///Drills on Spanish Intonation


The intonation system in Spanish




Up to this point, we have discussed two errors you were corrected for in learning the basic sentences: UNSTRESSED VOWELS and SYLLABLE STRESS. The third problem which occurs from the very beginning and will be with you to mar your Spanish for a very long time is INTONATION: the rise and fall of the pitch of the voice. We have indicated this by placing our accent marks at three different heights over the vowel:


Low pitch: directly over the vowel
Low pitch: directly over the Spanish vowel - 1

Middle pitch: one space above the vowel
Low pitch: directly over the Spanish vowel - 2

High pitch: two spaces above the vowel
Low pitch: directly over the Spanish vowel - 3

All three in sequence look like this:
Low pitch: directly over the Spanish vowel - 4



These are analogous to steps in a musical scale:


Spanish compared to music


In addition to these various levels of pitch, there may be a slight rise Up Intonation or a slight fall down intonation fall after the last pitch, or it may remain level level intonation.


Now let us return to the basic sentences and see what you were corrected on.


Spanish intonation practice - 1


It will be evident to you that all of the mistaken patterns of the right-hand column above are attributable to some very common pattern that such utterances have in English. A few of the common non-Spanish interference patterns that English sets up are these:


Spanish intonation practice - 2


The only way to get these (and other) English patterns out of your way in talking Spanish is by the correct repetition of Spanish patterns as often that they automatically replace the English ones when they are supposed to. The following exercise is directed toward that end.


Spanish intonation practice - 3




A.   Exercises on contrasting intonation patterns


Listen, Read & Repeat

Spanish: Exercises on contrasting intonation patterns - 1


Listen, Read & Repeat

Spanish: Exercises on contrasting intonation patterns - 2


Listen, Read & Repeat

Spanish: Exercises on contrasting intonation patterns - 3



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