Part 47 out of 54
power: that _government_ is called freedom; this, tyranny."--_L. Murray
"A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing, _that_ can be known or
mentioned: as, George, London, America, goodness, charity."--See _Brown's
Institutes_, p. 31.
"Etymology treats of the classification of words, their various
modifications, and _their derivation_"--_P. E. Day cor._
"To punctuate correctly, implies a thorough acquaintance with the meaning
of words and phrases, as well as _with_ all their corresponding
connexions."--_W. Day cor._
"All objects _that_ belong to neither the male nor _the_ female kind, are
said to be of the neuter gender, _except certain things
personified_."--_Weld cor twice_.
"The Analysis of the Sounds in the English language, presented in the
preceding statements, _is_ sufficiently exact for the purpose in hand.
Those who wish to pursue _the subject_ further, can consult Dr. Rush's
admirable work, 'The Philosophy of the Human Voice.'"--_Fowler cor._
"Nobody confounds the name of _w_ or _y_ with _the_ sound _of the letter_,
or _with its_ phonetic import."--_Id._ [[Fist] This assertion is hardly
true. Strange as such a blunder is, it has actually occurred. See, in
Orthography, Obs. 5, on the Classes of the Letters, at p. 156.--G. B.]
"Order is Heav'n's first law; and, this _confess'd_,
Some are, and must be, greater than the rest."--_Pope_.
LESSON II--UNDER VARIOUS RULES.
"_From_ adjectives of one syllable, _and some of two_, the comparative is
formed by adding _r_ or _er_ to the positive; and the superlative, by
adding _st_ or _est_: as, _sweet, sweeter, sweetest_; _able, abler,
"_From_ monosyllables, _or from dissyllables ending with a vowel or the
accent_, the comparative is formed by adding _er_ or _r_ to the positive;
and the superlative, by adding _est_ or _st_: as, _tall, taller, tallest_;
_wise, wiser, wisest_; _holy, holier, holiest_; _complete, completer,
"By this method, the confusion and unnecessary labour occasioned by
studying grammars, in these languages, constructed on different principles,
_are_ avoided; the study of one is rendered a profitable introduction to
the study of an other; and an opportunity is furnished to the _inquiring_
student, of comparing the languages in their grammatical structure, and
_of_ seeing at once wherein they agree, and wherein they differ."--_Id._
"No larger portion should be assigned for each recitation, than the class
can easily master; and, till _the previous lessons are well learned_, a new
portion should not be given out."--_Id._ "The acquisitions made in every
new lesson, should be _riveted_ and secured by repeated revisals."--_Id._
"The personal pronouns may be parsed briefly, thus: '_I_ is a personal
pronoun, _of_ the first _person_, singular _number_, masculine _gender_,
(feminine, if the speaker is a female,) _and_ nominative _case_.' '_His is_
a personal pronoun, _of_ the third _person_, singular _number_, masculine
_gender, and_ possessive _case_.'"--_Id._
"When the male and _the_ female are expressed by distinct terms, as,
_shepherd, shepherdess_, the masculine term has also a general meaning,
expressing both male and female; and is always to be used when the office,
occupation, _or_ profession, and not the sex, of the individual, is chiefly
to be expressed; the feminine term being used only when the discrimination
of sex is indispensably necessary. Thus, when it is said, 'The poets of
this country are distinguished _for_ correctness of taste,' the term
'poets' clearly includes both male and female writers of poetry."--_Id._
"Nouns and pronouns connected by conjunctions, must be in the same
"Verbs connected by _and, or_, or _nor_, must _generally_ be in the _same
mood_ and _tense_; and, when _the tense has different forms_, they must be
in the same form."--_Id._
"This will habituate him to reflection; exercise his _judgement_ on the
meaning of the author; and, without any great effort on his part, impress
indelibly on his memory the rules which he is required to give. After the
exercises under _any_ rule have been gone through, _agreeably to the
direction_ in the note _at the bottom of_ page _88th_, they may be read
over again in a corrected state, the pupil making an emphasis on the
correction made; or they may be presented in writing, at the next
"Man, but for that, no action could attend;
And, but for this, _were active_ to no end."--_Pope_.
LESSON III.--UNDER VARIOUS RULES.
"'Johnson, the bookseller and stationer' indicates that _bookseller_ and
_stationer_ are _terms_ belonging to the same person; 'the bookseller and
the stationer,' would indicate that they belong to different
"_Past_ is [commonly] an adjective; _passed_, the past tense or perfect
participle of the verb: and they ought not (as _they_ frequently _are_) to
be confounded with each other."--_Id._
"Not only the nature of the thoughts and sentiments, but the very selection
_or_ arrangement of the words, gives English poetry a character which
separates it widely from common prose."--_Id._
"Men of sound, discriminating, and philosophical minds--men prepared for
the work by long study, patient investigation, and extensive
acquirements--have laboured for ages to improve and perfect it; and nothing
is hazarded in asserting, that, should it be unwisely abandoned, it will be
long before an other, equal in beauty, stability, and usefulness, _will_ be
produced in its stead."--_Id._, on the common "system of English Grammar."
"The article _the_, on the other hand, is used to restrict; and is
therefore termed _Definite_. Its proper office is, to call the attention to
a particular individual or class, or to any number of such; and
_accordingly it_ is used with nouns _of_ either number, singular or
"Hence, also, the infinitive mood, a participle _with its adjuncts_, a
member of a sentence, or a _whole_ proposition, forming the subject of
discourse, or the object of a verb or preposition, and being the name of an
act or circumstance, _is_, in construction, regarded as a _noun_; and _is_
usually called, 'a substantive phrase:' as, '_To play_, is
pleasant.'--'_That he is an expert dancer_, is no recommendation.'--'Let
your motto be, _Honesty is the best policy_.'"--_Id._
"In accordance with his definition, Murray has divided verbs into three
classes: _Active, Passive_, and _Neuter_;--and _included_ in the first
class transitive verbs only; and, in the last, all verbs used
"Moreover, as the name of the speaker or _that of_ the person spoken to is
seldom expressed, (the _pronoun_ I being used _for the former_, and THOU
_or_ YOU _for the latter_,) a noun is very _rarely_ in the first person;
not often in the second; and _hardly ever_ in either, unless it _is_ a
proper noun, or a common noun _denoting an object_ personified."--_Id._
"In using the _parsing_ exercises, it will save much time, (_and this
saving_ is _all-important_,) if the pupil be taught to say _all things_
belonging to the noun, in the fewest words possible; and to say them always
in the same order, _after the example_ above."--_Id._
"In any phrase or sentence, the adjectives qualifying a noun may generally
be found by prefixing the phrase, 'What kind of,' to the noun, in the form
of a question; as, 'What kind of horse?' 'What kind of stone?' 'What kind
of way?' The word containing the answer to the question, is an
"In the following exercise, let the pupil first point out the nouns, and
then the adjectives; and tell how he knows them to be _such_."--_Id._
"In the following sentences, point out the improper _ellipses_; _show_ why
_they are_ improper; and correct _them_."--_Id._
1. I am smitten, 1. We are smitten,
2. Thou art smitten, 2. You are smitten,
3. He is smitten; 3. They are smitten."--_Wright cor._
The second chapter of Prosody, treating of articulation, pronunciation,
elocution and the minor topics that come under Utterance, contains no
exercises demanding correction in this Key.
In the third chapter of Prosody, the several Figures of speech are
explained; and, as the illustrations embrace no errors for correction,
nothing here corresponds to the chapter, but the title.
FALSE PROSODY, OR ERRORS OF METRE, CORRECTED.
LESSON I.--RHYTHM RESTORED.
"Where thy true treasure? Gold says, 'Not in me.'"
"Canst thou grow sad, thou _say'st_, as earth grows bright."
"It must be so;--Plato, thou _reason'st_ well"
--CATO: _Enfield_, p. 321.
"Slow rises _worth_ by poverty depressed."
--_Wells's Gram., Late Ed._, p. 211.
"Rapt _into_ future times, the bard begun."
--POPE.--_Ib._, p. 165.
"Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
To wash it white as snow? _Whereto_ serves mercy
But to confront the visage of offence?"
"Look! in this place ran _Cassius_' dagger through."
--_Id., J. Caesar_.
"_And_ when they list, their lean and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw."
"Did not great Julius bleed for _justice'_ sake?"
--_Dodd and Shak. cor._
"May I _express thee' unblam'd? since_ God is light"
--_Milton_, B. iii, l. 3.
"Or _hear'st_ thou rather pure ethereal stream?"
--_Id._, B. iii, l. 7.
"Republics, kingdoms, empires, may decay;
_Great_ princes, heroes, sages, sink to nought."
--_Peirce or La-Rue cor._
"Thou _bringst_, gay creature as thou art,
A solemn image to my heart."
"Know _then_ thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is Man."
--_Pope, on Man_, Ep. ii, l. 1.
"Raised on _pilasters high_ of _burnished_ gold."
--_Dr. S. Butler cor._
"Love in _Adalgise_' breast has fixed his sting."
"Thirty days _each have_ September,
April, June, and _old_ November;
_Each_ of the rest _has_ thirty-one,
Bating February alone,
Which has twenty-eight in fine,
Till leap-year gives it twenty-nine."
--_Dean Colet cor._
LESSON II.--RHYTHM RESTORED.
"'Twas not the fame of what he once had been,
Or tales in _records old_ and annals seen."
"And Asia now and Afric are explored
For high-priced dainties and _the_ citron board."
"Who knows not how the trembling judge beheld
The peaceful court with _arm~ed_ legions fill'd?"
"With thee the Scythian wilds we'll wander o'er,
With thee _the_ burning Libyan sands explore."
"Hasty and headlong, different paths they tread,
As _impulse blind_ and wild distraction lead."
"But Fate reserv'd _him_ to perform its doom,
And be the minister of wrath to Rome."
"Thus spoke the youth. When Cato thus _express'd_
The sacred counsels of his inmost breast."
"These were the _rigid_ manners of the man,
This _was_ the stubborn course in which they ran;
The golden mean unchanging to pursue,
Constant to keep the _purpos'd_ end in view."
"What greater grief can _on_ a Roman seize,
Than to be forced to live on terms like these!"
"He views the naked town with joyful eyes,
While from his rage an _arm~ed_ people flies."
"For planks and beams, he ravages the wood,
And the tough _oak_ extends across the flood."
"A narrow pass the horn~ed mole divides.
Narrow as that where _strong Euripus_' tides
Beat on Euboean Chalcis' rocky sides."
"No force, no fears their hands _unarm~ed_ bear,"--or,
"No force, no fears their hands unarm'd _now_ bear,
But looks of peace and gentleness they wear."
"The ready warriors all aboard them ride,
And wait return of the retiring tide."
"He saw those troops that long had faithful stood,
Friends to his cause, and enemies to good,
Grown weary of their chief, and _satiate_ with blood."
END OF THE KEY.
APPENDIX I. TO PART FIRST, OR ORTHOGRAPHY. OF THE SOUNDS OF THE LETTERS.
In the first chapter of Part I, the powers of the letters, or the
elementary sounds of the English language, were duly enumerated and
explained; for these, as well as the letters themselves, are few, and may
be fully stated in few words: but, since we often express the same sound in
many different ways, and also, in some instances, give to the same letter
several different sounds,--or, it may be, no sound at all,--any adequate
account of the powers of the letters considered severally according to
usage,--that is, of the sound or sounds of each letter, with its mute
positions, as these occur in practice,--must, it was thought, descend to a
minuteness of detail not desirable in the first chapter of Orthography. For
this reason, the following particulars have been reserved to be given here
as an Appendix, pertaining to the First Part of this English Grammar.
OBS. 1.--A proper discrimination of the different vowel sounds by the
epithets most commonly used for this purpose,--such as _long_ and _short,
broad_ and _slender, open_ and _close_, or _open_ and _shut_,--is made
difficult, if not impossible, by reason of the different, and sometimes
directly contradictory senses in which certain orthoepists [sic--KTH] have
employed such terms. Wells says, "Vowel sounds are called _open_ or
_close_, according to the _relative size of the opening_ through which the
voice passes in forming them. Thus, _a_ in _father_, and _o_ in _nor_, are
called _open_ sounds, because they are formed by a _wide opening_ of the
organs of speech; while _e_ in _me_, and _u_ in _rule_, are called _close_
sounds, because the organs are _nearly closed_ in uttering them."--_School
Grammar_, 1850, p. 32. Good use should fix the import of words. How does
the passage here cited comport with this hint of Pope?
