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vowels could accurately indicate its sound, e. g. Puy de Dôme, pwe d'dôme,
5. The sound of the French u has no equivalent in English. It may be said to be intermediate between ee and oo; but it can be learned from an oral instructor only. In the present work it is represented by the German ü (or ue).
Obs. U, before n, nasal, has its second English sound nearly, un being pronounced almost úng.
6. Y is similar to the French i. 7. Ai is like è or e open. 8. Au " 6 o. 9. Ei “ " è 10. Eu is similar to the English u in tub, but the sound is more prolonged, nearly resembling u in fur.
Obs. Eu in the different parts of the verb avoir, “to have," always has the sound of simple u.
11. le is like ee in English, or i. 12. Oi usually sounds like wå, e. g. moi is pronounced mwå or mwõh.
Oes. Oi was formerly used in the termination of the French verbs, e.g. avois, avoit, avoient ; also, in the final syllable of a number of adjectives, as Polonois, “ Polish,” and Lyonnois, “belonging to Lyons." The oi in these words,—which are now usually written avais, avait, avaient, Polonais, Lyonnais,-sounds like ai (or è).
13. Ou sounds like oo in English.
15. G, before a, 0, and u, is hard, as in the English word gap; before e, i, and y, it is soft, having the sound of zh, or of s in plea
Gu sounds like g hard; thus, gue', guide, are pronounced ga, gheed.
16. H is never pronounced in French so forcibly as in English. Somo orthoepists say that h has no sound in French.t
17. J sounds like soft g in French, or zh in English.
18. L has usually the same sound as in English ; but when it ends a word, being preceded by i, or when ll follows i, in any situation, it usually has what is called its liquid sound. This may be said to
* C, with a cedilla (g), before a, o, and u, sounds like s; thus, ça, go, ga, are pronounced sa, 30, $u.
+ See Bolmar's Fables-Remark on the letter h, page 4.
answer nearly to the sound of lli in million, the sound of l in such cases being blended with that of y (consonant); e. g. papillon is pronounced på-peel-yor'; CHANTILLY, shån'-teel'-ye', &c. It should, however, be observed that, according to the present practice of the more polite French speakers, the sound of l is scarcely beard at all in such words, 80 that their pronunciation might rather be indicated thus-på-pe'yox'; shản -te-ye'.
19. M and N, when followed by a vowel, or when double, have the samne sound as in English; but when at the end of a word (not immediately followed by another word beginning with a vowel), or when followed by another consonant in the middle of a word, they have what is termed the nasal sound, which resembles that of ng, as in long, pang, &c., but is somewhat softer ;* thus, m and n are nasal in such words as comparer, contente, but have their natural sound in such as commune, connu. Melun, before a consonant, or standing by itself, would be pronounced almost m'lung ; but if followed immediately by a . Fowel, as in the sentence, Melun a six mille habitans, “Melun has six thousand inhabitants," the final n is sounded distinctly like nn: the
pronoun sien, when not followed immediately by a vowel, is pronounced • Dearly se-ing'; but when it takes the feminine termination, the n
being doubled, has the same sound as in English, so that sienne is pronounced se-enn'.
20. M or 1, nasal, when preceded by e, usually causes this vowel to assume the broad sound of a : thus, dents, sens, are pronounced like the French words dans and sans, almost as if written in English, dong and song.
21. In, im, ain, aim, ein, oin, and en preceded immediately by i, when nasal, have a sound nearly resembling that of ang in the English word pang. In such cases in, im, ain, aim, ein, and en, are pronounced alike, ång; the o in oin has the sound of our w, so that loin and soin are pronounced almost lwing, swing.
22. In om and on, nasal, the o is long, as in won't.
Obs. The French nasal sound is represented in the present work by N or m distinguished as a small capital, e.g. CHAUMONT, shoʻ-món'; QUIMPER, kâm-pare'.
23. Q or qu, in French, always sounds like k; e.g. quel is pronounced kel ; qui, kee, &c.
• In uttering this sound, care should be taken not to press the back part of the tongue against the palate, as is done in pronouncing the English ng.
OBS. Q, in French words, (except when terminal, as in coq and cinq,) is always followed by u, though it is sometimes employed without this letter, in writing certain foreign names. Thus Balbi and several other authors, both French and English, write Qené for KENEH; Qoum for Koom, &c. In such cases, q is used to denote a sound like that of k, but somewhat more guttural.
24. R is like the English, but is trilled more strongly, especially when it precedes another consonant, or stands at the end of a word, as in vertu, punir : in similar cases the English r is but very slightly sounded. This sound is indicated by a small capital R.
25. S, when single and between two vowels, sounds like z; in other cases, it is the same as in English.
26. X generally has the same sound as in English, but is sometimes sounded like s; e.g. in six, pronounced seece, and Bruxelles (Brussels), pronounced brü'-sell'; and occasionally like z, as in dixième, de-ze-ame'.
