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TRANSLATE THIS PAGE
What does prosody
How is the word even
How can I know if I
If I don't have it,
how can I get it?
What does it mean to
say that something is prosodic?
For non-linguists among us, the concept of prosody can be vague, confusing, or
foreign. We're pretty sure we could ask an intelligent question about it,
if we only knew what meant.
Here, we will try to allow the true warm-and-fuzzy nature of the perceived
as thorny prosody to shine through. Fire-up the tea kettle and say hello to
your new best friend.
the fifth volume in the Studies in Interpretation
series, discusses the prosodic features of
spoken and signed languages, and reports the
findings of groundbreaking research on prosodic
markers in ASL interpretation.
that interpreters produce an average of seven
prosodic markers at each boundary point. The markers
are produced both sequentially and simultaneously
and under conditions of highly precise timing.
Further, the results suggest that the type of
prosodic markers used by interpreters are both
systematic and stylistic.
PRAHS-uh-dee is correct. Neither
PROHZ-uh-dee is correct.
(noun) The systematic structure of a spoken or signed utterance.
The skillful use of prosody:
- provides cues about the goals of a speaker (to persuade, teach, inquire,
- signals conversational turn-taking;
urgency and intensity, mood, and tone;
- arranges utterances in a way that supports meaning and clarity (syntax)
- chunks information (for organization, ease of memory, and understanding); and
flow and rhythm.
In the absence of prosody
(or in the presence of inconsistent or misleading prosody),
we are left wondering what a speaker's intent is.
While we may have understood his or
her signs or words, we may feel confused about whether, for example, the speaker
was encouraging us toward, or discouraging us from, taking a
Or, while we may have understood what
happened during a speaker's recent vacation, we may not feel clear about
whether s/he enjoyed it, or didn't.
attending a science lecture on "Domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order,
family, genus, and species," it is a presenter's prosodic
skill that enables us to make sense of the information presented and its
hierarchical structure. Vocal intensity (e.g.: loudness) and rhythmic
sentence structure are examples of how we organize information prosodically.
When a speaker wishes to retain the
floor, or to surrender the floor to someone else (this is called turn-taking),
s/he signals this intent prosodically.
It is through the speaker's prosodic
proficiency that we know it is either expected that we take our turn now, or hold our remarks until the speaker signals that s/he is opening the
floor to others.
or intensity may be conveyed prosodically through, for example, communication
speed, or non-manual marker (body shift, facial expression, mouth morpheme).
This page has been visited
times since: May 2009.
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are made available throughout this site, and we hope that earnest seekers of
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