"These equal syllables alone require,
_Though oft the ear the open_ vowels tire."
--_Essay on Criticism_, l. 344.
OBS. 2.--Walker, too, in his Principles, 64 and 65, on page 19th of his
Critical Pronouncing Dictionary, mentions a similar distinction of vowels,
"which arises from _the different apertures_ of the mouth in forming them;"
and says, "We accordingly find vowels denominated by the French, _ouvert_
and _ferme_; by the Italians, _aperto_ and _chiuso_; and by the English [,]
_open_ and _shut_. But whatever propriety there may be in the use of these
terms in other languages, it is certain they must be used with caution in
English for fear of confounding them with _long_ and _short_. Dr. Johnson
and other grammarians call the _a_ in _father_ the _open a_: which may,
indeed, distinguish it from the _slender a_ in _paper_; but not from the
_broad a_ in _water_, which is still more _open_. Each of these letters
[the seven vowels] has a _short_ sound, which may be called a _shut_ sound;
but the _long_ sounds cannot be so properly denominated _open_ as more or
less _broad_; that is, the _a_ in _paper_, the slender sound; the _a_ in
_father_, the broadish or middle sound; and the _a_ in _water_, the broad
sound. The same may be observed of the _o_. This letter has three long
sounds, heard in _move, note, nor_; which graduate from slender to
broadish, and broad [,] like [those three sounds of] the _a_. The _i_ also
in _mine_ may be called the broad _i_, and that in _machine_, the slender
_i_; though each of them is equally _long_; and though these vowels that
are _long_ [,] may be said to be more or less _open_ according to the
different apertures of the mouth in forming them, yet the _short_ vowels
cannot be said to be more or less _shut_; for as _short_ always implies
_shut_ (except in verse,) though _long_ does not always imply _open_, we
must be careful not to confound _long_ and _open_, and _close_ and _shut_,
when we speak of the quantity and quality of the vowels. The truth of it
is," continues he, "all vowels either terminate a syllable, or are united
with a consonant. In the first case, if the accent be on the syllable, the
vowel is _long_, though it may not be _open_: in the second case, where a
syllable is terminated by a consonant, except that consonant be _r_,
whether the accent be on the syllable or not, the vowel has its _short_
sound, which, compared with its long one, may be called _shut_: but [,] as
no vowel can be said to be _shut_ that is not joined to a consonant, _all
vowels that end syllables_ may be said to be _open_, whether the accent be
on them or not."--_Crit. Pron. Dict._, New York, 1827, p. 19.
OBS. 3.--These suggestions of Walker's, though each in itself may seem
clear and plausible, are undoubtedly, in several respects, confused and
self-contradictory. _Open_ and _shut_ are here inconsistently referred
first to one principle of distinction, and then to another;--first, (as are
"_open_ and _close_" by Wells,) to "the _relative size_ of the opening," or
to "the _different apertures_ of the mouth;" and then, in the conclusion,
to the _relative position_ of the vowels with respect to other letters.
These principles improperly give to each of the contrasted epithets two
very different senses: as, with respect to aperture, _wide_ and _narrow_;
with respect to position, _closed_ and _unclosed_. Now, that _open_ may
mean _unclosed_, or _close_ be put _for closed_, is not to be questioned;
but that _open_ is a good word for _wide_, or that _shut_ (not to say
_close_) can well mean _narrow_, is an assumption hardly scholarlike.
According to Walker, "_we must be careful_ not to confound" _open_ with
_long_, or _shut_ with _short_, or _close_ with _shut_; and yet, if he
himself does not, in the very paragraph above quoted, confound them
all,--does not identify in sense, or fail to distinguish, the two words in
each of these pairs,--I know not who can need his "caution." If there are
vowel sounds which graduate through several degrees of openness or
broadness, it would seem most natural to express these by regularly
comparing the epithet preferred; as, _open, opener, openest_; or _broad,
broader, broadest_. And again, if "all vowels that end syllables may be
said to be open," then it is not true, that "the long sounds" of _a_ in
_paper, father, water_, cannot be so "denominated;" or that to "call the
_a_ in _father_ the _open a_, may, indeed, distinguish it from the slender
_a_ in _paper_." Nor, on this principle, can it be said that "the broad _a_
in _water_ is still _more open_;" for this a no more "ends a syllable" than
the others. If any vowel sound is to be called the _open_ sound because the
letter ends a syllable, or is not shut by a consonant, it is, undoubtedly,
the _primal_ and _most usual_ sound, as found in the letter when accented,
and not some other of rare occurrence.
OBS. 4.--Dr. Perley says, "It is greatly to be regretted that the different
sounds of a vowel should be called by the names _long, short, slender_, and
_broad_, which convey no idea of the nature of the sound, for _mat_ and
_not_ are as long in poetry as _mate_ and _note_. The first sound of a
vowel[,] as [that of _a_ in] _fate_[,] may be called _open_, because it is
the sound which the vowel generally has when it ends a syllable; the second
sound as [that of _a_ in] _fat_, may be called _close_, because it is the
sound which the vowel generally has when it is joined with a consonant
following in the same syllable, as _fat-ten_; when there are more than two
sounds of any vowel[,] they may be numbered onward; as 3 _far_, 4
_fall_."--_Perley's Gram._, p. 73.
OBS. 5.--Walker thought a long or short vowel sound essential to a long or
short quantity in any syllable. By this, if he was wrong in it, (as, in the
chapter on Versification, I have argued that he was,) he probably disturbed
more the proper distinction of quantities, than that of vowel sounds. As
regards _long_ and _short_, therefore, Perley's regret seems to have cause;
but, in making the same objection to "_slender_ and _broad_," he reasons
illogically. So far as his view is right, however, it coincides with the
following earlier suggestion: "The terms _long_ and _short_, which are
often used to denote certain vowel sounds; being also used, with a
different import, to distinguish the quantity of syllables, are frequently
misunderstood; for which reason, we have substituted for them the terms
_open_ and _close_;--the former, to denote the sound usually given to a
vowel when it _forms_ or _ends_ an accented syllable; as, _ba, be, bi, bo,
bu, by_;--the latter, to denote the sound which the vowel commonly takes
when closed by a consonant; as, _ab, eb, ib, ob, ub_"--_Brown's
Institutes_, p. 285.
I. OF THE LETTER A.
The vowel A has _four_ sounds properly its own; they are named by various
1. The English, open, full, long, or slender _a_; as in _aid, fame, favour,
2. The French, close, curt, short, or stopped _a_; as in _bat, banner,
3. The Italian, broadish, grave, or middle _a_; as in _far, father, aha,
comma, scoria, sofa_.
4. The Dutch, German, Old-Saxon, or broad _a_; as in _wall, haul, walk,
OBS. 1.--Concerning the number of sounds pertaining to the vowel _a_, or to
certain other particular letters, and consequently in regard to the whole
number of the sounds which constitute the oral elements of the English
language, our educational literati,--the grammarians, orthoepists
[sic--KTH], orthographers, elocutionists, phonographers, and
lexicographers,--are found to have entertained and inculcated a great
variety of opinions. In their different countings, the number of our
phonical elements varies from twenty-six to more than forty. Wells says
there are "_about forty_ elementary sounds."--_School Gram._, Sec.64. His
first edition was more positive, and stated them at "_forty-one_." See the
last and very erroneous passage which I have cited at the foot of page 162.
In Worcester's Universal and Critical Dictionary, there appear to be noted
several _more_ than _forty-one_, but I know not whether this author, or
Walker either, has anywhere told us how many of his marked sounds he
considered to be severally different from all others. Sheridan and Jones
admitted _twenty-eight_. Churchill acknowledges, as undisputed and
indisputable, only _twenty-six_; though he enumerates, "Of simple vowel
sounds, _twelve_, or _perhaps thirteen_" (New Grammar, p. 5,) and says,
"The consonant sounds in the English language, are _nineteen_, or _rather
OBS. 2.--Thus, while Pitman, Comstock, and others, are amusing themselves
with the folly of inventing new "Phonetic Alphabets," or of overturning all
orthography to furnish "a character for each of the 38 elementary sounds,"
more or fewer, one of the acutest observers among our grammarians can fix
on no number more definite or more considerable than _thirty-one,
thirty-two_, or _thirty-three_; and the finding of these he announces with
a "_perhaps_," and the admission that other writers object to as many as
_five_ of the questionable number. Churchill's vowel sounds, he says, "may
be found in the following words: 1. B_a_te, 2. B_a_t, 3. B_a_ll; 4. B_e_t,
5. B_e_; 6. B_i_t; 7. B_o_t, 8. B_o_ne, 9. B_oo_n; 10. B_u_t, 11. B_u_ll;
12. Lovel_y_; 13. _W_ool."--_New Grammar_, p. 5. To this he adds: "Many of
the writers on orthoepy [sic--KTH], however, consider the first and fourth
of the sounds above distinguished as actually the same, the former
differing from the latter only by being lengthened in the pronunciation.
They also reckon the seventh sound, to be the third shortened; the twelfth,
the fifth shortened; and the eleventh, the ninth shortened. Some consider
the fifth and sixth as differing only in length; and most esteem the
eleventh and thirteenth as identical."--_Ib._
OBS. 3.--Now, it is plain, that these six identifications, or so many of
them as are admitted, must diminish by six, or by the less number allowed,
the thirteen vowel sounds enumerated by this author. By the best
authorities, _W_ initial, as in "_W_ool." is reckoned a _consonant_; and,
of course, its sound is supposed to differ in some degree from that of _oo_
in "B_oo_n," or that of _u_ in "B_u_ll,"--the ninth sound or the eleventh
in the foregoing series. By Walker, Murray, and other popular writers, the
sound of _y_ in "Lovel_y_" is accounted to be essentially the same as that
of _e_ in "B_e_." The twelfth and the thirteenth, then, of this list, being
removed, and three others added,--namely, the _a_ heard in _far_, the _i_
in _fine_, and the _u_ in _fuse_,--we shall have the _fourteen vowel
sounds_ which are enumerated by L. Murray and others, and adopted by the
author of the present work.
OBS. 4.--Wells says, "_A_ has _six_ sounds:--1. Long; as in _late_. 2.
Grave; as in _father_. 3. Broad; as in _fall_. 4. Short; as in _man_. 5.
The sound heard in _care, hare_. 6. Intermediate between _a_ in _man_ and
_a_ in _father_; as in _grass, pass, branch_."--_School Grammar_, 1850, p.
33. Besides these six, Worcester recognizes a seventh sound,--the "_A
obscure_; as in _liar, rival_"--_Univ. and Crit. Dict._, p. ix. Such a
multiplication of the oral elements of our first vowel.--or, indeed, any
extension of them beyond four,--appears to me to be unadvisable; because it
not only makes our alphabet the more defective, but is unnecessary, and not
sustained by our best and most popular orthoepical [sic--KTH] authorities.
The sound of _a_ in _liar_, (and in _rival_ too, if made "_obscure_") is a
borrowed one, pertaining more properly to the letter _u_. In _grass, pass_,
and _branch_, properly uttered, the _a_ is essentially the same as in
_man_. In _care_ and _hare_, we have the first sound of _a_, made as
slender as the _r_ will admit.
