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The term intonation refers to a means for conveying information in speech which is independent of the words and their sounds. Central to intonation is the modulation of pitch, and intonation is often thought of as the use of pitch over the domain of the utterance. The melody of speech and is to be analysed in terms of variations in pitch.

Changes in pitch can change meaning

Indicate different types of utterance. attitudes and emotions of the speaker. Gives a listener a lot of information about what is being said.
As an essential component of discourse structure of speech.

Fall tone
It is regarded as neutral tone and gives the impression of finality.

A: Have you attended the class?

B: Yes (It will be understood that the question is now answered and that there is nothing more to be said.)

Rise tone
This tone conveys an impression that something more is to follow. For example: A: (wishing to attract BS attention.) Excuse me. B: Yes (BS reply is, perhaps, equivalent to what do you want?) A: Do you know John Smith? B: Yes (Inviting A to continue with what she intends to say about John Smith. The response with a fall would make it difficult for A to continue).

Fall rise
This tone shows limited agreement, uncertainty, and doubt. For example: A: I have heard that its a good college. B: Yes (B does not completely agree and A would probably expect B to go on to explain why he was reluctant to agree).

Rise Fall
This is used to convey rather strong feelings of approval, disapproval or surprise. This tone is used rarely in English. A: You wouldnt do on awful thing like that, would you? B: No A: Isnt the view lovely! B: Yes

Accentual function
To highlight points of high informational importance in the utterance. Each word in the lexicon has a stressed syllable, or, perhaps better, astressable syllable. This means that this syllable has the potential to be the site of prosodic prominence in an utterance. The prominence is usually manifested as greater duration, greater intensity (the primary physical correlate of loudness), and in the majority of cases a pitch accent. Intonation helps to produce the effect of prominence on syllables that need to be perceived as stressed Placing the tone stress on a particular syllable marks out the word to which it belongs as the most important in tone-unit.

Grammatical function
Listener is better able to recognise the grammar and syntactic structure of what is being said by using the information contained in the intonation. As the punctuation of spoken languages, marking the division between grammatical units and more generally helping the listener to follow the utterance

Discourse function
Questions rise.
Intonation can signal to the listener what is to be taken as new information and what is already given. Suggest when the speaker is indicating some sort of contrast or link with material in another tone-unit.

Can convey to the listener what kind of response is expected.

Attitudinal function
Intonation enables us to express emotions and attitudes as we speak. Adds a special kind of meaning to spoken language