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(7) Carefully and patiently pronouncing each separate word of any selection to be delivered.
(8) Enouncing difficult combinations : fifth, eighth, this, then, should'st, would'st, sixty-sixth, cloud-capt, ing, ness, lovedst.
“ 'Twas a wild, mad kind of a night, as black as the bottomless pit,
Nothing could stop old Lightning Bess but the broad breast of the
“Lovely art thou, O Peace, and lovely are thy children, and lovely are thy footsteps in the green valleys."
wild whirling eddies. .
(9) In speaking, (1) avoid forcing the voice; (2) centre the attention upon syllables; (3) attend to the final syllable of each word; (4) project the tone, making the consonants fricative, and giving the vowels due quantity.
Sec. II. Emphasis. — The intelligibility, or clearness, of the delivery depends in the next place upon Emphasis. By change of emphasis, as many different ideas may be conveyed as the sentence contains words. It follows from this, that an emphasis not sharply given may blur, and one placed at random may defeat the intended meaning. Hence it is of practical importance to know how to emphasize a word. The intention to emphasize a word makes the thought of that word stand out prominently in the mind.
A word is made emphatic by making it stand out prominently from among the rest of the sentence. For intellective emphasis this is done by placing the word on a higher pitch, and uttering it with increased ictus. This stress must, of course, be upon the accented syllable. The accented
syllable bears the same relation to its word as the emphatic word bears to its sentence.
“The feudalism of Capital is not a whit less formidable than the feudalism of Force."i The words “capital ” and "force” are rendered emphatic by being lifted on a higher pitch than the rest of the words, and by increased ictus. Change the emphasis to other words and the meaning is changed.
There is another order of emphasis, mainly emotional, given by pausing before or after a word or phrase, and the use of a different kind of voice.
“Up the English come — too late." Pausing before the phrase "too late” illustrates this kind of emphasis. Ordinarily emphasis means the treatment of the word as first described. It is by far the most important feature of emphasis, and the latter order is mentioned mainly for completeness of treatment.
Sometimes the idea to be emphasized is contained in a phrase. In this case the phrase is to be regarded as a long compound word.
In applying emphasis, it is of primary importance to know what word to emphasize. To determine the proper word to emphasize, main reliance must be placed upon the analysis of the language-content. Sometimes, however, the meaning that best suits the mind's purpose is found out by trying different emphases, and so allowing the ear to guide. The clearer the style of the composition, the easier it is to select the right emphasis. Since the thought process is one of comparison, the word containing the new idea or antithetic idea must always receive the leading emphasis. Beyond the primary and secondary emphasis the objective treatment cannot profitably go.
1 Horace Mann.
Faults. — The more common faults to be guarded against are, briefly, these:
1. Emphasizing too many words. Where all are generals, there can be no privates.
2. Emphasizing words at regular intervals.
As already stated, the main dependence for correctly placing emphasis is in clear thinking.
SEC. III. Phrasing, or Grouping. - In the analysis under the chapter on “ Content of Language,” we have found that a sentence contains, (1) that of which something is stated, and (2) that which is stated of the something. Now, these leading parts of the idea are restricted, extended, and otherwise modified by subordinate ideas. Some of them affect the subject, others the predicate. In some sentences additional ideas of co-ordinate value, in others parenthetical or explanatory ideas, are introduced. Clearness, then, in delivery, requires that these relations be expressed. This is done by vocal punctuation and other modifications called phrasing, or grouping. The principal means of phrasing are, pause, pitch, and rate; and although inflection is primarily expressive of emotional states, it also plays an important part in grouping, since, in this, the falling slide closes the thought, while the rising slide indicates an incomplete idea.
Ideas are discriminated by pausing between them. The degree of their separation determines the length of the pause. Ideas of equal value assume, in the main, the same pitch. Parenthetical and other subordinate ideas are slurred by the use of more rapid utterance. Such a phrase, when introducing an important explanation, becomes a leading idea, and is treated accordingly; that is, it is given in slower time.
Elliptical ideas are accounted for by means of pauses. A single sentence may illustrate grouping.
"It may, in the next place, be asked, perhaps, supposing all this to be true, what can we do?”i The group, “in the next place," is formed by pausing before the word "in" and after “place," and by giving the group on a lower pitch, with slightly increased rate; "be asked" returns to the pitch of “it may," and slows down slightly. The group, "perhaps,” receives a pause before and after, and is rendered on a lower pitch. The ellipsis, or omitted part, after “perhaps" is "be asked,” hence, pause as long as would be required to say these words. The group, “supposing . true,” is separated by pause, and still lower pitch and faster time. The group, “what . . . do?” is separated by pause, and returns to the pitch of the first two words of the sentence.
SEC. IV. Transition. - Transition may be regarded as an accompaniment, if not an aspect, of phrasing and grouping. More exactly, it describes the changes that take place in passing from one group to another. As we have already shown, some of these groups are within the sentence. But there are larger groups or unities that must be attended to in delivery. Each completed idea, usually indicated by the sentence, must be clearly separated from its fellows. A transition from a literal statement to an illustration, from one part of a description to another, must be distinctly made. The
passage from one paragraph to another, from one stanza to another, being among the larger groups, requires transition of wider intervals.
While transition primarily marks the thought-groups of the speech, it is also expressive of the emotional changes
The ebb and flow of any emotion, and the change from one emotion to another, are among the occasions for transition. These emotional changes may be as widely divergent as the grave and the gay, or so delicate as to be difficult to analyze.
1 Daniel Webster : Public Opinion.
of the group
Transition from group to group is effected, first of all, by pausing between groups, and then by change of rate, of pitch, and of kinds of voice within the group.
While no attempt is made to illustrate the fine shades of grouping and transition, it is thought worth the while, on a single sentence, to give the main features of the grouping, with special reference to the emotion.
« 'Tis true this god did shake; his coward lips did from their color fly.” The group, “'tis true,” reaffirms with slight irony. The transition to the group “this god,” is marked with intense irony. Transition to “did shake,” less ironical, strongly affirmatory of a suppository denial of shaking. The groups, “ 'Tis . . . shake," are given with irony, - high pitch, deliberation, circumflex. The transition or change to the second member is marked. A tinge of irony remains. But Cassius attempts to be rather more indifferent, and to make, mainly, a statement of fact, lower pitch, more rapid rate, major slides.
How, then, may the speaker become skilful in the use of Transition ? In this, as in other aspects of speaking, the main dependence should be in mental activity. Some common hindrances, however, may be noted, and a few hints be given from the objective point of view.
The following are the more common faults:
1. I have frequently found pupils grouping by mechanically following the punctuation. Punctuation only in a general way indicates the pauses of delivery, and does not reach at all changes of rate and pitch. Sometimes the pause is as long at a comma as it is at other times at a period.
2. Another common fault is the habit of running on without change as long as the breath allows, and, in the main, pausing only to supply the lungs. Akin to this is the fault of capricious pausing without reference to