What are the functions of intonation?
Intonation is the melody of a sentence. Vowels are formed by changes in the pitch of the voice (the voice goes up and down; stays at the same level; rises or falls), by sentence stress (strong pressure on important words; weak pressure or no pressure on less important words), and by rhythm (stressed letters occur at approximately equal intervals). The most important function of intonation is to categorize sentences (statements, questions, commands, requests) and to divide sentences into sense groups. Also, intonations allow speakers to express different emotions. The vowel (rise, fall, etc.) is the most important pitch change that occurs at the end of the sense group and at the end of the sentence.
The terminal tone at the end of a sentence is the most important means of determining the type of sentence (statement, question, order, request). Vowel patterns implement sentence structure in oral speech. Syntagm is a group of words that are complete both semantically and syntactically. In phonetics, syntagms are called intonation groups (sense groups, tone groups). Each intonation group may have one or more possible syntagms, for example, the sentence “I think he’s coming soon” has two possible syntagms: I think he’s coming soon. In oral discourse, it is usually implemented as an intonation group.
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