, and have no single appropriate characters, in our alphabet: and that the letters a and u represent the different sounds heard in hat, hate, hall; and in but, bull, mule.
To explain this subject more fully to the learner, we shall set down the characters made use of to represent all the elementary articulate sounds of our language, as nearly in the manner and order of the present English alphabet, as the design of the subject will admit; and shall annex to each character the syllable or word, which contains its
and distinct sound. 'And here it will be proper to begin wit!
vowels. Letters denoting the
Words containing the simple sounds.
simple sounds. as heard in
bull By this list it appears, that there are in the English language fourteen simple vowel sounds; but as i and u, when progounced long, may be considered as diphthongs, or diphthongal vowels, our language, strictly speaking, contains but twelve simple vowel sounds; to represent which, we have only five distinct characters or letters. If a in far, is the same specific sound as a in fat; and u in bull, the same as o in
move, which is the opinion of some grammarians; then, there are but ten original vowel sounds in the English language.
as as as as as as as as as as
hop, ho Jap, all
The following list denotes the sounds of the consonants being in number twenty-two. Letters denoting the
Words containing the simple sounds.
day, sad f
no, on р
rap, cry in
zed, buzz t
ye, yes ng
ing, sing sh
shy, ash th
in thin, thick th
then, them zh
pleasure Several letters marked in the English alphabet, as consonants, are either superfluous, or represent, not simple, but complex sounds. C, for instance, is superfluous in both its sounds; the one being expressed by k, and the other by s. G, in the soft pronunciation, is not a simple, but a complex sound ; as age is pronounced aidge. Jis unnecessary, because its sound, and that of the soft g, are in our language the
Q, with its attendant u, is either complex, and resolvable into kw, as in quality ; or unnecessary, because its sound is the same with k, as in opaque. X is compounded of gs, as in example ; or of ks, as in expect.
From the preceding representation, it appears to be a point of considerable importance, that every learner of the Eng, lish language should be taught to pronounce perfectly, and with facility, every original simple sound that belongs to it. By a timely and judicious care in this respect, the voice will be prepared to utter, with ease and accuracy, every combination of sounds; and taught to avoid that confused and im
* Some grammarians suppose h to mark only an aspiration, or breathing: but it appears to be a distinct sound, and formed in a particular manner, by the organs of speech.