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Учебное пособие по фонетическим тоновым группам английского языка - файл O'Connor.doc

Учебное пособие по фонетическим тоновым группам английского языка
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The seven tones are:

Low Fall: the voice falls during the word from a medium to a very low pitch.

High Fall: the voice falls during the word from a high to a very low pitch.

Rise-Fall: the voice first rises from a fairly low to a high pitch, and then quickly falls to a very

low pitch.

Low Rise: the voice rises during the word from a low to a medium pitch or a little above

High Rise: the voice rises during the word from a medium to a high pitch.

Fall-Rise: the voice first falls from a fairly high to a rather low pitch, and then, still within the

word, rises to a medium pitch.

Mid-Level: the voice maintains a level pitch between high and low, neither rising nor falling.
heads There are four different types of head, the low head, the high

head, the sliding head and the rising head.
the low head In the low head, which in this book occurs only before the Low Rise

nuclear tone, all the syllables are said on the same low pitch as the

beginning of the Low Rise. For example:

,Someone's ,bound to ,come a,long ,soon.

The low head is symbolised by placing the mark [,] before it, that is, before the first stressed syllable of the head. In some word groups there is only one accented word in the head, and so

this is the only mark used. However, if there are other accented words within the head, their stressed syllables are preceded by [,], the low placing of this sign showing very low pitch. Unstressed syllables are left unmarked.
the high head In the high head all the syllables are said on the same rather

high pitch. Accent is again indicated by stress alone, and words which are not

accented do not bear stress. For example:
'^ Plenty of people ˚don't really ^care.

In this example, the words people and really are not felt to be important, so no syllable in either word bears a stress because such a stress would indicate accent. The high head is symbolised by placing the mark ['] before it. If there are other accented words in the head they have [˚] before their stressed syllable.

In this book the high head occurs before all nuclear tones except the Fall-Rise tone.
The SLIDING head The first syllable of the falling head is rather high in pitch and any following

syllables gradually carry the pitch lower. For example:

Everyone's bound to ↘tee it ˇsometime.

In this book the falling head occurs only before the Fall-Rise nuclear tone and the last syllable of the head is always lower than the beginning of the Fall-Rise.

The symbol for the falling head is [↘] placed before the stressed syllable of the first accented word in the head. If there is only one accented word in the head, then that is the only symbol used; but if there are other accented words, the mark [↘] is placed before the stressed syllables of each of them.
the rising head The rising head is the opposite of the falling head: its first syllable is low in

pitch and any following syllables gradually carry the pitch higher. For example:

^ How did you „manage to do ‛that?


In this book the rising head occurs only before the High Fall nuclear tone, and the last syllable of the head is lower than the beginning of the High Fall.

The symbol for the rising head is [ „] placed before the stressed syllable of the first accented word in the head. The stressed syllable of any other accented word in the head is marked with [„].
^ In this book ten tone groups are described and practiced.

Each has been given a mnemonic, a name which will serve to remind the learner of some or all of the pitch features in the tone group by evoking for him some commonplace situation:

1. The Low Drop: imagine a small child, standing on the bottom stair and then jumping down to the foot of the stair­case: Low Fall.

2. The High Drop: now imagine a parachutist descending from a great height and finally landing:

High Fall.

3. The Long Jump: imagine you are at the Olympic Games. You watch the long jumper running along the track: Low Pre-head. He then hits the board and his leap carries him forwards and upwards: Rising Head. And finally he falls into the sand pit: High Fall.

4. The Jackknife: at the swimming-pool you catch sight of a spring-board diver in the middle of his Jackknife dive. He is bent double, head and feet both pointing to the water: Rise-Fall.

5. The Take-Off: your plane taxis along the runway at speed: Low Pre-head and Low Head. Then finally it begins to rise into the air: Low Rise.

6. The Low Bounce: first you hold a ball at arm's length high in the air: High Head. Then, when you have thrown it to the ground, it rebounds into the air: Low Rise.

7. The High Bounce: you are about to make a winning smash at table-tennis. You hit the ball hard, shoulder-high: High Head. Then the ball bounces up from the surface of the table, some feet above the floor: High Rise.

8. ^ The Switchback: now you are enjoying a ride on the switchback at a fair. It takes you down: Sliding Head. Then up and down and up again: Fall-Rise.

9 The High Dive: then you watch the swimmer make his dive from the high board. He plunges in: High Fall. He dis­appears for a second and then rises to the surface again further down the pool: Low Rise.

10 The Terrace: now back at your hotel, you see a fellow visitor walk across the terrace: High Head. He then descends to the rose-garden overlooking the river: Mid-Level.



(Low Pre-head+) (High Head+) Low Fall

E.g. ˎNo. ˎNobody. Imˎpossible. It's ˎArthur's ˌturn. 'Sit ˎdown. I 'don't beˎlieve it.


(Low Pre-head+) (High Head+) High Fall

E.g. No. Splendidl It's a‛mazing. 'What's ‛that? I 'liked it im‛mensely.
3. the LONG jump (Low Pre-head+) Rising Head + High Fall

E.g. „Try it again. You „didn't ask me to. „How on „earth did they „manage to get there?

4. the jackknife (Low Pre-head+) (High Head+) Rise-Fall

E.g. ^No. ^Certainly. ^Lots of ,people ,do it. It's ri^diculous. I can 'hardly ˚wait to ^hear about it.

5. the take-off (Low Pre-head+) (Low Head+) Low Rise

E.g. ,No. I ,think so. ,Don’t ,worry about it. ,Nobody's going to ,take it a,way from you.
6. the low bounce (Low Pre-head+) High Head+ Low Rise

or High Pre-head+Low Rise

E.g. 'What's ,that? 'Will you be ˚staying to ,lunch, Tony? ‾Is ,John ˚going to ˚be there?
7. the high bounce (Low Pre-head+) (High Head+) High Rise

E.g. ′Sugar? Is ′this the one you mean? 'Why don't I ˚write to the ′secretary, did you say?
8. the switchback (LowPre-head+) (Sliding Head+) Fall-Rise

E.g. vNo. vPossibly. vSome people can ,do it. You can vtry.↘No-one ↘wants to vforce you to ,play.
9. the high dive (Low Pre-head+) (High Head+) High Fall+(Low Accents+) Low Rise

E.g. Andrew was the,winner. Most people,tell me,that. Yes, Ithought his,face was fa,miliar.
10. the terrace (Low Pre-head+) (High Head+) Mid-Level

E.g. >Then | (I went out for a walk.) Oc>casionally | (I meet him on the train.)


