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of the grammatical art, which are undoubtedly required, both that we may dispense with or reform those numberless grammars of the day, and that “an educated Englishman should become familiar with the results of modern criticism, as applied to his native tongue.” It is stated in the preface, p. xv. “The method of the present work is mixed. It is partly historical and partly logical. The historical portions exhibit the way in which words and inflections have been used; the logical, the way in which they ought to be used.” In both parts Dr. Latham proves himself to be a most accomplished scholar. His knowledge comprises the whole range of Indo-European languages, from the Sanscrit to the different Celtic languages, but especially those of the Gothic stock, which are so thoroughly examined in J. Grimm's Deutsche Grammatik, and to which chain the links for this country have been fastened already by the successful efforts of men like B. Sharpe and J. Kemble. On the other hand, our author is well known as a philosopher. He has published a little work entitled, First Outlines of Logic, applied to Grammar and Etymology; and notwithstanding the fact that philological criticism at the present moment “is of an essentially historical (or etymological) character,” in perusing the book, we always find the author conversant with Metaphysics and Philology in general. His very style is a proof of it; the short sentences, looking frequently like so many scattered remarks, but always strictly connected with each other; at another time arranged in the form of syllogisms, the hypothesis adapted to etymological and syntactical questions; all this reminds us of such works as Spinoza's Ethics. It is impossible for us here to go over the whole volume, or to scrutinize the particular views of the author, where he announces general principles, or introduces new terms, and to stop perhaps at an hypothesis, where we should feel inclined to dispute Dr. Latham's opinions. We shall confine ourselves to mentioning the contents of the different parts, occasionally taking up one or other particular point. In the first part, the author treats, in a short but lucid survey, the affinities of the English language to the languages of the Gothic stock, the Celtic branches, the Classic languages, and principally the Latin, and the position of the English to the Indo-European family. The second part contains the history and analysis of the English language in its different stages. The Anglo-Saxon is justly stated to be the mothertongue. “Our English would have been much as it is at present, even if the Norman conquest never had taken place," p. 81. The Celtic elements are very scanty, and were repulsed even by the Romans. The influence of the Latin language is a primary, secondary, and tertiary one ; that of the Scandinavian districts is direct and indirect, and any thing but predominant. Certain ap
parent differences in grammar determine the stages of the old, the middle, and the new English. Dialects have been at all times, and continue to exist. The details of the phonetic and orthographic system are minutely discussed in the third part. Great critical acuteness is exhibited in the chapter on articulate sounds; here, more than elsewhere, the author required the assistance of new terms. What we generally call Aspirates are none; neither the Greek p nor the Saxon th, are combinations of the Lene with the breathing h; the true Aspirates occur only very rarely, e.g. in upholder, abhorrent, etc., comp. pp. 123, 133. We confess, however, not to be able to appreciate fully this distinction. The difference between a verbal and a logical accent (p. 149) is undoubtedly right. The historical sketch of the English Alphabet gives a good deal of information on this subject in general, as well as in particular, and like many other chapters of this book, cannot be strongly enough recommended. Then follows the fourth part, containing the etymology in gender, number, case, pronoun, comparison, the inflections and classes of the verb, composition, &c. Throughout this division are to be found “numerous isolated words which exhibit the fragments of a fuller inflection and of a more highly developed etymology:” it and that, true neuters ending in t, oxen, &c., old plurals in n, besides many relics amongst the different pronouns, and the termination of the comparative degree er, where we especially refer to ch. x. and to the author's hypothesis in reference to the comparative antiquity of the superlative degree. The verb of course occupies the larger portion of Part Iv.: every reader will feel interested in the learned discussion on the weak and strong tenses; the so-called irregularities are justly discarded; the verb substantive, for instance, is not irregular but defective, and supplies its tenses and moods from different roots in all stages of the English language, as well as in all languages belonging to the Gothic branch. The chapter on hybridism and the introduction of new words, cannot be studied attentively enough. Ch. xxxviii. being devoted to the words mine and thine, developes the author's conviction, that these pronouns are real possessives, and not genitives of the personal pronouns. In the introduction to Part v. on the Syntax, the author is quite right in saying: “much that is considered by the generality of grammarians as syntax, can either be omitted altogether, or else be studied under another name.” He makes the distinction between mired and pure syntax, and does not collect everything under the one head of Concord and Government, but the same parts of speech that have undergone the etymological investigation, now pass under a syntactical review.—We cannot enter into the detail, but must say every thing is perfectly correct, and in harmony with sound reason. The book concludes with Part vi., on the prosody of the English language, and a double appendix. We hope to see the effects of this excellent and truly national work appear more and more in the improvement of our present school grammars; and also in enriching our dictionaries, for a word like one in one says, is not the numeral one, but the French on ; and the verb do in this will do, is entirely different from to do, the first being the Anglo-Saxon dedh, the other the Anglo-Saxon dö.
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