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Chambers, Ephraim, 1680 (ca.)-1740 / Cyclopædia, or, An universal dictionary of arts and sciences : containing the definitions of the terms, and accounts of the things signify'd thereby, in the several arts, both liberal and mechanical, and the several sciences, human and divine : the figures, kinds, properties, productions, preparations, and uses, of things natural and artificial : the rise, progress, and state of things ecclesiastical, civil, military, and commercial : with the several systems, sects, opinions, &c : among philosophers, divines, mathematicians, physicians, antiquaries, criticks, &c : the whole intended as a course of antient and modern learning

Alguazil - Anagram,   pp. 61-82 PDF (20.5 MB)

Page 70

( 7c )
Cftrfonaants; to which they add 2o other aitrated syllables.
- The like is faid of the  'artarian; each of their Let-
tees is a Syllable; having one of the Vowels joined tA.
its Confanant: as La, Le, Li, &c.
The Chinefe have no Alphabet, properly fpeakingg; ex-
cept we call their whole Language their Alphabet;
their Letters are Words, or rather Hieroglyphicks, and are
in Number about 8o,ooo. See CHIkEsEand CtRARACTE.
In effe&, Alphabets were not contrived with Defign, ac-
cording to the Jufi Rules of Reafon and Analogy ; but fuc-
ceffively framed, alter'd, Eec. as occafion oifer'd.-.And
hence many grievous Complaints as to their Deficiencies;
and divers attempts to eflablifh new, and more adequate
ones in their place.
Bilhop Wilkins charges the Alphabets extant with great
Irregularities, with refpe e both of the Order, Number,
Power, Figure, Uec.-As to the Order, it appears inarti-
ficial, precarious, and confufed; in that the Vowels and
Confionants are not reduced into Claffes, with fuch order of
precedence and fubfequence as their Natures will bear.-
Even the Hebrew Alphabet, from which the refl are deri-
ved, is not free from this ImpercEtion.
As to Number, they are both redundant, and deficient:
Redundant, either by allotting feveral Letters to the fame
Power, and Sound; as in the Hebrew D and tV; and the
ordinlryLatin c and k, f and pb: or by reckoning double Let-
ters among the fimiple Elements of Speech ; as in the He-
brew I, the Greek e and 4, the Latin q cu, x cs, and the
j Confonant, or Jod.-Deficient in divers refpea1s, efiecially
in regard of Vowels, of which there are feven or eight
kinds cominonly uU d; tho the Latin Altphabet only takes
notice of five; whereof two,q viz. i and it, according to our
ngliJdh Pronunciation, are not properly Vowels, but Dip-
Add, that the Difference among Vowels in refpe& of
long and ihort, is not fufficiently provided for: The An.
tients, we know, ufed to exprefs a long Vowel by doubling
its Charaaer; as Ainaabam, Naata, Ree, Seedes, SanlliJ-
fimiis ; tho the Vowel i, inflead of being doubled, was fre-
quently prolonged, as ADILLIs, rIso, vIvtus.-The ways ufed
in .Englh12 for lercgthning and abbreviating Vowels, viz, by
adding e quiefcent to the End' of a Word, for prolonging
a Syllable; and doubling the following Confonants, for the
shortening of a Vowel, as Wane Wann, Ware Warr, &c. or
elfe. by inferting fome other Vowel, for the lengthning of
it, as Meat Mct, Read Red, &c. are all improper; in that
the Sign ought ever to be where the Sound is.
As to their Powers, again, thofe are not always fixed to
the fame Signification: The Vowels, for inflance, are gene-
rally acknowledg'd to have each of 'em feveral Sounds : ZVo-
cales onces plurifonMe, fays Lipzins ; and T7Jffus aifures us,
the Antients ufed their Vowels very different ways, aliquan-
do ten)iius exilitifiqle, ufnac crafTius, runc intermedio fono.
Thus the Power of the Vowel e is expreffed in writing no lefs
than fix feveraf ways, viz, by e; as in he, me, Jhe, ye:
-by ee, in thee, free, we ; -by ie, in field, yield, .hield,
chief 5-by ea, in neaj-, dear, hear ;-by; eo, in people *-
by i, in Privilege.  So is the Power of the Vowel a; as in
all, aul, abat, fault, caught, broueght: which are all only va-
rious ways of writing the fame long Vowel ; befides the
other dillina ways of exprefling the fame Vowel when ufed
Ihort: Again, the Power of the Vowel o is written five
ways ; o, as in to, who, move ;-oe, in doe.-oo, in /hoo,
soon,, noon 1;-o?, in could, would ;-wo, in toso ; and fo of
the rel.-    Nor are the Confonants of more determinate
Powers: witnefs the different Pronunciation of the fame
Letter (c).in the fame Word, Circo; and of g in negligence.
-To fay no more, the Letters c, fi t, are ufed alike, to
denote the fame Power; and the Letter f. is commonly
ufed for s;. and which is yet worfe, fome Letters of the
fame Name and Shape, are ufed at one time for Vowels,
6nd at another Ofbr Confonants ; as j, v, w, y; which yet
differ from one another, fays Bilhop Wilkins, ficut corpus
e anima.
From this'Confufion in the Power of Letters, there arife
divers Irregularites i as, that fome Words are di'llinguifi'd
in Writing, which are the fame in Pronunciation, e. g. Cef/io
and Seedy, &c. and others are diflinguilh'd in Pronunciation,
which are the fame in Writing; as give, dare, and Give,
