Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

uninviting terms." This charge, urged as it has been with much persistence, and little concern for truth, must now be met by some remarks on the terminology of Grammar, together with a statement of my own feelings and practice in regard to it.

§4. Every science must have its own terminology. Grammar is a science; and in Latin Grammar, as one of its departments, there exist, I believe, more than three hundred technical terms. Most of these are either actually Greek words, as Syntax, Prosody, &c., or translated from Greek into Latin, as the names of the Cases and Parts of Speech. Others are purely Latin, as Gerund, Supine, Active, Passive Voice. Of these various terms, whatever the original unfitness of some, the larger number have struck their roots in literature so deeply and widely that any attempt to extirpate them would be quixotic. Many, indeed, are in themselves unmeaning or inadequate (as Gerund, Supine, Deponent, Accusative, Genitive, Ablative); but the learner by gradual experience is enabled to use them practically, which is after all the end we wish to reach, though the road to it might at several points have been improved. A few terms, which are not only vicious, but really confusing, and at the same time unessential, I have exchanged for better substitutes. Among those so rejected are Neuter Verb, Neutropassiva, Neutralia Passiva, Substantive Verb. Again, we find a considerable number of cumbersome Greek terms (Heteroclita, Heterogenea, Aptota, Diptota, Triptota, Tetraptota, with many of the names given to what are called Figures of Speech), which are of little use to learners. These may either be omitted, or, at least, dismissed to some unconspicuous corner.

'This statement affords ample proof that no disposition existed to place in the student's hands a Grammar "bristling with hard and uninviting terms," though it is not unnatural to ask what those "inviting terms are which, like the "crustula" of the "blandi doctores" in Horace's time, have magic power enough to attract young learners, "elementa velint ut discere prima."

'But there is one important truth which many would-be critics either ignore or forget. Grammar is not only a science, but a science capable of constant improvement; and improvement in science usually brings with it some change in terminology, or some addition to it. Now, in every division of Grammar, Soundlore, Wordlore, Syntax, and Prosody,-vast

strides have been made in this century through the fruitful labours of scholars, chiefly German, some English; whom I would gladly recount here, were I not afraid of omitting some name or names from so large a list. Accordingly it will be found by those who study the works to which I allude, that the terminology in each division has been more or less modified, more or less enriched.

§ 5. As respects my own contributions to Latin Grammar, in the treatment of Soundlore and Wordlore I claim little originality. If I have compiled judiciously and correctly from the works of great comparative philologers, so as to explain and illustrate usefully the received facts of Latin word-formation, I shall be amply satisfied with such credit. Again, in the Prosody of this Grammar I have no share beyond the Table of Metres and one of the Notes on Metre, containing little more than tabular enumeration. The rest I owe to the kindness of my friend Mr. Munro, whose recognised eminence as a scholar needs no praise from me to enhance it.

'But the Analysis of Sentences (Simple and Compound) which constitutes the Syntax of this book, has been, to a great extent, the fruit of personal study, personal thought, personal labour. Sketched out in the Syntax of my "Elementary Latin Grammar," it is filled in, though far from reaching the fullness of perfection, in the present Grammar.

'I speak from long personal experience when I say that any capable mind, which has fully mastered the principles of those pages (348-500, especially 348-359 and 434-500), will be able, in reading any part of Horace, Cicero, Livy, or Tacitus, to move through their longest periods with a firm intellectual step, realising, and, if need be, stating the raison d'être of every constructed word, especially (for this is the most crucial test) the raison d'être of mood and tense in every Subjunctive Verb. The same mind, so prepared, and applying itself to write Latin, will be free from the risk of using any wrong construction. Not that the mastery of a grammatical Syntax alone will give the student stylistic power and skill in composition. These belong to the vis divinior, to inspiration drawn by a gifted nature from the study of the best Latin authors themselves. To such study, combined with practice, no scholar will hesitate to assign by far the largest share in the formation of a good style whether of prose or of poetry. But, in the course of reading, the student

cannot afford to neglect any valuable help; and of all appliances none is so valuable, none so indispensable, as a sound, well-arranged, and lucid Grammar.

§ 6. The study of any language with its grammar contains more or less, according to the character of the language chosen, the study of every language and its grammar, the study of language in general and its grammar. The Greek and Latin languages (illustrated by their sister, the Sanskrit) are best adapted for this purpose, because their forms and constructions, themselves grand, are fixed in two grand literatures. One who studies these languages and their grammars cannot help studying to a great extent, coordinately with them, his or her own native language and its grammar. And the best mode and course of study will be that which is so conducted as to make such coordination as effectual and as widely instructive as possible. The principal reason why translation into Greek and Latin Verse as well as Prose deserves to be retained in the practice of classical instruction I hold to be this,-that it is a valuable exercise in the acquirement not only of those two dead languages, but of the learner's native living language at the same time.

