English Linking Patterns and Rules

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Take place between LAST syllable of the first word and FIRST vowel of the second word.

Pattern 1: Unvoiced -> Voiced

清辅音变为浊辅音

  • t/s/f -> d/z/v
  • trends to be voiced consonant

Rule 1: tt -> dd

  • tt becomes dd in the middle of a word
    • Unless the vowel before tt is schwa [ə]
  • Examples:
    • better butter shatter batter mutter mettle
    • (exceptions) mattel attest attack

Rule 2: s -> z

  • s becomes z when preceded by a voiced syllable(浊辅音) or the word is made plural(复数) using es
  • Examples:
    • rides ladies bridges bugs angels misses
  • Words ending with ts are always unvoiced(清辅音)
    • hats hates

Rule 3: t -> tap

  • t becomes a tap(齿龈闪音) in the middle of a word
  • Examples:
    • gated lateral notable water

Rule 4: of -> ov/uh

  • Game of Thrones Bottle of water Cup of tea

Pattern 2: Consonant + Vowel

第一个单词以辅音(consonant)结束,第二个单词以元音(vowel)开头,辅音与元音融合(blend into, blending)

  • Can I have this? -> Ca(n)I have this?
    • n is blended onto I. ca+ni
  • And I think you're right. -> An(d)I think you'(r) right.
    • d is blended onto I
    • r is held slightly longer
  • How's it going? -> How(z)it going?
    • s -> z
    • s/z is blended onto it
  • Can a cat climb trees? -> Ca(n)a cat climb treez?
    • n is blended onto a
    • s -> z

Pattern 3: Consonant + Consonant

Rule 1: Hold Sound Longer

When the consonants are the same, hold the sound slightly logner.

  • Applies to S L F M N D J W H V Z
  • Examples:
    • this Saturday
    • until later
    • half finished

Rule 2: Break between Two Sounds

When the consonants are the same, break very briefly between the two sounds.

  • Applies to T P K B G C
  • Examples:
    • wet towel
    • big game
    • gag gift
    • black cat

Pattern 4: Linking “the”

Rule 1: The + Consonant

When the is followed by a word begins with a consonant, it’s pronounced [ðə].

  • Examples:
    • the dog the cat the woman

Rule 2: The + Vowel(except long e)

When the is followed by a word begins with a vowel that is not long e, it’s pronounced [ðə] or ee

  • Examples:
    • the otter the interesting thing the apple

Rule 3: The + Vowel(long e)

When the is followed by a word begins with a long e vowel, it’s pronounced ee

  • Examples:
    • the election the evil spirit the eagle

Pattern 5: Vowel + Vowel

Rule 1: ee/ih/ay/aye/oi + Vowel = y

When the vowels ee, ih, ay, aye, oi are followed by a vowel in the second word, a y sound is inserted in order to smooth over the transition.

  • Examples:
    • He is happy -> He(y)iz happy
    • She ate a burger -> She(y)ate a burger
    • That boy is hungry -> That bo(y)is hungry
    • I ate lunch -> I(y)ate lunch

Rule 2: ooh/oh/ow + Vowel

When the vowels ooh, oh, ow are followed by a vowel in the second word, a w sound is inserted in order to link them.

  • Examples:
    • go in -> go(w)in
    • do it -> do(w)it
    • you are -> you(w)are
    • go out -> go(w)out
    • how are you -> how(w)are you

Pattern 6: Deletion

Rule 1: h-Deletion

  • Did he get it? -> [DI-diy-GE-dit]
  • he -> [iy]
  • him -> [Im]
  • his -> [Iz]
  • her -> [ɚ]
  • has -> [æz]
  • have -> [æv]

Rule 2: t/d between Two Consonants

  • old man -> ol man
  • gold ring -> gol ring
  • most famous -> mos' famous
  • hand bag -> han' bag
  • next day -> nex' day
  • world religion -> worl' religion

Pattern 7: Transformation(assimilation)

Rule 1: t + j -> tj

When t is followed by j, it becomes tj.

  • What do you want -> Watchu want

Rule 2: d + j -> dj

When d is followed by j, it becomes dj.

  • would you -> wouldju

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