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Stylistic use of intonation

There are five verbal functional styles (also referred to as registers or discourses): 1. the belles-lettres style, 2. publicistic style, 3. news­paper style, 4. scientific prose style, 5. the style of official documents. In the case of oral representation of written texts we speak about into-national peculiarities of: descriptive and scientific prose, newspapers, drama, poetry, tales, public speeches, spontaneous speech and phatic communion. They are briefly the following:

Sense-groups. In reading descriptive and scientific prose, tales or newspaper material they depend on the syntax or the contents. They are shorter in drama than in descriptive and scientific prose, they are normally short in public speeches. In poetry the main unit is the line, which corresponds to a sense-group and consists of more than six syllables.

Tones. Mostly falling with a High Narrow Fall in non-final sense-groups of descriptive and scientific prose (High, Mid, Low Falls in final sense-groups, a Fall-Rise in non-final sense-group). Abrupt in reading newspaper. Simple and complex in final and non-final sense-groups in reading drama. Mostly slow falling, rising and level (the Level Tone is often combined with the High Level Scale). Compound tones: Fall + Fall, Fall + Level, Rise + Fall — in reading poetry. The Rising Tone is more frequent in reading non-final groups of tales than in the descriptive prose. Complex tones are often used in the dia-logical parts. The tonetic contour of tales is characterized by pitch fluctuations. In public speeches Falling Tones in non-final sense-groups are more abrupt than in final sense-groups. Compound tunes are frequent. They are mostly Fall-|-Fall. In solemn speeches Level Tones combined with the High Level Scale are often used to convey the attitude of the speaker.

Pitch. In reading descriptive and scientific prose and in newspaper material it is mid. It is rather wide in public speeches — narrow in reading poetry. It fluctuates in reading tales. It is wider in reading drama, than in reading the descriptive and scientific prose.

Stress. It is mostly decentralized in monologues and narrative parts, centralized in dialogues and emphatic parts.

Rhythmic organization. In reading tales it depends greatly on the syntactical and compositional structure. In public speeches it is based on the rhythmic organization of rhythmic groups and sense-groups.

Tempo. The tempo is moderate, mostly constant in reading des­criptive and scientific prose and in newspapers, it is quicker in paren­thetic and absolute constructions. It is changeable and moderate in drama. It is constant and slow in poetry. The tempo of public speeches depends on the size of the audience and the topic. The climax of a speech is characterized by a change in tempo, range and loudness.

Pauses. They are mostly logical, In poetry the line usually ends in a pause (if there is no enjambement). In reading drama pausation de­pends on the structure and rhythmic organization. In public speeches pauses not only divide the utterance into sense-groups, but make cer-

tain units prominent. There are hesitation pauses..Long pauses often anticipate the main information and isochronous units — lines. It is the main lexico-grammatical and intonational unit of poetry. Lines constitute a stanza. Poetry is characterized by the following into­national peculiarities: 1. A wide use of simple tones. The Level Tone is often combined with the High Level Scale. 2. The most typical tones are: Fall + Fall, Fall + Level, Rise + Fall.


1. How is intonation defined? 2. What are the main approaches to the study of intonation? 3. Speak on: a) the melody or the pitch compo­nent of intonation; b) sentence stress; c) rhythm and tempo; d) pausa-tion and tamber. 4. Speak on the stylistic use of intonation.


1. Read these words with the six main tones: (1) low fall, (2) low rise, (3) high
fall, (4) high rise, (5) fall-rise, (6) rise-fall.

Model: vdeed,, deed, 'deed, 'deed, vdeeds Adeed feed, cord, window, something, matter, quarter

2. Read these words and word combinations (a) with the undivided falling-
rising tone, (b) with the divided falling-rising tone.

(a) cousin, husband, country, London, midday, blackboard, quin­
sy, bedroom, bathroom, modern, cottage;

(b) sit down, good morning, good day, go on, come up, what's up

3. Read these words and word combinations (a) with the undivided rising-
falling tone, (b) with the divided rising-falling tone.

