Page images
PDF
EPUB

VII. With regard to French names, however, a different plan has been pursued, both because it is less easy, so to speak, to anglicize the French letters, and because, from the circumstance of this being far more studied than any other foreign language, it is much more usual to adopt all the peculiar sounds of the letters, in pronouncing French words or names. Even here, however, it will be found that very few, if any, of those geographical names which are taught in our common schools, will require the use of sounds that cannot readily be pronounced by the mere English scholar.

VIII. In giving the pronunciation of the geographical names contained in the present work, we have adhered, in the main, to the method of Walker, not only from a desire to avoid all unnecessary innovation upon a system which has been so generally received, but also, because we regard it, on the whole, as superior to any other system which has hitherto been given to the public. * As, however, a multitude of instances occur, wherein the ordinary spelling of geographical names indicates very nearly the proper manner of pronouncing them, it has been thought unnecessary, in these cases, to give a different spelling in order to show the exact pronunciation. At the same time, that no part of the work might be incomplete, it has been requi. site to assign to some of the letters, sounds, which Walker has not attributed to them. Thus, in giving the pronunciation of such names as Boston, Pennsylvania, &c., we have not re-written them, as Walker would have done — pén-sil-va'-né-å, bôs'-tůn, or bôs-t'n, but merely given Bos'-TON, PENN-SYL-VA'-NI-A ; the point under the vowels in the final syllable of each name, denoting that these have an obscure sound like short u, or like e in the word battery; while the two points under the I in the latter name indicate that this is to be sounded like e. In like manner Berks is written BERKS—the e in this name approximating the sound of short U. This mode of marking the pronunciation, is recommended by other considerations than that of brevity. As some of our most celebrated orthoepists make a decided distinction between the sounds of e and u in a syllable ending with r,* it might be deemed improper to represent the pronunciation of Berks by burks. On the nther hand, were we to follow the method of Walker in similar cases, and pronounce it bérks, we should be still wider from the mark. The mode adopted by us will, it is hoped, be found sufficiently definite, at the same time that it obviates both of the difficulties just mentioned.

*It may not be improper to observe, that with respect to actual pronunciation we have differed from Walker in a number of particulars. Thus, we pronounce Asia, a'-she-a, according to the practice of the best English speakers, though Walker gives a'-zhe-a as the true pronunciation. (See Principles of Pronunciation, 453.) In a few instances we have departed from his practice in the accentuation of classical names, e. g., we have, with the sanction of the highest authorities of the present day, given the name of the ancient capital of Egypt with the accent on the penultima, thus-ALEXANDRI'A—though Walker accentuates the antepe. nuluma, as we do, in pronouncing the modern ALEXANDRIA. (See ALEXANDRIA, in the body of this work.)

IX. With a view to simplify as much as possible, we have rejected Walker's second and third sounds of o(the former being equivalent to oo, the latter to au), and his third sound of u (corresponding with oo in good, a sound which we have represented by oot). From the same motive we have dispensed with the figured vowels, whenever their use has not appeared to be necessary in order to avoid ambiguity. Thus we write simply TIL'-sit, and not-Tusit, til-sit,-as Walker would have done. All marks or figures which are not needed, in order to indicate the exact pronunciation, must tend rather to embarrass than to aid the learner. • X. In the pronunciation of names belonging to England, or to those countries where the English language is spoken, a ending a syllable with the accent, should always have its first sound ; in an accented syllable before a single r it usually takes the second, and before rr, or any other consonant, the fourth sound. Accordingly, in giving such names as PENNSYLVA'NIA, SA'RUM, Far'MINGTON, CAR'ROLL, Man'CHESTER, it has been deemed unnecessary to mark the a in the accented syllables, as scarcely any one in the least acquainted with the principles of English pronunciation, could mistake its true sound. In all cases which depart from these simple and general rules, it has been thought best to mark the sound, as Dal'ton, Mål'wah, Pår'is, &c.

XI. The Latin names of foreign countries are nearly always to be pronounced with the English sounds of the letters. Thus, in BAVARIA, BULGA'RIA, LUSA'TIA, and TRANSYLVA’NIA, the accented a should bave its first sound.