The Ten Tone Groups



All statements associated with tone groups containing falling nuclear tones (the Low Drop, the High Drop, the Long Jump and the Jackknife) sound definite and complete in the sense that the speaker wishes them to be regarded as separate items of interest. For example, if we say

He was ˎtall, | ˎdark | and ˎhandsome. ||

we are treating each of these three attributes as being a com­plete and separately interesting feature of the man; but if we say

He was tall, | dark | and ˎhandsome. ||

we are linking the three together into a single, composite picture. In the same way the final item in a list which is taken to be complete is normally said with the Low Drop, the other items in the list having a tone group with a rising nuclear tone.

Examples You can have tea, | or coffee | or ˎmilk. ||

You can 'send it ,home, | or 'leave it ,here | or 'take it ˎwith you. |
The use of the Low Drop for the last word group in each of these examples implies that the list is really complete, that there are no other possibilities.

If the Low Drop has no head, it typically conveys detach­ment, a lack of involvement in the situation. This may be variously interpreted as coolness, dispassionateness, reserve, dullness, and possibly grimness or surliness, on the part of the speaker.


(i) Answers to questions

What's your name? ˎJohnson.

How old are you? ˎTwenty.
(ii) Announcements

You've got ˎpaint on your jacket. You're a ˎfool. I must ˎgo.

(iii) Comments

I've got the sack. I can beˎlieve it.

I promised him nothing. I should ˎhope not, in.deed.

If the High Drop were used instead of the Low Drop for these examples, with the High Fall nuclear tone rather than the Low Fall, the speaker would sound much less detached, much more involved in the situation.

In examples containing a head, the effect of the Low Drop is of very considerable power and strength, in addition to the definiteness and completeness mentioned before. This power may lend itself to utterances of a categoric, weighty, judicial, considered kind.


(i) Answers to questions

Are you sure? 'Absolutely ˎcertain.

What shall I do? I 'simply ˚can't iˎmagine.

Can't we do something? You 'must be ˎpatient.

(ii) Announcements

He's the 'stupidest ˚man I ˎknow.

I en'tirely aˎgree with you.
This tone group is commonly used to give weight to ex­pressions of both approval and disapproval, of both enthusi­asm and impatience. Examples

Why did he do it? I .haven't the 'slightest iˎdea.

What was it like? It was 'simply ˎterrible.

Was it nice? It was 'perfectly ˎwonderful

With the Low Drop these questions sound searching, serious, intense, urgent, because of the power that the tone group carries. This power may again be used to reinforce both approval and disapproval. Examples

Now 'where did I ˚put my ˎpipe?

'Why did you ˎdo such a ,stupid ,thing?

'How can I ˎthank you?
Extra power can be conveyed by these questions if the special finite is accented, rather than the interrogative word. Examples

How 'could you be so ˎstupid?

How 'can I ˎthank you?
The general effect is to lend such questions an exclamatory air, as if the speaker were saying that he could not begin to think how to answer his own question.

If the Low Fall occurs on the WH-word, as in single-word questions or in longer questions with only the WH-word accented, the attitude is again one of detachment and they often sound flat or unsympathetic, even hostile. Examples

Got any cigarettes? ˎWhy?

I've found a way to do it. ˎHow?

Someone told me to tell you. ˎWho told you to tell me?

The use of the High Fall instead of the Low Fall in such examples makes the questions sound altogether more inter­ested and more concerned.

As we have already said, the most common way of asking yes-no questions is with the Low Bounce. When the Low Drop is used, the question is put forward as a serious sugges­tion or as a subject for urgent discussion. Examples

Well 'couldn't we ˎborrow some money?

'Would you pre˚fer ˎthis chair?

'Shall we post˚pone it till ˎTuesday?
The Low Drop is also used when we are trying to keep someone to the point, to make him give a straight answer to a straight question.


But 'did you ˚see him on ˎSunday?

'Will you be ˚there by ˎsix?
Questions beginning with 'Will you...' are more often than not imperatives, and very strong ones at that. Examples

'Will you be ˎquiet!

'Will you ˚stop ˎpestering me!

It would be a bold child who would dare to answer either question!
With negative questions of this kind the Low Drop gives a purely exclamatory effect.


'Isn't it ˎwonderful!

'Haven't they ˚made a ˎmess of it!

'Wouldn't you ˚think they'd ˎdo something a.bout it I

Similarly, 'Would you beˎlieve it\ is entirely exclamatory. Extra exclamatory force can be obtained by placing the nuclear tone on the special finite.


Isn't it ˎwonderful!

ˎAren't you a ,lovely ,cat!

ˎDidn't they ,make a ,mess of it!
In alternative questions the Low Drop is used to mark the last of the possibilities, the previous ones having tone groups with a rising nuclear tone.


'Would you like ,tea | or ˎcoffee? ||

'Have you seen ,John | or 'is.he ˚still aˎway? ||

The fall in the last word group implies that these are the only possibilities.

For question tags—isn't it?, won't there?, oughtn’ t you? in the examples below the Low Drop is used when the preceding word group also ends with a Low Fall nuclear tone and when the speaker is demanding agreement from the listener.


What a 'beautiful ˎday, | ˎisn't it? There'll be ˎseven of us, | ˎwon't there? You ought to be aˎshamed of yourself, ˎoughtn't you?

Question tags are also used independently as comments on statements made by other speakers. If the Low Drop is used in these circumstances it conveys either lack of interest or hostility.


I've just come back from Paris. ˎHave you?

John damaged your car today. ˎDid he?

If the High Fall is used for such comments, the speaker sounds interested and not hostile at all.

The power of the Low Drop is very evident with commands. They sound very serious and very strong. The speaker appears to take it for granted that his words will be heeded, that he will be obeyed. Examples

'Come and have ˎdinner with us.

'Try the ˎother .key.

Now 'take it ˎslowly.
This tone group is particularly common with commands containing do and please; these emphatic words combine with the Low Drop to produce a very powerful effect.

Examples 'Do stop ˎtickling. 'Please be ˎquiet
Sometimes the Low Drop, with a Low Fall nuclear tone alone and no head, is used for short commands. These sound unemotional, calm, controlled, often cold.

Examples ˎDon't ˎTake it ˎSit,

The power of the Low Drop makes it a very suitable tone group for interjections. This power is at its greatest in inter­jections where a head is present, and for these the Low Drop is commonly used. Examples 'Oh ˎgoodl 'How riˎdiculous! How 'very peˎculiar
In shorter interjections, when the Low Drop has no head and there is only the one accent, the power of this tone group is somewhat less in evidence; and the interjections sound calm, unsurprised, self-possessed, reserved.

Examples ˎGood. ˎRight. Good ˎmorning. ˎOh. ˎNonsense. Good ˎevening.
Greetings like the last two examples can also be said with ^ Good accented; in this case the power of the Low Drop is underlined and they sound rather ponderous. Notice, finally, that ˎThank you and ˎThanks express genuine, though un-excited, gratitude.



