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and followed by the same

er sound.

Thus cure is i (bit) and oo blended and er added to that; our is ah and oo blended and er added; fire is ah and i blended and er added.

d. Just how much value shall be given to the terminal r is a matter of endless dispute. Opinions differ vastly. One extreme opinion holds that the terminal r should disappear altogether, and that fear should be pronounced fee-ah; hair, ha-ah; etc. Those on the other extreme hold that the final r should be clearly rolled or trilled, as the case may be; and that fear should be pronounced fear-r-r; hair, hair-r-r.

e. It is the belief of the writer that the truth lies between these two extremes. While it is true that most English people neglect or altogether omit the final r, and many Americans, particularly those of the upper classes in our large cities, contrive to forget it, it is nevertheless true that the vast majority of the educated men and women in America who are simple and unaffected do retain a distinct trace of the terminal r. The writer is reluctant to believe that we are ready to dispense with this useful sound.

The same can be said of the p which occurs in the middle of a word. Take, for example, the word “farmer." It is pronounced fahmeh by some, fahmer by some, and farmer by some, and occasionally one goes so far as to say farrmerr. It seems that the best practice is to retain both sounds, but to soften them so that they are not harsh and offensive.

f. The retention of the r within a word or at its end is sometimes the only way of differentiating it from another similar word. The lack of an ris felt by many to be nothing more than affectation. For these and other reasons it seems unwise to discard the r. The time may come when this most difficult sound will disappear from the American speech. For the present, however, let us be satisfied to modify it—not eliminate it.

g. This discussion has nothing to do with the initial r.

That will be considered with other consonants.


43. Definition. As the etymology of the word indicates, a consonant sound is a sound made with and by the help of another sound. The other sound is, of course, a vowel. Consonants are formed by obstructing or stopping vowels with some of the speech organs. If instead of letting a vowel out naturally through the mouth, the lips are closed and the sound is turned up through the nose, the nasal consonant m is formed. If the tongue and palate are used to turn the sound into the nose, the sound n or ng is formed. If the palate slightly back of the teeth and the base of the tongue impede the vowel, a guttural consonant is formed-9, k, y, q, etc. If the tongue is used against the hard palate to modify the vowel a lingual consonant is formed—1, r. If the vowel is restricted or stopped by pressing the tongue

against the teeth, a dental consonant is formedt, d, s, etc. If the lips check or stop a vowel a labial consonant is formed-p, b, f, v, wh, w, m.

44. Classification. Thus it will be seen that not all consonant sounds in words can properly be prolonged, as vowel sounds are. Hence the following classifications of consonants :

a. Stops-p, b, t, d, k, 9, c (hard), ch (hard), q and x.

b. Continuants—wh, w, f, v, th (soft), th (hard), S, 2, sh, zh, y, m, n, ng, l, and r, ch (soft), and j.

45. Pairs of Consonants. Several consonants arrange themselves naturally in pairs

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In making the two sounds in any pair the same organs of speech are used, and these organs are used in the same way, except that the first named of each pair is merely a blowing sound, whereas the second is a murmur. The first are called surds, the second sonants.

46. Exercise. Pronounce the following, first surd, then sonant; give each consonant sound an exaggerated distinctness.

Surds Sonants
pop bob
fear veer
tight died
wheel weal
thin this

- ziz
ashen azure
church — judge
kick - gig

The sharp, explosive, forward sound of the surds is distinctly different from the dull, rumbling, throaty sounds of the sonants.

47. Table. The following table (Bell's) shows at a glance the character of each consonant sound and the organs used in making it:


(Con.) Surds Sonants Surds Sonants Sonants Lips.

P B WA W M Lips and Teeth.

F V Tongue and Teeth..

TH DH Tongue and Hard Palate forward

T D S Z, R, L N
Tongue and Hard Palate

Tongue, Hard Palate, and
Soft Palate..

Tongue and Soft Palate. K G

NG Aspirate.


48. Labials.
1. wh is made by pushing the lips forward

and rounding them into a small opening
through which the aspirant h and the
vowel are blown.
Pronounce where, when, why.

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is made in the same way as wh except
that the aspirant h is lacking and the
throat murmur is added.
Pronounce we, want, will.

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