Intonation is the tonal structure of linguistic expressions, which is not directly due to tones of the lexical items or to morpho-syntactic categories, and its realization together with paralinguistic effects.
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Tones at prosodic boundaries signal the relevant phrase structure, usually that of the intonational phrase. Pitch accents as well as boundary tones may be contrastive, in which case the different tone options signal discoursal meanings, like theme versus rheme, nonfinality, interrogativity, finality, etc. By the side of tone, structural intonation may include nontonal phonological elements, most strikingly quantity vowel length , as has been found in West Greenlandic and Shekgalagari.
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English for instance deletes pitch accents after the focus. Intonation systems vary in complexity, like any aspect of the linguistic structure. Intonation systems of West Germanic languages are among the most complex ever described. In addition to intonational tone structure, intonation includes the paralinguistic use of pitch. Often, paralinguistic intonation is more striking than structural intonation.
Selected papers on theoretical and applied linguistics
Drawing the line between them is a long-standing issue, which is often believed will remain unresolved for some time to come. Languages may signal the same function either structurally or paralinguistically.
For instance, Stockholm Swedish has been described as signaling the difference between questions and statements paralinguistically, while Norwegian is characterized as having different tones for statements and questions. Intonation is increasingly included in language descriptions.
The way in which intonation interacts with the morphosyntax in expressing information structure is a widely debated issue in European languages in particular.
The debate has tended to be conducted within either a phonological setting or a syntactic setting, although, more recently, work has appeared that attempts to bridge that gap. Discourse studies deal with the role of both structural and paralinguistic variation in duration and pitch in signaling speaker attitudes, cohesion, and turn management.
A number of recent textbooks are available. Textbooks tend to have an orientation toward English, such as Cruttenden , or they are specifically about British English, such as Wells A wide-ranging and very readable book is Ladd Half of Gussenhoven deals with general topics, the other half containing summary descriptions of languages. Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting.
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