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Micheli has divided the grasses into six sections, grass, Jolium or darnel, lygeum or hooded matweed, Gramina, Grammar. which contain in all 44 genera, and are arranged from melica, milium or millet, nardus, oryza or rice, panicum Grammar. the situation and number of the flowers,
or panic-grass, paspalum, phalaris or canary-grass, phle-
GRAMINA, the name of the fourth order in Linnæus's um, poa, saccharum or sugar-cane, secale or rye, stipa
Fragments of a Natural Method, consisting of the nu- or winged spike-grass, triticum or wheat, vniola or sea-
merous and natural family of the grasses, viz. agrostis, side oats of Carolina, coix or Job's tears, olyra, pharus,
aira, alopecurus or fox-tail grass, anthoxanthum or ver- tripsacum, zea, Indian Turkey wheat or Indian corn,
nal grass, aristida, arundo or reed, avena or oats, bo- zizania, agilops or wild fescue-grass, andropogon, ap-
bartia, briza, bromus, cinna, cornucopiæ or born of luda, cenchrus, holcus or Indian millet, ischæmum.
plenty grass, cynosurus, dactylis, elymus, festuca or See BOTANY.
fescue-grass, hordeum or barley, lagurus or hare's-tail
RAMMAR is the art of speaking or of writing cing one word from another, and the various modifica-
any language with propriety; and the purpose tions by which the sense of any one word can be diversi-
of language is to communicate our thoughts.
fied consistently with its original meaning or its relation
2. Grammar, considered as an art, necessarily sup- to the theme whence it is derived; SYNTAX, or wbat re-
poses the previous existence of language; and as its lates to the construction or due disposition of the words
design is to teach any language to those who are igno. of a language into sentences or phrases; and PROSODY,
rant of it, it must be adapted to the genius of that par. or that which treats of the quantities and accents of
ticular language of which it treats. A just method of syllables, and the art of making verses.
grammar, therefore, without attempting any altera-
grammar, considered as a science, views lan-or uniter-
tions in a language already introduced, furnishes cer- guage only as it is significant of thought. Neglecting sel.
tain observations called rules, to which the methods of particular and arbitrary modifcations introduced for
speaking used in that language may be reduced ; and the sake of beauty or elegance, it examines the analogy
this collection of rules is called the grammar of that and relation between words and ideas; distinguishes beGrammar particular language. For the greater distinctness with tween those particulars which are essential to language particular, regard to these rules, grammarians have usually divided and those which are only accidental; and thus furnishes
this subject into four distinct beads, viz. ORTHOGRA- a certain standard, by which different languages may
PHY, or the art of combining lettors into syllables, and be compared, and their several excellencies or defects
syllables into words ; ETYMOLOGY, or the art of dedu- pointed out. This is what is called Philosophic or
4. THE origin of language is a subject which has tween the different sensations either of pain or of plea. 4
employed much learned investigation, and about which sure: a man scorched with fire or unexpectedly plunged The de. there is still a diversity of opinion. The design of among ice, might otter the cry naturally indicative of sign of speech is to communicate to others the thoughts and sudden and violent pain; the cry would be the same, speech.
perceptions of the mind of the speaker : but it is ob- or nearly the same, but the sensations of cold and heat
vious, that between an interval idea and any external are widely different. Articulation, by which those sim-
sound there is no natural relation ; that the word fire, ple sounds are modified, and a particolar meaning fixed
for instance, might have denominated the substance to each modification, is therefore absolutely necessary
which we call ice, and that the word ice might have to such a being as man, and forms the language which
signified fire. Some of the most acute feelings of man, distinguishes him from all other animals, and enables
as well as of every other animal, are indeed expressed him to communicate with facility all that diversity of
by 'simple inarticulate sounds, which as they tend to ideas with which his mind is stored, to make known
the preservation of the individual or the continuance of his particular wants, and to distinguish with accuracy
the species, and invariably indicate either pain or plea: all bis various sensations. Those sounds thus modified
sure, are universally understood: but these inarticulate are called WORDS ; and as words have confessedly no
and significant sounds are very few in number; and if natural relation to the ideas and perceptions of which
they can with any propriety be said to constitute a na. they are significant, the use of them must either have
tural and universal language, it is a language of which been the result of human sagacity, or have been suggest-
man as a mere sensitive being partakes in common with ed to the first man by the Author of nature,
the other animals.
