LINKING & LIAISON
Linking is a phenomenon we find in English. It consists of linking the consonant at the end of a word with the vowel of the next word:
Far from it : the ‘m’ of from becomes the initial consonant of the word ‘it’ as if you were reading ‘mit’. The same phenomenon is observed with Fire away or Far away etc.
In French the same thing occurs especially between the personal pronoun and the verbs starting with a vowel:
> Il écoute bien is read :
> Elle écoute bien is read :
This is what we call a linking. The liaison is not found in English. But it is not difficult to understand or reproduce because it is a kind of linking, except that the consonant at the endf of the word is not normally pronounced unless the next syllable starts with a vowel.
> On mange bien en France.
People eat well in France
The ‘n’ of on is not pronounced.
But if the verb starts with a vowel, then we hear it as an initial :
> On écoute bien is read :
We listen well
With the personal pronouns ending with an ‘s’ (nous, vous, ils, elles) the sound ‘z’ is heard.
For instance with the TYPE I verb ‘arrivez’ (arrive)
> Nous arrivons aujourd’hui is read:
> Vous arrivez aujourd’hui is read:
> Ils attendent là-bas is read:
> Elles attendent là-bas is read:
We’ve seen that TYPE I verbs do not distinguish orally the singular and the plural form
> Il travaille sounds the same as:
But if the verb starts with a vowel sound, then a difference is heard due to the liaison:
Il écoute - Ils écoutent
Elle écoute - Elles écoutent