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THE object of this work is sufficiently shown in its 

It differs from my Primer of Phonetics ( 367) to 
which it will serve as an introduction not only in being 
more elementary, more systematically graduated, and 
more definitely based on the English sound-system, but 
in being better adapted for self-instruction in other 
respects as well. I hope it will be found specially useful 
to those who have to teach phonetics in connexion with 
elocution and modern languages. 

In order to make the book as generally useful as 
possible, I have also dealt briefly with the applications 
of phonetics to historical and comparative philology, as 
well as to the more practical sides of the study of 
language ; and have added a bibliography to serve as 
a first guide to the beginner in his further progress, and 
to guard him against one-sidedness as well as uncritical 
assimilation of the latest views merely because they 
are new. 

This book is the outcome of an exceptionally long 
and varied experience as learner and teacher of pho- 
netics. In early youth I enjoyed the inestimable privi- 
lege of being a pupil of A. M. Bell, the author of Visible 
Speech, and of personally discussing phonetic questions 



with such authorities as A. J. Ellis, Prince L. L. 
Bonaparte, J. Storm, and afterwards E. Sievers, together 
with many others in fact, with nearly all the pioneers 
of modern phonetics. 

The impetus given to the study of phonetics by the 
new regulation of the Board of Education has brought 
with it two inevitable drawbacks. Many teachers who 
used to profess not to know what phonetics was, forth- 
with announced classes in it. And then came a flood 
of worthless publications on phonetics most of them 
uncritical compilations from foreign works unsuited for 
English needs. 

I have, therefore, in conclusion, to express the hope 
that our educational authorities will be cautious in 
introducing phonetics and appointing teachers of it and 
that they will profit by the experience of Scotland. 

H. S. 
OXFORD, October, 1907. 








Vowels and Consonants 22 

Vowels 24 

Consonants 39 

Non-expiratory Sounds 47 


Glides 53 


Sound-junction 58 

Gradation . 65 






. 100 


. 103 

Practical and Theoretical Study 
Acquisition of New Sounds .... 
Objective Methods : Instrumental Phonetics . 
Study of the Literature 
Phonetic Notation 

. 104 
. 105 
. 107 
. 110 
. 112 




Phonetics in Language-teaching 118 

Qualifications of the Teacher 120 

Qualifications of the Learner 123 

Ear-training: Phonetic Dictation 124 

Helps 127 

Necessity of individual attention 128 

Time 129 

Examining in Phonetics .130 




Am. = American. 

E. = English. 

F. = French. 

G. = German. 
Ir. = Irish. 
It. = Italian. 

N. = North(ern). 
occ. = occasional. 
S. = South(ern). 
Sc. = Scotch. 
St. = Standard. 
W. = West(ern). 


1. No language is perfectly uniform over the whole of its 
area. Just as languages differ from each other in phonetic 
structure in their sounds and pronunciation so also dia- 
lects of the same language differ from each other more or 
less. Thus the sound-system of Lowland Scotch, which 
was originally a mere variety of Northern English, differs 
considerably from that of Standard English. 

2. Standard English itself was originally that mixture 
of the Midland and Southern dialects which was spoken in 
London during the Middle Ages, just as Standard French 
is the dialect of that district of which Paris is the centre. 

3. Standard English, like Standard French, is now a 
class-dialect more than a local dialect : it is the language of 
the educated all over Great Britain. But although it has, 
to a great extent, supplanted the local dialects, it is still 
liable to be influenced by them ; each speaker imports into 
it something of his own local form of speech, whether it be 
a rustic dialect or the vulgar cockney of London, Liverpool, 
or any other large town. The best speakers of Standard 
English are those whose pronunciation, and language gene- 
rally, least betray their locality. 

4. English, like all living languages, changes from gene- 
ration to generation : slight and imperceptible as the differ- 
ences in the pronunciation of father and son may appear to 
be, there is always some change under ordinary normal 
conditions. Hence pronunciations which are vulgar in one 
century may become fashionable in the next, sounds which 
are distinct in one generation may be confounded in another, 
and new distinctions may be made, new sounds may 


5. A spoken language is, therefore, a vague and floating 
entity. As regards English, the very fixity of its written 
form gives all the freer play to the manifold influences 
which cause change. 

6. A standard spoken language is, strictly speaking, an 
abstraction. No two speakers of Standard English pro- 
nounce exactly alike. And yet they all have something 
in common in almost every sound they utter. There are 
some peculiarities of pronunciation which pass unnoticed, 
while others, less considerable perhaps in themselves, are 
at once felt as archaisms, vulgarisms, provincialisms, or 
affectations, as the case may be, by the majority of educated 


7. The traditional or ' nomic ' orthography of English, 
as of most languages, is only imperfectly phonetic. The 
divergence between sound and symbol which makes Eng- 
lish spelling unphonetic is in most cases the result of the 
retention of phonetic spellings after they had become un- 
phonetic through changes in the pronunciation of the words 
which they represent. Thus such spellings as Might and 
tvright were still phonetic in the time of Chaucer ; for in 
the Late Middle English of the fourteenth century the 
initial consonants of these words were still pronounced, and 
the yli still had the sound of ch in German ich. So also we 
write see and sea differently, not for the sake of making an 
arbitrary distinction, but because they were pronounced 
differently till within the last few centuries, as they still 
are in the English spoken in Ireland. 

8. In dealing with the sounds of English it becomes 
necessary therefore to adopt a phonetic notation. It is now 
generally agreed that the best way of constructing such a 
notation is to give the letters of the Roman alphabet the 
sounds they had in the later Latin pronunciation, with, of 
course, such modifications as seem to be improvements or 
otherwise desirable, supplementing the defects of the Roman 
alphabet by adding new letters when required. This is the 
' Romic ' or international basis. 

9. This basis may be used to construct either a ' broad ' 
or a ' narrow ' system of notation. A broad notation is one 
which makes only the practically necessary distinctions of 
sound in each language, and makes them in the simplest 
manner possible, omitting all that is superfluous. Letters and 


words in Broad Romic are enclosed in ( ), when necessary to 
prevent confusion with the nomic spelling. Thus in English 
Broad Komic we distinguish the present pronunciation of 
knight and that which it had in the time of Chaucer as nait 
and knigt. But these spellings, though accurate, are not 
minutely accurate. Thus ai is the symbol of any diph- 
thong beginning with a vowel resembling the ' Italian a ' in 
father, and ending in an approximation to the i of it. Of 
course, if the a is definitely broadened into o or thinned into 
the se of man, then we write it oi or sei, as the case may 
be. But minuter shades of vowel-pronunciation can be dis- 
regarded for ordinary purposes, just as in writing nait we 
do not generally consider it necessary to show that the two 
consonants are formed on the gums, and not on the teeth, as 
in French. 

10. But in comparing the sounds of a variety of lan- 
guages, or dialects of a language, and still more in dealing 
with sounds in general, we require a ' narrow ', that is, 
a minutely accurate notation covering the whole field of 
possible sounds. Such a Narrow Komic notation, in which 
each symbol has a fixed, definite value, serves as a key 
to the exact pronunciation of the vaguer symbols of the 
Broad Romic notations of each language. Narrow Eomic 
are distinguished from Broad Romic symbols by being 
enclosed in [ ]. Thus i (i) = [i] means that the vowel in 
finny is ' wide ', not ' narrow ' as in the French [i] in fin i. 
In the Broad Romic notations of both languages flni is 
written for finny and fini alike. So also the English and 
French n's are in Narrow Romic distinguished as [m] and 
[m] respectively. Such distinctions may, of course, be 
introduced into the Broad Romic notation of any language 
when there is any practical advantage to be gained thereby. 

The 'International Alphabet ' of Le Maitre Phone'tlqite, the organ 
of the International Phonetic Association of Paris, is based on the 
English roinic systems. It is a compromise between a broad and 


a narrow notation, being an attempt to make a special adaptation 
of the romic principle to the needs of French into a general nota- 
tion for all languages. 

11. The following is a convenient preliminary classification 
of the vowels of Standard English, with key-words : 

V : up e : sofa i : it e : men es : mail u : pull o : not 
aa : baa 99 : sir ii : see ei : vein uu : pool ou : soul, 

o : nought 

ai : aisle, au : Faust oi : oil 

aid : fire, aus : our ie : ear ee : air ue : poor ois : joyous, 

oa : ore 

Here the vowels are in four rows : (1) normally short and 
monophthongic, (2) long, or half-diphthongic, (3) fully diph- 
thongic, (4) murmur diphthongs. Those under (1) are often 
lengthened, but they always remain absolutely monoph- 
thongic. The only one in the next row that is always strictly 
monophthongic is ee ; all the others, as we shall see after- 
wards, tend to become more or less diphthongic, especially 
in the pronunciation of the South of England, being often 
exaggerated into full diphthongs of the ai- and au-type 
in vulgar speech, aia, aue, oia are, strictly speaking, 
triphthongs, which in slow speech are disyllabic. 

12. As regards the script forms of the phonetic symbols, 
ae should always be written thus, not in its italic form, 
which is liable to be confused with ce. u is written B 
an inverted italic or script a, in which form it is easily 
joined to other letters. 

13. The following are the consonants of Standard Eng- 
lish : 

j r ; >, s, z ; J. 5 wh, w ; f, v 


k, g t, d p, b 

rj n m 

For the aspirate h see 169. 


The only consonant-symbols that require explanation are 
rj, as in ink ink, j, as in you, )>, as in thin, tJ, as in then, 
/, as in she, 5, as in measure. 

14. In naming the consonant-sounds, as distinguished 
from the letters by which they are denoted, it is often 
simplest to take the lengthened sound itself as the name, 
as with the vowels. But this is often inconvenient, and 
cannot be done at all with k, t, p. In such cases the con- 
sonant-name is formed by adding (a) : ka, ba, wa, rja or 
rjn. In writing, J> is simply a looped-up p, tJ may be 
written without the cross-stroke as a d with a back-sloping 
loop, J* with two loops, g as a z descending below the line, 
z itself being always written small. 

15. When sounds are symbolized, not isolated, but joined 
together in words and sentences, it is often necessaiy to add 
marks to show the quantity or length, the stress (compara- 
tive force or loudness), and intonation (comparative pitch or 
height) of sounds and syllables. 

16. In English Broad Komic it is only necessary to dis- 
tinguish long from short vowels by doubling the former. 
o is not doubled because it does not occur short. Repeated 
vowels can be distinguished from long ones by inserting 
a hyphen, as in hsepi-ist happiest. For minuter distinctions 
of quantity see 145. 

17. In English it is necessaiy to distinguish four degrees 
of stress : weak (), medium or half-strong (:), strong ('), extra 
strong or emphatic (;). The last is only occasionally re- 
quired. These marks are put before the symbol of the 
sound on which the stress begins, so that they serve at the 
same time to indicate the syllable-division : 'dount :kon- 
tra-dikt -im do not contradict him. But strong stress need 
not be marked in monosyllabic words, or when it falls on the 
first syllables of longer words whose other syllables have 
weak stress, as in veri wel very well. If a monosyllabic 
word has weak stress, it must be marked by prefixing (-). 


But if the weak-stressed monosyllable contains an a, it is 
not necessary to mark the stress, as this vowel occurs only 
in weak syllables : a msen av ona a man of honour. If 
only one strong or emphatic stress is marked in a poly- 
syllable, all the other syllables are assumed to have weak 
or medium stress ; in which case the often doubtful distinc- 
tion between medium and weak stress need not be marked. 
Hence the sentence first given may be written more simply 
dount kontra-dikt -im or dount kontra;dikt -im accord- 
ing to the degree of emphasis. 

18. It is sometimes necessary to distinguish weak vowels 
and syllables as ' pre-tonic ' and ' post-tonic ' according as 
they occur before or after a strong- or medium-stressed 
syllable ; thus in amerika America the first a is pre-tonic, 
the second post-tonic. 

19. As regards intonation, we distinguish the following 
tones: level (~), which hardly ever occurs in English ; rising 
('), as in whot' what ? fatting ( v ), as in nou v no ! falling- 
rising or compound rise ( v ), as in teik v kea take care ! 
rising-falling or compound rise ( A ), as in ( A ou) oli ! as an ex- 
pression of sarcasm. The tone-marks may be put either at 
the end of the sentence or before the word on which they 
fall, as is most convenient. If no tone-mark is added, 
a comma or ? implies a rising tone, a full stop, colon, or 
semi-colon a falling-tone. 


20. The analytic, as opposed to the synthetic study of 
speech-sounds involves first of all the discrimination of the 
individual sounds of each language, as we have already 
done for Standard English. We have thus laid the founda- 
tions of a scientific phonetic study first of English sounds, 
and then of sounds in general. 

21. Phonetics is the science of speech-sounds. But 
sounds may be considered from two opposite points of view, 
the organic and the acoustic. From the organic point of 
view a sound is the result of certain positions and actions 
of the organs of speech, as when we define f as a lip-teeth 
consonant. This is the point of view of the speaker of 
a language ; to whom, for instance, if English is his native 
language, the numerical symbol 5 suggests a movement of 
the lower lip towards the edges of the upper teeth, by which 
he forms the initial consonant of the word faiv. To the 
hearer, on the other hand, f is not primarily a lip-teeth 
consonant, but a hiss consonant similar to that denoted by 
)>, although this latter is formed by quite a different articu- 
lation ; this is the acoustic point of view. 

22. It is indispensable for the student of phonetics to 
cultivate both the organic and the acoustic sense : to learn 
to recognize each sound by ear, and to know the correspond- 
ing organic positions and actions by the muscular sensations 
which accompany them. 

23. These processes we are continually carrying on in 
ordinary conversation ; but, of course, only unconsciously 
and instinctively. All therefore that we have to do in 


dealing with native sounds is to develop this unconscious 
organic and acoustic sense into a conscious and analytic 

24. The only sure basis of a knowledge of sounds in 
general is a thorough practical and theoretical command of 
a limited number of sounds that is, of course, those which 
are already familiar to the learner in his natural pronun- 
ciation of his own language or dialect. It is evident that 
the more familiar a sound is, the easier it is to gain 
insight into its mechanism, and to recognize it when 

25. The first step is to learn to isolate each sound : to 
learn to pronounce it whether it be a vowel or a consonant 
apart from its context. Thus, let the student cut up the 
word Jive into ff, vv, and ai, and this last into its two 
constituent vowels, emphasizing and lengthening them 
without altering the position of the tongue. Then let him 
analyse au in Jtow in the same manner, and compare the 
first elements of the two diphthongs both acoustically and 
organically. Then he may go on to transpose the sounds 
in such a sentence as sing a song! into rjis a rjos, or rest 
into tser, brings into zrjirb, carefully preserving the con- 
sonantal r not making tser into tsaa, for instance. Such 
exercises may be multiplied ad infinitum. 

20. The next step is to analyse the formation of these 
familiar sounds. Let the beginner isolate and lengthen the 
breath consonant f and the corresponding voice or voiced 
consonant v till he not only hears the voice-murmur in the 
second one, but also feels the vibration in the throat by 
which that murmur is produced. He will then find that 
while f is articulated only in one place, v is articulated 
in two : between lip and teeth, and in the throat. If he 
presses his first two fingers on the larynx or ' Adam's 
apple ', he will feel the voice-vibration externally as well as 


27. He can then go on to perform a few simple experi- 
ments. If he removes the lip from the teeth in pronounc- 
ing these two consonants, he will hear the unmodified voice- 
murmur of v, and the unmodified breath-friction of f, the 
latter in the form of a faint sigh, or aspiration. These 
processes can then be reversed : if the learner first breathes 
in the ordinary way, and brings lip and teeth together while 
the breath is passing out, he will produce a f ; if he does 
the same while making a voice-murmur, he will produce 
a v. The same experiments should be repeated with the 
other pairs of breath and voice consonants s, z ; J", 5 ; )>, tS 
till the distinction is clearly felt and under perfect control, 
so that the learner can pass from the breath to the voice 
consonant of each pair and vice versa sszz, zzss and 
so on and feel distinctly the change of articulation in the 

28. He can then test his command of the distinction by 
deducing the unfamiliar breath consonants Ih, nh from 
the corresponding voice consonants 1. n. In trying to 
pass from 1 to In in the same way as he has learnt to 
pass from v to f, he must be careful to keep the point of 
the tongue firmly pressed against the gums all the while ; 
and not be misled by the acoustic effect of the new conso- 
nant into imitating its hiss by making it into s or J). So 
also in passing from n to nh the tongue must keep its 
position throughout, the only change of articulation being in 
the throat. 

29. The movements and positions of the tongue and 
lips are most easily perceived by passing from one con- 
sonant to another : by comparing t with k and p, d with 1 
and ?S, S with r and z, b with w and v, and so on. 

30. Then the vowel-positions should be compared by 
passing, for instance, from i to te, and then to aa, from 
aa to o and uu. And then, if he combines the tongue- 
position of i with the lip-position of u, the learner will 


without difficulty obtain the French y in pure or at least 
a close approximation to it. 

31. If he has any difficulty in co-ordinating the two 
movements, he can 'round' the ii and yy mechanically 
by pinching the lips together with the thumb and fore- 
finger of both hands, so as to leave only a narrow passage 
in the middle. He should then reverse the process by 
unrounding the yy into ii, which, again, can be done 
mechanically by separating the lips with finger and thumb. 
Let him then try to unround u, o, o and any other round 
vowels that may be familiar to him. The acoustic effect 
of rounding and unrounding may be still more easily pro- 
duced or rather, simulated by covering the sides of the 
mouth with the two hands, and then removing them. 

32. The share of the nose in forming nasal or nasalized 
sounds is soon felt by comparing the pairs b, m ; d, n ; g, rj. 
Then, if the learner tries to form an m with his mouth 
a little open, he will obtain a nasalized lip-consonant, which 
by further opening of the mouth will become a nasal a, 
which, again, by raising the front -of the tongue, he can 
easily make into a nasal i ; if, on the other hand, he lowers 
his tongue, and draws it back, he will obtain an approxima- 
tion to the French an, en. 

33. When the student has gained a thorough knowledge 
and a thorough command of the articulations of his own 
native sounds, he may go on to modify them in various 
ways, especially by altering the degree of closure of the 
configurative passages. This may often be done mechani- 
cally and almost involuntarily by ' gabbling ' uttering over 
and over again with extreme rapidity the syllable contain- 
ing the sound which is being experimented upon. Thus if 
jaja is gabbled in this way, the tongue will involuntarily 
close the passage between the middle of the tongue and 
the palate, so that the ' open ' will be converted into the 
corresponding 'stop' consonant. If baba and mama are 



treated in the same way, two new open consonants will be 
produced, the second of which we have already met with as 
a stepping-stone to nasal a. If we compare these two new 
consonants, we shall see that the latter is the nasalized form 
of the other one. 

34. The time and trouble spent on these preliminary 
exercises is not wasted. They are the best possible pre- 
paration for the systematic study of sounds in general, 
which should not be attempted till the student has acquired 
the power of isolating, lengthening, shortening, rounding, 
nasalizing his natural sounds without otherwise altering 

35. It is the height of folly to enter on a detailed study 
of the anatomy of the organs of speech, to begin acoustics 
and physics, or manipulate the apparatus of the instru- 
mental (experimental) phoneticians before this practical 
mastery of the sounds of the native language has been 


36. Most speech-sounds are ultimately formed by the air 
expelled from the lungs (voice-bellows). This air passes 
through the two contractible bronchi, or bronchial tubes, 
into the also contractible trachea or wind-pipe, on the top of 
which is fixed the cartilaginous larynx (voice-box). Across 
the interior of the larynx are stretched two elastic ligaments, 
the ' vocal chords ', which are inserted in the front of the 
larynx at one end, while at the other end they are attached 
to two movable cartilages, so that the passage between the 
'glottis' can be closed, or narrowed in various degrees. 
The glottis is, therefore, twofold, consisting of the chord 
glottis and the cartilage glottis. The two can be narrowed 
or closed independently. The chords can also be lengthened 
or shortened, tightened or relaxed in various degrees and 
in different directions lengthways or crossways. 

37. When the whole glottis is wide open, no sound is 
produced by the outgoing breath except that caused by the 
friction of the air. This is the foundation of ' breath ' 
sounds, such as f . In ' voiced ' (voice) sounds, such as v, 
the cartilage glottis is more or less completely closed, and 
the chords are brought close enough together to be set in 
vibration by the air passing through them. Breath (voice- 
lessness) is indicated when necessary by adding the breath- 
modifier [/] in Narrow Komic, which in Broad Komic is 
written simply h : [1/j] = In = voiceless (1). 

38. If the glottis is narrowed without vibration, 'whis- 
per ' is produced. In the ' weak whisper ' there is narrowing 
of the whole glottis ; in the ' strong whisper ', which is the 
usual form, the chord glottis is entirely closed, so that the 

B 2 


breath passes only through the cartilage glottis. In what 
is popularly called whisper that is. speaking without voice- 
vibration the breath sounds remain unchanged, while the 
voice sounds substitute whisper in the phonetic sense for 
voice. Thus if the initial f of feel is pronounced by 
itself, the hearer cannot tell whether the word is spoken 
aloud or whispered ; but if it is immediately followed by 
ill formed with vibration of the vocal chords, he knows 
that it is spoken ; if by ill formed with only narrowing of 
the glottis, he knows that it is spoken in a whisper. 

39. Whispered sounds may form integral elements of 
ordinary loud speech. Thus in English the final consonants 
of such words as leaves, oblige are whispered except when 
a voice sound follows without any pause, as in obliging. In 
such a word as obliged ablaidgd before a pause or a breath 
sound the two last sounds are both formed with whisper. 
It will be observed that whisper in consonants has acous- 
tically the effect of weak breath. 

40. The contractible cavity between the larynx and the 
mouth is called the ' pharynx '. 

41. We now come to the mouth. Its roof consists of the 
' hard palate ' in front, and the ' soft palate ' behind. The 
inner boundary of the former may easily be found by press- 
ing a finger against it and pushing the finger back till the 
palate suddenly yields to the pressure. 

42. The lower pendulous extremity of the soft palate is 
the ' uvula ' (throat-tongue, as it was appropriately called in 
Old English). In its passive state, as in ordinary breathing, 
it leaves the passage into the nose open ; and this makes 
any accompanying mouth-sound into the corresponding 
' nasal ' or ' nasalized ' sound. Nasality is indicated when 
necessary by adding the nasal modifier \n\. In the forma- 
tion of non-nasal (oral) sounds, such as b, the uvula is 
pressed backwards and upwards, so as to close the passage 
from the pharynx into the nose. If b is pronounced with 


this passage opened by lowering the uvula, it becomes the 
corresponding nasal consonant m = [bw]. 

43. The other extremity of the palate is bounded by the 
teeth, behind which are the gums, extending from the 
' teeth-rim ' to the ' arch-rim ', formed by the projection of 
the teeth-roots or ' alveolars ', behind which is the hollow 
called ' the arch '. 

44. The tongue can articulate with various parts of its 
surface against various parts of the palate, the teeth, and 
the lips. 

45. The lips can articulate against each other, and against 
the teeth. The passage between the lips can be closed or 
narrowed in various degrees. Sounds modified by lip- 
narrowing are called ' lip-modified ' (labialized) or ' round ' 
(rounded), the last term being specially applied to vowels. 


46. The most general test of a single sound as opposed to 
a group of sounds (sound-combination, sound-group) is that 
it can be lengthened without change, as we see in lengthen- 
ing a simple monophthongic as opposed to a diphthongic 

47. As regards the place of articulation, no sound is really 
simple : every sound is the result of the shape of the whole 
configurative passage from the lungs to the lips ; and the 
ultimate sound-elements, such as breath and voice, are never 
heard isolated. The most indistinct voice-murmur is as 
much the result of the shape of the superglottal passages as 
the most distinct of the other vowels, and its organic forma- 
tion (position) is as definite and fixed as theirs is ; the only 
difference being that while in what we regard as unmodified 
voice-murmur all the organs except the vocal chords are in 
their passive or neutral positions, the other vowels are formed 
by actively modifying the shape of certain definite portions 
of the configurative passages. Thus if we pass from the 
neutral vowel-murmur to i we raise the front of the tongue 
close to the palate, the lips remaining neutral as before ; 
while in forming u we narrow the lip-passage, and at the 
same time raise the back of the tongue. 

48. Vowels and Consonants. The two most important 
elements of speech-sounds are those which depend on the 
shape of the glottis on the one hand, and of the mouth- and 
lip-passages on the other. 


49. It is on the relation between these two factors that 
the familiar distinction between vowel and consonant de- 
pends. In vowels the element of voice is the predominant 
one : a vowel is voice modified by the different shapes of 
the superglottal passages, especially the mouth and lips. 
In consonants, on the other hand, the state of the glottis is 
only a secondary element : a distinctively consonantal articu- 
lation is the result of narrowing some part of the configura- 
tive passages so as to produce audible friction, as in f, v, 
or of complete stoppage, as in p, b. Vowels are character- 
ized negatively by the absence of audible friction and of 
stoppage. If such a vowel as i is formed with the tongue 
so close to the palate as to cause distinct buzzing, it becomes, 
from the articulative point of view, a consonant, although 
we hardly feel it as such, because it still retains its syllabic 
function ( 149). Such half consonantal vowels are called 
' constricted '. 

