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A Handbook of the English Language by Latham

The original inflexion expresses one


s.

77. _Latin of the third period._--This means the Latin which was introduced between the battle of Hastings and the revival of literature. It chiefly originated in the cloister, in the universities, and, to a certain extent, in the courts of law. It must be distinguished from the _indirect_ Latin introduced as part and parcel of the Anglo-Norman. It has yet to be accurately analyzed.

s. 78. _Latin of the fourth period._--This means the Latin which has been introduced between the revival of literature and the present time. It has originated in the writings of learned men in general, and is distinguished from that of the previous periods by:

1. Being less altered in form:

2. Preserving, with substantives, in many cases its original inflections; _axis_, _axes_; _basis_, _bases_:

3. Relating to objects and ideas for which the increase of the range of science in general has required a nomenclature.

s. 79. _Greek._--Words derived _directly_ from the Greek are in the same predicament as the Latin of the third period--_phaenomenon_, _phaenomena_; _criterion_, _criteria_, &c.; words which are only _indirectly_ of Greek origin, being considered to belong to the language from which they were immediately introduced into the English. Such are _deacon_, _priest_, &c., introduced through the Latin. Hence a word like _church_

proves no more in regard to a Greek element in English, than the word _abbot_ proves in respect to a Syrian one.

s. 80. The Latin of the fourth period and the Greek agree in retaining, in many cases, original inflexions rather than adopting the English ones; in other words, they agree in being but _imperfectly incorporated_. The phaenomenon of imperfect incorporation is reducible to the following rules:--

1. That it has a direct ratio to the date of the introduction, i.e., the more recent the word the more likely it is to retain its original inflexion.

2. That it has a relation to the number of meanings belonging to the words: thus, when a single word has two meanings, the original inflexion expresses one, the English inflexion another--_genius_, _genii_, often (_spirits_), _geniuses_ (_men of genius_).

3. That it occurs with substantives only, and that only in the expression of number. Thus, although the plural of substantives like _axis_ and _genius_ are Latin, the possessive cases are English. So also are the degrees of comparison for adjectives, like _circular_, and the tenses, &c. for verbs, like _perambulate_.

s. 81. The following is a list of the chief Latin substantives introduced during the latter part of the fourth period; and preserving the _Latin_ plural forms--

FIRST CLASS.

_Words wherein the Latin plural is the same as the Latin singular._

(a) _Sing._ _Plur._ | (b) _Sing._ _Plur._ Apparatus apparat-us | Caries cari-es Hiatus hiat-us | Congeries congeri-es Impetus impet-us | Series seri-es | Species speci-es | Superficies superfici-es.

SECOND CLASS.

_Words wherein the Latin plural is formed from the Latin singular by changing the last syllable._


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