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that the tone can hardly escape between them, and there arises on the one side, between the tongue and roof of the mouth, the vowel i and on the other, between the two lips, the vowel u, that the clearest and this the most obscure of all the vowels. If the approximation of the organs is pushed so far that an actual contact or articulation takes place, entirely cutting off the tone, these vowels pass over into real consonants, one into j or ch, the other into v or f. We can, therefore, call them semi-consonants or consonant vowels in contradistinction from the pure throat-vowel a. We have thus discovered three landmarks of the vowel region, a, i, u, the first standing over against the region of the breathing, the other two against that of the consonants; the former being also the point of beginning, the two latter the termination-points of the two series of vowels which are formed by the deviation of the mouth in either direction from its normal position. These two series may be mathematically represented as two lines proceeding from a common point, at whose extremities stand the three vowels, thus:

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2. Between these three fixed boundary points fluctuate a multitude of middle-tones, which, mathematically considered, are as numerous as the conceivable points in the two lines and the whole space which they embrace, and practically are at least as many as the different positions of the mouth will express. If we next designate the inter mediate space between a and i, a and u, in general, that by e, this by o, with which the alphabets of most languages are content, the figure will stand thus:

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It is obvious, however, that these middle vowels admit of the greatest diversity of pronunciation, two forms of which are specially worthy of

1851.]

Classification of Vowels.

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notice; one broader (Ital. suono largo or aperto) and lying nearer the common point a, and one more slender (Ital. suono stretto or chiuso) which lies nearer the termination points & and u. Thus the e resolves itself into è (a) and é, o into ò (ao) and ó (if we may employ the customary mark over the French e in a somewhat extended application), and the following figure presents itself:

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A still further increase of vowels results from the approximation of the obscure series o, u (with the neutral a) towards the clear vowels by which clear-obscure, mixed tones are produced, and these are represented on cross lines between the legs of the triangle, and the figure is completed.1

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3. Compound or double vowels (diphthongs) are formed by the union in one syllable of the throat-vowel a (as also of its derivatives e and o)

1 Comp. Böckh in Daub and Creutzer's Studien, 4, 376—380.- In German they are produced, as may be proved, by the influence of a following i, and so by actual mixture with a clear element or confusion (hence denominated by Grimm transformed sounds (Umlaute). These are mathematically a movement of the obscure points a, o, u towards the clear point i, as shown by the following figure:

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2 Vid. on these points, especially the third, Grimm's deutsche Gramm., S. 223

ff., 572 ff.

with the two vowels of the mouth, i and u; ai and au (ei, ou). The possibility of this union of two vowels in one unit of sound depends on the circumstance that the latter in each case is a semi-consonant and made by an (only imperfect) articulation of the mouth. The position of the mouth in producing the guttural vowel here slides into that required by the latter vowels almost as easily as into that of a consonant; it is the simple transition of the mouth from an open to a closed state, performed by a single operation and carrying both sounds, so to speak, on one route. But if the second is also a throat-vowel (a, e, o) demanding a new opening of the mouth and emission of breath, a so-called hiatus (i. e. soft breathing) takes place, and the combinations, as ae, ao, oe, oa, eo, ea (= a'e, a'o, o'e, o’a, e'o, e’a) can never melt into diphthongs. And if, conversely, the first is a mouth, the second a throat-vowel, the former, to facilitate the transition or to furnish a support for the following vowel, thrusts in the consonant which lies nearest itself, and is sounded with the lightest contact of the organs, or, in rapid pronunciation, passes quite over into it, and here again no diphthong is heard, thus: ia, ie, io, iu = ija, ije, ijo, iju or ja, je, jo, ju; ua, ue, uo, ui uva, uve, uvo, uvi or va, ve, vo, vi. Two only among even the regular diphthongs are to be regarded as original and genuine (in an orthoëpical and historical respect), viz. ai and au, in whose sounds the difference (throughout all nature the condition of a complete union) is purest and most extreme. Ei and ou, whose vowels stand respectively in a less decided opposition to each other, arise out of those two original diphthongs, by a clear or obscure pronunciation of the a, and then easily pass over either into ê and ô or î and û, the points of difference being here drawn together so as entirely to coincide. The combinations of and eu are real corruptions (from opposite series of vowels, like the mixed-tones ö, ü) which exist in many languages, and are to be derived partly from ai, au, partly from the simple vowels î, û.

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4. In taking a general view of the relations of the vowels, it is obvious that three of their number, a, i, u stand preeminent in every respect. (1) By virtue of their determinate limited pronunciation, as fixed points of the vowel region, (well represented mathematically at the angles of the triangle) they are distinguished Orthoëpically from the variable tones which move along the lines. (2) In point of Euphony, they have the purest and strongest sound, the liveliest coloring, as it were, while all the rest appear as middle tints and mixtures. Hence they prove themselves also (3) in a historical respect the most original vowels, or rather the original substance of the entire body of

1851.]

