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A Handbook of the English Language by Latham

Classify the Celtic elements of the English language


104. The _present_ tendencies of the English may be determined by observation: and as most of them will be noticed in the etymological part of this volume, the few here indicated must be looked upon as illustrations only.

1. The distinction between the subjunctive and indicative mood is likely to pass away. We verify this by the very general tendency to say _if it is_, and _if he speaks_, rather than _if it be_, and _if he speak_.

2. The distinction between the participle passive and the past tense is likely to pass away. We verify this by the tendency to say _it is broke_, and _he is smote_, for _it is broken_ and _he is smitten_.

3. Of the double forms, _sung_ and _sang_, _drank_ and _drunk_, &c., one only will be the permanent.

As stated above, these tendencies are but a few out of many, and have been adduced in order to indicate the subject rather than to exhaust it.

* * * * *


1. Classify the Celtic elements of the English language.

2. Enumerate the chief periods during which words from the Latin were introduced into English, and classify the Latin elements accordingly.

3. What words were introduced _directly_

by the Danes, Scandinavians, or Norsemen? What _indirectly_? Through what language did these latter come?

4. Give the dates of the Battle of Hastings, and of the reigns of Louis Outremer, Ethelred II, and Edward the Confessor. What was the amount of Norman-French elements in England anterior to the Conquest?

5. Give the languages from whence the following words were introduced into the English--_flannel_, _jerked_ (as to _beef_), _hammock_, _apparatus_, _waltz_, _Seraph_, _plaid_, _street_, _muslin_.

6. Distinguish between the _direct_, _indirect_, and _ultimate_ origin of introduced words. What words have we in English which are supposed to have _originated_ in the Ancient Aegyptian, the Syrian, and the languages of Asia Minor?

7. Under what different forms do the following words appear in English--_monasterium_, [Greek: presbuteros], [Greek: episkopos]. Account for these differences. _Syrup_, _shrub_, and _sherbet_, all originate from the same word. Explain the present difference.

8. Give the _direct_ origin (i.e., the languages from which they were _immediately_ introduced) of--_Druid_, _epistle_, _chivalry_, _cyder_, _maeander_. Give the _indirect_ origin of the same.

9. Investigate the process by which a word like _sparrow-grass_, apparently of _English_ origin, is, in reality, derived from the Latin word _asparagus_. Point out the incorrectness in the words _frontispiece_, _colleague_, and _lanthorn_.

10. To what extent may _Norse_, and to what extent may _Celtic_ words, not found in the current language of English, be found in the provincial dialects?

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