Page images
PDF
EPUB

heard in pronouncing the words which contain them. Though this is not the case at present, with respect to many of them, these combinations still retain the name of diphthongs; but, to distinguish them, they are marked by the term improper. As the diphthong derives its name and nature from its sound, and not from its letters, and properly denotes a double vowel sound, no union of two vowels, where one is silent; can, in strictness, be entitled to that appellation; and the single letters i and u, when pronounced long, must, in this view, be considered as diphthongs. The triphthongs, having at most but two sounds, are merely ocular, and are, therefore, by some grammarians classed with the diphthongs.

SECTION 2. General observations on the sounds of the

letters.

A has four sounds; the long or slender, the broad, the short or open, and the middle. .

The long; as in name, basin, creation.
The broad; as in call, wall, all.
The short; as in barrel, fancy, glass.
The middle; as in, far, farm, father.

The diphthong'aa generally sounds like a short in proper names; as in Balaam, Canaan, Isaac; but not in Baal, Gaal.

Ae has the sound of long e. It is sometimes found in Latin words. Some authors retain this form; as, ænigma, æquator, &c.; but others have laid it aside, and write enigma, Cesar, Eneas, &c.

The diphthong ai has exactly the long slender sound of a; as in pail, tail, &c; pronounced pale, tale, &c.: except plaid, again, raillery, fountain, Britain, and a few others.

Au is generally sounded like the broad a: as in taught, caught, &c. Sometimes like the short or open a; as in aunt, flaunt, gauntlet, &c. It has the sound of long o in hauthoy; and that of o short in laurel, laudanum, &c.

Aw has always the sound of broad a; as in bawl, scrawl, crawl.

Ay, like its near relation ai,'is pronounced like the long slender sound of a; as in pay, day, delay.

B B keeps one unvaried sound, at the beginning, middle, and end of words; as in baker, number, rhubarb, &c.

In some words it is silent; as in thumb, debtor, subtle, &c. In others, besides being silent, it lengthens the syllable; as in climb, comb, tomb.

C has two different sounds.

A hard sound like k, before a, o, u, r, l, t; as, in cart, cottage, curious, craft, tract, cloth, &c.; and when it ends a syllable; as, in victim, flaccid.

A soft sound like s before e, i, and y, generally; as in centre, face, civil, cymbal, mercy, &c. It has sometimes the sound of sh; as in ocean, social.

C is mute in czar, czarina, victuals, &c.

C, says Dr. Johnson, according to English orthography, never ends a word; and therefore we find in our best dictionaries, stick, block, publick, politick, &c. But many writers of latter years omit the k in words of two or more syllables; and this practice is gaining ground, though it is productive of irregularities; such as writing mimic and mimickry; traffic and trafficking. · Ch is commonly sounded like tch; as in church, chin, chaff, charter: but in words derived from the Greek, has the sound of k; as in chymist, scheme, chorus, chyle, distich; and in foreign names; as, Achish, Baruch, Enoch, &c.

Ch, in some words derived from the French, takes the sound of sh; as in chaise, chagrin, chevalier, machine.

Ch in arch, before a vowel, sounds like k; as in archangel, archives, Archipelago; except in arched, archery, archer, and arch-enemy: but before a consonant it always sounds like tch; as in archbishop, archduke, archpresbyter, &c. Ch is silent in schedule, schism, and yacht.

D D keeps one uniform sound, at the beginning, middle, and end of words; as in death, bandage, kindred; unless it may be said to take the sound of t, in stuffed, tripped, &c. stuft, tript, &c.

E has three different sounds.
A long sound; as in scheme, glebe, severe, pulley..
A short sound; as in men, bed, clemency.

An obscure and scarcely perceptible sound; as, open, kicre, participle.