• Walker says that “ Derby is pronounced NEARLY as if written Durby" und that "fir, a tree, is perfectly similar [in sound) to the first syllable in fer. ment, though often CORRUPTLY pronounced like fur, a skin.” (See Principles of Pronunciation, 100 and 109.)

+ We have, however, retained his third sound of a, (though precisely similar to au), in order to indicate the broad sound of the a in such names as DALTON, CALDER, &c., without writing the pronunciation separately.

Obs. In Prussia and Russia, however, the u instead of being pronounced short, as it would unquestionably have been done in ancient Latin names of this kind, is usually sounded like oo, assuming in these instances the character of the German or Russian u. In like manner the first syllable of BULGARIA is to be pronounced bõõl and not bül.

XII. In the anglicized forms of foreign names, and in most well known names of foreign countries, the same rules of pronunciation, generally speaking, obtain, as in genuine English words, e. g., SPAIN, ITALY, NAPLES, &c.

OBS. 1. At the same time, we may observe a general tendency to adopt those sounds of the English vowels, which approach most nearly to the foreign sounds: thus the a in the first syllable of ADRIATIC, and Paris, has its fourth sound, which is much nearer to the French and Italian a, than its first sound, though this would probably be given to these names by the mere English scholar, who should be guided by analogy solely. In like manner the i in Milan is made short, so as nearly to correspond to the Italian i, which is like our e.

OBS. 2. In the pronunciation of foreign nanies that have become thoroughly anglicized, it is interesting to observe the tendency of our language, to throw the accent as far as possible from the terinination. Thus Paris is pronounced with the accent on the first syllable, though the French appear to place it on the last, and the Germans, who have not the same aversion to the ultimate accent, that we have, lay the stress of voice distinctly on the final syllable, thus Par-is'. HANOVER, which might be pronounced with the native accentuation (HANO'VER,) without the slightest offence to the genius of our tongue,* has become irrecover. ably Han'OVER. Thus, also, we pronounce ANDALU'SIA, (in Spanish ANDALUCI'A,) AR'AGON (in Spanish ARAGÓN), &c. So in our own country, the old NIAGA'RA has become unalterably fixed as NIAG'ARA ; and Huron', though still sometimes heard, is fast giving place to Hu'RoN.

XIII. It may be observed that with respect to foreign names, not only in the French, Italian, and other languages that are written in the Roman letters, but also in Germant and Greek, (the characters of which may be readily converted into corresponding Roman letters), it is generally customary in English to retain the literal spelling, e. g., ANSPACH, (German Anspach), KÖNIGSBERG, (German Königsberg), Chios, (Greek Xlos,) &c., excepting a very few well known names, as Lyons; (French Lyon), NAPLES, (Italian Napoli,) MUNICH, (German München), DANTZIC, (German Danzig) LEIPSIC, (German Leipzig);-we often find, however, the last two names spelled literal) Danzig and Leipzig.

• We have a multitude of words similar in accent, as promoler, devotion

+ It is, perhaps, scarcely necessary to remark, that Roman letters are a quently employed in writing and printing German.

XIV. On the other hand, names in languages of which the characters cannot be readily converted into Roman letters, or which are but little known as written languages, are usually spelled according to their sound in some well known European tongue. Thus the name of one of the cities of Persia is written in English, Shooster or Shuster, in German Schuster, and in French Chouster, precisely the saine sound being expressed by these different spellings.

We find in English works of the highest character, these various modes of writing oriental and other names, employed indiscriminately.

