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An analysis of prosodic systems in the classroom discourse of native speaker and nonnative speaker teaching assistants

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An analysis of prosodic systems in the classroom discourse of native speaker and nonnative speaker teaching assistants
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Pickering, Lucy, 1966-
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Modeling ( jstor )
Native languages ( jstor )
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Phonological intonation ( jstor )
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1999.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 305-314).
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Typescript.
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Vita.
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by Lucy Pickering.

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AN ANALYSIS OF PROSODIC SYSTEMS IN THE CLASSROOM DISCOURSE
OF NATIVE SPEAKER AND NONNATIVE SPEAKER TEACHING ASSISTANTS


















By

LUCY PICKERING

















A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

1999















TABLE OF CONTENTS



ABSTRACT iv

CHAPTERS

1 INTRODUCTION 1

Overview .. 1
L1 and L2 Discourse. .. 10

2 INTONATION IN DISCOURSE .. .16

Models of Discourse Prosody .. .16
A Model of Intonation in Discourse. .. .18
Comparison with Two Models of Intonation. 37
Additions to Brazil's Model .. .47
Conclusion. .. .53

3 METHODOLOGY .. 55

Database .. .. 55
Data Collection and Analysis. 57
Transcription Conventions .. 64

4 ANALYSIS OF NS DATA ... .65

Introduction. 65
Sequence Structure Structure 67
Pitch Sequences and Discourse Markers ... .80
Tone Choice and Orientation .. .94
Conclusion. .104

5 ANALYSIS OF NNS DATA .107

Introduction ....... ..107
Sequence Chain Structure. .109
Pitch Sequences and Discourse Markers .135
Tone Choice and Orientation ... .153
Conclusion. .168








6 ANALYSES OF IVE DATA .

Introduction .......
Sequence Chain Structure .
Pitch Sequences and Discourse Markers .
Tone Choice and Orientation .
Conclusion .


.172

.172
185
198
212
237


7 CONCLUSION ... .. 242

Summary of Analyses .. 242
The Role of Prosodic Stucture in Discourse 253
Suggestions for Future Research ... .258

APPENDICES. ... 265

A SAMPLE MATHEMATICS TRANSCRIPTS .265

B SAMPLE ENGINEERING TRANSCRIPTS .. .. 270

C SAMPLE PHYSICS TRANSCRIPTS .. .. 283

D SAMPLE CHEMISTRY TRANSCRIPTS ... .296

REFERENCE LIST .... .305

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ... .315


iii














Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

AN ANALYSIS OF PROSODIC SYSTEMS IN THE CLASSROOM DISCOURSE OF
NATIVE SPEAKER AND NONNATIVE SPEAKER TEACHING ASSISTANTS

By

Lucy Pickering

August 1999

Chairperson: Diana Boxer
Major Department: Program in Linguistics

This dissertation investigates the role of prosodic structure in the

classroom discourse of native and nonnative speaker teaching assistants in

one American university. Video and audiotaped data of naturally occurring

teaching presentations given by male North American, Chinese, and Indian

English speakers were collected in the classroom. Fundamental frequency

contours and pause structure were calculated using a Kay Elemetrics

computerized Speech Laboratory. Patterns of intonation, stress, and

pausing were then interpreted using a model of intonation in discourse.

The results of the native speaker analysis show that intonation and

pause structure are organized systematically by these speakers both to

structure information (for example, to mark topic boundaries and establish

contrasts), and interactively to establish a rapport between discourse

participants. The results of the two nonnative speaker analyses show that

both groups could be characterized by a typical prosodic profile which

marked speakers as deviating from a native speaker standard. Typical








pitch and pause patterns found in these data show little indication that

teachers are directing their presentation towards assisting the students in

their comprehension of the material. Conflicts between prosodic cues and

organization at other levels of the discourse (for example, topic

organization or syntactic structure) make the informational structure of the

discourse more difficult to interpret for the native speaker hearer. In

addition, intonation choices are shown to contribute to a distancing

between teachers and students. At an interpersonal level, they frequently

characterize teachers as uninvolved and unsympathetic from the

perspective of native speaker participants in the discourse.

The study concludes that prosodic structure forms a natural link

between grammatical and soicolinguistic competence and bears a high

communicative load in terms of both structuring information and expressing

relationships between participants. Therefore, prosodic miscues in

nonnative discourse will negatively effect undergraduate perceptions of the

nonnative teachers' competence and personality and are one underlying

cause of cross-cultural communication failure between international teaching

assistants and their students.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Overview

Over the last decade, both university faculties and graduate

programs have become increasingly diverse. The numbers of

international teaching assistants and lecturers in scientific and technical

fields such as engineering, mathematics, and laboratory sciences have

increased dramatically (Mooney, 1990). The majority of U.S.

undergraduates are now more likely to have important contact with

international staff in their introductory courses, and nonnative speakers

are required to be "professional communicators" on a daily basis in

their classrooms (Scollon & Scollon, 1995). As with many other

workplaces, cross-cultural communication has become an integral part of

academic life in universities across the country. However, communication

failure between nonnative teachers and their students is not uncommon,

and concern regarding the competence of international staff remains

acute (Cresswell, 1990). Increasingly, screening programs developed to

assess the linguistic ability of international teachers have recognized

that successful communication between language groups requires a

sophisticated communicative competence on the part of the nonnative

speaker. This includes the ability to use language appropriate to a

given situational context, and to recognize the expectations of native

speaker discourse participants. One area of linguistic competence which

is frequently overlooked in this discussion is the prosodic structure of

nonnative discourse.










This dissertation investigates the contribution of prosodic

structure to possible cross-cultural communication failure by analyzing

the systematic use of two prosodic variables, pitch variation and pause

structure, in the naturally occurring discourse of native and nonnative

teaching assistants. Using native speaker presentations as baseline

data, the analysis focuses on the role of discourse prosodics in typical

classroom presentations and in rapport-building between teachers and

students.

In comparison with analyses of the syntactic and lexical features

of text, the contribution of the prosodic characteristics of longer

stretches of speech has remained largely understudied (Levinson, 1983).

Systematic investigation of the role of intonation, in particular, has also

been hampered by its traditional representation as a "half-tamed

savage" (from Bolinger, 1978, cited in Valssiere, 1995), lying on the edge

of language and more appropriate for paralinguistic investigation. More

recently, however, improvements in the instrumental techniques available

to researchers in speech perception and new approaches to discourse

analysis have resulted in a revised conception of the role of prosody in

the production and interpretation of spoken discourse. Prosodic

features such as stress, intonation, rhythm, and pause structure have

been shown to form a natural link between linguistic and sociolinguistic

aspects of language, as they bear a high communicative load in terms of

both structuring information and expressing relationships between

discourse participants (Brazil, 1997; Gumperz, 1982). In light of this

research, prosodic features become measurable as a critical component of










the communicative ability of nonnative speakers, as they directly impact

linguistic, sociolinguistic and discourse competence.

The role of discourse prosodics in information structuring has

been investigated in a number of experimental studies which propose

that prosodic features such as pitch (as measured by fundamental

frequency) and pause structure are used in the production and

processing of local (utterance level) and global (discourse level)

information structure (Grosz & Sidner, 1986). Production studies in

English and Dutch show that a speaker's use of pitch and pausing can

be directly linked to the topic structure of the discourse (Grosz &

Sidner, 1986; Nakajima & Allen, 1993; Swerts & Geluykens, 1993, 1994;

Cutler, Dahan & Donselaar, 1997). Speakers tend to use a high pitch

level, or fundamental frequency (Fo), at the initiation of a new topic, a

mid level at points of continuation, and a low Fo accompanied by longer

pauses at topic final boundaries. Nakajima & Allen (1993) also found

that topic elaborations or 'asides' were produced with lower Fo onsets

and finals and were characterized by a restricted pitch range. Swerts

& Geluykens (1994) conclude that "this points to a very sophisticated

use of global Fo features by the speaker, and shows that we should

look beyond the local level when studying the discourse function of Fo

variation" (p. 31).

Listener perceptions of the role of prosodic cues in information

processing are typically tested using response times to manipulated or

synthesized speech (Kreiman, 1982; Grosz & Sidner, 1986; Grosjan, 1983;

Swerts & Geluykens, 1994; Cutler, Dahan & Donselaar, 1997). In these

studies, listeners were able to identify major discourse boundaries and










predict when an utterance was likely to end using only prosodic

features such as pause length and Fo variation. When syntactic and

prosodic cues were manipulated so that utterances were syntactically

complete but prosodically incomplete, listener response times increased.

suggesting that this mismatch of linguistic signals required listeners to

reanalyze the information (Berkovits, 1984; Sanderman & Collier, 1997).

Swerts & Geluykens (1994) conclude that "listeners are able to deduce

discourse structure from prosody. Both pause duration and pitch

variation appear to be important perceptual cues" (p. 38). Collectively,

this research suggests that speakers employ prosodic structure to

organize information at a global level and that listeners use prosodic

cues to parse incoming information and predict upcoming discourse

structure.

In addition to these informational functions, discourse analysts

have proposed that pitch variation and pause structure form part of a

systematic use of prosodic features for indexical, or non-referential,

functions (Gumperz, 1982; Couper-Kuhlen & Selting, 1992). Indexical

functions include the use of pitch variation to regulate turn-taking in

conversation, to communicate sociolinguistic information such as status

differences, solidarity, or social distance between interlocutors, or to

project speaker assumptions regarding what information is 'new' or

shared in the context of a specific interaction. In general terms,

prosody contributes to relationship-building between participants. Both

the referential and non-referential functions of prosodic structure are

united in Gumperz's (1982) theory of conversational inference.










Gumperz suggests that comprehensible spoken discourse is

achieved through the production and interpretation of multiple cues or

signals present at all levels of the discourse, i.e., lexical, syntactic,

prosodic and non-verbal. The pragmatic or communicative value of the

discourse message is contained within the composite whole. For their

production and interpretation of these devices, or contextualization cues,

participants use "contextual presuppositions" (institutionalized linguistic

and cultural knowledge), and "situated inferencing" (moment by moment

inferences regarding the speaker's intent based on the context of the

interaction). Gumperz proposes that over time, these cues have become

tacit, conventionalized choices, and in normal interaction between

members of the same speech community, discourse participants will

implicitly assume a shared framework of production and interpretation.

The reliance on a shared linguistic and sociocultural background

for interpretation of the discourse message has particular implications

for cross-cultural communication. The way in which participants orient

themselves to the interaction and to each other depends on their on-

going interpretation of conversational behaviors. Those behaviors that

differ across speech communities may not be immediately evident to

interlocutors, as interpretation rests on deeply rooted, culturally based

presuppositions which are not easily retrieved by a native speaker on a

conscious, analytical level. Participants are likely to assume a mutual

understanding of discourse conventions, and infer speaker intent within

their own interpretive framework (Green, 1989; Humprey-Jones, 1986;

Tannen, 1985). Prosodic cues are particularly vulnerable to

misinterpretation. In Gumperz's (1982, 1983, 1992) own work










investigating interactions between Indian English speakers and

British/American English speakers, he shows that Indian English

prosodic conventions frequently lead American/British participants to

view Indian speakers as discourteous, aggressive and misleading.1 In

light of the double function of prosodic cues in both structuring

information and rapport-building between participants, Gumperz et

al.(1984) characterize intonation as "among the most important of the

devices that accompany cohesion in spoken interaction" (p. 5).

This dissertation extends the current research in both speech

analysis and cross-cultural communication concerning the role of

prosody in discourse. The study compares two prosodic features, pitch

variation and pause structure, in the teaching presentations of native

and nonnative speaker (Chinese and Indian) teaching assistants in an

American university. A qualitative design was chosen in order to

conduct a microanalysis of the complete pitch and pause structure of

each of the discourse extracts recorded for this study. Fundamental

frequency contours and pause lengths were computed for each extract

using a Kay Elemetrics Computerized Speech Laboratory. These data



1 Although the models of discourse and intonation structure used in
this study (Gumperz, 1982: Brazil, 1997) are based primarily on
observations from standard British speakers, both researchers have also
used American English examples. As the formal constructs proposed in the
models and their interpretative value were found to be equally applicable
to the standard American English speakers investigated in this study, I
will subsume both the standard models of American and British English
under the title 'English' throughout this study for ease of exposition. This
term is contrasted with 'indigenized varieties of English' which is used to
describe Indian English. I also note, however, that there may be
differences in the interpretation of certain intonational features based on
localized regional or social factors, in both American and British English
(see, for example, Local, 1985; Bolinger, 1989), or in other native standard
models.










were then analyzed using a model of intonation structure in discourse

proposed by Brazil (1997). Brazil's framework comprises a series of

formal intonational categories which operate at the same level of

abstraction as syntactic and lexical choices, and have independent

implications for the discourse structure. Both Gumperz's and Brazil's

proposals share the same underlying principles regarding the

communicative function of intonation. Central to Brazil's model is the

principle of a state of convergence between discourse participants; that

is, the continuous negotiation toward a roughly mutual state of

understanding in the immediate and constantly changing world of

naturally occurring spoken discourse. Intonational choices made by the

speaker project both referential and non-referential information which

the hearers will interpret within their understanding of the how the

system operates in English.

The comparison of the native speaker (NS) and nonnative speaker

(NNS) prosodic data is set within this larger framework of discourse

interpretation. If it can be established that native speakers are using

prosodic cues to orient their hearers to the interaction, then analysis of

the nonnative data can determine whether prosody is used by these

speakers to transmit the same information. In addition, the formal

categories proposed by Brazil constrain the hearers' interpretation of

particular pitch movements. Therefore, we can surmise what effect

specific prosodic miscues in the nonnative speaker discourse are likely

to have on the comprehensibility of the discourse and rapport-building

between teacher and students.










The study focuses on four principal research questions:

1. Based on a model of prosodic structure in American/British
discourse, is there evidence that native speaker teaching
assistants systematically pattern intonation and pause
structure for informational and social functions for the benefit of
their hearers?
2. Based on an analysis of parallel native speaker and nonnative
speaker teaching presentations, what similarities and differences
in prosodic patterning are found in the teaching discourse of
Mandarin Chinese ITAs?
3. Based on an analysis of parallel American English and Indian
English teaching presentations, what similarities and differences
in prosodic patterning are found in the teaching discourse of
Indian English ITAs?
4. Based on these analyses, is the prosodic structure of ITA
discourse likely to be a cause of miscommunication at
informational and social levels between ITAs and their American
English hearers?

The discussion also addresses issues which evolved naturally out

of the analysis, such as differences between Indian and Chinese

speakers' use of English prosodic systems, development of prosodic

features in a second language, and how these results can be applied to

cross-cultural communication and ESL pedagogy.

The remainder of this chapter examines recent literature

concerning the prosodic structure of L2 discourse, and ITA discourse

specifically. Chapter 2 describes Brazil's model of intonation in

discourse in detail. Currently, there are several models of prosodic

structure in English discourse available to the researcher

(Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg, 1990; Watt, 1994; Brown, Currie &

Kenworthy, 1980; Halliday, 1967). Chapter 2 also includes a comparison

with two similar models, and a discussion of why Brazil's model was

considered to be most appropriate for this study. Finally, Chapter 2

describes two additions that have been made to Brazil's model for the

purposes of this study. The first is a unit of intonation structure










developed by Barr (1990), which formalizes a prosodic paragraphing

structure found in the lecture discourse of native speakers. The

second is the inclusion of pause analysis based on previous findings

regarding the prosodic features of typical NNS teaching discourse

(Rounds, 1987). Chapter 3 describes the data and the procedures used

in this dissertation. The chapter includes a discussion of the

instrumental techniques used in the data analysis, and examples of the

fundamental frequency read-outs used to illustrate pitch variation in the

analyses.

Chapters 4, 5, and 6 comprise the results of the study. Chapter 4

reports the native speaker data analysis. The results verify that NS TAs

make systematic use of prosodic cues to communicate the global

structure of the discourse and to project their assumptions regarding

the knowledge state of a particular group of hearers. In addition, these

speakers use certain intonation choices to create solidarity with their

hearers by acknowledging their participation In the discourse. Chapters

5 and 6 report the results from the nonnative data. The analysis of the

Chinese ITA data, given in Chapter 5, shows that these speakers fail to

make systematic use of prosodic cues for referential discourse functions.

Furthermore, there was little evidence in these data of the use of

prosodic cues to build rapport between teacher and students. Indeed,

intonation patterns were typically found to exclude the hearers from the

context of the interaction. The results of the Indian ITA analysis are

reported in Chapter 6. There was more within-group variation in these

data, possibly related to the speakers' different L1 backgrounds.

However, the analysis suggests that as a group, these speakers use










certain conventionalized prosodic patterns that have been transferred

from General Indian English. For the American English listener, these

patterns frequently obscure the informational structure of the discourse

at both a local and global level and reduce comprehensibility. There is

also less evidence of the use of rapport-building strategies by this

group of TAs in comparison to the NS group.

Lastly, Chapter 7 presents a summary of the three analyses, and

discusses the role of prosodic structure in the comprehensibility of L2

discourse in light of the results of this study. I assert that prosodic

cues are a critical component of comprehensible spoken discourse in

English, and should be viewed as of central importance to the

development of effective discourse competence in L2 learners. The

chapter concludes with suggestions for future research, and the

possible applications of this kind of analysis.

L1 and L2 Discourse Structure

Comparative studies of L1 and L2 discourse structure demonstrate

crucial differences in the production of prosodic cues by L2 speakers

which can negatively affect the interpretation of discourse structure by

NS hearers. Current research suggests that nonnative-like prosodic

structuring in NNS discourse contributes to a lack of cohesion at a

global level, confusion regarding the relationships between individual

propositions at a local level, and misinterpretation of speaker intent at

an interpersonal level (Wennerstrom, 1997; Hewings, 1995; Anderson-

Hsieh, Johnson & Koehler, 1992). In investigations of advanced and

intermediate Asian and European learners, Wennerstrom (1994, 1997)

found that speakers did not use pitch variation to signal new or










contrastive lexical items, and used less reduction of pitch on non-

prominent words. This led to multiple prominences in an intonation unit

and difficulty in distinguishing sentence accent. Japanese, Thai, and

Chinese speakers also tended to use low boundary tones between related

propositions where rising or mid level tones would be anticipated by NS

hearers. Pirt (1990) reported similar results in a study of Italian

learners. In addition to multiple prominences, she found more use of

level and falling unit final tones in the NNS data, indicating that

learners were 'language-oriented' rather than oriented toward their

hearers. Lower proficiency learners also used inappropriate low

boundary tones such as the following (capital letters indicate prominent

syllables, and // indicates the boundary of an intonation unit):

// you must the FIRST RIGHT// (p. 151)
TAKE//

Hewings (1995) found a similar preference for the use of falling

tones in the discourse of advanced L2 learners from Korea, Greece and

Indonesia. This was particularly problematic in situations where rising

tones were chosen by native speakers for "socially integrative"

purposes. Hewings reports that when contradicting a previous speaker,

NSs consistently used rising tones to avoid the appearance of overt

disagreement implicit in a falling tone. In agreement with Gumperz,

Hewings suggests that the use of falling tones by NNSs in this context

can give the impression of deliberate rudeness or animosity on the part

of the speaker.

Studies investigating fluency in L2 discourse (i.e. pause structure

and hesitation phenomena) suggest that this can also confound listener

interpretation of the discourse structure. Typical characteristics of NNS










speech such as repetition or correction of lexical items, and

retrospective drafting of entire phrases (Hewings, 1990)2, disturb the

prosodic composition of the discourse and make it more difficult for the

hearer to retrieve the overall informational structure. Similar

difficulties have been shown for pause structure in L2 discourse.

Riggenbach (1991) and Anderson-Hsieh & Venkatagiri (1995) found that

there were more nonlexical fillers and unfilled pauses in non-fluent NNS

speech, and that long pauses frequently appeared within intonation

units.

These characteristics affect NS perceptions of both internal

cohesion and overall coherence of the discourse structure, and listener

perception studies suggest that NS hearers react in a number of ways.

Difficulties in processing information structure may necessitate hearers

"replaying" parts of the message (Munro & Derwing, 1995). This, in

turn, can lead to "listener irritation" (Eisenstein, 1983), a dual response

to NNS discourse consisting of a negative cognitive reaction to reduced

comprehensibility, and a negative emotional reaction due to annoyance

and distraction. Problematic pause and pitch characteristics in

discourse production have been directly linked to listener irritation in a

number of experimental studies (Brown, Strong & Rencher, 1973, 1974;

Philipson, 1978; Fayer & Krasinski, 1987; Holden & Hogan, 1993). In

summary, the prosodic features of NNS discourse clearly contribute to

what Bouchard-Ryan (1983) calls a "generalized negative affect", which



2 The following is a typical example of retrospective redrafting taken
from Hewings (1990):
/ER// HE-er// he BREATHED-er// ER// MUCH-er// s-s-// SO MUCH-
er//ER// AIR// he BREATHED in// SO much AIR// (p. 143).










describes the negative judgements made by NS hearers concerning the

speaker's competence and personality.

Turning now to the ITA literature, although prosodic structure is

directly addressed in very few studies, where observations are made,

they reflect the findings In the L2 literature. Rounds (1987), Byrd &

Constantinedes (1990) and Bailey (1984) show that pause structure and

rate of speech can negatively affect intelligibility of the discourse and

student perceptions of the ITA. In Hinofotis & Bailey (1980),

undergraduate students were asked to comment on ITA presentations.

The most frequent complaint was that ITAs were boring, and it was

difficult for students to concentrate. The authors link this remark to

the monotonic intonation patterns that characterize the presentations.

The underlying problem reflected in these kinds of comments is listener

perception of a "flat, undifferentiated, amorphous structure" (Tyler,

Jefferies & Davies, 1988), created in part, by frequent silences and a

lack of prosodic cues to signal information structure.

