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the voice daily, in reading or speaking aloud. The habit of Demosthenes, of walking by the sea-shore and shouting, was less important, in accustoming him to the sound of a multitude, than in developing and strengthening his vocal organs. The pupil will be astonished to find how much his voice will gain in power by daily exercise.
'Reading aloud and recitation," says Andrew Combe, are more useful and invigorating muscular exercises than is generally imagined; at least, when managed with due regard to the natural powers of the individual, so as to avoid effort and fatigue. Both require the varied activity of most of the muscles of the trunk to a degree of which few are conscious till their attention is turned to it. In forming and undulating the voice, not only the chest, but also the diaphragm and abdominal muscles, are in constant action, and communicate to the stomach and bowels a healthy and agreeable stimulus."
§ 3. Elementary Sounds. The Alphabetic Elements, or Elementary Sounds, are a in far, a in fat, a in fate, a in fall; e in me, e in met; i in fit; o in note, o in not; u in bull (equivalent to short oo in book); oo in fool; u in but; w in wet; y in yet; h in hot; ng in king; m in man; n in not; l in let; r in run; and the following Cognate Consonant Sounds: p in pan, b in bag; fin fan, v in van; th in thin, th in thine; tin tin, d in din; k in kind, g in gun; s in sin, z in zeal; sh in shine, z in azure.
There are four Compound Vowel Sounds, namely, i in pine, u in cube, ou in house, oi in voice; and two Compound Consonant Sounds, namely, ch in chest and j in jest. By some authorities a in fate (said to be compounded of a in fat and e in me) is classed among the compound vowel sounds.
The letters c, q, and z do not appear in the list of elementary sounds, because, as representatives of sound, they are redundant; c expressing only what is as well expressed by s or k (as in city, can); q being only kw; and x, ks or gz.
By Cognate Consonant Sounds is meant a class of sounds allied or related to each other; as p and b, f and v, &c.; the first of the pair being called aspirate, and the second vocal. (See § 3, above.) The vocal sounds are distinguished from the aspirate by the addition of voice or a sort of guttural murmur; the one being, as it were, simply the thickened sound of the other.
§ 4. Articulation. Articulation is the correct formation by the organs of speech of certain sounds which add to vocality literal and verbal utterance, Audibility depends chiefly on articulation; and articulation depends much on the distinctness with which the final consonants of syllables and words are delivered. A strong delivery is to be constantly cultivated, — that is, not only an energy that shall prevent drawling, but at the same time a moderation that shall prevent a clipping away of the proper sounds as in hasty speaking.
§ 5. Accent. In the English language every word of more than one syllable is distinguished by the heavy utterance, called Accent, of one particular syllable, and the light utterance of the other, or others. The following words afford examples of accent:-A com'pound, to com-pound'
an accent, to ac-cent'; blas'phe-mous, blas-phem'ing; com-mand'er, com-mandant'; inter-dict, in-ter-dict'.
§ 6. Pronunciation. By pronunciation, in its restricted sense, we understand the exact employment in utterance of the proper vowel and consonant sounds and accents, which custom has established. As leading authorities differ in their mode of expressing these sounds, and in the degree of importance they attach to nice shades of difference, great care should be taken, in training the voice, to follow those models which the best usage has sanctioned.
Unaccented Vowel Sounds. An easy utterance of the vowel sounds in unaccented syllables should be practiced. The e be forer in gov'ern, en'er-gy, lib'er-ty, in'ter-val, &c.; the unaccented i in fervid, rubbish, trop'ic, ec-cen'tric, &c., and the long u in pen'u-ry, cent'u-ry, reg'u-lar, ed'u-cate, &c., all marked "obscure" by Worcester, must not be so regarded in practice if a correct enunciation is desired. "Those who wish to pronounce elegantly," says Walker, "should be particularly attentive to the unaccented vowels, as a neat pronunciation of these forms one of the greatest beauties of speaking." *
§ 8. Errors of Pronunciation. Among the most common errors of pronunciation is the omission of one or more elements in a word; as sen's for sends, fac's for facts, expec's for expects, ac's for acts, promp's for prompts, sof'ly for softly, his'try for history, int'rest for interest.
§ 9. It is a common error to substitute one vowel sound for another; as in saying set for sit, sence for since, jest for just, yis for yes, yit for yet, sullar for cellar, crik for creek; srill, sred, sriek, for shrill, shred, shriek; wen, wirl, wip, for when, whirl, whip; mornin', bringin', &c., for morning, bringing, &c.; piller, feller, &c., for pillow, fellow, &c.; heerd for heard (like herd); herth for hearth (as if harth); ware, tharefore, for were (wer), therefore (ther'fore); the short sound of oo, as in look, good, &c., for the long, – thus making the oo short in room, root, soon, &c., when it ought to be long, as in moon, proof, &c.
