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Discourse Intonation

A Discourse-Pragmatic Approach to Teaching the Pronunciation of English
Lucy Pickering


This textbook is an accessible introduction to discourse intonation for ESL/EFL instructors, whether practicing or in pre-service graduate programs. Because intonation (typically defined as pitch structure that also includes rhythm and stress patterns) is used to form impressions about a speaker’s attitude, it is crucial that instructors understand the details of the underlying linguistic system so that they can help students avoid the more common intonation-related pitfalls they experience when communicating in an academic setting.
This textbook relies heavily on the Brazil model; chapters are organized around different parts of that model and how they can be most effectively taught.  Readers will learn the conventions underlying, for example, how we group words in prosodic units, how we understand turn-taking cues in conversation, and how we assess whether someone is feeling angry or sad.
This text features Check Your Learning sections, discussion questions, and hands-on activities at the end of every chapter. Chapters 3-9 also include a section on pedagogical implications. Some of the example sentences that illustrate intonation have accompanying short audio (MP3) files, which can be found online at

Praise / Awards

  • "This short book provides an admirably concise and accessible presentation of discourse intonation, drawing on more recent research, taking account of the rise of ELF, and showing that the model has not lost its validity in spite of more recent developments in our understanding of what ‘English’ is. It . . . will be an excellent starting point for teachers wishing to explore and implement this model."
    ELT Journal

Product Details

  • 7 x 10.
  • 160pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2018
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-03018-7

Add to Cart
  • $28.00 U.S.

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  • intonation, pronunciation of English, spoken discourse, speech units, pitch patterns, syllable stress, pausing, rhythm, pitch range, world Englishes, English as a lingua franca, intercultural communication, linguistic cues, New Englishes, pitch sequence, prosody, uptalk, suprasegmentals