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A Handbook of the English Language by Latham

Substantives in the genitive case


word has not satisfactorily been shown to have originated as any other part of speech but as an adverb. Words of this sort are adverbs _absolute_.

s. 377. _When_, _now_, _well_, _worse_, _better_--here the adverbial expression consists in a single word, and is _simple_. _To-day_, _yesterday_, _not at all_, _somewhat_--here the adverbial expression consists of a compound word, or a phrase. This indicates the division of adverbs into _simple_ and _complex_.

s. 378. Adverbs of deflection may originally have been--

a. _Substantive_; as _needs_ in such expressions as _I needs must go_.

b. _Adjectives_; as the _sun shines bright_.

c. _Prepositions_; as _I go in_, _we go out_; though, it should be added, that in this case we may as reasonably derive the preposition from the adverb as the adverb from the preposition.

s. 379. Adjectives of deflection derived from substantives may originally have been--

a. _Substantives in the _genitive_ case_; as _needs_.

b. _Substantives in the _dative_ case_; as _whil-om_, an antiquated word meaning _at times_, and often improperly spelt _whilome_. In such an expression as _wait a while_, the word still exists; and _while_ = _time_, or rather _pause_; since, in Danish, _hvile_

= _rest_.

_El-se_ (for _ell-es_); _unawar-es_; _eftsoon-s_ are _adjectives_ in the genitive case. _By rights_ is a word of the same sort; the -s being the sign of the genitive singular like the -s in _father's_, and not of the accusative plural like the -s in _fathers_.

_Once_ (_on-es_); _twice_ (_twi-es_); _thrice_ (_thri-es_) are _numerals_ in the genitive case.

s. 380. _Darkling_.--This is no participle of a verb _darkle_, but an adverb of derivation, like _unwaring[^u]n_ = _unawares_, Old High German; _stillinge_ = _secretly_, Middle High German; _blindlings_ = _blindly_, New High German; _darnungo_ = _secretly_, Old Saxon; _nichtinge_ = _by night_, Middle Dutch; _blindeling_ = _blindly_, New Dutch; _baeclinga_ = _backwards_, _handlunga_ = _hand to hand_, Anglo-Saxon; and, finally, _blindlins_, _backlins_, _darklins_, _middlins_, _scantlins_, _stridelins_, _stowlins_, in Lowland Scotch.

* * * * *



s. 381. It is a common practice for languages to express by different modifications of the same root the three following ideas:--

1. The idea of rest _in_ a place.

2. The idea of motion _towards_ a place.

3. The idea of motion _from_ a place.

This habit gives us three correlative adverbs--one of _position_, and two of _direction_.

s. 382. It is also a common practice of language to depart from the original expression of each particular idea, and to interchange the signs by which they are expressed; so that a word originally expressive of simple position or _rest in a place_ may be used instead of the word expressive of direction, _or motion between two places_. Hence we say, _come here_, when _come hither_ would be the more correct expression.

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