Puslapio vaizdai

Short in the beginning of words, such as error, terror, cellar, leather, is liable to run into the obscure sound of ŭ, as urror, turror, suller, &c.; and sometimes this fault occurs in the middle of a word, as govurnmunt for government.

Short ĕ in the final syllables en, ent, and ěnce, as in contentment, improvement, providence, contingence, silence, evidence, influence, impertinence, moment, momentary, insolent, gentlemen, and in all words of this class, should be sounded so as just to be perceptible to the ear, and no more; and never be pronounced contentmunt, silunce, &c.

Short ǎ before 7 in the final syllables of medal, musical, mental, festival, final, real, should never be sunk so as to be pronounced fin'l, med'l, music'l; and when these letters come after y, as in royal, loyal, the sound of y should not be repeated as if the words were written roy-yal, loy-yal.

E before n, when they make a final syllable not under accent, should always be sounded in the words sudden, kitchen, hyphen, chicken, aspen, marten, latten, platten, sloven, children, and also before d in hundred; but in all other words ending in en the e should be silent, as heav'n, elev'n, gard'n, giv'n, driv’n, tak'n, wak'n, eat'n, beat'n, oat'n, ev'n, oft'n, soft'n, op'n, spok'n; and the o should be silent also in pard'n, weap'n, bac'n, beac'n, deac'n, pers'n, reas'n, treas'n.

I before 7, in the final unaccented syllable, is silent in ev❜l, and dev❜l; but in all other words it should be sounded, as civil, pencil, anvil; also before n, as matin, Satin; and ai before n in the words certain, mountain,

fountain, captain, again, should be pronounced as if written mountin, fountin, captin, and agen.

A before nt and ss, in a final unaccented syllable, as in dormant, infant, reluctant, compass, trespass, should never have the obscure sound of ŭ, as dormunt, trespuss.

I, in all cases when not under accent, forms a syllable by itself, like the first sound of e: thus, sensible should be pronounced as if written senseble; and so of plausible, possible, justify, diligent, gratitude, constitution, and should never be pronounced sensŭble, justufy, &c. But care must be observed not to dwell too much upon the e sound, since this would be a greater fault than the other. It should differ but slightly from the sound of i. I, also in the word in, and words beginning with in and im, is liable to be sunk or changed into un and um, as umprove, or 'mprove; unstruct, or 'nstruct; is he 'n town? for improve, instruct, is he in town?

Such critical and nice distinctions in the vowel sounds mark the accurate and accomplished scholar.



BUT consonants in some positions claim attention quite as much as the vowels. If the lofty dignity and musical sweetness of speech depend upon a full, soft, and

liquid flow of the vowels, its energy and strength depend no less upon a full and distinct enunciation of the consonants.

D is liable to be sunk in and, boldly, worldly, fondly, coldly, into an' or un', bo-ly, wor-ly, fon-ly, co-ly.

Fin of should never lose its sound of v, as The want o' money occasioned the want o'men. It should be, The want uv money | occasioned the want uv men. Never, The want of money occasioned the want of I



G before th is liable to be sunk, as lenth, strenth, for length, strength.

His liable to be sunk, except at the beginning of a sentence; e. g. How 'as kind 'eaven adorned the 'appy land, And scattered blessings with a wasteful 'and! (Read properly.)

She evinced not the least gratitude for the 'ospitality afforded 'er; which made 'im suspect 'er to 'ave 'ad a bad 'eart. (Read properly.)

H after w, in the words whet, when, why, white, what, wheat, who, whither, whether, whisper, is liable to be sunk, so as to be pronounced wet, wen, wite, &c. The best way to correct the habit is to divide the syllable, and pronounce hoo-et, hoo-en, hoo-ite, &c. H before r is very liable to be sunk in the words shrunk, shrub, shroud, shrive, and pronounced srunk, srub, sroud, srive.

R has two sounds, according to its position in a word, called the rough and the smooth. The rough, when used before a vowel in the beginning of a word, as rage, wretch, grate, brazen, bray: the smooth, generally

in the last part of a word, and after a vowel, as hard, card, regard. We, who speak the English as our native tongue, seldom fail to make the smooth r properly; but we rarely enunciate the rough r with the strength it requires. This rough sound, which some call the rolling or vibrant r, is made by vibrating the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth near the teeth. It can scarcely be made by natives with too much distinctness. Many foreigners sound the rough r better than we; but the difficulty with them is, not to be able to make the smooth one where it ought to be made. Many of us, however, in our attempts to sound the rolling r properly, make nearly two syllables of it, as er-wretch, er-rage-a fault still worse than the use of the smooth one.

S in the end of a word is liable to be sunk when the following word begins with an s, as For righteousness sake; The steadfast stranger in the forests strayed.

In pronouncing s, pains should be taken to avoid as much as possible its hissing quality. The same may be said also of the other aspirates, f, h, wh, th, sh, and ch. They should be uttered with distinctness; but, as there is nothing in them which is grateful to the ear, they cannot be dwelt upon without a violation of taste. Many persons, in pronouncing some plurals, have the disagreeable habit of using the s instead of the z sound of s, as in the words follies, paths, they would say follis, paths-not folliz, pathz; but in pronouncing youths, and truths, we should always give the sharp sound of th, as having more force, and never the sound of z, as if written youthz, truthz.

Ts after s, in the end of words, is apt to be entirely

lost; as in the words hosts, coasts, boasts, posts, costs, masts, fists, mists, priests, feasts, and pronounced hōs, cōs, bōs, pōs, cos, mas, &c.

W in the end of the words law, flaw, saw, jaw, is by some changed to r, as lor, flor, sor, jor.

In pronouncing the consonants, the meaning of words is liable sometimes to be confounded by running them into each other; as an ice house-a nice house; the culprits ought to make amends-the culprits sought to make amends; his cry moved me-his crime moved me; he could pay nobody-he could pain nobody.

It is a good rule always to be more particular in distinctly pronouncing those words where there is the least apprehension that one word may be mistaken for another, or where two of similar sound are apt to coalesce and cause confusion of sense, or in any way give rise to a vulgar or ludicrous thought.

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A few words of frequent use require vowel sounds sometimes quite different from what are set forth in the spelling-book and dictionary. They are the articles a and the; the pronouns my, you, your, and their; the prepositions of, for, from, and by; and the conjunctions and, nor, and sometimes or; but it should be borne in mind that none of them, while under emphasis, ever change their vowel sound.

A is not used except before a word beginning with a consonant sound, and then only with its short or fourth sound, as ǎ man, ă union-never a man, a union, with its first sound.

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