An Elementary Historical New English Grammar

By Joseph Wright; Elizabeth Mary Wright | Go to book overview

PREFACE

IN writing this grammar we have followed as far as possible the same plan as that adopted in the elementary Old and Middle English grammars, as our object has been throughout to furnish students with a concise and historical account of the phonology and inflexions of the three main periods into which the English language is usually divided. This third volume, dealing with New English, should perhaps not be defined on its title-page as 'Elementary', but we have used the term designedly, in order to classify the book with the two preceding grammars dealing respectively with Old and Middle English. It will be found that this volume is much more comprehensive than either of the two. But these three volumes lay no claim whatever to being original and exhaustive treatises on the subject. In books of this kind, which are primarily intended for students rather than specialists, there is practically no scope for a display of either of these features.

In this volume, just as in the previous ones, we have designedly excluded word-formation, because it was considered that the subject could be dealt with more appropriately in our forthcoming Historical English Grammar, which will presumably be published by the end of next year.

Although the plan and scope of the present volume has precluded us from dealing extensively with the history of the orthography, it will nevertheless be found that the subject has been treated far more fully than is usual in English grammars. The ordinary general reader is apt to speak derisively of our English spelling, as of a thing born of

-v-

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An Elementary Historical New English Grammar
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations, Etc. xii
  • Introduction 1
  • Phonology 6
  • Chapter I - Orthography and Pronunciation 6
  • Chapter III - The Ne. Development of the Me. Vowels of Unaccented Syllables 87
  • Accidence 130
  • Chapter V 130
  • Chapter VI - Adjectives 141
  • Chapter VIII - Verbs 158
  • Index 196
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