« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
who use these names, from CHAUCER and SHAKSPEARE down to the present time, with the native accentuation; that is, GRANADA has the accent on the penultima, and GENOA on the antepenultima, though the
not heard these names pronounced, but merely follow analogy, or their own notions of propriety, reverse the accentuation, making GRANADA rhyme with Canada, and GENOA with boa.
No poet, perhaps, employs foreign names so frequently as BYRON, and yet-though he often writes very carelessly-it would be difficult, in all the poetry he has written, to point out half a dozen instances where he has not conformed to the foreign accentuation, excepting always, those few well known names which have acquired an estab lished English pronunciation, and in these cases he appears invariably to adopt the pronunciation of the best English speakers. The same may be said of Scott; though he writes with great freedom, he rarely, if ever, violates the strictest rules of geographical pronunciation. In the poetry of ROGERS, SOUTHEY, MOORE, CAMPBELL, and MONTGOMERY, we have met with scarcely a solitary example of departure from the native accentuation of names, which does not properly come within the exception above stated. WoRDSWORTH takes the liberty of changing the accent in a single instance-CHAMOUNY--but acknowledges the authority of the law by apologizing in a note for its violation, (see Descriptive Sketches of a Tour among the Alps.) What has already been said respecting the usage of the poets, refers principally to accentuation, which, for the most part, can be readily determined by the metre of the poetry. Their manner of pronouncing the letters of a foreign name, is far less easily ascertained, since it can only be known when the name ends a line in rhyme, and even then it is often extremely uncertain, as they appear to consider themselves entitled, in such cases, to much greater uivense than in the accentuation of words. Thus we often see associated in rhyme, words which correspond but very imperfectly in sound, as
“Were GENOA's galleys riding in the port - "- BYRON.
Let Saxony, let injured GENOA tell.”-MOORE.
A hundred galleys sheltered -ROGERS.
enemy and lie, mourn and burn, &c. Nevertheless, by comparing a number of examples, and especially by observing the usage of those poets who are most remarkable for the correctness of their rhymes, we shall frequently be enabled to ascertain the true pronunciation of a word or name.
Now it will be found that the system which we have adopted, is supported by the practice of the poets in this respect also. In other words it will be found, that while foreign names that are in familiar use in our own language, have an English pronunciation, those not very well known are generally pronounced with the native sound of the letters, as will be seen from the following passages:
“Not now to while an hour away,
Gone to the falls in Valombre'," -“'Tis Jacqueline! 'tis Jacqueline,"
Her little brother laughing cried, “I know her by her kirtle green,
She comes along the mountain side." “De Courcy, lord of Argentiere!
Thy thirst for vengeance sought the snare.”—ROGERS
. . “Winding between Alpine trees;
. “Sure there never was hero so civil-he
“And though to morrow's tempest lower,
'Tis calmer than thy heart, young Giaour."
Of the high talents of this new Vauban, *
The rampart higher than you'd wish to hang."-BYRON
“For many an age remembered long
And fields of Waterloo."-SCOTT.
It would be easy to cite a multitude of such examples; but these will perhaps be sufficient to illustrate our position.
* In these names the letter n is similar in sound to ng. The t at the end of [Tougomont is silent. The rhymes, however, are not quite perfect; the o in the last syllable of Hougomont should be sounded like o in won't. The latter syllable of Vauban sounds like bong --Vauban was a noted French military engineer, who flourished in the reign of Louis XIV.
On the other hand we shall find the poets pronounce foreign names of some celebrity, such as NILE, PARIS, LYONS, CADIZ, POITIERS or POICTIERS, &c., with the English sound of the letters, as may be seen from these and similar examples:
“Deep in those solitary woods
“Oh never talk again to me
Of northern climes and British ladies ;
Like me, the lovely girl of Cadiz."-BYRON.
" And Courtenay's pride and Percy's fame
Blazed broader yet in after years
. “So the shaft
II. Instead of saying that the poets conform to the native accentuatior of proper names, except in cases when these are well known, we might, perhaps, with more propriety say, that they merely follow the practice of the best speakers, of which their own may generally be regarded as the written representation. With this view of the subject, we have occasionally cited in the body of our work, passages from the poets in support of the pronunciation there given. These citations, for the most part, are not intended to be decisive of any doubtful question, but rather to illustrate and confirm what is believed, on other grounds, to be the correct pronunciation. The supreme tribunal to which we would on all occasions appeal, is the authority of the best speakers* in England and this country. To the former we generally give the preference when the question relates to names belonging to the old continent- to the latter when it relates to those of America. But since it is impossible to produce oral evidence in a book, we have availed ourselves of the authority of the poets, as the only one at our command, to prove or illustrate what we have, in all cases, studiously endeavoured to learn by actual hearing, from those who are considered best qualified to determine questions of orthoepy.
