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David Brazils approach is called discourse analysis: its a more integral approach, in which Brazil considers the
context, where it is that we find the utterance or statement.
He emphasizes role relations.
Intonation helps listener understand the message better.
The listener has different resources to do so, like awareness of common ground, which is the shared knowledge
between the speaker and the listener, the universe they share, the world they live in.
It is the speakers choice whether to present information as old or new.
When it comes to role relations, the issue of dominance is involved: dominant speakers are the ones who choose
how to present information. Examples: a teacher in a class, by asking students a questions or doctors, perhaps.
There is a constant assessment of information load.
The accent or prominence is how we decide that some words are more important in context than others. The speakers
assessment of information load.
Certain tones can be used strategically, for certain specific purposes, like when we use a special tone to attract
someones interest.
The pitch is the frequency of vibration of our vocal folds. It is influence by physiology: mens vocal folds are longer
and heavier than womens so their voices tend to be higher in pitch whereas mens tend to be lower.
The foot starts with the first stressed syllable, including all unstressed syllables up to the following stressed syllable.
We tend to hear discourse as if divided into chunks.
Tone unit structure:
Example: Hes GOing to COME by TAxi in the end//
The tonic syllable is the nucleus/stressed syllable of the last accented word, and it is underlined.
The onset is the first prominent syllable.
The tonic segment goes from the onset up to and including the tonic.
The proclitic segment is like the pre-head, the words before the first prominent syllable, or the onset.
The enclitic segment are all the words after the tonic syllable, the tail.
Brazil talks about five tones: 1) the proclaiming tone, which is a fall 2) the referring tone, which is a fall rise 3) the
referring plus tone, which is a rise 4) the proclaiming plus, which is a rise-fall and 5) the level tone, which is midlevel.
The falling tones or proclaiming tones present new information, while the rising tones or referring tones present old
information or information the both the speaker and listener already share.
Tone and key work independently. High key marks contrast, has a contrastive function: x not y. Mid key has an
additive function: x and y. Low key has an equative function, marks equivalents: x=y.
The choice of key speakers make is meaningful.

Notes on Intonation
Intonation makes it easier for a listener to understand what a speaker is trying to convey, and if we assume that
language is used to communicate, intonation is the means by which we organize our language into patterns that fit the
present communicative need.
Some linguists in the past have favoured an attitudinal approach, which emphasizes that special meaning emotions
and attitudes add to what we say. One sentence can be said in different ways, using various intonation patterns
according to the way we feel: happy, angry, bored, surprised, etc. However, to show feelings and attitudes is not the
only function of intonation. This approach sounds artificial, it is rather difficult to interpret and emotions are also
expressed through body language, so eye-contract, facial expressions, gestures and head turning are also relevant.
Some other linguists associated certain pitch contours to particular types of sentence structure, combining intonation
with speakers choice of vocabulary and grammar, which is the grammatical approach. They present sentences which
when written were ambiguous, and it could only be removed by using different intonation patterns. Since we cannot
always expect a one-to-one correlation between attitudes, grammar and intonation we need a more comprehensive
view of the study of intonation that describes language as discourse, which means that the value of an utterance
depends mainly on the interactive functions of the speaker and listener. So, communication is a combination of
attitudes, grammar, and intonation, among other things, working together but differently according to the context. This
approach is called discourse analysis.
Sentences can be analysed in terms of grammatical construction, lexical content and so on, but it is obvious that htye
form part of a larger act of conversational interaction between two speakers. It contains and presupposes a shared
knowledge and the meaning of utterances can only be correctly interpreted in the light of knowledge of what has
preceded it in the conversation.
There are several intonation features that can help us understand the speakers message:

Awareness of common ground

The speakers choice of presenting the information as known or unknown
The speakers assessment of the information load
Role relations between speaker and listener
Degrees of solidarity and non-commitment (converge and divergence)

Pitch, stress and rhythm

When we speak, our vocal cords produce a particular note or pitch, which, in turn, is connected to the frequency of
vibrations. The length and physical composition of our cords are important when trying to describe pitch variations.
Frequency, length and physical composition have to do with pitch. We can perceive three phonologically significant
pitch choices; high, mid and low pitch level. The auditory clues that help us perceive stress are pitch prominence,
duration and loudness. Stressed syllables are usually higher in pitch, longer and louder.
The rhythm is detectable in the regular occurrence of stressed and unstressed syllables. Unstressed syllables tend to be
compressed so that stressed syllables can come in a regular beat, at regular intervals. The foot will be the rhythmic
unit beginning with a stressed syllable and including all following unstressed syllables up to but not including the
following stressed syllable.
Tone unit
When speaking, we break up the stretch of speech into pieces (tone units or chunks) which show us the boundaries of
the tone unit.
Feelings and emotions together with the nature of our vocal cords make us use or select different keys.

