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Intonation is very important for communication, as it helps

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Aidana Danabekova

on 13 May 2016

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Transcript of Intonation is very important for communication, as it helps


The functions of intonation

The attitudinal function.
The most obvious role of intonation is to express our attitudes and emotions – to show shock or surprise, pleasure or anger, interest or boredom, seriousness or sarcasm, and many others. We do this by tone.

The grammatical function.
Intonation helps identify grammatical structures in speech, rather as punctuation does in writing. We use intonation to mark the beginning and of grammatical units such as clause and sentence (the demarcative function). We do this by tonality. We also use intonation to distinguish clause types, such as question vs. statement, and to disambiguate various grammatically ambiguous structures (the syntactic function). We do this mainly by tone.

The focusing
(also called accentual or informational)
. Intonation helps to show what information in an utterance is new and what is already known. We use it to bring some parts of the message into focus, and leave other parts out of focus; to emphasis or highlight some parts and not others. We do this by tonicity and by the placement of other accents. This is one of the most important functions of English intonation, and perhaps the function most readily taught in the EFL classroom. We combine accentuation with the choice of tone to present some longer stretches of the message as constituting the foreground of the picture we paint, while leaving other stretches as background. These are pragmatic functions.

is the melody of speech. In studying intonation (also known as prosody or suprasegmentals) we study how the pitch of the voice rises and falls, and how speakers use this pitch variation to convey linguistic and pragmatic meaning. It also involves the study of the rhythm of speech, and (in English, at any rate) the study of how the interplay of accented, stressed and unstressed syllables functions as a framework onto which the intonation patterns attached.
If we had no intonation, our speech would be – in the literal sense of the word – monotonous. Either it would all remain on one pitch throughout, or every utterance would employ exactly the same stereotyped tune at all times.
Intonation is the topic of particular theoretical and practical interest. It is the sphere of suprasegmental phonetics. The flow of speech does not consist only of segmental units (speech sounds), there are also other phonetic means that characterize a sequence of speech sounds. They are called suprasegmental or prosodic means.
Intonation can be described on the acoustic level (in terms of its acoustic characteristics), on the perceptions level (in terms of the characteristics perceived by human ear) and on the linguistic level (in terms of meanings expressed by intonation).
Intonation is very important for communication, as it helps the addressee interpret the message. There have been different proposals to explain how intonation can help communication, some of which are:
1. Intonation enables us to express emotions and attitudes as we speak:
the attitudinal function of intonation.
2. Intonation helps to produce the effect of prominence on stressed
syllables: the accentual function of intonation.
3. Intonation helps to recognise the grammar and syntactic structure of the
utterance: the grammatical function of intonation.
4. Intonation conveys the given-new information, or provides information for
turn-taking: the discourse function of intonation.

The discourse (or cohesive) function.
Intonation signals how sequences of clauses and sentences go together in spoken discourse, to contrast or to cohere. It functions like the division of writing text into sentences and paragraphs. It enables us to signal whether or not we have come to the end of the point we are making; whether we want to keep talking or are ready to give another speaker a turn.

The psychological function.
Intonation helps us organize speech into units that are easy to perceive, memorize and perform. We can all repeat and arbitrary string of three, four or five members, but not a string of ten – unless we split them into two units or five. This is why we need tonality.

The indexical function.
Just as with other pronunciation features, intonation may act as a marker of personal or social identity. What makes mothers sound like mothers, lovers sound like lovers, lawyers sound like lawyers, clergymen sound like clergymen, newsreaders sound like newsreaders, officials sound like officials? Partly, their characteristic intonation.
Types of intonation.
The 2 basic types are:

Other types of intonation include:
High fall, low fall, fall-rise, high rise, medlevel rise, low rise.
Falling intonation is the most common type of standard unemphatic intonation in English. It is used for asking and giving information in normal, quiet, unempatic style.
Sounds more categorical, confident and convincing than rising intonation. Standard falling intonation in English falls stronger and deeper than standard falling intonation in Russia.
Rising intonation in English is a pretty complicated phenomenon. It can express a number of various emotions, such as: non-finality, surprise, doubt, interest, politeness, lack of confidence. Rising intonation in English is very different from rising intonation in Russian. Standard rising intonation in English first goes down a little and then up, and doesn’t go as high as the rise in Russian does.
Falling, rising and fall-rising tones
The most basic distinction among English nuclear tones is that between falling and non-falling.
The various different kinds of
falling tone
(high fall, low fall, rise-fall) evidently have some degree of meaning in common. There is also something in common in all the various kinds of non-falling tone (high rise, low rise, mid level, fall-rise), which we refer to as non-falls. However, here it is often necessary to distinguish between rises on the one hand and fall-rises on the other
In a
falling nuclear tone
the pitch of the voice starts relatively high and then moves downwards. The starting point may be anywhere from mid to high. The endpoint is low. There may be some upward movement before the pitch moves downwards.

In a rising nuclear tone
the pitch of the voice starts relatively low and then moves upwards. The starting point may be anywhere from low to mid, and the endpoint anywhere from mid to high.
In the fall-rise nuclear tone, the pitch of the voice starts relatively high and then moves first downwards and then upwards again. The starting point may be anywhere from mid to high, the midpoint is low, and the endpoint is usually mid.
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