Temporizers. Emphatic Stress



Temporizers are parenthetical words or phrases used by the speaker to gain the time to think over what to say next.


1. 1 Listen carefully to the following conversational situations. Concentrate your attention on the intonation of the replies.

Verbal Context Drill
And what do you think of London, Mrs. Thompson? Er - I beg your pardon, I didn't quite catch what you said.
There's apple tart and cream, or chocolate trifle. Er - trifle for me, please.
(While shopping). Now, let's see, what else did I want.
I've been told that there are no winter sports in England. Well, you see, the English winter isn't very severe as a rule, and we often have the chance of skiing, skating or tobogganing.
How many rooms are there in the house? Let me see, one, two, three ...
Will you have anything to drink, sir? Well, I'm rather thirsty!
What about you, darling? Well, I don't care for beer.
Would you like to stay up on deck or go down below? Oh, I don'.t know.
Is it possible to see anything of London in one or two days? Well, yes, but, of course, not half enough.
Do you think I shall have time for that? Well, you might, but if I were you, I should leave that for some other day.
Do you want it short or just trimmed? Er - not too short.
What would you say are the most popular games in England today? Well, I suppose football.

2. Listen to the replies and repeat them in the intervals. Have a pause after the temporizers. Pronounce them on the low level and with the Low Rise.

3. Listen to the Verbal Context and reply in the intervals.

4. In order to fix the intonation of the temporizers in your mind, ear and speech habits repeat the replies yourself until they sound perfectly natural to you.

5. Listen to a fellow-student reading the replies. Tell him what his errors in intonation are.


6. Read the drill sentences according to the model. Observe the intonation of the temporizers.

Don't waste potatoes. Just scrape them. I - er - well, that's what I'm doing.
Hurry up, or we might be late. N-no, we have plenty of time.
She always wants to be on the safe side. Y-yes, but who doesn't.
Shall we put up at this hotel? Er - we may, but we'd better find another one.
I like my native town like nothing else on earth. Don't you find it fascinating? Well -er - yes, it's rather nice.
I heard James got settled at last. Do you know his new address? Let me see. Yes, I've got it.
Do you feel well enough to do the job? Well, you know, not quite.
Are you going to report me? Er - to tell you quite frankly, yes, I am.
Don't you think she is charming? Oh, er-n-no, I think she is rather intrusive.
Have you by any chance caught a glimpse of this stranger? Y-yes, I think I have.
Did he look in good health and spirits? Well, rather, but a shade uneasy.

7. Make up short dialogues using; the temporizers to gain the time to think over what to say next.

8. This exercise is meant to develop your ability to read and narrate a text with proper intonation.

a) Listen to the following texts. Write them down. Mark the stresses and tunes. Practise reading them.

b) Listen carefully to the narration of the texts. Observe the peculiarities in intonation-group division, pitch, stress and tempo. Note the use of temporizers. Retell the texts according to the models you have listened to.

Thumbing a Lift

To hitchhike successfully in any country you must be able to do two things: attract attention and at the same time convince the driver at a glance that you do not intend to rob or murder him. To fulfil the first requirement you must have some mark to distinguish you at once from all other hitchhikers. A serviceman, for instance, should wear his uniform, a student his scarf. In a foreign country an unmistakable indication of your own nationality will also arrest the driver's attention.

When I hitchhiked 9,500 miles across the United States and back recently I wore a well-tailored suit, a bowler hat and a trench-coat, and carried a pencil-thin rolled black umbrella. My suitcase was decorated with British flags. Having plenty of luggage, moreover, I was not likely to be suspected of being a dangerous lunatic. I then had to get across to


the driver the idea that I was a bona fide traveller, and needed to get somewhere cheaply.

But even with careful preparation, you must not assume that the task will be easy. You should be prepared to wait a little, for there are drivers who confess to a fierce prejudice against, not to say hatred of hitchhikers, and would no more pick up a hiker than march from Aldermaston to London. In America my average wait was half an hour, but I have heard of people waiting all day, they presumably took less pains to make themselves conspicuous.

