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A Self-Corrector ••.• A :.. : :* *•. 








Copyright, 1898, by 



HIS little work supplies a want of which 
I have been frequently reminded dur- 
ing my professional career. In revising the 
''Principles of Speech and Vocal Physiology", 
for a new edition in 1863, a section of the 
book was devoted to the "Cure of Stammer- 
ing;" and in another section — the ''Diction- 
ary^ of Sounds" — reference was made under 
each consonant to the defects to which the 
element was subject : but a complete separate 
treatise on the Faults of Speech has not 
hitherto been pubUshed. 

I am glad to be able still, to add to my 
professional publications one which, I hope 
and believe, will prove not the least useful of 
the whole. A. M. B. 

TuTELO Heights, 
Brantford, Ont., April, 1880. 


Ele^ientaky Sounds 1 

Corrective Training . 

Organic Defects . . . , 
Impediments of Speech 

Nervousness . . . . , 

Stammering a Habit . 

Systems of Cure . . . , 

Self-effort Necessary 

Temporary Relief ... 
The Cure of Sta:mmering 

The Breath. — Atmospheric Pressure ; Air 
Channels ; Inspiration and Expira- 

The Voice. — Exercise, Continuity of 
Voice; How to learn Elementary 
Sounds ; Difficult Elements 

Organic Regulation. — The Mouth; The 
Jaw; The Head; Spasmodic Ac- 
tions .... 

Self-Observation 27 

Capricious Difficulties .... 28 

Aggravants of Difficulty . . . .20 








Minor Faults 30 

Nasalizing 30 

The Aspirate 32 

Vocal Consonants 33 

Thickness of Speech 34 

Oratorical Faults 35 

Conversational Slurring . . . .35 

Sustained Voice 36 

Mai-Respiration 38 

Organic Substitutions 40 

Postscript 61 

Appendix .67 



HE processes of speech are mechanical, 
but they are intimately associated with 
mental operations. Sometimes the mechanical 
processes are mismanaged, and sometimes the 
intellectual associations are imperfect. In the 
latter case, expression is tardy or inexact ; in 
the former, utterance is interrupted or vitiated. 
The two kinds of defect may be combined, or 
either ma}' exist separatel}'. Stammering, 
stuttering, etc. are, for the most part, mechan- 
ical defects; drawling, hemming, and — uh — 
uh — hesitation are, in great measure, faults of 
the intellect. The observations in this work 
will have reference to failures in the mechan- 
ical execution of speech. 


The fact that "everybody speaks/' and 3'et 
npt one person in a thousand knows how he 
spf^^k^; and that children talk the language 
oOf their nurses — be it English, French, Ger- 
.maDjc Italian, Indian, Patois, or whatever else 
— proves that language is normally acquired 
by imitation. A child imitates with more or 
less accuracy the general effect of the sounds 
it hears ; but, in doing so, makes many sub- 
stitutions of easier for more difficult actions 
of the organs of speech. The lips and the 
forepart of the tongue are the first of the ar- 
ticulating organs to be brought into use ; and 
"tum," "tat" and "tate" in most cases sat- 
isfy the child's apprehension of the words 
"come," "cat" and "cake." The action of 
the back of the tongue is often not acquired 
for years. Infantile defects are niiwisely en- 
couraged by parents, who — with the requisite 
knowledge — might enable their children to 
pronounce correctly' as soon as they begin to 
prattle at all. There can be no doubt that 
the most serious blemishes and impediments 
arise from parental neglect — or rather ignor- 
ance — in this respect. When a child says 
"turn" for "come," and "tin" for "king," 


^he correct articulation will be induced almost 
at the first trial b}' the simple expedient of 
holding down the forepart of the tongue with 
the finger. The effort to imitate the general 
eflTect will then force the back of the tongue 
into action ; and in a few da^^s at most, the 
<;hild will, without any assistance, form ^', g 
and ng where before it could only utter ^ d 
and n. 

The "shut" consonants. (p, t, k, b, d, g) are 
the most easily acquired, and children conse- 
quently pronounce p instead of the more dif- 
ficult /, and t instead of tli, A few minutes 
devoted to amusing exercise will conquer this 
difficulty. Thus: tell the child to bite his 
lower lip, and blow, and he will form a tol- 
erable / at once ; or to bite his tongue, and 
blow, and a passable th will be the result. 
The sounds of s and sh are often for a long 
time confounded ; also those of s and th. The 
sound of s will be obtained from th by drawing 
back — or, if assistance is needed, b}^ push- 
ing back — the tip of the tongue till it is free 
from the teeth. The teeth require to be very 
close for s, but there will be room to insert 
the edge of a paper-cutter to play the tongue 


into position. The sound of sh will be ob- 
tained from s by drawing — or pushing — back 
the body of the tongue till it is free from the 
gum. The sibilation of sh is formed between 
the middle of the tongue and the palate, modi 
tied by a degree of elevation of the point oi' 
the tongue also : that of s is formed between 
the point of the tongue and the upper gum, 
modified by a degree of convexity of the mid- 
dle of the tongue : and that of th is formed 
between the tip of the tongue and the upper 
teeth, with the edges of the tongue flattened 
against the side teetn to obstruct the breath 
at all points but the tip. 

The sounds of I and r are generally the last 
to be mastered by a child. The I resembles 
th in having the point of the tongue in con- 
tact (preferably with the gum) , but the sides 
of the tongue, instead of being flattened 
against the teeth, are free from lateral con- 
tact, so that the breath passes over the sides, 
B resembles s in having the point of the 
tongue raised to the upper gum, but the mid- 
dle of the tongue, instead of being convex, 
is depressed so that the breath strikes sharply 
on the free tip of the tongue. The sound of 


y resembles sh in .Uaving the middle of the 
tongue arched tovrards the palate, but without 
the elevation of the forepart of the tongue, 
which is a necessarj- part of the modification 
of sh. 

Corrective Training, 

A VERY little attention on the part of par- 
ents would secure their children against artic- 
ulative blemishes which otherwise disfigure 
them for life ; and which are often the first 
causes of the most painful impediments. In- 
stead of being satisfied with the child's im- 
perfect imitation of the general effect of 
concrete utterances in words and sentences, 
parents should require an exact reproduction 
— however slowl}- — of s^'llables, and, if ncc- 
cssarj^, of elementar}^ sounds. This of course 
implies that parents can themselves analyze 
their utterance into syllables and elements. 
Few persons can do so with entire accuracy : 
but the attempt, though imperfect, will put 
the child in the right way to correct himself. 

Some children manifest a degree of inapti- 
tude for speech, probably from defective im- 
itation, or it may be from intellectual dulness ; 


SO that a child of three or four years of age- 
will be no farther advanced than an average 
child of two or three. The faculty of imita- 
tion becomes almost inoperative after the earli- 
est years, and special care should be given in 
such cases to estabhsh a habit of distinct 
elementary and s^^llabic utterance so far aa 
ability extends, and to prevent the formation 
of a habit of defect. It is certainlj^ true that 
a child who fails to pronounce the whole of a 
word can be made to reproduce its syllables, 
or its elements, one by one ; and as the long- 
est utterance is made up of sj'llables, these 
onl}' should be required of the learner. Fac- 
ility of combination will infaUibly come with 
practice, if patience and skill are displayed to 
regulate the analytic utterance of the back- 
ward child. 

There is then no justification for allowing 
lisping, burring, lallation and other elementary 
defects to become fixed into habits. True, 
the}' be corrected at an}^ time, with but little 
trouble ; yet "prevention is better than cure," 
and such elementary disfigurements of aduli. 
speech ought to have been rendered impossible 
by attention in the nursery and school-room.. 


Organic Defects. 

Organic causes of diflSculty sometimes pre- 
fcjent themselves. When the formation of the 
jaws is such that the teeth cannot be brought 
evenly in line, the sibilant sounds s and z will 
be defective ; when the tongue is too closel}' 
tied to the lower jaw, the sounds of ^, d, n, I 
and r will be wanting in clearness. The den- 
tist may do much to rectify the former mal- 
formation ; and the surgeon, by the simple 
operation of snipping the frsenum that binds 
the tongue, may give the requisite freedom in 
the latter case. 

