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Rule 1. A clear and distinct articulation should be given to the elementary sounds employed in vocal utterance.

In the following table, the letters of the alphabet are divided into three classes, or kinds, viz: vocals, sub-vocals, and aspirates.

These are all the classes necessary for practical purposes; and any further division or classification, it is believed, would only tend to confuse and perplex the learner, and thus render the study of the exercise tedious and irksome to young pupils, if it did not, indeed, place it entirely beyond their comprehension. In accordance, therefore, with this simple and natural division, the letters are conveniently arranged on one page, and afford the pupil an interesting and intelligible exercise in enunciating the elementary sounds which they severally represent. The pupil should be drilled upon this table until he can not only readily distinguish the peculiarity of each sound when given by others, but can also enunciate it with perfect ease and clearness himself.

Sanders' Compendium Home Page and Index.

Table of Elementary Sounds.

Note. - Let the class, either individually or in concert, first pronounce the word containing the element, and then the element by itself, varying the intensity of the voice as the teacher may think proper ; thus, ale, a, arm, a, all, a, etc.


Name   Power

1   A     Ale

2   A     Arm   

3   A     All     

4   A     At

5   E     Eat 

6   E     Bet

7   I      Ice

8   I      It

9   O     Ode

10 O     Do

11 O     Ox

12 U     Sue 

13 U     Up

14 U     Full

15 Ou   Out


Name.   Power

16  B     Ebb

17  D     Odd

18  G     Egg

19  J, G  Jet

20  L      Ill

21  M     Him

22  N      Run

23  R      Bur

24  V      Ev

25  W     Woe

26  Y      Yet

27  Z, S  Buzz

28  Z      Azure

29  Th    Thy

30  Ng    Sing 


Name     Power

31  P       Up

32  T       It

33  K, C  Ark

34  Ch     Much

35  H       He

36  F        If

37  Wh     When

38  S, C   Sin

39  Sh      Fish

40  Th      Thin

Note.-In this table, each vocal element is combined in words with all the sub-vocals and aspirates which is known to combine in the language. The class may be required to pronounce these words in an explosive and forcible utterance, both individually and in concert, until the highlighted letters can be easily and perfectly articulated in combination.

1. The sound of a long; as in bate, date, fate, gate, hate, jane, kale, lade, mate, nape, pate, rate, sate, tame, vane, wave, yate, gaze, chain, thane, lathe, shape, whale.

2. a flat, or Italian; as in bar, dark, garb, hark, jar, car, lark, mar, nard, par, raft, salve, tar, vast, waft, yarn, czar, char, lath, father, sharp.

At the time this was written there were conflicts between Webster and Worchester, both of which were in the dictionary business.

(Worchester regards the sound of a in the words raft, vast, waft, lath, intermediate between that of a in fat and a in far. But the sound of a in this class of words, though not quite so much prolonged, is considered by Dr. Webster to be radically the same as it is in far, daunt, etc.; and hence we have put all such words in the same class here.)

3. a broad as; in ball, dawn, fall, gall, haw, jaw, kaw, law, mall, gnaw, pall, raw, saw, tall, vault, wall, yawl, gauze, chalk, thaw, shawl, wharf.

4. a short; as in bat, dash, fat, gat, hat, jam, cat, lad, mat, nap, pat, rat, sat, tan, van, wax, yam, azoth, chap, sang, thank, that, shall, whack.

5. e long; as in be, deep, feet, geese, he, jeer, key, lee, need, peat, reel, see, teem, veer, we, yee, zeal, cheer, theme, thee, she, wheel.

6. e short; as in bet, den, fen, get, hen, jet, ken, let, met, net, pet, rest, set, ten, vex, wet, yet, zed, check, theft, then, shed, when.

7. i long; as in bite, dine, fine, guide, hive, gibe, kite, line, mine, nine, pine, ripe, site, tine, vine, size, chime, thigh, thine, shine, white.

8. i short; as in bit, din, fin, gimp, hit, jib, kit, lid, mix, nit, pin, rio, sit, tin, vill, wit, zinc, chin, sing, thin, with, shin, whit.

9. o long; as in bolt, dome, foe, go, hole, joke, coke, lone, mote, note, pole, rope, sole, tone, vote, wove, joke, zone, choke, thole, those, shoal.

10. o middle; as in boot, do, food, goom, hoot, coop, lose, move, noose, pool, roost, soup, too, woo, ooze, cartouch, tooth, shoe.

