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temple of seience, will there discover such refinement and subtility of matter, as are not only proper to sharpen the understandings of young persons,

but sufficient to give exercise for the most profound knowledge and erudition.”

The elementary sounds, under their smallestcombination, produce a syllable ; syllables, properly combined, produce a word; words, duly combined, produce a sentence ; and sentences, properly combined, produce an oration or dis

Thus it is, says Harris, in his HERMES, that to principles apparently so trivial as a few plain elementary sounds, we owe that variety of articulate voices, which has been sufficient to explain the sentiments of so innumerable multitude, as all the present and past generations of merr.





A SYLLABLE is a sound, either simple or compounded, pronounced by a single impulse of the voice, and constituting a word, or part of a word: as, d, an, ant.

Spelling is the art of rightly dividing words into their syllables ; or of expressing a word by its pra

per letters.

The following are the general rules for the division of words into syllables.

1. A single consonant between two vowels, must be joined to the latter syllable: as, de-light, bri-dal, re-source : except the letter x ; as, ex-ist, ex-amine : and except like wise words compounded; as up-on, un-even, dis-ease.

2. Two consonants proper to begin a word, must not be separated; as, fa-ble, sti-fle. But when they come between two vowels, and are such as cannot begin a word, they must be divided ; as, ut-most, un-der, in-sect, er-ror, cof-fin.

3. When three consonants meet in the middle of a word, if they can begin a word, and the preceding vowel be pronounced long, they are not to be separated; as, de-throne, de-stroy. But when the vowel of the preceding syllable is pronounced short, one of the consonants, always belongs to that syllable ; as, dis-tract, dis-prove, dis-train.

4. When three or four consonants, which are not proper to begin a word, meet between two vowels, the first consonant is always kept with the first syllable in the divi. sion : as, ab-stain, com-plete, em-broil, dan-dler, dap-ple, con-strain.

5. Two vowels, not being a diphthong, must be divided into separate syllables; as, cru-el, de-ni-al, soci-e-ty.

6. Compounded words must be traced into the simple words of which they are composed ; as, ice-house, graceful, over-power, rest-less, never-the-less.

7. Grammatical, and other particular terminations, are generally separated ; as, teach-est, teach-eth, teach-ing, teach-er, contend-est, great-er, wretched, good-ness, love-ly.

Some of the preceding rules may be liable to considera. ble exceptions; and therefore it is said by Dr. Lowth and others, that the best and easiest direction for dividing the syllables in spelling, is to divide them as they are naturally separated in a right pronunciation ; without regard to the derivation of words, or the possible combination of consonants at the beginning of a syllable.




WORDs are articulate sounds, used by common consent, as signs of our ideas.

A word of one syllable is termed a Monosyllables a word of two syllables, a Dissyllable; a word of three syllables, a Trisyllable ; and a word of four of more syllables, a Polysyllable,

All words are either primitive or derivative.

A primitive word is that which cannot be reduced to any simpler word in the language : as, man, good, rontent.

derirativa word is that which may be rerluces to another word in English of greater simplicity; as, manful, goodness, contentment, Yorkshire.*

There are many English words which, though com. pounds in other languages, are to us primitives : thus, circumspect, circumvent, circumstance, delude, concave, complicate, &c. primitive words in English, will be found derivatives when traced in the Latin

tongue. The orthography of the English language is attended with much uncertainty and perplexity. But a considerable part of this inconvenience may be remedied, by attending to the general laws of formation : and, for this end, the learner is presented with a view of such general maxims in spelling primitive and derivative words, as have been almost universally received.


Monosyllables ending with f, l, or s, preceded by a single vowel, double the final consonant: as, staff, mill, pass, &c. The only exceptions are, of, if, as, is, has, was, yes, his, this, us, and thus.

RULE 11.

Monosyllables ending with any consonant but f, l, ors, and preceded by a single vowel, never double the final consonant ; excepting add, ebb, butt, egg, odd, err, inn, and buzz.


Words ending with y, preceded by a consonant, form the plurals of nouns, the persons of verbs, verbal nouns, past participles, comparatives, and superlatives, by changing y into i : as, spy, spies; I carry, thou carriest; he car. rieth, or carries ; carrier, carried ; happy, happier, han. piest.