A more serious organic cause of defective 
speech is cleft palate, when an opening exists . 
between the mouth and the nasal passage. 
The breath, which requires to be shut within 
the mouth for p-b, t-d, Jc-g, escapes by the 
nose, and a percussive articulation is impossi- 
ble. In most cases a skilful dentist can cover 
the fissure in the palate b}^ a suction-plate, 
and the power of clear enunciation may thus 
be obtained. Clefb palate causes all vowels 
to be nasalized ; but frequently the fault of 
nasalizing vowels is merely habitual, witliout 



any organic cause. As with the mechanism 
of consonants, so with that of vowels : habits 
of mal-pronunciation may be prevented more 
easilj' than rectified ; and among other imper- 
fections, that of nasalizing is perfectly suscep- 
tible of preventive or corrective training. 


ilAR more serious than any of the ele- 
mentar}' defects hitherto noticed are 
those affections of speech which create an ira- 
: pediment to utterance. These are known by 
the names of stuttering, stammering, spas- 
modic hesitation, etc. Tiieir common charac- 
teristic is invohmtar}^ action of the organs, 
ivhich are not obedient to the will. In stut^' 
tering, the articulating organs — the lips and 
tongue — rebound again and again before the 
sequent vowel can find egress. The mouth 
opens and shuts in vain effort to act on the 
throat ; and the throat opens and shuts in vain 
effort to act on the diaphnigm. From the 
rocking head to the fluttering chest there is a 
general want of precision in the attempt to 
articulate. In stammering, the breathing is 
entirely deranged — the normal actions of the 
schestand diaphragm are reversed — the breath 



is inspired in the attempt to speak ; the throat 
is shut in the attempt to form sound ; the voice 
is fitfully ejected or restrained ; and the ai-ticu- 
lating organs when they meet remain insepar- 
able, as if glued together. In spasmodic 
hesitation there is a futile straining, often 
silent and choking, but occasionally frightfully 
demonstrative. The eyeballs protrude, the 
veins of the neck start out, the face is suf- 
fused and contorted, and the muscles of the 
whole body are spasmodicall}- affected. 

No sharp line of demarcation can be drawn 
between these varieties of impediment. Loose 
stuttering is apt to pass into compressive 
stammering from the dread of ridicule in- 
spired by consciousness of peculiarity ; and 
the worst features of spasmodic diflSculty may 
supervene, from the increase of sensitiveness 
and the bitterness of disappointed effort . 


Notwithstanding the manifest nervousness 
of the majority of stammerers, they are rai'ely- 
persons of weak nerves under ordinary cir- 
cumstances. Their nervousness is associated 
only with speaking, and it is much more likely 


po have arisen as a consequence of impedi- 
' ment, than to have been — as many imagine — 
a cause of the malady. The true cause prob- ^^ 
ably lies far back in childhood, when some 
slight imperfection has been harshly corrected 
or mocked ; or when weakness of the system ^ 
after illness has made the child peculiarly sen- 
sitive under ordinary difficulties. The slight- 
est beginning at that period may lead on ta 
the most, aggravated form of impediment. 
I Even a casual example may exite imitation at 
\the time when that faculty is the strongest in 
Our nature, and so enslave the little mimic. 
Many isolated cases are believed to have had 
no other than this simple origin. 

Stammering a Habit, 

The frequent occurrence of stammering 
among members of the same family has led 
many persons to imagine that the affection 
was transmitted hereditarily, and that conse 
quently it was an incurable affliction of the 
constitution. But there is no ground for such 
a supposition, opposed as it is to the manifest 
nature of the impediment — pertaining only to 
speech, which is altogether artificial and na 


part of our physical endowment. A full con- 
sideration of the subject and a wide experi- 
ence with all varieties of the impediment lead 
to the settled conviction that stammerino^ is 
^a habit onlj- — the formation of which may be 
entirely prevented b}^ precautionar}' training 
in childhood; the growth of which may be 
easily checked before it is aggravated by the 
excitements of school ; and the uprooting of 
which ma}' be accomplished at any stage by 
intelligent care and perseverance* 

Systems of Cure. 

The stammerer's difficulty is : where to turn 
for effective assistance. Certainly not to any 
pretender who veils his method in convenient 
secrec}', nor to an}' who profess to ' ' charm " 
away the impediment — or to effect a cure in 
a single lesson ! Not to an}^ whose "system" 
involves drawling, singing, sniffing, whistling, 
stamping, beating time — all of which expedi- 
ents have constituted the "curative" means 
of various charlatans ; nor to any who bridle 
the mouth with mechanical appliances — forks 
on the tongue, tubes between the lips, bands 
•over the larynx, pebbles in the mouth, etc., 


etc. The habit of stammering can only be 
counteracted b}' the cultivation of a habit of < 
correct speaking founded on the application 
of natural principles. Respecting these there 
is no myster}^ except what arises from the little 
attention that has been paid to the science of 

Instruction must be sought from teachers^ 
whose professional position is a guarantee 
against deception. If no encouragement were 
given by too credulous stammerers to the craft, 
of unqualified ''professors," respectable teach- 
ers would prepare themselves by special study 
for this important department of work, and. 
the stammerer's perplexity to find trustworthy 
skill would be at an end. 

Self-effort Necessary, 

But with the best assistance the stammerer 
must work out his own ciu-e. He cannot be ^ 
passive in the matter. He must clearh' ap-^ 
prehend the principles on which he is to pro- 
ceed, and diligently appl}^ them. Nor must 
he, in this, depend too much on the watchful- 
ness of his instructor, but must learn to watch^ 
over himself. His perfect release from the 


habit will require time, patience, and hopeful |— 
energetic effort. 

Temporary Belief, 

Immediatju temporar}' relief from the chok- 
ing and spasmodic contortions of the impedi- 
ment is generall}' obtained when the art of 
> managing the breath is acquired — and this is 
often in a single lesson. The stammerer is 
apt to be unduly elated at this stage, and to 
relax his watchfulness. A relapse is almo! 
certain to be the consequence. Besides, other 
functional difficulties will present themselves, 
€ach of which must be encountered in a cour- 
ageous spirit, and mastered separatel3\ 

The following practical directions are de- 
signed for the use of stammerers who may 
attempt their own cure, as well as for the 
guidance of parents, governesses and school 


er I 






The Breath, — Atmospheric Pressure, 

N normal breathing the lungs are filled 
by atmospheric pressure, to the extent 
•of the cavity within the chest. There is no 
suction — no effort. In deep breathing, as be- 
fore a sigh, the inspiration is equally easy and 
unlabored. The cavity within the chest is in- 
creased by descent of the diaphragm — the 
muscular base of the chest — as well as by 
expansion of the bony framework — the ribs, 
etc. — but atmospheric pressure fills out the 
lungs to occupy the entire space created within 
the chest. 

Air Channels, 

The external apertures for the entrance of 
-ihe air are the mouth and nostrils. Both these 
f)assages meet behind the mouth, in the puar- 
fnx ; and the pharynx communicates with the 



windpipe. At the top of the windpipe, be- 
tween it and the pharj^nx, is the organ of 
Voice — the laiynx — through which all air 
entering the kings, and all breath leaving 
them, must pass. Tn order to make inspiration 
silent and effortless there must be no obstruc- 
tion or constriction in an}^ part of the passage. 
Stammerers attempt to "draw" in air while 
the aperture of the lar^^nx is either closed or 
greatly narrowed, and even while the mouth- 
passage is similarly obstructed by positions of 
the tongue. The first point to be impressed 
on the stammerer's mind, then, is that the 
lungs j^ZZ themselves — that no effort of suction 
is required ; but that if he merely raise the 
chest, with the passage to the windpipe open, 
he cannot prevent the lungs from filling . 