Nor must you assume that all the drivers who stop for you are nice, normal people. On one occasion I found myself driving with two boys of about nineteen who turned out to be on the run from the police, and were hoping to use me as an alibi. There are also lesser risks: you may find yourself in a car of a fascist fanatic, a Mormon missionary, or just a bad driver. You cannot tell of course, until you are in the car. But you soon learn the art of the quick excuse that gets you out again.

If the hitchhiker in the United States will remember that he is seeking the indulgence of drivers to give him a free ride, and is prepared to give in exchange entertainment and company, and not go to sleep, he will come across the remarkable, almost legendary, hospitality of the Americans of the West. It will also help if he can drive - I think that I drove myself about 4,500 of those 9,500 miles I hitchhiked in the US.

(From "Mozaika", No. 6, 1969)

May Week in Cambridge

The most interesting and bizarre time of the year to visit Cambridge is during May Week. This is neither in May, nor a week. For some reason, which nobody now remembers, May Week is the name given to the first two weeks in June, the very end of the University year.

The paradox is pleasantly quaint, but also in a way apt. May Week denotes not so much a particular period of time as the general atmosphere of relaxation and unwinding at the end of the year's work. It starts for each undergraduate when he finishes his examinations and it continues until he "goes down" at the end of the term.

Everything as far as possible has to happen in the open air - parties, picnics on punts, concerts and plays. May Week seems almost like a celebration of the coming of the spring, till then ignored in favour of sterner matters like examinations, and this spirit of release seems to take over the entire town.

People gravitate towards the river and on to the Backs which are the broad lawns and graceful landscaped gardens behind those colleges which stand next to the river: Queens, King's, Clare, Trinity Hall, Trinity and St. John's. The river banks are lined with strollers and spectators and there is a steady procession of punts up and down the Cam, some drifting slowly and lazily, others poled by energetic young men determined to show off their skill.

Meanwhile the col leges are preparing feverishly for the various events in which May Week culminates. The most important of these are the May


Balls for which some girls plot years in advance to get invitations and the May Races.

Rowing plays a very important part in Cambridge life, and no less than 128 crews of eight compete in the "Mays", which are rowed over a period of four days.

Music and drama also have a part to play in the festivity. Nearly every college in the University (and there are over twenty of them) holds a May Week Concert; at Trinity for example, there is a concert of Madrigals at which the performers and most of the audience sit in punts at dusk beneath'the willows. Many of the colleges present a play in the open air. At Corpus Christy College the setting is the medieval courtyard in which Christopher Marlowe lived over 400 years ago, at Queens, a Tudor Court.

At the Art theatre, the "Footlights", a famous University club which specializes in revue, puts on its annual show. There is also a concert in King's College Chapel, but it is almost impossible for the casual visitor to get tickets for this.

The climax of May Week and for many undergraduates the final event of their university life, is the spate of college May Balls when the river is lit up with coloured lights and flaming torches, braziers glow in the gardens, marquees are erected in flood lit courts, ballroom orchestras compete for dancers with string bands and pop groups and punts glide romantically down the river. And in the silver light of dawn couples in evening dress stroll leisurely, perhaps rather • dreamily through the Backs and the narrow deserted streets, until it Is time to punt upstream through the meadows to breakfast at Granchester or some other equally attractive spot.

(From "Mozaika", No 6, 1969)

Joseph Mallord William Turned

This English painter and engraver was born in London on April 23, 1775. After a sporadic elementary education Turner devoted himself to the study of art and entered the Royal Academy schools in 1789. He was elected a member of the Academy in 1802, and, as teacher from 1808 of an Academy course in perspective, he exerted a powerful influence on the development of English landscape engraving. He travelled a great deal, especially in Italy, and found inspiration for many of his later paintings in Venice. His ardent admirer, John Ruskin, devoted some of the most eloquent passages of "Modern Painters" to a description of his work. Trained by the sound architectural draughtsman and topographical artist Thomas Malton, Jr., and developing under the influence of the great English seventeenth century landscapists, Turner extended English topographical painting beyond the antiquarian and reporting limits, transforming it into a Romantic expression of his own feelings. Graphically this took form most clearly in his hundreds of water-colours; in them spatial extent appears bathed with atmosphere and light. The effects he achieved in water-colours Turner transferred to oil painting as well. His colours, often of high intensity, retain their relative values effectively and, when


