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Articulation consists in a correct and distinct enun. ciation of the elementary sounds of the language. It will be found almost impossible to overestimate the value of a good articulation, and no pains should be spared by the student to perfect himself in this branch of the art. Though nowhere else will practice be found so dry and uninteresting, yet the results of a rigorous application will well repay
the learner for the tediousness of the drill, and a proper enthusiasm will make even this pleasant and agreeable. Great care and patience are here required, but a fine voice and a perfect enunciation will be their own reward.
A dignified presence commands respect; so does a ✓ refined articulation. The man or woman of culture is soonest recognized by the voice and manner.
No display of silks and diamonds can compensate for the absence of a pure tone and a pleasing articulation. This will not come of itself; it requires continued, repeated drill day after day until a correct habit is formed ; then it becomes second nature.
The Organs of Articulation are the tongue, lips, palate and teeth, forming the Lingual, Labial, Palatal and Dental sounds respectively. These organs, like valves, act either singly or together upon the stream of breath issuing from the larynx, and mould sound into speech. The mouth cavity and nasal cavity assist in modifying the tone of voice, giving it character and resonance.
Sounds of the voice are divided into three classes, viz., Vocal, Aspirate and Combined. Those which are not interrupted by the articulate organs are of the first class. These are the vowel sounds. They may be whispered, yet their characteristic is vocality. They are produced wholly in the larynx, and vocal culture should give them a chest resonance, deepening their tone and adding to their dignity and character.
Those of the second class, Aspirate Sounds, have no tone or vocality-they consist of breath only, modified
by the organs of articulation. His a pure aspirate, it being an uninterrupted flow of breath. F is an impure aspirate, labio-dental, because it is breath acted upon by the teeth and lips.
The third class, Combined Sounds, consist of tone modified by the organs of articulation, as the sound of b in boy, g in go. They differ from the Impure Aspirates in being voice or tone, instead of breath.
Cognates are those sounds which occur in pairs, one vocalized and the other not, but both having the same articulate modification. As breath is the foundation of all voice, let us take the Pure Aspirate h as the simplest sound, though having no tone or vocality. This is made by a single forcibly expelled breath. If the same breath be modified by the lips, it becomes the labial p; if vocalized, the labial b, a cognate of p. If modified by the teeth, we have the dental t, or if vocalized, its dental cognate d. When modified by the palate, we have the palatal cognates k and g. A modification by the tongue gives the lingual l without a cognate. Both tongue and teeth give the labio-dental cognates th (as in thin) and th (as in they). With lips and teeth we obtain the labio-dental cognates fand v. Thus we can examine the formation of every Aspirate and Combined sound, as they all consist of breath or voice, acted on by the organs of articulation.
The Elementary Sounds of the English language are treated in this work as forty-six in number. (See page 21.) Authors differ much in regard to them, many, with Kerl, claiming the number to be forty-three. Shoemaker claims 46; Covell, 41 ; Greene, 40; Comstock, 38; Murray, 37; Brown, 36; Kirkham, 35; Frobisher, 33; Bolles, 29; Sheridan and Jones, 28. This work chooses to consider four vowels Coalescents or Inseparables, viz., a as in air, e as in fern, o as in orb, and u as in urn. It is also believed that h is a sound, though unmodified; that wh should be considered a single aspirate sound, the cognate of w, and not the sound of h followed by that of w. This gives practically forty-six sounds; but theoretically we should consider the following as diphthongal sounds, though they are so closely bound together as to entitle them to rank as single sounds:
TABLE OF DIPHTHONGAL SOUNDS.
Long a = a + long e.
oi = short o + short i.
This arrangement gives us forty theoretical simple sounds. The second sound of long a and o, as above, is called the vanish. It is light and delicate, always heard in graceful pronunciation.
TABLE OF ELEMENTARY SOUNDS. I. VOCAL. 1. Simple.
a. Long: å, ą, ę, 00.
b. Short: å, å, ě, i, o, ů, oo. 2. Diphthongal: , , , ū, oi, ou.
