Phonetic Alphabet

REMARKS

o It is endeavoured to give the Alphabet a more natural to Order, beginning first with the simple Sounds form’d huh by the Breath, with none or very little Help of Tongue, Teeth and Lips, and produc’d chiefly in the Windpipe.

ish * Then coming forward to those form’d by the gi ing * Root of the Tongue next to the Windpipe; ki

r n Then to those form’d more forward by the forepart of t d the Tongue against the Roof of the Mouth;

es ez Then those form’d still more forward in the Mouth, el by the Tip of the Tongue, apply’d first to the Roots of the upper Teeth,

eth, * Then to the Ends or Edges of the same edh * Teeth;

ef Then to those form’d still more forward by the ev under Lip apply’d to the upper Teeth;

bi Then to those form’d yet more forward by the upper pi and under Lip opening to let out the sounding Breath;

m And lastly ending with the Shutting up of the Mouth or closing the Lips, while any Vowel is sounding.

In this Alphabet c is omitted as unnecessary, k supplying its hard Sound and s the soft.

The Jod j is also omitted, its Sound being supplied by the new Letter ish *, which serves other purposes, assisting in the formation of other Sounds; thus the * with a d before it gives the Sound of the Jod j and soft g, as in James, January, Giant, gentle, d*eems, d*anueri, d*yiant, d*entel; with a t before it, it gives the Sound of ch soft, as in cherry, chip, t*eri, t*ip; and with an z before it the French sound of the Jod j, as in jamais, z*ame.

Thus the g has no longer two different Sounds, which occasion’d Confusion, but is as every Letter ought to be, confin’d to one; the same is to be observ’d in all the Letters, Vowels and Consonants, that wherever they are met with, or in whatever Company, their Sound is always the same. It is also intended that there be no superfluous Letters used in Spelling, i.e. no Letter that is not sounded, and this Alphabet by Six new Letters provides that there be no distinct Sounds in the Language without Letters to express them. As to the Difference between short and long Vowels, it is naturally express’d by a single Vowel where short, a double one where long; as, for mend write mend, but for remain’d write rime en’d; for did, write did, but for deed, write diid, &c.;

this What in our common Alphabet is suppos’d the to third Vowel, i, as we sound it is not a Vowel but a be Diphthong, consisting of two of our Vowels join’d, altered viz. a as sounded in all or u as sounded in unto and e: any one will be sensible of this, who sounds those two Vowels ae or ue quick after each other; the Sound begins aw or y and ends ee. The true Sound of the i is that we now give to e in the words deed, keep, &c. [ ]

1768?


Phonetic Alphabet

Names of the Letters express’d in the reform’d Characters. Sounded as now in Sounds and Characters.

o old o the first Vowel naturally, and deepest sound; requires only to open the Mouth, and breathe thro’ it.
* [*] John, Folly * the next, requiring the Mouth open’d a little more or hollower.
a man, can a the next, a little more.
e mane, lane e the next, requires the Tongue to be a little more elevated tho the Pipe alone will form them, but not so easily.
i een, seen i the next, still a little more.
u tool, fool u the next, requires the Lips to be gather’d up, leaving a small Opening.
* [*;*] um, un, as in * the next, a very short Vowel, umbrage, unto, &c. the Sound of which we should express in our present Letters thus, uh, a short and not very strong Aspiration.
h hunter, happy, high huh a stronger or more forcible Asperation
g give, gather gi the first Consonant, being form’d by the Root of the Tongue, this is the present hard g.
k keep, kick ki a kindred Sound, a little more acute, to be us’d instead of the hard c.
* [*] sh, ship, wish ish a new Letter, wanted in our Language, our sh, separately taken, not being proper Elements of the Sound.
* [*] ng, ing, reaping ing a new Letter, wanted for the among same Reason; these are form’d back in the Mouth.
n ned en form’d more forward in the Mouth, the Tip of the Tongue to the Roof of the Mouth.
r art ar the same, the Tip of the Tongue a little loose or separate from the Roof of the Mouth.
t teeth ti the Tip of the Tongue more forward, touching and then leaving the Roof.
d deed di the same, touching a little fuller.
l ell, tell el the same touching just about the Gums of the upper Teeth.
* [*] th, think e* the Tongue under and a little behind the upper Teeth, touching them nearly but so as to let the Breath pass between.
* [*,*] dh, thy e* the same a little fuller.
s essence es this Sound is form’d by the Breath passing between the moist End of the Tongue and the upper Teeth.
z ez, wages ez the same a little denser and duller.
f effect ef form’d by the lower Lip against the upper Teeth.
v ever ev the same fuller and duller.
b bees bi the lips put full together and open’d as the Air passes out.
p peep pi the same but a thinner Sound.
m ember em the closing of the Lips, while the e is sounding.
This entry was posted in 2. 1768 - 1769, Benjamin Franklin, Revolutionary America, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, Vol III: London. Bookmark the permalink.

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