OBS. 5.--Concerning his fifth sound of _a_, Wells cites authorities thus:
"Walker, Webster, Sheridan, Fulton and Knight, Kenrick, Jones, and Nares,
give _a_ in _care_ the _long_ sound of _a_, as in _late_. Page and Day give
it the _short_ sound of _a_, as in _mat_. See Page's Normal Chart, and
Day's Art of Elocution. Worcester and Perry make the sound of _a_ in _care_
a separate element; and this distinction is also recognized by Russell,
Mandeville, and Wright. See Russell's Lessons in Enunciation, Mandeville's
Elements of Reading and Oratory, and Wright's Orthography."--_Wells's
School Grammar_, p. 34. Now the opinion that _a_ in _care_ has its long,
primal sound, and is not properly "a separate element," is maintained also
by Murray, Hiley, Bullions, Scott, and Cobb; and is, undoubtedly, much more
prevalent than any other. It accords, too, with the scheme of Johnson. To
count this _a_ by itself, seems too much like a distinction without a
OBS. 6.--On his sixth sound of _a_, Wells remarks as follows: "Many persons
pronounce this _a_ incorrectly, giving it either the grave or the short
sound. Perry, Jones, Nares, Webster, and Day, give to _a_ in _grass_ the
grave sound, as in _father_; while Walker, Jamieson, and Russell, give it
the short sound, as in _man_. But good speakers generally pronounce _a_ in
_grass, plant_, etc., as a distinct element, intermediate between the grave
and the short sound."--_School Gram._, p. 34. He also cites Worcester and
Smart to the same effect; and thinks, with the latter, "_There can be no
harm_ in avoiding the censure of both parties by _shunning the extreme_
that offends the taste of each."--_Ib._, p. 35. But I say, that a needless
multiplication of questionable vowel powers difficult to be discriminated,
_is_ "harm," or a fault in teaching; and, where intelligent orthoepists
[sic--KTH] dispute whether words have "the _grave_ or the _short_ sound" of
_a_, how can others, who condemn both parties, acceptably split the
difference, and form "a distinct element" in the interval? Words are often
mispronounced, and the French or close _a_ may be mistaken for the Italian
or broadish _a_, and _vice versa_; but, between the two, there does not
appear to be room for an other distinguishable from both. Dr. Johnson says,
(inaccurately indeed,) "_A_ has _three_ sounds, the slender, [the] open,
and [the] broad. _A_ slender is found in _most words_, as _face, mane_. _A_
open is the _a_ of the Italian, or nearly resembles it; as _father, rather,
congratulate, fancy, glass_. _A_ broad resembles the _a_ of the German; as
_all, wall, call_. [fist] The _short a_ approaches to the _a_ open, as
_grass_."--_Johnson's Grammar, in his Quarto Dictionary_, p. 1. Thus the
same word, _grass_, that serves Johnson for an example of "the _short a_"
is used by Wells and Worcester to exemplify the "_a intermediate_;" while
of the Doctor's five instances of what he calls the "_a open_," three, if
not four, are evidently such as nearly all readers nowadays would call
close or short!
OBS. 7.--There are several grammarians who agree in ascribing to our first
vowel _five_ sounds, but who nevertheless oppose one an other in making up
the five. Thus, according to Hart, "A has five sounds of its own, as in
fate, fare, far, fall, fat,"--_Hart's E. Gram._, p. 26. According to W.
Allen, "A has five sounds;--the long or slender, as in _cane_; the short or
open, as in _can_; the middle, as in _arm_; the broad, as in _all_; and the
_broad contracted_, as in _want_."--_Allen's E. Gram._, p. 6. P. Davis has
the same sounds in a different order, thus: "a [as in] mane, mar, fall,
mat, what."--_Davis's E. Gram._, p. xvi. Mennye says, "A has five sounds;
as, 1 fame, 2 fat, 3 false, 4 farm, 5 beggar."--_Mennye's E. Gram._, p. 55.
Here the fifth sound is the seventh of Worcester,--the "_A obscure_."
DIPHTHONGS BEGINNING WITH A.
The only proper diphthong in which _a_ is put first, is the word _ay_,
meaning _yes_: in which _a_ has its _middle_ sound, as in _ah_, and _y_ is
like _open e_, or _ee_, uttered feebly--_ah-ee_. _Aa_, when pronounced as
an improper diphthong, and not as pertaining to two syllables, usually
takes the sound of _close a_; as in _Balaam, Canaan, Isaac_. In many words,
as in _Baael, Gaael, Gaaesh_, the diaeresis occurs. In _baa_, the cry of a
sheep, we hear the Italian sound of _a_; and, since we hear it but once,
one _a_ or the other must be silent.
_AE_, a Latin improper diphthong, common also in the Anglo-Saxon, generally
has, according to modern orthoepists, the sound of _open e_ or _ee_; as in
_Caesar, aenigma, paean_;--sometimes that of _close_ or _short e_; as in
_aphaeresis, diaeresis, et caetera_. Some authors, judging the _a_ of this
diphthong to be needless, reject it, and write _Cesar, enigma_, &c.
_Ai_, an improper diphthong, generally has the sound of _open_ or _long a_;
as in _sail, avail, vainly_. In a final unaccented syllable, it sometimes
preserves the first sound of _a_; as in _chilblain, mortmain_: but oftener
takes the sound of _close_ or _short i_; as in _certain, curtain, mountain,
villain_. In _said, saith, again_, and _against_, it takes the sound of
_close_ or _short e_; and in the name _Britain_, that of _close_ or _short
_Ao_, an improper diphthong, occurs in the word _gaol_, now frequently
written as it is pronounced, _jail_; also in _gaoler_, which may be written
_jailer_; and in the compounds of _gaol_: and, again, it is found in the
adjective _extraordinary_, and its derivatives, in which, according to
nearly all orthoepists, the _a_ is silent. The name _Pharaoh_, is
_Au_, an improper diphthong, is generally sounded like _broad a_; as in
_cause, caught, applause_. Before _n_ and an other consonant, it usually
has the sound of _grave_ or _middle a_; as in _aunt, flaunt, gaunt, launch,
laundry_. So in _laugh, laughter_, and their derivatives. _Gauge_ and
_gauger_ are pronounced _gage_ and _gager_, and sometimes written so.
_Aw_, an improper diphthong, is always sounded like _broad a_; as in _draw,
_Ay_, an improper diphthong, like _ai_, has usually the sound of _open_ or
_long a_; as in _day, pay, delay_: in _sayst_ and _says_, it has the sound
of _close_ or _short e_.
TRIPHTHONGS BEGINNING WITH A.
_Awe_ is sounded _au_, like _broad a_. _Aye_, an adverb signifying
_always_, has the sound of _open_ or _long a_ only; being different, both
in sound and in spelling, from the adverb _ay_, yes, with which it is often
carelessly confounded. The distinction is maintained by Johnson, Walker,
Todd, Chalmers, Jones, Cobb, Maunder, Bolles, and others; but Webster and
Worcester give it up, and write "_ay_, or _aye_," each sounded _ah-ee_, for
the affirmation, and "_aye_," sounded _=a_, for the adverb of time:
Ainsworth on the contrary has _ay_ only, for either sense, and does not
note the pronunciation.
II. OF THE LETTER B.
The consonant _B_ has but one sound; as in _boy, robber, cub_. _B_ is
silent before _t_ or after _m_ in the same syllable; as in _debt, debtor,
doubt, dumb, lamb, climb, tomb_. It is heard in _subtile_, fine; but not in
III. OF THE LETTER C.
The consonant _C_ has two sounds, neither of them peculiar to this letter;
the one _hard_, like that of _k_, and the other _soft_, or rather
_hissing_, like that of _s_. _C_ before _a, o, u, l, r, t_, or when it ends
a syllable, is generally hard, like _k_; as in _can, come curb, clay, crab,
act, action, accent, flaccid_. _C_ before _e, i_, or _y_, is always soft,
like _s_; as in _cent, civil, decency, acid_.
In a few words, _c_ takes the _flat_ sound of _s_, like that of _z_; as in
_discern, suffice, sacrifice, sice_. _C_ before _ea, ia, ie, io_, or _eou_,
when the accent precedes, sounds like _sh_; as in _ocean, special, species,
gracious, cetaceous_. _C_ is silent in _czar, czarina, victuals, indict,
muscle, corpuscle_, and the second syllable of _Connecticut_.
_Ch_ is generally sounded like _tch_, or _tsh_, which is the same to the
ear; as in _church, chance, child_. But in words derived from the learned
languages, it has the sound of _k_; as in _character, scheme, catechise,
chorus, choir, chyle, patriarch, drachma, magna charta_: except in _chart,
charter, charity_. _Ch_, in words derived from the French, takes the sound
of _sh_; as in _chaise, machine_. In Hebrew words or names, in general,
_ch_ sounds like _k_; as in _Chebar, Sirach, Enoch_: but in _Rachel,
cherub_, and _cherubim_, we have Anglicized the sound by uttering it as
_tch_. _Loch_, a Scottish word, sometimes also a medical term, is heard as
"_Arch_, before a vowel, is pronounced _ark_; as in _archives, archangel,
archipelago_: except in _arched, archer, archery, archenemy_. Before a
consonant it is pronounced _artch_; as in _archbishop, archduke,
archfiend_."--See _W. Allen's Gram._, p. 10. _Ch_ is silent in _schism,
yacht_, and _drachm_. In _schedule_, some utter it as _k_; others, as _sh_;
and many make it mute: I like the first practice.
IV. OF THE LETTER D.
The general sound of the consonant _D_, is that which is heard in _dog,
eddy, did_. _D_, in the termination _ed_, preceded by a sharp consonant,
takes the sound of _t_, when the _e_ is suppressed or unheard: as in
_faced, stuffed, cracked, tripped, passed_; pronounced _faste, stuft,
cract, tript, past. D_ before _ia, ie, io_, or _eou_, when the accent
precedes, generally sounds like _j_; as in _Indian, soldier, tedious,
hideous_. So in _verdure, arduous, education_.
V. OF THE LETTER E.
The vowel _E_ has _two_ sounds properly its own,--and I incline to think,
1. The open, long, full, or primal _e_; as in _me, mere, menial,
2. The close, curt, short, or stopped _e_; as in _men, merry, ebony,
3. The obscure or faint _e_; as in _open, garden, shovel, able_. This third
sound is scarcely perceptible, and barely sufficient to articulate the
consonant and form a syllable.
_E final_ is mute and belongs to the syllable formed by the preceding vowel
or diphthong; as in _age, eve, ice, ore_. Except--1. In the words, _be, he,
me, we, she_, in which it has the open sound; and the article _the_,
wherein it is open before a vowel, and obscure before a consonant. 2. In
Greek and Latin words, in which it has its open sound, and forms a distinct
syllable, or the basis of one; as in _Penelope, Pasiphae, Cyanee,
Gargaphie, Arsinoe, apostrophe, catastrophe, simile, extempore, epitome_.
3. In the terminations _ere, gre, tre_, in which it has the sound of
_close_ or _curt u_, heard before the _r_; as in _acre, meagre, centre_.
Mute _e_, after a single consonant, or after _st_ or _th_, generally
preserves the open or long sound of the preceding vowel; as in _cane, here,
pine, cone, tune, thyme, baste, waste, lathe, clothe_: except in syllables
unaccented; as in the last of _genuine_;--and in a few monosyllables; as
_bade, are, were, gone, shone, one, done, give, live, shove, love_.
DIPHTHONGS BEGINNING WITH E.
_E_ before an other vowel, in general, either forms with it an _improper_
diphthong, or else belongs to a separate syllable. We do not hear both
vowels in one syllable, except perhaps in _eu_ or _ew_.
_Ea_, an improper diphthong, mostly sounds like _open_ or _long e_; as in
_ear, fear, tea_; frequently like _close_ or _curt e_; as in _head, health,
leather_: sometimes, like _open_ or _long a_; as in _steak, bear,
forswear_: rarely, like _middle a_; as in _heart, hearth, hearken. Ea_ in
an unaccented syllable, sounds like _close_ or _curt u_; as _in vengeance,
_Ee_, an improper diphthong, mostly sounds like one _open_ or _long e_; as
in _eel, sheep, tree, trustee, referee_. The contractions _e'er_ and
_ne'er_, are pronounced _air_ and _nair_, and not like _ear_ and _near.
E'en_, however, preserves the sound of _open e. Been_ is most commonly
heard with the curt sound of _i, bin_.
_Ei_, an improper diphthong, mostly sounds like the _primal_ or _long a_;
as in _reign, veil_: frequently, like _open_ or _long e_; as in _deceit,
either, neither, seize_: sometimes, like _open_ or _long i_; as in _height,
sleight, heigh-ho_: often, in unaccented syllables, like _close_ or _curt
i_; as in _foreign, forfeit, surfeit, sovereign_: rarely, like _close e_;
as in _heifer, nonpareil_.
