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In most of the cases, if a word ends with consonant /z/ as z in zoo and the next one begins with /j/ sound as y in you. Native speakers tend to link the two sounds quite often. So far, I have heard two different ways to link the two sounds. Let's take he loves you as an example.

the word loves ends with /z/ sound and you begins with /j/ sound. I have heard there are two different ways to link them.

The first one is /hi-lʌv-zju/, and the second one is /hi-lʌv-ʒu/ which /z/ and /j/ was assimilated to /ʒ/ sound.

I know the assimilation always happened between /t/ or /d/ and /j/ sound, and they will make a /tʃ/ as ch in chat and /dʒ/ as j in job.

So, which linking between loves you is correct? Or, both of them are acceptable.

  • Personally, I don't think that those sounds would be linked. At least, as a near-native speaker, I would not connect them myself. Mostly because I think loves is pronounced as /s/, not /z/. A better example might be, "Did you?" which is often prounounced as "Didju?" – Teacher KSHuang Dec 30 '16 at 9:36
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When spoken quickly the two sounds in loves you would be linked with the /ʒ/ (or perhaps the /ʐ/) sound alone: /ləvʒu:/

There is no /d/ or /j/ sound in that mix.

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