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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

262                The Loom of Language
together with corresponding ones of the dual number., which has dis-
appeared in all modern Teutonic languages except Icelandic The
original four case-forms included a nominative and genitive used as we
still use them, an accusative or direct object form also used after certain
prepositions, e g purgh (through—German durck), and a dative or
indirect object form used after the majority of prepositions. The fate of
these two object or preposition case-forms has been different in different
Teutonic languages. Comparison of the tables piinted on pp 167 and
126 shows that the Old English dative eventually displaced the accusa-
tive. The Old Norse accusative supplanted the dative, which has
disappeared in Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian These languages have
therefore three case-forms hke English. The same is true of Dutch
(p. 126)3 though a trace of a separate dative persists in the third person
plural German and Icelandic have stuck to the old four case-forms
If you want to learn German it is necessary to memorize the rules
given in small print below
Germans still use the accusative case-form of the pronoun (or adjec-
tive) as the direct object and always after some prepositions durch
(through), ohm (without), gegen (against), um (around), fur (for) When
the verb expresses motion,, the accusative case-form also comes after the
prepositions in^ auf, (on), uber (over), itnter (under), zuischen (between),
an (at), hmter (behind),, vor (in front of), neben (beside) The dative or
indirect object form follows (a) these prepositions if the verb indicates
rest, (&) aus (out of), ausser (except), bei (at, near)., gcgenuber (opposite),
mit (with), nach (after, to), sett (since), von (of, from), zu (to) Prepositions
followed by the genitive are anstatt (instead of), diesseits (on this side of),
trotz (in spite of), wahrend (during), wegen (because of)
What happened to the verb after the Battle of Hastings can be seen
from the table on the facing page
This table exhibits several features which Old English shares with
German (or Dutch) but not with modern English or with modern
Scandinavian dialects If we leave out of account the ritual thou-form no
longer used in Anglo-American conversation or prose, the only sur-
viving personal flexion of its verb is the third person singular -s of the
present tense The personal flexion of the Old English plural (-athrn the
present and -on in the past) had already disappeared in Mayflower
times, but in two wa>s the English of the Pilgnm Fathers was more like
Alfred's English. The Old English flexion of the third person singular,
as in the Bible forms doe&9 south* loveth* hateth, findeth, hungereth and
thirsteth, etc, was still current in South Britain, and the Old Teutonic
j$0tt-forrn with its flexion -st was still used> as in German The -th