_Eo_, an improper diphthong, in _people_, sounds like _open_ or _long e_;
in _leopard_ and _jeopard_, like _close_ or _curt e_; in _yeoman_,
according to the best usage, like _open_ or _long o_; in _George, Georgia,
georgic_, like _close o_; in _dungeon, puncheon, sturgeon_, &c., like
_close u_. In _feoff_, and its derivatives, the _close_ or _short_ sound of
_e_ is most fashionable; but some prefer the long sound of _e_; and some
write the word "_fief." Feod, feodal, feodary, feodatory_, are now commonly
written as they are pronounced, _feud, feudal, feudary, feudatory_.
_Eu_ and _ew_ are sounded alike, and almost always with the diphthongal
sound of _open_ or _long u_; as in _feud, deuce, jewel, dew, few, new_.
These diphthongs, when initial, sound like _yu_. Nouns beginning with this
sound, require the article _a_, and not _an_, before them; as, _A European,
a ewer_. After _r_ or _rh, eu_ and _ew_ are commonly sounded like _oo_; as
in _drew, grew, screw, rheumatism_. In _sew_ and _Shrewsbury, ew_ sounds
like _open o_: Worcester, however, prefers the sound of _oo_ in the latter
word. _Shew_ and _strew_, having the same meaning as _show_ and _strow_,
are sometimes, by sameness of pronunciation, made to be the same words; and
sometimes distinguished as different words, by taking the sounds _shu_ and
_Ey_, accented, has the sound of _open_ or _long a_; as in _bey, prey,
survey_: unaccented, it has the sound of _open e_; as in _alley, valley,
money. Key_ and _ley_ are pronounced _kee, lee_.
TRIPHTHONGS BEGINNING WITH E.
_Eau_, a French triphthong, sounds like _open o_; as in _beau, flambeau,
portmanteau, bureau_: except in _beauty_, and its compounds, in which it is
pronounced like _open u_, as if the word were written _buty_.
_Eou_ is a combination of vowels sometimes heard in one syllable,
especially after _c_ or _g_; as in _crus-ta-ceous, gor-geous_. Walker, in
his Rhyming Dictionary, gives one hundred and twenty words ending in
_eous_, in all of which he separates these vowels; as in _ex-tra-ne-ous_.
And why, in his Pronouncing Dictionary, he gave us several such anomalies
as _fa-ba-ce-ous_ in four syllables and _her-ba-ceous_ in three, it is not
easy to tell. The best rule is this: after _c_ or _g_, unite these vowels;
after the other consonants, separate them.
_Ewe_ is a triphthong having the sound of _yu_, and forming a word. The
vulgar pronunciation _yoe_ should be carefully avoided.
_Eye_ is an improper triphthong which also forms a word, and is pronounced
like _open i_, or the pronoun _I_.
VI. OF THE LETTER F.
The consonant _F_ has one unvaried sound, which is heard in _fan, effort,
staff_: except _of_, which, when simple, is pronounced _ov_.
VII. OF THE LETTER G.
The consonant _G_ has two sounds;--the one _hard_, guttural, and peculiar
to this letter; the other _soft_, like that of _j. G_ before _a, o, u, l,
r_, or at the end of a word, is hard; as in _game, gone, gull, glory,
grace, log, bog_; except in _gaol. G_ before _e, i_, or _y_, is soft; as in
_gem, ginger, elegy_. Except--1. In _get, give, gewgaw, finger_, and a few
other words. 2. When a syllable is added to a word ending in g: as, _long,
longer; fog, foggy_.
_G_ is silent before _m_ or _n_ in the same syllable; as in _phlegm,
apothegm, gnaw, design. G_, when silent, usually lengthens the preceding
vowel; as in _resign, impregn, impugn_.
_Gh_ at the beginning of a word has the sound of _g hard_; as in _ghastly,
gherkin, Ghibelline, ghost, ghoul, ghyll_: in other situations, it is
generally silent; as in _high, mighty, plough, bough, though, through,
fight, night, bought. Gh final_ sometimes sounds like _f_; as in _laugh,
rough, tough_; and sometimes, like _g hard_; as in _burgh_. In _hough,
lough, shough_, it sounds like _k_, or _ck_; thus, _hock, lock, shock_.
VIII. OF THE LETTER H.
The sound of the consonant _H_, (though articulate and audible when
properly uttered,) is little more than an aspirate breathing. It is heard
in _hat, hit, hot, hut, adhere_.
_H_ at the beginning of a word, is always sounded; except in _heir, herb,
honest, honour, hospital, hostler, hour, humble, humour_, with their
compounds and derivatives. _H_ after _r_, is always silent; as in
_rhapsody, rhetoric, rheum, rhubarb. H final_, immediately following a
vowel, is always silent; as in _ah, Sarah, Nineveh, Shiloh_.
IX. OF THE LETTER I.
The vowel _I_ has three sounds, each very common to it, and perhaps
properly its own:--
1. The open, long, full, or primal _i_; as in _life, fine, final, time,
bind, child, sigh, pint, resign_. This is a diphthongal sound, equivalent
to the sounds of _middle a_ and _open e_ quickly united.
2. The close, curt, short, or stopped _i_; as in _ink, limit, disfigure,
3. The feeble, faint, or slender _i_, accentless; as in _divest, doctrinal,
This third sound is equivalent to that of _open e_, or _ee_ uttered feebly.
_I_ generally has this sound when it occurs at the end of an unaccented
syllable: except at the end of Latin words, or of ancient names, where it
is _open_ or _long_; as in _literati, Nervii, Eli, Levi_.
In some words, (principally from other modern languages,) _i_ has the full
sound of _open e_, under the accent; as in _Porto Rico, machine, magazine,
Accented _i_ followed by a vowel, has its open or primal sound; and the
vowels belong to separate syllables; as in _pliant, diet, satiety, violet,
pious_. Unaccented _i_ followed by a vowel, has its feeble sound; as in
_expatiate, obedient, various, abstemious_.
DIPHTHONGS BEGINNING WITH I.
_I_, in the situation last described, readily coalesces with the vowel
which follows, and is often sunk into the same syllable, forming a proper
diphthong: as in _fustian, quotient, question_. The terminations _cion,
sion, and tion_, are generally pronounced _shun_; and _cious_ and _tious_
are pronounced _shus_.
_Ie_ is commonly an improper diphthong. _Ie_ in _die, hie, lie, pie, tie,
vie_, and their derivatives, has the sound of _open i. Ie_ in words from
the French, (as _cap-a-pie, ecurie, grenadier, siege, bier_,) has the sound
of _open e_. So, generally, in the middle of English roots; as in _chief,
grief, thief_; but, in _sieve_, it has the sound of _close_ or _short i_.
In _friend_, and its derivatives or compounds, it takes the sound of _close
TRIPHTHONGS BEGINNING WITH I.
The triphthongs ieu and iew both sound like open or long u; as in lieu,
The three vowels iou, in the termination ious, often fall into one
syllable, and form a triphthong. There are two hundred and forty-five words
of this ending; and more than two hundred deriva- tives from them. Walker
has several puzzling inconsistencies in their pronunciation; such as
fas-tid-i-ous and per-fid-ious, con-ta-gi-ous and sac-ri-le-gious. After c,
g, t, or x, these vowels should coalesce: as in gra-cious, re-li-gious,
vex-a-tious, ob-nox-ious, and about two hundred other words. After the
other consonants, let them form two syllables; (except when there is a syn-
seresis in poetry;) as in dw-bi-ou-s, o-di-ous, va-ri-ous, en-vi-ous.
X. OF THE LETTER J.
The consonant _J_, the tenth letter of the English alphabet, has invariably
the sound of _soft g_, like the _g_ in _giant_, which some say is
equivalent to the complex sound _dzh_; as, _jade, jet, jilt, joy, justice,
XI. OF THE LETTER K.
The consonant _K_, not silent, has uniformly the sound of _c_ hard; and
occurs where _c_ would have its soft sound: as in _keep, looking, kind,
_K_ before _n_ is silent; as in _knave, know, knuckle_. In stead of
doubling _c final_, we write _ck_; as in _lack, lock, luck, attack_. In
English words, _k_ is never doubled, though two Kays may come together in
certain compounds; as in _brickkiln, jackknife_. Two Kays, belonging to
different syllables, also stand together in a few Scripture names; as in
_Akkub, Bakbakkar, Bukki, Bukkiah, Habakkuk. Hakkoz, Ikkesh, Sukkiims_. _C_
before _k_, though it does not always double the sound which _c_ or _k_ in
such a situation must represent, always shuts or shortens the preceding
vowel; as in _rack, speck, freckle, cockle, wicked_.
XII. OF THE LETTER L.
The consonant _L_, the plainest of the semivowels, has a soft, liquid
sound; as in _line, lily, roll, follow. L_ is sometimes silent; as in
_Holmes, alms, almond, calm, chalk, walk, calf, half, could, would, should.
L_, too, is frequently doubled where it is heard but once; as in _hill,
full, travelled_. So any letter that is written twice, and not twice
sounded, must there be once mute; as the last in _baa, ebb, add, see,
staff, egg, all, inn, coo, err, less, buzz_.
XIII. OF THE LETTER M.
The consonant _M_ is a semivowel and a liquid, capable of an audible,
humming sound through the nose, when the mouth is closed. It is heard in
_map, murmur, mammon_. In the old words, _compt, accompt, comptroller_,
(for _count, account, controller_,) the _m_ is sounded as _n. M_ before
_n_, at the beginning of a word, is silent; as in _Mnason, Mnemosyne,
XIV. OF THE LETTER N.
The consonant _N_, which is also a semivowel and a liquid, has two
sounds;--the first, the pure and natural sound of _n_; as in _nun, banner,
cannon_;--the second, the ringing sound of _ng_, heard before certain
gutturals; as in _think, mangle, conquer, congress, singing, twinkling,
Cen'chreae_. The latter sound should be carefully preserved in all words
ending in _ing_, and in such others as require it. The sounding of the
syllable _ing_ as if it were _in_, is a vulgarism in utterance; and the
writing of it so, is, as it would seem by the usage of Burns, a Scotticism.
_N final_ preceded by _m_, is silent; as in _hymn, solemn, column, damn,
condemn, autumn_. But this _n_ becomes audible in an additional syllable;
as in _autumnal, condemnable, damning_.
XV. OF THE LETTER O.
The vowel _O_ has _three_ different sounds, which are properly its own:--
1. The open, full, primal, or long _o_; as in _no, note, opiate, opacity,
2. The close, curt, short, or stopped _o_; as in _not, nor, torrid, dollar,
3. The slender or narrow _o_, like _oo_; as in _prove, move, who, to, do,
_O_, in many words, sounds like _close_ or _curt u_; as in _love, shove,
son, come, nothing, dost, attorney, gallon, dragon, comfit, comfort,
coloration. One_ is pronounced _wun_; and _once, wunce_. In the termination
_on_ immediately after the accent, _o_ is often sunk into a sound scarcely
perceptible, like that of _obscure e_; as in _mason, person, lesson_.
DIPHTHONGS BEGINNING WITH O.
_Oa_, an improper diphthong, has the sound of _open_ or _long o_; as in
_boat, coal, roach, coast, coastwise_: except in _broad_ and _groat_, which
have the sound of _broad a_.
_Oe_, an improper diphthong, when _final_, has the sound of _open_ or _long
o_: as in _doe, foe, throe_: except in _canoe, shoe_, pronounced _canoo,
shoo_. _OE_, a Latin diphthong, generally sounds like _open e_; as in
_Antoeci, foetus_: sometimes, like _close_ or _curt e_; as in _foetid,
foeticide_. But the English word _f~etid_ is often, and perhaps generally,
written without the _o_.
_Oi_ is generally a proper diphthong, uniting the sound of _close o_ or
_broad a_, and that of _open e_; as in _boil, coil, soil, rejoice_. But the
vowels, when they appear together, sometimes belong to separate syllables;
as in _Stoic, Stoicism. Oi_ unaccented, sometimes has the sound of _close_
or _curt i_; as in _avoirdupois, connoisseur, tortoise_.
