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Phonetic Features of American English

Due to variation of pitch standard depending on the degree of emotionality of a statement, it’s very interesting to learn a set of heads and registers. It was identified by L. Shakhbakhova for American English. For example, statements with high degree of emotionality are characterized by level and descending heads of high register, wave-like heads with special rise of the middle register and heads with special falls. Level heads where intonation is in middle tone register are typical for speech with low and high degrees of emotionality.

The main feature of American speech according to I. Zhavoronkova is a figure of melodic contour especially in terminal part. During structure and function researches of terminal tones of American speech, she comes to the conclusion that falling, rising and level tones are dominant. Gradually the descending head with falling tone occur in extremely categorical statements and it’s called emphatic intonation.

Sources:

ЖАВОРОНКОВА И.А. Система терминальных тонов в американском варианте английского языка (экспериментально-фонетическое исследование): Дис. . канд. филол. наук. -М., 1990.-219 с.

ШАХБАГОВА Д.А. Фонетическая система английского языка в диахронии и синхронии (на материале британского, американского, австралийского, канадского вариантов английского языка). М.: Изд-во «Фоллис», 1992. – 284 с.

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