Statements sound as complete and definite with the High Drop as they do with the Low Drop, but they no longer sound reserved or detached. On the contrary, they give the impression of involvement in the situation, of participation, and of a light­ness and airiness which is in contrast to the weight and power of the Low Drop.


What time is it? It's 'half past twelve. || I 'didn't ˚realise how late it was.

How did the game go? 'Very well. || We won sur'prisingly easily.

Is Mike still doing well? Yes, | Splendidly. || I can 'hardly believe it.
This lightness of the High Drop is often an indication of warmth, of a desire not to appear cool towards the listener; and because of this the High Drop is very frequently used in everyday conversation.


Can you come and see me? I'm a'fraid I can't. || I've 'got to ˚catch a train.

What's the time? I 'don't know. || I sup'pose it's about twelve.

Consider It was a 'very 'dark ˎnight, said with the Low Drop: this would be appropriate as the opening of a story, where the narrator wishes to keep aloof from the proceedings; but in conversation, for instance as an answer to the question How did you manage to lose yourself? it would usually, be more suitable to use the High Drop, It was a 'very 'dark night, since it is lighter in tone and less solemn-sounding.

The High Drop is probably the most common way of asking these questions. It avoids the seriousness and urgency of the Low Drop, and such questions sound brisk, businesslike, con­siderate, not unfriendly.


'What's the time?

'When did you arrive?

'How ˚long did it ˚take you to get here?
If there is no head and the High Fall nuclear tone occurs on the wh-word, there is no detachment or flatness as with the Low Drop. On the contrary, the questions sound bright and interested.


I saw the Queen today.Where?

I know an easy way to do it. But how?

We'll meet tomorrow. Well when shall we meet?



As with the Low Drop, yes-no questions asked with the High Drop are put forward as suggestions or as subjects for dis­cussion and decision. The difference is that the Low Drop sounds more serious, whereas the High Drop sounds lighter and less urgent. Often enough the speaker puts the question so that he may answer it himself negatively; he may therefore sound sceptical about the result.


John says he's got an alibi. 'Can he prove it? || (I doubt it.)

Shall we tell Frank about it? 'Dare we risk it?

Shall we try, again? Well 'would it be ˚any use?
Question tags have the High Fall nuclear tone on the special finite when the preceding word group ends either with a High Fall or with a rising nuclear tone of some kind. In either case, as with the Low Drop, the speaker is demanding agreement.


It's ridiculous, | isn't it?

You're not frightened, | are you?

It's not impossible, is it?
Used as independent comments, these phrases express mild surprise but acceptance of the listener's statement.


I like it here. Do you? || (I'm glad of that. I thought you mightn't.)

She's thirty-five. Is she? || (I thought she was younger.)

They won't help us. Won't they? || (That's interesting.)
With a dissenting word the question demands scrutiny of something which the listener appears to be assuming. Examples

I'm glad the car's all right again But is it? | (That's the whole point.)

It'll be easy if John helps. Will he, though? || (We're not sure.)

With the High Drop, commands seem to suggest a course of action rather than to give an order, as they do with the Low Drop; and even if the intention is to give an order, the speaker does not seem to be worrying whether he will be obeyed or not.


What shall I do with this rubbish? Burn it

How much d'you want for it? 'Make me an offer.

This tea's too hot. 'Put some more milk in it

The High Drop here expresses mild surprise, with very much less power and impact than the Low Drop; and the speaker sounds less reserved, less self-possessed.


Good morning, Jack. Good morning, Fred. || (I didn't expect to see you here.)

Here's your pen. Oh, | thank you. || (I thought I'd lost it.)

It's six o'clock. I must stay in and work. Heavens!|| (I'm late.)




Statements with the Long Jump have the definiteness and completeness of all the falling tone groups; and, as we might expect from the fact that both have the High Fall nuclear tone, it also shares the sense of participation and involvement of the High Drop. In addition the Long Jump, with its rising head, adds an attitude of protest, as if the speaker were suffer­ing under a sense of injustice.


John said you disliked the play. I „liked it immensely.

Haven't you brought the car? You „didn't ask me to.

You ought to have told me. I „didn't „think it was important.

If these replies were given with the High Drop they would sound light, airy and relatively mild; but with the Long Jump they are much more emotional and protesting.

These give much the same effect as statements; the speaker is asking about something very unexpected to him and perhaps not very pleasing. The protest is still very evident.


I told David about it. „Why did you do that? || (It wasn't necessary.)

I know I brought a knife. But „where in the „world have youput it?

John's here. „How on „earth did he „manage toget here? || (The road's flooded.)


As with the Low Drop and the High Drop, yes-no questions with the Long Jump are offered as subjects for discussion and decision rather than for an immediate answer. In addition, the speaker is suggesting, with the same overtone of protest, that the question is crucial, and if it can be decided, then everything will be straightforward.


I can't think who to turn to. „Would it be „any „good „tryingJohn?

I doubt whether David'll help. „Is it „fair to expect him to?

I can't do it today. Well „can you „do it tomorrow, then?

As with the High Drop, commands with the Long Jump are not so much orders as recommendations for a course of action. At the same time the speaker expresses surprise, and some criticism, that such an obvious course has not occurred to the listener before.


What on earth shall I do? „Try it again. || (You've no al­ternative.)

I wish Ann didn't dislike me Well „don't be so rude to her in future.

I wonder who'd repair it. „Take it „back to the „shop where you bought it.

The protest associated with the Long Jump in statements is equally present in interjections. The speaker seems to feel that he has been taken, perhaps unfairly, by surprise and that some explanation is due to him.


John refused to come „What an ex „traordinary thing!

You’ve passed your exam. What „wonderful news! (It’s almost incredible.)

But I really wanted them. What a „pity you didn't „say so sooner!



The Jackknife implies all the definiteness and completeness associated with the other tone groups having falling nuclear tones. It particularly shows that the speaker is greatly im­pressed, perhaps awed.


Have you heard about Pat? ^Yes! || (Isn't it scandalous!)

He's got two wives. I ^know!
With the High Drop, that is, with the High Fall nuclear tone instead of the Rise-Fall as here, these statements would sound politely interested but not nearly so impressed.

The Jackknife is very often used in echoing an immediately prior remark, in order to show how impressed the speaker is, whether favourably or not.


She was wearing purple tights. ^Purple!

I got two hundred pounds for it. 'Two ^hundred!
The speaker often sounds complacent, self-satisfied, even smug.


Are you sure? ^Certain.

It's absolutely ridiculous. I 'quite a^gree with you.

Is that your last word? I'm a'fraid it ^is.
This tone group lends itself especially well to the expression of a challenging or censorious attitude.


I don't like the man. You've 'never even ^spoken to him.

Jane was terribly upset. You can 'hardly ^blamе her.

