Handout in Speech and Oral Comm (Rhythm of Speech)

September 17, 2017 | Author: Nico Bajas | Category: Stress (Linguistics), Question, English Language, Word, Verb
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Gordon College Olongapo City College of Education, Arts and Sciences Communication Arts and Letters Department 2nd Semester A.Y 2014-2015

Suprasegmentals are concerned with those features of pronunciation that cannot be segmented because they extend over more than one segment or sound. Such features include stress, rhythm, and intonation (also called pitch contour or pitch movement). The student of English speech must improve his rhythm and intonation beside his sounds. English rhythm is dependent on the following factors: Emphasis and Subordination Phrasing Blending Intonation Emphasis and Subordination Emphasis is the prominence or importance we give to certain syllables. This is more commonly called stress. Subordination means the reduced prominence or unstressing we give to other syllables. The elements of stress are: 1. loudness or intensity 2. heightened tone or pitch 3. increased duration In English, we consider two types of stress: 1. Syllable stress/ Word stress has three degrees, from the most prominent to the weakest:

´ primary

` mid

˘ weak

´ primary

ˆ secondary ` tertiary

legendary 2. Sense stress is the prominence given to word groups and sentences due to its meaning. It has four degrees:

˘ weak

intellectual curiosity

In English, words that carry idea or thought are stressed. They are sometimes called content words. Generally, the following carry idea or thought – a. nouns – baby, boy, school, radio, university b. verbs – (except auxiliary or helping verbs) run, jump, write, cry, study c. adjectives – beautiful, dark, dirty, famous d. adverbs – fast, slowly, very, lazily e. demonstratives – this, that those, these f. interrogatives – what, where, why, when (when they start questions)


Handout in Speech and Oral Communication

Prepared by Rudy P. Esposo II

The Neutral Vowel The ə or schwa as it is generally called is considered the neutral or indefinite vowel. This is because the vocal organs do not assume a definite position but change position depending on the preceding and succeeding sounds. It appears only in a. unstressed or unaccented syllables (CO in correct and DERN in modern) b. unstressed words (an, of, the for) In English, there are words that do not carry a thought or meaning but merely serve as connectives that should be subordinated or unstressed. They show grammatical relationships and are called function words. The following are function words that should be subordinated or unstressed: a. articles – the, a , an b. auxiliary verbs (linking verbs as well) – have, has, had, are, be, is c. prepositions – for, of, to, in d. pronouns – he, she, it, them, us, his, hers e. conjunctions – and, but, or Phrasing Phrasing is the grouping together of words that convey a thought. Phrases are separated from each other by pauses which are longer than those ordinarily found between words. We can think of pauses as oral punctuation. Punctuation marks in a sentence are oftentimes good indications of oral words groupings. The student must remember, however, that this is not always so. Punctuation marks are an indication of grammatical relationships. Pauses are guided by meaning. Sometimes one finds a comma in a sentence where no oral pause is necessary. For example (One vertical line indicates a normal pause; while two vertical lines indicate a long pause): That man is my brother. // He is, however, / only my step brother. There are no definite rules that govern the grouping of words. We depend only on the meaning and intent of the speaker. Generally, however, parts of speech closely related to each other are not separated unless there is a special reason. Thus, an adjective is generally not separated from its noun, or an adverb from its verb, or a preposition from its object. 1. I saw a beautiful girl / crossing the street. // 2. She thinks the owner of the car / is unaware of the theft. // 3. Upon hearing the news over the radio / he anxiously awaited word / about the survivors. //

Pauses are made in a sentence for the following reasons: 1. To make the meaning clear You can’t be a good speaker / unless you have a good voice. // 2. To emphasize a particular idea The term/ intelligibility / means distinct articulation. // 3. For a special effect such a suspense And then they heard a strange sound/ which seemed to come closer ‘ closer ‘ and closer. // (‘ indicates a short pause)


Handout in Speech and Oral Communication

Prepared by Rudy P. Esposo II

4. Occasionally, to enable the speaker to catch his breath when saying a long sentence. In this case, the pause must not come between words closely connected together grammatically. The state may require us / to subordinate our private interest / to the interests of the community. // Blending Blending connects together the sounds from one word to another within a phrase in the same way that they are connected from one syllable to another in a long word. In the vernaculars, we tend to pronounce each syllable separately with a more or even less even accent. This results in a somewhat staccato rhythm. Compare “Ako ay aalis” with “She is an actress.” Students very often insert what is known as the glottal attack (very much like the maragsa accent of Tagalog) before words beginning with a vowel. This is considered a voice production fault in English. In order to avoid the glottal attack, we must blend. More specifically: within a thought group, words should be connected together, especially words beginning with a vowel. These in particular should be blended to the previous word. In this way, the smooth rhythm of English can be achieved. 1. The evening is almost over.

2. Take care not to open the umbrella unless necessary.

As a mechanical aid to blending during drill work, the student may consider the last sound of the first word part of the second word. Thus: Many people are affected by the new ordinance.

Many people lare raffected by the new wordinance.

My uncle arrives at eight.

My yuncle larrives sat teight.

