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B4825. In or

Southern District of New-Yorke, ss.

(EMBERED, That on the sixteenth day of February, A. D. of America, William s Cardell, of the said District, has deposited in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit :

“Essay on Language, as connected with the Faculties of the Mind, and as applied to things io Nature and Art. Socia mentis lingua. By William S. Cardell'

lo conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned." And also to an Act, entitled "an Act, supplementary to an Act, entitled

an Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other pripts "

JAMES DILL, Clerk of the Southern District of New-York.


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Introductory dissertation,

1 General view of language as intimately combined with.

the mental powers, the instruction and welfare of na-
tions, and the whole social and commercial intercourse
of rational beings,

26. Structure of speech in its earliest known forms, deduced

from the nature and wants of man, and the condition of
savage life,

honey Brief history of the progress of letters, from the time of

their invention, with a slight notice of the changes to
which language has been subjected from political and
moral causes,

13 General character of the English language, and its his

tory, from the invasion of England by Julius Cesar, to
the present time,

Philosophic exposition of speech in its practical adapta-
tion to the purposes of life,

34 Elementary principles and definitions,

39 Classification of words,

44 Naines of things grammatically considered,

ib. do. do. philosophically do.

ib. Pronouns or substitutes,

62 Words of relation and description, adjectives,

66 Actions or affirmations--verbs,

107 Logic and philosophic elucidation of moods and tenses, 121 Etymons and practical explanations of the words erroneously called auxiliaries,

138 Verb to be,

141 Participles always adjectives by use,

165 Contractions in terms and in construction,

ib. Adverbs,

178 Conjunctions,

180 Prepositions,

182 Irregular articnlations called interjections,

184 Structure of sentences,

185 Lessons in parsing, grammatical,

187 do. dos philosophic,

193 Specimens giving a slight view of the changes in language, 194 Examples of errors in practice,


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This Essay is not offered as a finished work ; though the opinions advanced have not been hastily adopted, and it is believed they are substantially correct. The writer is sensible he has not done justice to his own principles; and the work would not-have been made public, with all its present defects, if other arduous and indispensable engagements had not precluded the hope of devoting attention to this volume, for a considerable time to


A few preliminary ideas will indicate the general design of this treatise, and will show that, however its doctrines may differ from those heretofore taught, they are not advanced without regard to existing facts.

Language, the chief instrument of all knowledge, must itself be the subject of interesting inquiry on scientific principles. Instead of treating words as the theme of contempt, and explaining them according to the metaphysics of the twelfth century, it is time that the modes of investigation, adopted in other philosophic researches should be applied to the structure of speech. A comprehensive plan of induction was attempted; and as the proper means to be employed for this purpose, a careful attention was given to etymology; to the comparison of various languages, in the literal, transitive, idiomatic, and figurative meanings of words; and to the best systems of logic and mental philosophy, compared with the consciousness of what is passing in the mind. The evidence which limited means could draw from these sources, was constantly referred to the civil and moral history; the physical and social condition, of man, in relation to which, all language is formed.

This volume may be regarded as a sketch of general principles, rather than a set of special rules. It is addressed chiefly to the reasoning faculties ; not to the memory, as an arbitrary form of words; and is, in its general plan, purposely confined to the plain and literal modes of speech.

The author has, in practice; witnessed its effects in expanding and invigorating the minds of the young'; in leading to habits of philosophic scrutiny, and to the application of language to its legitimate purposes.

If it should be thought, by some, that too much freedom is used, in this work, in speaking of the prevailing course of instruction in language, it is not from intentional want of candor; but from deliberate conviction, that a large portion of what is received as the exposition of speech, is alike opposed to fact, to science, and to common sense : for under no other name, but that of grammar, could such

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