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tha; the a to be
sounded as in art.
sounds thoo; the oo to sound as in pool. Sounds marked thus (*) are not heard in any English word.
N. B. For the different pronunciation of gue and güe, or of gui and güi; and also for that of the sounds formed with the consonants ll, ñ, and y; I refer the learner to the Observations which have been already made concerning these Letters. On Monosyllables, Polysyllables, Diphthongs, &c.
Words are often named according to the number of syllables which they contain: thus, a word of one syllable is called a monosyllable; of two syllables, a dissyllable; of three syllables, a trisyllable; and a word containing more than three syllables is named a polysyllable, which last expression is generally used also to describe any word of more than two syllables.
If two vowels come together in the same syllable, they are called a diphthong; and if the combination consists of three vowels, it is termed a triphthong. The following are the diphthongs and triphthongs which the Spanish Academy have decided shall be so called.
† A syllable is a complete sound, sometimes represented with only one vowel; but generally consisting of more than one letter.
Diphthongs have been also divided into proper and improper; calling the first those combinations wherein the sound of each vowel is distinctly heard; and applying the second term to the combinations in which the two vowels form one sound only between them, or wherein one of the vowels is not at all heard. In Spanish we have no improper diphthongs, unless we rank under that name the ue
and ui in those instances wherein the u is silent after g or q. See letter U.
In regard to diphthongs it must be further observed, that whenever one of the vowels is accented, there is no diphthong, because each vowel belongs then to a separate syllable, and therefore must be divided and pronounced accordingly; as let, brío, varía, efectúa, temiò, &c. that is, le-í, brí-o, varí-a, &c.
Of the Sound of final Consonants.
The only consonants which can terminate a Spanish word are d, l, n, r, s, x, z, they are all sounded at the end of words; but d, r, and x must be particularly noticed.
d final has the sound of th in the word than. r at the end of words has the smooth sound. r sounds like ss in English.
The Spanish Academy have in a late Treatise introduced the following alterations:
C: see Q.
CH has no longer the power of K, its place being supplied by qu before e or i; and by c before a, o, u, or a consonant; as carácter, coro, Cristiano, querubin, quilo, character, choir, Christian, cherub, chyle. It is still preserved in some few names derived from the Hebrew; but they may be always known, because the vowel following the ch is uniformly marked with the circumflex accent.
K is dismissed from the alphabet, but its use is allowed in the spelling of proper names.
P is never to be followed by h, an ƒ being substituted; as falange, farmacia, phalanx, pharmacy.
Q. Only the syllables que, qui, are to be spelt with q; as quemo, quicio: qua, qüë, qüi, quo, are to be written with c; as cual, cuatro, cuestion, cuota.
X. The gutturalsound of this letter is discontinued,
its place being supplied by j before a, o, u, and generally by g before e ori; as jubon, gebeque, gicara, jorgolin, jugo. When x precedes a consonant, its place may be supplied by s; as estremo, estraño, estrangero. N.B. The vowel following is no longer to be marked with the circumflex accent.
V. The striking distinction which ought to be observed betwixt this letter and B, and which has been so long neglected, is strongly inculcated in pages 24 and 51 of the said Treatise.
Remarks on Spelling.
Words are to be written as they are pronounced. Every letter in a word is to be sounded; u,however, is sometimes, and h, generally, silent.
When pronunciation is insufficient to fix the spelling, regard must be had to Etymology; as género, generacion, gimnástico, Jesuita, zelo, zizaña, ceniza, ciego.
When the Etymology is uncertain, J is to be preferred to G, and C to Z.
A List of Words which resemble in Sound but differ in Spelling.