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Full text of "The science of speech"

IC-NRLF 



R L U C L H 



P 

221 
B28 
1897 

MAIN 




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of 




ot 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. 



'erH 



Received 
Accession No. 



GW^r** 
Class No. 



T H 



SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 




BY 



ALEXANDER MELVILLE BELL, 

PRESIDENT OF THE PHONETIC SECTION OF THE MODERN LANGUAGE 
ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA. 



THE VOLTA BUREAU, 

WASHINGTON, D. C. 

1897. 



Copyright by 

THE VOLTA BUREAU. 

1897. 




CONTENTS 



PAGE. 

Introduction, ..... 5 

Vowels, ...... 9 

Glides, 25 

Consonants, . 27 

Aspirate, 40 

r o*- 

Whisper, .... 40 

Trills, . 41 

Clicks, 41 

Teaching the Deaf, " . ... 42 

Fluency, . . . . . .43 

Impediments of Speech, ... 44 

Articulative Defects, . . . .45 

Management of the Breath, . . 46 

Articulative Impulse, . . .47 

Expulsive Clicks, .... 48 

Articulation in Singing, . . .48 

Pharyngeal Exercise, ... 49 

English Elements, . . . .50 

Index, ...... 53 



INTKODUCTION. 



In the present work an explanation is of- 
fered of all the actions of the mouth and the 
vocal organs which produce speech. 

In the System of Visible Speech, the ele- 
ments of languages are exhibited in symbols, 
which, to the initiated, are self-explanatory. 
That system may therefore be considered as 
a species of SHORTHAND FOR THE MECHANISM 
OF UTTERANCE,. The present work describes 
the same elements, WITHOUT SYMBOLS; the 
formation of the sounds being fully ex- 
pressed in their NOMENCLATURE. 

Some beginners are apt to be repelled at 
sight of unknown symbols^ under the im- 
pression that the latter must be difficult to 
learn. But this idea soon gives way, before 
the lucidity and simplicity of the exponent 
symbols of Visible Speech. 

For the purpose of REPRESENTING language 
the symbols cannot be dispensed with 



() INTRODUCTION. 

forming, as they do, a Universal Alphabet ; 
but, for communicating a knowledge of the 
elements of languages, description may take 
the place of symbolism. Such is, at least, the 
hope of the author, in preparing this work. 
At present, a great part of the knowledge of 
linguistic science is locked up in the symbols 
of Visible Speech. This knowledge is now 
made accessible to all readers. 

There is, undoubtedly, an advantage in be- 
ing able to enter at once on a study without 
the necessity of first mastering a new medium 
of instruction. No such necessity exists in 
connection with the study of the Science of 
Speech, as here presented. The whole sub- 
ject, from first to last, is expounded in ordinary 
language. This book may therefore be put 
into the hands of pupils in schools and col- 
leges, without explanatory preparation. Some 
ready means of studying the Science of 
Speech has long been wanted. This little 
book is specially designed to furnish the 
means, and supply the want. 



INTRODUCTION. I 

This work will also prove useful as an in- 
troduction to Visible Speech. Few teachers 
of Modern Languages have as yet taken the 
trouble to study that system, and apply it in 
their classes ; although it would be found to 
be of unique assistance, in removing all diffi- 
culty from the mastery of foreign pronunci- 
ations. Nor have teachers in the Public 
Schools availed themselves, to any great ex- 
tent, of the manifest advantages of the system 
for native learners. Only among teachers of 
the DEAF have the benefits of a training in 
Visible Speech been duly appreciated. 

This backwardness to accept the help of 
such a phonetic instrument is, no doubt, to 
be largely attributed to the imaginary diffi- 
culty of learning the symbols. Here, only 
the meaning of the symbols is taught. Repre- 
sentation of sounds is everything in " Visible 
Speech." In the " Science of Speech " DIS- 
CRIMINATION is all, and representation is 
nothing. 






THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH, 



VOWELS. 

The question has been often asked : " How 
many vowels are there ? " It might as well 
have been : " How many colors are there ? " 
We have shades of red, and green, and vio- 
let ; and compounds of each, with any, or all, 
of the others; and every tint may be, to a 
greater or less extent, diluted with white or 
with black; so that the total number of 
recognizable varieties is practically beyond 
computation. So with vowels. 

Back, Top, and Front Vowels. 

Certain vowels receive their color, or 
characteristic quality, from the back of the 
tongue, directed to the back of the mouth ; 
certain others from the top of the tongue 
directed towards the roof of the mouth; and 



10 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

a third set from the front surface of the 
tongue directed to the front of the mouth, 
or the alveolar arch. 

Each of these three sets is subject to fur- 
ther modification by contraction of the aper- 
ture of the mouth the lips. We have thus 
four varieties of vowel "color," produced by 
the back, the top, and the front of the 
tongue, and by the lips. 

The lips have 110 independent action in 
vowel formation. They merely modify the 
effect of lingual action. In forming Back, 
Top, and Front vowels the lips should be 
kept out of the way; so as to preserve the 
series of unlabialized vowels distinct from 
the series of labialized vowels. For labial- { 
ized vowels, the lips cover the teeth to a 
greater or less extent. For unlabializedi 
vowels the teeth are visible. This criterion 
should be a convenience to the learner. 
Labialized Vowels. 

