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room fairly resound with it. Don't try to progress too fast in getting strength, and stop if your throat tickles the least bit and you are inclined to cough. Do not practice long at a time. Five or ten minutes twice daily will be enough at first. If possible, let one of these periods of practice come in the morning, for you will find your voice better then.

CAUTION. — Be careful in all vocal practice to secure a perfectly relaxed throat. If there is constriction, try uttering the syllable ah with a sort of sighing sound. Start the exercise with the chords entirely separated and gradually approximate them until vocalization results.

EXERCISES

10. Give, with the singing voice, on different pitches, the sounds of l, m, and n, following each closely with the sounds ē-1-7-ä. (Diacritical marks of Webster's New International Dictionary.) Blend the consonant and the following vowel very carefully, without any sudden transition, and observe the same method in linking the vowels.

II. Give the following consonants with each of the following vowels and diphthongs. Attack them vigorously.

6 d

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i in pine

o in go

12. Give each of the following vowel sounds three times, preceding it with the sound of n. Strive for clearness at first, listening closely for any unused breath, but as clearness appears, also strive for strength. a in rate

e in we
oo in food

a in father 13. Give the following vocal syllables, reading across the page.

nay

nah nah

nah noi

nigh

nee

naw

no

nee

noo

[ocr errors]

now

PUB. SPEAK. 2

LESSON IV

PRONUNCIATION OF SINGLE WORDS

ARTICULATION

Every student knows the feeling that comes over him when he hears one of his classmates mispronounce a word. The same feeling comes over an audience when a public speaker mispronounces a word, and it is plain that the audience can never think quite so much of a speaker as if he had not made the blunder.

But absolutely incorrect pronunciation is not the only thing that an audience does not like. Sometimes, although the pronunciation of a word may not be altogether incorrect, it is given in such an indistinct manner that the audience have to listen very closely to make out what is being said. No audience will listen to this sort of pronunciation long without showing disapproval by lack of attention, whispering, etc.

The speaker who wishes to hold the respect and attention of his audience must speak both correctly and distinctly.

To speak distinctly, it is necessary to give attention to what is called articulation (Latin, articulare, to join); that is, the joining of the sounds that go to make up our speech, or, perhaps better, the joining, or coming together, of the organs of speech in uttering these sounds. Thus we can clearly see that in giving the sound of the letter b there is a joining of the lips; that in the letter t or d there is a joining of the tongue and teeth. This meaning need not

be confined to consonants alone, for in the case of vowels there is also a certain coming together, or arrangement, a certain configuration, as it is sometimes called. Now when these different arrangements of the organs are performed well, in a clean-cut, energetic way, we have good articulation,

which in turn gives distinctness. On the other hand, if the organs are not joined strongly and firmly, but are carelessly and slouchily handled, we have poor articulation, which results in indistinctness. Distinctness in speaking is founded upon a muscular act, — the joining of the speech organs, and it follows that it can be developed in the same manner that an athlete develops his muscles, by frequent and regular practice.

For the purpose of securing this practice it is well to divide words into their separate sounds and syllables in order that we may see clearly just what articulations take place in the word.

Suppose we represent the a sound in bathing by a band of sound, lasting about a second thus :

a

Now suppose we represent the i sound by another similar band of sound a second in length, thus :

i

We then have the vowel sounds of the word bathing, represented by the following:

i

a

It is evident that both the a sound and the i sound are open at the beginning and at the end. Suppose now

that we close the beginning of the a sound with the letter b. We now have :

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Now bring the a sound and the i sound together with the th sound. We now have:

[blocks in formation]

Adding the ng sound at the end we have:

[blocks in formation]

Now shorten all these elements to their proper length and we have the word bathing.

NOTE. — In executing this word, or any other in the same way, firmness of contact and quickness of release should characterize all the consonant sounds.

Write out the following words after the manner of the word bathing, given above.

CAUTION. Of course words which begin with a vowel sound should be left open at the beginning, as those which close with a vowel sound should be left open at the end.

WORDS

look
state
murder
suspicion
benefited

supposed
wishing
immediately
association
excusable

nephew perpetrator procurement confirmed terminated

hereafter
motive
prisoner
principally
everything

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