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Main Theoretical concepts:
Intonation patterns containing a number of syllables consist of the following parts:
· the pre - head,
· the head,
· the nucleus
· the tail.
The pre - head includes unstressed and half - stressed syllables preceding the first stressed syllable.
The head includes the stressed and unstressed syllables beginning with the first stressed syllable.
The last stressed syllable is called the nucleus.
The unstressed and half - stressed that follow the nucleus are called the tail.
E.g. It was a ‘very sunny ↓day yesterday.
It was a … - the pre - head
…very sunny - the head
…day… - the nucleus
…yesterday. - the tail
The rises and the falls that take place in the nucleus or start with it are called nuclear tones.
The nucleus is the most important part of the intonation pattern as it defines the communicative type of the sentence, determines the semantic value of the intonation-group, indicates the communicative center of the intonation-group or of the whole sentence.
The communicative center is associated with the most important word or words of the intonation-group or of the sentence.
The nuclear tone of the final intonation-group is determined by the communicative type of the whole sentence.
The communicative types of sentences are differentiated in speech according to the aim of the utterance from the point of view of communication, i.e. in order to show if the sentence expresses a statement of fact, a question, a command or an exclamation.
There are four communicative types of sentence:
1. Statements e.g. I like music.
2. Questions e.g. Can you prove it?
3. Imperative questions or commands e.g. Try it again.
4. Exclamations e.g. Right you are!
The falling nuclear tone shows that the non-final intonation-group is complete, important by itself and is not closely connected with the following intonation - group.
A longer pause after an intonation-group pronounced with the falling tone makes the intonation-group even more significant.
E.g. I'll tell him all when he comes.
The rising nuclear tone shows that the non-final intonation-group is closely connected in meaning with the following intonation-group, is not important by itself and implies continuation.
e.g. Generally ↑ speaking, I prefer tennis.
In English notional words (nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc.) are generally stressed. Form - words and most pronouns (personal and possessive mainly) are generally unstressed. But any part of speech may be stressed if it is semantically important.
E.g. 'What is he 'going to ↓ do? - do is the communicative center.
'What is↓ he going to do? - he is the communicative center.