Any lingual vowel may be labialized, and 
any labialized vowel may be delabialized, by 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 11 

spreading the lips apart, while the tongue 
maintains its position unchanged. In this 
way, a learner gains perfect command over 
the whole gamut of vowels ; and even pro- 
duces, with certainty, sounds which he may 
never have heard before he utters them. 

High, Mid, and Loiv Vowels. 

Now bear in mind the three radically dif- 
ferent vowel colors produced by the back, 
the top, and the front of the tongue, and we 
shall be prepared for another step in vowel 
classification. 

The vowel Ee is a Front vowel ; and it 
has the tongue RAISED within the palatal 
arch, in the highest possible degree, consist- 
ent with the maintenance of a free channel 
for the sound. But the TOP of the tongue 
may be equally raised, toward the roof of 
the mouth, forming, as it were, an ee at the 
middle of the tongue. And the BACK of 
the tongue may be equally raised, towards 
the back of the mouth, forming, as it were, 



12 THE SCIENCE OF SPPIECH. 

an ee at the back of the tongue. We have 
thus, clearly discriminated, three HIGH vow- 
els, High Back, High Top, and High 

Front. 

Deldbializing Vowels. 

To show the directive effect of these rela- 
tions of sound to sound, take an example : 

The High Back vowel is a Gaelic sound, 
which has probably never been heard by 
nine-tenths of those who may read these 
words ; yet, this unheard sound will be pro- 
duced, with uniformity, by every person, at 
the first effort. Proceed thus : Sound the 
vowel oo, and, while doing so, separate the 
lips with finger and thumb ; and, instead of 
oo, the High Back vowel will be heard. 

The technical name of the vowel oo High 
Back Round explains the mechanism of the 
sound. The tongue is in the High Back posi- 
tion, and the sound is labialized. Separating 
the lips delabializes the sound, and thus the 
pure High Back vowel is involuntarily pro- 
duced. 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 13 

Nine Vowels. 

The tongue may maintain its back, top, or 
front presentation at any degre of elevatiom 
within the mouth. Perfectly definite vowel 
"colors" are obtained at the three eleva- 
tions: High, Mid, and Low. High vowels 
have the tongue nearest to the palate ; and 
therefore the cavity of the mouth is of mini- 
mum size : LOW vowels have the tongue 
most depressed from the palate; and the 
cavity of the mouth is therefore of maximum 
size : MID vowels have the tongue, about 
midway between High and Low. Our three 
organic vowels Back, Top, and Front have 
now become nine ; each of them individual- 
ized to the mind, and absolutely located in 
the mouth ; namely : 

High Back, High Top, ; High Front 
Mid Back, Mid Top, | Mid Front 
Low Back, Low Top, Low Front 

. 



14 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

Primary and Wide Vowels. 

There are two phonetic varieties of each of 
these nine vowels: (1) the primary, or most 
definite in quality; and (2) the Wide, or com- 
paratively indefinite. The High Front vowel 
is ee(l) ; and the High Front Wide vowel 
is i(ll). To continue the color analogy : 
Suppose the High Front vowel to be a pure 
red, then the High Front Wide vowel will 
be red dulled with a neutral tint. The na- 
ture of this neutral quality, which changes 
Primary vowels into their Wide counterparts, 
may be understood from the explanation, that, 
behind the aperture of the primary vowel, 
the cavity of the mouth is expanded for Wide 
vowels, so as to weaken the organic quality 
of the sound, whether Back, Top, or Front. 

Eighteen Vowels. 

Every Primary vowel has its Wide con- 
gener ; therefore the nine vowels already in- 
troduced, at once become eighteen, nine 
Primary and nine Wide. The nomenclature 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 15 

of these sounds will give a clear conception of 
the mechanical cause of each variety. Thus : 

High Back 

High Back Wide 

Mid Back 

Mid Back Wide 

Low Back 

Low Back Wide 

High Top 

High Top Wide 

Mid Top 

Mid Top Wide 

Low Top 

Low Top Wide 

High Front 

High Front Wide 

Mid Front 

Mid Front Wide 

Low Front 

Low Front Wide 

A Vowel Discover ij. 

The distinction between Primary and Wide 
vowels is one of the discoveries of Visible 



16 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

Speech. I had been haunted, for years, by a 
sound, which I was constantly hearing from 
Scotch speakers, but which would not fit into 
any of my experimental Tables. It was 
like the Mid Front, and also like the Low 
Front ; but was not exactly either ; nor was 
it an intermediate sound. The difference 
was ultimately discovered to lie in the en- 
largement of the cavity behind the aperture 
of the Mid Front vowel. This became the 
key to the entire vowel scheme. In fact, but 
for this discovery, the System of Visible 
Speech could not have been invented. The 
erratic vowel, thus at last fixed in its true 
location, is the Mid Front Wide vowel a 
common Scotch sound, heard in ill, yes, her. 
The general characteristic of Wide vowels 
has been stated to be, comparative weakness 
of organic quality that is, of Back, Front, 
or Top " color." This will be manifest by 
comparing the Primary and the Wide sounds 
in the following Front vowels. 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 17 

Sounds of Front Vowels. 

High Front eel 

Mid Front ale 

Low Front ell 

High Front Wide ill 

Mid Front Wide ill (Scotch) 

Low Front Wide an 

Back Wide Vowels. 

Back Wide vowels have a clearer sound 
than their primaries, because the guttural 
quality of the latter is necessarily lessened 
by the widening of the resonance cavity. 
Thus the Low Back Wide vowel, aA, is dis- 
tinctively the purest in tonality of all vowels, 
because freest from friction. The vowel aw 
depresses the root of the tongue a little 
more, so as to direct the sound against the 
lips ; but, keep off labial quality, and, stretch 
the organs how you will, you cannot get a 
lower tongue-attitude than that for ah. 



