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INTRODUCTORY.

LANGUAGE, We can think of any object which we have seen-a tree, for example so as to see it in the mind, like an image or picture. This mental image or picture is called an idea of the tree. The word tree enables us to express the idea, either in speaking or writing. Words serve to bring to the mind the ideas of things previously observed. Thus we may think of various things, and recall to our minds the ideas of them by such words as the following :

A horse.
A white horse.
A soldier on horseback.
A lady riding a black horse.
A horse running away with a carriage.

In a similar manner may be brought to the mind the ideas of things heard, smelt, tasted, or felt. Thus :

Thunder.—The thunder peals.
A rose. — The rose has a sweet smell.
An
orange. orange

has

a sweet and acid taste. Velvet. - Velvet is soft and smooth to the touch.

When we try to think of these things, we find that, although we can seem to hear, smell, taste, or feel them, we cannot do this so clearly as we can see in the mind a tree, a horse, or other object of sight. Hence we say, the ideas of things seen are clearer than those obtained through any of the other senses.

In thinking we combine ideas in various ways. Thus:
The bird builds its nest in the tree.

Here we have several ideas combined in a single thought :-of the bird, of building, of a nest, of a tree ; and these are related to each other in various ways:– the bird builds; the nest is built; the nest is in the tree. There are, thus, four ideas of things, and several ideas of their relations one to another.

:- The

We cannot think without constantly using many ideas; and we cannot think clearly or communicate our thoughts to other persons without using words to represent those ideas. These words joined together in the right way make language.

Language is the expression of our thoughts in speaking or in writing.

There are two kinds of language: spoken language and written language.

OBS. 1.-LANGUAGE, in the primitive sense of the term, embraced only vocal expression, or human speech uttered by the mouth; but, after letters were invented to represent articulate sounds, language became twofold, spoken and written ; so that the term language now signifies any series of sounds or letters formed into words and employed for the expression of thought.

OBS. 2.- Letters claim to be a part of language, not merely because they represent articulate sounds, or spoken words, but because they form words of themselves, and have the power to become intelligible signs of thought, even independently of sound. Literature being the counterpart of speech, and more plenteous in words, the person who cannot read and write is about as deficient in language as the well-instructed deaf mute: perhaps, more so; for copiousness, even of speech, results from letters.

By grammar we learn how to use language correctly both in speaking and in writing.

English grammar is the art of speaking and writing the English language correctly.

It is divided into four parts, namely, Orthography, Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody.

Orthography treats of letters, syllables, separate words, and spelling.

Etymology treats of the different parts of speech, with their classes and modifications.

Syntax treats of the relation, agreement, government, and arrangement, of words in sentences.

Prosody treats of punctuation, utterance, figures, and versification.

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