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there are necessarily some words touched lightly, they are compelled to be distinct in different degrees of force and time.
In general, the consonants which are erroneously pronounced are d, t, s, sh, th, ng, r, l, h, v, and w. Several of the defects here noticed are peculiar to certain provinces, a circumstance which proves that they are not the result of any malconformation of the organs of speech. "I dare boldly affirm," says Mr Sheridan, "that of the multitude of instances which offer of a vitiated articulation, there is not one in a thousand which proceeds from any natural defect or impediment. Of this point I had many proofs in the school where I received my first rudiments of learning, and where the master made pronunciation a chief object of his attention; in which I never knew a single instance of his failing to cure such boys as came to him with any defects of that kind, though there were numbers who lisped or stuttered to a great degree on their first entrance into the school, or who were utterly unable to pronounce some letters, and others very indistinctly." D and are more liable to be mispronounced before the first u than before the other vowels. The generality will apply the tongue properly at d or t before a, e, i, or o; but before u, many, instead of turning the tongue sufficiently back, and applying its tip to the top of the gum, lay it along the gum, and nearly articulate ju or chu; thus dues is frequently sounded as if it were jews, and tune as if it were chune. In giving the peculiarities of Scotch and Irish pronunciation, Walker notices that the natives of Scotland and Ireland give the d correctly in loud, but that in louder they protrude the tongue to the teeth, giving a thick sound like dth. This may be corrected by turning the tongue back to the position of d in the word day. This thickness of d, and also of t, is sometimes owing to a natural defect in the tongue. The terminational d or t are very frequently inarticulate, the d in and, and the t in subject, being often sunk altogether; thus, men and women, friends and enemies, are sounded men an women, &c. The same want of nicety in the management of the tongue produces the sound th instead of s-thus, thame for same. Now, there is no doubt that the tongue in some is less active and wieldable than in others; but let the pupils have frequent exercise when young, and it may acquire more capability. Let the master in this failure of the t show the protrusion of his own tongue behind the teeth in th, and then suddenly withdraw the tongue from the teeth, as is done in sounding s, and the boy will have got a principle which may lead him to exercise himself until he has mastered the difficulty. The two sounds of th are a good deal confounded; thus we hear with and thither with the same sound as in thump. In many places, the termination ths is almost invariably mispronounced. It is remarkable that our Saxon forefathers had two distinct letters for these sounds. In the first of these sounds, as in thee, there is audible voice, in the second, the whispering voice. The letter r, another of the linguals, is with many a formidable difficulty. It is generally the last letter pronounced by children, who, in their attempts to master it, sound, and some
times when they cannot master the 1, produce the sound to oo; thus 7 is frequently sounded aoo. This want of vibratory power demands that the tongue should be often vexed with exercises on this sound, both by itself and in combination. The fact, that whole provinces are deficient in this sound, only demonstrates that it can be removed by practice and example, unless it can be proved, that, in the tongues of the people of these provinces, there is an inherent defect-a thing manifestly absurd. There are two sounds of this letter, the strong vibratory r heard at the beginning of words and of syllables, as in rage, eruption, and the smooth r, which is heard at the termination of words, or when it is succeeded by a consonant. "The first," says Walker, "is formed by jarring the tongue against the roof of the mouth, near the fore teeth, and the second by a vibration of the lower part of the tongue near the root, against the inward region of the palate. In Ireland, the r before the final consonant, as in card, is pronounced with the force of the commencing r, accompanied by a strong aspiration at the beginning of the letter; whereas in England, and particularly in London, it is entirely sunk, and the word sounds as if written caad." Mr Walker has not noticed the peculiarity of the Scotch in this letter; they frequently give it with more roughness and clearness at the termination than at the beginning thus in term and regard, it is more clearly heard than in Rome and river. But the sound which they give at the commencement is not the English terminational sound; it is a negligent and imperfect quivering of the first English r. This imperfect sound of the r is more particularly observed after t or d, as in trade, dread-after b, c, f, g, &c. it is given much more distinctly. The failure after the t and d is to be partly ascribed to the wrong position of the tongue in these letters, which, instead of lying along the inner gum, as was mentioned of these letters before u, should be turned back with the tip applied to the top of the gum. But this mispronunciation of the r after these letters is common over the whole island. In such words as thorn, worm, many of the Scots sound the rn as if they formed a separate syllable; thus, thoren,
Children, from indolence or inattention, instead of quivering the tip of the tongue in this letter, give it a burring sound by quivering the epiglottis. In looking into the mouth of these children on desiring them to sound r, the tongue is seen thrust behind the lower teeth; by causing them to bring up the tongue, balancing it in the mouth, and then breathing strongly, they will frequently at once give the true sound of the letter. I have seen a habit of years' standing cured in one minute by this simple means. The difficulty afterwards lies in teaching the terminational r, which they will for a time give with the old sound; in such cases, I would permit them to use the first r, though it is harsh, and break it down gradually, by keeping at times wholly on the vowel.*
*The consonant r between a vowel and a final e has a modifying power, differ ing from the rest of the consonants; thus fair is pronounced faer; here, heer; ire, ier; ore, oer; pure, puer.-Wright. This is not noticed by Walker.
