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accent on the second syllable of these words is entirely obsolete; and the attempt to revive it, although favouring harmony of sound, is in as bad taste as the introduction of obsolete words in writing, or the adoption of antiquated fashion in garments.
Polysyllables, erroneously accented on the first syllable instead of the second: Contemplate compensate extirpate.
The fault of improper force on unaccented syllables, arises from prolonging the vowel in such syllables. This error is illustrated in the incorrect sound of the initial a, as in ābandon for ăbandon. It occurs also in the following and similar words: Attract attraction detract deduce deduct deduction detraction delusive deride derision relate remit remember review addition ;-mispronounced att'ra'ct, détra'ct, for attra'ct, detra'ct, &c. This fault should be carefully avoided, as imparting to words, a childish or mechanical accent, in the style of early lessons at elementary schools.
The English language differs from others in no point more strikingly, than in the peculiar force of its accent, which seems almost to absorb the enunciation, in reading or in speaking,--particularly the latter. This characteristic is, no doubt, often carried to excess through carelessness and inattention, and produces a faulty obscurity of articulation, in unaccented sounds. But the fault of this extreme, cannot justify the opposite, which tends to equalise accent, somewhat in the manner of the French language. The style of pronunciation becomes, in this way, feeble and inexpressive, by losing the appropriate native prominence of English accent.
THE WORDS The, By, My. The, before a word beginning with a vowel, should be pronounced with the same sound of e as in Relate : before a word beginning with a consonant, it should have the obscure sound, as in the second syllable of eternal; but never the sound of broad a.
By, in colloquial or very familiar language, may be pronounced short, with a sound of y corresponding to that of i in the word it, and not as sometimes heard, like the e of me. But, generally, the y should be long.
My should always be pronounced with the short sound of i, mentioned above, unless in emphatic expression or in solemn style; and, in the latter, only in phrases directly associated with solemnity, as in the following: 'my God.' Familiar phrases, even in serious or solemn style, should retain the short y; thus, Mỹ hand, my heart, my mouth, --not my hand, &c.So also in phrases of address, mỹ lords, mỹ friends, mỹ countrymen, &c.—not mỹ lords, &c. The word myself should never have the long y.
THE TERMINATION ed. In the reading of the Scriptures, the solemnity and antiquity of the style are supposed by some to require, or at least to authorize, the sounding of e in such words.- This, however, is a matter of taste merely, and should never be extended to other reading.
The preceding illustrations of errors in pronouncing, are intended rather to suggest the necessity of the dictionary exercise already prescribed, than to give a full list of mispronunciations. Many important classes of faults in pronouncing are included in the lesson and exercises in articulation, which it may be useful to repeat, before commencing the exercise from the dictionary. This exercise may be performed, to great advantage, by the use of the slate and pencil; the pupils in a class writing, at the dictation of the teacher, a column or more of words, and on a column opposite, the orthoepy or actual pronunciation of each. It may afford a useful variety in the form of exercise, to write occasionally the orthoepy alone, as a discipline of the ear, or rather of the mind, in quickness and accuracy of attention.-Every locality has its own peculiar errors; but the following table will, it is thought, prove generally useful.
* Words in which the current pronunciation of the United
States, deviates from that of England.
Acceptable, Again-agayn, Against-agaynst, Aggran'dizement, Al'ternate, Almost, Azure-ăzhure, Bellows, (the noun,) belloze, Bravo-Brayvo, Bronze-bronz, Caprice-cay'prees, Chamoisshammy, Chåsten, China-Chinay, Chivalry-shivalry, Clărion, Combat-combat, Commen’dable, Com'pensate, Comrade--cõmrăd, Con'fidant, Con'fiscate, Constitution—constitootion, Con'summate, Con'template, Con'tents, Courteous-corteous, Courtesy-cortesy, Creek-crik, Crocodile, Deaf-deef, Dec'orous, Dem'onstrate, De'tail,
Acceptable, Again-agen, Against-agenst, Ag'grandizement, Alter'nate, Almost, Azure-ayzhure, Bellows-bellus, Bravo-brâvo, Bronze-bronze, Caprice-căprees', Chamois-shămoy', Chasten, China-Chină, Chivalry-tshivalry, Clārion, Combat-cumbat, Com'mendable, Compen'sate, Comrade-cumrāde, Confidant, Confis'cate, Constitūtion, Consum'mate, Contem'plate, Contents', Courteous-curteous, Courtesy-curtesy, Creek, Crocodile, Deaf-def, Deco'rous, Demon'strate, Detail
* Peculiarities of pronunciation, whether they characterize the usage of Ireland, Scotland, or the United States, fall under the denomination of errors, as regards the appropriate use of the English language. They are on the same footing with the faults of provincial dialect, in England itself. The English language, spoken out of England, claims, justly, the same law of observance with that of the French language, spoken out of France,-to be regulated by the custom of the country in which it originated.
ENGLISH PRONUNCIATION. Döcīle,
Docilem dõssil, Dynasty,
Ener'vate, Enuncia'tion-enunseation, Enunciation-enunsheation, Epicu'rean,
Hostler-osler, Housewife-house-wife, Housewife-hůzwif Hover-hover,
Humour-umour, Hyssophisup, or hissup, Hyssop—hizzup, Indocile,
Indocile-indóssil, Institution-institootion, —
Prélude, Présage, (n.)
Process, Produce, (n.)-prodoos, Prõd'ucem(u, as in mute,)
ENGLISH PRONUNCIATION. Progress,
Prologue, Pronunciation-pronunseation, Pronunciation-pronunsheation, Propitiation-propissiation, Propitiation-propisheation, Prot'est, (n.)
Provost --*prov'ust, or † pro'vo' Prowess-proiss,
Prowěss—(ow, as in now,) Qualify,
Qualify—(a, as in wash,) Quality,
Quality-(a, as in wash,) Quăntity,
Quantity-(a, as in wash,) Raillery-railery,
Route-root, Sewer-sooer, or sower,
Strew-stro, Survey', (n.)
Sword, sord, Tāpestry,
Therefore-thěrfor, Threepence—threpence, Threepence-threpens, Thyme-thyme,
Yea-yay. Note.-Some of the peeuliarities noted, in the preceding list, as Americanisms, are not exclusively so.
Several are common to the style of elderly persons, or of negligent usage, in England. Walker's orthoepy, though unquestionable, in most instances, is, in a few words, now become obsolete ; as the usage of the most cultivated English society daily evinces.
* Magistrate. † Military officer.