High key when choosing to present information as contrary to what has been said or implied. I enjoy horror movies vs.
I hate them.
Also used with referring tone when we want to correct or contradict what the speaker has said but in a softening tone,
like Actually.
We use low key when the information we are trying to convey has the same meaning as the piece of information
which comes immediately before or after, to indicate that there is an equivalence between what we say and what
someone else has said before. Peter has been chosen for the football team. Has he? Hes GOOD at football..
Also, we use low key when we want tor eformulate what has been said before. Generally in initial position. Before
giving an answer, to gain time to think about what to say. Have you heard the results yet? Some told Bob Liverpool
Tone unit structure
Words are stressed (OConnor) or accented (Brazil) in a certain way because accent is an inherent property of words.
However, not all words have the same kind of significance when conveying a message. When we make one syllable or
word prominent (accented for OConnor) we are telling our listener that the word is important.
Prominence is a property associated with a word according to its function as part of a tone unit. Kaing one word
prominent is a meaningful choice that depends on the listener and speakers state of convergence and the speakers
assessment of the information load carried by particular items in the tone unit.
The tonic syllable is the last prominent syllable in the tone unit because it is the syllable that we perceive as most
significant because of pitch,, loudness and duration and because it is the only syllable which cannot be replaced.
The onset is the first prominent syllable. The onset and the tonic syllable mark the boundaries of the tonic segment,
the part of the message which carries the most important pieces of information.
What comes before the onset is the proclitic segment while what cames after the tonic is the enclitic segment. There is
prominence in the tonic segment and accent in both proclitic and enclitic segments.
The onset, the tonic and aby other accented syllable between them are capitalised but only the tonic os both capitalised
and underlined. There is usually pitch concord between the enclitic segment of one tone unit and proclitic segment of
the following, leaving key changes to the tonic syllable.
Brazil considers the context, where it is that we find the utterance or statement.
He emphasizes role relations.Intonation helps listener understand better.
Awareness of common ground, speakers choice whether to present inf as old or new, role relation, dominance,
constant assessment of information load (accent and prominence, how we decide that some words are more important
than others in context), certain tones which can be used strategically.
Pitch is the frequency of vibrations of our vocal cords. Influenced by physiology. Foot starts with first stressed syllable
including all unstressed up to but not including the following stressed syllable.
We tend to hear discourse as if divided into chunks.
3 parameters included when distinguishing stressed syllables: duration, loudness and pitch prominence.

