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Work/Life English

E-03.12 Link, Join or Blend (the Sounds of) Words in Fluent Discourse

E-03.12 Link, Join or Blend (the Sounds of) Words in Fluent Discourse

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Accent Activities: Pronunciation Supplement to Speaking. Part Six: Sound Linking in Thought Groups, pages 57-60

 4 pages

Who It’s For: Intermediate & Above English (as a Second Language) Teachers, Helpers,  & Learners Adding Sound Linking to Their “Accent-Polishing” Repertoire

Why It’s Useful: Along with “Rhythm,” “Timing,” and/or “Pausing After Thought Groups,”  speakers trying to simulate or acquire a (standard) American-English accent may wish to add “Sound Linking” to their oral output.  Within a Thought Group, there are three instances when the final sound of one word can be attached to the initial sound of the next: a Consonant to a Vowel, a Vowel to a Vowel, and a Consonant to a Consonant. Here are explanations and annotated examples to practice with.  The excerpt culminates in an amusing anecdote to read aloud according to its markings—or to “edit orally” for even better effect (bigger laughs).   

What You’ll Do: 

[1]  It’s impossible to run together sounds that occur in separate chunks of language. But for “Sound Linking Within Thought or Rhythm Groups,” the last sound of one word might be linked to the first sound of the next—so that the two sound like one multi-syllable word.  Hear, repeat, examine closely, and work with the word, phrase,  and sentence examples.

[2]  In Exercise 1, retell a funny story titled “A BUSinessman / hadto_give_a_ speech__in_another_ CIty.¯  Experiment with various ways to deliver its content—especially its punch line, so that your listeners pay close attention and laugh at its point.  

[3] In Exercise 1, use your developing joke-telling skills to relate a brief tale of your own.  Your efforts are sure to be appreciated!  


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