(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Children's Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

Accidence—The Table Manners of Language   119
case forms in all sorts of different situations There is some reason to
believe that the directive used to come after, instead of before, the noun,
as the verb once came before the pronoun in the beginnings of Indo-
European speech—and still does in the Celtic languages It is therefore
tempting to toy with the possibility that case endings began by gluing
directives to a noun or pronoun Several facj<; about modern European
languages lend colour to this possibility
It is a common-place to say that directive easily attach themselves
to pronouns as in Celtic dialects (p. 102), or to the definite article as in
German or French. In German we meet the contractions im = in dem
(to the), zum = zu dem (to the), am = an dem (at the), in French
du = de /e, des ~ de Us (of the) and au = a h* aux = a les (to the).
Almost any Italian preposition (p, 361) forms analogous contracted
combinations with the article, as any Welsh or Gaelic preposition
forms contracted combinations with the personal pronouns The
directive glues on to the beginning of the word with which it combines
m such pairs, but it turns up at the end in the small still-born English
declension represented by skyward^ earthward^ Goduoard One member
of the Aryan family actually shows something like a new case system
by putting the directives at die end of the word The old Indie case-
endings of the Hindustani noun (p 412) have completely disappeared.
New independent particles like the case suffixes of the Fmno-Ugnan
languages (p 197) now replace them.
Here we are on speculative ^round. What is certain is that, once
started in one way or another, the habit of tacking on case-endings
continues by the process of anriogical extension. The English genitive
ending in kangaroo*s got there after Captain Cook discovered Australia
If the -$ ever was part of a separate word, it had lost any trace of its
identity as such more than a thousand years before white men had any
word for the marsupial
MOOD AKD VOICE
(We have now dealt with all the flexion1? characteristic of words
classified as nouns, pronouns, or adjectives, and with the two most
characteristic flexions of the verb. The six tense-forms of Latin already
shown, with the three corresponding persons in the singular and plural,
account for only thirty-six of the 101 forms of the ordinary verb.
Besides time, person, and number, Latin verbs have two other kinds of
flexion. They are called MOOD and VOICE. There are three moods in
Latin, To the ordinary, or indicative mood of a plain statement., as