(a) please, read, begin, listen, bad, thank, well, what, right, come,
foreign, wrong, dear;

(b) put down, write down, clean the board, not large, behind Tom,
long ago, poor thing

4. Read these sentences. Observe (a) the low falling tone and (b) the high fall­
ing tone.

(a) She is, cold. (b) She is 'cold.

She is at the.hospital. She is at the 'hospital.

'Father is at vhome. 'Father is at 'home.

'Don't go a^lone. 'Don't go a'lone.

'Don't I take the Jamp. 'Don't 'take the 'lamp.

He is inot 4well. He is 'not 'well.

'Why are you 4Iate? 'Why are you 'late?

'Betty is in vbed. 'Betty is in 'bed.

'Mother is vbusy. Mother is 'busy.

5. Read these sentences. Observe the tone marks.

1. I When are you.coming? 2. You can 'have it. to, morro\v. 3. I When did you 'last 'see your, parents? 4. She 'never 'really

Ü ooks very vwelL б, lMy books are jfairly, new. 6, It's 'easier to ispeak than to (understand. 7. 'What did you -say? 8. You might have v warned me. 9., How long do you *want to 'keep it? 10. She 'won't Ido it any 'better than, you. 11. Would you Hike a'nother I lump of 'sugar? 12. You ican't go to the Iparty idressed like vthat, 13. Will you Iwait till I've lhad itime to 'look for it. 14. It's 'always the, same.

6. Read the following communicative types with the appropriate attitudes: (a) categoric statements (cool, reserved, indifferent, grim attitude)

low fall

1. I 'want to vtalk to you. 2. I What kcountry are you from? 3. I Ican't ispeak Spanish. 4, I was Jbusy that day. 5. You iknew he.was there.


(b) disjunctive questions (statement of a fact provoking the listener's reaction) They 4know about it,, don't they?

1. He 'read this book,, didn't he? 2. She (worked xhard at her English,, didn't she? 3, They are in the Vater,, aren't they? 4. iTom is already 4en,, isn't he? 5. Your isister (wants to Istudy 'German,.doesn't she? 6. I can 'do something,, can't I? 7. It's (five o'clock,.isn't it?

They Nknow about it, ^don't they?

(You are sure that the listener agrees with what you say.) Read the same questions with the above shown sequence, (c) commands (firm and serious attitude)

iShow me your xticket.

1. iTurn ion the flight, 2. 'Wash and 'iron your 4dress. 3, 'Leave the idoor.open. 4. iDon't (go to the.concert. 5. lHang up the ^time-table. 6. Reipair the.tape recorder. 7. 'Finish this 4worlc 8, 'Sew the ibutton on to your ^coat.

(d) exclamations (weighty and emphatic)

iHow ridiculous!

1. I'm fso, happy! 2. The iweather is Jovelyi 3. It's tall.over now! 4. iStop iteasing your vsisterl 5. How Iquick the (young (people

»are! 6. 'What a itidy»room! 7. 'Lovely»weather! 8, I Wonderful 'language laboratory! 9. iSuch Iselfish lyoung»men!

(e) special questions (serious, intense, responsible)

What's the»time?

1. I When did you Icome vhome? 2. 'What do you, do? 3. What did you Mo in the „evening? 4. iHow did you 'spend the 'time»yesterday? 5. Who is igoing to! do the»shopping?

Pronounce the saroe questions with the low rising tone to show interest.

What's all this, fuss about?

Pronounce the same questions with the rising nuclear tone, following the in­terrogative word to show disapproval.

, When did you *come there?

Pronounce the same questions with the high falling nuclear tone to show business-like interest.

What's the 'time?

Pronounce the same questions with the high rising nuclear tone to ask for a repetition.

'What's the 'time?

Pronounce the same questions with the falling-rising nuclear tone to plead for sympathy. Make the questions warm, affectionate, weary.