11. o short; as in bot, dot, fox, got, hot, jot, cot, lot, mop, not, pop, rot, sot, top, novel, wot, yon, zocco, chop, ssong, thong, pother, shot, whop.

12. u long; as in bugle, due, fume, hue, june, cue, lute, mute, nude, pule, rule, sue, tune, yule, zumie, truth, sure.

(In the words rule, truth, sure, Worchester sounds the u like o in move. But the best speakers, in Dr. Webster's view, give only a slight softening between the vocal and sub-vocal or aspirate, pronouncing the u, in all this class of words, in a less broad and open manner than the o in move, thus giving the letter its distinctive elementary sound.)

13. u short; as in but, dust, fun, gun, hut, just, cull, lull, must, nut, pun, sup, tun, vulgar, yucca, buzz, shub, sung, thumb, thus, shut, whur.

14. u middle; as in bush, pudding, full, sugar, could, bull, pull, put, would, butcher, should.

15. ow and ou; as in bow, down, fowl, gout, how, jounce, cow, loud, mount, noun, pout, rout, south, town, vouch, wound, mouth, thou, shout.

Note.- This table embraces a great variety of the combinations of the sub-vocals and aspirates; and it is recommended that the class be frequently exercised in the pronounciation of them, both individually and in concert. The letters before the colon and dash indicate the sound to be given to the combinations underlined, whose elements are to be clearly and distinctly uttered.

1. Bd:- sobbed, robed.

Bl:- blood, blind, able, feeble.

Bld:- fabled, dabbled, trembled, tumbled.

Blz:- rambles, pebbles, rumbles, bubbles.

Br:- brain, brown, bright, brick.

Bz:- describes, cubs, clubs.

2. Ch:- pitch, much, chimney.

3. Dl:- cradle, idle, middle.

Dld:- kindled, fondled, huddled.

Diz:- candles, paddles, riddles.

Dn:- sadden, ridden, golden.

Dr:- dream, dress, drive, drew.

Dst:- coveredst, amidst.

Dz:-  trades, weeds, sleds, sides.

4. Fl:- flame, fling, baffle, trifle.

Flz:- baffles, trifles.

Fn:- often, soften.

Fr:- frame, frank, friend.

Fs:- laughs, griefs.

Ft:- abaft, left, lift, soft.

Fth:- fifth.

Fts:- gifts, lifts, drifts.

5. Gd:- gragged, begged.

Gl:- gleams, glide, glory, struggle.

Gld:- tangled, mingled, struggled.

Glz:- eagles, jungles, struggles.

Gr:- grown, grand, agreed, regret.

Gz:- rags, eggs, trigs, exert.

6. Jd:- engaged, discouraged, obliged, hedged, dodged, lodged.

7. Kl:- clad, clean, club, circle, sparkle.

Klz:- sparkles, articles, spectacles.

Kn:- taken, forsaken, broken.

Kr:- creep, creek, crying.

Ks:- sacks, cheeks, necks, bricks, looks.

Kt:- expect, looked, locked, picked.

Kts:- acts, facts, insects.

Kst:- next, fixed, mixed.

Ksth:- sixth.

8. Lb:- bulb, bulbous.

Ld:- failed, crawled, told, child.

Ldz:- fields, wilds, shields.

Lf:- half, self, wolf.

Lj:- indulge, divulge.

Ljd:- indulged, divulged.

Lk:- milk, silk, bulk, skulk.

Lks:- siLKS, sulks.

Lkt:- Milked, skulked.

Lm:- helmless, elm, film.

Lmz:- overwhelms, helms, elms.

Ln:- fallen, swollen, stolen.

Lp:- help, yelp.

Lps:- helps, scalps.

Lpt:- scalped, helped.

Ls:- false, else, convulse.

Lst:- convulsed.

Lt:- fault, felt, bolt, result.

Lth:- health, wealth, filth.

Lts:- melts, colts, results.

Lv:- solve, twelve, resolve.

Lvd:- delved, resolved.

Lvz:- ourselves, wolves, involves.

Lz:- balls, miles, angels, jewels.

9.  Md:- benumbed, dimmed, dreamed, formed,

ashamed, slammed, assumed.

Mf:- triumph, nymph.

Mp:- lamp, jump, pump.

Mps:- glimpse, camps.

Mt:- stamped, tempt, prompt.

Mts:- attempts.

