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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

Bircfs-Eye View of Teutonic Grammar   269

Neither the fact that an adjective had these endings,, all of them quite
unnecessary if we always put it next to the noun it qualifies, nor the
fact that there is no rhyme nor reason in classifying a day as masculine,
a child as neuter, and a crime as feminine, were the only grounds for
complaint. In the old or less progressive Teutonic languages, the
adjective misbehaves in a way which even Greeks and Romans pro-
hibited. After another qualifying word such as a demonstrative (the,
this, that} or a possessive (my, his, your, etc) it does not take the ending
appropriate to the same case, the same gender, and the same number
when no such determinative accompanies it The next museum exhibit
is put in to show you the sort of adjective the Normans found when
they landed near Brighton All the derivatives in this table have been
levelled down in modern English, and now correspond to the single
word blind

THE OLD TEUTONIC ADJECTIVE


	(l) STRONG FORM
				(ll) WEAK FORM
			

	MASC SING
	NEUT SING
	FEM SING
	PLURAL
	MASC SING
	NEUT SING
	FEM SING
	PLURAL

(a) OLD ENGLISH

NOMIN
	
	blind
	------------- 1   blinde
	blinda
	blinde
	
	

ACCUS
	blindne
			
		
	
DAT
	blindum
		blindum blindre  I -------------
		blindan
		bhndwm

GEN
	bhndes
						blindra

(6) GERMAN

NOMIN
	blinder
	bhndes
	blinde
	----------- 1    blinde
	

ACCUS
	blinden
				
DAT
	bhndem
		blinden blinder   1 ____ ____
	blindew
	
GEN
	blinds
				
The table emphasizes how German lags behind. Like the Old
English, the modern German ad]ective has two declensions, a strong one
for use without an accompanying determinative word, and a weak one
for use when a determinative precedes it The strong adjective-forms
have case and number endings like those of the more typical masculine,,
neuter, and feminine noun-classes The weak adjective forms are less
profuse German has only two In Dutch and in modern Scandinavian