intonation

< Previous | Next >

jess oh seven

Senior Member
UK/US English
is "intonation" taught while learning any other languages apart from English? i don't really understand why it's taught in English, especially for questions, because you know already when something is a question by the word that comes out your mouth first, ie. "Do(es)....?" "What....?", "Could....?", or when you switch the verb around, etc. i felt that when i was teaching English i had to exaggerate my intonation for questions or else the students wouldn't understand me. i suppose it's because in Spanish the intonation in question-asking is more pronounced because there's not always a difference between the structure of a question and a statement. i just thought it was strange that they were teaching the kids intonation out of text books too... i never learned anything about intonation in Spanish, French or Portuguese classes...
 
  • Merlin

    Senior Member
    Philippines - Tagalog/English
    jess oh seven said:
    is "intonation" taught while learning any other languages apart from English?
    Yes! It is taught if you're trying to learn Tagalog. Because there are words with the same spelling however they have different meaning depending on how you pronounce it. Like turuan (tu-ru-an) . If you pronounce it normally it means "teach" and if you pronounce it fast, it means "pointing at each other" (like if either of the two won't admit whose fault it is.) Sometimes accent also applies.
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    jess oh seven said:
    is "intonation" taught while learning any other languages apart from English? i don't really understand why it's taught in English
    As an EFL teacher in Italy I can confirm that there is a greater focus on stress, rhythm and intonation in EFL coursebooks than in materials designed for learners of Italian.

    I think it's a good thing. English and Italian intonation patterns are quite different. I find listening exercises highlighting the difference between -say - I thought you knew(two falls) and I thought you knew(fall-rise) quite useful.

    Italians also have problems with stress in compounds(social 'worker instead of 'social worker, high 'school instead of 'high school), phrases(an axe to 'grind instead of an 'axe to grind) and sentences. Native speakers have often told me they had trouble understanding some Italian friends just because they were stressing the wrong words.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    jess oh seven said:
    i don't really understand why it's taught in English, especially for questions, because you know already when something is a question by the word that comes out your mouth first, ie. "Do(es)....?" "What....?", "Could....?", or when you switch the verb around, etc. i felt that when i was teaching English i had to exaggerate my intonation for questions or else the students wouldn't understand me.
    Californians have a curious way of maintaining relatively flat intonation until the end of an interrogative sentence. You may not know you are hearing a question until the end of the sentence.

    And then there are the lawyers and lawyer wannabees:

    Intonation is a very dull subject, except when it is of great importance in comprehension...is that not so?
     

    VenusEnvy

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    cuchuflete said:
    Californians have a curious way of maintaining relatively flat intonation until the end of an interrogative sentence. You may not know you are hearing a question until the end of the sentence.
    And, I've noticed that New Yorkers don't rise at all at the end of a question, but rather, they fall a bit.

    cuchuflete said:
    And then there are the lawyers and lawyer wannabees:

    Intonation is a very dull subject, except when it is of great importance in comprehension...is that not so?
    Oh, yes, Cuchu! lol
    This brings a nuance to "interrogative" sentence!

    jess oh seven said:
    i don't really understand why it's taught in English, especially for questions, because you know already when something is a question by the word that comes out your mouth first, ie. "Do(es)....?" "What....?", "Could....?", or when you switch the verb around, etc.
    Really?

    I'm sure if I said them out loud, you'd be able to tell better which was a question:
    He drove Shiela to the store.
    He drove Shiela to the store?
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top