Discourse Intonation and Language Teaching (David Brazil)
Descriptions of intonation are concerned almost entirely with the communicative significance of variations in the pitch
of the speakers voice.
As we breathe, air passes freely to and from the lungs through the glottis, a gap between two small muscular folds in
the larynx which are called the vocal cords. When we speak, however, the position of the vocal cords is altered to
narrow the gap and the pressure of the escaping air now causes the vocal cords to vibrate and create sound.
The frequency at which an object vibrates and therefore the perceived sound it emits, is a function of both its physical
composition and its length, and this an alteration in either or both will affect the pitch. The variation in the pitch of the
voice is achieved by tightening and slackening the muscles to alter both the length and the thickness of the vocal cords
and thereby the frequency at which they vibrate.
Speakers have considerable control over the settings of their vocal cords and thus can make small and accurate
adjustments to the pitch of their voice. Mens vocal cords are heavier and appreciably longer than womens and thus
vibrate on average more slowly and produce a range of pitches roughly an octave lower.
The phoneme is the smallest contrastive unit which may bring about a change of meaning.
Trager and Smith suggest that in American English, at least, there are four significant pitch choices: low, middle, high
and extra high. Crystal suggest that for individual syllables there are up to seven significant choices, although the
considers that in the relative pitch of stretches of utterance it is useful to think of three choices, high, normal and low.
Stress, from the speakers point of view is the pushing out of more air from the lungs. Experimental evidence confirms
the interrelation of the three parameters of loudness, pitch and duration in the creation and perception of stress.
Ladefoged and Lehiste suggest the listener puts together the available clues from pitch, loudness and duration,
imagines how he would produce the same variations in sound and thus deduces the stress sympathetically. Most
authors think that only two types of syllable regarding stress are necessary: stressed and unstressed syllables.
Abercrombie argues that speech is inherently rhythmical. Rhythm is created by the regular occurrence of particular
items and in speech there are two possible bases: the syllable and the stressed syllable. In order to describe rhythm in
English, it is necessary to postulate a phonological unit, the foot, which begins with the stressed syllable and includes
an indefinite number of unstressed syllables. For a stretch of speech to be stress-timed, that is for the stressed syllable
to recur at regular intervals, it is necessary for all the feet to be of equal duration, or isochronous.
The phonological unit set up to handle the structure of tunes (pitch patterns) is the tone group or tone unit. The
intonation of British English can usefully be analysed into four separate components, each defined on pitch criteria
(Prehead) (Head) Nucleus (Tail)
Nucleus and tail
As stated before, utterances in English consist of sequences of isochronous feet, each beginning with a stressed
syllable. Some stressed syllables are additionally marked by pitch movement which gives them added significance.
Each tone unit will have one peak of prominence in the form of a nuclear pitch movement. Nucleus is the label widely
given to the syllable on which the major pitch movement begins, the tonic syllable. The tail, if it occurs, carries the
continuation and completion of the pitch movement begun in the nucleus.
It has been generally recognised that English has two basic tunes, a rising and a falling tune.
Brazil does not propose a compound tone. Halliday suggest only two possible combinations, OConnor and Arnold
propose three, Crystal argues that there are five tone combinations, whereas Brazil does not propose compound tones.

Prehead and head
The head of the tone unit consists of the stretch of utterance from the first stressed syllable, the onset, up to but not
including the nuclear syllable; the prehead comprises all other unstressed syllables.
Brazil says that pre-nuclear pitch movement is not communicatively significant; rather, the only important pre-nuclear
choice is the relative pitch of the onset syllable.
Intonation and meaning
Apparently, a tone unit has a falling nucleus unless there is some specific reason why it should not, according to
Brazil sees the description of intonation as one aspect of the description of interaction and argues that intonation
choices carry information about the structure of the interaction, the relationship between and the discourse function of
individual utterances, the interactional givenness and newness of the information and the state of converge and
divergence of the participants.

Chapter 1: Tone
What does Brazil concern himself with in this chapter? How many tones does he distinguish? What are the
most frequent in spoken English and why? What about the other three?
Brazil concerns himself with the significance of major pitch movement, or tone. There is only one tone in each tone
unit. He distinguishes five tones: falling, rising-falling, rising, falling-rising and level. According to Brazil, the two
most frequent are the falling and the falling-rising, because they embody the basic meaning distinction carried by tone;
the other three choices can usefully be seen as marked options, understood and meaningful in contrast.
What is the function of the fall-rise tone? And what of the falling tone?
The function of the fall-rise tone is to mark the experiential content of the tone unit, the matter, as part of the shared,
already negotiated, common ground, occupied by the participants at a particular moment in an ongoing interaction. By
contrast, the falling tone marks the matter as new.
According to Brazil, any interaction can only proceed on the basis of what? How does he define this label?
All interaction proceeds, and can only proceed, on the basis of the existence of a great deal of common ground
between the participants. Common ground is perhaps a misleadingly solid and unitary label; it is intended to
encompass what knowledge speakers (think they) share about the world, about each others experiences, attitudes and
The speaker is faced with a moment by moment decision as to what? In other words, the speaker has a major choice
between which two tones?
As to whether what he says can be assumed to be shared or not. The speaker has a major choice between a fall-rise
tone, hereafter called referring tone, symbol r, and the falling, proclaiming tone, symbol p.
In choosing one tone for part of his message, what is he marking? And in choosing the other?
We now argue that in choosing referring tone for a particular part of his message the speaker is marking it as a part of
the shared common ground, choosing proclaiming tone he is indicating his expectation that the area of common
ground will be enlarged, as a result for instance of the speaker being told something he didnt already know.
Decisions about what information to proclaim and what to refer to are whose constant concern?
The speakers constant concern, and are made in the light of his moment by moment assessment of the state of play.
Sometimes we see the use of referring tone for other purposes, can you say which?
Perhaps for politeness,, to present new information as if it were already shared (fact that the guy mentioned that he
worked in a clothing factory). Also, it can be used when for example, a member of the opposition says the
Government; that choice if fully motivated on the grounds we have already considered: there is little doubt about its
having common ground status in the context of the political discussion is occurs is. The choice of referring for
interference is related to the fact that presenting the chosen word as if the problem had already been debated and
negotiated, the speaker has pre-empted its acceptance by his co-participant and by his radio audience. Used for
common ground status for tactical purposes.
What are Brazils conclusions at the end of the chapter? What does he say he has outlined?
Brazil says he has outlined an interactional explanation of the significance of tone.
What is the tone choice dependent on? What does the speaker do on the basis of this assessment? So, what does
tone choice only depend on?