binculiu7f, &c. Hence alfo the Latin Mala, is a Diffyllable,
and the Englifl Mfale, a Monofyllable.
'The Names alfo, in moot Alphabets, are very improperly
kxprefs'd by Words of divers Syllables; as Alpha, Pheta, &c.
in which refpei&, the Roman and our Englifh Alphabets,
which ohly name the Letters by their Powers, have a great
Advaritage over the reft.
LaIlly, their Figures are not well concerted; there being
nothing~ in tzheCharacers of the Vowels anfwerable to the
difFerentDegrees of Apernion: nor in the Confonants, ana-
OgOUS. to the Agreements or Difagreements thereof.
all theklmJwperfe~tons are endeavourld to be 'Obviate{
in the Utnierfal A*ahets, or Charaaert of  .
Bi1hop Wilkins, &c. See Univerfal CHAILACTER
In tie French King's Library, is an Arabic Worn
Sep hat Alacham; containing divers forts of imal
phabets, which the Author difiributes into Pr
Myflical, Philofophical, Magical, Talifinanical, Wt
Monfleur Leibnitz had it in view to compofe an
of Human rhoughts. Mem. de PAcad. R. An.
'Tis no wonder that the Number of Letters in i
guages fhou'd be fo firall, and that of the Words
once from a Calculation made by Mr. Prefjet, ix
that, allowing only 24 Letters to an Alhabet,
ferent Words or Combinations that may be tna4
thofe 24 Letters, taking them firff one by one, thi
two, three by three, &c. would amount to the
Number, 139,1724z8,887252,999425,I^8493,40,:
It may be here obferv'd, that every Combination tniy
make a Word, even tho that Combination have Mot an
Vowel in it ; becaufe the e mute or quiefcent infinuates it
felf imperceptibly between the Confonants, or after the Con-
fonants, where there are but two; the latter of which would
not be heard without it.-The ufe of this quiefcent e is ve-
ry remarkable in the Armenian, Welch, azid !Dutch Lan.
guages; wherein the generality of Words have feveral Con.
fonants together.
Nor mufl it be omitted, that every fin le Letter ftay
make a Word: which is very apparent, where that Letter
is a Vowel; Words of that kind being found in moa Lan-
guages. Thus, e and a make Words in the Greek    a, o,
in the Latin ; a, i, o, in Euglij/h; a, o, y, in French ; a, e,
i, o, in Italian; a, y, in Spani/h; a, o, in the Portuguefe ;
o, in moa  Languages, and even in the Dutch and Swiedi/h
A Confionant alfo becomes a Word, by adding an e mute to
it in Pronunciation.
In fine, tho a confiderable Number of the poffible Com.
binations of 24 Letters were retrench'd, yet the Number
remaining would Fill be immenfe, and vafily foperior to
that of the Words in any Language known.
Of all other Languages, the Greek is look'd upon as one
of the moil copious, the Radices of which are only efleem'd
about 3244; but then it abounds exceedingly in Cormpounds
and Derivatives. Bilhop Wilkins thinks thefe may be mow
derately computed at about ten thoufand.
Hermannus Hugo, indeed, afferts, that no Language hit
fo few as' icooo Words; and Varro is frequently quoted
by learned Men, as if he affirmed that there are in the LA
tin no lefs than 5oooco: But upon inquiring into thd Scope
of the Pa{Tage, Bifhbp Wilkins obferves, that this Numrdbt
is not intended by him to exprefs the jufi Number of
Words in the Latin; but the great Variety made thereof)
by the Infleffion and Compofition of Verbs.-To this pur-
pofe he lays it down, that there are above one thoufanrd
Radical Verbs in the Latin; and that each Verb admits
of five hundred feveral Varieties : He further fuppofes, that
each of thefe may be compounded with nine Prepofitionsi
as ceffit, rece]fit, acceflit, deceit, &c. which amounts to
five Millions. See WoRD.
AL1PEABRTi, in Matters of Polygraphy, is a duplicate of
the Key or Cypber, which each of the Parties correfpondini
are to keep by them. See CYP IM.
It is properly an Alphabet of the ufual Letters diIfepd,
in their Order; oppofite to, or underneath which, are the
fecret Charaders correfponding thereto, with the blank oi
ufelefs Letters, and the other Signs or Symbols ferving' to
obfcure, and render it difficult to decypher. See DEcr.
ALPHETA, in Aflronorny, a, Fix'd Star in the Norther*
Crownn; otherwife called LScida Coronae. See LVCIDA.
Its Longitude, Latitude, Fjec. fee among the refl of thA
Conflellation CORONA Septentrionalis.
ALPHOS, in Medicine, a Diflemper defcribed by Celfus
under the Name of J7itiligo ; wherein, the Skin is rough,
and looks as if it had Drops of white upon it, not much dif-
fering from Morphew. See MORPIIEW.
ALRAMECHI, or ABRPAMECH, in Affronomy, the Arazi5
any  __ f   h t-,:       xi F  a, a  .1.   ok a__
N ame or a bitar, otnerwile called -Arcturus. ace Aw
ALT, in Mufick. See DIAGRAM, and SCALE ; fee
Ar .rn
The Word is form'd of the Latin altus, high.
ALTAR, ARA, ALTAARE, a Place or Pile -wh
offer Sacrifice to fome Deity. See SACRPIVICE.
The I7ews had their Brazen Altar;' for Burnt
and a Oolden Alltar, or Altar of biceuft. See T.
CLE,   C.    .              I  .
Among the Romans, the Altar was a kind of
either fquare, round, or trianguAar ;- Adorn'd -with S
with Balfo Relievo's, and Infcriptions, whereon we
the Viaims fAcuificed to Idols. See 9 VItct 1M.   ;
A Ll

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