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A Handbook of the English Language by Latham

A masculine accusative in Anglo Saxon hwaene

No plural form.




_Neut._ _Masc._ _Fem._ _Sing. Nom._ That -- -- _Acc._ That Than, then[49] -- _Dat._ -- -- There.[49] _Instrumental_ _Thence._ _Plur. Nom._ They.[50] _Acc._ Them.[50] _Gen._ Their.[50] _Secondary Gen._ Theirs.[50]


_Singular_, This. _Plural_, These.





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s. 234. In the relative and interrogative pronouns, _who_, _what_, _whom_, _whose_, we have, expressed by a change of form, a neuter gender, _what_; a dative case _whom_; and a genitive case, _whose_: the true power of the s (viz., as the sign of a case) being obscured by the orthographical addition of the e mute.

To these may be added, 1. the adverb

_why_, originally the ablative form _hvi_ (_quo modo?_ _qu[^a] vi[^a]?_). 2. The adverb _where_, a feminine dative, like _there_. 3. _When_, a masculine accusative (in Anglo-Saxon _hwaene_), and analogous to _then_.

The two sounds in the Danish words _hvi_, _hvad_, &c., and the two sounds in the English, _what_, _when_ (Anglo-Saxon, _hwaet_, _hwaene_) account for the forms _why_ and _how_. In the first the w alone, in the second the h alone, is sounded. The Danish for _why_ is _hvi_, pronounced _vi_.

s. 235. The following remarks (some of them not strictly etymological) apply to a few of the remaining pronouns.

_Same_.--Wanting in Anglo-Saxon, where it was replaced by the word _ylca_, _ylce_. Probably derived from the Norse.

_Self_.--In _myself_, _thyself_, _herself_, _ourselves_, _yourselves_, a substantive (or with a substantival power), and preceded by a genitive case. In _himself_ and _themselves_ an adjective (or with an adjectival power), and preceded by an accusative case. _Itself_ is equivocal, since we cannot say whether its elements are _it_ and _self_, or _its_ and _self_; the s having been dropped in utterance. It is very evident that either the form like _himself_, or the form like _thyself_, is exceptionable; in other words, that the use of the word is inconsistent. As this inconsistency is as old as the Anglo-Saxons, the history of the word gives us no elucidation. In favour of the forms like _myself_ (_self_ being a substantive), are the following facts:--

1. The plural word _selves_, a substantival, and not an adjectival form.

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