Many of these observations are consolidated in a group of studies

conducted by Tyler and her associates (Tyler, Jefferies & Davies, 1988;

Davies, Tyler & Koran, 1989; Tyler & Davies, 1990; Tyler, 1992; Tyler &

Bro, 1992; Tyler & Bro, 1993; Tyler, 1995). Working within Gumperz's

model of cross-cultural communication, these researchers use

microanalysis of ITA presentations and teacher-student interactions to

illustrate how an accumulation of miscues at all levels of the discourse

structure can result in a misinterpretation of speaker intent by

undergraduate students. Tyler, Jefferies & Davies (1988) show that

prosodic miscues such as inappropriate falling contours, multiple










prominences and disfluency, combine with problematic syntactic

structures and use of discourse marking to obscure informational

structure. In Tyler & Davies (1990), both ITA production and

interpretation of prosodic cues contribute to communication failure

between a Korean ITA and a US undergraduate student. As the

interaction progresses, it is clear from the student's agitated tone and

higher pitch that he is becoming increasingly more distressed. However,

during a playback session of the interaction, the ITA told researchers

that "he was not confident about reading the information conveyed by

prosodics and tone" (p. 404), and therefore, did not adjust his approach

to the student. These studies further highlight the critical importance

of situational context. Classroom interaction is an example of "binding

discourse" (Goffman, 1981), i.e., talk that "supports a class of hearers

who are more committed by what is being said" (1981: 140).

Undergraduate students are primarily concerned with their ultimate

success in the class, and may be less tolerant of communication

difficulties in this environment than they would be in some other

situational context. With this added consideration, the ability of ITAs to

both successfully produce and interpret prosodic cues in discourse

becomes a necessary component of their overall communicative

competence.

The design of this dissertation study is consistent with the

qualitative, interpretive investigations of ITA discourse conducted by

Tyler et al., and augments these earlier studies by demonstrating how

global prosodic organization of the discourse can contribute to the

typical cross-cultural communication problems found in many teacher-








15
student interactions. This dissertation shows that if we do not address

prosodic structure in ITA discourse, we are essentially disregarding an

entire level of discourse organization and access to a tool used

consistently by native speakers to build a positive rapport with other

participants in the discourse. Through comparison with baseline native

speaker data, this study demonstrates how prosodic miscues in the

nonnative speaker discourse can be integrated into an overall

assessment of L2 competence and the ability of L2 speakers to

communicate effectively with native speaker interlocutors.














CHAPTER 2
INTONATION IN DISCOURSE

Models of Discourse Prosody

Introduction

The previous chapter argued for a discourse framework in which

comprehensible spoken discourse is achieved through the interpretation

of multiple cues present at all levels of discourse production. This

interpretation is based on both the shared linguistic and sociocultural

backgrounds of participants and the situated context of any given

interaction. It was further proposed that prosodic cues contribute

independently to the message contained within the discourse as a whole,

serving to both structure information and establish the relationship

between discourse participants. This chapter introduces a model of

intonation in discourse (Brazil, 1985 and 1997) compatible with this

framework of discourse production and interpretation.

The first part of the chapter gives a full description of Brazil's

model based largely on the work of Brazil (1997) and Brazil, Coulthard &

Johns (1980). Where issues addressed by the model parallel discussion

in the collective literature concerning prosodies, this will be indicated in

order to clarify Brazil's theoretical position within the larger framework

of other important work in the field. The second section compares

aspects of two other models of intonation (Halliday, 1967; Pierrehumbert

& Hirschberg, 1990) to Brazil's proposals. Halliday's model precedes

many treatments of intonation analysis that employ tone unit division










and tonal analysis of tonic syllables, including Brazil's model. However,

the discussion will assert that Halliday's reliance on syntactic and

information structure and attitudinal meaning to explain phonological

form unnecessarily complicates the tonal inventory. The Pierrehumbert

and Hirschberg model is analogous to Brazil's proposals in that it

develops a system based only on phonological form and assigns an

independent pragmatic function to intonation structure. However, I

suggest that the interpretive model they have developed up to this

point offers less insight regarding intonational effects across tone unit

boundaries and, therefore, is unable to investigate the larger patterns

of intonation structure in discourse suggested by Brazil and other

researchers. On this basis, it is argued that Brazil's model provides the

most comprehensive framework in which to investigate an independent

intonational structure of discourse as opposed to sentential or clausal

based units.

The final section in this chapter incorporates two additions to the

model. The first is a unit of intonation structure operating in discourse

proposed by Barr (1990). As Barr is working both within Brazil's model

and with teaching discourse, the investigation of these units has been

added to this analysis. The second is the addition of pause analysis to

Brazil's original work with stress and intonation. Prior research

investigating the teaching discourse of nonnative teaching assistants

(Rounds, 1987) suggests that an analysis of pause structure highlights

important qualitative differences between the overall prosodic structure

of NNS and NS discourse that can affect comprehensibility and










relationship-building in the classroom. Finally, a summary of the revised

model will be given at the end of the chapter.

A Model of Intonation in Discourse

Brazil (1997) proposes that intonation structure directly

contributes to the pragmatic message of the discourse by the use of

intonational cues to link the information to a world or context the

hearer can make sense of. The speaker chooses from a series of formal

options which operate at the same level of abstraction as syntactic and

lexical choices and have independent implications for discourse

structure. The speaker's choices project a context of interaction based

on the on-going situated context of the discourse and her assessment of

the hearer's knowledge state. As this context is constantly changing,

intonation choices are relevant only at the moment of speaking, and the

speaker is involved in a continuous assessment of the relationship

between the message and the hearer. Within the context of any given

interaction, the participants are in the process of negotiating a "common

ground" or background to which "new" or unknown information is

added, contributing to the structure both within and between

intonation units. It is this negotiation toward a state of convergence (p.

133), a roughly mutual understanding of what is being said in the

discourse, that allows for successful communication between participants.

The formal options through which this negotiation is realized are

described below.

In the tradition of functionally based descriptions of English

intonation (Halliday, 1967; Crystal, 1969; Watt, 1994; Tench, 1996), Brazil

adopts pitch defined tone units as a means of breaking up stretches of










spoken discourse. Each unit has a possible 3 part structure; however,

only the tonic segment, the actual meaning-bearing element, is

obligatory; therefore, a minimal tone unit consists of only a tonic

segment, while an extended unit contains additional proclitic or enclitic

material. Examples of minimal and extended tone units are shown on

Table 2-1 below.


Table 2-1. Examples of Minimal and Extended Tone Units


TONE UNIT
PROCLITIC TONIC SEGMENT ENCLITIC SEGMENT
SEGMENT (optional) (obligatory) (optional)
DRAW the GRAPH
you can DRAW the GRAPH now



Tone unit boundary recognition is frequently discussed in the

literature (Crystal, 1969; Brown, Currie & Kenworthy, 1980; Cutler, Dahan

& Donselaar, 1997) and there is general agreement that boundaries can

be detected using a number of phonetic criteria such as vowel

lengthening, changes in pitch direction or short pauses. It is also

recognized however, that such boundaries are not always easily

identifiable (Tao, 1996; Couper-Kuhlen & Selting, 1996). While Brazil uses

phonetic criteria where they are present, one of the advantages of the

model is that it does not require precise recognition of unit boundaries,

as no linguistically significant contrasts are made on the optional

proclitic and enclitic segments. Tonic segment boundaries are identified

by the feature of prominence, fundamental frequency (Fo) excursions

which distinguish prominent syllables from the surrounding content and










represent the speaker's assessment of the relative information load

carried by the elements in the utterance (Halliday, 1967; Crystal, 1969;

Williams, 1986; Tench, 1996). Brazil suggests that at least one, but

usually two, prominent syllables delimit the tonic segment. The way in

which syllables are assigned prominence rests on the pragmatic

intentions of the speaker and what Brazil terms an existential paradigm.

The paradigm consists of what possible choices could appear in each of

the syntagmatic slots of the tone unit based on both the constraints of

the language system and on the non-linguistic situation or the situated

context of the interaction. For example, given a potential tone unit such

as 'a parcel of books lay on the table', at least two possible prominence

selections could be made (capital letters indicate prominent syllables):

a. a parcel of BOOKS lay on the TAble
b. a PARcel of books lay on the TAble

In (a) the speaker presents a prominent choice of 'BOOKS' as opposed to

perhaps flowers or cups, and makes a similar prominence choice

regarding the location, i.e., on the table as opposed to on the floor or

on the chair. The choice of prominence on both syllables projects a

situated context in which both these pieces of information are

unrecoverable either from the prior interaction or from constraints

within the language system. Equally, by choosing not to make

prominent certain other words in the unit, the speaker assumes that no

choice needs to be made from the existential paradigm. This may be

based on non-linguistic or linguistic factors. For example, a choice of

'box' of books (another possibility in the paradigm) can be considered

synonymous to the choice of 'parcel', and books can be assumed to 'lay'










on a table as opposed to 'stand up'. Constraints on the possible choices

in the language system apply to the nonprominent function words such

as 'of' and 'on'. In (b) the speaker chooses to make 'parcel' prominent

and 'books' nonprominent. This projects a context in which other

possibilities from the appropriate paradigm are unlikely as 'books' is

understood as having been already negotiated:

A: Was the book there?
B: There was a PARcel of books there

The way in which these understandings are achieved can range from

constraints in the language system or immediate context, to less

restricted contexts such as assumed cultural knowledge, for example, the

non-prominent '5th' in 'SAKS 5th AVenue' for an American English

speaker and the non-prominent 'hardy' in 'FREEman, hardy and WILlis'

for a British English speaker.l

Support for the function of prominence in projecting the

speaker's understanding of the negotiated status of a given item comes

from both mishearings and prosodic repairs. In the following example,

the mishearing ('eight' instead of 'ace') causes B to project a context in

which 'eight' is already determined and therefore, realized non-

prominently:

A: Which ace did you play?
B: The eight of HEARTS
(Brazil, 1997: 27)

Prominent syllables are divided into two categories based on

where they appear in the tone unit: the first prominent syllable in the




1 Freeman, Hardy and Willis is a national chain of shoe stores in
Britain. This example comes from Brazil (1986).










tonic segment is called the onset and the last is called the tonic

syllable.2 It is the pitch level and pitch movement on these syllables

that forms the basis for the assessment of their communicative value

within the three systems that comprise the model. The systems realized

on these two syllables are key, realized on the onset syllable:

termination, realized on the tonic syllable3; and tone, also realized on

the tonic syllable. Key and termination will be discussed together as

they are closely related, followed by tone.

Both key and termination choices are analyzed under a three term

system that divides the speaker's pitch range into three levels: high

(H), mid (M), and low (L). Clearly, for any given speaker, an indefinite

number of absolute pitch levels may be identified, and absolute pitch

level may be affected by a number of factors including individual

idiosyncracies, emotional involvement (Bolinger, 1988) or sociocultural

convention (van Bezooyen, 1984). However, once we abstract away from

these factors, Brazil suggests we are left with a small number of pitch

contrasts used to convey purely linguistic meaning.

Both key and termination pitch choices are also glossed with the

same communicative values. Choice of high pitch on the prominent

syllable denotes the constituent (or the matter of the tone unit) as

either contrastivee' with something derivable from the preceding



2 Brazil et al. (1980) suggests that it is possible to have intermediate
stressed syllables between these two if they form part of the informing
content of the tone unit; however, this pattern usually occurs in
particular styles of speech (see later discussion).

In cases where there is only one prominent syllable in the tone unit,
both key and termination choice fall on the same syllable.










discourse (including both linguistic and non-linguistic factors) or

'particularized', i.e., highlighted as crucial over and above the

surrounding information. (In the following examples, both key and

termination are realized on the same syllable):4

H FAILED//
M //he took the exAM// and
L
he did not pass, as you might have expected:
contrastive
(Sinclair & Brazil, 1982: 144)

Mid pitch choices have an additive function and denote the constituent

as an 'expansion' or 'enlargement' of the information in previous units:

H
M //he took the exAM// and FAILED
L
he did both: additive
(Sinclair & Brazil, 1982: 144)

Finally, a low pitch choice signifies an 'equative' value in relation to

previous units, giving low key an additional restrictive function. It may

be a reformulation of the previous unit, or some kind of recognition that

no new information is added:

H
M //he took the exAM// and
L FAILED//
as you would expect; from what you know of him you
will assume that taking it involves failing it: equative
(Sinclair & Brazil, 1982: 144)

Turning now to examples in which key and termination are

realized on different syllables, separate choices on these systems allow





Following Brazil's conventions, in all the following examples, '//'
indicates a tone unit boundary, onset syllables are given in capitals and
tonic syllables are capitalized and underlined. Key/termination levels are
indicated by H, M, & L.










the projection of a finer context of interaction, and a more detailed

analysis of speaker assumption and intent:

A: It's three o'clock
B: H
M GO//
L //TIME to
Here the message would be, 'I take three o'clock' as equivalent in
meaning in this context to 'time to go' (indicated by the choice of
low key), and'I assume you will agree' (mid termination predicting

mid key 'yes, i agree'). (Brazil et al., 1980: 77)

This interactive use of the key and termination systems allows the

speaker to 'suggest' the appropriateness of certain reactions by

the hearer. In the following example, Brazil suggests the speaker

invites an "adjudicating response" from the hearer with a use of

high termination, i.e., 'consider whether he ought or ought not be

ashamed of himself', and anticipates concurrence or approval of

the proposed action with the use of mid termination on 'tell him

so':

H SHAMED of himself//
M //he OUGHT to be a
L

H
M and i'm GOing to TELL him so//
L
(Brazil, 1997: 59)

In terms of previous analyses of the English intonation system, there is

nothing inherently new about identifying a small number of linguistically

contrastive pitch levels for any given speaker (Pike, 1946; Halliday,

1967; Crystal, 1969; Tench, 1996). However, Brazil's proposal differs

from these treatments in two important respects.










First, one level is not given as the 'norm', i.e., the level the

speaker will deviate from for specific (and largely attitudinal) effects.

In Brazil's model, values are derived on a relative basis. Key choice is

identified by its relative pitch height as compared to the pitch of the

key choice in the previous unit, and termination choice is identified

relative to the key choice in the same unit. As Couper-Kuhlen (1986)

notes, this allows for more precise recognition of pitch height changes

than a system that establishes a series of fixed levels. However, it

raises a different problem: How to categorize a specific pitch level

choice that may be only marginally lower or higher than a previous

choice, compared to one in which the actual FO change is much greater.

These difficulties, as with those that come with a fixed level system,

reflect the problem of dealing with the gradient nature of the systems

measured in prosodic analysis, i.e., Fo, amplitude and length. It is

suggested here, in agreement with Couper-Kuhlen (1986), that these

potential problems for analysis can be alleviated by analyzing key and

termination choices within a minimally fixed framework, i.e., the voice

range of the speaker. The first onset key is identified within this

range, and subsequent levels are identified as appreciably 'higher than'

or 'lower than' the preceding key or termination choice (see the sample

analyses shown in Chapter 3). A certain amount of flexibility must

remain within any system that attempts to describe these features, as Fo

changes are conditioned by both time, which causes declination, and

position in the discourse, which results in an expansion or flattening of

the intonation contour near the beginning and ends of prosodic units

(Vaissiere, 1983; Levelt. 1989; Beckman, 1997). Second, stemming from










the level analysis, Brazil posits a form of tonal collocation, i.e. the

extent to which adjacent tones display predictable restrictions (Crystal,

1969). Changes in pitch level are constrained by movement between

adjacent levels only. Therefore, no tone unit exhibits a high key and

low termination, or low key and high termination, and there is a further

adjacent level constraint across tone unit boundaries. In formalizing

and systematically incorporating the notion of key or relative onset level

into the model, Brazil's proposals differ from those made in a number of

other current research models (Brown, Currie & Kenworthy, 1980;

Gussenhoven, 1983; Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg, 1990). However, key

choice analysis is critical in establishing pitch range interactions across

tone units both in the discourse of one speaker and in interactions

between speakers, and it has been recognized by a number of other

researchers (Couper-Kuhlen, 1986; Tench, 1996; Wennerstrom, 1997) as a

necessary construct to investigate prosodic units larger than the tone

unit or intonational phrase.5 These units, or phonological paragraphs,

are readily incorporated into Brazil's model and are discussed below.

There are two kinds of phonological paragraphing proposed in this

model: pitch concord and pitch sequences. Pitch concord describes

pitch range interactions between speakers. Brazil proposes that in

exchanges, following the consequent introduction of a new range of

pitch norms, the second speaker will aim to match her initial key choice

to the final termination choice of the first speaker in response to




5 Wennerstrom (1997) in fact, incorporates a form of key analysis into
Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg's model for this reason.










whatever 'invitation' is projected by the first speaker. This is

exemplified in the following examples:

(a) A: H
M //Do you underST D//
L

B: H
M //YES//
L

(b) A: H STAND//
M //Do you under
L

B: H //YES/
M
L (Brazil, 1997: 54)

In (a) the use of mid termination by speaker A is not so much a request

for a decision as an invitation to confirm that A's assumption ('i think

you do understand') is correct. Speaker B supplies this expected

concurrence with a mid key 'yes, I do'. In (b) on the other hand, the

use of high termination can be glossed as: 'Tell me, do you or do you

not understand?' and speaker B's response as asserting 'yes, there is

no question of me not understanding'. A similar example was recently

overheard on a college campus:
A: H WAS it//
M //it WASN't my FAULT//
L

B: H //NO// of COURSE it
M WASN'T//
L

In this example, speaker B responds to speaker's A request to

adjudicate ('tell me, was it or wasn't it my fault') with a high key

suggesting there is no question that it was not her fault. As Brazil

notes, there is no absolute requirement that a speaker must obey the

concord rule. However, when a second speaker does wish to refuse the










invitation offered by the speaker, she may choose to do so indirectly by

realizing the expected key choice on a "dummy" item such as the mid

key choice on 'well' shown below:
A: H
M //i COULDn't go// COULD i//
L

B: H YES// COULD//
M //WELL// i think you
L
(Brazil, 1997: 56)

The second construct, the pitch sequence, is a stretch of

consecutive tone units that fall between two low termination choices. It

may be uttered by one speaker or shared between two participants in

an exchange. It typically delimits longer sections of speech and may be

related, in terms of communicative value, to the next or previous pitch

sequence, or to the constituent tone units within it:

Pitch sequences resemble sentences and exchanges in
that they exhibit a kind of running down of the
constraints that unify them. By saying that low
termination is the realization of a pitch sequence
closure we are recognizing that the unit ends when
the constraints that derive from a particular kind of
language organization are reduced to zero.
(Brazil, 1985: 182)
The following example of a pitch sequence closure marks the boundaries

of a typical teacher-student exchange with a final low key on the

evaluation 'good':

T: H
M //WHAT's the final ANSwer//
L

S: H
M //sixTEEN//
L

T: H //NOW//.....
M //sixTEENJ/
L //OOD//










In addition, the example shows the teacher beginning a new pitch

sequence with the high key frame 'now'.

In longer narratives or monologues by one speaker, pitch

sequences create relationships with each other of 'separateness' or

'connection'. A low termination pitch sequence closure may be followed

by a high, mid or low key choice which carries the same communicative

value contrastivee, additive or equative) as key choices within tone

units; however, these are external key choices that reflect the speaker's

projection of the relationship of one pitch sequence as a whole to the

pitch sequence preceding it. A high key choice marks a point of

maximal disjunction from the previous sequence and may mark major

semantic or structural boundaries in the discourse. A mid key pitch

sequence carries a value of enlargement, expansion, or addition to the

preceding sequence, and a low key sequence closes off a prosodic unit

and may be associated with reformulations or asides which typically

have a reduced pitch range (Beckman, 1997: Tench, 1996).

A tendency for pitch concord between speakers has been noted by

a number of other researchers, particularly those working with

conversational interaction (Couper-Kuhlen & Selting, 1996). In addition,

pitch sequences most closely parallel the paratone structures that have

been discussed by researchers working with long stretches of narrative

discourse (Yule, 1980; Brown, Currie & Kenworthy 1980; Brown & Yule,

1983; Couper-Kuhlen, 1986). Major paratones are identified by a high

key onset and a low termination (or extended pause) consistent with








30
Brazil's high pitch sequence boundaries.6 Yule (1980) and Couper-

Kuhlen (1986) also discuss a minor paratone structure; however, only the

latter recognizes relative onset key which would make minor paratones

coextensive with Brazil's mid and low key pitch sequences. The nature

of the model also allows for new developments in prosodic paragraphing,

and this will be discussed below. In sum, phonological paragraphing is

a relatively new area of discourse analysis that can be fully

investigated using the key and termination options proposed in this

model.

The third and final system posited in the model is that of tone.

This is concerned with pitch movement rather than pitch level and

appears in addition to the termination choice on the tonic syllable. Tone

denotes the status of the content of the tone unit, i.e., whether it is

'new' or 'given' within the context of the interaction. Brazil recognizes

five tonal contours:

S- : fall (p); rise-fall (p+)

J" : fall-rise (r); rise (r+)

: neutral tone (o)

Excluding for the moment the neutral tone choice, the four possibilities

can be divided into two opposing pairs: rising and falling. Tones that

end in a falling movement are termed proclaiming tones. The use of

these tones signifies the content is new, i.e., not recoverable from the

preceding discourse, or is asserted, i.e., as necessary or

incontrovertible truth or fact. Tones with a rising movement are termed


6 In fact, these are more likely to be coextensive with the sequence
chain boundaries proposed by Barr (1990) and discussed below.










referring tones and signify that this information is already

"conversationally in play" i.e., assumed to be known or recoverable from

the preceding discourse or non-linguistic context. In the following

examples, a teacher is providing examples of commonplace 'rubbing

movements' in order to demonstrate the concept of friction to her

students:

(1) //p when you strike a match//
//r it's a rubbing movement//

(2) //r when we rub our hands together
//p we are causing friction//
(Brazil et al., 1980: 14)

(1) can be glossed as 'talking of rubbing movements, another (new) kind

is striking a match'. (2) reverses the organization of 'new' and 'given'

and can be glossed as 'all these examples of rubbing movements (such

as rubbing our hands together) are causing something new I will

introduce to you called friction'. Thus, tone choice summarizes the

'common ground' between speakers at any particular moment in a given

interaction.

