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Read the text and speak on the intonation of Disjunctive Questions
Intonation of Disjunctive Questions
Disjunctive questions (tag questions) contain two sense-groups. The first sense-group is a statement (affirmative or negative), the second – a question tag. If the statement is affirmative, the tag is usually negative and vice versa.
The intonation of a tag question reflects one of the speaker’s attitudes to the content of his own utterance namely his certainty or uncertainty of the truth of what he states.
When the speaker is certain that his statement is obviously true and he demands that the listener agrees with him, both sense-groups take a fall (High Wide or Low). Disjunctive questions of this type are used by the speaker rather to keep the conversation going than to get new information, e.g.
To"morrow is °Monday, | °isn’t it?
You "can’t ˙do" two ˙things at a °time, | °can you?
When the speaker is not quite certain of the answer he will get or is asking the listener’s opinion, he uses the High / Low Fall on the statement part and the High / Low Rise on the tag, e.g.
You can "drive a ècar, | æcan’t you?
The "doctor "didn’t a˙llow you to "go èout,| did he?
3.3. Practise the following disjunctive questions and imitate their intonation patterns:
1. They are "so èfriendly,| èaren’t they? 2. It "looks as if it’s "going to èrain,| èdoesn’t it?
3. You "took the e"xam in °June,| °didn’t you? 4. That "won’t be èbig enough,| °will it?
5. You’d have "gone at °once,| °wouldn’t you? 6. But there "wasn’t any °answer,| °was there? 7. He "isn’t °married,| °is he? 8. That’s "not his °home a%ddress,| is it?
9. But you’ll be "home in "time for °dinner,| won’t you? 10. At about "ten o’°clock,| won’t we Frank? 11. Mr."Robinson will "come a"gain to °morrow,| æwon’t he?
Dr.Jones: Hello, Peter. What seems to be the problem?
Peter: Well, I haven’t been feeling very well for the last few days.
Dr.Jones: I see.
Peter: And my throat is sore and it hurts when I swallow.
Dr.Jones: Have you noticed a loss of appetite?
Peter: Not really. But it’s difficult to swallow.
Dr.Jones: Right then, let me have a look…mmm…yes your throat is quite inflamed. We’d better take your temperature.
Peter: Actually, I do feel a bit warm.
Dr.Jones: Hmm…just as I thought…38.5°C. I’d say you’ve got tonsillitis. Are you taking any medicine at the moment?
Peter: No, not really.
Dr.Jones: There’s nothing to worry about, really. I’m going to give you a prescription. Make sure you drink lots of hot fluids and soup, nothing cold.
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