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clings to the roof of your mouth, just a sip of water may effect temporary relief; but do not get into the habit of drinking when on the platform. Unless you are very much excited the saliva may be made to flow by chewing a bit of paper before you begin to speak.
It is never too late to cultivate a good speaking voice. If your voice be of a shrill, rasping, thick, nasal, high-pitched, or of indistinct quality, you can accomplish a wonderful change if you set about the task with the characteristic determination which a desire to be attractive incites. The voices of the American girl and boy are noted for being unpleasant in quality. The nervous temperament that is characteristically American has a great deal to do with the tense, strident tones that are heard so frequently. Climate is sometimes indirectly the cause of an unpleasant voice. But, on the whole, we must confess that we alone are at fault for our vocal shortcomings and should immediately set about developing a good voice and refrain from doing those things destructive to its highest possible development.
ENUNCIATION AND PRONUNCIATION
DEFINITIONS. The exact meaning of the terms enunciation and articulation are not agreed upon by phonologists. Articulation comes from the Latin articulare (to join together) and usually refers to the position the vocal organs assume in speaking; also to the joining together of the elementary sounds, especially consonants, into syllables and words.
Enunciation is a more general term and refers to the distinct utterance of all elementary sounds, especially the vowel sounds.
The words enunciation and articulation are generally used synonymously.
Pronunciation deals with the correct utterance of the elementary sounds, with the proper accent and the syllabification of a word.
Elementary Sounds. Ordinarily the elementary sounds are divided into vowel (voco, to call) and consonant (consonant, sounding with).
The vowel sounds are made by an uninterrupted flow of the tone. The consonant sounds are obstructed and modified by the articulatory organs.
Again, the elementary sounds used in pronunciation may be divided into, I. Tonics or Vocals, II. Subtonics or Subvocals, and III. Atonics, or Aspirates.
Tonics are unobstructed tones. Vowels and diphthongs belong to this class.
Subtonics are tones modified by the articulatory organs. Atonics are without tone, or are mere breath modified by
the articulatory organs.
As to formation, consonant sounds may be divided into:
IV. Nasals, made by the free escape of vocalized breath through the nostrils.
TABLES II. AND III. These tables show the position and shape of the tongue in forming the elementary English sounds. There are nine positions of the tongue,—the front, the middle, and back; also high, medium, and low. In giving the sound of “è” in because, the front or tip of the tongue approaches the hard palate. In the sound "y" in it, it has the same position but it broadens out. In the mixed sound of “ē” in eve, it glides from “ë” to “.” The sound of “ah” is called natural because the tongue lies in a natural, restful position in the mouth. It is a sound common to all languages; and is one of the first sounds the baby makes
mama, papa, etc.
In all the sounds modified by raising the back of the tongue, the lips are rounded. The lips should not be moved in making the other sounds.
ENUNCIATION. Clear-cut enunciation is the basis of all effective oral expression, for it is obvious that a reader must first of all be heard. And to be heard, the elementary sounds that make up our language must be brought out clearly. Mere loudness is insufficient, for in nine cases out of ten, when a speaker cannot be heard, it is due, not to weakness of voice, but to weakness of articulation. Attention has been called previously to the need of cultivating the mouth-opening habit. Besides this, we need an active and precise use of the articulatory organs. We get into slovenly habits of speech. We cramp the throat muscles and swallow the sound. We mumble. We talk through the nose. We roll the tongue about in the act of speaking—“flannel-mouthed.” We close the jaw and talk through the teeth. We close the lips and sputter. "In just articulation,” says Gilbert Austin, “the words are not hurried over, nor precipitated syllable over syllable; nor, as it were, melted together into a mass of confusion; they are neither abridged nor prolonged, nor swallowed nor forced, nor shot from the mouth; they are not trailed nor drawled, nor let slip out carelessly, so as to drop unfinished. They are delivered from the lips as beautiful coins newly issued from the mint, deeply and accurately impressed, perfectly finished.”
Now, good articulation involves the three processes of (1) sounding distinctly the consonants, (2) separating the syllables, and (3) separating the words.
And first, one must attain power over the consonants. Some one has said, “Take care of the consonants, and the vowels will take care of themselves.” The common trouble is, not lack of power over the consonants, but a lack of the exercise of such power. Aside from such real impediments