As with choices of key and termination, the speaker operates on

the basis of her assessment of the state of convergence between herself,

the hearer and the message. This assumption of common ground can be

seen most clearly in cases where the hearer(s) cannot confirm the

correctness of the assumption directly, yet some state of convergence is

projected. In the following example, a news announcer in Britain

assumes that the name of the prime minister of Britain will be known to

the audience (hence the 'r' tone) whereas the name of her French

counterpart may not:










//p the prime MINister//r mrs THATcher//
//p the prime MINister//p raymond ARRE//
(Brazil et al., 1980: 18)

However, It is also important to remember that choices are under the

speaker's executive control (Levelt, 1989). In other words, speaker

intention can override any 'expected' choices that may be anticipated

based on context. For example, the system allows the speaker the

option to project a state of convergence that has not existed until that

moment, i.e. choose tones as if something had already been negotiated.

The tonal system is also used to reflect soclolinguistic variables

such as differences in social status between speaker and hearer, or

"social distance", i.e., whether interlocutors are intimates or strangers

(Wolfson, 1988). For example, the '+' tones (r+/p+) carry the same

information value as their r/p counterparts; however, Brazil suggests

they carry an added value of dominance. Choice between the regular

and '+' version of these tones is often based on the status relationship

between participants of the discourse where the '+' tones, as dominant

tones, are the prerogative of the controller of the discourse or the

participant who claims control.

In cases where the status of participants is unequal, e.g. teacher-

student, doctor-patient interactions, division of tone choices along

dominant/non-dominant lines is more easily identifiable. The example

below was heard in a college classroom where the teacher was a rather

timid Chinese ITA with limited language proficiency and potentially

ambiguous dominant status for the American listener. At one point,

after several repetitive checks by the ITA on student comprehension,

the following exchange occurred:










T: Does everyone understand? Are there any questions?
S: //p+ NO// p+ just go ON//p+ PLEASE

Despite the ostensibly polite form, judging by the reactions of the

observer and other students in the class, this response was clearly

perceived as disrespectful and as 'overstepping' the teacher-student

boundary. This was seen as an example of the inappropriate use of a

dominant proclaiming tone by the lower status participant in the context

of this interaction:

The assumption of dominance in circumstances where there is an
ongoing expectation that the speaker in question will accept a
non-dominant role can sometimes amount to rudeness.
(Brazil, 1997: 86)
These interpretations are very dependent on the sociolinguistic

context of the specific interaction in which they are used. In

interactions between intimates or status equals, for example, use of '+'

tones may represent not so much a dominant function, as a function of

intervention or reminding, in that the speaker takes a positive initiative

in invoking common ground (r+) or changing the world of the hearer

(p+). Dominant tones may also be used in interactions between

strangers when a certain situation briefly confers dominant status on

one of the participants; for example, when a pedestrian is giving

directions to a passing motorist.

The final possible tone, the 'o' or level tone7 is unique in that it

places the constituent outside the context of the interaction, i.e., it is

neutral in terms of its communicative value, and the speaker is

essentially marking it off from the surrounding informative content.

Halliday (1967) does not recognize a neutral tone as part of his main


SThis tone may also be realized with a slight low rise.










tonal inventory, as he suggests it is rarely used in normal, everyday

conversation. This, in fact, supports Brazil's contention that use of

the tone places information outside of the Interactional context;

something that presumably most Interactants would not want to do

unless for very specific reasons. Halliday (1967), Crystal (1969) and

Brazil all suggest that the level tone is used for semi-ritualized or

routinized language behavior such as choral prayer or giving directives

in the classroom: "//o stop WRITing//o PUT your PENS down//" (Brazil,

1997: 138). Brazil also identifies another very specific use of level tone

in the classroom in a routine formula used by teachers and recognized

by students called the template technique in which the teacher invites

the students to complete a sentence with the correct information:

T: //o and then I...//
S: Natural log of both sides

Despite what would seem to be isolated occurrences of this tone, it

plays a significant role in Brazil's model, In distinguishing two types of

discourse that have important implications for successful interaction

between participants. The reader will recall that the participants in any

given interaction are involved in a process of reaching a mutual

understanding of the status of the information being given and

received, and that the tonal system is an essential part of this process

as it indicates whether the speaker is projecting the matter as shared

common ground or new information. This use of the intonation system

for the benefit of the hearer's comprehension is termed direct discourse,

as the speaker is directly orienting intonational choices toward a state

of convergence. Brazil suggests, however, that the system also allows










for a speaker to select choices that are not oriented toward the listener

and do not place a given utterance/utterances in a relationship with

other parts of the discourse message. In effect, the speaker

temporarily withdraws from the context of the interaction, and the

communicative values inherent in the system are temporarily suspended.

In this case, choices in the system create oblique discourse, i.e an

orientation inward toward the language specimen rather than outward

toward the hearer.

The principal characteristics of an oblique orientation are the use

of a level 'o' tone in combination with a proclaiming tone, and multiple

prominences within a single tone unit. For example, in normal

conversation a speaker may decide to include a familiar quotation ('you

can TAKE a HORSE to WAter but you CAN'T MAKE him DRINK'). An

utterance presented in this manner can be glossed as "these are not my

words addressed particularly to you on this occasion; they are rather a

routine performance whose appropriateness to our present situation we

both recognize" (1997: 136). A second condition under which choices

indicating oblique orientation can occur is in places where the speaker

has momentary problems with linguistic coding which temporarily cause

an orientation change. Unplanned or partially planned discourse is

often filled with pause fillers and other kinds of hesitation markers

which will frequently be uttered in a level tone as the speaker's focus

shifts briefly to the language sample. This description of oblique

orientation subsumes various uses of the level tone that has been

described by other researchers in situations such as choral prayer or

other discourse events where participants recite formulaic responses or










in the hesitation phenomena commonly found in spontaneous speech. It

also applies to an activity Brazil terms 'reading out', where decisions in

the intonation systems are made on the basis of the linguistic

organization of the text rather than concern with how any given

utterance meshes with the context of the interaction.

In all the situations mentioned above, it is also possible to adopt a

directly-oriented approach. This, for example, is the difference between

'reading out' and 'reading aloud'; again, the ability to make either

choice highlights the fact that the decision lies to a large extent with

the speaker. There is no situation where a speaker must make a

particular choice; rather the system operates on the Gricean co-

operative principle that, generally speaking, speakers' contributions are

designed to be understood (Grice, 1975). As with any system in

language, this creates an area of conventionalized choices, and prosodic

composition is one way In which we identify different language events

(Tench, 1996). Classroom discourse, for example, is likely to be

characterized by certain intonation patterns such as clearly structured

direct orientation choices for informative content, pitch concord in

teacher student exchanges, and the use of level tones for formulaic

instructions (Brazil et al, 1980; Sinclair & Brazil, 1982).

Summary of Brazil's Model

In summary, the three interlocking systems of key, termination

and tone form the basic components of an intonation system in English

that has independent implications for the communicative value of the

discourse. With the inclusion of key choice, the model provides a

principled framework for the description and interpretation of










intonational structure in discourse as well as in individual utterances,

allowing investigation of structures larger than the tone unit or

intonational phrase. Choices in the three systems of the model and

structured phonological paragraphing show that spoken discourse,

whether overtly dialogic or not, is organized for the benefit of the

hearer and toward a mutual understanding by participants of the

discourse message. Certain combinations of systems also demonstrate

that intonation choice is under speaker control, and that the speaker

may exploit the system to alter the communicative value of the utterance

or, alternatively, temporarily withdraw from the interaction under

certain conditions. For these reasons, the model provides a systematic

framework to analyze prosodic structure which can then be compared to

other levels of linguistic description.

Comparison with Two Models of Intonation in English

This section will compare Brazil's model with aspects of two other

models of intonation in English (Halliday, 1967; Pierrehumbert &

Hirschberg, 1990). These comparisons are limited and selective.

However, they show in general terms why Brazil's model is considered to

be the most economic and insightful for the data analysis undertaken in

this study.

Halliday (1967)

Halliday also proposes that intonation structure consists of three

separate systems: tonality (tone unit division), tonicity (internal

structure of tone units) and tone (pitch movement on the final tonic).

Taking first the two systems of tonality and tonicity, Halliday suggests

a marked/unmarked distinction in which unmarked tone units are










coextensive with information units and syntactic clauses. For natural

data, this can be problematic. First, as Couper-Kuhlen & Selting (1996)

note, there may be no recognizable prosodic boundary between two

nuclear or tonic syllables yet only one may appear in an unmarked unit.

Therefore, boundaries are drawn on syntactic grounds even when they

are not supported by any phonological criteria. An example is shown

below:

the prince of WALES// is visiting CARdiff//
(Couper-Kuhlen & Selting, 1996: 15)

In this case, a tone unit boundary is drawn between the two tonics;

however, 'is visiting' could be analyzed as either a proclitic or enclitic

element without materially affecting the meaning inherent in the

intonation structure, and without recourse to syntax.

Secondly, natural data is replete with identifiable pause defined or

pitch defined prosodic units that are not coextensive with traditional

syntactic units including hesitation markers, false starts and truncated

sentential structures (Crystal, 1969; Brown, Currie & Kenworthy, 1980:

Couper-Kuhlen & Selting, 1996). In Halliday's system these would be

considered marked structures yet they are a common feature of

spontaneous and partially planned spoken discourse. Similar difficulties

apply to the concept of tonicity. Halliday suggests that the internal

structure of an unmarked tone unit consists of "given" information

followed by a "new" or focal element coinciding with the tonic syllable

on the last lexical item. Once again, as Brown, Currie and Kenworthy

(980) show, in many cases in natural data, a new item may appear at the

beginning of the unit followed by a given structure:










THAT'S what I regret....
(Brown, Currie & Kenworthy, p.156)

In this case, the tonic falls on the first item. As the authors suggest,

it is only because two separate systems (given versus new, and

identification of prominent syllables by phonological criteria) are merged,

that data is forced into a marked category. In Brazil's system, 'new'

information is not connected to particular syntagmatic slots in the tone

unit. In the example above, choice of prominence in and of itself

reflects the speaker's intention to project this as informative content,

and tone choice will indicate whether the speaker believes this to be

new information for the hearer.

The third system in Halliday's model is tone. Five possible primary

tones differentiated by pitch movement, may appear on the tonic

syllable. This system is closely tied to the syntactic structure of the

discourse and also employs the marked/unmarked division:

Distinctions expressed by the choice of different
tones...belong in the realm of grammar (and within
grammar, the realm of syntax). Halliday, 1970: 21)

The following example (taken from Brazil, Coulthard & Johns, 1980:

107) exemplifies the unmarked distinction for WH- questions (falling) and

its marked counterpart. The example is followed by the equivalent tone

choices in Brazil's system:

(d) WH- question: tone 1, neutral; tone 2, mild
(tentative/deferential)
//1 what's the time//
//2 what's the time// ('may I ask please')
(Halliday, 1970: 27)

//p what's the TIME//
//r+ what's the TIME//









40
In Brazil's system, the difference between these two tonal values

would be in the assumed 'state of convergence', i.e., questions in

referring tone may be heard as in some way anticipating the answer, or

as a request to be reminded rather than told, and overtones of

'tentative' or 'deferential' are dependent on the specific context of the

interaction. Seen in this light, the supposed neutral tone for WH-

questions may be less appropriate in one particular context than it is in

another. This point is also taken up by other researchers (Crystal,

1969) who argue that it is not productive to assign tones to certain

structures, particularly different kinds of questions, as the data does

not support this kind of dichotomy:

Analysis of most varieties of English speech shows
that the issue is hardly as simple as this, it being
quite possible to have both a falling and rising tone
with each kind of question. (p.3)

These difficulties with all three tonality, tonicity and tone suggest

that intonation should be viewed as an independent level of meaning,

not as a device defined by grammatical choices.

In addition to the five primary tones, Halliday also proposes a

system of secondary tones which appear on both the tonic and the

pretonic (equivalent to Brazil's onset syllable). This system, which

Halliday calls 'key' also includes three pitch levels (as well as tonal

movements) but differs from Brazil's key system in that one level is

recognized as the 'norm' or neutral tone, and most importantly, that its

sole function is to indicate affective meaning.

Pretonic secondary tones extend from the onset to the tonic

syllable and are attached to primary tones. For example, the pretonic









41
on tone 1 can be a neutral, even tone, or a 'bouncing' tone, that

Halliday glosses as 'forceful or querulous':

//1 why don't you make up your mind// (unemotional)

//1 why don't you make up your mind// (for heaven's sake)
(Halliday, 1970: 32)
With Halliday's recognition of the internal foot structure of the unit,

each 'salient' syllable would bear the 'bouncing' movement. This creates

three prominent syllables:

//p WHY don't you MAKE up your MIND //

This multiple prominence pattern alone would separate the unit from the

surrounding discourse and suggest a stronger focus on the message

itself, rather like giving an instruction. In fact, the same effect can be

achieved using falling contours on the pretonic segment, and the

substitution of a p+ dominant tone implies even more 'forcefulness':

//p+ WHY don't you MAKE up your MIND//

However, within Halliday's system the equivalent of the p+ tone, tone 5,

attaches to its own secondary pretonic tone and is glossed as

'awestruck or disappointed':

//5 LOOk at that MARvelous old STEAM engine//
(p. 33)
These examples demonstrate that great care needs to be taken in

separating intonational effects from the effects of the lexical items

themselves. In the following example of Halliday's tone 1 with a

'bouncing' pretonic, it is difficult to assign a 'forceful or querulous'

interpretation:

//p JOHN's deCIDed to beCOME a DOCtor//









42
Again, the interpretation seems to be more like some kind of concern

with the way the message is being said as though it were being quoted

or somehow distanced from the speaker largely due to the effect of the

multiple prominences. Intonation clearly has an affective component

(Bollnger, 1988); however, there is a danger in applying too many

precise labels and unnecessarily complicating the tonal inventory. This

is particularly true of affective meaning, as there are many other

prosodic and paralinguistic variables that are invariably involved, such

as loudness, extra-heavy stress, rate, tension, choice of lexis and

kinesics (Crystal, 1969; Tench, 1996). In addition, there is the issue of

separating universal indicators of some kind of emotional effect from

language specific conventions (Bolinger, 1988; Vaissiere, 1983). Certain

prosodic features such as a change in volume or an increase in tempo

may be universally recognizable, whereas other more subtle effects may

be more language specific. In the discussion of this example given

earlier: //p+ NO//Just go N// PLEASE//, it was suggested that the

effect of rudeness was at least partially conveyed by the use of

dominant p+ tones by an unequal participant. In the same context, in a

language other than English, the attitudinal effect conveyed by this

contour may be very different. At the very least, discussion of

intonational correlations with affective meaning show that examples

should be analyzed as they occur in individual speech communities, and

in authentic contexts of interaction.

In summary, this brief examination of Halliday's model suggests

that intonation choices should be interpreted Independently and









43
uncoupled from grammatical categories and attitudinal labels in order to

investigate their contribution to discourse.

Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg (1990)

This second more recent model has also been used in the

comparative analysis of NS and NNS discourse (Wennerstrom, 1997, 1998).

In agreement with Brazil, Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg propose an

independent system, based only on phonological form, which assigns a

primarily pragmatic function to intonation choices:

We propose that a speaker chooses a particular tune
to convey a particular relationship between an
utterance, currently perceived beliefs of a hearer or
hearers and anticipated contribution of subsequent
utterances.
(1990: 271)

Unlike the tonal contour analyses discussed above, the model comprises

a series of static tones or tonal targets that together with a series of

phonetic implementation rules, determine the shape of the Fo contour.

There are two groups of tones: pitch accents and boundary tones.

There are six pitch accents (H*, L*, H* L, H + L*, L* + H, L + H*)

which occur on stressed or 'salient' syllables and mark the information

status of the item. For example, high pitch accents mark the 'new'

information on the following example:

The train leaves at seven
H* H* H* (p. 286)

The second group of tones are those that associate with the right

edge, or closing boundary of either intermediate phrases, or intonational

phrases (L%, H%). Phrases are identified by phonetic criteria and

pausing. As the end of an intonational phrase is also the end of an

intermediate phrase, this creates four possible 'complex' tones at the









44
end of an utterance. The following example exemplifies a typical

declarative contour:

The train leaves at seven
H* H* H* L L% (p. 286)

Final boundary tones also indicate whether a section of the discourse is

complete (LL%), or if further discourse is required for its interpretation

(HH%). Finally, a number of automatic phonetic implementation rules

also apply. Two of the most significant are an upstep rule which raises

a L% boundary tone after a H phrase accent, and a catethesis rule

which causes a gradual declination of pitch across a phrase.

Many of the tonal combinations that are identified by

Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg and the values attached to them bear a

great deal of similarity to Brazil's interpretations. For example, the

following contour an H* pitch accent followed by an L phrase accent

and a L% boundary tone is said to "convey new information" in much

the same way that Brazil's proclaiming tone adds a new variable to the

background:

Legumes are a good source of vitamins
H* L L%
(p. 272)
If the L phrase accent is followed by a H% boundary tone, the contour

becomes equivalent to Brazil's mid termination referring tone which is

synonymous with Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg's gloss of "when S

believes that H Is already aware of the information, if S wishes to

convey that it is mutually believed" (p. 290). The next example was

spoken by a young woman who was asked after a movie If she liked it

and is made up of both a H phrase accent and H boundary tone:











I thought it was good
H* H* H H% (p. 290)

This is glossed as 'I thought it was good, but do you agree with me?'

and corresponds to Brazil's interpretation of the adjudicating value of

high key ('I would like a yes/no response'). In a final example, the

authors suggest the L+H* LH% marks background information:

A: What about the beans? Who ate them?
B: Fred ate the beans
H* L L + H* L H% (p. 296)

The gloss here is 'as for the beans, Fred ate them', and this fall-rise

pattern corresponds to Brazil's referring tone for information already

established in the discourse.

Final boundary tones also play a less defined, but similar role to

Brazil's termination choices. For example, Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg

suggest:

An H boundary tone indicates S wishes H to interpret
an utterance with particular attention to subsequent
utterances. An L boundary tone does not convey such
directionality. (p. 305)

An example of this is given below:

a. Attach the jumper cables to the car that's running
L H%
b. Attach them to the car you want to start
L H%
c. Try the ignition
L H%
d. If you're lucky
L H%
e. you've started your car
L L% (p. 306-7)
With the operation of the phonetic implementation rules, phrases (a) -

(d) end with a mid termination, and (e) ends with a low termination

corresponding to Brazil's pitch sequence closure.









46
At this level of comparison, there is clearly a strong resemblance

between the two models in their mutual conception of the function of

intonation in discourse and some similarities in how these are realized

by Fo values. Both also claim that only salient or prominent syllables

make up the meaning-bearing elements of the contour, although P & H

also account for the phonetic variations between these syllables. Finally,

both also recognize that intonation structuring extends beyond

individual tone units and that this is signalled by the final choices)

made in the unit.

However, there are also some notable differences in the

interpretation of phonological constructs and in the recognition of

boundary tones, two of which are discussed below. In the P & H model,

pitch accents apply to individual salient items, and an unlimited number

of syllables can be stressed in any given Intonational phrase;

consequently, there is no discussion of the possible effect of multiple

prominences. Returning to an earlier example, 'the train leaves at

seven', the high pitch accents would be analyzed under Brazil's system

as //the TRAIN LEAVES at SEven//, an utterance only likely to occur in

a situation where someone is being particularly insistent: "you know the

TRAIN LEAVES at SEven (and you're going to miss it unless you hurry

up') and interpreted as a change in orientation as the speaker

'pronounces' the information. This level of interpretation is not

discussed by P & H, as they are largely concerned with describing the

status of individual items rather than the effect of prominence choices

on the unit as a whole.









47
Finally, there Is no discussion of phrase initial, left edge

boundary tones. The boundary tones proposed by Pierrehumbert &

Hirschberg only apply to the end of utterances, and there is no

suggestion of the possibility of equivalent initial boundary tones.

Consequently, there is no discussion of pitch concord, or of the

possibility of a larger phonological paragraphs marked by both initial

and final pitch values. While Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg do suggest

that a low boundary indicates some kind of closure, they do not

examine this issue any further. In summary, the interpretive model

provided by P & H up to this point, offers less insight into the larger

prosodic units currently being in investigated in discourse.

Summary

This limited comparative discussion of two models of the intonation

system in English emphasizes the importance of recognizing prosody as

an independent structuring device interacting with, but not necessarily

defined by, other language systems in the discourse. In addition, it

highlights the importance of an interpretive system that can offer

insight into the larger prosodic units currently being investigated in

discourse. For these reasons, I conclude that Brazil's model provides

the most comprehensive and explanatory framework for the analysis

conducted in this study.

Additions to Brazil's Model

In this final section, I discuss two additions to Brazil's original

model that are used in the analysis presented in the following chapters.

Both are included as they apply specifically to the data used in this

study. They offer additional insight into the structuring of classroom









48
discourse by native speakers and incorporate previous findings

regarding the prosodic features of typical nonnative speaker teaching

discourse.

