I have a doubt question. Whenever native speakers speak, do they always assimilate?

For example, for She has used you, might we hear any of these?

  • ʃihæʒuːzdju
  • ʃihæʒuːʒu
  • ʃihæʒuːʤu
  • ʃihæzjuːzdju
  • ʃɪəzjuːzdju
  • ʃɨzjuzdju
  • ʃɨzjuʤu
  • ʃɨʒuʒʤu

If those are all possible, how can I know which I’m supposed to say?

  • Although I believe that I know what you're asking here, I believe the general community unfamiliar with various sorts of phonetic assimilation under fast speech rules may not. Perhaps you could clarify for them? In some way, the contraction of she has into she’s attempts to reflect this, but of course there’s much more to it. – tchrist Mar 25 at 1:10
  • I don't buy the possibilities where the /d/ comes immediately after the /u:/ – Jim Mar 25 at 3:18

The one to speak is the one which is most clear and pronounces all of the letters. Regardless of which accent a native speaker uses on a daily basis, they will be able to understand English spoken as it appears in print. So if you pronounce the words individually, you will be understand. This is what I tell students when they say "I'm going to Ireland and want to sound like a native," or "Can you help me speak English the way they do in Italy so I will be understood?" Users here will vary on what they consider a standard accent, however "BBC English" is considered standard. I am American and speak with a "Broadcast Standard" accent. In my opinion, either of those two pronunciations can be understood worldwide.

Of the examples you gave, I would choose this: ʃi hæz uːzd ju.

Speakers from different areas will combine sounds and omit them based on habit in their area. If you want to imitate the speech from that area, you'll need to focus on one speech pattern and find a teacher to help you with that. So in my case when a student says they want to sound Irish, I advise them to find an Irish teacher who has the accent you want, because Ireland has many different accents.

  • 1
    Good answer. I don’t think I’ve ever heard has end with the leisure and measure consonant but I could imagine it. I would have said /ʃi hæz 'juːzd ju/ myself, but that sort of collocation is famous for its palatalizations the way Did you eat yet? is for the eye-dialect spelling of Jeetchet? – tchrist Mar 25 at 2:27
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    @tchrist "s" at the end of English words is usually pronounced as a "z" sound. But as with all things pronunciation, everyone has their own dialect or accent and there's thousands of variations. That said, I don't think anyone pronounces "his" as "hiss" or "taxes" as "tax is" (I can't seem to get IPA functioning on my computer, even though I have it installed as a font.) – michael_timofeev Mar 25 at 2:33
  • Yes but /ʒ/ is the middle consonant in measure and leisure, which is the voiced version of /ʃ/ from ship, whereas the /z/ of zip is the voiced version of /s/ from sip. – tchrist Mar 25 at 2:35
  • 1
    @tchrist You’re right. I didn’t notice that...I thought it was /z/. Let me change that. Thanks. – michael_timofeev Mar 25 at 2:37

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