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most arbitrary fashion, would suddenly change the pitch. It was done to rest the voice. The change, and hence all its benefits, might have been secured by letting it be expressive of the variety in the thought and feeling.
As in all art, so here, variety must, however, recognize the claims of Unity. The leading thought of the speech and principal aim must unify all the parts. The lesser unities of paragraphs, and even sentences, must not be overlooked. Moreover, each speech or selection has its own atmosphere or prevailing emotion underlying all the variety of its parts. It gives the ideational, and especially the emotional unity of speech. All the parts must harmonize with this unity. The atmosphere of tragedy differs from that of comedy. That of the funeral sermon differs from that of the cheerful essay. Each part of a discourse is colored emotionally by each immediately adjacent part. With the ideal differentiation the relation with reference to unity must also be observed. The anger of one part colors the tenderest sentiment of the adjacent part. Words introducing a quotation are colored by the emotion of the quotation.
But, possibly, variety is more difficult to realize than unity, and leading attention must be given to it. To secure variety in the delivery, the speaker must first of all realize the content of the language. Again, by attending to the objective aspects of delivery, controlling the kinds of voice, rate, pitch, and other features of delivery, one may more readily master this source of effective speaking.
ELEMENTS OF THE ESSENTIALS OF PUBLIC
ELEMENTS OF CLEARNESS
Sec. I. Enunciation. - Enunciation refers to the delivery of words as such. It involves purity of tone (to be discussed under voice), syllabication, vowel moulding, and consonantal articulation. The distinct enunciation of words, including as it does the clear-cut coinage of syllables, is the leading element in the intelligibility or clearness of delivery.
The mistake of supposing that distinct utterance depends upon loudness is common. I have found that persons of meagre training, speaking for the first time in a large hall, must almost invariably be restrained from excess of vocal effort. Noise is the result of such effort, but the words are unintelligible. Aiming at distinctness by means of loud and strained vocal effort leads to a clumsy formation of the vowels and consonants, and so defeats its purpose.
Mr. A. M. Bell says that the Rev. Mr. Spurgeon, addressing an audience of twenty-five thousand people in Agricultural Hall, in London, was, because of his accurate and vigorous enunciation, distinctly heard by all.
For distinctness, the speaker should aim at pure rather than loud tone, and depend mainly upon effective enunciation.
Syllabication. — Although the syllable strikes the ear as a single impulse, it is usually composed of more than
one element. The word “man " has three, while" strands" has seven elements ; but they are uttered so quickly that they strike the ear as one sound. To do this well requires a quick, as well as an accurate action of the organs. Attention should be centred rather upon syllables than upon words.
Enunciation is frequently bad, because insufficient time is given to each word. The speaker attempts to give long words, and words difficult to utter, in the time of short words, and words easy of utterance. This results in a tumbling or skipping of syllables. Taking care, then, of the syllables remedies this feature of faulty enunciation. Such words as “uninterrupted,” “indivisibility” must be given time, so also difficult combinations, especially a succession of sounds of the same order. Try the following sentence from Carlyle: “In this world with its wild whirling eddies and mad foam oceans .. dost thou think that there is therefore no justice?"
Accent. - Each accented syllable requires a separate and decided vocal impulse or ictus, while the unaccented syllable may be given with remission of the effort. For instance, in “king, king," and in “boy-hood” each syllable requires a separate impulse; but in “kingly” and “boyish," the unaccented syllables are given with the vocal remission. It is evident, then, that neglect of the accent lessens the vigor of enunciation.
Vowel Moulding. — Shaping the mouth for the vowel formation may most accurately be called moulding the vowel. The student should appreciate this characteristic of vowel formation. A fuller understanding of the nature of both vowels and consonants must prove helpful in their utterance. A vowel is the result of vocalization with a definite, fixed position of the organs of enunciation. It is syllabic, and in its formation the breath is not obstructed.
A consonant is the result of vocalization with a definite,
fixed position of the organs of enunciation.
It is nonsyllabic; and in its formation the breath or voice is obstructed by two articulating parts; as, for instance, the tip of the tongue and hard palate in “t." Consonants are articulated, while vowels are moulded. In current enunciation the obstruction is but momentary; but it is sharp and accurate. Vowels form the sensuous, and consonants the intellectual elements of speech. The use of the latter is the prerogative of man alone. Women articulate better than men; the cultivated, better than the uncultivated. Clearcut enunciation is one of the signs of intellectuality and refinement.
The student should accustom himself to an elementary, that is, separate utterance of the vowels and consonants.
English Vowels. — The following is Mr. A. M. Bell's list of vowels :
18. on i=ite; ā= at ee; o=o too. Ä (far), öö (pool), and ē (feel), may be regarded, so far as the position of tongue, lips, and vocal cords are involved, as typical vowels.
In “ä," the lower jaw drops, the upper lip is lifted and arched, showing the central upper teeth, the aperture conforming in a general way to the outline of a triangle, whose base is the lower lip. The tongue is flattened and hollowed.
In a general way, the position for “ē” is the reverse of this. The mouth is extended from side to side. The position is a more nearly closed one, and the organs are brought nearer together. It is the “ smiling" position of the mouth.
In “00" the lips are rounded.
English Consonants. — The following is Mr. A. M. Bell's list of consonants :
With nasal VOICE.
With BREATH only.
Exercise. — From the nature of vowels and consonants, it must appear that skill in enunciation is secured by means of the accuracy, promptness, and vigor of their utterance. Practice to this end must be elementary. Supplementary attention moreover, while in the act of speaking, may be given to enunciation.
Practice. - (1) Fronting the tone. (To be discussed under the section on voice.)
(2) Sounding the separate vowels and consonants of the tables.
(3) Shaping the mouth for lip-mobility : with voice, and again without voice, round the lips on öö, rapidly change to ah, and then to ē. Thus: 00, ah, ē, etc.
(4) Spelling words phonetically.
(5) Exercising the tip of the tongue. Practice do, do, etc., rapidly; change to to, to, etc. ; now repeat "fa, la, si, do."
(6) Speaking with exaggerated movements of the tongue and lips, as though talking to the deaf, generously opening the mouth — teeth as well as lips.