* By this phrase, we do not mean those who, from their superior knowledge and judgment on general subjects, may be presumed to be qualified to decide questions of orthoepy. In order to deserve a place among the best speakers, it is not enough that one should have what is commonly termed a good education and good sense, he must have paid particular attention to the subject of pronunciation, unless he has been surrounded during the whole period of his education with none but correct speakers, which is seldom or never the case, at least in this country
III. It may be further observed, that all those works (so far as we are acquainted) which attempt to give the pronunciation of geographical names, show at least a tendency towards the system that we have adopted. The Penny Cyclopædia, which gives the accentuation of a considerable number of proper names, appears always to follow the native mode. In the list of geographical names appended to WORCESTER'S “Comprehensive Pronouncing and Explanatory Dictionary-Boston, 1841" --which is certainly one of the most creditable and successful attempts towards supplying the deficiency in this important department of orthoepy that has ever been made--the native pronunciation of names not extensively and familiarly known, is almost invariably given. STEWART'S “Compendium of Modern Geography--seventh edition --Edinburgh, 1843," gives the pronunciation of the principal geographical names on the globe, and though the work contains many errors,* it is evident that it aims generally to conform to the native accentuation of the names of other countries, and frequently to the native sound of the letters. Several other works, of less importance, exhibit the same general tendency.
IV. There is one difficulty in carrying out the system of geographical pronunciation adopted by us, which it may be proper to notice here, viz: that of drawing the line between foreign names which are, and those which are not, well known. With respect to the more obvious in each division there cannot be the slightest hesitation; but the two classes' meet and pass into each other by imperceptible gradations, so that sometimes the question whether they should be pronounced according to the foreign, or the English mode, can only be settled by arbitrary decision. In these doubtful instances, we have spared no pains in order to ascertain the prevailing practice of the best speakers, as well as the usage of the poets: when these have been found unsatisfactory, nothing has remained for us but to decide according to the best of our ability. We have, in these cases, usually given both the pronunciations, placing that first, which, in our judgment, is to be preferred.
* This remark is intended to apply to the pronunciation only. In other respects, this "Compendium" appears to be an accurate and highly valuable little work
V. It should be observed, that though we have endeavoured to give the native pronunciation of the names of other countries, with minute accuracy, yet, in accordance with the advice of a number of our most intelligent and judicious friends, we have been careful to avoid as much as possible, on all occasions, the use of sounds which cannot readily be uttered by the mere English scholar --more especially in the pronunciation of those geographical names which are commonly taught in schools.
VI. In those cases where it is impossible to express the sounds of other languages by means of English letters, we have endeavoured to employ a mode of indicating those sounds, which, if it does not afford any effectual assistance to the mere English scholar, may at least be in no danger of embarrassing or leading him astray. Thus we have represented the sound of the German ch by K, distinguished by being a small capital. Perhaps a strongly aspirated h-which might be indicated by hh-would convey a nearer idea of the German sound, but it seemed less eligible than the other mode, both because persons might differ in the pronunciation of it, or, perhaps, be at a loss to pronounce it at all, and because the established mode of anglicizing the German ch, seems to be to change its sound to that of k, as in the instances, BLUMENBACH, METTERNICH, &c. The Scotch and Dutch sounds of ch,
mistake not, the sound of k. The ordinary mode of pronouncing the Greek z tends to the same result. We have not, however, represented the sound of the German g at the end of a syllable in the same manner as the ch, though it has precisely the same sound, because it is not customary to anglicize it by k, except in a few instances. Were the pronunciation of such a word as berg, represented by berk, it would have the effect to lead the English scholar to pronounce it differently from the ordinary mode, while he would be in no respect nearer the German than those who pronounce the word according to the English sound of the letters. Another consideration may, perhaps, be allowed to have some weight, viz., that though the more approved mode of German pronunciation requires that g, when it does not begin a word, should be pronounced like ch, yet in some parts of Germany it is pronounced in every case like g hard in English. In a similar manner, and for similar reasons, we have usually represented the German w by a w distinguished as a capital, and not by a v, though this is nearer the sound of the German letter.