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Lista Ignacio Fabian, Dalma



1. What are the prosodic features of the English Language ? The prosodic features of speech are those of pitch. One of the characteristics is stress; it is realized by a combination of loudness, pitch and duration. The other main characteristic is tone, it is realized mainly by differences in the pitch of the voice (high level, mid level, low level rising and falling). Tone and stress are used lexically by some languages, but in some other languagesthese features are not used in the same way.

2. What is intonation? How can we define intonation? Intonation can be defined as, the melody of speech or the system of levels (rising and falling) and variations in pitch sequenceswithin speech.

3. What is the role of pitch in defining intonation? Pitch changesin English have three principal functions: •

They signal the division of utterances into intonational phrases-boundaries between intonational phrases, generally correspond syntactically with clause and major syntactic phrase boundaries.

They signal syllables with primary and secondary accent, both in citation of isolated words, and in the longer utterances of speech.

The shape of the tunes produced by pitch changescan carry various types of meaning, primarily discoursal, and attitudinal.

4. Why do we say English is an intonation language? We say that English is an intonational language becauseEnglish make use of tone intonationally, but not lexically. The intonation system of English constitutes the most important and complex part of English prosody. By combining different pitch levels and contours we expressa range of intonational meanings: breaking the utterances into chunks, perhaps distinguishing between clause types focusing on some parts of the utterance and not on others, indicating which part of our message is background information and which is foreground, signaling our attitude to what we are saying.

5. Describe the forms of English intonation Tonality: the first matter a speaker has to decide is the division of the spoken material into chunks. There will be an intonation pattern associated with each chunk. Thesechunks are known as intonation phrases. Tonicity: speakers use intonation to highlight some words as important for the meaning they wish to convey. To highlight an important word we accent it. We accent its stress syllable. Tone: having decided the tonicity, the speaker has to decide what kind of pitch movement (tone ) is going to associate with it? (Fall, rise, fall-rise).

6. What are the functions of the English intonation?


Attitudinal function: it is related to the expression, emotions, and attitudes when we speak and this add a special kind of “meaning� to spoken language.

e.g. Hello

(unfriendly) Attitudinal function



Accentual function : it has to be with the accent or prominence on syllables that need to be perceived as stressed. e.g. a) She was wearing a red dress. (Normal placement) b) She was not wearing a red dress. She was wearing a green dress. (Contrastive purpose placement)

Grammatical function : in the grammatical function of intonation the listener is able to recognize the grammar and syntactic structure of what is being said by using the information contained in the intonation. e.g. a) Those who sold quickly made a profit . (A profit was made by those who sold quickly) b) Those who sold quickly made a profit. (A profit was quickly made by those who sold)

Discourse intonation : with this function the intonation can signal the listener what is new information, and what is already given. Can convey to the listener what kind of response is expected. e.g. a) I have to take the dog for the walk. b) I have to take the dog to the vet .

7. Why do we say English intonation is systematic, characteristic and significant?

English intonation is systematic becauseeach speaker has to use the same pattern for the same purpose. As we already know, intonation plays a lot of roles in an English utterance; many linguists have suggested several functions of intonation.