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22                                  ORTHOMETRY.
(b). Quantity.
is the time occupied in pronouncing a syllable, one long syllable being considered equivalent to two short ones. This division into two classes has been deemed sufficient for all the purposes of prosody; though it is certain that in neither class are the syllables all equal among themselves, as will appear when we have stated what is allowed to constitute a short and a long syllable.
(i) A short vowel when alone, or when no con­sonant follows it, is taken for a short syllable, as the articles a, the.
(ii) A short vowel, when followed by a single con­sonant, is a short syllable, as, man, pen ; or by the same consonant doubled, as, manner, penny.
(iii) A short vowel, in some cases, when followed by two consonants, makes a short syllable, as, de­cline, reprove, at last. For this we have the ex­ample of the ancients both in Greek and Latin, who permitted a short vowel to stand for a short syllable, though followed by two consonants, if the first was a mute and the second a liquid. The cause is founded in nature; and therefore holds with us; it is, that such a combination of conso­nants is more readily pronounced than others are.
A syllable is long—
(i) When it contains a long vowel, or a diph­thong, as, see, go, loud, joy.
(ii) When it consists of a short vowel followed by two different consonants, if they be not a mute and a liquid ; as, into, number. Such a syllable is called long by position.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III