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ELOCUTION is the mode of utterance or delivery of
any thing spoken. It may be good or bad. 2. Good ELOCUTION, in reading or speaking, is uttering ideas understandingly, correctly, and effectively. It embraces the two general divisions, ORTHOËPY and EXPRESSION.
Readers may be divided into three classes,—the mechanical, or those who merely pronounce words, with but slight reference to their connections and signification; the intelligent, or those who understand the meaning of the separate words, their relative importance in sentences, and historical and other references; and the effective, or those who bring out clearly the emotional part, as well as the exact and full meaning of the author.
To secure effective reading—the only reading that can satisfy a laudable ambition-it will be necessary for the student, first, to acquire such a practical knowledge of the oral elements of the language as shall insure the precise pronunciation of the separate words, with as little apparent effort of the mind as is ordinarily employed in the act of walking ; secondly, to learn the definitions of unusual or peculiarly significant words in the lesson—the explanations of classical, historical, and other allusions—and the analysis of all sentences that embrace parenthetical or other incidental matter; and thirdly, to acquire such a command of the perceptive faculties, of the emotional nature, and of the elements of expression, as shall enable him to see clearly whatever is represented or described, to enter fully into the feelings of the writer, and to cause the hearers to see, feel, and understand.
of It embraces ARTICULATION, SYLLABICATION, and ACCENT. Orthoëpy has to do with separate words, the production of their oral elements, the division of these elements into syllables, and the accentuation of the right syllables.
RTICULATION is the distinct utterance of the oral
elements in syllables and words. 2. ORAL ELEMENTS are the sounds that, uttered separately or in combination, form syllables and words.
3. ORAL ELEMENTS ARE PRODUCED by different positions of the organs of speech, in connection with the voice and the breath.
4. THE PRINCIPAL ORGANS OF SPEECH are the lips, the teeth, the tongue, and the palate.
5. VOICE IS PRODUCED by the action of the breath upon the lărynx."
6. ORAL ELEMENTS ARE DIVIDED into three classes : eighteen TONICS, fifteen SUBTONICS, and ten ATONICS.
7. Tonics are pure tones produced by the voice, with but slight use of the organs of speech.
8. SUBTONICS are tones produced by the voice, modified by the organs of speech.
9. ATONICS are mere breathings, modified by the organs of speech.
10. LETTERS are characters that are used to represent or modify the oral elements.
11. THE ALPHABET IS DIVIDED into vowels and consonants.
· Larynx.-The larynx is the up consisting of five gristly pieces per part of the trachea or windpipe, which form the organ of voice.
12. VOWELS are the letters that usually represent the tonic elements. They are a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y.
13. A DIPHTHONG is the union of two vowels in one syllable; as, ou in our.
14. A DIGRAPH, or Improper Diphthong, is the union of two vowels in a syllable, one of which is silent; as oa in loaf, ou in court.
15. A TRIPHTHONG is the union of three vowels in one syllable; as eau in beau, ieu in adieu.
16. CONSONANTS ? are the letters that usually represent either subtonic or atonic elements. They are of two kinds, single letters and combined, including all the letters of the alphabet, except the vowels, and the combinations ch, sh, wh, ng; th subtonic, and th atonic.
17. LABIALS are letters whose oral elements are chiefly formed by the lips. They are b, p, w, and wh. M may
be regarded as a nasal labial, as its sound is affected by the nose. F and v are labia-dentals.
18. DENTALS are letters whose oral elements are chiefly formed by the teeth. They are j, 8, 7, ch, and sh.
19. LINGUALS are letters whose oral elements are chiefly formed by the tongue. They are d, l, r, and t. N is a nasal-lingual; y, a lingua-palatal, and th, a lingua-dental.
20. PALATALS are letters whose oral elements are chiefly formed by the palate. They are g and k. NG is a nasalpalatal.
21. COGNATES are letters whose oral elements are produced by the same organs, in a similar manner; thus, f is a cognate of v; k of g, &c.
22. ALPHABETIC EQUIVALENTS are letters, or combinations of letters, that represent the same elements, or sounds; thus, i is an equivalent of e, in pique.
'W not a Vowel.-As w, stand- combinations because they are rarely ing alone, does not represent a pure used in words without having a vowor unmodified tone in the English el connected with them in the same language, it is not here classified syllable, although their oral elements with the vowels.
may be uttered separately, and with. * Consonant.The term conso- out the aid of a vowel. Indeed, they nant, literally meaning, sounding frequently form syllables by them. with, is applied to these letters and selves, as in feeble (bl), taken (kn).
opened, and the stream of sound from the throat should be thrown, as much as possible, directly upward against the roof of the mouth. These elements should open with an abrupt and explosive force, and then diminish gradually and equably to the end.
In producing the subtonic and atonic elements, it is important to press the organs upon each other with great firmness and tension; to throw the breath upon them with force; and to prolong the sound sufficiently to give it a full impression on the ear.
The instructor will first require the students to pronounce a catch-word once, and then produce the oral element represented by the figured vowel, or Italic consonant, four times—thus; age,-à, à, à, à ; āte, -ā, ā, ā, ā: åt,-å, å, å, å ; åsh,—ă, ă, ă, ă, &c. He will exercise the class until each student can utter consecutively all the elementary sounds as arranged in the following
TABLE OF ORAL ELEMENTS.
i or i,
ò or 7,
åt, ăsh. é or ě, elk, ěnd.
e,“ her, verse.
i or 1, ink, inch.
* A Fifth.—The fifth element, or prolonging and slightly softening å sound, represented by a, is its first * E Third.Thethird element repor Alphabetic sound, modified or resented by e, is e as heard in end, prosoftened by r. In its production, longed, and modified or softened by r.