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Scandent Scale

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  1. Classification of scales
  2. Команда SCALE

If the stressed syllables of the head move down by steps but the unstressed syllables move up and are pronounced higher than the preceding stressed syllable, the head is called scandent. It is used in highly emotionally utterances to convey irony and sarcasm.

e.g . What a ↗ dreadful ↗woman she‘ is!

What a ↗pretty ↗little ‘house!


1). The Descending Scandent Scale is characterized by the gradually descending sequence of syllables, whereas unstressed syllables are pronounced at a higher pitch level than the preceding ones.

e.g. ↗I ↗hate ↗doing ֻ nothing. ‖


2). The Ascending Scandent Scale is characterized by ascending sequence of syllable, whereas each unstressed syllable is said at the higher pitch level than the preceding syllable

e g. ↗Why ↗haven’t you ↗come in ‘time? ‖

This scale sounds lively, impatiently, sometimes conveys irony and sarcasm.


4. Level Scaleis characterized by a number of stressed and unstressed syllables situated at the same pitch level. It has 3 variations:

1). High Level Scale used in highly emotional or elevated speech (poetry).

e.g. The ˈ Owl looked ˈ up to the ˈ stars aˈ bove… ‖

And in theˈ heaven that ˈclear obˈscure ... ‖

2) Mid Level Scale (is rarely used and in some cases conveys reproach). Medium level head is usually used in non-final intonation groups which may also be pronounced with low rise or with low fall.

e.g. At > two o’,clock∣ we shall ˈhave ֻ dinner. ‖

The author's words introducing the direct speech form an intonation group and are usually pronounced with the mid-level, low falling or low-rising nuclear tone.

e.g. His mother >said: "You ˈlook ֻ tired".


e.g. >She will ˈhave to ˈmanage it by her ֻ self. ‖

3). Low Level Scale conveys negative feelings (grumbling).Low level head is used in utterances to which the speaker doesn't attatch much attention because of their secondary importance. All the syllables contained in low level head are said on the same, rather low level pitch.

e.g. She ˌˌcleans theˌˌ house ,regularly. ‖

I ֻ do ˌˌfeel a ˌˌbit ,ill ∣ per, haps ξ I ֻ had ˌˌbetter get ˌˌback to

,bed. ‖


The Nucleus. Types of nuclei.

The nucleus is the most important part of any syntagm. It is represented by a nuclear tone. The change of the height of the tone on the last accented syllable in the utterance which is capable of distinguishing its communicative type is called nuclear( terminal, kinetic or dynamic ) tone.

There exist 7 basic nuclear tones in English:

1.ֻLow Fall 5.ֻ,Fall-Rise
2. ‘ High Fall 6. ,ֻRise-Fall
3. ,Low Rise 7. >Mid Level
4. ’High Rise  

The Tail

Post nuclear unstressed or partially stressed syllables are called the tail.

(1) After the falling nucleus the tail occupies the low level and is said even lower,

e.g. ֻ No, sir.

The tail with an unstressed syllable

ֻ No, ˌTom.

The tail with a partially stressed syllable


(2) In case the tail occurs after the rising nucleus the stressed syllable itself does not rise in pitch and each of the following unstressed syllables is a step higher than the previous one,

e.g. ,No, sir.

The tail with an unstressed syllable


,No, ˌTom.

The tail with a partially stressed syllable

Note:If he tail contains manysyllables, the rise may be continued very high,

e.g. ˈDid you ˈsee him ,yesterday?

(3) With he falling-rising tone the rise occurs on unstressed or partially stressed syllables,

e.g. ֻ,No, sir

ֻ,No, ˌTom.

(4) After the Mid-Level nucleus the tail occupies the same level,

e.g. >No, sir. The tail with an unstressed syllable

>No, ˌTom. The tail with a partially stressed syllable


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