Skip to main content
[ "article:topic", "license:ccbysa" ]
Social Sci LibreTexts

3.7: Suprasegmentals

  • Page ID
    9648
  • In addition to segmental information about speech sounds, many languages make use of prosody or suprasegmental information. Suprasegmental information includes the pitch, loudness, and length of sounds, and these factors contribute to the rhythm and stress patterns of spoken language.
    Thumbnail for the embedded element "3.7 Prosody"

    A YouTube element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here: https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/essentialsoflinguistics/?p=75

    Check Yourself

    1. Young children’s voices are usually recognizably different from adult’s voices. Which factor is likeliest to be different between children’s speech and adults’ speech?

    • Word length.
    • Tone.
    • Pitch.

    2. In English, yes-no questions often conclude with rising pitch, whereas wh-questions often have a falling pitch on the final words. Is this pitch difference a difference in tone or in intonation?

    • Tone.
    • Intonation.
    • Pitch.

    3. English uses pitch as one factor in syllable stress. There are many English pairs of words like record (noun) and record (verb), which are spelled the same but differ in their stress patterns. Which of the following is true for this pair of words?

    • The first syllable has higher pitch than the second in the noun record.
    • The second syllable has higher pitch than the first in the noun record.