Inspiration and Expiration, 

Next, considering that air entering the 
lungs and breath escaping from them must 
pass through the same channel, it is obvious 
that the acts of inspiration and expiration 
must be alternate, and cannot possibly take 
place simultaneously. Stammerers, however, ^ 
endeavour to draw in air at the same time that 


they are making muscular efforts to expel the 
breath. The first condition of free respiration 
is, then, a silent pause to replenish the lungs 
Again, in stammering, the chest is violently 
heaved and pressed down, and the action of 
the diaphragm is downwards instead of up- 
wards. The action of the diaphragm may be 
distinctl}^ seen in the motion of the abdomen. 
When the diaphragm falls (in inspiration) the 
abdomen slightly protrudes ; and when the 
diaphragm rises (in expiration) the abdomen 
falls inward. The chest should rise and fall 
but little ; it should be kept moderately raised 
throughout speech, and the principal action of 
respiration should be in the diaphragm. The- 
requisite motion, however, is very slight, and 
entirely free from jerking. The stammerer 
must practise the acts of inspiration and ex- 
piration until they are practically, as well as 
theoretically, faultless. 

The Voice. 

Voice is formed by the breath in its-out- ' 
ward_j2assag^e setting in vibration the edges 
*^)f the aperture of the larj'ux — the glottis. 
Stammerers often endeavour to form voice with 




ingoing air ; but in general they close the ^ 
glottis in the effort to vocalize. This of course 
stops the breath, and hence the , choking and 
other distressing s3'mptoms of the impediment. 

Voice is the material of Speech. This fact,^-^ 
in all its meaning, the stammerer has to learn. 
His efforts are alwa^'s directed elsewhere than 
to the organ of voice. He moves the head, 
he moves the jaw, he moves the tongue, he 
moves his limbs, in the vain attempt to force 
out sound, the production of which he is all 
the time preventing, by closing the passage 
through which onl}' voice can come. Voice 
being the material of speech, the speaker must 
have voice, whatever else he lacks. The stam- 
merer must not stint himself of this material, 
nor must he cut it into shreds and fragments ; 
but he must acquire command of a full, strong, 
unbroken stream of sound. 

Exercise — Continuity of Voice, 

Having mastered the art of regulating the 
breath, the stammerer's next step must be to 
practise the continuous production of voice. '^ 
He should confine himself to this exercise 
until he has become perfectly familiar with all 



vocal elements ; repeating them first one by 
one, then in long sequences, and then in com- 
binations, but always without a break in the 
continuity of the sound. 

The following are the elements for this ex- 
. ercise, all of which ma}- be prolonged ad lib- 
itum : 

' a, e, i, o, u, ah, aw, oo, oi, ou ; 

1, m, n, ng, v, dh, z, zh, w, y. 

These elements are not to be considered as 
''vowels" and ''consonants," but simply as 
voices^ each of which has precisely the same 
sound in the throat ; their differences arising 
solel}^ from the shape of the mouth-passage. 

It must be carefully noted that the names 
of the letters will be useless for this exercise ; 
the actual sounds of the elements must be 

How to Lear 71 Elementary Sounds, 

The reader unaccustomed to phonetic anal}-^ 
sis will have no difficulty in isolating the act- 
ual elementary sounds, if ne will simply p?'o- 
^ong for some seconds the elements printed in 


capitals in the following words, as commonly 
pronounced : 

feeL, seeM, vaiN, soNG, leaVe, wiTH(dh), 
iS(z), rouGe(zh) ; We, Yes, Ale, An, EEL 
End, Isle(ahee), In, Old, On, Use(yoo), 
Us, Arm (ah), All (aw), OOze, OAVl(ahoo), 
Oil (awee) . 

The use to be made of the power which will 
be developed by this exercise is all-important. 
The sensation of throat-action must never be 
lost in speaking. When old tendencies in- 
cline to false effort, the stammerer will feel 
himself off the voice ^ like a locomotive off the 
rails. Then, instead of plunging about wildly 
at random, he must stop, and carefully put 
himself upon the track again. 

There are three elements of speech which 
have obstructed vocality, and cannot be pro- 
longed. These are B, D, and G (as in go) 
They are often terrible stumbling-blocks to the 
stammerer : but his never to be forgotten tal- 
isman is ; Voice ! No mouth-action must be 
allowed to interfere with throat-sound ! 

There is another class of elements which 
are entirely non-vocal^ and which therefore 
tend strongly to thi'ow the stammerer "off the 


voice." These are P, T, K, F, Wh, Tli, S, 
Sh, H. Each of these should be practised 
separatel}', in connection with a vowel ; and 
with the principle constantl}^ before the mind 
that no mouth-action must he allowed to in- 
terfere with the flow of throat-soxind. 

Difficult Elements. 

Elements that present special difficulty must 
be made the subject of special exercise, thus : 
Prolong any throat-sound, say the vowel a/i, 
and without stopping the sound introduce the 
mouth-action to be practised, say B, thus ; 

ah — bah — bah — bah — bah, etc. 

It will be found that the mouth-action does 
not interfere with the continuity of the throat- 
sound. The exercise must be continued until 
the true relation between the two kinds of ele- 
ments is distinctly felt and established in the 

The relation between the throat and the 
mouth in speech will be understood when it is 
stated to be the same as that between the 
sound-producing part of t\\Q flute — the mouth- 
hole — and the sound-modifying parts — tlie 


fiuger-holes. The action of the fingers modi- 
fies, without interrupting, the sound produced 
at the mouth-hole ; and so the mouth-actions 
in speech modify, without interrupting, the 
sound produced in the throat. This relation 
must be established practicall}', in connection 
with the elements of speech, in cases of stam- 
mering, and all diflSculty, and dread of diffi- 
cult}^ will certainly- sooner or later disappear. 
A few other directions will complete all 
that is necessary to be attended to in overcom- 
ing the habit of stammering. 

The Mouth a Tube, 

From what has been already said, it will be 
understood that all effort thrown into the 
mouth, jaw, lips or tongue, is futile. The 
mouth should be as nearly as possible passive^ 
a mere tube or funnel for the deliver}^ of throat- 
sound. The mouth-tube is constantly varying 
in shape ; but it is always a transmitter only,, 
and never an originator of sound. 

The Jaw, 

A GREAT deal of the stammerer's difficult^' 
will consist in subduing the upward pressure 


of the jaw. Whatever action the jaw lias" 
should be downward ; but there must be no 
pressure, even in the right direction. The 
practice of throwing the effort of speech back 
to the throat will, however, speedily relieve 
the tendency of the mouth-organs to cling to- 

When mechanical assistance ma}' be ncces-^ 
sar}', a paper-cutter held against the edges ot 
the upper teeth will manifest an}^ undue up- 
ward motion of the jaw, while it will not pre- 
vent the mouth from opening. The paper- 
cutter must not be held between, or bj-, the 
teeth. When the maxillar}' dijfficulty has been 
overcome, the lower teeth should not once 
touch the paper-cutter, in reading or speaking. 
A gentle contact will be almost unavoidable 
in forming the hissing sounds, but even this 
should be prevented in curative exercise. ^ 

The Head, 

A LOOSE rising motion of the head is almost 
a universal feature in stammering. This must 
be subdued before power can be obtained over 
the organs of speech. The head should be 
hold firmlv on the neck, so that even a con- 



siderable pressure would not force it back 
At the same time there should be no stiffness 
to interfere with free motion. The fault con- 
sists in lifting the head, as a part of the action 
of speech ; and it is often a source of ver}" 
great difficulty. The jaw cannot be controlled 
while its fulcrum, the head, is unstable and 

Spasmodic Actions, 

With reference to the spasmodic actions of 
stammering, which sometimes extend over the 
whole body, no specific directions are needed. 
The}' invariabl}' disappear when the breathing 
is relieved. 