What's the, time? -v

Pronounce the same questions with the rising-falling tone to make it challeng­ing, antagonistic.

" 'What's the, time?

(f) alternative questions (the final fall shows that the list is complete)



1. Would you like, bread or vmeat? 2. Would you like, fish or 4meai? 3. 'Would you like, fish or 4eggs? 4. 'Would you like potatoes or to^matoes? 5. «Would you like carrots or 4cabbage? 6. (Would you like, cucumbers or tbeets? 7. Would you like, cof-fee or ^cocoa?

(g) statements containing an implication. What is implied is clear from the situation, it may be: suggestion, concern, polite correction, reluctance, careful dissent, grateful admittance.

am 'not, late.


1. " I vhope I am 'not, late.x 2. ~You are 'not.right. 3. " 1 'work systematically. 4. ~ I have no 1time for, lunch today. 5. " I 'should have, done it. 6. " I Van't answer this question. 7. You 'can sing, perfectly.

(n) requests (pleadingly, reproachfully, reassuringly)

\ J

1. 'Cheer, up. 2. 'Do for, give me. 3. 'Don't, do it. 4. 4Come in. 5. 'Don't |do it a, lonel 6. 'Will you in, vite me? 7. 'Go, on.

7. Read these sentences. Make the auxiliary and modal verbs that begin sen­
tences stressed to show greater interest.

1. iDoes it, matter? Does it, matter? 2. lls he going to, come? Is he Igoing to, come? 3. iDo you like, oranges? Do you 'like, oranges? 4. I Can you have an [afternoon, off? Can you have an lafterinoon, off? 5. iCould they, help it? Could they, help it?

8. Read these sentences. Make the possessive pronouns that are used as predic­
atives stressed.

1. IThis (thing was.mine. 2. IThis I thing was Jhis. 3. 'This ithing was vyours. 4. IThis 'thing was sours. 5. IThis 'thing was ^theirs.

9. Read these sentences. Make the final prepositions strong.

1. iNothing to be afraid of. 2. Whom are you t talking to? 3. iWhat do you 4want it for? 4. It was iMary he was ^looking for. 5. It was 'Bess he was vthere with. 6. iWhere did she tcome from? 7. What is she 4here for? 8. It's a ithing unheard of. 9. 'This Iboy should be vsent for. 10. IThis 'letter was «much talked about.

10. Read these sentences. Don't stress the correlative conjunction " as,.. as" -

1. I'll Icome as 'soon as he ^pleases. 2. I'll iread as Hong as the fchild Jikes. 3. It's tnot as 'simple as vthat. 4. (Jane was as

1 /-

/-/ — the high prehead

(pale as ä vghost. 5. lUria was as 'slippery as an»eel.'6. iDid'you •say: " As I snug as a I bug in a jug? "

11. Read these sentences. Don't stress (or make weakly stressed) combinations: " or so", " or something", " each other", " one another". Don't stress the sub­stitute word " one".

1. He will 'come in an vhour or so. 2. This ifruit will be Ired in a 4month or so. 3. We'll ibuy a, coat or something to project you from the 4cold. 4. He 'said " " " Good xmorning" or something, and (Went |onwith his 4work. 5-. He' 'really 'wanted a 'couple of»books or so. 6. He was a ^bootmaker and a vgood one. 7. We have 'never ^quarrelled with each other. 8. The Ipassengers 'seemed to Jike one another.

Я2. Read these rhymes. Observe the regular alternation of stressed and un­stressed syllables according to the given stress tone marks.

Uack and (Jill went fup the, hill. To I fetch a ipail of»water. •Jack fell, down and I broke his, crown, And 'Jill came 'tumbling vafter.

'Twinkle, itwinkle, 'little, star, 'How I 'wonder iwhat you 4are. I Up albove the I world so, high 'Like a'diamond Jin the vsky.

* * *

In 'winter 'I get lup at xnight And I dress by I yellow 'candle | light. In 'summer jquite the 'other vway I _^bave to Jgo to J> bed by %day. г

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