60. There is no more difficulty in combining vowel- 
position with breath and whisper than there is with 
consonants. Whispered vowels occur as integral elements 
of loud speech in many languages ; they may be heard in 
English in rapid speech in the initial weak syllables of such 
words as together, September, and in weak monosyllables such 
as but. 

61. Breath or voiceless vowels may be heard in French 
at the end of words, as in ainsi, where the breath [i] 
sounds like a weak voiceless j. An open vowel such 
as a is much less distinct when formed with breath : 
it is little more than a sigh. This want of sonority is, 
of course, the reason why breath and whispered vowels 
are so much rarer than the corresponding classes of con- 

52. The division between vowel and consonant is not an 
absolutely definite one. As we see, the closer a vowel is, 
the more it approaches to a consonant ; thus it may seem 


difficult to know whether to regard the English j as a very 
open or ' loose ' consonant, or as a constricted unsyllabic 
vowel. But if it is lengthened, its consonantal buzz comes 
out clearly enough, showing that the former view is the 
correct one. 

53. But there are some consonants which in their voiced 
forms have no more buzz than a vowel, even when length- 
ened, such as 1 and the nasals rj, n, m, which are accord- 
ingly called liquid, vowellike, or ' soft ' consonants, as opposed 
to the ' hard ' consonants, which include the stops and the 
hisses f, s, &c., which when voiced, v, z, &c., are called 
' buzzes '. m, indeed, is so much a vowel that it can be 
sung on : ' humming a tune ' means singing it with the nose 
passage open and the mouth shut that is, on a lengthened 
m. If we hum in this way, and then close the passage 
into the nose by retracting the uvula, the voice-murmur 
still has a purely vowellike effect, although, of course, it 
cannot be held except for a short time, b itself, although 
formed with complete stoppage of the breath, is therefore 
acoustically a pure vowel at least in the middle of its pro- 
longation. It is only the audible percussion which accom- 
panies its beginning, and still more its end, which proclaims 
it to be, after all, a consonant. The same percussive or 
flapping effect is heard, though in a less degree, at the end 
of m, 1 and the other soft consonants. 


54. Tongue-Positions. As each new position of the 
tongue produces a new vowel, and as the number of possible 
positions is infinite, it follows that the number of possible 
vowel-sounds is also infinite. It is necessary therefore to 
select certain definite fixed points to serve as marks, as it 
were, of latitude and longitude, whence the intermediate 


positions can be measured and defined with more or less 

55. The horizontal movements of the tongue produce two 
well-marked classes of vowels : ' back ', such as aa, o, u, 
and ' front ', such as ii, e, ee. In the former the tongue is 
retracted into the back of the mouth, and its fore part is 
pressed down, so that the tongue slopes down from the back 
to the front of the mouth. In the latter the front of the 
tongue is raised towards the front of the palate, as in the 
front-open consonant j, so that the tongue slopes down 
from the front backwards. The retraction of the tongue in 
back vowels may be easily tested by putting the little finger 
inside the lower teeth while forming first the front vowel 
ss and then the back vowel o. While the se-position is 
being maintained the tip of the tongue presses on the finger. 
When the change is made to the o-position, the tip of the 
tongue is drawn back quite clear of the finger. There is 
a third class of ' mixed ' vowels, in which the tongue does 
not slope either way, and is neither retracted nor ad- 
vanced, but lies flat in a neutral position ; aa is a mixed 

56. The vertical movements of the tongue, which are 
accompanied by, and partly depend on, the raising and 
lowering of the lower jaw, produce various degrees of height 
or distance of the tongue from the palate. In a ' high ' 
vowel, such as ii, the tongue in this case, the front of 
the tongue is raised as high and as close to the palate as is 
possible without causing audible friction ; while if it is 
lowered as much as possible from this position without 
otherwise altering the relative position of tongue and palate, 
we obtain the corresponding ' low ' vowel. Thus SB is a 
low-front, o a low-back, and aa a low-mixed vowel. If 
the tongue stops exactly half-way, we obtain the normal 
' mid ' position, as in the first elements of ei and ou, 
which are mid-front and mid-back respectively. 



In this way the whole mouth may be mapped out schemati- 
cally into nine squares : 

high- back 









67. It follows from what has been said that each of these 
squares admits of further subdivisions. English i and ii 
are both high front vowels ; but if we isolate the beginning 
of the vowel in eat and compare it with the vowel in it, we 
shall find that the tongue is raised higher in the long than 
in the short vowel, and that the tongue can be raised even 
higher than it is in the long vowel without developing con- 
sonantal friction and becoming constricted. 

68. It may here be remarked that vowels as they actually 
occur in speech are seldom raised or lowered to their extreme 
positions ; which, therefore, can hardly be regarded as the 
normal ones. Nevertheless, in studying the vowel-system 
as a whole apart from any one language, it is important that 
the learner should get into the habit of always forming the 
high and low vowels in the extreme rather than in the less 
definite normal position or rather, positions so that the 
points from which he obtains the normal mid position of 
each vowel may be as definite as possible. 

69. If then we regard English ii as beginning with the 
normal high-front vowel, we can define any approximation 
to the extreme high position as ' raised ' i^-, while any posi- 
tion lower than normal can be distinguished as ' lowered ' 
1^. In Scotch pronunciation i is lowered still more ; so 



much so indeed that it must be regarded rather as a raised 
mid vowel e-^. 

60. If now we compare the English & with the ideal 
low-front vowel, we shall find that in addition to not being 
fully lowered, it is not fully front : in our ss the tongue is 
slightly retracted. We define it therefore as ' inner ', which 
we mark by adding the 'inner modifier', sen, just as we 
defined the height of i by adding the ' raiser ' * and the 
' lowerer ' T. When a back vowel is advanced towards the 
front of the mouth, it is said to be in the ' outer ' position ; 
for which, again, an appropriate ' outer modifier ' is pro- 
vided. Thus u> is the English sound in put, in the German 
sound in mutter. 

61. It is, of course, possible to combine the vertical and 
horizontal modifiers, as in sen- 1 - = the English vowel in 
man. Such combinations as -IK, ^ may be used to show 
expressly the normal positions implied generally by the 
absence of such modifiers. 

62. In this way each of the nine squares may be again 
subdivided into nine smaller ones ; thus with the front- vowel 
square : 



Further subdivisions would go beyond the limits of appre- 
ciation of even the most sensitive and highly trained ear. 

63. Narrow and Wide. This important distinction 
applies to all vowels : every vowel, whatever its position 


in the scale, must be either narrow (tense) or wide (lax). In 
the Narrow Komic notation wide vowels are distinguished 
by being put in italics. French i in fini and English i in 
finny are both high-front vowels, but the former is narrow 
[i], the latter wide [i]. In passing from [i] to [i] the 
passage between the front of the tongue and the palate is 
further narrowed, not by raising the whole body of the 
tongue, but by altering its shape : in a narrow vowel the 
tongue is bunched or made convex lengthways, and there is 
a feeling of tension or clenching ; in wide vowels the tongue 
is relaxed and comparatively flattened. The change from 
wide to narrow may be illustrated by laying the hand 
loosely on the table, and then tightening its muscles so as 
to draw the finger-tips back a little, and raise the knuckles, 
so that the upper surface of the hand becomes more convex. 

64. If we lower the tongue, starting from [i] and [?'] 
respectively, we obtain the two parallel series : 

high-front-narrow [i] : F. si high-front-wide [i] : it 
mid-front-narrow [e] : F. ete mid-front-wide [e] : ate 
low-front-narrow [] : air low-front-wide [te] : at 

The E. vowel in see varies between the two extremes, [ii] 
in Sc., Ir., and N.E., and [] in S.E. The latter is a semi- 
consonantal diphthong, which may be expressed by ij in 
Broad Romic. It varies greatly, being sometimes almost 
monophthongic, and only half wide intermediate between 
narrow and wide while in vulgar pronunciation it is 
broadened more or less in the direction of ei and ai. 
The vowel in say, name, vein varies similarly between the 
Sc. [ee], the N.E. [ez-r], and the S.E. [ci-r], which in vulgar 
speech is broadened in the direction of ai. 

65. Before going a step further the student should 
familiarize himself thoroughly with these six vowels in 
their ideal extreme and exact mid positions ( 58), most of 


which are sure to be strange to his dialect, whatever it 
may be. 

66. Most English speakers have the greatest difficulty 
with [e], while [i] is easily acquired by imitation, even by 
those to whom it is not natural. When it has been acquired, 
the student should cautiously ' broaden' it by slightly 
lowering the tongue, but without thinking of the mid 
position, lest he should lapse into ei. When [i-ri-r] has 
been successfully lowered to the [e*e*] of Edinburgh Sc. 
say, there will be no difficulty in fixing the normal mid 
sound. If [ee] is familiar, the process may be reversed by 
raising it gradually to the mid position. 

67. [e] may be evoked mechanically by pressing down 
the learner's tongue with a thin paper-knife while he is 
trying to form [i]. But such methods should only be 
employed as a last resource. 

68. As regards the wide vowels, it is to be observed that 
[i] is now generally lowered towards -[T] in S.E. But 
those who have this pronunciation can generally get a close 
approximation to the high vowel by isolating the first 
element of their ij. 

60. The narrow and the wide vowels should be practised 
separately. It is confusing both to tongue and ear to pass 
from narrow to wide and vice versa. 

70. The development of the acoustic perception of the 
sounds ought to run parallel with that of the control of 
the tongue-positions by the muscular sense. The student 
must learn to hear as well as feel the distinction between 
narrow and wide. 

71. The first thing that he should cultivate is the habit of 
listening attentively to an unfamiliar sound till his ears are 
steeped in it, as it were. Not till then should he attempt 
to imitate it. If he fails to imitate it correctly after two or 
three trials, he should desist, and listen again, instead of 
fixing the wrong articulation by blind repetition, as most 


beginners are inclined to do. And then, perhaps, the 
correct articulation will come to him suddenly when he 
least expects it. 

72. It will be observed that the three narrow vowels are 
quite distinct from one another in sound, and so also the 
three wide ones, but that certain narrow vowels are very 
similar to certain wide vowels. Thus [se] and [e] are so 
alike in sound, especially when short, that they may from 
the 'broad' point of view be regarded as interchangeable 
representatives of the ' open ' vowel corresponding to the 
' close ' [e]. It is only by careful and repeated hearing 
that we can observe that the low vowel is a little broader 
and opener in sound than the mid one. This broader sound 
of the e is frequent in English, especially in the North 
English and Scotch dialects. 

73. To understand these relations it is necessary to 
realize that a vowel is, acoustically speaking, voice modified 
by a resonance-chamber or resonator, namely the mouth. 
Every time we move the tongue and lips we create a new 
resonance-chamber which moulds the voice into a new vowel. 

74. The pitch of every spoken or sung vowel can be 
raised by tightening, and lowered by relaxing the vocal 
chords, as when a scale is sung on one vowel. But each 
vowel has, besides, an inherent pitch of its own, which 
is the result of the size and shape of its resonance-chamber. 
Thus if i, a, and u are all sung on the same note, it 
is easy to hear that the first is the highest, the third the 
lowest in pitch, that u is deeper than a, while a itself 
is deeper than i. The best way of hearing the inherent 
pitches of the vowels is to whisper them, for this gives 
the pitch of the resonance-chamber, which is invariable : a 
whispered vowel cannot be sung. 

75. If, then, we whisper the three narrow front vowels in 
the order high, mid, low, we shall find that [e] is a tone 
lower than [ij> and that [ae] is a tone lower than [e]. If 


we whisper the corresponding wide vowels in the same 
order, we shall observe the same relation between their 
pitches, each wide being a semitone lower than the corre- 
sponding narrow vowel, so that if we whisper all six in 
the order [i, i, e, e, SB, ce], the series will form a descending 
semitonic or chromatic scale. 

76. The connexion between the size and shape of the 
resonance-chamber and the pitch is clear enough in the 
case of these vowels, [i] owes it high pitch to its being 
formed by a very narrow, short passage in the front of the 
mouth. In [i] the flattening of the tongue lengthens and 
widens the passage, and consequently dulls the sound. 
It is still more dulled in [e], in whose formation the whole 
body of the tongue is lowered. In fact, in the series 
[i, i, e, e, 89, CB] there is progressive widening of the con- 
figurative passage. This may easily be tested experiment- 
ally by pressing the little finger against the palate, and 
trying to articulate the series against it ; it will be observed 
that the strong pressure of the tongue against the finger in 
forming the first vowel is distinctly relaxed in the second, 
and still more in the third, and so on till the extreme \ci\ is 
reached, in whose formation the tongue does not touch the 
finger at all. 

77. Rounding. Bounding can, of course, be added to all 
the tongue-positions. 

78. The degrees of rounding are infinite. As fixed points 
we distinguish three, corresponding to the three heights of 
the tongue, the general rule being that the higher the 
tongue-position of the round vowel, the narrower the lip- 
passage, as may be seen by comparing the back round 
vowels : 

high-back-narrow-round [u]: F. sou h.-b.-wide-r. [u]: good 
mid-back-narrow-round [oJ:F. beau m.-b.-w.-r. [o]:oil 
low-back-narrow-round [o]:all l.-b.-w.-r. [3]: not 


79. It is to be observed that the English o is generally 
slightly diphthongic, which is the result of the tongue being 
allowed to slip into the mid-mixed-wide-round position at 
the end of the vowel, so that it may also be written [oo]. 
Compare aa, 91. 

80. In going down either of these series it will be seen as 
well as felt that as the tongue is lowered from the high-back 
position, the lip-passage is progressively expanded. In ' high 
rounding ' the lip-passage is made as small as possible 
without causing friction, in ' mid rounding ' there is a wider 
opening of the lips, and in 'low rounding' they are only 
drawn together a little at their corners. 

81. But abnormal rounding also occurs. There is no 
difficulty, for instance, in combining mid position of the 
tongue with high rounding, as in the second element of 
ou in no, which differs from the first only in being formed 
with high instead of mid rounding, the position of the 
tongue remaining unchanged throughout the whole diph- 
thong. This kind of abnormal rounding is called ' over- 
rounding ', and is expressed by adding the ' rounder ' to the 
symbol of the corresponding normally rounded vowel. Thus 
the Narrow Komic notation of English ou is [oo)J. 

82. It is also possible to under-round. The vowel in good 
is ' under-rounded ' in the dialects of the North-west of 
England : the high position of the back of the tongue is 
retained, while the lips are relaxed almost to low rounding. 
Under-rounding is expressed by adding the rounder to the 
symbol of the corresponding un-round vowel ; thus the 
vowel in question is written [A)]. This vowel has to a 
Southern ear a sound intermediate between that of put 
and putty. 

83. In comparing narrow and wide u it will be observed 
that there is a tendency to pout the lips more in the former. 
The same difference is observable, though in a less degree, 
in o and o. This pouting is only a secondary phenomenon, 


which is the result of the strong general contraction in the 
back of the mouth with which back vowels are made 
narrow. Lip-pouting does not sensibly modify the acoustic 
effect of a vowel : it only makes the rounding a little more 

84. The differences in the pronunciation of the English 
back-round vowels are parallel to those in the front series. 
The vowel in too varies between the two extremes of the 
Sc. and N.E. [uu] and the S.E. [MM)] or uw, in which the 
first element is sometimes narrow or half wide, besides 
undergoing various changes in position ( 98 foil.), which 
are mainly the result of the tendency to the outer position 
in the English back-round vowels, as may be seen by com- 
paring them with the fully retracted German [uu, M, oo, o] 
in gut, mutter, so, oft. The English ou, like the ei, has 
its first element narrow in the North, wide in the South, 
where it is, however, sometimes only half wide. In vulgar 
pronunciation the o of ou is broadened and unrounded in 
various degrees, so that it often becomes a broad au. The 
first element of oi is sometimes lowered towards [_o]. 

85. It is, of course, just as easy to round front as back 
vowels, although front-round are not so frequent in languages 
as back-round vowels. They do not occur in St. E. But 
the student should now learn to round at least the narrow 
front vowels, by which he will obtain the following well- 
marked series of vowels, all of which occur in French : 

high-front-narrow-round [y] : F. pur 
mid-front-narrow-round [a] : F. pen 
low-front-narrow-round [09] : F. peur 

86. What has been said of the relations between tongue 
height and rounding in the back-round applies equally 
to the front-round vowels. Here also we find occasional 
abnormal rounding. Thus if [a] is over-rounded into 


[a)] by exaggerating its mid into high rounding, we obtain 
the North German long vowel in uber, which has a duller 
sound than that of the Trench u, 

87. When the student has learnt to round [i, e, se] into 
[y, a, ce] respectively, he should test the accuracy of the 
process by unrounding the latter. If he is able to make the 
distinction between French u and German u, he will find 
that while the French vowel unrounds into an [i], the 
German vowel unrounds into [e] or [e A ]. 

88. Here, as with the front vowels, the student must 
learn in time to dispense with the help of key-words 
which at best are never absolutely reliable guides and 
form his round vowels, both front and back, in their most 
ideally distinct forms, so that, for instance, his [i] and [y] 
have exactly the same tongue-position, which even in French 
is not always the case. 

When facility has been attained in unrounding the front- 
round vowels, the student should proceed to the more 
difficult task of unrounding the back -round vowels. 

89. The greater difficulty of unrounding these is mainly 
the result of the difference between the l inner rounding ' 
with which they are formed and the ' outer rounding ' of 
the front-round vowels. In the latter the lips are brought 
together vertically, so that such a vowel as y can easily be 
unrounded mechanically by separating the lips upwards and 
downwards with the finger and thumb of both hands. In 
inner rounding, on the other hand, there is lateral compres- 
sion of the sides of the mouth and the cheeks. To unround 
a back-round vowel mechanically it is necessary to intro- 
duce a finger and thumb some way into the corners of the 
mouth, and expand sideways. Inner rounding, when it is 
necessary to distinguish it from outer rounding, is denoted 
by adding the ' inner rounder ' [&], which symbol, like that 
of rounding, is taken from the Organic Alphabet. If 
a back vowel, such as a, is modified by outer rounding 


only, it does not become the corresponding round vowel, 
but is merely muffled in sound. 

Front position can, of course, be combined with inner rounding. 
Inner-round [y] has a deeper pitch than the normal outer-round [y]. 
These vowels i-esemble the corresponding round mixed ones ( 97), 
which, when formed with the tongue in the outer position, are 
almost identical with them. 

90. Back (un-round) vowels. These are obtained by 
unrounding the back-round vowels already described : 

high-back-narrow [A] high-back-wide [a] 

mid -back-narrow [a] : up mid -back-wide [a] : father 

low-back-narrow [fc] : occ. low-back-wide [] : F. pas 
F. pas 

91. The student should begin with unrounding [o], which 
will give the mid-back-wide vowel, the ' Italian a ' in father, 
calm. The English aa is less clear in sound than the 
Italian because it is more or less muffled by the neutral 
position of the lips, which in Italian, as in many other lan- 
guages, are habitually spread out at the corners except, of 
course, in round vowels which raises the pitch of the 
vowels by widening the mouth of their resonance-cavity. 
Our aa also differs from that of most other languages in 
being slightly diphthongic : it generally ends in the mid- 
mixed-wide vowel, so that it might be written aa. 

92. By unrounding [3] we obtain the deeper-sounding 
low-back-wide, which is frequent in French and in many 
English and Scotch dialects. 

93. Turning now to the narrow vowels, if we unround 
[OK], we get the English vowel in come up. 

94. The high-back vowels are the most difficult to un- 
round, [a] may be heard as the first element of ai in some 
English dialects, and in Ir.E. in the word Irish itself. 

95. Mixed vowels. These are denoted in Broad Eomic 



by two dots over the symbol of the front or back vowel of 
the same height, whichever is most convenient. The un- 
round mixed vowels are : 

high-mixed narrow [i] : high-mixed-wide [2] 

N.Welsh un 

mid-mixed-narrow [e] : mid-mixed-wide [e] : 

Sc. better better [eV] 

low-mixed-narrow [a] : low-mixed-wide [a] : how 


The student should begin the narrow series with the low, 
the wide with the mid position, unless, of course, other 
positions are more familiar to him. The high mixed vowels 
are the most difficult to acquire. 

96. From the acoustic point of view it is important to 
note that the mixed vowels have the same pitch as the cor- 
responding front-round vowels. Thus [i] has the same 
pitch as [y], and [a] has the same as [oe], which explains 
why French peur sounds like purr to an English ear. 
Speaking acoustically, we may say that [a] is the [se] of 
care, obscured, not by rounding, as French [OB] is, but by 
flattening the tongue. 

97. The round mixed vowels are not frequent in lan- 
guage, being mostly vague and indistinct in their acoustic 
character ; their rounding is inner ; outer rounding only 
muffles them : 

h.-m.-n.-r. [ii] : W.E. two h.-m.-w.-r. [] 
m.-m.-n.-r. [6] m.-m.-w.-r. [o] : Dutch beter 

l.-m.-n.-r. [o] l.-m.-w-.r. [3] : N.Ir., Swed. 


98. Shifted vowels. We have already seen that all 
back vowels do not have exactly the same degree of tongue- 
retraction : we distinguish between inner and outer back. 
If we start with the fully retracted [WH] of German mutter, 


und, and shift the tongue progressively forward in the 
mouth, without otherwise altering its position relative to 
the palate, we at last move it right out into the middle of 
the mouth, into the position of a mixed vowel. This is 
called the ' out ' position, and is denoted by the addition of 
the ' out-shifter ': [uo]. This is the vowel in the second 
unstressed syllable of veelju value, although many have 
only [M-] for weak u. Narrow long [ua] is the N.Ir. 
vowel in you. 

99. An out-back vowel is, therefore, one which, while 
retaining the slope of a back vowel, has the place of a mixed 
vowel. The round out-back vowels have nothing of the 
acoustic quality of the mixed vowels ; and yet are quite 
distinct from the fully retracted back vowels : they are 
intermediate in sound between them and the corresponding 
front-round vowel ; thus [us] has a sound between that of 
[u] and [y]. 

100. [o] and [o] are also shifted to the out-position in 
unstressed syllables in English, as in the last syllable of 
solo [o303>], and the first of October [33]. 

101. By unrounding the former of these we obtain the 
mid-out-back-wide [GP], which is the first element of E. ai, 
and is a frequent substitute for [a] in come up. This vowel 
hus something of the acoustic effect of a mixed vowel. 

102. By unrounding [33] we obtain the low-out-back- 
wide, which is the thin French a in la patte, and a frequent 
substitute for se in many E. dialects. It has a clearer 
sound than [as], just as [a] is clearer than [e] ; acoustically 
it is between [a] and [ee]. 

103. Just as a back vowel may be shifted forward into 
the out-position, so also a front vowel may be shifted back 
into the ' in ' position, denoted by the ' in-shifter ' [c], 
although the difference between in and inner front is not 
generally so marked as that between out and outer back. 
High-in- (or inner-) front- wide [it] is frequent in such words 



as pretty and prince. Mid-in-front-narrow is one of the 
many pronunciations of the vowel written ui in Sc. in such 
words as guid ' good '. 

104. Mixed vowels also have an in-position, obtained by 
retracting them into the full back position while keeping 
the tongue flat, instead of sloping it from back to front as 
in a genuine back vowel. If the [a] of sir is retracted in 
this way, we get the low-in-mixed-narrow [ac], heard in the 
Irish pronunciation of come up, sir ! [ic] is the most usual 
pronunciation of Scotch Gaelic ao, as in gaoth, 'breeze/ 
where the fh is silent. 

105. Table of Vowels. The following tabulation of the 
vowels will be found convenient for reference, and practice 
in passing from one to the other : 

1. A 


13. i 

19. a 

25. > 

31. i 

2. a 


14. e 

20. a 

26. i ; 

32. e 

3. B 

9. a 

15. 88 

21. n 

27. a 

33. (E 

4. u 

10. u 

16. y 

22. u 

28. u 

34. y 

5. o 


17. a 




6. o 




30. y 

36. ce 



37. ic 

43. A3 

49. ic 

55. >'c 

61. as 

67. ic 

38. ec 

44. ao 

50. ec 

56. ec 

62. as 

68. ec 

39. ac 

45. us 

51. sec 

57. ac 

63. 03 

69. ?c 

40. tic 

46. U3 

52. yc 

58. uc 

64. wo 

70. yc 

41. 6c 

47. oo 

53. ac 

59. oc 

65. oo 

71. 9c 

42. 5c 

48. oo 

54. oec 

60. 3c 

66. oo 

72. a?c 


106. Consonants admit of a twofold division, (1) by form, 
(2) by place. 

Thus p, b are by place lip-consonants, by form stopped 
consonants or stops. 

107. Nasal consonants are formed by closing the mouth 
passage in different places, while the nose-passage is left 
open by lowering the uvula. If any stopped consonant, 
such as d, is modified in this way, it becomes the corre- 
sponding nasal, in this case n. 

108. When a non-stopped (open or divided) consonant is 
formed with the nose-passage open, it is said to be ' nasal- 
ized '. Thus if we try to pronounce m with the lips a 
little apart ( 32), we obtain the nasalized lip-open conso- 
nant P. 


109. Open consonants are the result of narrowing instead 
of completely closing the passage, as in the back-open- 
breath [x] in Scotch and German loch, Spanish hi jo. This 
consonant may easily be deduced from the corresponding 
stop in lock by emphasizing and isolating the ' breath-glide ' 
after it. The back- open- voice [y] in Middle German sagen 
may be obtained by gabbling gaga. 

