Final Intonation

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Phrases and sentences usually end with a change in the pitch of the voice. Most commonly, the pitch of the voice goes up (we call this “rising intonation”) at the end, or the voice goes down (we call this “falling intonation”).

Notice these examples.

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Intonation occurs in all phrases and sentences. Whether your voice rises or falls can add very different meanings to your message, especially with incomplete sentences or on statements.

With other grammatical structures, such as questions, intonation choices add more subtle, yet important meanings that can change the kind of message listeners will understand.

This chapter introduces final intonation by concentrating on the two most common final intonation patterns, rising and falling. Later chapters will add other intonation patterns to these.

Warmup Small Groups. Read the comic strip, Luann. Discuss the difference in how the little girl and the older girl respond to the mother. Hos is 'OH' pronounced by each girl?

                                                       

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Exercise 1 Listen to the conversation and answer the questions below.
1. What is the relationship of the people speaking?
2. What is the situation they are in?
3. The names Chris and Pat can be used for either men or women. Which are they in this conversation?



Conversation context: Pat hangs up the telephone.
Chris: What was that about?
Pat Trouble.
Chris: Trouble?
Pat: Uh-huh.
Chris: Work?
Pat: Uh-huh. Again.
Chris: Dinner?
Pat: Later.
Exercise 2 Listen and mark the intonation at the end of each line in the conversation in Exercise 1. Write (R) if the voice pitch rises or (F) if the voice pitch falls.

Note: You can either write R / F, or copy the arrow symbols from the given examples.

Chris: What was that about?
Pat Trouble.
Chris: Trouble?
Pat: Uh-huh.
Chris: Work?
Pat: Uh-huh. Again.
Chris: Dinner?
Pat: Later.
Exercise 3 Pairs. Read the conversation from Exercise 1 together with a partner. Use the voice pitch you heard in the original conversation.
Chris: What was that about?
Pat Trouble.
Chris: Trouble?
Pat: Uh-huh.
Chris: Work?
Pat: Uh-huh. Again.
Chris: Dinner?
Pat: Later.
Exercise 4 Pairs. Many conversations use mostly very short sentences (1-3 words). Write short sentences for the following conversation. Include the intonation you think each line will have. The first two are done as examples.

Note: You can either write R / F, or copy the arrow symbols from the given examples.
A: Are you going? Going? (R) (↗)
B: I'll go later. Later. (F) (↘)
A: When will you go?
B: I think I'll go at 8.
A: Are you driving?
B:Do you want a ride?
A: Yes, I would, thank you.
B: OK. Should I meet you here?
A: No. I'll be at home.


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