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1. B-a-be;

4. W-oe; 2. P-i-pe;

5. * V-al-ve; 3. M-ai-m;

6. F-i-fe. The “subtonic," b, is formed by a firm compression of the lips, which arrests the escape of the breath, and causes, by this occlusion of the mouth, a murmuring resonance of the voice in the cavity of the chest, and in the interior of the head and mouth. The pressure of the lips, in the formation of this sound, is increased to a maximum, or chief point, at which the lips are suddenly opened, and a slight explosive effect produced, which consummates the character of the sound, and causes a “vocule," or slight and obscure vowel sound, resembling e, in err, to follow the effort of the

organs. The“ atonic," p, is produced by an intense compression of the lips, which prevents the possibility of any audible sound, till the forcible "aspirated,” or whispering, explosion, following the maximum of the pressure, is heard, accompanied by the same “ vocule” which attends the sound of b, but, in p, is only an aspiration, or whisper.

The precision of these two elements of speech, is dependent, wholly, on the full force of the labial compression, and the intensity of the following explosion, by which they are produced. In impassioned utterance, the force of the organic action, in the articulation of these sounds, must be carried to the utmost degree, and executed with instantaneous precision, and the most vivid effect.

The“ subtonic,” m, is articulated by a very gentle compression of the lips, attended by a murmur in the head and chest, resembling, somewhat, that which forms the character of the “subtonic" b, but differing from it in the sound being accompanied by a free, steady, equable "expiration" through the nostrils. In extremely empassioned utterance, this gentle element is made to assume the character of intensity, by increasing the force of the labial compression to a maximum, and exploding the sound in a manner similar to that of b. This element is not followed, as b or p, by a “vocule; its own distinctive character of sound, throughout, being very nearly of the “ tonic,” or purely vocal, nature.

* This and the following element, being formed by means both of the lower lip and the upper teeth, are, on this account, sometimes called "labio-dentals.”

The or

The “ subtonic" element, w, as in woe, is formed by rounding the lips, as in articulating oo, in ooze, but slightly compressing them, and holding them closer to the teeth, a brief vocal murmur is formed by the breath,- as modified by the larynx, — escaping through this partial opening of the lips, and, at the same time, in a very slight degree, through the nostrils. This sound has not, from its nature, much independent energy; neither does it admit of prolongation. But it becomes forcible and impassioned, to some extent, by increasing the pressure of the lips, and exploding the sound, somewhat in the manner of m and b, when rendered intense.

subtonic,” v, is articulated by the sound of the voice being modified by bringing the upper fore-teeth close upon the ridge of the under lip, and, at the same time, slightly raising the upper lip, so as to prevent its interfering with the contact of the upper fore-teeth and the lower lip. A murmuring resonance, bordering on aspiration, is thus produced in the head and chest, by the partial escape of breath between the teeth and the lip. This element, mentioned before, has, on this account, been sometimes denominated “labio-dental," from its dependence on both these organs.

The atonic," f, is executed as v, with the difference, only, arising from a closer compression of the teeth and the tip, a more forcible expulsion of the breath, and an aspirated or whispering character, in the sound. This element, also, is sometimes denominated “ labio-dental," being formed as the preceding.

II. “ DentalSounds. These are all modified, as their name imports, — by the aid of the teeth. But, like many other articulate sounds, they are founded on, and imply, an action of the tongue; although this circumstance is not indicated in the designation of such elements.


1. D-i-d; 2.

T-en-t ; 3.

Th-in ;

Compound of 1. and 8.

5. A-z-ure ;
6. Pu-sh;
7. C-ea-se;

8. Z-one;
Compound of 2. and 6.

9. J-oy ;

10. Ch-ur-ch.

The " subtonic,d, is articulated by a partial vocal murmur, modified by pressing the tip of the tongue, with great energy against the interior ridge of gum, immediately over the

upper fore-teeth. This pressure is but an instantaneous effort; yet it evidently comes to a maximum, just before the explosion from which it takes its peculiar character, is executed. This explosion necessarily produces the vocule,” e, as in err.

The “atonic" t, is executed in a similar manner, excepting the absence of vocal murmur, an intense percussive pressure of the tongue, and an aspirated explosion, which takes place in the act of withdrawing the tongue from the gum.

The “atonic," th, as in thin, is executed by a forcible " aspiration,” modified by a slight horizontal parting of the lips, and a forcible pressure of the end of the tongue against the upper fore-teeth.