He thinks you're afraid. He can 'think what he ^likes.
This tone group has an intensifying function very similar to the use of the word even.


Do you weigh as much as twelve stone? ^Моге. (=Even more.)

I can't do it. You 'aren't ^trying. (= ... even trying.)
Sometimes the speaker gives the impression of disclaiming responsibility, of shrugging aside any involvement; he emphasises that he is an onlooker rather than a responsible authority.


May I take this chair? ^Certainly.

Can I have a word with you? By ^all means.

Do you mind if I join you? 'Not in the ^least.

The Jackknife gives to these questions a note of challenge and antagonism, which is usually equivalent to the word but placed before the question or the word though after it.


You could surely find some money somewhere. (But) ^where?

I know it for a fact. ^How do you know, (though)?

I'm worried about the situation. 'What's it ˚got to ˚do with ^you?
As with statements, there is often a disclaiming of responsi­bility for the situation.


I've had this pain for days. 'Why don't you ^do something about it?

Where's Jane? How on 'earth should ^I know?

I can't understand her. 'Who ^can?

The Jackknife is very commonly found with comments of the type below, where it shows that the speaker accepts what has been said and is impressed by it, either favourably or unfavourably.


He shot an elephant. ^Did he!

They've nowhere to live. ^Haven't they!
Quite often such comments sound challenging.


You can't do that. ^Can't I ! || (We'll see about that!)

I'll punch your head. ^Will you!

You'd better mind your manners. ^Had I!
Negative question forms used exclamatorily again show that the speaker is vastly impressed, favourably or unfavourably.


What do you think of my roses? ^Aren't they .lovely!

And this is Charles, the eldest. 'Hasn't he ^grown!
Maximum exclamatory effect is gained if the Rise-Fall is placed on the special finite, as in the first example above.
This tone group is used with question tags when the pre­ceding word group also has the Rise-Fall as its nuclear tone and the speaker wishes to compel agreement.


It's ^terrible, | ^isn't it?

You can 'hardly ^blame her, | ^can you?
With fuller questions the Jackknife puts the matter forward for discussion, with the same challenging, rather antagonistic note as with wh-questions.


Can we afford to buy it? 'Can we afford ^not to?

It's a faster car. But 'is it any ^safer?

You certainly ought to sit for the exam. But 'have I any chance of ^passing?

The main contribution of the Jackknife with commands is again a matter of shrugging off responsibility, of refusing to be embroiled.


Which of these hats shall I buy? 'Please your^self.

My doctor's useless. 'Try a ^different one.

I hate it, but what can I do? ^Tell them you ,hate it
The intention of the speaker is not necessarily hostile (though it obviously may be so), and sometimes he is concerned to refuse credit for his acts.


Thank you very much. 'Don't ^mention it.

May I take this newspaper? ^Do

When the speaker uses the Jackknife with interjections he sounds greatly impressed by something not entirely expected.


You can borrow my Jaguar. ^Thank you.

I've got a knighthood. ^Splendid!

Sally's just had triplets. 'My ^goodness!
The same is true of greetings, and there may also be a hint of accusation. For instance, Good ^morning suggests in a bantering way that the listener has some explaining to do, perhaps because he is late or because of his conduct the previous night, or for some other reason that his conscience is expected to appreciate.



Statements with the Take-Off invite a further contribution to the conversation from the listener.


Good morning, Mr. Thomson. (Good morning.) || It's a ,nice ,day

Hullo, Frank, (Hullo, Jimmy.) | You're ,looking ,very ,smart. ||

Have you heard about Max? ,No.
Usually the speaker gives (and wishes to give) the impression that he is reserving judgment until he has heard more from the listener.


Have you any money on you? ,Yes.

D'you go to the theatre? ,Sometimes.

Shall we be in time? I ,think 'so.
Going on from this guarded attitude, the Take-Off is often used to appeal to the listener to change his attitude, which the speaker considers wrong.


I shall have to sack him. You ,can't do ,that. || (He's too useful.)

What a terrible play! It ,wasn't as ,bad as ,all ,that.

You said we could come on Tuesday. It's ,not ,Tuesday to,day.
Very common is the use of this tone group in resentful contra­dictions.


You haven't written that letter. ,Yes I ,have. || (I wrote it this morning.)

There's our train. ,No it's ,not. || (It's the next one.)
Notice that the implied criticism of the listener may be be­cause he is blaming himself too much or praising the speaker too much, when the statement sounds deprecatory.


You've done a fine job. I ,don't ,know. || ,You could have ,done it ,just as ,well.

I feel terrible about it. You've ,nothing to ге,proach yourself with. || It ,wasn't ,your fault.
This tone group is also used for continuative purposes, to show that there is more to be said, as, for example, in enumer­ations :

,One, | ,two, | ,three, | ,four, | ,five, |

If the enumeration is completed the last item has a falling tone :

You can have ,coffee, | or ,tea,| or cocoa
In the examples below, where the tone group is again used to express non-finality, the deprecatory attitude, absent in the simple enumeration, is present, as though the speaker were denying that the utterance contained anything very new or interesting.

Examples And ,when I ,got there| he gave it to me.

I ,went ,up to him| and he snubbed me.

When the nucleus is the interrogative word the effect may be either of repeating the listener's question or of asking for in­formation to be repeated. In both cases the questioner's tone is wondering, as though he was mildly puzzled that such a question should have been asked or that he should have been given the information he was given.


The meeting's at five. ,When? (I thought it was six.)

How did he do it? ,How did he do it? | (Perfectly obvious.)

His name was Scroggs. ,What was that? ,Scroggs?
It is fairly rare to ask any but the above repeated type of wh-question with the Take-Off; any other sounds very calm but very disapproving and resentful.


You shouldn't have done it. And ,what's it got to ,do with ,you may I ask?

Please don't do that. And ,why ,shouldn't I? \\ (It's a free country.)

Such questions almost invariably express disapproval or scepticism and should only be used where this is appropriate.


You mean to say you're getting married? ,Is it so ,very sur,prising?

I'm sorry now that I did it. ,Are you ,really sorry?
When used as independent comments, question tags said with the Take-Off show exactly the same disapproval and scepticism.


I saw you on Wednesday. ,Did you? || (I thought it was Thurs­day.)

He's only thirty-five. ,Is he? || (He looks about fifty.)
On the other hand, when they are used in conjunction with a preceding statement, question tags having this tone group do not express this disapproving, sceptical attitude. Nor do they demand confirmation of the speaker's view, as with the Low Drop and the High Drop. Rather they leave the listener free to answer either Yes or No, though it is very clear that the speaker inclines to one view rather than the other and that the listener's agreement with that view is expected.


It's about 'ten oclock, | ,isn't it?

You 'didn't feel very well, | ,did you?

