main menu

Pages



Hello everybody, hope you're all doing well. I'm back again with another topic. 
Just a bit about myself. 



I’m from the UK, born and bred in England, and I live in East Midlands, in a city called Leicester and if you are a Premier league fan you probably heard of it. 



I’ve been doing podcasts for over a year now to help you with pronunciation and to connect you with English in a very real way. Pronunciation, accents – that sort of things. 
Big thanks to Mikhail, the fabulous admin of this group for letting me share it with you. 



If you’re someone who just enjoys language-learning if you’re someone who is especially interested in picking up British English or enhancing your English skills. This is the one for you! 


So guess what? This episode is a chance for me to talk to you guys. And actually look at the way in which these words are pronounced in sentences in more detail. And when I say pronounced, I mean the ways in which the sentences are spoken in a natural kind of way. 


And what we are going to do is have a look at the ways in which the words in these sentences will be linked up together. The ways some of the sounds become weak, and the ways in which the sentences are stressed as well. 


I heard so many times from non-native speakers: "It's so tricky to understand everyday speech, it sounds like the sentence is all just the words are mixed up in the sentences and it's just hard to tell where one word ends and another word begins." 
Most of the second language learners even at very high-level have experienced this. 
And what happens is; some of the words get joined up together, some of the words and sounds disappear, or they seem to disappear, you get intrusive sounds coming in. 



it's all about word linking ... is all about intrusive sounds, it is all about elision of sound,- the way sounds disappear - and it's also about the way certain words are pronounced with weak pronunciation, specifically with 'Shwa' sound. 
Now, that might sound like nonsense to you or gobbledygook but let me try and explain it, in more detail. 


There are other problems as well, for example, accents, and different varieties of English. And that's one of the most challenging aspects for learners of English to deal with, because, you know, the number of time I've heard things like "Yeah, well, I have to do business with, you know, people in Philipines, and I can't understand everything they’re saying." 
So yes, you're dealing with a particular kind of accent there. 


Or it could be:" I met a guy, I couldn't understand anything he was saying, I think he was Welsh", and you think ..well.. he could've been Welsh or Scottish, he could've been from anywhere to be honest, because if you aren't familiar with an accent then you wouldn't know. The accents have their own distinct challenges and special ways in which, certain sounds can distract you. 
So, there are many different accents all over the UK. And usually, they are based on the different regions, so you got, you know, like Birmingham accents, or West, East Midlands accents, Black country accents which is also based in West Midlands, Manchester or, you know, certain parts of Manchester have different accents, Liverpool and different parts of Scotland have different accents. It’s very, very varied. But then, there is another form of English which is not based on any region, and it’s a kind of universal sort of standard form of English, and it’s known as the Received Pronunciation or of Modern Received Pronunciation. 



So, I've got a slight East Midlands accent. 
There are hints of a Leicester accent in when I speak. For example, vowel sounds are shortened. Even if they are short already, you can make them even shorter. 
When we’re dealing with Received Pronunciation, kind of standard pronunciation. That is the formal pronunciation that you often hear on the BBC, to be honest, although they do use a lot of regional accents these days. 



Also, it’s the form of English pronunciation which is the grounds of the phonemics script that you find in pronunciation books or in dictionaries. It is based on Received Pronunciation. 


If you are for example from Dublin, and if you are an English teacher in Moscow and you use an English pronunciation book to teach your student's pronunciation, that can be quite a task because the pronunciation book pronounces words in ways you’re pronouncing words in another way. 



So, let’s have a look at the different features of connected speech that we’re going to be dealing with. 


'Linking'. This is when words are linked together. And, there are different types of 'linking' 


So, you get consonant to consonant linking. That could mean that some sounds are removed, for example, 


let’s take words MUST, TELL and HIM. 
So if you don’t link them, it sounds like this; musT Tell Him 


And, there’s a /T/ at the end of MUST, and a /T/ at the begging of [Tell] But, when you say those words together, it becomes (Mus[t] tell [h]im) So, instead of your tongue doing that twice, the [T] it just does it once. 
There is only one /T/ sound in the middle. So, one of the /T/ sound is disappears. They mix together and create just one /T/ sound. 
Mus[T] tell [H]im. So, the /T/ is elided. 
Same with 
the firs[t] three 
mus[t] be 
we stopp[ed] for lunch 
you shouldn't [h]ave 
you should [have] 
'You should have' so 'Have' would sound here like an [Ov] 
You should [ov] 
For example: 
You should [ov] told [H]im about it before the meeting. 



You also have consonant to vowel linking. 
That’s when you have a word that ends in a consonant, and then, the next word begins with a vowel. 
Get on. ( geton ) 
Not at all. ( notatall ) for example, yeah? 
It's not a joke [S]now joke] 
And, what happens if there are you get intrusive sounds. 
So, there are different types of intrusive sounds. 



Okay, I will give you a few examples. 
When two vowel sounds meet, we tend to insert an extra sound which resembles either a / W / or / R/, to mark the transition sound between the two vowels. 
For example: 
Intruding / R/ 
The media / R /are to blame 
Law(R )and order. 
that man I sa[R]over there 
Intruding / W/ 
I want to/ W/eat. 
Please do/ W/it. 
Are /W/you inside, or Are /R/you outside? 
So you can hear yeah these intrusive sounds. 



So, there are different types of intrusive sounds. Sounds that come in when you are linking a vowel to another vowel. For example: 
Wife and husband (Wife'n husband) 
Knives and forks (Knives'n forks) 
Fish and chips (fish´n chips) 
A chair and a table (a chair ´n a table) 
And then, there’s also /schwa/ sounds. 
Now, the /schwa/ is a particular... like a phoneme in English pronunciation and it’s probably the most common 
Examples are 
int(E)rest, 
sim(I)lar, 
lib(A)ry, 
diff(E)rent, 
t(O)night. 



Now, in the unstressed syllable, the vowel sound is made weaker. It’s like a flat dead vowel sound. Flat vowel sound and that’s a common sound. Very, very common. It happens all the time. Almost every word has got the /schwa/ sound in it. Tea[cher] That’s a common one. Tea[cher] 
You can hear this, the /schwa/ sound, at the end. 



In a sentence, you’ve got meaning words and you have, let’s say grammar words. Okay, let’s describe it like that: meaning words and grammar words. The meaning words are like the BIG words that carry the meaning, and the grammar words are the little words that provide a grammatical support to the sentence. 



Usually, the meaning words tend to be the stressed words and they’re more clearly pronounced. The vowel sounds would be more full, and then, the little words are pronounced in a weaker or softer way and sometimes they are hard for you to hear. 
Like you don’t know if a person’s speaking in Past Perfect or Present Perfect or Past Simple because all of the auxiliary verbs just sort of seem to disappear. 
You can’t quite hear them. It could because they’ve been pronounced with weak forms, it could be because the -'ed' ending is disappearing because it is connected to the next word. It could be because the auxiliary verb is being contracted down to a tiny little sound. All of these things can make it hard for you to notice verb tenses, and it can make it hard for you to produce them naturally. 



This is a huge subject as I said, and I’ve being a little bit ambitious, and attempting to bite off more than I can chew, or maybe more than any of you can chew so I'm going to end it here for today and continue in my next podcast. 



By the way if are guys interested in some other things about pronunciation please let me know down below.

reactions :

Comments