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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

The Latin Legacy

331

class in French, Spanish, and Italian have only one form From this
class of adjective gender-concord has disappeared, as for all English
adjectives.

Unlike Greek Classical Latin did not possess what grammarians call
the "definite article " Wherever we find this definite article in modern
European languages, it can be traced back to a demonstrative which
lost its pointing power in the course of time THUS our English the is a
weakened form of that, and the unaccented der in German der Ochs

ROMANCE PERSONAL PRONOUNS

(FIRST AND SECOND PERSONS—UNSTRESSED* FORMS)


	FRENCH
	PORTUGUESE
	SPANISH
	ITALIAN
	LATIN

I
	je
	eu
	yo
	1O
	ego

ME
	ME
			mi
	me (ace ) nuhi (dat )

(THOU)
	TU
				
(THEE)
	
	TE
		ti
	te (ace ) tibi (dat )

WE
	]
	nos
	nosotros
	noi
	nos

us
	>nous
	nos
		Cl
	nos (ace ) nobis (dat )

(nom )
	i
	vos
	vosotros
	VOl
	vos

YOU
 (obj)
	r vous
	vos
	OS
	VI
	vos (ace ) vobis (dat.)

(the ox) began as the der we have in der Mann (that man) The definite
article of modern languages, including English, French, and German,
rarely lives up to its name On the contrary, it often has a generalizing,
i.e. indefinite function, e g the cat is a domestic animal. So if we say
that Latin had not yet evolved an article, we really mean that the
Latin demonstrative had not yet come down in the world, Literary
* Unstressed forms = subject, direct object, and indirect object forms Ex-
cept when the same as the stressed (p 363), they are never used after a preposi-
tion The Spanish nosotras, vosotros are out of step with their equivalents in
Latin, Italian, or French. They date from the late Middle Ages and are com-
binations of nos, vos with otros (others) Both have feminine foms-^-nosotras,
vosotras The French also combine nous or vous with autres (others) when they
use either in a sense excluding individuals of a second group, e g nous autres
Franfaises (we French women) Italians have the same trick (noi altre, etc ) In
Spanish the combination has replaced the pronoun itself, i e vosotros = you