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Tonic sounds have a vocality as distinguished from a whisper or aspiration, and admit of indefinite prolongation. II. — Subtonic Sounds. The sounds represented by the italicized letters in b-ow, d-are, g-ive, si-ng, l-ove, m-ay, n-ot, r-oe, have unmixed vocality. In v-ile, z-one, y-e, w-oe, th-en, a-z-ure, the sounds represented by the italicized letters have aspiration. Some of the Subtonic vocalities are nasal ; as, m, n, ng, b, d, g. III. Atonic Sounds ; which are represented by the italicized letters in u-p, ou-t, ar-k, i-f, ye-s, h-e, wh-eat, th-in, pu-sh. These nine have no vocality, but only a whisper or aspiration. In this classification of the Elementary Articulate Sounds, we have twelve Tonic, fourteen Subtonic, and nine Atonic Sounds ; in all, thirty-five. In prolonging the long sounds of a and ī, they pass into ē; and in prolonging those of ō and ū, they pass into 00. These are therefore regarded by Dr. Rush as Diphthongs, though not written as such.
15. A Diphthong,* from the Greek words dis (double) and phthongë (a voice), is two Vowel letters joined in one syllable, as ea in eagle, oi in voice. A Proper Diphthong is a Diphthong in which both of the Vowels are sounded, as oi in voice. An Improper Diphthong is a Diphthong in which only one of the Vowels is sounded, as ea in beat. A Triphthong is three Vowel letters joined in one syllable, as eau in beau, uoy in buoy.
16. It is necessary to bear in mind that a Letter is not itself a sound, but only the sign of a sound. Thus, the name of the letter m does not enter as an element into the word man when pronounced ; but another sound, which the letter m represents, does. The alphabetical sound of the letter a is the same as the sound it represents in the word fate ; but it is not the same as that which it represents in all, father, fat.
17. The simple elementary sounds, called Consonants, have the following peculiarity : they cannot be made to form even the shortest word or syllable without the aid of a Vowel. Thus, the Vowels a and o are capable of being used as syllables, and so are the combinations ba and lo. But the single sounds of b’, or l’, if taken by themselves, cannot form a word, or even a syllable. In order to do so, they must be joined to a Vowel, and sounded along with it. For this reason they are called Consonants, from the Latin words con (with) and sonans (sounding); whilst the word Vowel is derived from the Latin word vocalis (vocal), because Vowels can be sounded by themselves.
18. Vowel sounds are produced by the lower organs of speech ; and Consonant sounds, which cannot be formed without bringing parts of the mouth in contact, are produced by the upper. The Vowels may be uttered distinctly with the lips as far apart as they can be stretched. But, to enunciat: Consonants properly, there must be an appulsion or striking of the organs of speech, originating a sound within the mouth. Bruto animals utter Vowel sounds. Man only can utter Consonant sounds.
* Orthoepists differ in regard to the pronunciation of this word. Webster sets it down as dif-thong ; Walker, Worcester, and others, as dip-thong. As euphony does not here require a departure from the original Greek pronunciation (Walker's authority to the contrary notwithstanding), we prefer to say, with Webster, dif-thong and trif-thong but teachers must decide the question for themselves.
19. A part of the Consonant sounds are CONTINUOUS, and a part are EXPLOSIVE. If you place a short e before each of the following letters, p, b, t, d, k and g, - you will find, in enunciating them, that you have no power of prolonging their Consonant sounds or of resting on them. They escape with the breath at once. It is not so with f, v, sh, zh, s, l, m, n, r. Sound them with a short e (as in ebb) prefixed, and you will find that the breath is transmitted by degrees, and the sound can be pro longed. The first class are Explosive ; the second, Continuous.
20. The following table gives the classification of elementary sounds adopted by two of the most distinguished grammarians and orthoëpists of our day, Professor Latham, of King's College, Cambridge, in England, and Professor Fowler, of Amherst, Massachusetts.
TABLE OF THE ELEMENTARY SOUNDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
" " note, boat, &o.
" 00 “ fool, cool, &o. e“ met, bed, &c. 12. " 2“ but, tub, &o.
VOWEL OR CONSONANT SOUNDS. 13. That of w in woe.