General View of the Vowels.

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vowels, whose strong, clear coloring has in the course of time become cloudy, and faded into the adjacent middle tones. From them these latter, e and o, may be derived in a threefold manner. (1) Most commonly from a, when this is pronounced either too clearly as ä, e, or too obscurely as ao, o,1 individual men, as is well known, and whole nations preferring one or the other, to the entire loss of pure a; the Arabians, e. g. and the English the former, the Syrians, Rabbins and North Germans the latter. From which it is manifest why the Semitish original alphabet and the Dewanagari had no signs for e and o more than for a, regarding them equally as mere prolongations of the consonant sounds; and on the other hand, with what propriety the Greeks borrowed the characters for e and o as well as a, which were wanting in the Phoenician alphabet from the gutturals related to a, viz. N,, . Frequently, however, e and o originate (2) in i and u, in which case they have a more slender sound, and were denoted above by é and ó (as distinguished from è and ò growing out of a); and finally (3) in the diphthongs ai, au, by crasis or contraction into ê, ô. If we inquire after the efficient causes and tendencies which have operated to bring about these transformations [Umlautungen] of the original vowels a, i, u into e and o, we shall discover several; namely (1) Negligence, and convenience of utterance, by which the sharply defined and extreme positions of the mouth in pronouncing those vowels are flattened and they suffered to drop from the points on which they stand. (2) The mingling of different vowel-elements, either mere clouding of the one by the other (Umlautung in a strict sense), or actual fusion (Synalaephe). (3) Influence of neighboring consonants, especially the liquids. To which add still the effect of the Accent, etc.

$ 4. Of the Consonants.

In the formation of a consonant four things are to be considered; first, the place in the mouth or set of organs by whose action it is

1 Among the Arabic Grammarians there exists also the name for this twofold pronunciation of the a, which is in certain cases, a direction for the long a (') in reading the Koran. They call the clearer (" according to S") an attenuation (verdünnung s), the more obscure ("according to ") a thickening or

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strengthening (, i. e. emphatic pronunciation, according to Silv. de Sacy). Notices et Extraits des manuscrr. de la Bibl. imp. T. IX. p. 12, 19, 55.

produced (which in the back part of the cavity are commonly designated with reference to the upper or passive member, as this is more easily inspected than the root of the tongue); secondly, the function of the organs, or the kind and degree of their compression; thirdly, the effect thus produced on the air issuing from the throat; and finally, the resultant sound. Here is ground for a fourfold description and classification of the consonants.

1. In considering the place or organs of the mouth, we find, beginning quite back, near the origin of the voice, and proceeding forward, (a) in the extreme back part of the cavity, between the root of the tongue and the epiglottis with the palate (curtain of the palate) the throat sounds (gutturales), properly called epiglottis sounds, and the palate sounds (usually taken together as gutturals or palatals), g, k, ch, ng, the further classification of which is given below. (b) In the middle region of the mouth, between the back of the tongue and the arch above it, the palatals (palatinae) in a strict sense, j, ch, l. (e) Further forward, between the tip of the tongue and the upper teeth, the tongue sounds (linguales), d, t, th, r, n. (d) Between the tip of the tongue and the two rows of teeth, the teeth sounds (dentales), z, s, sch. (e) Between the lips, the lip sounds (labiales), b, p, ƒ, v, m; to which we may add still (ƒ) the nasals or nose sounds (narinae) m, n, ng (standing under a double category). These various sounds may be reduced to three classes, connected with the three principal places of the mouth (§ 1, 2), posterior, including the guttural and palatal sounds; anterior, the linguals and dentals; and extreme, the labials; among which, again, we can distinguish the two former as interior (formed within the mouth by the tongue) from the last as exterior. Both divisions are essential and important in a physiological or phonetical, as well as a grammatical point of view.

2. The particular sounds of the several organs differ according to the kind and the degree of the compression (articulation) of the lower, movable and the upper, immovable organ. In reference to the kind, this may be either an elastic, i. e. slender and hard pressure (a contact followed by a rebound of the movable organ), by which the channel is entirely closed (only at the three principal places), or a broad and softer occlusion by which the channel is not so entirely closed as to prevent the air from issuing between the organs. The former is always quick and instantaneous; the latter may be quick and vanishing or protracted, and in the last case, again, equable or unequable (rolling, trembling, shaking, etc.). It may, also, hold the channel quite shut, but suffer the air to escape through the nose, thus produc

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