Sunday, October 29, 2017

Learn, Relax and Enjoy

  Basic Intonation Patterns

Rising – Falling Intonation

  • Susan bought a new sweater

The pitch raises at the major sentence stress, the first syllable of the word ‘sweater’ and falls over the second syllable of this word. The pitch of the entire sentence is called intonation pattern. The pattern in this sentence is called the raising-falling. It is the common intonation pattern in English and is characteristic of simple declarative sentences, commands and questions that begin with a wh-word, such as ‘who’, ’what’ or ‘how’
  • He wants to go home.
  • She gave him five dollars
  • Give her a sweater
  • What do you want to do with it


Rising Intonation

  • Did Susan buy a new sweater?

The pitch of the voice rises towards the end of the sentence. The intonation pattern in this case is the raising intonation and is characteristics of questions that require a simple yes or no.

  • Does he want to go home?
  • Did she give him five dollars?
  • Couldn’t she have seen him?
  • Do you want to give it to him?

Continuation Rise

  • Susan bought a sweater, new shoes and a new dress?

This intonation is termed as continuation, often used with lists. The pitch of the voice raises slightly on each list, indicating that the speaker has not yet finished speaking.

  • He bought apples, peaches, pears and oranges
  • I saw Esther, Jane, Neil and Susan

Tag Questions

Tag questions can display either rising-falling or raising intonations.Their meaning will differ with which of these intonations is applied.
  • Mary’s helpful, isn’t she? (rising intonation)
  • Mary’s helpful, isn’t she? (falling intonation)

When said with a rising intonation ,it means that the speaker clearly does not know whether Mary is helpful and wants the listener to provide information. With falling intonation ,indicates that the speaker believes that Mary is helpful and is just asking a confirmation from the listener.

Speaker Attitude

Speaker attitude can be signaled through the use of  pitch variation in intonation patterns:

  • Extreme high pitch or low pitch indicates anger
  • If we expand our range, i.e. higher pitch becomes higher and lower pitch becomes lower indicates deference.
  • Narrowing of pitch indicates boredom.

A professor began his class by holding up a glass with some water in it. He held it up for all to see and asked the students, 'How much do you think this glass weighs?'
'50 gms!'.... '100 gms!'...... '125 gms' ...... the students answered.
'I really don't know unless I weigh it,' said the professor, 'but, my question is: What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?'
'Nothing' the students said.
'Ok! What would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?' the professor asked.
'Your arm would begin to ache', said one of the students.

'You're right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?'

'Your arm could go numb, you might have severe muscle stress and paralysis and have to go to hospital for sure!' ventured another student; and all the students laughed.
'Very good. But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?' asked the professor.
'Then what caused the arm ache and the muscle stress?' The students were puzzled.

'Put the glass down!' said one of the students.

'Exactly!' said the professor. 'Life's problems are something like this. Hold it for a few minutes in your head and they seem okay. Think of them for a long time and they begin to ache. Hold it even longer and they begin to paralyze you. You will not be able to do anything'.

'It's important to think of the challenges (problems) in your life and know to 'put them down' at the end of every day before you go to sleep. That way, you are not stressed, you wake up every day fresh and strong and can handle any issue, any challenge that comes your way!'

By worrying so much, do not turn your life to hell.
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