Sequence Chains (Barr, 1990)

In recent work that applies Brazil's model to the analysis of

native speaker lecture discourse, Barr (1990) identifies a unit of

intonation structure termed a sequence chain. Sequence chains

formalize a group of pitch sequences. The opening boundary is indicated

by the use of high key or one of the lecturing frames typically found

in teaching discourse, i.e. OK, NOW, SO; and the sequence chain closes

with a low termination:

[The sequence chain] is above the pitch sequence and
is defined as a string of pitch sequences such that
the first pitch sequence and only the first sequence
begins with a high key...Thus minimally, a sequence
chain consists of a single high key-initial pitch
sequence, but maximally, a sequence chain consists of
Indeterminate numbers of pitch sequences such that
any non-initial pitch sequence is either mid/low key
and therefore additive or equative to the previous
one. (p. 11)

Barr suggests that sequence chain boundaries will begin with an

introductory topic expression and are coextensive with the level of

lecture organization found In the layout of prepared visuals such as

overhead projections, the blackboard or handouts. Sequence chain

boundaries may also parallel changes in discourse plane (Sinclair &

Brazil, 1982); that is, shifts in the area of attention of the discourse

such as a movement from talk about the content of the class to talk

about the organization of the class. In the example below, a sequence









49
chain consisting of three pitch sequences marks a typical plane

change:8


ALready

(7) ////p and i've MENTioned//o

what their MAIN decision
IS///

///it's this inVESTment//p in SHARES//o

whether to BUY//o whether to SELL//p
SHARES

///o and i WANT to take that//r ARGument
//p a STAGE
FURTHer///

The boundary between this and the following sequence
chain marks a change back to the content of the
lecture:

CISion to in
(8) ////p the de VEST//

which is the beginning of another content chunk.
(Barr, 1990: 15)

As this study also investigates teaching discourse, I have decided

to include an analysis of potential sequence chain structure. However,

because of the particular style of classroom discourse examined here,

there was a difficulty in applying Barr's criteria of co-occurring visual

cues as support for sequence chain interaction with other levels of

discourse organization. Barr's data consists of concept-based lectures

where professors used a variety of prepared visual aids. The data in

the present study are typical of the style of short prelab presentations

given in introductory science laboratory classes (Jacobson, 1986). They

SPitch sequence boundaries are marked by '///' and sequence chain
boundaries by '////'.









50
are much less formal in nature, and there are no accompanying prepared

materials. TAs used only the blackboard as a visual aid, usually in a

less systematic manner than might be found in a longer, more formal

lectures. For these reasons, it was not possible to draw the same

parallels between visual aids and SC structuring in the discourse.

In place of Barr's original criteria, I have drawn on the

transaction structure proposed by Coulthard & Montgomery (1981) and

Shaw (1994) to investigate co-occurring cues at other levels of discourse

organization. A transaction is a "chunk" of discourse containing a

unifying topic and defined by prospective and retrospective markers at

its boundaries. In an analysis of NS teaching discourse in university

engineering and business and management classes, Shaw suggests that

typical focussing markers include both verbal and non-verbal cues. For

example, lexical phrases such as 'for the first part', micro-markers such

as 'ok' and topic length pauses while the professor scans her notes or

scans the audience. Shaw's analysis of the phonological structuring of

transaction boundaries, however, is limited to a brief discussion of the

use of rising or falling intonation on micro-markers. In this analysis I

propose to unite both Barr and Shaw's findings and investigate the co-

occurrence of phonological cues indicating sequence chain structure with

transaction boundary cues. Places where these are coextensive are seen

to be evidence of the speaker's intention to organize the discourse for

the benefit of the hearer by providing a series of cues at different

levels of discourse organization. Where Barr's original criteria do apply,

their relationship to co-occurring transaction boundary cues as well as

sequence chain structure Is discussed.









51
In the example given above for instance, the high key lexical

phrase 'I've already mentioned' is a prospective focussing marker. The

high key on the lexical phrase unites cues at different levels of

discourse to indicate a structural boundary related to a change in

discourse plane. The same applies to the low termination on the

retrospective marker 'I want to take that argument now a stage

further.' Additional visual cues coinciding with the second sequence

chain would be a possible further addition to the constellation of cues

highlighting this boundary.

In summary, Barr's sequence chain structure formalizes a final

level of intonation structure that can be incorporated into Brazil's

original framework and provides further evidence of intentional use of

the intonation system by the speaker organize the discourse.

Pause Analysis

The second addition is pause analysis, and is included in order to

complete a comparison of the prosodic structure of NS and NNS data. In

production and perception studies of pause boundaries in Dutch and

English, Swerts & Gerlykens (1994) and Swerts (1997) found that pauses

are longer for major than minor topic shifts and that longer pauses

increase perception of boundary strength. Vaissiere (1983) suggests a

universal tendency for pause defined units in spoken discourse, with

pauses between sentences being longer than pauses within sentences.

Analyses of nonnative speaker data show a qualitative difference in both

placement and length of pauses which can materially affect the overall

prosodic structure of the discourse. In a pilot study of two parallel

lecture extracts, one given by an NS TA and the other by a Chinese









52
ITA, I found that pauses in the NNS data were both longer and more

erratic than those in the NS data and tended to regularly break up

conceptual units.

In agreement with Rounds (1987) my data were also characterized

by empty pauses, regular moments of silence unrelated to boardwork or

for dramatic effect, which Rounds suggests artificially increase the

amount of silence in the discourse, creating a negative perception of the

ITA. In light of these differences in pause structure between NS and

NNS TAs, and its potential to disrupt the overall prosodic structure of

the discourse, as well as the use of pauses to cue transaction

boundaries, I decided a principled discussion should be included in the

present analysis. Brazil does not elaborate on pause patterns apart

from noting that they may and frequently do coincide with tone unit

boundaries; however, one group of researchers (Brown, 1977; Brown,

Currie & Kenworthy, 1980; Brown & Yule, 1983) has developed a model

identifying pause defined units in discourse. They identify three major

groups: pauses of 0.8 seconds or longer constitute topic boundaries and

"clearly coincide with major semantic breaks" (p. 56). These are called

topic pauses. The second group vary between 0.6 and 0.8 seconds and

are referred to as substantial pauses which tend to coincide with single

contours. The third and final set, very short pauses, vary between 0.2

seconds and 0.4 seconds and are identified as a 'sub-set of the contour

pauses'. This final group frequently co-occurs with incomplete syntactic









53
structures. This model will be taken as a first approximation for pause

analysis in the data.9

Conclusion

The model outlined in this chapter allows the analysis and

interpretation of pitch movements over time within a principled

framework uniting both the form and function of intonation in English.

It proposes a hierarchical system of prosodic units which together

provide an independent layer of structure to the discourse and

contribute to the pragmatic message contained within the discourse as a

whole. The identification and interpretation of phonological paragraphs,

and their interaction with other levels of discourse organization is a

relatively recent undertaking; however, it is clearly a potentially

powerful organizational tool used by speakers in their production and

interpretation of discourse. Lastly, in providing a comprehensive

framework with which to describe the intonation structure of native

speaker discourse, the model offers a way to undertake a systematic

comparative analysis of prosodics in nonnative speaker discourse.

Figure 2-1 summarizes the systems proposed in Brazil's model.













These researchers are working with spontaneous speech not lecture
discourse, and different genres can affect prosodic patterns such as
pause structure (Crystal & Davy, 1969).









54

DISCOURSE


////SEQUENCE CHAIN////
Pitch defined conceptual units bounded by a high key or
lecturing frame and low termination



///PITCH SEQUENCE///
Pitch defined conceptually related units bounded by two
low tonic syllables




//TONE UNIT//
Pitch defined units, may coincide with syntactic/pause
boundaries. Each unit contains 1 or 2 prominent syllables



TONIC SEGMENT


ONSET
Key choice

Low key: Equative
Mid key: Additive
High key: Contrastive
Particularized


TONIC SYLLABLE
Termination & tone choice

0 tone: neutral
P/P+ tone: new content
R/R+ tone: recoverable
content


Figure 2-1. A Model of Discourse Intonation (Brazil, 1997; Barr, 1990)















CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Database

This chapter describes the procedures used in the collection and

analysis of the data investigated in this study. More specific

information regarding individual teaching presentations will be given at

the beginning of each section of the analysis.

The study is based on 56 minutes of data from teaching

presentations given by 16 male teaching assistants teaching introductory

labs in chemistry, physics, and electrical engineering and a pre-calculus

math discussion section. The TAs represent three language groups:

native speakers (NS), non-native speakers (NNS) and speakers of an

indigenized variety of English (IVE) (Sridhar & Sridhar, 1992), and

Indian English (IES) as shown in the table below.

The groups of nonnative and Indian international teaching

assistants (ITA) were chosen based on their score on the ETS SPEAK

test and their language backgrounds. All ITAs received 45-50 on the

SPEAK am, which categorizes the speakers' communication skills as

"somewhat to generally effective" in terms of the ETS guidelines. ITAs

with overwhelming problems in one area of linguistic skill such as

segmental pronunciation were not included. All the ITAs were the sole

instructor responsible for their lab or discussion section and were

recorded in their first semester of teaching. The six nonnative TAs

were from mainland China, and their first language was Mandarin










Table 3-1. Teaching Assistants


NUMBER NUMBER NUMBER
TEACHING ASSISTANTS OF OF TONE
MINUTES UNITS
NATIVE SPEAKERS: 6 22 634
NORTH AMERICAN TAS
NONNATIVE SPEAKERS: 6 20 530
CHINESE
IVE SPEAKERS: INDIAN 4 14 438




Chinese. The four Indian TAs were from both North and South India

and their first languages are Tamil (1), Urdu (1), and Bengali (2).

These TAs also spoke Hindi and a number of local Indian languages to

varying degrees of competence and were educated in English medium

schools from an early age. Native speaker TAs were contacted through

the supervisors of the courses in question. All the TAs in this native

speaker group were described as "relatively experienced" but none were

specifically described as "model" TAs.

Where possible, the 16 TAs were recorded on the same day or in

the same week in order to compare parallel teaching presentations. This

was possible in all but two cases, and parallel discourse extracts are

shown on the table below. The two presentations with no parallels are

marked with an asterisk. The data represent a cross-section of typical

functions performed by TAs in these prelab presentations, Including

giving theoretical background to the experiment, reviewing homework,

explaining relevant terms or equations and demonstrating experimental

procedures (Jacobson, 1986; Axelson & Madden, 1994).











Table 3-2. Teaching Presentations

SUBJECT TOPIC PARALLEL TEACHING
PRESENTATIONS ASSISTANTS

Chemistry Unknown 3 1 NS TA
Analysis 2 NNS TAs
Thin Layer 2 1 NS TA
Chromatography 1 NNS TA
Physics Torques and 4 2 NS TAs
Forces in 1 NNS TA
Equilibrium 1 IES TA
Math Exponential 3 1 NS TA
Growth and 2 NNS TAs
Decay
Electrical Drawing a Bode 2 1 NS TA
Engineering Plot 1 IES TA
*Ideal and 1 1 IES TA
Practical Diodes
*Using the 1 1 IES TA
PALasm
Program


Data Collection & Analysis

The data were recorded in the classroom on audio and videotape

using a Sony TCD-D8 Digital Audio Tape-corder, a Sharp VL-L490U VHS

Camcorder, a Telex FMR-150C Wireless system, and a Telex SCHF745

Headset microphone. The wireless sound system and headset microphone

allowed the TA complete freedom of movement while the researcher

remained at the back of the room with the sound and video equipment.

This method of collection produced high quality sound and video

recordings appropriate for Instrumental analysis, without the problems

typically associated with natural data collection in a classroom. DAT

recordings were transferred to a Kay Elemetrics Model 4300









58
Computerized Speech Laboratory (CSL), and fundamental frequency (Fo)

traces were computed for all the data using the pitch extraction

function of the CSL at a rate of 10,000 samples per second.

All data were subjected to both auditory and instrumental

analysis. Brazil's original model was based on auditory analysis, and his

published work includes only a few examples of oscilloscope traces

produced in the laboratory. Although a number of analyses of natural

data using the model have since been published (e.g., Hewings. 1990)

none of these have included any discussion or presentation of

instrumental work. As is true of any model where a fit Is attempted

between theoretical categories and actual data, particularly where this

involves gradient characteristics, the researcher must make numerous

decisions regarding whether a given phonetic realization constitutes a

variation within one category or a change of category. The addition of

instrumental evidence provides a permanent visual record of the basis

for these decisions and addresses the issue of internal reliability, i.e.,

"the degree to which other researchers given a set of previously

generated constructs would match them with the data in the same way

as the original researcher" (Edge & Richards, 1998: 9). For these

reasons, Fo traces have been included in the analysis as pictorial

representations of the constructs proposed in the model and to show

how gradient Fo movements have been analyzed.1

Some examples from this data set are given below to show how

typical transcription choices were made. The diagrams are printed out


1 Precedents for using both auditory and Instrumental analysis to
investigate intonation structure in discourse can be found in Watt (1997)
and Schuetze-Coburn, Shapley & Weber (1991).









59
directly from the CSL and show amplitude and Fo readings from portions

of these data. Pitch level and movement are indicated by the dotted

lines in the lower box on the diagram (marked PITCH). Voiceless

segments cause breaks in the Fo contour, and the articulation of both

voiced and voiceless obstruents can cause noise which results in

pockets of random dots at a higher frequency than the actual Fo

contour (see, for example, Figure 3-2). Figures 3-1, 3-2 and 3-3 contain

samples of key and tone choices and Figures 3-4 and 3-5 show examples

of hesitation markers. Momentary coding problems causing false starts,

hesitation markers, filled pauses and so on are typical characteristics of

spontaneous or partially planned speech. In agreement with Hewings

(1990), I continued to use Brazil's conventions to transcribe these

features. For example, prominent hesitation markers such as the one

shown in Figure 3-5 were transcribed as level 'o' tones. Finally,

several of the speakers in the data set occasionally exhibited creaky

voice or vocal fry. As shown in Figure 3-6, the pitch extraction

function of the CSL was unable to read this data. In these cases,

auditory analysis was used for transcription decisions.












B PITCH 0.97670< V>












ques tion three


0.977 Tii <(se) 2.175

THREE//
//QUEStion
Figure 3-1. An Example of the Transcription of Key Choices in a Series
of Adjacent Tone Units. a) The first tone unit begins with
a low key choice on 'question', and moves up to a mid
termination on 'three'; b) The second tone unit consists of
a mid key marker 'ok'. The following unit begins in a high
key on 'find'.

B>PTCH .i.53410< a>







k find the half -fe of uh



o k ________find the half life of uh

T


12.534


Tir (sea)


14 .38


FIND the HALF LIFE of UH//
//oK//

Figure 3-1, continued.











EB'PITCH 7 91i88B 156)











expoNENtial growth and decay


7.915 Ti-. (sTc) 9.322

expoNENtial
// GROWTH and //
deCAY
Figure 3-2. An Example of the Transcription of Key and Termination
Choice in a Single Tone Unit.'Exponential' and 'growth' are
transcribed as high and mid key prominences. This is
followed by a low termination on 'decay'.


B>P[TCH S. 16798< 8>




---- .------' I-*., ~ -- .,,o -


v ....



when the meter stick is in balance


8.168 T. (s T ) 3 839

l//p+ HEN //
//p the MEter stick is in BAlance //
Figure 3-3. An Example of the Transcription of P Tone Choices. There
is a rise-fall P+ tone on 'when', followed by a falling P tone
on 'balance'.












B>PIICH Z7.25428< 0












uh this is X N


27.254 Time (sac) 31.888


//uh//

Figure 3-4. An Example of the Transcription of a Short, Non-prominent
Hesitation Marker 'uh' at the Beginning of the Tone Unit.



CB>PITCHO 45.34998< 8>






S...........

S...........- .. .......... ......


uh the se cond part


45.356 Ti-e (sc.) 47.824


// UN //

Figure 3-5. An Example of the Transcription of a Prominent Hesitation
Marker. This long hesitation marker 'uh' is transcribed as
a level tone.













.SPlripH 32 26;aa. a











because it'll be balanced


32.268 Tin. (.< ) 35.146

CREAKY VOICE


Figure 3-6. An Example of the Effect of Creaky Voice. There is no clear
Fo contour for the phrase 'because it'll be balanced' as the
CSL is unable to effectively read the data.









64

Transcription Conventions

All data was transcribed according to Brazil's transcription

conventions with the addition of the conventions used by Barr (1990) to

indicate sequence chains, and my own to indicate pause structure. A

summary of these is given below:


Onset Syllable:

Tonic Syllable:

Pause boundary:

Length of pause:

Pitch Sequence boundary:

Sequence chain boundary:

H: high
M: mid
L: low

Tones: p, p+
r, r+
o


YES

YES

//

[ ]

///

////


key & termination choices


proclaiming tones
referring tones
neutral/level tone


In order to simplify the reading of the examples used in the text,

some transcription features have been excluded if they are not

immediately relevant to the discussion.















CHAPTER 4
ANALYSIS OF NATIVE SPEAKER DATA

Introduction

This chapter presents the analysis of the native speaker (NS)

data. The analysis shows evidence of a systematic and independent use

of prosody by the speakers in this sample, which supports both the

structure and interpretation of intonation in discourse proposed by

Brazil. Choices within the systems of key, termination and tone are

consistent with the hypothesis that the teaching assistants intentionally

use intonational cues both to mark structural boundaries in the

discourse and to negotiate a common ground with their students. The

analysis also suggests that intonation structure consistently interacts

with other levels of discourse organization, and that prosodic cues

operate in conjunction with other structural cues to assist the listener

in the interpretation of the discourse message. Based on these results,

It is argued that intonation choices should be viewed as interactive in

nature, i.e., organized for the benefit of the hearer and as contributing

independently to the overall comprehensibility of the discourse.

The results of the analysis are divided into three areas of

intonation structuring: sequence chains, pitch sequences and discourse

markers, and lastly, tone choice and orientation. The chapter begins

with a more detailed description of the data included in the native

speaker group.











Native Speaker Data Set

A summary of the NS data set is given below, followed by a brief

description of the content of each of the teaching extracts:


Table 4-1. Summary of NS data

LAB/DISC. NATIVE TIME NUMBER OF
SECTION SPEAKER TA TONE UNITS
CHEMISTRY MK 4 MINS 100

SN 4 MINS 113
PHYSICS KN 4 MINS 141

LE 4 MINS 100
ELECTRICAL BD 4 MINS 109
ENGINEERING
MATH BL 2 MINS 71


MK. The opening of a chemistry prelab presentation. The students

are about to begin an unknown analysis for which they first have to

complete and hand in a scheme, i.e., a plan of how they will conduct the

analysis. The TA is reviewing the procedures that should appear in the

unknown analysis scheme.

SN. The opening of a chemistry prelab presentation. The students

are beginning a Thin Layer Chromatography experiment. The TA is

demonstrating the procedures and equipment the students will use.

KN. The opening of a physics prelab presentation. The students

are conducting an experiment investigating torques and forces in

equilibrium using a meter stick and some weights. The TA is explaining

the procedures, the physics equations the students will be testing, and









67
pointing out a potential confusion the students may encounter near the

end of the lab.

LE. The opening of a physics prelab presentation. The students

are conducting the same torques and forces experiment as in (KN)

above; however, in this extract, the TA is reviewing a question the

students had difficulty with in the prelab homework.

BD. This extract comes from the middle of a 45-minute prelab

lecture the course supervisor asked the TAs to give in electrical

engineering. Students are about to conduct an experiment testing a

mathematical equation that relates input to output voltage. One subtopic

was chosen, in which the TA explained how to plug the experimental

results into the equation, and graph these findings using a Bode Plot.

BL. For the pre-calculus math discussion sections, students

complete a set of problems for homework prior to the class. Students

then choose a number of these problems they would like the TA to

review on the board. In this extract, taken from the middle of the

class, the TA reviews a question from a section on exponential growth

and decay. Each problem is presented as a complete discourse event

bounded by long pauses as the TA erases calculations from the board,

checks the next question in the textbook and so on. Therefore,

presentation of one problem only was chosen for this analysis.

Sequence Chain Structure
The reader will recall that the sequence chain (SC) structure

proposed by Barr (1990) suggested that larger prosodic units bounded

by a high key or lecturing frame and a low termination could be found

in teaching discourse. Her analysis also proposed that SCs coincided









68
with shifts in discourse plane and the layout of prepared visuals such

as overheads or handouts. As noted in the previous chapter, due to

the lack of prepared materials in these prelab presentations, this

analysis will focus on co-occurrence with plane changes and transaction

structures.

Sequence chain structure was readily identifiable in the data set

analyzed here. There were 36 SCs in totally (between 5 and 9 SCs were

found in each extract). 15 of the SC openings began with a mid or high

key lecturing frame such as //SO//, //oK// or //NOW// and the

remaining with a high key. SCs closed with a low termination on a

content word or a structural discourse marker such as //oK//, and in

one case (discussed below in Figure 4-2) a low key filled pause. The

length of SCs varied between 12-25 tone units across speakers and

typically consisted of a focussing boundary or frame in one tone unit

followed by a number of tone units containing a topic expression and

development and a final tone unit or small group of units forming a

closing boundary. SC boundaries did coincide with changes in discourse

plane, and the majority were clearly coextensive with transaction

boundaries denoted by other non-prosodic criteria.

Typical examples of SC structures coextensive with shifts in

discourse plane are illustrated in Figures 4-1, 4-2. and 4-3. Figure 4-1

shows the final tone units of the first SC in MK's presentation and the

opening tone units of the second. The SC boundary separates the first

part of the presentation concerned with the organization of the class


1 The final SC in MK and SN were not analyzed in their entirety as
they were very long. In both cases, I stopped the transcription at a low
key pitch sequence boundary.









69
from the presentation of the main content 'for our unknown, we have

seven ions we have to test for'.


H
M //r p section FOUR everybody's there GOOD// [0.07]
L RIGHT alright

H
M //p that's about as far as it's necessary// [0.5] //r cos I'm
L

H
M BAsically only gonna go over our POsitive IONS// [0.73] //p and
L

H FOR our
M BRIEfly over the ////o p but
L NEgative ions// [1.0]

H
M uniKNO we HAVE em//[1.7] //r SEven ions we have to TEST for//
L

Figure 4-1. Co-extensive Sequence Chain and Plane Change Boundary in
MK's Presentation.


Figure 4-2 shows a series of two adjacent sequence chains from

LE's transcript. The first SC begins with a high key focussing

expression 'so you guys had problems with the prelab right', followed

by LE reading aloud the problem question. This SC closure is the only

example in this data set of a low key filled pause being analyzed as a

SC boundary (note the mid key choice on 'zero'). Support for this

analysis is found in a number of co-occurring cues such as the shift in

discourse plane as LE moves to the blackboard to explain the problem

('the way this thing goes is'), the topic length pauses either side of

the filler and the behavior of the TA who clearly scans the audience

before moving toward the blackboard. Finally, figure 4-3 illustrates a









70
shift in discourse plane and co-occurring SC boundary as KN moves

from talking about the content to initiating a direct exchange with the

students.


