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  • Writer's pictureSarah Egan

Connected Speech and Pronunciation Tips- Part 1.

Updated: Apr 9

Understanding connected speech is crucial for comprehending natural spoken language and improving listening skills. Connected speech refers to the natural flow of spoken language, where words, sounds, and phrases flow and connect together in a continuous, smooth, stream. It involves aspects such as linking, elision, assimilation, and other features that occur when words are spoken in a connected manner.

Here are some examples and features of connected speech:

1. Intrusion:

  • Example: "law and order" pronounced as /lɔːr ənd ɔːrdər/ where an extra 'r' sound is inserted between "law" and "and" for smoother linking.

2.Connected Intonation:

  • Example: Rising intonation at the end of a question for clarification, or falling intonation for statements. A person uses rising intonation when asking "Are you free this weekend?" This rising pattern signals a question.

3. Contractions:

  • Example: "I am" becomes "I'm," "they will" becomes "they'll," contributing to a more fluid speech pattern.

4. Weak Forms:

  • Example: Pronunciation of function words like "and," "of," "to" in a weaker, unstressed form.

5. Linking: How words are connected in speech, especially when a word ending in a consonant is followed by a word starting with a vowel.

  • Example: "I scream" pronounced as /aɪ skriːm/ where the final 'i' sound in "I" links with the 's' sound in "scream."

6. Elision: The omission of certain sounds or syllables in rapid speech. For example, "gonna" instead of "going to."

  • Example: "gonna" for "going to" or "wanna" for "want to" where certain sounds are omitted for smoother speech.

7. Assimilation: When sounds in words change to be more like nearby sounds. For instance, "handbag" might be pronounced as "hambag."

  • Example: "handbag" pronounced as /hæmbæɡ/ where the 'n' sound assimilates with the following 'b' sound.

8. Intonation: The rise and fall of pitch in speech, which can convey meaning and nuance.

Statement: "I can't believe she did that."

  • Neutral Statement Intonation: If said with a neutral intonation, it might sound straightforward, without any particular emphasis on certain words. "I can't believe she did that.

  • Surprise Intonation: If said with a rising intonation, it can convey surprise or disbelief. "I can't believe she did that?"

  • Disapproval Intonation: If said with a falling intonation, it might convey disapproval or disappointment. "I can't believe she did that."

Connected Speech examples

Do you want to grab a coffee? /dʊ jə ˈwɒnə ɡræb ə ˈkɒfi/ /dia-wana-grapa-cofi/

I will go and get some water. /aɪl ɡoʊ ænd ɡɛt səm ˈwɔtər/ /ail-gowan-get-somewater/

I am going to show you. /aɪm ˈɡɒnə ʃoʊ jə/ /aim-gonna-showya/

I should have asked for more. /aɪ ˈʃʊdə æskt fɔr mɔr/ /ai-shuda-ast-fo-mo/

Have a good day! /hæv ə ɡʊd deɪ/ /hafa-gud-dei/

Let me know your thoughts and experiences about connected speech, how have you been managing it?

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