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WILLIAM COLLINS, SONS, AND COMPANY
GLASGOW, EDINBURGH, AND LONDON.

1875.

3984.6.81€

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PREFACE.

1. Syllables are of two kindsnamely, open syllables and closed syllables.

2. An open syllable is one that ends in a vowel; as, me, no, fate, fire, fume.

3. A closed syllable is one that ends in a consonant; as, rob, fan.

4. Every word of more than one syllable has one at least of its syllables accented.

5. The accented syllable is the one pronounced with the greatest force; as, pa'-per, av-ar-ice.

6. Every vowel except w may form a syllable, either by itself or in combination with one or more consonants.

7. Every vowel in an accented syllable, except w, has at least two regular sounds.

8. The first or name sound, is heard in open syllables ; as, fa-tal, pe-nal, fi'-nal, to'-tal, fu-ry.

9. The second or shut sound, is heard in closed syllables; as, par-don, fen-der, tim'-ber, for'-mer, bun-dle.

10. Both the name sounds and the shut sounds of these vowels may be pronounced long or short.

11. Besides their two regular sounds, a and o have an irregular sound, heard in fall, bought, &c. This sound of a occurs only before ll, lk, lt, U, and before or after w; as tall, talk, laud, law, warm, thou, now.

12. Besides the two regular sounds of o and U, each of these vowels has an irregular sound, heard in move, full. It also frequently happens that the second or shut sound of o falls into the shut sound of u; as, son,

came.

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13. The vowels e and i having, in foreign languages, and even in old English, sounds differing from the regular sounds above defined, e is often made to do duty for a, and i for e; as, veil, marine.

14. To a certain extent the converse of 6 is true namely, that the number of vowels in a word indicates the number of its syllables; as, in-com-pre-hen-sib-il-it-y.

15. This is really true of words containing diphthongs as well as of words ending in what is usually called silent e; as, fa'ir, fa're; he’ar, hé're; boʻar, bo're ; fi'ery, fire, du'es, u'se. In these words the unaccented vowels have become so faintly pronounced as to be inaudible; but these two modes of spelling are perfectly regular, and perfectly in conformity with the genius of the language.

16. The pronunciation of the unaccented final e in German prose, and in French poetry, shows a reason for regarding such words as dissyllables in English.

17. Such words as soul, blow, cául, dra'wl; thôu, nów, tó'il

, bo'y, are all dissyllables in which the unaccented vowel is more or less absorbed by the sound of the accented vowel.

18. The names of the letters h, w, z, should be pronounced hay, oo, iz, instead of aitch, double u, zed, for which there is abundant authority.

19. The vowel w, whose pronunciation is nearly equivalent to oo, combines, with the vowel or the letter h which follows it; as, wail, w-ar, w-eak, w-ent, w-ise, w-ish, w-ore, w-örse, w-hale, what, w-heel, where, w-hile, w-hip, w-hork in all which words the w or oo sound may be easily distinguished.

20. When the accent mark is placed immediately after a vowel, it indicates that the syllable is open, and that the vowel has its first or name sound; as, sa'v-ing.

21. When the accent mark is placed after the consonant, it indicates that the syllable is closed, and that the vowel has its second, or shut sound; as, hav'-ing.

22. When the accent mark is placed after a vowel having a curve above it, such vowel has its shut sound; as, '-tion-al, con-di-tion.

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23. When two or more vowels occur together in the same syllable, the accent mark indicates the vowel which must be pronounced; as, read, read, heart, thief, re-ce'ive, thoʻugh, now, câ'ught, da'wn.

24. Attention to the above definitions will remove many of the difficulties encountered by the varieties of spelling of words now apparently with similar sounds, and in the initiatory stages of instruction it would be profitable for the Teacher to pronounce such words as a'il, a'le ; pa'in, pa'ne, with a slight difference so as to give an idea of which word was meant.

25. The sounds of â and ô heard in the words caul, drawl; thou, now; toil, boy, being very general in combination with the vowels which here follow them, it has not been considered necessary to use the circumflex accent to distinguish them in the columns at the head of the lessons.

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