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Unit 9. Abstract, Next Friday.

Consonant Clusters Within and Across Words

Unit 9; Part A

Consonant clusters also occur within words. For example:
Clusters with ... 2 consonant sounds 3 consonant sounds4 consonant sounds

note.jpgNote: Some clusters found within words can also be found at the beginning of words (dislike - slow), at the end of words (important - lamp), or both (escape - Scotland/ask); but others can't (abstract, invisible).

Unit 9; Part B

When a word ending with a consonant or consonants is followed by aword beginning with a consonant or consonants, a new consonant clusteracross words is formed. 9.1.jpgThese can be particularly difficult topronounce when they come within a speech unit without a pause:

         // it's an elm tree//
         // there's a children's playground//

When consonant clusters are divided by a pause, they are often easier to pronounce:

        // if Tom can't take you to the film// try Mike//
        // there'll be three suitcases// two of Joan's// plus my own//

Unit 9; Part C

All the consonant clusters within the speech units in thisconversation are underlined. Listen and follow the notes. Some clustersare simplified with sounds left out or changed  to  make them easier topronounce. (Units 26-31 give detailed information on all these features of fluent speech.)

Unit 9; Part D

Words that commonly go together in phrases and compounds (examplesof these are given in Units 16-18) are generally said within speechunits. Consonants at the word boundaries are usually run together in acluster. For example:

Clusters with ... 
2 consonant sounds
3 consonant sounds
4 consonant sounds
 civil servant
cough medicine
electric fence
full marks
language lab
vacuum cleaner
flash flood
asking price
present simple
passive smoking
television screen
winning streak
false friends
lunch break
film credits


flag.jpgListen and repeat phrase 1 in column A with a slight pause betweenthe two speech units. Then listen and repeat phrase 1 in column B,making sure you run the words together without a pause. Then do thesame for prases 2-10 (notice that the underlined clusters are the samein columns A and B) . Some underlined consonant clusters in column Bare simplified. Try to make the same simplifications when you repeatthem (see Key for details of simplifications).

// Jack was in the audience// trying not to laugh//
// the ring looked very elegant// sparkling in the sunlight//
// here's some milk// drink it now//
// I hear you won the contract// great news//
// if you're going to the coast// fly there//
// if you find any of my old books// throw them away//
// it's got two bedrooms// slightly small//
// it's very old// Bridget says//
// there was a footprint//small like a child's//
// it was sad in some parts// humorous in others// 
// she's a freelance translator//
// the president spoke next//
// shewore a silk dress//
// it looked green to me//
// it's on the firstfloor//
// he speaks three languages//
// lift your arms slowly//
//there was a cold breeze//
// what's that unpleasant smell//
// it'shuge//
flag.jpgMatch a word from box A with a word from box B to make compoundnouns. Say the compounds aloud, making sure you run the words in thecompound together.
Key.direct speech (/t/ is left out)
general strike (no simplifcation)
golf club (no simplifcation)
lamp shade (no simplifcation)
first class (/t/ is left out)
passive smoking (no simplifcation)
rock music (/k/ is shortened)
lost property (/t/ is left out)
speech therapist (no simplifcation)
time travel (no simplifcation)
tourist trap(/t/ is lef out)

 blood     direct     general     golf     lamp    first     passive     rock     lost     speech    time     tourist
club     property       music     poisoning    class     shade     smoking     speech     strike     therapist     trap     travel

Examples:  blood poisoning (/d/ in 'blood' is pronounced like /b/)
Listen, check your answers and repeat the compounds, making the samesimplifications of consonant clusters where these occur (see Key fordetails of simplifications).

Follow up: Findtwo-word compound nouns used in a topic that interests you or in yourarea of study. Which of them have consonant cluster across the twowords? Record yourself saying them, and listen to the recording.

Unit 8      Unit 9     Unit 10 forward.jpg

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