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THE FUNCTION OF INTONATION IN ENGLISH

1. 2. 3. 4.

The attitudinal Function The grammatical Function The accentual Function The Discourse Function

1. THE ATTITUDINAL FUNCTION: reflect the attitude of the emotional state of the speaker. It tells us xe, whether she/he is being friendly, business like, or hostile. The attitudinal Function is not only expressed through intonation alone, but also with paralinguistic features( gesture, body movements, etc) The speed , loudness and different voice qualities play their part, as do pitch range. A. I got married. B. Did you? A low-fall answer reflect: lack of interest and probably put and end to the conversation. A low-rise: polite interest and the first speaker would feel encourage to continue High rise: extreme surprise High- fall: transmit a note fascination Rise-fall : could convey a criticism. Fall rise: could express reservation All this feeling are added to the words utter, simply by the use of different pith high and the change in the direction of the pitch. 2. THE GRAMMATICAL FUNCTION It divides up an utterances into its mayor constituents ( clause and phrases). In this sense intonation is the verbal equivalent of the punctuation, although intonation boundaries do not necessary coincide with punctuation marks. CLAUSE DIVISION Clause boundaries may be signaled in speech by Change in pitch. Incompletion tends to signaled by FALL-RISES OR RISES and Completion by FALLS.
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SUBJECT AND PREDICATE DIVISION The subject of an English sentences is divided from the predicate for 2 important reasons 1- To highlight the subject, in order to attract maximum to it- so that 2 intonation UNITS are preferable to one. a- /Jean / is a part-time secretary / b- / Jean is a part-time secretary /

Secondly , if the subject is fairly long, it may be convenient to give it its own intonation units, rather than drag the whole sentence out as one breath group. / The man in the corner/ looks rather ill/

DIFINING AND NO-DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSES The defining relative clause, we got 2 main intonational units. The boys who were on the burning ship were saved. And no-defining relative clauses, we have 3 intonation units, / The boys / who were on the burning ship/ were saved /. The commas in the written form, separating the ND adjectival clause from the main clause the boys were saved, and consider the difference in meaning between de D and ND relative clauses, the D -first - refers to only those boys who were on the burning ship not others. And the non defining add information about the boys. QUESTIONS VERSUS EXCLAMATION: An utterance may be interrogative if said on a rising tune, but exclamative if said on a fall.

QUESTIONS VERSUS STATEMENTS: We can convert a statement into a question simply by altering the direction of the pitch.

From falling to rising ANY= ABSOLUTELY ANY= high fall versus ANY= Chosen at random = fall-rise OBJECT OF ONE VERB OR TWO e.g. He washed and kissed his wife can be read in two ways. With the accent on washed, thus breaking the utterance into two intonation units, his wife is only the object of kissed , not of washed. With one inflexion in the sentence a fall on wife the noun is the object of both verbs. So the expected pattern for this sentence will be the second of the following. He washed and kissed his wife He washed and kissed his wife

APPOSITIONAL PHRASES 2 KINDS: DEFININING OR DESCRIPTIVE DEFINING: do not have their own intonation units, whereas descriptive AP do. DEFINING: Are you referring to Mr. Smith the baker or Mr. Smith the milk-man?

DESCRIPTIVE: Are you referring to Mr. Smith, the baker?

DISTINGUISHING SENTENCES NOT DISTINGUISHABLE IN WRITING There are sentences that are ambiguous, but the ambiguity is resolved in speech by intonation. /The students who worked / quickly made progress/

/The students who worked quickly/ made progress/

THE ACCENTUAL FUNCTION It highlights the words which are important to the meaning of an utterance. In a sentence one word stands out above the others the stress syllable of this word is CALLED ACCENTED syllable or the NUCLEUS. And the term accented implies that not only is there a strong stress but also a change in pitch. In a BROAD FOCUS SENTENCE: the accent will be on the syllable of the last important word. IN A NARROW FOCUS SENTENCE: the accent can falls anywhere the speakers wants it to. E.G: 1- John likes fish 2- John likes fish 3- John likes fish

THE DISCOURSE FUNCTION OF INTONATION It tells us what info is new and what is given, the statement Ive got a red car with the accent on red rather than on car, presupposes a previous inquiry about the coulour of my car or at least indicates that the word CAR or a synonymous lexical item has already been used. The de-accentuation principle of English sometimes allows us to predict information. For example, if football results are being read on the radio, when the game is a draw , the reader will de-accent the repeated number: Liverpool three. Arsenal three.