§ 7. 'A book like the "Public School Latin Grammar " does not pretend to exhaust the subjects of which it treats-subjects on which many large volumes may be, and have been, writtenbut it carries the student very far on his road, and points and smooths the path of future acquirement.

§8. I return to speak of my Latin Syntax, by which alone, so far as I know, my works on Grammar have obtained the favour and confidence of eminent scholars engaged in public instruction.

'The treatment of Latin Syntax has in the present century passed through a revolution scarcely less considerable than the treatment of Etymology.

'The means by which this revolution has been wrought are: (1) the application to the whole doctrine of Syntax of the correlative logical terms Subject-Predicate and Subject-Object, with the principles they imply; (2) the distinction between the Simple and Compound Sentence, and between the several kinds of each, with the consecution of tenses in them; (3) the distinction between Oratio Recta and Oratio Obliqua, with the various affections which clauses subordinate to Oratio Obliqua receive.

'We owe to the perspicacity and learned labours of various writers, chiefly German, the reforms made in Latin Syntax. I cannot assign to each his due share. The Grotefends, Krüger, Zumpt, O. Schulz, Ramshorn, Kühner, Madvig, Key, have each their special merits. Of these I place Raphael

Kühner in the first rank; and I am much indebted to Grieben's "Lateinische Satzverbindungen." In cur own country the scholastic study of this part of Grammar was usefully promoted by the Exercise-books of T. Kerchever Arnold.

'These reforms brought into the teaching of Latin Syntax, besides the terms already named, a certain number more, perhaps from forty to fifty, including the names given to the several varieties of the Simple and Compound Sentence, with their subdivisions; including also the terms Protasis and Apodosis in sentences which, like the Conditional, take these parts.

§ 9. As regards the new terms which my own improvements have suggested, three alone have frequent and important practical use; the value of which I insist on as very great. These are, (1) Prolative (Infinitive); (2) Copulative Verbs, introduced first in my "Elementary Grammar "; (3) Suboblique (clause or verb), a convenient abridgment of the necessary phrase "Subordinate to Oratio Obliqua."

'Further, it appeared that the doctrine of copulative predication in Grammar required, for its clear statement, the use of some terminology from which the term predicate itself should be excluded; and this was at length found in the term used by Mr. C. P. Mason, (predicative) Complement.

'I say then, generally, that a new term proposed in Grammar is not to be condemned because it is new; but, if at all, for one of three reasons: that it is superfluous; or that it is inadequate; or because a better term is suggested. As respects myself, I repeat that I have not the least disposition to use hard terms; and I say that those which I have introduced are unjustly so described. But I cannot adopt the poor pedantry which refuses to facilitate and abridge discourse by the use of suitable terms; to write, for instance (after due explanation) "Collective Subject" rather than "Nominative Singular of a Substantive which implies a multitude of persons or things": and "Composite Subject" rather than "two or more singular Nominatives agreeing with one plural Verb."

§ 10. "My "Elementary Latin Grammar," first published in 1843, obtained, after twenty years, approval so wide, that its circulation approached 8,000 copies annually: and, during those years, not a single complaint affecting its terminology was heard either from the public press or from the eminent teachers who used it in their schools. Such attacks broke out when it was adopted as the groundwork of a new school grammar; and their justice may be tested both by this fact, and by comparing the imaginary difficulty imputed to a few new terms in the Primer, with the many and great obstacles existing in its chief predecessor, Lilly's Grammar."

§ 11. In the Preface to the Third and Fourth Editions certain portions of Syntax were discussed. Those discussions, being of signal importance to the right appreciation of Latin Compound Construction, will here be repeated generally: but with partial suppression of some topics and enlargement of others.

I. The Doctrine of Predication.

§ 12. This Doctrine is treated (§§ 100-106) in agreement with the principles now received in all Continental Latin Grammars, and in most Grammars of the English language, but with some slight variations in the mode of treatment. Logic and Grammar are akin to one another; but their spheres are different. Logic is the Grammar of reasoning: it develops 'the laws of thought.' Grammar is the Logic of language it displays the rules and idioms of discourse. The Correlation and the Terms Subject-Predicate are necessary to both sciences. But the scope of these terms is not the same in both.

If we take a Simple Sentence, such as 'beneficium male collocatum nocet (noxium est) hominum societati,' we see that the Logical Subject of this proposition is 'beneficium male collocatum,' but the Grammatical Subject of the sentence is 'beneficium,' of which male collocatum' is an adjunct. Again, the Logical Predicate is 'noxium,' the Grammatical Predicate nocet' or 'noxium est,' of which'hominum societati' is an adjunct. Hence appears the propriety and necessity (if confusion is a thing proper and necessary to be avoided) of distinguishing the terms Subject and Predicate in Grammar by the epithet 'Grammatical.' As for the terms Subject

« ForrigeFortsæt »