6. Whether language be of divine or human origin, Language 5.
Man is endowed not only with sensation, but also is a question upon wbich, though it might perbaps be
consists of with the faculty of reasoning ; and simple inarticulate soon resolved, it is not necessary here to enter. Upon
words sig, sounds are insufficient for expressing all the various either supposition, the first language, compared with
modifications of thought, for communicating to others those which succeeded it, or even with itself as after.
a chain of argumentation, or even for distinguisbing be- wards enlarged, must have been extremely rude and
1 is a certain affection of nouns denoting the sex of those substances of which they are the names. For as in nature every object
female, or neither the one nor the other, grammarians, following this idea, bave divided the names of beings into three classes. Those
's, are said to be of the MASCULINE gender; those that denote females, of the FEMININE gender; and those wbich denote neither the
; of the neuter gender. The English is the only language of which the pouns are, with respect to sex, an exact copy of nature.
here is no object in nature single and alone, and as by far the greater part of nouns are the names of whole classes of objects, it
very such noun ought to have some variation, to denote whether it is one individual of the clues chinh:. --
Division marrow. If it was of human contrivance, this will be These may all be comprehended under the general de Division of Words. readily granted; for what art was ever invented and nomination of ATTRIBUTIVES.
brought to a state of perfection by illiterate savages ? 9. Nouns and ATTRIBUTIVES must comprehend all
If it was taught by God, which is at least the more that is essential to language (A): for every thing which
probable supposition, we cannot imagine that it would exists, or of which we can form an idea, must be either
be more comprehensive than the ideas of those for a substance or the attribute of some substance; and
whose immediate use it was intended ; that the first therefore those two classes which denominate substances
men should bave been taught to express pains or plea and attributes, must comprehend all the words that
sures which they never felt, or to utter sounds that are necessary to communicate to the hearer the ideas
should be afterwards significant of ideas which at the which are present to the mind of the speaker. If any
time of utterance bad not occurred to the mind of the other words occur, they can only have been invented
speaker: man, taught the elements of language, would for the sake of dispatch, or introduced for the purposes
be able himself to improve and enlarge it as his future of ease and ornament, to avoid tedious circumlocutions
occasions should require.
or disagreeable tautologies. There are indeed gramma-
7. As all language is composed of significant words rians of great name, who have considered as essential to
variously combined, a knowledge of them is necessary language an order of words, of which the use is to
previous to our acquiring an adequate idea of language connect the nouns and attributes, and which are said
as constructed into sentences and phrases. But as it to bave no signification of themselves, but to become 6 is by words that we express the various ideas which significant by relution. Hence all words which can Origin of occur to the mind, it is necessary to examine how ideas possibly be invented are by these men divided into two ideas.
themselves are suggested, before we can ascertain the general classes : those which are signIFICANT OF
various classes into which words may be distributed. THEMSELVES, and those which are not. Words sig-
It is the province of logic to trace our ideas from their nificant of themselves are either expressive of the names
origin, as well as to teach the art of reasoning : but it of substances, and therefore called SUBSTANTIVES ; or
is necessary at present to observe, that our earliest ideas of attributes, and therefore called ATTRIBUTIVES.
