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Connected Speech

Speech is a continuous stream of sounds. This means that when we speak


naturally, we do not pronounce a word, make a pause, then say the next word in
the sentence, pause again, and so on.

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

In rapid speech, when one word is linked with the next, sounds come together.
And when sounds come together in speech, they are influenced by one another.
As a result, some sounds are lost, some sounds are added, some sounds take on

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

Linking consonants to vowels.


When a word ends in a consonant sound and is followed by a word
beginning with a vowel sound, the consonant is often produced as if
belonged to both syllables or as if belonged to the next word.
like_it
put_on
call_up
move_out
run_over
back_of
talk_about
leave_early

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

Linking identical consonants.


When a word ends in a consonant sound and is followed by a word that
begins with the same consonant sound, the two consonants are normally
pronounced as one long consonant.
black_cat
big_girl
bad_day
went_to
keep_promises
Miss_Susan
feel_lonely
Linking vowels to vowels.
When a word that ends in a tense vowel (-/iy/, /ey/, /uw/, /ow/) is

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

Linking vowels to semivowels.


When a word ends with a tense vowel (-/iy/, /ey/, /uw/, /ow/) and the
next word begins with the same semi-vowel that ends the tense vowel,
these will be linked like identical consonants.
iy + y
ey + y
uw + w
ow + w
be_yourself
pay_yourself
do_we?
blow_wind
free_union
stay_united
who_wouldnt go_west
see_Esmeraldas
say_yes
blue_water
show_window

STOP TO READ

People do not speak in separate words, they speak in logical connected groups of
words. These groups are often called thought groups. A thought group can be
defined as a portion of a sentence separated from the rest by a pause or pauses.
In the examples below, the thought groups are separated by a diagonal line:

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

Please call / if you have to cancel.


Whatever you do, / do well.
Experts say / that what you name your child / can make a huge diference.

Practice 2
Listen to the sentences in Practice 1 again and repeat. Listening and repeating is
important practice for language learning. Go back to the sentences in Practice 1
and identify the types of linking which occur:

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

Type 1 = linking consonants to vowels


Type 2 = linking a stop consonant to a consonant
Type 3 = linking identical consonants

Type 4 = linking vowels to vowels.

For example, in has a in sentence 1 we link the final consonant of has to the
following vowel sound (type 1).

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

RECOMMENDED: Search for the lyrics and the audio of the song When I need
you by Leo Sayer. Read the lyrics while listening to the song and identify
occurrences of linking. Listen to it as many times as necessary.

Supplementary Reading
Click on the links below to read more about linking in English.
http://www.englishclub.com/pronunciation/linking.htm
http://www.pronuncian.com/lessons.aspx?Lesson=7
http://www.pronuncian.com/lessons.aspx?Lesson=50
http://www.pronuncian.com/lessons.aspx?Lesson=54
http://www.pronuncian.com/lessons.aspx?Lesson=55

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

References:

CELCE-MURCIA et al. Teaching Pronunciation: a Reference for Teachers of


English to Speakers of Other Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1996.

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

GRANT, L. Well Said. Boston: Heinle & Heinle, 2001.

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Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

LETS MAKE A COMPARISSON BETWEEN LINKING IN SPANISH


LANGUAGE

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

Enlace or encadenamiento is the phenomenon in Spanish whereby each word


seems to run into the next, as if there are no boundaries between them. In fact,
this is exactly the case: there are no phonetic boundaries in Spanish, and words
do run together, in three diferent ways.

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1. Vowel + vowel
a When a word ending with a vowel is followed by a word beginning with the
) same vowel, the two vowels are combined into a single, slightly elongated
sound.
la escuela abre la puerta a las siete

la escue la bre la puer ta la sie te

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

b When a word ending with a vowel is followed by a word beginning with a

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diferent vowel, the two vowels diphthong into a single syllable.


tengo una idea interesante

ten gou nai deain te re san te

2. Consonant + consonant

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

When a word ending with a consonant is followed by a word beginning with


the same consonant, the two consonants are combined into a single, slightly
elongated sound.

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los seores son nerviosos

lo se o re so ner vio sos

3. Consonant + vowel
When a word ending in a consonant is followed by a word that begins with a
vowel, the consonant sound at the end of the first word is transfered to the
beginning of the second word.
Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

un actor es un artista

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u nac to re su nar ti sta

Notes:
When the second word begins with an H, the word acts as if the H doesn't exist, so the
rules above still apply.

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro

Basically, the Spanish language doesn't like to have syllables begin with vowels or end in
consonants, so whenever possible the final consonant is tacked onto the word that
follows it. The end result of enlace is that most syllables begin with a consonant sound
and end with a vowel sound. This also increases the musicality of the language.

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Professor Norman Mosquera Castro


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Cluster

Example

Pronunciation

nd

hand out

hand out

st

last ofer

last ofer

st

next up

next up

ft

left out

left out

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Cluster

Example

Pronunciation

nd

band shell

ban shell

ft

left field

lef field

st

past president

pas president

st

next month

nex month

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro


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Cluster

Example

Pronunciation

nd

kindness

kinness

ft

softness

sofness

st

postman

posman

st

textbook

texbook

Professor Norman Mosquera Castro


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Cluster

Example

Pronunciation

nd

canned peaches

cannd peaches

ft

laughed hard

laughd hard

st

missed chances

missd chances

st

taxed me

taxd me

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Professor Norman Mosquera Castro