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The Intonation of English 'Yes-No' Questions: Two Studies Compared and Synthesized
David P. Harris
Vol. 5, No. 2 (Jun., 1971), pp. 123-127
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3585994
Page Count: 5
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This paper summarizes two studies of the intonation patterns of English yes-no questions. These studies were based on the analysis of informal, spontaneous speech occurring on radio and/or television programs and followed similar analytical procedures, yet they produced different results. The tentative conclusion proposed to explain these differences is based on dissimilarities in the corpuses upon which the analyses were made: when native speakers are asked a succession of yes-no questions to draw out specific information, falling intonation predominates; whereas when these questions occur only intermittently in extended discourse, rising intonation is definitely favored.
TESOL Quarterly © 1971 Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL)