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An Introduction to Phonetics Birjandi&Salmani-nodoushanl

An Introduction to Phonetics Birjandi&Salmani-nodoushanl

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Published by Mehdi Karami

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Published by: Mehdi Karami on Jul 24, 2011
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11/03/2012

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Falling intonation is characterized by a clear fall of the pitch after the stressed
syllable of the last content word towards the end of the sentence. In other
words, the pitch will have to fall after the stressed syllable of the last content
word. Falling intonation is used in many situations. Statements, WH-questions,
and confirmatory tag questions (i.e., tag questions in which you expect the
listener to confirm what you say) all use falling intonation.

Statements are those sentences that provide information for the listener. They
may be either positive or negative. They may sometimes be imperative. All of
these forms of statements require falling intonation. For statements, you should
stress the nouns and let the tone fall at the end of the sentence (e.g., Dogs eat
bones). Take the following examples:

Open the door, please.
Ali will go to Tehran tomorrow.
We've just come from the airport.
Her father makes sure she doesn't sell favor to friends.

CHAPTER FIVE

119

WH-questions are those questions that ask for information by having the
question word (e.g., where, when, how, what, which, why, who, etc.) placed at
the front of the sentence (e.g., Where did she go?). You have certainly noticed
that the pitch falls for the questions that begin with WH-words like where, when,
etc. Take the following examples:

Hey! Where are you going?
What should we do in Senggigi?
Which temples should I visit?
Who would eat it?
How does her father ensure she doesn't sell favor to friends?
Why not visit the temples at Lingsar?
Where will we buy mangoes next time?

Tag questions are very small questions (usually in the form of auxiliary verbs
followed by subject) that come at the end of statements (often for politeness
purposes). They can receive either falling or rising intonation depending on the
predictions the speaker can make. When the speaker believes that the listener
will confirm what he says, he will use falling intonation; when, on the other
hand, the speaker is not sure whether the listener will confirm his position, he
may prefer to use rising intonation. Rising intonation is often more polite. Take
the following examples:

Jack will come over to lunch, won't he?
You come from London, don't you?
Let's go to the movies, shall we?

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