I 'don't ˚think you could have done it, | ,could you?
Notice that when a speaker says:

She’s a nice girl, | ,isn’t she?

he has probably not met the girl concerned, or at any rate not completely made up his mind about her niceness, since he is genuinely concerned to have the listener's view; whereas when he says:

She's a nice girl, | isn't she?

he almost certainly has met the girl and formed an opinion about her niceness, and is demanding confirmation of that opinion by the listener.
The question tags will you?, won't you?, would you? are com­monly used after imperative forms in order to make it plain that the command is in fact a form of invitation.


'Come and sit ˎdown, | ,won't you?

'Come over ˎhere a minute, | ,will you?

'Make mine a ˎsherry, | ,would you?
Contrast this with the use of a falling tone on will you!, which strengthens and emphasises the command.

^ Example 'Stand ˎstill, | ˎwill you!
Direct question tags, i.e. those which are in the negative when the preceding statement is in the negative, or in the affirmative when the statement is in the affirmative, always have the Take-Off. Such utterances are used to acknowledge something which has previously been stated, to refer back to something already established and accepted by both parties.


What a lovely dress! You like it, | ,do you?

I slapped John's face today. You've quarrelled with him, |,have you?

The Take-Off is not widely used with commands except those beginning with ^ Don't, when the effect is of appealing to the listener, exactly as with statements.


I'm going to sack him. ,Don't do ,that. || (He's not a bad chap.)

I'm afraid I've broken it. ,Don't ,worry about ,that.
This tone group is also commonly heard with a few short commands, when they are intended as a rather calm warning or exhortation.

Examples ,Careful. ,Steady. ,Watch. A,gain.
With either the Low Drop or the High Drop all these examples would sound much more like orders and less like appeals.

Most interjections are rarely said in this way, but some— usually short—quite commonly have this tone group; some seem to imply reserved judgment and to require more explana­tion from the hearer.


John says he can't come. ,Oh. | (Why not?)

It's half past ten. ,Well. || (We're not in a hurry.)
Others imply calm, casual acknowledgment of a not unexpected matter.


The car's here. ,Good. [| (We're just about ready.)

Your change, sir. ,Thank you.

I can't help you. ,Very ,well. || (We'll do it alone.)



Such statements tend to sound soothing, reassuring; they offer the information as a means of setting the listener's mind at rest; no criticism is implied such as is found with the Take-Off, but there is a hint of great self-confidence or self-reliance on the part of the speaker.


Where are you going? 'Just to ˚post a ,letter.

I've no head for heights. It's 'all right. You 'won't ,fall.

Are you ready to go? I 'shan't be a ,moment.
In echoed statements, i.e. those which repeat more or less what has just been said by the other person, this tone group turns the statement into a surprised and disbelieving question.


I said he was a liar. You 'actually ˚called him a ,liar?

He's broken his leg. 'Broken his ,leg?
The same attitude is present in other statements which are not obviously echoes.


I won the first prize. And you 'didn't ,tell us?

You mustn't drive that car. You 'mean it's ,dangerous?
This tone group is frequently used with non-final groups, when the speaker is leading up to something more.


'When I a,rrived | there was 'nobody at home. |

I 'opened the °door ,quietly | and 'looked ˎin. ||

As 'soon as you ,see him | 'tell him I'm ˎhere. ||

The effect of the Low Bounce here is to create expectancy re­garding whatever is to follow the listener is led to believe that it will be something very interesting.

By using the Low Bounce with wh-questions the speaker seeks to establish a bond with the listener, to show interest not only in receiving the information asked for but also in the listener himself. Since this tone group avoids the possible sternness of the Low Drop and the brisk, businesslike attitude of the High Drop, it is a very common way of asking these questions of young children. Among adults too it is often used for an opening question, when the speaker wants to make it absolutely clear that his enquiry is a friendly one, not an attempt to pry or to criticise. Once this friendliness has been established he may then revert, in subsequent wh-questions, to the High Drop as being more businesslike.


(Hullo, darling.) || 'What have you ˚got ,there?

'What ,train are you thinking of catching?

'Why did you ˚let him ˚think we ˚didn't ,know?
Note that when the nucleus is the interrogative word, the effect of repetition and the puzzlement of the Take-Off returns.


I saw him at Wembley. You 'saw him ,where?

They did it last week. They 'did it ,when?
In echoed questions this tone group shows disapproval of the questions being asked.


When are you going home? 'When am I ˚going ,home? || (How dare you!)

How long will you be? 'How ,long? || (How on earth should I know?)

This is by far the most common way of asking yes-no ques­tions; it should be regarded as the normal way, with the speaker displaying genuine interest in obtaining the informa­tion requested. Any other tone group should be used only in the special circumstances outlined in the appropriate place in this chapter.


'Are you ˚coming ,with us?

'Did you en˚joy the ,play last night?

'Would you mind ˚moving a,long a bit?
When there is no accent before the nucleus, that is, when there is no head, the High Pre-head is used to avoid the scepticism of the Take-Off.


‾Is ,this the one?

‾Can ,I help at "all?

Commands with the Low Bounce have the soothing effect of statements with this tone group. They imply that the speaker is somehow, perhaps only temporarily, in a superior position to the listener, with the result that the speaker sounds en­couraging and perhaps calmly patronising. For this reason these commands are frequently used to children but less commonly to adults who may find the soothing effect overdone and irritating.


'Blow your ,nose, dear.

'Move a,long, please.
With either the Low Fall or the High Fall nuclear tones of the Low Drop and the High Drop, commands such as these would sound much more purposeful and insistent.

This tone group is rather commonly used with a few inter­jections. The effect is rather brighter than with the Take-Off, not so reserved, but still quite airy and casual and with the encouraging effect mentioned above.


I'll see you tomorrow. 'Right you ,are.

I've managed it at last. 'Well ,done!

It's my exam tomorrow. 'Good ,luck!
Greetings very frequently employ this tone group, when they sound bright and friendly. If the syllable before the nuclear syllable is accented the effect is rather ponderous; so most often it is unstressed though high in pitch, a High Pre-head being used.

Examples ‾Good ,morning. ‾Hu,llo, there.
Leave-takings are almost invariably in this form since any tone group with a falling nuclear tone sounds too brusque and final, and the Take-Off sounds too reserved. The Low Bounce, however, sounds bright and friendly.

Examples ‾Good ,morning. ‾Good,bye. ‾Good ,night, dear.



Complete statements said with the High Bounce have the effect of questions in most cases, as in so many other European languages.


You like him? means 'Do you ,like him?

’Sugar? means 'Do you take ,sugar?

He's 'definitely going? means 'Is he definitely ,going?
Very often this tone group is used in echoed statements to elicit a repetition by the listener of something he has said; it is as if the speaker were saying: 'Did you say ...?' or 'Did you mean...?'.


