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The elementary sounds of the language are,
(1.) Vocals,* or pure voice only; as, a, e, i, o, u;

(2.) Subvocals, or voice and breath united; as, b, d, m, n, l, r;

(3.) Aspirates, or pure breath only; as, p, t, k, f.

Those letters which represent the first class, are called vowels; those which represent the second and third, are called consonants.

There are only twenty-six letters of the alphabet to represent about forty elementary sounds; hence several letters are used le represent each more than one sound.

Of the twenty-six letters of the alphabet, five (a, e, i, o, and u) are vowels; two (w and y) are either vowels or consonants ; tbe remaining nineteen are consonants.

W and y are when they precede a vowel in the same syllable ; as in wine, twine, yes, yet. In any other situation they are vowels.

Ten of the consonants (b, d, g,j, l, m, n, r, o, z) are subvocals • eight (f, l., k, c, 9, P, 1, s) are aspirates ; I is a subvocal when it is equivalent to gs, an aspirate when it is equivalent to ks.

A diphthong is the union of two vowels in one syllable ; as ou in sound.

A proper diphthong is one in which both vowels are sounded; as oi in noise.

An improper diphthong is one in which only one of the vowels is sounded; as ea in heat.

A triphthong is the union of three vowels in one sylla. ble; as eau in beauty.

A proper triphthong is one in which the three vowels are sounded ; as uoy in buoy.

An improper triphthong is one in which only one or two of the vowels are sounded; as iew in view.

* It is impossible to represent these distinctions in any way except by the living voice. The pupil should, therefore, de taught to give the elementary sounds (not the name sounds of the letters till he distinction becomes familiar



A syllable is a letter, or combination of letters, uttered by one impulse of the voice ; as, ab, id. A word is either a syllable or a union of syllables ;. as, mat, mat-ler, mate-ri-al.

A word of one syllable is called a monosyllable ; a word of two syllables, a dissyllable ; a word of three syllables, a trisyllable ; a word of four or more syllables, a poly syllable.

Words are either underived, derived, or compounded.

The first are called radical or primitive words; the second, derivative; the third, compound.

Derivative words are formed from primitives by means of some additional syllable ; as, good, goodness ; real, realize ; grateful, ungrateful.

When the added syllable is placed before the radical word, it is called a prefix; as, reprove, improve, disprove, approve.

When the added syllable is placed after the radical word, it is called a suffix; as, fearful, fearless, fearing, feared.

Compound words are formed by uniting two primitive or derivative words ; as, book-case, book-binder.

A radical word represents a single idea, -a derivative, 80100 modification of an idea, - a compound, two distinct ideas Quiled. It is worthy of notice, that these three classes of words bear a striking resernblance to the three classes of sentences. The siinple sentence represents a single thought; in the complex sen tence, that thought is modified by the subordinate clause ; in the compound sentence, two distinct thoughts are united.

Derivative words may be formed either by inflection or by derivation.

By inflection the application of a word is changed, but not its classification.

It is the same part of speech after the change as before.

By derivation both the application and classification a.e changed, and the meaning is modified.

Thus, from the noun fear, we have, by inflection, the noun fears, which denotes more than one: from the same word, we have, by derivation, the adjectives fearful, fearless, or the adverbs fearfully, fearlessly.


ETYMOLOGY treats of the different classes of words and their various modification .



There are in English eight classes of words, called parts of speech, namely, the noun, the pronoun, the adjective, the oerb, the adverb, the preposition, the conjunction, and the interjection.

Of these parts of speech, £ve (the noun, pronoun, adjective, vcrb, and adverb) are used as the constituent parts (176) of a sentence; two (the preposition and conjunction) are used as connectives of those parts; one (the interjection) has no grammatical construction

Conjunctive adverbs, relative pronouns, and all attributive verbs (35, a.) are both constituent elements and connectives.

A noun is the name of an object; as, fruit, Henry Boston.

A pronoun is a word which takes the piace of a noun, as, he, she, it.

An adjective is a word used to limit or qualify the meaning of a noun; as, good, faithful, this, some.

A verb is a word which expresses being, action, or state ; as, be, read, sleep, is loved.

An adverb is used to modify the meaning of a verb, ad. jective, or another adverb; as, quickly, first, far.

A preposition is a word used to show the relation be. tween a noun or pronoun and some preceding word; as, upon, on, with.

A conjunction is a word used to connect either words. phrases, or propositions; as, and, but, or.

An interjection is a word used to express some emot on of the mind; as, oh! alas !



Note. This lesson is referred to on page 19. It sould do studied in connection with the subject of a sentence.


PRONOUNS. A noun is the name of an A pronoun is a word object.

which takes the place of a The word object, as here used, noun. embraces every species of ex. The pronoun is used to repreistence, whether material or sent an object as having been immaterial.

previously mentioned, os

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Nouns are divided into having some relation to be two classes, -- proper and speaker.

Pronouns are divided in A proper noun is the to three classes, - personal, name of an individual ob- relative, and interrogative. ject; as, James, Erie.

A personal pronoun is A common noun is a used both to represent a name which applies to each noun, and to show whether individual of a class of ob- it is of the first, second, or jects ; as, man, boy, house.

third person. Under the head of com- Note. Relative and intermon nouns are commonly rogative pronouns will be treat reckoned collective, abstract, ed of hereafter. and verbal nouns.

I (plural, we) is of the A collective noun is one first person ; thou (plural ye which, in the singular, de- or you) is of the second per. notes more than one object; son; he, she, and it, (plural, as, army, family, flock.

they,) are of the third perAn abstract noun is the son, masculine, feminine, name of a property con- and neuter, respectively. sidered apart from the ob- When self (plural, selves) ject to which it belongs; as, is added to the personal goodness, virtue, wisdom.

pronouns, they are called A verbal noun is a parti- compound personal prociple used as a noun • as, nouns ; as, myself, thysclf, He

convicted of himself. stealing.

These seldum, if ever, are The infinitive is a kind of used as the subject; they may verbal noun; as, “ To sce the be in apposition with the sun is pleasant.”

subject. A phrase or entire prop- It is often used in osition may be used as a vague sense as the subject aoun · as, Fr in Boston to verbs descriptive of the


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