H ////p p r+ so you GUYS had PROBlems with the PRElab RIGHT/
M
L

H
M //o o AND the FIRST question WAS uh// [4.42] //p QUEStion ONE
L

H
M was// (0.77] //p for the exAMple on pages four and FIVE// [0.4]
L

H
M //p FIND out TORques// [0.92] //p r+ for an AXis at x equals ZEro
L

H
M and show that their SUM is still ZEro// [1.95]
L //? UH// [4.85]

H ////the WAY this// [0.7] //p r+ thing
M GOES IS we...
L

Figure 4-2. Coextensive Sequence Chain and Plane Change Boundary in
LE's Presentation.

Shifts in discourse plane occur frequently in the classroom as the

teacher moves from 'telling something' to 'talking about telling

something' or to 'asking something', and the sequence chain structuring

illustrated above increases boundary strength at these points in the

discourse.

Turning now to the co-occurrence of sequence chains with

transaction structures, there was a marked correspondence between SC











H
M //p r+ and this is the CENter of
L MASS aGAIN// [0.5] //o UM// [2.0]

H ////p p p if you were to HANG SOMEthing TEN CENtimeters
M aWAY//
L

H
M //o p how much MASS would you have to HANG so that THAT would
L

H
M be in roTAtional equiLIbrium// [2.85] //r+ does anybody KNOW//
L

Figure 4-3. Coextensive Sequence Chain and Plane Change Boundary in
KN's Presentation.


boundaries and a constellation of cues marking a transaction boundary.

24 of the 34 complete sequence chains were also marked as transaction

boundaries and coincided with both prospective and retrospective

marking by non-prosodic means. A further four SCs coincided with the

kind of shift in discourse plane illustrated in Figure 4-3. The six

remaining SCs co-occurred with either prospective or retrospective

marking. Transaction boundary cues were identified using Shaw's (1994)

criteria, and a brief description of the examples found in this data set

is given below.

The most typical of the 28 prospective markers found in the data

were high or mid key lexical phrases (10)

FIRST thing you wanna do is//
// the

the WAY this thing
// GOES IS//

THIS
//in case//









72
or high or mid key lecturing frames (15) such as: //SO//, //oK//, or

//NOW//. In three cases, the boundary was marked with a non-

prominent //ok//, followed by a high key topic statement.

The 29 retrospective markers found in the data were divided

fairly evenly between recapitulation statements (7) in a mid or low key

with a low termination:

//that's just a sorta explanation of the
FIRST QUEStion //
//so that's the BAsic gist of the
LAB//
or lexical micro markers (11) such as //oK// and //SO// in a low key.

Speakers also used topic length unfilled pauses accompanied by a

preceding low key choice (10) as they scanned the audience and the

board.2

Figure 4-4 illustrates coextensive transaction and sequence chain

boundaries. This shows a series of two adjacent sequence chains and

the beginning of a third from SN's presentation, in which the structural

markers separate a series of instructions given to the students

concerning the equipment they will be using for the experiment. The

first SC begins with two prospective focussing markers in a high key

'ok for TLC you're gonna need several pieces of equipment' and 'first

off', and the final transaction and sequence chain boundary co-occur

with the recapitulation 'you're gonna make your own little developing

chambers' ending in a low termination and accompanied by a topic

length pause. The second SC, as SN moves from discussing the

developing chamber to the chemical solvent, is marked with a non-


2 The final case is the filled pause in LE's transcript discussed above.









73
prominent focussing marker and a high key 'ok the solvent you're

gonna use'. Again, this ends in a recapitulation 'so it's there if you

forget what solvent system to use', ending in a low termination.

As with the shifts in discourse plane, the constellation of cues

provided by the co-occurring transaction and SC boundaries indicate

places of maximal disjunction in the discourse, i.e., points where the

language organization binding one group of pitch sequences or tone

units is completed.

Regarding Barr's original criteria based on prepared visual

materials, there was one teaching presentation (MK) in which 'real-time'

boardwork always coincided with a new SC boundary and was used to

emphasis structural boundaries. This is shown on Table 4-2. In the five

other presentations in this data set, while SC junctures frequently

marked a change in teacher activity such as writing on the board (see,

for example, Figure 4-2), boardwork illustration was used to exemplify

items described in the discourse such as particular equations or

diagrams of equipment rather than to additionally mark structural

boundaries in the discourse. As noted earlier, there were six SC

structures in the data that did not coincide with both prospective and

retrospective transaction boundary markers and exemplified two further

features of typical classroom discourse. First, the kind of teaching

presentations found in this data are examples of partially planned

spoken discourse that is subject to the effects of 'online production'

such as hesitation phenomena and repairs. Figure 4-5 shows BD

initiating a repair structure from the low key 'take the magnitudee' to

the high key 'take the twenty log of the magnitude' which then begins











H TIC you're gonna need SEveral// [0.68] //p pieces of
M ////p ok for
L

H FIRST OFF// [0.17]
M eQUIPment// [1.2] //p ok //o o you're gonna
L

H
M NEED one of your two hundred and FIFty milliliter BEAkers//
L

H
M //p and one of your WATCH GLAsses// [0.5] //ok this is gonna be
L

H
M now your deVEloping CHAMber for the// [0.45]
L //o UM// [0.74]

H
M //p TIC//[0.57] //p you're gonna make your OWN little developing
L

H SOLvent you're gonna
M ////p ok the USE to
L CHAMbers//// [1.14]

H PLATES// [3.6] //p is ethoLAcetate// 12.4] //r and
M deVElop the
L

H this IS in the NOTES// [0.4]
M //p SO// (0.82] //p it's THERE if
L

H
M you forget what SOLvent system to ////p oK//
L USE//// [0.82]

Figure 4-4. Coextensive Sequence Chain and Transaction Boundaries from
SN's Presentation.

a new sequence chain. In this case, it is not clear whether the SC

opening is an intentional structural boundary or a result of a rise in

key typical of repairs initiated by a speaker to ensure correct









75
Table 4-2. Visual Cues for Sequence Chain Structure in MK's
Presentation

OPENING TONE UNITS OF 3 BOARDWORK
SEQUENCE CHAINS (MK)

//but FOR our unKNOWN we Na+, K+, Nh4+, OH-, NO3-,
HAVE em// SEven ions we Cl-, HsO4-
have to TEST for//
//one of the FIRST things 1. Flame test
that we did was a FLAME
TEST//_
//the SEcond set of TESTS 2. Colbaltinitrate test
we did was that
cobaltiNItrate TEST//


interpretation of the message (Cutler, 1983). Earlier in his presentation,

BD has already made it clear that it is important that the students

remember to take the twenty log of the magnitude,3 suggesting that this

is may be the reason for this particular high key choice. As Sinclair &

Brazil (1982:31) note, spoken discourse is made in real-time, and many

different considerations can lead to occasional ambiguous or

indeterminate utterances.

The five remaining SCs coincided with activities outside the text

itself. In a typical classroom setting, there are a variety of activities

that accompany the presentation of the informative content. These are

described by Coulthard and Mongtomery (1981) as forming a

paradiscourse subtext. Paradiscourse includes activities directly related

to the content such as boardwork and demonstrating equipment and



3The second sequence chain in BD's presentation focuses on this
point: 'The reason they have the twenty log times the magnitude of the
function is because whenever you take the log of something, instead of
multiplying you can Just add'.











H ////p p p TWENty
M LOG of the
L //so if you TAKE the mag-// [0.2]

H
M MAGnitude of BOTH sides of THIS// [1.0] //eQUAtion then you just
L

H
M GET// [1.24] //p p TWENty LOG of K ZEro//
L


Figure 4-5. A Sequence Chain Boundary Following a Repair Structure in
BD's Presentation.


more incidental actions such as opening windows or asides commenting

on the lack of chalk or an eraser. Coulthard & Montgomery suggest

that these actions can also shape features of the discourse text,

particularly prosodic organization.

In this data, the five SCs which did not co-occur with transaction

boundaries were directly related to this paradiscourse subtext. A

typical example of the interaction between a procedural aside related to

the boardwork and SC structure is shown in Figure 4-6 from MK's

presentation. The first SC boundary coincides with the prospective

marker and topic statement 'alright, the second set of tests we did was

that colbaltinitrate test'. This is followed by a combined pause of more

than seven seconds while he writes this on the board and adds the

chemical notations. It closes with a low terminating procedural aside 'I

think that's right' directly related to the equation he has written on the

board. The high key on 'remember' signals the end of this aside and

technically begins a new SC although this is clearly the same topic.











H SEC- SEcond set of
M [2.43] ////p o r alRIGHT er the TESTS we did was
L

H TEST// [4.9]
M that cobaltiNItrate //r+ i THINK
L //um// [3.6] that's

H reMEMber when you
M ////p p r+ if you
L RIGHT// [0.55] //er// [0.66]

H
M DID that it WAS a it formed a yellow preCIpitate for both er
L

H aMMOnium// [0.92]
M poTAssium and
L

Figure 4-6. An Example of the Typical Interaction between a Procedural
Aside and Sequence Chain Structure from MK's
Presentation.


Figure 4-7, taken from SN's presentation, shows a high key on

'pour it in there' after a low terminating aside directly addressed to the

students regarding the chemical he is using in the demonstration, 'this

is not etholacetate, don't use it'. Again, although this technically begins

a new SC, the topic is clearly a continuation of his discussion of the

etholacetate solvent. Interactions with the paradiscourse subtext occur

throughout the presentations in this data set and affected all levels of

prosodic structuring investigated here (sequence chains, pitch

sequences and tone units).

These examples highlight the interactive nature of discourse

organization and the need to take into account different levels of

structuring on a moment by moment basis in order to give a principled

account of any one level. When viewed in conjunction with the










paradiscourse subtext, key changes which resulted in SC structuring

apparently unmotivated by co-occurrence with transaction boundaries or

obvious shifts in discourse plane could be reasonably explained and,

presumably, reasonably interpreted by the hearer(s).

Summary of Sequence Chain Structure

The analysis of sequence chain structure found in the NS data

suggests that this unit of prosodic organization is used consistently by

the TAs in this sample to organize the discourse for the benefit of their

students. Points of maximal disjunction in the prosody bounded by high

key or lecturing frames and low termination were matched by a number

of other focussing boundaries which together operated to divide the

discourse into a series of "chunks" usually coinciding with topic

boundaries.

H TAKE the ethoLAcetate this is
M //p o r+ then NOT ethoLAcetate
L

H ////p POUR it In
M THERE// [1.0] //so it
L DON'T USE it// [3.47]

H JUST// [0.05] //o COvers the
M BOTtom and you've got MAYbe// [0.5]
L

H
M //p r+ OH a CENtimeter or SO//[0.5] //p or a little bit LESS than a
L

H
M centimeter of SOLvent on the
L BOTtom//


Figure 4-7. An Example of the Typical Interaction between a Procedural
Aside and Sequence Chain Structure from SN's
Presentation.









79
Prosodic structuring of sequence chains was also shown to reflect the

online nature of spoken discourse production and a close relationship

with the paradiscourse subtext which forms an integral part of

classroom discourse. For the purposes of this analysis, intonational

features have been discussed largely independently of lexical content;

however, it is clear in the majority of cases that lexical content and

choice of key support each other, particularly in the kinds of high key

lexical phrases that are often used to open transactions and the low key

markers that signal their completion.

One final point should be made about the interaction of SC

structuring and topic structure in particular. As noted by Levelt

(1989: 385) in a discussion of intonational phrases which I think applies

equally well here, "[A] break decision is under the speaker's executive

control". The speaker's intent can outweigh any other considerations

and will create exceptions to any patterns that can be established in the

data. A typical example is shown in Figure 4-8. This is the only

example in this data sample where SC structures extended no further

than a focussing boundary and a topic expression. The opening of BL's


H ////p oK// [0.7] //p EXponential
M GROWTH and deCAY//// [3.4]
L

H
M ////p oK//[0.32] //p this is EXponential
L GROWTH// [1.57]


Figure 4-8. Two Short Sequence Chains Coextensive with Topic
Pronouncements from BL's Presentation.









80
presentation is divided into two topic announcements. First the overall

topic of the section 'exponential growth and decay', and then the

subgroup this problem is part of 'this is exponential growth'. Each SC

acts. in effect, as a 'pronouncement' of the topic using proclaiming

tones and lecturing frames. The choice to present the information in

this way creates an unusual series of short sequence chains compared

to the rest of the data in this sample. However, it is likely that were

more data analyzed, equivalent exceptional cases would be found.

Examples such as this reflect the independent nature of intonation

structure which need not be defined by other levels of discourse

organization. Speakers may choose to exploit any part of the system

within the given parameters.

Pitch Sequences and Discourse Markers

This section is divided into two parts. The first part will focus

on the pitch sequence (PS) structure found in the data and the

relationship between PSs and their Internal tone unit structure. The

second part examines discourse markers, and particularly, the speaker's

choice of key on these markers and how this interacts with pitch

sequence closure.

Pitch Sequences

Pitch sequences consist of a group of tone units bounded by low

termination choices. The number of pitch sequences per sequence chain

varied quite widely both within and between speakers (between 1-12

pitch sequences per sequence chain); internally, PSs ranged in length

from one tone unit containing a low key marker such as //oK// to

longer pitch sequences containing a number of tone units. This









81
variation meant that quantitative comparisons were not as productive as

a qualitative analysis of the kinds of information typically associated

with pitch sequence structure and how this was reflected in choice of

key. To exemplify this, I have used Coulthard and Montgomery's (1981)

classification of classroom content.

Coulthard & Montgomery (1981) divide classroom discourse into two

overall types of content: main and subsidiary. Main discourse consists

of the informative content of the presentation, and it may be

interspersed with various kinds of subsidiary content such as the

comments relating to the paradiscourse subtext that were discussed in

the previous section. The category of subsidiary content subsumes a

variety of teaching purposes from short glosses or asides that enlarge

upon, exemplify or recapitulate informative content, to much longer

chunks of discourse concerned with the organization of the class.

A typical example of this kind of subsidiary content is illustrated

in Figure 4-9. This figure shows the first sequence chain in MK's

presentation, which is made up of subsidiary content, followed by the

beginning of the second sequence chain, which marks the boundary

between this and the beginning of the main discourse, or informative

content 'for our unknown we have seven Ions we have to test for'. The

first PS can be glossed as "getting the students attention" by first

framing and focussing a topic expression 'Ok, begin about today', and

then adding a mid key 'invitation' to the students to gather round the

board. The second mid key pitch sequence adds further subsidiary

content described by Coulthard and Montgomery as a gloss, i.e., a

comment on previous information often containing an attributive term; In









82
this case 'it's a great time to see if you like it'. The following mid key

unit consists of a procedural aside to check the students are ready to

begin the unknown. A high adjudicating key is used for the yes/no

question 'everybody has made it up to at least section 4 on lab 2?' and

this is followed by a mid key repetition. This pitch sequence ends with

the low key aside 'except for you'. MK's use of equative low key

reflects both the parenthetical nature of the comment which is

addressed to one student in particular rather than the whole group, and

that he is evidently aware that this student is behind the others based

on his nonverbal reactions. As is typical following a low key aside, MK

raises the key of his next tone unit which opens a new pitch sequence

directed back to the group as a whole. The final pitch sequence ends

the direct exchange with the students using a typical concurring

response 'good' given in a mid key and a falling tone, and adds a final

comment regarding what MK will cover in his presentation. Immediately

after this pitch sequence closure, MK opens the new sequence chain

marking a shift in discourse plane from class organization to class

content. Within the first sequence chain, the PS structure marks the

boundaries between 'talking about telling' and 'asking' and further

distinguishes between comments directed to one student and to the

group of students as a whole.

This extract is the most complex example of relationships between

different kinds of subsidiary content and PS structure found in the

data. More frequently, pitch sequence boundaries separated one piece

of subsidiary content from the main content surrounding it as shown in

Figure 4-10. In this sequence chain from SN's presentation, there are









83
two pitch sequences. The first begins with the high key focussing

marker 'now the first thing you wanna do' as he begins telling them

how to mark the TLC plate. The main content continues until the tone

units containing 'and there's rulers in the stockroom'. This second unit

ends with a low terminating aside 'and I don't have a pencil with me' as

SN realizes he does not have a pencil to demonstrate exactly what the

students should do. This closes the pitch sequence and SN then rises

to a mid key to complete the informative content. The mid key choice

reflects the continuation of the topic, i.e., 'the first thing to do with

your plate is to mark it' which was cut short by the aside.

A connection between pitch sequence closures and low key

equative asides mirroring boardwork was also a consistent pattern and

on several occasions, two low terminations marked the boundaries of a

"paradiscourse" unit, i.e., a unit of structure consisting solely of

boardwork. Figure 4-11 shows an example from BD's presentation where

there were several extremely long pauses (close to 60 seconds) while he

wrote on the blackboard. The low termination following the boardwork

functions as a final boundary cue and is followed by a new sequence

chain marked by a lecturing frame.

A final pattern that emerged from this data was groups of low key

units directly following each other forming a series of separate pitch

sequences. This pattern is not discussed in Brazil's work or that of his

colleagues. Brazil (1997) suggests that "pitch sequences having initial

low key tend to be short, often amounting to no more than one tone

unit In length" (p. 124). While this is mostly true of the low key PSs in

this data, particularly in their most common use to mark procedural











H K em// p r beGIN about
M ////p o toDAY i'm just gonna go over our
L

H
M unknown aNAlysis SCHEME//p cos it'll BEnefit anybody who's going
L

H
M to need to be WORKing on it//pp so if you wanna gather ROUND
L

H
M gonna do it up here on the HAVE ONE it's a
L BOARD// ///p p if you

H
M great time to check to see if you ///p o o r uh before i
L LIKE it///

H EVerybody has TWO//
M START MADE it up to at LEAST section FOUR on lab
L

H TWO everybody's made it at LEAST that
M //r p r+ section FOUR on lab
L

H
M FAR RIGHT// p exCEPT for ///r p section FOUR everybody's there
L YOU///

H
M ///p GOD// p that's about as FAR as it's NEcessary//
L RIGHT///

H
M //r cos I'm BAsically only gonna go over our POsitive IONS//
L


Figure 4-9. An Example of the Interaction between Main and Subsidiary
Content and Pitch Sequence Structure from MK's
Presentation.











H FIRST thing you wanna //WITH your tic
M ////p now the DO// PLATE
L

H HOPEfully you've got a
M PENcil// r+ o alRIGHT and they'll there's
L

H RUlers//
M //p r in the STOCKroom and i don't have a PENcil with
L ME///

H MARK// p at least a ONE
M ///p but what you wanna DO is you wanna
L

H centimeter
M LINE// p down the BOTtom of this PLATE//
L

Figure 4-10. An Example of the Interaction between Pitch Sequences
and Low key Subsidiary Content from SN's Presentation.


H
M ////p SO//
L //p EM let's SEE// [45 seconds boardwork] //p ok//

Figure 4-11. A Paradiscourse Unit Consisting only of Boardwork from
BD's Presentation.


asides, several times in the data an extended pattern of low key initial

units was found which was unrelated to the paradiscourse text. Examples

are given in Figures 4-12 and 4-13. Figure 4-12 shows the second

sequence chain in BD's presentation. The first sequence chain contains

the topic announcement and a definition of a Bode Plot:

The Bode plot's just a plot of the twenty log of the
magnitude of the frequency response against omega.









86
The next sequence chain, shown here, marks a shift in discourse plane

(i.e., a shift in the area of attention of the discourse) as BD talks about

what the presentation will cover. It begins with a lecturing frame and

focussing marker followed by an mid key enlargement 'we're just gonna


H
M ////p SO// p so toDAY// p we're just gonna LEARN how to PLOT//
L

H
M //p SIMple//p SIMple//p er BOde plots of the FREquency
L

H
M
L //p p p p and THEN/// you can LEARN/// about the Other KIND///

H
M
L ///in your CLASS/// p that are a little bit MORE COMpllcated///

H
M ///p p for this LAB THIS'll
L ///p NOT MUCH/// but// DO///


Figure 4-12. A Series of Low Key Pitch Sequences from BD's
Presentation.

learn how to plot simple Bode Plots'. The prominence choice on 'simple'

projects an existential paradigm in which 'simple Bode Plots' contrast

with other types of Bode plot. The series of low key units that follow

confirm this paradigm. The sequence of mid and low key units can be

loosely glossed as: 'I've told you we are going to look at simple Bode

Plots today, and I assume you understand that this means there are

other kinds of plots, but I will repeat this already understood

assumption now'. The low key units consist of this reformulation and a









87
low key gloss 'that are a little bit more complicated, not much'. When

the focus returns to the main content, i.e., what the students will need

for this lab, BD rises to a mid key 'for this lab, this'll do'.

Figure 4-13 shows a similar kind of reformulation in a series of

low key units from BL's presentation. The sequence chain begins by

describing one of the three variables the students will use to solve the

equation (hence the use of the high key to distinguish R from the other

two) and the definition of this variable constitutes one pitch sequence.

The following PS begins in a mid key, enlarging on the first 'it's

getting bigger' and providing a specific example 'you're getting more

money'. This is followed by a series of low key units that personalize

the previous example 'you want that, you want more money'. As in BD's

extract, when BL returns to the main content, i.e., the distinction

between a positive and negative R, he moves to a mid key.

In summary, this analysis showed that speakers' made key and

termination choices that created pitch sequence structures which

were related to each other within sequence chains, and internally

between tone units. PS structure emphasized the boundaries between

main and subsidiary content and demonstrated a similar kind of

relationship with other levels of organization as that seen in sequence

chain structuring.

Discourse Markers

The analysis of pitch sequence structure also highlighted the

speakers' use of discourse markers; particularly, what have been called

frames or micromarkers such as SO, NOW, OK, rather than the longer









88
lexical phrases also used to mark transaction boundaries. In analyses of



H ////p and R's what's
M CALLED// p it's a GROWTH
L CONstant///

H BIGger//
M ///r if r's POsitive the THING's getting //r you're
L

H
M getting MORE MOney// //r+ RIGHT//
L //you WANT// r r+ you WANT

H
M
L THAT///you want your money to GROW in a BANK/// ///pppp

H
M NEgative the STUFF is
L getting more bacTEria/// whatever if R is

H
M is getting SMALler it's deCAYing//
L

Figure 4-13. A Series of Low Key Pitch Sequences from BL's
Presentation.


teaching discourse and particularly those related to this model, only

high and mid key markers appearing with a proclaiming tone and termed

framing devices are discussed (Sinclair & Brazil, 1982: Barr, 1990).