coupled with accurate drawing of shapes, as in the early "Derwenter" with the "Falls of Lodore" or the late "Norhara Castle - Sunrise" are kept within control by the artist. In 1807, Turner began a series of etchings and mezzotints from his own drawings, for a book to be entitled Liber Studiorum. The work, discontinued in 1820, grew out of his admiration for Claude Lorrain's Liber varietatis. Turner died at Chelsea on December 19th, 1851, regarded as the titular cofounder, with Thomas Girtin, of English water-colour landscape painting.

(From "$ozaika", No 3, 1966)

Emphatic Stress

Models: To-day's out of the question, too. When can you come, may I ask?
  Was he really so bad? Absolutely ˆterrible.

When the speaker wants to draw special attention to a word in a sentence he makes it more prominent than the other stressed words. It is given a greater degree of force and has wider range of pitch (the High Fall, the Rise-Fall, etc.).

Such extra stress singles out the nuclear word (or words) to emphasize the attitudinal meaning. This type of sentence stress is called emphatic.


9. Listen carefully to the following conversational situations. Concentrate your attention on the nuclear word marked by the emphatic stress in the replies. 1

Verbal Context Drill
But you don't really mean to say that you couldn't love me if my name wasn't Ernest? But your name is Ernest.
Yes, Mr. Worthing, what have you got to say to me? You know what I have got to say to you.
Mamma! I must beg you to retire. This is no place for you. Besides, Mr. Worthing has not quite finished yet. Finished what may I ask?
Do you - smoke? - Well, yes, I must admit I smoke. I am glad to hear it. A man should always have an occupation of some kind.
How old are you? - Twenty-nine. A very good age to be married at.
Well, I own a house in Belgrave Square. What number in Belgrave Square?


I was in a hand-bag - a some-what large, black leather hand-bag, with handles to it - ordinary hand-bag, in fact. In what locality did this Mr. James or Thomas Cardew come an across this - ordinary hand-bag?
May I ask you then what you would advise me to do? I would strongly advise you, Mr. Worthing, to try acquire some relations as soon as possible, and to take a difinite effort to produce at any rate one pparent, of either sex before the season is quite over.
You know his brother has measles. Most of the children here have had measles.
He ought to be isolated. I have got him isolated - in a kind of way.
If you don’t believe me, look for myself. That may be your idea of isolation. I’m afraid it isn’t mine.
So you have done it at lost. Yes, at least Cokane’s done it.
Why didn’t you speak to my father yourself on the boat? I didn’t particulary want to talk to him.
You had no right to speak to me that day on board the streamer. It was you who spoke to me. Of course I was only glad of the chance.
Why does he help you like that? Because that’s the only way can help me.

10. Listen carefully to the replies dnd repeat them in the intervals. Single out the emphatic stress with your voice.

11. Listen to the Verbal Context and reply in the interval.

12. In order to fix Emphatic stress in your mind, ear and speech habits repeat the replies yourself until they sound perfectly natural to you.

13. Listen to your fellow-student reading the replies. Tell him what his errors in Intonation are.

14. Read the conversational situations above.

15. Listen carefully to the following dialogue. Mark the stresses and tunes. Observe the means of singling out the nuclear word. Practise the dialogue.

When does the train for Clacton leave? In a quarter of an hour's time.
When is it due to arrive there? Ten fifty-seven.
What's the time of the next Clacton train? Twelve five.
Which do you think will be less crowded? Oh, the later one.
Which platform does it depart from? Number fourteen.
What's the price of a single third class ticket? Fourteen and eightpence.


What's the difference between that and a first class? Seven shillings exactly.
Where do I change for Braintree? At Witham Junction.
How do I get to platform fourteen? Over the bridge and straight on.
Where will I find the left-luggage office? It's quite close to platform twelve.

