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The sounds of the vowels and diphthongs are produced by the uninterrupted passage of the breath through the open mouth, and the predominance of these sounds renders speech easy and musical. The consonant sounds are the result of the more or less complete stoppage of the breath in utterance by the partial or entire closing of the air passage by one or other of the organs of speech, and it is the degree of effort to produce these imperfect sounds that causes that harshness and roughness which renders speech difficult and unmusical. We will next present an arrangement of the consonants which exhibits them in what may be regarded as the order of their discordance.
easily combine with other sounds.
have varying degrees of a disagreeable hiss.
The mutes are the most difficult of all in utterance, as they completely close the air passage. They are classed according to the organ of speech by which they are produced into—
It may here be pointed out that the rules of English prosody and rhyme are not applicable to the language as it appears in writing, but as it is heard in pronunciation. Our language so considered is not inferior to others ; its elementary sounds, both