110. In some open consonants there is sometimes slight 
contact of the organs. Thus in J) and f there is often 
contact of the tongue and teeth, and lips and teeth respec- 
tively. But this does not sensibly impede or otherwise 
modify the flow of breath, except by increasing its 

111. In divided (side, lingual) consonants there is central 
stoppage with opening at the sides of the tongue, as in the 
point-divided-voice 1. When this consonant is unvoiced, 
ths friction of the air along the sides of the tongue is both 
felt and heard very distinctly. The divided consonants are 
often formed with an opening on one side only, and are 
then called 'unilateral'. The voiceless Welsh II is gene- 
rally unilateral, the breath escaping only on the right side. 
Unilateral formation of voiced 1 is also not unfrequent in 
Welsh and other languages. Unilateral formation does not 
sensibly modify the quality of the sound. 

112. Trilled (rolled) consonants are special varieties of 
non-stopped consonants. They are formed by the vibration 
of flexible parts against each other, as when the lips are 
trilled, or against some firm surface, as when the point of 
the tongue trills against the gums in the Scotch [rrj, where 
[r] is the ' trill-modifier '. The ' burred r ' is a uvula-trill : 
the uvula is lifted up by the back of the tongue, is driven 
upwards by the force of the out-going air, falls by its own 
weight, is driven up again, and so on. In this sound 
which is a frequent substitute for r both in individuals 
and in dialects the trilling part is passive, while in [IT] 


the trilling tip of the tongue is active. In learning the 
latter, the tongue should be lightly thrown, as it were, 
against the gums ; if it is held at all stiffly, trilling is 

There are some more general modifications of consonants 
which fall under the head of form. 

113. Thus all consonants may be formed either with 
tightness (constriction) or looseness, according to the de- 
gree of approximation of the organs. Thus the English j 
is much less constricted than the buzzed German conso- 
nant in ja so loose, indeed, that it is almost a vowel. 

Tightness and looseness must not be confounded with narrowness 
and wideness. 

114. This latter distinction applies to consonants as well 
as vowels, although it is generally hardly noticeable in con- 
sonants, because of their harsher sound, but if the English 
j and w are lengthened, their wide quality becomes at 
once apparent. English w is a consonantized [M], while 
French w in oui is a consonantized [u]. This is why in 
French w the lips are pouted, while in the English w 
they are flat ( 83). English j is loose and wide, while 
English w is tight (constricted) and wide that is, at the 
beginning of a stressed syllable. When unstressed it is 
loose, as in the second syllable of wayward. If way is pro- 
nounced with the loose w of -ward, the word becomes 
irrecognizable. This loose w has only the mid rounding 
of [o] or [<5], which latter it most nearly resembles. 

115. By place the number of consonants, like that of 
the vowels, is infinite. As with the vowels, we select 
certain definite points of division, and distinguish inter- 
mediate positions as inner and outer. The main divisions 
are back, front, point, blade, fan, lip, lip-teeth. 


116. Back (guttural) consonants are formed between the 
root or back of the tongue and the soft palate. In English, 
as in most other languages, the place of articulation varies 
according to the nature of the accompanying vowels. Thus 
in Mng kirj the front vowel draws the back stop and back 
nasal forward into the outer position, the contact being 
between the upper part of the back of the tongue and that 
part of the soft palate which is just behind the beginning of 
the hard palate. In gong gorj, on the other hand, the low 
back vowel draws them back into the inner position, the 
contact being between the root of the tongue and the lower 
part of the soft palate. If we take two such words as key 
and caw, and transpose their consonants, k-iii, kto, the 
great difference between inner and outer back becomes 
clearly apparent. 

117. Front (palatal) consonants, such as the front-open- 
voice j, are formed by the middle of the tongue against 
the hard palate, the point of the tongue lying passively 
behind the lower teeth. It is easy to make j into the 
front-stop-voice j by closing the passage ( 33). This was 
the sound of Old English eg in lirycg ' back ' and of g in 
sengan ' singe ', where the preceding n is the corresponding 
front-nasal-voice consonant fi. The inner form of the same 
consonant [fi-i] is the French gn in vigne. If j is formed 
with side-openings while the central contact is maintained, 
it becomes the front-divided-voice X, which is the sound of 
Old English I before front stops, as in swelc ' such ', where c 
is the front-stop-breath consonant c, which, again, is the 
result of stopping the front- open-breath c. in German ich 
and the North English and Scotch initial consonant in such 
words as Ivm c,uu, which in Southern English is generally 
pronounced hjuw with h followed by voice j. 

118. X and n must be carefully distinguished from the 
consonant-groups Ij, nj in million, onion, although the 1 
and n in these words have not exactly the same sound as 


the ordinary point 1 and n in mill, none ; they are modified 
by the following j into a combination of point (tongue-tip) 
articulation with simultaneous outer front contact. If the 
syllables mil and ran in the above words are isolated, the 
front modification of their final consonants will be plainly 

119. Point consonants may be classified in two ways, 
(1) with reference to the part of the mouth they articulate 
against, and (2) according to the direction of the tongue. 
From the first point of view they are distinguished as 
' inner point ', formed on the arch-rim, ' medium (inter- 
mediate) point ', formed on the gums just behind the teeth, 
and outer point or ' point-teeth ' (dental), formed on the 
teeth. From the second point of view they are distinguished 
as ' flat-point ', in which the tongue lies horizontal in the 
mouth, and ' up-point ', in which it is directed upwards. 

120. When the tongue is in the first direction, as in 
)>, tJ, it naturally points to the teeth ; hence these two 
consonants are flat-point, and at the same time point-teeth 
consonants. But if the flat direction is preserved, it is pos- 
sible, although not natural, to form inner or rather, inner- 
most J), tS as far back as the arch-rim. If formed on the 
gums just behind the teeth, these consonants are practically 
indistinguishable from the normal point-teeth varieties. 

121. When the tongue is directed upwards, as in the r 
in red, rearing, it as naturally points towards the arch-rim ; 
hence r is normally both an up-point and an inner-point 
consonant. And yet, if the tongue-tip is curled upwards, 
an r can be formed in the medium point position as 

122. The English r is vowellike in sound, being quite 
free from buzz, which is partly the result of its being loose, 
partly of diminished breath-pressure. Trilling the r -' roll- 
ing one's r's ' is considered a defect in English, although it 
is not unfrequent in declamation. 


128. In English the other point consonants t, d, n, 1 are 
formed in the medium position. In combination with J) 
and 8 they are formed in the outer position, as in breadth, 
eighth, tenth, wealth. Outer t, d, &c., are the normal sounds 
in French, and some English dialects. 

124. Blade consonants are formed by the ' blade ' of the 
tongue, that is, its surface immediately behind the point. 
If the hand represents the tongue, then the upper blade 
would be roughly represented by the finger-nails. The 
blade of the tongue may also be regarded as its flattened 
point. The blade-open consonants are in English formed 
against the gums just behind the teeth, in the same place 
as t, d, n, 1. These latter are in English often formed 
with the tongue somewhat flattened, so that they are 
approximations to blade-consonants. 

125. If s, z are modified by turning the tongue upwards 
and backwards, so as to bring the point more into play, they 
become the point-blade consonants J, 5 respectively. The 
blade-point stand to the blade consonants in the same rela- 
tion as r stands to ft ; J, g being the up-point consonants 
corresponding to the flat-point s, /. Hence although J, g 
are naturally formed more inner than s, z, both classes 
can be retracted as well as advanced without being con- 

126. The point-blade have a deeper pitch than the blade 
consonants : J is. acoustically, a dull s. In some lan- 
guages, such as German, this dull quality of J" is exag- 
gerated by rounding, one result of which is that the tongue- 
articulation tends to be neglected, so that at last nothing 
remains but a slight raising of the blade or outer front 
of the tongue. Bounding of J, g occurs individually in 

127. When the blade-point are combined with point 
consonants, as in church tfaatj, judge dgBdg, singe sing, 
Welsh welf, they are formed with less retraction of the 


point, being thus intermediate between blade and blade- 
point consonants both in formation and sound. 

128. Fan (spread) consonants are varieties of point and 
blade consonants ; they are denoted by the modifier [I]. In 
them the sides of the tongue are spread out, so that the 
hiss of such a consonant as the blade-fan-open [si] is formed 
not only between blade and gum, but also between the sides 
of the tongue and the back teeth, which gives a peculiar 
deep, dull ' guttural ' quality to the sound, tl, dl occur in 
Irish English as substitutes for J>, tJ respectively ; in them 
the fan modification is supplemented by a slight raising of 
the back of the tongue. Fan 1 may be heard in Scotch 

129. Lip consonants, such as p, m, and lip-teeth conso- 
nants, such as f, offer no difficulty. 

130. The lip-open consonant <f> does not occur in 
English : it is the sound produced in blowing out a candle. 
The lip-open-voice consonant 3 can be obtained by gab- 
bling baba. It is a frequent substitute for v in German, 
especially in such words as quelle, where another consonant 
precedes, and was the old-fashioned substitute for w in 
Dickens's ' Sam Veller '. 

131. If the lip-open consonants are modified by raising 
the back of the tongue, they become the English lip-back- 
open consonants wh, w in what, we, which are, practically, 
consonantized [w], although the back of the tongue need not 
necessarily be raised to the full high position. In these 
consonants the lip-articulation predominates. 

132. In the back-lip-open [xw] of German auch and 
North Irish win, in wJiat the back x is the predominant 
element. This was one of the sounds of gh in Middle 
English, as in laugh, enouyh lauxw, enuuxw. 

133. Compound Consonants. This last is one of a large 
number of ' lip-modified ' consonants, of which the German 


sell is, as we have seen ( 126), a further example. Lip- 
modified r is not uncommon in English as an individual 

134. In a similar way consonants can be ' front-modified '. 
French and German 1, as compared with the deeper-sounding 
English 1, may be regarded as front-modified ; in them the 
tongue is more convex than in English, its upper surface 
being arched up towards the front position of j. In French, 
[y] is often consonantized into the lip-front-open (front- 
modified lip-open) sound in lui \lftji~]. Front-modified 
forms of r, s, m, and other consonants may be heard in 

135. Shifted Consonants. In the consonants hitherto 
described it has been taken for granted that the tongue 
articulates against that part of the mouth which is opposite 
to it. But this is not always the case. Thus in advancing 
the point of articulation of a back consonant it is not neces- 
sary to stop short at the outer extremity of the soft palate 
in the kh or kn-position ; it is possible to articulate still 
further forward, with the outer back of the tongue against 
the hard palate. In this way we get the out-back ka, which, 
although it is from one point of view a front consonant, 
is quite distinct from c or even c-n. ka, go are the old- 
fashioned sounds in such words as sky, garden. To an un- 
accustomed ear they sound like kj, gj. In Irish Gaelic 
such pairs as ko and c are kept quite distinct : the former 
is heard in cedl [koool] ' music ', the latter in teacht [canxt] 
' to come '. 

136. The out-point consonants to, &c., are formed with 
the tip of the tongue against the upper lip. They do not 
seem to occur in articulate speech. 

137. The in-point, in-blade, and in-blade-point consonants, 
generally included under the term ' inverted ', occur in many 
languages ; the in-r is heard in the dialects of the West of 


England. In their formation the tip of the tongue or its 
blade is turned back into the arch, so that its lower part 
articulates against the palate. Articulation against the arch- 
rise may be regarded either as outer in-point or inner point. 
The full in-r has a snarling, almost nasal effect. It can 
hardly be trilled. It is often formed simultaneously with 
incorporated into the preceding vowel, which then becomes 
an in-point-modified vowel. 

The Arabic q, which is a k formed even further back 
than the English kn in caw, may be regarded as an in-back 
consonant kc. 

138. Non-oral Consonants. Some consonants are formed 
below the mouth. 

It is, for instance, possible to produce a stopped conso- 
nant in the larynx by opening or closing the glottis on a 
passage of breath or voice. The opening is heard in an 
ordinary cough, while the convulsive closure of the glottis 
results in what is known as a hiccup. This ' glottal stop ' 
[!] occurs also as an integral element of ordinary speech. 
In German all initial vowels in stressed syllables begin with 
a more or less distinct glottal stop ; and this occurs also in 
some English dialects, and in individual pronunciation in 
Standard English as well. In some North English and 
Scotch dialects (such as that of Glasgow) the glottal stop 
occurs as a substitute for the ordinary mouth-stops, as in the 
Glasgow pronunciation of water water. 

For the aspirate h, which is to some extent an open 
glottal consonant, see 169. 

139. Non-expiratory Sounds. All the sounds hitherto 
described imply out-breathing or expiration. But they can 
also be formed with in-breathing or inspiration. Thus in 
English it is a not uncommon trick of speech to pronounce 
no with in-breathing to express emphatic or earnest denial. 


Some consonants are produced without either out- or 
in-breathing, solely with the air in the mouth or throat. 

140. The sounds known as ' clicks ' or suction-stops are 
examples. In their formation the tongue or lips are put in 
the position for an ordinary stop, and then the air is sucked 
out from between the organs in contact, so that when the 
stop is released a sharp smacking sound is produced. Thus 
the lip-click is an exaggeration of an ordinary kiss, and the 
point-click is the interjection of impatience written tut ! In 
some savage languages clicks are an integral part of ordinary 
articulate speech. 


141. Besides analysing each sound separately, phonetics 
has to deal with the various phenomena which accompany 
synthesis, that is, the succession or combination of sounds in 
syllables, words, and sentences. Although a sentence may 
consist of a single word, and that word of a single vowel, 
most sounds occur only in combination with others. 

142. The ordinary division of speech into sentences, and 
of sentences into words, is logical, not phonetic : we cannot 
mark off the sentences in continuous discourse, and cut them 
up into words, till we know the meaning of these words and 
sentences, and are able to analyse them grammatically. 

143. But the logical and grammatical division into sen- 
tences corresponds to some extent with the phonetic division 
into 'breath-groups', marked off through our inability to 
utter more than a certain number of sounds in succession 
without pausing to take breath. 

144. Within these breath-groups there is no pause or 
break between the words except where we pause for em- 
phasis or to make grammatical distinctions. The only 
necessary phonetic distinctions within a breath-group are 
into syllables, sounds, and intervening ' glides '. 

The three general factors of synthesis are quantity (length), 
stress (force), and intonation. 

145. Quantity. Although in the broad phonetic nota- 
tion of English it is necessary to mark only two degrees of 
vowel-quantity, it is easy to distinguish at least five : over- 
long [#], long [#], half-long or medium [*], short [t], and 
very short or abrupt [t]. is written as a notched stroke. 



146. The distinction between long and medium is well 
marked in English, although it does not generally require 
to be indicated in writing, as it is regularly dependent on 
the nature of the following consonant. The rule is that 
strong-stressed vowels when final or before a voice conso- 
nant are long, while before a voiceless consonant they are 
only half-long, as in see si, seize, broad compared with 
cease si*s, eat, brought. The diiference is equally marked 
in the diphthongs, as in no, ride, oil, compared with right, 
voice. In other languages full length is preserved before 
voiceless as well as voiced sounds, as may be heard in the 
German pronunciation of all right ! 

147. The distinctions of quantity apply to consonants as 
well as vowels. In English there is a tendency to lengthen 
final consonants after strong short vowels, as in man com- 
pared with German mann, where the final consonant is quite 
short. There is also a tendency in English to lengthen soft 
consonants before voice consonants, and shorten them before 
voiceless consonants, as in buttd bil*d, compared with built 

?48. Stress. This is, organically, the result of the force 
with which the breath is expelled from the lungs ; acoustic- 
ally it produces the effect of loudness, which is dependent 
on the size of the sound- vibrations : the bigger the waves, 
the louder the sound, the greater the stress. 

For the degrees of stress see ^fZ^> 

149. On stress depends syllable-division. A syllable 
consists of a 'syllabic' (syllable-former), either alone or 
accompanied by non-syllabics. The distinction between the 
two depends on sonority : the more sonorous a sound is, the 
more easily it assumes the function of a syllabic. The most 
sonorous sounds are the voiced ones, among which the most 
open are the most sonorous, the most sonorous of all sounds 
being the clear, open a. But the difference is only a relative 


one. When a vowel and a consonant come together, the 
syllabicness of the vowel overpowers that of the consonant ; 
but in such a word as little litl the second 1 is so much 
more syllabic than the preceding voiceless stop that it assumes 
syllabic function, and the word is felt to be disyllabic, 
although it only contains one vowel. The syllabic quality 
of the final consonant in little, reason riizn, open, &c., does 
not require to be marked, because as long as these final con- 
sonants are voiced they are necessarily syllabic. If it is 
necessary to indicate syllabicness of a consonant in the 
interior of a word, this can be done by putting -, or what- 
ever stress-mark is required, after it, as in bBtn-irj button- 
ing, botl-a bottler compared with butler. 

150. The beginning of a syllable corresponds to the be- 
ginning of the stress with which it is uttered. Thus in 
atone the strong stress and the second syllable begin on the 
t, and in bookcase bukikeis on the second k, the first 
k belonging to the first syllable, so that the kk is here 
really double that is to say, there are two of them not 
merely long, as in book buk* by itself ( 147). 

151. Two vowels in succession uttered with one impulse of 
stress, so as to form only one syllable, constitute a diphthong. 
The English diphthongs ai, oi, au are 'falling' diph- 
thongs, having the stress on the first element, o that it is 
the second element which is non-syllabic. The u and eu in 
such words as union, euphony, was also a falling diphthong 
iu in the Early Modern English of the sixteenth century. 
In the beginning of the eighteenth century the stress in this 
diphthong was shifted on to the second element, so that it 
became the ' rising ' diphthong i*u, i'uu. As the unsyl- 
labic vowel in such a diphthong is practically indistinguish- 
able from a loose j, it is best to write it accordingly, ju, juu, 
keeping the notation iu for the falling diphthong. In 
English the falling diphthongs weaken their second ele- 
ments, so that they are no longer full i, u, as in some 



languages and even in some English dialects ; thus au in 
Scotch is full [au], that is, B followed by high narrow u, 
so that it might also be written aw. 

152. It is not always easy to draw the line between 
diphthongic and disyllabic pronunciation, as in the English 
murmur-diphthongs such as ia, which when uttered 
slowly have more or less of a disyllabic effect. This is still 
more the case with triphthongs such as aia. 

153. Conversely, in very rapid and careless speech even 
such vowel-sequences as those in poetical, coerce, jEolic, 
pou'etikl, kou'aas, ii'olik often become shorter by a syl- 
lable, so that they might be roughly symbolized by pwetikl, 
kwaas, jolik. 

154. Intonation ( 19). This depends on the rapidity of 
the sound-vibrations : the quicker the vibrations, the higher 
the pitch, the sharper and shriller the tone. Voiced sounds 
are the only ones capable of variation of pitch, which in 
speech and song depends on the tension of the vocal chords 
and the length of their vibrating portion : the tighter and 
shorter a string or similar vibrating body, the higher the 

155. In singing, the voice generally dwells on each note 
without change of pitch, and then leaps up or down to the 
next note as smoothly and quickly as possible, so that the 
intervening pitch-glide is not noticed, except in what is 
called 'portamento'. In speech, on the other hand, the 
voice hardly ever dwells on any one note, but is con- 
stantly moving upwards and downwards, sometimes by leaps, 
but more generally by glides, in which all the intermediate 
notes are heard in more or less rapid succession, as in 

156. The different tones rising, falling, &c. vary in 
character according to the interval through which they pass. 
The greater the interval, the more emphatic the tone. Thus 


a high rise, which begins high, and consequently can only 
rise a little higher, expresses simple question ; while the 
same word, if uttered with a low rise extending over an 
interval of an octave or even more, expresses surprise or 
indignation, as in iv hat ! compared with the simply interro- 
gative what ? 


157. Consonant-glides. Such a word as cat consists not 
only of the vowel and the two consonants of which it is 
made up, but also of glides or positions between these 
sounds. The glide from the initial consonant to the vowel 
consists of all the intermediate positions through which the 
tongue passes on its way from the k-position to that of ae. 
The number of these positions is infinite ; but they are all 
implied by the mere juxtaposition of the symbols of the 
fixed sounds, it being assumed that in all transitions from 
one position to another the shortest way is taken. 

158. Although the direction of a glide is thus dependent 
on the positions of the two fixed points between which it 
lies, its character may be varied both by the shape of the 
throat- and mouth-passages especially the glottis- -and by 
stress and quantity. 

159. In the word given above the two ' off-glides ' from 
the consonants are both breath -glides, the glottis being kept 
open during the transition from the k to the SB, and also 
during the loosening of the stop of the final consonant 
that is to say, during the transition from the t to silence. 
The 'on-glide' from the vowel to the t is, on the other 
hand, a voice-glide, the vibration of the chords being main- 
tained till the stop is made. 

160. In French and most of the languages of the South of 
Europe voiceless consonants are generally followed by voice- 
glides. Thus in French qul there is 110 escape of breath as 


in the English key. Nearly the same pronunciation may be 
heard in Scotch. 

161. Some of the languages of the North of Europe have 
breath on-glides before voiceless stops, as if t, k, &c., were 
preceded by a h. 

162. If an independent strong stress is put on the breath- 
glides after the consonants in such words as two, key, they 
are heard almost as full consonants as weak )> and x 
respectively. Such consonants are said to be ' aspirated '. 
Initial voiceless stops are regularly aspirated in Irish- 
English and in Danish. Sanskrit and Old Greek kh, Hi, pli 
were no doubt pronounced in the same way as, indeed, 
they still are in India. 

163. The voice-glide after the voice-stops g, d, &c., may 
be emphasized in the same way, giving the 'sonant aspirates' 
gh, tli. &c., of Sanskrit. 

164. Voice consonants between vowels in English, as in 
other languages, have both their on- and off-glides voiced, 
as in ago, where the chords vibrate continuously throughout 
the whole word. But if a voice stop in English is not pre- 
ceded by a vowel or other voiced sound, as when go ! is 
uttered by itself, it is not voiced throughout, the chords 
being only gradually brought together, so that full voice is 
not heard till just before the transition to the vowel. So 
also with buzzes (voiced hiss consonants), as in meal. When 
these latter consonants come at the end of a word and are 
not followed by voiced sounds, they have full vocality only 
at the beginning, so that they end with something between 
voice and whisper, as in case compared with easy. In French 
and many other languages such consonants preserve their 
full vocality in all positions. 

165. Glideless combinations remain to be considered. 
The principle of taking the shortest cut between sounds in 
juxtaposition necessarily results in certain transitions being 
effected without any glide at all. This is regularly the case 


when the two sounds are consonants having the same place, 
and differing only in form as in and, halt, where the point 
of the tongue remains unmoved throughout the two con- 
sonants, the transition from the n to the d being effected 
simply by opening the passage into the nose, and that from 
1 to t by opening the passages at the sides of the tongue, 
and opening the glottis at the same time. In such combina- 
tions as mf the slight glide between the two consonants is 
in most languages got rid of by assimilating the place of the 
first consonant to that of the second : thus in English 
nymph the m is a lip-teeth instead of a pure lip-nasal. 

166. Even when consonants are formed in quite different 
places, it is often possible to join them without any glide. 
In English, stop-combinations are glideless, as in active, apt, 
robbed, headpiece, the second stop being formed before the 
preceding one is loosened. In French and most other lan- 
guages such combinations are separated by a breath or voice 

167. Combinations of soft consonants with other con- 
sonants, whether hard or soft, are glideless in most lan- 
guages, as in English try, quite, glow, bulb. In English the 
breath-glide after a stop in such a word as try unvoices the 
first half of the following soft consonant, so that try might 
almost be written trh-rai. 

168. Vowel- glides. Vowels are begun and ended in 
various ways. 

In the ' gradual beginning ', which is the usual one in 
French and English, the glottis is gradually narrowed while 
breath is being emitted. Thus in pronouncing aa with 
gradual beginning the glottis begins to close at the same 
moment that the tongue begins to move from the neutral 
mixed position into the mid-back one. In the 'clear' 
beginning the breath is kept back till the chords are in the 
position for voice and the tongue is in the position for he 


vowel, so that the vowel begins at once without any of 
the preparatory ' breathiness ' of the gradual beginning. In 
German the clear beginning is generally exaggerated into 
a glottal stop. 

169. In the gradual as well as the clear beginning the 
stress begins on the vowel itself. If in the former the 
stress begins on the breath glide, this glide is felt as an 
independent element, just as in the aspiration of consonants 
( 162), and becomes the ' aspirate ' h, which in its ordinary 
English form is a glide both in the throat and in the 

170. Some languages have a * strong aspirate ', in which 
the full position for the following vowel is assumed at the 
moment when breath begins to be emitted, the aspirate in 
this case being simply a voiceless vowel, so that, for instance, 
bii with the strong aspirate sounds almost like Qii and 
haa like xaa. The strong h may be heard in American 

171. In most languages, when an aspirate comes between 
voiced sounds, it is formed with ' half -voice ' or imperfect 
vocality. Thus in English behold! compared with hold! 
the chords vibrate throughout the whole word, but their 
vibration is so feeble during the h that the contrast of this 
weak vocality with the full vocality of the other sounds is 
enough to produce the effect of aspiration. In the emphatic 
aha!, on the contrary, the glottis is opened enough to let 
out a distinct puff of air, instead of merely relaxing its 
closure, as in half-voice. 


