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adequate course of elocution, adapted to the proper extent of education in Common Schools.
Teachers who have, under their care, pupils still younger than those who are prepared to make advantageous use of this Introduction, will find the requisite aids to a thorough and systematic course of elementary instruction, in the ‘Primer,' 'Spelling-book,' 'Primary Reader,' and 'Sequel' prepared by one of the authors of the present volume.* Instructors who wish to extend their own study and practice in elocution, are referred to the American Common-School Reader and Speaker,' 'Russell's American Elocutionist,' and the manual entitled ' Orthophony, or Vocal Culture in Elocution.'t
MODE OF USING THIS INTRODUCTION.
The routine of instruction, in the use of this volume, may be anda vantageously pursued as follows:
1st. Before commencing the practice of a reading exercise, a portion of the orthoëpy should be repeated, as a daily exercise, - even in circum. stances which do not allow more time than may be requisite for a single rule or principle.
2d. A certain quantity of each reading exercise, should be practised for the proper pronunciation of the words; and all common errors should be carefully pointed out by the teacher. 3d. Every exercise should be preceded by an explanation of every
word in it which is comparatively rare, or difficult to be understood. The pupils may be asked to give the sense of sentences, in their own words.
4th. The whole style of the reading should be kept perfectly distinct, by due attention to sufficient loudness, slowness, and appropriate pauses and emphasis. To these points should be added the natural changes of voice, required in the expression of feeling.
• Russell's Elementary Series and Sequel. The Sequel is graduated so as immedi. ately to precede the present volume.
+ Compiled by J. E. Murdoch and William Russell.
RUDIMENTS OF ELOCUTION.
ORTHO Ë PY..
The following preliminary definitions will enable the learner to attach clear ideas to several words, of frequent occurrence, in rules of elocution.
• Utterance'is, properly, the mere formation of vocal sound, with or without regard to speech; as when we speak of one person's uttering his sentiments, or of another's uttering a groan, a cry, or an exclamation ; – the last of which may be done without the use of formal language. We may, sometimes, say, justly, that a person's utterance is inarticulate.
• Articulation'is, strictly, the process of dividing and distinguishing the sounds of the voice, by the use of the organs of speech, - that faculty in which man differs from most of the inferior animals, which utter mere sounds or cries, but are naturally incapable of executing those exact and definite sounds which constitute speech.
Enunciation’implies not only the action of the organs, but also the sound which is produced by such action. Hence we say, correctly, that a person who does not articulate, (exert his organs,) with due force, deliberation, or exactness, has an indistinct enunciation. The utterance of a person half asleep would be an example.
• Pronunciation' is the enunciation of the words of a language, as the English, the French, the German. Hence we say that a person pronounces correctly, who enunciates according to good custom in ihe sounds and accents of the language which he speaks.
* The Rules and Exercises in this part of the volume, are meant to be divided into daily lessons, at the judgment of the teacher ;-one of these lessons being always practised immediately before the reading exercise of the day.
Orthoëpy' is the grammatical term for propriety of pronun ciation, and for the branch of grammatical science which treats of it.
Instruction in elocution commences, for convenience' sake, with articulation, as the primary modification of voice in speech and reading ; ' quality' and 'expression’being reserved for a later stage of study.
Every distinct sound of the human voice, being performed by means of appropriate organs, and of the true position and action of these organs, it is of the utmost consequence to the production of every sound, that it be executed by the proper organs, and not attempted by others not intended for the specific purpose, and unfit for the end. It is equally important, that, in enunciating any sound, we should not only use the proper organ, but use it in the proper way. Some persons use the throat instead of the tongue, in articulating the letter r: some use the tongue, but use it too slightly: others use the tongue too forcibly. The first of these faulty habits, makes what is called the bur; the second softens unduly, or slights, the true sound; and the third gives a forced and false sound. Few
persons, it is true, incline to such errors as the first or the last of those just mentioned. But very many habitially prone to the second.
A want of due force, deliberateness, and exactness, in articulation, generally, is a very common fault with young readers. Hence it so often happens that they read with a style which is more or less feeble, rapid, and obscure, or uncertain, in sound; and that the meaning of what they read is so imperfectly conveyed.
