Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER IX.: OF PREPOSITIONS, ADVERBS, AND CONJUNCTIONS. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 8 (Chrestomathia, Essays on Logic and Grammar, Tracts on Poor Laws, Tracts on Spanish Affairs)
Return to Title Page for The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 8 (Chrestomathia, Essays on Logic and Grammar, Tracts on Poor Laws, Tracts on Spanish Affairs)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
CHAPTER IX.: OF PREPOSITIONS, ADVERBS, AND CONJUNCTIONS. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 8 (Chrestomathia, Essays on Logic and Grammar, Tracts on Poor Laws, Tracts on Spanish Affairs) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). In 11 vols. Volume 8.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
OF PREPOSITIONS, ADVERBS, AND CONJUNCTIONS.
The three parts of speech here in question, viz. prepositions, adverbs, and conjunctions, require, in some respects, a conjoint consideration.
In many instances, the different functions designated by these three several names are performed by one and the same word.
Of the imports respectively belonging to them, that of the preposition is most simple. By the addition of some further import or imports belonging to some one or more other parts of speech, the import of the preposition becomes identical with that of the adverb; and in some instances at least, by the addition of a still ulterior body of import, the import once already augmented, as above, constitutes and becomes identical with that of the conjunction.
Of these three parts of speech, the explanation constitutes the obscure, the transcendental, the mysterious part of the art and science of universal grammar. In relation to the other parts of speech, the relation they bear (i. e. which their imports respectively bear) to the imports of the other parts of speech, viz. the substantive, the adjective, and the verb, resembles that which, by the signs employed in algebra, is borne towards the signs employed in common arithmetic. When the signs employed in algebraic arithmetic are all of them translated into the signs employed in common arithmetic, those employed in common arithmetic being, at the same time, reduced to one simple uninterrupted line of numeral figures, the import of the algebraic signs is completely understood, and the problem for the solution of which they have been employed is solved. In like manner, when of a sentence of which a preposition, an adverb, or a conjunction, makes a part, the equivalent is given in a sentence in which no part of speech other than a substantive, a verb, and an adjective, or some other substantive, is employed,—then, and then only, is the import respectively attached to these mysterious parts of speech at once clear, correct, and complete.
For bestowing upon the imports respectively attached to these several mysterious parts of speech, the above-mentioned desirable properties of clearness, correctness, and completeness, the following are the logical operations which have presented themselves as requisite to be performed in relation to them:—
1. Denomination; i. e. giving to them respectively, and to each separately, or to each aggregate composed of several together, an appropriate name or denomination.
2. Systematization; i. e. placing the several denominations, when so constructed, as above, in systematic order,—i. e. by a division made of the respective universal trunks, being the names of the several genera generalissima, preposition, adverb, conjunction, performed, in each instance, as far as it can be pursued with advantage, in the exhaustive or bifurcate mode, whereby their several relations of agreement and disagreement to and with each other will be brought under the eye at one view.
3. Exemplification,—i. e. exhibiting a proposition or sentence of the sort of those in common use, in the texture of which several words belonging respectively to the above-mentioned genera generalissima, shall respectively be employed.
4. Paraphrasis,—i. e. for the explanation or exposition of each such proposition, or sentence exhibiting another which shall present exactly the same import, but without containing in it a word belonging to the part of speech thus undertaken to be expounded.
As in every instance in the paraphrasis, or paraphrastical proposition, or sentence thus brought to view, a more or less considerable number of words will be contained, while the word thus requiring to be expounded is but one (except in a few instances in which two are so put together as to form, as it were, but one) on this consideration the paraphrasis may be termed the development.
This part of speech is employed to give intimation of the existence of some relation as having place between two or more entities, real or fictitious, determinate or indeterminate.
For giving expression to the import of the adverb, a single word is, in every instance, sufficient. Observing that the sign was thus simple, and looking no further than the sign, the ancient grammarians, and after them their worshipper, Hermes Harris, took for granted that the thought, that the import of which they found it the sign, was equally simple.
It is, however, a composite part of speech. In the import of the adverb, three distinguishable imports have been found contained,—being those of the three simply significant parts of speech above brought to view, viz. the substantive, the adjective, and the preposition. Here, i. e. in this place;—Now, i. e. at this time;—Sweetly, i. e. in a sweet manner.
Of these elementary imports contained in a part of speech, the import of which is in this instance complex, the exhibition may be termed its development.
Upon the principal classes into which this part of speech may be distinguished, this operation will be endeavoured to be performed.
But in the first place it will be necessary to mark out these classes.*
By the same immaturity of mind, and want of penetration, by which the grammarians, Greek and Latin, and their above-mentioned worshipper were prevented from seeing into the import of the adverb, they were prevented still more naturally from penetrating into the import of the conjunction. In the days of those ancients the star of Locke had not risen. In the days of their idolater Harris, that star had risen, but his idolatry had shut his eyes against its light.
A conjunction is a word by which sentences are tied together. True,—but of the ligament thus employed what was the nature?—what the texture? Was it like the noun-substantive simple, expressive of one object or subject, and no more than one? or was it not rather complex? and if complex, what were the links or filaments of which it was composed?
Examining it with the eye of a grammarian, and among grammarians of an etymologist, Horne Tooke discovered that the conjunction was always some element of the complex aggregate part of speech, a verb. Capital indeed, and highly instructive was the discovery, but at that point it rested.
But of those small words consisting, several of them, each but of one syllable, what is the import? Is the import as simple as the word thus employed as the sign of it? To answer, or so much as to ask the question, may perhaps be regarded as belonging to the province rather of the logician than the grammarian, and into the field of Logic scarcely did Horne Tooke, ingenious as he was, ever attempt to introduce his sickle.
Of the adverb it has been seen that the import is complex, having a number of elementary imports, not fewer than three; but of the simplest species of conjunction the import of the adverb includes no more than a part.
Of conjunctions, in addition to that of adverbs, the development will now be attempted.†
But first in this case, as in that, it will be necessary to bestow upon them an arrangement.
The demand for this part of speech being the same in every language, so far as concerns import, this arrangement and this development will serve for every language.
[* ] See note * to p. 348, supra.
[* ] This project does not appear to have been completed.—Ed.
[† ] This project also appears not to have been completed.—Ed.