16. Read the following conversational situations. Observe the position of logical stress in the replies. Make the stress emphatic wherever possible. Give your own replies to the same verbal context.

I don't believe he could be such a nuisance. You mustn't believe all the gossip you hear.
We can't put up there for the night. Then let's try some other place.
What am I to do with the potatoes? You must scrape them.
Harris started to peel the potatoes. Why didn't George do the same?
We worked steadily for 25 minutes and did 4 potatoes. It's absurd to have only 4 potatoes in an Irish stew.
Would you like me to play the banjo? But you have never learned to play it.
Harris has got a headache. The music might do him good.
I think I'll try something else. You ought to.
Shall I play some more? I'm afraid I can't stand your music.
Mr. Brown has met with an accident on his way there. So he has.
I'm sure she will make friends with her relatives. She certainly will.
She is evidently a very nervous person. I know she is.

17. Read the following situations. Apply the logical or emphatic stress where nesessary. Make your speech expressive enough.

Whatever his difficulties, no matter if he railed against the dirt and poverty which he often had to combat, she always had the same reply: "It's real work anyway." (A.J. Cronin)

* * *

Now I find myself in your company, Doctor Oxborrow, maybe you'll find it convenient to explain how Tudor Evans, Seventeen Glyn Terrace, came off my list on to yours. (A. J. Cronin) .

* * *

Diana: There's such a smell of burning, Daddy. I think something's on fire. Can I go down and see?

Nurse (sniffing): There is a smell of burning. I'll go. (J. Galsworthy)


* * *

Colonel: If I'm to put money in, I'm bound to look at it all round. Lever (with lifted brows): Please don't imagine that I want you to put money in. (J. Galsworthy)

* * *

Colonel: Don't say anything against Molly, Nell!

Mrs. Hope: Well, I don't believe in husband and wife being separated. That's not my idea of married life.

(The Colonel whistles quizzically.) Ah, yes, she's your niece, not mine! (J. Galsworthy)

* * *

Sir Charles (politely): Oh! Well! I don't understand her, of course.

Joan: You don't want to understand her. Sir Charles: Not very much, perhaps. (J. Galsworthy)

* * *

"Who has done this?" exclaimed Miss Mills, succouring her friend. I replied, "I,'Miss Mills, I have done it!" (Ch. Dickens)

* * *

"Why do you trouble me so!" she cried, reproach flashing from her very finger-ends.

"I trouble you? I think, I may ask, why do you trouble me?" (T. Hardy)

18. Read the following dialogue. Mark the stresses and tunes. It is not expected that each member of the group will mark the text in exactly the same way. Finally practise reading your corrected variant. Retell it.

"Are you Miss Barlow?"

"Yes, aren't you Doctor Page's new assistant?"

"That's hardly the point, though as a matter of fact I am Doctor Man-son. I believe you have a contact here: Idris Howells."

"Yes, I know."

"Don't you realize it's quite against the rules to have him here?"

"If Idris had stopped off, he'd have missed his milk, which is doing him such a lot of good."

"It isn't a question of his milk. He ought to be isolated."

"I have got him isolated - in a kind of way. If you don't believe, look for yourself."

"That may be your idea of isolation. I'm.afraid it isn't mine. You must send that child home at once."

"Doesn't it occur to you that I'm the mistress of this class? You may be able to order people about in more exalted spheres. But here it's my word that counts."

"You're breaking the law! You can't keep him here. If you do I'll have to report you."

"Then you had better report me. Or have me arrested. I've no doubt it will give you immense satisfaction."

(From A.J. Cronin. "The Citadel". Adapted)


19. Authors frequently Indicate by putting a word in italics that it should be made prominent. The situations below are taken from books by different writers. How do you think they intended them to be pronounced and why?

Look here, you! We've come a long way to buy furniture. I said furniture. Not this kind of junk. (A.J. Cronin)

* * *

"But you'd better tell us quick how you come to bank that money for yourself when it's Doctor Page's money and you know it ... ."

