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This table should be treated by the class in the same manner as the table of vowel sounds. The sound of a consonant may be ascertained by pronouncing a word containing it in a slow and forcible manner.

Vocal Consonants are those uttered with a slight degree of vocality, but less ihan that of a vowel. They are formed with a vibration of the vocal chords.

Aspirate Consonants are those in which the pure breath alone is heard They are formed without any vibration of the vocal chords.







G hard




Babe LR (trilled) Rap
Did d R (untrilled) Nor

g TH soft Thine

Lull 1 W

Maim m Y


Sing ng ZH (or 2) Azure

Church ch IT


Hold h SH

Kirk k TH sharp Thin
Pipe р

. Z zh



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C soft, like a
C hard, like k
Ch hard, like k
Ch soft, like sh
G soft, like j
Ph like f

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X like gz

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Q has the sound of k, and is always followed by u, which, in this position, com. monly has the sound of w, but is sometimes silent.

WH is an aspirated w, pronounced as if written hw.

1 Sometimes called Subvocals, or Subtonics.

2 H sounded before a vowel, is an expulsion of the breath after the organs are in a position to sound the vowel.

A Vowel is a letter which represents a free and uninterrupted scand of the human voice.

A Consonant is a letter which cannot be sounded, or but imperfectly, with ont the aid of a vowel,

A Letter is not itself a sound, but only the sign of a sound. The whole num ber of English sounds, whichi, for convenience, may be classed as “Elemen. tary,” or essentially simple, is forty-four. Some of these, however, are by some authors regarded as compound sounds. The elementary sounds are those indicated in the preceding tables of vowels and consonants (in large type); also, that of A long before R, and A intermediate,

Some of the letters represent several elementary sounds, and an elementary sound is sometimes represented by more than one letter.

A letter is silent when it is used in the spelling of a word, and not in its pronunciation.

An Equivalent is a letter, or a combination of letters, used to represent. an elementary sound more appropriately represented by another letter or letters.

The preceding tables of equivalent vowel and consonant sounds embrace those of most common occurrence, and are those that are given in the “ Key to the Sounds of the Marked Letters” in Worcester's Dictionaries. Other letters and combinations of letters, representing elementary sounds, will be found printed in Italics, in the Exercises on the Vowel and the Consonant Sounds.

The Consonants may be classed, according to the manner in which they are pronounced, as explosive and continuous.

In pronouncing an explosive consonant, the breath escapes at once, and the voice has no power of prolonging the sound. In the utterance of a continuous 'consonant, the breath is transmitted by degrees. The sound can be prolonged for an indefinite space of time. The vowel sounds are all cortinuous.

The Explosive Consonants are, p, b, t, d, ch, j, k, g.
The Continuous Consonants are, f, v, th, 8, 2, sh, zh, r, 1. m, n, w, y, ng.

The letters c, 9, and x are not strictly needed as representatives of sounds. They are only used as equivalents for other signs.


Orthoepic Spelling, or Analysis of Words, differs from orthographic spelling in dispensing with all silent letters, and making use only of such sounds or elements as enter into the composition of a word. This system of spelling is simple in theory and easy in practice, and its use will very much facilitate the acquisition of correct articulation. After all the elements and their combinations have been made so familiar by practice as to be readily recognized, let the pupils proceed in this manner:

1. Pronounce the word deliberately and firmly.
2. Articulate, in proper order, every element separately and very fully.

3. Pronoupce the word with due proportion of force and time, so that each element shall be distinctly preserved – thus: ban, b-a-n, ban; mnte, m-ā-t, mate; bird, bir-d, bird ; say, 8-ā, say; laugh, l-a-f, laugh; teach, t-e-ch, teach; brought, b-r-âu-t, brought ; giant, g-7-a-n-t, giant; ocean, 7-sh-a-n, ocean; while, hw-i-l, while, &c.

The characters used in marking the sounds of letters in this volume are the same as those in Worcester's Dictionaries.


In pronouncing the words in the following exercises, special attention should be given to the precise sound of the letters italicized. The sounds of the letters in Italics are the same as the sound of the vowel at the head of the paragraph.

Exercises upon tables of words like the following are valuable, not only for developing vocal power, but as one of the best methods of correcting habitual errors in pronunciation. a, long, as in füte. - Fame, blame, sail, obey; survey,

cambric, nature, ancient, neighbor, vein, weigh,

sleighi, patron, matron, lava, patriot, patriotism. a, short, as in fūt. Bat, mat, bad, had, can, camnon,

sand, fancy, marry, plaid, have, scatlı, charity, para

dise, inhabit, companion, national. a, Italian, as in für. — Are, bar, star, guitar, mart,

alarm, parchment, father, heart, hearth, guard,

daunt, haunt, gauntlet, jaundice, lath, balm, aunt. a, broad, as in fall; and o, as in nör.- Ball, call,

tall, nor, form, storm, corn, salt, ought, fought, nought, auger, awful, water, author, always, august,

cause, lawyer, balsam, bauble, palsy. a, as in fare ; and e, as in thêre. — Dare, rare, pair,

air, share, bear, snare, where, heir, stare, pare. a, as in fást. — Blast, chance, lance, trance, branch,

grasp, graft, grant, grass, pass, class, mastiff, bombast,

pasture, plaster, chancellor. e, long, as in mēte; and i, as in marîne. - Be, she,

theme, scene, marine, pique, key, fiend, grieve, treaty, Cæsar, critique, relief, belief, receive, deceive, receipt,

leaf, quay, lenient, inherent. e, short, as in měl. -- Bed, bread, debt, engine, tepid,

said, says, saith, friend, leopard, special, preface, heroism, heifer, again, merit, helm, realm, many, any, get, yes, chest, egg, kettle, beneficent.