18 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

Sounds of Back Vowels. 

High Back laocLh (Gaelic) 

Mid Back up 

Low Back up (Scotch) 

High Back Wide . . -tion 
Mid Back Wide. .. ask 
Low Back Wide . . ah 

Uncovering Lingual Vowels. 
Just as the High Back vowel is uncovered 
by the delabializing of oo (seepage 12) so the 
Mid Back vowel is obtained by delabializing 
o ; and the Low Back vowel by delabializing 
aw. 

The student should repeat all these ex- 
periments in order to satisfy himself of the 
reality of the relations. 

Sounds of Top Voivels. 

High Top er, ir, ur (Amer.) 

Mid Top (ohn)e (German) 

Low Top zur (Prov. Eng. ) 

High Top Wide. . er, ir, ur (Amer.) 
Mid Top Wide... (sof)a 
Low Top Wide. . . err, her, sir 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 19 

The Top vowels are phonetically associated 
with the letter R The High Top and High 
Top Wide are heard in the American pro- 
nunciation of er, ir, ur ; the Low Top is a 
Provincial English variety ; and Low Top 
Wide is the ordinary English pronunciation 
of ei\ ir, yr. Mid Top and Mid Top Wide 
are the sounds, respectively, of unaccented 
e, in German, and a, in English. 

The Natural Vowel. 

The Mid Top vowel has been called not 
inaptly the natural vowel, because the 
tongue is central in the mouth, with neither 
Back, Front, High, nor Low modification. 

Round Vowels. 

The formation of eighteen vowels has now 
been explained, and their verbal usage illus- 
trated. Each of these sounds is susceptible 
of being " Rounded " or labialized. And 
here a principle of symmetry prevails. In 
proportion to the height of the tongue within 



20 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

the mouth, is the narrowness of the aperture 
between the lips. Thus High Round vowels 
have the smallest lip aperture ; Mid Round 
vowels have a medium lip aperture ; and 
Low Round vowels merely have the corners 
of the lips rounded off. The three degrees 
of labial aperture are exemplified in the 

vowels 

oo, o, aw. 

Thirty-six Vowels. 

By adding symmetrical labial modification 
to each of the eighteen vowels already de- 
scribed, the number of vowel elements is in- 
creased to thirty-six. For all practical pur- 
poses, this number has proved to be ample ; 
but, theoretically, the gamut of vowels might 
be extended, if desirable for any purpose, 
by recognizing more than three divisions be- 
tween High and Low, and between Back 
and Front. Labialized vowels might also be 
further increased by recognizing non-sym- 
metrical labialization such as narrow lip 
aperture with Low vowels, and broad^ lip 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 21 

aperture with Higli vowels. These specula- 
tive classifications are merely indicated here, 
as possibilities. Their use would require an 
auricular perception, and an oral precision of 
utterance, far beyond the capability of aver- 
age speakers or students. 

Guttural .Rounding. 

tt 

Round vowels will now be understood to 
be symmetrically labialized lingual vowels. 
It is possible to imitate the effect of labial 
modification by guttural contraction. This 
expedient is employed by ventriloquists, who 
speak without visible use of the lips ; but 
we may dismiss non-labial rounding with 
mere mention, as beyond ordinary require- 
ments. Labial modification is, normally, 
something that may be added to a lingual 
vowel without affecting its formation; or 
that may be removed from a round vowel 
without altering the position of the tongue. 

The labializing of vowels may be experi- 
mentally illustrated by means of the hand 



22 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

on the mouth. Put the fingers of the right 
hand on the left cheek, or of the left hand 
on the right cheek, and gradually cover the 
mouth with the hand while you soiled ah. 
The quality of the vow^el will be changed by 
every movement of the hand; becoming, in 
succession, aw o oo. This experiment proves 
that merely a diminished labial aperture is 
required, to form from ah, the sounds of aw, 
o, oo ; and that, consequently, there is no 
iieerf for the pouting of the lips which is so 
ungracefully common. 

Sounds of Back Round Vowels. 

High Back Round pool 

3^id Back Round soul 

Low Hack Round >. . all , 

High Back Wide Round .... pull 

Mid Back Wide Round soar 

Low Back Wide Round or 

The Back Round vowels are all English 
sounds, and they are perfectly discriminated 
in general usage. 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 23 

y Sounds of Top Round Vowels. 

High Top Round . . u (N. Ir.) 

Mid Top Round homme (French) 

Low Top Round ii (Ir.) 

High Top Wide Round. 
Mid Top Wide Round.. 
Low Top Wide Round. . out (London) 

The Top Round vowels are, for the most 
part, dialectic sounds, sonae of which are not, j 
as yet, definitely a^dwated with linguistic 
key-words. ^ ^ 

Soiind^f Front Round Vowels. 

High ^rpn^t Round ii (Ger.) 

Mjd Front Round u (French.) 

Low Front Round 6 (Ger.) 

High Front Wide* Round, gude (Scotch.) 
Mid Front ^Vide Round ... 

Low Front Wide Round . . 

The 'Front Round vowels are all foreign 
sounds, but their Primary forms are, in gen- 
eral, well discriminated, and fixed in usage. 



