Melodic pattern of words

Deaf speakers frequently experience difficulties in generating a proper intonation. Intonation is the melodic pattern of words, and it is a matter of difference in the pitch level of the voice.

When speaking, intonation is used to convey a different expressive meaning. For example, using different intonations to express surprise, anger, sarcasm, etc. It also serves a grammatical function, distinguishing one type of sentence from another.

To give an example with the words “Your name is John”

  • This sentence can be said by beginning with a medium pitch, and ended with a low final pitch, to indicate a statement.
  • This sentence can also be ended with a high final pitch as “Your name is John?”, to indicate a question.

Due to not hearing the intonation, deaf persons may think that the speaker said a statement instead of asking a question, or may not realize that the speaker is being sarcastic.

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1 Response to Melodic pattern of words

  1. Juliana says:

    Interesting about your statement in the last paragraph. Well how do they notice if they are asking questions or they are saying a statement? They notice by watching the person’s expressions as they ask or say.

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