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FAULTS OF SPEEGtj::-..;
A Self-Corrector ••.• A :.. : :* *•.
ALEXANDER MELVILLE BELL
WASHINGTON, D. C.
THE VOLTA BUREAU, 1601 35TH ST. N. W.
Copyright, 1898, by
THE VOLTA BUREAU
AlyRXANDER MELVII.LK BEUv, F.E.I.S.. F.R S.S A., F.A.A.A.S.
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.
Brantford, Ont., April, 1880.
Ele^ientaky Sounds 1
Corrective Training .
Organic Defects . . . ,
Impediments of Speech
Nervousness . . . . ,
Stammering a Habit .
Systems of Cure . . . ,
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-
Capricious Difficulties .... 28
Aggravants of Difficulty . . . .20
Minor Faults 30
The Aspirate 32
Vocal Consonants 33
Thickness of Speech 34
Oratorical Faults 35
Conversational Slurring . . . .35
Sustained Voice 36
Organic Substitutions 40
THE FAULTS OF SPfefiCH.
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.
2 rilE FAULTS OF SFEECIL
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,"
ELEMENTABY SOUNDS. 3
^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
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
4 THE FAULTS OF SPEECH.
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
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 ;
6 THE FAULTS OF SPEECH.
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-
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..
OBGANIC DEFECTS. 7
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
THE FAULTS OF SPEECH,
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.
IMPEDIMENTS OF SPEECH.
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
10 THE FAULTS OF SPEECH,
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
STAMMEBING A HABIT. M
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
12 THE FAULT 8 OF SPEECH.
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.,
SELF' EFFORT NECESSARY. 13^
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.
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
14 Tin: FAULTS OF SPEECH.
habit will require time, patience, and hopeful |—
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
CUEE OF STAMMERING
THE CURE OF STAMAIERING.
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 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
18 THE FAULTS OF SPEECH,
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
THE VOICE. li>
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
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
20 THE FAULTS OF SPEECH,
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
ELEMENTABY SOUNDS. 21
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-
' 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
"2."^ THE FAULTS OF SPEECH.
capitals in the following words, as commonly
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
DIFFICULT ELEMENTS. 23
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.
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
24 THE FAULTS OF SPEECH.
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.
A GREAT deal of the stammerer's difficult^'
will consist in subduing the upward pressure
THE HEAD, 2h
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. ^
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-
26 THE FAULTS OF SPEECH.
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
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
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
SELF' OB SEE VA TION. 2 7
tQot allow the mind to be diverted from the
-direct and simple means of cure sufficiently
set forth in these pages.
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
28 THE FAULTi^ OF SPEECH,
this use of the principle of "reflection" as an
aid to self-government, the poet's denuncia-
"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."
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
AGGEAVANTJS OF DIFFICULTY. 29
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
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-
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.^
52 THE FAULTS OF SPEECH.
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 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
VOCAL CONSONANTS. 33
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.
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.
K G as in ^o.
CR as in church J ^'*^'^-
X(^^ks) as in extend . . . X(=gz)&siu
34 .THE FAUuTS OF SPEECH.
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
CONVEBSATIONAL SLUBRING. 35
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,
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 :
This is not an exaggeration of the kind of
utterance that passes current in social life.
The chief element of distant audibilit}-—
36 THE FAULTS OF SPEECH.
throat-sound, or voice — is so curtailed and
slurred out. that little more than mouth-actions
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
SUSTAINED VOICE, 37
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.
38 THE FAULTS OF SPEECH.
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 :
OBGANIC SUBSTITUTIONS, 41
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-
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
42 THE FAULTS OF SPEECH.
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 :
OBGANIC SUBSTITUTIONS. 43
^'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-
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-
F and th are so much alike in phonetic effect
44 THE FAULTS OF SPEECH.
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.
OBGANIC SUBSTITUTIONS. 45
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
46 THE FAULTS OF SPEECIL
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.'*
OBGANIC SUBSTITUTIONS. 47
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
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.
48 THE FAULTS OF SPEECH.
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
X.— Ng for N,
This is an allowed assimilation, not a defect,
when n occurs before k in the same syllable,,
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
OBGANIC SUBSTITUTION'S. 49
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
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-
50 rilE FAULTS OF SPEECH.
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
ORGANIC SUBSTITUTIONS. 51
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.
52 THE FAULTS OF 8PEECIL
merely the non- vocal forms of d and g, (See
The unconscious use of t instead of c (=» A;)
in the combination cl is also as common as that
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-
OBOANIG SUBSTITUTIONS, 53
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
*'(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.)
64 THE FAULTS OF SPEECIL
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
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
ORGANIC SUBSTITUTIONS, 55
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-
50 THE FAULTS OF SPEECH.
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^.'*
OBGANIC SUBSTITUTIONS. 57
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
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
5b THE FAULTS OF SPEECIL
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-
Cockney speech has no wli.
POSTSCRIPT TO SECOND EDITION.
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
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
POSTSCRIPT, - 63^^
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,
* 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.)
TABLES AND EXERCISES.
Table of Consonants,
I HE following table contains all English
elements, and others referred to in the
Oral f^ •
Obstruction 1 ,^
vocal non-vocal vocal
. . . B (Mh) . . M
. . . B Kh . . . N
. . G (Ngh). . Ng
to cool) W German.
. . . W
S . ,
Sh . . . , Zh « in vision,
(= tsh) as in t _ ^^t,
church, J -««'*•
(Ch) German. Gh
S German ch
German g in aug€\
F . . . . .
Th in thin.
Lb Fr. I in tahle.
Dh th in then,
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
For rapid reiteration.
Words and Sentences,
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.
A comic mimic.
Statistics of sects.
A wet white wafer.
Pick pepper peacock.
I snuff shop snuff.
The Volta Bureau's Book
A. MELVILLE BELL'S BOOKS
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
THE VOLTA BUREAU
1601 35th Street N. W., Washington, D. C.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY
Return to desk from which borrowed.
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below.
AUG 2 1949^
^uG n ^^^9
APR 20 1950
JUN 4 - 1951
fi^Y 3 1 1951
JUN 3 1934
'I A ' •••-
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY
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