English Accent Training- stress and intonation- Linking and Elision

Eng­lish Accent Train­ing Part 4. Eng­lish Stress and Into­na­tion. Link­ing And Eli­sion

Have you ever won­dered how to sound more flow­ing when you speak Eng­lish ?

Then you need to mas­ter using Link­ing and Eli­sion in your Eng­lish accent train­ing. These two ele­ments make your words flow togeth­er more.

If your back­ground lan­guage is one where every syl­la­ble is said even­ly, a syl­la­ble timed lan­guage, the rhythm of your jaw move­ment is more even and each word is sep­a­rate. Da; Da; Da; Da; like even drum beats.

So when you want to be flow­ing in your Eng­lish accent train­ing and speech you will need to have your jaw move­ment change to flow cer­tain words togeth­er. It’s as if you are say­ing one longer word made up of a few syl­la­bles. For exam­ple the words ‘put it on your end’ are said with the flow­ing rhythm:- dada­da dada – puti­ton (all joins up) yourend (join up).

Ok so let me tell you how to do this.

Eng­lish Accent Train­ing Part 4- Stress and Into­na­tion – How to do Link­ing and Eli­sion

Link­ing

Link­ing is when we join a word that ends in a con­so­nant to the fol­low­ing word if it begins with a vow­el.

For exam­ple:

‘want it’ becomes ‘wan-tit’;   ‘but our’ becomes bu-tour (butour);  ‘was a’ becomes wa-sa (wasa);    ‘after all I am on duty’ becomes after­all Iya­mon  duty ( notice there’s an intru­sive ‘y’ sound to get from the ‘I’ to ‘a’ in I am). 

It’s as if ‘after all’ becomes one long word,  and ‘I am on’ becomes one longer word. They Link togeth­er.

For exam­ple:

The sen­tence ‘There was a big onion on a table.’ Is said ‘There wasa bi-gonion ona table.’

 

Eli­sion

Eli­sion is when we join a word that ends in a con­so­nant to the fol­low­ing word if it begins with the same con­so­nant and we elide or leave off the final con­so­nant of the first word.

For exam­ple:  ‘want to’ – we don’t say the words with each /t/ sound pro­nounced sep­a­rate­ly. We join them – ‘wan­to’ .

‘head down’ becomes ‘head­own’ – He put his ‘head­own’ this time.

‘face sore’ becomes  ‘fasore’  -It made his ‘fasore.’

Inter­est­ing­ly when the first word ends in a /z/ and the sec­ond begins with an /s/ we do the same because the sounds are very close in pro­nun­ci­a­tion.

For exam­ple:  ‘his seat’ becomes ‘hiseat’ – ‘Hiseat’ ‘waso’ warm. (His seat was so warm).

You can see if you link the words togeth­er like this how it makes them flow togeth­er bet­ter.

 

Prac­tise Tip for Eng­lish Accent Train­ing Stress and Into­na­tion

Because we’re link­ing words togeth­er that you prob­a­bly wouldn’t usu­al­ly do in your every­day speech, you need to prac­tise this a lot. You are real­ly get­ting your mouth/jaw to ‘beat’  and move to a dif­fer­ent rhythm, and to move dif­fer­ent­ly. So in this part of your Eng­lish accent train­ing, you need to give your mouth enough prac­tise to form a new mus­cle mem­o­ry of how to move in Eng­lish.

Step 1

Print out 10 pages from our accent reduc­tion course– maybe any 5 vow­el pages, and any 5 con­so­nant pages

Step 2

Look at the sen­tences and use a mark­er to high­light any instances you see of link­ing or eli­sion (accord­ing to the def­i­n­i­tions above).

Step 3 

Lis­ten to the audio train­er in the course and mim­ic aloud with them, mak­ing sure you link your words togeth­er where you have marked on the pages.

Step 4

Do the same page with the same sen­tences for 3 days in a row before mov­ing to the next page you have marked. This gives your mouth a chance to gain some mas­tery and flow.

Step 5

Once you have done this with all 10 pages, get a text and chose a para­graph and mark the link­ing and eli­sion. Then read the same para­graph aloud to your­self every day for 7 days mak­ing sure you are using the link­ing and eli­sion that is there.

Then take anoth­er para­graph and do the same. After a while record your­self, and lis­ten if you are mak­ing these ele­ments auto­mat­ic when you read aloud, and also in your every­day speech.

So mas­ter­ing this ele­ment of Eng­lish accent train­ing will real­ly make a dif­fer­ence to how flow­ing you sound in Eng­lish.

Best wish­es, Esther

P.s. Click here to read Part 1, click here to read part 2, click here to read part 3

Click on a link below now, to learn about our accent reduc­tion cours­es and start speak­ing more clear­ly.

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