24 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

Thus the High Front Round vowel has the 
tongue in the position for ee and the lips in 
the position for oo. The Mid Front Round 
vowel has the tongue as for a and the lips as 
for <?; and the Low Front Round vowel has 
the tongue as for a (Ger.) and the lips as 
for aw. 

The student should exemplify these facts, 
by delabializing $, ?/, b. In this way lie will 
uncover the High, Mid, and Low Front 
vowels. 

The High Front Wide Round vowel has 
the tongue as for I and the lips as for oo. 
This sound is heard in the pronunciation of 
the word gude (Scotch). Representative 
words in French or German will, no doubt, 
be found for the other Front Wide Round 
vowels, when native orthoepists undertake 
the investigation. Meantime the student 
should remember that the SOUNDS ARE 
REALITIES ; and he should be able to produce 
them, irrespective of keywords, from the data 
furnished in these pages. 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 25 

Good Pronunciation. 

All who aim at a good pronunciation will 
be careful to preserve the minor differences 
in vowel sound. Nothing can be more 
pleasing to the ear than a clear phonetic 
syllabication, in which every element is per- 
fectly individualized. This quality of beauti- 
ful speech is a rare and distinguishing mark 
of refinement. But with this distinctiveness 
must go correctness; which can only be at- 
tained by training, study, and observation. A 
Table of English elements will be found at 
page 50. These should all be practised until 
the ear can recognize, and the operating 
organs can satisfactorily reproduce, every 

variety. 

GLIDES. 

Vowels are syllabic sounds ; that is to say, 
every vowel makes a syllable ; but the vowel 
may be changed in quality without making a 
new syllable ; the radical sound may slide 
towards another position at the close of the 
same syllable. 



26 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

English Glides. 

Thus we have a series of GLIDES, or 
non-syllabic vowel-like sounds, which play a 
very important part in pronunciation. The 
diphthongs /, Oi, Ow, unite an open radical 
vowel with a gliding" approximation to the 
closest vowel positions, ee and oo ; and the syl- 
lables air, ear, ire, ore, unite their respective 
radical sounds with the vowel-like quality of 
r. Any radical vowel may be united with 
any other terminal quality, as a Glide ; but 
the English Glides are only three in number, 
namely, approximations to the sound of Y, 
(ee,) W, (oo,) and R, (er). 

The reader will distinguish between these 
articulative Glides and vocal inflections. The 
latter are slides of the voice from one pitch 
to another. The Glides here described are 
transitions from one position to another of the 
oral organs. 

The name-sounds of the letters A and O 
are, in Anglican usage, pronounced with 
glides : Thus, A ee, oo. 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 2( 

CONSONANTS. 

To feel, and to make manifest, the differ- 
ence between a vowel and a consonant, let 
the student perform the following experi- 
ments : 

1. Prolong the sound of the vowel ee, 
and, while doing so, strike the tongue mo- 
mentarily upwards with the point of a. fin- 
ger, from below the chin, and the sound 

ee ee ee ee ee 
will be changed to 

ye ye ye ye ye, 
at every impact of the finger. 

2. Prolong the sound of the vowel oo, 
and, while doing so, gently strike the lower 
lip upwards with the point of a finger, and 
the sound 

00 00 00 00 00 

will be changed into 

woo woo woo woo woo, 
at every impact of the finger. 

From these experiments we learn that the 
oral channel of a vowel has a fixed configu- 



28 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

ration, through which the voice issues unob- 
structedly from the throat to the oral aper- 
ture ; while the oral channel of a consonant 
is constricted or obstructed at some part, so 
as to produce an organic flap in passing 
from one position to another, or to cause a 
degree of friction on the passing breath. 
Vowels, then, are throat-sounds which are 
merely moulded, by the shape and direction 
of their oral channel, into Back, Top, or 
Front formations; but Consonants have a 
superadded effect, originating in the mouth. 
The organic identity of the sounds Ee and 
Yj and Oo and W, accounts for the confu- 
sion into which orthoepists have been led in 
classifying these elements. Y is ee, and W 
is oo, with organic compression added. Re- 
move compression from Y and W and these 
elements are vowelized into ee and oo ; add 
* compression to ee and oo, and these elements 
are consonantized into Y and W. 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 29 

Sounds 'of It. 

Other vowels may be consonantized, and 
other consonants may be vowelized. The 
sounds of R illustrate both these conditions. 
Before a vowel R is consonantized, and be- 
fore a consonant R is vowelized. The 

sounds of 

V, Dh, Z, Zh, L 

may all be vowelized, by pronouncing them 
without friction. And this is a common 
source of indistinctness. Consonants depend 
on their fricative or their flapping quality 
for clearness of utterance. 

Experimental Exercise. 

We have seen that the High Front posi- 
tion of the tongue yields the consonant Y, 
and that the High Back position, labialized, 
yields the consonant W. But the same 
Back position, unlabialized, will yield 
another consonant. The student will form 
the latter by delabializing oo, and conso- 
nantizing the resulting vowel. 



30 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

The three Back positions which, when 
labialized, yield the vowels Oo and Aw 
will also yield three unlabialized consonants, 
formed at the High Back, Mid Back, and 
Low Back positions. The student should 
exemplify each of these elements. Al- 
though they do not all occur in English 
speech, they should be formed experiment- 
ally, to give control over the organs, and to 
qualify the speaker for the mastery of the 
mouth. 

Sounds of German cli. 

