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near the root, against the inward region of the palate, as close to each other as possible without coming in contact. 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 pronunciation, 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 - 7"everse.
The Cocknies generally say art for heart, and harm for arm. This is a vice similar to pronouncing the W for the W, and the W for the W, 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 distinguished 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 sriend 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 resurrection 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, frequently mistaken in Reading and Speaking.
The particular termination ed, should never be pronounced as a distinct syllable, unless preceded by d ort, 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 syllable. 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 ed 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 though 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 the 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, unperceivedly, resolvedly, 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 nominative case, and consequently must be pronounced full, so as to rhyme with new. Again, “He told you before he told anybody else.” The word you is in the oblique case, or comes after the word denoting action, but as it is emphatical by being contradistinguished from any body else, it preserves its full open sound as before. But in this sentence, “though he told you he had no right to tell you,” here the pronoun you is in the oblique case, or follows the word denoting action, and, having no distinctive emphasis, invariably falls into the sound of ye, .i. written, “though he told ye, he had no right to tell ve.” T. same observations hold good with respect to the pronoun my. If I were to say, “my pen is as bad as my paper,” I should necessarily pronounce my like me, as pen and paper are the emphatic words, but if I were to say my pen is worse than yours, here my is in antithesis with yours, consequently must be pronounced full, so as to rhyme with high, migh, &c. The word your, when emphatic, is always pronounced full and open, as ewer; for example, “the moment I had read your letter, I sat down to write mine,” but when not emphatical, it sinks into yur, as the last syllable of lawyer. Example—“I had just answered your first letter as your last arrived;” on the contrary, if I were to say, I had just answered your first letter as your last arrived, with your sounded like ewer, every correct ear would be offended. Your must always be pronounced yur, when it is used to signify any particular species of persons or things. Example—“Your merchant, your tradesman, your mechanic, and your farmer, are valuable citizens and useful members of society; but your dandy is an animal of the nondescript genus, a mere excrescence upon the face of nature, and useless to all.”
When of for, from and by are to have a long, and when
a short sound.
A distinction seems to have taken place in the pro
nunciation of the preposition of. The consonant of this
word is almost invariably pronounced like the consonant
W, and when the word does not come before some of the 6*
pronouns at the end of a sentence, or member of a sentence, we sometimes permit the vowel o to slide into the sound of the vowel u; and the word may be said to rhyme with love, dove, &c. &c. Thus in the couplet in the tragedy of the Fair Penitent,
“Of all the various wretches love has made,
How few we find by men of sense betray’d.”
The two of in this couplet we see, may, without de
parture from propriety, be pronounced as if written uv, rhyming with dove, &c. &c.; but when it, him, her or them, or any other personal pronoun follows of, either in the middle or at the end of a sentence, it must be pronounced as when rhyming with the first syllable of now-el, how-el.
How to pronounce the possessive pronoun—thy.
If the language be elevated, the word thy, should have its full sound, rhyming, with high, as in Milton's Paradise Lost, Book 1st. \ . “Say first, for heav'n hides nothing from thy view, Nor the deep tract of hell——.” Here pronouncing the pronoun thy, like the word thee, would familiarize the language and destroy the dignity of the subject. On the contrary, if the subject be familiar and void of dignity, the personal pronoun should be pronounced like thee. Example—as if addressing a friend: “Give me thee hand.” -
How to pronounce the adjective possessive pronoun–mine.
This word may be called an adjective, possessive when used before a substantive, as it constantly is in Scripture when the substantive begins with a vowel, as, “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation,” and a substantive possessive, when it stands alone, as “This book is mine.” In Scripture, the i in this word should have its long sound as in the substantive. In authors where dignity and sublimity do not occur, the full sound