When linking from one blocked consonant into another blocked consonant, the first of the linked sounds has little aspiration (or puff of air) when the stopped portion of the sound is released. The first sound of the second word, however, is given full aspiration.
The narrow transcription symbol [ ̚ ] represents a blocked consonant with no audible release, while [h] represents a fully aspirated sound. A sound with full aspiration is more prominent than a sound with no audible release. Therefore, the first sound of the second word is easier for a listener to distinguish.
Practice linking the following blocked consonants:
1. snack‿time: Snack‿time is at 3:45.
2. should‿be: Tim should‿be here any minute.
3. stop‿crying: The baby won't stop‿crying.
4. big‿deal: It's not such a big‿deal.
5. like‿to: I'd like‿to go along, too.