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lable; as, “ Appéase, revéal ;" or ending in two consonants ; as, “ Attend ;' have the accents on the latter syllable.

Dissyllable nouns, having a diphthong in the latter syllable, have commonly their accent on the latter syllable: as, “ Appláuse;" except some words in ain : as, “ Víllain, curtain, mountain."

Dissyllables that have two vowels, which are separated in the pronunciation, have always the accent on the first syllable : as, “ Líon, ríot, quiet, líar, rúin ;" except “ creáte."


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Trisyllables formed by adding a termination, or prefixing a syllable, retain the accent of the radical word : as, “ Lóveliness, tenderness, contémner, wágoner, phy'sical, bespátter, commenting, comménding, assurance."

Trisyllables ending in ous, al, ion : as, “ árduous, capital, méntion,” accent the first.

Trisyllables ending in ce, ent, and ate, accent the first syllable: as, “Countenance, continence, armament, imminent, élegant, propagate;" unless they are derived from words having the accent on the last: as, “Connívance, acquaintance ;” and unless the middle syllable has a vowel before two consonants; as, " Promulgate."

Trisyllables ending in y, as, “ entity, spécify, líberty, víctory, súbsidy,” commonly accent the first syllable.

Trisyllables ending in re or le, accent the first syllable: as, Légible, théatre ;" except “Discíple," and some words which have a preposition: as, “ Example, indénture."

Trisyllables ending in ude, commonly accent the first syllable : as, “Plénitude, hábitude, réctitude."

, Trisyllables ending in ator, have the accent on the middle syllables : as, “Spectator, creátor," &c.; except "brator, sénator, bárrator, légator." Trisyllables which have in the middle syllable a diphthong;

Endeavour;" or a vowel before two consonants ; as, “Doméstic;" accent the middle syllable.

Trisyllables that have their accent on the last syllable are commonly French: as, “ Acquiesce, repartée, magazíne ;" or they are words formed by prefixing one or two syllables to a long syllable: as, “ Immatúre, overcharge.” ,





Polysyllables, or words of more than three syllables, generally follow the accent of the words from which they are derived: as, "árrogating, continency, incontinently, comméndable, communicableness."

Words ending in ator have the accent generally on the penultimate, or last syllable but one: as, “ Emendator, gladiátor, equivocátor, prevaricator.”

Words ending in le commonly have the accent on the first syllable: as, “amicable, despicable :" unless the second syllable has a vowel before two consonants : as, “combustible, condemnable."

Words ending in ion, ous, and ty, have their accent on the antepenultimate, or last syllable but two: as, “ Salvátion, victorious, activity.”

Words which end in ia, io, and cal, have the accent on the antepenult: as, “Cyclopædia, punctílio, despótical."

The rules respecting accent, are not advanced as complete or infallible, but proposed as useful. Almost every rule of every language has its exceptions; and, in English, as in other tongues, much must be learned by example and authority.

It may be further observed, that though the syllable on which the principal accent is placed, is fixed and certain, yet we may, and do, frequently make the secondary principal, and the principal secondary: thus, “ Caravan, complaisant, violin, repartee, referee, privateer, domineer,” may all have the greater stress on the first, and the less on the last syllable, without

violent offence to the ear : nay, it may

be asserted, that the principal accent on the first syllable of these words, and none at all on the last, though certainly improper, has nothing in it grating or discordant; but placing an accent on the second syllable of these words, would entirely derange them, and produce a great harshness and dissonance. The same observations may be applied to “ demonstration, lamentation, provocation, navigator, propagator, alligator," and every similar word in the language.

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Of Quantity.


The quantity of a syllable, is that time which is occupied in pronouncing it. It is considered as

A vowel or syllable is long, when the accent is on the vowel; which occasions it to be slowly joined in pronunciation with the following letters: as, " Fäll, bāle, mööd, höūse, feature.”

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A syllable is short, when the accent is on the consonant; which

which occasions the vowel to be quickly joined to the succeeding letter: as, “ ănt, bonnět, hằngěr.

A long syllable generally requires double the time of a short one in pronouncing it: thus, “Māte,” and “Note” should be pronounced as slowly again as “Măt” and “ Not.”

Unaccented syllables are generally short: as, “ădmire, bóldněss, sínněr." But to this rule there are many exceptions : as,“ álso, éxile, gangrène, úmpire, fóretāste," &c.

When the accent is on a consonant, the syllable is often more or less short, as it ends with a single consonant, or with more than one: as, “Sadly, róbber; persíst, mátchless."

When the accent is on a semi-vowel, the time of the syllable may be protracted, by dwelling upon the semi-vowel: as,

Cur', can', fulfil:") but when the accent falls on a mute, the syllable cannot be lengthened in the same manner: as, * Búbble, captain, tótter."

The quantity of vowels has, in some measure, been considered under the first part of grammar, which treats of the different sounds of the letters; and therefore, we shall only add a few general rules on the subject, and some observations respecting the various degrees of length in the time of the vowels.