172. English, like all other languages, uses only a part of 
the general phonetic material. It has only a limited number 
of sounds. If we compare the English of the present day 
with the English of King Alfred, we shall find that many 
of the sounds of Old English have been lost in the present 
Standard English, some of them being still preserved in the 
dialects. On the other hand, the later English has developed 
many sounds of its own, some only within the last few 
centuries, such as the vowels B, aa. Again, each language 
and each period of a language makes, or may make, a dif- 
ferent use of the synthetical distinctions of quantity, stress, 
and intonation. Thus in the Middle English of Chaucer, 
consonants written double were still pronounced double, as 
in sonne sunna, 'sun,' distinct from sone suna, 'son,' the 
nn in the former being pronounced as in our penknife. We 
do not know what the intonation of Alfred and Chaucer 
was, but it may have been very different from ours as well 
as from that of each other. 

173. Present English has therefore its own national 
sound-system, differing in many respects from that of 
Middle English, and still more from that of Old English ; 
although, on the other hand, it has preserved more or 
less faithfully many of the characteristics even of Old 
English, such as the old original pronunciation of w, 
lost in the other Germanic languages. Present English has 
also preserved the Old English J>, (S, which, again, are lost 
in the other cognate languages, except Icelandic. 

174. Each national sound-system shows certain general 
tendencies which control the formation of its sounds, con- 


stituting its organic basis (basis of articulation). The 
general tendencies of present English are to flatten and 
lower the tongue, and draw it back from the teeth, the lips 
being kept as much as possible in a neutral position. The 
flattening of the tongue makes our vowels wide, and favours 
the development of mixed vowels. It also gives a dull 
character to our sounds, which is especially noticeable in 
the 1. The retraction of the tongue gets rid of point-teeth 
consonants. The neutrality of the lips has eliminated the 
front-round vowels. 

175. But these tendencies are not carried out uniformly. 
Thus the desire of distinctness has preserved the point-teeth 
consonants J>, tS. 


176. The great rapidity with which sounds follow each 
other in speech naturally leads to a more or less conscious 
attempt to make the necessary transitions as easy as possible. 
We have already seen that the principle of taking the 
shortest and most direct path from one articulation to 
another naturally leads to modifications of these articu- 
lations ( 165). This tendency exists in all languages, but 
some carry it out more fully than others. English is one of 
those languages in which the sounds are, on the whole, but 
little liable to be influenced by their phonetic surroundings. 
The effects of sound-junction in English are trifling com- 
pared with the changes effected in French by its liaisons, 
and the still more marked modifications due to the con- 
sonant-mutations in Welsh, and the sandhi (putting-together) 
of Sanskrit. Many of the English changes are, like the 
French liaisons, only negative, involving not sound-change, 
but sound-loss : certain sounds are dropped in certain posi- 
tions and under certain circumstances, preserved in others. 

177. Sandhi in Sanskrit is of two kinds, internal and 
external ; the former deals with sound-changes within words, 


the latter with the changes which are the result of the 
junction of the final sound of one word with the initial 
sound of the next. The natural tendency of language is to 
carry out all these changes without regard to word-division, 
which, as we have seen ( 142), is not really a phonetic 
phenomenon. Thus the English change of m before f 
into a lip-teeth consonant is in natural speech carried out 
uniformly whenever the two consonants are run together 
without any pause, no matter whether they belong to the 
same word or not. And so we have internal sandhi in 
comfort, external sandhi in come forth, I saw him fall. 

178. But, on the other hand, all languages show a reac- 
tion against this natural development a reaction which is 
the equally natural result of the striving after clearness of 
expression and distinctness, and the consequent desire 
to preserve the individuality of each word by giving it one 
invariable form in all its combinations with other words. 
One of the reasons why English generally gets rid of sandhi 
long before it produces marked changes and divergencies 
in the forms of words is that its brevity makes it necessary 
for the language to preserve the individuality of its words as 
much as possible. 

179. The extent to which any one language develops 
sandhi, and the form that development takes, depends on 
the phonetic structure of the language. One, for instance, 
in which every consonant is separated from every other 
consonant by a vowel, or in which every word begins with 
a consonant and ends with a vowel, would not have the 
same temptation to develop sandhi either internal or 
external, as the case might be as one in which harsh and 
difficult consonant-groups are frequent, as in English. And 
yet, although in everyday speech we find it difficult not to 
yield to the temptation to make fifths and sixths into fifes 
n sikss, with a lengthened s instead of J>s, we cannot 
regard these pronunciations as normal ; in all moderately 


careful speech we always at least make an effort to pronounce 

180. But there is a distinct tendency in English to drop 
the middle one of three consecutive consonants even when 
there is no special difficulty in their sequence. In fact, this 
is often more an acoustic than an organic change, the middle 
consonant being dropped mainly because it does not strike the 
ear distinctly, through being a repetition of its neighbour, 
as in the las(t) time, an ol(d) dog, or formed in the same 
place, as in beas(t)ly, I don'(t) know. 

181. Liability to sandhi is often the result of other 
phonetic changes, such as the English tendency to shorten, 
obscure, and then drop weak vowels, by which, for instance, 
Old English hlafas and fiscas became in Middle English 
looves and fisshes looves and fljjes, and then loovez and 
fijez, whence the present louvz an fijiz loaves and fishes, 
the weak vowel having been restored in the last word 
because of the difficulty of pronouncing fijz. In such 
a case as this the difficulty amounts practically to an 

182. In the Modern English forms of such Middle English 
plurals as cattes, sJiippes the difficulty of pronouncing final 
tz, pz was got rid of by glottal assimilation. The natural 
phonetic change would have been to make ksetz, Jipz into 
ksedz, Jibz ; but as this would have obscured the identity 
of the words, the assimilation was reversed by unvoicing 
the final consonants. So also in blest compared with the 
older disyllabic Uessed and disyllabic beloved compared with 
the longer form beloved. 

183. But the influence of sound-junction is not always in 
the way of causing change : it is often conservative, change- 
preventing, as in the preservation of the full vocality of 
consonants between vowels ( 164). 

184. A frequent cause of sound-change in many languages 
is the tendency of nasal consonants to assimilate the place 


of their formation to that of the adjoining consonants, 
especially if the consonant is a stop. In English, such pro- 
nunciations as irjkBm income, irjgeidg engage, dourj kea 
don't care, where dount first loses its final consonant and 
then shifts the place of the preceding nasal, are only occa- 

185. The change of sj into J and zj into g in such 
words as sure, nation, measure began already in the second 
half of the seventeenth century, the older pronunciations 
sjuur, nsesesjun, mezjur being still the usual ones at the 
beginning of the century. The parallel development of tj, 
dj into tf, djj, as in nature, verdure, began at the same time. 
Both are now fully established in natural English speech, 
although some 'careful speakers' still try to pronounce 
neitjua, vaadjua. The standard pronunciation neitfa 
was itself originally an artificial revolt against the seven- 
teenth century neetar, which now survives only as a vul- 
garism. In trying to avoid this, some half-educated speakers 
fall into the error of making laughter into laaftfa. We 
still fluctuate between tj, dj and tf, ds; in such words as 
multitude, education. Such pronunciations as tjuwta, indga 
for tjuwta, indja, tutor, India, are Irish rather than 

186. These fluctuations are aided by the English tendency 
to partially front-modify t, d before j in the way already 
described with reference to nj, Ij ( 118). When tj, dj are 
approximated in this way to CKJ, j>j, it is sometimes diffi- 
cult to distinguish them from tf, dg. Even tj with pure 
point t is liable to be confounded with eg through the 
off-glide of the t unvoicing the beginning of the j, CQ 
being similar in sound to tf. 

187. All these changes may be observed also in separate 
words, as in don't you, would you, eight years. When sj, Jj 
meet in separate words, they tend to become JJ ; zj, &j 
being assimilated analogously into 55, as in this year, all 


these years, las(t) year, push you, rouge you. j is often lost 
after tf, dg, as in catch you, oblige you. 

188. The influences hitherto considered are of consonant 
on consonant. Of the influences of consonants on vowels 
the most important are those exercised by r: they con- 
stitute one of the most characteristic features of Modern 

r in English occurs only before a vowel following it 
without a pause, as in hearing, here it is hiarirj, hiar it iz ; 
before a consonant or a pause it disappears : he hears, he is 
here Mj hiaz, hijz hia. In some pronunciations r is 
always dropped at the end of a word whether a vowel 
follows or not : Me it iz. This seems to be an artificial 
reaction against the insertion of final hiatus-filling r after a 
in such groups as India Office, the idea of it, which is frequent 
even in educated speech. The insertion of r after other 
vowels as in Pa isn't in, I sato it in the drawing-room 
drorinrum is quite vulgar. 

189. The influence of r on preceding vowels is twofold : 
(1) it develops a voice-glide, as in hiariij compared with 
Scotch hiirirj, Middle English heringe heerirjga, fire 
faia compared with Middle English fir fiir ; (2) it broadens 
and obscures the vowel, partly by direct influence, partly 
through the influence of the parasitic a. The change of 
e into a, as in star, dark, clerk, from Middle English 
sterre, derk, clerk, goes back to the end of the Middle 
English period itself, the first development of the glide-r, 
to the beginning of the Modern English period (sixteenth 

190. It is to be observed that r has no influence on a 
preceding short vowel when it is itself followed by a vowel in 
the same word : compare car, care, with carry, where a has 
the same sound as in manner, quart with quarrel, where it has 
the same sound as in quality. So also in spirit, merry, furrow, 
sorrow compared with fir, mirth, fier, turn, sore, sort. 


191. In the sixteenth century such words as her, bird, turn 
were still pronounced as they were written, with a distinct 
r, u still preserving the sound it now has in full. 

102. In the next century u = [u] was unrounded in all 
words into [a], which was afterwards broadened into the 
present sound, turn being pronounced with the same vowel 
as up. The e of her, vertue was obscured into a variety of 
the mixed vowel a. There was now so little distinction 
between er, ir, ur when not followed by a vowel in the same 
word that they were soon confounded under ar. But the 
distinction between such words as serf and surf is still kept 
up in some Irish dialects ; and in the older Scotch pronuncia- 
tion these words were still distinguished as serf, sttrf. 

193. In the eighteenth century r and a broadened pre- 
ceding [e] into [se*], as in care, fair compared with name 
[ne*m], fain; and [?] into [a], as in star, hard, earlier 
str, hserd. The same broadening is seen in the present 
pronunciation of such words as bore, boar, floor compared 
with bone, boat, boon. 

194. In present English they have arrested the change of 
ii, uu into ij, uw, as in here, poor hia, pua compared 
with Jieel, pool, besides widening these vowels, and lowering 
them towards e, o. In vulgar pronunciation poor is 
levelled under pore, and sometimes both of these, are further 
levelled under paw. These pronunciations are now begin- 
ning to find their way into educated speech as well. Weak 
eia is often broadened into ea, as in bricklayer briklea, 
and regularly in Sea they arc. In careless speech this 
change as well as the corresponding broadening of cue 
into oa is sometimes carried out in strong syllables as well, 
as in a lower layer a loa lea. 

195. The pronunciation of poor as paw is an extreme case 
of the absorption of the a by a preceding broad or mixed 
vowel, a necessarily disappears after aa, as in stir staa, 
staarirj. staar it, and aa which, as we have seen (91), is 


really aa as in far, starry faa, staari. Father and farther 
are both pronounced alike ; and the r which many un- 
phonetic observers persist in hearing in the latter word is, 
of course, only the a, which is just as distinct in father, o 
also ends in a mixed vowel ; but as this vowel is rounded, 
there is no difficulty in adding an a to it. Some speakers 
seem to keep the a everywhere except before the r itself, 
as in pouring, pour away. Many drop it before a consonant 
in the same word, as in poured, pours. Others also before 
a consonant in another word, as in pour down, and some 
drop it before a pause as well, so that they make no more 
distinction between lore and laiv than the majority of the 
educated do between lord and laud. 

196. r sometimes takes a voice-glide before it to facili- 
tate the transition from a preceding consonant, as in um- 
brella, Gibraltar, where the a after the b in both words is 
too short to constitute a syllable. Such insertions are more 
frequent in vulgar speech. 

197. Shifting of syllabic function is in English as in 
other languages an occasional result of sound-junction. In 
Southern English the words milk and children are hardly 
ever pronounced as they are written. In both of them the 
1 has the syllabic function of a vowel, before which the 
vowel of the former word becomes unsyllabic, while the 
vowel of the latter word is generally dropped : mjlk, tjldran, 
and even mjuk, tjuldran, tfulran, tjuran. 

198. Syllabic shifting is frequent in the diphthong ia, 
which is then made into jaa, a h generally disappearing 
before the j. Even in the pulpit we may sometimes hear 
he that hath ears to hear let him hear pronounced hij tSat hse]> 
jaaz ta jaa let him jaa. 

199. The influence of vowel on vowel is seen in the two 
pronunciations of the and to as tSa, ta before consonants and 
(Si, tu before vowels, the latter being of course the older 
forms : <Sa frend, tSi enimi, ta gou tu iid5ipt. 


200. The hiatus-filling n in an enemy compared with 
a friend is also the older form a weakened one preserved 
before a vowel. We still often write an before juw in 
union, &c., through the tradition of the earlier pronuncia- 
tion iu from Middle English yy. Some still keep this 
pronunciation before weak juw, as in an united Europe, but 
the general tendency is to use a here also. 


201. Perhaps the most characteristic feature of English 
phonology is the extreme sensitiveness of its sounds to 
variations in the degree of stress, giving rise to the varied 
phenomena of gradation. 

202. In fully weak syllables there is a tendency in 
English to modify all vowels in the direction of shortness, 
lowering of high vowels, and mixed position, under which 
is included the out-modification of back, and the in-modinca- 
tion of front vowels. The extreme of weakening is reached 
when the vowel is merged under a, which is itself liable 
to become whispered, and then to be dropped altogether. 

203. Vowels like a which occur only in unstressed 
syllables are called 'weak'. The diphthongs ai and au 
change their first elements into a in unstressed syllables, 
as in ai so -it, aidia, haueva compared with the emphatic 
;ai so it and the full-stressed how. The more important 
of the other weak vowels may be conveniently denoted by 
a superimposed v , which at the same time dispenses with 
the necessity of specially marking them as unstressed. They 
are the lowered 1 in piti, ivent pity, event, and the out- 
back ii, du, 6 in vgelju, zuwluw, soultiu, bktouba value, 
Zulu, solo, October. But all the strong vowels have weak 
forms of their own. Thus the e in insect is slightly higher 
than that in sect, and yet is distinct from i. So also if the two 
vowels in aebstraekt abstract are isolated and lengthened, 


the weak one will be found to be an approximation to a 
both in position and sound. It is hardly necessary to mark 
the distinction in these rarer cases, as it is generally implied 
by the weak stress. 

It must be clearly understood that 'weak ' as opposed to ' strong ' 
implies a definite change of articulation : if a strong vowel under- 
went no change when unstressed, it would be a weak-stressed but 
not a weak vowel. 

204. The degree of obscuration of the English vowels 
depends to some extent on the rapidity with which they are 
uttered. In very rapid and careless speech I may sometimes 
be lowered and retracted so much as to make it difficult to 
distinguish it from a, as in the ending -able, -ible in such 
words as possible. 6 is liable to be unrounded and merged 
in a. Thus or is pronounced oa, o, 6, a according to the 
degree of emphasis that is given to it. Most weak vowels 
are liable to change into a, although such pronunciations 
as ja for ju you and J6a, jd your, fela for fe!6u felloio 
border on the vulgar, even if they often pass unnoticed in 
rapid and indistinct speech. 

The distinction between strong and weak is therefore a 
relative one ; thus 6v is strong as compared with av, which 
again is stronger than a ( 207). 

205. Weak stress often causes dropping of consonants as 
well as vowels. Weak initial h is kept only at the begin- 
ning of a sentence, as in hlj so Im Tie saw Mm. The h is 
of course restored in the strong emphatic forms, as in hij 
so haa, an Jij so him Tie saiv Tier, and she saw Mm. Many 
educated and many more half-educatedspeakers make 
a point of keeping the h everywhere. Most of them suc- 
ceed only partially, forcing out the weak h with a painful 
effort when speaking slowly, and dropping it as soon as they 
are off their guard. The dropping of weak h is as old as 
the time of King Alfred ; it by the side of Tie is simply the 


Old English weak form which supplanted the strong form 
hit, because the neuter pronoun seldom required to be 
emphasized, and so the strong form fell out of use. Weak 
h is often dropped in the second element of compounds, 
as in household, Birmingham, and other names in -ham, 
where, however, the h has often corrupted the pronun- 
ciation, as in Leivisham luifam, Eltham elj>am. 

206. The d of and is generally dropped before conso- 
nants, especially hard consonants, as in noiv and (an) then, 
better and letter, the vowel being often dropped as well, 
especially in familiar combination such as bread and butter, 
the nasal being often assimilated in place to the preceding 
consonant, as in cup and (m) saucer, Jcnife and fork with 
lip-teeth m. 

207. Other consonant-droppings occur in careless speech. 
Thus av of often becomes a before consonants, the word 
being, indeed, written o in o'clock, and some other tradi- 
tional phrases, showing that this, like many other weak 
forms, is not a mere modern vulgarism. Weak must and 
St. = Saint generally drop their final consonants before 
another consonant, as in ai mas gou, sn dgonz wud. 

208. The careless, almost vulgar am for $em them is 
probably a weakening not of this form, but of the Middle 
English Jiem ' them '. 

209. The dropping of weak w in the second element of 
compounds and word-groups, which was carried out consis- 
tently in the seventeenth centuiy, survives only in such 
verb-forms as he'd, he'll, for he had, he would, he will, and in 
isolated words such as Greenwich grinidg, towards todz, 
which latter is now being supplanted by the artificial 

210. Those to whom the pronunciation of wh as a breath 
consonant is natural generally make it into w wherever 
weak h is liable to be dropped. 

211. The substitution of J6a, j6az your, yours for the 



older emphatic forms jua, juaz is partly the result of the 
tendency to broaden strong as well as weak u before a 
and r. They are the only words which have weak vowels 
in strong- as well as weak-stressed syllables. The forms joa, 
jo, joz with the full low-back-narrow vowel also occur. 

212. Strong forms, on the contrary, often occur unstressed. 
Thus tSset may have as weak stress as Sat, as in ai nou 
fleet I know that. 

213. Such pairs as Sset and Sat are examples of ' stress- 
doublets '. tSar and Sea, as in 5az nouwen 5ea there is 
no one there, are a further example of how doublets may 
develop into distinct words whose meanings and gram- 
matical functions have nothing in common. 

214. The weak forms of verbs and prepositions with a 
or a dropped vowel occur only when they are followed with- 
out a pause by the word they modify or belong to ; if they 
come at the end of a sentence, they assume the medium or 
unstressed strong form ; before a parenthetic insertion they 
take strong stress as well : hlj z hia, ai nou ij :iz he is 
here, I know he is, ai kan duw It, at lijst ai ;J>irjk ai :ksen 
I can do it, at least I think I can, whot a ju. J>irjkirj 6v 
compared with ai }>ot av it I thought of it, hlj iz, :if ai 
:mei bi eland ta sei sdu, misteikn he is, if I may be allowed 
to say so, mistaken. 

215. There is also a tendency to substitute the strong for 
the weak form when the latter is followed by another weak 
form, as when a preposition is followed by an unemphatic 
pronoun. Thus although we say ai }>ot av it with two 
consecutive weak forms, we generally avoid such a colloca- 
tion as ai v ktjrn far it : we say rather ai v kern f6r It, 
although of course f6r is here only a ' half-strong ' form as 
compared with for. In such combinations the preposition 
often takes not only the full strong form but also medium 
or strong stress, as in it s a maetar av indifrans :tuw mlj 
it is a matter of indifference to me. 


216. Of course any weak word can assume the strong 
form if it is emphasized or followed by a pause. Even such 
words as and and the can thus be made into send and tSij. 
Many speakers habitually use stressless, unemphatic send 
in slow speech at the beginning of a sentence who would 
never introduce it into such groups as here and there. 


WE will now enumerate the sounds of standard, that is, 
educated, undialectal English, without, of course, attempt- 
ing to fix an absolutely rigid norm. 

217. The vowels are as follows : 

B. Outer mid-back-narrow [ai-], mid-out-back-wide [CP], 
both of which are also written more conveniently a 
whenever there is no fear of confusion with the short of 
the aa in father: up, tvorry, unjust, rough, flood. Of the 
two pronunciations of this vowel, the former is the older 
and the more widely spread, so that it has every claim to be 
regarded as the standard one ; but the two are so alike that 
it is difficult even for a trained ear always to discriminate 
them with certainty. Some speakers certainly use the 
two indifferently. But they always preserve strictly the 
narrowness of the one and the wideness of the other. If 
the former is widened, it gives a thin sound, as distinct 
from aa as it is from ; and the narrow [as] is 
an equally un-English sound using English in the sense 
of Standard English. B in medium-stressed syllables, as 
in the second of humbug and the first of ulterior, is not 
perceptibly modified ; when fully unstressed, as in pugna- 
cious and the second syllable of hubbub, it often becomes 
indistinguishable from 3. 

aa. Mid-back-wide + mid-mixed-wide [ae] : baa, fast, half, 
bar, barred, bard, starry, clerk, lieart. The after-glide would, 
of course, be suppressed in singing ; nor is it universal even 
in Southern English. Weak aa is almost short in such 
words as aha, sarcastic. 


ai. Mid-out-back-wide + lowered high-front-wide [aat-r] : 
eye, try, buy, mile, sign, sighed, height, aisle. When weak it 
becomes ai with [e] as its first element: idea, graphite. 
In the triphthong aia the i is often further lowered and 
retracted : fire, lyre, crier, higher, wiry, fiery. In the weak 
aia the second a becomes almost inaudible : irate, ironical. 

au. Low -mixed-wide + mid-mixed-wide-round [ad] : now, 
house, howl, doubt. Weak au: however, compound, adj. 
aua : hour, flour, flower, flowery, allowance, coward. 

a. Mid-mixed-wide [e] a little lowered : upon, adversity 
suppose, concern, sofa, better, asylum asailam, cupboard 
k/ebad, harmony, Saturday ssetadi. In rapid speech this 
vowel often becomes a mere murmur or voice-glide without 
any definite configuration. 

aa. Low-mixed-narrow [a] : err, sir, furry, burn, earth, 
hurt, word. Shortened when weak : perverted, fertility, 
adverse, proverb. In rapid speech weak aa is liable to be 
shortened, raised, and widened in various degrees, till at 
last it is merged into a. 

i. High-front-wide [i], generally lowered more or less, 
and often slightly retracted as well : ill, irritate, hymn, sieve, 
busy, guilt. There is a tendency to retract i into the inner 
or in position after r preceded by another consonant 
( 103). Weak i is lowered and retracted ; those who 
lower the strong i, lower i still more: efficient, deception, 
invent, embody, pity, many, merit, women, village, miniature 
minltja, Israel izrial. In rapid speech i is liable to be 
confounded with a in certain collocations ; but a constant 
substitution of a for 1 in such words as it, village is 

ii. High-front-wide + the same raised [M X ], which may 
be expressed by ij : see, sea, mean, grief, fatigue, people. 
Although the pure monophthongic narrow [i*] pronuncia- 
tion of this vowel is not the usual one in the South of 
England, it does not sound dialectal, but rather refined 


by contrast with the broader vulgar pronunciation which 
makes lady into lydy, and see almost into say. Pretonic 
weak ii is somewhat shortened in such words as equality, 
precede, create, while in other words it generally becomes 1, 
as in eternity, reality, siesta. In ia the first element is 
always wide, and generally lowered still more in the weak 
la : here, hear, cheer, idea, weary, real, theatre, weird, museum ; 

e. Mid-front-wide [e], also low-front-narrow [se], which 
when slightly raised is very similar in sound : any, ate, 
head, says, ten, bury, berry, friend. Weak e is raised 
a little : insect, stipend, pestiferous. Pretonic weak e often 
becomes I, and sometimes disappears almost entirely : 
severity, cessation, mendacity. 

ei. Mid-front-wide + lowered high-front-wide [ei-*] : eh, 
say, veil, name, break, straight. The first element is narrow 
in the North of England. But this pronunciation is not 
felt to be dialectal : the essential feature of the sound is 
that it is always diphthongic, although the rise of the tongue 
is often very slight, especially in weak ei: railway, name- 
sake, chaotic, eia, as in layer, gayer, players, is apt to 
become ea in careless speech, especially when weak, as in 
bricklayer ( 194). 

ea. Low-front-narrow + mid-mixed-wide [see] : air, fair, 
fare, bear, mayor, scarce, Baird. When weak the first 
element is slightly raised : therein, somewhere, bricklayer. 