Tone choice depends on the speakers assessment of the relationship between the message and the audience. On the
basis of this assessment he makes moment by moment decisions to refer to sections of his message as part of the
existing common ground or to proclaim them as an addition to it. Tone choice depends solely on speakers assessment
and not on any real world truth.
What is the difficulty for the speaker when the audience is large and less familiar? And finally, what is one of
the skills necessary to be a good news reader or lecturer in Brazils point of view?
The larger and less familiar the audience the more difficult it is for the speaker to assess the area of common ground.
One of the necessary skills to be a good news reader or lecturer is the ability to assess the extent and boundaries of the
groups common ground.

Chapter 2: Key
What factors affect the pitch range of a particular speaker on a particular occasion?

Idiosyncratic. The nature of an individuals vocal cords determines the absolute limits of his pitch range,
within which he exploits a much narrower range for speaking.
Socio-cultural. The pitch range chosen by a whole social group may be restricted in some way.
Emotional. Frequently speakers extend their normal range to express excitement, surprise, anger, or narrow
it to express boredom and misery.

What type of information does an individual speech range provide? What will he exploit however much he
widens or narrows the pitch range?
An individuals pitch range provides a great deal of information about the individual himself, his social background
and his emotional state, but that, however he widens or narrows the pitch range, he will still exploit the same small
number of pitch contrasts to convey linguistic meaning.
According to Brazil, theres some measure of agreement among linguists on what? Provide examples.
There is now some measure of agreement that in English speakers only exploit linguistically three pitch contrasts.
Its just starting to rain in mid key (unemotional, reporting a fact)
Its just starting to rain in high key (excited, hurry up and come inside)
Its just starting to rain in low key (calm, I knew it would)
In the system Brazil outlines, how many key choices does he see? Explain his differences with other authors.
Why doesnt Brazil define mid-key as the norm for the speaker?
He sees three key choices which are high, mid and low, but he differs markedly in his biews on the significance and
recognition of pitch level. He sees the choice of pitch level as independently significant; he argues that each tone unit
selects anew for pitch level; mid key is not defined as the norm for the speaker because key choices are made and
recognised with reference to the comparable pitch choice of the immediately preceding tone unit. In other words, there
are no absolute values for high, mid and low key, even for a particular speaker. We have to hear key in context. A
sentence is high only if it is higher than its neighbours in the sentence.
What does Pike say about tone languages? How differently do tone languages and non-tone languages work?
Brazil says that it is the pitch level of one crucial syllable, relative to the height of the same crucial syllable in the
preceding tone unit, which is significant. The key choice for a given tone unit is realised once and only once in each
tone unit, and then on a single syllable. Pike says that in tone languges it is the relative heigh of the whole tone unit
which is significant. Brazil believes that there is considerable variation in relative pitch between syllables in the same
tone unit.
In Brazils view, how do we hear key?
We hear key as an independent, simultaneous choice, rather than as a secondary one depending on the speakers
having selected a particular tone. Tone and key are independent, they are on the same level. One does not depend on
the other.
How does he explain mid-key? And high-key? Provide an example and explain.
He explains mid key as the netrual or unmarked one and that what must be explained is the significance of a move to
low or high key. High key is chosen when the speaker wants to mark the matter of the tone unit as contrastive.

