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CONJUNCTIONS. As contracted for "all-so"

As1 (A.-S. "eall-swa," with the sense "just as") is a contraction of all)-so. In Early English we find "so soon so he came." The all) emphasized the so, "all)-so soon all)-so he came." Hence through different contractions, alse, als, ase, we get our modern as. (Comp. the German als.) The dropping of the l is very natural if alse was pronounced like "half." The broad pronunciation of as may throw light upon the pun in

Sir And. And your horse now would make him an ass.
Mar. Ass I doubt not.

It follows that as originally meant both our modern so, "in that way," and our modern as, "in which way." The meaning of so is still retained in the phrases "as soon as" and "I thought as much," &c., but generally as has its second meaning, viz. "in which way."

1 Comp. ὡς, ω̈στε, for the various meanings.

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