Low-front-wide [ce] a little retracted: add, axe, carry, 
man, thresh, plait. Weak 88 is a little raised: alpaca, 
abstract, adj. 

u. Outer high-back-wide-round [MI-] : fuU, put, hook, 
woman, could. Weak u is sometimes kept unchanged, 
sometimes advanced into the out position [MO], Broad Komic 
u : hurrah, influential, into (before a vowel, 199). ii is 
liable to further weakening into a, as in instrument, and to 
be absorbed by an adjoining 1, as in fulfil, useful flfll, juusfl. 


uu. Outer high-back-wide-round + the same vowel over- 
rounded [w-wo], which is practically equivalent to uw : 
two, pool, truth, group, fruit, juu is felt as a simple vowel: 
yew, youth, unit, Tuesday, suit, tube. What has been said of 
the monophthongic narrow pronunciation of ii applies also 
to this vowel ; intermediate pronunciations with the first 
element half narrow and almost imperceptible over-rounding 
of the second may be heard in Southern English. The less 
stress uu has, the more its first element is moved forward in 
the mouth, and the less distinct the second element becomes, 
as in judicious, unite, absolute, till at last nothing is left but 
u, as in value, virtue, educate, or a, as in regular, the a 
being dropped before another a, as in valuable veeljabl. 

ua. Outer high-back-wide-round -f mid-mixed-wide [we'] : 
poor, sure, tourist, gourd ; ewer, pure, during, dual. Weak 
ua tends to became ua, and to drop the a as in gradual, 
duration, the ii being sometimes further weakened into a, 
as in penury, ua, ua lower their first element towards the 
mid position in some pronunciations. 

o. Low-back-wide-round [o] : honour, not, salt, quarrel, 
laurel, knowledge. Weak 6 is the corresponding out vowel 
[33] : October, prosperity. 

o. Low-back-narrow-round + mid-mixed-wide-round [oo] : 
awe, saw, all, story, pause, cough, broad ; order, court, warm. 
Weak o is somewhat shortened and advanced towards 
the out position : already, authentic, portentous, importation, 
landau, oa : boa, bore, oar, more, door, four. Weak oa 
undergoes the same changes as weak o, the a often 
becoming almost inaudible : foresee, therefore. 

ou. Outer mid-back-wide-round + the same with high 
rounding [oi-oi-)] : oh, no, oak, soul, growth. The first 
element is narrow in the pronunciation of the North of 
England a pronunciation which is not felt to be dialectal, 
and, indeed, mostly passes unheeded. The close monoph- 
thongal [o*] is distinctly dialectal or foreign. The weak 


6u advances the first element to the out position, and 
makes the second almost or quite inaudible: coincide, 
poetical, heroine, heroes, solo, follow. 6u is often substituted 
for strong on ; to those who have not this pronuncia- 
tion it sounds affected and effeminate, erne: lower. 6ua: 

oi. Outer mid-back-wide-round + lowered high-front-wide 
[(MT] : ~boy, oil, coin, hoist. In some pronunciations the first 
element is lowered almost to [o*]. In weak 6i the first 
element is advanced to the out position : envoy, turmoil. 
oia : employer, joyous. 

218. The following are the consonants of Standard 
English : 

h. Aspirate or breath-glide ( 169) : hard, he, who, upliold, 
aha', behold, abhor. 

k. Back-stop : call, cart, cat, kill, quell, axe, ache. 

g. Back-stop-voice : garden, gall, log, gig, egg, anger. 

T). Back-nasal-voice : singing, sink, tongue, longer. 

j. Front-open-voice: yes, union, hallelujah, vignette. hj,as 
in hue, human, becomes q in Northern English. 

t. Point-stop, nearly blade-stop, which applies also to the 
three next : ten, tight, too, enter, art, hit. t> in eighth, tj in 

d. Point-stop-voice : do, did, add, under, width d>, due dj. 

n. Point-nasal-voice : no, knee, own, hand, ninth m-, India 


1. Point-divided-voice: little, all, hill, field, wealth 1>, 
value Ij. 

r. Inner-point-open-voice : ray, row, rhetoric, rearing, very. 
It is a defect to trill r, although this is sometimes done in 

Jj. Point-teeth : thin, thought, throw, tJnvart, ether, earth. 

6. Point-teeth-voice : then, thither, with, soothe. 

s. Blade-open : so, cease, scene, psalm, hiss, quartz. 

z. Blade-open-voice : zeal, easy, scissors, cleanse, puzzle. 


J. Blade-point-open : she, shred, mission, ocean, nation, fish. 
Less retracted in tj, nf, If: church, fetch, question, culture; 
branch, mention ; Welsh, convulsion. 

5. Blade-point-voice : measure, seizure, rouge. Less re- 
tracted in dg, lg : judge, large, soldier. 

p. Lip-stop : peep, happy, stop, lamp. 

b. Lip-stop-voice : bee, baby, ebb, amber. 

m. Lip-nasal-voice : may, lamb, calm, timber. Lip-teeth- 
nasal-voice : nymph, Banff. 

wh. Lip-back-open : why, when, which. 

w. Lip-back-open-voice : we, witch, one, square. Weak w 
has diminished rounding ( 114): forward, northward, 

f. Lip-teeth-open : few, fife, phrase, rough, left. 

v. Lip-teeth-voice : view, vivid, five, valve. 


219. Phonetics in a wider sense is something more than 
the science of speech-sounds and the art of pronunciation. 
It includes also voice-production ; which, again, is the 
foundation of elocution and singing. These two latter sub- 
jects are, however, only partially comprised under the 
science of speech-sounds even in its widest meaning : they 
stand to it much in the same relation as the practical study 
of languages does. And although voice-production is really 
a part of the science of speech-sounds, it is most convenient 
to separate it from phonetics, and make a special study of 
it in conjunction with the other two, of which it is the 

220. The essential difference between phonetics in the 
narrower sense of the word and voice-production is that the 
former aims only at correctness of pronunciation, while the 
latter is concerned mainly with the quality of the voice. 
Two natives may speak their own language with an equally 
correct pronunciation, but the voice-production and elocution 
of the one may be better than that of the other ; and a 
foreigner or provincial speaker who is unable to pronounce 
correctly may be a still better elocutionist : his voice may 
carry further and with less effort, its tone may be clearer, 
and more resonant and harmonious. 

221. These qualities of the voice which are even more 
important in song than in speech depend mainly on the 
way in which the vocal chords are made to vibrate. This 
again depends on the voice-register which is employed : in 


the lower of these, the ' thick ' or chest register, there is 
more vibration than in the higher, the 'thin' or head 
register, which in men's voices is called 'falsetto'. The 
voice-trainer, whether in speech or song, has further to take 
into account the natural differences between the voices of 
men on the one hand, and the higher-pitched voices of 
women and children on the other, together with the classi- 
fication of the different voices according to their natural 
height and compass as bass (contralto), baritone (mezzo- 
soprano), tenor (soprano), and the subdivisions of these. 
All this does not directly concern the phonetician : to him 
a given vowel remains the same whether it is uttered by 
a man or a woman, whether it is produced with good or 
bad tone. 

222. In one respect, however, phonetics really works hand 
in hand with elocution, and that is in developing distinct- 
ness of articulation. It is not necessary that the teacher of 
phonetics should insist specially on this point : the know- 
ledge of the organic movements, and the conscious practice 
of them naturally tends to give them greater strength and 
decision. No practical phonetician, however bad the quality 
of his voice-tones may be, ever articulates his consonants in 
a slovenly and indistinct manner. Distinctness of pronuncia- 
tion is thus the common property of phonetics and elocution. 

223. Correctness of pronunciation, on the other hand, is, 
as we have seen, a specially phonetic, not an elocutionary 
question. And yet there is none on which elocutionists are 
more ready to dogmatize than on this. Most of them attach 
as much or even more importance to correcting what 
they assume to be defects of pronunciation in their pupils as 
to improving their voice-production. 

224. They are seldom content with attacking vulgarisms 
and provincialisms ; they make war on principle on all col- 
loquialisms, although, of course, they find it impossible to 
get rid of them in practice. They ignore gradation and the 


obscuration of unstressed vowels ; the general result of 
which is that the pupil is forced to acquire an artificial elo- 
cutionary language distinct from that of everyday life. His 
elocution suffers from this in many ways. The constant 
effort to avoid falling back into natural habits of speech 
robs his delivery of all freshness and freedom, the very 
muscles of his throat partake of the general rigidity, and the 
purity of his tone is impaired. Even when the artificial 
habits by long practice become a second nature, the result 
is always unpleasing, because it is artificial and unnatural. 

225. It has often been argued that by giving an artificial 
distinctness to weak sounds, as in the orthographic pronunci- 
ation of our dictionaries, we make the words more distinct. 
It is of course true that in themselves such words as send, 
tuw, foa are more sonorous, and in so far more distinct, 
than n, ta, fa, but it does not necessarily follow that the 
context is made more intelligible by substituting an unex- 
pected strong form for the natural weak one. In fact, the 
contrary is so much the case that misunderstanding may 
arise from such substitutions. Thus in the sentence I shall 
be at home from one to three the substitution of tuw for ta 
at once suggests a confusion between the preposition and 
the numeral. So also by making stmdi into sundei we 
only incur the risk of being understood to say that we will 
come some day instead of on Sunday. The truth is that we 
cannot make words more distinct by disguising them. 
Another disadvantage of this artificial pronunciation is that 
it often gives a false or exaggerated emphasis, as in bred 
send bata, which seems to imply ' bring me bread, and 
don't forget the butter ! ' 

226. Another argument sometimes adduced in favour of 
artificialities of pronunciation is that they improve the lan- 
guage by making it more sonorous or more harmonious. 
There is no doubt something in this. Where the standard 
dialect admits a variety of pronunciations, it is not only 


allowable but desirable to select that one which is prefer- 
able either in itself or through its associations. Thus in 
singing, no one would hesitate in preferring monophthongic 
ii and uu to ij and uw, and reducing the diphthongiza- 
tion of ei and ou to a minimum, and in preferring the 
narrow to the wide pronunciation of their first elements ; 
and the same applies also, though less stringently, in the 
case of elocution. And then we can go a step further, and 
restore an extinct, or introduce a dialectal pronunciation, as 
when the Germans insist on the point-trill r instead of the 
back sound, which is now universal in educated German 
speech. The German elocutionists follow the singers in 
theory, but not always in practice ; in fact, the point-r is 
intolerable in any German declamation which is at all collo- 
quial in subject. The difficulty with this is to know where 
to stop. If the elocutionists followed the singers in substi- 
tuting the Italian a for se, why not go a step further, and 
get rid of the still uglier vowel in come by returning to the 
older pronunciation and restoring the full u ? If this kind 
of thing were carried out consistently, the result would be 
a language which in many respects would be better than 
the existing English but it would no longer be English ; 
it would hardly be intelligible. And even if the changes 
stopped far short of this, they would still give the impression 
of unreality and insincerity which always accompanies arti- 

227. But we must not go to the other extreme of insisting 
on the retention of the colloquial pronunciation in all elo- 
cution without regard to differences of subject and style. 
It is not only in poetry that the retention of the shortened 
forms of colloquial speech is often impossible ; these forms 
would often produce an equally jarring, incongruous, or 
even ludicrous effect in elevated prose, free as it is from the 
constraint of metre. Foreigners who begin with going to 
the other extreme of saying it iz ei fain del tuwdei when 


they have once practically mastered the principles of grada- 
tion, and have learnt to obscure the weak vowels in a more 
or less natural manner, often make their pronunciation still 
more .uncouth than before when they stand up to deliver 
a formal address perhaps even to preach a sermon ! full 
of ain'ts and shan'ts. Some of them at least become more 
colloquial than the natives, and invent weak forms of 
their own. 

Thus I knew one who pronounced Norwegian knapsack as 
nawiidgan naepsak. 

228. But nothing can shake the fundamental principle 
that all elocution, however far removed it may be from 
the language of ordinary life, must be based ultimately 
on it. 

220. It is not, strictly speaking, the business of the elo- 
cutionist to teach this pronunciation, although he must 
insist on his pupils possessing the natural pronunciation of 
the standard dialect as the indispensable preliminary to 
systematic study. It is not enough that they should be 
able to speak it as a foreign language side by side with their 
native dialect : it must supersede and supplant the latter 
so completely that the standard form of colloquial speech 
becomes habitual to them in everyday conversation, so that 
they speak it without effort and without thought. The only 
way to attain this is to study phonetics under a competent 
teacher who himself speaks the standard dialect, to fix the 
sounds permanently and accurately in the memory by 
extensive reading of phonetic texts, and then to make it all 
into a second nature by constant intercourse with educated 
undialectal speakers. 

230. Of course, as already remarked, a dialectal speaker 
may be as good an elocutionist as one who speaks the stan- 
dard language ; but only in his (the dialectal speaker's) own 
dialect : for no one can speak two dialects with equal ease 


and naturalness ; and the more alike the two dialects are, 
the more difficult it is to keep them apart. He must there- 
fore choose his dialect and stick to it. The choice will 
generally depend on the outward circumstances of his life. 
Thus a Scotchman or Irishman settling permanently in 
London as a lecturer or preacher will naturally try to get 
completely rid of his native dialect, not because he thinks it 
inferior in itself to the standard dialect, but simply because 
it is out of place, and cannot be kept up in its original 
purity if exposed constantly to the influence of another 

231. Such a one will, if he acquires a perfectly easy and 
accurate command of the standard colloquial dialect, be at 
an advantage compared with the native speakers of the latter 
in that he necessarily speaks it in a somewhat idealized 
form : a little more carefully, and with completer freedom 
from local colouring and vulgarisms. 

This, then, is the foundation. 

232. The next principle is, not to depart from this easy, 
natural pronunciation, except where there is a special reason 
for so doing. 

233. If we distinguish generally between a lower and 
a higher style of pronunciation, the latter characterized 
mainly by a more frequent use of full, strong, sounds and 
forms, the question now is to determine the conditions 
which make the latter necessary. 

The most definite requirements are those of poetic form. 

234. In the first place, we must in every case adopt 
a pronunciation which will preserve the syllables intact : 
even in the most colloquial verse we must occasionally sub- 
stitute it iz for it s, even at the risk of marring the collo- 
quial effect ; the responsibility for this falls on the poet, not 
on the reciter. 

235. Eime need not. and, indeed, cannot be taken so 
seriously as metre. No one would think of attempting to 



make such ' printer's rimes ' as lev, grouv, pruuv which 
are, however, for the most part really traditional rimes 
into real rimes ; while every one, on the other hand, 
would as unhesitatingly substitute any pronunciation that 
actually exists, however unfamiliar it may be to him, in 
order to make a perfect rime, or even only a nearer 
approximation to it, unless, of course, it calls forth ludicrous 
or otherwise objectionable associations ; in which case he 
would not hesitate to leave the rime imperfect. With 
such rimes as wind find, it is usual to employ the obsolete 
pronunciation waind ; but it would be quite legitimate, 
and to many ears it would have a more natural and 
better effect to leave the rime imperfect by keeping 
the present pronunciation. To pronounce waind every- 
where in poetry and poetical prose is an unpleasant affecta- 
tion, which must be condemned on the general principle 
of avoiding all unnecessary alterations of colloquial pro- 
nunciation. So also with hover cover. 

236. The question, how far the metre ought to be brought 
out at the expense of sense and expression is a more diffi- 
cult one. 

The initial difficulty here is that no one knows what 
English metre is. Many think they know ; but, unfortu- 
nately, no one else shares that belief : there is no generally 
accepted theory of English verse. It is not only that 
theorists of different schools disagree. Even those who are 
agreed, for instance, that English verse is quantitative and 
capable of being expressed, like music, in terms of bar and 
crotchet, seldom agree in the details of their analysis. And 
it is not a mere question of theory : there is no agreement 
as to the facts themselves. 

237. This is the real difference between the metres of 
English and those of the classical languages. English 
metre is as much founded on stress (ictus) and quantity 
(length of vowels and syllables) as that of Greek and Latin. 


But while in these the language itself supplies with very 
few exceptions a definite and undisputable succession of 
longs and shorts, this is not the case in such a language as 
English, as any one may soon find out by trying to construct 
verses in strict accordance with the rules of classical prosody. 
Not that the natural quantities of the language are without 
influence on the character of English verse ; but the ignoring 
of them, although it may make the verse less harmonious 
and pleasant to the ear, does not definitely destroy its struc- 
ture : there are in English no words the quantity of whose 
syllables makes it impossible to use them in certain metres, 
as is the case in the ' quantitative ' metres par excellence of 
Greek and Latin, and, up to the present day, of Arabic and 
Persian. An inevitable result of the strict dependence of 
verse-quantity on the natural quantities of the language in 
these metres is that the natural stresses of the language 
have to be sacrificed to the verse-ictus, the result being what 
appears to us an intolerable monotony and want of expres- 
sion. It is this which has no doubt led to the substitution 
of the stress basis in all modern European metres : the 
verse-ictus follows the natural stress with consequent more 
or less complete ignoring of the natural quantities not 
only in English, but also in those languages which, like 
Finnish and Hungarian, would lend themselves to strictly 
quantitative metres as well, or even better, than Greek and 
Arabic. Again, there are metrical systems, such as that of 
Old French, in which the natural language supplies to the 
metre only a fixed number of syllables for each line, the 
natural stresses as well as the natural quantities being 
completely ignored by the poet. 

238. We must begin therefore with realizing that English 
verse has no definite laws of form consciously followed by 
its makers. If it has laws of quantity, they are so vague 
that no one has yet been able to formulate them ; even the 
correspondence between ictus and stress is not always 

F 2 


observed ; the number of syllables, though more restricted 
in some of our metres than in others, is never absolutely 
fixed ; even our rimes are not always perfect, although to 
the child and the rustic verse without rime is not verse 
at all. 

239. Hence the same verse may often be read in a variety 
of ways not only with marked differences of quantity, but 
with shiftings of stress and varying number of syllables ; 
and each of these readings may be as good as any of the 
others except from the point of view of some metrical 
faddist, who may be directly contradicted by another of his 
own school. 

240. This vagueness of structure is not a mere accident 
or defect of modern metres : it is required by the hearer 
and deliberately aimed at by the poet. To both of them 
the continued strict repetition of such a metrical scheme as 
that of our heroic verse 

would be intolerable. And the variations in quantity and 
the distribution of pauses which would have contented a 
Greek ear would still leave the verse too monotonous for 
a modern hearer. The modern ear demands not only 
variety, but irregularity one might almost say, licence 
within certain limits ; these limits, again, being as vague 
and subjective as everything else in modern metre. And yet 
the ideally regular standard is always present in the back- 
ground of our consciousness : the poet plays round it, departs 
continually from it, but does not stray beyond a certain 
distance, and every now and then he emphasizes his freedom 
by momentarily submitting to the yoke of strict form. 

241. It follows from this that the more modern, the more 
advanced the poet is, the freer his verse will be ; and the 
same applies to its interpretation by the reader or reciter. 

In the naive recitation the ' routine scansion ' of chil- 


dren and the uneducated everything is sacrificed to metrical 
regularity, as it still is in the quantitative verse of the East, 
the recitation of which is, as has been already observed, 
absolutely devoid of expression. Although the metres of 
our Chaucer are freer than this, they are not so free as those 
of Shakespeare and Modern English generally ; for instance, 
Chaucer's verse shows an unmistakable repugnance to irre- 
gularity in the number of syllables in which it no doubt 
follows French verse and that clash of strong stresses 
which brings Modern English verse a step nearer to prose, 
while adding greatly to its power of expression. 

242. The tendencies of the modern elocutionist are in 
harmony with this development. Not content with avoid- 
ing routine scansion, he often goes out of his way to make 
the metrical structure irrecognizable or, at least, to dis- 
guise it. This revolt against form is carried to an extreme 
in the French recitation of the rimed verse of their seven- 
teenth-century tragedians, in which the metre is not merely 
disguised, but absolutely destroyed by the omission of the 
' mute e ', even the rimes being slurred over as much as 

243. This is all wrong. If we read a poet in the original 
form, and not in a translation or modernization, we are 
bound to carry out his intentions : if he arranges his words 
with the evident object of producing certain effects of metre, 
such as rime and alliteration, we are bound to read his verse 
in such a way that his trouble shall not be wasted. 

244. The first thing, therefore, is to form a clear idea of 
the intentions of the poet. If he writes with the declared 
object of producing something between verse and prose, we 
must either read accordingly, or let him alone. If, like 
a Greek poet, he constructs his verse in such a way as to be 
unmeaning without the interpretation of routine scansion, 
and a to us intolerable sacrifice of expression, we must 
gradually train our dull ears to recognize the infinite variety 


which underlies this seeming monotony. With our own 
Chaucer we do not require this training : our ears recognize 
at once the happy medium that he attains between the 
smooth formality of the ancients and the licence of the 
modern impressionist verse-maker. 

245. With most of our modern poets we have then to 
recognize that they are at least resigned to hear us sub- 
ordinate form to expression, metrical to rhetorical stress in 
declaiming their verse ; while, on the other hand, we may 
be sure that they would be as much disappointed if they 
heard us deliberately destroy any formal effects they had 
taken trouble to create, as Clementi or Mozart would be if 
they heard a modern virtuoso omit any of the trills and 
other ornaments of which they make what may appear to 
a modern ear too lavish a use. 

246. The first principle from this point of view is that 
form should be indicated, but, as a general rule, as unobtru- 
sively as possible, except where some unexpected effect re- 
quires to be prominently brought out, like a discord in music ; 
which, if feebly attacked, becomes unmeaning. All force, 
in particular, should be preserved as much as possible for 
the expression of logical and emotional emphasis. When 
the metre and general structure of the poem have been 
clearly brought out by the reciter in the first few verses, it 
is often allowable to cariy the repression of the form still 
further to approximate the verse still further to prose. 
The extent to which this is carried depends partly on the 
character of the piece, partly on the temperament and taste 
of the reciter. 

247. The limits of the concessions made to sense and 
expression can hardly be defined more definitely than by 
stating the general principle : keep the metre if you can, 
and if you know what it is ; if that is impossible, keep some 
metre. In other woi'ds, abstain from everything that jars 
on the ear, unless it is necessary in order to make the verse 


intelligible as such. The end of the line, in particular, 
should always be clearly indicated, if not by a pause, by 
a more or less marked lengthening of the final syllable. 

248. The nature of English verse makes hesitation and 
compromise inevitable in its recitation. Even the most 
experienced reader can hardly avoid an occasional stumble 
with such artificial metres as those of Evangeline and Locks- 
ley Hall : he simply breaks down in the middle of the line, 
and has to make a fresh start, perhaps only to break down 

We must therefore distinguish between cacophony which 
is the fault of the reciter the result of defective inter- 
pretation on his part and that which is the fault of the 
poet, and for which the reciter is not responsible. All 
that the latter can do with the want of metre in such a 
poem as TJie Grammarian's Funeral is to smooth it over as 
much as possible. 

We now have to consider the conditions, apart from 
poetical form, which make it necessary to substitute a 
higher for a lower style of pronunciation. 

249. The most important of these is speed. Even in 
ordinary conversation, slow, deliberate speech necessitates, 
or at any rate allows of, a much freer use of strong forms 
such as send where they would be quite out of place in 
quick speech. 

250. But it is not generally a mere question of speed. 
We feel also that weak and clipped forms are often incom- 
patible with the gravity and dignity with which slow 
speech is naturally associated. Even in the most elevated 
poetry we may constantly drop the weak h, in such words as 
Ms and Mm, and then we may come to a passage where there 
is no emphasis, ictus, or pause perhaps not even a slacken- 
ing of speed to suggest the substitution of the strong form ; 
and yet the artistic instinct may imperatively demand it. 
So also even in familiar prose such forms as it's and can't 


may jar on our ear so decidedly that we must perforce sub- 
stitute the full forms, even when they sound stilted or even 
positively unnatural: we deliberately prefer this extreme 
to the other extreme of triviality and vulgarity. 

251. Pauses, which are naturally associated with slow- 
ness and solemnity, also bring with them full, strong forms. 
The good elocutionist is always sparing in the use of pauses, 
so as to be able to introduce them with all the more effect 
when really required. 

252. It is in emphasis and sentence-stress, as well as in 
intonation, that the importance of basing elocutionary on 
colloquial usage is most clearly evident. Whenever the 
student is in doubt as to the natural expression to be given 
to some high-flown passage in purely literary language, he 
should paraphrase it into the nearest colloquial form, no 
matter how homely and incongruous it may seem, and then 
transfer the general effect to the passage in question. In 
this way he will avoid exaggeration and unreality on the 
one hand, monotony and mechanical repetition of types of 
expression on the other. 

253. But even here we cannot always afford to be 
perfectly natural. There are passages both in prose and 
poetry, whose length, complexity of grammatical structure, 
or obscure, archaic diction or all these together make them 
unintelligible to the ear unaided by the eye if spoken on 
the basis of normal colloquial synthesis. If, then, an exag- 
gerated, or even downright false emphasis or intonation 
a falling tone after a comma to detach, a rising tone after 
a full stop to connect will make the passage intelligible, 
we must not hesitate to employ it ; for the fault here is not 
with the interpretation, but with the text itself. 


254. The phonetic transcriptions of Modern English 
texts which follow are given only as specimens of a natural 
as opposed to an artificially normalized pronunciation, and 
are not intended to serve as a rigorous standard of correct 
speech a standard which in our present state of knowledge 
it would be impossible to set up ; they are intended rather 
to serve as examples of the facts and principles already 
stated, and as material for practice in the use of a phonetic 


Strong Forms. 

255. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 
ten, eleven, twelve. First, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, 
seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth. Two- 
thirds, three-fourths, four-fifths, five-sixths, six -sevenths, 
seven-eighths, nine-tenths, eleven-twelfths. 

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, 
August, September, October, November, December. 

