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1. An elementary sound is one of the pure and uncompounded sounds to which vocal language is reducible.
2. The alphabet is divided into vocals, sub-vocals, and aspirates.
3. The vocals are letters whose elementary sounds can be perfectly articulated.
4. The sub-vocals are letters whose elementary sounds cannot be so fully articulated as the vocals.
5. The aspirates are letters whose elementary sounds are formed by propelling the breath more or less forcibly between the teeth and lips.
The elementary sounds which the different letters represent, are considered, by most elocutionists, to be forty in number, and are indicated by the following characters, as given in Webster's Dictionary.
1. A horizontal mark ( ̄) over a, e, i, o, and u, denotes their long sound, as heard in the words ale, eat, īce, ōde, sūe.
2. When no character is placed over the above letters, they have the short sound, as heard in the words mat, met, pin, not, but.
3. Two points (") over a, denote its flat or Italian sound, as heard in the word fär.
4. Two points (..) under a, denote its broad sound, as heard in the word ball.
5. Two points (") over o, denote its middle sound, as heard in the word möve.
6. Two points (..) under u, denote its middle sound, as heard in the word full.
7. One point (.) under a, denotes that it has the sound of short o, as heard in the word what.
QUESTIONS. What is an elementary sound? How is the alphabet divided? What are vocals? What are sub-vocals? What are aspirates? What is the number of the elementary sounds? What does a horizontal mark over a, e, etc., denote? What sound have these letters when there is no mark over them? What do two points over a denote? What do two points under a denote? What do two points over o denote? What do two points under denote? does a point under
8. A curving mark (~) over e, i, and o, denotes that they have the sound of short u, as heard in the words her, sir, love.
9. A horizontal mark (__) under e, denotes that it has the sound of long a, as heard in the word prey.
10. Two points (") over i, denote that it has the sound of long e, as heard in the word marïne.
11. One point (.) under o, denotes that it has the sound of middle u, as heard in the word wolf.
12. A horizontal mark (-) drawn through c, denotes that it has the sound of k, as heard in the word eap.
13. A point (*) over g, denotes that it has the sound of j, as heard in the word gem.
14. Th, printed in capitals, denotes that it is a sub-vocal, or has the flat sound, as heard in the word THIS.
15. Th, when unmarked, is an aspirate, or has the sharp sound, as heard in the word thin.
16. Ch, with an irregular mark (~) over the c, has the sound of sh, as heard in the word chaise.
17. Ch, when unmarked, is an aspirate, or has the sound as heard in the word much.
18. S, printed in italic, denotes that it is a sub-vocal, or has the sound as heard in the word his.
19. Two accents after e or i, and before ci and ti, denote that the preceding syllable ends with the sound of sh, as heard in the word pre"cious.
QUESTIONS. What does a curving mark over e, i, and o, denote? What does a horizontal mark under e denote? What do two points over i denote? What does a point under o denote? What does a horizontal mark drawn through e denote? What does a point over g denote? What does th, printed in capitals, denote? What sound has th when unmarked? What sound has ch when an irregular mark is over the c? Ch when unmarked? Sin italic? What do two accents after e and i, and before ci and ti, denote?
RULE 1. A clear and distinct articulation should be given to the elementary sounds employed in vocal utterance.
It is important to remark, in this connection, that elementary sounds differ from each other in two respects; namely, Quality, and Quantity.
By Quality is here meant, the nature or kind of sound; and by Quantity, its time or length.
It should also be observed, that an elementary sound always remains the same in quality, while its quantity may be either long or short; thus, the element of a, in the words wall and wasp, is the same in quality, and differs only in quantity; but in some other examples, as in the words mate and mat, it differs both in quality and quantity, thus constituting two distinct elements. The same is true, to a greater or less extent, in relation to other elements.
The following table is designed to present the divisions of the alphabet into vocals, sub-vocals, and aspirates; and also to afford the pupil an intelligible and interesting exercise, in articulating the elementary sounds which the letters severally represent. This exercise should be attended to with much care, and often repeated, till every member of the class can articulate each element, and analyze and give the different elements of any word correctly, on hearing it pronounced.
QUESTIONS. What is the first rule respecting elementary sounds? How do the elementary sounds differ from each other? What is here meant by quality and quantity? Does an element sometimes differ in quantity and not in quality? Give an example. When the elements of the same letter differ both in quality and quantity, what do they constitute? Give an example. What is the design of the table of elementary sounds?
1. Table of Elementary Sounds.
NOTE. The exercise on this table may be conducted by requiring the class, either individually or in concert, first to pronounce the word containing the element, and then the element by itself, varying the intensity of the voice as the teacher may think proper; thus, ale, ā, arm, ä, all, a, etc.
QUESTIONS. What directions are given for studying the table of elementary sounds? How many vocal elements are there? What letters represent them? How many sub-vocal elements are there? What letters represent them? How many aspirate elements are there? What letters represent them? How many elements has the letter a? Give them. How many the letter e, etc.? Repeat all the elements in their order; thus, a, a, a, etc. Combine each sub-vocal and aspirate with all the vocal elements; thus bã, ba, ba, etc. Reverse the order of the elements; thus, āb, äb, ab, etc.
Combinations of Elementary Sounds.
RULE 2. When the letters representing the elements of the language are combined, they must have the same sounds as when they are articulated separately.
To this rule there are some exceptions; for letters in combination oftentimes are not sounded at all; and sometimes a single letter, or two or more letters, are used to represent the elementary sound of some other letter; while in other cases, they are slightly modified by the letters with which they are closely connected. A knowledge of the correct pronunciation of words, as taught in dictionaries and by correct speakers, will enable the learner to detect these exceptions, and vary his articulation in such a manner as to conform to them.
2. Table of Elementary Combinations.
NOTE. In this table, each vocal element is combined in words with all the sub-vocals and aspirates with which it is known to combine in the language. The class may be required to pronounce these combinations with an explosive and forcible utterance, both individually and in concert, until the italicized letters can be perfectly articulated.
1st. The sound of a long; as in bate, date, fate, gate, hate, jane, kale, lade, mate, nape, pate, rate, sate, tame, vane, wave, yate, gaze, chain, thane, lathe, shape, whale.
2d. ä flat or Italian; as in bar, dark, far, garb, hark, jar, car, lark, mar, nard, par, raft, salve, tar, vast, waft, yarn, ezar, char, lath, father, sharp.*
QUESTIONS. What is rule second, respecting the combinations of the elementary sounds? What exceptions to this rule? How may they be known? How are the Vocal elements combined in table second? What direction is given for studying this table? What combinations are given in the first example? Pronounce the words. Pronounce the combinations in italics. What combinations are given in the second example? Pronounce the words. Pronounce the combinations in italics, etc.
• Worcester regards the sound of a, in the words raft, vast, waft, lath, interme diate between that of a in fat, and a in far.