jueves, 28 de junio de 2012


In linguistics, intonation is variation of pitch while speaking which is not used to distinguish words. It contrasts with tone, in which pitch variation does distinguish words. Intonation, rhythm, and stress are the three main elements of linguistic prosody. Intonation patterns in some languages, such as Swedish and Swiss German, can lead to conspicuous fluctuations in pitch, giving speech a sing-song quality.[1] Fluctuations in pitch either involve a rising pitch or a falling pitch. Intonation is found in every language and even in tonal languages, but the realization and function are seemingly different. It is used in non-tonal languages to add attitudes to words (attitudinal function) and to differentiate between wh-questions, yes-no questions, declarative statements, commands, requests, etc. Intonation can also be used for discourse analysis where new information is realized by means of intonation. It can also be used for emphatic/contrastive purposes.
All languages use pitch pragmatically as intonation — for instance for emphasis, to convey surprise or irony, or to pose a question. Tonal languages such as Chinese and Hausa use pitch for distinguishing words in addition to providing intonation.
Generally speaking, the following intonations are distinguished:

Rising      Intonation means the pitch of the voice rises over time [↗];
Falling     Intonation means that the pitch falls with time [↘];
Dipping   Intonation falls and then rises [↘↗];

Rising intonation is most commonly found when a question is being asked. The intonation at the end allows someone to differentiate between a question and a statement. 

Unfortunately, however, the rising intonation has become inherited by the Americans, and is incorporated in most sentences spoken. It is most commonly found on American television, and is why it has started to be misused.

Falling intonation literally means the feature of some accents of English where statements have a falling intonation patterns or low fundamental frequency or a low tone in the final syllable of the utterance. 

I'm not going. 

-the last syllable of the word in the exmple is low tone.ryt?.it should not pronounced as or the intonation should not be rising..gets?
1. Who is he? Falling intonation / Wh-question 

2. Is she here? Rising intonation / Yes/No or polarity type Question 

3. You´re going aren´t you? Rising intonation / Tag-question 

4. You aren´t going are you? Rising intonation / Tag-question 

5. Why did you do it? Falling intonation / Wh-question 

6. That´s so nice of you! Falling intonation / Exclamations 

7. Tim said that? Rising intonation / Repetition-question or confirming

Pitch is raising and lowering the voice while speaking. The use of pitch is called intonation. The most well known use for English intonation is to communicate basic grammar, such as the use of a falling pitch on the sentence, "You're coming." compared to a rising pitch at the end of the question form, "You're coming?"

 Statement intonationEnglish Statement Intonation    listen now                                                 Question intonationEnglish Statement Intonation      listen now 

Beyond that simple example, intonation is a complex world of personal choice and context-driven options. Understanding English intonation patterns will increase your spoken English pronunciation competence, and your English listening comprehension as well.

The terms "intonation" and "pitch" are often used interchangeably when talking about the "highness" or "lowness" of our voice when we speak. The difference between the terms is not very significant; in short, intonation is the use of pitch. Intonation is a broader term than pitch. Being able to perceive pitch (the highness of lowness of our voice) leads to the use of correct intonation.

It's the name given to the different levels  of pitch

It refer to the level of voice                     

Level 1 = Low

Level 2 = Standard

Level 3 = High

The combination of the different levels gives a result  [ rising  /   falling  / non final]

1. Rising Intonation                                                     


it has levels    

  •  2 = standard (in initial position)
  •  3 = high

it usually found in yes/no question  [question with auxiliaries in initial position]

The level 3 receives stress   [verbs / adjetives / nouns / adverbs / demostratives / negative form] = key words   - contents                                                                              

2. Falling Intonation                                            

It has levels    

  •  2 = standard
  •  3 = high    
  •  1 = low

it's usually found in

a) short wh/questions  [questions with wh in initial position]   

* Intonation video
accent reduction/English pronunciation training intonation: 

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