14. That of y in yes.
CONSONANT SOUNDS. 15. That of h in hot, an aspirate or simple breathing.
ng “ king, a nasal consonant sound.
m “ man, a liquid nasal consonant sound. 18. " " " not, " " " 19. " I " let, a liquid consonant sound.
q" run «
COGNATE CONSONANT SOUNDS. 21. That of p in pan, ) aspirate. 29. That of k in kind, 2 aspirate 22. « b « bag, ) vocal. 30. “ g“ gun, S vocal. 23. “ f“ fan, , aspirate. 31. « s« sin, aspirate. 24. " v " van, vocal. 32. " Z " zeal, 3 vocal. 25. “ th “ thin, ) aspirate. 33. “ sh “ shine, ) aspirate. 26. " th “ thine, 3 vocal. 34. " z “azure, S vocal 27. “ “ tin, , aspirate. 28. « d« din, 3 vocal.
21. Here ends the list of the simple, single, elementary sounds in the English language. But besides these there are six compound sounds. Or these, four are compounded by means of a vowel, and two hy means of a consonant.
COMPOUND VOWEL SOUNDS.
COMPOUND CONSONANT SOUNDS.
REDUNDANT LETTERS. 22. As far as the representation of sounds is concerned, the letters c. q and x, are redundant (more than enough). C expresses only what is as well expressed by either s or k. The words city and can are pronounced sity and kon respectively. Q is only kw (or cw), and x is only ks (or cs). The words queen and box are pronounced cween (or kween) and boks (or bocks, or bocs) respectively. In the words Philip and fillip a single sound has a double sign.
DEFICIENT LETTERS. 23. Six of the simple, elementary sounds have no sign or letter corresponding to them in the English alphabet. These six sounds are, — 1. The u in but. This is expressed by the letter u the proper sound of which is to express the vowel sound in words like bull. 2. The th in thin. 3. The th in thine. 4. The sound of the sh in shine. 5. The sound of , in azure. 6. The sound of the ng in king.
QUESTIONS.-11. What are the Vowels ? 12. What do you understand by Cognate Consonant Sounds ? the Aspirate letter? the Liquids ? the redundant signs ? 13, 14. What other classifications are there of Consonant Sounds? 15. What is a Diphthong? Name the distinction between a proper and improper diphthong. What is a Triphthong? 16. What is a Letter ? 17. What is the peculiarity of Consonant Sounds ? Why are they so called ? Why are Vowels so called ? 18. Name the distinction. 19. What is meant by explosive Consonant Sounds? What by continuous ? 20. How are elementary sounds classified ? 21. Name the Compound Vowel Sounds. The Compound Consonant Sounds. 22. What do you understand by the word redundant? What are the redundant letters of the English Alphabet ? 23. What the deficient ?
LESSON III. RELATIONS OF TIIE VOWEL LETTERS TO THE ELEMENTARY SOUNDS,
24. A.— It has been seen that a represents four elementary sounds : 1. The ancient or Italian sound, as in father. 2. The short sound, as in mắt. 3. The long sound, as in mate. 4. The broad sound, as in full. These sounds are variously modified, according to their combinations with other sounds; as in the following words : liar, care, what, many.
25. The sound of a interchanges with o in salt, wash, &c., where the a has nearly the sound of o in not. It interchanges with the sound usually
represented by short e in many, any, says, &c. The change from a to o takes place most especially before 1, as in wall, call. When the liquid I is followed by another Consonant, the l is generally sunk in the pronunciation, as in falcon, salmon, pronounced faucon, sammon.
26. Æ, an Improper Diphthong, is borrowed from the Latin, in which language it is always long. In English it is used only in words of Latin origin or formation ; and it is sometimes long, as in păan, and sometimes short, as in cătěra.
27. Ai, an Improper Diphthong, is equivalent to long a, as in pail; to short a, in plaid, raillery ; and sometimes to short e, as in said, again, against. It has the sound of long i in aisle, and of short i in fountain, curtain, &c.
28. Au, an Improper Diphthong, is equivalent to broad a in cause, and sometimes to the Italian a, as in aunt, and to long a in gauge. In hautboy (the t mute) it has the sound of long o. Aw, an Improper Diphthong, has the sound of broad a, as in maw. Ay, a Proper Diphthong in the word ay, is elsewhere an Improper Diphthong, and is equivalent to long a as in day, except in quay, which is pronounced ke.
29. E.- E represents two elementary sounds, the Fifth and the Sixth. 1. The long sound, as in mēte. 2. The short sound, as in mēt. It has an obtuse sound in her. It is sometimes equivalent to long a, as in there, where ; but were is properly pronounced wer (the e as in her). E is sometimes equivalent to short i, as in England.
