Tench, Paul
University of Wales, Cardiff

Paul Tench
Centre for Language and Communication
University of Wales, Cardiff
P.O.Box 94

e-mail c/o Bullough@cardiff.ac.uk

Strand: Discourse English / Intonation, phonology

Title: Accommodating New Patterns into the Intonation Systems of English

Following Halliday, we recognise the systems of tone, tonicity and tonality; following Pike, and Brazil, we recognise a system of `prosodic composition' of spoken genres. Like other levels of phonology, intonational form is liable to change, and new patterns emerge. Such changes need to be accommodated into established system networks (Halliday 1967; Tench 1996).

The paper seeks to confirm the widespread use of two relatively recent new patterns : i) low level pretonic + mid level tonic, for routine listing, and ii) high `key' + rising tonic, for checking hearers' understanding of speaker's information. The first pattern has been constructed, it is argued, from the low level pretonic of given information, the level tone of inventories, and the move from low to mid of lists; and the second from the high `key' of new topic and the rising tone seeking confirmation in statement-questions.

System networks need to be adjusted to accommodate them.