Puslapio vaizdai

Subordinate Parts of Speech-Preposition.


can also affirm its genus. Hence when the preposition limits the predicate in an affirmative assertion, the unlimited conception may be affirmed likewise. This is equally the case with an adjective as with a preposition. If I say "Socrates was a good man," I imply both that he was good, and that he was a man.

Adopting, as before, the proposition as the unit of speech, and agreeing with Harris and Sir John Stoddart that prepositions .and conjunctions are both connectives, we believe the distinction between them may be more accurately stated as follows:-A preposition is a part of speech annexed to a noun or verb in a proposition, and serving to connect it with a noun or pronoun, by which it is limited as the subject or predicate of that proposition. The nature of the limitation, for the reason stated above, will best be seen in the subject of an affirmative and in the predicate of a negative proposition. "A man with money is well received in society." Here I limit my assertion to the fortunate person so endowed, saying nothing at all as to the reception of his poorer brethren. "The army did not march from Rome to Capua." Here I confine my denial to that particular route, leaving it an open question whether the army marched in any other direction or not. The preposition, as thus defined, bears some resemblance to the relative pronoun; but the word annexed by the preposition is always a noun or pronoun, while that introduced by the relative is a verb, either alone or in conjunction with other parts of speech. In such sentences, for example, as "withhold not good from them to whom it is due," the relative is introduced by the preposition, and the verb by the relative.

The conjunction on the other hand, whether uniting words or sentences, effects no limitation, either of a subject with reference to its predicate, or of a predicate with reference to its subject. If I say, "he drinks brandy and water," there is no limitation, except physically of the strength of the draught. I do not predicate a peculiar kind of brandy-drinking, consequently of less frequent occurrence than the genus to which it belongs. Whereas by the slight alteration of " brandy mixed with water," I imply a peculiar way of diluting the spirit, as distinguished from other methods of lenitive adulteration.

An apparent exception must be noticed when the conjunction and preposition are united in a single term. "A man of wisdom and virtue is an ornament to society." Here the addition, "and virtue," limits the subject in relation to the predicate asserted. But the limitation is really effected, not by the conjunction expressed, but by the preposition understood; "a man of wisdom and of virtue." So "a house without door or roof," is equivalent to "a house without a door and without a roof."

The two prepositions have each an independent power of limitation. That this is the case, may easily be seen by comparing expressions in which no preposition is implied :-“ Man of wisdom and virtue,” is a class subordinate to “man of wisdom ;” “glass of brandy and water," is not a class subordinate to “glass of brandy.

From these considerations, we are inclined to define the conjunction as a part of speech serving to unite two propositions as parts of the same complex assertion, or two words as similar parts of the subject or predicate of one proposition. By similar parts, we mean that the words so united stand in similar relations to the term to which they belong. For example, (1.) as attributes, both qualifying a subject, “ vir bonus et sapiens dignis ait esse paratus.” (2.) As prepositions, both introducing limiting nouns," without money and without price.”. (3.) As substantives, both forming parts of a collective subject, “ two and three are five.” Whereas with the preposition, the words united are not similar but opposed, the limiting and the limited notion.

Having been compelled to dissent from one or two of Sir John Stoddart's definitions, we are glad to make some amends by expressing our approbation of that of the adverb. His account of this part of speech is the most accurate with which we are acquainted; and accuracy is the more desirable, inasmuch as there is no subject concerning which so many vague and incorrect statements have been admitted. Tooke's sarcastic translation of Servius is well known. “ Omnis pars orationis, every word, quando desinit esse quod est, when a graminarian knows not what to make of it, migrat in adverbium, he calls an adverb." Sir John Stoddart testifies to the same effect

“Among the twenty-eight classes enumerated by Hickes, the twenty-seven by Manutius, the twenty-one by Charisius, and those of other writers, we find enough to justify the sarcasm of Tooke, and to explain, if not to justify, the grave designation of the Stoics, who called this part of speech Tavoxon, because, as Charisius says, “Omnia in se capit, quasi collata per satiram concessa sibi rerum varietate.'”—P. 226.

Sir John's own definition is excellent:

“ An adverb is a part of speech added to a perfect sentence, for the purpose of modifying primarily the conception expressed by a verb, an adjective nominal or pronominal, or a participle; or, secondarily, that expressed by another adverb.”

We regret that we have not space to follow the author through this chapter, in which, with much learning and acuteness, he traces the origin of some of the principal English adverbs, and



Adverb— Interjection not a Part of Speech.

65 shews the adverbial use of the several parts of speech ; thus, in fact, justifying the expression of Servius, omnis pars orationis migrat in adverbiurn." The result shall be given in his own words:

“ Thus are the considerations exhausted, which arise out of the definition of an adverb, as above proposed. I have shown that an adverb is properly to be reckoned among the parts of speech ; that is a word added to a sentence perfect in the expression or mind of the speaker ; and that it serves to modify an attributive—that is to say, primarily a verb or an adjective, (taking the latter term in its widest sense,) and secondarily another adverb. I have endeavoured to reduce these modifications systematically to certain classes, (a task hitherto but little thought of,) referring the modifications of verbs first to the corporeal relations of place and time, positive and relative, and then to the mental relations, propositional or argumentative; the former applying either to affirmation or negation, clear or doubtful, or else to interrogation and response ; and the latter to the connection of propositions, particularly of the premises with the conclusion. The modifications of the adjective I have considered as affecting either their quantity or their quality. The positive quantity is either continuous or discrete ; the relative admits of intension or remission : modifications of quality are also positive or relative, and the latter regard either similitude or degree. The secondary modifications, (viz., those of adverbs by adverbs,) follow the course of the primary : and I have here noticed certain classes of words, which, as effecting no modification of an attribute, are in my opinion improperly admitted into the class of adverbs. I have next considered the methods by which the expression of the modification of attributives is effected in language, viz., by an adverbial phrase, a compound word, or a single word, which constitutes the part of speech we call an adverb. And, lastly, I have shown by examples, that the words which may be employed to perform the function of adverbs, with or without inflection, are such as have been or may be employed to perform the function of any of the necessary parts of speech, viz., adjectives proper, participial, and pronominal, verbs, (particularly as to the responsives Yes and No,) and even nouns substantive.”—P. 264.

