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ETYMOLOGY.

ETYMOLOGY teaches the classification of words, their properties, inflections, and derivations.

The English language may be divided into eight * classes, or parts of speech, viz. :

NOUN, PRONOUN, ADNOUN, or ADJECTIVE, VERB, ADVERB, PREPOSITION, CONJUNCTION, and INTERJECTION.

NOUNS. + A Noun is the name of any thing that is seen, or that can be imagined. I

Nouns are either Proper or Common.

PROPER Nouns are the names appropriated to the individuals of a species; as George, England, Humber. They should always begin with a capital letter.

COMMON, or APPELLATIVE Nouns, are the names applied to whole species, as boy, tree, house, town.

* Some writers make ten, or even twelve parts of speech; which, instead of elucidating the science of Grammar, tend rather to obscure it. If the language can, without the slightest difficulty, be reduced to cight general classes, it seems preposterous to augment that number to twelve. The obvious tendency of such increase, is to introduce confusion and complexity into a subject which should be rendered as simple and uncumbered as possible. Of such it may be inquired, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge ?”—Job, xxxviii. 2.

+ Sometimes called Substantives.

| As soon as the pupil has commenced the Noun, the master should teach him to distinguish it from the other parts of speech, by reading to him from some easy book, and requiring him to tell the Nouns in each sentence; and as he learns the Gender, Number, and Person, he should be made to distinguish them accordingly; and so of the other parts of speech as he advances. Such exercises in Etymological parsing, will remove the tedious dryness frequently experienced in the study of Grammar, and will greatly facilitate Syntactical parsing.

Common Nouns

may

be subdivided into six classes, 1. Abstract-as morality, fortitude, virtue, whiteness, &c. 2. Artificial-as house, table, desk, &c. 3. Collective -- as nation, multitude, parliament, army, &c. 4. Compound—as mouse-trap, goat-herd, salt-cellar, &c. 5. Naturalas river, mountain, valley, &c. 6. Verbalas seeing, hearing, dancing, beginning, ending, &c.

Nouns are subject to Gender, Number, Person, and Case.

GENDER. Gender is the distinction of nouns with respect to their sex. Naturally speaking, nouns have but two genders, the masculine and feminine ; but grammatically speaking they have four, the masculine, feminine, common, and neuter.

The masculine denotes the males; the feminine the females ; the common those which are either male or female; and the neuter those which are neither, i.e. inanimate objects.

In the English language the sexes are thus distinguished.

1. By different words, asMale. Female.

Male.

Female.
Maid
Drake

Duck
Bachelor Virgin

Earl

Countess
Spinster Father

Mother
Beau
Belle
Friar

Nun
Boar
Sow

Monk
Boy
Girl
Gaffer

Gammer
Brother Sister

Gander

Goose
Buck
Doe
Hart

Roe
Bull
Cow
Horse

Mare
Bullock, or

Husband Wife
Heifer
Steer

King

Queen
Cock
Hen
Lad

Lass
Colt
Filly
Lord

Lady
Dog
Bitch
Man

Woman

}не

Male.
Female.

Male.

Female.
Mistress Sir

Madam
Master
Dame
Sloven

Slut
Milter Spawner Son

Daughter Nephew Niece

Stag

Hind Ram

Uncle

Aunt
Ewe
Wether

Wizard Witch
2. By a difference of termination, as-
Abbot
Abbess
Hero

Heroine
Actor

Actress Landgrave Landgravine Administrator Administratrix

Sultaness Bridegroom Bride

Sultan

Sultana
Marquis Marchioness
Executor Executrix Widower Widow, &c.
3. By a prefix to the noun.
Male.

Female.
A cock-sparrow

A hen-sparrow
A man-servant

A maid-servant
A he-goat

A she-goat
A he-bear

A she-bear
A male-child

A female-child
Male-descendants

Female-descendants

NUMBER. Nouns are of the singular or plural number. The singular implies but one object, as a book, a

hat.

The plural denotes more than one, as books, hats.

The plural of nouns is generally formed by affixing s to the singular, as girl, girls; road, roads ; pen, pens.

