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Types of heads.

Head patterns are classified into three groups: descending, ascending and level according to the way it begins from the point of view of pitch movement.

Descending heads move down from a medium or a high pitch level to the low one. The first stressed syllable is the highest.

In the stepping head the stressed syllables gradually descend in pitch levels, unstressed or partially stressed syllables are pronounced on the same level as the preceding stressed ones. This head conveys the impression of the balanced, active, “normal” mood of the speaker.

I don’t want to go to the cinema.

_________________________

_________________________

The unstressed syllables may gradually descend in pitch too. In this case the head is called a falling head.

________________________

________________________

A fall in pitch may not be gradual but rather jumpy which is achieved by a considerable lowering of the pitch inside the stressed syllables or by pronouncing unstressed syllables at a much lower level than the preceding stressed ones. Such a head is called the sliding head. It usually reflects an excited state of mind and, sometimes, a highly emotional attitude to the situation.

I don’t want to go to the cinema.

_________________________

_________________________

Ascending heads are the opposite of the descending heads: their stressed syllables move up by steps with the intervening unstressed ones continuing the rise and in this case it is a rising head.

I don’t want to go to the cinema.

_________________________

_________________________

If the voice moves up jumpy the head is called climbing. Unstressed syllables glide up too.

__________________________

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In level heads all the syllables are pronounced on the same level (or gradually ascends towards the nucleus) either high or medium or low. So there are three level heads correspondingly. It is shown by the tone mark before the first stressed syllable. [ ]

Low head conveys an impression ranging from cool and indifferent to sulky and hostile.



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Types of pre-head

There are two types of pre-head: the low pre-head and the high pre-head. The low pre-head is pronounced at a low pitch and may occur in all unemphatic and many emphatic utterances. Its main semantic function is to mark the comparative unimportance of initial unstressed syllables.

The high pre-head is pronounced at a high pitch level. It has a clearly emphatic function. Before a rising tone it usually gives a bright, lively, encouraging character to the utterance. The high pre-head is marked by the tone-stress mark ( ) placed before the first syllable above the line of print.

 

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