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For example, someone just said "I would take you to flower house". If the listener does not know "flower" and "house", Can he find that there are two words that he does not know? or He can just find that there are some syllables that he can’t decode, and he may treat “flowerhouse” as a single word.

Generally speaking, It is just some continuous syllables when we hear English. How could we know some syllables belong to one word, and some other syllables belong to another word, etc.?

When I use “how people know the separation of two words by sound” to google the question, It just give answer like “How to Count Phonemes in Spoken Words” which is about how to use syllable as block to build a word. But What I want to know is how could people could distinguish two unknown words.

Any advice or keywords for further searching is appreciated. Thank you

----------------------Edit at 2020/8/4-------------------------

Thank all you guys for replay. Can I summarize that: 1.There is no way to definitely separate each word just by listening 2.If people want the listener clearly know the construction of the sentence, they should reform the sentence in a more structured way, like “I would take you to ___ that XXX”

The reason that push me to ask this question is in some other language, such as Chinese, each character is constructed by One vowel and 1-3 consonants. So, you can know exactly how many characters you have just heard, even if you don’t know all words in the sentence. So, I want to know whether there is some parallel attribute in English.

@Edwin Ashworth Why is ‘four candles / fork handles’ a conundrum? “four candles” is pronounced as /fɔː kændəlz/ and “fork handles” is pronounced as /fɔːk hændəlz/. So, there is one more syllable /h/ in “fork handles”. Unless you don’t clearly pronounce /h/, It should be clear-cut between them.

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    One may initially assume flower house is a single word, but one can't really be sure after hearing it once. Then later when hearing the words flower and house separately in other contexts that will confirm that they're separate words. – nnnnnn Aug 3 at 11:36
  • Are we assuming that the listener can correctly deduce the base words in question? If this includes the 'four candles / fork handles' conundrum, one has to decipher correctly from context. Hoping that the speaker is more forthcoming in this department than Ronnie Barker. // If this is restricted to confusables like 'black bird' / 'blackbird', one has to check possibilities in 'the dictionary', again use context, or ask the speaker to disambiguate. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 3 at 11:37
  • Your example sentence is rather odd. Even a native English speaker would not know what "flower house" means, absent some context. – Hot Licks Aug 3 at 12:24
  • I’m reminded of this question, as there are some rules that prevent compounds from closing. But for most compounds, they start open and it’s only a question of when the closed form will be widely used and therefore accepted. (“Webpage” for example is one compound that’s becoming closed, as most sources list both the open and closed forms as valid, but my one spell check doesn’t yet accept it written as a single word.) From what I understand, the question is broader than this, but it shows that it’s not so clearcut to fluent speakers even. – Laurel Aug 3 at 15:29
  • You can tell from the construction of I would take you to ___ that whatever is in the final position is almost certainly a noun. That's because of of how sentences are commonly formed. If the person doesn't know that noun, they would just ask What is ___? – Jason Bassford Aug 3 at 15:31

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