Immagini della pagina


1. GRAMMAR is both a SCIENCE and an ART.

2. As a SCIENCE, it investigates the principles of language in general: as an ART, it teaches the right method of applying these principles to a particular language, so as thereby to express our thoughts in a correct and proper manner, according to established usage.


3. ENGLISH GRAMMAR is the art of speaking and writing the English language with propriety.

4. Language is either spoken or written.

5. The elements of spoken language, are vocal and articulate sounds.

6. The elements of written language, are characters or letters which represent these sounds.

7. Letters are formed into syllables and words; words into sentences; and by these, properly uttered or written, men communicate their thoughts to each other.

8. GRAMMAR is divided into four parts; namely, Orthography, Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody.

9. Orthography treats of letters and syllables; Etymology, of words; Syntax, of sentences; and Prosody, of elocution and versification.



10. ORTHOGRAPHY treats of letters, and of the mode of combining them into syllables and words.

11. A letter is a mark, or character, used to represent an elementary sound of the human voice.

12. There are Twenty-six letters in the English Alphabet. 13. Letters are either Vowels or Consonants.

14. A Vowel is a letter which represents a simple inarticulate sound; and in a word or syllable may be sounded alone. The vowels are a, e, i, o, u, and w and y not before a vowel sounded in the same syllable.

15. A Consonant is a letter which represents an articulate sound; and, in a word or syllable, is never sounded alone, but always in connexion with a vowel. The consonants are b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, x, z, and w and y before a vowel sounded in the same syllable.

16. A Diphthong is the union of two vowels in one sound. Diphthongs are of two kinds, proper and improper.

17. A Proper Diphthong is one in which both the vowels are sounded, as ou in out; oi in oil; ow in cow.

18. An Improper Diphthong, or digraph, is one in which only one of the vowels is sounded, as ou in court, oa in boat.

19. A Triphthong is the union of three vowels in one sound, as cau in beauty.


20. In analyzing words into their elementary sounds, it is necessary to distinguish between the name of a letter and its power.

21. The name of a letter is that by which it is usually called; as A, bě, sẽ, dě, &c.

22. The power of a letter is the effect which it has, either by itself, or combined with other tters, in forming a word or syllable.

[ocr errors]

Orthography is properly a part of Grammar, as it belongs to "the art of speak. ing and writing a language with propriety." Yet as the whole subject is treated more fully in the spelling-book and dictionary, a brief synopsis of its principles only is here given, rather as a matter of form, than with a view to its being partic. ularly studied at this stage. The teacher may therefore, if he thinks proper, pass overthis part forthepresent, and begin with PART II.

23. All the vowels have each several powers. Several letters have the same power, and certain powers or elements of words, are represented by a combination of two letters.







24. The elementary powers or sounds in the English language are about forty, and are divided into locals, represented by vowels and diphthongs, and Subvocals, and Aspirates, represented by consonants, single or combined.

25. VOCALS are inarticulate sounds produced by the organs of voice, with the mouth more or less open, and with no change, or but slight change, of position in the organs of speech.

26. SUBVOCALS are sounds produced by the organs of voice, articulated or modified by certain changes in the position of the organs of speech.

27. ASPIRATES are mere whispering sounds without vocality, but which still have an audible effect in the enunciation of words. They are all articulate, except h.

28. The elementary powers of letters can not be exhibited to the eye, but must be learned from the living voice.

29. The NAME of a vowel is always one of its powers (except w and y), and if from the name of a consonant, we take away the vowel sound, what remains is generally the power of that consonant, except w and y.

30. TABLE of Elementary Sounds in the English Language.








[blocks in formation]

*R. before a vowel has a hard or trilling sound: as, rat, rough: after a vowel, a soft and liquid sound; as, arm, far.

31. A full view of the elementary powers of letters in the formation of words, is exhibited in the preceding table. In the words annexed as examples, the letter whose power is indicated is printed in Italic. By pronouncing the word distinctly, and then leaving out all but the power of the Italic letter, and uttering that alone, we have the power of that letter.

32. Certain letters in the English Alphabet have the same power as others in the preceding table, and may therefore be called Equivalents. Equivalents of vowels and diphthongs are numerous.

33. Of the Subvocals and Aspirates, eight pairs are Correlatives. In sounding the first of any of these pairs, the organs of voice* and speech are in the same position as in sounding its fellow, but the first, or subvocal, has vocality; the second, or aspirate, has not. 34. TABLE of Equivalents and Correlatives.


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]




















judge. Ch. chide.

Aspirates. fame.





top. thick.

35. These elementary sounds of the human voice, sometimes simple, but more commonly combined, are formed into syllables and words.

36. A Syllable is a certain vocal or articulate sound, uttered by one impulse of the voice, and represented by one or more letters, as, farm, farm-er, ea-gle, a-e-ri-al.

37. Every word contains as many syllables as it has distinct vocal sounds, as, gram-ma-ri-an.

*The Organs of voice are those parts (called by physiologists the larynx and its appendages) which are employed in the production of simple vocal sounds.

The Organs of speech are those parts employed to articulate or modify whispering or vocal sounds. These are the tongue, lips, teeth, and palate.

38. A word of one syllable is called a Monosyllable. 39. A word of two syllables is called a Dissyllable. 40. A word of three syllables is called a Trisyllable. 41. A word of more than three syllables is called a Polysyllable.


42. The division of words into syllables is called Syllubication.


43. Place together in distinct syllables, those letters which make up the separate parts or divisions of a word, as heard in its correct pronunciation.

44. The only definite rules of much value on this subject, are the following:45. Rule 1. Two or more consonants forming but one elementary sound, are never separated; such as, ch, tch, th, sh, ng, ph, wh, gh silent, or sounding ƒ, lk sounding k, &c.; as, church-es, watch-es, worthy, fish-es, sing-ing, philoso-phy, sigh-ing, cough-ing, walk-ing.

46. Rule 2. The terminations, cean, cian, ceous, cious, cial, tion, tious, tial, geon, gian, geous, sion, are hardly ever divided; as o-cean, gra-cious, na-tion, coura-geous, &c.

47. Rule 3. Compound words are divided into their simple ones; as, rail-road, bee-hive, hope-less, thank-ful, &c.

48. Rule 4. The terminations of words, when they form a syllable, are usually separated from their roots; as, writ-er, teach-es, think-ing, cold-er, old-est.

49. Two separate words combined as one name, are usually separated by a hyphen; as rail-road, glass-house, bee-hive.

50. In writing, a word of more than one syllable may be divided at the end of a line, but a monosyllable or a syllable, never


51. SPELLING is the art of expressing a word by its proper letters.

52. The Orthography of the English language is so anomalous, and in many cases arbitrary, that proficiency in it can be acquired only by practice, and the use of the spelling-book or dictionary. The following rules are of a general character. though even to these there may be a few exceptions:

« IndietroContinua »