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how often sentences are closed, in conversation, without any proper cadence; the voice being carried to a high note, on the last word, sometimes with the falling, and sometimes with the rising slide.


17] RULE. XII. The circumflex occurs chiefly where the language is either hypothetical or ironical.

The most common use of it is to express indefinitely or conditionally some idea that is contrasted with another idea expressed or understood, to which the falling slide belongs; thus ;-Hume said he would go twenty miles, to hear Whitefield preach. The contrast suggested by the circumflex here is; though he would take no pains to hear a common preacher. You ask a physician concerning your friend who is dangerously sick, and receive this reply. He is better. The circumflex denotes only a partial, doubtful amendment, and implies But he is still dangerously sick. The same turn of voice occurs in the following example, on the word importunity.

Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

This circumflex, when indistinct, coincides nearly with the rising slide; when distinct, it denotes qualified affirmation instead of that which is positive as marked by the falling slide. This hint suggests a much more perfect rule than that of Walker, by which to ascertain the proper slide under the emphasis. See Emphatic Inflection, pp. 80-88.

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18 Accent is a stress laid on particular syllables, to promote harmony and distinctness of articulation. The syllable on which accent shall be placed, is determined by custom; and that without any regard to the meaning of words, except in these few cases.

First, where the same word in form, has a different sense, according to the seat of the accent. This may be the case while the word continues to be the same part of speech, as des'ert, (a wilderness) desert', (merit)-to con'jure, (to use magic) to conjure', (to entreat). Or the accent may distinguish between the same word used as a noun or an ajective; as com'pact, (an agreement) compact', (close) min'ute, (of time) minute', (small). Or it may distinguish the noun from the verb, thus:

to abstract'

to compound'

to compress'

to concert'

to conduct'

to confine'

to contract'

to contrast'

to convert'

to convict'

to digest'

ex'port to export'
ex'tract to extract'

to import'


to incense'






to insult'

to object'

to present'

to project'

to rebel'

tor'ment to torment'
trans'port to transport'

The province of emphasis is so much more important than that of accent that the customary seat of the latter is transposed in any case where the claims of emphasis require it. This takes place chiefly in words which have a partial sameness in form, but are contrasted in sense.


He must increase, but I must decrease.

This corruptible must put on incorruption; and this mortal must put on immortality.

What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? Consider well what you have dóne, and what you have left ùndone.

He that áscended is the same as he that dèscended.

The difference in this case, is no less than betwixt décency and indecency; betwixt religion and irreligion.

In the suitableness or unsuitableness, the propórtion or disproportion of the affection to the object which excites it, consists the propriety or impropriety of the consequent action.*

With those considerations respecting accent which belong especially to the grammarian, we have no concern. As connected with articulation, the influence of accent was briefly discussed, [2] page 28. As connected with inflection, an additional remark seems necessary here. The accented syllable of a word is always uttered with a LOUDER note than the rest. When the syllable has the rising inflection, the slide continues upward till the word is finished; so that when several syllables of a word follow the accent, they rise to a higher note than that which is accented; and when the accented syllable is the

* In this last example, the latter accented word in each of the couplets, perhaps would be more exactly marked with the circumflex; the same case occurs often, as in p. 64, last paragraph.

last in a word, it is also the highest. But when the accented syllable has the falling slide, it is always struck with a higher note than any other syllable in that word. The reader may easily understand this remark by turning to the example, page 50, at the bottom; and then framing for himself other examples, with an accent in the middle of a long word; as,

Did he dare to propose such interrogatories?

Here the slide which begins on rog continues to rise on the three following syllables; whereas in the question, Will you go to day? the same slide terminates with the syllable on which it begins. But no example can be framed with the falling inflection, (the cadence only excepted,) in which the accented syllable, where the slide begins, is not higher than any other syllable before or after it. This remark furnishes another opportunity to correct the very common mistake of those who think the falling inflection to consist in a sudden dropping of the voice, whereas it consists in sliding it down, and that from a high note, whenever there is intensive stress.

*I dwell a little on the above distinction, because, in my opinion Walker, and Ewing after him, have stated it incorrectly.



One elementary principle which has been more than once suggested already, respecting management of the voice, deserves to be repeated here, because of its direct bearing on the subject of this chapter and the next.

No useful purpose can be answered by attempting to establish any system of inflections in reading and speaking, except so far as these inflections do actually accompany, in good speakers, the spontaneous expression of sentiment and emotion. We say without any scruple, that certain feelings of the speaker are commonly expressed with certain modifications of voice. These modifications we can describe in a manner not difficult to be understood. But here a serious obstacle meets us. The pupil is told how emotion speaks in a given case, and then he attempts to do the same thing without emotion. But great as this difficulty is, it is not peculiar to any one mode of instruction; it attends every system of elocution that can be devised. Take, for example, the standing canon, BE NATURAL, which for ages has been thought the only adequate direction in delivery. This maxim is just ; it is simple; it is easily repeated by a teacher ;-but who does not know that it has been repeated a thousand times without any practical advantage? What is it to be natural? It is so to speak that the modifications of voice

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