Other research investigating these markers in transactional discourse

suggests that framing devices are part of a larger set that combines

both pragmatic and semantic functions and can operate as both

structural boundary markers and logical connectors (Flowerdew &

Tarouza,1995: Nattinger & DeCarrio, 1992). Nattinger and DeCarrio

further suggest that lexically equivalent markers operate differently in

discourse structure depending on tone choice. For example, OK realized









89
with a falling intonation and followed by a pause indicates a topic shift,

whereas the same OK marker with a level intonation and no following

pause marks a summary of the preceding information. In addition, they

include a rising tone on the same lexical markers which indicates

clarification is being sought from the hearer by the speaker.

Analysis of the discourse markers in this data confirmed that high

and mid key frames formed part of a larger set of lexically equivalent,

but prosodically distinct markers along the lines suggested by Nattinger

& DeCarrio.4 Five lexical markers, Alright, Right, Ok, So, and Now

appeared throughout the presentations and produced a total of 63

markers in this data set. The prosodic composition of these markers is

summarized on Table 4-3.

Both the high and mid key proclaiming, or in a few instances level

markers, functioned as typical frames usually In sequence chain or pitch

sequence initial position, in the manner suggested by Brazil and other


Table 4-3. The Prosodic Composition of Discourse Markers in the NS DAta
Set.


P TONES R TONES O TONES
HIGH KEY 4
MID KEY 20 10 3
LOW KEY 7 16 3


teaching discourse researchers. However, approximately a third of the

discourse markers appeared in a low key or with rising tones. Looking



Only markers that had an obvious structural function (whether that
was combined with a semantic function or not) are discussed in this
analysis.









90
first at the low key markers, analysis of pitch sequence structure

suggested that in approximately half of these examples (12 cases)

markers operated not only as structural markers indicating transaction

boundaries, but also as dummy tone choices (Brazil, 1997) to end pitch

sequences which showed a mid key termination on the prior tone unit.

While Brazil suggests that pitch sequence closure may be achieved

through dummy tone choices, this is not included as a possible function

of discourse markers. A typical example is given in Figure 4-14.

In this sequence chain, SN is working with the equipment as he is

speaking, and this additional call on his attention appears to cause a

momentary problem with linguistic coding shown by the hesitation and

flattened intonation. The informative content 'one plate' finishes on a

mid key termination and SN indicates a structural boundary by the

addition of a low key falling marker. It is clearly the speaker's intent



H these PLATES are BIG enough that you can
M RUN your entire exPEriment//
L

H
M [1.24] //o QO// [0.861 //p ONE PLATE// [0.4]
L //p oK// [0.9]

H NOW that you've NEXT thing you wanna
M ////p p so DRAWN this the DO//
L


Figure 4-14. An Example of a Low Key Dummy Tone Choice from SN's
Presentation.

to mark a boundary here as the following tone unit indicates a new

sequence chain with the high key 'now that you've drawn this the next









91
thing', and it is possible that the additional focus on the equipment

interfered with the intonation structure SN intended to project in the

final unit of the sequence chain. Reconstruction of speaker intent at

this level is clearly difficult to show. Even the speaker himself would, in

all likelihood, not be able to recall this kind of online decision.

However, the number of similar cases in this data suggest that low key

markers maybe used to fulfill this function.

Turning now to discourse markers exhibiting a rising tone,

Nattinger & DeCarrio suggest these indicate the speaker is seeking

clarification from the hearer. Certainly this notion can be subsumed

under Brazil's definition of referring tones by suggesting that rising

markers are a cue to the listener that the speaker is asking for (or will

be seen as asking for) confirmation of her belief that speaker and

hearer have negotiated a common ground, i.e., that the speaker is right

in assuming the hearer can interpret the discourse message. An

example from KN's presentation is shown in Figure 4-15. KN completes

the answer to the problem he has worked through on the board, and

then follows this with a low rising OK marker followed by a long pause

in which students could confirm their understanding or ask any

questions they have.

I noted above that rising markers could be seen as asking for

confirmation, rather than genuinely asking for confirmation as in Figure

4-15. Figure 4-16 shows another rising marker 'right' from BL's

transcript. In this case the marker is followed by a barely audible

pause (0.08 seconds) and there is clearly no "wait time" for a student

response. In this case, I suggest these markers are acting rather as











H
M you're BAsically gonna SHOW that// [0.27] //p p p the SUM of the
L

H
M TORQUES is equal to ZEro and that's when it
L BAlances// [0.27]

H
M
L //r oK// [0.7]

lgure 4-15. An Example of a Rising Confirmation Marker from KN's
Presentation.


solidarity markers. They indicate to the hearer that the speaker is

aware of her audience and imply that the speaker is directly confirming

common ground. It is suggested that this is a technique used to create

solidarity with the hearers by acknowledging their participation in the

discourse, and it may be that frequent use of rising markers will

encourage more participation indirectly by giving this impression.


H BIGger// [0.35]
M //r if r's POsitive the THING's getting //r you're
L

H
M getting MORE MOney// [0.3] //r+ RIGHT// [0.08]
L

Figure 4-16. An Example of a Solidarity Marker from BL's Presentation.


It is probable that these markers are not discussed in Brazil's

work or the teaching studies that stemmed from it (Brazil, Coulthard &

Johns, 1980; Sinclair & Brazil, 1982) because of the different nature of

the classroom discourse used in these analyses. Brazil and his

colleagues worked with primary or middle school data, and much of this









93
involves "telling" in proclaiming tones. When "asking" is included, it is

usually in the context of tightly structured IRF exchanges such as the

following in which the teacher is asking for the correct response only:

T: What's the annual rainfall here?
P: About thirty inches
T: Yes, good. (Sinclair & Brazil, 1982: p. 57)

In addition, the status of the teacher as controller of the discourse in

these classrooms is invariably absolute, and confirmation of student

understanding is often achieved through the kinds of display questions

exemplified above rather than by direct appeal to the students. In

contrast, in university classrooms, especially those taught by TAs, the

relationship between the teacher and students can be more open to

negotiation and more fluid (Shaw & Bailey, 1990; Tyler, 1995). One

manifestation of this recognition of the TA as more of a "facilitator" is

the use of 'asking' rather than 'telling' and evidence of negotiation cues

such as the use of rising markers.

Summary of Pitch Sequences and Discourse Markers

In summary, pitch sequence structuring was consistently used by

all the speakers in the sample to mark relationships within sequence

chains and between tone units. Pitch sequence boundaries frequently

marked changes between main and subsidiary content by alternations in

key choice and interacted with other levels of organization such as the

paradiscourse subtext. Discourse markers marked both sequence chain

and pitch sequence boundaries, and the prosodic features of these

markers suggest that key choice is an important part of understanding

how these markers work. There is some evidence to show that low key

markers are multifunctional, acting both as structural boundary markers









94
and as dummy tone choices to complete pitch sequence closure. Finally,

low key markers and rising markers are added to the original set of

frames proposed by Brazil, and it is suggested that these reflect the

particular type of classroom discourse constituting this data set.

Tone choice and Orientation.

This section investigates tone choices made in the data. The

reader will recall that the system of tone choice realized both an

information function (adding new information or marking information as

assumed to be known) and also a social function in expressing

relationships between participants in the discourse (exemplified above in

the discussion of rising markers). In addition, choices in the system

projected speaker orientation. In direct discourse, i.e., discourse

oriented toward the hearer(s), speakers negotiate a state of convergence

using R and P tones. In oblique discourse, marked by 0 and P tones,

the context of interaction is temporarily suspended and orientation is

toward to the language sample. This section is divided into two parts.

The first part focuses on direct orientation in the teaching

presentations and the use of R and P tones. The second looks at the

use of O tones and evidence of oblique orientation.

The four-minute extracts taken from the prelab presentations in

the laboratory classes each contained a lower limit of 100 tone units;

therefore, tone choices were counted as percentages for the first 100

tone units of each presentation. The math extract was only two minutes

in length, and a count was made of the first 50 tone units, which was

then doubled for the purposes of describing the numbers of tone

choices across the data set. This decision was made on the basis that









95
presentations of each math problem in the math discussion sections seen

by this researcher are virtually identical in their organization and

composition, and the features found in the presentations given by this

TA also match those found in analyses of similar math discussion

sections conducted by other researchers (Rounds, 1987; Byrd &

Constantinidles, 1990).

Direct Orientation: R and P Tones

The following table summarizes the tone choices made in the first

100 TUs of each teaching presentation. The table is ordered by the

amount of R tone choices found in each presentation.

The tone choice counts show a predominance of P tones. This is

typical of classroom discourse which is largely involved with "telling",


Table 4-4. Percentage of Tone Choices in the First 100 TOne Units in
Each Presentation in the NS Data.

TA % OF P TONES % OF R TONES % OF O TONES
BL 62 34 4
(doubled)
MK 57 31 12
LE 43 29 28
KN 66 17 17
SN 72 14 14
BD 75 13 12


i.e., using proclaiming tones to present new information to the students.

The use of R tones separates the six presentations into two groups

based to some extent on the amount of information the TA can assume

the students know and what is assumed to be new. In the first group




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AN ANALYSIS OF PROSODIC SYSTEMS IN THE CLASSROOM DISCOURSE
OF NATIVE SPEAKER AND NONNATIVE SPEAKER TEACHING ASSISTANTS
By
LUCY PICKERING
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1999

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT iv
CHAPTERS
1 INTRODUCTION 1
Overview 1
LI and L2 Discourse 10
2 INTONATION IN DISCOURSE 16
Models of Discourse Prosody 16
A Model of Intonation in Discourse 18
Comparison with Two Models of Intonation. ... 37
Additions to Brazil's Model 47
Conclusion 53
3 METHODOLOGY 55
Database 55
Data Collection and Analysis 57
Transcription Conventions 64
4 ANALYSIS OF NS DATA 65
Introduction 65
Sequence Structure Structure 67
Pitch Sequences and Discourse Markers 80
Tone Choice and Orientation 94
Conclusion 104
5 ANALYSIS OF NNS DATA 107
Introduction 107
Sequence Chain Structure 109
Pitch Sequences and Discourse Markers 135
Tone Choice and Orientation 153
Conclusion 168
ii

6 ANALYSES OF IVE DATA 172
Introduction 172
Sequence Chain Structure 185
Pitch Sequences and Discourse Markers .... 198
Tone Choice and Orientation 212
Conclusion 237
7 CONCLUSION 242
Summary of Analyses 242
The Role of Prosodic Stucture in Discourse . 253
Suggestions for Future Research 258
APPENDICES 265
A SAMPLE MATHEMATICS TRANSCRIPTS 265
B SAMPLE ENGINEERING TRANSCRIPTS 270
C SAMPLE PHYSICS TRANSCRIPTS 283
D SAMPLE CHEMISTRY TRANSCRIPTS 296
REFERENCE LIST 305
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 315
iii

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
AN ANALYSIS OF PROSODIC SYSTEMS IN THE CLASSROOM DISCOURSE OF
NATIVE SPEAKER AND NONNATIVE SPEAKER TEACHING ASSISTANTS
By
Lucy Pickering
August 1999
Chairperson: Diana Boxer
Major Department: Program in Linguistics
This dissertation investigates the role of prosodic structure in the
classroom discourse of native and nonnative speaker teaching assistants in
one American university. Video and audiotaped data of naturally occurring
teaching presentations given by male North American, Chinese, and Indian
English speakers were collected in the classroom. Fundamental frequency
contours and pause structure were calculated using a Kay Elemetrics
computerized Speech Laboratory. Patterns of intonation, stress, and
pausing were then interpreted using a model of intonation in discourse.
The results of the native speaker analysis show that intonation and
pause structure are organized systematicaUy by these speakers both to
structure information (for example, to mark topic boundaries and establish
contrasts), and interactively to establish a rapport between discourse
participants. The results of the two nonnative speaker analyses show that
both groups could be characterized by a typical prosodic profile which
marked speakers as deviating from a native speaker standard. Typical
iv

pitch and pause patterns found in these data show little indication that
teachers are directing their presentation towards assisting the students in
their comprehension of the material. Conflicts between prosodic cues and
organization at other levels of the discourse (for example, topic
organization or syntactic structure) make the informational structure of the
discourse more difficult to interpret for the native speaker hearer. In
addition, intonation choices are shown to contribute to a distancing
between teachers and students. At an interpersonal level, they frequently
characterize teachers as uninvolved and unsympathetic from the
perspective of native speaker participants in the discourse.
The study concludes that prosodic structure forms a natural link
between grammatical and soicolinguistic competence and bears a high
communicative load in terms of both structuring information and expressing
relationships between participants. Therefore, prosodic miscues in
nonnative discourse will negatively effect undergraduate perceptions of the
nonnative teachers’ competence and personality and are one underlying
cause of cross-cultural communication failure between international teaching
assistants and their students.
v

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Overview
Over the last decade, both university faculties and graduate
programs have become increasingly diverse. The numbers of
international teaching assistants and lecturers in scientific and technical
fields such as engineering, mathematics, and laboratory sciences have
increased dramatically (Mooney, 1990). The majority of U.S.
undergraduates are now more likely to have important contact with
international staff in their introductory courses, and nonnative speakers
are required to be "professional communicators" on a daily basis in
their classrooms (Scollon & Scollon, 1995). As with many other
workplaces, cross-cultural communication has become an integral part of
academic life in universities across the country. However, communication
failure between nonnative teachers and their students is not uncommon,
and concern regarding the competence of international staff remains
acute (Cresswell, 1990). Increasingly, screening programs developed to
assess the linguistic ability of international teachers have recognized
that successful communication between language groups requires a
sophisticated communicative competence on the part of the nonnative
speaker. This includes the ability to use language appropriate to a
given situational context, and to recognize the expectations of native
speaker discourse participants. One area of linguistic competence which
is frequently overlooked in this discussion is the prosodic structure of
nonnative discourse.
1

2
This dissertation investigates the contribution of prosodic
structure to possible cross-cultural communication failure by analyzing
the systematic use of two prosodic variables, pitch variation and pause
structure, in the naturally occurring discourse of native and nonnative
teaching assistants. Using native speaker presentations as baseline
data, the analysis focuses on the role of discourse prosodies in typical
classroom presentations and in rapport-building between teachers and
students.
In comparison with analyses of the syntactic and lexical features
of text, the contribution of the prosodic characteristics of longer
stretches of speech has remained largely understudied (Levinson, 1983).
Systematic investigation of the role of intonation, in particular, has also
been hampered by its traditional representation as a "half-tamed
savage" (from Bolinger, 1978, cited in Vaissiere, 1995), lying on the edge
of language and more appropriate for paralinguistic investigation. More
recently, however, improvements in the instrumental techniques available
to researchers in speech perception and new approaches to discourse
analysis have resulted in a revised conception of the role of prosody in
the production and interpretation of spoken discourse. Prosodic
features such as stress, intonation, rhythm, and pause structure have
been shown to form a natural link between linguistic and sociolinguistic
aspects of language, as they bear a high communicative load in terms of
both structuring information and expressing relationships between
discourse participants (Brazil, 1997; Gumperz, 1982). In light of this
research, prosodic features become measurable as a critical component of

3
the communicative ability of nonnative speakers, as they directly impact
linguistic, sociolinguistic and discourse competence.
The role of discourse prosodies in information structuring has
been investigated in a number of experimental studies which propose
that prosodic features such as pitch (as measured by fundamental
frequency) and pause structure are used in the production and
processing of local (utterance level) and global (discourse level)
information structure (Grosz & Sidner, 1986). Production studies in
English and Dutch show that a speaker’s use of pitch and pausing can
be directly linked to the topic structure of the discourse (Grosz &
Sidner, 1986; Nakajima & Allen, 1993; Swerts & Geluykens, 1993, 1994;
Cutler, Dahan & Donselaar, 1997). Speakers tend to use a high pitch
level, or fundamental frequency (Fo), at the initiation of a new topic, a
mid level at points of continuation, and a low Fo accompanied by longer
pauses at topic final boundaries. Nakajima & Allen (1993) also found
that topic elaborations or 'asides' were produced with lower Fo onsets
and finals and were characterized by a restricted pitch range. Swerts
& Geluykens (1994) conclude that "this points to a very sophisticated
use of global Fo features by the speaker, and shows that we should
look beyond the local level when studying the discourse function of Fo
variation" (p. 31).
Listener perceptions of the role of prosodic cues in information
processing are typically tested using response times to manipulated or
synthesized speech (Kreiman, 1982; Grosz & Sidner, 1986; Grosjan, 1983;
Swerts & Geluykens, 1994; Cutler, Dahan & Donselaar, 1997). In these
studies, listeners were able to identify major discourse boundaries and

4
predict when an utterance was likely to end using only prosodic
features such as pause length and Fo variation. When syntactic and
prosodic cues were manipulated so that utterances were syntactically
complete but prosodically incomplete, listener response times increased,
suggesting that this mismatch of linguistic signals required listeners to
reanalyze the information (Berkovits, 1984; Sanderman & Collier, 1997).
Swerts & Geluykens (1994) conclude that "listeners are able to deduce
discourse structure from prosody. Both pause duration and pitch
variation appear to be important perceptual cues" (p. 38). Collectively,
this research suggests that speakers employ prosodic structure to
organize information at a global level and that listeners use prosodic
cues to parse incoming information and predict upcoming discourse
structure.
In addition to these informational functions, discourse analysts
have proposed that pitch variation and pause structure form part of a
systematic use of prosodic features for indexical, or non-referential,
functions (Gumperz, 1982; Couper-Kuhlen & Selting, 1992). Indexical
functions include the use of pitch variation to regulate turn-taking in
conversation, to communicate sociolinguistic information such as status
differences, solidarity, or social distance between interlocutors, or to
project speaker assumptions regarding what information is ’new’ or
shared in the context of a specific interaction. In general terms,
prosody contributes to relationship-building between participants. Both
the referential and non-referential functions of prosodic structure are
united in Gumperz’s (1982) theory of conversational inference.

5
Gumperz suggests that comprehensible spoken discourse is
achieved through the production and interpretation of multiple cues or
signals present at all levels of the discourse, i.e., lexical, syntactic,
prosodic and non-verbal. The pragmatic or communicative value of the
discourse message is contained within the composite whole. For their
production and interpretation of these devices, or contextualization cues,
participants use "contextual presuppositions" (institutionalized linguistic
and cultural knowledge), and "situated inferencing" (moment by moment
inferences regarding the speaker’s intent based on the context of the
interaction). Gumperz proposes that over time, these cues have become
tacit, conventionalized choices, and in normal interaction between
members of the same speech community, discourse participants will
implicitly assume a shared framework of production and interpretation.
The reliance on a shared linguistic and sociocultural background
for interpretation of the discourse message has particular implications
for cross-cultural communication. The way in which participants orient
themselves to the interaction and to each other depends on their on¬
going interpretation of conversational behaviors. Those behaviors that
differ across speech communities may not be immediately evident to
interlocutors, as interpretation rests on deeply rooted, culturally based
presuppositions which are not easily retrieved by a native speaker on a
conscious, analytical level. Participants are likely to assume a mutual
understanding of discourse conventions, and infer speaker intent within
their own interpretive framework (Green, 1989; Humprey-Jones, 1986;
Tannen, 1985). Prosodic cues are particularly vulnerable to
misinterpretation. In Gumperz’s (1982, 1983, 1992) own work

6
investigating interactions between Indian English speakers and
British/American English speakers, he shows that Indian English
prosodic conventions frequently lead American/British participants to
view Indian speakers as discourteous, aggressive and misleading.1 In
light of the double function of prosodic cues in both structuring
information and rapport-building between participants, Gumperz et
al.(1984) characterize intonation as "among the most important of the
devices that accompany cohesion in spoken interaction" (p. 5).
This dissertation extends the current research in both speech
analysis and cross-cultural communication concerning the role of
prosody in discourse. The study compares two prosodic features, pitch
variation and pause structure, in the teaching presentations of native
and nonnative speaker (Chinese and Indian) teaching assistants in an
American university. A qualitative design was chosen in order to
conduct a microanalysis of the complete pitch and pause structure of
each of the discourse extracts recorded for this study. Fundamental
frequency contours and pause lengths were computed for each extract
using a Kay Elemetrics Computerized Speech Laboratory. These data
1 Although the models of discourse and intonation structure used in
this study (Gumperz, 1982; Brazil, 1997) are based primarily on
observations from standard British speakers, both researchers have also
used American English examples. As the formal constructs proposed in the
models and their interpretative value were found to be equally applicable
to the standard American English speakers investigated in this study, I
will subsume both the standard models of American and British English
under the title 'English’ throughout this study for ease of exposition. This
term is contrasted with 'indigenized varieties of English’ which is used to
describe Indian English. I also note, however, that there may be
differences in the interpretation of certain international features based on
localized regional or social factors, in both American and British English
(see, for example, Local, 1985; Bolinger, 1989), or in other native standard
models.

7
were then analyzed using a model of intonation structure in discourse
proposed by Brazil (1997). Brazil's framework comprises a series of
formal intonational categories which operate at the same level of
abstraction as syntactic and lexical choices, and have independent
implications for the discourse structure. Both Gumperz’s and Brazil’s
proposals share the same underlying principles regarding the
communicative function of intonation. Central to Brazil’s model is the
principle of a state of convergence between discourse participants; that
is, the continuous negotiation toward a roughly mutual state of
understanding in the immediate and constantly changing world of
naturally occurring spoken discourse. Intonational choices made by the
speaker project both referential and non-referential information which
the hearers will interpret within their understanding of the how the
system operates in English.
The comparison of the native speaker (NS) and nonnative speaker
(NNS) prosodic data is set within this larger framework of discourse
interpretation. If it can be established that native speakers are using
prosodic cues to orient their hearers to the interaction, then analysis of
the nonnative data can determine whether prosody is used by these
speakers to transmit the same information. In addition, the formal
categories proposed by Brazil constrain the hearers’ interpretation of
particular pitch movements. Therefore, we can surmise what effect
specific prosodic miscues in the nonnative speaker discourse are likely
to have on the comprehensibility of the discourse and rapport-building
between teacher and students.

