linking syllables

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audiolaik

Senior Member
Polish
Hello,

This time my question refers to linking syllables. For instance, when you want to say:

Carol ate an eel
Ice cream
Next week

We actually say:

Caro late a neel
I scream
Necks tweak

So the question that arises is what about the following examples:

Waded in a waggon
Stood on a stone
Full of vanilla

Should it be: weɪdi din ə wægən; stu: dən ə stəʊn ; fulə və’nɪlə

Thanks for your help!
 
  • Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    I'm not happy about your use of the word "should" in your question, as though one is supposed to speak this way. Most people do, but I don't think it improves the sound or clarity of their words and I don't think it's a requirement.

    If you take singing lessons, you learn to say "Carol ate an eel." I suggest you try to avoid doing what you describe.
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    But this is what a pronunciation course book suggests! From what you are saying, I conclude I should pronounce each word separately, right?
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Carol ate an eel
    Ice cream
    Next week

    We actually say:

    Caro late a neel
    I scream
    Necks tweak
    audiolaik,

    I'm only using this section of your post because it's very clearly presented.

    Lexiphile's correct. Good pronunciation is never a bad thing. You always want to speak as distinctly as possible.

    But if I understand you, you also want to sound natural when you speak English. You don't want your words to come out clipped and separated in the flow of your conversation.

    Looking at it from this point of view, I would say ice cream and next week really do come out sounding like that when you speak them in natural English. At least, that's the way I say them.

    Your Carol ate an eel wouldn't work, though, because even though it's very subtle, there is a difference between the indefinite articles a and an. The way you re-wrote it sounds like uh neel. It's really anneel.

    Try to aim for this: speaking each syllable clearly and trying as much as possible to let the words flow naturally into one another.

    Your other examples in your question are very confusing to me so I don't even think I should attempt to answer it. :)



    AngelEyes
     

    miyamoto_musashi

    Banned
    Canada, English
    There is no difference in pronunciation when you think of the consonants as attached to one word or the other, as long as the order of phonemes is correct. The rest is in the imagination.
     
    Audiolaik, unless you are trying to remove all traces of an accent entirely and to learn to speak so that listeners will have no idea that your first language is Polish (which is an odd and difficult thing to undertake), I would recommend tossing this silly book in the trash. It can be difficult enough to understand speakers with foreign accents when they speak clearly and distinctly. If the speaker is deliberately trying to slur words into each other, the result may be completely unintelligible.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi audiolaik

    There are pronunciation experts in the forum who can explain to you the difference in pronunciation between, for example, "a blackbird" and "a black bird".

    But in general, I think you should assume that we run one word into another, rather than pronouncing words separately.
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hello,
    Let me agree to disagree.:) Yes, my aim is to remove all traces of my accent so that listeners will have no idea that my first language is Polish. The reason being I'm a teacher of English. I'm of the belief I should represent a kind of pronunciation model for my students. I do realise that Received Pronunciation is a controversial issue. It's been laughed off many times. But if not RP, then what? There are lots of varieties of English nowadays. Modern English coursebooks promote listening tasks that contain a wide range of accents, which is, to a certain extent, understandable. However, I believe an English teacher (excluding native speakers) ought to sound "neutral". I think pronunciation does matter-the closer to a native-like sound, the better.

    I won't throw away the book since it's pretty expensive;)


    p.s. At a certain point, I digressed from the main topic - sorry! I hope the "stern" people will forgive me:)

    p.s.2 Loob: Thank you!

    Let the sound be with you!
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I agree with you 100%, audiolaik.

    The other crucial aspect is intonation. If the "music" is wrong, then however fluent and grammatical, the second-language user of English won't sound like a native speaker.
     

    Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    Hi audiolaik

    There are pronunciation experts in the forum who can explain to you the difference in pronunciation between, for example, "a blackbird" and "a black bird".

    But in general, I think you should assume that we run one word into another, rather than pronouncing words separately.
    Loob's comment is absolutely correct (so can I join the club of agree-ers?), but care still needs to be taken. Every language I've ever heard, when spoken at a "normal" speed, has word-types that tend to be run together. French is perhaps an extreme example of this phenomenon.

    However, GWB's point that a deliberate attempt to slur words together could make the result unintelligible is also correct (so now I'm an opposer). The examples in the original post could, if taken literally, lead you to just this end. Well-spoken English, even at relatively high speed, is not as slurred as French.

    So yes, by all means allow the words to flow into one another -- machine-gun-talk is not natural English -- but don't try deliberately to shift every ending consonnant onto the start of the next word or syllable.
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    It wasn't my intention to exaggerate out of all proportion:)! However, "exaggerating" can be, in some way, positive and beneficial.

    Thanks!
     
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