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considered under the first part of grammar, which treats of the different sounds of the letters ; and therefore we shall dismiss this subject with a few general rules and observations.
1st, All vowels under the principal accent, before the terminations ia, io, and ion, preceded by a single consodant, 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, gladiator, 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, Curvity, 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. 4th, The vowel in the antepenultimate syllable of words, with the following terminations, is always pronounced short.
loquy; as, obloquy. parous ; as, oviparous. strophe ; as, apostrophe. crucy; as, aristocracy. meter; as, barometer.
gony; as, cosmogony. gonal; as, diagonal. phony; as, symphony. vcrous; as, carnivorous.
nomy; as, astronomy. ferous ; as, somniferous.
tomy; as, anatomy. fluous; as, superfluous. pathy; as, antipathy. fluent ; as, mellifluent.
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 mas. ter of that point. See this section in the Octavo Grammar
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. If it be pronounced thus : “Do you ride to town to-day ?” the answer may naturally be, “ No, we send a servant in our stead." if thus : “ Do you ride to town to-day ?”' answer, “ No, we intend to walk.” ride to town to-day ?” No, we ride into the country." “ Do you ride to town to-day?” “ No, but we shall tomorrow.
.” In like manner, in solemn discourse, the whole force and beauty of an expression often depend on the emphatic word; and we may present to the hearers quite different views of the same sentiment, by placing the emphasis differently. In the following words of our Saviour, observe in what different lights the thought is placed, according as the words are pronounced. “Judas, betrayest thou the son of man with a kiss ?" “ Betrayest thou,” makes the reproach turn on the infamy of treachery,
Betrayest thou,” makes it rest upon Judas's connexion with his master. Betrayest thou the son of man,” rests it upon our Saviour's personal character and eminence. “ Betrayest thou the son of man with a kiss ?” turns it upon his prostituting the signal of peace and friendship to the purpose of destruction.
The emphasis often lies on the word that asks a question : as, “Who said so ?”! “ When will he come ?” “ What shall I do ?” “ Whither shall I go ??? “Why dost thou weep?"
6 Do you
And when two words are set in contrast, or in opposition bo one another, they are both emphatic; as,
" He is the tyrant, not the father, of his people ;" “ His subjects fear him, but they do not love him.”
Some sentences are so full and comprehensive, that almost every word is emphatical : as, “Ye hills and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains :” or, as that pathetic expostulation in the prophecy of Fzekiel, “Why will ye die !" In the latter short sentence, every word is emphatical ; and on which ever word we lay the emphasis, whether on the first, second, third, or fourth, it strikes out a different sense, and opens a new subject of moving expostulation.
As accent digạifies the syllable on which it is laid, and makes it more distinguished by the ear than the rest ; so emphasis ennobles the word to which it belongs, and presents it in a stronger light to the understanding. Were there no accents, words would be resolved into their original syllables : were there no emphasis, sentences would be resolved into their original words; and, in this case, the hearer would be under the painful necessity, first, of making out the words, and afterwards, their meaning.
Emphasis is of two kinds, simple and complex. Simple, when it serves to point out only the plain meaning of any proposition ; complex, when, besides the meaning, it marks also some affection or emotion of the mind; or gives a ineaning to words, which they would not have in their usual acceptation. In the former case, emphasis is scarcely more than a stronger accent, with little or no change of tone ; when it is complex, besides force, there is always superadded a manifest change of tone.
The following sentence contains an example of simple emphasis : “ And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man,' The emphasis on thou, serves only to point out the meaning of the speaker. But in the sentence which fol. lows, we perceive an emotion of the speaker superadded to the simple meaning: “Why will ye die !"
As the emphasis often falls on words in different parts of the same sentence, so it is frequently required to be continued, with a little variation, on two, and sometimes three words together. The following sentence exempliGies both the parts of this position: “If you seek to make
one rich, study not to increase his stores, but to diminish his desires.” Emphasis may be further distinguished, into the weaker and the stronger emphasis. In the sentence “ Exercise and temperance strengthen the constitution;' we perceive more force on the word strengthen, than on any other; though it is not equal to the stress which we apply to the word indifferent, in the following sentence: “Exercise and temperance strengthen even an indifferent constitution." It is also proper to remark, that the words exercise, temperance, constitution, in the last example but one, are pronounced with greater force, than the parti. cles and and the ; and yet those words cannot properly be called emphatical: for the stress that is laid on thein, is no more than sufficient to convey distinctly the meaning of each word. From these observations it appears, that the smallere parts of speech, namely, the articles, con. junctions, prepositions, &c. are, in general, obscurely and feebly expressed; that the substantives, verbs, and more significant words, are firmly and distinctly pronounced ; and that the emphatical words, those which mark the meaning of a phrase, are pronounced with peculiar stress and energy, though varied according to the degree of their importance.
Emphasis, besides its other offices, is the great regu. lator of quantity. Though the quantity of our syllables is fixed, in words separately pronounced, yet it is mutable, when these words are ranged in sentences; the long being changed into short, the short into long, according to the importance of the words with regard to meaning: and as it is by emphasis only, that the meaning can be pointed out, emphasis must be the regulator of the quantity. A few examples will make this point very evident.
Pleas'd thoŭ shălt heár-and learn the secret power, &o Pleas'd thou shalt hear and thou alone shalt hear Pleas'd thou shalt hear-in spite of them shălt hear Pleas'd thou shălt hear—though not bėhòld the fairIn the first of these instances, the words pleas'd and hèar, being equally emphatical, are both long ; whilst the two intermediate words, thờu and shålt, being rapidly passed over, as the sense demands, are reduced to a short quantity
In we secoou instance, the word thoù by being the most important, obtains the chief, or rather the sole emphasis ; and thus, it is not only restored to its natural long quantity, but obtains from emphasis a still greater degree of length, than when pronounced in its separate state. This greater degree of length, is compensated by the diminution of quartity in the words pleas'd and hear, which are sounded shorter than in the preceding instance. The word shalt still continues short. Here we may also observe, that though thou is long in the first part of the verse, it becomes short when repeated in the second, on account of the more forcible emphasis belonging to the word alone, which follows it.
In the third instance, the word shalt having the emphasis, obtains a long quantity. And though it is impossible to prolong the sound of this word, as it ends in a pure mute, yet in this, as in all similar instances, the additional quantity is to be made out by a rest of the voice, proportioned to the importance of the word. In this instance, we may also observe, that the wordshult, repeated in the second part of the line, is reduced again to a short quantity.
In the fourth instance, the word héar placed in opposition to the word behòld, in the latter part of the line, obtains from the sense the chief emphasis, and a proportionate length. The words thou and shalt, are again reduced to short quantities ; and the word pleas’d lends some of the time which it possessed, to the more important word hear.
From these instances, it is evident, that the quantity of our syllables is not fixed; but governed by emphasis.- To observe a due measurement of time, on all occasions, is doubtless very difficult; but by instruction, attention, and practice, the difficulty may be overcome.
Emphasis changes, not only the quantity of words and syllables, but also, in particular cases, the seat of the accent. This is demonstrable from the following examples.
“He shall increase, but I shall décrease." There is a difference between giving and forgiving.” “In this species of composition, plausibility is much more essential than probability.” In these examples, the emphasis requires the accent to be placed op syllables, to which it does not commonly belong.