Were going to the MARgate this year// not BOGnor//
What is proposed as a general truth about the choice of high-key? What does high-key with referring tone
imply? And with proclaiming tone?
It is proposed as a general truth that the choice of high key presents the matter of the tone unit as if in the context of an
existentially-valid opposition. The speaker marks the matter of the tone unit as contrastive.
When selecting referring tone and high key, the speaker would be indicating that the closed set of options was already
common ground. By choosing proclaiming tone, the speaker would be including as part of his news what the two
options were. The use of high key with referring tone implies that the contrast has already been established wither
within the referential framework the participants share, or in the wider social context. With proclaiming tone, the
speaker can exploit a contrast not yet assented to by his audience.
What does the particularizing meaning of high-key enable the speaker to do? Provide an example.
The particularising meaning of high key enables a speaker to indicate that he has chosen a given word or phrase with
great care, and ny implication rejected all oters
The GOVernment/ have so ANGered// the farmers of this COUNtry//
And conversely, a word may be dismissed as the one world above others that is not appropriate:
I wouldnt say CROWded exactly// hardly anyone had arRIVED//
Why does a speaker use low-key? Provide an example of causal relationship and result relationship, where
the speaker may change from mid-key to low-key?
A speaker uses low key to mark an equivalence relationship which, he assumed or asserts exists, in a given
conversational context, between items in successive tone units.
Causal relationship: the lecture was cancelled, the speaker was ill.
Result relationship: the speaker was ill, the lecture was cancelled.
The two are existentially equivalent for this speaker at this time.
When a speaker begins his statement in low-key, what does he indicate? Example.
When a speaker begins his statement in low key he indicates that there is an equivalence relationship between what he
says and something the previous speaker has said. What happened at Wimbledon? No play. Raining again.
What other function may low-key have? Explain and provide an example.
A common secondary implication of the low key choice in utterance initial position is that the speaker is heard as
offering a more circumscribed formulation of what went before. Restrictive/specialising.
Where do you do your shopping? Usually, I go to the supermarket.

Chapter 3: The tone unit
What does Brazil discuss in Chapter 3? How does he analyse the tone unit? Which of the segments are optional
and which obligatory? And where does the tonic segment end?
He discussed the nature, the structure and the function of the tone unit. He analyses the tone unit into three segments,
of which the first and last are optional: (Proclitic Segment) Tonic Segment (Enclitic Segment)
The tonic segment is considered to end with the tonic syllable.
How does he define accent? And prominence?
By accent he means the attribute which invariably distinguishes the marked from the unmarked sllables in words like
curtain, contain, relation, and distinguishes the lexical items from the others in a sentence like Tom is the best boy in
the class.
Prominence is a property associated with a word by virtue of its function as a constituent of a tone unit. Marking any
word prominent, whether lexical or not, constitutes a meaningful choice; we shall wish to consider how a hearer
perceives prominence.
What is the scope of the tonic segment? What do the proclitic and enclitic segment not contain?
The tonic segment begins with the first prominent syllable, henceforth called the onset, and ends with the last
prominent syllable, the tonic. Very commonly these are one and the same syllable. There are thus, by definition, no
prominent syllables in the proclitic and enclitic segments.
What is more or less generally recognised in any real communicative situation according to Brazil?
It is generally recognised that in any real communicative situation, many of the words of an utterance are more or less
predictable. To some extent predictability is the feature of the language system. The mutual understanding that exsists
between parties to a particular dialogue can add enormously to what the hearer could reasonably be expected to guess,
even in the absence of an audible signal.
What does the distribution of prominence depend on?
The distribution of prominence depends upon the speakers apprehension of the state of convergence he shares with
the hearer. It represents his assessment of the relative information load carried by particular elements in his discourse.
Under what conditions do unaccented words have prominence? According to Brazil, how must prominence be
Unaccented words have prominence under the same kind of discourse conditions that lead to prominence being
assigned to accented ones. Prominence reflects the speakers judgement that the word in questions contains matter
which, at this timea dn in this context, will be informing. All else in the tone unit is presented as recoverable because it
is grammatically or semantically predictable.
What carries all intonational meaning and what does prominence indicate? What about tone choice and key
We see all intonational meaning as carried by the tonic segment: prominence indicates both the boundaries of the tonic
segment and those words within it which are informing; tone choice indicates whether the matter of the tonic segment
is a proclaimed or referred to; while key indicated its contrastive, additive or equative status in the ongoing discourse.
What is their pitch concord in Brazils view?
There is pitch concord, apparently, between the proclitic segment of the first tone unit and the end of the enclitic
segment of the next tone unit. ???????????

