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The difficulty is simply that ideas may be translated into the words of another language, while the sounds of that language are untranslatable. The French language has sounds that are not used in the English language at all. The English has sounds that are not used in the French language, and the French student has never attempted to pronounce them. The German language has sounds that are found neither in English nor French, and it is with great difficulty that the student can get the exact pronounciation of words containing those new sounds until he knows definitely what those sounds are.
STANDARD OF PRONUNCIATION. — By visible speech symbols any known pronunciation may be accurately preserved, and any change in any pronunciation may at once become universal. Had such a system been known to the ancients, the pronunciation of the Greeks and Romans could have been accurately written and preserved by the phonetic symbols. The pronunciation of Cicero and his contemporaries could be indisputably known. Any school-boy could read the productions of the great orator, pronouncing his words as they were originally spoken.
Visible speech is a valuable instrument for facilitating philological researches. At a meeting of the Philological Society of London, England, in the year 1869, a resolution was unanimously passed by its members, expressing their sense of the great value of Mr. Bell's system of visible speech and its ready applicability to purposes of philological investigation.
PRIMARY INSTRUCTION. — By the use of this system the children in our schools may be taught a uniformity of pronunciation of all the elementary sounds in the
language, and thus attain a more elegant and unique articulation in a comparatively short time. This would not add to the labor already imposed upon the children in our public schools. It would be a means to an end, a mere incidental in the school-room drill. It would enable them easily to accomplish results which are now sought by arbitrary and difficult processes. It would be a means of economy in the plan of a thorough education. It would aid the primary classes in reading, give them a perfect knowledge of phonetics, and simplify the study of language. It would place the children in a condition most favorable for acquiring any modern language. In the United States, children of foreign parents could readily be taught to speak English as American children speak it. Teachers may readily acquire a knowledge of this system, and by its use save much valuable time and labor to their pupils as well as to themselves. If visible speech was a part of the regular course in our normal and training schools, it would greatly increase the usefulness of our teachers. It would not require more but less time to satisfactorily complete the full course in our best regu. lated and most practical normal schools. If the mechanism of speech was thoroughly understood, nearly all cases of lisping and similar defects of speech might be easily removed by the primary and grammar school teachers.
ELOCUTION. – The practical elocutionist finds the science of visible speech of great value. It is an aid in the drill work of pupils with undisciplined organs. It is of great use in obtaining accuracy of pronunciation with pupils having an untrained ear. It serves as a complete system of phonetics in all languages. It is of daily practical use in classes of beginners in the study of the principles and mechanism of speech. Visible speech was adopted by the Boston University School of Oratory in the year 1874.
CARISTIAN Missions. — Visible speech will be invaluable in mission fields. The difficulties which missionaries have experienced in acquiring the pronunciation of the natives of any country, and in teaching the natives the pronunciation of their languages, have been a great hindrance to the progress of mission work. Visible speech has already been introduced into China by Mr. Murray, missionary from Scotland. Large portions of the New Testament have been translated into the Chinese spoken language, and printed in visible speech symbols. The Chinese written language and the Chinese spoken language are two distinct languages. The Chinese spoken language had never been written or printed until visible speech was employed for that purpose. It is now possible for the uneducated masses of China to be taught to read the Scriptures in their own spoken language.
It is at once apparent that the invention of visible speech has made possible the construction and establishment of a universal language whenever such a language is required.
Visible speech does not interfere with the letters of any language in use, but simply furnishes an independent medium for representing the sounds of all languages. The number of types required for representing the sounds of all known languages may not exceed one hundred.
NOTE. – Prof. Butterfield illustrated his lecture by blackboard exercises and printed charts. He drew a diagram of
the organs of speech upon the blackboard, and gave to each articulating part its appropriate sign, and from these physiological signs he constructed phonetic symbols, showing clearly the principles of the universal alphabet.
The following experiment was made to test the system. Sentences in Japanese were given by Mr. Tanetaro Megata, the Japanese Commissioner of Education to the United States. Mr. Butterfield wrote his articulation upon the blackboard. Mrs. Butterfield, who was requested by a member of the audience to retire from the hall while the sentences were given, was called in. She articulated the sentences written upon the board, to the great astonishment and delight of the audience. Mr. Megata pronounced her articulation perfectly correct. Further experiments would have gratified the audience, but time would not permit.
JOINT AND DISJOINT EDUCATION IN THE
PUBLIC SCIIOOLS. By WILLIAM F. WARREN, S. T. D., LL. D.,
BOSTON, MASS. By joint education is meant in this paper that form of school organization in which teachers of both sexes instruct and train the children and youth of a community, with no other classifications than those based upon local convenience, type of education, proficiency in study, and merit of conduct. By disjoint education is meant that opposed form of school organiza. tion in which children and youth in the same locality, aiming at the same kind of education, displaying like proficiency in study and equal meritoriousness in conduct, are, for the purposes of education, separated into distinct schools, solely on the basis of sex.
It is proposed to consider these rival methods solely with reference to that public school system which, under the forms and sanctions of law, is established by the people, for the people, and at the expense of the people. Under this limitation the discussion must needs apply chiefly to the elementary and secondary forms of education ; but wherever, as in many States, the State-established and State-supported system includes colleges, normal schools, and universities in the