When the sounds /t d s / occur before yod (orthographic y or u), they undergo a phonetic change called palatalization, by which is meant a replacement of the dental stop or dental fricative by a palatal consonant, viz. (respectively) /č  dʒ š ž/. Hence, within a word the combination /t/ + /u/, as in mature, is typically pronounced with a [č]; /d/ + /u/, as in adulation, with a [dʒ]; /s/ + /u/, as in usual, with a [ž] (note the intervocalic laxing of s) . This intra-word palatalization can be suspended in hyper-careful pronunciation, which for some speakers is in fact the norm, as in [mətʋr] instead of [məčʋr].

Palatalization generally does not occur across word boundaries, however, with some exceptions. Thus the interjection gotcha, which is a contraction of got you, used to indicate understanding or to signal the fact of having caught or defeated another, is an orthographic rendering of the process of palatalization of [t] before [y].

Similarly, many speakers pronounce the combination this year (in allegro tempo) with a [š] for /s/. In this latter phrase the functional upshot of the phonetic change does not remain at the level of sound. In semiotic terms, it is a change that promotes textual cohesion, since it as an index of the bound character of the two words. The word boundary separating this from year is elided in the process of creating a compound.