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RELATIVAL CONSTRUCTIONS. That in 287, origin of

That, origin of. Is that, when used as above, demonstrative or relative? The passage quoted above from Chaucer,1 "If so were that," renders it probable that a similar ellipsis must be supplied with the other conjunctions: "Though (it be) that," "Since (it is) that," &c. With prepositions the case is different, e.g. "for that," "in that," "after that." For this use of that can be traced to A.-S., where we find "for pam pe," i.e. "for this purpose that," "after pam pe," &c. Here "pam" is more emphatic than "pe," and evidently gave rise to the English that. But "pam" was the A.-S. demonstrative. It follows that the that is (by derivative use, at all events) demonstrative in "for that," or, perhaps we should say, stands as an abridgment for "that (demonst.) that (rel.)." In fact, we can trace the A.-S. "after pam pe" to the E. E. "after that that," and so to the later "after that." Hence we must explain

“The rather
For that I saw the tyrant's power afoot.

as "for that (that), i.e. for that, because, I saw." It would be wrong, however, to say that that in "since that" is, by derivative use, demonstrative. On the contrary, "since" in itself (sip-pan) contains the demonstrative, and "since that" corresponds to "sip-pan pat" where that (pat) is relative. And similarly "though that" corresponds to the A.-S. "peah pe," where that (pe) is the relative. The that in "after that," "before that," invites comparison with the "quam" in "postquam" and "antequam," though in the Latin it is the antecedent, not the relative, that is suppressed. The tendency of the relative to assume a conjunctional meaning is illustrated by the post-classical phrase, "dico quod (or quia) verum est," in the place of the classical "dico id verum esse." Many of the above Elizabethan phrases, which are now disused, may be illustrated from French: "Since that," "puisque;" "though that," "quoi que;" "before that," "avant que," &c. Instead of "for that," we find in French the full form, "par ce que," i.e. "by that (dem.) that (rel.)." It is probable that Chaucer and Mandeville, if not earlier writers, were influenced in their use of the conjunctional that by French usage. Even in the phrase "I say that it is true," that may be explained as having a relatival force (like ὅτι, "quod," and the French "que"), meaning, "I say in what way, how that, it is true." In the phrase, "I come that (in the way in which; 'ut,' ὡς, 'afin que') I may see," the relatival force of that is still more evident.

1 Compare "If so be that."

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