What is connected speech?
When we speak naturally we do not pronounce a word, stop, then say the next word in the sentence. Fluent speech flows with a rhythm and the words bump into each other. To make speech flow smoothly the way we pronounce the end and beginning of some words can change depending on the sounds at the beginning and end of those words.
These changes are described as features of connected speech.
Linking is a way of joining the pronunciation of two words so that they are easy to say and flow together smoothly. In English there are different ways that this happens.
In standard British English (RP) the letter ‘r’ after a vowel sound at the end of word is often not pronounced. However, when the following word begins with a vowel the /r/ sound is pronounced to make a smooth link.
When the sounds /t/ or /d/ occur between two consonant sounds, they will often disappear completely from the pronunciation.
Sounds join together
When a word ends in a consonant sound and the following word begins with the same consonant sound, we don’t pronounce two sounds – both sounds are pronounced together as one.
When a word ends in a consonant sound and the following word begins with a consonant sound, depending on the particular sounds, the last sound of the first word or both the last sound and the first sound of the next word can change.