The ancient method of forming the plural of nouns was by adding en to the singular; a few instances of which still remain, as ox, oxen; chick, chicken; child, children.

This was the Saxon formation of the plural.*

* Kine and swine, the plural of cow and sow, have been diverted from the ancient Saxon plural in en. Coroen has easily been corrupted into kine, and sonen into swine.

By reference to old authors, we find that verbs also took the plural form of en; e.g. hadden was the plural of hadde (had); weren of was;

Nouns ending in x, ch (soft), sh, ss, or s, require es to be affixed for the plural, as tax, taxes ; crutch, crutches ; sash, sashes ; moss, mosses ; isthmus, isthmuses.

Some nouns, ending in 0, require es, as potato, potatoes ; but when i precedes the o, s only is added, as punctilio, punctilios ; folio, folios.

The following nouns ending in o have s only in the plural, canto, grotto, junto, portico, quarto, solo, tyro.

Nouns ending in ch (hard), take s only in the plural, as monarch, monarchs; stomach, stomachs.

Nouns ending in y, preceded by a consonant, change the y into i, and require es in addition, as fly, flies; beauty, beauties.

This change is adopted because the y is now used instead of ie, which was the ancient method of spelling such words. In old authors we find flie, not fly; beautie, not beauty.

When the y is preceded by a vowel, it remains unchanged, and s only is added, as day, days; boy, boys.

Some nouns, ending in for fe, change the f or fe into ves, in forming the plural, as sheaf, sheaves ; knife, knives. Of this description there are fourteen; while twenty-seven nouns of these terminations take s only in the plural, as dwarf, gulf, roof, strife, &c.

Nouns ending in ff take s, as muff, muffs ; ruff, ruffs ; except staff, which makes staves.

Some nouns are the same in both numbers, as deer, sheep. Some have no plural, as gold, wheat, tea, &c.

Some of these collective nouns, however, admit a plural, when different sorts of the same commodity are implied, as teas, wines, wheats.

Many nouns form their plurals very irregularly, as Sing. Plural Sing. Plural Sing. Plural Man Men Foot Feet Goose Geese Woman Women Ox

Oxen Mouse Mice Child Children Tooth Teeth Louse Lice

schulen of schal (shall). “Bothe weren juste before God .... And thei hadden no child.... Só thou schult be doumbe til the day in which these thingis schulen be don.”- Version of the Gospels, probably written between the time of Alfred and that of the Norman conquest.

* Some writers change ey into ies in the plural, and make chimnies the pl. of chimney; attornies the pl. of attorney, &c.

As this is a needless infraction of an established rule, it is a very reprehensible practice, and ought to be discountenanced.

Memorandum { Memorandums

Die, for throwing chances, makes dice; for coining, &c., it makes dies : and index, in reference to algebraic quantities, becomes indices in the plural; but when it refers to tables of contents, indexes.

The list of irregular plurals might be much augmented by the introduction of foreign words, which are occasionally adopted. A few of the principal are here subjoined. Sing. Plural Sing.

Plural
Antithesis Antitheses Genius

Genii*
Arcanum Arcana
Automatum Automata
Axis
Axes

Metamorphosis Metamorphoses
Basis
Bases

Monsieur Messieurs
Beau
Beaux

Phenomenon Phenomena
Cherubim Radius

Radii
Cherub
Cherubs

Seraph

S Seraphim
Crisis
Crises

Seraphs
Criterion Criteria

Stamen Stamina
Datum
Data

Stimulus Stimuli
Ellipsis Ellipses Vertex

Vertices Emphasis Emphases Virtuoso Virtuosi Erratum Errata

Vortex Vortices Focus

Foci Singular nouns, including many individuals, are called nouns of multitude, or collective nouns, as assembly, senate, people.

PERSON, In grammatical language there are three persons, the first, second, and third. The first person speaks, the second is spoken to, and the third is spoken of.

Nouns are of the third person, except when addressed, they are then of the second.

* Genii, when denoting aërial spirits; but when indicating persons of superior mental endowments, the plural is geniuscs.

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