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Prosodic Patterns in English Conversation

  • Date Published: March 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316633618


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About the Authors
  • Language is more than words: it includes the prosodic features and patterns that we use, subconsciously, to frame meanings and achieve our goals in our interaction with others. Here, Nigel G. Ward explains how we do this, going beyond intonation to show how pitch, timing, intensity and voicing properties combine to form meaningful temporal configurations: prosodic constructions. Bringing together new findings and hitherto-scattered observations from phonetic and pragmatic studies, this book describes over twenty common prosodic patterns in English conversation. Using examples from real conversations, it illustrates how prosodic constructions serve essential functions such as inviting, showing approval, taking turns, organizing ideas, reaching agreement, and evoking action. Prosody helps us establish rapport and nurture relationships, but subtle differences in prosody across languages and subcultures can be damagingly misunderstood. The findings presented here will enable both native speakers of English and learners to listen more sensitively and communicate more effectively.

    • Focuses on prosody in real life conversations, ideal for English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers and learners
    • Considers the broader picture of human interaction: linking language phenomena to culture, cognitive processes, personal styles, and social interaction
    • Accessible to both students and non-specialists, early chapters develop concepts and help the reader hone their perceptions
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Nigel G. Ward's book presents a novel approach to a long elusive question: what are the acoustic correlates of prosody that align with communicative functions? By taking a data mining approach, acoustic features long thought to be correlates of prosodic categories and long speculated as contributing in complex ways, can be examined together. While research has been hampered by the lack of consensus defining discrete communicative functions, Ward takes a defiantly speculative approach in the interpretation of his very concrete statistical associations, paving the way for the discipline to use his methods experimentally.' Nanette Veilleux, Simmons University, Boston

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316633618
    • length: 262 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • contains: 108 b/w illus. 8 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Bookended narrow pitch regions
    3. Downstep constructions
    4. Creaky voice and its functions
    5. Perspectives on prosody
    6. Late pitch peak and its functions
    7. Expressing positive assessments
    8. Superposition
    9. A big-data approach
    10. From patterns to meanings
    11. Turn-taking constructions
    12. Topic management constructions
    13. Stance-related constructions
    14. The rest of English prosody
    15. Envoi.

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    Prosodic Patterns in English Conversation

    Nigel G. Ward

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  • Author

    Nigel G. Ward, University of Texas, El Paso
    Nigel G. Ward is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas, El Paso. He has published widely in human-computer interaction and speech technology as applied to spoken dialog systems, information retrieval, and second language learning, and is Chair of the Speech Prosody Special Interest Group of the International Communication Association.

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