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manner of spelling and pronouncing. This plain sensible rule is surely better than pedantry or affectation and in this we might profit by the example of the French, in imitating whose language we have given such a motley character to our own.
DIRECTIONS TO THE NATIVES OF SCOTLAND IN PRONOUNCING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
Of course the proper direction to persons who wish to acquire the pronunciation of any language, is to put themselves under the instruction of competent teachers; for sounds cannot be communicated by written rules or descriptions. All we intend, therefore, is to give such assistance as writing can supply.
Mr. Walker, who treats of every subject connected with English pronunciation in a philosophic manner, remarks—“ That pronunciation which distinguishes the inhabitants of Scotland, may be divided into the quantity, quality, and accentuation of the vowels." The author is less happy in these distinctions than usual, owing, perhaps, to his imperfect acquaintance with the Scottish dialect. Had he said inflection, quality of the vowel sounds, and accentuation, he would have presented his meaning more distinctly. He has treated of inflection in a very satisfactory manner; showing that one of the Scottish peculiari
ties is the predominant rising slide or turn of the voice as if putting a question; and proposes, very rationally, that the Scotch should practise as much as possible on the falling, and the Irish (whose peculiarity is directly opposite) on the rising inflection, to acquire that equal mixture or mean proportion of both, which distinguishes the English speaker.
But, as he justly remarks, there is a tone of voice in the Scottish peculiarity besides mere inflection: and it is this, more than any thing else, which has been commonly but indistinctly termed the Scotch accent. Every language has a tone, tune, or recitative, peculiar to itself (which tone is vulgarly called brogue when grafted on another language): it is the same with dialects. The English has comparatively little of recitative; or it is, at least, quick time and short measure; it is pronounced "trippingly on the tongue :" the Scottish dialect has comparatively much of recitative-or it is at least slow and winding, like much of the Scottish music: hence what is commonly termed among the English the Scotch drawl. The idiomatic inflection and drawl, or the national peculiarities of recitative, are the most obstinate difficulties that the natives of Scotland have to contend with in learning English pronunciation. Many of them never surmount these nationalities any more than those of a different sort; and they are so influential that it is impossible to be wholly free from them within the limits of their native country, or in constant contact with those natives of
Scotland in whom they predominate. Even the English are perceived to be Scotchified in their speech after a short residence in the North. The author after a short visit of two weeks in his native country was thought to have the Scotch twang, by persons whom previously he had some difficulty in persuading that he was not an Englishman.
The above peculiarities seem, however, in the judgment of the author on the decrease, and will, perhaps, in time disappear. The only direction that can be given to persons wishing to master them, is to learn the English language, if possible, among and from English people. Persons who have always lived in Scotland cannot communicate what they do not possess. They speak English with the Scottish idiom of sound or recitative commonly called accent.
Concerning accent in the proper English accepta tion, i. e. stress on a particular syllable, there is very little difficulty. Any individual wishing to acquire the English manner has only to mark those words in which the accent is different from his native dialect, and commit them to memory or practise on them until they are rendered familiar and easy. Where there is a difference it consists uniformly (we do not remember a single exception) in the Scottish being more to the right or towards the end of the word than the English accent-particularly when a verb. Thus, Comfort, Comfor't, Sen'tence, Senten'ce, Rescue, Rescue, &c. When the vowel in the last syllable of a verb is long, it is almost uniformly accented
in the Scottish dialect; as, criticise, catechise, &c., pronounced kreeteseéze, katekeéze, or, in imitation of the English manner, kreetesize.
But the grand difference between the two dialects, is in the quality or sound of the vowels; many that are long in the one are short in the other, and vice versá: coach box for example, is usually pronounced in Scotland coch box; post office, post office; which is an inversion of the English mode as to the length and shortness of the vowels. The proper remedy in this, as in accent, is to mark in a pronouncing Dictionary all the words which differ, and commit them to memory, or practise on them till they become familiar.
It is not so much, however, in an inverted use of the long and short vowels as in the quality of the vowel sounds, that the one dialect differs from the other. In this the diversity is more striking and complete than easily explained or accounted for. It may in a general way be affirmed, that all the long sounds of the vowels are longer, and that all the short sounds of the vowels are shorter as pronounced by English than as pronounced by Scottish speakers. It is impossible to give a distinct idea or true notion of the quality of vowel sounds by written description; but the learner should, as the first step, acquire from vocal exemplification a correct pronunciation of all the English vowels and diphthongs. It is from not having properly attended to this, that many public speakers in Scotland have a mongrel, strange, dis
cordant pronunciation, possessing neither the ease of a natural manner, nor the euphony of either the English or the Scottish dialect.
It is worthy of notice, perhaps, that the natives of Scotland, like the Irish, Welsh, Germans and others, naturally use the throat, or gutturalize more than the English, and pronounce h and r with greater force. These differences account in a great measure for the superior sweetness and ease of the genuine English pronunciation.