It's your fault. My fault?

They were all delighted. All of them?

It isn't fair. 'Not fair, did you say?
The difference between this and the Take-Off is that there is no suggestion of the disapproval of the latter. Similarly the puzzlement, often found in echoed statements said with the Low Bounce, is also absent. The effect of the High Bounce is purely questioning.

The High Bounce is also used in non-final word groups to suggest continuation. It sounds somewhat casual, rather more tentative than the Take-Off or the Low Bounce in similar circumstances.


You can have milk, | or tea, | or coffee. ||

I like the colour, | the shape, | and the pattern. ||

You can 'stay here | or 'come with us. ||
In cases such as these the use of the Low Bounce in the non-final groups would create an air of expectancy. With the High Bounce there is far less of this expectancy and the effect is much more of pure continuation.

When the nuclear tone is on the interrogative word, the High Bounce calls for the repetition of information already given, as does the Take-Off, but the wondering, puzzled flavour of the Take-Off is absent.


’What was his name again? || (I've forgotten.)

′When did you °say he was coming?

He's 'coming for how long?
When the nuclear tone is not on the interrogative word, the speaker is often echoing the listener's question in order to get it clear in his mind before giving an answer; again there is no criticism implied as there is with the Low Bounce.


When's he arriving? 'When's he arriving? || (Is that what you asked?)

How many children has he? 'How many?
This might also apply to the case where the nuclear tone is on the interrogative word; then it would be this particular part of the question that the speaker wants to get clear.

Example When's he arriving? When? || (Or where?)
The High Bounce is also used in straightforward wh-questions, that is, not echoes or requests for repetition; and such questions sound rather like those with the Low Bounce, but very much more tentative and casual, as if to avoid the appearance of prying.

Examples 'Who were you talking to? || (Anyone I know?)

'When can we meet? || (Sometime on Thursday?)

Yes-no questions with the High Bounce may be echoed questions (as with wh-questions above) or not. The following are echoes.


Is it raining? 'Is it raining, did you say?

Would you like one? Would I like one? || (I'd love one.)
Straightforward questions may, however, be asked with this tone group, when they sound lighter, more casual than with the Take-Off or the Low Bounce.


Put your mac on. 'Is it raining?

I don't know what to do. Can I help at all?
This tone group is particularly common with short com­ments of the type below, the effect being of a minimum response designed to keep the conversation going. There is no suggestion of the disapproval or scepticism of the Take-Off.


I've just seen John. Have you?

He said he was tired. Did he?

The High Bounce is used with these almost exclusively to question a part or all of an utterance of the listener and eluci­date his exact meaning, with no particular critical intention.


Take it home. 'Take it home? || (Is that what you said?)

What a shame! 'What a shame? || (Why?)

The silly young fool! Young fool? || (He's old enough to know better.)
The interjections Oh and Really are often heard with this tone group, when they are equivalent to the minimum com­ments, mentioned under yes-no questions above.


I've just seen John. Oh?

He said he was tired. Really?


The simplest case is that of non-final word groups, where the Fall-Rise draws particular attention to one element for the purpose of contrast, and at the same time shows an intention to continue the utterance. In the example

On ˇweekdays | I work, || but on ˇSaturdays | I don't. ||

there is an obvious contrast between weekdays on the one hand and Saturdays on the other, and the contrast is underlined by the use of the Fall-Rise nuclear tone on both words; it is clearly weekdays as opposed to Saturdays, and Saturdays as opposed to weekdays. What are the oppositions in the following?


'We all like it, | but ↘Mr. ˇSmith | doesn't. ||

I travel a ,great ,deal, | so when↘ever I'm at ˇhome | I 'make themost of it.

I ↘know his ˇface, | but I 'can't re'call his name. |
In these examples the oppositions can be found in the text: they are, of course, ^ WeMr Smith; travelhome; facename. But in other cases the opposition must be imagined. Consider this example: In ˇmy o,pinion | he's а fool,

What is opposed here to my? There is nothing in the rest of the sentence which could conceivably contrast with it. So we must look outside the sentence and ask ourselves what is likely to be contrasted with my. And obviously it is words like your, or his, or their which spring to mind. So what the speaker is saying in effect is: 'I'm giving my opinion, and it isn't necessarily the opinion of anyone else,' What are the unex­pressed contrasts in the following?


↘If I could have ˇseen the ,actors | I'd have enjoyed it. ||

When↘ever I ↘see him in the ˇevening | he's drunk.

In the ˇlater ,stages | it was marvellous. ||
In all these and most other examples, the appropriate con­trast, whether expressed in the text or not, is very clearly brought out by the use of the Fall-Rise nuclear tone in the non-final group. When however the Fall-Rise is the only accent in the non-final word group, the contrasting power of the Fall-Rise is much less apparent.


ˇSometimes | he 'irritates me tегriblу. ||

He ˇ'told me | she'd 'gone away. ||

In ˇthat ,case | we'd 'better ˚leave now. ||
In these cases we quite often use the Fall-Rise in the non-final group, not so much to mark a contrast, but to avoid the dull deprecatory effect of the Low Rise in the Take-Off and the tentative, somewhat casual effect of the High Rise in the High Bounce.

The pointing of contrasts by the use of the Fall-Rise nu­clear tone is not restricted to non-final word groups. It is also apparent in final word groups, where this tone group does not serve an introductory purpose. Consider the following:

Did you play cricket at the weekend? I ↘did on ˇSaturday.
Here Saturday is being singled out for contrast, since it bears the Fall-Rise, and the implied contrast is with the rest of the weekend, namely, Sunday. So it is clear that the speaker did not play cricket on Sunday, and he does not need to put it into words. What are the unspoken contrasts in the following?


I didn't know you drank coffee. I ↘do ˇsometimes.

Is it going to keep fine? I ˇthink ,so.

Why did you go there? ↘None of us ↘really ˇwanted to.
This distinguishing of two conflicting factors within the immediate situation is particularly useful in the field of con­cession. The example

She has a ↘lovely ˇvoice,

can be found in two quite different types of context:

1.What a lovely voice! Yes,| she has a↘lovelyˇvoice.||(But I don't think much of her as an actress.)

In this situation the speaker explicitly, though grudgingly, con­cedes that the lady sings very well; at the same time he implies reservations about other aspects of her professional talents, about her acting ability as the extended context shows. When a speaker makes an explicit concession to his listener about part of the subject but implies reservations on the remainder, we call this situation grudging admission.


I'd like it as soon as possible. You could ↘have it by ˇdinner ,time. ||(But no earlier.)

Can I take this one? You ↘can if you ˇlike. || (But the other one's better.)

Is it raining? It ↘is at the ˇmoment. || (But it may clear up later.)
2. I don't think much of her as an actress. She has a ↘lovely ˇvoice. (Even if she can't act.)