A clear, distinct enunciation, is, in all circumstances, indispensable to intelligible communication; and it is always dependent on the proper exertion of the organs which form and define the sounds of the voice.
Correct articulation depends, chiefly, on the right use of the upper part of the throat and of the various parts of the mouth. These should, in the act of articulation, be held unconstrained, and
freely open. If the body be in a lounging posture, if the head be allowed to hang down, if the interior of the mouth be allowed to become somewhat choked up by the roots of the tongue rising too high, if the palate be allowed to hang down into the mouth, if the mouth itself be not freely opened, if the upper and lower lips and teeth be kept too close, if the tongue, the lips, and the palate do not work with energy and precision, the voice will be weak, thick, or confused; it will sound coarse, and nasal, or guttural: there will be a want of the spirit and life and distinctness in utterance, which belong to the true use of the human voice, in speech and reading.
The most effectual guard against faulty articulation, is to observe closely all the different sounds of the voice separately, and to watch closely every change in the position of the organs by which they are executed.
The elementary sounds of the language, as classed in the following exercises, should, for this purpose, be repeated with great care, with clear, full, forcible, and perfectly exact sound, in the utterance of each, while close attention is given to the position and movement of the organs by which each is formed. The attention should be so minute, in the observation of every sound, that we can give, in express words, a distinct description of its peculiar effect on the organs.
EXERCISES IN ARTICULATION.
1. • Tonic' Elements,* or Vowels and Dipthongs Articulate with a clear, distinct, exact utterance, and moderately full force, — repeating each one three times, - the vowels and dipthongs which occur in the following words, — first, in the enunciation of the whole word containing each element, — next, of the sound of the particular element, apart from that of the other letters of the word :
Simple Elements. 1. A-ll; 2. A-rm; 3. A-n; 4. Ai-r; 5. E-rr; 6. E-nd; 7. I-n ; 8. E-ve; 9. O-r; 10. O-n; 11. U-p; 12. Oo-ze, L-00-k.
* Classified by Dr. Rush as Tonic' Elements, from their admitting the full effect of vocal' tone.' These elements requlre attention, in the act of articulation, to the lo 'opening of the mouth and upper part of the throat.
Compound Elements. 1. A-le ; 2. I-ce; 3. O-Id. 4. Our; 5. Oi-l; 6. U-se. Repeat the same, throughout, with a successively INCREASING force, corresponding, at each repetition, to the distinctions implied in the designations . loud,' louder,' loudest.' Repeat the same, with a successively DIMINISHING force, corresponding to soft,' softer,' softest.'
2. Subtonic Elements.*
Articulate, as directed before, the following examples, obserying closely the formation of each of the subtonic elements, indicated by italics .
1. L-u-ll;t 2. M-ai-m;t 8. N-u-n;t 4. R-ap;t 5. Far;t 6. Si-ng; 7. B-a-be; † 8. D-i-d;$ 9. G-a-g;$ 10. V-al-ve; 11. Z-one; 12. A-z-ure; 13. Ye; 14. W-oe; 15. TH-en; 16. J-oy.
3. Atonic Elements. $ 1. P-i-pe;2. T-en-t;t 3. C-a-ke;4. F-i-fe; 5. C-ea-se; 6. He; 7. Th-in; 8. Pu-sh.
4. Effect of Liquids, or • Pure Subtonics.' Articulate, as before, the • Tonics,' or Vowels and Dipthongs,
preceded by a Liquid. ||
Lie N-o N-ow N-oise
* Corresponding, in part, to semivowels.' These elementary sounds, Dr Rusb kas termed . Subtonics,' from their partial admission of the effects of tone.'
† These five elements, usually termed 'liquids,' may be classed as "pure subtonics, from their approach to vocality, or the nature of vowel sounds.
* These six are termed by Dr. Rush, 'Abrupt' Elements, from the abrupt opening which they give to the sound of a vowel following them, and the comparativo abrupt ness with which they cause one preceding them to terminate.
Corresponding, partly, to mutes,' and termed • Atonics,' from their want of tonic effect.
| The practical purpose of this exercise, is, to accustom the ear to appreciate, and the organs to execute, with due effect, the gentle blending of the towel with the