2 Intonation in EnglishEnglish intonation is an important means in expressing one’s feelings and meanings.It may convey some delicate implications and emotions when it is said with different intonations.
3 I. Definition 0f intonation: Briefly speaking, intonation means the rise and the fall of the pitch o f the voice during speech.II. Basic Tones and Their Traininga) Basic tones English tones are divided into two categories, namely, static tones and kinetic tones:(1) Static tones the tones which remain at the same height are called static tones. They are high level and low level.(2) Kinetic tones ----the tones which glide from one height to another are called kinetic tones .They are high fall, low fall, high rise , low rise , high fall-rise, and low fall-rise.
4 III. Tone-groupIn speech flow, the basic unit of the English intonation is a tone-group. It is comparativelycomplete in meaning. The intonation of the whole tone-group is called a tune.
5 IV. Functions of tunes and their uses The most commonly used tunes in English are Falling, Rising andFalling-rising . Their functions will be dealt with respectively according to thefour types of sentences, i.e., the declarative sentence, interrogativesentence, imperative sentence and exclamatory sentence.1. Falling tuneThe falling tune is used basically to express definiteness andcompleteness. It is often used in declarative sentences, special questions,imperative sentences and exclamatory sentences.A. Declarative sentenceWhen used in declarative sentences, the falling tune expressesdefiniteness, completeness and subjective attitude of the speaker. Otherimplications it has are seriousness, confidence, stubborness, clarity,straightforwardness, etc. The low fall has cool, depressed or stern coloring.In enumerating things, the fall is used at the end to show completeness.B. Interrogative sentences(1) special questionsUsed in special questions, the falling tune sounds clearcut andstraightforward. The high fall is delightful and pleasant; the low fall maysometimes sound flat and unsympathetic, phlegmatic and agitated, quiteoften even hostile. Consequently it is less commonly used.
6 (2) General questionsWhen a falling tune is applied to a general question, the speaker,who has already his own view in mind , puts the question forward as asuggestion or a subject for discussion rather than a request for immediateinformation. However, a low fall sounds phlegmatic, depressed or agitated.General questions with “will you “ at the beginning have as good as the function of imperative sentences and are often read with a fall.The negative forms of General questions have the function of exclamatory sentences.( 3) Disjunctive questionsThe falling tune used in questions –tags in the disjunctive questionsindicates that the speaker hopes to get confirmation from the listener.C. Imperative sentencesThe falling tune, often used in imperative sentences, indicatesenthusiasm, firmness, and sincerity. But sometimes it has the implicationsof coldness and sterness.D. Exclamatory sentencesThe falling tune is very common with exclamatory sentences andindicates moods and feelings, giving great weight and emphasis to them.
7 2. Rising tuneThe rising tune indicates basically lack of definiteness and incompleteness.It is very common with general questions. It is also used in imperativesentences in a delightful mood and declarative sentences with a questionmark at the end.A. Declarative sentencethe rising tune used in the declarative sentence expresses doubt. Thespeaker has something more to say, but the listener is expected to saysomething so that the conversation may be carried on .The low risesometimes indicates surprise, criticism or unsatisfactory rebut.B. interrogative sentences1)Special questionsThe rising tune used in special questions indicates that the speakerintends to make clear about the question, sometimes it may express aninterest on the part of the speaker. If the nucleus is on the interrogativeword, such feelings as surprise, dissatisfaction or opposition may be implied.
8 2) General questionsThe rising tune is very common with general questions; other tunesare only used in special situations.3) Disjunctive questionsThe rising tune is used on the second part of the disjunctivequestion, i.e., the question-tag when the speaker expects from thelistener an answer, whether positive or negative.C. Imperative sentencesThe rising tune is seldom used in imperative sentences. However, itmay be used in speaking to children or in short imperative sentences. Therising tune sounds milder and more sincere than the falling tune. The lowrise indicates advice and encouragement.D. Exclamatory sentencesThe rising tune is seldom used in exclamatory sentences. But shortones are read with a low rise, which sounds delightful with the implications ofencouragement and casualness.Besides, some sentences of greetings are spoken with a low rise to showfriendliness, sounding lively.
9 3. Falling-rising tuneThe falling-rising tune is also widely used in English. It combines thefunction of the Fall and that of the Rise with a change of mind. It is used toshow contrast, reservation , implication, disagreement, contradiction orwarning, etc.A. Declarative sentenceThe Falling-rising tune used in declarative sentences indicatesincompleteness andImplications, such as concession, gratitude, regret, apology, request,reproach and rebut, etc.B. Interrogative sentences1) Special questionsThe Falling-rising tune used in the special question is stronger than the Rising tune .It expresses surprise, interest, request, sympathy, disgust and disbelief, etc.2) General QuestionsThe Falling-rising used in the general question can express hesitation ,request, agitation, exaggeration, etc. No answer is expected by the speaker.3) Disjunctive question
10 C. Imperative sentenceThe falling-rising tune used in the imperative sentence expresses awarning or urgent request.D. Exclamatory sentenceThe Falling-rising tune is seldom used in exclamatory sentences.However, when used, it expresses enthusiasm, appreciation, sympathy,encouragement, regret and contempt, etc.