How does Brazil see intonation? Why does he state encounters between Grammar and Intonation are casual?
How speaker sees context/perception of context and relationship with the listener.

Chapter 4: More on tone
What general meanings can the choice of tone also carry?
Choice of tone can also carry the more general social meanings of convergence/divergence, or solidarity/separateness.
What does Brazil state about a lot of what speakers say?
Quite a lot of what speakers say is not in any real sense informing and is usually marked as not informing by not being
made prominent.
What examples does Brazil present as items which serve to insinuate intimacy or solidarity? Explain.
There are times when such items are made not simply prominent but even tonic, like to tell you the truth, frankly,
actually, honestly, etc (superfluous items). it does have a social component, and such items serve to insinuate
intimacy or solidarity.
Where does the speaker place himself by choosing a proclaiming tone with an apparently superfluous item?
By choosing proclaiming tone with an apparently superfluous item the speaker places himself outside the area of
convergence; he is heard to be reserving his position in some general way or perhaps staking a proprietory claim to the
view expressed in the ensuing discourse, or simply emphasising the likely lack of agreement on a point.
How does the meaning of referring tone vary?
The meaning of referring tone varies a long a continuum from this is shared matter to we are in some unspecified
sense at one with each other. They really agree.
What two different references to common ground does Brazil explain? Provide an example.
The references to common ground can be either vividly present background (referring tone) or matter which, while
deemed to be present in the area of convergence, has need to reactivation (referring plus tone).
R in the cupboard (where it always is)
R plus in the cupboard (why dont you ever remember, critical)
What aspect of context interaction does Brazil highlight? Explain.
Role relationships. In all situations where there are social rules which determine who speaks when and to whom, and
in many situations speaking rights are distributed differentially.
What is a dominant speaker in Brazils terms? Provide an example.
The person who has the greater freedom in making linguistic choices.
Sometimes referring plus to assert dominance.
What reference do choices of referring and referring plus tone make?
Both choices make reference to an area of presumed convergence, but the referring plus option represents a kind of
intervention, in that the speaker takes a positive initiative in invoking common ground.
What does the speaker signal by the choice of proclaiming plus tone? Provide an example from everyday life
where the proclaiming tone is commonly heard.
By choosing proclaiming plus the speaker signals that he is simultaneously adding information to the common ground
but also to his own store of knowledge. The information is marked as doubly new. I also didnt know it was

raining very common when reading out interesting information from a newspaper or book it says gamay is the grape
that makes Beaujolais.
What phrases help bring out the common meaning of proclaiming plus tone?
In responses to unexpected news such as Really? Arthur. Or almost anything blasphemous or obscene. Equivalents to
that alters my world view!
How does Brazil represent the relationship between the four tones? Provide an example which could illustrate
the significance of these four tone choices.


Is matter proclaimed?

P plus
Is speaker also asserting dominance?

Is matter referred to?

R plus

Wheres the typewriter?

P in the cupboard (I assume you dont and have never known)
R in the cupboard (where it always is)
Referring plus in the cupboard (why dont you ever remember)
Proclaiming plus in the cupboard (im as surprised as you are, but I can see it on the shelf there or thats what mary
Are adverbials like really and of course really informing? If your answer is affirmative, explain why.
When they are prominent it is usually because the speaker wants to exploit the general implication of social
convergence/divergence carried y the tone choice.

Chapter 5: Key and termination
What is the listeners reference point for key?
The pitch of the immediately preceding tonic segment.
How many times can the speaker choose pitch level meaningfully in a single tonic segment?
Twice in a single tonic segment: there is a prominent turning point in both syllables. Once in the onset and a second
time in the tonic.
What determines the key of the tonic segment?
The pitch of the onset syllable.
What choice does the pitch of the tonic syllable realise?
The termination.
Are all combinations of key and termination possible?
Yes except high key with low termination and low key with high termination.
Brazil recognises a phonological unit of indefinite length. What does he call it? Define it.
The pitch sequence, which begins immediately following a tone unit with low termination and includes all succeeding
tone units until the next one with low termination.
What marks the boundaries of pitch sequences?
The boundaries of pitch sequences are marked by low termination.
What are the meanings of high, mid and low key? Provide an example.
What does sequence initial key mark?
The relationship of the whole pitch sequence to the preceding sequence.
What purpose does the contrastive meaning of high key serve?
To mark the pitch sequence as distinct and separate frolm what has gone before, and thus it typically co-occurs with a
change of topic.
Which words are frequently used as carriers of sequence initial boundary marking high key choice? What
intonation do they usually have?
Right, well, good, ok, now. Falling intonation.
When two other sequences are closely related, how can this be marked?
By initial mid key.
Are pitch sequences beginning in low key frequent? Why?
Not really, because there are not many points at which one simultaneously wants to end a chunk and begin something
which is equivalent in some way.

