intonation

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  • futuromadrileño

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Yes, I should think that the primary intonation would be on "please." I might also say it with a slight intonation on the syllable "book."

    And "a bookstore" would be better than "any bookstore."
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Yes, wh-questions have falling tone on the stressed syllable of the last main word (\book-). A following phrase not essential to the meaning has rising tone:

    Where can I find a \bookstore, /please?

    It is possible to say 'please' without it being a separate phrase; then it is just tacked on to the end of the main phrase, and has falling tone as part of the 'tail' after the accented syllable '\book'.

    Where can I find a \bookstore please? (sounds more impatient)
     
    Last edited:

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Yes, wh-questions have falling tone on the stressed syllable of the last main word (\book-). A following phrase not essential to the meaning has rising tone:

    Where can I find a \bookstore, /please?
    The falling tone you mention I consider quite British, actually. :) In AmE I think we tend to have a rising tone there. In the case of bisyllabic bookstore, with primary stress on book, the whole word has 'rising' intonation insofar as book has a low tone, and store a high tone, regardless of please (which has the same high tone as store):

    Where can I find a \book/store, /please?

    That is, because bookstore is bisyllabic (and a compound, at that), the 'rising' intonation can be broken into low (book) + high (store).

    In the case of monosyllabic words, however, there is low+high within that one syllable, thus a 'rising' intonation. Compare:

    Have you seen my \/book?
     
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