It only remains to notice the interjection, which, notwithstanding an able defence by Sir John Stoddart, we are still inclined with Horne Tooke and the Greek grammarians) to exclude from the parts of speech.

For this we have two principal reasons. Firstly, there is no relation between the interjection as part and the proposition as whole. We do not go so far as to affirm that “ so far from giving pathos to the style, they have generally an effect that is disgusting or ridiculous;"* but we hold that, whether beauties or deformities, they are not parts of an organized whole. A mole or a dimple may, according to


Encyclopædia Britannica, Art. Grammar.




circumstances, improve or disfigure the countenance, but in neither case has it, like the ear or the eye, its place and duty as a member of the body. Secondly, the interjection, though expressive of emotion, does not express it in the way of speech. We do not adopt the irreverent language of Mr. Tooke, who classes it with “sneezing, coughing, groaning, shrieking, and every other involuntary convulsion with oral sound;" nor, on the other hand, do we assent to the sportive bard who attributes to a still more ignoble sound all the emotional power of the interjection,

“ Let lovesick swains who plead their sighs

A dust about emotions kick up;
None from the breast sincerer rise,

Or flow more warmly than a hiccup." But we would draw a distinction between signs which are indicative only, and signs which are representative and can be substituted for the thing signified. The spoken word is a sign representative of a thought; the written word is a sign representative of the spoken. But the fall of the thermometer to 32° is indicative only of freezing, and the appearance of smoke rising from a chimney is indicative of the existence of a fire below. The head of the Marquis of Granby, suspended from a sign-post, is a sign representative of the features of the man; it is indicative only of entertainment to be had within. Accordingly, we can substitute the portrait for the person, and say “this is the marquis ;" but to say “this is meat and drink,” would suggest an explanation of King Richard's meal of Saracen's head somewhat different from that usually adopted. Now the interjection is indicative of emotion, but not representative. The exclamation "oh !” may imply the existence of pain or astonishment in the utterer, but it is not, like the words " pain and“ astonishment,” a sign representative of the feeling. Horne Tooke's somewhat hyperbolical metaphor, “the dominion of speech is erected upon the downfal of interjections,” may be sobered into literal accuracy, if we say that the office of grammar is to determine the relations which the several parts of speech bear to the whole, as representative of corresponding relations in thought; and that therefore it does not notice such articulate sounds as are neither relative nor representative.

Before we conclude, we must express our thanks to the present proprietor of the Encyclopædia Metropolitana, for this republication of the most valuable portions of a work which in its original form was, like Henry Wynd's Sampson, “ somewhat ponderous,” and in spite of (we had almost said in consequence of) its philosophical arrangement, by no means convenient of reference. Some of the principal treatises have for some time

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past been before the public in a separate form. We have long wished to see others following in the same track, and none more so than the Universal Grammar of Sir John Stoddart, which, notwithstanding a few differences on points of detail, we consider as on the whole the soundest and most philosophical treatise of the kind in the English language. The plan of our remarks has compelled us to leave unnoticed some of its merits. We have said nothing of the many interesting illustrations, which the author's extensive acquaintance with English literature, especially with our older writers, has enabled him to supply. Nor have we done justice to the excellent philosophical spirit which pervades the whole; a spirit, indeed, necessarily developed only as a subordinate feature, and which will hardly be appreciated by those who now open the book for the first time as a new publication. But in 1818, when the article first appeared in the Encyclopædia, the brilliant sophisms of the French Ideology had far greater influence in the philosophical world than at present. The Eclecticism of Cousin was then in its infancy; and Maine de Biran, the Fichte of France, had not yet accomplished his revolt from the standard of Cabanis and de Tracy, and shewn that the union of physiology with mental science may contribute as much to a system of pure idealism, as to the sententious paradox, “les nerfs, voilà tout l'homme.” To Kant indeed, Sir John Stoddart, as might be expected in a friend of Coleridge, is in more than one instance indebted, and it is by no means one of his least merits that he should have appreciated and applied to a work of this character some of the most valuable speculations of the German philosopher, at a time when his writings, as his translator complains, were almost unknown in this country.

Neither Grammar nor Logic has as yet fully assumed its position as an offshoot of the science of mind; but to this desirable end the publication of works like the present will in no small degree contribute. And in the future history of the philosophy of language, the name of Sir John Stoddart will deserve honourable mention, as the author of one of the earliest and most energetic protests against the sensationalism and ultra-nominalism of Condillac and Horne Tooke ; and as having laboured ably and successfully in his own province in accordance with the comprehensive maxim of one of the master-minds of the age, “la psychologie n'est assurément pas toute la philosophie, mais elle en est le fondement.”

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We speak of the publication, not of the formation of De Biran's opinions. They can hardly be considered as having been accessible to readers in general, till the publication in 1834 of his great posthumous work, “ Nouvelles considérations sur les rapports du physique et du moral de l'homme.”

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