Thursday, June 3, 2021

Understanding Speaker Attitude and Patterns for Clear Communication

What is 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.

What are 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

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 


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