Learning the pronunciation of any language is an arduous task that requires a year or years of regular, diligent study. Even after years of study, speakers of second languages will most like retain artifacts of pronunciation that come from their native language all their lives. There is nothing wrong or incorrect about this- it is simply known as ‘having an accent.’

Fortunately, intonation and stress patterns of second languages are not so hard to master and for that reason no matter where you are from, through hard study, you can become easily understood in a second language.

Our focus on pronunciation this term was basic and may be put in the three following categories:

  • Connected speech or liaisons
  • Stop consonants
  • Stressed and diminished vowel and consonant sounds

Examples of connected speech:

This afternoon –> thisafternoon
He asked –> Heyasked
Most common –> Moscommon
Would you — wuʤu
Social life –> socialife 

Linking sounds

Rachel’s English Linking Basics


Examples of stop consonants:
辅音的[p]、[b]、[t]、[d]、[c][k]、[g]、都是塞音。It is very difficult to write about stop consonants. The best way to learn them is to hear examples of them. Basically, pressure is built up in the throat and mouth, but is unreleased, making them a half or interrupted sound. Stop consonants may come in the middle or end of a word, or at the end of a sentence. They are usually followed by another consonant or by a pause in speech.

red rock island; Stop! yelled the top copwhack the black cat back

Rachel’s English: Stop Consonants


Diminished vowels (and consonants) result from relaxed speech. As the articulatory muscles relax, many vowels diminish toward an open schwa sound (ə/ʌ). Here are some of examples of reduced speech, which is often the same thing as diminished speech (note that these pages also appear in the Common Reductions page:


Untitled Extract Pages
z AAACOPY page 116