§ 10. Of words ending in -el, -en, -il, -in, or -on, the cases where the unaccented vowel ought to be sounded, as in civ'il, sat'in, ros'in, as'pen, chick'en, kitch'en, trav'el, ten'don, &c., should be carefully discriminated from those in which it ought not to be sounded, as in ba'sin (ba'sn), rai'sin (ra/zn), cous'in (kuz'n), but'ton (but'n), e'vil (e'vl), ha'zel (ha'zl), of'ten
* We subjoin a specimen of the reformed system of notation originally adopted in Sargent's New Pronouncing Spelling-Book, where those unaccented vowel sounds which have their quality essentially modified by the absence of accent, have the regular mark they would have if accented, but placed under instead of over the letter; as, village, ri'val, nec'tar, en'e-my, fu'el, fer'vent, her, o'ver, in'di-cate, di-rect', na'dir, col'o-ny, i'vo-ry, word, vigor, für, sulphur, pen'ū-ry, nature. To indicate the modification caused by r after a long vowel, a slight alteration of the long mark is employed, as in färe, mêre, ire, ôre, cure.
(of'n), heav'en (hev'n), e'ven (e'vn). For other words of this class, see Sargent's New Pronouncing Spelling-Book, pages 50, 51.
§ 11. A common fault, because introduced by a defective notation in some of our dictionaries and spelling-books, is the separation of the long vowel sound before r (as in fare, mere, ire, ore, cure) into distinct parts, thus producing a dissyllabic effect. That separation of the vowel ound from the r, which we often hear in the first syllables of parent, serious, wiry, porous, during, and the like (which are wrongly, though usually, referred in dictionaries to the same mode of pronunciation as the first syllables of va'cant, se'cret, willy, holly, culbic, &c.), was not common in this country until a misconception of Walker's intention in his notation for the long vowel sounds brought it into vogue. The best speakers say pare'ent, sere'i-ous, pore'us, dure'ing, &c.
§ 12. A not uncommon fault is the attempt to give to certain letters or combinations their regular sound, although usage has introduced a modification to which all intelligent speakers conform. Thus we hear the ai in again pronounced as long a instead of short e, as it ought to be; the ee in been pronounced as long e instead of short i; the unaccented vowel sounded in even, heaven, evil, &c.; the u in minute (the noun) pronounced with its regular long sound instead of the sound of short i; apron, pronounced as written, instead of a'purn. These faults, as they exhibit either affectation or ignorance, ought to be shunned.
13. The proper accentuation of words must be learnt from the dictionary. The tendency is to place the accent so that the word may be most rapidly enunciated. Some derivative words are frequently mispronounced on account of not being accented like their primitives; as chas'tisement, main'tenance, com'parable, dis'putable, lam'entable. The secondary accent (here marked ") is sometimes placed upon a syllable which should property have no accent, as in terꞌri-toꞌꞌry; and sometimes it is improperly made to change places with the primary, as in al"a-bas'ter, inter-est'ing (properly al'abaster, in'teresting).
§ 14. The vowel u, or the digraph ew, when it follows the sound of r or of sh is sometimes erroneously pronounced with the sound of long u instead of long oo. Do not say tr-yoo, dr-yoo (true, drew), but troo, droo.
§ 15. The sound of short u should not be interposed between that o a final m and that of l, s, or th which precedes it; as in saying hel'um for helm, chaz'um for chasm, rhyth'um for rhythm.
§ 16. The smooth r should not be trilled, as in saying faw-rm for form, wuh-rld for world; nor should it be suppressed, as in saying faw for for, nus for nurse, fust for first, wus for worse; nor sounded where it does not properly belong, as in saying lawr for law.
§ 17. Those words in which s has the sound of z should be carefully discriminated; as in dis-arm (diz-), flim'sy (-zy), greas'y (-z), na'sal (-zal), pos-sess (poz-zes'). See the Rules in Sargent's New Pronouncing Speller, pages 72, 73.
18. Words in which x has the vocal sound of gz should be discriminated from those in which it has the aspirate sound of ks. X has its
sound of gz when it ends an unaccented syllable, and the next syllable, having the accent, begins with a vowel or the letter h; as in ex-act', exhort'. But exemplary (egz'-) and ex-ude (eks-) are exceptions.
§ 19. Words in which the digraph th has its aspirate sound, as in thin, should be discriminated from those where it has its vocal sound, as in breathe, beneath, with, underneath, lithe, paths. But truth retains its aspirate sound in the plural.
§ 20. Derivative words that have a short vowel in one syllable answering to a long one in the primitive are apt to be mispronounced; as in saying he'ro-ine, he'ro-ism for hĕr'o-ine, hĕr'o-ism; zealot for zealot, &c.
§ 21. The sound of e long is sometimes wrongly interposed after one of the guttural consonants, k (or c hard) and g, preceding the sound of i; as in saying ke-ind for kind, skee-i for sky, gee-ide for guide.