The sound of ch in nacli (German) is a 
Back consonant, formed by squeezing the 
breath between the Back of the tongue and the 
soft palate ; and the sound of ch in ich (Ger- 
man) is a Front consonant, formed by squeez- 
ing the breath between the front surface of 
the tongue and the upper gum. Sometimes 
the latter sound is formed farther back, or 
nearly at the Top of the tongue. The neces- 
sities of assimilation between proximate ele- 
ments as well as the habits of individual 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 31 

speakers will often thus vary the precise 
point of an articulation. 

Voice Consonants. 

Each of the organic positions hitherto de- 
scribed, yields a second consonant when the 
formative breath is vocalized. Thus, pass 
VOICE fricatively over the back of the 
tongue, and you hear the Back Voice conso- 
nant Gh or smooth guttural R. Pass voice 
fricatively over the point of the tongue, and 
you hear the Point Voice consonant R. 

Mixed Consonants. 

Consonants called MIXED have the breath 
or the voice modified simultaneously at two 
parts of the mouth. Thus the Top Mixed 
consonant (Sh-Zh) has the Top of the tongue 
raised, while the Point is also raised subordi- 
riately; so that the fricative quality is de- 
veloped over the Top of the tongue. The 
Point Mixed consonant (S-Z) has the Point 
raised, while the Top is also raised subordi- 




32 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

nately ; so that the fricative quality is de- 
veloped over the Point of the tongue. The 
sound of Wh-W is Lip Mixed (with Back), 
with the fricative quality on Lip. A gut- 
tural sound, heard in sough (Scotch), is Back 
Mixed (with Lip) with the fricative quality 
on Back. 

Divided Consonants. 

The principle will now be understood 
which forms either a vowel or a consonant 
from any given position of the tongue. All 
the elements hitherto introduced have a 
centre-aperture for the emission of the 
breath or voice ; but there are other frica- 
tive consonants which issue through side- 
apertures, while the central passage is 
stopped. These are called Divided conso- 
nants. 

Sounds of Divided Consonants. 

Back Divided is a Gaelic sound, not easily 
formed by unaccustomed organs. The 
centre of the back of the tongue touches the 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 33 

soft palate, while the voice issues over the 
sides of the tongue. Top Divided has the 
convex tongue raised within the palatal arch, 
while the sound passes through high side- 
apertures, as in gli (Ital.). Point Divided 
(L) has the flattened point of the tongue laid 
.on the upper gum, while the breath passes 
over the free sides of the tongue. 

The apertures for L are so large that the 
voice passes through them without friction. 
This consonant, therefore, has a vowel-purity 
of vocality. Hence it is often used to form 
a syllable without a vowel, as in 

little^ middle, etc. 

By contracting these large side-apertures 
of Point Divided (L) a lateral hissing or 
buzzing effect is produced, as heard in LI 
(Welsh) and in the vocalized form of the same 
articulation a Zulu sound of L. 

Point Mixed Divided (Th-Dh) has the 
tip of the tongue touching the teeth (or the 
gum), leaving interstitial apertures ovei the 



34 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

sides of the tip, while the middle of the 
tongue is spread out, to prevent issue over 
any other part of the tongue. 

Point Mixed (S) and Point Mixed Divided 
(Th) have in all respects the same attitude of 
the tongue, save for the contact of the tip for 
the latter. Divided formation may take 
place at any part of the mouth. We have 
already seen 

Back Divided (Guttural L) 

Top Divided (gl) 

Point Divided (L) 

Point Mixed Divided (Th-Dh) 

and now we have to include 

Lip Divided (F-V) 

For this latter articulation the lower lip 
touches the edges of the upper teeth, while 
the breath or voice passes through lateral in- 
terstices between the lip and the teeth. 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 35 

Exercise. 

The student should make himself perfectly 
familiar with the difference between centre- 
emission and side-emission, by alternating the 
following sounds without vowels : 



s th 


s th 


s th 


s th 


zdh 


zdh 


zdh 


zdh 


wh f 


wh f 


whf 


whf 


W V 


W V 


W V 


W V 


rl 


rl 


rl 


rl 



Shut Consonants. 

Another series of consonants results from 
{complete stoppage of the mouth-passage. 
Thus : Back Shut means closure of the back 
of the tongue on the soft palate (K-G-) ; Top 
Shut means closure of the top of the tongue 
on the roof of the mouth (Palatal T-D); 
Point Shut means closure of the forepart of 
the tongue on the alveolar arch (T-D) ; and 
Lip Shut means closure of the lips (P-B). 

The sounds of these shut consonants are, 



36 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

of course, incapable of prolongation. Their 
vocalized forms (G D B) are, therefore, heard 
only as momentary murmurs ; and their non- 
vocal forms (K T P) receive their only audi- 
bility from the act of removing the organic 
contact. Thus the pronunciation of the word 
" stop " does not end with the closing of the 
lips, but with their separation after contact. 
This separation is generally further audible 
in the little puff which results from previous 
compression of the breath. 

A Principle of Organic Action. 

This principle of organic separation, as a 
part of consonant action, applies to fricative 
as well as to shut consonants. The rule may 
be laid down thus : A consonant consists of 
two parts a position and an action; the 
position, one of conjunction the action one 
of separation : and both are necessary to 
perfect articulation. 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 37 

Nasal Consonants. 

Each of the shut positions yields a Nasal 
consonant. The oral channel being entirely 
closed, the top of the soft palate is depressed 
and the breath or voice flows freely behind 
it, into the nose. 

