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  1. #1
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    Question Five functions of INtonation usage in English Language?

    Good day and WARM greetings!!!

    Please could one give me a COMPREHENSIVE load down of the functions of Intonation in English grammar/speech/structures.

    Please i would like up to five different uses. I have been searching avidly but I either find OVER-complex, jargon-studded pieces of writing or just basic definitions.

    Thank you VEEEEEEERRRYYY much for your help.


    CHEERS!!!
    Last edited by creativity101; 17-Jul-2005 at 06:16.

  2. #2
    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: What IS the point of INtonations, anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by creativity101
    Good day and WARM (Summer) greetings!!!

    Please could one give me a COMPREHENSIVE load down of the functions of Intonation in English grammar/speech/structures.

    Please i would like up to five different uses. I have been searching avidly but I either find OVER-complex, jargon-studded pieces of writing or just basic definitions.

    Thank you VEEEEEEERRRYYY much for your help.


    CHEERS!!!

    There are a number of things one could speak of. Do you have any specific questions?

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    Default Re: What IS the point of INtonations, anyway?

    I think its explicit enough. All I need is about five uses of Intonation in English writings/usage/speech, with good examples of each.

    Thanks:)

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    Default Re: What IS the point of INtonations, anyway?

    Also, you could refer me to any good websites that could offer me more information.


    Thanks.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: What IS the point of INtonations, anyway?

    Intonation can carry meaning. Take 'yes'- if I use a fall/rise intonation, it can be used to mean either disbelief or questioning. If I use a falling intonation, it can be used to mean the opposite of itself.

    Questions can do similar things:
    'I love it.'
    'Do you?'
    If my voice goes up, I'm just confirming, but if my voice goes down, I'm questioning the truth of what you have just said.

    PS- It's very hard to read your posts in this colour writing.

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    Default Re: What IS the point of INtonations, anyway?

    Thank you very much.

    Thats one gone, four more to go!

    And, please I am sorry for any inconveniences caused by the former colour of the leading question.
    Last edited by creativity101; 17-Jul-2005 at 06:21.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: What IS the point of INtonations, anyway?

    Take the following sentence:
    I have read it.

    If I stress the first word, I stress the person, maybe to criticise you for not doing it. If I stress the second, it could be to contradict someone who says I haven't, etc. If I stress 'read' it could be because I hae only read it and not written the report about my reading...

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    Default Re: What IS the point of INtonations, anyway?

    If I understand your question, the following is my favorite example of how different intonations produce different meanings... perhaps this will be of use to you.

    There are (at least) five different ways to say the same sentence: I didn't steal the books from the library. Depending on which word I stress, I will mean five completely different things.

    I didn't steal the green books from the library.
    Someone else stole the books from the library, not me.

    Ididn't steal the green books from the library.
    I took them from the library, I borrowed them.. but I did not steal them.

    I didn't steal the green books from the library.
    I stole some books from the library, but not the green ones, I stole the red ones.

    I didn't steal the green books from the library.
    I stole the green pencils from the library, not the green books.

    I didn't steal the green books from the library.
    I stole them from the house, not from the library.

    These stresses are incredibly important.... if you do not use these stresses, you turn a one minute conversation into a ten minute quiz.

    If you said the sentence to me without stress, I have to start quizzing you... "You mean, someone else took them? Or, are you saying you took them but it was allowed? Or are you trying to say it was the red books, not the green books? Or that you took them from your friend's house, not the library?"

    I have a Guatemalan friend who does not use much word stress, and every conversation is a game of Twenty Questions.

    Her: "I do not want to go to the store now with you."

    Me: "Um, you mean you want to go somewhere else now?"

    Her: "No, I mean I do not want to go to the store now with you."

    Me: "Oh, you mean you want to go to the store, but with someone else?"

    Her: "No, I mean I do not want to go to the store now with you."

    Me: "ARRRGGH. Okay, so you want to go...with me? Not with me? To the store? Somewhere else? Now? Later? HELP!"

    But if she had said:
    "I do not want to go to the store now with you."
    I would understand perfectly and say, "Okay, we can go later."

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    Hipfe is offline Newbie
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    Thumbs up Re: What IS the point of INtonations, anyway?

    Wonderful explanation - It's really great and I know for many people it's a problem to get the correct intonation, especially in a reading sometimes it sounds so montone. Hope a lot more find that article. WELL DONE!!!!!




    Quote Originally Posted by Robert B. Mercer View Post
    If I understand your question, the following is my favorite example of how different intonations produce different meanings... perhaps this will be of use to you.

    There are (at least) five different ways to say the same sentence: I didn't steal the books from the library. Depending on which word I stress, I will mean five completely different things.

    I didn't steal the green books from the library.
    Someone else stole the books from the library, not me.

    Ididn't steal the green books from the library.
    I took them from the library, I borrowed them.. but I did not steal them.

    I didn't steal the green books from the library.
    I stole some books from the library, but not the green ones, I stole the red ones.

    I didn't steal the green books from the library.
    I stole the green pencils from the library, not the green books.

    I didn't steal the green books from the library.
    I stole them from the house, not from the library.

    These stresses are incredibly important.... if you do not use these stresses, you turn a one minute conversation into a ten minute quiz.

    If you said the sentence to me without stress, I have to start quizzing you... "You mean, someone else took them? Or, are you saying you took them but it was allowed? Or are you trying to say it was the red books, not the green books? Or that you took them from your friend's house, not the library?"

    I have a Guatemalan friend who does not use much word stress, and every conversation is a game of Twenty Questions.

    Her: "I do not want to go to the store now with you."

    Me: "Um, you mean you want to go somewhere else now?"

    Her: "No, I mean I do not want to go to the store now with you."

    Me: "Oh, you mean you want to go to the store, but with someone else?"

    Her: "No, I mean I do not want to go to the store now with you."

    Me: "ARRRGGH. Okay, so you want to go...with me? Not with me? To the store? Somewhere else? Now? Later? HELP!"

    But if she had said:
    "I do not want to go to the store now with you."
    I would understand perfectly and say, "Okay, we can go later."

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