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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

The Latin Legacy

337

followed close upon the heels of the adjective, it lost its former inde-
pendence and became a formative element, eventually used without
involving anybody's mental processes, e g sola mente (French settlement}
in place of singulanter (alone) Finally -mente fused with the adjective
i e with its feminine singular form In Spanish it keeps a trace of its
separate identity The Spaniard usually attaches -mmte only to the

IRREGULAR COMPARISON OF ROMANCE ADVERBS

ENGLISH
	FRENCH
	SPANISH
	LAIIN
	ITALIAN

well better best
	bę
 rmeux le mieux
	;n mejor lo mejor
	bene rnelms (opnme)
	bene meglio il meglic

badly, ill worse worst
	m plus rnal (j>ts) le plus mal
	al peor lo peor
	male pejus (pessitMcni)
	male peggio il peggio

little less least
	peu moms le moins
	poco menos lo menos
	paucum minus (tttimme)
	poco meno il meno

very., much more most
	beaucoup plus le plus
	mucho mas lo mas
	multum plus (plunmitfrti
	molto piu ilpiu

final one when several adverbs follow one another, eg habla clara,
concisa y elegantemente (he speaks clearly, concisely, and elegantly) This
was also the custom in Old French, e.g. itmele et dolce mente for humble-
merit et doucement (humbly and quietly)
One striking difference between the Romance languages and their
Teutonic contemporaries is the variety of tense-forms which they
possess. This is not because the flextonal system of the Latin verb
escaped the general process of flexional decay common to other classes
of words m the living language In later Latin verb-forms of the classical
authors were largely superseded by new ones which remain the basis of
conjugation in the Romance languages. The passive flexion disap-
peared, as it is now disappearing in Scandinavian dialects. Its place was
taken partly by the active, partly by a roundabout expression con-
sistently made up of the past participle and the auxiliary esse, to be
Where classical authors had used the present tense of the latter
(traditus est, he has been betrayed) to express completed action, later
authors used it for action in progress (cf the French, il est train = he
j$ being betrayed), and other tenses were used to build up similar