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 

Spring, summer, autumn, winter. North, south, east, 
west. Years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds. 

Weak Forms. 

256. I intend to go to Ireland at the end of the year. 
What is that? Where does it come from? It comes 

from Germany. What is it made of? Is it made of 
leather? No, it is made of cloth. No, it is not: it is made 
of paper ! I tell you, it is not made of paper ; it is made 
of cloth. 

When I got there, there was no one there. 

We had better go at once ; there is no time to lose. Yes, 
I think we had. 

Was he at church this morning? I suppose he was, 
but I am not sure ; I did not see him. He was there last 

Where is it ? It is here ; at least I think it is. Yes, 
here it is. 

I hope it will be fine to-morrow. I am afraid it will not : 
I expect the weather will not be settled for some time yet. 

Shall you be there too? I hope I shall ; but I am afraid 
I shall not have time. 

We have had to have the house painted. It has not been 


stroi] fomz. 

255. wan, tuw, }>rij, fo(o), faiv, siks, sevn, eit, nain, 
ten, ilevn, twelv. foost, sekand, j?9ad, foj?, fifj?, siksjj, 
sevnj), eitf>, nain]?, ten]?, ilevn]?, twelfj>. tuw }?99dz, 
]?rij fo]?s, fo fif]?s, faiv siks]?s, siks sevn]?s, sevn eitj?s, 5 
nain ten]?s, ilevn twelf]?s. 

dsaenjtiari, februari, maatj, eipral, mei, dsuwn, dsuwlai, 
oggst, saptenib9, oktoubg, nouvembo, disembe. 

sandi, mandi, tjuwzdi, we(d)nzdi, f>88zdi, fraidi, 
ssetgdi. 10 

sprin, sani9(r), otem, winto. no]?, sau}?, ijst, west, 
jioz, nianfs, wijks, deiz, auez, mimts, sekgndz. 

wijk fomz. 

256. 9i intend t9 :gou tu ;aigl9nd 9t Si end 9(v) o jig. 
:whot s Saet? v :whe9 dgz it kam from? v it :kamz 

frgm dsogmgni. :whot iz (or s) it meid 6v? v :iz it :meid 9v 
le$9 ? nou\ it s imeid 9V ;klo}?. nou\ it s not : it s :meid 5 
9V ;peipg ! 91 tel jii, it s ;not :meid 9V peipg ; it ;iz :meid 
9v klo]?. 

when 9i got -tSe9, t5g W9z nouwan t5e9. 

wij d betg :gou 9t ;wans: tS9z nou taim t9 luwz. jes\ 
9i ]?ink wij haed. 10 

-woz (w9z) ij 9t t|99tj Sis :monir) ? 91 S9pouz ij :woz, 
b9t 91 m not jug ; 9i :did nt sij im. hij W9z tSeg ;laast 

iwhegr iz lt? v it s hig ; 9t :lijst 9i ;]?ink it :iz. jes\ 
higritiz. 15 

9i :houp it 1 bi(j) fain t9:moro(u). 91 m gfreid it wount : 
9i ik:spekt Sg wetSgr 9! not bi setld fa sam tnim jet. 

Jol juw bi Sea tuw? 91 houp 9i -JaeF ; bat 91 m gfreid 
9i Jaant (or ai J9l not) -haev taim. 

wij v haed t9 thaev So ;haus ipeintid. it haeznt bijn 20 


done for a long time : it has been put off too long. Better 
late than never. 

I went to him and told him of it. He said he would 
send for it at once. 

Advantages of Phonetics. 

257. The first and most evident advantage of phonetics is 
the independence it gives us. In the first place, it makes 
us independent of residence abroad. Even if the learner 
intends to go to the country where the language is spoken, 
it is a great advantage to him to start with a thorough 
practical knowledge of the sounds in which he is to practise 

Secondly, phonetics makes us independent of native 
teachers. It is certain that a phonetically trained English- 
man who has a clear knowledge of the relations between 
French and English sounds can teach French sounds to 
English people better than an unphonetic Frenchman still 
more, an unphonetic Belgian, Swiss, or Pole who is unable 
to communicate his pronunciation to his pupils, and perhaps 
speaks a vulgar or dialectal form of French himself. 

Again, phonetics enables an intelligent adult to get a 
sound elementary knowledge of the sounds of a foreign 
language without any help from outside that is, if he has 
an adequate phonetic analysis and transcription to work with. 

But the gain of a phonetic grasp of a language extends 
far beyond such special considerations. A secure grasp 
of the sounds of a language is a great strengthening of the 
mastery of its forms and meanings. A minute discrimina- 
tion of similar sounds in closely allied languages is the 
surest safeguard against otherwise inevitable confusions. 

Hence also the literary and aesthetic use of phonetics. 
Phonetics alone can breathe life into the dead mass of 
letters which constitutes a written language ; it alone can 
bring the rustic dialogues of our novels before every intelli- 


:dan far 9 log :taim: it s bijn put of tuw log. beta 
leit San neva. 

ai :went tu im an tould Im 6v it. hij :sed ij d send 
far It at wans. 

advaantidglz av fdunetiks 

257. tSa faast an moust evident advaantlds av founetiks iz 
Si indi;pendans it :givs as. in tSa faast -pleis, it :meiks 
as independent av rezidans abrod. ijvn if tSa laanar 
Intendz ta gou ta tSa kantri -whea Sa laeqgwids Iz spoukn, 5 
it s a greit advaantids tu im ta staat witS a ]?ara 
praektikl nolids av t$a saun(d)z in :whitj ij (i)z ta prsektis 

sekandli, founetiks :meiks 98 indi'pendant av neitiv 
tijtjaz. it s saatn (Sat a founetikali treind ir)gli|man 10 
iiw -haez a klia nolids av tSa rileijanz bi:twijn frenj and 
irjglij saundz kan tijtj frenj saundz tu iqglij :pijpl beta 
t5an an anfounetik frenjman stil moa, an anfounetik 
beldsan, swis, -oa poul huw z an'eibl ta kamjuwnikeit iz 
pranansi'eijan tu iz pjuwplz, an prseps spijks a valgar 5 15 
daialektal fom av frenj imself. 

agen\ founetiks ineiblz an Intelidsant sedalt ta :get a 
saund eli'ment(a)ri nolids av tSa saundz av a forin laerjgwids 
wiSaut eni help fram 'aut'said v t5aet iz, :if ij -(h){ez an 
aedikwit founetlk anaelisis an traen'skripjan ta waak wi?5. 20 

bat tSa gein av a founetik graasp av a laerjgwids iks:tendz 
faa biijond -satj spejal kansida'reijanz. a sikjua graasp 
av t5a saundz av a laerjgwids iz a greit strei)]:(a)nir) av tSa 
maast(a)ri av its fomz an mijnir|z. a minjuwt diskrimi - neijan 
av simila saundz In klousli alaid laerjgwidsiz iz <?a juarist 25 
seifgaad aigenst atSawaiz inevitabl kanfjuwsanz. 

hens :olsou tSa litarari and Ijsf>etik juws av founetiks. 
founetiks aloun kan brijtS laif Inta t?a ded maes av 
letaz whitj konstltjuwts a ritn Iaer)g\vid5 ; it aloun kan 
:brirj tSa rastik daialogz av aua novlz bi-for evri Inteli- 30 


gent reader as living realities, and make us realize the living 
power and beauty of the ancient classical languages in prose 
and verse. 

Phonetics is not merely an indirect strengthener of 
grammatical associations, it is an essential part of grammar 

A knowledge of sentence-stress and intonation is not 
only an essential part of elocution and correct pronuncia- 
tion, but is also an integral part of the syntax of many 

In short, there is no branch of the study of language 
which can afford to dispense with phonetics. 

The Pine Arts. 

258. Because the soul is progressive, it never quite repeats 
itself, but in every act attempts the production of a new 
and fairer whole. Thus, in our Fine Arts, not imitation, 
but creation is the aim. In landscape, the painter should 
give the suggestion of a fairer creation than we know. The 
details, the prose of Nature, he should omit, and give us 
only the spirit and splendour. Valuing more the expression 
of Nature than Nature herself, he will exalt in his copy the 
features that please him. He will give the gloom of gloom 
and the sunshine of sunshine. 


259. As to politeness, many have attempted its definition. 
I believe it is best to be known by description, definition 
not being able to comprise it. I would, however, venture 
to call it benevolence in trifles, or the preference of others 
to ourselves in little, daily, hourly occurrences in the com- 
merce of life. A better place, a more commodious seat, 
priority in being helped at table what is it but sacrificing 
ourselves in such trifles to the convenience and pleasure 
of others ? And this constitutes true politeness. Bowing, 


rijdor QZ livig ri(j)aelitfz, on :meik as rialaiz Sa livig 
pauar on bjuwti ov Si einjont klaesikl laerjgwidsiz in prouz 
on voos. 

founetiks iz not :mioli on indi'rekt strer)]?(9) n8r 8V 
gramsetikal osousi'eijonz, it s on isenjol paat ov graemor 35 

o nolids ov sentonsstres ond intou'neijon (i)z not 
:ounli on isenjol paat ov elo'kjuwjon on korekt pronansi'ei- 
Jon, hot iz :olsou on intigrol paat ov So sintaeks ov meni 
Iserjgwidsiz. 40 

in Jot, So z nou braanj ov Sa stadi ov laerjgwids whitj 
kon ofod to dispens wlS founetiks. 

t5a fain aats. 

258. bikoz tSo soul iz progresiv, it neva kwait ripijts 
it-self, bat in evrl sekt otempts tSa pradakjan ov o njuw 
on feora houl. 8as, in aua fain aats, not imi'teijon, 
bot krijeijon iz tSi eini. in laensk(e)ip, tSa peinto Jod 5 
:giv So sodsestjon ov o feoro krieijon Son wij nou. So 
dijteilz, So ;prouz ov neitja, hij Jad oumit (or omit)\ on :giv 
os ounli So spirit on splendo. veeljuii) mo(o) Si ik;sprejon 
ov neitjo Son neitja hao'self, hij wil igzolt in iz kopi Sa 
fijtjaz Sat plijz im. hij wil :giv Se gluwm av gluwm I0 
an So sanjain ov sanjain. 


259. :aez to po;laitnis, meni ov o:temtid its defi'nijon. 
oi bi:lijv it s best to bi noun boi di;skripjon, defi'nijon 
not -bijirj eibl to kompraiz it. oi wud, (h)au:eva, :ventjo 
to :kol it bi;nevolons in ;traiflz v , 60 So pref(o)rons ov aSoz 5 
tu auoselvz in litl, deili, auoli okaransiz in So kom- 
oos ov laif. o beto pleis, o :moa komoudjos sijt, proioriti 
in -bijir) helpt at teibl whot :iz it bat saekrifaizir) 
aua-selvz in satj traiflz ta Sa kanvijnjans an plesar 
av aSaz? v an ;Sis :konstitjuwts truw palaitnis. bauir), 10 


ceremonies, formal compliments, stiff civilities will never be 
politeness ; that must be easy, natural, unstudied, manly, 
noble. And what will give this but a mind benevolent 
and perpetually attentive to exert that amiable disposition 
towards all you converse and live with? Benevolence in 
great matters takes a higher name, and is the Queen of 

The Burial of Sir John Moore. 

260. Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note, 
As his corpse to the rampart we hurried ; 
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot 
O'er the grave where our hero we buried. 

We buried him darkly at dead of night, 
The sods with our bayonets turning ; 

By the struggling moonbeam's misty light 
And the lantern dimly burning. 

No useless coffin enclosed his breast, 

Not in sheet nor in shroud we wound him ; 

But he lay like a warrior taking his rest 
With his martial cloak around him. 

Few and short were the prayers we said, 
And we spoke not a word of sorrow ; 

But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead, 
And we bitterly thought of the morrow. 

We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed, 
And smoothed down his lonely pillow, 

That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head, 
And we far away on the billow ! 

Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone, 
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him ; 

But little he'll reck if they let him sleep on 
In the grave where a Briton has laid him. 


serimanlz, foml komplimants, stif slvilltiz wil neva -bij 
palaitnis ; Saet mas(t) bij ijzi, naetjaral, 'an'stadid, maenli, 
noubl. an :\vhot wil -giv Sis bat a maind binevalant 
an papetjuall atentiv tii igizaat -Sset eimjabl dispa'zijan 
todz (or tawodz) ol jii(w) kanvaas an liv wiS? v blnevalans 15 
in ;greit imaetaz :teiks a haia :neim\ and iz Sa jkwijn av 

Sa berial av -saa dgon mua. 

260. :not a ;dram waz haad, :not a fjuwnaral nout, 

aez iz kops ta ?Sa raempaat wij harid ; 
:not a souldsa distjaadsd (h)iz feawel Jot 
:oa tSa greiv -whear aua hiarou wij berid. 5 

wij berid im daakll at ded av nait\ 

tSa sodz wiS aua beianits taanlq ; 
bai Sa straglig muwnbijmz misti lait 

en tfo Isentan dimli baanir). 

:nou juwslis kofin inklouzd iz brest, 10 

mot in Jijt nor in fraud wij waund im ; 

bat ij lei laik a woria iteikiq iz rest 
wi$ iz maajal klouk araund im. 

fjuw an Jot wa tSa preaz wij sed, 

an wij spouk :not a waad av isorou; 15 

bat wij stedfastli geizd on ?5a feis Sat waz ded, 

an wij jbitali f>ot av tSa morou. 

wij )?ot, az wij holoud Iz nserou bed, 

an smuwSd :daun hiz lounli pilou, 
Sat Sa fou an Sa streinsa wud tred -or iz hed, 2 o 

and ;wij :faar awei on Sa bilou! 

laitli -t5ei 1 tok av Sa spirit Sat s gon, 

and :or Iz kould aejiz ap'breid Im ; 
bat litl hlj 1 rek :if -Sei let Im :slijp on 

In Sa greiv -whear a ;britn az leid Im. 35 


But half of our heavy task was done 

When the clock struck the hour for retiring ; 

And we heard the distant and random gun 
That the foe was sullenly firing. 

Slowly and sadly we laid him down, 

From the field of his fame fresh and gory ; 

We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone- 
But we left him alone with his glory. 

She walks in beauty. 
261. She walks in beauty, like the night 

Of cloudless climes and starry skies ; 
And all that's best of dark and bright 

Meet in her aspect and her eyes: 
Thus mellowed to that tender light 
Which heaven to gaudy day denies. 

One shade the more, one ray the less 
Had half impaired the nameless grace 

Which waves in every raven tress, 
Or softly lightens o'er her face ; 

Where thoughts serenely sweet express 
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place. 

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow, 

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, 
The smiles that win, the tints that glow, 

But tell of days in goodness spent, 
A mind at peace with all below, 

A heart whose love is innocent. 


:bat ;haaf ev eue hevi taask wez dan 
when $e klok :strak Si aue 9 ritaierir) ; 

ond wij heed $e distent en rsendem gan 
Set Se fou woz salinli faierin. 

slouli en saedli wij leid im daun, 30 

frem Se fijld ev iz feim frej en gori ; 

wij kaavd mot e lain, end wij reizd :not e stoun' 
bet wij left im eloun wi$ iz glori. 

JXj woks In bjuwtl 

261. Jlj woks in bjuwti, :laik ?5e nait 

ev klaudlis klaimz en staari skaiz ; 

end ol Set s best ev daak en brait 

mijt :in (h)eer aespekt -send heer aiz: 5 

:(Sas meloud -tuw -Sset tende lait 
whitj hevn te godi dei dinaiz. 

wan Jeid tfo moe, wan rei Se les 
-hsed haaf impeed tSe neimlis greis 

whitj weivz in evri reivn tres, 10 

-oe softli laitnz :oe -hee feis ; 

-whee f>ots sirijnli swijt ikspres 

-hau pjue, -hau die -tSee dweliqpleis. 

end :on -Saet tjijk, end :oe -tSaet brau, 

sou soft, -sou kaam, -jet eloukwent, 15 

tJe smailz Set win, tfo tints Set glou, 
bet tel ev deiz in gudnis spent, 

o maind et pijs wiS ol bilou, 
9 haat -huwz lav iz inesnt. 

o 2 


262. Phonetics is the science of speech-sounds and the 
art of pronunciation. From this point of view it is a purely 
descriptive science. 

263. But the sounds of language like language itself 
can also be regarded from the historical point of view. 

Thus, after describing and classifying the sounds of such 
a language as Modern English, we may go on to study their 
history. In dealing with the phonetic structure of English 
from the descriptive point of view we have already had 
occasion to trace back the history of some of our sounds to 
the Middle English period. In 191 foil, we have in this 
way been able to find the origin to point out the older 
forms of the vowel aa, and also to explain the phonetic 
changes which gave rise to it. This is phonology : the 
science of sound-changes, of the history and development of 
the sounds, first of special languages, and then of language 
in general. The history of the English vowels is a special 
department of historical phonology. 

264. If after tracing the vowels of Modern English back 
to the Old English period, we then go on to compare the 
Old English vowels themselves with those of the cognate 
Germanic languages Dutch, German, Icelandic, Gothic, 
&c. so as to determine the vowel-sounds of the prehistoric 
Parent Germanic language from which all these were 
developed, each by special changes of its own, historical 
expands into comparative phonology. So also there is a 
still wider comparative phonology of the Aryan languages 
Germanic, Greek, Latin, Sanskrit. &c. by which we are able 


to determine with more or less certainty the vowel-system 
of Parent Aryan. 

266. Then at last we arrive at the conception of general 
phonology, which emancipates itself from the limits of any 
one language or group of languages, and deals with such 
questions as : Why are the sounds of every language liable 
to change from generation to generation ? Are these changes 
the result of defective imitation of the speech of the parents 
by the children, or of imperceptibly gradual shiftings of the 
organic positions by which the sounds are produced ? What 
is the influence of other, more external factors, such as 
acoustic imitation, or analogy? What is the influence of 
race or climate, if any? Are sound-changes the result of 
economy of exertion and laziness, of striving after greater 
distinctness of expression ? and so on. 

266. Phonology is, therefore, a speculative science, dealing 
largely with more or less probable hypotheses. 

267. Nevertheless, we can often determine the pronuncia- 
tion of dead languages with almost complete certainty, at 
least as regards the general character of the language so as 
to be able, for instance, to give a Broad Komic transcription 
of Middle English and Latin pronunciation and often with 
minute accuracy of detail. 

268. In this we are guided by a variety of evidence : 
sound-classifications and descriptions of sounds by contem- 
poraries ; their comparisons with the sounds of other 
languages; phonetic transcriptions, or transcriptions in a 
foreign orthography, whose evidence is the more valuable 
the more phonetic the orthography and the less the 
changes that the sounds have undergone, as when we 
find English come transcribed civm by a Welshman in 
the sixteenth century ; the spelling itself, especially when 
it changes, as when the Old English high-front-round vowel 
y is expressed in Early Middle English orthography by 
the French u ; metre and rime, puns, &c. ; comparison 


by the investigator with the sounds of cognate languages 
and dialects ; general laws of sound-change. It must also be 
borne in mind that individual sounds may be kept unchanged 
for thousands of years : thus it is certain that the English w 
had the same sound in Old English as it has now, the contrary 
hypothesis being, indeed, inconceivable ; and also that this 
was the sound it had not only in Parent Germanic but also 
in Parent Aryan. It will easily be understood that the 
cumulative force of a number of independent proofs is often 
irresistible. Thus the pronunciation of Old English y is 
further confirmed by the facts (1) that it already had the 
same sound in Latin, which we can prove by a variety of 
independent arguments, and (2) that y has the same sound to 
the present day in Danish and Swedish, whose orthographies 
borrowed it from Old English. 


269. In the preceding sections the student has been 
taught how to prepare himself for the study of sounds in 
general by learning to discriminate, symbolize, isolate, and 
analyse those of his own language. 

Even in this elementary stage we cannot ignore general 
phonetics : we cannot understand the English vowels 
without considering their relations to the whole scheme of 
possible vowels. 

But so far, general phonetics has been only a means to an 
end : its principles and its details have been adduced only 
in as far as they explain the phonetic structure of English. 

270. And it is possible to stop short here. Those who 
study phonetics solely as a preparation for English elocution 
will naturally do so. 

The singer, on the other hand, will in most cases aim at 
acquiring a practical command of at least the Italian and 
German sounds. But although his range will be a wider 
one, it need not extend to the whole field of sounds. 

271. The case of the language-teacher is again different. 
Even if he has to deal only with one language whether it 
be his own or a foreign language he cannot successfully 
teach its pronunciation on the basis of a knowledge of the 
sounds of that language only. Thus it is evident that in 
teaching English to foreigners he cannot correct their mis- 
pronunciations without a knowledge of the habits of speech 
which give rise to them. It is also evident that he cannot 
teach the foreigners to deduce English sounds from those of 
their own language without being able himself to recognize 


and analyse the formation of the latter. Even if he teaches 
his own countrymen a foreign language, he may still have 
to reckon with the individual peculiarities, provincialisms, 
and vulgarisms of his pupils. Thus in imparting a correct 
pronunciation of German to a class of speakers of Southern 
English he will have to employ different methods from those 
which would suffice with a Scotch class. 

272. The necessity of a knowledge of general phonetics 
for the scientific student of language, the comparative philo- 
logist, the polyglot linguist, as well as the pathological 
elocutionist, who has to deal with defects of speech, and to 
teach deaf-mutes to speak, is self-evident. 

Practical and Theoretical Study. 

273. The warning in 35 holds good even in the study 
of general phonetics : this also must at first be mainly 

274. Theoretically, of course, the organic study of pho- 
netics is a branch of anatomy and physiology ; while from 
the opposite point of view it is based on that branch of 
physical science known as acoustics, together with the 
anatomy and physiology of the organs of hearing. 

275. Unfortunately, this basis is still so imperfect as 
regards the acoustic side of phonetics that it is not too much 
to say that from the physical science point of view there is 
as yet no science of phonetics at all. The principles of 
acoustics are well established, and much is known about 
the anatomy of the ear. But how the ear transmits to the 
brain the impressions of sound is still as great a mystery 
as ever. And although practical phonetics has made the 
mechanism of the vowels clear enough, there is still no 
generally received acoustic theory of their formation. 

276. But phonetics considered as a branch of physical 
science is a subject of only secondary importance. The real 
function of phonetics is philological and literary : its true 


raison d'etre is to serve as a basis for the study of languages. 
And if we regard phonetics as essentially a linguistic science, 
we shall find that the want of a rigorous scientific basis is not 
such a serious defect after all. 

277. And where the basis exists it is often superfluous. 
This is especially the case with the anatomy and physiology 
of the organs of speech. Thus even the most advanced 
instrumental phonetician finds that, although he ought theo- 
retically to have a thorough knowledge of the anatomy and 
functions of the muscles of the tongue, he can determine 
or fail to determine its positions quite as well without this 

Acquisition of New Sounds. 

278. The first step in the study of general phonetics is 
gradually to enlarge our stock of sounds. We have already 
learnt how to deduce unfamiliar foreign from familiar native 
sounds. But the only sure way of fixing these new sounds 
in the memory is a practical study of the languages in which 
they occur. When differences of meaning hinge on such 
slight distinctions as those between the vowels in men and 
man, or French e and e, the learner is forced to make and 
hear them, and his organic and acoustic sense are both 
trained and developed to the utmost by incessant repetition. 
Nor need this training be gained only from living languages. 
The restoration of the original Latin and Chaucerian pro- 
nunciation is a valuable preparation for and help in the 
practical study of modern languages ; and mistakes in the 
pronunciation of a dead language are less serious. 

279. In this linguistic phonetic training the student 
should by no means confine himself to French and German 
and such other languages as he is obliged to study in detail 
as part of his equipment for his career in life, but should 
seize every opportunity of learning something of every lan- 
guage that comes in his way. Even if he has only a month 


or two to give to Welsh, Russian, Arabic, as the case may 
be, it is always worth his while to acquire a general know- 
ledge of its structure, to read through a certain number of 
texts, giving, of course, special attention to the sounds and 
their synthesis. 

280. Even if he does not engage in systematic study 
under a native, he can at least cultivate the habit of obser- 
vation ; in his own country as well as abroad he can always 
keep his ears open for varieties of pronunciation. 

281. As regards the choice of a teacher, the fh-st thing is to 
make sure that he speaks some one definite, unmixed dialect 
naturally and correctly what the dialect is, does not matter 
much from the point of view of general phonetics. The 
ideal teacher for a literary language is, of course, one whose 
natural dialect is the standard one, and who is competent to 
teach it phonetically by means of phonetic transcriptions. 
If he is not a trained phonetician, it will often be worth the 
learner's while to try to interest him in phonetic methods, 
and perhaps even to train him to write texts in phonetic 

282. If the teacher is unwilling to give, or incapable of 
giving the natural pronunciation, it is often safest not to let 
him see the phrase-book or whatever text is used, but read 
the English translation to him, and ask him how he says 
that in his own language. If there are no phonetic tran- 
scriptions to be had, the learner can begin by marking the 
pronunciation roughly by adding diacritics to the nomic 
text, and then gradually form a complete system of trans- 

283. The phonograph is in most respects an imperfect 
substitute for a native teacher. Its reproduction of indi- 
vidual sounds is always more or less indistinct, however 
loud it may be, and it sometimes distorts them. It suc- 
ceeds best with the more sonorous elements of speech, 
especially the vowels, and in giving the general effect of 


stress and intonation. Here, indeed, the machine has a 
decided advantage over the living voice : the same piece of 
French, for instance, can be turned on over and over again, 
bit by bit, with the certainty of always hearing the same 
shade of accent reproduced with absolute correctness as well 
as uniformity. 

