Old English Grammar
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION IN writing this Grammar we have kept steadily in view the class of students for whom the Series of Grammars was originally planned. As it is not intended for specialists, some details of more or less importance have been intentionally omitted, but we venture to think that the present volume contains all that the ordinary student will require to know about the subject. The student who thoroughly masters the book will not only have gained a comprehensive knowledge of Old English, but will also have acquired the elements of Coniparative Germanic grammar. But from our long experience as teachers of the subject, we should strongly recommend the beginner not to work through the phonology at the outset, but to read Chapter I and sections 47-53, and then to learn the paradigms, and at the same time to read some easy texts such as are to be found in any of the Old English Readers. This is undoubtedly the best plan in the end, and will lead to the most satisfactory results. In fact, it is in our opinion a sheer waste of time for a student to attempt to study in detail the phonology of any language before he has acquired a good working knowledge of its vocabulary and inflexions. In selecting examples to illustrate the sound-laws we have tried as far as possible to give words which have been preserved in Modern English. A comparison of the Index to the Grammar with an Old English Dictionary would show that we have thus included nearly all the simple words which have been preserved in the modern language. Our object in doing this was to enable the student to lay a solid foundation for his further study of historical English grammar, and to provide a basis for the next volunle of the Series, which will deal with Middle English. Although this Grammar makes no pretence of being an exhaustive work, yet it is by far the most complete Grammar that has hitherto been written in our own language, and the first to deaI with the subject in a strictly scientific manner....
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