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Enchaînement - French Pronunciation

Enchaînement is the phenomenon whereby the consonant sound at the end of a word is transfered to the beginning of the word that follows it. Unlike liaisons, which cause otherwise silent letters to be pronounced, with enchaînement, the consonant would be pronounced whether or not it was followed by a word beginning with a vowel or mute H.

Compare... Pronunciation key*
sept [set] sept enfants [se  ta(n)  fa(n)] a
nasal n
avec [a vek] avec elle [a ve kel]
elle [el] elle est [e le]
entre [a(n)tr] entre eux [a(n)  treu]

Note that the consonant is not necessarily the last letter of the word, simply the last sound of the word: elle est = [e le]. Also, note that in the last example the consonants t and r are joined, so they are both tacked on to the word that follows.

Related Lessons

 * Liaisons
 * Silent letters
 * More lessons

The pronunciation of liaisons is based on linguistic and stylistic factors, but enchaînement is a simply a phonetic issue. The French language doesn't like to have syllables end in consonants, so whenever possible the final consonant is tacked onto the word that follows it. This also increases the musicality of the language.

*Pronunciation key - This is only a guide to help you get the most out of the sound files - refer to a dictionary for the exact pronunciation.

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