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cains bättweive simple powel sounds; to represent wluch, we have only five distinct characters or letters. If a in jar, is the same specific sound as a in fat, and in kull, the same as a in murro vehich is the opinion of some grannMaians; then there are but ten original vowel sounds in the English languige.
The following list will show the sounds of the consoDants, beirg in number twenty-two.
Words containing the as hcard ist
bay, tudi, in
day, sad. ot, for.
shy, ash. thin, thick. then, thom.
pleasure. eneral letters marked in the English alphabet, as conpants, are either supertuous, er represent, not simple, 001.ex sounds. (is to instance, is superfluous in ils sounds; the one being expressed by l, and the ity. in dle sett pronunciation, is not a simple,
con sound on is pronounced side. Jis 43, angelis soall, and that of ile soft Origine de
20 vith its entendant , 31.mga app to mark crty an ispirat! , Us hing: bat appearsChoosind o tomed in
station by the outsispaudit. Socio. Briteuta
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 formi. ed without the help of any other sound.
A consonant is an articulate sound, which canne be perfectly uttered without the help of a vowel as, b, d, f, 1; which require vowels to express them fully.
The vowels are, d, e, i, o, u, and sometimes" m
W and y are consonants when they begin a word or syllable ; but in every other situation they are called vowels.
It is generally acknowledged by the best grammarians, that w and y are consonants when they begin a syllable or wurd, and vowels when they end one.
That they are consonants, when used as initials, seems to be evident from their not admitting the article an before them, as it would be improper to say, an walnut, an yard, &c.; and from their following a vowel without any hiatus or Afficulty of utterance; as, frosty winter, rosy youth. That they are Torvels in other situations, appears from their regularly taking the sound of other vowels ; as, w has the exact sound of u in saw, few, now, &c. ; and y that ofi, in hymn, fly, crystal, &c. See the letters W and Y, pages 24 & 25*.
We present the following as more exact and philosophical definitions of a vowel and consonant.
A vowel is a simple, articulate sound, perfect in itself, and formed by a continued effusion of the breath, and a certain conformation of the mouth, without any alteration in the position, or any motion of the organs of speech, from the moment the vocal sound commences, till it ends.
A consonant is a simple, articulate sound, imperfect by itself, but whích, joined with a vowel, forms a complete sound, by a particular motion or contact of the organs of speech.
Some grammarians subdivide vowels into the simple and the compound. But there does not appear to be any
foundation for the distinction:", Simplicity is essential to the nature of a yowel, which excludes every degree of mixed or compound sounds It requires, according to the definition, but one conformation of the organs of speech, to form it ; and no motion in the organs whilst it is forming.
Consonants are divided into mutes and semi.
ossbones can be sounded at all without the airaude They are , P, t, d, k, and c, and
The semi-vowels have an imperfect sound of themselves, they are f, l, m, n, r', 'v, s, 2 r, and c and g soft.
Four of the semi-vowels, namely, l, m, n, p, are also distinguished by the name of liquids, from their readily uniting with other consonants, and flowing as it were into their sounds.
* The letters w and y are of an ambiguous nature; being con. zonants at the beginning of words, and vowels at the end.
Encyclop. Briiannica. WALKFR'S Critical pronouncing Dictionary, page 24.
-UV'S English Dictionary, Preface, Page 7,
We have shown above, that it is essential to the nature of a consonant, that it cannot be fully uttered without the aid of a vowel.
further observe, that even the names of the consonants, as they are pronounced in reciting the alphabet, require the help of vowels to express them. In pronouncing the names of the mutes, the assistant vowels follow the consonants : as, be, pe, te, de, ka. In pronouncing the names of the semi-vowels, the vowels generally precede the consonants : as, ef, el, em, en, ar, esg
The exceptions are, ce, ge, ve, zed, This distinction between the nature and the name of a consonant, is of great importance, and should be well ex. plained to the pupil. They are frequently confounded by writers on grammar. Observations and reasonings on the name, are often applied to explain the nature, of a consonant : and, by this means, the student is led into error and perplexity, respecting these elements of language. It should be impressed on his mind, that the name of eve. ry consonant, is a complex sound; but that the consonant itself, is always a simple sound.
Some writers have described the mutes and semi-vowels, - with their subdivisions, nearly in the following manner.
The mutes are those consonants, whose sounds canpor be protracted. The semi-vowels, such whose sounds can be continued at pleasure, partaking of the nature of vow. els, from which they derive their name.
The mutes may be subdivided into pure and impure. The pure, are those whose sounds cannot be at all prolonged: they are k, p, t. The impure, are those whose sounds may be continued, though for a very short space : they are b, d, g.
The semi-vowels may be subdivided into vocal and és. pirated The vocal are those which are formed by the voice ; the aspirated, those formed by tlie breath. Thera are eleven vocal, and five aspirated. The vocal are i, ini '91, r, v, w, y, %, th flat, zh, ng : the aspirated; f; hy s, th sharp, sh.
The vocal semi-vowels may be subdivided into pure and impure. The
pure are those which are formed insi the voice : the impure, such as have a mixture of data witi the voice. There are seven pure, m, n, my w, jis 18 : four impure-V, %, th fiat, zh.
has no interest i? it, but that which arises froin the hope, that it will prove of some advantage to young poisons, and revieve the labours of those who are einployed in their education. le wishes to proroote, in some drgree, the cause of virtue, as well as of learning, and, with this view, he has been studia ons, through ine whole of the work, not only to avoid every #xample anzi illustration, which might have an improper effect on the minds of youth; but also to introduce, on many occasions, such as hare a moral and religious tendency. His attention io objects of so much importance will, he trusts, meet the approbation of every well-disposed reader. If they were faithfully regarded in all books of education, they would doubtless contribute very materially to the order and happiness of society, by guarding the innocence, and cherishing the virturn. of the rising generativ,