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Basic Intonation Patterns. The Main Attitudes Conveyed by Them

Different combinations of the components of a tone-unit (pre-heads, heads and nuclei/tonic syllables) may result in more than a hundred intonation patterns (or contours) conveying attitudinal meaning. However, it would be confusing to learn such a great variety of intonation contours. Besides, it is not necessary to deal with all of them because some of them are used very rarely. So focus will be made on the most common ones.

Since the nucleus is the most important component of a tone-unit on which the whole pitch pattern centres, intonation contours are grouped according to the main nuclear tones.

1. Intonation Contour 1: (Low Pre-Head+) (Descending/Stepping Head+) Low Fall(+Tail)

2. Intonation Contour 1a: (Low Pre-head+) (Low Head+) Low Fall (Low-Level Tail)

3. Intonation Contour 2: (Low Pre-Head+) (Descending Head+) Low Rise (+Tail)

4. Intonation Contour 2a: Low Head + Low Rise

5. Intonation Contour 3: (Low Pre-Head+) (Descending Head+) High Fall (+Tail)

6. Intonation Contour 3a: Low Head + High Fall

7. Intonation Contour 4: (Descending Head+) High Rise (+Tail)

8. Intonation Contour 5: (Low Pre-Head+) (Falling Head+) Fall-Rise Undivided(+Tail)

9. Intonation Contour 5a: (Low Pre-Head+) Fall-Rise Divided (+Tail)

10.Intonation Contour 6: (Low Pre-Head+) (Descending Head+) Rise-Fall (+Tail)

The Main Attitudes Conveyed by the Main Intonation Contours:

1. Intonation Contour 1: final, complete, categoric, calm, flat, reserved, serious, matter-of-fact but interested.

2. Intonation Contour 1a: calm, unemotional, cold, detached, disinterested; in some contexts hostile.

3. Intonation Contour 2: not categoric, non-final; soothing, genuinely interested, friendly.

4. Intonation Contour 2a: encouraging further conversation, casual, or calmly disapproving, warning, critical, menacing.

5. Intonation Contour 3: lively, interested, personally concerned, emotional, with some warmth.

6. Intonation Contour 3a: the same as IC3, but with less warmth and often with surprise, displeasure, protest.

7. Intonation Contour 4: interrogatory, light and casual; in non-final groups, tentative.

8. Intonation Contour 5: implicatory; hardly ever used in questions and interjections.

9. Intonation Contour 5a: highly emotional, warm, sympathetic; in special questions, plaintive, weary.

10. Intonation Contour 6: highly emotional; the speaker is impressed and sometimes even awed challenging and censorious in the case of negative emotions.

It should be pointed out that none of the intonation contours given above is used with a particular sentence (communicative) type. Thus, any sentence type (a statement, a question etc.) can be pronounced with any tone group.

Another important point to remember is that the meaning of every pattern must be studied only in a certain context and with reference to a particular style and type of speech.

Mention should also be made of the fact that the use of intonation patterns expressing attitudes and emotions are accompanied by and associated with certain facial expressions, gestures and body movements.



Theory Sheet 4:


Date: 2016-01-03; view: 1225


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