_Oo_, an improper diphthong, generally has the slender sound of _o_; as in
_coo, too, woo, fool, room_. It has, in some words, a shorter or closer
sound, (like that of _u_ in _bull_,) as in _foot, good, wood, stood,
wool_;--that of _close u_ in _blood_ and _flood_;--and that of _open o_ in
_door_ and _floor_. Derivatives from any of these, sound as their
_Ou_ is generally a proper diphthong, uniting the sound of _close_ or _curt
o_, and that of _u_ as heard in _bull_,--or _u_ sounded as _oo_; as in
_bound, found, sound, ounce, thou. Ou_ is also, in certain instances, an
improper diphthong; and, as such, it has _six_ different sounds:--(l.) That
of _close_ or _curt u_; as in _rough, tough, young, flourish_. (2.) That of
_broad a_; as in _ought, bought, thought_. (3.) That of _open_ or _long o_;
as in _court, dough, four, though_. (4.) That of _close_ or _curt o_; as in
_cough, trough, lough, shough_: which are, I believe, the only examples.
(5.) That of _slender o_, or _oo_; as in _soup, you, through_. (6.) That of
_u_ in _bull_, or of _oo_ shortened; only in _would, could, should_.
_Ow_ generally sounds like the proper diphthong _ou_,--or like a union of
_short o_ with _oo_; as in _brown, dowry, now, shower_: but it is often an
improper diphthong, having only the sound of _open_ or _long o_; as in
_know, show, stow_.
_Oy_ is a proper diphthong, equivalent in sound to _oi_; as in _joy, toy,
TRIPHTHONGS BEGINNING WITH O.
_OEu_ is a French triphthong, pronounced in English as _oo_, and occurring
in the word _manoeuvre_, with its several derivatives. _Owe_ is an improper
triphthong, and an English word, in which the _o_ only is heard, and heard
always with its long or open sound.
XVI. OF THE LETTER P.
The consonant _P_, when not written before _h_, has commonly one peculiar
sound; which is heard in _pen, pine, sup, supper_. The word _cupboard_ is
usually pronounced _kubburd_. _P_, written with an audible consonant, is
sometimes itself silent; as in _psalm, psalter, pseudography, psychology,
ptarmigan, ptyalism, receipt, corps_.
_Ph_ generally sounds like _f_; as in _philosophy_. In _Stephen_ and
_nephew, ph_ has the sound of _v_. The _h_ after _p_, is silent in
_diphthong, triphthong, naphtha, ophthalmic_; and both the _p_ and the _h_
are silent in _apophthegm, phthisis, phthisical_. From the last three
words, _ph_ is sometimes dropped.
XVII. OF THE LETTER Q.
The consonant _Q_, being never silent, never final, never doubled, and not
having a sound peculiar to itself, is invariably heard, in English, with
the power of _k_; and is always followed by the vowel _u_, which, in words
_purely English_, is sounded like the narrow _o_, or _oo_,--or, perhaps, is
squeezed into the consonantal sound of _w_;--as in _queen, quaver, quiver,
quarter, request_. In some words of _French_ origin, the _u_ after _q_ is
silent; as in _coquet, liquor, burlesque, etiquette_.
XVIII. OF THE LETTER R.
The consonant _R_, called also a semivowel and a liquid, has usually, at
the beginning of a word, or before a vowel, a rough or pretty strong sound;
as in _roll, rose, roam, proudly, prorogue_. "In other positions," it is
said by many to be "smooth" or "soft;" "as in _hard, ford, word_."--_W.
OBS. 1.--The letter _R_ turns the tip of the tongue up against or towards
the roof of the mouth, where the sound may be lengthened, roughened,
trilled, or quavered. Consequently, this element may, at the will of the
speaker, have more or less--little or nothing, or even very much--of that
peculiar roughness, jar, or whur, which is commonly said to constitute the
sound. The extremes should here be avoided. Some readers very improperly
omit the sound of _r_ from many words to which it pertains; pronouncing
_or_ as _awe, nor_ as _knaw, for_ as _faugh_, and _war_ as the first
syllable of _water_. On the other hand, "The excessive _trilling_ of the
_r_, as practised by some speakers, is a great fault."--_D. P. Page_.
OBS. 2.--Dr. Johnson, in his "Grammar of the English Tongue," says, "_R_
has the same _rough snarling sound_ as in other tongues."--P. 3. Again, in
his Quarto Dictionary, under this letter, he says, "_R_ is called the
_canine letter_, because it is uttered _with some resemblance to the growl
or snarl of a cur_: it has _one constant sound_ in English, such as it has
in other languages; as, _red, rose, more, muriatick_." Walker, however, who
has a greater reputation as an orthoepist [sic--KTH], teaches that, "There
is a distinction in the sound of this letter, which is," says he, "in my
opinion, _of no small importance_; and that is, the [distinction of] the
rough and [the] smooth _r_. Ben Jonson," continues he, "in his Grammar,
says, 'It is sounded firm in the beginning of words, and more liquid in the
middle and ends, as in _rarer, riper_; and so in the Latin.' The rough _r_
is formed by jarring the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth
near the fore teeth: the smooth _r_ is a vibration of the lower part of the
tongue, near the root, against the inward region of the palate, near the
entrance of the throat."--_Walker's Principles_, No. 419; _Octavo Dict._,
OBS. 3.--Wells, with his characteristic indecision, forbears all
recognition of this difference, and all intimation of the quality of the
sound, whether smooth or rough; saying, in his own text, only this: "_R_
has the sound heard in _rare_."--_School Grammar_, p. 40. Then, referring
the student to sundry authorities, he adds in a footnote certain
"quotations," that are said to "present a general view of the different
opinions which exist among orthoepists respecting this letter." And so
admirably are these authorities or opinions balanced and offset, one class
against an other, that it is hard to tell which has the odds. First, though
it is not at all probable that Wells's utterance of "_rare_" exhibits twice
over the _rough snarl_ of Johnson's _r_, the "general view" seems intended
to confirm the indefinite teaching above, thus: "'_R_ has one constant
sound in English.'--_Johnson_. The same view is adopted by Webster, Perry,
Kendrick, Sheridan, Jones, Jameson, Knowles, and others."--_School
Grammar_, p. 40. In counterpoise of these, Wells next cites about as many
more--namely, Frazee, Page, Russell, Walker, Rush, Barber, Comstock, and
Smart,--as maintaining or admitting that _r_ has sometimes a rough sound,
and sometimes a smoother one.
XIX. OF THE LETTER S.
The consonant _S_ has a sharp, hissing, or hard sound; as in _sad,
sister, thus_: and a flat, buzzing, or soft sound, like that of _z_; as in
_rose, dismal, bosom, husband. S_, at the beginning of words, or after any
of the sharp consonants, is always sharp; as in _see, steps, cliffs, sits,
stocks, smiths_. _S_, after any of the flat mutes, or at the end of words
when not preceded by a sharp consonant, is generally flat; as in _eyes,
trees, beds, bags, calves_. But in the English termination _ous_, or in the
Latin _us_, it is sharp; as _joyous, vigorous, hiatus_.
_Ss_ is generally sharp; as in _pass, kiss, harass, assuage, basset,
cassock, remissness_. But the first two Esses in _possess_, or any of its
regular derivatives, as well as the two in _dissolve_, or its proximate
kin, sound like two Zees; and the soft or flat sound is commonly given to
each _s_ in _hyssop, hussy, and hussar_. In _scissel, scissible_, and
_scissile_, all the Esses hiss;--in _scissors_, the last three of the four
are flat, like _z_;--but in the middle of _scissure_ and _scission_ we hear
the sound of _zh_.
_S_, in the termination _sion_, takes the sound of _sh_, after a consonant;
as in _aspersion, session, passion, mission, compulsion_: and that of _zh_,
after a vowel; as in _evasion, elision, confusion_.
In the verb _assure_, and each of its derivatives, also in the nouns
_pressure_ and _fissure_, with their derivatives, we hear, according to
Walker, the sound of _sh_ for each _s_, or twice in each word; but,
according to the orthoepy of Worcester, that sound is heard only in the
accented syllable of each word, and the vowel in each unaccented syllable
_S_ is silent or mute in the words, _isle, island, aisle, demesne, corps_,
XX. OF THE LETTER T.
The general sound of the consonant _T_, is heard in _time, letter, set_.
_T_, immediately after the accent, takes the sound of _tch_, before _u_,
and generally also before _eou_; as in _nature, feature, virtue, righteous,
courteous_: when _s_ or _x_ precedes, it takes this sound before _ia_ or
_io_; as in _fustian, bastion, mixtion_. But the general or most usual
sound of _t_ after the accent, when followed by _i_ and an other vowel, is
that of _sh_; as in _creation, patient, cautious_.
In English, _t_ is seldom, if ever, silent or powerless. In _depot_,
however, a word borrowed from the French, we do not sound it; and in
_chestnut_, which is a compound of our own, it is much oftener written than
heard. In _often_ and _soften_, some think it silent; but it seems rather
to take here the sound of _f_. In _chasten, hasten, fasten, castle, nestle,
whistle, apostle, epistle, bustle_, and similar words, with their sundry
derivatives, the _t_ is said by some to be mute; but here it seems to take
the sound of _s_; for, according to the best authorities, this sound is
beard twice in such words. _Th_, written in Greek by the character called
_Theta_, ([Greek: th] or O capital, [Greek: th] or [Greek: th] small,)
represents an elementary sound; or, rather, two distinct elementary sounds,
for which the Anglo-Saxons had different characters, supposed by Dr.
Bosworth to have been applied with accurate discrimination of "the _hard_
or _sharp_ sound of _th_," from "the _soft_ or _flat_ sound."--(See
_Bosworth's Compendious Anglo-Saxon Dictionary_, p. 268.) The English _th_
is either sharp, as in _thing, ethical, thinketh_; or flat, as in _this,
"_Th initial_ is sharp; as in _thought_: except in _than, that, the, thee,
their, them, then, thence, there, these, they, thine, this, thither, those,
thou, thus, thy_, and their compounds."--_W. Allen's Grammar_, p. 22.
_Th final_ is also sharp; as in _south_: except in _beneath, booth, with_,
and several verbs formerly with _th_ last, but now frequently (and more
properly) written with final _e_; as _loathe, mouthe, seethe, soothe,
smoothe, clothe, wreathe, bequeathe, unclothe_.
_Th medial_ is sharp, too, when preceded or followed by a consonant; as in
_Arthur, ethnic, swarthy, athwart_: except in _brethren, burthen, farther,
farthing, murther, northern, worthy_. But "_th_ between two vowels, is
generally flat in words purely English; as in _gather, neither, whither_:
and sharp in words from the learned languages; as in _atheist, ether,
method_"--See _W. Allen's Gram._, p. 22.
"_Th_, in _Thames, Thomas, thyme, asthma, phthisis_, and their compounds,
is pronounced like _t_."--_Ib._
XXI. OF THE LETTER U.
The vowel _U_ has three sounds which may be considered to be properly its
1. The open, long, full, primal, or diphthongal _u_; as in _tube, cubic,
2. The close, curt, short, or stopped _u_; as in _tub, butter, justice,
3. The middle _u_, resembling a short or quick _oo_; as in _pull, pulpit,
_U_ forming a syllable by itself or _U_ as naming itself is nearly
equivalent in sound to _you_, and requires the article _a_, and not _an_,
before it; as, _a U, a union_.
_U_ sometimes borrows the sound of some other vowel; for _bury_ is
pronounced _berry_, and _busy_ is pronounced _bizzy_. So in the
derivatives, _burial, buried, busied, busily_, and the like.
The long or diphthongal _u_, commonly sounded as _yu_, or as _ew_ in
_ewer_,--or any equivalent diphthong or digraph, as _ue, ui, eu_, or
_ew_.--when it follows _r_ or _rh_, assumes the sound of slender _o_ or
_oo_; as in _rude, rhubarb, rue, rueful, rheum, fruit, truth, brewer_.
DIPHTHONGS BEGINNING WITH U.
_U_, in the proper diphthongs, _ua, ue, ui, uo, uy_, has the sound of _w_
or of _oo feeble_; as in _persuade, query, quell, quiet, languid, quote,
_Ua_, an improper diphthong, has the sound--1. Of _middle a_; as in _guard,
guardian_. 2. Of _close a_; as in _guarantee, piquant_. 3. Of _obscure e_;
as in _victuals_ and its compounds or kindred. 4. Of _open u_; as in
_Ue_, an improper diphthong, has the sound--1. Of _open u_; as in _blue,
ensue, ague_. 2. Of _close e_; as in _guest, guesser_. 3. Of _close u_; as
in _leaguer_. _Ue final_ is sometimes silent; as in _league, antique_.
