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Attitudinal functions Accentual functions Grammatical functions Discourse functions

Expresses our feeling, attitudes, emotions

For example Anger Boredom Gratefulness and so on

Five alternative approaches are proposal by the analysts to analyze attitudinal functions and formulate some basic functions of intonation for the English language learners.

1-Different voice qualities for different attitudes 2-Different pitch range in different ways 3-Different keys: high key, mid key or low key 4-One may use different facial expressions, gestures and body movements

1- Fall Intonation 2- Rise Intonation 3- Fall-rise intonation 4- Rise-fall intonation

This is the tone that is usually regarded as more or less neutral. If someone is asked a question and the reply is yes or no, it will be understood that the question is now answered and that there is nothing more to be said. Thus the falling tone gives an impression of finality.

1 2 3 4 5

|This is the end of the news| |I am absolutely certain| |Stop playing| |I have finished working| |Stop talking|

This tone conveys an impression that something more is to follow.

1- |I phoned them| (but they were not home) 2- |You must write it again| (and this time get right) 3- |I have to leave now| (because I am getting late)

It can be used while making general questions 1 2 3

|Can you help | |Is it over| |Can I go now|

This tone can be used while listing things 1- |Red, brown, yellow, green, and blue| 2- |Peter, Jack, Roger, and Sam| 3- |Oranges, bananas, mangoes and apples|


may be someone.




1 2 3

|It wont hurt| |You will get it right| |There is always next time|

This tone shows limited agreement, response with reservation, uncertainty, or doubt


|You may be right| |Its possible| |If I am not mistaken| |He may be honest| |It can be true|

This tone is used to convey strong feelings of approval, disapproval or surprise. 1|Its impossible| 2|You were first| 3|All of them| 4|He is honest| 5|Its true|

The term accentual refers to accent. Some writers attach the word accent to stress. When it is said that intonation has accentual function, it implies that the placement of stress is somewhat determined by intonation.

1-The most common position for the placement of tonic syllable is the last lexical word (nouns, adjectives, words, adverbs) and not the functional words. For contrastive purpose, however any word may become the bearer of tonic syllable.

a-|She was wearing a red dress| (Normal placement) b-She was not wearing a red dress| She was wearing a green dress| (Contrastive purpose placement) a-|I want to know where he is traveling to| b-|I dont want to now where he is traveling to| I want to now where he is traveling from|

Similarly for the purpose of emphasis the tonic stress can be placed in other positions. a b

|The movie was very boring| |The movie was very boring| |You shouldnt talk so loudly| |You shouldnt talk so loudly|

a b

Intonation is used to clear out the ambiguities. a-|I have plans to leave| (I am planning to leave) b-|I have plans to leave| (I have some plans that I have to leave|

The listener is better able to recognize the grammar and syntax structure of what is being said by using the information contained in the intonation. For example such things as a- The placement of boundaries between phrases, clauses and sentences. b- The difference between questions and statements.

Grammatical intonation is used in those sentences which when written are ambiguous, and whose ambiguities can only be removed by using differences of intonation. In the following example, the difference caused by the placement of tone-unit boundaries causes two different interpretations of sentence.

a- |Those who sold quickly| made a profit| (a profit was made by those who sold quickly) B-|Those who sold| quickly made a profit| (a profit was quickly made by those who sold)

Another grammatical function of intonation is the choice of tone on the tonic syllable. For example rising tone is used with questions. Simply by changing the tone from falling to raising the possibility of changing a statement to question is created.

a-|The price is going up| (Statement with a falling tone) b-|The price is going up| (Question with a rising tone)

Still another grammatical function of intonation is related with the use of question-tags. Difference in falling and rising intonation can cause difference in meanings.

a- |They are coming tomorrow| arent they| (The falling tone indicates that the speaker is certain that the information is correct and simply expects the listener to provide confirmation) b- |They are coming tomorrow| arent they| (The rising tone indicates a lesser degree of certainty and the question-tag functions more like a request for information)

Intonation can signal to the listener what is to be taken as new information and what is already given. It can indicate when the speaker is indicating some sort of contrast or link with material in another tone unit. In conversation it can convey to the listener what kind of response is being expected from him.

In case of attention focusing tonic stress is placed on the appropriate syllable of one particular word in the tone unit. The tonic stress is placed on the word that is the most important

went to Scotland| b-|He went to the drawing-room|

Sometimes the stress is placed on syllables in terms of information content. The more predictable a words occurrence in a given sentence, the lower its information content will be. Tonic stress will be placed on words with high information content. a- |I have to take the dog for a walk| b- |I have to take the dog to the vet|

In many cases it is still difficult to explain the tonic placement in terms of importance or information. For example in the following sentences a- | Your coat is on fire| b- | The wing is breaking up|