Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

VIII. The Dentals s, sh, 2, and zh. The name sibilants given to this class of letters sufficiently indicates their import; compare Latin sibilo.

Ss final denotes sharp sounds; as, English hiss, siss, whisper, whistle.
Z final denotes sounds less sharp; as English whiz, buzz.

Sh final denotes silence; as, hush ; also, sounds or sights which break off suddenly ; as, English, clash, crash, flash, splash. Sh initial expresses aversion; as, German scheu, English shy; English pshaw.

IX. The Palatal Mutes c or k, g, kh, and gh. The import of the palatals is the least definite. Yet the atonic k is justly supposed to have a natural appropriateness to perform the function of an interrogative; as, Sanscrit kas, Greek xos (whence kótepos), Latin quis, Moeso-Gothic hwas, Lithuanian kas, Russian koi, Gaelic co, who? A palatal is also found in words denoting hollowness and holding ; as Greek koídos (whence Latin cælum) ; Latin cavus, capio.

X. The Lingual Mutes t, d, th, and dh. 1. The lingual, whether atonic or subtonic, has a natural adaptedness to perform the function of a demonstrative ; as, Sanscrit tat, it, tataras, one of two ; Greek

το, τούτο, túgos, toios, &c. ; Latin tantus, tot, talis, &c. ; Lithuanian tas, ta, to, that; Gothic thata, that; German der, die, das, this ; English that, this, &c.

2. The lingual is also found in three families of words, very extensively diffused through the Indo-European languages, each of which has the general import of pointing or demonstrating ; as, (1.) Sanscrit tan, Greek taviw, reivw, Latin teneo, tendo, German dehnen, Russian tianu, English tend. (2.) Sanscrit dis, Greek deixw, Latin dico, doceo, German zeigen, Irish teagasgaim, English teach. (3.) Sanscrit da, Greek dów, didwin Latin do, Lithuanian dumi, Russian daiu, to give.

XI. The Labial Mutes p, b, ph, and v. 1. The labials, from the ease with which they are enounced, have been employed to: denote the first objects which interest the child ; as, Sanscrit pitar, Zendish paitar, Persian padar, Greek rátnp, Latin pater, Russian batia, German vater, English father, Turkish peder ; also, English papa.

2. They denote fullness or extension, from their swelling the cheeks; as, Greek idéos, akúpns, Latin pleo, plenus, German füllen, voll, English fill, full.

3. They also express aversion, from their puffing or blowing ; as, Arabic ufu, Greek Deī, Latin phy, English fie, poh.

XII. The Mixed Consonants tsh and dzh, These consonants are introduced here for the sake of showing the difference between the physiological and the etymological development of sounds.

Tsh in English (where it is expressed by ch) is not an original sound, but has arisen, in the mutation of languages, from other sounds; as, chaf, from Anglo-Saxon ceaf; chalice, from Latin calix; change, from French changer ; cheek, from Anglo-Saxon ceac ; cherry, from Latin cerasus ; cherish, from French cherir; child, from Anglo-Saxon cild; chief, from French chef; chimney, from Latin caminus ; choose, from AngloSaxon ceosan; chuck, from French choquer ; church, from Anglo-Saxon circ. So tsh in Italian (where it is expressed by c before e and i) has arisen from the Latin c; as, Cicero (pronounced tshitshero), from Latin Cicero. Hence we have no occasion to investigate the import of tsh in modern languages. Its meaning, as an original sound in ancient Sanscrit, lies too remote for our present purpose.

Dzh in English, so far as it is expressed by 9, is derived from the Latin g, which had a hard sound; and, so far as it is expressed" by j, is derived from the Latin j, and ultimately from the Sanscrit Y. Hence all inquiry as to the import of our modern dzh is superseded.

XIII. Consonants in Combination. We shall perceive the natural force of the letters to better advantage by taking some of them in combination.

Bl and f denote blowing, blooming, and flowing; as, Latin flo, German blähen, blasen, English blow, blaze, blast, bluster, blister, bladder; Greek próos, Latin flos, foreo, German blühen, blüthe, bloom, English flower, flourish, bloom, blossom ; Greek préw, pów, płów, Latin fluo, German fliessen, Auth, English flow, flood; Latin fleo,

to weep.

Cl or kl denotes cleaving or adhering ; as, English cleave, clay (adhesive earth), cling, clinch, clutch, climb (whence clamber), clot (whence clod), clasp.

Cr or kr. See the force of the letter r above.
Gl denotes smoothness or silent motion; as, English glib, glide.

Gn, jn, or kn denotes a sudden breaking of, as, Sanscrit janus, Greek govúz Latin genu, German knie, English knee ; Latin jana, a break-in a wall.

Gr. See the force of the letter r above.
Kn. See on above.