27. Ch is like sh in English:th is like t.
28. Gn (the same as in Italian), has a sound which blends that of n and y (consonant), or in other words is equivalent to the sound of ni in minion. Thus, Avignon is pronounced å-veen -yon'.
Obs. This sound is represented in Spanish by ñ, and bears the same relation to n that the liquid l (1) does to the ordinary l. In Hungarian it is expressed by ny, and in Portuguese by nh.
When it occurs in the middle of a word, we have represented it by n and y, as in the example above given; but when it stands at the end of a word, as it cannot then be expressed by any letter or combination of letters in English, it has been indicated by the Spanish ñ : accordingly the French pronunciation of such names as COLOGNE and BouLOGNE, are thus given-ko'-lon', boo'-loñ'.
SILENT LETTERS. 29. The vowel e at the end of a word, when not marked with an accent, is invariably mute, e. g. in parle, contente,* &c.
30. The French consonants, when occurring at the end of a word are generally not pronounced, unless they are immediately followed by a word beginning with a vowel; e. g. in content, BORDEAUX, and dents. If, however, they are followed by a mute e, or any other vowel, they must always be articulated, e.g. in contente, denté, &c.
* The particles le, ne, and the pronouns je, me, te, &c., are perhaps, strictly speaking, exceptions: but though the e in these words is not always absolutely mute, it is very often so; thus, the sentence rous me trouverez le meme, is pronounced room troov rel mame, the vowel in me and ne being entirely suppressed, and the consonants attached to the preceding words.
OBS. 1. The letters c, f, l, and r, are, when final, very often pronounced; e. g. in avec, neuf, il, and punir.
Obs. 2. The French articulate the final consonants in almost all foreign and classical names; e.g. in AMSTERDAM (m not nasal), Vénus, &c.
REMARKS ON THE FRENCH ACCENT. It may be observed that the French language has no accent in the sense in which we employ this term. The marks called accents, that are placed over the different vowels, serve only to indicate some particular sound of these letters, and not that peculiar impulse of the Foice, which characterizes an accented syllable in the English and most other European tongues. Thus, the accent over the e in parlé serves to show that this vowel has its first French sound, and at the same time distinguishes it from parle, another form of the same verb, in which the e is mute. The circumflex iinparts to the vowels over which it is placed, a longer and deeper sound than ordinary; e. g. in hâte, tempête, gile, and apôtre.
It is commonly said, that the French prononnce all the syllables of a word with an equal stress of voice, but that they seem to an English ear to accentuate the last, because, in our language, the universal tendency is to throw the accent towards the beginning of the word. (See XII. Obs. 2.) Others, on the contrary, maintain that in pronouncing words of a number of syllables, the voico of a native French speaker almost invariably rises and dwells on the last, and that this peculiar terminal intonation is very analogous, and nearly equivalent, to our accent. This last opinion appears to us to be not without a real foundation. But, however the question may be settled, the fact that the English, who have learned the pronunciation of names from hearing them spoken by the French themselves, almost invariably throw the accent on the final syllable, furnishes, in our judgment, sufficient ground for establishing a general rule on this subject. Accordingly, in the present work, we have, with very few exceptions, placed the principal accent on the last syllable of French geographical names; at the same time, it has been thought proper to mark the others with secondary accents, in order to prevent them from being pronounced too slightly or indistinctly, as is usually the case with unaccented syllablos in English. The pronunciation of ORLÉANS, for example, has been thus given-OR'-là-An'.
Obs. Particular care, however, should be taken 'not to break such
names into as many isolated sounds as there are different syllables ; but, while pronouncing these syllables with a stress of voice nearly equal, to let each glide smoothly into that which follows it. It may be observed, that the French, in uttering short sentences, usually make th diff ent rds run into each other, as if they were parts of the same word.
1. A, in German, usually sounds as in the English word far, though sometimes approximating the a in fat.
2. E, when long, sounds like a in fate ; when short, like e in met: frequently, however, it has an obscure sound, like e in battery.
3. I, long, sounds like i in marine (or ee in English); i, short, like
i in pit.
4. O, long, is like that in no; 0, short, like that in on.
7. Ae, or ä, is similar to the German e, or to the English a in fate.
8. Oe, or ö, nearly resembles the eu in French, but has no parallel sound in English; the sound in our language nearest to it is that of e in her, or u in fur; the German poets often rhyme it with e (or ë).
9. Ue, or ü, is like the French U.
12. Ei and ey have the sound of i in mine, as pronounced by the Americans (the English draw the corners of the mouth farther back).
13. Ai is similar to the preceding, but somewhat broader.
Obs. It may be observed, that ai and au, in German, as well as in several other languages, are proper diphthongs, the vowels preserving their distinct and proper sound ; thus, ai is equivalent to å'-e, and au to a'-oo, in English.
14. Ui sounds like oo-e.
16. The consonants f, k, l, m, n, p, q, t, and x, are pronounced as in English
17. B and d, at the beginning of a word, have the same sound as in English; at the end of a word, 6 is pronounced like p, and d like t.