The Notion of Intonation and Its Definition
|The Notion of Intonation and its Definition
|The Main Components of Intonation
|Sentence Stress, its Definition
|The Functions of the Sentence Stress
Every speech expression from pause till pause, not taking into concideration its lenght, must be phonetically accomplished and this is what we call intonation of the expression or of the sentence. To the teacher’s question: “Which letter is written on the blackboard?” – the pupil can answer: “it is letter “d” or simply “d”. Each of the answers will have its own intonation.
Intonation is one of the most imporatant factors of communication. From real examples of our life we know that we do not have to understand all the words in the sentence in order to understand the whole meanig. The context helps us to understand the missing word. If this does not happen we still understand the whole meaning of the sentence. Intonation plays a great role in it. For the act of communication contains not only information what it is said about, but also the attidute of the speaker to this message.
For example, when we lower our voice to the end of the sentence, we can say that we do it in order to show that we are finishing the sentence. When we speak “gently” or “roodly”, we want to show our emotional attitude to the listener according to the meaning of the expression.
Some researches prove that the emotional forms of the expressions are common for all the people. Still the intonation of the languages is different. When we are listening to the foreing speech ( even if we have perfect knowledge of this language) we lose the slide shades of the sense of the message. It is because intonation of our mother language and intonation of the foreigner is different. It is known that sometimes it is hard to get the meaning of the joke or irony, to express wonder or irritation , confidence or mistrust,etc. Which in most cases we get wiht the help of intonation. It is aslo the fact that intonation is the thing which the foreigners cannot get so easy. People pronouncing perfectly some words in foreing language can miss the right intonation when they pronounce long sentences. That is why we can say that intonation is characteristic phonetic sign of the language.
Intonation perfoms its sentence-costitutive function not only in oral speech, but also in written language.
Intonation is implicitly present in any written sentence. It is the writer who puts it there in the process of expressing in written form his thoughts, will, emotions, feelings and attitudes. When writing he intends his intonations to be reproduced by subsequent readers ( both in silent and loud reading) as closely to the original as possible. ( Peter Roach,internet)
The proof of intonation being implicitly present in a written sentence is provided by the use of the punctuation marks. Of course, they cannot represent exactly the whole gamut of the extremely rich and varied intonations of living speech. Still punctuation marks provide enough prompts for the reader to intone written sentences mentally or aloud in such a way as to understand or cause others to understsand not only all the thoughts, but also many of the emotions and attitudes expressed in them.(internet)
There are a lot of ideas about what is intonation and what is the definition of the intonation. One of the definitions of the intonation was given by foriegn linguists D. Jones and J.O’Conner : intonation- is the variations of the pitch of the voice.
The point of view of Russian phoneticians is the following: intonation-is a complex unity of speech melody, sentence stress, tempo, rythm and voice timbre, which enables the speaker to express his thoughts, emotions and attitude towards the contents of the utterance. Acoustically intonation is a complex combination of varying fundamental frequency, intensity and duration. Perceptually it’s a complex of speech melody, loudness, tempo and timbre.( internet)
Speaking about the aim of intonation we can speak about its functions. Trubeckoj has pointed out expressive function with the help of which we can identify the personality of the speaker, his membership of one or another social group, etc. It is impossible to speak about these three functions as about one.
From the point of view of T. Nikolajeva there are three functions of intonation: delimitating, integrating and semantic. N.V. Cheremisina singles out the following functions of intonation which she finds to be the most important: communicative, distinctive, expressive, appelative, aesthetic. As it can be seen there are some differences in heading the linguistic functions of intonation. Still the main function of the intonation is to give emotional attitude from the speaker to the listener. When someone says that the sentence was said “without any intonation” that means that this sentence was said with a monotonous intonation or that intonation was not bright enough.
The idea that intonation is subjective and that each person has his own intonation is wide spread. It is fact that different artists read one and the same text differently and this difference can be very substantial. It is because different persons understand the same text in different ways. The same sentence can be pronounced with different intonation. Each time this sentence will have the same context, but emotionally it will be already different.
There are two aspects of intonation: The first one we can call communicative , because intonation informs us whether expression is finished or not, is this a question or an answer, etc. The second one is the so called emotional aspect – there is definite emotion in the intonation, which reflects the emotional state of the speaker. In this case the speaker can have effect on the listener ( sometimes not always realized) with the help of his emotional intonation.
Emotional aspect of the intonation does not have to be obligatory connected with the thought of the expression. He is back – will it be said with joy or sorrow the message of the sentence will be the same. Also the syntactic function of the sentence will not change. That is why earlier emotional aspect was expelled from the linguistics, but the question about its language function is still not researched.
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