Immagini della pagina

(2.) That in other cases the sound can be continued as long as the breath lasts. Such are af, al, am, an, ar, as. f and s are called spirants, because in pronouncing them

the breath is sent forth rapidly. 1 and r are called liquids, because their sound goes freely

and smoothly between the open lips. m and n are called nasals, from the sound going through

the nose.

h, which usually commences a syllable, is a strong aspirate, like the English h in harvest.

ac is called a double letter, it being a combination of cs,gs, or ks.

The vowel y and the consonant 2 are only used in words borrowed from the Greek, as lịra, a lyre, and zona, a girdle.


PRONUNCIATION OF C, G, T. 5. The pronunciation of c, 9, t varies in English, as for example in the words decent, decorous ; legal, legend ; native, nation, nature.

In Latin the sound of these consonants was always hard, as in the words decorous, legal, native. Thus, Cicero was pronounced as it would be with the English spelling Kikero, and Caesar as if it were written Kaisar. Cervus, a stag, had the c hard, to distinguish it from Servus, a slave. Gemma was not pronounced like our gem, and natio not like our nation.

PRONUNCIATION OF I AND U. 6. When I was followed by a vowel in the same syllable, the Romans pronounced it like our consonant y: thus the proper name Iulius (which we write in English Julius) they pronounced as Yūlius, the first syllable sounding as in the English word yule.

The Romans had but one symbol (v) to represent the letters u and v of modern Latin. Whether they pronounced v, when followed by a vowel in the same syllable, as our w, is doubtful ; in other words, it has yet to be decided whether we ought to pronounce Věnus as Wěnus.

[ocr errors]

For ex


ELEMENTS OF THE SIMPLE SENTENCE. 7. A Noun is the name of a being or thing, as man, dog, tree, stone. All beings and things have certain qualities, which we call Attributes, such as wisdom, strength, beauty.

A concrete noun is the name of a being or thing, as man, tree. An abstract noun is the name of an attribute, as strength, beauty.

8. A Pronoun is a word used instead of a noun. ample, the speaker describes himself by the pronoun 1, the person to whom he speaks by the pronoun you, and the person of whom he speaks by the pronoun he or she, and these forms are called Personal Pronouns.

9. An Adjective is a word implying an attribute : thus when we say, Gold is weighty, we ascribe to the substance gold the attribute weightiness. 10. To form a sentence we must have

(1.) Something to speak about: this is called the Subject.

(2.) Something to say of it: this is called the Predicate. Thus in the sentence, Gold is weighty, the noun gold is the subject, the adjective weighty is the predicate, and the word is, connecting the subject and the predicate, is called the Copula or Link.

11. A Verb is a word used to make a statement about the condition or action of the subject of which we are speaking. 12. There are two great classes of verbs :(1.) Those which make a statement about the condition

of the subject. (2.) Those which make a statement about the action of

the subject upon some person or thing. The former are called Intransitive, the latter Transitive verbs.

13. A subject and an intransitive verb are sufficient for sentence; thus we may say, Gold glitters.

With a subject and a transitive verb we cannot form a com

[ocr errors]

plete sentence, for we want some word to express the effect of the action, and such a word is called the Object of the verb.

Thus in the sentence, Bees make honey, the word honey is called the object of the transitive verb make. 14. There are three forms of the Simple Sentence

I. Subject + Copula + Predicate, Gold is weighty.
II. Subject + Intransitive verb,

Gold glitters.
III. Subject + Transitive verb + Object, Bees make honey.


15. Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, and Verbs in Latin have inflexions, that is, changes made in them to fit them to be parts of a sentence. The part of each word that remains when the inflexions are removed is called the Stem.

16. We will consider first some of the inflexions of the verb.

The simplest form of speech is the command, Go, Stop, Come. The Latin equivalents of these words are I, Stā, Věni. This mode of speech is called the Imperative Mood. In Latin the Imperative Mood presents the stem of a verb in its simplest form.

17. By adding the syllable rě (in a few instances ěrě) to the stem we obtain the form called the Present Infinitive, expressing condition or action without any restriction of number or person. Thus:IMPERATIVE.


ire, to go. stā, stop.

stāre, to stand. věnī, come.

venire, to come. dic, tell.

dicěrě, to tell.

CONJUGATIONS OF VERBS. 18. Latin verbs are arranged in four classes, called Conjugations, distinguished by the vowel in the last syllable but one of the Present Infinitive.


First Conjugation,
Second Conjugation,
Third Conjugation,
Fourth Conjugation,

ămā, love. mõnē, advise. rėgě, rule. audi, hear.

INFINITIVE. ămārē, to love. mõnērē, to advise. rėgěrě, to rule. audīrē, to hear.


19. The Indicative Mood includes those forms of the verb which are used in making statements of fact. It has in Latin six Tenses, two of which have reference to the present time, two to the past, and two to the future. One of each of these pairs of tenses is used in describing actions that are incomplete, and one of each in describing actions that are complete.

Thus the Latin verb has in the Indicative Mood



for action incomplete at the present time.

a past
a future


Perfect Present, for action complete at the present time. Perfect-Past,

a past Perfect-Future,

a future...... Each tense is divided into two Numbers, Singular and Plural. In each number there are three Persons.



1. The Imperfect-Present is used to denote incomplete action at the present time, as Amo, 1 love, or I am loving.

2. The Imperfect-Past is used to denote incomplete action in time past, as Amābam, I was loving ; Audiêbam, I used to hear.

3. The Imperfect-Future is used to denote incomplete action in time to come, as Amābo, I shall love ; Scribam, I shall be writing.

NOTE.—1 and 3 may be used for momentary action, for the Latin tongue has no distinct form for the momentary " I strike," to distinguish it from the continuous “ I am striking."

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

SING. 1. ämābam, I was loving.

2. åmābās, thou wast loving.

3. åmābåt, he was loving. PLUR. 1. åmābāmús, we were loving.

2. ämābātis, ye were loving.
3. ämābant, they were loving.

monēbam, I was advising.
monēbās, thou wert advising.
monēbăt, he was advising.
monēbāmůs, we were advising.
monēbātis, ye were advising.
monēbant, they were advising.



SING. 1. åmābā, I shall love.

2. åmābis, thou wilt love.

3. ämābyt, he will love. PLUR. 1. åmābimës, we shall love.

2. åmābitis, ye will love.
3. åmābunt, they will love.

monēbo, I shall advise.
monēbis, thou wilt advise.
monēbīt, he will advise.
mõnēbỉmůs, we shall advise.
monēbytis, ye will advise.
monēbunt, they will advise.

« IndietroContinua »