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We see, therefore, that sentences may consist of phrases, of single words, or of words and phrases together.
Synthesis is the opposite of analysis. The term is derived from two Greek words, syn, 'with,' and thesis, 'placing. Synthesis is the process of putting elements together in their proper order to form a new combination. Thus we take salt, flour, yeast, and water, and by combining them in a certain manner get a new substance, dough. So we may take certain letters, and place them in a certain order to form something new. Thus, take the second letter of the alphabet, the first, and the last but one, and we form the word 'bay.'
In the same way we may take words and place them in a certain order, and by this means form phrases. Take, for example, the words man, a, good, and very; and by placing them in a certain order we form the phrase 'A very good man. Again, taking the words milk, sweet, and white, we can form the combination ‘Sweet white milk.'
And we may place phrases together in such a way as to form sentences. Thus, if we take the phrases | ‘The coast | by Danish pirates was plundered,' | we can form out of it the sentence, The coast was plundered by Danish pirates.'
Thus we see that while analysis is the process of taking elements apart, synthesis is the process of putting elements together. When the elements put together are words or phrases to form sentences, we use the term syntax instead of synthesis.
The term syntax, from the Greek syn, 'with,' and tasso,ʻI set in order,' is used only in regard to words and their arrangement, while the term synthesis is applied much more widely. From the noun analysis we have the adjectives analytic and analytical; from the noun synthesis, the adjectives synthetic and synthetical.
NOTE.—The term element is here used in a somewhat wide sense, and must not be confounded with the term element as applied in chemistry. A chemist analyzes substances into their ultimate elements. Thus, instead of stating that a piece of dough is made up of flour, water, yeast, salt, etc., an analytical chemist would state that the dough had for its ultimate elements carbon in the starch of the flour, nitrogen in the gluten and albumen, oxygen and hydrogen in the water, and so on ;-carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen, being substances which cannot be reduced to any simpler form.
EXERCISE. Divide the following sentences, from the Ingoldsby Legends, into the parts of which they are composed, after the manner in which the first line is divided :
| The jackdaw | sat on the Cardinals chair ;
With saucy air, he perched on the chair
Divide in the same way the following lines from Spenser's Seasons :| Then came | the jolly summer, 1 being dight |
In a thin silken cassock, | coloured green,
And on his head a garland well beseen
The sweat did drop; and in his hand he bore
Had hunted late the libbard or the boar,
Suggestions for further exercises :-Take an extract from Thomson's Seasons and compare with Spenser's; noticing the difference between the Spenserian stanza or verse, with its last long line of twelve syllables, and the blank or rhymeless verse of Thomson's Seasons. Notice that Spenser personifies the seasons, Thomson describes as if he saw; this personifying was Spenser's great power. Compare the English of Spenser with that of Thomson.
SYNTAX is the arrangement of words into phrases, clauses, and sentences. From the noun syntax we derive the adjective syntactical, and the adverb syntactically. When we classify single words according to the position or relationship they may hold in a sentence, the classification is syntactical.
We may arrange all the words of the language syntactically, thus :
First, Words that form subjects or objects of sentences ; this class would include nouns and pronouns.
Second, Words that can only be used as attributes to nouns, pronouns, or other attributes; these are adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.
Third, Words that connect other words; these are prepositions, conjunctions, and the verb to be,' when it connects a noun and its attribute, as in 'Sugar is sweet,' 'They are brothers.' In the last example the verb “to be connects they' with the attribute brotherhood. And in the sentence Victoria is Queen' the word 'Victoria' is, by means of the verb to be,' connected with the attribute of sovereignty.
The interjection proper has no part in a syntactical classification. Such a word bears no relationship to other words, and for this reason is to be considered as a mere sound, expressive of feeling or emotion. · By syntactical classification, therefore, the words forming our language fall into three groups; thus :
1. Nouns and words that form subiects o
Words that form subjects or objects.
Adjectives, and Words attributive to other words.
Conjunctions. Connectives. Single words arranged syntactically, or according to the laws of syntax, form language."
Language, spoken or written, is the means by which we express or utter our thoughts. Every separate word we utter, however long and rapidly we speak, is but the outcome of a separate notion or idea formed in the mind previous to the utterance. The mind forms these ideas so rapidly that the phrase “Quick as thought' is synonymous with Quick as lightning.'
Thus, before we utter the word dog we form a mental picture or idea of a certain familiar animal, and the word calls up a picture of the same kind of animal in the mind of the person to whom we speak; the word represents the thing of which we would speak when that thing is not present. The mental pictures or ideas of things we have seen are correct according to our powers of memory. We form ideas or notions of things we have not seen, but of which we have had descriptions, and these ideas may or may not be faithful pictures. Their correctness will depend upon the accuracy of the description, and upon the power we possess to realize or form a mental picture from a description. Sometimes the idea or mental picture is nothing like the original. How often do we hear persons remark when they see a thing for the first time, It is nothing like the idea I had formed of it'! The word ideal is derived from idea, and means the mental picture of an imaginary person, place, or thing, as we would wish it to be. Thus we speak of an ideal school, an ideal government, an ideal woman, meaning a school, government, or woman exactly corresponding to the notions we have formed of what such ought to be.
The phrase 'A white house' expresses three ideas :—first, an exact idea of number; second, of colour; third, of a habitation for man. The sentence “Two apples fell from the tree'expresses an exact idea of number, of a certain kind of fruit, of the action of falling, of direction downwards, of one particular thing (the tree), and of a particular kind of plant quite distinct from a herb.
The sentence “The red-deer come down from the mountains at dusk to drink' contains twelve primary ideas, each requiring a separate action of the mind, as the playing of a passage of music requires the effort of striking each separate note composing it. The preposition 'at' preceding dusk' expresses nearness or proximity; the preposition to preceding drink'expresses purpose in relation to the next word. Many single words express more than one idea. The primary idea expressed by
king' is man, but there is also the idea of sovereignty, of number, and of gender. The word 'child'expresses the idea of human life, of number, and of immaturity. The pronoun 'he expresses animal life, number, gender, and the subjective or nominative relationship.
EXPRESSION OF IDEAS.
In order to see that every separate word expresses one or more ideas in the mind of the speaker, and calls up corresponding ideas in the mind of the hearer, take the following exercises :Julius Cæsar came to Britain from Gaul, which he had con
quered. As the word Julius is uttered, the mind conjures up (1) the picture of a
man,-it is applied to men only, as Julia is reserved for
women ; (2) one man; here we have an idea of number. Cæsar-brings up a notion of a man, one only, and in con
junction with Julius, a picture of sovereignty. Rome flashes through the mind also, in connection with the sovereignty, and a notion of order, the first Cæsar of the twelve. We
have also the notion of a great soldier. came-expresses the notion of action, and past time. to-expresses the notion of approach, in the direction of
something to follow. Britain—a country, our country, an island, one. from-separation in regard to what is to follow. Gaul—brings up the idea of a country, France, in Europe,
one country only, and the ancient condition of that country. which—calls up in the mind a repetition of all ideas suggested
by the previous word. It is as if a note in a passage of music had to be repeated. (For example, the note C written as a note in the third space of the stave, and again, accord
ing to the Sol-Fa method, as a letter to indicate syllable Do.) he-produces a repetition of all notions produced by the name
Julius Cæsar. had-shows completeness in regard to the act of conquering
before the act of coming to Britain. conquered—brings up action, contest, and supremacy in that
contest; it gives also the notion of time past.
‘John Gilpin was a citizen
Of credit and renown,
Of famous London town.'