Intonation In English, Part 1

Introduction to Intonation.

What is intonation?

Intonation is a feature of pronuntiation.
Other features of pronuntiation include: stress, rhyrhm, connected speech and accent. As with these other features, intonation is about how we say something rather than what we say.
Intonation could be described as "the music of speech"; a change on variation in this music (or pitch) can affect the meaning of what we say.
We can therefore think of intonation as refering to the way we use the pitch of our voice to express particular messages and attitudes. (How the pitch of the voice rises and falls, and how speakers use this pitch variation to convey linguistic and pragmatic meanings).

If we had no intonation, our speech would be monotonous and it´s impossible to understand the expression and thoughts that go with words.

Pronuntiation = sounds.
Intonation = meaning of those sounds.

Learners of English usually concentrate on the segmental phonetics, "the sounds" of the language (known technically as the segments). It is indeed important to learn to recognize and reproduce the consonant sounds and vowel sounds of English and the differences between them.
Every learner of English should be taught to make th-sounds, the differences in sound between leave and live, bet and bat, and to learn about word stress. But intonation (also known as prosody or suprasegmentals) is mostly neglected.

The functions of intonation

Intonation and non-native speakers

Almost any intonation pattern is possible in English, but different intonation patterns have different meanings.
The native speakers use the intonation patterns in many ways, and the English makes more elaborate use of intonation to signal meaning that do most other languages. But this is not the same in the English as a second or foreign language.
When it happens there is a breakdown in communication, because the interation with a non-native speaker can be difficult or the native speaker´s message that conveyed by intonation patterns is not understood.
The difficulty is that the pattern the learner uses may not have the meaning he or she intends.

This is the reason why it should not be neglected by learners and teachers of English as a foreign or second language.

Intonation (linguistics)

What is Intonation and Why teach intonation?

Intonation In English: Expression Of Two Words

How English learners can improve intonation








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