The present participle in ing, retains the y, that i may not be doubled; as, carry, carrying; bury, burying, &c.

But y, preceded by a vowel, in such instances as the above, is not changed; as, boy, boys; I cloy, he cloys, cloyed, &c. :. except in lay, pay, and say; froin which are formed, laid, paid, and said ; and their compounds, unlaid, unpaid, unsaid, &c.

A compound word is included under the head of derivative words: as, pen-knife, tea-cup, iooking-glass; may be reunce Po other words of greater simplicity..

It may

sion of the palate by the tongue : it is the flat s; as, freeze, frozen, brazen. It may


proper to remark, that the sounds of the let. ters vary, as they are differently associated, and that the pronunciation of these associations depends upon the position of the accent.

also be observed, that, in or-der to pronounce accurately, great attention must be paid to the vowels which are not accented. There is scarcely any thing which more distinguishes a person of a poor edu. cation from a person of a good one, than the pronunciation of the unaccented vowels. When vowels are under the accent, the best speakers and the lowest of the people, with very few exceptions, pronounce them in the same man. ner ; but the unaccented vowels in the mouths of the former, have a distinct, open, and specific sound, while the latter often totally sink them, or change them into some other sound,

SECTION 3.-The nature of articulation explained.

A concise account of the origin and formation of the sounds emitted by the human voice, may, perhaps, not improperly, be here introduced. It may gratify the ingenious student, and serve to explain more fully the nature of articulation, and the radical distinction between yowels and consonants.

Human voice is air sent out from the lungs, and so agi. tated or modified, in its passage through the windpipe and larynx, as to become distinctly audible. The windpipe is that tube, which on touching the forepart of our throat externally, we feel hard and uneven. It conveys air into the lungs for the purpose of breathing and speech. The top or upper part of the windpipe is called the larynx, consisting of four or five cartilages, that may be expanded or brought together, by the action of certain muscles which operate all at the same time. In the middle of the larynx there is a small opening, called the glot!is, through which the breath and voice are conveyed. This opening is not wider than one tenth of an inch; and, therefore, the breath transmitted through it from the lungs, must pass with considerable velocity. The voice, thus formed, is strengthened and softened by a reverberation from the palate, and other hollow places in the inside of the mouth and nostrils;

àad as these are better or worse shaped for this reverberation, the voice is said to be more or less agreeable.

If we consider the many varieties of sound, which one and the same human voice is capable of uttering, together with the smallness of the diameter of the glottis; and reflect, that the same diameter must always produce the same tone, and, consequently, that to every change of tone a correspondent change of diameter is necessary; we must be filled with admiration at the mechanism of these parts, and the fineness of the fibres that operate in producing effects so minute, so various, and in their proportions so exactly uniform. For it admits of proof, that the diameter of the human glottis is capable of more than sixty distinct de. grees of contraction or enlargement, by each of which a different note is produced ; and yet the greatest diameter of that aperture, as before observed, does not exceed one tenth of an inch.

Speech is made up of articulate voices; and what we call articulation, is performed, not by the lungs, windpipe, or larynx, but by the action of the throat, palate, teeth, tongue, lips, and nostrils. Articulation begins not, till the breath, or voice, has passed though the larynx,

The simplest articulate voices are those which proceed from an open mouth, and are by grammarians called vowel sounds. In transmitting these, the aperture of the mouth may be pretty large, or somewhat smaller, or very small; which is one cause of the variety of vowels; a particular sound bring produced by each particular aperture. More. over, in passing through an open mouth, the voice may be gently acted upon, by the lips, or by the tongue and palate, or by the tongue and throat; whence another source of variety in vowel sounds.

Thus ten or twelve simple vowel sounds may be formed, agreeably to the plan in page 11; and the learners, by observing the position of their mouth, lips, tongue, &c. when they are uttering the sounds, will perceive that various operations of these organs of speech, are necessary to the production of the different vowel sounds; and that by minute variations they may all be distinctly pronounced.

When the voice, in its passage through the mouth, is totally intercepted, or strongly compressed, there is formed a certain modification of articulate sound, which, as expressed by a character in writing, is called a consonant. Silence is


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