"It's mine. Yoe Morgan made me a present of it."

"A present! Ho! Ho! I like that." (A.J. Cronin)

* * *

"But I'll never get it," he fretted as he paced up and down, "never, never, never. No, he couldn't be so lucky!" (A.J. Cronin)

* * *

"Gentlemen!" cried Andrew in a panic. "Please, please How can we ever do anything if we quarrel among ourselves. Remember what we're here for?" (A.J. Cronin)

* * *

It's like old times to hear you talk that way. I can't tell you how I love it. Oh, it's beginning all over again. I am happy, darling, happy (A.J. Cronin)

* * *

Mrs. Barthwick: Out of her hand? Whose hand? What bag- whose bag?

Jack: Oh! I don't know - her bag - it belonged to - a woman.

Mrs. Barthwiсk: A woman? Oh! Jack! No! (J. Galsworthy)

* * *

Mrs. Hope: The green - flies are in my roses already! Did you ever see anything so disgusting (J. Galsworthy)

20. This exercise is meant to develop your ability to hear and reproduce intonation. Listen to the dialogue on the tape sentence by sentence. Write it down. Mark the stresses and tunes. Practise the dialogue. Record it. Play the recording back immediately for your teacher and fellow-students to detect the possible errors. Perform the dialogue at the lesson with a fellow-student.

21. Make up a talk using the following phrases.

Yes, what is it now? I think you're being very silly.
Look here (Nora), I'm tired of ... It's no use talking.
I hate ... Now don't be bitter about it.
Don't be silly. Why do you keep ... ?
I can't bear it. Good heavens!
Stop being funny. Oh, what a pity!
What's the use of staying in bed? What did you say?


22. Read the following extract from "Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jerome, Use logical and emphatic stresses in it wherever possible.

There was silence for a moment, and then George's father said:


"What's the matter, Tom?" replied Joe's voice from the other end of the bed.

"Why, there's a man in my bed," said George's father, "here's his feet on my pillow."

"Well, it's an extraordinary thing, Tom," answered the other, "but I'm blest if there isn't a man in my bed, too!"

"What are you going to do?" asked George's father.

"Well, I'm going to chuck him out," replied Joe.

"So am I," said George's father valiantly.

There was a brief struggle, followed by two heavy bumps on the floor and then a rather doleful voice said:

"I say, Tom!"


"How have you got on?"

"Well, to tell you the truth, my man's chucked me out."

"So's mine! I say, I don't think much of this inn, do you?"

"What was the name of that inn?" said Harris.

"'The Pig and Whistle'," said George. "Why?"

"Ah, no, then it isn't the same," replied Harris.

"What do you mean?" queried George.

"Why, it's so curious," murmured Harris, "but precisely that very same thing happened to my father once at a country inn. I've often heard him tell the tale. I thought it might have been the same inn."

23. Listen to the following dialogue. 1 Read it according to the model. Vary intonation patterns thus changing the attitudes expressed in the sentences.

  • A. I think I'll go shopping to-day. I want to buy a hat.
  • B. Why? You've got a hat already.
  • A. But I can't wear that. It's two years old.
  • B. That's not very old. My hat's nearly ten years old. -
  • A. Don't be silly. I must have another hat. ... Do you like this green hat?
  • B. It's not bad. But I like the red one better.
  • A. The one with the feather? I couldn't wear that!
  • B. You could. It's quite big enough.
  • A. Try to be serious. I think I like the green one best.
  • B. All right, then. I'll pay for it if you like. Fifteen shillings, isn't it?
  • A. Fifteen pounds, darling.
  • B. What!

24. Make up a dialogue of your own with words and word combinations from the dialogue above. Use logical and emphatic stresses in it.


1 Material for exercises marked with three asterisks is borrowed from "Linguaphone English Course".
1 The extracts for this exercise are taken from the books by O. Wilde, A.J. Cronin, B. Shaw
1 J.D, O'Connor, "A Course of English Pronunciation". L., 1954.

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