The Elements of Pronunciation
Pronunciation is understood to include:
1. intonation
2. stress (on words and in sentences)
3. phonology (the sounds of the language)
Intonation is to do with how you say a word or phrase rather than what you say.
Speakers can change the pitch of their voice making it higher or lower as and when required.
Thus intonation is the ‘music’ of speech which can convey various feelings or attitudes such as surprise, curiosity, boredom, politeness, abruptness etc.
It is important for the speaker to convey his appropriate feelings at the time otherwise an incorrect impression might be gained by the listener and confusion or offence might be caused.
Intonation is also used for the more mundane job of showing whether a speaker has finished speaking or not.
It is difficult to learn the rules of intonation as English has a wide intonation range compared with other languages; nevertheless students should be encouraged to acquire them naturally rather than to consciously learn them.
Self Check 1
Experiment by saying the following as described in the brackets.
i) Oh! It’s you!
(pleasant surprise)
(lack of enthusiasm)
ii) Turn the radio on please.
(polite request)
(repeated request, signs of impatience)
iii) He jogs three times every day.
Does he(with surprise)
(without surprise)When teaching English to students with little experience of the language, teachers should note that there are two basic intonation patterns:
1) The Rising Tone
The rising tone which is used in questions expecting a yes/no response or to express surprise, disbelief etc. The voice rises sharply on the stressed syllable.
eg The single word – Really? expects a yes/no response
As does:-
Did you see the QueenWould you like a scone 
2) The Falling Tone
The falling tone is used for statements, commands and for wh… questions. The voice rises sharply earlier in the sentence and then falls on the key word being…