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The Main Attitudes Conveyed by These Intonation Contours


¹ Communicative Types Intonation Contour 5* Intonation Contour 5a**
    -(Low Pre-head+) Fall-Rise (+Tail) -(Low-Pre-head+) Falling Head+ Fall-Rise(+Tail) Fall-Rise divided  
1. Statements This IC expresses polite correction, contradiction, contrast; concern; reproach; reluctant or defensive dissent, grudging admission, reservations on the part of the speaker. Sometimes it may sound soothing.   E.g. There were seven students there. – Nine. Is your brother tall or dark? - Well, he’s tall. (But I shouldn’t call him dark.) He’s generous (but I don’t trust him.) It didn’t take you long. - It did. It makes utterances very emphatic. The attitudes may vary according to the verbal context and the situation. The statements may sound apologetic, appreciative, grateful, regretful, plaintive, sympathetic, reassuring, encouraging. E.g. I hope I’m not late. (apologetic) It’s quite good really. (appreciative) Thank you for telling me. ( grateful) I don’t re member I’m a fraid. (regretful) He’s hardly ever on time. (plaintive) I know e xactly how you feel. (sympathetic)  
2. General Questions IC 5 is hardly ever used in general questions. When it is used, it is done only for the sake of emphasis. E.g. It’s your turn. – Is it? The Parkers liked it. – Did they? IC 5a gives to a general question a plaintive, pleading, long-suffering ring. E.g. Can’t you see I’m busy? Must you be so obstinate?
3. Special Questions   It makes a special question sound plaintive, weary; or warm, affectionate, sympathetic. E.g. Oh why don’t you listen, Charles? What made you change your mind? I have to go out now. – When will you be back, my love? I’m so up set, Mum. - What’s the matter, darling?
4. Commands and requests IC 5 expresses an urgent warning, conveys a note of reproach or concern. E.g. I’ll take this pile of plates. - Careful. (They are rather heavy.) I’m sorry. – Well, say it as if you meant it.   Utterances sound plaintive, sometimes reproachful, pleading, reassuring. E.g. Do for give me. Please stay a little longer. Cheer up.
5. Exclamations Exclamations are very rarely used with the Fall-Rise. If they are, IC 5 may give a ring of contempt. E.g. Will you give in? – Not likely.   Exclamations are very rare with this pattern. If they are used with this IC, it may express warmth, appreciation, sympathy or encouragement; occasionally puzzlement or surprise. E.g. That’s the second time he’s failed. – Poor old David. And we’ll have a new car. – Just a second. ( Where’s the money coming from?)  


* IC 5 always carries an implication with it. What exactly is implied is perfectly clear to the speaker and to the hearer, since it is derived from the situation, and the verbal expression of the implication is not necessary.

** The main function of IC 5a is to place a particular emphasis on the “hub” of the utterance

(the hub=the semantic centre of the utterance), and mark as important another word out of those that follow “the hub”, either because it is the semantic centre of an afterthought, or because it limits in some respect or renders more exact the idea expressed in the first part of the utterance. The afterthought or limitation often have the form of a subordinate clause.

Sometimes the subordinate clause precedes the principal one; in such cases it is the subordinate clause that has the high fall on the “hub”, and the principal clause carries the low rise.

E.g. How did you get on with him? – Rather well, strange as it may seem. (an afterthought)

D’you like my new hat? - I can’t say I do, par ticularly. (a limitation)

He’s a popular singer now. – I must con gratulate him when I see him.


Date: 2016-01-03; view: 591

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