The termination ng is sounded in several districts in England with the g as in egg; in many parts of the island it is sounded like n, thus musing is sounded musin. In the words strength, length, the nasal sound is frequently omitted. This defect is easily remedied; the tremulous motion felt in the nose when the sound is given, will soon lead the pupil to the formation of the sound. Vis often pronounced by the inhabitants of London and many foreigners for w, and w for v. This may be cured, as Mr Walker directs, by the pupil selecting from a dictionary not only all the words that begin with v, but as many as he can of those that have this letter in any other part. Let him be told to bite his under lip while he is sounding the v in those words, and to practise this every day till he pronounces the v properly at first sight; then, and not till then, let him pursue the same method with the w, which he must be directed to pronounce by a pouting out of the lips without suffering them to touch the teeth. Many of the inhabitants of the metropolis, also, omit the h when it should be sounded, and sound it in those words where it should be silent, and even where it is not seen. The easiest way of remedying this, is to exhibit at once all those words in which the h is silent heir, heiress, herb, herbage, honest, honesty, honestly, honour, honourable, honourably, hospital. hostler, hour, hourly, humble, humbly, humbles, humour, humorist, humorously, humorsome. Another peculiarity of the Londoners is the suppression of the aspirate in such words as while, what, where, pronounced wile, wat, were; this may be remedied by exhibiting the analysis of the sound to the eye,-thus, hooile, hooat, hovere. They may also be guarded against, adding the sound of r to the terminations ow and a; thus, fellow is fellor, and idea, ide-ar.
THE EFFECT OF ACCENT ON ARTICULATION.
We have hitherto considered the articulation of single letters, and of letters combined in one syllable. Articulation, also, regu lates the proportionate force of syllables in a word. The accented syllable of a word is generally given with more precise articulation, and with more exactness in regard to the quality of sound, than the unaccented. Hence, in the beginning of a course of elocution, it is necessary that a minute attention be paid to the producing of the exact sounds on the unaccented syllables; and though this may be censured by many as affected and theatrical, it must for a time be encouraged. Most persons will give the sound of a in accessory distinctly and purely, as the accent is on it; but if the accent is on the second syllable of a word beginning in the same way, as in accord, the greater number of people would give the ac an obscure sound something like uccord. The same remark holds with regard to the initial ab, ad, af, ag, al, am, an, ar, ap, as, at, av, az con, col, &c. e, de, re, i, in, o, ob, op, &c.; thus, the o in omen, the e in exact, will be sounded correctly by most people; but in opinion, proceed, and emit, as the accent is shifted, these vowels would be generally sounded upinion, pruceed, and imit. On the same principle, the second o in nobody is not sounded like the o in body, as it
should be, and the a in circumstances is different from the a in circumstantial, the former words being sounded nobody, circumstances. The terminational syllables ment, ness, tion, ly, ture, our, ous, en, en, el, in, &c. are also generally given impurely, the attention being directed principally to the previous accented syllable; thus, compliments sounds complimints, nation, nashn, only, onlé (the e as in met), nature, natchur, valour, valer, famous, fames, novel, novl, chicken, chickn, Latin, Latn. Sometimes the concluding consonant is almost lost in the unaccented syllable, while it is preserved in the accented; thus, in the noun subject, the t is scarcely sounded by many who would sound it in the verb to subject. În d and final, the articulation is not completed until the tongue come off from the roof of the mouth. Distinctness is gained by this attention to the quality of unaccented vowels, and to the clear and precise utterance of the consonants in unaccented syllables; care must be taken, however, that the pupil do not enunciate too slowly. The motions of the organs must frequently be rapid in their changes, that the due proportions of syllables may be preserved. The French, in speaking English, pronounce their terminational sounds too long, and do not give the accented syllable so prominently as the English.
