Pronouncing final -ent in nouns and verbs
I've finally accepted that the final -ent is never pronounced in third-person plural verb conjugations (lisent, mangent). But I'm wondering why I hear it pronounced in nouns like ornement and enchaînement? What is it about those words that indicates I should be pronouncing the -ent?
OK, so this is the topic of 'liasions' (see: http://french.about.com/library/pronunciation/bl-liaisons.htm) I've had a quick read of these pages and my conclusion is:
1) you MUST make a liaison in this case if the word that follows is a pronoun, as in 'travaillent-ils?' (i.e. travaille + pronounced t + ils with silent s). However...
2) ... all other liaisons with normally silent verb endings are optional, and sound very formal if done. So in 'ils travaillent au supermarché', you do not need to pronounce the 't', but you are allowed to.
3) You never pronounce liaisons with -ent ending words as -d or -ent, only as a (slightly soft) 't' at the beginning of the next word.
As far as I can tell, 3) does appear to be correct.
Forvo has one recording (supposedly from a native speaker), in which the T is pronounced in travaillent-ils.
Or were you speaking of liasons without inversion? There shouldn't be liason without inversion, as far as I know. :-)
I'm a beginner, so I don't know the difference between a regular T and a soft T. It sounds like a regular old T to me. :-)
But, it does come as a usual liaison, where it sounds like it's a part of the next word.
There are other recordings available (by other speakers) in the drop-down menu.
You mean you wouldn't pronounce the t in 'ont-ils...'? And I'm pretty sure the t would come at the beginning of 'ils'.