It has sometimes the sound of middlea; asin clerk, serjeant; and sometimes that of short i; as in England, yes, pretty,

E is always mute at the end of a word, except in monosyllables that have no other vowel; as, me, he, she: or in substantives derived from the Greek; as, catastrophe, epitome, Penelope. It is used to soften and modify the foregoing corisonants; as, force, rage, since, oblige: or to lengthey the preceding vowel; as, can, cane; pin, pine;. rob, robe :

The diphthong ea is generally sounded like e long; as in appear, beaver, creature, &c. It has also the sound of short e; as in breath, meadow, treasure. And it is sometimes pronounced like the long and slender a; as in bear, break, great,

Eau has the soupd of long o; as in beau, flambeau, portmanteau. In beauty and its compounds, it has the sound of long u.

Ei, in general, sounds the same as lor com and slender a; as in deign, vein, neighbour, &c. It'pas the sound of longe in seize, deceit, receive, either,' vither, &c. It is sometimes pronounced like short i; as inopin

oreign, forfeit, sovereign, &c. Eg is pronounced like e long: as in den

long; as in people, and sometines like e short; as it', leopard, jeopardy. It has a sound of short u; as ir 4 dungeon, sturgy on, puncheon,

ard, jeopa' idy. It has also the

Eu is always sounded like long u or ew; as in feud, deuce.

Ew is almost always pronounced like long u; as in few, new, dew.

Ey, when the accent is on it, is always pronounced like a long; as in bey, grey, 'convey; except in key, ley, where it is sounded like long e.

When this diphthong is unaccented, it takes the sound of e long; as, alley, valley, barley.

F Fkeeps one pure unvaried sound at the beginning, middle, and end of words; as, fancy, muffin, mischief, &c.: except in of, in which it has the flat sound of ov; but not in composition; as, whereof, thereof, &c. We should not pronounce, a wive's jointure, a calve's head; but a wife's jointure, a calf's head.

G has two sounds: one hard; as in gay, go, gun: the other soft; as in gem, giant.

At the end of a word it is always hard; as in bag, snug, frog. It is hard before a, o, u, l, and r; as, game, gone, gull, glory, grandeur.

G before e, i, and y, is soft; as in genius, gesture, ginger, Egypt; except in get, gewgaw, finger, craggy, and some others.

G is mute before n; as in gnash, sign, foreign, &c.

Gn, at the end of a word, or syllable accented, gives the preceding vowel a long sound; as in resign, impugn, oppugn, impregn, impugned; pronounced impune, imprene, &c.

Gh, at the beginning of a word, has the sound of the hard g; as, ghost, ghastly: in the middle, and sometimes at the end, it is quite silent; as in right, high, plough, mighty.

At the end it has often the sound off; as in laugh, cough, tough. Sometimes only the g is sounded; as in burgh, burgher.

A The sound signified by this letter, is, as before observed, an articulate sound, and not merely an aspiration. It is heard in the words, hat, horse, Hull. It is seldom mute at the beginning of a word. It is always silent after r; as, rhetoric, rheum, rhubarb.

H final, preceded by a vowel, is always silent; as, ab! hah! oh! foh! Sarah, Messiah.

From the faintness of the sound of this letter, in many words, and its total silence in others, added to the negligence of tutors, and the inattention of pupils, it has happened, that many persons have become almost incapable of acquiring its just and full pronunciation. It is, therefore, incumbent on teachers, to be particularly careful to incul. cate a clear and distinct utterance of this sound.

I has a long sound; as in fine: and a short one; as in fin.

The long sound is always marked by the e final in monasyllables ; as thin, thine ; except give, live. Before r it is often sounded like a short u; as Hirt, first. In some words it has the sound of e long machine, bombazine, magazine.

The diphthong ia is frequently sounded like ya; as in christian, filial, poniard; pronounced christ-yan, &c. It has sometimes the sound of short i; as in carriage, marriage, parliament.

le sounds in general like e long; as in grief, thief, grenadier. It has also the sound of long i; as in die, pie, lie: and sometimes that of short i; as in sieve,

Ieu has the sound of long u; as in lieu, adieu, purlieu.

lo, when the accent is upon the first vowel, forms two distinct syllables ; as, priory, violet, violent. The terminations tion and sion, are sounded exactly like the verb shun ; except when the t is preceded by s or x'; as in question, digestion, combustion, mixtion, &c. .

The triphthong iou is sometimes pronounced distinctly in two syllables; as in bilious, various, abstemious. But

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »