Of the Orthographie and Congruitie of the Britan Tongue eBook

Alexander Hume
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 46 pages of information about Of the Orthographie and Congruitie of the Britan Tongue.

  P. 11 (8).  He objects to the use of w for u in the diphthongal
  sound of ou, and therefore spells how, now, etc., hou, nou.

  P. 11 (10).  It is difficult here to see what the pronunciation of
  buu would be, which the author gives as the sound of bow (to bow). 
  Probably the sound he meant would be better represented by boo.

P. 13 (12).  The author here recommends the distinction both of sound and symbol of j and v as consonants, and i and u as vowels, and proposes that we should call j jod or je, and v vau or ve, and not single u, “as now they doe” (p. 16), and w he would call wau or we, and moreover he places them in his alphabet on the same page.  If this proposal was originally his own, it is curious that the name ve should have been adopted, though not the we for w.  Ben Jonson points out the double power of i and v as both consonant and vowel, but he does not attempt to make them into separate letters as Hume does.
P. 15 (12).  He gives as an anomaly of the South that while the d is inserted before g in hedge, bridge, etc., it is omitted in age, suage, etc.  He does not see that the short vowel requires a double consonant to prevent it from being pronounced long.
P. 21 (6).  He disputes the possibility of a final e, separated from a preceding vowel by a consonant, having any effect whatever in altering the sound of the preceding vowel, and recommends the use of a diphthong to express the sound required; as, hoep for hope, fier for fire, bied for bide, befoer for before, maed for made, etc.  He uniformly throughout follows this rule.

  P. 22 (5).  Hume here accents difficultie on the antepenultimate
  instead of the first syllable.

  P. 23 (7).  He puts down outrage as an instance of two distinct words
  joined by a hyphen, which is the derivation given by Ash in his
  dictionary, in strange obliviousness of the French word outrage.

  P. 27 (1, 6). T is omitted after s in the second person singular
  of the verb, and so no distinction is made between the second and the
  third persons; thus, thou wrytes, and at p. 32 thou was, and thou hes.

  P. 29 (7).  The supposition that the apostrophe ’s as a mark of the
  possessive case is a segment of his, a question which has been lately
  revived, is here denied.

P. 34.  In this last chapter on Punctuation, which the author styles “of Distinctiones,” no mention whatever is made of the “semicolon,” though it occurs frequently in the MS., as, for instance, p. 30, cap. 6.  This stop, according to Herbert, was first used by Richard Grafton in The Byble printed in 1537:  it occurs in the Dedication.  Henry Denham, an English printer who flourished towards the close of the sixteenth century, was the first to use it with propriety.

  P. 34 (6).  The explanation of the mode of pronouncing the comma “with
  a short sob” is odd.[5]

Project Gutenberg
Of the Orthographie and Congruitie of the Britan Tongue from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook