Classification of basic intonation patterns

Мы поможем в написании ваших работ!

Мы поможем в написании ваших работ!

Мы поможем в написании ваших работ!


Classification of basic intonation patterns

When analysed for the nuclear tones in each of the component-parts, combined tunes ~ay be described as tone-sequences. The most general observation concerning this subject is that tone-sequences in English display relatively free combinability of nuclear tones. Even the simplest tone-sequences, i.e. di-sequences, demonstrate a fairly wide range of possibilities.

Low Rise | High/Mid Fall

If I re'member cor/ rectly, | she's 'living .somewhere in \Kent.

High/Mid Fall | High/Mid/Low Fall

. There's 'no 'great \hurry | so you can 'take your \time over it.

Fall-Rise | High/Mid Fall

Unvfortunately | I' won't be 'able to at'tend the 'club \meeting.

Fall-Rise D | Mid/Low Fall

'All the \senior /staff | are on the \ground floor.

High/Mid Fall | Low Rise

You should 'come on 'Friday after\noon | if you want to catch ,Tom /in.

High/Mid Fall | Fall-Rise

I'm 'rather \busy | just at \/present.

Fall-Rise | Fall-Rise

Recycling 'products is 'often vcheaper | than 'making vnew ones.

Fall-Rise | Low Rise

We are ex'pected to 'finish it tovnight, not to/morrow.

It is obvious that in longer sequences the number of possible combinations is considerably increased.

In di-sequences, or in the last pair of groups in a longer sequence, the tendency towards similarity of nuclear tones is weakened to a considerable degree, the difference between the nuclear tones of the final and non-final groups being the result of their specific roles in the organization of an utterance - the nuclear tone of the final group marks the communicative type of an utterance, while the choice of the nuclear tone in the non-final group is determined by the degree of its semantic independence and completeness.

All the basic intonation patterns can be contrasted to one another both in form and meaning.

The discrimination of the basic patterns relies primarily on the directional ype of nuclear pirch change:the rising tone pattern,the falling tone-pattern,`the falling-rising tone pattern and the rising-falling tone-pattern.

Within each of the four tone patterns there is a further division in accordance with the accepted functional variation of nuclear tones. Since the structure of an intonatio-group is changeable each tone pattern is realized in a number of tunes. The most important subdivision is into tunes having a head and those without a head.The tail plays no significant role in the discrimination of intonation patterns.

The rising tone-pattern can be divided into:

countour 1. high/stepping head + high narrow rise

countour 2. ascending head + high narrow rise

countour 3. high/stepping head + mid wide rise

countour 4 scandent head + mid wide rise

countour 5 sliding head + mid wide rise

countour 6 high/stepping head + low wide rise

countour 7 scandent head + low wide rise

countour 8 sliding head + low wide rise

countour 9 low head + low narrow rise

the falling tone-pattern

countour 1 high/stepping head + mid wide fall

countour 2 .....................................+low narrow fall

countour 3- // - +high wide fall

countour 4sliding head + mid/high wide fall

countour 5 scandent head + mid/high wide fall

the falling- rising tone pattern

countour 1 sliding/high head+ high/mid fall-rise undivided

countour 2 high/stepping head + high/mid fall-rise divided

countour 3 low head + low fall-rise divided

countour 4 ascending head + fall-rise divided

the rising-falling tone-pattern

countour 1. high/stepping head + rise fall

countour 2. sliding head + rise -fall

countour 3. scandent head + rise fall

the patterns are called countours to imply the shape formed by the movement of the pitch over the relevant points in an utterance.

the semantic effect of an intonation pattern depends to a degree on the type of the sentence it is used.

intonation patterns differ in the expressiveness of their meaning. Thus, an utterance with a scandant head in combination with any of nuclear tones is more expressive than an utterance with a stepping head. According to this principle intonation patterns can be subdivided into emotionally neutral and emotional coloured.


Contour 1. High/Stepping Head + High Narrow Rise

This contour has a strong interrogative force transforming any sentence-type into a question*. The presence of the head is not relevant for the basic meaning of the contour. It is significant, however, for the effect of overall prominence attached to the interrogation.

Modal Meaning and Usage

In statements:

questioning or asking for repetition because the speaker'has failed to hear or is surprised at hearing something that another person has said.

In special questions:

calling for a repetition of the particular part of the information just given (with the nuclear tone on the interrogative word); echoing the listener's question before going on to answer it (with the nuclear tone following the interrogative word).

