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tone unit

a word or group of words in an utterance that contain a complete pitch pattern


the idea that there are main stresses in a tone unit

nucleus (tonic syllable)

the main stress in a tone unit


another prominent syllable which may precede the nucleus


the part of a tone unit that starts with the onset and goes upto, but not including, the nucleus


everything after the nucleus


all the non-stressed syllables before the onset

proclaiming tone

tone for new information - fall, or rise-fall, e.g. When does she arrive? (genuine question)

referring tone

tone for shared information, e.g. When does she arrive? (checking information)

oblique tone

tone not concerned with communicating meaning - fall, recitation, reading aloud

attitudinal intonation

intonation that shows how the speaker feels

grammatical intonation

intonation due to grammatical forms and meaning

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