In their non- vocal forms the nasal conso- 
nants have but little audibility because of 
the absence of compression, and consequently 
of fricative quality ; but in their vocal forms 
the nasals are, from the same cause, as purely 
sonorous as vowels. Thus the sound of n is 
often used to form a syllable without a 
vowel ; as in 

given, dozen, eaten, cfec. 
The Nasal consonants are : 

Back Nasal n in ink 

Top Nasal 

Point Nasal n in front 

Lip Nasal m in tempt 

Back Nasal Voice . - ng 

Top Nasal Voice. . gn (French) 

Point Nasal Voice . n 

Lip Nasal Voice. . . m 



38 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

Nasalized Vowels. 

Vowels immediately before or after nasal 
consonants are very apt to be nasalized ; and 
the nasalizing habit is not infrequently ex- 
tended to vowels in all positions. To cure 
this tendency, the ear must first be made 
conscious of the difference between a purely 
oral and a partially nasal sound. Then, the 
learner should make a slight break between 
nasal consonants and adjoining vowels, until 
the requisite power of fluent sequence is 
attained. 

English Nasals are purely nasal, but all 
English vowels should be purely oral. The 
French elements e?i, in, on, etc., are semi- 
nasal vowels, the sound being emitted partly 
through the mouth, and partly through the 
nose. 

Test for Nasality. 

The student can easily test himself, and 
find out whether his vowels are nasalized, by 
repeatedly pressing his nostrils while he 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 39 

prolongs a vowel sound. If the voice is 
purely oral, pressure on the nostrils will 
have no effect; if the voice is in any degree 
nasalized, a pulsation of the sound will in- 
form him of the fact. 

Throat Consonants. 

Contraction of the throat-passage above 
the glottis, creates a friction on the breath 
which is heard as an element of speech 
(vocalized) in Ghain (Arabic). The name of 
this element is Throat ; when vocalized, 
Throat Voice ; when nasalized, Throat Nasal, 
and Throat Nasal Voice. 

Pseudo Voice. 

The throat sound is also heard as a pseudo 
voice, in growling, and in strong stage 
whisper. These effects are produced by 
vibration of the epiglottis. Another semi- 
vocal crackling sound is formed in the glottis 
as a pseudo voice ; that is, a sound on which 
articulation may be based. This has a chok- 
ing effect. 



40 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

Throat Shut. 

Closure of the throat-passage creates an 
element which is used in some dialects as a 
substitute for k. This is the same effect 
which is heard at the commencement of a 
cough. French phoneticians call it coup de 
la glotte. The name of this element is 
Throat Shut. Of course this sound cannot 
be vocalized, because it has no issue of 
breath. 

Aspirate H. 

A frictionless emission of breath through 
the open throat is the effect of the Aspirate 
H. H may be considered as a non- vocal 
form of all vowels, because the position of 
the mouth is assimilated to that for the 
vowel that follows the h. Thus h before e 
may be called a formative e, before o a 
formative o, etc. 

Whisper. 

Such formative vowels are silent, because 
the throat passage is too open to give fric- 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 41 

tional audibility to the breath. True non- 
vocal vowels receive a degree of compression 
in the throat which renders them distinctly 
audible. This effect is called Whisper. 

Trills. 

When the organ acted on by the breath is 
lax and free to vibrate, it is made to 
shake and rattle. Thus the throat yields a 
trill of the epiglottis; the soft palate 
yields a trill of the uvula; the forepart of 
the tongue yields a trill ; and the lips yield 
a trill. These are called Throat Trill, Back 
Trill, Point Trill, and Lip Trill. 

Clicks. 

In ordinary utterance the breath is in con- 
tinuous outward flow, with momentary in- 
terruptions from shut positions of the mouth ; 
but the elements called Clicks are suctions. 
The breath is held in, either at the throat, or 
by a Back position of the tongue, while the 
anterior organs the forepart of the tongue 
and the lips move suctively from shut po- 



42 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

sitions. The resulting sounds are elements 
of speech, in Zulu and other African 
tongues. 

Inter jectional Clicks. 

The Clicks are also used by ourselves, as 
Interjections. Thus the Top Click and the 
Point Click are common expressions of im- 
patience or annoyance ; the Side Click is 
used to incite a horse to motion : and the 
Lip Click is used as a call to a dog. The 
latter is also familiarly heard in the act of 
osculation. In linguistic use the Clicks offer 
no more interruption to the flow of voice 
than do our p's and t's and k's. 

Teaching the Deaf. 

Students of Articulation, and especially 
the Deaf, are very apt to give undue promi- 
nence to the different organic actions. 
Speech is thus made heavy and labored; 
and fluency is the last quality acquired. 
The opposite order should be the aim of 
instruction, namely, to give fluency first, 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 43 

and leave accuracy to the last. A prattling 
infant may be taken as the best model for a 
beginner, in the Art of Speaking. The in- 
fant makes a continuous sound, and moves 
his lips and tongue at random. This babble 
is fundamental speech. It only needs to be 
regulated, and conventionized to become in- 
telligent language. 

Fluency. 

So, a deaf learner should first be taught to 
make a continuous sound, of any vowel 
quality, and, with lip and tongue in random 
motion, make all possible changes, until the 
relation, and the difference, between voice 
and oral action is felt and understood. Then 
wall be the proper time to begin a discrimi- 
nation of the elementary actions, and to 
teach them as parts of speech. 

