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Indefinite Pronouns.

494. Many keeps the place of the Saxon MANIG, except in so far as it has received additions from Danish in the formulas many one, many a one, many a :

To many a man and many a maid
Dancing in the chequered shade.

John Milton, L'Allegro. Same. This word is not found (as a pronoun) in AngloSaxon literature, and the question arises whence it came to be so familiar in English. Jacob Grimm thinks it was acquired through the Norsk language, in which samr is a prevalent pronoun. The Saxon word in its place was ilk, which is so well known to us through Scottish literature. As however there are traces of its having existed at an earlier stage of Saxon, it is possible that it had never died out, but that, having been superseded by ilk in the written language, it had only fallen into temporary obscurity. Many genuinely native elements are found in modern English which are unknown in Saxon literature, and it is only reasonable to conclude that the vocabulary of the Saxon literature imperfectly represented the word-store of the nation. 495. Own. Saxon AGEN, German eigen.

This is an ancient participle of a Saxon verb AGAN, to possess.

None, no. None is from ne and one, Saxon Nân. The history of the shortened form of no is just the same as that of my, thy: at first it was a concession to the initial consonant of the following word, thus in the Bible of 1611, there was none other boat there,' and 'no man knoweth whence.' At this stage the relation of none, no, was like that of an, a; but the former pair did not rest in that condition as the latter did. The form no has now occupied all situations where it is adjectival; and none is kept for the substantival function : as, 'Have you no other?' 'I have none.'

Sundry is an adjectival pronoun founded upon an old Saxon adverb SUNDOR, which we still retain in the compound asunder.

496. Each is from the Saxon Ælc, having lost its l, just as which and such have. This Ælc was equivalent to our present every, so that the word for ' everybody' was ÆLCMAN, and for everything' it was ÆLCÞING. The spelling each is a modernism; in Chaucer it is ech and eche. This is quite a distinct word from the ilk mentioned above.

Every grew out of the habit of strengthening ælc by prefixing afre, whence arose the composite pronoun auer-æle or euer-elc, which means ever-each, and which occurs under a variety of orthographic forms in Layamon. Thence everych, as,

The kynge dyde do ordeyne so moche mete | that euerych fonde ynough. -W. Caxton, Reynart the foxe (1481), ed. Arber, p. 54. This combination was often followed by one, as,My merry men euer eche one.

Young Cloudeslee, 302. And so we get the oft-recurring mediæval form everychon :

So hadde I spoken with hem euerichoon
That I was of hir felaweshipe anoon.

Prologue, 31.

Idols and abhominacions of y® house off Israel paynted euerychone rounde aboute the wall.—Miles Coverdale's Bible, 1535, Ezechiel viii. 10.

497. Very has retained so much of its old presentive character, that it has brought over with it all the degrees of comparison, and we have in the ranks of the adjectival pronouns very, verier, veriest,

The very presence of a true-hearted friend yields often ease to our grief.R. Sibbs, Soules Conflict, 14; ed. 1659, p. 199.

In the very centre or focus of the great curve of volcanoes is placed the large island of Borneo.—Alfred Russel Wallace, The Malay Archipelago, ch, i.

A choice illustration may be had from a letter written in 1666 by the wife of the English ambassador at Constantinople to her daughter Poll in England, which Poll has been adopted by a rich relative, and is inclining to vanity' :

Whereas if it were not a piece of pride to have y® name of keeping yr maide, she yt waits on yr good grandmother might easily doe as formerly you know she hath done, all ye business you have for a maide, unless as you grow oldr you grow a veryer Foole, which God forbid !

Certain is an adjective which has been presentive not long ago, but it is now completely pronominalised :

At Clondilever, a farmer was returning from his usual attendance at the Roman Catholic Chapel on Sunday, when he was stopped by five men with revolvers, who warned him that if he interfered any further with a certain person as to possession of a certain field, &c.- April 30, 1870.

498. Our last adjectival pronouns shall be one and its derivative only.

The only prime minister mentioned in history whom his contemporaries reverenced as a saint.-William Robertson, Charles V, Bk. I. A.D. 1517.

One has already been largely spoken of in the former section, where it was seen to occupy an important place. But its substantival function is after all less important in the development of our language than its adjectival habit; because out of this has grown that member which is the most distinctive perhaps that can be fixed upon as the mark of a modern language. The definite article is found in some of the ancient languages, as in Hebrew and Greek, but none

1 of this vain Poll, the great grand-daughter was Jane Austen, and it is in the Memoir of the latter, by the Rev. J. E. Austen-Leigh (Bentley, 1870), that this admirable letter has been published.


of them had produced an Indefinite Article. The general remark has already been made in an earlier chapter, that it is in the symbolic element we must seek the distinctive character of the modern as opposed to the ancient languages. And we may appeal to the indefinite article as the most recent and most expressive feature of this modern characteristic. In the Greek of the New Testament there are certain indications (known to scholars) of something like an indefinite article.

In its adjectival use this pronoun is generally set in antithesis to another; as,

Yf one Sathan cast out another.-Matt. xii. tr. Coverdale, 1535.

Out of this has been produced the indefinite article. It has not sprung directly from the numeral one, but from that word after it has passed through the refining discipline of a pronominal usage.

The old spelling of the numeral was án; and this ancient form is preserved in the article an or a. This gives us occasion to remark that old forms are often preserved in the more elevated functions, while the original and inferior function has admitted changes.

499. Having thus indicated the sources of our two articles, let us observe that they still carry about them the traces of their extraction. The magnifying quality of the demonstrative that has been noticed above. Its descendant the definite article retains something of this ancestral quality. We all know how the ceremonious The adds grandeur to a name, and how all titles of office and honour are jealously retentive of this prefix.

On the other hand, the indefinite article, which is descended from the littlest of the numerals, exercises a diminishing effect, as in the following:

This little life-boat of an earth, with its noisy crew of a mankind, and all their troubled history, will one day have vanished.- Thomas Carlyle, Essays; Death of Goethe.

These minute vocables are the real 'winged words' of human speech; or, to speak with more exactness, they are the wings of other words, by means of which smoothness and agility is imparted to their motion. It is in the articles that the symbolic element of language reaches one of its most advanced points of development; and it is not by means of these alone, but by means of that whole system of words of which these are eminent types, that the modern languages when compared with the ancient are found to excel in alacrity and sprightliness.


500. This chapter of pronouns keeps up on the whole a parallel course to the chapter on nouns. Like that, it is divided into three main sections, Substantives, Adjectives, Adverbs. Moreover, as in that chapter the third section assumed a trifid form, so also here do we find ourselves compelled by the nature of the subject to divide this final section into three paragraphs. In this symbolic as well as in that presentive region, the adverbs assume the three forms of Flat, Flexional, and Phrasal.

(1) Of the Flat Pronoun-Adverbs. The higher we mount in the structure of language the more delicate a matter it will be to make sharp distinctions. The presentive adverbs pass off by such fine and imperceptible shadings into a symbolic state, that the boundary line must needs be exposed to uncertainty.

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