American-born lawyer and author Lindley Murray (1745–1826) was hailed by his admirers as the 'father of English grammar'. First published in 1795 and reissued here in its 1830 forty-fourth edition, English Grammar became the definitive textbook on the subject in the early nineteenth century. Murray divides the work into four sections: orthography, etymology, syntax and prosody. Treating his subject methodically, he reasons that sound instruction in grammar should begin with the form and sound of letters, continue to the different types of words, include guidelines on the construction of sentences, and provide advice on correct pronunciation. Accordingly, the book commences with the alphabet before moving on to more complex subjects, from verb conjugation through to versification. An appendix gives advice on writing more effectively. The work's huge success, in Britain and the United States, as well as in translation, testifies to its rigorous and unpretentious approach.
Introduction; Part I. Orthography: 1. Of letters; 2. Of syllables, and the rules for arranging them; 3. Of words in general, and the rules for spelling them; Part II. Etymology: 1. A general view of the parts of speech; 2. Of the articles; 3. Of substantives; 4. Of adjectives; 5. Of pronouns; 6. Of verbs; 7. Of adverbs; 8. Of prepositions; 9. Of conjunctions; 10. Of interjections; 11. Of derivation; Part III. Syntax: 1. Of the syntax of the article; 2. Of the syntax of the noun; 3. Of the syntax of the pronoun; 4. Of the syntax of the adjective; 5. Of the syntax of the verb; 6. Of the syntax of the participle; 7. Of the rules respecting adverbs; 8. Of the syntax of prepositions; 9. Of the syntax of conjunctions; 10. Of the syntax of interjections; 11. Of comparisons by the conjunction 'than' or 'as'; 12. Directions respecting the ellipsis; 13. General rule of syntax; 14. Directions for parsing; Part IV. Prosody: 1. Of pronunciation; 2. Of versification; Of Punctuation: 1. Of the comma; 2. Of the semicolon; 3. Of the colon; 4. Of the period; 5. Of the dash, etc.; Appendix.
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