8
The study focuses on four principal research questions:
1. Based on a model of prosodic structure in American/British
discourse, is there evidence that native speaker teaching
assistants systematically pattern intonation and pause
structure for informational and social functions for the benefit of
their hearers?
2. Based on an analysis of parallel native speaker and nonnative
speaker teaching presentations, what similarities and differences
in prosodic patterning are found in the teaching discourse of
Mandarin Chinese ITAs?
3. Based on an analysis of parallel American English and Indian
English teaching presentations, what similarities and differences
in prosodic patterning are found in the teaching discourse of
Indian English ITAs?
4. Based on these analyses, is the prosodic structure of ITA
discourse likely to be a cause of miscommunication at
informational and social levels between ITAs and their American
English hearers?
The discussion also addresses issues which evolved naturally out
of the analysis, such as differences between Indian and Chinese
speakers’ use of English prosodic systems, development of prosodic
features in a second language, and how these results can be applied to
cross-cultural communication and ESL pedagogy.
The remainder of this chapter examines recent literature
concerning the prosodic structure of L2 discourse, and ITA discourse
specifically. Chapter 2 describes Brazil's model of intonation in
discourse in detail. Currently, there are several models of prosodic
structure in English discourse available to the researcher
(Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg, 1990: Watt, 1994; Brown, Currie &
Kenworthy, 1980; Halliday, 1967). Chapter 2 also includes a comparison
with two similar models, and a discussion of why Brazil’s model was
considered to be most appropriate for this study. Finally, Chapter 2
describes two additions that have been made to Brazil’s model for the
purposes of this study. The first is a unit of intonation structure

9
developed by Barr (1990), which formalizes a prosodic paragraphing
structure found in the lecture discourse of native speakers. The
second is the inclusion of pause analysis based on previous findings
regarding the prosodic features of typical NNS teaching discourse
(Rounds, 1987). Chapter 3 describes the data and the procedures used
in this dissertation. The chapter includes a discussion of the
instrumental techniques used in the data analysis, and examples of the
fundamental frequency read-outs used to illustrate pitch variation in the
analyses.
Chapters 4, 5, and 6 comprise the results of the study. Chapter 4
reports the native speaker data analysis. The results verify that NS TAs
make systematic use of prosodic cues to communicate the global
structure of the discourse and to project their assumptions regarding
the knowledge state of a particular group of hearers. In addition, these
speakers use certain intonation choices to create solidarity with their
hearers by acknowledging their participation in the discourse. Chapters
5 and 6 report the results from the nonnative data. The analysis of the
Chinese ITA data, given in Chapter 5, shows that these speakers fail to
make systematic use of prosodic cues for referential discourse functions.
Furthermore, there was little evidence in these data of the use of
prosodic cues to build rapport between teacher and students. Indeed,
intonation patterns were typically found to exclude the hearers from the
context of the interaction. The results of the Indian ITA analysis are
reported in Chapter 6. There was more within-group variation in these
data, possibly related to the speakers’ different LI backgrounds.
However, the analysis suggests that as a group, these speakers use

10
certain conventionalized prosodic patterns that have been transferred
from General Indian English. For the American English listener, these
patterns frequently obscure the informational structure of the discourse
at both a local and global level and reduce comprehensibility. There is
also less evidence of the use of rapport-building strategies by this
group of TAs in comparison to the NS group.
Lastly, Chapter 7 presents a summary of the three analyses, and
discusses the role of prosodic structure in the comprehensibility of L2
discourse in light of the results of this study. I assert that prosodic
cues are a critical component of comprehensible spoken discourse in
English, and should be viewed as of central importance to the
development of effective discourse competence in L2 learners. The
chapter concludes with suggestions for future research, and the
possible applications of this kind of analysis.
LI and L2 Discourse Structure
Comparative studies of LI and L2 discourse structure demonstrate
crucial differences in the production of prosodic cues by L2 speakers
which can negatively affect the interpretation of discourse structure by
NS hearers. Current research suggests that nonnative-like prosodic
structuring in NNS discourse contributes to a lack of cohesion at a
global level, confusion regarding the relationships between individual
propositions at a local level, and misinterpretation of speaker intent at
an interpersonal level (Wennerstrom, 1997; Hewings, 1995; Anderson-
Hsieh, Johnson & Koehler, 1992). In investigations of advanced and
intermediate Asian and European learners, Wennerstrom (1994, 1997)
found that speakers did not use pitch variation to signal new or

11
contrastive lexical items, and used less reduction of pitch on non-
prominent words. This led to multiple prominences in an intonation unit
and difficulty in distinguishing sentence accent. Japanese, Thai, and
Chinese speakers also tended to use low boundary tones between related
propositions where rising or mid level tones would be anticipated by NS
hearers. Pirt (1990) reported similar results in a study of Italian
learners. In addition to multiple prominences, she found more use of
level and falling unit final tones in the NNS data, indicating that
learners were 'language-oriented' rather than oriented toward their
hearers. Lower proficiency learners also used inappropriate low
boundary tones such as the following (capital letters indicate prominent
syllables, and // indicates the boundary of an intonation unit):
// you must the FIRST RIGHT// (p. 151)
TAKE//
Hewings (1995) found a similar preference for the use of falling
tones in the discourse of advanced L2 learners from Korea, Greece and
Indonesia. This was particularly problematic in situations where rising
tones were chosen by native speakers for "socially integrative"
purposes. Hewings reports that when contradicting a previous speaker,
NSs consistently used rising tones to avoid the appearance of overt
disagreement implicit in a falling tone. In agreement with Gumperz,
Hewings suggests that the use of falling tones by NNSs in this context
can give the impression of deliberate rudeness or animosity on the part
of the speaker.
Studies investigating fluency in L2 discourse (i.e. pause structure
and hesitation phenomena) suggest that this can also confound listener
interpretation of the discourse structure. Typical characteristics of NNS

12
speech such as repetition or correction of lexical items, and
9
retrospective drafting of entire phrases (Hewings, 1990) , disturb the
prosodic composition of the discourse and make it more difficult for the
hearer to retrieve the overall informational structure. Similar
difficulties have been shown for pause structure in L2 discourse.
Riggenbach (1991) and Anderson-Hsieh & Venkatagiri (1995) found that
there were more nonlexical fillers and unfilled pauses in non-fluent NNS
speech, and that long pauses frequently appeared within intonation
units.
These characteristics affect NS perceptions of both internal
cohesion and overall coherence of the discourse structure, and listener
perception studies suggest that NS hearers react in a number of ways.
Difficulties in processing information structure may necessitate hearers
"replaying" parts of the message (Munro & Derwing, 1995). This, in
turn, can lead to "listener irritation" (Eisenstein, 1983), a dual response
to NNS discourse consisting of a negative cognitive reaction to reduced
comprehensibility, and a negative emotional reaction due to annoyance
and distraction. Problematic pause and pitch characteristics in
discourse production have been directly linked to listener irritation in a
number of experimental studies (Brown, Strong & Rencher, 1973, 1974;
Philipson, 1978; Fayer & Krasinski, 1987; Holden & Hogan, 1993). In
summary, the prosodic features of NNS discourse clearly contribute to
what Bouchard-Ryan (1983) calls a "generalized negative affect", which
2
The foUowing is a typical example of retrospective redrafting taken
from Hewings (1990):
/ER// HE-er// he BREATHED-er// ER// MUCH-er// s-s-// SO MUCH-
er//ER// AIR// he BREATHED in// SO much AIR// (p. 143).

13
describes the negative judgements made by NS hearers concerning the
speaker’s competence and personality.
Turning now to the ITA literature, although prosodic structure is
directly addressed in very few studies, where observations are made,
they reflect the findings in the L2 literature. Rounds (1987), Byrd &
Constantinedes (1990) and Bailey (1984) show that pause structure and
rate of speech can negatively affect intelligibility of the discourse and
student perceptions of the ITA. In Hinofotis & Bailey (1980),
undergraduate students were asked to comment on ITA presentations.
The most frequent complaint was that IT As were boring, and it was
difficult for students to concentrate. The authors link this remark to
the monotonic intonation patterns that characterize the presentations.
The underlying problem reflected in these kinds of comments is listener
perception of a "flat, undifferentiated, amorphous structure" (Tyler,
Jefferies & Davies, 1988), created in part, by frequent silences and a
lack of prosodic cues to signal information structure.
Many of these observations are consolidated in a group of studies
conducted by Tyler and her associates (Tyler, Jefferies & Davies, 1988;
Davies, Tyler & Koran, 1989; Tyler & Davies, 1990; Tyler, 1992; Tyler &
Bro, 1992; Tyler & Bro, 1993; Tyler, 1995). Working within Gumperz’s
model of cross-cultural communication, these researchers use
microanalysis of ITA presentations and teacher-student interactions to
illustrate how an accumulation of miscues at all levels of the discourse
structure can result in a misinterpretation of speaker intent by
undergraduate students. Tyler, Jefferies & Davies (1988) show that
prosodic miscues such as inappropriate falling contours, multiple

14
prominences and disfluency, combine with problematic syntactic
structures and use of discourse marking to obscure informational
structure. In Tyler & Davies (1990), both ITA production and
interpretation of prosodic cues contribute to communication failure
between a Korean ITA and a US undergraduate student. As the
interaction progresses, it is clear from the student’s agitated tone and
higher pitch that he is becoming increasingly more distressed. However,
during a playback session of the interaction, the ITA told researchers
that "he was not confident about reading the information conveyed by
prosodies and tone" (p. 404), and therefore, did not adjust his approach
to the student. These studies further highlight the critical importance
of situational context. Classroom interaction is an example of "binding
discourse" (Goffman, 1981), i.e., talk that "supports a class of hearers
who are more committed by what is being said" (1981: 140).
Undergraduate students are primarily concerned with their ultimate
success in the class, and may be less tolerant of communication
difficulties in this environment than they would be in some other
situational context. With this added consideration, the ability of ITAs to
both successfully produce and interpret prosodic cues in discourse
becomes a necessary component of their overall communicative
competence.
The design of this dissertation study is consistent with the
qualitative, interpretive investigations of ITA discourse conducted by
Tyler et al„ and augments these earlier studies by demonstrating how
global prosodic organization of the discourse can contribute to the
typical cross-cultural communication problems found in many teacher-

15
student interactions. This dissertation shows that if we do not address
prosodic structure in ITA discourse, we are essentially disregarding an
entire level of discourse organization and access to a tool used
consistently by native speakers to build a positive rapport with other
participants in the discourse. Through comparison with baseline native
speaker data, this study demonstrates how prosodic miscues in the
nonnative speaker discourse can be integrated into an overall
assessment of L2 competence and the ability of L2 speakers to
communicate effectively with native speaker interlocutors.

CHAPTER 2
INTONATION IN DISCOURSE
Models of Discourse Prosody
Introduction
The previous chapter argued for a discourse framework in which
comprehensible spoken discourse is achieved through the interpretation
of multiple cues present at all levels of discourse production. This
interpretation is based on both the shared linguistic and sociocultural
backgrounds of participants and the situated context of any given
interaction. It was further proposed that prosodic cues contribute
independently to the message contained within the discourse as a whole,
serving to both structure information and establish the relationship
between discourse participants. This chapter introduces a model of
intonation in discourse (Brazil, 1985 and 1997) compatible with this
framework of discourse production and interpretation.
The first part of the chapter gives a full description of Brazil’s
model based largely on the work of Brazil (1997) and Brazil, Coulthard &
Johns (1980). Where issues addressed by the model parallel discussion
in the collective literature concerning prosodies, this will be indicated in
order to clarify Brazil’s theoretical position within the larger framework
of other important work in the field. The second section compares
aspects of two other models of intonation (Halliday, 1967; Pierrehumbert
& Hirschberg, 1990) to Brazil's proposals. Halliday’s model precedes
many treatments of intonation analysis that employ tone unit division
16

17
and tonal analysis of tonic syllables, including Brazil's model. However,
the discussion will assert that Halliday's reliance on syntactic and
information structure and attitudinal meaning to explain phonological
form unnecessarily complicates the tonal inventory. The Pierrehumbert
and Hirschberg model is analogous to Brazil’s proposals in that it
develops a system based only on phonological form and assigns an
independent pragmatic function to intonation structure. However, I
suggest that the interpretive model they have developed up to this
point offers less insight regarding intonational effects across tone unit
boundaries and, therefore, is unable to investigate the larger patterns
of intonation structure in discourse suggested by Brazil and other
researchers. On this basis, it is argued that Brazil's model provides the
most comprehensive framework in which to investigate an independent
intonational structure of discourse as opposed to sentential or clausal
based units.
The final section in this chapter incorporates two additions to the
model. The first is a unit of intonation structure operating in discourse
proposed by Barr (1990). As Barr is working both within Brazil’s model
and with teaching discourse, the investigation of these units has been
added to this analysis. The second is the addition of pause analysis to
Brazil’s original work with stress and intonation. Prior research
investigating the teaching discourse of nonnative teaching assistants
(Rounds, 1987) suggests that an analysis of pause structure highlights
important qualitative differences between the overall prosodic structure
of NNS and NS discourse that can affect comprehensibility and

18
relationship-building in the classroom. Finally, a summary of the revised
model will be given at the end of the chapter.
A Model of Intonation in Discourse
Brazil (1997) proposes that intonation structure directly
contributes to the pragmatic message of the discourse by the use of
intonational cues to link the information to a world or context the
hearer can make sense of. The speaker chooses from a series of formal
options which operate at the same level of abstraction as syntactic and
lexical choices and have independent implications for discourse
structure. The speaker’s choices project a context of interaction based
on the on-going situated context of the discourse and her assessment of
the hearer's knowledge state. As this context is constantly changing,
intonation choices are relevant only at the moment of speaking, and the
speaker is involved in a continuous assessment of the relationship
between the message and the hearer. Within the context of any given
interaction, the participants Eire in the process of negotiating a "common
ground" or background to which "new" or unknown information is
I
added, contributing to the structure both within and between
intonation units. It is this negotiation toward a state of convergence (p.
133), a roughly mutusil understanding of what is being said in the
discourse, that allows for successful communication between participants.
The forimd options through which this negotiation is realized are
described below.
In the tradition of functionally based descriptions of English
intonation (Halliday, 1967; Crystal, 1969; Watt, 1994; Tench, 1996), Brazil
adopts pitch defined tone units as a means of breaking up stretches of

19
spoken discourse. Each unit has a possible 3 part structure; however,
only the tonic segment, the actual meaning-bearing element, is
obligatory; therefore, a minimal tone unit consists of only a tonic
segment, while an extended unit contains additional proclitic or enclitic
material. Examples of minimal and extended tone units are shown on
Table 2-1 below.
Table 2-1. Examples of Minimal and Extended Tone Units
TONE UNIT
PROCLITIC
SEGMENT (optional)
TONIC SEGMENT
(obligatory)
ENCLITIC SEGMENT
(optional)
DRAW the GRAPH
you can
DRAW the GRAPH
now
Tone unit boundary recognition is frequently discussed in the
literature (Crystal, 1969; Brown, Currie & Kenworthy, 1980; Cutler, Dahan
& Donselaar, 1997) and there is general agreement that boundaries can
be detected using a number of phonetic criteria such as vowel
lengthening, changes in pitch direction or short pauses. It is also
recognized however, that such boundaries are not always easily
identifiable (Tao, 1996; Couper-Kuhlen & Selting, 1996). While Brazil uses
phonetic criteria where they are present, one of the advantages of the
model is that it does not require precise recognition of unit boundaries,
as no linguistically significant contrasts are made on the optional
proclitic and enclitic segments. Tonic segment boundaries are identified
by the feature of prominence, fundamental frequency (Fo) excursions
which distinguish prominent syllables from the surrounding content and

20
represent the speaker’s assessment of the relative information load
carried by the elements in the utterance (Halliday, 1967; Crystal, 1969;
Williams, 1986; Tench, 1996). Brazil suggests that at least one, but
usually two, prominent syllables delimit the tonic segment. The way in
which syllables are assigned prominence rests on the pragmatic
intentions of the speaker and what Brazil terms an existential paradigm.
The paradigm consists of what possible choices could appear in each of
the syntagmatic slots of the tone unit based on both the constraints of
the language system and on the non-linguistic situation or the situated
context of the interaction. For example, given a potential tone unit such
as ’a parcel of books lay on the table’, at least two possible prominence
selections could be made (capital letters indicate prominent syllables):
a. a parcel of BOOKS lay on the TAble
b. a PARcel of books lay on the TAble
In (a) the speaker presents a prominent choice of 'BOOKS’ as opposed to
perhaps flowers or cups, and makes a similar prominence choice
regarding the location, i.e., on the table as opposed to on the floor or
on the chair. The choice of prominence on both syllables projects a
situated context in which both these pieces of information are
unrecoverable either from the prior interaction or from constraints
within the language system. Equally, by choosing not to make
prominent certain other words in the unit, the speaker assumes that no
choice needs to be made from the existential paradigm. This may be
based on non-linguistic or linguistic factors. For example, a choice of
'box’ of books (another possibility in the paradigm) can be considered
synonymous to the choice of ’parcel’, and books can be assumed to ’lay’

21
on a table as opposed to 'stand up’. Constraints on the possible choices
in the language system apply to the nonprominent function words such
as 'of' and 'on'. In (b) the speaker chooses to make 'parcel' prominent
and 'books’ nonprominent. This projects a context in which other
possibilities from the appropriate paradigm are unlikely as 'books’ is
understood as having been already negotiated:
A: Was the book there?
B: There was a PARcel of books there
The way in which these understandings are achieved can range from
constraints in the language system or immediate context, to less
restricted contexts such as assumed cultural knowledge, for example, the
non-prominent '5th' in 'SAKS 5th AVenue’ for an American English
speaker and the non-prominent 'hardy' in 'FREEman, hardy and WILlis’
for a British English speaker.1
Support for the function of prominence in projecting the
speaker’s understanding of the negotiated status of a given item comes
from both mishearings and prosodic repairs. In the following example,
the mishearing ('eight' instead of 'ace') causes B to project a context in
which 'eight' is already determined and therefore, realized non-
prominently:
A: Which ace did you play?
B: The eight of HEARTS
(Brazil, 1997: 27)
Prominent syllables are divided into two categories based on
where they appear in the tone unit: the first prominent syllable in the
1 Freeman, Hardy and WUlis is a national chain of shoe stores in
Britain. This example comes from Brazil (1986).

22
tonic segment is called the onset, and the last is called the tonic
2
syllable. It is the pitch level and pitch movement on these syllables
that forms the basis for the assessment of their communicative value
within the three systems that comprise the model. The systems realized
on these two syllables are key, realized on the onset syllable:
*1
termination, realized on the tonic syllable ; and tone, also realized on
the tonic syllable. Key and termination will be discussed together as
they are closely related, followed by tone.
Both key and termination choices are analyzed under a three term
system that divides the speaker’s pitch range into three levels: high
(H), mid (M), and low (L). Clearly, for any given speaker, an indefinite
number of absolute pitch levels may be identified, and absolute pitch
level may be affected by a number of factors including individual
idiosyncracies, emotional involvement (Bolinger, 1988) or sociocultural
convention (van Bezooyen, 1984). However, once we abstract away from
these factors, Brazil suggests we are left with a small number of pitch
contrasts used to convey purely linguistic meaning.
Both key and termination pitch choices are also glossed with the
same communicative values. Choice of high pitch on the prominent
syllable denotes the constituent (or the matter of the tone unit) as
either ’contrastive’ with something derivable from the preceding
9
Brazil et al. (1980) suggests that it is possible to have intermediate
stressed syllables between these two if they form part of the informing
content of the tone unit; however, this pattern usually occurs in
particular styles of speech (see later discussion).
^ In cases where there is only one prominent syllable in the tone unit,
both key and termination choice fall on the same syllable.

23
discourse (including both linguistic and non-linguistic factors) or
'particularized’, i.e., highlighted as crucial over and above the
surrounding information. (In the following examples, both key and
termination are realized on the same syllable):*
H FAILED//
M //he took the exAM// and
L
he did not pass, as you might have expected:
cxmtrastive
(Sinclair & Brazil, 1982: 144)
Mid pitch choices have an additive function and denote the constituent
as an 'expansion' or 'enlargement' of the information in previous units:
H
M //he took the exAM// and FAILED
L
he did both: additive
(Sinclair & Brazil, 1982: 144)
Finally, a low pitch choice signifies an 'equative' value in relation to
previous units, giving low key an additional restrictive function. It may
be a reformulation of the previous unit, or some kind of recognition that
no new information is added:
H
M //he took the exAM// and
L FAILED//
as you would expect; from what you know of him you
will assume that taking it involves failing it: equative
(Sinclair & Brazil, 1982: 144)
Turning now to examples in which key and termination are
realized on different syllables, separate choices on these systems allow
Following Brazil’s conventions, in all the following examples, '//’
indicates a tone unit boundary, onset syllables are given in capitals and
tonic syllables are capitalized and underlined. Key/termination levels are
indicated by B, M, & L.

24
the projection of a finer context of interaction, and a more detailed
analysis of speaker assumption and intent:
A: It’s three o’clock
B: H
M GO//
L //TIME to
Here the message would be, 'I take three o’clock’ as equivalent in
meaning in this context to 'time to go’ (indicated by the choice of
low key), antfl assume you will agree' (mid termination predicting
mid key 'yes, i agree’). (Brazil et al„ 1980: 77)
This interactive use of the key and termination systems allows the
speaker to ’suggest’ the appropriateness of certain reactions by
the hearer. In the following example, Brazil suggests the speaker
invites an "adjudicating response" from the hearer with a use of
high termination, i.e„ 'consider whether he ought or ought not be
ashamed of himself’, and anticipates concurrence or approval of
the proposed action with the use of mid termination on 'tell him
so’:
H SHAMED of himself//
M //he OUGHT to be a
L
H
M and i’m GOing to TELL him so//
L
(Brazil, 1997: 59)
In terms of previous analyses of the English intonation system, there is
nothing inherently new about identifying a small number of linguisticaUy
contrastive pitch levels for any given speaker (Pike, 1946; HalUday,
1967; Crystal, 1969; Tench, 1996). However, Brazil’s proposal differs
from these treatments in two important respects.

