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Subvocals or consonants are letters whose elementary sounds cannot be so fully articulated as the vocals.
Aspirates are letters whose elementary sounds are formed by propelling the breath more or less forcibly through the teeth and lips.
The vocals, as vowels, are a, e, i, o, u, w and y.
The subvocals, as consonants, are b, d, g, j, l, m, n, r, v, w, y and z.
The aspirates are p, t, k, h, f, s and c.
The subvocal combinations are TH and ng.
The aspirate combinations are ch, wh, sh and th.
A diphthong is the combined sound of two vocals in the same syllable; as, oi in oil.
A digraph is the union of two vocals in the same syllable, one of which is silent; as, eu in head.
A triphthong is the union of three vocals in the same syllable, or in one compound sour as, eau in beau.
When the utterance ofers mainly depends on the lips, they are called labials; as, b, f, m, p, v, w and y.
When the utterance of letters mainly depends on the teeth, aided by the tongue, they are called dentals; as, j, s, z, zh, ch, sh, th, and and g soft.
When the utterance of letters mainly depends on the tongue, aided by the palate, they are called palatals; as, d, k, l, n, ng, q, r, t, x, and c and g hard.
The elements of vocal nguage, are those sounds or breathings, to which all its word are by correct utterance reducible. The definite number of the elements is not fixed with infallible certainty. We think, however, there are not more than forty of a sufficiently distinctive character to be denominated elementary, unless, as some believe, r has two, the one rough, and the other smooth; as in run, her; and a an additional one, called medial; as in fare, prayer.
CHARACTERS TO DESIGNATE SOUNDS.
This mark () over the vocals denotes their long sound. It is used only where the long sound might be mistaken for the short. The short sound of the vocals is not marked.
This mark (") over ä denotes its sound as heard in fär. This mark (..) under a denotes its sound as heard in ball. This mark (.) under a denotes its sound as heard in whạt. This mark (-) under e denotes its sound as heard in prey. This mark (") over ï denotes its sound as heard in marïne. This mark () over I denotes its sound as heard in str. This mark (") over ö denotes its sound as heard in möve. This mark (.) under o denotes its sound as heard in book. This mark (~) over denotes its sound as heard in dŏve. This mark (..) under u denotes its sound as heard in full. C marked thus, e, sounds like k; as in cat.
G marked thus, g, sounds like j; as in gem.
E or i, at the end of a syllable, marked with the double accent, and followed by ci or ti, is pronounced like sh; as in spe" cial, vi" cious.
N marked thus, n", sounds like ng; as in man" gle. Ch marked thus, čh, sounds like sh; as in chaise. Th, in small capitals, thus, TII, is subvocal, and has its sound as heard in тHou.
S, in italic, thus, 8, sounds like z; as in muse.
The silent letters, except final e, are printed in italics. The mark of accent ('), placed over any syllable of a word, designates the accented syllable of all the words that follow, till it is contradicted by a change of place.
TABLE OF ELEMENTARY SOUNDS.
The following table of elementary sounds, is introduced to exercise the pupil in the elements of the language, after he has gained sufficient knowledge to comprehend their utility. Of the time when to commence this exercise, the teacher must be the judge.
By most elocutionists the elements are considered to be forty in number; consisting of vocals, subvocals, and aspirates.
The class, either individually or in concert, may first pronounce the word containing the element, and then the element by itself. This exercise should be continued, from time to time, until the sounds can be perfectly uttered.
TABLE OF SUBSTITUTES.
NOTE. The following is a list of letters, or characters, frequently used as substitutes to represent several of the elements as given in the preceding table. The learner should first name the substitute, then the element it represents, and the example in which it is combined.
LETTERS SOMETIMES SILENT.
B is silent after m, and before t; as in lamb, debt.
C is silent in czar, victuals, and before k, and after s, as in sick,
Dis silent in handsome, Wednesday, stadtholder, and before g in the same syllable; as in fadge.
G is silent before m and n, and sometimes before 1; as in phlegm, gnaw, intaglio.
I is silent in heir, herb, honest, hour; after g and r, and at the end of a word preceded by a vocal; and sometimes after t; as in ghost, rheum, ah, oh, isthmus.
K is silent before n; as in knife.
L is silent before ƒ, k, m, and sometimes before d and v, as in calf, walk, calm, would, salve.
M is silent before n; as in mnemonics.
N is silent at the end of words, after I and m; as in kiln, hymë. P is silent before n, and sometimes before s and t; as in pneumatics, psalm, receipt.
S is silent in corps, demesne, puisne, viscount, isle, island, aisle.
T is silent in mortgage, haufboy, eclat, billetdoux, and sometimes before le or en, and ch; as in whistle, soften, fetch.
W is silent before r and sometimes before h; as in write, whoop.
ch is sometimes silent; as in schism, yacht.
gh is frequently silent; as in high, light. ph is sometimes silent; as in phthisic.
CERTAIN TERMINATIONS PRONOUNCED.
cion, sicn, tion, are pronounced shun; cient, tient, shent; ceous, cious, tious, scious, shus; cial, sial, tial, shal; cean, cian, tian, shan; science, tience, shence.
geons, gious, jus; geon, gion, jun; ous, us; and ics, iks.