1 Phonetics as a branch of linguistics

Functions and tendencies of the English

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Functions and tendencies of the English stress

Types of English word stress according to its degree. • primary — the strongest• secondary — the second strongest, partial, • weak — all the other degrees. The syllables bearing either primary or secondary stress are termed stressed, while syllables with weak stress are called, somewhat inaccurately, unstressed.

Word stress in a language performs three functions.

  1. Word stress constitutes a word, it organizes the syllables of a word into a language unit having a definite accentual structure, that is a pattern of relationship among the syllables; a word does not exist without the word stress Thus the word stress performs the constitutive function.

  2. 2. Word stress enables a person to identify a succession of syllables as a definite accentual pattern of a word. This function of word stress is known as identificatoiy(у него так в лекции) (or recognitive).

  3. 3. Word stress alone is capable of differentiating the meaning of words or their forms, thus performing its distinctive function. The accentual patterns of words or the degrees of word stress and their positions form oppositions, e.g. 'import im'port, 'billow below.

23.English intonation

Intonation is a complex unity of sentence stress, rhythm, tempo, speech melody and voice timbre. Each syllable in a sense group is pronounced on a certain pitch level and bears a definite amount of loudness. Intonation patterns serve to actualize sense groups. Intonation is a language universal. According to R. Kingdon the most important nuclear tones in English are: Low Fall, High Fall, Low Rise, High Rise, and Fall-Rise.

The sense group is a group of words which is semantically and syntactically complex.

In Phonetics actualized sense groups are called intonation groups.

Intonation patterns containing a number of syllables consist of the following parts:

  • the prehead

  • the head (the 1st accented syllable)

  • the scale (begins with the 1st acc.syll.)

  • the nucleus (the last acc.syll.) – is the most important part of the intonation pattern.

  • the tail – conveys no particular information

The functions of intonation:

  • constitutive (it presupposes the integrative function on the one hand when intonation arranges intonation groups into bigger syntactic units: sentences, syntactic wholes and texts)

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