Shw and sw denote gentle motion (compare the force of the letter w above); as, German schwellen, schwimmen, schwingen ; English sway, swagger, sweep, swerve, swell, swine, swing.

si denotes smoothness or silent motion; as, slide, slip, slime, sleight, sly.

Sn denotes ideas relating to the nose (compare the force of the letter n above); as, English snarl, sneer, sneeze, snicker, snivel, snore, snort, snout, snuff, snuffle.

Spr denotes a spreading out ; as, English spread, sprain, sprawl, spring, sprinkle. St denotes firmness or stability; as, English stable, staff

, stake, stalk, stall, stand, stay, steady, stem, stick, stiff, stock, stout, stub, stubble, stubborn, stump, sturdy.

Str seems to denote exertion; as, English strain, strenuous, stress, strike (whence stroke, streak), strip (whence strap, stripe), strive (whence strife), string, strong (whence strength), strict, strait, straight, stretch, struggle.

Thr denotes violent motion; as, English throw, thrust, throng, throb.
Tw is found in a large class of English words connected with the number two.

Wr evidently denotes distorted motion (compare the force of the letter 9 above); as, English wrap, wreck (whence wrack), wrest (whence wrist, wrestle), wrig (wbence wriggle), wring (whence wrong, wrangle, wrench), wrinkle, writhe (whence wreath, writhle, wry).

We forbear to add more, hoping that what we have said will be sufficient to support our position, that language is not entirely arbitrary or conventional, but, on the contrary, articulate sounds have a natural adaptedness to express specific ideas.

CHAPTER VIII.

SECTION CLXVIII.-ORTHOEPY. ORTHOEPY is a word derived from the Greek splòs, right, and iros, a word, and signifies the correct utterance of words. It bears the same relation to the ear which orthography does to the eye. It deals in audible signs of what is passing in the mind of the speaker, as the latter does in visible signs of what has been uttered by the voice. The two influence each other. A vicious orthography, says Quintilian, must bring on a vicious pronunciation. Quod male scribitur, male etiam dici necesse est. In turn, the visible form of language naturally accommodates to the pronunciation, whether right or wrong.

SECTION CLXIX.-ORTHOEPY IN RESPECT TO THE PHONETIC ELEMENTS.

[ocr errors]

What the phonetic elements are, and how many, we have already seen in previous chapters. Now, a correct utterance of these elements separately and in combination is, in respect to them, orthoepy.

This is only an exhibition of the elements which a phonetic analysis of the language has developed, and is called articulation.

1. One error on this point in pronouncing a word is the omission of an element which belongs to it, as when one says caad for card,

[ocr errors]

pr-vail for pre-vail. In the first case, the twentieth, in the second, the fifth element, is omitted. See table, p. 79.

. 2. A second error is the introduction of an element not belonging to the word, as drownded for drowned, ceow for cow. In the first case, the twenty-eighth tabular element is introduced; in the second, the fifth

3. A third error is the substitution of one element for another, as think-in for think-ing, srinks for shrinks. In the first case, the eighteenth element is substituted for the sixteenth; in the second, the thirty-first is substituted for the thirty-third.

4. A fourth error is the substitution of an obscure sound for a distinct element; as when one says what approaches up-pinion for 0-pinion, or what approaches par-tic-e-lar for par-tic-u-lar. In the first case, an obscure sound is substituted for the eighth element; in the second, an obscure sound is substituted for the thirty-sixth.

SECTION CLXX.-ORTHOEPY IN RESPECT TO SYLLABICATION. What are the principles of syllabication we have seen in a previous chapter. Now, an utterance of a syllable, or the syllables of a word in accordance with these principles, is, in respect to them, orthoepy.

1. One error in respect to syllabication is the taking of an element from the syllable of a word where it belongs, and placing it in the syllable of another word; as to say a nice house instead of 66 ice house ;that lasts till nightfor that last still night..

2. A second error is the taking of an element from the syllable of a word where it belongs, and placing it in another syllable of the same word; as when one says pre-face for pref-ace.

3. A third error is the suppressing of a syllable which belongs to a word; as to pronounce the adjective learned in one syllable instead of learn-ed.

4. A fourth error in syllabication is the adding of a syllable to a word which does not belong to it; as to pronounce parliament in four syllables, as parl-i-a-ment, instead of in three syllables, parl-ement.

[ocr errors]

an

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

SECTION CLXXI.-ORTHOEPY IN RESPECT TO ACCENT.

What are the principles of English accent we have seen in a previous chapter. A correct application of those principles to practice in the utterance of words and syllables, is, in this respect, to them, orthoepy.

1. One error in accentuation is to accent a verb like a noun merely because they are spelled alike; as to pronounce to survey like a sur'vey, to attribute like an attribute. See Section CXLVII.

