Alexander Melville Bell - Encyclopedia

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ALEXANDER MELVILLE BELL (1819-1905), American educationalist, was born at Edinburgh, Scotland, on the 1st of March 1819. He studied under and became the principal assistant of his father, Alexander Bell, an authority on phonetics and defective speech. From 1843 to 1865 he lectured on elocution at the university of Edinburgh, and from 1865 to 1870 at the university of London. In 1868, and again in 1870 and 1871, he lectured in the Lowell Institute course in Boston. In 1870 he became a lecturer on philology at Queen's College, Kingston, Ontario; and in 1881 he removed to Washington, D.C., where he devoted himself to the education of deaf mutes by the "visible speech" method of orthoepy, in which the alphabetical characters of his own invention were graphic diagrams of positions and motions of the organs of speech. He held high rank as an authority on physiological phonetics and was the author of numerous works on orthoepy, elocution and education, including Steno-Phonography (1852); Letters and Sounds (1858); The Standard Elocutionist (1860); Principles of Speech and Dictionary of Sounds (1863); Visible Speech: The Science of Universal Alphabetics (1867); Sounds and their Relations (1881); Lectures on Phonetics (1885); A Popular Manual of Visible Speech and Vocal Physiology (1889); World English: the Universal Language (1888); The Science of Speech (1897); The Fundamentals of Elocution (1899).

See John Hitz, Alexander Melville Bell (Washington, 1906).

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