Easy Accent Reduction Method for Solving Common Accent Problem

Exaggeration Leads to Disrupted Speech

Linking—-means—–that—-we—-continue—-breathing—-and—-voicing—-in—-between—-words.  When you read that sentence it didn’t sound connected.  Speakers of English as a second language experience a common challenge.  When they begin learning pronunciation in accent reduction, they over-exaggerate their pronunciation.

Overcoming exaggerated speech

Linking will result in your speech sounding natural and flowing. When your speech sounds natural and flowing your listeners aren’t thinking about how you’re saying your words. They’re listening to the content of what you’re saying. You’ll be able to better understand you when you link words together.

Linking Review

Last week we addressed linking the same sounds. When one word ends in the same sound that begins the next word, say the sound only once. How do we link when the two speech sounds are different? Link the ending sound of one word to the beginning sound of the next word. Continue your breathing and your voicing in between the words. In our blog titled “Secret to Speaking American English more Naturally: Linking”, we addressed linking the final T plus a vowel. This article addresses linking the final D plus a consonant.  Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker & Lynda Katz-Wilner, authors of  Rules for Using Linguistic Elements of Speech: A Resource and Interactive Workbook, provide straightforward information and practice exercises for mastering linking.

Linking: Final D + Consonant

When a word ends in a D sound, link the D with the beginning of the next word whether it is a consonant or vowel. How do you link? place the tongue behind the upper teeth (as if you are going to make a D sound). Do not release the D. Position your tongue for the sound in the second word. Avoid producing an extra syllable, which would sound like “duh”.

Practice: Final D + Consonant

Practice saying the following words. Concentrate on linking the words so that you can not hear an extra syllable “uh”.

Good job………..goodjob
Would go………..wouldgo
Wanted this…….wantedthis
Had time…………hadtime
Did well………….didwell
Planted seeds….plantedseeds
Waited for………waitedfor
Solid ground…..solidground
Board meeting…boardmeeting
Planned for…….plannedfor


Linking involves connecting one word to the next.  Linking allows English to flow naturally.  One way of understanding linking is to think of connecting the last speech sound in one word to the first sound of the next word. When you practice linking different speech sound combinations, you speed your accent progress.

Want More?

Are you looking for further information on linking such as:

1. Practice exercises for different speech sound combinations

2. Rules for linking different speech sound combinations

Contact Cher

If you’re interested in learning how to systematically change your accent to make it sound more American, contact Cher Gunderson at (920) 362-2359 or email her: cher@masteryouraccent.com. Cher is certified in the Compton P-ESL Approach to accent reduction.

Share your Experiences, Comment, or Ask Questions

We hope this blog was valuable to you.  Click on the comments section at the end of this article, scroll to the bottom, and leave a comment and/or question.  We’ll be happy to respond.  Let me know if you can hear the difference when you link the practice words.  Perhaps you have examples of how linking has improved your speech clarity. Ask any questions about this rule.

Here’s to you linking your way to a natural American accent!

Source: Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker & Lynda Katz-Wilner.  Rules for Using Linguistic Elements of Speech. Owings Mills: Successfully Speaking, 2006, 2007, 2nd Edition. Print.

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