« السابقةمتابعة »
Explosives or small arms, of the third division :
U-p, Ou-t, Ar-k. Thus I have formed these worthies as I best could, and indeed, they have quite a military air.
These thirty-five elements are competent, either singly or in combination, to produce every sound which can be considered English; to them, in the language of Harris, "we owe that variety of articulate voices, which has been sufficient to explain the sentiments of so innumerable a multitude, as all the present and all the past generations of men !"
It now remains to speak, first, of the organs of the mouth, which are employed in articulation, and of the physiological formation of the different sounds, of which alphabetical char. acters are the representatives.
Organs of the mouth-Division into pairs-Experiments-1
The vowels-Consonants or Articulations-Vocal and Whis. pering letters—Welsh peculiarity— Tables of sounds--Conclusion.
The narrow aperture in the middle of the Larynx, communicating with the mouth, is called the glottis, from a word in the Greek language, signifying originally tongue, and thence employed to designate the mouth-piece of a wind instrument. A convex, triangular lid, closes this opening to the Larynx when we swallow. This lid is called the Epiglottis; viz! "upon the glottis," and may be seen at figure 4 on page 150.
The month presents a more comples mechanism than the Larynx or Trachea. IIere a pair of organs are always united in producing a distincí sound. Some part of the tongue always constitutes the active or moving individual in every pair, and one or another of the different parts of the cavity, is the other. Now, let us divide these organs into pairs, commencing back at the opening into the throat. The root of the tongue on one side, and over against it, the palate, on which the glottis-cover' rcsts, compose the first pair; the upper surface of the tongue, and the roof of the mouth, the second pair. The tip of the tongue and the upper teeth, or the part immediately above them, are thc third couple. The lips, which are the folding doors of the nouth, constitute the fourth pair; and finally, iho two side doors leading to the nostrils, and answering the purpose of a sound-board, compose the fifth pair,
Every part of the vocal apparatus las now been examined; the Tachea, thc Larynx, and through its aperture, the glottis, we entered the mouth, and classed the organs in pairs as we passed along towards the folding doors. The voice-machine is ready for operation, and we have only to cause the raw material; viz: air, to pass through it, and set the various organs in motion, and we shall immediately have the elements of speech. The air, in its passage from the lungs, may be compressed at the glottis, or in its passage through the mouth, by the different pairs of organs, which were just now enu. merated. Suppose then, that we make some experiments with this wonderful piece of mechanism. Let us open the mouth, suffer all the machinery to remain passive, and propel a our. rent of air, by means of the great bellows or lungs, through it. Thero! A broath, searcely aulible, is the result; not exactly a sound, but rather the preparation for one. Inflate
the lungs again, and give a stronger blast. Now you have a hard breathing, like the rushing of the wind; a real element of speech. Take the syllable orse; breathe hard as you sound it, and you will have, not orse, but horse. Take the line, "Up the igłı ill e eaves a uge round stone, and exhale the air in this manner, when pronouncing those words which are italiciscd, and you will produco a line much more intelli. gible and truc to nature; viz: "Up the high hill, he heaves a huge round stone.” Here then, we have the aspirate or rough breathing, which is expressed in Written language by the character or letter H, which, by the way, would answer as appropriately to the name Jack, as to the one with which caprice christened it, and under which long usaye has recoy. nized it.
Our English relatives, across the water, treat the II very capriciously; whenever it ventures to be the initial sound, it is unwarrantable neglected, and, but for the peculiar humor of its tyrants, mighi sink into utter insignificance. They, however, generally assign it a place, which it never presumes to occupy. For cxample, a larly from the top of the stairs calls her servant: Enry, cre!
ash is coll-take it down, s eat this
it, Henry, here!
hash , and tell the cook to heat and bring it up a rain.
Suppose that we proceed farther with our experiments, and contract the glottis or opening into the larynx, and then suffer the air, thus compressed, to rush out with sudden expansion, vibrating throughout the arched roof and other cavitics of the open mouth, and you have a clear, full tone, called a voice-sound or vowel, the contraction of the glottis, producing the loud clang.
Now open the mouth; suffer the tongue to lie motionless in the lower jaw, and the other organs to remain still; contract the glottis, and then allow the air to rush out, and you have the pure vowel A, as in ah. You can change this position of the mouth in two ways, either by dilatation or contraction; the former consists in widening the mouth, in which the cheeks will be full; the latter in lengthening it, when the cheeks will be partially drawn in, and the lips protruded; in either case, you will observe, that the different parts of the machinery are brought nearer each other.
Let us first dilate the mouth; the teeth become visible; the tongue is curved and rises towards the roof; now contract the glottis, and exhale the air, and the clear, sharp sound E pas. ses out between the tongue and the roof of its prison.
Dilate the mouth as much as possible; now the tongue and the roof of the mouth are brought so near, that a sound can hardly escape between them; contract the glottis and expel the air, and you have the thin vowel, I.
Only one change now remains to be made; that of contraction. We will do this by forming a circular orifice with the lips, and allowing the tongue to shrink back with its hollow surface into the lower jaw, and we shall have the sound 0.
Contract or lengthen the mouth as much as possible, and the narrowed sound U, passes out between the lips.
The experiments which we have made in this chapter, have been with the glottis, and though we have brought some of the pairs of organs nearer one another, than the natural position in producing the sound A, yet we did not intercept the sounds, by touching the tongue and roof of the mouth, or the lips; so the sounds which we have discovered, are strictly glottis sounds, generally called vowels, from a word meaning voice. A, I and U are the limits of the vowel sounds, as
distinguished from those made by touching the organs; for suppose the approximation of the organs be carried so far, that there is an actual contact of the organs, and thereby an interception of the sound, these vowels would be changed, I, becoming J, and U, V or F.
Omit to contract the glottis, and instead of A, you will have the breathing, H. The following is a diagram, exhibiting the deviation of the simple voice sounds from the pure vowel A, as in ah, until a slight change in the position of the organs cause the letters at the terminations of the longer lines to would pass over into other sounds :
V or F Thus we have discovered in a series of experiments how the principal vowels are formed. It was remarked that there are thirty-five elementary sounds. To the voice sounds may be added the sound of O short, as heard in c-oa-t; of U, as in p-u-ll; of Oi, as in b-oy, and of 0, as in O-bject. We may also swell the number of mouth-sounds or consonants by the addition of the sounds represented by J, Q, R final,
Note-On page 188, E-rrd should be E-nd; and in the half-ringar ing aspirations, Th-in should be Th-en.