Thus in McCulloch's Geographical Dictionary, under the article ShuSTER, we find within the space of eight lines Khuzistan, (KHOOZISTAN), Karoon and Dezphoul, (DEZFOOL); the first name being, as regards the sound of the vowels, German or Italian, the second English, and the third French. On the map of Persia, published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, names written according to these three different modes, occur promiscuously in almost every part. Even the same name is frequently spelled differently in different parts of the same work. Thus on the map just mentioned OORFA is written “Orfa or Ourfa," while on another of the same set it is spelled Urfa. In the Penny Cyclopædia, we find Boossa and Boussa, Soodan and Sudan, Toorkistan and Turkistan, &c. McCulloch gives SHUMLA (Shoomla) under its proper head, but mentioning the town in another place writes it Schumla: in the same article, AFRICA, he has both Soodan and Soudan, each occurring several times: under MOGADORE he gives Shwera (inore properly Sweera) as the Moorish name of this town; afterwards, in enumerating the principal fortified and garrison towns of Morocco, he gives Suira (pronounced Sweera), without so much as mentioning the name of MOGADORE. As neither Schumla nor Suira are to be found in his gazetteer, under their respective beads, it is scarcely possible that any one unacquainted with the different modes of writing these names, should know what places are meant by them, or in what part of his work to look for information respecting them.

XV. In order to avoid the perplexity and confusion resulting from the diversity which prevails in the mode of writing oriental names and others of the same class, we have made it a point always to spell them after the English manner, except in a few instances where a different spelling appears to have become thoroughly established by usage. Accordingly we have given OORTA, SOODAN, TOORKISTAN, &c., as

the preferable mode of writing such names; at the same time, onder the heads of OURFA and URFA, SOUDAN and Sudan, and TURKISTAN, the reader will find a reference to the names as spelled in the English manner, to which he must look for a description of those places. By adopting this plan, it is believed that the correct pronunciation of oriental names will be taught in the simplest and easiest manner; the perplexity and error into which the prevailing inconsistent mode of writing such names, has sometimes led even well-informed geographers,* will be avoided; and the apparent contradictions which are so often met with in our most popular geographical works, will be accounted for and reconciled.

• The reader may be referred to the case of Schirvan and Shirvan, already mentioned in the Preface. There can be little doubt, that the practice which prevails among the English, of writing oriental names after the manner of other European bations, bas sometimes led geographers of the highest character into error. Thus Mantchoo, the name of a tribe of Tartars, inhabiting the north part of the Chinese empire, is written by some of the most respectable authorities, Manchow. It is probable, that in the first place some English writer or writers, spelled it Mantchou after the French manner, and that others supposing it to be English, and wishing to adopt a mode of spelling less equivocal, wrote it Manchow. It may be, however, that the latter indicates the true pronunciation, and that the name was originally written correctly Mantchou, the ou having its genuine English sound; and that some English writer, naturally supposing it to be Freneh, (for many, if not most of the English, appear to prefer the French mode of spelling such names, to their own,) without investigating the subject, converted the name, as they thought, into English, by writing it Mantchoo. As Mantchooria (the country of the Mantcboos) is rarely visited by Europeans, this question may long remain undecided. At present, Mantchoo appears to have become almost universal. In one of the earlier numbers of the Penny Cyclopædia. (article China,) we find it written Manchowo, but in other parts of the work Mandshoo, which does not differ mate. rially in sound from Mantchoo. Had the English uniformly adopted the practice of writing oriental names according to the sounds of their own language, it is probable that CABUL would never have lost its native sound (Kâr-b'l), so far as to be Tenerally pronounced by the English and French, Cabool or

pol or Caboul, (se in the body of this work.) It is true that it was formerly written correctly in Englisb works Cabul or Caubul ; but the practice of spelling oriental names according to the German or Italian mode, is so common among English writers, that analogy would naturally lead us to adopt or confirm that pronunciation of Cabul, which appears to be now so thoroughly established. Had it been the uniform practico of English travellers and geographers to write such names as Surmul, Dezful, (or Dezphol), according to the sounds of their own tongue, viz., Soormool and Dezfool, no English reader would have thought of pronouncing the u in Cabul like oo. The erroneous pronunciation of a single name may, perhaps, justly be regarded as of little moment, but the embarrassment and error into which the prevailing practice of English writera on geography, is continually liable to lead both the ignorant and the learned, appear to us to involve considerations of the highest importance to the interests of geographical science. From a sincere wish to add as much as possible to the utility of the present work, we have had recourse to the system of writing oriental names, which has already been explained. It may be remarked that though this svstem is frequently at variance with common usage, it is sanc tioned by the example of the most distinguished French geographers, as well as of severai English writers of the highest character.

ABOOL,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »