Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

The Vowels are divided into Monothongs, Diphthongs, and Triphthongs.

The Monothongs consist of one kind of sound throughout their concrete movement, and consequently are simple elements; they are represented by the italics in the following words :

arm, all, an, eve, end, in, on, up, full. The Dipthougs consist of two vowel sounds, which coalesce so intimately that they appear like one uniform sound; they are represented by the italics in the following words :

ale, ile, lose, tube. The dipthong a, as well as i, has a characteristic sound for its radical, and the monothong, i, for its vanish. These diphthongs, under certain circumstances (for instance, when they are carried through a wide range of pitch, as in interrogation with surprise), are converted into triphthongs, the third constituent being the monothong, e.

The diphthong o, as well as u, has a characteristic sound for its radical, and the subvowel u, for its vanish.

The Triphthongs consist of three vowel sounds which coalesce so intimately that they appear like one uniform sound; they are represented by the italics, in the following words :

old, our. The first constituent of o, as well as that of ou, is a sound characteristic of this element; and the diphthong ô constitutes the second and the third constituent of these triphthongs.

The following scheme is an analysis of the diphthongs and triphthongs. The reader will observe that the letters which are employed to represent the diphthongs and triphthongs, are used under the head, constituents, to represent their radicals only.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

There is one diphthong, and three triphthongs, besides those already noticed; they are represented by the italics in the following words :

oil, ay, boy, buoy ; but, as all their constituents are to be found among the fifteen vowels before enumerated, they do not increase the number of the elements.

During the utterance of a monothong, the aperture of the mouth remains stationary; but during that of a diphthong, or triphthong, the aperture is gradually diminished till the commencement of the last constituent; it then remains stationary till the sound is ended. THE SUBVOWELS.

B consists of a vocal sound and an aspirate. The first constituent is formed with the lips closed; the second, by aspirating the vowel ú, at the moment of their separation.

D consists of a vocal sound and an aspirate. The first constituent is formed with the tip of the tongue pressing against the gums of the upper incisor teeth ; the second, by aspirating the vowel ů, at the moment of its removal.

G consists of a vocal sound and an aspirate. The first constituent is formed with the root of the tongue pressed against the curtain, or veil of the palate*; the second, by aspirating the vowel ů, at the moment of its removal.

L is a vocal sound, made with the tip of the tongue pressed against the gums of the upper incisor teeth.f

M is a nasal sound, made with the lips closed.

N is a nasal sound, formed with the tip of the tongue, pressed against the gums of the upper incisor teeth.

NG, as in song, is a nasal sound, formed with the root of the tongue pressed gently against the curtain of the palate.

R is a vocal sound, of which there are two varieties. The first is called the trilled R, and is made by causing the tongue to vibrate against the gums of the upper incisor teeth, while the breath is propelled through the mouth ; the second is called the smooth R, and is made with the tip of the tongue elevated towards the centre of the roof of the mouth. R should be trilled when it precedes a

* Velum pendulum palati.

† A young nobleman, who could not articulate the letter L, came to consult me. His tutor told me that the same defect existed in the articulation of his father and grandfather. On examination, I found that for l, he substituted the element w, and said wength for length; and for land, wand, &c. I showed him how to place his tongue in the right position, kept it there with my finger, told him to make the true vocal sound, - and he did so, so that the cure was immediate. Now the fault in this case arose from the want of proper instruction upon the use of the organs of speech, - and is a proof, if any were needed, how shamefully these important matters are neglected, even among persons of the highest rank. In this case the patient was the son of a Peer.

vowel, as in roll, crush, &c.; but, when it follows a vowel, as in air, orb, &c., it should be made smooth.*

TH, as in then, is a compound of vocality and aspiration, formed with the tip of the tongue resting against the inner surface of the upper incisor teeth.

V is a compound of vocality and aspiration. It is formed with the under lip pressed against the edge of the upper incisor teeth.

W is a vocal sound, formed with the lips contracted as in the act of whistling.

Y is a vocal sound, formed with the lips and teeth a little separated.

Z, as in zone, is a buzzing sound, a compound of vocality and aspiration. It is formed by pressing the tongue gently against the gums of the upper incisors, and forcing out the breath.

Z, as in azure, is a compound of vocality and aspiration. It is formed with the tip of the tongue nearly in the same position as z in zone, though drawn a little further back, and somewhat widened, so as to enlarge the aperture formed by its upper surface and the roof of the mouth, through which the breath is forced.

THE ASPIRATES.

F, LIKE V, is formed with the under lip pressed against the upper incisor teeth. · H is the inceptive part of a vowel sound, aspirated in a particular way. I may be uttered in as many varieties of ways as there are vowels in the language ; each requiring the same posture of the mouth, which the vowel itself requires.

K is formed by pressing the root of the tongue against the curtain of the palate, and then aspirating the vowel ů.

* I have met with a great number of individuals who could not trill the R, and others who did it with difficulty. It is generally the last letter pronounced by children, who, in their attempts to master it, use the elements l, u, &c. In Northumberland, this letter is generally burred by quivering the epiglottis. It is exceedingly unpleasant, and forms a sound like the effort to hawk up phlegm from the throat. Those who cannot trill the R in a graceful manner at first, need not despair -their vocal organs may be rendered flexible by frequent and energetic exercise.

P is formed by closing the lips, and then aspirating the vowel u.

S is a hissing sound, and like z in zone, is formed with the tip of the tongue pressed gently against the gums of the upper incisor teeth. It is nearly the same as z in zone aspirated.

SH is formed with the tongue in the same position as is z in azure. SH is nearly the same sound as z in azure aspirated.

T is formed by pressing the tip of the tongue against the gums of the upper incisor teeth, and then aspirating the vowel ü.

TH, as in thin, like th in then, is formed with the tip of the tongue pressed against the upper incisor teeth. It is nearly the same sound as the subvowel th aspirated.

WH is the inceptive part of the vowel ů aspirated in a particular way. The sound which is produced, in the formation of this element, is nearly the same as hủ, whispered. WH requires the same posture of the mouth that the vowel ů requires.

THE POSTURES OF THE MOUTH.

An accurate knowledge of the positions which the organs of articulation should assume in the formation of the several elements of vocal language, is very important to those who would speak with ease and elegance. To aid the reader still further in the acquisition of this knowledge, he is furnished with the various postures of the mouth required in uttering the elements energetically, and singly.(See page 12.)

The elements are grouped according to the posture in which the mouth should be when they are formed. It will be seen that the Diphthongs and Triphthongs have each two postures of the mouth -one at the commencement, the other at the termination of the sound.

These postures are of course more or less modified, when the elements are uttered in their various combinations, and with different degrees of force.

The pupil should exercise his organs of speech, in the most forcible manner, three times a week; and, if possible, even every

« PreviousContinue »