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Pronunciation tips
Radio programme - 3

In 2005 BBC Learning English produced three radio programmes on pronunciation as part of the Talk about English series.

The programmes were made with guest Alan Stanton a materials' writer and pronunciation expert .


Programme 3:
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Script (24k)

This programme looks at some more advanced features of connected speech when the pronunciation of words changes in everyday speech. These changes happen automatically when speaking fluently so they don't really need to be practised however being aware of them can improve listening comprehension.

Sounds change (assimilation)
When a sound at the end of a word takes on the quality of the sound at the beginning of the next word.

Good girl. She's a good girl. (goog girl)
Good boy. He's a good boy. (goob boy)
White paper. I only use white paper. (whipe paper)
Speed boat. I've never been in speed boat. (speeb boat)

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Because of the place in the mouth where certain sounds are made, sometimes the sound at the end of the first word changes to a completely different sound.

Can go. We can go now. (cang go)
Can buy. We can buy it. (cam buy)
Green Park. I walked through Green Park. (greem park)
On Monday. He arrives on Monday. (om Monday)

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Sometimes more than one feature of connected speech happens at the same time. In programme two we heard about ellision, when the sounds /t/ or /d/ occur between two consonant sounds, they will often disappear completely from the pronunciation. This means that the last sound of the word will be different and can be changed by the following word.

Hand bag. She couldn't find her handbag. (hambag)
Saint Paul's. I'm going to visit Saint Paul's Cathedral today. (Sem Paul's)

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There is another common form of assimilation when both the last sound of the first word and the first sound of the following word change to a third sound.

Would you. Would you like some tea?
Did you. Did you see it?
Do you. Do you want to get a cuppa?

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