Connected speech

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Connected Speech: Rhythm and Intonation

Some languages are recognized by the way they differ from the way they must be pronunciation. A very common and incident example is English language. Thereare a lot of variations of this language all around the world and, obviously, it leads to very different pronunciations from one region to another. Some people think that some pronunciations are notcorrect or that some are better than others, whatever the point is, the truth is that English language requires a specific rhythm and intonation.

First, what does mean intonation and rhythm? Wecan say that rhythm is like the flow characterized by the regular recurrence or alternation of different quantities or conditions, and intonation is the pitch of the voice. When speaking English, thereare a lot of words that contract or reduce, and this is thanks to the rhythm and intonation. In a language like this, we can find a lot of words that are similar in pronunciation, but what makes thedifference are actually the factors above mentioned. These also help us to emphasize some words in certain expressions; depending on what are we trying to say. We can vary our intonation and rhythm byspeaking loudly or softly, quickly or slowly, etc.


However, we have to take in consideration that acquiring the intonation and rhythm to speak English is not an easy task for someone who islearning it as a foreign language. The main problem we can find here is that English is one of a few languages where these phonetics matters happen. For example, for someone who is Mexican it is veryhard to acquire because in Spanish language we don’t have a lot of sounds that English does. One of the most incident problems Latin Americans have is that they pronunciate the language mechanically,word by word, they aisle each word and is sounds weird.

We have to be very careful with it, because when we do so we can even change completely the sense of the phrase or the meaning of it....
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