What is connected speech and why is it important in language learnning?
When we speak, we don´t do it separately, but continuously. That is to say, there is a significant difference between the pronunciation of words in isolation and the pronunciation of full sentences in which speech is connected. In linguistics, this sequence is called connected speech. In connected speech, there appear different processes by which sounds are linked, entwined, deleted or even changed.
Elision or phonetic loss is a change consisting of the elimination or loss of one or more sounds within a word or chunk.
For example: Debt = /det/. Island = /ˈaɪlənd/
There are different types of linking. The most common takes place when one word finishes in a vowel and the following starts in a consonant.
For example: She gets‿up‿at‿eight.
Phonetic assimilation is a change by which the pronunciation of one sound is adjusted considering the neighbouring sounds, and thus producing a modification in the sound itself.
For example: /d/ + /j/ = /dʒ/
Would you like some tea? = would + you /wʊd ju:/ = /wʊdʒu:/
Function words (those which help to build a sentence: prepositions, conjunctions and pronouns) can be stressed or not stressed depending on the place they have within the sentence and the emphasis we want to give.
his= hɪz ɪz
him= hɪm ɪm
her= hɜː hə, ə, ɜː
you= juː jʊ, jə
Why is connected speech important in English language learning?
It was not so long ago that connected speech was taken into account in language learning and even today is still not present in many English teaching programmes. However, it is extremely important not only to speak better but also to understand better.
The challenge of English speakers as a second language is to understand native speakers. Specially, in the XXI Century when countries boundaries have vanished and we can communicate more frequently with people from the other side of the world, and subsequently having different accents.
Thus, we think it is important to be included in study programmes and we developed a specific pronunciation workshop on connected speech. For further information about the course, write us an e-mail or contact 1539450205.