There is nothing to prevent a stammerer 
who will thoroughly master the principles laid 
•down jn this Treatise and diligentl}' and watch 
fully excKjise his voice, from perfectly throw- 
ing off the fetters of impediment. Many 
exercises will be found in the Author's '^ Prin- 
ciples of Speech," which will be of service. 
But, while a study of the whole subject, and 
a knowledge of all the organic actions, as ex- 
hibited in "Visible Speech," are desirable, if 
not nccessar}', for teachers, stammerers should 


tQot allow the mind to be diverted from the 
-direct and simple means of cure sufficiently 
set forth in these pages. 

Self' Observation, 

One important hint remains to be given. 
With all persons speech- actions are so purely* 
habitual that without watchful observation 
faults ma}^ long remain undiscovered. This 
is especially true in reference to the minutiae 
of the organic actions on the rectification of 
which success depends in cases of defect or 
impediment. The stammerer will therefore 
find the use of a mirror a most valuable auxil- 
iary in his efibrts at self-correction. In carry- 
ing out the prescribed principles for the 
regulation of the breath, the control of the 
head and the jaw, the proper mechanism of 
elementary sounds, etc., let the stammerei 
seat himself before a mirror, and he will learn 
man}^ things of which he might otherwise have 
-continued unconscious. Even teachers, in 
dealing with defects and impediments of 
speech, should place their pupils before a mir- 
ror, as the readiest means of giving them 
command over the organs of articulation. To 


this use of the principle of "reflection" as an 
aid to self-government, the poet's denuncia- 
tion of 

"Attitude and stare, and start theatric 
Practised at the glass," 

has no applicabuity. The vocal action of 
singers, as well as speakers, would less fre- 
quently offend the e3'e if students were taught 
to exercise the voice before a glass, that the}* 
might ''see themselves as others see them." 

Capricious Difficulties, 

It is a very curious circumstance that stam- 
merers who are powerless in the presence of 
friends or strangers, generally declare that 
they can speak freely when alone. A child, 
however, or even a cat, in the room is enough 
to destroy their freedom. The proper use to 
make of this fact should be to build on it as 
a ground of hopefulness and confidence ; for 
it proves that no organic cause exists to pre- 
vent success, and thus disposes of the mj's- 
terious dread of phj^sical entailment. But 
stammerers are often the victims of man}" 
equall}^ groundless fancies: — supposing their 
Infirmity to be afi'ected by certain states of the 


atmosphere, the clu'ectiou of the wind, or the 
phases of the moon ! Those who look for 
such associations are pretty sure to find them. 
But they carr}' the seekers back to the days 
of witchcraft and the ' ' evil eye '' — to da3's of 
ignorance ! 

Aggravants of Difficulty. 

The function of articulation — like ever}^ 
other function — is, of course, affected by the 
condition of the health — deranged digestion, 
depression of spirits, ph3'sical debility, etc. ; 
but these aggravants are not to be confounded 
with original causes of the difficulty. The 
former will disappear and still leave the latter 
behind. The stammerer must cast off idle 
superstitious fears and fancies, and se^ ^^ .JL- 
worJc to stud}' and observe. He will undoubt- ' 
edl}' find that ''Knowledge is power;" and 
that, with knowledge, "Patience and perse- 
verance will conquer all difficulties." 




J HE sofl palate which hangs at the back 
of the mouth acts as a valve on the 
passage to the nose. When the top of the 
soft palate is arched backwards from its point 
of junction with the hard palate, it covers the 
internal nasal aperture, and the breath passes 
altogether through the mouth. When the soft 
palate is relaxed and pendent from the edge 
of the hard palate, the breath passes partly 
through the nose and partly through the 
mouth ; and vrhen the mouth-passage is closed 
(by means of the back of the tongue, as in ng ; 
the forepart of the tongue, as in n; or the 
lips, as in m) the breath passes altogether by 
the nose. A knowledge of these facts will 
enable any person to correct the habit of na- 
salizing vowels. 

The chief difficult}- lies in the recognition* 


by the ear of pure oral and mixed nasal qual- 
ity. The action of the soft palate ma}-, how- 
ever, be seen, by opening the mouth very wide 
in pronouncing the vowels ah and aiv. Then, 
by pressing on the top of the soft palate with 
the thumb, or with the india-rubber end of a 
pencil, the internal nasal aperture will be cov- 
ered, and the utterance of ah and aw will be 
purely oral. Repeat these vowels with and 
without the mechanical pressure, and after a 
few experiments the ear will distinguish the 
difference between oral and nasal. Practice 
on other vowels, in forming which the soft 
palate cannot be seen, will soon develop a 
feeling of the difference. 

But the readiest way to gain a perception 
of the denasalizing action of the soft palate 
will be by the following exercise : 

Sound the consonants m h without separat- 
ing the lips, as in pronouncing the word ember. 

The change from m to 6 is nothing more than 
the covering of the nasal aperture by the soft 
palate ; and the change from h to m, without 
separating the lips, as in the word submit^ is 
merely the uncovering of the nasal aperture.^ 


The tendencj" to nasalize vowels is most felt 
when they occur immediately before or after 
nasal consonants — m, n or ng — but many 
persons nasalize every vowel. 

The French elements an^ en, in, on^ un^ amy 
£m, etc., are merety nasalized vowels. 

The Aspirate, 

The letter H represents a simple and nearly 
silent emission of breath. The organs of 
snepch are placed in the position for the sub- 
sequent vowel before the emission of the aspi- 
rate. Thus 7i in the words he^ Jiay, hie, hoe^ 
hahy etc., has the oral quality of the vowel it 
precedes. The aspirate is not the same as a 
whispered vowel, for the words his and is, 
hand and and, hold and old, hart and art are 
clearly distinguishable when whispered. 

H is sometimes roughened faultily by a gut- 
tural quality. To correct this habit, breathe 
out the aspirate silently. 

The Cockney confusion of vowels and aspi- 
rates is a remarkable fault which will disap- 
pear when learners are taught phonetically in 
the abecedarian stage of education. The same 
person who says all for hall pronounces hall 


for aW, and so proves that the perverse habit 
is due only to defective elementary training. 

H is omitted in pronouncing the words Jieir^ 
honest, honour, hour, humour, and their deriv- 
atives. It should be pronounced in herb, hos- 
pital, humble, and all other words. 

H is heard instead of wh, before o, as in 
who, whose, whom, whole. 

Vocal Consonants. 

The following consonants are respectively 
pairs of vocal and non-vocal elements ; that 
is, the consonants in the second column have 
precisel}' the same oral formation as those in 
the first column, but with the addition of 
throat-sound or murmur. 

non-vocal. vocal. 

P B 

T D 

K G as in ^o. 

F V 


S Z 

SH ZHasint?mon. 

THasin^/ii;i TU(^dh)as\n 

CR as in church J ^'*^'^- 

X(^^ks) as in extend . . . X(=gz)&siu 

exist . 


These pairs of consonants are confused by 
Gaelic and Welsh speakers, who substitute 
non-vocal for vocal elements ; and by German 
speakers, who mix up the elements some tunes 
by a similar substitution, but more frequentl}' 
by the use of vocal instead of non-vocal ele- 
ments. Careful exercise and observation will 
^intirely remove these difficulties. 

Thickness of Speech, 

The consonants ^, d, n, ?, r, are correct- 
'y^ formed by the point of the tongue acting 
against the upper gum ; but in "thick" speech 
the tongue acts against the teeth, or the point 
rests on the lower teeth and the above ele- 
ments are imperfectly formed by the surface 
of the tongue. This fault is unavoidable when 
the tongue is so tied to the bed of the jaw that 
the point cannot be raised. But "thickness" 
has not alwaj's this excuse ;" it is often the re- 
sult of a childish habit of sucking the tongue, 
that should have been ' ' put away " with the 
years of childhood. The more sharpl}' the 
tongue can be pointed upwards, the better will 
t^ d, n, Z, and r be formed. The tongue should 
never touch the lower teeth in speech, and it 


should never come between the teeth except 
for the single element tli — d/i, and then to a 
very slight extent. In fact, th is best formed 
with the tongue behind^ instead of between, 
the teeth. 