Chapter 6: Intonation and discourse structure
Sinclair and Coulthard proposed a description. Which one?
They proposed a description of spoken discourse in terms of five ranks: interaction, transaction, exchange, move and
act. A rank scale description.
What is the principle behind a rank scale description?
That the largest unit, here interaction, consists of one or more of the units at the rank next below, here transaction and
so on, down to the smallest unit, act, which has no structure.
The act shares some feature with another unit. Can you say which and why? Account for your answer.
It shares this feature of having no structure with the morpheme, the smallest unit of grammar. Both do consists of or
are realised by units at another level.
Which rank does Brazil concentrate on and why?
The exchange rank, the basic building block of all types of interaction, consisting of contributions or moves from at
least two participants.
In their analysis, Sinclair and Coulthard isolated three types of move. Can you mention and explain them?
Opening, answering and follow up. the first two are functionally complementary: an opening move sets up certain
constraints and expectations which the answering move fulfils. An answering move is said to fulfil expectations but to
set up none itself and can thus be followed by a new opening move or by a follow up move, which reacts to or
comments on the answering move.
Based on what context did they develop their linguistic description? Is their model only applicable to their
context? Give an example.
On teacher-pupil interactions. Yes, it can be applied to other contexts. Have you got the time? Its three o clock.
What is the function of each move according to the authors?
The opening move delimits a set of acceptable answer moves; a follow up move can do little more than noncontentiously reformulate or comment upon the answering move and a second follow up move, if it occurs, is virtually
restricted to low key, low termination yes o mm.
What do we call pitch concord? Does it occur by chance? Account for your answer.
Intonational relationship between the termination choice of the final tone unit of one move and the initial key choice
of the next move. It does not occur by chance. The initial key choices in the answering moves have the meanings we
have discussed in earlier chapters and it appears that the first speaker is asking for or constraining a response of a
particular kind by his final termination choice. Thus in 4 the doctor ends with the mid termination because he wants
the patient to agree with his observation, while in 5 he wants the patient to exploit the contrastive yes not no
meaning of high key to confirm what he has said.
What key choice does high termination at the end of an utterance anticipate? And mid termination? What
about low? Explain why in each case.
High key termination at the end of an utterance anticipates a high key opening in the next utterance. Mid termination
similarly anticipates mid key. The meaning owl of choice is that it imposes no comparable constraints
How does Brazil regard the choice of key at the beginning of the next utterance by a new speaker?

After a pitch sequence has been closed, a potential next speaker has freedom to begin with whatever key he chooses.
Why does Brazil say that they follow up move is so important in the classroom context? Why do the authors
discover a paradox here?
If it does not occur the teacher has deliberately withheld it for some strategic purpose. On one hand it is optional but
on the other it is so important that if it is not presentone explanation lies in the peculiar nature of much classroom
questioning, for the teacher is not seeking information in the accepted sense as he already knows the answer. It is
essential for pupils to know if their answer was the right one or not and hence there is a need for a follow up move.
What is another explanation for this?
Very often pupils are in fact requesting an evaluative, high key follow up move by ending their answer with high
termination. Only when the pupil is confident does he end with mid termination requesting agreement; while low
termination virtually never occurs and when it does is heard as cheeky or sullen because it suggests that the
exchange has ended, evaluation or comment is superfluous and thus the pointlessness of the question.

