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There are forty-one elementary sounds in the English language. They are divided into three classes: Vocals, Subvocals, and Aspirates.
Vocals consist of pure tone or vocality. They are sixteen in number.
Subvocals are imperfect tones, being formed of pure tone and breath united. There are fifteen subvocals.
Aspirates have no tone or vocality, being formed of breath alone. They are ten in number.
Without good articulation, pronunciation must be defective; and without good pronunciation, no one can attain to real excellence in reading or speaking. The student of elocution, therefore, is earnestly urged to bestow upon this branch of delivery that attention which its importance demands.
The first step toward securing perfection in articulation is to master the elements of the following table. This may be accomplished by practicing according to directions upon the words in this table, which are the keys to all the elementary sounds in the English language. If the learner is not satisfied with the result of the first effort, let him try again, and so continue to do, until he is able to separate each key word into its elements, take out the one for practice, and utter it correctly and forcibly alone.
When the elements can be given singly, the exercises in articulation which follow may be undertaken. A portion of these, or the table of elementary sounds, should constitute a daily exercise. Practice upon the vocals will increase the force, compass, and fullness of the voice and improve its quality; and practice upon the subvocals and aspirates will so discipline and strengthen the muscles of the lips and tongue, that the most difficult combinations of consonants can be uttered with ease and correctness.
Though much has been written upon articulation, yet there are many who do not fully appreciate its importance, and consequently give it little or no attention. This neglect is wrong, and should not be persisted in. Demosthenes, the most illustrious of ancient orators, did not deem this subject beneath his notice, but submitted himself to the severest discipline, that he might secure a correct and graceful enunciation. Let those who are ambitious to excel in elocution imitate his example, and they will not only be perfectly satisfied with the result, but they will learn to give articulation a prominent place among the principles of elocution.
TABLE OF ELEMENTARY SOUNDS.
The elements in the following table must be uttered by the teacher first, and then by the class individually, or in concert. In order to give each element correctly, pronounce the word containing it distinctly and forcibly, and then utter the element alone; as ape, a; arm, a; bat, b, &c. Let the practice upon this table be continued until every elementary sound can be uttered correctly and promptly.
ELEMENT. 32. p, as in pin,
p|37. f, as in fan, 33. s,“ sin,
8 38 ch,“ chin, . ch 34. t, tin,
t|39. th,“ thin, 35. k, 6 kid,
k 40. sh,“ shy, . 36. h, « his, - b 41. wh,“ why,
NOTE.-R before a vowel may be slightly trilled, but after a vowel it should be smooth. R trilled is sometimes called the vibrant r.
QUESTIONS.—What is elocution? Of what does it include a practical knowledge? What does pronunciation embrace? What is articulation ? How many elementary sounds are there? How divided ? What is a vocal! A subvocal? An aspirate? Will you give the vocals? The subvocals ? The aspirates ? The second sound of a? The first sound of u? The sound of 6? The sound of y? The sound of w?
EXERCISES IN ARTICULATION.
O, ó; é d; å å; oi, oz
Words containing combinations of Subvocals. First pronounce the word, giving as much stress as possible to the combination under consideration; then utter the combination
alone, being careful to give it precisely the same sound that it has in the word. When this has been done with each word of a line, let the combinations, which are placed immediately under the words from which they are taken, be uttered by themselves.
1.' Robb’d, blow; brow, robs; ladle, hard' n.
Dr , dw i dzą gd; gl, gr .
Lh, id; lj, im; In, lv.
rg, rj ; . rl ет.
Rn, ro; rz, 1 . vd; ol, om. 13. Moves, razed;. hazel, prism; risen, sheathed. 14. Vz, zd; zl, zm; zn, thd. 15. Sheathes, hanged; hangs, troubled; troubles, bridled. 16. Ths, ngd; ngz, bld; blz, did. 17. Bridles, ogled; ogles, bulb'd; bulbs, molds. 18. Dlz, gld; glz, Tod; - Tbz, Idz. 19. Bulgd, film'd; films, delv'd; delves, lands. 20. Ljd, Imd; Imz, lud; luz, ndz. 21. Singed, orbed; orbs, words; - burgs, urged. 22. Njd, rbd; - roz, rdz; . rgz, 23. Purl'd, purls; arm'd, arms; warnd, warms. 24. Rid, - rlz; rmd, rmz; rnd, rmz. 25. Curud, curves; driv'ld, drivels; leav'n'd, leav'n's. 26. Rud, roz; vld, vlz;. vnd, vnz. 27. Dazzld, dazzles; prisms, reas'n'd;
reas'n's. 28. Zid, zls; zmz, znd;
Words containing combinations of Aspirates.
Ps, pt; pth, sp; st
3. Sphinx, mats; backs, act; left, "muffs 4. Sf , ts; ks, kt; ft, fs. 5. Fifth, etch'd; truths, with’d; droop'st, depths.
Fth, cht; ths, tht; - pt, pths. Clasps, clasp'd; mists, asks; ask’d, sať st. Sps, spt; sts, sks; skt,
tst. Picts, sixth; laugh’st, rafts; fifths, accept'st.
Kts, ksth; fst, fts; fths, ptst. 11. Askost, rest'st; actst, waftst; teach’dst, hush’dst 12. Skst, stst; ktst, ftst; chtst, shtst
Words containing combinations of Subvocals and Aspirates. 1. Width, help; else, wilt; elk, elf; filch, - wealth. 2. Dth, lp; ls, lt; lk, lf; ich, Ith.
Imp, contempt; nymphs, prince; prints, ink. -, Mp, mt; mf, ns ; nts, nk. 5. Inch, tenth; harp, horse; ark, turf. 6. Nch, nth; rp. rs ; rk, rf. 7. Arch, · mirth; marsh, prob’st; didst, widths.
Rch, rth; rsh, bst; dst, dths. 9. Digg'st, rag'st; helps, help'd; rul'st, melts
Gst, jst; Ips, ipt; Ist, Its 11. Elks, milk'd; elfs, ingulf'd; twelfth, filch’d. 12. Lks, lkt; lfs, Ift;. ifth, Icht. 13. Healths, imps; doom'st, attempts; canst, plants. 14. Lths, mps; mst, mts;
I nst, nts. 15. Winks, wink'd; quench'd, months; warmth, burnt. 16. Nks, nkt; ncht, nths; rmth, rnt 17. Harps, harp'd; burst, barks; bark'd, dwarfs. 18. Rps, rpt; rst, rks; rkt, rfs. 19. Dwarf'd, parch’d; hearths, earth'd; rav’st, elev'nth. 20. Rft, rcht; rths, rtht; vst, vnth. 21. Sheath’st, hangʻst; lengths, prob’dst; troubl'st, cradl st 22. Thst, ngst; ng.hs, bdst; Ulst, dlst. 23. Begg'dst, strugglst; rag'dst, holdst; whelm'st, delv’st. 24. Gdst, glst; jdst, idst; Imst, lvst