Oratorical Faults. 
Conversational Slurring. 

When a person unaccustomed to public 
speaking has occasion to address an audience, 
his words seem to run together, and it is only 
with the greatest difficulty that their purport 
can be gathered by a hearer at a little distance. 
He is called on to ''speak out" and "speak 
up," but increase of force is of little avail. 
He has to learn the ditference between speak- 
ing and mumbling. 

Conversational speech is, in general, verj- 
slovenl}'. Could it be written down exactly 
as we hear it, the speaker would not recognize 
the unintelligible jargon. Thus : 

Convsashnlspeech zngenlveslovnly. 

This is not an exaggeration of the kind of 
utterance that passes current in social life. 
The chief element of distant audibilit}-— 


throat-sound, or voice — is so curtailed and 
slurred out. that little more than mouth-actions 

Sustained Voice, 

The very reverse must be the relation of 
throat to mouth in oratorical speech. Conso- 
nants may be softened to any degree, but 
vowels must be given fully and with swelling 
clearness. Thus : 

cOnvErsAshUnAl spEEch Is In gEnEr- 
Al vErY slOvEnlY. 

But it is possible to soften the consonants 
too much ; to soften them away altogether, as 
we hear from some yaw-yaw-yaw speakers 
whose utterance is 

Vox et preterea nihil. 

In good delivery every element should be 
heard in its proper relation to other elements ; 
every syllable in its proper relation to other 
syllables ; every word in its proper relation to 
other words ; every sentence in its proper rela- 
tion to other sentences. 

Sustained vocality is the secret of good 
oratorical speech. This quahty has perhaps 


never been better illustrated than in the case 
of the Rev. Mr. Spurgeon, who, with no ap- 
parent effort, in the vast Agricultural Hall, at 
Islington, London, made himself distinctly 
heard by an assemblage of twenty-five thou- 
sand persons.* There could, of course, be no 
undue softening of the consonants in such 
delivery, nor, on the other hand, was an}' 
harshness or prominence of consonant-action 
perceptible even to the nearest auditor. 

Some coarseness of effect to ears in the im- 
mediate vicinity of a speaker is almost un- 
avoidable in order to secure effectiveness at a 
distance. Oratory is in this respect analogous 
to scene-painting : the canvas which charms 
by the softness of its depictions when viewed 
from the proper standpoint, is often incredibly 
rough to a close inspector. The speaker, then, 

* I was present on one of the occasions. I got as near 
to the speaker as possible, with the view of studying his 
management of the vocal bellows; but I could discover no 
tmusual labour or straining. All was easy and natural. 
I was within five feet of the speaker; and a friend with 
whom I was to compare notes took the most distant seat from 
the platform. We counted the audience by means of the 
uniform sections into which the seats were arranged, and 
found the number of hearers was upwards of 25,000. The 
nearest ear was not offended by bellowing : the most distant 
lost no syllable. 


may without offence lay on his vowel lights 
and shades in masses^ and give corresponding 
strength and firmness to his consonant out- 
lines, in order to produce the right effect in 
the farther corners and galleries of his audi- 

It is to be noted that the percussiveness of 
good oratorical speech is not due to chest- 
action — which would be laborious — but ta 
expansibility of the pharynx, the cavity at the 
back of the mouth and above the throat. Dis- 
tension of the pharynx ma}^ be plainly seen in 
the neck of a player on the bugle or cornet-a- 

Mai * Respiration, 

The exhaustion after vocal effort from which 
many public speakers, especiall}^ clergymen, 
suffer; the ''clerical sore-throat," which hj 
its frequency has won for itself a place in 
medical terminology ; and the wild outbursts 
of vociferation which throw the whole physical 
frame into violent action, are due to misman- 
agement of the "vocal bellows." 

The principles of easy, natural, powerful 
respiration are fully explained in the earlier 


sections of this work. Let public speakers 
develop the solidity of chest and mobility of 
diaphragm prescribed for the enfranchisement 
of stammerers from their spasms of difficult}', 
and the oratorical defects associated with mal- 
respiration — and which are so often painful in 
their consequences — will be unknown. 

Oratorical defects in the expressive manage- 
ment of the voice, by inflection and modula- 
tion, are extremely common. In reference to 
these the reader is referred to the Authoi-'s 
^'Principles of Elocution."* 

* Fo'jrth edition, 1878. Salem, Mass., J. P. Burbank. 


GREAT variety of the minor defects 
of speech arise from the substitution of 
one part for another of the oral organs. The 
correction of such defects presents no diflSculty 
to one who is familiar with the true formation 
of the elements of speech. The following 
classification embraces all ordinary defects of 
this kind. The directions given should render 
self-correction a hopeful undertaking in any 
case, however long-established may be the 

One plan of exercise should regulate teacher 
or self-corrector in all cases. The attempt to 
introduce a new element at once in reading or 
speaking will never succeed. Awkwardness 
and habit will defeat the best efforts of unac- 
customed organs. Elementary power must 
first be gained. Thus : 


I. Pronounce the element separately again and 
again, until it becomes easy of formation. 

II. Practise its combination with a single vowels 
and continue this form of exercise until 
rapid reiteration becomes easy. 

III. Practise separately all the consonant com- 
binations into which the element enters. 

IV. Pronounce words or sentences containing 
the element — repeating each quickly. . 

V. Introduce the corrected element in read- 
ing, by slightly holding or prolonging it at 
each recurrence, until the habit is formed 
of articulating it correctly without special 

One hour of systematic exercise regulated 
as above, will do more than a week of desul- 
tory effort. 

h—D for G. 

This is generally an infantile defect, and 
easily corrected (see page .3) ; but if no efforts 
are made for its removal at an early age, it 
will continue to disfigure even adult speech. 
When we hear a grown-up boy or girl saying 
*^dood" for good, and ''dive" for give, the 
very natural assumption is that there must be 


a congenital cause for the defect. But this is 
a mistake. The action of the back of the 
tongue only requires to be developed. Hold 
down the forepart of the tongue, and the back 
will be compelled into action. Give this me- 
chanical assistance in pronouncing the words 

gay, guy, go, gawk, gag. 

An hour's exercise should cure this defect. 

It is a cm*ious fact that perhaps three-fourths 
of all speakers unconsciously substitute d for 
g in the initial combination gl, as in glad, 
glide, etc. Indeed, the resemblance in sound 
is so close that only a watchful ear will dis- 
cover the difference. Try : 

dlad, dlide, dlow, dlove, dlory, dloom, 
glad, glide, glow, glove, glory, gloom. 

The formation of » as that letter is pro- 
nounced before a vowel, requires the tip of the 
tongue to be pointed towards the upper gum. 
In this defective substitution the tongue lies 
flat, and acts forward against the teeth, giving 
the sound of a soft dh (= th as in tJien) , instead 
of r. Thus : 


^'Apdhetty intedhesting bdhide" 
A prett}^ interesting bride. 

Inability to raise the tongue is generall}' the 
cause of this defect. To effect a perfect cure 
the tongue may require to be loosened ; but 
careful exercise will, in most cases, develop 
sufficient .power to make a good — though un- 
trilled — r without an operation. 

III.— I^' for S. 

This is one of the man}^ forms of defect 
arising from inactivit}^ of the forepart of the 
tongue. Sometimes a slight s-ward motion is 
made by the tongue at the same time that the 
lip's movement gives sharpness to the sibila- 
tion. To correct this defect, hold down the 
lower lip, and see the teeth, while pronounc- 
ing s. 

IV,— F for Til. ' 

This defective substitution arises from the 
same cause as the preceding — sluggishness 
of the tongue. To correct it, hold down the 
lower lip and see the teeth while pronounc- 
ing th, 

F and th are so much alike in phonetic effect 


that this substitution might almost pass un- 
noticed by one who did not see the speaker's 
mouth. The resemblance will be manifest in 
the following experiment : 

free^ firty^ Jirty-free^ featre^ fimhle. 

three, thirty, thirty-three, theatre, thimble. 