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i, long, as in pine ; and y, as in bi. - Smile, mile, ,

vine, child, fly, height, might, type, isle, buy, defy, satiety, guide, guile, sky, kind, blight, flight, ally,

apply, tiny, sinecure. i, short, as in pin; and y, as in mỹth. Din, ring,

prince, quince, whip, skip, lyric, city, servile, agile, busy, business, sieve, sist, cygnet, cynic, cylinder,

wring, bring, Italian, tribune. o, long, as in note. — Home, dome, glory, vocal, morė,

gore, only, both, oath, loathe, explode, historian, poet, foe, dough, glow, soldier, yeoman, beau, bureau,

coeval, encroach, note, votive, devotion. 0,' short, as in not. - Mob, rob, sob, was, wash, wand,

dot, got, watch, wasp, bond, fond, from, prompt,

prospect, fossil, foster, docile. o, long and close, as in move; and u, as fn rule.

Prove, mood, lose, rule, true, ruin, druid, moon, root, swoon, remove, disapprove, smooth, rude, rural,

fruitless, truant, prudent, brutal. u, long, as in tūbe ; and ew, as in new.- Tune, fuse,

cure, lure, duty, curate, few, pew, Tuesday, cubic, music, pursuit, resume, during, endure, luminary,

beautiful, revolution, involution. u, shiort, as in tūb; and o, as in son. Just, must, tun,

fun, hug, rug, such, clutch, dove, does, rough, son,

ton, one, some, tongne, nothing, come, lusky. u, middle, as in fall. - Bush, push, could, would,

should, good, hood, wolf, pulpit, butcher, cushion,

cuckoo, wool, woollen, puss, foot, pulley, book. u, short and obtuse, as in für ; e, as in hër; i, as in

fär; and y, as in mijrrh. Burn, murmur, further, herd, fern, person, merge, mercy, sir, bird, virtue, dirk, dirt, mirth, myrrh, myrtle, syrtis.

oi, as in vöice ; and oy, as in böğ. - Boil, coil, coy,

toy, void, coin, joint, joist, poise, noise, employ,

rejoice, avoid, appoint, embroil, foible, oyster. ou, as in söûnd; and ow, as in nöû. – Pound, proud,

brown, vow, endow, noun, town, doubt, devout, plough, trout, ground, shout, vowel, thou, around.· 1 The sound of a marked thus [a], is that of long a qualified by being followed by the letter r. Some orthoepists regard it as short e prolonged. The cemmon pronunciation, in some parts of the United States, of this class of words is, to give the vowel before r the sound of short a, prolonged, but this pronunciation is not sanctioned by the dictionaries.

2 This sound is an intermediate one between that of a in fat and a in far. It is found in a class of words, mostly monosyllables, ending in af, aft, ass, ast, ask, asp, with a few in ance and ant. Among different speakers the quality of this sound ranges through every practical shade, from a in filt to u in fur.

3 There is a class of words ending in f, ft, ss, st, and th, in which o is marked, in most pronouncing dictionaries, with the short sound, though some orthoepists give it the sound of a broad in fall; as, of, often, offer, coffee. scoff, aloft, soft, cross, loss, toss, cost, frost, lost, broth, cloth, cough, trough, &c. To these may be added gone and begone, and also some words ending in ng ; as, long, along, prong, song, strong, thong, wrong. A medium between short o and broad a is, perhaps, the practice of the best speakers.

VOWEL SOUNDS IN UNACCENTED SYLLABLES. Vowels marked with a dot underneath, thus (a, e, i, o, y, y), are found so marked only in syllables which are not accented, and which are slightly or hastily articulated.

This mark indicates a slight stress of voice in uttering the appropriate sound of the vowel, rather than to note any particular quality of sound. In a majority of cases this mark may be regarded as indicating an indistinct short sound, as in mental, travel, peril, idol, forum, carry: - friưr, speaker, nadir, actor, sulphur.

In many cases, however, it indicates a slight or unaccented long sound; as in sulphite, emerge, obey, dipliity, educate.

The difference between the long, and obscure long sound, may be readily distinguished. In the word fate, the a is long; in the worn fatality, the first a is obscure long. The case is similar with the o in the words note and notorious. In the word deliberate, when a verb, as, “I will deliberate," the a is long; when an adjective, as, “ A deliberate act,'' it is obscure long.

The common errors in the pronunciation of words of this class are, either a complete suppression of the vowel sound, or the substitution of a sound of somne other vowel. This suppression or perversion of sound is much increased by the hurried manner in which many persons are accustomed to speak or read. Thus we hear reb'l for rebel; pashunt for patient ; p'rcede for precede; ev'ry for every ; cuncern for concern ; momunt for moment, edecate for educate; advůcate for advocate ; windur for window ; pop'lar or popelar for popular; avfle for awful, &c. So general is this fault, that the ear becomes accustomed to

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