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nounced as if written, sing-e-lar, reg-e-lar, and partick. e-lar. Nothing tends to vulgarize pronunciation more than this short sound of the unaccented u. Those who wish to pronounce with elegance, must be particularly attentive to the unaccented vowels, as their correct pronunciation forms one of the great beauties of reading or speaking.
The other vowels when unaccented, are liable to nearly the same indistinciness as the u. The first e in event, the first o in opinion, and the i in insensible, terrible,are apt to go into a sound approaching the short u,
as if written uvent, upinion, sensubble, terruble, while · proper pronunciation requires these vowels to be heard distinctly as when' under the accent.
The e in event, should be pronounced as the e in equal, the o in opinion, as that in open, the i in the unaccented termination, ible, ity, and at the end of other syllables not under the accent, ought to have the sound of e, and this sound to be preserved distinct and pure as if wrillen sen-se-ble, ter-re-ble, de-ver-sety, u-ne-versety.
Wavering pronunciation of Vowels under the secon
dary accent. The secondary accent, is the laying a stress on another syllable independently of that which has the chief accent upon it, in order to enable us to pronounce every part of the word distinctly, forcibly, and harmoniously. This accent is on the first syllable of conversation, commendation, the principal accent being on the third syl. lable. The liquid sound of k, c or g hard before the Vowels
a and i. There is a liquid sound of these consonants before the vowels a and i, which gives a smooth and euphonious sound to the words in which they occur, and which distinguishes polite from vulgar pronunciation.
This pronunciation is as if the a and i were preceded by e. Thus, kind is sounded as if written ke-ind, card
as ke-ard, and regard as regeard. The words which require this liquid sound in the k, c and hard, are sky, kind, guide, gird, girt, girl, guise, guile; card, cart, carp, carpenter, carpet, carve, carbuncle, carnal, car. tridge, guard and regard: these and their compounds are perhaps the only words where this sound occurs, but these words are in such continual use as to distinguish the correct from the incorrect speaker.
Polite speakers pronounce educate as if written ed-ucate, virtue as verchew, verdure as ver-dure, Indian as Indean, odious as odeous, and insidious as insideous.
The suppressing the sound of the final consonants, is & GREAT ERROR IN READING OR SPEAKING.
The word and is frequently pronounced like the article an, both before a vowel and a consonant, as “ Both men and money are wanting to carry on the war," we hear pronounced as if written, both men an money are wanting to carry on the war. It is even worse when fol. lowed by a vowel, particularly the vowel a, followed by n. We often hear, “ a subject is carried on by question and answer," as if written, a subject is carried on by question an answer, and, “ he made his meal of an apple and an egg,” as if written, he made his meal of an apple an an egg. The best method is to sound the d al. ways in and. The sound of f, when final, is liable to the same suppression when a consonant begins the succeeding word, particularly the th. We frequently hear “the want of men is occasioned by the want of money," pronounced, the want o' mèn is occasioned by the want o' money, and “I spoke of the man who told me of the woman you mentioned,” as if written, I spoke o' the man who told me o' the woman you mentioned.
The sounding of the letter R. The letter R has two sounds, the rough or rolling, and the soft or smooth sound.
The rough r is formed by jarring the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth, near to the fore teeth; the smooth r is a vibration of the lower part of the longue
near the root, against the inward region of the palate, as close to each other as possible without coming in conlact.
The first r is proper at the beginning, and the second in the middle or at the end of words. The r in bar, bard, card, and regard, is pronounced so much in the throat as to be little more than the Italian a in father. We may give full force to this letter at the beginning of a word, without producing any harshness to the ear, thus Rome, river, rage, may have the full forcible sound of r, but bar, bard, card and regard, should be pronounced as above mentioned, soft as possible.
Pronouncing S indistinctly after St. The letter S, after St, from the difficulty of its pro. nunciation, is often sounded indistinctly. This is to be avoided by letting the t be heard distinctly between the two hissing letters. For the acquisition of this sound, it will be proper to select nouns which end in st, or ste, form them into plurals and pronounce them forcibly and distinctly until the bad habit be thrown off. The same may be observed of the third person of verbs, ending in sts or stes, as persists, wastes, pastes.