1st. All vowels under the principal accent, before the terminations ia, io, and ion, preceded by a single consonant, are pronounced long: as, “ Regalia, folio, adhesion, explosion, confusion :” except the vowel i, which in that situation is short: as, “ Militia, punctilio, decision, contrition.” The only exceptions to this rule seem to be," Discretion, battalion, national, and rational."

2d, All vowels that immediately precede the terminations, ity, and ety, are pronounced long : as, “ Deity, piety, spontaneity.” But if one consonant precedes these terminations, every preceding accented vowel is short ; except u, and the a in “scarcity,” and “ rarity :" as, “Polarity, severity, divinity, curiosity ;-impunity.” Even u before two consonants contracts itself: as, " Čurvity, taciturnity,” &c.

3d, Vowels under the principal accent, before the terminations ic, and ical, preceded by a single consonant, are pronounced short; thus, “Satanic, pathetic, elliptic, harmonic," have the vowel short; while,“ Tunic, runic, cubic,” have

, the accented vowel long: and “ Fanatical, poetical, levitical, canonical,” have the vowel short; but "Cubical, musical," &c. have the u long.

ath, The vowel in the antepenultimate syllable of words, with the following terminations, is always pronounced short.

loquy : as, obloquy. strophe : as, apostrophe. meter : as, barometer. gonal : as, diagonal. porous : as, carnivorous. ferous : as, somniferous. Auous : as, superfluous. Auent: as, melifluent.

parous : as, oviparous. cracy: as, aristocracy. gony: as, cosmogony. phony: as, symphony. nomy : as, astronomy. lomy: as, anatomy. pathy : as, antipathy.

As no utterance which is void of proportion, can be agreeable to the ear; and as quantity, or proportion of time in utterance, greatly depends on a due attention to the accent; it is absolutely necessary for every person, who would attain a just and pleasing delivery, to be master of that point.

In this work, and in the author's Spelling-book, the vowels e and o, in the first syllable of such words as, behave, prejudge, domain, propose ; and in the second syllable of such as, pulley, turkey, borrow, follow; are considered as long vowels. The second syllables in such words as, baby, spicy, holy, fury, are also considered as long syllables. This arrangement is founded on the general practice of good speakers; and is supported by the authority of the judicious Walker, author of “ The Critical Pronouncing Dictionary ;": who has uniformly, throughout his celebrated work, assigned to the vowels e and o a long sound, in the syllables just mentioned, and in all others of a similar nature. It might reasonably have been supposed, that the very general approbation, which this performance of Walker has received from the public, would have settled the pronunciation of the vowels

nd syllables in question. But there are some critical writers, who dispute the propriety of his arrangement; and assert, that the vowels e and o, in the construction mentioned, are short vowels, and that the syllables which contain them, are consequently, short syllables. These writers seem to think, that all long syllables are equally long; that there are no degrees in the length of them. In this supposition, they are, however, evidently mistaken. It will doubtless be admitted, that the second syllable of the word degree, is longer than the second of the word coffee; and that the latter syllables of both these words, are long. In the words scarecrow, wherefore, both the syllables are unquestionably long, but not of equal length. We presume, therefore, that the syllables under consideration, may also be properly styled long syllables, though their Vol. i.


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length is not equal to that of some others : or, at least, that there can be no objection to a syllable's being long, on the ground of its not being so long, or so much protracted, as some other long syllables are.

Will the opponents of the positions for which we contend, assert, that the syllables referred to, in behave, domain, pulley, borrow, holy, fury, &c. are short syllables? If they are such, the words must be pronounced, beh ave, dom ain, pul leh, bor roh, ho lih, fu rih, &c. There are no other sounds to denote e and o short. But it is manifest that e and o short, cannot be the true sounds of the vowels in these words : and that, therefore, they must have the less protracted sounds of e and o long.-It will not, however, follow, (as the critics insist,) that, on our principles, the words should be pronounced bee-have, do-o-main, pul-lee, ho-lee, fu-ree, &c. protracting or drawling out the syllable, to a considerable extent. To do so, would be to accent both the syllables. If the accent is fairly preserved on the proper syllable, this drawling sound will never be heard : the sound of e and o long, in their due degrees, will be preserved, and clearly distinguished. In the words methinks, methought, who would pronounce the first syllable mee? And who would assert, that it ought to be pronounced short, like e in met? But we have, perhaps, dwelt too long on this subject; and bestowed too much attention, in controverting a point, which appears to be so little capable of defence; and against which the authority of Walker, and public opinion, are so express and decisive.

Section 3.

Of Emphasis. By emphasis is meant a stronger and fuller sound of voice, by which we distinguish some word or words on which we design to lay particular stress, and to show how they affect the rest of the sentence. Sometimes the emphatic words must be distinguished by a particular tone of voice, as well as by a greater stress.

On the right management of the emphasis depends the life of pronunciation. If no emphasis be placed on any words, not only will discourse be rendered heavy and lifeless, but the meaning often left ambiguous. If the emphasis be placed wrong, we shall pervert and confound the meaning wholly.

To give a common instance : such a simple question as this, “Do you ride to town to-day ?" is capable of no fewer than four different acceptations, according as the emphasis is differently placed on the words.

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