« ÎnapoiContinuă »
ISAAC NORDHEIMER, PHIL. DOCT.,
PROFESSOR OF ARABIC AND OTHER ORIENTAL LANGUAGES IN THE UNIVERSITY OF THE
CITY OF NEW YORK.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
WILEY AND PUTNAM, No. 161 BROADWAY.
BOSTON.-CROCKER & BREWSTER.
M DCCC XLI.
Entered, according to act of Congress, in the year 1841, by ISAAC NORDHEIMER,
In the Clerk's office of the Southern District of New York.
University Press. JOHN F. TROW, PRINTER,
PREFACE AND INTRODUCTION.
In publishing the second volume of his Grammar, the author feels himself to be only liquidating a debt of honour which he has for some time been under to the public; yet believing that the book will bear internal evidence that the delay has been caused not by any negligence on his part, but by an earnest desire to perform his task in a manner satisfactory both to the public and himself, he hopes therein to find his excuse for the lateness of its appearance.
The truth is, and the author is willing to acknowledge it, that in promising the publication of the present volume at a much earlier period, he was not fully aware of the real nature of his undertaking and of the amount of time and labour its proper execution would necessarily involve. He had indeed imbibed to some extent the prevalent opinion, caused partly by the rapid progress usually made in the first stages of the study of Hebrew and partly by the imperfect manner in which the subject has hitherto been treated, that the syntax of the Hebrew as compared with its etymology is of minor importance. He had, however, no sooner entered upon his work in good earnest, than he became fully aware of the erroneousness of such an impression.
In undertaking to discuss the syntax of a language, the grammarian enters upon a more extensive, more complicated, and at the same time more interesting branch of grammatical science than that presented in the etymology, which in fact is but the preparation for it. In the etymology he has to exhibit the formation of words from the elementary sounds composing them, as well as the changes which their forms undergo in the course of grammatical inflection: but in so doing he treats all analytically and independently of the mutual relations of words to one another which give rise to these changes. Not so in the syntax: here his inquiries into the nature of words and their forms are to be conducted in the opposite manner, i. e. synthetically, and chiefly with the view of ascertaining the relations in which words may stand to one another, and the means employed for indicating such relations. He must therefore be aware at the very outset, that his self-imposed task involves no less than the investigation and exhibition of the fundamental principles on which the entire mechanism of language depends. Thus, to ascertain the nature of the representa