Objective Methods: Instrumental Phonetics. 

284. The natural method of learning sounds is mainly 
a subjective one. We listen patiently till we are familiar 
with the acoustic effect of the new sound ; and then often 
only by repeated trials we hit on the exact position of the 
organs of speech by which we can reproduce it to our own 
satisfaction and that of our teacher. 

285. This natural method admits also of objective con- 
trol by direct observation of the movements of the lips and 
jaws, and, to some extent, of the tongue, soft palate, and 
other parts of the mouth and throat-passage, self-observation 
being carried on by means of a hand-mirror. If a mirror 
small enough to go into the mouth is fitted to a handle, we 
have the laryngoscope. More may be seen with the Ko'nt- 
gen rays, whose use, however, is attended by some draw- 
backs such as loss of hair, and the necessity of having the 
back teeth drawn the results hitherto obtained being too 
vague to be of much use. 

286. There are other methods besides those of direct 
observation, by which the positions may be determined and 
measured. The interior of the mouth may be explored by 
the fingers. A finger may be used as an artificial palate 
( 76). Several forms of apparatus have been devised for 
a more accurate determination of the positions of the organs 
of speech, especially in forming the vowels, such as the 
cardboard disks on wires used by Grandgent (see Biblio- 
graphy, 382). These methods are all laborious, and never 
quite reliable. 


287. There are other methods whose results are obtained 
only indirectly, such as the palatographic, by which ' palato- 
grams ' are made, recording the contact of the tongue with 
an artificial palate. This method is limited in its applica- 
tion, and its results are often doubtful and ambiguous. 

288. There are more elaborate methods with which 
the name of ' experimental phonetics ' is more specially 
associated which involve special training in physics and 
mathematics and in handling complicated apparatus. The 
investigation of the speech-curves of phonograph and gramo- 
phone records are an example. Although these methods 
have yielded results of some value, the results must always 
be received with caution, the sources of error being so 

289. Even when a mass of reliable observations has 
been collected, they are often exceedingly difficult to handle. 

Thus in Ziind-Burguet's Recherches experimentales sur le timbre 
des voyelles nasales franfaises we have twelve photographs of lip- 
positions which, we are warned, have lost much of their clearness 
in the process of reproduction together with a variety of palato- 
grauis and other diagrams, with the help of which the investi- 
gator claims to be able to classify the vowels in question in the 
order of the height of the tongue. But as there is nothing to tell 
us whether the height of the tongue in any one vowel as compared 
with any other is the result of raising the whole body of the 
tongue, or only of altering its shape (as in making it narrow), this 
information is of little use by itself ; and a linguistic phonetician 
who took it on trust might find himself landed in serious errors. 
Again, if we examine the photographs, we find that they show 
a different position for each vowel ; in fact, the contemplation of 
these photographs might very well lead an ordinary observer to 
deny the reality of the distinction between round and un-round 
vowels. And if we had other photographs of the lip-positions of 
other French speakers, fresh differences would probably appear. 
The results of the more elaborate and indirect methods often 
appear in the form of voluminous tabulations from which none but 
a skilled arithmetician can draw any certain and definite conclu- 


sions conclusions which, again, may be materially qualified, or 
even directly contradicted by a fresh set of observations on 
another, or even the same subject, if he is not inured to speaking 
into a funnel with his mouth full of apparatus. 

290. It must be remembered, however, that instrumental 
phonetics is still in its infancy. Its methods are being con- 
tinually improved and simplified, and it is impossible to 
say as yet what they may result in. 

291. At present there is a natural and indeed, unavoid- 
able antagonism between the practical linguistic phone- 
tician and the physico -mathematical instrumental phone- 
tician. The qualifications and training required on both 
sides are so opposed to each other, and each of these branches 
of research makes such imperious demands on the time and 
energy of its votaries, that it is difficult to see how any one 
investigator can combine them. 

292. Although the conservative phoneticians of the older 
school may go too far in ignoring the results of instrumental 
phonetics, it is possible to go too far the other way also. 
Some of the younger generation seem to think that the 
instrumental methods have superseded the natural ones so 
completely that attending a course of 'phonetique experi- 
mentale ' at some holiday course in France makes the 
laborious training of the linguistic phonetician superfluous. 

293. This assumption has had disastrous effects. It 
cannot be too often repeated that instrumental phonetics 
is, strictly speaking, not phonetics at all. It only supplies 
materials which are useless till they have been tested and 
accepted from the linguistic phonetician's point of view. 
The final arbiter in all phonetic questions is the trained 
ear of a practical phonetician. Differences which cannot be 
perceived by the ear and many of the results of instru- 
mental phonetics are of this character must be ignored ; 
and what contradicts a trained ear cannot be accepted. 

294. And it must not be forgotten that the utility of 


instrumental phonetics as a means of research does not 
necessarily imply a corresponding utility as a help in acquir- 
ing a practical mastery of sounds which, as we have seen, 
is the only sound foundation of the science. As yet, instru- 
mental phonetics, so far from being a help in the practical 
study of sounds, has been rather a hindrance, by diverting 
the learner's attention from that patient cultivation of the 
organic and acoustic sense which is the indispensable basis. 

Study of the Literature. 

295. The same may be said, to some extent, of the study 
of the literature of phonetics. Phonetics can no more be 
acquired by reading alone than music can. It must also 
be remembered that phonetics is a comparatively new 
science, whose results are still unsettled, whose authorities 
differ widely in their views. 

296. But this, of course, makes it all the more necessary 
that the serious student shall make himself acquainted 
with the literature at first hand, so as to be able to form an 
independent judgement of his own. 

297. But he must at the same time avoid confusing 
and stupefying his mind by attempting to assimilate an 
indigestible mass of conflicting views and statements before 
he is able to sift it critically. Whatever school or method 
he begins with, he should thoroughly master that before 
proceeding to another. The student who has worked through 
this little book will find the necessary information to guide 
his further reading in the bibliography at the end of it. 

298. The student cannot confine himself to any one 
authority or even to any one school ; if for no other reason, 
because each has its own special merits and the defects of 
its qualities. However wide a phonetician's range of 
knowledge may be, he must know some sounds and some 
sound-systems better than others : he must know the sounds 
of his own language best ; a Romance philologist ought 


to be a better authority for the sounds of French and Italian 
or Spanish than a Germanist, and so on ; and the general 
scheme and classification of sounds may be affected both 
favourably and unfavourably by the national speech and 
linguistic habits of its author. 

299. Hence some have gone so far as to deny the possi- 
bility of general phonetics. According to them, each 
speech-nationality must have its own special systematization : 
the English vowel-system is all very well for the English- 
speakers, but is no good for Frenchmen and Germans. 

300. But without going to such an extreme as this, we 
cannot ignore the fact that phonetics may be approached 
from two opposite points of view. The generalizing tendency 
is shown in its extreme form in the English vowel-square, 
which provides or attempts to provide an a priori pigeon- 
hole for each vowel-sound. The opposite tendency is to 
subordinate classification and general construction to detail, 
so that the vowel -system tends to resolve itself into an 
endless line or series of isolated details. 

301. The truth is that we cannot dispense with either 
of these. Bell's Visible Speech vowel-square was a great 
advance on the older triangular arrangement, and so far 
it has been a help to the detailed study of isolated sounds. 
But where it gave false or misleading key-words, set 
up an artificial elocutionary pronunciation of English, mis- 
represented the formation of sounds to make them fit into 
the system, or failed to provide pigeon-holes for sounds 
which the author had not yet come across, it was a hindrance 
and a stumbling-block. In the revised and supplemented 
form given in this book which is, to a great extent, the 
result of detailed independent investigations carried out 
without regard to preconceived theories it has again become 
an instrument of progress. 

302. The great defect of the detail-method is that it 
supplies no corrective to the limitations, one-sidedness, and 


caprice of the investigator. A keen observer who had not 
been trained to distinguish narrow and wide vowels would 
nevertheless hardly fail to make the distinction in some 
vowels, but he might easily ignore it in others. Thus Ellis 
distinguished [i] and [i] long before the appearance of Visible 
Speech, but ignored the distinction in the case of y, where 
it is disguised by the rounding. 

303. The young student must bear in mind that what is 
new is not always the best, or even the most advanced : 
there is retrogression as well as advance in the history of 
phonetics as in other branches of knowledge. 

304. As a subject becomes more and more complicated, 
the want of a popular as well as a severely scientific treat- 
ment of it becomes more and more felt. There is, of course, 
no more harm in popular phonetics than there is in popular 
astronomy the demand for both is a natural, healthy, and 
legitimate one but it is necessaiy that the two should be 
kept strictly apart: that the dilettante phonetician should 
not pose as a scientific investigator merely on the strength 
of a notation in which half the letters of the alphabet are 
turned upside down. 

Phonetic Notation. 

305. One of the greatest difficulties in the study of 
general phonetics is the diversity of notations employed 
not only by different writers, but often also by one and 
the same. This diversity is not solely the result of caprice 
and the striving after cheap originality, but is to some 
extent the inevitable result of certain fundamental diver- 
gencies in the objects and uses of sound-notations, of which 
there are three kinds : 

(1) Arbitrary alphabetic, in which there is no consistent 
association between sound and symbol : the Roman alphabet 
is a familiar example. 


(2) Symbolic alphabetic, in which there are definite 
relations between sound and symbol, which relations may 
be either organic or acoustic, or a mixture of both of these, 
it being now generally admitted that a scientific symbolic 
alphabet must be organic, while a popular one must be 
partly acoustic: the best example of a scientific symbolic 
alphabet is Visible Speech, of which the Organic Alphabet 
is the revised and supplemented form. 

(3) Analphabetic, in which each sound is represented by 
a group of symbols resembling a chemical formula, these 
symbols being generally either numbers or Roman letters, 
or a combination of both with, perhaps, other characters as 
well. Jespersen's Analphabetic Notation is the best known 
and most fully worked out of these. 

306. It is evident that the notations which fall under (3) 
are of such limited application that they may be ignored 
from the point of view of practical phonetics, useful as they 
undoubtedly are from a theoretical point of view, even if 
we regard them only as temporary substitutes for an ideal 
scientific alphabetic system. 

307. When we say ' alphabetic ', we mean only alphabetic 
basis. The maxim 'one single symbol for each sound' is 
all very well in theory, but impossible to carry out in 
practice. The number of possible distinctions is so great 
that no notation can do more than provide symbols for 
groups of sounds, each of which sounds must be further 
differentiated when necessary by modifiers such as ' inner ' 
and ' outer ', and marks of rounding, &c. No system of 
writing can dispense with digraphs and even trigraphs ; in 
fact, the more scientifically minute a notation is. the more 
it approximates to the analphabetic principle. 

308. Whatever alphabet is adopted whether an arbitrary 
or a symbolic one it must be capable of modification so as 
to supply the want of (1) an international scientific 'narrow' 
notation, in which all possible shades of sound can be 



expressed with minute accuracy by symbols of fixed values, 
and (2) an indefinite number of national ' wide ' notations, 
each of which selects the minimum number of simplest 
letters required to express the practically necessary sound- 
distinctions of the language in question, ignoring those that 
are superfluous, so that all the national systems appear as 
modifications of a common basis, each diverging from it 
only as far as is made necessary by considerations of sim- 
plicity and ease of printing and writing both in long and 
short hand. 

309. As regards the distinction between the last three, it 
is to be observed that in printing the complexity of the 
letters does not necessarily affect speed or ease ; so that 
the number of possible forms is infinitely greater than in 
writing, which has a comparatively very limited number of 
simple, joinable forms to choose from. Hence the printed 
forms are generally more distinct than the written ones, 
as we see by comparing, for instance, the capital and lower- 
case Roman A, a with the italic a. As it is desirable to 
have as few types as possible, most phonetic systems 
founded on the Roman alphabet discard altogether the use 
of capitals as such, using small capitals, if at all, only to 
supplement the lower-case alphabet, the capitals acting thus 
as new letters. As the capitals have not convenient 
script forms, this use of them is confined to scientific nota- 

310. Some transcriptions consist entirely of italics, the 
idea being to make the printed and the written characters 
the same as far as possible, and also to make the phonetic 
symbols stand out distinctly on a page of Roman type. 
But as italics are required for a variety of other purposes as 
well, it is better to make the more legible lower-case letters 
the basis, and use italics for supplementary purposes of 
course, only in scientific notations. 

311. The Roman alphabet is in itself unscientific and 


imperfect, but it has the great advantage of being the result 
of a long series of experiments, besides being in universal 
use. Its foundation ought to be left untouched, for any 
attempts at radical reform would simply result in the 
substitution of a totally different alphabet which will no 
doubt come to pass sooner or later. 

312. In adapting the Koman alphabet to phonetic pur- 
poses the first thing is to utilize all the available existing 
symbols : to give phonetic values to c, q, x, settle what is to 
be done with the italic and capital letters, and so on. The 
next step is to supplement it. There are many supple- 
mentary devices such as the use of italics and capitals 
which, as we have seen, are admissible only in a scientific 
notation where speed and ease are not indispensable quali- 
fications of a working alphabet. In a practical broad system, 
on the other hand, the first thing to be considered in a new 
letter is whether it can be written and joined easily. The 
best new letters are those which are the result of utilizing 
duplicate script forms, as in the use of the otherwise super- 
fluous long forms of s and z J, 5. Such new letters as 
a, o, rj are also unexceptionable in every way. But to make 
italic a, g, v into Roman letters distinct from a, g, v, by 
printing them upright instead of sloping, as is done in the 
alphabet of the Association Phon6tique, is an illegitimate 
extension of the principle. The inevitable result is that 
new script forms have to be invented to take the place of 
the old a, #, v, which latter are perfect for the purpose. The 
natural further result is that most of these new script forms 
are not used at all, their place being taken by laborious 
detached facsimiles of the printed forms. 

313. The most objectionable class of letters in a broad 
alphabet are diacritical ones. In their printed forms they 
are practically new letters ; and in writing they involve not 
only a break, but a further waste of time and effort in the 
movements of the pen from the line of writing to the 

u 2 


diacritic and back again, as we see in the letter i Of 
course, when diacritic letters already exist, they may be 
utilized, especially in a scientific notation. 

314. But every modification of such a basis as the 
Roman alphabet must necessarily be an unsatisfactory 
makeshift repulsive to every one but the inventor, who 
is generally not an inventor at all, but simply a reviver of 
devices which have been tried and rejected over and over 
again. To the general public all systems of writing which 
clash with the associations of the traditional printed and 
written nomic orthography are ugly and ridiculous what- 
ever their intrinsic merits may be. 

315. But in spite of all diversity there is also much 
agreement : there is already a rudimentary public opinion, 
sometimes in the principles, but oftener in the details of 
phonetic notation. It is therefore better to leave disputed 
and doubtful points to be settled by experience, to trust to 
the survival of the fittest, rather than make the vain attempt 
to enforce one uniform system of notation while the very 
foundations of phonetics are still under discussion. 

316. The adoption of a uniform phonetic notation for 
exclusively scientific purposes will, of course, be highly desir- 
able when our knowledge of sounds is fairly complete, and 
there is agreement among experts on the principles of pho- 
netics. But such rigid uniformity is not desirable, or indeed 
possible with a practical alphabet, which, as we have seen, 
must necessarily differ in its details with each language to 
which it is applied. 

317. It must be observed that the distinction between 
' narrow ' and ' broad ' is not an absolutely definite one. 
There are degrees of broadness. The extreme of simplicity 
with which an easily accessible modern European language 
can and should be written would be out of place in the 
representation of the necessarily more or less conjectural 
restoration of the pronunciation of Chaucer or Shakespeare : 


here we naturally expect a more minute notation a com- 
promise between narrow and broad. 

318. Such a compromise must not be confounded with 
a dilettante notation. The former adopts the minuter 
distinctions of the scientific alphabet only when they are 
practically useful from its special point of view ; the latter 
is a compromise in a more literal sense : it is not accurate 
enough to be really scientific, and yet too complicated and 
cumbrous for ordinary practical use. Not that it is to be 
condemned on these grounds ; on the contrary, a dilettante 
phonetic notation has the same justification as the dilettante 
conception of phonetics of which it is the expression. It is 
better that people should frankly acknowledge that the dis- 
tinction of narrow and wide vowels or the discrimination of 
five degrees of stress is too much for them and ignore them 
accordingly in their transcription than attempt to use a 
notation involving distinctions which they are unable to 

319. The great disadvantage of the use of the Eoman 
alphabet in phonetic notation is the inevitable confusion 
between the associations of phonetic and nomic spelling, 
not to speak of the endless confusions which arise in passing 
from one phonetic notation to another. 

For this reason some will perhaps find it desirable to 
avoid the cross-associations between the broad and narrow 
Eomic notations by discarding the latter in favour of the 
Organic alphabet especially in dealing with the vowels. 
The confusion is much less with the consonants. On the 
other hand, it is necessary to have a narrow Eomic notation 
for convenience of use by those who have not access to the 
Organic symbols ; and also because to many a totally new 
notation like Visible Speech or the Organic Alphabet is or 
seems to be a more formidable obstacle than the cross- 
associations of a Eomic system. 


320. The general principles of the teaching of phonetics 
have been either implicitly stated or implied in the earlier 
sections of this book ; it remains now to discuss details, 
and consider the various applications of general principles 
to special needs and requirements. 

Phonetics in language-teaching. 

321. The teaching of phonetics in the most rudimentary 
form of that teaching implies at the very least the attempt 
to impart information on the classification of sounds in 
general, together with an explanation of the requisite ter- 
minology, and of the sound-notation of at least one language 
in most cases the native language of the pupil or class. 

322. But the pronunciation of a given language can be 
taught fairly well without even this minimum of phonetics 
especially if the pupils have not been already spoilt by 
bad teaching. Thus with a class of young children begin- 
ning French or German, good results may be obtained by 
simply letting them imitate the carefully isolated sounds of 
the teacher. The teacher may repeat such a word as the 
French ennui a hundred times without eliciting anything 
better than orjwij ; but if he lets the pupils hear en, nu, 
and i separately, each pronounced many times in succession, 
slowly and distinctly, and then lets them imitate, a com- 
paratively satisfactory result will be obtained without much 
difficulty. When the pronunciation of the first few words 
in the text has been mastered, these words should be joined 
together and practised till the whole group runs smoothly 


and without hesitation ; then the last word should be run 
on to a succeeding group, and the last or last but two or 
three of this group to the next, and so on ; this over- 
lapping process ensures the continuity of the whole sentence. 

323. If the pupils come quite fresh to the language, con- 
fusion with the nomic spelling may be avoided by not 
letting them see the printed page till they have learnt the 
pronunciation by ear. Or the lesson may begin with 
writing the numerals 1, 2, 3 ... on the blackboard, and 
associating each with its name in the foreign language. Or 
pictures may be used. 

324. But a far quicker and more efficient method is to 
begin with a phonetic transcription, and keep to it for at 
least a year, the nomic spelling being kept entirely in the 
background till the pronunciation has been thoroughly 
acquired. However often the learner may have the pho- 
netic elements of a word repeated to him, it is always a 
help to have the impressions of the ear confirmed by the 
written symbol, and still more to have it thereby corrected 
or supplemented. 

325. Although the difficulty of passing without confusion 
from the phonetic to the nomic spelling is much less than 
is generally assumed, its existence cannot be denied. Hence 
it is perhaps better not to have a special transcription for 
such a language as German : all that is wanted here is 
to supplement the nomic spelling with stress-marks and 
diacritics or other marks to show vowel-length before conso- 
nant-groups, and so on. 

326. The difficulties attending phonetic transcription 
would be much lessened if there were a uniform inter- 
national Broad Romic transcription for each language 
instead of a variety of special ones for learners of different 
nationalities. Modifying the transcription of a language 
does not make its sounds any easier to pronounce. And 
some confusion with the learner's nomic orthography is 


inevitable with every transcription in Roman letters ; but 
with a little practice they soon disappear. 

327. Even the use of a phonetic transcription does not 
necessarily imply any express teaching of phonetics. It 
merely means that the learner substitutes definite and 
regular associations between sound and symbol for the 
vague and conflicting associations involved in the use of 
the nomic spelling. He learns the values of the phonetic 
symbols empirically and by imitation, just as he learnt to 
read the nomic spelling of his own language. 

328. The methods hitherto discussed consist in utilizing 
phonetic principles without introducing phonetics itself. 
A further development consists in the teacher bringing in 
phonetic analysis whenever imitation fails, or is made easier 
by so doing or, in short, whenever it is worth while. 
This implies, of course, that the teacher, although he does 
not teach phonetics systematically, must have a competent 
practical knowledge of it. 

Phonetics is from this point of view only an occasional 
commentary on the learner's simultaneous acquisition of 
a foreign language. 

329. But there is still another and a better method : 
begin, not with a foreign language, but with the systematic 
teaching of elementary phonetics and elocution in connexion 
with the study of the native language. In this way the 
learner approaches the study of foreign languages with a 
thorough practical linguistic training which will greatly 
facilitate his task. 

Qualifications of the Teacher. 

330. There are many branches of linguistic study in which 
a general theoretical knowledge of phonetics is sufficient 
or, at least, in which good work may be done without much 
practical command of sounds. But something more than 


this is required of the elementary teacher of the native as 
well as a foreign language. He has no more right to set up 
as a language-teacher without having a certain aptitude for 
phonetics than he would have to undertake to teach drawing 
without having an eye for form. Eational elementary lan- 
guage-teaching without phonetics is impossible. The three 
main qualifications of such a teacher from the phonetic 
point of view are : 

(1) He must have a thorough practical knowledge of the 
language which he teaches as well as of his own language ; 
he must be bi-lingual, one of the two languages being his 
own ; no foreigner should be allowed to teach another 
foreign language in England any more than in any other 

(2) He must have if not a quick, at least an accurate ear 
for sounds. 

(3) His organs of speech must be free from congenital 
defects, and he must have them under such control as will 
enable him to reproduce accurately all sounds with which 
he has to deal. 

There is a fourth qualification of a teacher of phonetics 
a qualification of a phonetic nature which he must 
possess in common with all teachers : such an elocutionary 
training as will enable him to make himself heard distinctly 
without strain without having to ' shout at his class '. 

331. The systematic training of teachers of phonetics 
implies the establishment of professorships and lectureships 
of phonetics at our universities, training-colleges, and similar 
institutions. The professorships would, of course, have 
attached to them special libraries and seminaries for prac- 
tical work and research. Every professor must be first and 
foremost a linguistic phonetician ( 291). If he is also a 
good elocutionist, so much the better. Experience alone 
will show whether the teaching of elocution should as a 
rule be detached from that of phonetics : that is, detached 


as far as it is possible ; for elocution except on a phonetic 
basis is mere charlatanry. 

332. As regards instrumental phonetics, we can have no 
hesitation in saying that although eveiy higher teacher of 
phonetics ought not to ignore its results, it would be un- 
reasonable to expect him to handle the instruments himself 
and to have a specialist's knowledge of the subject. We 
should all welcome the phoenix who was at once a perfect 
linguistic and instrumental phonetician as well as an elocu- 
tionist, besides being an authority on the methods of lan- 
guage-teaching, but to exact such a combination would only 
be an encouragement to superficiality and imposture. 

333. Linguistic phonetics is, indeed, more naturally asso- 
ciated with the practical study of languages the investiga- 
tion of the general principles on which languages ought to 
be taught and learnt. It stands to this study much in the 
same relation as it does to elocution : both are based on 
phonetics, although they both extend considerably beyond 
it in their higher developments. 

334. When it is found desirable to establish special 
teacherships of instrumental phonetics, they would natu- 
rally be attached to the physical science laboratories. 

It is further evident that a detailed study of instrumental 
phonetics would be a speciality of advanced students, not of 
elementary teachers. 

335. At present we have to manage as best we can with 
more or less incompetent teachers. The greatest mistake 
that can be made with these is to try to force them to use 
methods which are beyond their capacity. A short course 
of dilettante linguistic or instrumental phonetics abroad 
does not qualify to teach the English vowel-system. Under 
these circumstances it is better for such teachers to leave it 

Qualifications of the Learner. 

336. The percentage of pupils who have really quick ears 
who are able to reproduce sounds accurately after hearing 
them only a few times is a very small one. Such pupils 
are often conceited, and often averse to methodical study 
and impatient of training. 

337. Those, on the other hand, who have exceptionally 
obtuse ears, so that they cannot even hear the finer shades 
of difference in unfamiliar sounds even after repeated hearing 
under the most favourable conditions, ought to be dissuaded 
from the study of phonetics if after a short trial they show 
no signs of improvement. 

338. It must, however, be borne in mind that what is 
popularly called ' a bad ear for sounds ' may proceed from 
a variety of causes not necessarily of an acoustic nature 
some of which may be curable. It may be the result of 
temporary deafness ; and this may be cured by ceasing to 
act on the maxim that ' only fools fear draughts '. Or the 
inability to reproduce new sounds may be solely the result 
of want of training of the organs of speech. 

339. Such students, if they persevere, generally drift into 
instrumental and theoretical phonetics, in which they may 
do valuable work ; although, of course, they are unfit to act 
as practical teachers. 

