[99a] 1. The particles, which in general express the secondary modifications of thought in speech, the closer relation of words to one another, and the mutual connexion of sentences, are for the most part either borrowed or derived from noun-forms, sometimes also from pronouns and verbs (§30s). Primitive particles (apart from a few demonstrative forms, see §100i) can only be so called in the sense defined in §81f.
[99b] 2. So far as the origin of the particles can be discovered with certainty, they are either (1) borrowed from other parts of speech; i.e. certain forms of the noun, pronoun, or verb, with more or less loss of their original meaning, have come to be employed as particles; cf. in the Indo-Germanic languages, e.g. the Latin certo, falso, partim, verum, causa, the German statt, anstatt, wegen, weg, and the English instead, away; or (2) derived from other parts of speech, either (a) by the addition of formative syllables, as יוֹמִם by day, from יוֹם (cf., however, §100g); or most commonly (b) by abbreviations effected in various ways, the extent of their mutilation being in proportion to the frequency of their use, so that in some cases (see below) the original stem has become wholly unrecognizable.
Cf. in German gen, from gegen, Gegend; seit, from Seite; weil (originally a particle of time, like our while), from Weile.
Still more violent abbreviations occur in Greek, Latin, and the Romance languages, e.g. ἀπό, ab, a; ἐξ, ex, e; ad, Fr. à; aut, Fr. ou, Ital. o; super, Ital. su.
[99c] The greatest shortening occurs in those particles which have entirely lost the character of an independent word, by being reduced to a single consonant with its vowel (generally short) or Šewâ. According to the laws of syllable formation in Hebrew (§26m),
- Even short phrases are contracted into one word: Lat. forsitan, from fors sit an,δηλονότι,δηλαδή, Fr. peut-être, Eng. prithee from I pray thee.—In Chinese most of the particles are verbs or nouns; e.g. iù (to give), also the sign of the dative; ı̀ (to make use of), to, for; n̈i (the interior), in.