Of defni. are all ideas of sensation, excited by the impressions Words which are not significant of themselves, must
tives and that are made upon our organs of sense by the various acquire a meaning either as defining or connecting conocer objects with which we are surrounded. Let us there others; and are therefore arranged under the two tives. fore suppose a reasonable being, devoid of every possible classes of DEFINITIVES and CONNECTIVES, pre possession, placed upon this globe; and it is ob- 10. That in any language there can be words which vious, that his attention would in the first place be of themselves have no signification, is a supposition directed to the various objects which he saw existing which a man free from prejudice will not readily adaround him. These he would naturally endeavour to mit; for to what purpose should they have been indistinguish from one another; and if he were either vented ? as they are significant of no ideas, they canlearning or inventing a language, his first effort would not facilitate the communication of thought, and must
be to give them names, by means of which the ideas of therefore be only an incumbrance to the language in 7 them might be recalled when the objects themselves which they are found. But in answer to this it has Of nouns. should be absent. This is one copious source of words; been said, that these words, though devoid of significa
and forms a natural class which must be common to tion themselves, acquire a sort of meaning when joined
every language, and ivhich is distinguished by the name with others, and that they are as necessary to the struc-
of NOUNS; and as these nouns are the names of the se- ture of a sentence as cenient is to the structure of an
veral substances which exist, they have likewise been edifice : for as stones cannot be arranged into a regular
building without a cement to bind and connect them, so
8. It would likewise be early discovered, that every the original words significant of substances and attri-
one of these substances was endowed with certain qua- butes, cannut he made to express all the variety of our Of attri. lities or attributes; to express which another class of ideas without being (lefined and connected by those words bulires, words would be requisite, since it is only by their qua- which of themselves signify nothing. It is wonderful,
lities that substances themselves can attract our at- that he who first suggested this simile did not perceive
tention. Thus, to be weighty, is a quality of matter; to that it tends to overthrow the doctrine which it is
think, is an attribute of man. Therefore in every lan- meant to illustrate : for surely the cement is as much
guage words have been invented to express the known the matter of the building as the stones themselves ; it
qualities or attributes of the several objects which exist. is equally solid and equally extended. By being united
(A) This is the doctrine of many writers on the theory of language, for whose judgment we have the highest
respect : yet it is not easy to conceive mankind so far advanced in the art of abstraction as to view attributes
by themselves independent of particular substances, and to give one general name to each attribute where soever
it may be found, without having at the same time words expressive of affirmation. We never talk of any attri-
bute, a colour for instance, without affirming something concerning it; as, either that it is bright or faint, or
that it is the colour of some substance. It will be seen afterwards, that to denote affirmation is the proper of-
fice of what is called the substantive verb: as, “ Milk is white." That verb therefore appears to be as neces-
sary to the communication of thought as any species of words whatever; and if we must range words under a
few general classes, we should be inclined to say, that nouns, attributes, and affirmatives, comprehend all that is
essential to language.
Vol. X. Part I.
Division with the stones, it deither acquires nor loses any one of class, endeavour to ascertain its precise import, and show
Noun. of Words. the qualities essential to matter; it neither communicates in wbat respects it differs from every other class. It is
its own softness, por acquires their bardness. By this impossible to investigate the principles of grammar
mode of reasoning therefore it would appear, that the without confining the investigation in a great measure
words called definitives and connectives, so far from ha- to some particular language from which the illustrations
ving of themselves no signification, are equally essen- must be produced; and that we should prefer the Eng-
tial to language, and equally significant with those lish language for this porpose can excite no wonder, as
which are denominated substantives andattributives; and it is a preference which to every tongue is due from
upon investigation it will be found that this is the truth. those by whom it is spoken. We trust, however, that
For whatever is meant by the definition or connection of the principles wbich we shall establish will be found to
the words which all men confers to be significant, that apply universally; and that our inquiry, though princi-
meaning must be the sense of the words of which the pally illustrated from the English language, will be an
purpose is to define and connect; and as there can be inquiry into philosophicul or universal grammar.
no meaning where there are no ideas, every one of these
definitives and connectives must be significant of some CHAP. I. Of the Noun or Substantive.
idea, although it may not be always easy or even possible
to express that idea by another word.