One of the drawbacks of a bad ear is that it leads the pupil not 
only to mishear, but also to hear differences where none exist. 
Even those who have good ears often fluctuate in their apprecia- 
tion of sounds which are still unfamiliar and difficult to them. 
They hear the sound vary from word to word, and pride them- 
selves on what they imagine to be their superior powers of dis- 
crimination ; but when the sound has become really familiar, this 
apparent fluctuation ceases. 

340. On the whole, those who have a moderately good 
ear are the best : those who take some time to acquire a 


thorough and easy command of a new sound, but who 
always get it in the end, and do not forget it again in a few 
days, which is often the weak side of the abnormally 
quick ear. 

341. The question is often debated, whether a musical ear 
is a help in phonetics, apart from its self-evident use in the 
study of intonation and the pitch of resonance-cavities. 
There can be little doubt that those who have a good 
musical ear especially, perhaps, those rare ones who have 
an ear for absolute pitch are generally good at discrimi- 
nating speech -sounds. A musical training especially in 
singing also develops the appreciation of good tone in 
voice-production. A knowledge of music is, in short, a 
great help to the phonetician as well as the elocutionist 
and in many ways besides those already indicated. Those 
who take it up with this in view will do well to confine 
themselves definitely to singing and the piano, which sup- 
plement each other perfectly, care being taken always to 
subordinate the latter to the former. 

Ear-training : Phonetic Dictation. 

342. The best training in the recognition of sounds by 
ear apart from the still better but less systematic training 
afforded by language-study is phonetic dictation. Phonetic 
dictation should, of course, always begin with the sounds of 
the native language, first in series of isolated strong-stressed 
words, such as the numerals or the days of the week, and 
then in short colloquial sentences. The phonetic symbols 
with which the pupils write down what is dictated to them 
must at first be the simplest possible Broad Romic notation 
of the language that is used. 

343. The normal method of correcting the dictations and 
returning them to their writers at the beginning of the next 
lesson with the necessary corrections and comments should, 


especially in dealing with slow or diffident pupils, be pre- 
ceded by a course of what may be called ' unseen dictation ' 
that is, unseen by the teacher. He dictates a word or 
group of words, slowly and distinctly several times over, 
pauses a little, and then himself writes the correct phonetic 
transcription on the blackboard, waits till the pupils have 
verified or corrected what they have written, and then 
dictates a further instalment of his text. 

344. Phonetic dictation is stimulating to the pupils, and 
affords the teacher a ready and sure method of testing not 
only their ear, but also their general intelligence, as well as 
their knowledge of phonetics, and their power of handling 
symbols and notation, which is almost as important for the 
phonetician as for the mathematician. 

345. The hopeless blundering of otherwise intelligent and 
educated pupils in their first attempts at phonetic dictation 
is a continual source of unwelcome surprise not only to 
themselves but sometimes even to their teacher accustomed 
as he is to the total want of the power of observation which 
is the result of the current method of learning languages 
by eye instead of by ear. But it must, in justice to the 
pupils, be observed that many of their earlier mistakes are 
the result of the inevitable intruding associations of the nomic 

346. With those who have prepared themselves by an 
extensive reading of texts in Broad Eomic, phonetic dictation 
becomes mainly a matter of memory and visual association, 
till at last it becomes almost as mechanical a process as 
writing from dictation in nomic spelling although by that 
time the pupil will certainly have acquired a very respectable 
knowledge of the phonetics of the language. 

347. A more advanced stage may then be entered on : 
that of adding stress- and intonation-marks, the former 
being most conveniently written above the symbols of the 
sounds on which the stress begins instead of before them, 


for which there is often not room. The point may be 
written as a vertical stroke. 

348. The most effectual check on the mechanical re- 
production of visualized phonetic spellings is 'nonsense 
dictation '. The nonsense-words required are easily obtained 
by writing ordinary words backwards, with such further 
alterations as may be required to smooth over impossible 
or otherwise objectionable sound-combinations and sound- 
positions. The following is an easy nonsense poem made 
up of English sounds, together with x : 

a maas va fail. 

let iim tonni luf nom zrabmen, 

failzi tebna itmi mied ; 
ofotS lous zided teS zubmals, 

daen zrjij? tonaa tof eiS miis. 

fail zilie, failzi tsina, 

daenetS veiag ziton stiloug; 
tsudautS taa ot tsrad tsinaetie, 

zovton nrakoups uuteS lous. 

telsa neSib p^ne irjuud, 

tSiv etaax ref ini teif ; 
lits rjiviijta, lits qijuusep, 
rebeil daanet teiv. 

349. When the phonetic transcription of the native 
language has been thoroughly mastered, phonetic dictation 
may be given in French and German, beginning with the 
latter, if already familiar to the pupils, as being much 
the easier. Here the patience of the teacher will be sorely 
tried by the mechanical way in which many of them will 
transfer transcriptions of English sounds to foreign sounds 
which they do not fit. Thus, if he has taught them to 


reproduce faithfully his own diphthongic pronunciation of 
ii and uu, he must be prepared to find them transcrib- 
ing sie sind gut with zij zint guwt, even after he has 
indirectly warned them against it. 

350. Phonetic dictation in a foreign language unknown 
to the pupils is risky, even if the teacher's command of it 
is as perfect as he assumes it to be, and it is one with a 
comparatively simple sound-system, such as Finnish or 
one of the Polynesian languages. 

351. The difficulty of writing phonetically from dictation 
in a language whose sound-system is not already familiar 
to the writer depends, however, mainly on the degree of 
' narrowness ' of the notation employed. The difficulty 
may be reduced to a minimum by allowing the pupils to 
extemporize a compromise between Narrow and Broad 
Romic, or to employ such a transliteration as that of the 
Association Phonetique. To write from such dictation 
with a minutely accurate scientific notation would be 
beyond the powers of any but an exceptionally gifted 
and long-trained student. The only reasonable ear-test of 
advanced pupils is the recognition and correct naming of 
isolated sounds or short and simple combinations of sounds 
pronounced to them several times over by the teacher or 


352. Of all external helps in teaching phonetics, diagrams 
of the organs of speech and their positions are the most 
important. It is desirable that the teacher should be able 
to supplement the ready-made ones with those which he 
draws himself on the blackboard. Some learn less easily 
from diagrams than others. To such pupils models appeal 
more than diagrams ; but they are of little use in teaching 
the actual positions. 

As regards apparatus, the phonograph is often useful 


in dealing with points of synthesis, especially intonation 
( 283) and organic basis. 

353. When instrumental phonetics is introduced into 
elementary teaching it generally degenerates into what may 
be called ' toy phonetics ', which, however, has its uses : the 
bell of the indicateur often serves to stimulate the flagging 
energies of a dull or inattentive class. 

But, after all, the use of such external stimuli means 
only so much time and energy taken from the real business 
of the class ; which is, to learn to isolate, analyse organic- 
ally, and distinguish by ear as many sounds as possible. In 
most cases the gain is not enough to compensate the loss. 

Necessity of individual attention. 

354. Practical phonetics, like music, cannot be taught 
successfully without special attention to the needs of each 
pupil. Lectures to classes of a hundred or more serve, 
from this point of view, mainly to stimulate interest and to 
indicate lines of study, and, to some extent, lay a founda- 
tion by describing sounds with which the hearers are 
already familiar. Even a class of not more than thirty is 
too large for thorough practical work, unless it is com- 
posed of naturally gifted and earnest students speaking the 
same language. The best results are obtained with a class 
of not more than twelve. Some learn better in such a class 
than by private tuition, partly because it is more stimu- 
lating, partly because hearing the sounds uttered by a variety 
of voices gives a wider and firmer grasp of them, and makes 
them more easy of recognition. From this point of view 
a mixed-language class one composed partly of natives, 
partly of speakers of various foreign languages or dialects 
is preferable to a one-language (one-dialect) class ; although, 
on the other hand, more rapid progress will be made in the 



355. The time required for a complete elementary train- 
ing in phonetics suitable for language-teachers and elocu- 
tionists, and others to whom it is only a preparatory subject, 
is a year at the very least. 

356. The first term would be devoted mainly to the 
isolation, analysis, and notation first of the native sounds of 
the pupils, and then of those unfamiliar sounds which they 
would be able easily to deduce from their native ones. The 
explanation of general principles and the classification of 
sounds would be strictly subordinated to this preliminary 

In the second term the whole body of sounds would be 
studied more or less in individual detail according to their 
relative importance from the pupils' special point of view. 

In the third term the study of synthesis would be com- 
pleted ; much of it would necessarily have been given in 
the two preceding terms. Then the phonetic structure of 
different languages would be studied in detail. Continual 
revision of the sounds would go on during the whole course, 
for sounds cannot be practically acquired without incessant 

357. A three years' course would be the minimum for 
those who take phonetics as a preparation for the science of 
language generally, or its applications to historical and 
comparative philology and other special branches of lin- 
guistic investigation, practical as well as theoretical ; as also 
for those who make a speciality of the teaching of phonetics 
itself, elementary as well as advanced. 

The first year would cover the same ground as the course 
already described. 

In the second year everything would be revised more in 
detail wherever necessary or advisable. At the same time 
the history and literature of phonetics would be critically 
studied, together with the principles of historical and com- 


parative phonology ; and the phonetic structure of a variety 
of languages would be investigated by the more advanced 
students in the seminary. 

In the third year the students would begin to specialize, 
some devoting themselves mainly to the applications of 
phonetics to dialectology, language-teaching, &c., others to 
elocution and the applications of phonetics to literature, 
others again to instrumental phonetics, others to phonology 
and the other applications of phonetics to the historical 
study of language. Others again would concentrate them- 
selves on special lines of research dealing with the pronun- 
ciation and phonology of some one language or dialect or 
group of languages or dialects. 

358. It must always be borne in mind that phonetics can 
only be acquired gradually, by a slow process of graduated 
systematic training. Phonetics cannot be crammed up 
from textbooks : learning definitions by heart is not learning 

359. In fact, when we consider that the old Italian 
singers often spent six or more years in qualifying them- 
selves to appear in public, we can hardly making eveiy 
allowance for the time saved by improved methods and 
apparatus assign less to an ideal scheme of voice-training 
in the widest sense of the word : one which aims at giving 
the student a complete and absolute control of all the 
resources of his voice not only phonetically, but also as 
regards voice -production and elocution. 

Examining in Phonetics. 

360. Examinations are generally admitted to be evils 
necessary, perhaps, but still evils. And all the objections 
to them apply with tenfold force in the case of a subject like 
phonetics, in which written examinations can never take 
the place of oral, in which glib theory cannot be accepted 
as an equivalent for practical thoroughness and viva voce 


readiness. The general unsettledness of phonetics, the wide 
divergencies in terminology and notation as well as in 
classification and theory are further obstacles. The dearth 
of competent and impartial examiners is another. The 
low standard of efficiency in teachers as well as pupils 
brings further embarrassment and doubt to the conscientious 

361. This raises the question whether in the face of all 
these difficulties the best advice with regard to examining 
in phonetics would not be don't ! As regards modern 
languages and elocution it certainly seems safest at present, 
at least simply to go by results : in modern languages, 
not to examine in phonetics, even if it is made an in- 
tegral and definite part of the teaching, but to insist all 
the more rigorously on a certain standard of correctness 
and ease in the colloquial pronunciation of the language. 
There are other considerations which point in the same 
direction. It cannot be denied that some methods of 
phonetic instruction especially those carried on by means 
of apparatus so far from improving a pronunciation 
acquired by imitation and direct phonetic methods, often 
cause positive deterioration. In short, the best teacher is 
not the most fanatical adherent of this or that method or 
notation, but the one who elicits the best pronunciation from 
his pupils. 

362. Although viva voce must always predominate in all 
phonetic examinations that lay claim to any thoroughness, 
this does not mean that paper work is to be entirely excluded. 
It is evident, for one thing, that phonetic dictation ought to 
form part of every examination in phonetics even the most 
elementary. But there may be conditions which exclude 
the living voice. Under these circumstances the place of 
phonetic dictation must be taken by the setting of a passage 
to be transcribed from nomic into phonetic spelling. 

363. In setting papers whether oral or written for an 

i 2 


examination in phonetics, the first thing is to be sure that 
the questions are intelligible : especially that the terminology 
and notation used by the examiner are familiar to the 
candidates. Examinations in phonetics must not be tyran- 
nically used as a means of cramming one particular school of 
phonetics or one special notation down unwilling throats. 
This does not apply to a teacher examining his own pupils, 
or other conditions of a similar kind. But even in these 
cases it is better to leave everything open as far as possible : 
'Transliterate the following passage into any consistent 
phonetic notation,' &c. 

364. The opposite extreme of setting leading questions 
must as carefully be avoided. The self- interpreting ter- 
minology of the English school lends itself to this with 
peculiar and dangerous facility, as in ' define and give 
examples of stopped consonants front vowels'. There 
would be no objection to such questions if the answers 
always embodied a complete list of the sounds required. 
But what is the lenient, soft-hearted examiner to do with 
such evasions as these : ' A stopped consonant is a consonant 
formed with stoppage with closure of the mouth with 
partial stoppage with imperfect closure followed by an 
explosion with closure of the glottis,' the only examples 
given, perhaps, being c and m, without any hint whether the 
former is to be taken phonetically or nomically? Or it 
may happen that the candidate gives a certain number of 
approximately correct examples, and then adds one more 
to show that he has not realized the meaning of his definition, 
and that all that precedes is pure mechanical cram. 

365. All this may be avoided by putting the questions in 
an indirect form, thus : 

(1) How many consonants are there are pronounced 
are sounded in the following words : sing, quit, wretch . . . ? 

(2) Classify the above consonants, and describe their 


Candidates who do quite respectably in a paper of leading 
questions and vague generalities often break down utterly 
with questions of this kind, even when they are so elemen- 
tary that the young examiner is half ashamed to set them ; 
it may perhaps turn out that while the majority of the 
class are familiar with the distinction of narrow and wide 
vowels, know what the glottis is, and can define organic 
basis, they are still so completely the slaves of the written 
symbol that they regard the i in time as a non-diphthongal 
long vowel, and give ae in Caesar as an example of an 
English diphthong in the phonetic sense. 


366. The following bibliography is intended as a guide 
to further study, not as an exhaustive list for reference : it 
aims only at bringing before the student those books which 
will be directly useful to him at the outset. Full biblio- 
graphies will be found in many of the works mentioned 

367. When the beginner has thoroughly assimilated the 
contents of this little book, he should go on to my Primer 
of Phonetics (Oxford, 1906 3 ), which differs from the present 
work in dealing with the subject from a more general point 
of view and with a greater range of sounds and also more 
concisely and schematically, the phonetic information being 
given mainly in the form of an explanation of the classifica- 
tion and notation embodied in the Organic (Revised Visible 
Speech) alphabet, which is employed throughout, with 
occasional Narrow Eomic transcriptions, the Broad Eomic 
notations being employed only in the texts at the end of 
the book. 

368. At the same time or perhaps before he should 
thoroughly familiarize himself with the phonetic structure 
and phonetic notation of English by reading the texts in 
my Primer of Spoken English (Oxford, 1895 2 ), paying special 
attention to the laws of gradation and sentence-stress. In 
my Elementarbuch des gesprochenen Englisch (Oxford, 1891 3 ) 
he will find the same grammatical introduction, but different 
texts, more elementary and colloquial on the whole than 
those in the other book, and better suited for foreigners ; in 
the Elementarbuch division into 'stress-groups' takes the 
place of the traditional word -division, which is retained in 
the Primer; stress-division, though less convenient and 


practical in itself than word-division, has advantages of its 
own : it is instructive, and often useful in curing foreigners 
and illiterate readers of the habit of pausing at the end of 
words or in the middle of a group of closely connected 

369. The contrasting phonetic system of 0. Jespersen 
should then be studied, his books being taken in the 
following order : Lelirbuch der Phonetik (Leipzig, 1904) ; 
Plionetisclie Grundfragen (Leipzig, 1904) ; Fonetik (Copen- 
hagen, 1897). The second deals with the following 
subjects: Laut und Schrift, Lautschrift, Die beste Aus- 
sprache, Akustisch oder genetisch?, Systematisierung der 
Sprachlaute, Untersuchungsinethoden, Zur Lautgesetzfrage. 
The third is the original Danish work, of which the two 
first are condensed extracts, in which much is omitted that 
is of special interest only to Scandinavian readers. The 
most characteristic feature of Jespersen 's books is their 
impartial criticism of current views and methods. There 
is a certain aloofness in his attitude towards his pre- 
decessors and contemporaries, the weak side of which 
appears in his often unnecessary and highly confusing 
deviations from traditional terminology and arrangement, 
as if he were determined to be original at all costs. Thus 
he reverses the English arrangement 

throat back front poi n t lip 

in which the stream of breath with which sounds are 
formed is assumed to move in the same direction as that 
in which we write, that is, from left to right, so that in all 
diagrams and tables the back of the mouth is put on the left 
side, it being further assumed that this arrangement is 
only to be reversed when there is special reason for doing 
so as may sometimes be the case, for instance, in drawing 
a section of the mouth on the blackboard. It is highly 
desirable to adopt one uniform standard order, for experi- 
ence shows that those who have accustomed themselves 


to the one find it difficult to think in the other. Jespersen 
carries his reversal to such an extent that he does not get to 
the fundamental distinction of breath and voice till long 
after he has given a tediously and superfluously minute 
analysis and an elaborate notation of the positions of the 
lips. There are other innovations in his books which are of 
a less superficial and petty character, some of which cannot 
fail to stimulate thought and criticism of hitherto accepted 
views even if they are not generally accepted. One great 
drawback to the use of his works is the analphabetic 
notation ( 305) employed in them : it is ingenious, but 
cumbrous and unpractical, and impossible to remember 
by those who have accustomed themselves to a different 
arrangement. Jespersen's works, like those of most Conti- 
nental writers, deal more fully with the consonants than 
the vowels : his treatment of the latter is the least satis- 
factory part of his system. 

370. E. Sievers in his Grundzuge der Lautphysiologie 
(Leipzig, 1901 5 ) approaches the subject from the special 
point of view of the comparative Aryan philologist ; and, 
accordingly, devotes a special section to a discussion of the 
laws of sound-change. The treatment of phonetics itself 
is less concrete and definite than in the works already 
considered, especially as regards the classification of sounds ; 
the author is one of those who regard with distrust any 
attempt to construct a general scheme for all languages. 
In this way Sievers' book will serve as a corrective to 
the schematic tendencies of the English school and of 
Jespersen. The abstract point of view from which Sievers 
regards phonetics often makes his arguments difficult to 
follow. A characteristic feature of this book is the fullness 
with which the phenomena of synthesis are treated, especially 
as regards force and stress, intonation being less adequately 
treated. The whole book is full of acute observations of 
details of pronunciation in various languages. 


371. Sievers' antagonism to general systematization natu- 
rally leads him to eclecticism, especially when he comes to 
discuss the classification of the vowels. This tendency is 
still more marked in the works of W. Vietor, especially in 
his Elemente der PJwnetik des Deutschen, Englischen und 
Franzosisclien (Leipzig, 1904 5 ). Vietor's point of view is 
mainly that of the modern language teacher of the extreme 
type. He is an uncompromising antagonist of the English 
vowel-system, which he condemns as a whole without having 
any practical knowledge of it on such insufficient grounds as 
Bell's carelessness in the choice of key- words, and my modi- 
fication of my earlier views through wider knowledge and 
more mature thought ; another of his arguments is that it 
is impossible to unround vowels. A peculiar feature of his 
treatment of his own language is the extreme artificiality of 
his standard of pronunciation. But his book has some 
practical advantages over those already mentioned : it gives 
good diagrams of the organs of speech, a comparative table 
of the different systems of phonetic transcription, and full 
accounts of the different phonetic systems. One result of 
his point of view is that he gives long lists of words to show 
the correspondence between sound and nomic symbol in the 
orthographies of English, French, and German. 

372. One of the most distinguished of the older generation 
of practical phoneticians is the Norwegian, J. Storm, whose 
knowledge of the phonetic structure of the chief European 
languages is probably unrivalled. Unfortunately he has not 
published any complete system of his own ; but the advanced 
student will find his Englische Philologie (Leipzig, 1892-6 2 ) 
a mine of wealth in the sections dealing either directly or 
indirectly with phonetics. Storm's specialities are the accu- 
rate comparison of sounds in different languages, and the 
fineness of his ear for distinctions of synthesis, especially 

373. The most convenient introduction to the phonetic 


system and alphabet of the Association Phoneiique is 
P. Passy's Les Sons du Franqais (Paris, 1899 s ), of which 
an English translation has lately been published by the 
Clarendon Press, Oxford. This little book is deservedly 
popular on account of the clear way in which it states the 
general principles of phonetics ; the author's point of view 
borders, indeed, somewhat on that of the dilettante. Thus 
in his anxiety to make his vowel-system as easy as possible 
he practically ignores the distinction of narrow and wide, 
although he accepts it in theory, and simplifies his scheme 
in other ways as well so much that at last it becomes almost 
a reversion to that of the sixteenth-century Wallis. For 
the alphabet of the Association Phonetique see 10 a, 312. 

374. For phonetic French texts the learner may be referred 
to Beyer-Passy, Elementarbuch des gesprochenen Franzosisch 
(Cothen, 1905 2 ), and P. Passy, Le Frangais Parle (Leipzig, 
1897). Neither of these books gives the colloquial language 
except in texts dealing exclusively with child life and the 
school-room ; the latter book is composed entirely of literary 
texts. The student of adult conversational French must 
still painfully scrape his knowledge together from unpho- 
netic dialogue-books, plays, and novels. Another serious 
obstacle is the want of any adequate and practically useful 
statement of the laws of French intonation. The only col- 
lection of texts in which the intonation is marked throughout 
is the one last mentioned. 

375. The student of German is not nearly so well off for 
phonetic texts. Vietor's Deutsches Lcscbuch in Lautschrift 
(Leipzig, 1899) gives childish and often extravagantly short 
and disconnected texts in an artificial pronunciation. 

376. The learner will find a constant supply of phonetic 
texts in the chief European languages and others besides 
in the Mattre Phonetique, the organ of the Association Pho- 
netique Internationale, edited by Dr. P. Passy (address : 
Fonetik, Bour-la-Reine, France). 


377. For phonetic shorthand see my Manual of Current 
Shorthand (Oxford, 1892). This system can be applied to the 
writing of all languages both phonetically, with any degree 
of accuracy, and in an exact reproduction of its nomic 

378. For the principles of the application of phonetics to 
the learning and teaching of languages the student may con- 
sult my Practical Study of Languages (London, 1899), and for 
a different and in some respects less conservative point of 
view, 0. Jespersen, Hoiv to learn a foreign language (London, 

379. For phonology and the laws of sound-change the 
student may be referred to the already-mentioned book of 
Sievers, to my History of English Sounds (Oxford, 1888 2 ), 
and P. Passy, Les Changements Phone'tiques (Paris, 1890). 

380. For the history of English sounds and pronuncia- 
tion the student may use sections of my Primer of Historical 
English Grammar (Oxford, 1893) as an introduction to the 
above-mentioned History of English Sounds. 

381. For the pronunciation of Chaucer and phonetic tran- 
scriptions of Middle English texts see my Second Middle 
English Primer (Oxford, 1905 2 ). The same for Shakespeare 
will be found in W. Vietor, Shakespere Pronunciation 
(London, 1906). 

382. Phonetic methods are also applied to the study of 
Old English in my First Steps in Anglo-Saxon (Oxford, 1897) 
and other books. 

383. A convenient summary of the methods and litera- 
ture of instrumental phonetics will be found in E. W. Scrip- 
ture, Elements of Experimental Phonetics (New York, 1902), 
although this work is from the linguistic phonetician's point 
of view inadequate. Scripture reproduces the diagrams of 
vowel-positions given by Grandgent and Atkinson. 


255. 3. sekand or sekijd. 9. wenzdl is the older 

256. 2. intend = in -tend. 3. t$8et=-tfoet. 21. put of 
tuw lorj with equal strong stress on all four words in slow 
speech ; in quick speech more stress is put on the second 
word. It must, of course, be understood that there are 
infinite gradations between the two extremes put of and 
:put of, depending partly on speed, partly on shades of 
meaning and emphasis. 

257. 2. mdust might also be written -moust, which would 
imply weak stress but not quite so weak as in mdust 
with preservation of the back formation of the o. Here, 
again, various gradations of stress and tongue-shifting are 
possible. 3. indl;pendans has medium stress on the 
first syllable ; it is the emphatic form of indi'pendans. 
5. spoukn : the n is n -f rj, with simultaneous back and 
point stoppage ; a l careful speaker ' would, of course, make 
it into spoukan, with pure point n. 8. Im-self with 
weak stress on the second syllable ; compare Imself = 1m 'self 
1. 16. below. 13. anfdunetlk=*anf6u:netlk : the medium 
stress is the result of the word being used attributively ; 
the normal form is "anfdu-netlk. 23. strerjjm-lrj is the 
most accurate notation if the a is omitted, 149. 

258. 9. hij wll : the colloquial form hij 1 would sound in- 
congruous here, 250. This applies also to wil for 1, 259. 1 1. 

259. 15. todz is the older pronunciation. 

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/O - 


Sweet, Henry 

The sounds of English