The subtonic,TH, as in thine, is executed by a similar position of the organs, but a vocalized emission of the breath, forming a gentle resonance.

subtonic,” z, as in azure, is formed by a partially vocal sound, modified by gently raising the whole forepart of the tongue towards the roof of the mouth, and allowing the breath to escape, between it and the teeth.

atonic," sh, is formed in a similar manner, as regards the position of the organs, but with more pressure, and by means of “ aspiration,” not“ vocality,” in the emission of the breath.

The atonic" sound of s, or the soft sound of c, as in the word cease, is articulated by pressing, with intense force, the tip of the tongue against the interior gum, immediately over the fore-teeth. Through the extremely small aperture thus formed, aided by the horizontal parting of the lips, and the cutting effect of the edges of the teeth, the sibilation, or hiss, is formed, which gives the peculiar character of this element.

The “subtonic,” Z, as in zone, is formed by nearly the same position of the organs, as the preceding element, but with very slight pressure, and by means of “vocalized," not “ aspirated," sound.

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III. « Palatic" Sounds. These are so termed from their depending on the palate,

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for their distinctive character. They are enumerated as follows: 1. C,“ hard," and K, as in C-a-ke; 2. G, as in G-a-g ;

3. Y, as in Y-e. The “atonic,” c, “hard," or k, is executed by opening the mouth, retracting, and curving the tongue with great force, and exploding an aspiration against the palate.

subtonic,” g, as in gag, is formed by similar movements and positions of the organs, but less forcible, and by means of " vocality,” instead of "aspiration."

The “subtonic,” y, is articulated by a similar process, still less forcible, and by means of " expulsion,” not plosion,” as regards the character of the function and the sound.

IV. “AspiratedElement.

H, as in H-e. This sound is formed by a forcible emission of the breath, in the style of a whisper, and a moderate opening of all the organs of speech.


V. " NasalSounds. 1. N, as in N-u-n; 2. Ng, as in Si-ng; or N, as in I-n-k.

The “subtonic," n, is articulated by a vocalized breathing through the nose; the lips parted freely; and the end of the tongue pressing vigorously against the interior ridge of gum, immediately above the upper fore-teeth.

The “subtonic, ng, is formed by a vocalized breathing, directed against the nasal passage and the back part of the veil of the palate, and by a retracted and elevated position of the lower part of the tongue, which partly shuts the nasal passage, and causes it, at the same moment, to become resonant.

VI. "Lingual" Sounds. These elements are so called from their special dependence on the action of the tongue. They are the following: 1. L, as in L-u-ll. 2. R, as in R-a-p. 3. R, as in Fa-r.

These are all“ subtonic" elements.

The first is formed by a moderate opening of the mouth, and the utterance of a vocalized sound, modified by raising the tongue towards the roof of the mouth, and pressing the end of it, very gently, against the interior ridge of gum, immediately above the upper fore-teeth.

The “subtonic,”r, as in rap, is an element formed by vivid and energetic vibration of the tip of the tongue, against the interior ridge of gum, immediately over the upper foreteeth, forming a partially vocalized sound, clear and forcible, but very brief. It should never extend to a prolonged trill, or roll. This element is sometimes designated as “ initial” r, from its occurring at or near the beginning of words and syllables ; and sometimes“ hard,” or “rough,” r, from its comparative force, as contrasted with r at the end of a word, which is always soft in sound. This element follows but never precedes a consonant; thus, Pray, brass, crape, green, dread, tread, scream, spread, &c.

subtonic,"r, as in far, is a softer sound, of longer duration, modified by a slight and gentle vibration of the whole fore-part of the tongue, retracted, and rising towards the roof of the mouth, but not actually touching it. The just observance of the true character of this and the preceding element, is, as was mentioned before, a point of great moment in enunciation, and decides its style, as regards taste and culture. The designation of “ soft,” or “smooth," r, is sometimes given to the “final” r; as it is a more delicate and liquid sound, than the “hard,” or “ initial,” r. This element occurs at the end of words, and before, but never after, a consonant; thus, War, star, fair, ire, ear, oar, farm, barn, card, harp, part, mercy, servant, person, &c. .


Note. It is one of the great inconveniences of our language, that we have so few letters or characters, by which to designate its sounds; and it is not less a defect in it, that we have the same element sometimes represented by a great variety of letters, and combinations of letters. Thus, the element a, in ale, is heard also in aid, lay, weigh, sur

vey, &c.

A, in arm, is heard, also, in aunt.
A, in all, is heard, in awe, laud, &c.

A, in what, was, wash, &c. is used to represent the same sound with o, as in on, or not. A, as in rare, is heard, also, in air, prayer, &c.

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