This is the second and concluding volume of the author's magnum opus on intonation, the summation of over forty years of investigation and reflection. The first volume, Intonation and Its Parts: Melody in Spoken English, was published in 1986. ...
Intonation, or speech melody, refers to the rise and fall of the pitch of the voice in speech; it has intimate ties to facial expression and bodily gesture, and conveys, underneath it all, emotions and attitudes. Most of the first volume was devoted to explaining the basic nature, variety, and untility of intonation, using, as in the present volume, hundreds of examples from everyday English speech, presented much in the manner of musical notation. The present volume looks at how intonation varies among speakers and societies in terms of age, sex and region; how it interacts with grammar; and how it has been invoked to explain certain questions of logic. The discussion of variation shows the degree to which intonation can be conventionalized and yet embody a universal core of feelings and attitudes, renewed with each generation. The remainder of the book demonstrates that no explanation of those apparently more arbitrary phenomena with which intonation interacts is adequate if it ignores that emotive undercurrent. In examining recent proposals for a defining relationship between intonation and grammar or logic, the author shows that such relationships are inferential and based on attitudinal meanings. For example, a given intonation does not mean 'factuality', but rather 'speaker confidence', from which factuality is inferred. In general, the author shows intonation operating independently in its own sphere, but as nevertheless indispensable to interpreting other more arbitrary parts of language.
Number of pages: 484
Date of publication: 01/08/1989
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