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A Handbook of the English Language by Latham

Th 'a m thaere thisum thisse


_Neut._ _Masc._ _Fem._

_N. and Acc._ Tw['a], Tw['e]gen, Tw['a]. ____ _____/ / _Abl. and Dat._ Tw['a]m, Twaem. _Gen._ Twegra, Twega.

Although nominative as well as accusative, I have little doubt as to the original character of _tw['e]gen_ being accusative. The -n is by no means radical; besides which, it _is_ the sign of an accusative case, and is _not_ the sign of a nominative.

s. 213. _Dative._--In the antiquated word _whilom_ (_at times_), we have a remnant of the old dative in -m. The _sense_ of the word is abverbial; its form, however, is that of a dative case.

s. 214. _Genitive._--Some call this the possessive case. It is found in substantives and pronouns (_father's, his_), but not in adjectives. It is formed like the nominative plural, by the addition of the lene sibilant (_father, fathers; buck, bucks_); or if the word end in -s, by that of -es (_boxes_, _judges_, &c.) It is found in both numbers: _the men's hearts_; _the children's bread_. In the plural number, however, it is rare; so rare, indeed, that wherever the plural ends in s (as it almost always does), there is no genitive. If it were not so, we should have such words as _fatherses_, _foxeses_, _princeses_, &c.

s. 215. _Instrumental._--The

following extracts from Rask's "Anglo-Saxon Grammar," teach us that there exist in the present English two powers of the word spelt _t-h-e_, or of the so-called definite article--"The demonstrative pronouns are _thaet, se, se['o]_ (_id, is, ea_), which are also used for the article; and _this, thes, the['o]s_ (_hoc, hic, haec_). They are thus declined:--

_Neut._ _Masc._ _Fem._ _Neut._ _Masc._ _Fem._

_Sing N._ thaet se se['o] this thes the['o]s. _A._ thaet thone th['a] this thisne th['a]s. ____ _____/ _____ _____/ / / _Abl._ th['y] thaere thise thisse. _D._ th['a]m thaere thisum thisse. _G._ thaes thaere thises thisse. _____ _____/ _____ _____/ / / _Plur. N. and A._ th['a] th['a]s. _Abl. and D._ th['a]m thisum. _G._ th['a]ra. thissa.

"The indeclinable _the_ is often used instead of _thaet, se, se['o]_, in all cases, but especially with a relative signification, and, in later times, as an article. Hence the English article _the_.

"_th['y]_ seems justly to be received as a proper _ablativus instrumenti_, as it occurs often in this character, even in the masculine gender; as, _mid th['y] ['a]the_ = _with that oath_ ("Inae Leges," 53). And in the same place in the dative, _on thaem ['a]the_ = _in that oath_."--Pp. 56, 57.

Hence the _the_ that has originated out of the Anglo-Saxon _th['y]_ is one word; whilst the _the_ that has originated out of the Anglo-Saxon _the_, another. The latter is the common article: the former the _the_ in expressions like _all the more_, _all the better_ = _more by all that_, _better by all that_, and the Latin phrases _eo majus_, _eo melius_.


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