In this second situation the speaker explicitly asks the listener to concede that the voice is good; at the same time, as the extended context makes clear, he implicitly leaves the way open for agreement on the listener's criticism of the lady's acting talents. In this situation the speaker sounds reluctant, defensive. So, when a speaker explicitly requires a concession from his listener about part of the subject but implies agree­ment on the remainder, we call this reluctant or defensive dissent.


I'd like it by tomorrow. I↘doubt whether I can↘do it byˇthen. || (But it won't be much later.) You look cold. I'm ↘not e↘xactly ˇcold. || (Just a bit shivery now and then.)

Everyone's gone home. ↘Not ˇeveryone. | (Most have, but John's still here.)
From this point it is only a short step to the expression of explicit corrections which, with this tone group, often sound concerned, reproachful or hurt.


When's he due? On Monday? On ˇTuesday.

It won't take long, will it? It'll ↘take at ↘least a ˇweek.

How many were there? Sixty? ˇSeventy.
This same concerned, reproachful, hurt attitude is apparent also in direct contradictions.


It didn't take you long. It ˇdid. (It took ages.)

So you don't like golf. I ˇdo.

John won't be here today. I ↘think he ˇwill.

You're not trying. I most ↘certainlyˇam.
Compare the following reactions to the statement: ^ I can do that on Monday.

High Drop: You can't. (I've just explained you can't.)

Take-Off: You ,can't. (You ought to know very well you can't.)

Switchback: You ˇcan't. (And I'm sorry you should think you can.)

The first contradiction sounds lively and dogmatic, the second resentful and the third rather reproachful. Notice, however, that if the original statement were: ^ I'll do that on Monday, the only appropriate response would be the one having the High Drop.

This concern or reproach is carried on into other utterances which cannot be regarded as contradictions.


I've been sacked. You're ↘not ˇserious!

Did you catch the train? ↘Only by the ↘skin of my ˇteeth.

I went to London today. I ↘wish you'd ˇtold me.
This same attitude of concern or reproach is found in warnings.

Examples You'll ˇfall.

Your ˇchair's ,slipping.

You'll ↘miss your ˇtrain.
In apologies, where the concern might seem to be appro­priate, this tone group tends to suggest reservations on the part of the speaker.


I'm ˇsorry. || (But I'm afraid it's impossible.)

I ↘beg your ˇpardon. || (But I'm afraid I must contradict you.)
ˇSorry, by itself, is an apology, but rather a perfunctory one.
One other category in which the Switchback is often used is that of tentative suggestions, where the speaker wants to help but not to commit himself too deeply to the course suggested.


We need another player. You could ↘ask ˇJohn.

When can we meet? ˇWednesday ,might be a possi,bility.

What will you do? I could ↘try ˇphoning him, I sup,pose.

In echoed questions, whether of the wh- or the yes-no kind, the effect of the Switchback is of astonishment, as if the speaker can hardly believe his ears.


Are you going to the wedding? Am ˇI ,going?! || (Well, of course I am!)

What's the matter? ↘What's the ˇmatter?! || (Everything's the matter!)
In questions where there is only one word to be accented, the Switchback is used in a way reminiscent of the Take-Off in similar questions.


I've just seen Pablo Aron. ˇWho, did you ,say?

They must be here, some­where. Well, where ˇare they, ,then?

It's your turn. ˇIs it?

John liked it. ˇDid he?
The possible disapproval of the Take-Off is minimised, and surprise, interest, and concern are dominant.

The Switchback is also used to make corrections to ques­tions, as to statements.


How will Henry get home? ↘How willˇJane get ,home, you,mean. ||(Henry's journey's simple.) Is John going to play? ↘Is he ˇwilling to ,play, you ,mean.

Commands with the Switchback have a warning note, but more urgency than with either the Take-Off or the Low Bounce, since the reproach or concern mentioned in relation to statements is also present here.

Examples ˇSteady! || (You'll have me over.)

ˇMind! || (There's a step here.)

↘Careful with that ˇglass! || (You'll drop it.)

A very few interjections of scorn take the Switchback.


Did you lend him any money? ↘Not ˇI!

Shall you be going again? ↘No ˇfear!

Will you give in? ↘Not ˇlikely!

As with other sentence types, corrections may also be made to interjections by this means.

^ Example

What a lovely swimsuit! What a ↘lovely ˇhandkerchief!


The example I like ,chocolate has already been given to illustrate the compound Fall plus Rise tune. It also illus­trates very clearly one of the ways in which the High Dive tone group is used. Notice first that the example is a plain statement: it conveys none of the reservations which are evi­dent if we use the Fall-Rise in this sentence: I ˇlike ,chocolate. Here the Fall-Rise on like expresses a clear contrast between like and some other idea; so the speaker might continue '... but it tends to make me fat.' No such reservation is con­veyed by the Fall plus Rise of the High Dive; no ifs or buts are associated with it. The difference between the attitudes of the High Dive and the Switchback in this sentence are brought out by the following contexts:
I've got some chocolate here. 'Oh good. I like ,chocolate. 'Pass it over.

I've got some chocolate here. 'Oh dear. I vlike ,chocolate, | but it 'makes me fat.
If I like ,chocolate is a plain statement with no reservations, why not use the High Drop and say I 'like chocolate! The High Drop is commonly used for plain statements. The answer

again lies in the differing contexts in which the two are used:
I've got some chocolate here. 'Oh good. I like ,chocolate. 'Pass it over.

I've got some toffees here. You can keep them. I 'likechocolate.
In the second example chocolate is the most important word in the last word group because it is new and contrasts directly with toffees; and that is why chocolate has the High Fall nu­clear tone. In the other context however chocolate is not the most important word: it is not new, and what the speaker wants to make clear is mainly his liking for it. That is why the High Fall is on like. But why the Low Rise on chocolate. Why not simply say I like ,chocolate, leaving chocolate unaccented? There seem to be two reasons for this. Firstly the speaker wants to give some importance to chocolate, not to lose it alto­gether : it is as if he were acknowledging the topic of conversa­tion—chocolate—but being careful at the same time not to make the word chocolate seem as important as like. Secondly, by using the High Dive, the speaker is able to avoid creating the impression, as he might if he used the High Drop, that he is bringing the conversation to an end, at least so far as choco­late is concerned; and so, by using the Low Rise, he en­courages his listener to feel that the conversation can continue. So in general we can say that, in the High Dive, the Fall is used to mark the most important idea in a plain statement, while the Low Rise indicates some less important but not completely negligible idea that follows the main idea; and in addition we can say that the Low Rise constitutes an appeal to the listener and invites him to say something more about the subject of the previous conversation. So in the example
I'm going to Sheffield tomorrow. Really? || My mother came from ,Sheffield.