2. A second error is to overlook the derivation of words, and to accentuate from an ancient or a foreign language as if it were derived from the Anglo-Saxon; as to place the accent on dissyllables like balloon', romance', on the first syllable, instead of on the last syllable, where it belongs.

SECTION CLXXII.-ORTHOEPY IN RESPECT TO QUANTITY. What are the principles of English Quantity we have seen in a previous chapter. A correct application of these principles in the utterance of words and syllables is a part of orthoepy. To say hay-bit and soob'-ject, instead of hab-it and sub-ject, is to err in respect to quantity. To say orā'-tor instead of or'ator, theatre instead of the'atre, is an error in respect to quantity, as it is also in respect to accent.See Section CL.

SECTION CLXXIII. PRONUNCIATION,

PRONUNCIATION, Latin pronunciatio, the utterance of speech, is a generic term, including under it the articulation of the phonetic elements, syllabication, accent, quantity. If the pronunciation is erroneous, or if it is correct, it is, as we have just said, erroneous or correct in some of these particulars.

SECTION CLXXIV.-CAUSES AND CONDITIONS OF INCORRECT

PRONUNCIATION.

1. Defective organs of speech. If, for instance, the lips are defective, the labial elements cannot be pronounced, as in model, ballast.

2. A bad ear. When the ear cannot discriminate between two sounds, it cannot be expected that the voice will exhibit the distinction between them, as, for instance, the distinction of sound between the first syllable of mercy and of merry.

3. Bad models. Children who have before them bad models, will, by imitation, adopt them into their own pronunciation. In this way the pronunciation of whole communities is injured.

4. Bad habits. Habits formed in childhood often continue through life. Thus one person, though often corrected, continued through life to say suthing instead of something.

5. A bad condition of the mind. When the mind is sluggish there will be an indistinct utterance; when the mind is fluttered and disturbed, a stammering and confused utterance will be the result.

6. Dwelling on the vocalic to the neglect of the consonantal elements. This is done in the mode of speaking and reading called sing-song. Indistinctness in the enunciation of the consonantal elements is the consequence.

7. Rapid reading or speaking. The organs taxed in this way beyond their power necessarily slur over or drop certain sounds.

8. A mistake as to the language to which a word belongs. If one considers the word anemone as still belonging to the Greek, or the word orator as still belonging to the Latin, he will pronounce the first anemõne, the Greek word aveuúvn being thus pronounced, and the second he will pronounce orā'tor, because it is thus pronounced in the Latin language.

Both of these words have in fact become

English, and should be pronounced, the one anem-one, and the other or'ator. While a word is a foreign word it should be treated as a stranger, and as subject to the laws of the language of its own country; but when it has become naturalised its foreign aspect and accent should be laid aside. In orthography and orthoepy it should conform to the laws of the English language.

9. Mistake as to the true pronunciation of a word in a given language, after it has been ascertained to belong to that language. Thus, to know that the word débris is a French word, and yet to pronounce it de'briss, implies an ignorance of the true pronunciation in the French language.

10. The neglect of analogy. This is closely connected with the last. Though there are great irregularities in the language, and much that seems capricious and arbitrary, still there are analogies which give laws to its pronunciation. Thus, in words of two syllables, the law of analogy requires that the accent should fall on the penult, and that, in words of three syllables, the accent should be on the antepenult. See Section CXLIX, CL.

11. Bad spelling. When the phonetic elements of a word are not well represented by the alphabetic characters, the true sound cannot be ascertained from the written form, and, at the same time, the false spelling leads directly to a false pronunciation of the word.

SECTION CLXXV.—DOUBTFUL ORTHOEPY, In the language there are many words of doubtful orthoepy, which can be settled only by an appeal to considerations referred to in the last article. In a given case it becomes necessary to determine the comparative value of some of these considerations.

1. For instance, the word demonstrate is one of doubtful orthoepy. Use is divided, the masses inclining to accent the antepenult (dem'-on-strate), and the few inclining to accent the penult (demon'strate). Authorities are divided. Latin analogy favours the last, demon'strate ; English analogy justifies the first, dem'onstrate. There is a class of words in the same category.

2. The word azure is of doubtful orthoepy. At least, use is divided, and authorities are divided. An argument in favour of pronouncing it az-ure, and not a'-zure, is, that it thus conforms to the French, from which it is derived. This sound is, of the two, the more euphonious.

3. The word either is of doubtful orthoepy. In England it is generally pronounced ei-ther; in the United States more generally ē i-ther.' What may help to settle the pronunciation is, that the word comes from the Anglo-Saxon ægther, in the first syllable of which was the sound of e and not that of i.

4. The word wound is of doubtful orthoepy. We have heard it stated that the pronunciation of this word, as if spelled woond, was a provincialism, until Lord Chatham, in the height of his popularity,

26 (Exc. LaxG. &]

« AnteriorContinuar »