English Intonation: An Introduction ‐ by J. C. Wells. David Deterding. Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Search for more papers by this author. Look Inside English Intonation Author: J. C. Wells, University College London An invaluable guide to how English intonation works, it is complete with. Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Mar 15, , David Deterding and others published English Intonation: An Introduction - by J. C. Wells.


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Wells, JC English Intonation - Free Download PDF

Wells,English Intonation: After the introductory chapter offering an overview of the system of intonation that is english intonation wells described, there is one chapter on each of the three main components english intonation wells the system.

Chapter 2 considers tone, especially falls, rises and fall-rises as they occur in statements, questions, and various other utterance types such as exclamations and greetings; Chapter 3 deals with tonicity, the location of the nucleus, and considers such things as old and new information, focus, phrasal verbs, and instances where the nucleus falls on a function word; Chapter 4 discusses tonality, or the chunking of utterances into intonation phrases.

Then, in Chapter 5, further details are presented, particularly the pitch movements that take place in the syllables before the nucleus, and also more elaborate tonal distinctions than those covered in Chapter 2, for example between a high fall and a low fall; and in Chapter 6, the intonation of longer stretches of discourse is considered, and advice on how to mark the intonation of a text is given to students who are preparing to take english intonation wells intonation component of the practical oral exam that is set by some British universities.

Throughout the book there are extensive exercises which provide material for students to practise, much of it designed for pair-work, and the book is accompanied by a CD with recordings of many of the utterances found in the book.

The authority of the analysis, the meticulous care with which the material has been organized, the clarity of the presentation, the inclusion of so many practical exercises, and the valuable provision of the recordings on the CD will ensure that this book is greatly appreciated by many scholars, teachers, and students around the world.

However, two major questions can be considered concerning the material in the book. First, to what extent are the patterns that are presented idealizations, rather than representing the way speakers actually talk?

And second, how important is it for learners of English to become totally familiar english intonation wells the minutiae of RP intonation patterns, and furthermore, to practise them and thereby perfect them?

Let us consider these two issues in turn. From a pedagogical perspective, it probably makes sense to base the material in this way on idealized patterns, as genuine data is usually messy and does not offer the best examples that will allow learners to grasp the concepts that are being presented.

English intonation wells, most teachers of English will be aware that it is often best to invent artificial example sentences to illustrate a wide range of the features of English, including lexical usage as well as grammatical structure, and intonation is no exception in this respect; real corpus-based examples generally just do not capture the essence of a pattern in quite the same way that an invented sentence can.

But there still remains the question: And then we should consider the second issue, about the extent to which learners need to master the intonation of RP in so much detail. Although it is undoubtedly true that many people around the world will find the material in this book exceptionally useful, and furthermore will be delighted with the clarity of the analysis and the way it is presented, there is an increasing initiative to base teaching not on native patterns of speech but instead on English as a Lingua Franca ELFand thereby to provide learners with the skills necessary for communicating with a wide range of people from a multitude of different backgrounds and not just with speakers from places such as southern England.

In this light, one wonders whether some of the minute distinctions described in this book with such admirable clarity actually matter for many learners around the world.

Let us look at some examples presented fairly early on in the book, involving the tones occurring on adverbials pp.

Wells, JC English Intonation

Now, any speaker of RP will confirm that this is spot on: Apparently, it is because the adverbials english intonation wells 1 and 2 are limiting the scope of the statement, while those in 3 and 4 are reinforcing the sense of the main clause.

Of course, all this is fascinating, and english intonation wells many, many learners of English who aspire to attain a near-perfect ability in RP British English will find such material exceptionally valuable.

  • PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY: English Intonation: An Introduction by J.C. Wells
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But do all learners need it? And english intonation wells successful international communication, would the time not be better spent on developing accommodation skills, thereby enabling learners to communicate effectively with a wide range of speakers around the world, most of whom would regard such tiny distinctions as irrelevant?


Let english intonation wells consider another example, involving a three-way contrast p. However, would the contrast between these intonation patterns be picked up by most highly proficient non-native speakers?

And if not, should learners be encouraged to make such distinctions if they are not useful for communication in international contexts? After all, we need to english intonation wells that most learners are likely to spend only a tiny amount of their time talking to RP speakers, and putting so much effort into perfecting a contrast that only a few native speakers are likely to be able to detect is probably not a very useful thing to do in the modern world, where English is spoken by so many different people in such a wide range of contexts.

English intonation : an introduction / J.C. Wells. - Version details - Trove

One might make a distinction here between receptive skills and productive skills. It may be valuable for listeners to be able to perceive detailed pitch contrasts, because any enhancement of perceptive skills is always worthwhile. But english intonation wells they need to produce them?

How important is it english intonation wells learners to be able to mimic the patterns of RP speakers exactly?

In this respect, it is somewhat surprising that nearly all the exercises in the book involve production and only a few require the student to listen and recognize the intonation in the recordings.

English intonation wells a few more perception exercises would have been useful. This is an exceptionally valuable book, but a few nagging doubts remain about how important all of english intonation wells is.