mother, which is new, is clearly more important than Sheffield, which has already been mentioned, and the way is open for the conversation to continue. Contrast this with
You come from Sheffield, don't you? ˇNo, || myˇmother,came from,Sheffield, |(but notˇme.||)
Here Sheffield is completely unimportant since, with no effect at all on the general meaning of the utterance, the phrase came from Sheffield can be replaced by the empty word did:

ˇNo, || my ˇmother ,did, | (but ↘not vme. || )

Notice also that, as the context shows, there is a reservation here which is entirely absent from the previous example with the High Dive.
Now consider the following:

I'm going to Sheffield tomorrow. Really? || 'Sheffield's where my mother ,came from.
This last sentence, with its High Drop intonation, says very much the same thing as the High Dive on the sentence My mother came from Sheffield: in both the High Fall is on mother, marking it as the most important word; and Sheffield is accented (and therefore not negligible) by the Low Rise of the High Dive and by its position at the beginning of the High Head in the High Drop. So the relative importance of the two words is the same in both sentences. By contrast the balance is different in

So yours is a Leeds family. ↘Not enˇtirely. || My 'mother ˚came from Sheffield.
Here Sheffield is entirely new and the most important word, as the High Fall nuclear tone points out.

We use the High Dive then whenever the first part of a word group contains the most important idea, and the second part an idea of subsidiary importance. Often the High Fall occurs on the last important word of the subject of the sen­tence and the Low Rise on the last important word of the predicate.


Who could help me? John would be the ,best chap.

Is this mine? No, | the 'small red one's ,yours.

Who's next? The 'little old ˚man in the corner's been waiting ,longest.
On the other hand the main verb may be the most import­ant feature, with the complement less so.


Turn it clockwise. I've tried ,doing it ,that way.

D'you like my hat?Lovely. || I've 'always wanted one like ,that.

I won't eat it. 'Plenty of ˚little ˚boys would love a,nice ,rice ,pudding.
An interesting case is the following:

She's wearing a wedding ring. I thought she was ,married.
^ Wedding ring implies marriage, so married here is less import­ant than thought; and the High Fall on thought implies that the speaker's opinion was correct. But notice what happens when his opinion turns out to be wrong:

She's wearing an engagement ring. I 'thought she was married.
Now the High Fall is on married, the really important word because of the difference between being engaged and being married; and the clear indication is that the speaker was wrong. In the following examples, the speaker's judgment is confirmed correct:


He's gone bankrupt. I heard he was in ,trouble.

I can't understand it. I told you you'd ,find it ,difficult.

I entirely agree. I 'rather hoped you ,would.
The same reasoning applies to knowing, where the speaker's certainty, expressed by the verb, is underlined by the into­nation.


It won't work. I knew it ,wouldn't be ,any ,good.

They went bankrupt. I 'somehow knew they'd ,burn their ,fingers.
Expressions of gladness, regret and surprise usually have the High Dive, with the High Fall on the appropriate emotive word, provided that the subject of the emotion is obvious to both the speaker and the listener.


John's arrived. I'm glad he was ,able to ,come.

We must go. I'm sorry you ,can't stay ,longer.
If there is an extra intensifying word, like too, very, extremely, the High Fall takes place on that.

Examples I'm so ,glad you could ,come.

I'm awfully ,sorry you ,can't stay ,longer.

I'm so ,sorry.
The last example is a really heartfelt expression of regret. The intensifying use of do and other special finites is treated in the same way.


He's a fool. I do think you're ,being un,kind.

The car broke down. We were ,sorry ,not to ,see you.

The use of the High Dive with questions of any kind is unusual. When it occurs, the High Fall is normally placed on the wh-word or the special finite, and the effect is of consider­able emotion. This emotion may take the form of plaintive-ness, despair or the like.


Oh, no! What have you , done ,now?

Shut up! Have you ,quite ,finished?
Or it may be a matter of gushing warmth.


Mummy! Mummy! What's the ,matter, darling?

What's up, John? Could you ,possibly ,help me?

This use is perhaps better avoided by the foreign learner.

For commands, unlike questions, the High Dive is quite common. The High Fall takes place on the main verb in affirmative commands, on don't in negative commands, and on do or please used as intensifies. The effect is of pleading or persuading rather than ordering.


I'll be back by midnight. Try ,not to be ,any ,later.

But you were wrong. Now don't ,start ,all ,that again.

I'm going to see John. Do try and per,suade him to,come.

Will you be all right? Please don't ,worry about ,me.
All commands with the High Dive are much more like re­quests than orders; this is no doubt why commands occur quite commonly with the High Dive.

The High Dive is used with the same kind of interjections as the Low Bounce and its effect is similar to that of the Low Bounce, but much more intense.


I'll see you tomorrow. Right you ,are.

I've managed it at last. Well ,done.

Do make up the fire.All ,right. || (Don't go on about it I was just going.)
The intensity expressed by the High Dive here may be used for extra encouragement, as in the first two examples; or it may be a form of protest, as in the last two examples. It is probably preferable for the foreign learner to use this intensity sparingly and to stick to the Low Bounce for such expressions.


The only common use for the Terrace is for non-final word groups; and, as the following examples make clear, this tone group is readily used to show non-finality with all five sen­tence types.


>Soon | it'll be Spring again. ||

If you 'don't >want it | I should 'just leave it ||

I 'found the >bottle, | 'took out the >cork | and 'poured a drink.

I 'went across the >road | with murder in my heart ||

>Six, | >seven, | >eight, | >nine, | ten. ||

'When did you ˚see >John | to 'ask him about money? ||

'How can we de>cide | if we 'haven't ˚got the facts? ||

'Why did you >act | so 'very impulsively? ||

Is 'that the ˚best you can >do | to 'patch it ,up? ||

'Are you >ready | to 'make a 'real effort? |

'Did >John | 'ever ˚give you that ,money back? ||

'Come over >here | and 'tell me ˚all about it. ||

'Don't make accu>sations | with'out evidence. ||

'Let me have a >look | and I'll tell you. ||

'What a >pity | you 'just ˚couldn't manage it! ||

'How >strange | that they 'never ˚really tried! ||

'Good>bye | and 'good riddance! ||
In all these examples the Terrace shows simply that the word group is introducing something more. It creates none of the expectancy about what follows which we mentioned in con­nection with the Low Bounce and which even the High Bounce expresses, though to a much smaller extent. It is fair to say that the Terrace implies continuation and nothing else in non-final word groups.

With final word groups the Terrace is rare. It is possible with statements and interjections; and then it gives an im­pression of calling out to someone, as if at a distance.


Where are you, John? 'Just >coming.

What did you say? 'Dinner's >ready.

I've brought your hammer. 'Good >girl! || 'Thank >you!

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