Diction as a whole [Note] is made up of these parts: letter, syllable, conjunction, joint, [Note] noun, verb, case, phrase.
A letter is an indivisible sound, not every such sound but one of which an intelligible sound can be formed. Animals utter indivisible sounds but none that I should call a letter.
Such sounds may be subdivided into vowel, semi-vowel, and mute. A vowel is that which without any addition has an audible sound; a semivowel needs the addition of another letter to give it audible sound, for instance S and R; a mute is that which with addition has no sound of its own but becomes audible when combined with some of the letters which have a sound. Examples of mutes are G and D.
Letters differ according to the shape of the mouth and the place at which they are sounded; in being with or without aspiration; in being long and short; and lastly in having an acute, grave, or intermediate accent. But the detailed study of these matters properly concerns students of metre.
A syllable is a sound without meaning, composed of a mute and a letter that has a sound. GR, for example, without A is a syllable just as much as GRA with an A. But these distinctions also belong to the theory of metre. words. It is also very obscure. Students should refer to Bywater's edition.
A conjunction is a sound without meaning,