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ach or the Scotch loch.1 If, on the contrary, we slightly check the breath as it reaches that barrier, we get the sound which is heard when the g in the German word Tage is not pronounced as a media, but as a semi-vowel, Tage.
A second barrier is formed by bringing the tongue in a more contracted state towards the point where the hard palate begins, a little beyond the point where the k is formed. Letting the spiritus asper pass this isthmus, we produce the sound ch as heard in the German China or ich, a sound very difficult to an Englishman, though approaching to the initial Fig. 15.
sound of words like hume, huge. If we soften the breath as it reaches this barrier, we arrive at the familiar sound of y in year. This sound is naturally accompanied by a slight hum arising from the check applied through the glottis,
nor is there much ý (ch); e. g. ich (German). + (y); 9. 8 gea.
difficulty in intoning ters halatæ, breathed. He observes that breathed letters, though always sonant in English, are not so in other languages, and therefore divides the breathed consonants, physiologically, into two classes, sonant and nonsonant. This distinction, however, is apt to mislead, and is of no importance in reducing languages to writing. See also Inrestigations into the Laws of English Orthography and Pronunciation, by Prof. R. L. Tafel. New York, 1862.
1 The same sound occurs in some of the Dayak dialects of Borneo. See Surat Peminyrch Dnya Sarawak, Reading-Book for Land and Hill Dayaks, in the Sentah dialect. Singapore, 1862. Printed at the Mission Press.
. Ellis, English Phonetics, $ 47.
There is no evidence whatever that the San. skrit palatal flatus was ever pronounced like ch in German China and ich. Most likely it was the assibilated sound which can be produced if, keeping the organs in the position for German ch, we narrow the passage and strengthen the breath. This, however, is merely an hypothesis, not a dogma.
A third barrier, produced by advancing the tongue towards the teeth, modifies the spiritus asper into s, the spiritus lenis into z, the former completely surd, the latter capable of intonation; for instance, the rise or rice; but to rise. Fig. 16.
8; e. g. the rise, rice, sin.
8; (sh); e. g. sharp. z; e. g. to rise, zeal.
?; e. g. azure. A fourth barrier is formed by drawing the tongue back and giving it a more or less concave (retroussé) shape, so that we can distinctly see its lower surface brought in position towards the back of the upper teeth or the palate. By pressing the air through this trough, we get the letter sh as heard in sharp, and s
as heard in pleasure, or j in the French jamais; the former mute, the latter intonable. The pronunciation of the Sanskrit lingual sh requires a very elaborate position of the tongue, so that its lower surface should really strike the roof of the palate. But a much more simple and natural position, as described above, will produce nearly the same effect.
A fifth barrier is produced by bringing the tip of the tongue almost point-blank against the back of the upper teeth, or, according to others, by placing it against the edge of the upper teeth, or even between the edges of the upper and lower teeth. If, then, we emit the spiritus asper, we form the English th, if we emit the spiritus lenis, the English dh; the former mute, as in breath, the latter intonable, as in to breathe, and both very difficult for a German to pronounce. Fig. 18.
th (Þ); e. g. breath.
f; e. g. life. dh (8); e. g. In brenthe.
V; e. g. to live. A sixth barrier is formed by bringing the lower lip against the upper teeth. This modifies the spiritus
asper to f, the spiritus lenis to v, as heard in life and to live, half and to halve.
A seventh barrier is possible by bringing the two lips together. The sound there produced by the spiritus asper would be the sound which we make in blowing out a candle; it is not a favorite sound in civilized languages. The spiritus lenis, however, is very common; it is the w in German as heard in Qrielle, i. e. Kwelle ;' also sometimes in the German W'ind, &c.
An eighth barrier is formed by slightly contracting and rounding the
Fig. 20. lips, instead of bringing them together flat against each other. Here the spiritus asper assumes the sound of wh in wheel, which; whereas the spiritus lenis is the common English double U, as heard in weal.
We have tbus examined eight modifications of spiritus asper
☆ (wh); e. g. which. and spiritus lenis, pro
; e. g. we. duced by breath emitted eruptively or prohibitively, and modified by certain narrowings of the mouth. Considering the great pliability of the muscles of the tongue and the mouth, we can easily imagine other possible narrowings; but with the exception of some peculiar letters of the Semitic and African
1 Brücke, I. c. p. 34.
languages, we shall find these eight sufficient for our own immediate purposes.
The peculiar guttural sounds of the Arabs, which have given rise to so much discussion, have at last been scientifically defined by Professor Czermak. Examining an Arab by means of the laryngoscope, he was able to watch the exact formation of the Hha and Ain which constitute a separate class of guttural breathings in the Semitic languages. This is his account. If the glottis is narrowed and the vocal chords brought near together, not, however, in a straight parallel position, but distinctly notched in the middle, while, at the same time, the epiglottis is pressed down, then the stream of breath in passing assumes the character of the Arabic Hha, Z, as different from h, the spiritus asper, the Arabic 8.
If this Hha is made sonant, it becomes Ain. Starting from the configuration as described for Hha, all that takes place in order to change it into Ain is that the rims of the apertures left open for Hha are brought close together, so that the stream of air striking against them causes a vibration in the
fissura laryngea, and not, as for other sonant letters, in the real glottis. These ocular observations of Czermaki coincide with the phonetic descriptions given by Arab grammarians, and particularly with Wallin's account. If the vibration in the fissura laryngea takes place less regularly, the sound as
1 Sitzungsberichte der Mathematisch - Naturwissenschaftlichen Classe der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, vol. xxix. p. 576, seq. Professor Lepsius, Die Arabischen Sprachlnute, has but partially adopted the views of Brücke and Czermak on wbat they call the Gutturales Veræ in Arabic. See also the curious controversy between Professor Brücke and Professor Lepsius, in the 12th voluine of the Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Sprachforschung.