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It is probably known to our readers, that attempts have been made during the last fifteen years, both in the United States and Great Britain, to make A PERFECT ALPHABET OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. That object has been happily accomplished by Dr. Andrew Comstock, of Philadelphia.
This Alphabet, which we give over the leaf (page 297), most undoubtedly comes nearer perfection, than any Alphabet ever printed in any language. It contains thirty-eight simple letters, and six compound ones, and by these letters every sound in the English Language is represented. The same characters invariably stand for the same sounds. Were these letters in universal use, spelling would be reduced to perfect simplicity, since every word would be spelled just as it is pronounced. In other words, we could write correctly every word that we hear spoken, and pronounce every word that we see written, and that without the possibility of making a mistake. We have introduced a piece of composition in the new characters, on the page following the Alphabet. That piece is probably familiar to most readers, and if not, it can be read with considerable fluency after a quarter of an hour's examination of the Al. whabet, in order to learn the sounds of the different letters. The primary object of introducing the Alphabet in this work, is for the purpose of giving the correct pronunciation to a large number of difficult proper Names. We know of no way of giving the exact pronunciation of words, except through the medium of this Alphabet ; unless we make a series of characters of our own, or adopt some one of the numerous systems of marking letters by figures. The latter style used by most lexicographers, has no uniformity, and is every way exceedingly inconvenient.
Many of the proper names in this work are very difficult to pronounce, and cause the student much inconvenience and embarrassment. As will be seen, the most difficult names and technical words have been arranged in alphabetical order in the Pronouncing Index, and their true pronunciation given in the new Alphabet. For the pronunciations, the best authorities have been followed.
The different characters in the new Alphabet were not adopted by the author without due deliberation, and good reasons. For these reasons, the reader is referred to Dr. Comstock's different publications, consisting, among others, of the “ Phonetic Reader," the “ Phonetic Speaker,” the “ Phonetic New Testament,” and “Comstock's Phonetic Magazine,” issued monthly. To these works, the reader is earnestly and specially commended. The letters in the new Alphabet are called by different names, in most cases, from what they are in the old. Each vowel has the same name as the sound it represents. The names of the consonants are given below. They are all pronounced on the common basis of the letter e long, except the last three, which are compound letters. The reader cannot but notice the uniform pronunci. ation which these letters have with our articulations in Mne. motechny. If this Alphabet were in use, Mnemotechny could be learned with one half the labor that we now devote to it.
Names of the Consonants of the New Alphabet. T t. • tx L 1. - Ix F f - - fx | Ww. • Wx Dd . dx D d . dx V v . vx Y y . yx © I. . ex CC- Ex P p - • px Q q- -qx A o . dx C c . cx B b . bx X x . EX N n: - nx J j. - jx S s. - sx G g. - £g Mm - mx K k · kx Z z. zx Y ŋ en Rr. • rx Gg. - gx | H h. - hx|
A PERFECT ALPHABET OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
BY ANDREW COMSTOCK, M.D. Principal of the Vocal and Polyglott Gymnasium, Author of a System of Elocution, The Phonetic Reader, The Phonetic Speaker, &c., and Editor
of The Phonetic Testament, and The Phonetic Magazine. NOTE.-In the following Table there is a character for each of the 38 elementary sounds of the English Language. For the sake of brevity, there are also 6 com. pound letters, each to be used, in particular instances, to represent two elementary Bounds. The sound of each letter of the Alphabet is shown by the italic character in the word opposite to the said letter :-e represents the sound of a as in ale, &c.
THE 38 SIMPLE LETTERS.
|Bb bow P p pit
Qq what met
THE 6 COMPOUND LETTERS.
a al oil Dg job | CĆetch doair Gg tugs | X xoaks
NIT BXFOR AE BATL OV WOTURL8.
BIRUN. AOR woz a sond ov rɛvɛlrı bi nit', And Belgium'z kapital had gad'urd den Hur bwiti and hur čiv,alrı; and brit Aɛ lamps cwn w’ur for wim'ın and brev mɛn ; A Oqz'and harts bxt hapılı; and, qen Mw'zık armz', wid its valup'twus swel, Soft iz lukt luv' t' iz qıć spek agen';
And ol went mer'i az a marvid-bel; But huc, ! hark ! a dxp sond striks lik a riózın nɛl, !
Did yx not hxr it?-Nw'; t'woz but dɛ wind',
And nxr,ur, klxrur, ded'lıur dan bxfor!
A! den and dor woz hur'un to and frw,
If ε'vur mor cud mxt dwz mw'+wal iz,
Pronunciation. ; Definition : i Nation. Page.