Not sounding the H where it ought to be sounded, and the
reverse. The Cocknies generally say art for heart, and harm for arm. This is a vice similar to pronouncing the V for the W, and the W for the y, and requires a like method of correction. See head Pronunciation of this essay.
In the following words the H is silent: heir, heiress, herb, herbage, honest, honesty, honestly, honor, honorable, honorably, hostler, hour, hourly, humble, humbly, humblest, humor, humorist, humorously, humorsome. The H should have its full sound in the word hospital.
The author differs from one of our most distinguish. ed orthoepists as to the pronunciation of the words for, from, and by. These words should always have their single and full sounds. Mr. Walker holds that we may say, “I delivered him frum the danger he was in.” It should be, I delivered him from, as if pronounced fraum the danger he was in. He says, “I wrote to a friend fur his advice.” It should be pronounced as if written faur his advice. He also asserts that we may say, “He died be his own hands, or he died by his own hands." This word should never be pronounced otherwise than as if written buy.
Examples in proof. "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrec. tion of the dead.”
How could we reconcile our ears to« For since be man came death, be man came also the resurrection of the dead."
Although the author frequently differs from Mr. Walker's pronunciation, yet he considers his dictionary as the best authority for the pronunciation of our language.
The writer would be wanting in justice to the memory of a great and good man, were he to remain silent in a book like this, upon the subject of his stupendous work.
Noah Webster has bequeathed to his country and to posterity, a mighty and imperishable monument of his herculean labors, of his untiring industry, and of his extensive learning.
Mr. Webster's Dictionary is unquestionably the best in the English language, but like that of Doctor Samuel Johnson, it is not an authority for pronunciation.
Observations on the Pronunciation of certain words, free
· quently mistaken in Reading and Speaking.
The particular termination ed, should never be pronounced as a distinct syllable, unless preceded by dort, cxcept in the language of scripture. One distinction seems to be admitted between some adjectives and
participles, which is pronouncing the ed in an additional syllable in the former, and sinking it in the latter. Thus when learned, cursed, blessed, and winged, are adjectives, the ed is invariably pronounced as a distinct syllable, but when participles, as learn'd; curs'd, bless'd, and wing’d, the ed does not form a distinct syl. lable. Poetry assumes the privilege of using these adjectives either way, but correct prose rigidly exacts the pronunciation of ed in these words, when adjectives, as a distinct syllable. The cd in aged always forms a distinct syllable, as “an aged man,” but when this word is compounded with another, the ed does not form a distinct syllable, as "a full ag'd horse.”
When adjectives are changed into adverbs, by the addition of the termination ly, we often find the participle ed preserved long and distinct; even in those very words where it was contracted, when used adjectively. Thus thongh we always hear confess'd, profess'd, design’d, &c., &c., we as constantly hear confessedly, professedly, designedly. The same may be observed of the only words in the language, in which ihe ed is pronounced as a distinct syllable in the adverb, where it is contracted in the participial adjective. Forcedly, enforcedly, unveiledly, deformedly, feignedly, unfeignedly, designedly, resignedly, restrainedly, refinedly, unconcernedly, undiscernedly, preparedly, assuredly, advisedly, composedly, dispersedly, diffusedly, confusedly, un perceivedly, resolved. ly, deservedly, undeservedly, reservedly, unreservedly, avowedly, perplexedly, fixedly, amazedly, forkedly.
When you is to be pronounced like ye, and my like me.
You and my, when they are contradistinguished from other pronouns, consequently emphatical, are always pronounced with their full open sound, you, my. When they are subordinate words in a sentence, and are not emphatic, they are pronounced ye and me. Example “ You told him all the truth," Here the word you is a nominalive case, and consequently must be pronounced full, so as to rhyme with new. Again, “He told you