I discovered this rule in connected speech.

I asked this question many times but seem no one has a proper answer.

See this saying at 11:45 in this video "My room is on the fifth floor. I had to walk up with my luggage."

There is a linking between "is-on" /ɪzɔːn/ since "is" & "on" are both weak.

However, there is no connection between "walk" & "up" since "up" is emphasized.

However, see this video at 3:17, the lady said "I'll call Oliver".

There is a connection between "call" & "Oliver" /kɔː'lɒl.ɪvɚ/, so I predict that "Oliver" is not emphasized or is weak!

So, from these above research, I can conclude that:

There will be a connection between A & B (A stands before B), for Example "Wake up" (A: wake & B: up), if:

  • A: strong word & B: weak word
  • A: weak word & B: weak word

There will be NO connection between A & B, if:

  • A: strong word & B: strong word
  • A: weak word & B: strong word

I asked this question many times but seem no native English speaker could provide a proper answer.

I will thank you so much if any of you can provide a proper answer for it!

Note: I think a strong word in a sentence is the word that we want to emphasize & we really want the listener to hear that word. The strong word is the word that is very important in a sentence. On the contrary, weak word is the word that is not very important in a sentence & we don't want to emphasize it.

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    Please define "weak" and "strong" English words in an operational way. – deadrat Dec 11 '15 at 3:43
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    The word "Oliver" in "I'll call Oliver" really should be stressed (and it is in the video), which I think should make it a "strong word". So your rule doesn't always work. – Peter Shor Dec 11 '15 at 3:52
  • @deadrat, I updated my question – Tom Dec 11 '15 at 4:36
  • @PeterShor, I think the speaker can decide which word in a sentence is strong ans which one is weak. SO the lady said "I'll call Oliver" does not want to emphasize "Oliver". You can hear in the video that the word "Oliver" has a rather low pitch. – Tom Dec 11 '15 at 4:39
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    I don't hear that. It sounds to me like she's emphasizing "Oliver". What word do you think she's emphasizing. – Peter Shor Dec 11 '15 at 4:44

The relationships between language structure and stress have preoccupied many linguists, and they are often discussed in this forum. One parallel that is often drawn is to rhythm in music, and there seems to be some similarity between your observations about connecting weak and strong words and the common 4/4 rhythm in simple tunes, where the notes of a measure are accented 1-4-2-4, Oom-pah-oom-pah, reflecting a structure ((1-4)(2-4)).

I did a Google web search on the pattern "language rhythm music" and saw many interesting references. An ambitious attempt to approach musical structure in a way that parallels the structural analysis of language and might interest you is the 1983 Generative Theory of Tonal Music.

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