Fluency and linking

One of several features which characterise fluent English speech is linking. When a word begins with a vowel (as does the word HAT in the speech of the cockney commissionaire in the text below), it borrows the last consonant of the word before. If the word before ends in a vowel, then the link is made with a Y, a W or an R.
(Ambrose has lost his hat in a crowded cinema foyer. The commissionaire hands it back to him.)

"Here you are, sir," he said. "Hereís your rat. A little the worse for wear, this sat is, Iím afraid, sir. A gentleman happened to step on it. You canít step on a nat," he said sententiously, "not without hurting it. That tat is not the yat it was."

from P.G.Wodehouse, "The Passing of Ambrose" in Mr Mulliner Speaking (1929).


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