SECTION FOUR

Wide and Narrow Range of Pitch

The meaning of the whole sentence can be emphasized either by widening or narrowing the range of pitch. If the range is widened the pitch level is raised. The stressed and unstressed syllables are said on a higher pitch level. The pitch intervals between the stressed syllables are greater than in an unemphatic sentence. The nuclear tone has a wider range. The stress is increased.

If the range is narrowed the pitch level is lowered. The stressed and unstressed syllables are pronounced on a lower pitch. The pitch intervals between the stressed syllables are smaller than in an unemphatic sentence. The nuclear tone has a narrower range. The words are pronounced almost in a whisper.

The effect produced by widening and narrowing the range is the same as it would be in Russian.

By widening the range the speaker can express different violent emotions such as anger, horror, fear, abhorrence, irritation, impatience, joy, joyful surprise and others.

By narrowing the range the speaker can express sadness, hopelessness, admiration, aversion, regret, reproach, sympathy, hatred, fear and other emotions.

EXERCISES

1. Listen carefully to the following conversational situations. Concentrate your attention on the sentences in which the widening of the pitch range is heard. Why does the speaker widen the range of his voice? Try to define attitudes and emotions associated with it.

Lady Bracknell: Mister Worthing! Rise, sir, from this sem-irecumbent posture. It is most indecorous.

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Gwendolen: Mamma! I must beg you to retire. This is no place for you. Besides Mr. Worthing has not quite finished yet.

Lady Bracknell: Finished what may I ask? (O. Wilde)

* * *

Lady Bracknell: Where did the charitable gentleman who had a first-class ticket for this sea-side resort find you?

Jack: In a hand-bag.

Lady Bracknell: A hand-bag? (O. Wilde)

* * *

Lady Bracknell: In what locality did this Mr. James, or Thomas Cardew come across this ordinary hand-bag?

Jack: In the cloak-room at Victoria Station.

Lady Bracknell: The cloak-room at Victoria Station?

Jack: Yes. The Brighlon line.

Lady Bracknell: The line is immaterial. (O. Wilde)

* * *

Jack: May I ask you then what you would advise me to do? I need hardly say I would do anything in the world to ensure Gwendolen's happiness. (O. Wilde)

* * *

Harry: Nora! Nora! ("Meet the Parkers")

* * *

Nora: Anyhow, I'd have enjoyed the film much more if Elsa Hollywood had been in it, instead of Linda Spangle.

Harry: And I'd have enjoyed it more if we hadn't gone at all.

Nora: And I'd have enjoyed it more if you hadn't been so rude to that woman in front.

Harry: Well, I shouldn't have been rude to her if she had stopped chattering when I asked her. ("Meet the Parkers")

* * *

Harry: I behave better! I like that! Why, if that woman had ... . But look, ish't that a No. 12 bus just going? ("Meet the Parkers")

* * *

Harry: Don't be too quick about spreading that table-cloth, Nora. I felt a spot of rain.

Nora: Oh dear, what did I tell you! It's coming on to pour.

Rоbert: We'd better run for it.

Nora: Where to? There's no shelter in sight.

Robert: What about that pub we came past?

Nora: It's much too far away! ("Meet the Parkers")

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2. Listen to the situations again and repeat the sentences pronounced with the widening of the pitch range in the intervals, trying to concentrate on the emotional attitude of the speaker. Widen the range of your voice, say the stressed and unstressed syllables on a higher pitch level than you would normally do it, make the stresses stronger, pronounce the nuclear tone with a wider range.

3. Listen to a fellow-student read the sentences with the widened range of pitch. Follow his performance concentrating your attention on his emotional attitude. Tell him what his errors are.

4. Read the conversational situations above with a fellow-student, observing the widening of the range and the proper emotional attitude.

5. One of the students will suggest a verbal context. Your reaction must be negative and rather violent: it can render such emotions as anger, irritation, vexation, impatience, horror, etc. Imagine yourself in an appropriate situation and respond, widening the range of your voice. Continue the exercise until every student has participated.

6." Listen carefully to the following conversational situations. Concentrate-your attention on the sentences in which the narrowing of the pitch range is heard. Why does the speaker narrow the range of his voice? Try to define attitudes and emotions associated with it.

Gwendolen: Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else. And that makes me so nervous. (O. Wilde)

* * *

Jack: Miss Fairfax, ever since I met you I have admired you more than any girl ... I have ever met since ... I met you.

Gwendolen: Yes, I am quite well aware of the fact. (0. Wilde)

* * *

Jack: You don't know how happy you've made me.

