Imagens da página
PDF
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

EXERCISE No. 16. When skilled in the use of this exercise the pupil may, with very little additional effort, blend in one these last two exercises, reversing the syllables. Thus : Wāvāvāwāvāwāwāvā

[ocr errors]

EXERCISE No. 17. This may even be reversed, as, vāwāwāvā-wāvāvāwā, väwäwävä-wäväväwä, &c., throughout. But before the pupil shall have acquired sufficient skill to go through with the exercises already written out, correctly and even with moderate haste, I am confident his fault will be so far reformed that by careful and forcible use of his organs of speech, in common language, he will seldom or never more confound the two elements in question. *

* Better exercises than these could hardly be contrived for the purpose intended. They are used by Dr. Comstock, and conveniently represented by his Phonetic characters.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

THE LETTER 'I'—THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE AND THE PARTICLE AND-PRO

MISCUOUS SENTENCES FOR EXERCISES IN PRONUNCIATION.

ANOTHER fault very common in speech, even among the more refined and educated, is the use of the sub-vowel element represented by 'w' instead of the aspirate represented by 'wh.' The words which,' when,' "where,' and whether,' are pronounced as if spelled with Walone, and the effect of the ' h' is wholly lost. This is merely the effect of carelessness in speech, and may easily be overcome. Should any particular practice be required, in order to overcome bad habits of this kind, I would recommend the following exercises :

EXERCISE FOR THE USE OF THE ASPIRATE 'Wh.'

[ocr errors]

ercises, we may construct another by repeating the aspirated syllable, as it were to represent words of three syllables, thus

EXERCISE No. 19. Wāwhāwhā wäwhäwhä wąwhąwhą wăwhăwhă, wēwhēwhē wěwhewhě, wiwhiwhi wịwhiwhỉ, wūwhāwho woowhoowhoo wowhowho, wūwhūwhā wủwhủwhủ, wouwhouwhou, woiwhoiwhoi. Giving the accent to the first syllable of the three on going over it the first time, the second time accenting the second syllable, and finally the last one; observing always great accuracy of the vowel element in the unaccented syllables. After the constant and frequent repetition of these syllables, if the sub-vowel and the aspirated syllables be widely distinguished from one another, a habit of correctness must very soon be formed which will be carried into the pronunciation of language, both in reading and conversation. The next fault I shall call attention to is the habit of omitting the aspirate sound 'h' in the commencement of a word. The force of language is much impaired by dropping this sound, and the beauty of sentences often wholly lost.

It has not been deemed necessary to prescribe any particular exercise for the correction of this fault. Any pupil may put together sentences involving the frequent repetition of this element, and read them over with care until a habit shall be formed of giving due force to every aspirated 'h:* until such a

* The sound of h is always aspirate; but the term is used here in contradistinction to the silent h. The word humble, for instance, is pronounced umble by Walker, Worcester, and some other authorities, and in honor the “h' is never heard.

habit shall be formed the reading must be very defective. The pronouns he, his, him, &c., are common instances of this.*

There are, in addition to the faults already enumerated, many others of so frequent and general occurrence as to constitute defects in reading, quite as great as some which arise from impediments or natural imperfections of speech.

The conjunction and is seldom pronounced as it should be, but takes the sound of 'un' or 'en,' or of a mere nasal, inarticulate in.' Theód,' which terminates it, should always be heard when possible to make it; it always is easy to do so when it is followed by a vowel, and frequently in other situations. The vowel element belonging to it is ă (the fourth sound of “a”), but the vowel is to be pronounced without accent.

THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE. The indefinite article is to have the sound of ă, the fourth sound of “a,' and is likewise to be pronounced without accent. But the common reader will find it very difficult to observe these last two directions without giving a stiffness to the reading—unless he shall have been well trained on the exercises relating to accent. And in general no reading can be correctly performed and agreeable to the ear which is performed without reference to these particular points, viz. the unaccented vowels must have their legitimate sounds, and the accented syllables must be produced in striking contrast as to loudness, with the light or unaccented ones. These few rules are given

* The subject of these inaccuracies will be more fully treated in the chapter on Pronunciation.

« AnteriorContinuar »