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A Handbook of the English Language by Latham

In English this has the sound of dzh


diphthongal forms ae and oe, as in _Aeneas_ and _Croesus_, except in the way of etymology, are superfluous and redundant.

s. 156. _Unsteadiness._--Here we have (amongst many other examples), 1. The consonant c with the double power of s and k; 2. g with its sound in _gun_ and also with its sound in _gin_; 3. x with its sounds in _Alexander_, _apoplexy_, _Xenophon_.

In the foregoing examples a single sign has a double power; in the words _Philip_ and _filip_, &c.; a single sound has a double sign.

In respect to the degree wherein the English orthography is made subservient to etymology, it is sufficient to repeat the statement that as many as three letters c, ae, and oe are retained in the alphabet for _etymological purposes only_.

s. 157. The defects noticed in the preceding sections are _absolute_ defects, and would exist, as they do at present, were there no language in the world except the English. This is not the case with those that are now about to be noticed; for them, indeed, the word _defect_ is somewhat too strong a term. They may more properly be termed inconveniences.

Compared with the languages of the rest of the world the use of many letters in the English alphabet is _singular_. The letter i (when long or independent) is, with the exception of England, generally sounded as ee. With Englishmen

it has a diphthongal power. The inconvenience of this is the necessity that it imposes upon us, in studying foreign languages, of unlearning the sound which we give it in our own, and of learning the sound which it bears in the language studied. So it is (amongst many others) with the letter j. In English this has the sound of _dzh_, in French of zh, and in German of y. From singularity in the use of letters arises inconvenience in the study of foreign tongues.

In using j as dzh there is a second objection. It is not only inconvenient, but it is theoretically incorrect. The letter j was originally a modification of the vowel i. The Germans, who used it as the semivowel y, have perverted it from its original power less than the English have done, who sound it dzh.

With these views we may appreciate in the English alphabet and orthography--

_Its convenience or inconvenience in respect to learning foreign tongues._--The sound given to the a in _fate_ is singular. Other nations sound it as a in _father_.

The sound given to the e, long (or independent), is singular. Other nations sound it either as a in _fate_, or as _['e] ferm['e]_.

The sound given to the i in _bite_ is singular. Other nations sound it as ee in _feet_.

The sound given to the oo in _fool_ is singular. Other nations sound it as the o in _note_, or as the _['o] chiuso_.

The sound given to the u in _duck_ is singular. Other nations sound it as the u in _bull_.

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