13. Nouns are all those words by which objects or The noun
11. These different modes of dividing the parts of substances are denominated, and which distinguish them defined.
speech we have just mentioned, because they have been from one another, without marking either quantity, qua-
largely treated of by grammarians of bigh fame. But lity, action, or relation. The substantive or noun is the
it does not appear to us, that any man can feel him- name of the thing spoken of, and in Greek and Latin
self much the wiser for having learned that all words is called name ; for it is ovoce in the one, and nomen in
are either SUBSTANTIVES or ATTRIBUTIVES, DEFINI. the other; and if in English we had called it the
TIVES or CONNECTIVES. The division of words into nume rather than the noun, the appellation would per-
those which are signIFICANT OF THEMSELVES, and baps have been more proper, as this last word, being
those which are siGNIFICANT BY RELATION, is abso- used only in grammar, is more liable to be misunder-
lute nonsense, and has been productive of much error stood than the other, which is in constant and familiar
and much mystery in some of the most celebrated trea. That nouns or the names of things must make a
tises on grammar. It is indeed probable, that any at- part of every language, and that they must have been
tempt to establish a different classification of the parts the words first suggested to the human mind, will not
of speech from that which is commonly received, will be disputed. Men could not speak of themselves or
be found of little utility either in practice or in speculu of any thing else, without having names for themselves
tion. As far as the former is concerned, the vulgar and the various objects with which they are surrounded.
division seems sufficiently commodious ; for every man Now, as all the objects which exist must be either in
who knows any thing, knows when he uses a noun the same state in which they were produced by nature,
and when a verb. With respect to the latter, not to or changed from their original state by art, or abstract-
mention that all the grammarians from ARISTOTLE to ed from substances by the powers of imagination, and Different
HORNE TOOKE, have differed on the subject, it should conceived by the mind as having at least the capacity kinds of
seem to be of more importance, after having ascertain- of being characterized by qualities; this naturally sug.
ed with precision the nature of each species of words, gests a division of nouns into NATURAL, as man, vege-
to determine in what circumstances they differ than in tuble, tree, &c. ARTIFICIAL, as house, ship, watch, &c.
what they agree,
and ABSTRACT, as whiteness, motion, temperance, &c. The com
12. In most languages, probably in all cultivated 14. But the diversity of objects is so great, that had mon divi languages, grammarians distinguish the following parts each individual a distinct and proper name, it would be
of speech: Noun, pronoun, verb, participle, adverb, pre- impossible for the most tenacious memory, during the parts of speech the position, conjunction. The Latin and English gramma- course of the longest life, to retain even the nouns of inost pro- rians admit the interjcction among the parts of speech, the narrowest language. It has therefore been found Nouns geper. although it is confessedly not necessary to the construc- expedient, when a number of things resenible each neral terms
tion of the sentence, being only thrown in to express other in some important particulars, to arrange them
the affection of the speaker: and in the Greek and all under one species; to which is given a name that
English tongues there is the article prefixed to nouns, belongs equally to the whole species, and to each in.
when they signify the common names of things, to dividual comprehended under it. Thus the word man
point them out, and to show how far their signification denotes a species of animals, and is equally applicable to
In the method of arrangement commonly every human being : The word horse denotes another
followed in grammars, adjectives are classed with sub. species of animals, and is equally applicable to every in-
stantives, and both are denominated nouns; but it is cer- dividual of that species of quadrupeds ; but it cannot
tain that, when examined philosophically, an essential be applied to the species of men, or to any individual
difference is discovered between the substantive and the comprehended under that species. We find, however,
adjective; and therefore some writers of eminence, when that there are some qualities in which several spe-
treating of this subject, have lately given the following cies resemble each other; and therefore we refer
classification of words which we shall adopt: The them to a higher order called a genus, to which we give
ARTICLE, NOUN, PRONOUN, VERB, PARTICIPLE, ADJEC- a name that is equally applicable to every species and
TIVE, ADVERB, PREPOSITION, CONJUNCTION, INTER- every individual comprehended under it. Thus, men
JECTION. All these words are to be found in the En. and horses and all living things on earth resemble each
glish language ; and therefore we shall examine each other in this respect, that they have life. We refer