Mz:- claims, beams, gems, comes, limbs.

10. Nch:- branches, Quenches, benches.

Ncht:- drenched, pinched. 

Nd:- land, fond, mind.

Ndz:- hands, kinds, winds, pounds.

Ng:- sing, young, wrong.

Ngd:- belonged.

Nk:- drank, think, sunk.

Nks:- banks, flanks, thanks, anxious.

Nkt:- thanked, planked.

Ngth:- length, strength.

Ngth:- lengthen, strengthen.

Ngz:- hangs, belongs, stings.

Nj:- revenge, plunge.

Njd:- fringed, tinged, revenged.

Nkt:- distinct, extinct.

Nt:- want, sent, hunt.

Nths:- months, hyacinths.

Nts:- wants, events, tints, accounts.

Ns:- dance, expense, intense.

Nst:- against, chanced, convinced.

Nz:- pains, means, bones, ones.

11.Pl:- play, simple, reply.

Pld:- trampled, dimpled.

Plz:- apples, examples, principles.

Pn:- open, deepen.

Pr:-pray, price, prime.

Ps:- lips, drops, types, hoops.

Pt:- kept, stooped, clipped.

Pth:- depth.

Pts:- precepts.

12. Rb:- warbling, superb.

Rbd:- disturbed, curbed. 

Rbz:- garbs, orbs, curbs.

Rch:- arch, march, torch.

Rd:- hard, board, furred.

Rdz:- herds, birds, words.

Rf:- scarf, wharf.

Rj:- large, charge, urge.

Rjd:- enlarged, urged.

Rk:- spark, jerk, embark.

Rks:- remarks, lurks, works.

Rkt:- merked, worked.

Rl:- girl, pearl, whirl.

Rld:- world, hurled.

Rldz:- worlds.

Riz:- girls, pearls, whirls.

Rm:- warm, charm, firm.

Rmd:- formed, performed.

Rmth:- warmth.

Rmz:- arms, forms, terms.

Rn:- thorn, mourn, turn.

Rnz:- learns, earns, warns.

Rnd:- learned, burned, adorned.

Rp:- carp, sharp, harp.

Rs:- horse, purse, scarcely.

Rst:- forced, thirst, burst, first.

Rt:- part, short, port.

Rth:- dearth, forth, north.

Rths:- hearths, earths.

Rts:- hearts, forts, sorts.

Rv:- deserve, starve.

Rvd:- served, swerved.

Rvz:- starves, serves.

Rz:- cars, tears, doors.

13.  Sh:- wash, shoot, shouts.

Shr:- shrewd, shrill, shrink, shrub.

Sht:- lashed, wished, rushed.

Sk:- bask, scold, school.

Skr:- screams, scrub, screw.

Sks:- tasks, tusks, husks.

Skt:- asked, frisked, risked.

Sl:- slate, slide, sloop.

Sm:- small, smiled, smoke.

Sn:- snap, snuff, snow, person.

Snz:- persons, lessons.

Sp:- spare, speak, spoil.

Spl:- spleen. splendor.

Spr:- spread, sprightly, spring.

Spt:- clasped, gasped, grasped. 

Sps:- wasps, grasps.

St:- placed, dust, stay, steal, sting.

Str:- straight, strikes, strength.

Sts:- nests, exists, roosts.

Sw:- sweet, swing, swept.

14. Th:- they, though, leather.

Th:- breath, truth, youth.

Thd:- clothed, wreathed, sheathed.

Thr:- thrilled, thrusts, throttle.

Thz:- mouths.

Ths:- faiths.

Tl:- cattle, gentle, littlt, turtle.

Tld:- settled, titled.

Tlz:- battles, nettles, titles.

Tn:- cotton, shorten.

Tr:- trade, trust, paltry.

Ts:- traits, sweets, roots.

Tw:- between, twine.

15. Vd:- saved, perceived, moved.

Vl:- evil, weevil.

Vlz:- evils.

Vz:- waves, leaves, gives.

16. Wh:- what, where, when, while, which, whisper.

17. Zd:- gazed, teased, exposed.

Zl:- puzzle, weasel.

Zld:- puzzled.

Zlz:- Puzzles.

Zn:- frozen, crimson.

Znz:- raisins, seasons, reasons.

Questions: - How should this table be studied?

What do the letters underlined denote?

What is the first combination?

Pronounce the examples.

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Copyright 1997 - 2001 by Ed Sanders.