Abbildungen der Seite

syllable; but when altered to Proserpine, it transfers the accent to the first. The same may be observed of Homerus, Vir. gilius, Horatius, &c. when anglicised to Homer, Virgil, Horace, &c. See the word Academy in the Critical Pronouncing Dictionary.

29. As it is not very easy, therefore, so it is not necessary to decide where Doctors disagree. When reasons lie deep in Greek and Latin etymology, the current pronunciation will be followed, let the learned do all they can to hinder it: thus, after Hyperion has been accented by our best poets according to our own analogy with the accent on the antepenultimate, as Shake speare : Hype'rion's curls the front of Jove himself.”-Hamlet.

that was to this Hype'rion to a Satyr."

Ibid. next day after dawn, “ Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse."-Henry Vih. So Cooke in his translation of Hesiod's Theogony follows the accenfuation of Shakespeare :

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

After this established pronunciation, I say, how hopeless, as well as useless, would it be to attempt the penultimate accentuation, which yet ought undoubtedly to be preserved in reading or speaking Greek or Latin compositions; but, in reading or speaking English, must be left to those who would rather appear learned than judicious. But Acrion, Arion, Amphion, Echion, Orion, Ixion, Pandion, Asion, Alphion, Arion, Ophion, Methion, Axion, Eion, Thlexion, and Sandion, preserve their penultimate accent invariably : while Ethalion, a word of the same form and origin, is pronounced with the accent on the antepenultimate,

[ocr errors]

like Deucalion and Pygmalion: and this, if I mistake not, is the common pronunciation of a ship in the British navy; so called from the name of one of the Argonauts, who accompanied Jason in his expedition to Colchis to fetch the golden fleece.

30. The same difficulty of deciding between common usage and classical propriety appears in words ending in ia; as Alexandria, Antiochia, Selencia, Samaria, Iphigenia, and several others which were pronounced by our ancestors, as appears

from their poetry, according to our own analogy, with the accent on the antepenultimate syllable; and there is no doubt but every word of this form would have fallen into the same accentuation, if classical criticism had not stepped in and prevented it. A philosophical grammarian would be apt to think we are not much obliged to scholars for this interruption of the vernacular current of pronunciation : but as there is so plausible a plea as that of reducing words to their original languages; and as a knowledge of these languages will always be an honourable distinction among men, it is strongly to be suspected that these words will not long continue in their plain homespun English dress. This critical correction, however, seems to have come too late for some words, which, as Pope expresses it, have “slid into verse," and taken possession of our ears; and therefore, perhaps, the best way of disposing of them will be to consider them as the ancients did the quantity of certain doubtful syllables, and to pronounce them either way. Some, however, seem always to have preserved the accent of their original language, as Thalia and Sophia: but Iphigenia, Antiochia, Seleucia, and Samaria, have generally yielded to the English antepenultimate accent; and Erythia, Deidamia, Laodamia, Hippodamia, Apamia, Ilithyia, and Orithyia, from their seldom appearing in mere English composition, have not often been drawn aside into plain English pronunciation. The same may be observed of words ending in nicus or nice: if they are compounded of the Greek virms the penultimate syllable is always long, and must have the accent, as Stratonicus, Berenice, &c.; if this termination be wha! is called a gentile, signifying a man by his country, the penulti

mate is short, and the accent is on the antepenultimate; as Macedonicus, Sardonicus, Britannicus, &c. See ANDRONICUS.

31. Thus we see many of these proper names are of dubious accentuation; and the authorities which may be produced on both sides sufficiently show us the inutility of criticising beyond a certain point. It is in these as in many English words : there are some which, if mispronounced, immediately show a. want of education; and there are others which, though not pronounced in the most erudite manner, stamp no imputation of ignorance or illiteracy. To have a general knowledge, there. fore, of the pronunciation of these words, seems absolutely necessary for those who would appear respectable in the more respectable part of society. Perhaps no people on earth are so correct in their accentuation of proper names as the learned among the English. The Port-Royal Grammar informs us, that notwithstanding all the rules that can be given, we are “ often under the necessity of submitting to custom, and of

accommodating our pronunciation to what is received among the learned according to the country we are in." pronounce," says the grammarian, “ Aristo' bulus, Basi' lius, Ido' lium, with the accent on the antepenultimate, though the penultimate is long, because it is the custom: and, on the contrary, we pronounce Andre'as, ide'a, Mari'a, &c. with the accent on the penultimate, though it is short, because it is the custom of the most learned. The Italians," continues

place the accent on the penultimate of antonomasi'a, har. moni' a, philosophi' a, theologi'a, and similar words, according to the Greek accent, because, as Ricciolius observes, it is the custom of their country. Alvarez and Gretser think we ought always to pronounce them in this manner, though the custom, not only of Germany and Spain, but of all France, is against it: but Nebrissensis authorises this last pronunciation, and says, that it is better to place the accent of these

vowels on the antepenultimate syllable; which shows," concludes the grammarian, “ that when we once depart from the

ancient rules, we have but little certainty in practice, which is so different in different countries."

So we


But however uncertain and desultory the accentuation of many words may be, it is a great satisfaction to a speaker to know that they are so. There is a wide difference between pro: nouncing words of this kind ignorantly and knowingly. A person who knows that scholars themselves differ in the pronunciation of these words can always pronounce with security: but one, who is unacquainted with the state of the accent, is not sure that he is right when he really is so, and always pronounces at his peril.

It is hoped the candid peruser of this work will make allowances for an occasional error in dividing a syllable or placing an accent, when he reflects on the difficulty with which such a work must necessarily be attended. The Author flatters himself, however, that such attention has been paid beth to the compilation and the proofs, that the fewest errors imaginable have escaped him.




When a word is succeeded by a word printed in Italics, this latter word is merely to spell the former as it ought to be proncunced. Thas Abansheas is the true pronunciation of the preceding word Abuntias : and so of the rest.

The Figures annexed to the words refer to the Rules prefixed to the Work. Thus the figure (3) after Achæi refers to Rule the 3d, for the pronunciation of the final i ; and the figure (4) after Abii refers to Rule the 4th, for the pronunciation of the unaccented i, not final: and so of the rest.

When the letters Eng. are put after a word, it is to show that this word is the preceding word Anglicised. Thus Lu'can, Eng. is the Latin word Lucanus, changed into the English Lucan.

AB * A'BA and A'BE


Ab-a-ce'ne (8)
Ab'a-lus (20)
A-ba'na (7)
A-ban'ti-as (10)

A-ban' she-as
Ab-an-ti'a-des (1)
A-ban'ti-das (4)
Ab-a-ba' re-a (7)
Ab'a-ri (3)
A-bar'i-mon (4)
Ab'a-ris (7)
A-ba'rus (1)

A'bas (1)
A-ba' sa (1) (7)
Ab-a-si'tis (7) (1)
Ab-as-se' na (1) (7)
A-bas'sus (7)
Ab'a-tos (7)
Ab-da-lon'i-mus (4)
Ab-de'ra (1) (7)

* Every. a ending a syllable, with the accent upon it, is pronounced like the a in the English words fa-vour, ta-per, &c. See Rule the ist, prefixed to this vocabulary.

+ Every unaccented a, whether initial, medial, or final, ending a syllable, has an , obscure sound, bordering on the a in father. See Rul: the 7th, prefixed to this vocabulary,


« ZurückWeiter »