3. Coalescents: à, è, 0, ů. II. ASPIRATES. 1. Pure: h.
Explodents : k, p, t, ch, wh. 2. Impure.
f, s, sh, th.
Continuants : III. COMBINED.
1, m, n, r, v, z, zh, th, ng. Suppressives: b, d, g, j, w, y.
The Trilled “R."-Some diversity of opinion exists in regard to the “trilled R." Like a tasty flourish in penmanship, it often adds much to the rendering of a passage ; but, like the flourish, it may be misplaced. It is borrowed from the Continental languages, and, though foreign, cannot properly be regarded as a mark of affecta. tion. Yet it should be used sparingly, seldom or never in the most serious discourse. In light description and imitative modulation it may be employed, taking care, however, that it is never used unless immediately followed by a vowel sound.
Transition and Repetition.-Practice in articula. tion should be directed specially to those exercises in which transitions or repetitions of the same sound occur, as these will be quite difficult of mastery. See that both sounds are correctly and distinctly given, and that the organs of speech pass rapidly from one to the other.
EXAMPLES IN TRANSITION.
S, sh. This ship.
I shall miss you.
z. sk: } As sure as you go.
EXAMPLES IN REPETITION,
2. Eight great gray geese grazing gaily into Greece.
3. A storm ariseth on the sea. A model vessel is struggling amidst the war of the elements, quivering and shivering, shrinking and battling like a thinking being. The merciless, racking whirlwinds, like frightful fiends, howl and moan, and send sharp, shrill shrieks through the creaking cordage, snapping the sheets and masts. The sturdy sailors stand to their tasks, and weather the severest storm of the season.-Practieal Elocution.
4. He spoke reasonably, philosophically, disinterestedly, and yet particularly, of the unceremoniousness of their communicability, and peremptorily, authoritatively, unhesitatingly declared it to be wholly inexplicable.- Practical Elocution.
5. A day or two ago, during a lull in business, two little bootblacks, one white and one black, were standing at the corners doing nothing, when the white bootblack agreed to black the black bootblack's boots. The black bootblack was of course willing to have his boots blacked by his fellow bootblack, and the bootblack who had agreed to black the black bootblack's boots went to work.
When the bootblack had blacked one of the black bootblack's boots till it shone in a manner that would make any bootblack proud, this bootblack who had agreed to black the black bootblack's boots refused to black the other boot of the black bootblack until the black boot. black, who had consented to have the white bootblack black his boots, should add five cents to the amount the white bootblack had made blacking other men's boots. This the bootblack whose boot had been blacked refused to do, saying it was good enough for a black bootblack to have one boot blacked, and he didn't care whether the boot that the white bootblack hadn't blacked was blacked or not.
This made the bootblack who had blacked the black bootblack's boot as angry as a bootblack often gets, and he vented his black wrath by spitting upon the blacked boot of the black bootblack. This roused the latent passions of the black bootblack, and he proceeded to boot the white bootblack with the boot which the white bootblack had blacked. A fight ensued, in which the white bootblack who had refused to black the unblacked boot of the black bootblack blacked the black bootblack's visionary organ, and in which the black bootblack wore all the blacking off his blacked boots in booting the white bootblack.
Phonetic Spelling.- As literal spelling consists in separating a word into the letters contained in it, phonetic spelling is the process of analyzing it with reference to the sounds of which it is composed. Each letter in a word may or may not represent a sound. Man contains three letters and three sounds; than, four letters and three sounds; plague, six letters and four sounds; cow, three letters and two sounds; though, six letters and two sounds; owe, three letters and one sound. By studying the table of elementary sounds on pages 21 and 22, it can easily be determined which of them unite to form diphthongs; these are considered in phonetic spelling as single elements. To spell phonically, three processes are required, viz. : ist. Pronounce the word correctly and distinctly. 2d. Give its several sounds (not letters) in their order, pronouncing syllables. 3d. Pronounce the word. All silent letters