Prosody Meaning

Prosody Meaning 

If you are a language student, prosody meaning will come in handy. Prosody is a term used in linguistics concerning elements of speech that are not individual phonetic segments, which consist of vowels and consonants, but are properties of syllables and larger units of speech, which include linguistic functions like stress, rhythm, and intonation. Such elements are called suprasegmentals. 

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Prosody reflects features of the utterance of the speaker – the form of an utterance like the question, command, or statement, the presence of sarcasm or irony, contrast, focus, or emphasis. It might reflect elements of language not encoded by choice of vocabulary or grammar.

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In the study of prosodic aspects of speech, it is necessary to draw the distinction between auditory measures, which are subjective impressions produced in the mind of the listener, and objective measures, which are physical properties of the sound wave and physiological characteristics of articulation that can be measured objectively. Auditory and objective measures of prosody don’t correspond linearly. Most studies of prosody are conducted on the basis of auditory analysis by making use of auditory scales.

There is no particular agreed number of prosodic variables. In auditory terms, the major variables are:

  • The pitch of the voice
  • Sound length
  • Prominence or loudness
  • Timbre or voice quality

In acoustic terms, these correspond reasonably closely to:

  • Fundamental frequency 
  • Duration
  • Intensity, or sound pressure level
  • Spectral characteristics 

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