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usage, and some examples of prevailing local error, are here presented as aids to the teacher in his endeavors to form aright the character of early habit in his pupils.
RULES OF ORTHOËPY.
Sounds of the letter A. I. The vowel a, unaccented, preceding a consonant, sounds, properly, as in the word admit. — E.camples: Abet, abound, alas, alone, avow, away, cabal, caress, paternity, variety, contrary, customary, obduracy.
Errors: [A sounding as in ale,] “ Aybet, aybound, aylas, aylone, ayvow, ayway,” etc.
II. The indefinite article a, and the vowel a, at the end of a word, sound properly as a in admit. Examples: A man, a book, a place, algebra, diploma, dilemma, Asia, America, Cuba, data, arcana, arena, strata, alpha.
Errors: (1.) [A sounding as in ale,] “ Algebray, diplomay, dilemmay, etc. Cubay, arcanay,” etc. (2) [Er, for a,] “ Cuber, arcaner, arener,” etc.
III. The sound of a, in the word and, and others of the same class, is, properly, intermediate between that of a, in arm, and that of e, in end. Examples : And, hand, band, land, can, man, van, add, had, mad, last, vast, past, class, mass, grass.
Errors : (1.) [Too nearly,] “ End, hend, bend, ken, men, med, lest, vest, cless, mess,” etc. (2.) [Too nearly,] “Mâss, (a, as in marsh,) lâst, vâst, påst, clâss, mâss, grâss.”
IV. The proper sound of a, in words such as bare, air, layer, is neither so broad as that of a, in and, nor so close as that of a, in ale, but coincides with that
of e in there. — Examples: Care, dare, pare, lair, fair, stair, prayer, careful, daring, parent, fairly, staircase, prayerful.
Errors: (1.) [Approaching,] “ Car', dar, par', car'ful, parrent, pra’rful.” (2.) [Approaching, or absolutely,] “ Cayer, dayer, payer, cayerful, payrent,”
I. The vowel e, immediately followed by the letter r, and a consonant, has a sound intermediate between that of e, in the word end, and that of u, in the word up, — not so close as the former, nor so open as the latter. – Examples: Term, germ, terminate, germinate, sermon, servant, perfect, person, mercy, personate, merciful.
Errors : “ Turm" and “ tairm," "jurm” and “jairm," "survant” and “sairvant," "purfect" and pairfect,” “ murcy” and “maircy,” etc.
II. In the combinations, -ed and -el, when they form a final syllable, the vowel e sounds, properly, as i, in it. - Examples: Wicked, crested, hinted, blessed, haunted, founded, rounded, sounded, astounded, appointed; gospel, quarrel, revel, vessel, model, level, jewel, etc.
Errors: [Too nearly thus,] “ Wickedd, crestedd, hintedd, blessedd."
III. In -et, -est, and -ess, as final syllables, the vowel e retains its sound, as in the word met. — Examples : - Market, trinket, hearest, grandest, bravest, goodness, meekness, righteousness, blessedness.
Error : [Changing the sound of e, in met, into that of i, in it,] “ Baskit, markit, trinkit, hearist, grandist, bravist, goodniss, meekniss, righteousniss."
I. I. The vowel i, occurring in monosyllables ending
mute, is, properly, a diphthongal sound, coin
mencing with that of a, in the word and, and terminating in an approach to the sound of e, in eve. Examples : Isle, mile, vile, ride, side, life, time, vine, bite, rite.
Errors : (1.) [Commencing with the sound of a in arm, - giving a broad and drawling sound to the whole element, - as if expressed thus,] “ Mâel, lâef, tâem, vâen,” etc. — (2.) (Commencing with nearly the sound of e in end, — causing a flat and mincing sound, as if expressed thus,] “ Měel, lẽef, těem, věen," etc.
II. The vowel i, unaccented, preceding a consonant, sounds, properly, as in the word it. — Examples: Direct, diverge, divest, divert, minuteness, dimension, divulge, diversify, philosopher, philosophical.
Errors: [I sounding as in mile,] “Di-rect, di-verge, di-vest, mī-nuteness,” etc.