In regard to the sound of long or diphthongal i (ī), Cooley remarks : "When it occurs in the same syllable after g hard, k, or c hard, the faint sound, as of e, indicated in our notation by ('), is of necessity interposed between them during the separation of the organs in distinct utterance; as in guide (g'ide), guile (g'ile), disguise (-g'ize), kind (k’ind); but great care must be taken not to lengthen this sound into a separate e, as ke-ind, ge-ide, &c., a monster of pronunciation heard only on the stage or among affected and illiterate speakers. A similar interposed sound, but one very much fainter, occurs between ch and i, as in child (ch'ild), chime (ch'īme), &c., of which, however, the slightest exaggeration becomes vulgar and intolerable."
§ 22. Sound of a, as in ask, fast, &c. There is a class of syllables and words ending in af, aff, ant, as, ass, ast, ask, asp, with a few ending in ance and ant, in which a has a disputed sound. Among these words we quote the following: after, alas, bask, casket, castle, chaff, chance, clasp, class, contrast, dance, dastard, disaster, enchant, fust, gasp, glance, glass, grant, lance, mask, mastiff, nasty, pant, pass, pastor, pasture, plaster, quaff, rafter, repast, shaft, slander, slant, task, trance, vast, waft.
Both English and American authorities are at variance in respect to the sound of the a in these words. Among the former, Smart and Cooley maintain that well-educated people give the a its short sound as in and. Cooley (1862) says: The long Italian sound of a (as in father, far) "was formerly much used instead of ă (as in and), before the liquid n, particularly when followed by c, t, or d, in such words as dance, glance, lance, chant, grant, plant, slander, command, &c.; and before ƒ and s, as in ask, class, glass, grasp, craft, graft, &c.; a practice now regarded, except in a very few words, as vulgar or provincial."* Cooley admits, however, that in command, demand, remand, &c., usage is divided, the Italian a (a in far) being "even now used in these words by many good speakers."
* Cooley remarks in a note: "This sound (a in far), derived from our ancestors, is still retained in America, in many words in which it has long been obsolete or vulgar among ourselves. Thus, we have often been unable to discover, except by the context, whether an American speaker alluded to his aunt or to an ant."
Ellis, an English authority, maintains that in ask, fast, glance, &c., it is usual “to pronounce the clear vowel ah” (as in far), not only in London, but throughout the south of England, and that the sound of short a (as in and) is "seldom or never heard" in this class of words.
Bell, an English authority, remarks: "The extreme pronunciations (a in and and a in far) are at the present day (1849) comparatively seldom heard. The precise quality of the prevailing intermediate sound cannot be correctly noted; for it ranges among different speakers through every practicable shade within these limits."
Fulton and Knight, authors of an English dictionary published in London in 1802, adopted the view that the sound of a in these words (to which sound the somewhat vague and unmeaning name of intermediate a has been given) is a shortened sound of a in far; and this view is that which has been substantially adopted in the latest revised dictionaries of Webster and Worcester.
Still we regard the remark of Bell, quoted above, as substantially cor rect. The so-called "intermediate" sound is something very indeterminate; and teachers, in the absence of any positive standard for the sound, must either adopt one of the two extremes (a in and, or a in far), or they must hit upon some one of those medial "shades" to which Bell alludes.
§ 23. Diphthongal u. We quote the following remarks from Sargent's New Pronouncing Spelling-Book: "Long u (u= yoo) is generally heard pure in syllables ending in e mute, and when it is final in an accented syllable, or forms an accented syllable by itself as in cube, musing, unit, &c.; also when it ends or forms a syllable (unless preceded by the sound of r) either immediately before or after the accent, as in mutation, unite, penury, educate, &c.
"This sound of u is very decided when the letter that precedes it is a palatal or labial (k, p, b, f, v, m); and we rarely hear it robbed of its y quality in cube, pu'ny, abuse, refute, mute, view, &c. ; but most orthoëpists are agreed that after r long u drops its initial y element, and is equivalent to long oo (= û) in mood, as in rude, crude, intru'sion, erꞌudite, &c. It suffers the same loss after j, ch, and s, sounded as zh or sh, as in jury, chew, leisure, sure, &c.
"There is also a tendency to rid ū of its y element after the lingual letters t, d, l, n, especially after 1, as in lute, flute. But in conformity with the best usage we give long u after these letters its regular long mark, with the caution, that, though in such words as tune, gratitude, duke, duty, institute, numerous, new, &c., u is made to preserve its sound of yoo by the majority of cultivated speakers, yet after 7 (as in lute, lu'nar, flu'id, &c.) it must be slightly modified. Do not say lee-oot, flee-oot, &c. Smart and Cooley represent the modification thus: l'oot, fl'oot.
'Long u, while preserving its y element, loses a little of its sound of long oo when it occurs in certain unaccented terminations in -ure, as in nat'ure, creat'ure, ten'ure, &c. We represent this abated sound by putting the long mark under the letter thus (u).”