The Nature of English Grammar, and its First Records
This book is written in the passionate belief that English grammar matters, and in the serene confidence that it is pretty easy. I shall try to exhibit the faded but real ‘inflexional’ system of English to a generation that is largely ignorant of its definitions though, for the most part, intuitively aware of its application. Our inflexional system is that inherited method by which we add a letter, or letters, to the end of a word (-s will spring to mind at once, and -ed and -en, and then the elaborate -ing) to modify its function — to make a noun possess, to make an adjective more so or most so, to make a verb past instead of present, to turn an adjective into an adverb by adding -ly. At once, I must add that terminations of this kind are merely the most obvious form of inflexion; but another method is the changing of the vowel of an irregular verb or noun — the kind of change seen in I drink, I drank, I have drunk and foot, feet —, and Welsh changes the beginnings of words as well.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.