Gwendolen: My own Ernest. (O. Wilde)

* * *

Lady Bracknell: I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing. Which do you know?

Jack: I know nothing, Lady Bracknell.

Lady Braсknell: I am pleased to hear it. (O. Wilde)

* * *

Lady Bracknell: What number in Belgrave Square?

Jack: 149.

Lady Brackne11: The unfashionable side. (O. Wilde)

* * *

Lady Bracknell: Are your parents living?

Jack: I have lost both my parents. (O. Wilde)

* * *

Lady Bracknell: Where did that charitable gentleman who had a first-class ticket for this sea-side resort find you?

Jack: In a hand-bag. (O. Wilde)

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* * *

Lady Bracknell: Good morning, Mr. Worthing.

Jack: Good morning! (O. Wilde)

* * *

Nora: I'm expecting Mother - she's coming over for the day.

Harry: Good heavens! I didn't know that.

* * *

Harry: Well, I shouldn't have been rude to her if she had stopped chattering when I asked her.

Nora: I wish you'd behave better in public places. ("Meet the Parkers")

7. Listen to the situations again and repeat the sentences pronounced with the narrowing of the pitch range in the intervals, trying to concentrate on the emotional attitude of the speaker. Narrow the range of your voice, say the Stressed and unstressed syllables on a lower pitch level, than you would normally do it, make the intervals between the stressed syllables smaller. Pronounce the nuclear tone with a narrower range.

8. Listen to a fellow-student read the sentences with the narrowed range of pitch. Follow his performance concentrating your attention on his emotional attitude. Tell him what his errors are.

9. Read the conversational situations above with a fellow-student, observing the narrowing of the pitch range and the proper emotional attitude.

10. One of the students will suggest a verbal context. Your reaction must be emotional but not violent. It may express such feelings as sadness, regret, reproach, sympathy, etc. Imagine yourself in an appropriate situation and respond, narrowing the range of your voice and using the proper intonation pattern. Continue the exercise until every student has participated.

11. This exercise is meant to develop your ability to render emotional attitudes in reading. Read the following fragments and conversational situations using the proper intonation patterns." Widen or narrow the pitch range trying to express the attitudes suggested in brackets.

There was a pause. Her eyes, though questioning now, were persistently friendly. Brushing back untidy hair she answered: "Yes, I know." Her failure to take his visit seriously was sending his temper up again.

"Don't you realize it's quite against the rules to have him here?" (indignation) At his tone her colour rose and she lost her air of comradeship. (A.J. Cronin)

* * *

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

He glared at her with raging dignity. "You're breaking the law! You can't keep him here. If you do, I'll have to report you." (rage) (A.J. Cronin)

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* * *

When George was playing the banjo, Montmorency would sit and howl steadily, right through the performance.

"What's he want to howl like that for when I'm playing?" George would exclaim indignantly. (Jerome K. Jerome)

* * *

"I've learned to play the banjo at last."

"Congratulations, my dear.George!" (joyful surprise) (Jerome K. Jerome)

* * *

"The boy is exhibiting a bad attack of measles." "Poor little chap!" (regretful sympathy) (A.J. Cronin)

* * *

"They've asked me to play the part of Desdemona. "Wonderful! A chance of a lifetime!" (joy)

* * *

"Get me hot water and cold water," he threw out to the nurse. "Quick! Quick!"

"But, Doctor," she faltered ... (fear)

"Quick!" he shouted, (impatience, anger) (A.J. Cronin).

* * *

Lady Chiltern: How dare you class my husband with yourself? How dare you threaten him or me? (anger, indignation) Leave my house! (scorn, hatred) You are unfit to enter it. (aversion)

Mrs. Cneveley: Your house! A house bought with the price of dishonour. A house everything in which has been paid for by fraud, (hatred) Ask him what the origin of his fortune is! Get him to tell you how he sold to a stockbroker a Cabinet secret. Learn from him to what you owe your position, (hatred, malicious joy)

Lady Chiltern: It is not true! (resentment) Robert! It is not true! (pleading)

Mrs. Cheveley: Look at him! (triumph) Can he deny it? Does he dare to? (malicious joy)

Sir Robert: Go! Go at once! (indignation) You have done your worst now. (aversion, hopelessness) (O. Wilde)

* * *

Sir Robert Chiltern: What this woman said is quite true. But, Gertrude, listen to me. You don't realize how I was tempted. Let me tell you the whole thing, (pleading)