V.— Gh for B. 

This is the defect commonly called ' ' Burr- 
ing," in which the back of the tongue is 
brought into action instead of the point. The 
sound has all the varieties of the front-lingual 
vibration — smooth, when the soft palate is 
merely approximated to the back of the 
tongue ; and rough, when the uvula is rattled 
against the tongue. 

This defect sometimes arises from tongue- 
tiedness, but is very often a mere habit ac- 
quired by imitation. The cure is by no means 
difficult. To bring the point of the tongue 
into action, prolong the vowel aw and lift the 
tip of the tongue till it almost touches the 
edge of the palatal arch. Repeat the action 
a number of times without stopping the vowel 
sound. In this way the characteristic vibra- 
tion of r will be gradually developed. 


The tongue in this exercise may be raised 
so close to the palate as to produce the effect 
of d — but softl}^ and without pressure, thus ; 

aw — daw — daw — daw — daw , etc. 

Gradually endeavour to maintain the tongue 
in this close approximation to the palate all 
the time that a continual vocal buzz is heard. 
This is a rudimental r. Practice on this new 
element, according to the directions on page 
41, will complete the cure. 

When the tongue is too much tied to the bed 
of the jaw, the true vibration cannot be per- 
fectly acquired without an operation ; but the 
"burring" may at least be discontinued, and 
an approximately distinct r substituted. 

VL—L for E. 

This substitution is common among child- 
ren, the articulation of I being easier than that 
of r. The Chinese never pronounce r, but 
substitute L The two sounds are produced 
by the action of the same i)art of the tongue 
— the point ; at the same part of the palate — 
the upper gum : the difference being that the 
voice passes over the tip of the tongue for r 


and over the sides for I. The alternation of 
these letters in words and sentences presents 
-a difficult}^ to most persons; as in ''Truly 
rural.'* ''Rob ran along the lane in the rain." 
"A lump of raw, red liver," etc.* 

VIL~Lli for S or Sh, 

The sibilants s and sh are produced by the 
breath passing along a central channel over 
the tongue arched towards the palate, and 
with more or less elevation of the point. This 
defect consists in passing the breath over one 
or both sides of the tongue, as in forming I 
without voice. The I apertures are narrowed 
so as to cause a hissing, not unlike that of the 
true sibilants. To correct this fault, the first 
point is to concentrate the breath in a single 
central channel. The channel of r may be 
used as a guide ; and the channel of y will also 
be available. Substitute r without voice for 
the defective "cluttering" s ; and y witliout 
voice for the defective sh. By arching the 
middle of the tongue while the point is in the 
position for r, s will be produced ; and by 

* Many exercises on these and other difficult combinations 
will be found in the Author's " Principles of Speech and 
•Dictionary of Sounds.'* 


raising the front of the tongue while the mid- 
dle is in the position for 2/, sli will be produced. 
The sounds obtained may at first be very im- 
perfect, but they will work into form. Per- 
haps — as often happens — some experimental 
or accidental shift may strike the true position 
and end all difficult}'. The hisses must, how- 
ever, be perfected as elements before an}- at- 
tempt is made to introduce them into words 
and sentences. 

VIIL—N for Ng. 

Children who pronounce d for g and t for 
jfc, of course sound n instead of ng. But the 
substitution is ver}' common also among care- 
less speakers in pronouncing the termination 
ing : as in meetin^ eatin^ and drinkin^ for meet- 
ing, eating and drinking. This substitution 
is universal in Scotland. In the words length 
and strength the ng is very apt to be changed 
into n for ease of pronunciation. The sounds 
of k, g and ng are pronounced by the very 
same organic action — contact and separation 
of the back of the tongue and the soft pal- 
ate : the differences being that k is non- vocal, 
g vocal, and ng naso-vocal. 


IX.—Ng for L. 

This substitution is a not uncommon accom- 
paniment of burring, arising from the same 
inability — or habitual difficult}' — in raising 
the point of the tongue. The effect of ng at 
the beginning of a syllable is ver}' peculiar, as 
that element is never initial in English. Thus : 

ngove^ ngord^ ngady, nget weng angonc. 
love, lord, lad}', let well alone. 

The formation of Z has been explained above 
(see page 45) . Some assistance in correcting 
this defect will be obtained, at first, b}^ holding 
the nostrils, to prevent emission of sound by 
the nose. 

X.— Ng for N, 

This is an allowed assimilation, not a defect, 
when n occurs before k in the same syllable,, 
as in 

ingk^ rangk, mongk^ trungk, 
ink, rank, monk, trunk. 

It would be difficult to articulate n in these 

The same substitution of ng for ?i taxes 


place but not uniformly — ^^ before g; as in 

angger^ Jingger^ longger, langguage, 
anger, finger, longer, language. 

Foreigners are unnecessarily puzzled b}^ the 
Anomaly between such words and hanger, sing- 
er, wronger, etc., where the ng represents a 
single consonant. 

XI, — Ngg for Ng. 

This is a Cockney peculiarity, occurring 
chiefly where ng is followed by a vowel, as in 

singging^ sing-g-a song. 
singing, sing a song. 
The correction of this defect will be assisted 
at first by a slight stop between the ng and the 

XIL Nil for S. 

The efiect represented by nh is n without 
voice — a simple breathing through the nose 
while the tongue is in the position for n. This 
defect is generally attributed to a congenital 
organic cause ; but when it occurs as the sin- 
gle nasal peculiarity of a speaker, it may be 
confidently pronounced to be merely a correc- 


tible habit. Assistance will be derived at first 
from a mechanical prevention of nasal emis- 
sion — b}^ pinching the nostrils ; and also by 
blowing a feather off the hand held before the 

When oral emission has thus been obtained 
the means already prescribed for acquiring the 
s sibilation (see page 46) , will be effectual in 
curing the ungainly sniffling of this defect. 

XIIL S for Sh, and Sh for S. 

These two forms of defective sibilation will 
be connected by the means pointed out in pre- 
vious' sections. The shades of difference in 
hissing sounds are numerous : man}^ sibilations 
are heard of an intermediate kind, and which 
partake more or less of the characteristics of 
one or the other of the representative sibilants. 
Organic malformation sometimes prevents a 
perfect rectification — as irregularit}' of the 
teeth ; inability to close the jaws ; projecting 
or retreating jaw, etc. — but even in the worst 
of such cases, improvement will follow intelli- 
gent effort. In all cases where no malfonna- 
tion exists, the sibilants may be adjusted to a 
normal standard. 


The teeth require to be very^ close in pro- 
nouncing s and sli. They should not touch, 
but theu' separation can not be greater than 
the thickness of a paper-cutter without produc- 
ing some peculiarity. 

The alternation of s and sli — like that of r 
and I — presents a difficulty to most persons, 
as in "Such a sash." "A shot silk sash.'* 
"A shabby sash," etc.* 

XIV.— S for Til and Z for Dh. 

This substitution is made by French speak- 
ers, whose native language does not contain 
the sounds of th and dh. Imitation might be 
expected to teach the foreigner so obvious an 
articulation ; 3'et those who have spoken Eng- 
lish for years may still be heard sajdng "I 
sink" for I think, and ''zat" for that. A few 
minutes' exercise suffices to cure this defect. 

XV.— T for K. 

The directions given on page 41 for the cor- 
rection of the defect " i> for G^," apply equally 
to the kindred elements t and Zc, which are. 
** See note, page 46. 


merely the non- vocal forms of d and g, (See 
page 33.) 

The unconscious use of t instead of c (=» A;) 
in the combination cl is also as common as that 
ofdfovg. Thus: 

tlay^ tlaw, tlew, tlaim^ tlever^ tlose. 
clay, claw, clew, claim, clever, close. 

