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to take up either of the larger works, in which they will go over much of the same ground, but with the additional interest of the Oral Exercises. They will be enabled to advance rapidly, to understand more clearly the facts that come before them; and, in pursuing the course to its conclusion, will attain their aim: read, write, and speak the French language.
The demand for this work has been so great that in the printing of many successive editions the plates had become badly worn.
New electrotype plates having become necessary, the publishers have deemed it proper to have the book carefully read, and such improvements made as suggested themselves to the editor.
The author of the work having died some years since, his friend Professor H. Dalmon of the United States Naval Academy undertook this work of revision, and has performed it with great care, so that it is believed that it is as nearly free from typographical errors as possible. No radical changes in the matter or form have been made, and the new edition can be used in the same classes with the old without the slightest difficulty.
The numerous teachers who have heretofore used the book with such satisfaction, will, we are confident, be glad to see it in this new and improved type.
The w is not a French letter. It is found in a few foreign words that have been introduced into the French language, and is pronounced the same as the v.
The written language has accents, cedilla, diæresis, apostrophe, hyphen, and the ordinary punctuation marks.
There are three accents, the acute (?), the grave (), and the cir. cumflex (^).
The acute accent is used over the vowel e only. The acute é has the sound of a in fate.
The grave accent is used over e, a, u. The grave è has the sound
* The vowel e, joined to the consonants to give their new names, has nearly the sound of u in burr.
+ The q and u have no corresponding sound in English.
of ei in their. The grave accent is used over a and u only as a mark of distinction (p. 13; 10, 2).
The circumflex accent is used over a long vowel, after which a letter has been suppressed (p. 13; 10, 3).
The cedilla (7) is placed under the c (ç) before a, o, u, to indicate that it has the sound of 8, as : ça, ço, qu.
The diæresis (**) is placed over a vowel that begins a new syllable after another vowel ; as, maïs (ma-is). It is also placed over finale that follows u, when the u is to be pronounced, as : aiguë; the u of the syilable gue is otherwise silent.
The apostrophe (') indicates the suppression of a vowel, as : l'ami, for le ami ; l'homme, for le homme.
The hyphen (-) indicates the connection between two or more words, or parts of a word, as : ai-je; arc-en-ciel.
3.-VOWELS AND VOWEL-SOUNDS.
There are six vowels: a, e, i, o, u, y; but there are thirteen vowel. sounds; nine are pure, and four are nasal.
These vowel-sounds have nearly all corresponding sounds in Eng. lish.
a (short) has the sound of a in hat, as : sa, ma, malle, salle. a (long) has the sound of a in father, as : âge, âme, mâle, sale. e has the sound of u in burr, but faintly, as : de, le, me, se, é has the sound of a in fate, as : dé, légal, métal, posé. è has the sound of ei in their, as: dès, frère, mère, père. ê has the sound of ei in their (broad), as : fête, frêle, même, tête. i or y* has the sound of e in me, as : ami, mari, midi, si.
* The letter y, preceded by a vowel, has the value of double i, as : pays (pay-ee).