EFFECT OF EMPHASIS ON ARTICULATION.
As emphasis is to a sentence what accent is to words, the remarks which have been made on accented and unaccented syllables apply to words emphatic and unemphatic. The unemphatic words are also apt to become inarticulate from the weak force which is put upon them, and the vowel-sounds as in can, as, and the consonant din and, &c. are changed or lost. In certain words, such as my, mine, thy, thine, you, your, the unemphatic pronunciation is different from the emphatic, being sounded me, min, the, thin, ye, yur, as, this is min own; this is yur own. This pronunciation is avoided in solemn reading, in which the words are sounded in the same way in which they are pronounced when single.
The practice at school of allowing boys to repeat their exercises with precipitancy, is one of the principal causes of indistinct pronunciation. Syllables and words run into each other, letters are dropped, and the tongue seems impelled onwards without even the volition of the speaker. In some schools, where a considerable degree of attention is paid to distinct articulation in the reading lesson, there is a carelessness regarding it in other exercises; thus, parsing, or construing, is generally given rapidly and carelessly. This, together with the inattention to distinctness in common discourse, is the cause that many read well, and yet speak indifferently. The object of the foregoing remarks is to lay the foundation of a distinct utterance, and to establish certain sounds, by an attention to their organic formation. When these sounds are fixed, the pupil is enabled to profit by the pronouncing dictionary, where the ap plication of these sounds is pointed out.
II. INFLEXION AND MODULATION.
About the end of the last century, it was surmised that the human voice had an upward and downward slide or inflexion. Mr Walker has the merit of showing the application of these slides in certain constructions, and their intimate connection with emphasis. Before his time, a speaker might be led by the ear to make use of these slides occasionally, and even to give to the emphatic words those inflexions which should accompany them; but he could not place them so surely and effectively as now, when they are ascertained by a certain construction. His analysis of the voice, which established not only the existence of slides, but of those unions of the slides on one syllable, called circumflexes, is also useful to persons in the provinces, as it leads them to detect the peculiarities of their own tone, as it is commonly called. A knowledge of the construc tions which regulate the inflexions will be easily acquired by the perusal of the following rules. In the meantime, it may be remarked, generally, that the rising slide takes place on that part of a sentence when the meaning begins to be formed, and that the fall. ing slide is used when the sense is formed. Thus, in the sentence, "As trees and plants necessarily arise from seeds, so are you, Antony, the seed of this most calamitous war," the voice slides up at the end of the first clause, as the sense is not perfected, and slides down at the completion of the sense at the end of the sentence. The lowering of the voice at the conclusion of the sentence was nothing new, but a knowledge of the mode of the fall (by a slide) was a discovery. That the rising slide in the sentence given for an example is in accordance with nature, appears quite evident; it raises expectancy in the mind of the hearer, the ear remaining unsatisfied without a cadence.
Before the pupil commences to study the rules of inflexion, it is absolutely necessary that he understand distinctly the nature of the slides, and be able to inflect with ease, and in a full and sonorous voice. Many who instruct themselves are apt, when they see the mark of the rising inflexion on a word, to pronounce that word with loudness merely; and when they see the falling mark on a word, to give that word in a weak voice. Now, one may slide the voice to a great height, and yet not speak in a loud tone; and to a great depth, and not speak in a weak or soft tone. It is as well, in the first attempts in inflexion, to give it, whether rising or falling, in a loud tone; but care must be taken that the slide of the voice take place. If the pupil is apt to imagine, from a deficiency of tune, that he rises when he speaks loud, then his inflexions ought to be given with great softness. When there is a tardiness, as in such cases, in apprehending the inflexion, the pupil may find it more readily in expressions of surprise, where it is more marked and produced, than in any other situation, as is heard in the word indeed when any thing very remarkable is mentioned. A violin may
be made to inflect by sliding the finger up or down the same string, while the bow is drawn across. This will explain to those who