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ACCENT, PRONUNCIATION AND INTONATION- LESSON 7


 We are finally in module 4. 

Yaaaaaay!!!

I'm excited because this module is a prelude to module 5 where we get to lean about actual presentation. 

Remember what I said in Module 3 Lesson 5; Let me remind you below;

In public speaking, what you say is as important as how you say it and what you do while saying it.

What you say is the content of your speech

How you say it, is the delivery/presentation of your speech

What you do while speaking, is the personality of your speech

We can't jump into presentation if you didn't take a minute or more to brush up on accent, pronunciation and intonation. These three musketeers are the juice of spoken words. I hope you make the commitment to use all the resources made available to you in this module.

Let's proceed 

Accent

The way in which people in a particular area, country or social group pronounce words in called accent(Oxford Dictionary).

If you are a non-native speaker, you may want to accept that your accent is a proud symbol of your heritage. However, don’t be fooled. When it comes to English language, neither the international world nor your audience care about your heritage. Been understood when you speak is more important than representing your ancestry.

There are many kinds of accent in the world. While some sound sweet to the ears, others make your ears tingle. I’m pretty sure you are that speaker who wants your words to be sweet to the ears of you audience.

How do we ensure that we speak correctly?

Articulation

Articulation is the formation of clear and distinct sounds in speech (Oxford dictionary). There are fourty-four sounds in English language.


Courtesy: Teachers Take Out


The first act of speech is breathing, in which you get air into a storage chamber;

The second act is phonation, the process by which you force air into vibration by the action of the vocal folds

The third act of speech is, resonation, in which your mouth, nose and throat cavities amplify the sound so you can hear it;

The final act of speech is articulation, in which you modify the sound by movement of the teeth, tongue, and lips into recognizable patterns.1

Tips

·         Practice to make sure you are not substituting or omitting sounds when you say a word, or adding sounds such as needcessity for necessity.

·         Pay particular attention to common sound substitutions such as t for th so that you don't say 'tin for thin, d for th so that you dont say 'den for then.

 

Pronunciation

Pronunciation refers to the ability to use the correct stress, rhythm, and intonation of a word in a spoken Language 1.

When pronouncing, focus on the word rather than the individual sound. In articulation, you pay attention to distinct sounds but in pronunciation, pay attention to the entire word

 pronunciation involves recognizing the different syllables that make up a word, applying the stress to the right syllable and using the right up and down pitch pattern for intonation.

 

Tips

·         Listen to recordings of People who speak correctly. There are resources provided below.

·         Use online audio dictionaries or download an app. 

·          Practice, Practice, Practice

 

Intonation

Intonation is referred to as the music or rhythm of language. It is about how we say things, particularly the way the voice rises and falls when we speak.

The voice tends to rise, fall or remain flat depending on the meaning or feeling we want to convey (surprise, anger, interest, boredom, gratitude, etc.). Intonation therefore indicates the mood of the speaker. 2


Four patterns of intonation in English Language are


  Falling intonation () indicates a fall in intonation: It is commonly found 

In statements, 

  •   Nice to meet you.

Commands, 

  • Write your name here.

 Wh-questions (information questions)

·        When does the shop open?

 Confirmatory question tags 

  • She's such a nuisance, isn't ↘she?

 Exclamations

  • You don't ↘ say!

 

Rising Intonation () indicates a rise in intonation. It invites the speaker to continue talking.It is normally used with yes/no questions, and question tags that are real questions.

In Yes/no Questions
(Questions that can be answered by 'yes' or 'no'.)

·        Do you like your new teacher?

Questions tags that show uncertainty and require an answer (real questions).

·        We've met already, haven't we?

 

Rise-fall intonation (➚➘), Here the intonation rises and then falls. We use rise-fall intonation for choices, lists, unfinished thoughts and conditional sentences.

Choices (alternative questions.)

·        Are you having soup or salad?

Lists  (rising, rising, rising, falling)
Intonation falls on the last item to show that the list is finished.

·        We've got apples, pears, bananas and oranges

Unfinished thoughts (partial statements)
In the responses to the following questions, the rise-fall intonation indicates reservation. The speaker hesitates to fully express his/her thoughts.

·        Do you like my new handbag? Well the leather is nice... ( but I don't like it.)

Conditional sentences
(The tone rises in the first clause and falls gradually in the second clause.)

·        If he calls, ask him to leave a message.

 

 Fall-Rise Intonation (➘➚) the voice falls and rises usually within one word. 

The main function of fall-rise intonation is to show that the speaker is not certain of the answer they are giving to a question, or is reluctant to reply (as opposed to a falling tone used when there is no hesitation). It is also used in polite requests or suggestions. 2

Hesitation/reluctance:

·        So you'd be willing to confirm that? ...Well ... I suppose so ...

Politeness-Doubt-Uncertainty: (You are not sure what the answer might be.)

·        Perhaps we could visit the place?


    DOWNLOAD WORKSHEET


What is your flavor (American or British)?
 The resources below would help you perfect it.


BRITISH ACCENT RESOURCES


Resource 1: British Accent Training: FREE Full Lesson on All Consonants

Resource 2: British Pronunciation Secrets (Modern RP) | How to Sound More British

Resource 3: How To Learn The British Accent Easily


AMERICAN ACCENT RESOURCES

American AccentTraining Course Book

American Accent Training -Free OnlineCourse- Part 1 of 5

American Accent Training -Free OnlineCourse- Part 2 of 5

American AccentTraining -Free Online Course- Part 3 of 5

American Accent Training -Free OnlineCourse- Part 4 of 5

American AccentTraining -Free Online Course- Part 5 of 5




Foot notes

1. Articulation and pronunciation

https://lumen.instructure.com/courses/218897/pages/linkedtext54276#:~:text=Pronunciation%20refers%20to%20the%20ability,word%20in%20a%20spoken%20language.&text=When%20we%20talk%20about%20pronunciation,a%20sequence%20of%20speech%20sounds. (accessed September 4, 2012)

2. Learn English Today https://www.learn-english-today.com/pronunciation-stress/intonation.html (accessed September 4, 2012)

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