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Second POSITION—A more free opening of the mouth ; then return to

First Position, during utterance by means of expiration of breath. The opening of the mouth places all the organs in readiness, and allows of an easy influx of air. This graceful preparation is the NATURAL COMMENCE


30. During the rests of speech, the lips should lie evenly in line with the teeth ; and, during speech, the lips should not be protruded. The lower lip only should move-upwards and downwards, not outwards; and the upper lip remain almost quiescent. The labial organs, not made rigid by uniform articulative actions, are thus left free for their higher functions of expressiveness.

31. The tongue should never be depressed within the lower jaw, or protruded between the teeth. It should be held back and slightly elevated, so that it may occupy as small a space as possible in the mouth, and be perfectly independent of the action of the lower jaw. The tongue has no action against the lower teeth. It should never touch them in articulation.

32. The jaw should not hang behind the upper teeth, or be protruded beyond them; but the two lines of teeth should be parallel. The downward motion of the jaw should be smooth, and without jerking, as if it merely fell by its own weight. The upward action should be light, and free from biting. The edges of the teeth should never come quite in contact.

33. In fluent speech, the actions of vocalization and articulation are almost simultaneous; in defective speech, they are not consentaneous, but from behind, forwards ; instead of (theoretically) from before, backwards.

34. The articulations are not to be considered as stops of the vocal current, but rather as transient changes in the form of the passages through which the stream of breath should continuously issue.

35. The great cause of defective articulation is the encouragement given to children to pronounce, or rather gabble, any word, however difficult its combination of elementary sounds. At first, the simple vowels and articulations should be taught; and then those which are compound and difficult should be attempted. In the beginning a very slow, distinct utterance should be chiefly aimed at. The important principle is, to take time.


IV.-SYLLABLES, WORDS, AND PRONUNCIATION. 36. A Syllable may consist of a vowel only, or of a vowel preceded or followed, or both preceded and followed, by any articulations or possible combination of them. The articulations L, M, N frequently constitute syllables without having vowels sounded ; as in rippl(e), chasm, heav(e)n. 37. Every element in a syllable, and every syllable in a word, should receive its definite and exact sound, however rapid the pronunciation.

38. The terminating sound of one word should be distinctly separated from the initial sound of the following word ; not necessarily by any hiatus, but by a slight and rapid separation of the articulating organs. Double letters are used merely as orthographic expedients, and they should be pronounced as one.

39. Words are not to be read singly, but in separate groups. All words that are so intimately connected with each other as to form ONE IDEA, or a DEFINITE PART of an idea, are to be considered as making up so many ORATORICAL WORDS, and to be read connectedly, as one polysyllabic utterance.

40. PRONUNCIATION exhibits so many irregularities, that no series of rules which could be laid down would be of much advantage. The study of the subject under a competent instructor (aided by reference to standard orthoepical dictionaries), is the best guide to the student. The principle laid down by Pope is valuable here :

“In words as fashions the same rule will hold,
Alike fantastic whether new or old ;
Be not the first by whom the new are tried,
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.”


41. ACCENT is that impulse, vocal or articulative, which gives phonic prominence to a certain syllable in a word. EMPHASIS is that superior stress or accent which indicates the principal word in a sentence, or in the group already mentioned as the “oratorical word.”

42. Every word of more than one syllable has an accented syllable; and in some words of three syllables, and in all words of four or more syllables, a secondary accent is introduced in addition to the primary one. In oratorical words, also, as a general rule (liable to a few exceptions), every third or fourth syllable requires an accent, or a pause equal to the time that such would occupy. (The verbal accents are fixed by custom, and can be only acquired in the manner recommended under Pronunciation. -Par. 40.)

43. The accented syllables of words are generally the radical syllables ; and, in cases of contrasted words of which the accented syllables are the same, the accent is shifted to the syllable of difference—the new syllable.

44. Every ORATORICAL WORD has a principal word ; which should be rendered prominent by peculiar accent, stress, inflexion, or modulation.

45. Every sentence, or association of words making up a proposition, has a principal idea ; the word expressive or suggestive of which should be primarily distinguished from the subordinate and accessary words.

46. All words that express ideas new to the context should be distinguished by emphatic accent; and all words that have been previously stated or implied should be unaccented.

47. Any word used in expressed contrast is to be rendered prominent by superior accent; and any word in implied contrast should be pronounced with peculiarly emphatic force to suggest the omitted antithesis.

