182. Pronunciation.--Accent is a particular stress or force of the voice upon certain syllables or words. This mark ' in printing denotes the syllable upon which the stress or force of the voice should be placed.
183. A Word may have more than one Accent. Take as an instance aspiration. In uttering this word we give a marked emphasis of the voice upon the first and third syllables, and therefore those syllables are said to be accented. The first of these accents is less distinguishable than the second, upon which we dwell longer, therefore the second accent in point of order is called the primary, or chief accent of the word.
184. When the full Accent falls on a Vowel, that vowel should have a long sound, as in vo'cal; but when it falls on or after a consonant, the preceding vowel has a short sound, as in hab'it.
185. To obtain a Good Knowledge of Pronunciation, it is advisable for the reader to listen to the examples given by good speakers, and by educated persons. We learn the pronunciation of words, to a great extent, by imitation, just as birds acquire the notes of other birds which may be near them.
186. But it will be very important to bear in mind that there are many words having a double meaning or application, and that the difference of meaning is indicated by the difference of the accent. Among these words, nouns are distinguished from verbs by this means: nouns are mostly accented on the first syllable, and verbs on the last.
187. Noun signifies Name; nouns are the names of persons and things, as well as of things not material and palpable, but of which we have a conception and knowledge, such as courage, firmness, goodness, strength; and verbs express actions, movements, &c. If the word used signifies that anything has been done, or is being done, or is, or is to be done, then that word is a verb.
188. Thus when we say that anything is "an in'sult," that word is a noun, and is accented on the first syllable; but wen we say he did it "to insult' another person," the word insult' implies acting, and becomes a verb, and should be accented on the last syllable. The effect is, that, in speaking, you should employ a different pronunciation in the use of the same word, when uttering such sentences as these:- "What an in'sult!" "Do you mean to insult' me?" In the first sentence the stress of voice must be laid upon the first syllable, in', and in the latter case upon the second syllable, sult'.
189. Meaning varied by Accentuation.--A list of nearly all the words that are liable to this variation is given in the following page. It will be noticed that those in the first column, having the accent on the first syllable, are mostly nouns; and that those in the second column, which have the accent on the second and final syllable, are mostly verbs:-
|Noun, &c.||Verb, &c.||Noun, &c.||Verb, &c.||Noun, &c.||Verb, &c.|
190. Cement' is an Exception to the above rule, and should always be accented on the last syllable. So also the word Consols'.
191. Hints to "Cockney Speakers."--The most objectionable error of the Cockney, that of substituting the v for the w, and vice versâ, is, we believe, pretty generally abandoned. Such sentences as "Are you going to Vest Vickham?" "This is wery good weal," &c., were too intolerable to be retained. Moreover, there has been a very able schoolmaster at work during the past forty years. This schoolmaster is no other than the loquacious Mr. Punch, from whose works we quote a few admirable exercises:-
i. Low Cockney.--"Seen that party lately? "What! the party with the wooden leg, as come with--" "No, no--not that party. The party, you know, as--" "Oh! ah! I know the party you mean, now." "Well, a party told me as he can't agree with that other party, and he says that if another party can't be found to make it all square, he shall look out for a party as will."--(And so on for half an hour.)192. Londoners who desire to correct the defects of their utterance cannot do better than to exercise themselves frequently upon those words respecting which they have been in error.
ii. Police.--"Lor, Soosan, how's a feller to eat meat such weather as this? Now, a bit o'pickled salmon and cowcumber, or a lobster salid, might do."
iii. Cockney Yachtsman.--(Example of affectation.) Scene: the Regatta Ball.--"I say, Top, what's that little craft with the black velvet flying at the fore, close under the lee scuppers of the man- of-war?" "Why, from her fore-and-aft righ, and the cut of her mainsail, I should say she's down from the port of London; but I'll signal the commodore to come and introduce us!"
iv. Omnibus Driver.--Old acquaintance. "'Ave a drop, Bill?" Driver. "Why, yer see, Jim, this 'ere young hoss has only been in 'arness once afore, and he's such a beggar to bolt, ten to one if I leave him he'll be a-runnin' hoff, and a smashin' into suthun. Howsoever--here--(handing reins to a timid passenger)--lay hold, sir, I'll chance it!"
v. Costermonger (to extremely genteel person).--"I say, guv'ner, give us a hist with this 'ere bilin' o' greens!" (A large hamper of market stuff.)
vi. Genteel Cockney (by the seaside.)--Blanche. "How grand, how solemn, dear Frederick, this is! I really think the ocean is more beautiful under this aspect than under any other!" Frederick.-- "H'm--ah! Per-waps. By the way, Blanche, there's a fella shwimping. S'pose we ask him if he can get us some pwawns for breakfast to-mowaw mawning?"
vii. Stuck-up Cockney.--(Small Swell enters a tailor's shop.) "A--Brown, A--want some more coats!" Snip. "Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. How many would you please to want?" Small Swell. "A-- let me see; A--ll have eight. A--no, I'll have nine; and look here! A--shall want some trousers." Snip. "Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. How many would you like?" Small Swell. --"A--I don't know exactly. S'pose we say twenty-four pairs; and look here! Show me some patterns that won't be worn by any snobs!"
