|University of Missouri – Columbia
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A language when compared to a people shows many points of similarity. Though both are continuous themselves, each is made up of individual units that have their birth, growth and death, but in the case of words, as not in individuals, their length of life depends on their usefulness. With both, though foreign immigration is sure to take place, as long as the units born of the original stock remain in the majority, the newcomers are soon naturalized and the whole is enlarged and strengthened thereby. To carry the parallelism farther, as individuals may be united in families by descent from a common ancestor, or banded together in guilds or unions because of a similar life work, so words are connected with certain words because derived from the same root and with others because of a similar or identical contribution to the language. Words are bound by no cast system; hence we find a great variety of development. We must also, for words at least, accept the theory of the transmigration of souls. This paper has to do with a group of words belonging in classical times to the Guild of Temporal Constructions, being equivalent to the English expression "as soon as."