Home » Poetics » Understanding Poetry: “West Wind #2” and intonation

Understanding Poetry: “West Wind #2” and intonation

I’ll use Snagit to add voice to this later. (I need a different microphone and a quieter venue with better acoustics.)

The linguist uses the International Phonetic Alphabet to indicate rising intonation, e.g., in an interrogative:

He found it on the street?
[ hiː ˈfaʊnd ɪt | ɒn ðə ↗ˈˈstɹiːt ‖ ]

The reader/speaker can use intonation to change attitude or meaning:

You are young.
1.  ↗You are young, as opposed to others, perhaps me, the [the older, wiser] speaker.
2.  You ↗are young, in case you don’t think so.
3.  You are ↗young, to quite a degree.
So you know everything.
1.  So ↗you know everything, as opposed to me, the [more enlightened] speaker.
2.  So you ↗know everything, emphasizing the act of knowing.
3.  So you know ↗everything, emphasizing that you believe you are informed [perhaps a know-it-all].


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