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Components of prosody. Tempo. Rhythm

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Didara Xanova

on 18 November 2016

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Transcript of Components of prosody. Tempo. Rhythm

Components of prosody. Tempo. Rhythm
Prosody. Definition and approaches
Tempo of Speech
Rythm of Speech
Definitions of Prosody
the study of the tune and rhythm of speech and how these features contribute to meaning;
the study of those aspects of speech that typically apply to a level above that of the individual phoneme and very often to sequences of words;
a study of the suprasegmental features of speech;
characterised by:
1. vocal pitch (fundamental frequency)
2. loudness (acoustic intensity)
3. rhythm (phoneme and syllable duration)
Approaches to the study of Prosody. British schools.
Approaches to intonation:
syntactic approach
affective or attitudinal approach
discoursal approach
Elements in common:
"dividing the flow of speech into tone groups or tone units (tonality)"
"locating the syllables on which major movements of pitch occur (tonicity)"
"identifying the direction of pitch movements (tone)"

Approaches to the study of Prosody. American schools.
relying on a phonemic or levels approach to intonation
Approach of K. Pike (1945):
pitch heights to characterise intonation contours
a systematic approach to speaker attitude
the interdependence of intonation, stress, quantity, tempo, rhythm and voice quality

Definition of Tempo of Speech
The relative speed of utterance which is measured by the rate of syllable succession and the number and duration of pauses in a sentences.
Slow speech – 2-4 syll/sec;
Normal speech – 3-4 syll/sec;
Fast speech – 5-9 syll/sec.
Slow rate vs. Fast rate
1. to differentiate the more important parts:
I want you to understand that it is very important.
2. May be associated with anger, doubt, blame, accusation, etc.:
Mrs. Warren (passionately): ‘What’s the use of my going to bed? Do you think I could sleep?’
Voice: ‘Why not? I shall.’
Mrs. Warren: ‘You! You’ve no heart.’
1. to differentiate the less important parts:
His own plan, he now saw, would fall through.
2. May be associated with anger, scolding, etc.:
‘… and you don’t know what I did!’
Exercise 1
General notions
Generally measured in regular flow of speech in which stressed and unstressed syllables occur at definite intervals.
Syllable-timed rhythm
– the syllables follow each other with fairly equal length and force: French, Japanese;
Stress-timed rhythm
– based on the alternation of strongly and weakly stressed syllables: English, Russian.
Differences in languages
In Russian all the words of an intonation group are stressed:
Всé нáши студéнты поéхали в гóры.
In English all the notional words are stressed, the form-words are fitted in between the stressed ones.
'One and 'Two and 'Three and 'Four…
'One and a 'Two and a 'Three and a 'Four…
The time given to each rhythmic group tends to be unchanged though the number of unstressed syllables may be many or few:
At the ‘bottom of ‘Kent Road.
At the ‘bottom of ‘Kenton Road.
At the ‘bottom of ‘Kensington Road.
Exercise 2
What is the 'difference in 'rhythm between 'English and 'French?
Say this sentence with as regular a rhythm as you can (slowly, at a normal speed, fast, each time tapping out a regular rhythm).
Try saying it as a French-speaking person learning English (make regular taps, first slowly, then fast).
Lecture 12
Aim: to examine English prosody and some of its components.
Approaches to the study of Prosody. British schools.
Approach of Michael Halliday (1967):
Primary tones:
Tone 1 (falling) "That's a dog."
Tone 2 (rising) "Are you coming?"
Tone 3 (low-rising) "I think I'll come tomorrow."
Tone 4 (falling-rising) "Bill is coming if he's allowed."
Tone 5 (rising-falling) "You ought to know that."
1. Unit pause – to separate intonation groups:
I’d rather stay at home tonight, | unless I feel better. ||
2. Double pause – to separate sentences:
‘Good afternoon, Mrs. White. || How are you?’
‘Very well indeed, thank you.’ ||
3. Treble pause – to separate paragraphs.
4. Hesitation pause – caused by different emotions, forgetfulness, to think over what to say, etc.
You can find him, I think, in the library.
Read these texts as if you were reading it to a) children; b) students:
The Rooster
by Hilda I. Rostron
What would we do, I'd like to know, Without that bird That loves to crow?
Who wakes him up, I'd like to know, To tell him when It's time to crow.
I'll get up early one day, too, And shout out: "Cock-a-doodle-doo-oo."
Still not Perfect
A small schoolboy often wrote: "I have went," instead of "I have gone". At last his teacher said:
"You must stay after school this afternoon and write 'I have gone' a hundred times.. Then you will remember it."
When the teacher came back he found a letter from the boy on his desk. It said:
"Dear Sir,
I have wrote "I have gone" a hundred times, and now I have went."
Date to submit - November, 21
- Make a table on
'Melody. Tempo. Timbre. Rhythm. Pitch. Tone and overtones'
highlighting their main features in English, Russian and Kazakh
Full transcript