But, remembering that the formation of 
Shut consonants, and even of Suction Clicks, 
does not interfere with the continuity of 
voice, let the student ever keep this con- 



44 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

tinuity in view, in his efforts to master any 
of the details of articulation. In practising 
on a new element, for example, let him first 
" babble " it on a stream of vocal sound, and 
so secure fluency as the primary requisite. 

Impediments of Speech. 

The babbling exercise described in the 
preceding section is one of the most useful 
in removing impediments of speech. These 
impediments called Stuttering and Stam- 
mering are interruptions of vocal con- 
tinuity, accompanied by stoppages of breath, 
pressures, and suctions, such as are legiti- 
mately used in speech, but which become 
faults, when they are obtruded obstruc- 
tively, on the pathway of vocal sound. 

The action of the oral organs in speech 
should be from close to open positions that 
is, from consonant to vowel ; so that the 
vowel sounds are practically continuous, and 
the consonant sounds are only momentary 
transitional interruptions. 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 45 

In stammering and stuttering, the action 
of the organs is from open to close positions 
that is, from vowel to consonant ; and the 
organs thus brought into contact are pressed 
together, so that voice can find no egress ; or 
they start off, jerkingly, and repeat the act 
of contact again and again, before a steady 
channel for the voice can be obtained. 

These faults of speech are mainly habits^ 
which can be corrected by training. A 
knowledge of the Science of Speech is the 
best director of efforts to remove the impedi- 
ments. 

Articulative Defects. 

Other defects of speech such as Lisping, 
Burring, Lallation, <fec. consist merely in 
the substitution of one organ for another, or 
one mode of organic action for another. The 
most common of these defects are : Guttural 
instead of Lingual vibration for R ; Divided, 
instead of Centre, emission, for hissing 
sounds as tli for s ; Point, instead of Back,. 



46 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

Shut positions as t for k ; Non-vocal instead 
of Vocal formations, or vice versa; Nasal 
instead of oral emission ; Obstructed nasality, 
<fec All these errors, save in the rare cases 
of congenital malformation, are susceptible of 
perfect correction. 

Management of the Breath. 

Breath being the material of speech, the 
management of the breath is a matter of first 
importance, to the health, comfort, and vocal 
power of the speaker. There is no suction 
needed to fill the chest with air. The bony 
framework has only to be raised, and atmos- 
pheric pressure will immediately fill up the 
cavity so created within the chest. 

Students, both of speaking and singing, 
have been bewildered and misled by erro- 
neous teaching in regard to vocal respiration. 
Raise the chest, and keep it raised, and you 
need not think of the breath at all. It will 
attend to itself. 

The chest may be considered as a curtain- 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 47 

rod, from which the abdomen hangs as a 
curtain. Keep the rod high, and the curtain 
entirely passive, so that it may be free to 
move, inward or outward, independently of 
the chest : Or, consider the chest as a frame 
of cast-iron, incapable of motion, whose 
whote function is to support the soft organs 
pendent below it ; and, if the throat-passage 
to the lungs be but open, the breathing will 
be easy, regular, silent, and full, without 
effort. Speaking and singing, so conducted, 
are among the most healthful of exercises. 

Articulative Impulse. 

Speech uses very little breath. The 
throat-passage in the glottis is contracted to 
a mere fissure in the formation of voice ; and 
there is so little waste, that the speaker's 
pauses are as much to let off superfluous 
breath, as to replenish the lungs. Then, 
consonants are often mere motions, which 
involve scarcely any expenditure of breath. 
And, besides, the impulse of articulation 



48 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

does not come from the chest, but from the 
pharynx ; and affects only the breath within 
the mouth. Any amount of compression 
and percussion may be given by the pharynx 
to the confined breath ; so that emission 
from the lungs is not necessary to the audi- 
bility of consonant actions. 

This last fact is one on which the reader 
may well ponder. The firm extrusive im- 
pulse of the pharynx, which it implies, is a 
power that may be new to him in theory, but 
which will prove its reality by cultivation. 

Expulsive Clicks. 

The consonant actions, p, t, &, may be 
formed with strong explosiveness, without 
emission from the lungs; thus producing a 
series of what may be called expulsive clicks, 
in contradistinction to suctive clicks. 

Articulation in Singing. 

All that has been said here, in reference 
to the articulation of speech, applies equally 
to the articulation of song. We ought to 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 49 

hear the singer's every syllable ; and that 
without the slightest detriment to his vocali- 
zation. One who does not articulate his 
words is a mere Instrumentalist upon the 
Larynx, and 

NOT A SINGER, 

An exercise for the development of pharyn- 
geal power will form a fitting conclusion to 
this treatise. 

Pharyngeal Exercise. 

Hold in the breath at the throat, and read, 
without issue of either voice or whisper. All 
the actions of articulation including even 
the organic separations of m, n, I, f, th, s, 
cfec. should be audible, without throat-sound 
of any kind. After a little practice, this voice- 
less mouth-reading should be fairly intelli- 
gible to a near-by listener ; although words 
containing only h and vowels will yield no 
audible effect. The next and culminating 
step will be, to unite this crisp articulation 
with vocality, and so, form that rare speci- 
men of scholastic art, 

A GOOD SPEAKER. 



50 THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 

ENGLISH ELEMENTS, 

WITH THE TERMINOLOGY OF VISIBLE SPEECH 
AND KEY- WORDS. 

Vowels and Glides. Key- Words. 

