In linguistics, intonation is variation of pitch while speaking which is not used to distinguish words. It contrasts with tone, in which pitch variation does distinguish words. Intonation, rhythm, and stress are the three main elements of linguistic prosody. Intonation patterns in some languages, such as Swedish and Swiss German, can lead to conspicuous fluctuations in pitch, giving speech a sing-song quality. Fluctuations in pitch either involve a rising pitch or a falling pitch. Intonation is found in every language and even in tonal languages, but the realization and function are seemingly different. It is used in non-tonal languages to add attitudes to words (attitudinal function) and to differentiate between wh-questions, yes-no questions, declarative statements, commands, requests, etc. Intonation can also be used for discourse analysis where new information is realized by means of intonation. It can also be used for emphatic/contrastive purposes.
All languages use pitch pragmatically as intonation — for instance for emphasis, to convey surprise or irony, or to pose a question. Tonal languages such as Chinese and Hausa use pitch for distinguishing words in addition to providing intonation.
Generally speaking, the following intonations are distinguished:
Rising Intonation means the pitch of the voice rises over time [↗];
Falling Intonation means that the pitch falls with time [↘];
Dipping Intonation falls and then rises [↘↗];
Rising intonation is most commonly found when a question is being asked. The intonation at the end allows someone to differentiate between a question and a statement.
Unfortunately, however, the rising intonation has become inherited by the Americans, and is incorporated in most sentences spoken. It is most commonly found on American television, and is why it has started to be misused.
Falling intonation literally means the feature of some accents of English where statements have a falling intonation patterns or low fundamental frequency or a low tone in the final syllable of the utterance.
I'm not going.
-the last syllable of the word in the exmple is low tone.ryt?.it should not pronounced as or the intonation should not be rising..gets?
1. Who is he? Falling intonation / Wh-question
2. Is she here? Rising intonation / Yes/No or polarity type Question
3. You´re going aren´t you? Rising intonation / Tag-question
4. You aren´t going are you? Rising intonation / Tag-question
5. Why did you do it? Falling intonation / Wh-question
6. That´s so nice of you! Falling intonation / Exclamations
7. Tim said that? Rising intonation / Repetition-question or confirming
with "non-final- intonation" the pitch rises and falls within the sentences or word. This type of intonationis used in various situations. For example:
Unfinished Thoughts: It is often used to indicate that you have not ended a tought. To indicate that you have something more to say, raise your pitch at the end of the phrase. Ex:
"When i saw him..." or "if i study hard..."
I bought the magazine,(raising intonation) but i didn't read it.(fall intonation)
If I study hard, (raising Intonation) I'll pass the year(falling intonation)