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Re: Conpunct

From:Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...>
Date:Sunday, December 13, 1998, 15:54
Luccaso wrote:
>-----WiadomoE D orginalna----- >Od: Garrett <3jones@...> >Do: Multiple recipients of list CONLANG ><CONLANG@...> >Data: 8 grudnia 1998 02:28 >Temat: Re: Conpunct > > >>By the time you get to the point where the voice would be >>rising, you would be close enough to see the question mark at >>the end... > >i do not know english enough, but can't you ask: >SHOPS are open? >not only: >shops are OPEN? > >or even: >SHOPS ARE OPEN? >(i don't belive any of your words :) ) > >with rising on every word
You can't have a rising tone on every word. You are confusing two things here; stress and intonation. They are not the same. Of course you can place sentence level stress almost anywhere in the sentence to make certain words more prominent and important. But the type of intonation remains the same. The syllable with the significant pitch change occurs on the nucleus (tonic syllable) of the sentence. For the purpose of clarification and analysis, English tone unit in sentences has the following internal organisation: (pre-head) head nucleus (tail) The nucleus is the central element in a tone unit. It contains the syllable in an utterence which undergoes significant pitch movement. I guess that is why it is sometimes referred to as the tonic syllable. The nucleus is preceded by the head. The head is the tone unit extending from the first stressed syllable to the syllable immediately preceding the nucleus. Optionally, the head can be preceded by the pre-head. This consists of any unstressed syllables that occur in front of the first stressed syllable. again, optionally, the nucleus can be followed by a tail. The tail contains any syllables (which may or may not be stressed) following the tonic syllable. Pitch is normally low in the pre-head, and more or less level high in the head. It is the nucleus that can have falling or rising tone depending on the type of sentence (e.g., statements, Imperatives, WH-questions, YES/NO questions, etc.). The change of the location of sentence level stress which you talk about occurs in marked instances where the nucleus is moved. In your examples: shops are OPEN? - this is the unmarked form where the head (or tonic syllable) is found on the first syllable of the word "open" since this is the most stressed syllable of this sentence. That is "o-" is the head and the tail is the syllable "-pen". So the syllable "o-" has the rising tone, while the syllable "-pen" has the high tone. SHOPS are open? - this is the marked form where the head (or tonic syllable) is moved to the first syllable (the first word). Thus, the syllable "shops" bears the rising tone while the tail "are open" maintains a high level tone on all remaining syllables. This is the intonation you'd use if you didn't believe any of my words. Note that in this example, the head and the nucleus are essentially on the same syllable. Your last example where a rising tone occurs in every word is not possible. It would at least sound highly irregular.
> >note that we can't figure out, about what author of the sentence >have asked... >so maybe we should write: >?shops? are open. >shops are ?open? >?shops are open?
I'd still defend using one punctuation in unmarked circumstances. The unmarked intonation has the nucleus at the end of the word. So by the time we need to make an intonation change, we'd be able to see the punctuation mark. As for marked circumstances, that's another story. But I still don't think punctuation marks of the Spanish type is necessary for English. Like I posted a while back, sentence types (and thereby intonation type) can be seen from their structure (first word, word order, etc.). Regards, -Kristian- 8-)