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Intonation generally refers to linguistically significant variations in pitch level across an utterance or part of an utterance. Intonation in English is an important vehicle for meaning. It helps the listener to get a clearer picture of what the speaker intends to mean. Intonation in English fulfills many, overlapping functions including attitudinal, grammatical, discursive and pragmatic. However, there is still much to be learned about how we acquire and use intonation systematically and how it can be taught to second language learners.


Divide the following utterances into tone units and decide where the tonic or nucleus might fall in each tone unit:


The first student to finish can go early

//The first student to finish// can go early//Check your answer


Sadly, Maurice has gone away

//Sadly// Maurice has gone away//Check your answer


The person who was watching me left a ticket behind

// The person who was watching me //left a ticket behind//Check your answer


Alan couldn't make it so Ken took his place

//Alan couldn't make it //so Ken took his place//Check your answer