/ / Prosody is the science of suprasegmental sound units

Prosody is the science of suprasegmental sound units

Even in the times of ancient grammar people triedfind explanations for different linguistic phenomena. Thus the doctrine of accent - prosody arose. This phenomenon serves to explain the shock and extent of syllables. In addition, it has a rather ambiguous interpretation.


Prosody is now viewed from severalparties, so it does not have a clear definition. For example, in the phonetics of prosody, this is the science of the various suprassegmental units of sound. Here we mean intonation, tone, stress, etc.

prosody is

In versification, the same term has a widerconcept. It is aimed at the study of metrically significant elements of speech. This includes all varieties of syllables, pauses. Perhaps synonymous with rhythm.

Other options

Among other things, under prosody is oftenmean a speech melody, various speech characteristics: timbral and temporal, rhythm, verbal tones. Pointing to the concept of "prosody of speech," they often mean intonation, although these two terms are also distinguishable among themselves.

With certainty, several concepts can be singled out: the prosody of the syllable, the words and the speeches themselves (intonation).


Speaking of the syllable, it is worth noting that in thisIn the case of prosody, the tone serves. In the world there are a huge number of languages ​​that use syllabic tones as a distinctive feature. Because of this, one can point to semantic oppositions.

There are two tones in total:level and contour. The first option usually refers to the tones of different levels: high, low, medium, intermediate. Usually this prosody is characterized by African languages ​​and the speech of American Indians. The contour system includes sliding tones. In this case, an upward, downward tone, and also a combination thereof is implied. This option is usually endowed with speeches in East Asia.

prosody of speech


Speaking of a word, prosody is an accent.Here it is meant that often syllables, uniting in a word, create an integral structure. Thus, they have a special rhythmic organization. Each word has an accent, that is, a selected syllable. The rest have unstressed color in relation to the selected one. So you can select the sound stream and mark the rhythm quanta. Among other things, there is another way of highlighting the phonetics of the word. It's about timbre prosody.

Although still if it comes to the prosody of the word,first of all, it is necessary to talk about stress. In this case prosody has certain functions. For example, the climax. She is responsible for emphasizing in the word "center". Significative is characterized by freedom and, at the same time, limited. So, this function is able to allocate not only the grammatical form, but also pay attention to the lexemes and the lexical-semantic version of the word. The delimitic function of verbal prosody indicates an accent that marks the boundary of the word and is fixed.


Some identify the terms "prosodik" and"prosody". This opinion is erroneous, since the concepts refer to different areas. "Prosodik" was introduced in the 70s of the last century. It was then that there was an interest in the study of the text, its analysis. The term was introduced for differentiation. The term "prosodic" is used in the case of a syllable, but "prosody" is a broad concept and refers to all segment units. That is, can be used not only along with the syllable, but also with the phrase, word, paragraph and text.

intonation and prosody


It is also worthwhile to distinguish the terms "intonation" and"prosody". Many consider them synonymous, although there is still a cardinal opinion. Both terms are multicomponent. Both include the melody, and stress, tone, rhythm, pause, timbre and so on.

On the other hand, prosody is onlyThe phenomenon that distinguishes syllables and determines their combination in the phonetics of the word. But intonation can affect the semantic content, the modality, the communicative meaning. Also distinguishes syntactic features of speech.


One way or another, one can single out the functions of prosody,regardless of the field to which the term refers. So, a communicative function is singled out, which allows to form a special utterance having communicative features. Emotional-modal function is now becoming less popular. In addition, recent studies suggest that the relationship between the emotional component and prosody is completely absent.

functions of prosody

The personality-social function is now little studied. Nevertheless, it is the identifier of the person who speaks. It can indicate its social status, cultural development, etc.

The structuring function has more to do withwritten speech. It is directly related to the formation of the structure of the text. Another function that relates to written speech, or rather, directly to the text, is the rhythm-forming and style-forming. Both are responsible for analyzing the text, require parsing it, establishing boundaries between parts of speech, units of text, etc.