Juncture is another element of intonation in English speech, and so is important for English accent reduction. As you will see from the examples below, it’s really important because if you don’t use it properly the meaning of what you are saying changes.
Juncture is a kind of transition and pause between utterances or within an utterance. It’s a combination of pitch and pause.
A more formal definition is – a pause or slight delay in a continuous flow of speech. A type of sound transition characterizing the movement from sound to sound within a word or phrase. “The relationship between one sound and the sounds that immediately precede and follow it” (Roach 1991: 129)
There are 2 main types of juncture:
Close Juncture – is a movement from sound to sound which has no intervening pauses or delay. For example, ‘my train’.
Open Juncture – is a movement from sound to sound which is not continuous. There is a slight stoppage of the last sound till it blends with the next. The stoppage may vary from short to slightly longer depending on the context, meaning and punctuation. For example, ‘might rain’.
Sound Natural In English – Use Juncture
Examples of Close and Open Juncture
Close Juncture Open Juncture (with the stoppage/pause)
my train might rain
that’s tough that stuff
ice cream I scream
nitrate night rate
an aim a name
shore train short rain
new deal nude eel
it swings its wings
come and eat Grandma Come and eat, Grandma
My teacher said, the Dr is pregnant. My teacher, said the Dr, is pregnant.
(the Dr is pregnant) (the teacher is pregnant)
We have two options here: stay and fight, or run like the wind.
Best wishes, Esther