Terminal junctures/ Terminals Terminal junctures/ terminals are methods of closure. Three methods: 1. Fading terminal / 2

3 1 I’m going home

2. Rising terminal / 2

/ - rapid fadeaway of the voice into silence

/ - short, slight rise in pitch from the last level heard

3 3 Are you there

3. Sustained terminal /

/ - sustaining of the last-heard pitch


3 2 All the occupants of the car 2 3 1 seemed dazed by the shock


Handout in Speech and Oral Communication

Prepared by Rudy P. Esposo II

Pitch Pitch is the relative height of speech sounds as perceived by a listener. Four pitch levels:

4 – extra high (emotionally charged; reserved as substitute for level 3 to express emphasis or excitement; sparingly used) 3 – high 2 – normal (the point of departure; the natural level) 1 – low

Pitches combine into patterns to make meaningful melodies. 231 233 Intonation – interplay of stress, pitch, and junctures 232 Intonation Intonation may be defined as the rise and fall of the voice in connected speech. In English speech, stress and intonation are very closely related to each other. An increase if stress is generally accompanied by a change in the pitch, more often in an upward direction. Some of the common Filipino mistakes in intonation are accompanied by mistakes of stress. Average/ Normal pitch (2) – generally used with unstressed words and syllables. It is indicated by a line below the syllable. BELIEVE THERE IS A Above average pitch (3) – generally used with stressed syllables. It is indicated by a line above the line. ____ ___ BELIEVE GOD Below average pitch (1) – generally used at the end of a sentence with a downward intonation. It is indicated by a line far below the syllable. GOD THIS IS A PENCIL ____ ___ High pitch (4) – generally indicates great emotion like suspense and fear and is seldom used. ____ HOW WONDERFUL!

Two types of pitch changes or movements: 1. Shift – a pitch change between two syllables. BELIEVE


2. Inflection or Syllable Glide – a pitch change within a syllable. GOD



Handout in Speech and Oral Communication

Prepared by Rudy P. Esposo II

Kinds of Intonation Contours/ Patterns: 1. 231

Occurs in  statement or declarative sentence 2 3 1 We drove to the lake  command 2 3 1 Go to your room  wh- or information question 2 3 1 Who is your friend 2. 233 Occurs in  yes-no question in statement form 2 3 3 He’s gone  yes-no question in question form 2 3 3 Is he gone  initial grammatical unit 2 3 3 2 3 3 In short If you’ll wait 3. 232 or Occurs in  initial phrase or clause 2 3 2 Under the circumstances or 2 3 2 when you leave or  statement to indicate that speaker as more to say 2 3 2 She’s a nice girl or 4. 32 This is a call 3 2  Harry 5. 33 On an individual question word, this contour signals a repetition of some of the preceding message 2 3 1 Jane has a new piano teacher 3 3 Who 6. 31 On an individual question word, this contour constitutes a request for further information 2 3 1 Jane has a new piano 3 1 Who 7. 23 Used on a stressed word, phrase, or clause in a series except the last item 2 3 3 2 3 2 3 1 She prefers oranges apples and cherries 8. 12 or 33 Accompanies the name of the person whom you are addressing 2 3 1 1 2  What did you put on the table Jane 2 3 3 3 3  Are you coming Jane 9. 233 231  10. 233 233 5


Signals a choice of two possibilities 3 3 2 3 1 Do you want tea tea or coffee Proposes a yes-no question

Handout in Speech and Oral Communication

Prepared by Rudy P. Esposo II


3 3 2 3 3 Do you want tea tea or coffee

Practice Exercises A. Emphasis and Subordination. Read the following words with the correct stress. about forward requested along pavement relentless compel center accountant select famous capricious pronounce method together contribute commemorate organize negotiate communicate

altogether anesthesia elocution overanxious approbation

contribution commemoration organization negotiation communication

B. Emphasis and Subordination. Read the underlined the syllables with a louder voice and a higher tone than the rest. 1. The boy carried his books to school. 2. The big boy carried his books to school. 3. The big boy carried his heavy books to school. 4. The big boy slowly carried his heavy books to school. 5. The big boy slowly carried his heavy books to school yesterday. C. Phrasing. Read the followings sentences with the correct phrasing. 1. We speak in phrases / not in words // 2. Breathe for the next phrase / while you pause after the last one. // 3. He forgot about the quiz / and there was no more time to study / so he decided to be absent // D. Blending. Read the following sentences and connect the words that should be blended using the blending or liaison sign ( ). Do not forget to weaken the unstressed syllables. 1. Is it raining hard today? 2. I saw a man crossing the street. 3. People are often misled by appearances. E. Intonation. Read these sentences with the correct intonation. Do not forget to draw a line to indicate the appropriate intonation contour/ pattern. 1. Do you believe in studying every day? 2. For breakfast, I usually have fruit, bacon, and eggs. 3. The Philippines is a beautiful country. Reference: Mata, L.S. & Soriano, I.S. (1998). English pronunciation for the Filipino College student (3rd ed.). Quezon City: Ken, Incorporated. pp. 19 – 45.


Handout in Speech and Oral Communication

Prepared by Rudy P. Esposo II

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