Intonation

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77Cat77

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi, dear members!
Maybe the following question should not be asked in this forum, but I would like to give it a go.
I had a very hard time in drawing the intonation graph. As you can see in the attachment, I had to draw the lines while listening to the audio. But it is a really backbreaking work and costs me a lot of time. Does anyone know any software that can be used to output this kind of graphs?
Thank you for any reply!
442C564D-12F4-4012-B6FE-D8ECEE57FC44.jpeg
 
  • Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi, dear members!
    Maybe the following question should not be asked in this forum, but I would like to give it a go.
    I had a very hard time in drawing the intonation graph. As you can see in the attachment, I had to draw the lines while listening to the audio. But it is a really backbreaking work and costs me a lot of time. Does anyone know any software that can be used to output this kind of graphs?
    Thank you for any reply!
    View attachment 40712
    What are you trying to do? It looks like you are trying to draw tones like in Chinese. English is based on accented and unaccented syllables. I think they would be more useful if you want a pronunciation guide.

    The intonations as written on your text honestly don't make sense to me if I read them in rising and falling intonation. It does not sound like English to me.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    The stresses within the words (as part of correct pronunciation) and the patterns they make in the sentence are rather more important, in my opinion. It's not clear if you have marked the unstressed little words which are barely audible in native speaker speech because we know what they must be.
    Perhaps you could tell us why you are doing this? Listening and repeating rhythms especially in rhythmic poetry or songs can help, even without the words.
     

    77Cat77

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    English is based on accented and unaccented syllables.
    Perhaps you could tell us why you are doing this?
    The stresses within words guide me, an English learner from China, to read individual words accurately. But when the words are combined into a sentence, I fail to read it like native speakers.
    But I can do it with the help of the marks I drew.

    Actually I thought the intonation marking was pretty accurate.
    Thank you very much!
     
    Last edited:

    77Cat77

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    So, back to my question. Is there any software that can output this sort of intonation graph?
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I have no idea about software but I would imagine it would need to run off an accurate audio tape of someone reading the passage. I can't see how a computer program could put speech aids onto a written text.
     

    Uly

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    I think intonation is very subjective - depending on who is speaking and who they're addressing, any portion of text can be intoned in any number of ways. I think what's more important for a learner is to learn what words receive primary and secondary stress, and the intonation will usually come about naturally as a result. If you look at the first line in this text, it's evident that the loudest words are BOXING, POPULAR, ENGLAND, and YEARS. This is consistent with how I would intone this sentence as a native speaker of American English in normal conversation. If it were permitted, I would record this for you as a professional voiceover artist with many years experience. Unfortunately, any time I've added a recording, it's been deleted. Good luck!
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Intonation is under-rated. Yes, coming from Chinese especially, the first thing you need to learn is that English is stress-based, not syllable-toned, but on top of the stressed syllables there are very definite rules for intonation patterns. For example, the first syllable of a sentence is low if unstressed, then it jumps to high and begins to descend: 77Cat77 has correctly heard and marked this for three consecutive sentences:

    _In -those days
    _Be-cause of this
    _How-ever

    (It doesn't apply to the first sentence because it starts with a stressed syllable in 'Boxing'.) Then there's the way the time adjuncts at the end of a sentence have a separate intonation pattern. There are strong regularities, though you can override most things for unusual emphasis.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    No, I don't know any software that shows the pitch patterns. But I do know that software cannot accurately reproduce the SOUNDS of speech. That was tried for many years and failed. Modern software matches patterns to a huge database of common patterns. "How are you?" might be one pattern. The computer program did not detect 5 or 6 sounds (pinyin: hao-er-yu). Instead the program matched a pattern.

    Perhaps some musical software detects and recognizes pitch patterns. But it won't be adjusted for the complexities of language.
    In English we have word stress (tones within a word or phrase) and sentence stress (pitch patterns for meaning in a sentence).
     

    77Cat77

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I have no idea about software but I would imagine it would need to run off an accurate audio tape of someone reading the passage. I can't see how a computer program could put speech aids onto a written text.
    Thank you all the same! I’ll keep looking for that. If I can’t, I‘d prefer to make a software functioning in that way.
     

    77Cat77

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    If it were permitted, I would record this for you as a professional voiceover artist with many years experience.
    Thank you for your kindness and explanations.
    I drew the lines according to the audio for the text book. And I’m simply tired of doing this and would like to find a software to do the same things for me.
     

    77Cat77

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    pinyin: hao-er-yu
    Thank you so much! Maybe, I should make this software myself. It will be really helpful for Chinese students to learn the intonation. By the way, I‘m genuinely surprised that you know pinyin! Amazing!
     
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