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AND EXPOSITOR OF THE
every Syllable distinctly shown, but, where words are subject to different
TO WHICH ARE PREFIXED,
systematically arranged; the Influence of the Greek and Latin Accent and
DON, for avoiding their respective Peculiarities;
DIRECTIONS to FOREIGNERS, for acquiring a Knowledge of the Use of this Dictionary.
THE WHOLE INTERSPERSED WITH
OBSERVATIONS, ETYMOLOGICAL, CRITICAL, AND GRAMMATICAL.
BY JOHN WALKER,
Quare, si fieri potest, & verba omnia, & vox, hujus alumnum urbis oleant : ut oratio
Romana planè videatur, non civitate donata.” Quintilian.
THIRD AMERICAN, FROM THE LAST LONDON EDITION.
HOPKINS AND SEYMOUR, PRINTERS.
subjects have of late years more employed the pens of every class of critics, than the improvement of the English language. The greatest abilities in the nation have been exerted in cultivating and reforming it ; nor have a thousand minor critics been wanting to add their mite of amendment to their native tongue. Johnson, whose large mind and just faste made him capable of enriching and adorning the Language with original composition, has condescended to the drudgery of disentangling, explaining, and arranging it
, and left a lasting monument of his ability, labour, and patience : and Dr. Lowth, tholitest scholar of the age, has veiled his superiority in his short Introduction to English Grammar. The ponderous folio has gravely vindicated the rights of analogy; and the light ephemeral sheet of news has corrected errors in Grammar as well as in Politics, by slyly marking them in Italics.
Nor has the improvement stopped here. While Johnson and Lowth have been insensibly operating on the orthography and construction of our
Language, its pronunciation has not been neglected.' 'Í'he importance of a consistent and regular pronunciation was too obvious to be overlooked; and the want of this consistency and regularity has induced several ingenious men to endeavour at a reformation; who, by exhibiting the irregularities
of pronunciation, and pointing out its analogies, have reclaimed some words that were not irrecoverably fixed in a wrong sound, and prevented others from being perverted by ignorance or caprice.
Among those writers who deserve the first praise on this subject, is Mr. Elphinston; who, in his Principles of the English Language, has reduced the chaos to a system; and, by a deep investigation of the analogies of our tongue, has laid the foundation of a just and regular pronunciation.
After him, Dr. Kenrick contributed a portion of improvement by his Rhetorical Dictionary ; in which the words are divided into syllables as they are pronounced, and figures placed over the vowels, to indicate their different
. But this gentiengan has rendered his Dictionary extremely imperfect, by entirely omitting a great number of words of doubtful and difficult pronunciationthose very words for which a Dictionary of this kind would be most consulted.
To him succeeded Mr. Sheridan, who not only divided the words into sylla, bles
, and placed figures over the vowels as Dr. Kenrick had done, but, by spelling these syllables as they are pronounced, seemed to complete
the idea of a Pronouncing Dictionary, and to leave but little expectation of future improvement. 1: 11.0st, indeed, be confessed that Mr. Sheridan's Dictionary is greatly supe