IntonationThe concept of intonation refers to act and result of intoning: give a certain tone or conform to it. The term is often used to name the melodic features used in a sentence.

The intonation, in this framework, is formed with the characteristics given to the sound As for his intensity, its duration and his tone. In this way, the statement acquires certain nuances and reflects emotions, intentions, etc.

It is important to note that intonation usually has linguistic or communicative objectives. By getting one or another tone in certain syllables or words, different effects occur.

With intonation it is possible to establish exclamatory and interrogative sentences. Suppose a man, when passing a friend in the street, says to him: “Are you okay?”. The intonation makes the utterance become a question: the individual wants to know if his friend is well, so he waits for an answer. If you use another intonation, you can express your surprise or joy at confirming that the subject in question is indeed fine: “Are you okay!”.

The irony it can also be marked with intonation. Let’s take the phrase “You are very smart”. Depending on the intonation used, it can be a compliment or indicate the exact opposite of what was said. If the speaker lengthens the adjective “very”, may be demonstrating the ironic component of your claim: “You are sooo smart”.

The importance of intonation in languages ​​like ours is often overlooked in the realm of speech. education. In fact, it is common for foreigners to learn this aspect of the language with much more precision and determination than native speakers, who acquire this skill “naturally” and spontaneously.

One of the features of intonation that makes it so difficult to master in a idiom foreigner is its unpredictable nature: even among all the countries that share Spanish, for example, the same phrase can be intoned in many different ways, and intuition is not enough to get it right but we must learn each one separately.

IntonationLet’s go back to the questions for a moment. Since they do not all pursue the same objective, we should not inton them in the same way either. For example, if we really want to receive a answerAs in the previous example, the intonation will be different from those that are simply issued as a courtesy (“How’s it going?”) or rhetorics (How many times must I repeat to you that you are not welcome here?).

As can be seen, it is enough to study the different types of questions to appreciate a fraction of the great complexity that intonation presents. Even when asking about the state of the interlocutor you can print different variations to the intonation to express things such as the assumption that he is not feeling well or the anxiety of knowing his answer.

Let’s think of two different situations. First, one person visits another in a hospital, where he has been for months with a terminal illness; surely, when asking “How are you?”Do it with an intonation that denotes great concern, with a mixture of sadness, among other similar feelings and sensations. On the other hand, a meeting between two friends who have a lot of good news to tell each other that has already been anticipated in a conversation previous they will inton this same question with great anxiety, being able to add “Tell me tell me!”.

In the field of musicFinally, intonation is linked to sound precision: that is, to the correct production or perception of height. Do not confuse intonation with tuning, which consists of adjusting the pitch of a sound based on a reference note.