viii. Cockney Flunkey.--(Country Footman meekly inquires of London Footman)--"Pray, sir, what do you think of our town? A nice place, ain't it?" London Footman (condescendingly). "Vell, Joseph, I likes your town well enough. It's clean: your streets are hairy; and you have lots of rewins. But I don't like your champagne, it's all gewsberry!"
ix. Cockney Cappy (with politeness).--"Beg pardon, sir; please don't smoke in the keb, sir; ladies do complain o' the 'bacca uncommon. Better let me smoke it for yer outside, sir!"
x. Military Cockney.--Lieutenant Blazer (of the Plungers).--"Gwood gwacious! Here's a howible go! The infantwy's going to gwow a moustache!" Cornet Huffey (whose face is whiskerless). "Yaw don't mean that! Wall! there's only one alternative for us. We must shave!"
xi. Juvenile Low Cockney.--"Jack; Whereabouts i Amstid-am?" Jack. "Well, I can't say exackerley, but I know it's somewhere near 'Ampstid-'eath!"
xii. Cockney Domestic.--Servant girl.--"Well, mam--Heverythink considered, I'm afraid you won't suit me. I've always bin brought up genteel: and I couldn't go nowheres where there ain't no footman kep'."
xiii. Another.--Lady. "Wish to leave! why, I thought, Thompson, you were very comfortable with me!" Thompson (who is extremely refined). "Ho yes, mum! I don't find no fault with you, mum-- nor yet with master--but the truth his, mum--the hother servants is so orrid vulgar and hignorant, and speaks so hungrammatical, that I reely cannot live in the same 'ouse with 'em--and I should like to go this day month, if so be has it won't illconvenience you!"
xiv. Cockney Waiter.--"'Am, sir? Yessir? Don't take anything with your 'am, do you, sir?" Gentleman. "Yes, I do; I take the letter H!"
xv. Cockney Hairdresser.--"They say, sir, the cholera is in the Hair, sir!" Gent (very uneasy). "Indeed! Ahem! Then I hope you're very particular about the brushes you use." Hairdresser. "Oh, I see you don't hunderstand me, sir; I don't mean the 'air of the 'ed, but the hair hof the hatmosphere?"
xvi. Cockney Sweep (seated upon a donkey).--"Fitch us out another penn'orth o' strawberry hice, with a dollop o' lemon water in it."
xvii. Feminine Cockney (by the seaside).--"Oh, Harriet, dear, put on your hat and let us thee the stheamboat come in. The thea is tho rough!--and the people will be tho abthurdly thick!"
193. Hints for the Correction of the Irish Brogue.--According to the directions given by Mr. B. H. Smart, an Irishman wishing to throw off the brogue of his mother country should avoid hurling out his words with a superfluous quantity of breath. It is not broadher and widher that he should say, but the d, and every other consonant, should be neatly delivered by the tongue, with as little riot, clattering, or breathing as possible. Next let him drop the roughness or rolling of the r in all places but the beginning of syllables; he must not say stor-rum and far-rum, but let the word be heard in one smooth syllable. He should exercise himself until he can convert plaze into please, plinty into plenty, Jasus into Jesus, and so on. He should modulate his sentences, so as to avoid directing his accent all in one manner--from the acute to the grave. Keeping his ear on the watch for good examples, and exercising himself frequently upon them, he may become master of a greatly improved utterance.
194. Hints for Correcting the Scotch Brogue.--The same authority remarks that as an Irishman uses the closing accent of the voice too much, so a Scotchman has the contrary habit, and is continually drawling his tones from the grave to the acute, with an effect which, to southern ears, is suspensive in character. The smooth guttural r is as little heard in Scotland as in Ireland, the trilled r taking its place. The substitution of the former instead of the latter must be a matter of practice. The peculiar sound of the u, which in the north so often borders on the French u, must be compared with the several sounds of the letter as they are heard in the south; and the long quality which a Scotchman is apt to give to the vowels that ought to be essentially short, must be clipped. In fact, aural observation and lingual exercise are the only sure means to the end; so that a Scotchman going to a well for a bucket of water, and finding a countryman bathing therein, would not exclaim, "Hey, Colin, dinna ye ken the water's for drink, and nae for bathin'?"
195. Of Provincial Brogues it is scarcely necessary to say much, as the foregoing advice applies to them. One militiaman exclaimed to another, "Jim, you bain't in step" "Bain't I?" exclaimed the other; "well, change yourn!" Whoever desires knowledge must strive for it. It must not be dispensed with after the fashion of Tummus and Jim, who held the following dialogue upon a vital question:- Tummus. "I zay, Jim, be you a purfectionist?" Jim. "E'as I be." Tummus. "Wall, I zay, Jim, what be purfection?" Jim. "Loa'r, Tummus, doan't 'ee knaw?" Jim. "Wall, I doan't knaw as I can tell 'ee, Tummus, vur I doan't ezakerly knaw mysel' !"