30. Before an unaccented final syllable, when it precedes 1 or n, e sometimes has an indistinct, short sound, and is sometimes suppressed altogether. It is sounded in chapel, flannel, travel, chicken, vessel, kitchen, sudden, woollen, &c.; and it is suppressed in drivel, gravel, heaven, &c. At the end of words it is always mute, except in monosyllables which have no other vowels, and in some proper names, as Tempë, Lethë, &c.
31. The sound of e is generally suppressed in the preterites of verbs, and in participles, in ed, when the e is not preceded by d or t; as feared, praised, tossed, &c., pronounced feard, praisd, tost. In poetry, the sound of the e is sometimes retained ; and to signify this, it may have over it the mark of the Dia'risis (a Greek word, meaning division or separation), as in praised, blessed, which when thus marked ought to be pronounced as words of two syllables. The acute or grave accent is sometimes used for the same purpose.
32. Ea, an Improper Diphthong, is equivalent to long e, as in tea; to short e, as in head ; to long a, as in break; to the Italian a, as in heart, hearth, &c. Ee, an Improper Diphthong, is equivalent to long e, as in vel. Ei, an Improper Diphthong, is equivalent to long a, as in veil; to long e, as in deceit ; to long i, as in height; to short i, as in surfeit; and to short e, as in heifer.
33. Eo, an Improper Diphthong, is equivalent to long e, as in people ; to short e, as in leopard , to long 0, as in yeoman ; and to short o, as in George. Eu and ew (except, according to Walker, when preceded by r) have the diphthongal sound of u, as in feud, dew. In sew, shew, and strew, ew sounds like long o.
34. Ey has the sound of long a, as in eyry. In key it has the sound of long e; and, when unaccented, it has the slight sound of e, as in gal. ley, valley. Eye is equivalent to i. Eau has the sound of long o, as in beau ; in beauty and its compounds, it has the sound of long u.
35. I.— I represents two sounds : 1. The diphthongal, sometimes called the long sound, as in pine. 2. The Seventh elementary sound, called the short sound, as in pit. Before r this is equivalent to short u, as in thirst. It is sometimes equivalent to long e, as in machine.
36. I, unaccented, readily blends with the succeeding Vowel, as in motion, physician, concession. le, an Improper Diphthong, is equivalent to long i, as in die ; to long e, as in fiend ; to short i, as in sieve ; and to short e, as in friend. In terminations, like twentieth, in fiery, in Orient, the Vowels should be separated in the pronunciation ; also in variëgate. Ieu and iew, Triphthongs, have the sound of long u, as in lieu, review.
37. 0.- 0 represents two elementary sounds, namely, the Eighth and the Ninth : 1. The long, as in note. 2. The short, as in not. O is sometimes equivalent to oo, as in prove, and to u short, as in love, and to broad a, as in lord, and to short i in women, and to the u in full, as in wolf. When long, oo represents the Eleventh elementary sound.
38. Oa, an Improper Diphthong, is sometimes equivalent to long o, as in coal, boat, coat, soap, &c.; or to broad a, as in broad. Oe, an Improper Diphthong, is equivalent sometimes to long 0, as in foe, or to oo, as in canoe, or to long e, as in fætus. Oi is a Proper Diphthong, and equivalent to oy, except in tortoise, pronounced tor'tiz, choir, pronounced kwir.
39. Ou is a Proper Diphthong. It is the most irregular in the language. It has the sound of short u in enough, country, flourish, &c.; the sound of oo in soup, group, tournament, uncouth, &c.; the sound of long o in though, soul, court, source, pour, &c.; the sound of short aw in cough, trough, &c.; the sound of broad a in ought, thought, &c.
40. U.- U represents three sounds : 1. The long or diphthongal, as in cube, mule, dupe, fume, student, due, stupid, constitution, resolution, &c. 2. The Tenth elementary sound, as in bull. 3. The Twelfth elementary sound, as in but. It is also equivalent to short i in busy, and to short e in bury. After r, long u has the sound of o in move ; as rule.
41. Ua, an Improper Diphthong, is equivalent to the Italian a in guard; to short a, as in guarantee ; to long a, or wa, in persuade. Ve is equivalent to long u, as in hue ; to short e, as in guest ; and is sometimes mute, as in league, antique, demagogue.
42. Vi, an Improper Diphthong, has the sound of long i, as in guide ; of short i, as in conduit ; of long u, as in juice. Uy, an Improper Diphthong, is equivalent to long i, as in buy.
43 W.- W, from being partly a Vowel and partly a Consonant in its