_Ui_, an improper diphthong, has the sound--1. Of _open i_; as in _guide,
guile_. 2. Of _close i_; as in _conduit, circuit_. 3. Of _open u_; as in
_juice, sluice, suit_.
_Uo_ can scarcely be called an improper diphthong, except, perhaps, after
_q_ in _liquor, liquorice, liquorish_, where _uor_ is heard as _ur_.
_Uy_, an improper diphthong, has the sound--1. Of _open y_; as in _buy,
buyer_. 2. Of _feeble y_, or of _ee feeble_; as in _plaguy, roguy_.
TRIPHTHONGS BEGINNING WITH U.
_Uai_ is pronounced nearly, if not exactly, like _way_; as in _guai-a-cum,
quail, quaint_. _Uaw_ is sounded like _wa_ in _water_; as in _squaw_, a
female Indian. _Uay_ has the sound of _way_; as in _Par-a-guay_: except in
_quay_, which nearly all our orthoepists pronounce _kee_. _Uea_ and _uee_
are each sounded _wee_; as in _queasy, queer, squeal, squeeze_. _Uoi_ and
_woy_ are each sounded _woi_; as in _quoit, buoy_. Some say, that, as _u_,
in these combinations, sounds like _w_, it is a consonant; others allege,
that _w_ itself has only the sound of _oo_, and is therefore in all cases a
vowel. _U_ has, certainly, in these connexions, as much of the sound of
_oo_, as has _w_; and perhaps a little more.
XXII. OF THE LETTER V.
The consonant _V_ always has a sound like that of _f flattened_; as in
_love, vulture, vivacious_. In pure English, it is never silent, never
final, never doubled: but it is often doubled in the dialect of Craven; and
there, too, it is sometimes final.
XXIII. OF THE LETTER W.
_W_, when reckoned a _consonant_, (as it usually is when uttered with a
vowel that follows it,) has the sound heard at the beginning of _wine, win,
woman, woody_; being a sound less vocal than that of _oo_, and depending
more upon the lips.
_W_ before _h_, is usually pronounced as if it followed the _h_; as in
_what, when, where, while_: but, in _who, whose, whom, whole, whoop_, and
words formed from these, it is silent. Before _r_, in the same syllable, it
is also silent; as in _wrath, wrench, wrong_. So in a few other cases; as
in _sword, answer, two_.
_W_ is never used alone as a _vowel_; except in some Welsh or foreign
names, in which it is equivalent to _oo_; as in "_Cwm Cothy_," the name of
a mountain in Wales; "_Wkra_" the name of a small river in Poland.--See
_Lockhart's Napoleon_, Vol. ii, p. 15. In a diphthong, when heard, it has
the power of _u_ in _bull_, or nearly that of _oo_; as in _new, now, brow,
frown_. _Aw_ and _ow_ are frequently improper diphthongs, the _w_ being
silent, the _a_ broad, and the _o_ long; as in _law, flaw,--tow, snow_.
_W_, when sounded before vowels, being reckoned a _consonant_, we have no
diphthongs or triphthongs beginning with this letter.
XXIV. OF THE LETTER X.
The consonant "_X_ has a _sharp_ sound, like _ks_; as in _ox_: and a _flat_
one, like _gz_; as in _example_. _X_ is sharp, when it ends an accented
syllable; as in _exercise, exit, excellence_: or when it precedes an
accented syllable beginning with a consonant; as in _expand, extreme,
expunge_. _X_ unaccented is generally flat, when the next syllable begins
with a vowel; as in _exist, exemption, exotic_. _X initial_, in Greek
proper names, has the sound of _z_; as in _Xanthus, Xantippe, Xenophon,
Xerxes_"--See _W. Allen's Gram._, p. 25.
XXV. OF THE LETTER Y.
_Y_, as a _consonant_, has the sound heard at the beginning of _yarn,
young, youth_; being rather less vocal than the feeble sound of _i_, or of
the vowel _y_, and serving merely to modify that of a succeeding vowel,
with which it is quickly united. _Y_, as a vowel, has the same sounds as
1. The open, long, full, or primal _y_; as in _cry, crying, thyme, cycle_.
2. The close, curt, short, or stopped _y_; as in _system, symptom, cynic_.
3. The feeble or faint _y_, accentless; (like _open e feeble_;) as in
_cymar, cycloidal, mercy_.
The vowels _i_ and _y_ have, in general, exactly the same sound under
similar circumstances, and, in forming derivatives, we often change one for
the other: as in _city, cities; tie, tying; easy, easily_.
_Y_, before a vowel heard in the same syllable, is reckoned a _consonant_;
we have, therefore, no diphthongs or triphthongs _commencing_ with this
XXVI. OF THE LETTER Z.
The consonant _Z_, the last letter of our alphabet, has usually a soft or
buzzing sound, the same as that of _s flat_; as in _Zeno, zenith, breeze,
dizzy_. Before _u primal_ or _i feeble, z_, as well as _s flat_, sometimes
takes the sound of _zh_, which, in the enumeration of consonantal sounds,
is reckoned a distinct element; as in _azure, seizure, glazier; osier,
END OF THE FIRST APPENDIX.
TO PART SECOND, OR ETYMOLOGY.
OF THE DERIVATION OF WORDS.
Derivation, as a topic to be treated by the grammarian, is a species of
Etymology, which explains the various methods by which those derivative
words which are not formed by mere grammatical inflections, are deduced
from their primitives. Most of those words which are regarded as primitives
in English, may be traced to ulterior sources, and many of them are found
to be compounds or derivatives in the other languages from which they have
come to us. To show the composition, origin, and literal sense of these, is
also a part, and a highly useful part, of this general inquiry, or theme of
This species of information, though insignificant in those whose studies
reach to nothing better,--to nothing valuable and available in life,--is
nevertheless essential to education and to science; because it is essential
to a right understanding of the import and just application of such words.
All reliable etymology, all authentic derivation of words, has ever been
highly valued by the wise. The learned James Harris has a remark as
follows: "How useful to ETHIC SCIENCE, and indeed to KNOWLEDGE in general,
a GRAMMATICAL DISQUISITION into the _Etymology_ and _Meaning_ of WORDS was
esteemed by the chief and ablest Philosophers, may be seen by consulting
_Plato_ in his _Cratylus; Xenophon's Memorabilia_, IV, 5, 6; _Arrian.
Epict._ I, 17; II, 10; _Marc. Anton_. III, 11;" &c.--See _Harris's Hermes_,
A knowledge of the _Saxon, Latin, Greek_, and _French_ languages, will
throw much light on this subject, the derivation of our modern English; nor
is it a weak argument in favour of studying these, that our acquaintance
with them, whether deep or slight, tends to a better understanding of what
is borrowed, and what is vernacular, in our own tongue. But etymological
analysis may extensively teach the origin of English words, their
composition, and the import of their parts, without demanding of the
student the power of reading foreign or ancient languages, or of
discoursing at all on General Grammar. And, since many of the users of this
work may be but readers of our current English, to whom an unknown letter
or a foreign word is a particularly uncouth and repulsive thing, we shall
here forbear the use of Saxon characters, and, in our explanations, not go
beyond the precincts of our own language, except to show the origin and
primitive import of some of our definitive and connecting particles, and to
explain the prefixes and terminations which are frequently employed to form
The rude and cursory languages of barbarous nations, to whom literature is
unknown, are among those transitory things which, by the hand of time, are
irrecoverably buried in oblivion. The fabric of the English language is
undoubtedly of _Saxon_ origin; but what was the particular form of the
language spoken by the _Saxons_, when about the year 450 they entered
Britain, cannot now be accurately known. It was probably a dialect of the
_Gothic_ or _Teutonic_. This _Anglo-Saxon_ dialect, being the nucleus,
received large accessions from other tongues of the north, from the _Norman
French_, and from the more polished languages of _Rome_ and _Greece_, to
form the modern _English_. The speech of our rude and warlike ancestors
thus gradually improved, as Christianity, civilization, and knowledge,
advanced the arts of life in Britain; and, as early as the tenth century,
it became a language capable of expressing all the sentiments of a
civilized people. From the time of _Alfred_, its progress may be traced by
means of writings which remain; but it can scarcely be called _English_, as
I have shown in the Introduction to this work, till about the thirteenth
century. And for two or three centuries later, it was so different from the
modern English, as to be scarcely intelligible at all to the mere English
reader; but, gradually improving by means upon which we need not here
dilate, it at length became what we now find it,--a language copious,
strong, refined, impressive, and capable, if properly used, of a great
degree of beauty and harmony.
SECTION I.--DERIVATION OF THE ARTICLES.
1. For the derivation of our article THE, which he calls "_an adjective_,"
Dr. Webster was satisfied with giving this hint: "Sax. _the_; Dutch,
_de_."--_Amer. Dict._ According to Horne Tooke, this definite article of
ours, is the Saxon _verb_ "THE," imperative, from THEAN, to _take_; and is
nearly equivalent in meaning to _that_ or _those_, because our _that_ is
"the past participle of THEAN," and "means _taken_."--_Diversions of
Purley_, Vol. ii, p. 49. But this is not very satisfactory. Examining
ancient works, we find the word, or something resembling it, or akin to it,
written in various forms, as _se, see, ye, te, de, the, tha_, and others
that cannot be shown by our modern letters; and, tracing it as one article,
or one and the same word, through what we suppose to be the oldest of these
forms, in stead of accounting the forms as signs of different roots, we
should sooner regard it as originating in the imperative of SEON, _to see_.
2. AN, our indefinite article, is the Saxon _oen, ane, an_, ONE; and, by
dropping _n_ before a consonant, becomes _a_. Gawin Douglas, an ancient
English writer, wrote _ane_, even before a consonant; as, "_Ane_
book,"--"_Ane_ lang spere,"--"_Ane_ volume."
OBS. 1.--The words of Tooke, concerning the derivation of _That_ and _The_,
as nearly as they can be given in our letters, are these: "THAT (in the
Anglo-Saxon Thaet, i.e. Thead, Theat) means _taken, assumed_; being merely
the past participle of the Anglo-Saxon verb Thean, Thegan, Thion, Thihan,
Thicgan, Thigian; sumere, assumere, accipere; to THE, to _get_, to _take_,
'Ill mote he THE That caused me
To make myselfe a frere.'--_Sir T. More's Workes, pag._ 4.
THE (our _article_, as it is called) is the imperative of the same verb
Thean: which may very well supply the place of the correspondent
Anglo-Saxon article Se, which is the imperative of Seon, videre: for it
answers the same purpose in discourse, to say.... _see_ man, or _take_
man."--_Diversions of Purley_, Vol. ii, p. 49.
OBS. 2.--Now, between _Thaet_ and _Theat_, there is a considerable
difference of form, for _ae_ and _ea_ are not the same diphthong; and, in
the identifying of so many infinitives, as forming but one verb, there is
room for error. Nor is it half so probable that these are truly one root,
as that our article _The_ is the same, in its origin, as the old
Anglo-Saxon _Se_. Dr. Bosworth, in his Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, gives no
such word as _Thean_ or _Thegan_, no such participle as _Thead_ or _Theat_,
which derivative is perhaps imaginary; but he has inserted together
"Thicgan, thicgean, thigan, _to receive, or take_;" and separately, "Theon,
_to thrive, or flourish_,"--"Thihan, _to thrive_,"--and "Thion, _to
flourish_;" as well as the preterit "Theat, _howled_," from "Theotan, _to
howl_." And is it not plain, that the old verb "THE," as used by More, is
from Theon, _to thrive_, rather than from Thicgan, _to take_? "Ill mote he
THE"--"Ill might he _thrive_," not, "Ill might he _take_."
OBS. 3.--Professor Hart says, "The word _the_ was originally _thaet_, or
_that_. In course of time [,] it became abbreviated, and the short form
acquired, in usage, a shade of meaning different from the original long
one. _That_ is demonstrative with emphasis; _the_ is demonstrative without
emphasis."--_Hart's E. Grammar_, p. 32. This derivation of _The_ is quite
improbable; because the shortening of a monosyllable of five letters by
striking out the third and the fifth, is no usual mode of abbreviation.
Bosworth's Dictionary explains THE as "An indeclinable article, often used
for all the cases of Se, seo, thaet, especially in adverbial expressions and
in corrupt Anglo-Saxon, as in the _Chronicle_ after the year 1138."