High Front eel 

High Front Wide ill 

Mid Front with Y glide ale 

Mid Front Wide with K glide air 

Low Front ell 

Low Front Wide an 

Mid Top Wide a (article) 

Mid Back Wide ask 

Low Back Wide ah 

Low Top Wide with R glide en- 
Mid Back : up 

Low Back W T ide Round doll 

Low Back Round all 

Mid Back Wide Round with R glide ore 

Mid Back Round with W glide old 

High Back Wide Round pull 

High Back Round pool 

Mid Back Wide with Y glide isle 

Mid Back Wide with W glide owl 

Low Back Wide Round with Y glide oil 

Y and High Back Wide Round with R glide cure 

Y and High Back Round cue 



THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH. 51 



Consonants. -Key- Words. 

Back Shut ......................... speak, keep 

Back Shut Voice .................. beg, get 

Back Shut Nasal Voice .............. song 

Front ...... ...................... hew 

Front Voice ........................ yew 

Top Mixed ......................... ash, she 

Top Mixed Voice ................... rouge, giraffe 

Point Voice .... ........ ............ errand, run 

Point Divided Voice ................ all, law 

Point Shut ........................ eat, tea 

Point Shut Voice .................. add, day 

Point Shut Nasal Voice ............. own, no 

Point Mixed ....................... ace, say 

Point Mixed Voice .................. ease, zeal 

Point Mixed Divided ................ oath, thin 

Point Mixed Divided Voice .......... with, then 

Lip Divided ....................... safe, fail 

Lip Divided Voice .................. save, veil 

Lip Mixed ........................ wheel 

Lip Mixed Voice ................... weal 

Lip Shut ..... ............... ...... ape, pay 

Lip Shut Voice ..................... ebb, bed 

Lip Shut Nasal Voice ................ aim, may 

Aspirates ........ hay, he, high, hoe, who, how, hoy 

Point Shut and Top Mixed .......... each, cheek 

Point Shut and Top Mixed Voice ..... edge, gem 

Back Shut and Point Mixed ......... expect 

Back Shut and Point Mixed Voice. . . exalt 



INDEX. 



The following Index will be useful in furnishing a 
basis for questions in the examination of learners. 
For example : 

What is the organic cause of vowel quality ? 
What is a Back vowel ? 
What is a Top vowel? 
What is a Front vowel ? 
What is meant by delabializing a vowel ? 
&c., &c., &c. 

Vowels. 

PAGE. 

Organic Cause of vowel quality 9 

Back, Top, and Front vowels 9 

Effect of the lips on vowels 10 

Labialized vowels , 10 

Elevation of the Tongue in forming vowels 11 

High, Mid, and "Low vowels 11 

The delabializing of vowels 12 

Nine vowels individualized and located 13 

Primary and Wide vowels 14 

Cause of Wide quality 14 



54 INDEX. 

PAGE. 

Eighteen vowels tabulated 15 

Wide vowels a discovery of Visible Speech 15 

Sounds of the Front vowels '., .. 17 

Back Wide vowels clearer than their Primaries. . 17 

Sounds of the Back vowels 18 

Sounds uncovered by delabializing Round vowels 18 

Sounds of the Top vowels 18 

The letter R associated with Top vowels 19 

The Natural vowel 19 

Rounding of vowels 19 

Symmetry between tongue elevation and labial 

aperture 20 

Gamut of Thirty-six vowels 20 

Possibilities of theoretical increase 21 

Guttural imitation of Rounding. 21 

Illustration of Rounding by the hand 22 

Sounds of Back Round vowels 22 

Sounds of Top Round vowels 23 

Sounds of Front Round vowels 23 

Delabializing Front Round vowels 24 

Sounds are realities 24 

Good pronunciation 25 

Glides. 

Non-syllabic, vowel-like sounds 25 

The English Glides 26 



INDEX. 55 

Consonants. 

PAGE. 

Difference between vowels and consonants 27 

Consonantizing vowels and vowelizing consonants, 28 

Sounds of R illustrate both classes 29 

Back consonants at different elevations 30 

German sounds of ch 30 

Vocalized consonants 31 

Mixed consonants 31 

Centre-aperture consonants 32 

Divided aperture consonants 32 

Sounds of Divided consonants 32 

L a syllable 33 

Exercise on centre emission and side emission. . . 35 

Shut consonants 35 

Organic separation as a part of consonants 36 

Nasal consonants 37 

N a syllable 37 

Sounds of the Nasal consonants ... 37 

Nasalizing vowels 38 

Test for nasality 38 

Throat consonants 39 

Pseudo voice 39 

Throat shut 40 

The aspirate, H 40 

Formative vowels 40 

Whisper 40 

Trills.. 41 



56 INDEX. 

PAGE. 

Clicks 41 

Interjectional use of clicks 42 

Teaching the Deaf 42 

An infant model 43 

Fluency 43 

Impediments of Speech 44 

Oral action from close to open positions 44 

Articulative Defects ... 45 

Management of the Breath 46 

The Chest 46 

Articulative impulse from the pharynx 47 

Expulsive Clicks 48 

Articulation in singing 48 

Pharyngeal Exercise 49 

English Elements 50 

Index., 53 



LIST OF WORKS BY A. MELVILLE BELL. 



I. I 
THE SCIENCE OF SPEECH, Price $0.50 

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SOUNDS AND THEIR RELATIONS REVISED VISIBLE 

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NOTE ON SYLLABIC CONSONANTS, . 10 

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