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Lecture 12: Closely Related Words are Linked
inking is one of the most important rules in English pronunciation. After learning how English is linked, a student can "hear" spoken English better. Linking is a simple idea: closely-related words in English sentences are linked together, like the links in a chain. Words that are separate when we write them are often blended together when we say them, so that the dividing lines between words disappear. Linked English is spoken so smoothly that a beginning student cannot hear when one word stops and another starts.
Syllables that begin with vowels "steal" the final sound of the previous syllable. Olive begins with a vowel, so black olive is pronounced /blæ ka lIv/. Big apple is /bI gæ pl/. Korean also has this rule. The second syllable of begins with a vowel, so it steals from the first syllable. Further, in Korean as in English, /h/ is often dropped, and in the third syllable disappears, so it really begins with a vowel. The pronunciation of is /i m na/.
Look at these sentences.
Each year, they killed a beautiful princess, and a dragon came and ate her. (Came and ate her is pronounced similarly to terminator.)
The light fell on the metal at the station. (This is pronounced similarly to delightful ornamental intonation.)
Meet me on the bridge. (Me on is pronounced similarly to the English neon, and to the Korean of , to be sorry. The words me and on are not broken up, but are like one word.)
An enemy of linking is adding the vowel to the end of certain words. This gives big dog as /bi g do g/. Unlinked English is spoken very slowly. If you can never repeat a short English sentence as fast as your teacher, maybe your English is unlinked.