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PAMPHILE.M. PAMPHILIUS,Sébastien, m. Sebaftian.
Sigifmond, m. Sigifmund.
By WAY of QUESTION and ANSWER.
CHA P. I.
Of Grammar in general; of Letters, Accents, and other
Queftion. WHAT is Grammar?
Anfwer. It is an Art which teaches the proper manner of fpeaking and writing a Language. It has therefore, for its object, the confideration of Letters, Syllables, Words, and Sentences.
Q. How many Letters are there in the French Language?
Q. Do they always retain the vocal and articulated Sounds afcribed to them in the Alphabet?
A. No; for thefe being infufficient to reprefent, of themfelves, all the vocal founds and articulations of the French language, there are, befides the various combinations. contained in p. 5, 6, and 7, figured Accents and Marks, which are made ufe of to indicate others.
Q. How many forts of figured Accents are there in the French
A. There are three forts; namely,
Q. What is the use of the Acute?
A. The Acute, which is a fhort line drawn from the right hand towards the left, is placed on the vowel e only, to indicate a fharp found; as in été, been; &c.
Q. What is the use of the Grave?
A. The Grave, which, on the contrary, is afhort line drawn from the left hand towards the right, is chiefly used on the vowel e to denote a clear and open found; as in accès, accefs: après, after; &c. It is alfo ufed upon a and u, in the three following words, viz. à, at or to; là, there; où, where; merely to distinguish them from a, has; la, the; ou, or.
What is the ufe of the Circumflex?
A. The Circumflex, which confifts of the two former Accents, is occafionally fet on the Vowels, a, e, i, o, u, to point out that such Letters are to be pronounced long; as in mâtin, a mastiff-dog; tempête, a tempeft; gîte, a lodging; côte, a fide; flûte, a flute; whereas they are fhort in matin, morning; trompette, a trumpet, &c. Q. What are the other marks ufed in the French language? A. There are three forts of them; namely,
Q. What is the ufe of the Cedilla?
A. The Cedilla, or Cerilla, as fome call it, which is a short curve line, is put under the c only before a, o, u, to divest it of its ftrong articulation, and give it the sharp hiffing found of the s; as in il menaça, he threatened; une leçon, a leffon; je reçus, I received; &c. See p. 124.
Q. What is the ufe of the Diaresis?
A. The Diærefis, which confifts of two dots, is placed over the last of two vowels that meet together in a word, to mark they are to be pronounced in two Syllables; as in Ifraël, laic, Saül, &c. read Ifra-el, la-ic, &c.
Q. What is the use of the Apostrophe ?
A. The Apoftrophe, which is like a Comma fet at the top of a Confonant, ferves to indicate the omiffion of one of thefe Vowels only, viz. a, e, i; as in l'ame for la ame, the foul; l'efprit for le efprit, the mind; s'il for si il, if he: it is likewife ufed before an h mute or not afpirated, as in l'homme for le homme, the man; &c. and after qu' instead of que, when this word occurs before any of the Vowels. Q. What is the meaning of the letter h being aspirated in fome words, and mute in others?
A. When the letter h is faid to be afpirated, it implies that it must be uttered in as ftrong a manner as in the English words, hard, host; for instance, it is afpirated in hardi, bold; honte, fhame: but when it is mute, or not afpirated, it is no more uttered in French, than that of the English ́ words hour, heir, honour; therefore we read abile for habile, clever, omme for homme; man, &c.
Q. What is the ufe of the letter y in French?
A. The letter y often ferves to denote the Etymology of words derived from the Greek, wherein it stands for a fingle i; as in Analyse, Analysis; fyllabe, fyllable; &c: but, between two vowels, in French words, it indicates, in fome of them, the found of two i's; as in eayer, to try; envoyer, to fend; &c; and in others, that of a liquid i; as in Ayeul, Grandfather; &c
Q. What is the best way to acquire the different Sounds and Articulations of French Syllables?
A. There are general rules prefixed to moft French Grammars for that purpofe; but, from all the attempts that have hitherto been made, it does not appear, that written directions will fufficiently anfwer the views of an inqufitive learner, without the affiftance of a good Teacher.
CHA P. íí.
Of Words, and their Grammatical Diftinctions.
Q. WHAT is meant by a word?
A. A word is one or more fyllables put together
to fignify fomething.
Q. Are there many different forts of words in a Language? A. There are feveral diftinct kinds of Words in Languages; but Grammarians do not agree about their respective denominations, nor even their number.*
Q. What is the ufual denomination of thofe which ferve to compofe the English and French Languages?
A. The various Words, made ufe of in speaking or writing, may be denominated and claffed as follows; viz.
1. The Articles,
2. The Subftantives,
3. The Adjectives,
4. The Pronouns,
5. The Verbs,
6. The Particles,
Q. Are not thefe denominations fuitable to the various claffes of words, in all Languages?
A. No; for the Latin Language has no Articles; therefore it is more ambiguous than modern Languages are.
The different forts of Words, that conftitute a Language, are generally called Parts of Speech; but they are not uniformly diftinguished by modern Grammarians; fome reckoning ten of them, which they call and range thus; Nouns, Adjectives, Articles, Pronouns, Verbs, Participles, Adverbs, Prepofitions, Conjunctions, and Interjections; fome nine, by leaving out the Participles; others eight, by omitting the denominations of Adjectives and Participles, and fo down to four; viz. Nouns, Adnouns, Verbs, and Particles or invariable words.