Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

PRONOUNCING DICTIONARY,

AND EXPOSITOR OF THE

ENGLISH LANGUAGE:

IN WHICH,

Not only the Meaning of every Word is clearly explained, and the Sound of
every Syllable distinctly shown, but, where words are subject to different
Pronunciations, the Authorities of our best Pronouncing Dictionaries are
fully exhibited, the reasons for each are at large displayed, and the preferable
Pronunciation is pointed out.

TO WHICH ARE PREFIXED,

PRINCIPLES OF ENGLISH PRONUNCIATION:

IN WHICH,

The Sounds of Letters, Syllables, and Words, are critically investigated, and
systematically arranged; the Influence of the Greek and Latin Accent and
Quantity, on the Accent and Quantity of the English, is thoroughly examined
and clearly defined; and the Analogies of the Language are so fully shown,
as to lay the foundation of a consistent and rational Pronunciation.

LIKEWISE,

RULES to be observed by the NATIVES of SCOTLAND, IRELAND, and LON-
DON, for avoiding their respective Peculiarities;

AND

DIRECTIONS TO FOREIGNERS, for acquiring a Knowledge of the Use of this Dictionary.

[ocr errors]

THE WHOLE INTERSPERSED WITH

OBSERVATIONS, ETYMOLOGICAL, CRITICAL, AND GRAMMATICAL.

BY JOHN WALKER,

AUTHOR OF ELEMENTS OF ELOCUTION, RHYMING DICTIONARY, &c. &c.

Quare, si fieri potest, & verba omnia, & vox, hujus alumnum urbis oleant: ut oratio
Romana planè videatur, non civitate donata." Quintilian.

THIRD AMERICAN, FROM THE LAST LONDON EDITION.

NEW-YORK:

PUBLISHED BY SAMUEL STANSBURY, JAMES AND THOMAS RONALDS, JOSEPH

OSBORN, AND GEORGE F. HOPKINS.

1807.

HOPKING AND SEYMOUR, PRINTERS.

1

PUBLIC LIBRARY 150762

ABTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS, 1899.

PREFACE..

FEW subjects have of late years more employed the pens of every class of

critics, than the improvement of the English language. The greatest abilities in the nation have been exerted in cultivating and reforming it; nor have a thousand minor critics been wanting to add their mite of amendment to their native tongue. Johnson, whose large mind and just taste made him capable of enriching and adorning the Language with original composition, has condescended to the drudgery of disentangling, explaining, and arranging it, and left a lasting monument of his ability, labour, and patience: and Dr. Lowth, tholitest scholar of the age, has veiled his superiority in his short Introduction to English Grammar. The ponderous folio has gravely vindicated the rights of analogy; and the light ephemeral sheet of news has corrected errors in Grammar as well as in Politics, by slyly marking them in Italics.

Nor has the improvement stopped here. While Johnson and Lowth have been insensibly operating on the orthography and construction of our Language, its pronunciation has not been neglected. The importance of a consistent and regular pronunciation was too obvious to be overlooked; and the want of this consistency and regularity has induced several ingenious men to endeavour at a reformation; who, by exhibiting the irregularities of pronunciation, and pointing out its analogies, have reclaimed some words that were not irrecoverably fixed in a wrong sound, and prevented others from being perverted by ignorance or caprice.

Among those writers who deserve the first praise on this subject, is Mr. Elphinston; who, in his Principles of the English Language, has reduced the chaos to a system; and, by a deep investigation of the analogies of our tongue, has laid the foundation of a just and regular pronunciation.

After him, Dr. Kenrick contributed a portion of improvement by his Rhetorical Dictionary; in which the words are divided into syllables as they are pronounced, and figures placed over the vowels, to indicate their different sounds. But this gentleman has rendered his Dictionary extremely imperfect, by entirely omitting a great number of words of doubtful and difficult pronunciationthose very words for which a Dictionary of this kind would be most consulted. To him succeeded Mr. Sheridan, who not only divided the words into sylla bles, and placed figures over the vowels as Dr. Kenrick had done, but, by spelling these syllables as they are pronounced, seemed to complete the idea of a Pronouncing Dictionary, and to leave but little expectation of future improvement. It must, indeed, be confessed, that Mr. Sheridan's Dictionary is greatly supe

« AnteriorContinuar »