Chapter 7: Reading Intonation
How does Brazil see reading? Whats the readers task? How do readers approach the text?
They see even silent reading as an essentially interactive process between reader and text. The readers task is to
discover what meanings the text legitimately allows. Reading is an active process in which readers attempt to mesh
the new information provided by the text with their existing knowledge.
Whats the role of the reader aloud? Does he make intonation choices? If so, on what grounds does he make
The role of the reader aloud is translating the written text into a spoken one, but also in doing so, he is forced to make
choices in the intonation system as well, and thus add some information to the text. He makes these choices on the
grounds of two different options: he can either enter into the text, interpret it and perform it as if he himself were
speaking to the listener or he can stand outside the text and simply act as the medium, saying this is what the text
What does a text provide the reader with, according to Brazil?
Very short texts provide the reader very few clues to help him select appropriate intonation patterns, but some
grammar clues can help.
Whats the readers attitude to the text?
What modes of speaker orientation does Brazil distinguish?
Two modes of speaker orientation. The speaker may orientate towards the hearer in the sense that tone choices are
made in the light of assumptions he makes about a state of convergence or he may orientate towards the language of
the utterance, without regard to any such assumptions. A set towards the hearer we call direct orientation; a set
towards the language, oblique orientation.
What does the orientation towards the language result in?
In decisions about tone choice being made on the basis of the speakers apprehension of the linguistic organisation of
the utterance, and his desire to make this organisation clear to the listener.
What tone choices does the speaker make in each orientation?
Direct orientation involves the spaker in choices between proclaiming and referring tones and oblique orientation
involves him in choosing between proclaiming and neutral tones.
Does English syntax always provide the reader with clear signals as to the potential completeness of their
constituents? How is this fact reflected?
English syntax does not always provide the reader with clear signals as to the potential completeness of constituents,
and we can find this fact reflected in variation among readers.
Why does Brazil say that theres a great deal of scope for variation in the way an extended prose passage is
Readers may differ in the way they segment the material into tone units, in their decisions about key and termination
choices, in the assignment of prominence to particular words. Some differences can also be ascribed to changes in
Can a reader predispose to adopt a direct orientation fall back on an oblique version? Account for your answer.

A reader who is predisposed to adopt a direct, hearer sensitive stance, may have to fall back on an oblique version
when the cues in the text are inadequate for his purposes, having regard always to the real time processing that is
How can we exemplify both orientations?
Oblique orientation has minimal reader involvement. In the extreme event of someone reading something he didnt
understand to someone whose familiarity with the subject is equally unknown.
Direct when an adult reads aloud to a small child. Very much or all of the matter is already shared by reader and
listener, frequent use of referring tone, most of the narrative can already be anticipated by the hearer, so tone choice
will tend to be exploited for predominantly social ends. The readers role will be a dominant once.
When does the level tone frequently occur?
In association with pauses or other kinds of hesitation at points where the speaker is momentarily occupied with some
problem of message organisation.
Not on your hair//on your-//jumper.
The word for rubbing/is/friction.

Chapter 8: A comparison with two other descriptions on intonation
He says that they are not advocating a whole sale rejection of other descriptions, but rather suggesting that they can
usefully be reinterpreted as compatible but partial descriptions of the same phenomena.
OConnor and Arnold: Intonation of Colloquial English
They focus on the speakers attitude at the moment of speaking to the situation in which he is placed; they place
considerable emphasis on the attitudinal role of intonation.
The significance of the tone groups is related to a number of exemplificatory sentences. It seems important to keep in
mind the more abstract general significance.
Low fall being low pre head plus high head. There is no indication of pitch levels in any preceding utterance.
We cannot present the attitudinal values of intonation as a finite set of meaningful choices.
There is also the danger that the student might make faulty generalisations about attitudinal meanings and aprticular
They are bound to make misleading generalisations. The rules for use of an attitudinal approach are too obscure, too
amorphous, and too easily refutable.

Chapter 9: Intonation and language teaching
Few general English coursebooks present intonation as an integral part of the total syllabus, and even fewer do so with
any consistency from a single detailed description.
In general, some kind of balance between the four skills is to be expected in a non specific course book. It is therefore
hard to undertand why so many apparently successful general course books for English show a marked lack of
orientation to the sound system of the English language.
In some, the implication is that the intonation is the direct result of syntax.
The ones who do include it use an incidental approach, for example. Perhaps writers assume that teachers already have
access to supplementary materials for teaching the sound system. Maybe they believe that students will pick the
intonation up from being exposed to speech data from native speakers.
One justification is that they believe that native speakers will understand foreign speakers through other clues.
Relationship between attitude and grammar and intonation.
There is nothing deterministic about a lexico grammatical configuration.
No intonation can be taught in terms of isolated sentences or with tapes because the result will always be the same.
Methods: imitation, transcription, drills, language testing