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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

332

The Loom of Language

Latin was embarrassingly rich in demonstratives There were w ea- td,
for referring to something previously mentioned; hie- haec- hoc, for
this near me, iste- ista- istud, for that near you, or that of yours, and tile-
ilia- illud, for that yonder The first survives in our abbreviation, i e. for
id est (that is)
Though the literati may have striven to make a real distinction

ROMANCE PRONOUNS OF THE THIRD PERSON

(UNSTRESSED FORMS)


	FRENCH
	PORTUGUESE
	SPANISH
	ITALIAN

HE
	ll
	ele
	el
	egli3 esso

HIM
	le
	0
	le (or lo)
	lo

(to) HIM
	lui
	Ihe
	le
	gli

SHE
	elle
	ela
	ella
	ella, essa

HER
	la
	a
	la
	
(to) HER  *
	lui
	Ihe
	le
	
f(masc)
	ils
	eles
	ellos,
	essij loro

THEY \(fem)
 f (masc ) THEM J;        ' \(fem )
	elles les
	elas os (or les) as (or las)
	ellas los las
	esse, loro h le

(to) THEM
	leur
	Ihes
	les
	loro

Reflexive (himself, herself, itself., themselves)
	SE
			SI

between the four demonstratives^ it is more than doubtful whether the
fine shades of meaning which grammarians assign to them played any
part in living speech. At least this is certain When Latin spread beyond
Italy and was imposed upon conquered peoples^ a distinction ceased to
exist. Two of them (is and hie) completely disappeared. Through use
and abuse the meaning of the other pair (ilk and tste) had changed
considerably Pe'ople used them with less discrimination in the closing
years of the Empire They had lost their full power as pointer-words
Except in Ibenan Latin iste disappeared The same period also gave
birth to the indefinite article (a or an in English) of which the primary
function is to introduce something not yet mentioned. For this pur-