In general questions: echoing the listener's question in order to gain time before answering or to make sure if one has heard correctly or to show surprise (usually with a nuclear shift in the repetition).

In imperatives and querying all or part of the listener's utterance but with no

exclamations: critical intention.

Contour 2. High/Stepping Head + Mid Wide Rise

Like the previous rising pattern this contour is basically interrogative in all sentence-types but the feeling of surprise is much weaker. It is mainly used in straightforward, i.e. non-echo questions. When there is no head the question sounds casual and light, sometimes tentative. With a head it is more businesslike and formal.

Contour 3. High/Stepping Head + Low Wide Rise

Modal Meaning and Usage

In statements: without a head - non-categoric; encouraging further conver­sation;

with a head - very lively, friendly and warm, soothing, reassuring; in echoes - questioning with a note of surprise and disbelief.

In special questions: without a head, i.e. with the nuclear tone on the interrogative word, - puzzled;

with a head - interested, warm, friendly; frequently used in series of questions addressed to children.

In general questions: without a head - casual, light (overlapping with the Mid Wide Rise contour);

with a head - genuinely interested, warmer and friendlier than questions with the Mid Wide Rise (the result of greater pitch contrast with the head).

In imperatives: soothing, encouraging, calmly patronising (requests),

In exclamations: airy, bright, friendly.

Contour 4. Low Head + Low Narrow Rise

An important feature of this contour is that both the prehead and the head must be low in pitch.

Modal Meaning and Usage

In statements: in monosyllabic utterances (e.g. yes, right, well) - encouraging

further conversation, guarded; in longer utterances - casual, perfunctory, reserving judgement, sometimes disapproving.

In special questions: with the nuclear tone on the interrogative word - wondering, mildly puzzled; otherwise, very calm, but rather disapproving.

In general questions: very casual, often disapproving and critical


Falling contours all sound definite and complete, presenting information as ‘news’ which a listener is not expected to know about in advance.
Contour 1. High/Stepping Head + Mid Wide/Low Narrow Fall
Modal Meaning and Usage
In statements: with no head (or with the Low Head) – calm, reserved, dispassionate; with a Low Narrow Fall – often cool, possibly grim or surely;
with the High/Stepping Head – categoric, weighty, considered, serious.
In special questions:with no Head (or with the Low Head) – calm, detached; with a Low Narrow Fall sometimes unsympathetic, even hostile;with the nucleus on the interrogative word – insistent without interest;with the High/Stepping Head – serious, searching, intense.
In general questions: with no head (mostly in tags used as independent comments) – skeptical, uninterested, hostile (with a Low Narrow Fall); with the High/Stepping Head – assertive, urgent, sometimes skeptical.
In imperatives: with no Head – calm, controlled, rather cold; with the High/Stepping Head – very serious,strong.
In exclamations: with no head – calm, reserved, self-possessed; with the High Head – very strong and weighty.
Contour 2. High/Stepping Head + High Wide Fall
This pattern has largely the same meanings with or without a head. At the same time there is often some difference in meaning depending on the type of head – High or Stepping, because in the former case the pitch-level of the prenuclear stresses and the initial level of the nucleus are the same height while in the latter case the nucleus starts on a higher pitch than the last prenuclear stress, thus forming a pitch contrast with it.
Modal Meaning and Usage
In statements
: with the High Head – light and lively, conveying a sense of involvement and personal concern;
with the Stepping Head – enthusiastic, assertive, sometimes expressing contrast or emphasis.
In special questions: with the High Head – brisk, businesslike, lively;
with the Stepping Head - considerate, concerned; with the nuclear stress on the interrogative word – insistent and genuinely interested.
In general questions: with no head (in question-tags used as independent comments) – expressing mildly surprised acceptance of the listener’s premises;
with the High head – light, lively, suggesting a point for discussion rather than asking for information; with the Stepping Head – insistent, urgent, sometimes sceptical
In imperatives(commands, orders, instructions): with the High Head – brisk, businesslike; with the Stepping Head – insistent, urgent.
In exclamations: light, airy, involved, sometimes mildly surprised.

Последнее изменение этой страницы: 2016-06-26; Нарушение авторского права страницы; Мы поможем в написании вашей работы! Все материалы представленные на сайте исключительно с целью ознакомления читателями и не преследуют коммерческих целей или нарушение авторских прав. Обратная связь - (0.012 с.)