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ENGLISH GRAMMAR.

ENGLISH GRAMMAR is the art of speaking and writing the English language with propriety.

It is divided into four parts, viz. ORTHOGRAPHY, ETYMOLOGY, SYNTAX, and PROSODY.

This division may be rendered more intelligible to the student, by observing, in other words, that Grammar treats, first, of the form and sound of the letters, the combination of letters into syllables, and syllables into words; secondly, of the different sorts of words, their various modifications, and their derivation; thirdly, of the union and right order of words in the formation of a sentence; and lastly, of the just pronunciation, and poetical construction of sentences.

PAKT I.

ORTHOGRAPHY.

CHAPTER I.

OF THE LETTERS.

SECTION 1. Of the nature of the letters, and of a perfect

alphabet. Orthography teaches the nature and powers of ietters, and the just method of spelling words.

A letter is the first principle, or least part, of a word.

The letters of the English language, called the English Alphabet, are twenty-six in number.

These letters are the representatives of certain articulate sounds, the elements of the language. An articulate sound, is the sound of the human voice, formed by the organs of speech.

The following is a list of the Anglo-Saxon, Roman, Italic,

and Old English Characters.

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С
D

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d

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F 3 b i

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h
i

ż or eye.

F
G
н
I
J
K
L
M
N

Italic. Old English.

Old English. Name.
Сар. Small. Cap. Small.
a &

ai.
B b 23 b bee.
C C

C see.
D d

d dee.
E e

ee.
F f

f
G
8

g

jee.
H h

h aitch.
I i 3 í
J j

j jay.
K k

kay. L 1 L 1 el. M in m2

em.
N n 12 n en.
0 0

0.
P
р

P P pee.
Q 9

q cue.
R

ar. S

ess. 1

t tee.

j k

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1

m

m

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n

n

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R

r

r

r
r

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S

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U
V
W

V

vee.

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W

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យ X

double u. eks.

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у

Y

Y
Z

wy.
zed.

Z

ge

A perfect alphabet of the English language, and, indeed, of every other language, would contain a number of letters, precisely equal to the number of simple articulate sounds belonging to the language. Every simple sound would have its distinct character; and that character be the representative of no other sound. But this is far from heing the state of the English alphabet. It has more original sounds than distinct significant letters; and, consequently, some of these letters are made to represent, not one sound alone, but several sounds. This will appear by reflecting, that the sounds signified by the united letters th, sh, ng, are elementary, and have no single appropriate characters, in our alphabet: and that the letters a and u represent the different sounds heard in hat, hate, hall; and in but, bull, mule.

To explain this subject more fully to the learners, we shall set down the characters made use of to represent all the elementary articulate sounds of our language, as nearly in the manner and order of the present English alphabet, as the design of the subject will admit; and shall annex to each character the syllable or word, which contains its proper and distinct sound. And here it will be proper to begin with the vowels. Letters denoting the

Words containing the simple sounds.

simple sounds. as heard in

fate.
in

fall.
fat.

far.
in
as
in

met.
i

in

pine. i

in

pin. in

no.

not. als

in

а

as

as

in in

as

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as

me.

as

as

as

in

move.

U

as

u

as

Letters denoting the

Words containing the simple sounds.

simple sounds.
u
as heard in

mule.
in

tub. in

bull. By this list it appears, that there are in the English language fourteen simple vowel sounds: but as i and-u, when pronounced long, may be considered as diphthongs, or diphthongal vowels, our language, strictly speaking, contains but twelve simple vowel sounds; to represenť which, we have only five distinct characters or letters. If a in far, is the same specific sound as a in fat; and u in bull, the same as o in move, which is the opinion of some grammarians; then there are but ten original vowel sounds in the English language.

The following list denotes the sounds of the consonants, being in number twenty-two. Letters denoting the

Words containing the simple sounds.

simple sounds.
b
as heard in

bay, tub.
d

in

day, sad.

off, for.

in g

egg, go. h*

in

hop, ho. k

in

kill, oak. 1

in

lap, all, in

my, mum. in

no, on. р

in

pin, map.
in

rap, cry.
in
in

zed, buzz.
t

in

top, mat.

in * Some grammarians suppose h to mark only an aspiration, or breathing but it appears to be a distinct sound, and formed in a particular manner, by the organs of speech.

Encyclopædia Britannica.

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as

in

V

as

van, love.

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in

as

as

as

m

as

as

as

as

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as

AS

th

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Lettere denoting the

Words containing the simple sounds.

simple sounds. xs heard in

ye, yes. ng

in

ing, sing. sh

in

sny, ash. th

in

thin, thick. in

then, them. zh

iri

pleasure. Several letters marked in the English alphabet, as corsonants, are either superfluous, or represent, not simple, but complex sounds. C, for instance, is superfluous in both its sounds; the one being expressed by k, and the other by s. G, in the soft pronunciation, is not a simple, but a complex sound; as age is pronounced aidge. J is unnecessary, because its sound, and that of the soft g, are in our language the same. Q, with its attendant u, is either complex, and resolvable into kw, as in quality; or unnecessary, because its sound is the same with k, as in opaque. X is compounded of gs, as in example; or of ks, as in expect.

From the preceding representation, it appears to be a point of considerable importance, that every learner of the English language should be taught to pronounce perfectly, and with facility, every original simple sound that belongs to it. By a timely and judicious care in this respect, the voice will be prepared to utter, with ease and accuracy, every combination of sounds; and taught to avoid that confused and imperfect manner of pronouncing words, which accompanies, through life, many persons who have not, in this respect, been properly instructed at an early period.

Letters are divided into Vowels and Consonants.

A Vowel is an articulate sound, that can be perfectly uttered by itself: as, a, e, 0; which are formed without the help of any other sound.

A consonant is an articulate sound, which cannot

B.2

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