I. The vowel o, in monosyllables ending with silent e, is, properly, a long sound, as in the name of the letter, itself. - E.camples : Cone, lone, bone, stone, home, whole, hope.
Errors : [Nearly,] “ Bon, ston, hom, hol, hop.”
II. O, in such words as force, source, etc., has, properly, its long, close sound, as in rose. — Examples: Force, forge, ford, forth, source, sword, course, hoarse, resource, fourteen.
Errors : [Too nearly,) “ Fawrce, sawrce, sawrd, hawrse," etc.
III. O, in such words, as or, nor, etc., has, properly, a sound intermediate between o, in on, and a, in all. - Examples: Or, nor, orb, cord, lord, short, storm, corn, north, torch.
Errors : (1.) [Too nearly,] Oar, noar, oarb, coard, loard,” etc. [Too nearly,] “ Ar, nâr, ârb, cârd, lârd," etc.
IV. O, in such words as not, nod, etc., has, properly, a sound which is never capable of being confounded with that of o, in old, nor with that of a, in and. - Examples: Not, lot, sod, god, loss, toss, lost, tossed, off, oft, soft, soften, often.
Errors: (1.) (Too nearly,) “ Goad, loass, toassed, oaff, soaft," etc. (2.) [Too nearly,] “ Gad, lass, tassed, aff, saft,” etc.
V. In the termination -or, the vowel o takes, properly, the sound of o, in done. — Examples: Creator, spectator, speculator, operator, factor, numerator.
Errors : Sounding the o of these and similar words, as in the word or, and as in the Latin words creator, spectator, etc., in which a partial accent justly falls on the final syllable, thus distinguishing these words from the English ones of the same orthography.
I. The vowel u, occurring in monosyllables ending in silent e, and in many words in which it occurs before a single consonant, sounds, properly, as the whole pronominal word you. — Examples : Cube, tube, lute, mute, tune, flute, duke, dupe, flume, plume, spume, duty, dutiful, student, stupid, constitute, institute, constitution, revolution, institution.
Errors:- (1.) “ Toob, loot, toon, floot, dook, dooty, stoodent, stoopid, constitoot, institoot, constitootion, revolootion, institootion.” —(2.) [Nearly thus,] “Tayoob, layoot, tayoon, flayoot, frayoot, rayool, constitayoot," etc.
II. The vowel u, occurring as above, but immediately followed by the letter r, takes, properly, the sound of oo in rood, or of oo in root. – Examples : Rule, rude, crude, prune, brute, fruit, true, rural, brutal, truly, prudish.
Errors : " Rayool” and “ryule ”, “ rayood” and “ ryude ”, “ crayood” and “cryude”, “prayoon” and
“ pryune”, “ brayoot” and “bryute”, “ frayoot” and “ fryuit”, “ trayoo” and “ tryue”, etc.
Note. The difference between these errors, is merely that which characterises the former as the style of rural life, and the latter as that of the educated class, in the local style of New England. But the unfortunate sanction of Webster's, and even of Worcester's dictionary, tends to introduce it in schools in other parts of the Union, and justly causes offence to the ear, as a recognised peculiarity of the pronunciation of our Eastern States, which even the actor on the stage takes pains to introduce, as a means of giving life-like reality to his delineations of local character.
The Diphthongs OI and O Y. Rule. The sound of the diphthongs oi and oy, commences properly with the sound of o in or. Examples : Oil, boil, toil, coil, boy, joy, toy, hoy, recoil, turmoil, rejoice, avoid, joyful.
Error: [The sound commencing with that of o in old.] “Oil, boil, toil, coil, boy, joy, recoil, rejoice, avõid.”
OU and OW.
Rule. The diphthongs ou, in such words as our, and ow, in such words as down, commence, properly, to the ear, with the sound of o in such words as done, come, etc. — E.camples: Our, bound, found, ground, count, account, recount, how, now, down, gown, town, scowl.
Errors : (1.).[Commencing with nearly the sound of a in arm,] “ Aur, bâund, fâund, hâoo, nâoo, dâoon," etc. (2.) [ Commencing with a sound like that of e in end, “ Eur, běund; féund, hču, něu, děun, kéunt, ackčunt, skčul."