XVI. — Th for S. 

This is the defect commonly called "Lisp- 
ing." The relation between th and s is the 
same as that between I and r. The breath 
escapes by a central aperture for s — as for r; 
and by lateral apertures for th — as for I, In 
forming r and I the middle of the tongue is 
concave and the point sharply raised : in form- 
ing s and th the middle of the tongue is con- 
vex, and the point flattened out. The central 
'^channel for s is over the top of the point of 
the tongue ; that for r is over the end of the 
tip. The lateral apertures for th are between 
the edges of the point of the tongue and the 
•teeth, or the upper gum ; those for I are be- 
tween the body of the tongue and the side, or 
Iback, teeth. The apertures for th are inter- 


stitial, and so cause hissing of the breath ; 
those for I are wide, and allow the voice to- 
pass with vowel purity. The I channels may^ 
however, be narrowed so as to produce sibila- 
tion, and this is one form of defective substi- 
tution for s. (See page 46.) 

Lisping is easily cured. But some persons 
affect the lisp as a symbol of childish artless- 
uess, and, like Orlando of his love-disease, 
"would not be cured." A better means of 
displaying simplicit}^ and innocence might be 
suggested; but 

*'(2e giistihus non est disputandum." 

The correction of the habit of lisping will 
be facilitated at first b}^ mechanicall}^ prevent- 
ing the tongue from touching the front teeth. 
The edge of a paper-cutter may be used to 
push back the tip of the tongue. 

The tongue should be altogether out of sight 
in forming s. 

XVIL—V for Dlu 

The remarks on "Ffor TW equally apply 
to these, the vocal forms of the same articu- 
lations. (See page 43.) 


XVIIL—Vfor Z. 

Tub directions on page 43 apply equally to 
these elements, whieb *^re merely vocal forms 
of / and s, 

XIX.^V for W and W for F. 

There is a tendenc}' to confound these con- 
sonants when the}' occur in alternation, a? 
manifested in the Cockney's "werry veil" for 
very well. 

French and German speakers, whose ver- 
nacular recognizes no sound exactly corre- 
sponding to the English w^ pronounce v instead 
of it. The French, however, use the true 
sound of w in pronouncing their diagraph oi, 
as in soir^ boire, oiseaux, etc. 

The German w has the same labial action as 
the English element, but with a difference in 
the position of the tongue, which is advanced 
for the German and retracted for the English w. 

Foreigners can be taught the knack of the 
English element perfectl3\ Imitation is obvi- 
ously worthless for their direction. Mechani- 
cal assistance will overcome the difficult}'. 
Thus ; sound the vowoi oo for some seconds 


find during the continuance of the sound gently 
approximate the centre of the lips with the 
finger and thumb a number of times. The 
vowel 00 will be changed into the word 

woo^ tvoo, woo, woo, woe, 

and the consonant w in its most difficult com- 
bination will be the result. 

English readers ma}', in the same wa}^, per- 
fectly acquire the knack of pronouncing the 
Oerman lu. Thus : sound the vowel ee for 
some seconds, and during the continuance of 
the sound gently approximate the centre of the 
lips with the finger and thumb a number of 
times. The vowel will be changed by every 
action into a true German pronunciation of the 

wie^ wie, wie, wie, wie. 

The phonetic resemblance of the German w 
to the English v will be recognized in this ex- 
periment. The articulative actions are, how- 
ever, different, and the English student of 
German should profit by the lesson and dis- 
tinguish in future between Enorlish v and Ger- 


XX.— W for L. 

This substitution is due to lingual laziness- 
The tongue lolling on the bed of the jaw sur- 
renders its proper functions to an}^ part of the 
organs that can be got to undertake them. In 
this case the lips are obliging, and we hear : 

" Wet the wady wait a wittoo." 
Let the lady wait a little. 

The existence of such defects is a disgrace. 
No difficulty attends their correction, and they 
should never have quitted the nurser}'. 

XXI.— W for R. 

R IS the most difficult of all the consonant* 
for children to learn, and it is, of all elements 
of speech, the most variously pronounced in 
languages and dialects and among individual 
speakers. When the r is trilled — as in Scot- 
land — the sound is nearly uniform, but the 
less definite varieties heard in England and 
America differ greatly. The American r 
scarcely uses the point of the tongue at all, 
but has a glide- sound approximating to that 
of ^, while, between vowels, the r is modified 
by the lips, as in '^ve^.'* 


In England the r — final or before a conso- 
nant — has the vocality of a vowel ; and even 
the initial r has little of the frieativeness of a 

The substitution of w for r is a favourite 
dandyism in English speech, and generally 
accompanies the aw — aw — aw of 

^'Awistocwatic dwawL" 
Aristocratic drawl. 

Those who have acquired the habit of using 
lu for r, otherwise than as an affectation, or of 
mixing the sounds of iv aud r, may easih^ cure 
themselves by the means recommended on 
page 43 for the delabialising of s, namel}' : 
Hold down the lower lip with the finger, and 
see the teeth while pronouncing 7\ 

XXII.— Wfor Wh, 

Wh IS to w precisel}' what /is to i?, or s to 
z — the non- vocal form of the same articulative 
action. Speakers who make no difference be- 
tween these elements confound ''whe}'" with 
way, "which" with witch, "whale" with wail^ 
"whether" with weather; and put their hear 
era to unnecessary trouble to unriddle theii 


ambiguities. Refinement consists in the pre- 
servation of nice distinctions ; and no speaker 
with any pretensions to refinement will willing- 
ly forego such a source of distinctiveness as 
the proper pronunciation of these and all ele- 
mentary sounds. 

Cockney speech has no wli. 




NEW Edition of this little book having 
been called for, the opportunit}' is pre- 
sented for adding any further observations or 
directions that may seem necessary. The highly 
condensed matter in these pages could easily be 
expanded so as to fill a volume ; but the pre- 
cision of the Treatise in its present form is 
one of ts chief recommendations for the actual 
work of rectifying the "Faults of Speech." 
Some little peculiarity in the action of a single 
organ, or in the mode of pronouncing a single 
elementary sound, has the effect of rendering 
the whole of speech peculiar ; and the work of 
coiTection is incredibly simple when the fault 
is merely traced to its mechanical cause. The 
list of such mechanical causes of defects in 
speech, herein contained, is not only extensive 
but complete. 



The effect of ignorance on this subject i» 
often serious and painful. On one occasion a 
gentleman came to the author with a defect 
which greatly marred his whole utterance, yet. 
it arose simpl}" from the habit of substituting 
nasal for oral emission in forming the sibilant 
consonants — the "fault" described in Section 
XII, page 49. In this case a surgical opera- 
ation had been performed, which had subjected 
the patient to months of suffering, while the 
defect arose from no organic malformation, but 
merely from a mechanical habit which might 
have been checked in childhood, as it was per- 
fectl}^ checked within a week of instruction. 

Stammerers have been bewildered more than 
benefitted b}^ the theories of cause and cure of 
their impediment, and the extensive terminol- 
ogy given to its man}^ varieties. In nearly all , 
cases, the source of difficulty is a failure in 
some simple principle of phonation or organic 
action, to which alone attention requires to be 
directed. The chief points for the stammerer's 
consideration and exercise — whatever peculiar- 
ity any case may seem to present — will be 
found set forth in the preceding pages. Let 


these be carefully studied, and the principles 
perseveringly applied, without thought of 
"consentaneous nerve actions" or any other 
recondite theories, and in the vast majority of 
cases relief will be certainly attained. 

The principles of vocal respiration are all- 
important, not only to stammerers, but to pub- 
lic speakers, readers and singers. Claims 
have been set up to the recent discovery of the 
proper function of the diaphragm in breathing ; 
but this ^'discovery" will be found fully em- 
bodied in the Author's I^ew Elucidation of 
the Principles of Speech and Elocution^ 
published in 1849. The simple fundamental 
principles of breathing cannot be too clearly 
apprehended. The reader is referred to pages 
17-19 for definite instruction on this subject. 