Lady Chiltern: Don't come near me. Don't touch me. (aversion, abhorrence) I feel as if you had soiled me forever, (hopelessness) (O. Wilde)

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12. This exercise Is meant to develop your ability to hear out the widening and narrowing of the pitch range in recorded reading and to reproduce it in proper speech situations.

a) Lisfen to the dialogue "Waiting for the Bus" sentence by sentence. Write it down. Mark the stresses and tunes. Underline the sentences in which the widening or the narrowing of the pitch range is heard. Concentrate your attention on the emotional attitude of the speaker in each of these sentences. Practise the dialogue and memorize it. Perform it at the lesson with a fellow-student.

b) Use the sentences from the dialogue, pronounced with the widened or narrowed pitch range in conversational situations. Practise with a fellow-student, concentrating your attention on the emotional attitudes you mean to render.

13. Make up a dialogue between two Soviet students discussing the system of streaming in English schools. Their opinions differ, and as they are both involved in the subject their argument gets more and more heated. Imagine yourselves in this situation. Use the proper intonation patterns to show your involvement. Widen or narrow the range of your voice to express your emotional attitude.

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

a) Listen to the text " You see, it was this way . . ".". Write ft down. Mark the stresses and tunes. Practise reading the text.

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

15. This exercise is meant to develop your ability to hear and reproduce intonation and to render emotional attitudes and the widening or the narrowing of the pitch range in reading. Listen carefully to the extract from "The Citadel" by A.J. Cronin. Write it down. Mark the stresses and tunes. Observe the widening or the narrowing of the pitch range. Practise reading the text according to the model you have listened to.

16. This exercise is meant to develop your ability to use proper intonation patterns and to render emotional attitudes in reading. Choose any fragment you like from "The Citadel" by A.J. Cronin. Read it silently to make sure you understand each sentence. Find the main idea of the fragment. Underline the most important word in each sentence. Split up each sentence into intonation groups, mark the stresses and tunes. Observe the widening or the narrowing of the pitch range. It is not expected that each member of the group will intone the text in exactly the same way. Discuss it in class. Your teacher will help you to correct your variant. Practise reading it.

17. This exercise is meant to develop your ability to use correct intonation when you act as a teacher.

a) Listen carefully to the extract from the lecture suggested below.1 Mark the stresses and tunes. Your teacher will help you and all the members of the class to correct your variants. Practise reading every sentence of your corrected variant very carefully.

b) Concentrate your attention on the peculiarities of the lecturing style introduced in the text.

c) Act as a teacher. Make up a microlesson applying the structures, vocabulary and intonation of the lecture above.

J.D. O’Cоnnоr: We showed you last time two ways of combining the glide down and the glide up in English sentences. Firstly, we showed you how it was possible to have a glide up followed by a glide down. And here, as an example, is a sentence from our last talk, said with the words in a different order:

Miss Тоо1eу: If you listen closely you'll hear us use this pattern very often.

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О’С.: Then secondly, we said that you could have a glide down followed by a glide up. And taking the same sentence again with the words in their original order we get the example:

Т.: You'll hear us use this pattern very often, if you listen closely.

O'C: Both these combinations are very common indeed. The glide up followed by a glide down is generally used - not always, but generally - when the subordinate clause of a sentence is before the main clause: and the glide down followed by a glide up is generally used when the main clause is before the subordinate clause. I'll just say that again (repeat words in italics). Well now, this was the case in our two examples. With the subordinate clause first we had:

Т.: If you listen closely you'll hear us use this pattern very often.

O'C.: And with the main clause first:

Т.: You'll hear us use this pattern very often, if you listen closely.

О'С.: Now today, I think we'll start by considering what would happen to the sentences we have just used if we introduce special emphasis on one of the words. First just let's hear once more the sentence said with the subordinate clause first: the glide up followed by a glide down.

Т.: If you listen closely you'll hear us use this pattern very often.

О'С.: Now suppose that we want to draw special attention to the word 'closely' - to stress the fact that we want you to listen really closely - how do we do that? Well just listen, and you'll hear - that a different tune is used.

Т.: If you listen closely you'll hear us use this pattern very often. If you listen closely you'll hear us use this pattern very often.

O'C.: Now that pattern wasn't a glide up followed by a glide down, was it? No, it was a high dive followed by a glide down. And the rule is this: if the subordinate clause has a specially emphasized word in it. you must use a high dive. (Repeat.)

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1 "A Course of English Intonation" by J. D. O'Connor. L., 1970, 280


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