OBS. 4--Dr. Latham, in a section which is evidently neither accurate nor
self-consistent, teaches us--"that there exist in the present English two
powers of the word spelled _t-h-e_, or of the so-called definite article;"
then, out of sixteen Anglo-Saxon equivalents, he selects two for the roots
of this double-powered _the_; saying, "Hence the _the_ that has originated
out of the Anglo-Saxon _thy_ is one word; whilst the _the_ that has
originated out of the Anglo-Saxon _the_, [is] another. The latter is the
common article: the former the _the_ in expressions like _all the more, all
the better--more by all that, better by all that_, and the Latin phrases
_eo majus, eo melius_."--_Latham's Hand-Book_, p. 158. This double
derivation is liable to many objections. The Hand-Book afterwards says,
"That the, in expressions like _all the more, all the better_, &c., is _no
article_, has already been shown."--P. 196. But in fact, though _the_
before comparatives or superlatives be no article, Dr. Latham's etymologies
prove no such thing; neither does he anywhere tell us what it is. His
examples, too, with their interpretations, are all of them fictitious,
ambiguous, and otherwise bad. It is uncertain whether he meant his phrases
for counterparts to each other or not. If _the_ means "_by that_," or
_thereby_, it is an _adverb_; and so is its equivalent "_eo_" denominated
by the Latin grammarians. See OBS. 10, under Rule I.
SECTION II.--DERIVATION OF NOUNS.
In _English_, Nouns are derived from nouns, from adjectives, from verbs, or
I. Nouns are derived from _Nouns_ in several different ways:--
1. By the adding of _ship, dom, ric, wick, or, ate, hood_, or _head_: as,
_fellow, fellowship; king, kingdom; bishop, bishopric; bailiff_, or _baily,
bailiwick; senate, senator; tetrarch, tetrarchate; child, childhood; God,
Godhead_. These generally denote dominion, office, or character.
2. By the adding of _ian_: as, _music, musician; physic, physician;
theology, theologian; grammar, grammarian; college, collegian_. These
generally denote profession.
3. By the adding of _r, ry_, or _ery_: as, _grocer, grocery; cutler,
cutlery; slave, slavery; scene, scenery; fool, foolery_. These sometimes
denote state or habit; sometimes, an artificer's wares or shop.
4. By the adding of _age_ or _ade_: as, _patron, patronage; porter,
porterage; band, bandage; lemon, lemonade; baluster, balustrade; wharf,
wharfage; vassal, vassalage_.
5. By the adding of _kin, let, ling, ock, el, erel_, or _et_: as, _lamb,
lambkin; ring, ringlet; cross, crosslet; duck, duckling; hill, hillock;
run, runnel; cock, cockerel; pistol, pistolet; eagle, eaglet; circle,
circlet_. All these denote little things, and are called diminutives.
6. By the addition of _ist_: as, _psalm, psalmist; botany, botanist; dial,
dialist; journal, journalist._ These denote persons devoted to, or skilled
in, the subject expressed by the primitive.
7. By the prefixing of an adjective, or an other noun, so as to form a
compound word: as, _foreman, broadsword, statesman, tradesman; bedside,
hillside, seaside; bear-berry, bear-fly, bear-garden; bear's-ear,
8. By the adoption of a negative prefix to reverse the meaning: as, _order,
disorder; pleasure, displeasure; consistency, inconsistency; capacity,
incapacity; observance, nonobservance; resistance, nonresistance; truth,
untruth; constraint, unconstraint_.
9. By the use of the prefix _counter_, signifying _against_ or _opposite_:
as, _attraction, counter-attraction; bond, counter-bond; current,
counter-current; movement, counter-movement_.
10. By the addition of _ess, ix, or ine_, or the changing of masculines to
feminines so terminating: as, _heir, heiress; prophet, prophetess; abbot,
abbess; governor, governess; testator, testatrix; hero, heroine_.
II. Nouns are derived from _Adjectives_ in several different ways:--
1. By the adding of _ness, ity, ship, dom_, or _hood_: as, _good, goodness;
real, reality; hard, hardship; wise, wisdom; free, freedom; false,
2. By the changing of _t_ into _ce_ or _cy_: as, _radiant, radiance;
consequent, consequence; flagrant, flagrancy; current, currency;
discrepant, discrepance_, or _discrepancy_.
3. By the changing of some of the letters, and the adding of _t_ or _th_:
as, _long, length; broad, breadth; wide, width; high, height_. The nouns
included under these three heads, generally denote abstract qualities, and
are called abstract nouns.
4. By the adding of _ard_: as, _drunk, drunkard; dull, dullard_. These
denote ill character.
5. By the adding of _ist_: as, _sensual, sensualist; separate, separatist;
royal, royalist; fatal, fatalist_. These denote persons devoted, addicted,
or attached, to something.
6. By the adding of _a_, the Latin ending of neuter plurals, to certain
proper adjectives in _an_: as, _Miltonian, Miltoniana; Johnsonian,
Johnsoniana_. These literally mean, _Miltonian things, sayings_, or
_anecdotes_, &c.; and are words somewhat fashionable with the journalists,
and are sometimes used for titles of books that refer to table-talk.
III. Nouns are derived from _Verbs_ in several different ways:--
1. By the adding of _ment, ance, ence, ure_, or _age_: as, _punish,
punishment; abate, abatement; repent, repentance; condole, condolence;
forfeit, forfeiture; stow, stowage; equip, equipage; truck, truckage_.
2. By a change of the termination of the verb, into _se, ce, sion, tion,
ation_, or _ition_: as, _expand, expanse, expansion; pretend, pretence,
pretension; invent, invention; create, creation; omit, omission; provide,
provision; reform, reformation; oppose, opposition_. These denote either
the act of doing, or the thing done.
3. By the adding of _er_ or _or_: as, _hunt, hunter; write, writer;
collect, collector; assert, assertor; instruct, instructer_, or
_instructor_. These generally denote the doer. To denote the person to whom
something is done, we sometimes form a derivative ending in _ee_: as,
_promisee, mortgagee, appellee, consignee_.
4. Nouns and Verbs are sometimes alike in orthography, but different in
pronunciation: as, a _house_, to _house_; a _use_, to _use_; a _reb'el_, to
_rebel'_; a _rec'ord_, to _record'_; a _cem'ent_, to _cement'_. Of such
pairs, it may often be difficult to say which word is the primitive.
5. In many instances, nouns and verbs are wholly alike as to form and
sound, and are distinguished by their sense and construction only: as,
_love_, to _love; fear_, to _fear; sleep_, to _sleep_;--to _revise_, a
_revise_; to _rebuke_, a _rebuke_. In these, we have but the same word used
IV. Nouns are often derived from _Participles_ in _ing_; as, a _meeting_,
the _understanding, murmurings, disputings, sayings_, and _doings_: and,
occasionally, one is formed from such a word and an adverb or a perfect
participle joined with it; as, "The _turning-away_,"--"His
_goings-forth_,"--"Your _having-boasted_ of it."
SECTION III.--DERIVATION OF ADJECTIVES.
In _English_, Adjectives are derived from nouns, from adjectives, from
verbs, or from participles.
I. Adjectives are derived from _Nouns_ in several different ways:--
1. By the adding of _ous, ious, eous, y, ey, ic, al, ical_ or _ine_:
(sometimes with an omission or change of some of the final letters:) as,
_danger, dangerous; glory, glorious; right, righteous; rock, rocky; clay,
clayey; poet, poetic_, or _poetical; nation, national; method, methodical;
vertex, vertical; clergy, clerical; adamant, adamantine_. Adjectives thus
formed, generally apply the properties of their primitives, to the nouns to
which they relate.
2. By the adding of _ful_: as, _fear, fearful; cheer, cheerful; grace,
graceful; shame, shameful; power, powerful_. These come almost entirely
from personal qualities or feelings, and denote abundance.
3. By the adding of _some_: as, _burden, burdensome; game, gamesome; toil,
toilsome_. These denote plenty, but do not exaggerate.
4. By the adding of _en_: as, _oak, oaken; silk, silken; wheat, wheaten;
oat, oaten; hemp, hempen_. Here the derivative denotes the matter of which
something is made.
5. By the adding of _ly_ or _ish_: as, _friend, friendly; gentleman,
gentlemanly; child, childish; prude, prudish_. These denote resemblance.
The termination _ly_ signifies _like_.
6. By the adding of _able_ or _ible_: as, _fashion, fashionable; access,
accessible_. But these terminations are generally, and more properly, added
to verbs. See Obs. 17th, 18th, &c., on the Rules for Spelling.
7. By the adding of _less_: as, _house, houseless; death, deathless; sleep,
sleepless; bottom, bottomless_. These denote privation or exemption--the
absence of what is named by the primitive.
8. By the adding of _ed_: as, _saint, sainted; bigot, bigoted; mast,
masted; wit, witted_. These have a resemblance to participles, and some of
them are rarely used, except when joined with some other word to form a
compound adjective: as, _three-sided, bare-footed, long-eared,
hundred-handed, flat-nosed, hard-hearted, marble-hearted, chicken-hearted_.
9. Adjectives coming from proper names, take various terminations: as,
_America, American; England, English; Dane, Danish; Portugal, Portuguese;
10. Nouns are often converted into adjectives, without change of
termination: as, _paper_ currency; a _gold_ chain; _silver_ knee-buckles.
II. Adjectives are derived from _Adjectives_ in several different ways:--
1. By the adding of _ish_ or _some_: as, _white, whitish; green, greenish;
lone, lonesome; glad, gladsome_. These denote quality with some diminution.
2. By the prefixing of _dis, in_, or _un_: as, _honest, dishonest;
consistent, inconsistent; wise, unwise_. These express a negation of the
quality denoted by their primitives.
3. By the adding of _y_ or _ly_: as, _swarth, swarthy; good, goodly_. Of
these there are but few; for almost all the derivatives of the latter form
III. Adjectives are derived from _Verbs_ in several different ways:--
1. By the adding of _able_ or _ible_: (sometimes with a change of some of
the final letters:) as, _perish, perishable; vary, variable; convert,
convertible; divide, divisible_, or _dividable_. These, according to their
analogy, have usually a passive import, and denote susceptibility of
receiving action. 2. By the adding of _ive_ or _ory_: (sometimes with a
change of some of the final letters:) as, _elect, elective; interrogate,
interrogative, interrogatory; defend, defensive; defame, defamatory;
3. Words ending in _ate_, are mostly verbs; but some of them may be
employed as adjectives, in the same form, especially in poetry; as,
IV. Adjectives are derived from _Participles_, not by suffixes, but in
1. By the prefixing of _un_, meaning _not_; as, _unyielding, unregarded,
unreserved, unendowed, unendeared, unendorsed, unencountered, unencumbered,
undisheartened, undishonoured_. Of this sort there are very many.
2. By a combining of the participle with some word which does not belong to
the verb; as, _way-faring, hollow-sounding, long-drawn, deep-laid,
dear-purchased, down-trodden_. These, too, are numerous.
3. Participles often become adjectives without change of form. Such
adjectives are distinguished from participles by their construction alone:
as, "A _lasting_ ornament;"--"The _starving_ chymist;"--"Words of _learned_
length;"--"With _counterfeited_ glee."
SECTION IV.--DERIVATION OF THE PRONOUNS.
I. The _English_ Pronouns are all of _Saxon_ origin; but, in them, our
language differs very strikingly from that of the Anglo-Saxons. The
following table compares the simple personal forms:--
Eng. I, My or Me; We, Our or Us.
Sax. Ic, Min, Me or We, Ure or Us.
Eng. Thou, Thy or Thee; Ye, Your You.
Thine, or Yours,
Sax. Thu, Thin, The or Ge Eower, Eow or
Eng. He, His Him; They, Their or Them.
Sax. He, His or Him or Hi or Hira or Heom or
Hys, Hine; Hig, Heora, Hi.
Eng. She, Her or Her; They, Their or Them.
Sax. Heo, Hire or Hi; Hi or Hira or Heom or
Hyre, Hig, Heora, Hi.
Eng. It, Its, It; They, Their or Them.
Sax. Hit, His or Hit; Hi or Hira or Heom or
Hys, Hig, Heora, Hi.