Teachers who undertake the rectification of 
faults of speech should study the mechanism of 
articulation as exhibited in the symbols of 
"Visible Speech." The phonetic elements of 
languages, and their mutual relations, are so 
depicted in these symbols that all difficulty 
is removed from this otherwise difficult study. 
The text book Sounds and their Relations^ ex- 



hibited in Visible Speech^* msLj be obtained 
through any bookseller. The Visible Speech 
Reader ^■\ (adapted for children) may also be 
used with advantage to facilitate the acquisi- 
tion of English sounds by teacher or pupil. 

A. M. B. 

We?t Washington, D. C, 

October, 1883. 

* Price S2.00, post-paid, from the publisher of this Work, 
t Recently issued ; price 40 cents. 

Note to Fourth Edition. 

No alterations were made in the Third Edition of this work, 
published in 1889; nor are any required in this Fourth Edition^ 
issued under the auspices of the Volta Bureau. The little 
book has done good service during the seventeen years since 
its first publication; and it is now hopefully committed to a 
new generation of students. 

A. M. B. 
Washington, D. C, 
1525 35th Street, 
Dec. \st, 1897. 

Sounds and Their Relations Exhibited in Visible 
Speech and The Visible Speech Reader are out of print. 
But the Volta Bureau offers Visible Speech and Vocal 
Physiology, at 50 cents, as one of the most helpful 
of A. Melville Bell's works. (See page 72.) 





Table of Consonants, 

I HE following table contains all English 

elements, and others referred to in the 

preceding page^. 


Nasal Emission. 


Oral f^ • 
Obstruction 1 ,^ 


vocal non-vocal vocal 

. . . B (Mh) . . M 

. . . B Kh . . . N 

. . G (Ngh). . Ng 
to cool) W German. 
. . . W 

(K. . 

Wh . 
S . , 

Sh . . . , Zh « in vision, 
(= tsh) as in t _ ^^t, 
church, J -««'*• 

(Yh){ i,,,,. 
(Ch) German. Gh 

S German ch 


German g in aug€\ 
emootb burr. 




F . . . . . 

Th in thin. 

Lb Fr. I in tahle. 


Dh th in then, 

f (Snarl.) 

R trilled. 



Table of Initial Consonant Combinations. 

Bl . as in blade 

Fr . as in fright 

Br . . . bride 

Fy . . . few 

Bw . . . buoy 

Vy . . . view 

By . . . beauty 

Thr . . three 

ri . . . . place 

Thw . . . thwart 

Pr . . . price 

Thy . . thews 

Py . . . pure 

SI . . . sleep 

Dr . . . draw 

Sm . . . smile 

Dzh . . . jew 

Sn ... snarl 

Dw . . . dwell 

Sf . . . sphere 

Dy . . . due 

Sp . . . spy 

Tr . . . try 

St . . . sty 

Tsb . . . chain 

Sk . . . sky 

Tw . . . twelve 

Sw . . . sway 

T3' . . . tune 

S}^ ... sue 

Gl . . . glad 

Shr . . shrink 

Gr . . . great 

Spl . . . spleen 

Gw . . guelph 

Spr . . . spring 

Gy . . . gewgaw 

Sp3' . . . spume 

Kl . . . climb 

Str . . . straw 

Kr . . . crime 

Sty . . . stew 

Kw . . . quite 

Ski . . sclerotic 

Ky . . . cure 

Skr . . . screw 

lijy . . . muse 

Skw . . squint 

2sy . . . new 

Sky . . . skewer 

Fl . . . flight 



Consonant Exercises. 
For rapid reiteration. 

pata patapa 
tapa tapata 
paka pakapa 
kapa kapaka 
taka takata 
kata kataka 
pataka pakata 
tapaka takapa 
kapata katapa 

pafa pafapa 
fapa fapafa 
fawha fawhafa 
whafa whafawha 
pawhafa pafawha 
fapawha fawhapa 
whapafa whafapa 

fatha falhafa 
thafa thafatha 
thasa thasatha 
satha sathasa 
rsasha sashasa 

shasa shasasna 
thasha thashatha 
sliatha shatbasha 
thasasha thashasa 
sathasha sashatha 
sliasatha shathasa 

bada badaba 
daba dabada 
baga bagaba 
gaba gabaga 
daga dagada 
gada gadaga 
bagada badaga 
dabaga dagaba 
gadaba gabada 

bava bavaba 
vaba vabava 
bawa bawaba 
waba wabawa 
vawa vawava 
wava wavaw^ 
bawava bavawa 



vabawa vawaba 
vrabava wavaba 

larana lanara 
nalara narala 

>^atha vathava 
thava thavatha 
thaza thazatha 
zatha zathaza 
vathaza vazatha 
thavaza thazava 
zavatha zathava 

thazha thazhatha 
zhatha zhathazha 
zazha zazhaza 
zhaza zliazazha 
thazhaza tliazazba 
zatbazha zazhatha 
zbazatha zbathaza 

rala ralara 
lai-a larala 
rana ranara 
nara narana 
lana lanala 
nala nalana 
ralana ranala 

blabra blabrabla 
brabla brablabra 
plapra plaprapla 
prapla praplapra 
flafra flafrafla 
frafla fraflafra 
glagra glagragla 
gragla graglagra 
clacra clacracla 
cracla craclacra 
tbwaswa thwaswathwa 
swathwa swathwaswa 
thrasbra tbrashratbra 
sbratbra sbratbrashra 
slasna slasnasla 
snasla snaslasna 
tradra tradratra 
dratra dratradra 
cbaja chajacba 
jacha jacbaja 
spasfa spasfaspa 
sfaspa sfaspasfa 



staska staskasta 
skasta skastaska 

splaspra splaspraspla 
spraspla sprasplaspra 

Words and Sentences, 


Three sixths. 

Literally literary. 

Knitting needle. 

Quit quickly. 

Such a sash. 

Puff up the fop. 

A velvet weaver. 

A cut of pumpkin. 

A knapsack strap. 

Coop up the cook. 

A school coal-scuttle. 

Veal and white wine vinegar 

Geese cackle and cattle low. 

Cocks crow and crows caw. 

A shocking sottish set 

She sells sea-shells. 

Laurel wreath. 
Linen lining. 
A comic mimic. 
Rural railroad. 
Scotch thatch. 
Statistics of sects. 
Portly poultrj'. 
A wet white wafer. 
Pick pepper peacock. 
I snuff shop snuff. 


The Volta Bureau's Book 


Science of Speech $0.50 

Facial Speech-Reading 25 

Visible Speech Charts. 8 fof wall 60 

Visible Speech Cards. 12 in set 20 

Visible Speech Cards. 44, larger L 00 

Visible Speech and Vocal Physiology 50 

Visible Speech in 12 lessons. German 50 

Visible Speech in 12 lessons. Italian 50 

Visible Speech Class Primer 10 

Visible Speech. Inaugural Edition. . . , 2.00 

Principles of Speech. Paper, $1.00. Cloth, 1.50 

Elocutionary Manual (Principles) 1 .50 

Principles of Elocution 1 . 50 

Essays and Postscripts on Elocution 1 . 00 

Address to Elocutionists 10 

Notations in Elocutionary Teaching. 10 

Emphasized Liturgy 1 .00 

Letters and Sounds (Visible Speech) 10 

Sounds of R , 10 

World English: Universal Language 10 

World English, Handbook of 10 

Popular Shorthand 10 

Elliptical Steno- Phonography 10 

Reporting Steno- Phonography 10 

Line W riting, Universal 10 

Line Writing, Vernacular and Orthoepic 10 

Line Writing Exercises 40 

Line Writing Cards, set 25 

Any book listed sent postpaid on receipt of 
money order, check, U. S. stamps, or cash, by 

1601 35th Street N. W., Washington, D. C. 


Return to desk from which borrowed. 
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

AUG 2 1949^ 

iivolog-y JLaJijy^iyy 

^uG n ^^^9 

APR 20 1950 

JUN 4 - 1951 

fi^Y 3 1 1951 

JUN 3 1934 


JANl2 196t 


LD 21-100m-9,'48XB399sl6)476 



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