48. A sentence consists of a Subject and Predicate—with or without Adjuncts, or explanatory or relative clauses. When the Subject and the Predicate are both new, each should be pronounced with ditsinctive accents. Where either Subject or Predicate has been previously stated or implied, the two members should be united, and only the new member accented.

STACCATO ACCENTUATION. 49. When words are equally accented, the effect is called Staccato,— an abrupt, pointed, and general emphasis on every word, or, it may be, on every syllable. This mode of pronunciation is most effective in expressing reproachful and acrimonious sentiments; but it may be used in connection with any feeling, to indicate a very weighty and momentous utterance.


50. Inflexions are tones of speech that slide from one note to another ; they are distinguished from tones of song, which leap from note to note. Melody in song arises from sound; in speech, it is regulated by sense.

51. All notes of speech are either Continuative (Monotone), Acute, or Grave; or a combination of these latter qualities.

52. In natural utterance, all the tones are inflected; that is, each vocal impulse, however short, carries the voice higher or lower than the commencing pitch.

53. Inflexions are Simple when the voice proceeds directly upwards or downwards; and they are Compound, when the direction of the voice is changed on the same syllable from a rise to a fall, or from a fall to a rise.

54. The Simple Rising Inflexion carries on the attention of the hearer to what is to follow, or to something to be inferred ; it thus denotes incompleteness of statement, or appeals to the hearer's will or knowledge; it is also the natural expression of continuity, doubt, appeal, and deference.

55. The Simple Falling Inflexion confines the attention of the hearer to what has been said ; it thus denotes completeness of statement, or pre

dicates the speaker's will or knowledge: it is the natural expression of conclusion, conviction, assertion, and command.

56. The Compound Rising Inflexion consists of a falling (assertive) tone, followed by a rising (interrogative) tone; it blends assertion with inquiry,—or imperativeness with appeal,—or suggests antithesis to interrogation, or to an incompletive clause.

57. The Compound Falling Inflexion consists of an accented rising tone, followed by an unaccented falling tone; it blends inquiry or surprise with assertiveness, or is suggestive of the antithesis to affirmation.

58. The accent of an Inflexion is its commencement, which always coincides with the syllabic accent or with the emphasis.

59. Inflexions may rise or fall through any of the musical intervals. Inflexions limited to the interval of a semi-tone, or of a minor third (a tone and a half,) are plaintive; and those which range through the greater intervals of the major third, fourth, fifth, &c., express proportionate degrees of intensity.

60. Each Inflexion has Two Modes, according as the accentual pitch is above or below the Middle Tone of the voice, or higher or lower than the pitch that precedes the accent. There are, therefore, Four Simple and Four Compound forms. These Inflexions are essential, and may be perfectly mastered even by those who have not a musical ear. SIMPLE RISE.


First Mode. Second Mode. First Mode. Second Mode.

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You! Not you!


You will!


61. Of each mode of Inflexion there are two degrees, according as the pre-accentual syllables are inflected towards or from the accentual pitch ; the former arrangement being the less, the latter the more emphatic.

62. There are thus Four Degrees of each of the Two Simple and of the Two Compound Inflexions, independent of the varieties of extent or interval through which the voice rises or falls. For the study of these, the student is referred to “Bell's Standard Elocutionist,” or to Mr. A. Melville Bell's “ Elocutionary Manual,” Third (or subsequent) Edition.


63. The inflexions are represented by the marks («aver) written above or below the inflected word, in accordance with the pitch of the tone above or below the middle of the voice. Thus: Simple Rise ()

( First mode,-mark above the word.
Second mode, below

(First mode, below
Simple Fall ()

Second mode, above


(First mode Compound Rise ()

Second mode above


SFirst mode
Compound Fall (n)

Second mode below 64. A Rising Double Wave, consisting of a compound falling accent with a rising termination, is occasionally employed. Sarcastic interrogation is the sentiment it conveys, or antithetic assertion with incompleteness.

66 One murder makes a villain : Millions a hero!

65. The melody of speech consists of contrasted tones. A rise precedes a fall, a fall precedes a rise.

66. To give smoothness and natural effect to the inflexions, the following logical formulas may be prefixed to words, in practice:

For the Simple Rise, 6 Is it
For the Simple Fall,
For the Compound Rise, “It is not

For the Compound Fall, “But it is 67. The formulas are to be pronounced softly, and in the opposite pitch

16 It is

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