Here, as in the personal pronouns of other languages, the plurals and
oblique cases do not all appear to be regular derivatives from the
nominative singular. Many of these pronouns, perhaps all, as well as a vast
number of other words of frequent use in our language, and in that from
which it chiefly comes, were very variously written by the Middle English,
Old English, Semi-Saxon, and Anglo-Saxon authors. He who traces the history
of our language, will meet with them under all the following forms, (or
such as these would be with Saxon characters for the Saxon forms,) and
perhaps in more:--
1. I, J, Y, y, i, ay, ic, che, ich, Ic;--MY, mi, min, MINE, myne, myn;--ME,
mee, me, meh, mec, mech;--WE, wee, ve;--OUR or OURS, oure, ure, wer, urin,
uren, urne, user, usse, usser, usses, ussum;--Us, ous, vs, uss, usic,
usich, usig, usih, uz, huz.
2. THOU, thoue, thow, thowe, thu, tou, to, tu;--THY or THINE, thi, thyne,
thyn, thin;--THEE, the, theh, thec;--YE, yee, yhe, ze, zee, ge, ghe;--YOUR
or YOURS, youre, zour, hure, goure, yer, yower, yowyer, yorn, yourn, youre,
eower;--You, youe, yow, gou, zou, ou, iu, iuh, eow, iow, geow, eowih,
3. HE, hee, hie, se;--His, hise, is, hys, ys, hyse, hus;--HIM, hine, hiene,
hion, hen, hyne, hym, im;--THEY, thay, thei, the, tha, thai, thii, yai, hi,
hie, heo, hig, hyg, hy;--THEIR or THEIRS, ther, theyr, theyrs, thair,
thare, theora, hare, here, her, hir, hire, hira, hiora, hiera, heora,
hyra;--THEM, thym, theym, thaym, thaim, thame, tham, em, hem, heom, hiom,
eom, hom, him, hi, hig.
4. SHE, shee, sche, scho, sho, shoe, scae, seo, heo, hio, hiu, hoo,
hue;--HER, (possessive,) hur, hir, hire, hyr, hyre, hyra, hera;--HER,
(objective,) hire, hyre, hur, hir, hi. The plural forms of this feminine
pronoun are like those of the masculine _He_; but the "_Well-Wishers to
Knowledge_," in their small Grammar, (erroneously, as I suppose,) make
_hira_ masculine only, and _heora_ feminine only. See their _Principles of
Grammar_, p. 38.
5. IT, yt, itt, hit, hyt, hytt. The possessive _Its_ is a modern
derivative; _His_ or _Hys_ was formerly used in lieu of it. The plural
forms of this neuter pronoun, _It_, are like those of _He_ and _She_.
According to Horne Tooke, who declares _hoet_ to have been one of its
ancient forms, "this pronoun was merely the past participle of the verb
HAITAN, _haetan_, nominare," _to name_, and literally signifies "_the
said_;" (_Diversions of Purley_, Vol. ii, p. 46; _W. Allen's Gram._, p.
57;) but Dr. Alexander Murray, exhibiting it in an other form, not adapted
to this opinion, makes it the neuter of a declinable adjective, or pronoun,
inflected from the masculine, thus: "He, heo hita, _this_"--_Hist. of
Lang._, Vol. i, p. 315.
II. The relatives and interrogatives are derived from the same source, the
Anglo-Saxon tongue, and have passed through similar changes, or varieties
in orthography; but, the common relative pronoun of the Anglo-Saxons being
like their article _the_,--or, with the three genders, _se, seo,
thaet_,--and not like our _who, which_, and _what_, it is probable that the
interrogative use of these words was the primitive one. They have been
found in all the following forms:--
1. WHO, ho, hue, wha, hwa, hua, wua, qua, quha;--WHOSE, who's, whos, whois,
whoise, wheas, quhois, quhais, quhase, hwaes;--WHOM, whome, quham, quhum,
quhome, hwom, hwam, hwaem, hwaene, hwone.
2. WHICH, whiche, whyche, whilch, wych, quilch, quilk, quhilk, hwilc,
hwylc, hwelc, whilk, huilic, hvilc. For the Anglo-Saxon forms, Dr.
Bosworth's Dictionary gives "_hwilc, hwylc_, and _hwelc_;" but Professor
Fowler's E. Grammar makes them "_huilic_ and _hvilc_."--See p. 240.
_Whilk_, or _quhilk_, is a Scottish form.
3. WHAT, hwat, hwet, quhat, hwaet. This pronoun, whether relative or
interrogative, is regarded by Bosworth and others as a neuter derivative
from the masculine or femine [sic--KTH] _hwa_, who. It may have been thence
derived, but, in modern English, it is not always of the neuter gender. See
the last note on page 312.
4. THAT, Anglo-Saxon Thaet. Tooke's notion of the derivation of this word is
noticed above in the section on Articles. There is no certainty of its
truth; and our lexicographers make no allusion to it. W. Allen reaffirms
it. See his _Gram._, p. 54.
OBS. 1.--In the Well-Wishers' Grammar, (p. 39,) as also in L. Murray's and
some others, the pronoun _Which_ is very strangely and erroneously
represented as being always "of the _neuter_ gender." (See what is said of
this word in the Introduction, Chap. ix, 32.) Whereas it is the relative
most generally applied to _brute animals_, and, in our common version of
the Bible, its application to _persons_ is peculiarly frequent. Fowler
says, "In its origin it is a Compound."--_E. Gram._, p. 240. Taking its
first Anglo-Saxon form to be "_Huilic_," he thinks it traceable to "_hwa_,
who," or its ablative "_hwi_," and "_lie_, like."--_Ib._ If this is right,
the neuter sense is not its primitive import, or any part of it.
OBS. 2.--From its various uses, the word _That_ is called sometimes a
pronoun, sometimes an adjective, and sometimes a conjunction; but, in
respect to derivation, it is, doubtless, one and the same. As a relative
pronoun, it is of either number, and has no plural form different from the
singular; as, "Blessed is the _man that_ heareth me."--_Prov._, viii, 34.
"Blessed are _they that_ mourn."--_Matt._, v, 4. As an adjective, it is
said by Tooke to have been formerly "applied indifferently to plural nouns
and to singular; as, 'Into _that_ holy orders.'--_Dr. Martin_. 'At _that_
dayes.'--_Id. 'That_ euyll aungels the denilles.'--_Sir Tho. More_. 'This
pleasure undoubtedly farre excelleth all _that_ pleasures that in this life
maie be obteined.'--_Id_."--_Diversions of Purley_, Vol. ii, pp. 47 and 48.
The introduction of the plural form _those_, must have rendered this usage
SECTION V.--DERIVATION OF VERBS.
In English, Verbs are derived from nouns, from adjectives, or from verbs.
I. Verbs are derived from _Nouns_ in the following different ways:--
1. By the adding of _ize, ise, en_, or _ate_: as, _author, authorize;
critic, criticise; length, lengthen; origin, originate_. The termination
_ize_ is of Greek origin, and _ise_ is most probably of French: the former
is generally preferable in forming English derivatives; but both are
sometimes to be used, and they should be applied according to Rule 13th for
2. Some few verbs are derived from nouns by the changing of a sharp or hard
consonant to a flat or soft one, or by the adding of a mute _e_, to soften
a hard sound: as, _advice, advise; price, prize; bath, bathe; cloth,
clothe; breath, breathe; wreath, wreathe; sheath, sheathe; grass, graze_.
II. Verbs are derived from _Adjectives_ in the following different ways:--
1. By the adding of _ize_ or _en_: as _legal, legalize; immortal,
immortalize; civil, civilize; human, humanize; familiar, familiarize;
particular, particularize; deaf, deafen; stiff, stiffen; rough, roughen;
deep, deepen; weak, weaken_.
2. Many adjectives become verbs by being merely used and inflected as
verbs: as, _warm_, to _warm_, he _warms; dry_, to _dry_, he _dries; dull_,
to _dull_, he _dulls; slack_, to _slack_, he _slacks; forward_, to
_forward_, he _forwards_.
III. Verbs are derived from _Verbs_ in the following modes, or ways:--
1. By the prefixing of _dis_ or _un_ to reverse the meaning: as, _please,
displease; qualify, disqualify; organize, disorganize; fasten, unfasten;
muzzle, unmuzzle; nerve, unnerve_.
2. By the prefixing of _a, be, for, fore, mis, over, out, under, up_, or
_with_: as, _rise, arise; sprinkle, besprinkle; bid, forbid; see, foresee;
take, mistake; look, overlook; run, outrun; go, undergo; hold, uphold;
SECTION VI.--DERIVATION OF PARTICIPLES.
All _English_ Participles are derived from _English_ verbs, in the manner
explained in Chapter 7th, under the general head of Etymology; and when
foreign participles are introduced into our language, they are not
participles with us, but belong to some other class of words, or part of
SECTION VII.--DERIVATION OF ADVERBS.
1. In _English_, many Adverbs are derived from adjectives by the addition
of _ly_: which is an abbreviation for _like_, and which, though the
addition of it to a noun forms an adjective, is the most distinctive as
well as the most common termination of our adverbs: as, _candid, candidly;
sordid, sordidly; presumptuous, presumptuously_. Most adverbs of manner are
2. Many adverbs are compounds formed from two or more English words; as,
_herein, thereby, to-day, always, already, elsewhere, sometimes,
wherewithal_. The formation and the meaning of these are, in general,
3. About seventy adverbs are formed by means of the prefix, or inseparable
preposition, _a_; as, _Abreast, abroach, abroad, across, afar, afield, ago,
agog, aland, along, amiss, atilt_.
4. _Needs_, as an adverb, is a contraction of _need is; prithee_, or
_pr'ythee_, of _I pray thee; alone_, of _all one; only_, of _one-like;
anon_, of the Saxon _an on_; i.e., _in one_ [instant]; _never_, of _ne
ever_; i.e., _not_ ever. Prof. Gibbs, in Fowler's Grammar, makes _needs_
"the Genitive case of the noun _need_."--P. 311.
5. _Very_ is from the French _veray_, or _vrai_, true; and this, probably,
from the Latin _verus. Rather_ appears to be the regular comparative of the
ancient _rath_, soon, quickly, willingly; which comes from the _Anglo-Saxon
"Rathe_, or _Hrathe_, of one's own accord."--_Bosworth_. But the parent
language had also "_Hrathre_, to a mind."--_Id._ That is, to _one's_ mind,
or, perhaps, _more willingly_.
OBS. 1.--Many of our most common adverbs are of Anglo-Saxon derivation,
being plainly traceable to certain very old forms, of the same import,
which the etymologist regards but as the same words differently spelled:
as, _All_, eall, eal, or aell; _Almost_, ealmaest, or aelmaest; _Also_, ealswa,
or aelswa; _Else_, elles; _Elsewhere_, elleshwaer; _Enough_, genog, or genoh;
_Even_, euen, efen, or aefen; _Ever_, euer, aefer, or aefre; _Downward_,
duneweard; _Forward_, forweard, or foreweard; _Homeward_, hamweard;
_Homewards_, hamweardes; _How_, hu; _Little_, lytel; _Less_, laes; _Least_,
laest; _No_, na; _Not_, noht, or nocht; _Out_, ut, or ute; _So_, swa;
_Still_, stille, or stylle; _Then_, thenne; _There_, ther, thar, thaer;
_Thither_, thider, or thyder; _Thus_, thuss, or thus; _Together_, togaedere,
or togaedre; _Too_, to; _When_, hwenne, or hwaenne; _Where_, hwaer; _Whither_,
hwider, hwyder, or hwyther; _Yea_, ia, gea, or gee; _Yes_, gese, gise, or
OBS. 2.--According to Horne Tooke, "_Still_ and _Else_ are the imperatives
_Stell_ and _Ales_ of their respective verbs _Stellan_, to put, and
_Alesan_, to dismiss."--_Diversions_, Vol. i, p. 111. He afterwards repeats
the doctrine thus: "_Still_ is only the imperative _Stell_ or _Steall_, of
_Stellan_ or _Steallian_, ponere."--_Ib._, p. 146. "This word _Else_,
formerly written _alles, alys, alyse, elles, ellus, ellis, ells, els_, and
now _else_; is, as I have said, no other than _Ales_ or _Alys_, the
imperative of _Alesan_ or _Alysan_, dimittere."--_Ib._, p. 148. These
ulterior and remote etymologies are perhaps too conjectural.