25
First, one level is not given as the ’norm’, i.e„ the level the
speaker will deviate from for specific (and largely attitudinal) effects.
In Brazil’s model, values are derived on a relative basis. Key choice is
identified by its relative pitch height as compared to the pitch of the
key choice in the previous unit, and termination choice is identified
relative to the key choice in the same unit. As Couper-Kuhlen (1986)
notes, this allows for more precise recognition of pitch height changes
than a system that establishes a series of fixed levels. However, it
raises a different problem: How to categorize a specific pitch level
choice that may be only marginally lower or higher than a previous
choice, compared to one in which the actual FO change is much greater.
These difficulties, as with those that come with a fixed level system,
reflect the problem of dealing with the gradient nature of the systems
measured in prosodic analysis, i.e., Fo, amplitude and length. It is
suggested here, in agreement with Couper-Kuhlen (1986), that these
potential problems for analysis can be alleviated by analyzing key and
termination choices within a minimally fixed framework, i.e., the voice
range of the speaker. The first onset key is identified within this
range, and subsequent levels are identified as appreciably ’higher than’
or 'lower than’ the preceding key or termination choice (see the sample
analyses shown in Chapter 3). A certain amount of flexibility must
remain within any system that attempts to describe these features, as Fo
changes are conditioned by both time, which causes declination, and
position in the discourse, which results in an expansion or flattening of
the intonation contour near the beginning and ends of prosodic units
(Vaissiere, 1983; Levelt, 1989: Beckman, 1997). Second, stemming from

26
the level analysis, Brazil posits a form of tonal collocation, i.e. the
extent to which adjacent tones display predictable restrictions (Crystal,
1969). Changes in pitch level are constrained by movement between
adjacent levels only. Therefore, no tone unit exhibits a high key and
low termination, or low key and high termination, and there is a further
adjacent level constraint across tone unit boundaries. In formalizing
and systematically incorporating the notion of key or relative onset level
into the model, Brazil’s proposals differ from those made in a number of
other current research models (Brown, Currie & Kenworthy, 1980;
Gussenhoven, 1983; Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg, 1990). However, key
choice analysis is critical in establishing pitch range interactions across
tone units both in the discourse of one speaker and in interactions
between speakers, and it has been recognized by a number of other
researchers (Couper-Kuhlen, 1986; Tench, 1996; Wennerstrom, 1997) as a
necessary construct to investigate prosodic units larger than the tone
unit or intonational phrased These units, or phonological paragraphs,
are readily incorporated into Brazil’s model and are discussed below.
There are two kinds of phonological paragraphing proposed in this
model: pitch concord and pitch sequences. Pitch concord describes
pitch range interactions between speakers. Brazil proposes that in
exchanges, following the consequent introduction of a new range of
pitch norms, the second speaker will aim to match her initial key choice
to the final termination choice of the first speaker in response to
’ Wennerstrom (1997) in fact, incorporates a form of key analysis into
Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg’s model for this reason.

27
whatever 'invitation’ is projected by the first speaker. This is
exemplified in the following examples:
(a) A: H
M //Do you underSTAND//
L
B: H
(b) A: H STAND//
M //Do you under
L
B: H //YES//
M
L (Brazil, 1997: 54)
In (a) the use of mid termination by speaker A is not so much a request
for a decision as an invitation to confirm that A's assumption ('i think
you do understand’) is correct. Speaker B supplies this expected
concurrence with a mid key 'yes, I do’. In (b) on the other hand, the
use of high termination can be glossed as: 'Tell me, do you or do you
not understand?’ and speaker B’s response as asserting 'yes, there is
no question of me not understanding’. A similar example was recently
overheard on a college campus:
A: H WAS it//
M //it WASN’t my FAULT//
L
B: H //NO// of COURSE it
M WASN’T//
L
In this example, speaker B responds to speaker’s A request to
adjudicate ('tell me, was it or wasn’t it my fault’) with a high key
suggesting there is no question that it was not her fault. As Brazil
notes, there is no absolute requirement that a speaker must obey the
concord rule. However, when a second speaker does wish to refuse the

28
invitation offered by the speaker, she may choose to do so indirectly by
realizing the expected key choice on a "dummy" item such as the mid
key choice on 'well' shown below:
A: H
M //i COULDn't go// COULD i//
L
B: H YES// COULD//
M //WELL// i think you
L
(Brazil, 1997: 56)
The second construct, the pitch sequence, is a stretch of
consecutive tone units that fall between two low termination choices. It
may be uttered by one speaker or shared between two participants in
an exchange. It typically delimits longer sections of speech and may be
related, in terms of communicative value, to the next or previous pitch
sequence, or to the constituent tone units within it:
Pitch sequences resemble sentences and exchanges in
that they exhibit a kind of running down of the
constraints that unify them. By saying that low
termination is the realization of a pitch sequence
closure we are recognizing that the unit ends when
the constraints that derive from a particular kind of
language organization are reduced to zero.
(Brazil, 1985: 182)
The following example of a pitch sequence closure marks the boundaries
of a typical teacher-student exchange with a final low key on the
evaluation ’good’:
T: H
M //WHAT’s the final ANSwer//
L
S: H
M //sixTEEN//
L
T: H //NOW//
M //sixTEEN//
L //GOOD//

29
In addition, the example shows the teacher beginning a new pitch
sequence with the high key frame 'now’.
In longer narratives or monologues by one speaker, pitch
sequences create relationships with each other of 'separateness' or
'connection'. A low termination pitch sequence closure may be followed
by a high, mid or low key choice which carries the same communicative
value (contrastive, additive or equative) as key choices within tone
units; however, these are external key choices that reflect the speaker’s
projection of the relationship of one pitch sequence as a whole to the
pitch sequence preceding it. A high key choice marks a point of
maximal disjunction from the previous sequence and may mark major
semantic or structural boundaries in the discourse. A mid key pitch
sequence carries a value of enlargement, expansion, or addition to the
preceding sequence, and a low key sequence closes off a prosodic unit
and may be associated with reformulations or asides which typically
have a reduced pitch range (Beckman, 1997; Tench, 1996).
A tendency for pitch concord between speakers has been noted by
a number of other researchers, particularly those working with
conversational interaction (Couper-Kuhlen & Selting, 1996). In addition,
pitch sequences most closely parallel the paratone structures that have
been discussed by researchers working with long stretches of narrative
discourse (Yule, 1980; Brown, Currie & Kenworthy 1980; Brown & Yule,
1983; Couper-Kuhlen, 1986). Major paratones are identified by a high
key onset and a low termination (or extended pause) consistent with

30
O
Brazil’s high pitch sequence boundaries. Yule (1980) and Couper-
Kuhlen (1986) also discuss a minor paratone structure; however, only the
latter recognizes relative onset key which would make minor paratones
coextensive with Brazil’s mid and low key pitch sequences. The nature
of the model also allows for new developments in prosodic paragraphing,
and this will be discussed below. In sum, phonological paragraphing is
a relatively new area of discourse analysis that can be fully
investigated using the key and termination options proposed in this
model.
The third and final system posited in the model is that of tone.
This is concerned with pitch movement rather than pitch level and
appears in addition to the termination choice on the tonic syllable. Tone
denotes the status of the content of the tone unit, i.e., whether it is
’new’ or ’given’ within the context of the interaction. Brazil recognizes
five tonal contours:
: fall (p); rise-fall (p+)
: fall-rise (r); rise (r+)
: neutral tone (o)
Excluding for the moment the neutral tone choice, the four possibilities
can be divided into two opposing pairs: rising and falling. Tones that
end in a falling movement are termed proclaiming tones. The use of
these tones signifies the content is new, i.e., not recoverable from the
preceding discourse, or is asserted, i.e., as necessary or
incontrovertible truth or fact. Tones with a rising movement are termed
In fact, these are more likely to be coextensive with the sequence
chain boundaries proposed by Barr (1990) and discussed below.

31
referring tones and signify that this information is already
"conversationally in play" i.e., assumed to be known or recoverable from
the preceding discourse or non-linguistic context. In the following
examples, a teacher is providing examples of commonplace 'rubbing
movements’ in order to demonstrate the concept of friction to her
students:
(1) //p when you strike a match//
//r it’s a rubbing movement//
(2) //r when we rub our hands together
//p we are causing friction//
(Brazil et al., 1980: 14)
(1) can be glossed as 'talking of rubbing movements, another (new) kind
is striking a match’. (2) reverses the organization of 'new' and 'given'
and can be glossed as 'all these examples of rubbing movements (such
as rubbing our hands together) are causing something new I will
introduce to you called friction’. Thus, tone choice summarizes the
'common ground’ between speakers at any particular moment in a given
interaction.
As with choices of key and termination, the speaker operates on
the basis of her assessment of the state of convergence between herself,
the hearer and the message. This assumption of common ground can be
seen most clearly in cases where the hearer(s) cannot confirm the
correctness of the assumption directly, yet some state of convergence is
projected. In the following example, a news announcer in Britain
assumes that the name of the prime minister of Britain will be known to
the audience (hence the 'r' tone) whereas the name of her French
counterpart may not:

32
//p the prime MINister//r mrs THATcher//
//p the prime MINister//p raymond BARRE//
(Brazil et al., 1980: 18)
However, it is also important to remember that choices are under the
speaker's executive control (Levelt, 1989). In other words, speaker
intention can override any 'expected' choices that may be anticipated
based on context. For example, the system allows the speaker the
option to project a state of convergence that has not existed until that
moment, i.e. choose tones as if something had already been negotiated.
The tonal system is also used to reflect sociolinguistic variables
such as differences in social status between speaker and hearer, or
"social distance", i.e., whether interlocutors are intimates or strangers
(Wolfson, 1988). For example, the '+’ tones (r+/p+) carry the same
information value as their r/p counterparts: however, Brazil suggests
they carry an added value of dominance. Choice between the regular
and '+' version of these tones is often based on the status relationship
between participants of the discourse where the '+’ tones, as dominant
tones, are the prerogative of the controller of the discourse or the
participant who claims control.
In cases where the status of participants is unequal, e.g. teacher-
student, doctor-patient interactions, division of tone choices along
dominant/non-dominant lines is more easily identifiable. The example
below was heard in a college classroom where the teacher was a rather
timid Chinese ITA with limited language proficiency and potentially
ambiguous dominant status for the American listener. At one point,
after several repetitive checks by the ITA on student comprehension,
the following exchange occurred:

33
T: Does everyone understand? Are there any questions?
S: //p* NO// pt just go ON//p+ PLEASE
Despite the ostensibly polite form, judging by the reactions of the
observer and other students in the class, this response was clearly
perceived as disrespectful and as 'overstepping’ the teacher-student
boundary. This was seen as an example of the inappropriate use of a
dominant proclaiming tone by the lower status participant in the context
of this interaction:
The assumption of dominance in circumstances where there is an
ongoing expectation that the speaker in question will accept a
non-dominant role can sometimes amount to rudeness.
(Brazil, 1997: 86)
These interpretations are very dependent on the sociolinguistic
context of the specific interaction in which they are used. In
interactions between intimates or status equals, for example, use of '+’
tones may represent not so much a dominant function, as a function of
intervention or reminding, in that the speaker takes a positive initiative
in invoking common ground (r+) or changing the world of the hearer
(p+). Dominant tones may also be used in interactions between
strangers when a certain situation briefly confers dominant status on
one of the participants; for example, when a pedestrian is giving
directions to a passing motorist.
The final possible tone, the 'o’ or level tone is unique in that it
places the constituent outside the context of the interaction, i.e„ it is
neutral in terms of its communicative value, and the speaker is
essentially marking it off from the surrounding informative content.
Halliday (1967) does not recognize a neutral tone as part of his main
1
This tone may also be realized with a slight low rise.

34
tonal inventory, as he suggests it is rarely used in normal, everyday
conversation. This, in fact, supports Brazil’s contention that use of
the tone places information outside of the interactional context;
something that presumably most interactants would not want to do
unless for very specific reasons. Halliday (1967), Crystal (1969) and
Brazil all suggest that the level tone is used for semi-ritualized or
routinized language behavior such as choral prayer or giving directives
in the classroom: "//o stop WRITing//o PUT your PENS down//" (Brazil,
1997: 138). Brazil also identifies another very specific use of level tone
in the classroom in a routine formula used by teachers and recognized
by students called the template technique in which the teacher invites
the students to complete a sentence with the correct information:
T: //o and then I...//
S: Natural log of both sides
Despite what would seem to be isolated occurrences of this tone, it
plays a significant role in Brazil’s model, in distinguishing two types of
discourse that have important implications for successful interaction
between participants. The reader will recall that the participants in any
given interaction are involved in a process of reaching a mutual
understanding of the status of the information being given and
received, and that the tonal system is an essential part of this process
as it indicates whether the speaker is projecting the matter as shared
common ground or new information. This use of the intonation system
for the benefit of the hearer’s comprehension is termed direct discourse,
as the speaker is directly orienting intonational choices toward a state
of convergence. Brazil suggests, however, that the system also allows

35
for a speaker to select choices that are not oriented toward the listener
and do not place a given utterance/utterances in a relationship with
other parts of the discourse message. In effect, the speaker
temporarily withdraws from the context of the interaction, and the
communicative values inherent in the system are temporarily suspended.
In this case, choices in the system create oblique discourse, i.e an
orientation inward toward the language specimen rather than outward
toward the hearer.
The principal characteristics of an oblique orientation are the use
of a level 'o’ tone in combination with a proclaiming tone, and multiple
prominences within a single tone unit. For example, in normal
conversation a speaker may decide to include a familiar quotation ('you
can TAKE a HORSE to WAter but you CAN’T MAKE him DRINK'). An
utterance presented in this manner can be glossed as "these are not my
words addressed particularly to you on this occasion; they are rather a
routine performance whose appropriateness to our present situation we
both recognize" (1997: 136). A second condition under which choices
indicating oblique orientation can occur is in places where the speaker
has momentary problems with linguistic coding which temporarily cause
an orientation change. Unplanned or partially planned discourse is
often filled with pause fillers and other kinds of hesitation markers
which will frequently be uttered in a level tone as the speaker’s focus
shifts briefly to the language sample. This description of oblique
orientation subsumes various uses of the level tone that has been
described by other researchers in situations such as choral prayer or
other discourse events where participants recite formulaic responses or

36
in the hesitation phenomena commonly found in spontaneous speech. It
also applies to an activity Brazil terms 'reading out’, where decisions in
the intonation systems are made on the basis of the linguistic
organization of the text rather than concern with how any given
utterance meshes with the context of the interaction.
In all the situations mentioned above, it is also possible to adopt a
directly-oriented approach. This, for example, is the difference between
'reading out’ and 'reading aloud’; again, the ability to make either
choice highlights the fact that the decision lies to a large extent with
the speaker. There is no situation where a speaker must make a
particular choice; rather the system operates on the Gricean co¬
operative principle that, generally speaking, speakers’ contributions are
designed to be understood (Grice, 1975). As with any system in
language, this creates an area of conventionalized choices, and prosodic
composition is one way in which we identify different language events
(Tench, 1996). Classroom discourse, for example, is likely to be
characterized by certain intonation patterns such as clearly structured
direct orientation choices for informative content, pitch concord in
teacher - student exchanges, and the use of level tones for formulaic
instructions (Brazil et al, 1980; Sinclair & Brazil, 1982).
Summary of Brazil’s Model
In summary, the three interlocking systems of key, termination
and tone form the basic components of an intonation system in English
that has independent implications for the communicative value of the
discourse. With the inclusion of key choice, the model provides a
principled framework for the description and interpretation of

37
intonational structure in discourse as well as in individual utterances,
allowing investigation of structures larger than the tone unit or
intonational phrase. Choices in the three systems of the model and
structured phonological paragraphing show that spoken discourse,
whether overtly dialogic or not, is organized for the benefit of the
hearer and toward a mutual understanding by participants of the
discourse message. Certain combinations of systems also demonstrate
that intonation choice is under speaker control, and that the speaker
may exploit the system to alter the communicative value of the utterance
or, alternatively, temporarily withdraw from the interaction under
certain conditions. For these reasons, the model provides a systematic
framework to analyze prosodic structure which can then be compared to
other levels of linguistic description.
Comparison with Two Models of Intonation in English
This section will compare Brazil’s model with aspects of two other
models of intonation in English (Halliday, 1967; Pierrehumbert &
Hirschberg, 1990). These comparisons are limited and selective.
However, they show in general terms why Brazil’s model is considered to
be the most economic and insightful for the data analysis undertaken in
this study.
Halliday (1967)
Halliday also proposes that intonation structure consists of three
separate systems: tonality (tone unit division), tonicity (internal
structure of tone units) and tone (pitch movement on the final tonic).
Taking first the two systems of tonality and tonicity, Halliday suggests
a marked/unmarked distinction in which unmarked tone units are

38
coextensive with information units and syntactic clauses. For natural
data, this can be problematic. First, as Couper-Kuhlen & Selting (1996)
note, there may be no recognizable prosodic boundary between two
nuclear or tonic syllables yet only one may appear in an unmarked unit.
Therefore, boundaries are drawn on syntactic grounds even when they
are not supported by any phonological criteria. An example is shown
below:
the prince of WALES// is visiting CARdiff//
(Couper-Kuhlen & Selting, 1996: 15)
In this case, a tone unit boundary is drawn between the two tonics:
however, 'is visiting’ could be analyzed as either a proclitic or enclitic
element without materially affecting the meaning inherent in the
intonation structure, and without recourse to syntax.
Secondly, natural data is replete with identifiable pause defined or
pitch defined prosodic units that are not coextensive with traditional
syntactic units including hesitation markers, false starts and truncated
sentential structures (Crystal, 1969: Brown, Currie & Kenworthy, 1980:
Couper-Kuhlen & Selting, 1996). In Halliday's system these would be
considered marked structures yet they are a common feature of
spontaneous and partially planned spoken discourse. Similar difficulties
apply to the concept of tonicity. Halliday suggests that the internal
structure of an unmarked tone unit consists of "given" information
followed by a "new" or focal element coinciding with the tonic syllable
on the last lexical item. Once again, as Brown, Currie and Kenworthy
(980) show, in many cases in natural data, a new item may appear at the
beginning of the unit followed by a given structure:

39
THAT’S what I regret....
(Brown, Currie & Kenworthy, p.156)
In this case, the tonic falls on the first item. As the authors suggest,
it is only because two separate systems (given versus new, and
identification of prominent syllables by phonological criteria) are merged,
that data is forced into a marked category. In Brazil’s system, 'new’
information is not connected to particular syntagmatic slots in the tone
unit. In the example above, choice of prominence in and of itself
reflects the speaker's intention to project this as informative content,
and tone choice will indicate whether the speaker believes this to be
new information for the hearer.
The third system in Halliday’s model is tone. Five possible primary
tones differentiated by pitch movement, may appear on the tonic
syllable. This system is closely tied to the syntactic structure of the
discourse and also employs the marked/unmarked division:
Distinctions expressed by the choice of different
tones...belong in the realm of grammar (and within
grammar, the realm of syntax). Halliday, 1970: 21)
The following example (taken from Brazil, Coulthard & Johns, 1980:
107) exemplifies the unmarked distinction for WH- questions (falling) and
its marked counterpart. The example is followed by the equivalent tone
choices in Brazil’s system:
(d) WH- question: tone 1, neutral; tone 2, mild
(tentative/deferential)
//I what’s the time//
//2 what’s the time// (’may I ask please')
(Halliday, 1970: 27)
//p what’s the TIME//
//r+ what’s the TIME//

40
In Brazil's system, the difference between these two tonal values
would be In the assumed 'state of convergence', i.e„ questions in
referring tone may be heard as in some way anticipating the answer, or
as a request to be reminded rather than told, and overtones of
'tentative' or 'deferential' are dependent on the specific context of the
interaction. Seen in this light, the supposed neutral tone for WH-
questions may be less appropriate in one particular context than it is in
another. This point is also taken up by other researchers (Crystal,
1969) who argue that it is not productive to assign tones to certain
structures, particularly different kinds of questions, as the data does
not support this kind of dichotomy:
Analysis of most varieties of English speech shows
that the issue is hardly as simple as this, it being
quite possible to have both a falling and rising tone
with each kind of question, (p.3)
These difficulties with all three - tonality, tonicity and tone - suggest
that intonation should be viewed as an independent level of meaning,
not as a device defined by grammatical choices.
In addition to the five primary tones, Halliday also proposes a
system of secondary tones which appear on both the tonic and the
pretonic (equivalent to Brazil's onset syllable). This system, which
Halliday calls 'key' also includes three pitch levels (as well as tonal
movements) but differs from Brazil’s key system in that one level is
recognized as the 'norm' or neutral tone, and most importantly, that its
sole function is to indicate affective meaning.
Pretonic secondary tones extend from the onset to the tonic
syllable and are attached to primary tones. For example, the pretonic

41
on tone 1 can be a neutral, even tone, or a 'bouncing' tone, that
Halliday glosses as 'forceful or querulous’:
//I why don’t you make up your mind// (unemotional)
//I why don’t you make up your mind// (for heaven’s sake)
(Halliday, 1970: 32)
With Halliday’s recognition of the internal foot structure of the unit,
each ’salient’ syllable would bear the ’bouncing’ movement. This creates
three prominent syllables:
//p WHY don’t you MAKE up your MIND //
This multiple prominence pattern alone would separate the unit from the
surrounding discourse and suggest a stronger focus on the message
itself, rather like giving an instruction. In fact, the same effect can be
achieved using falling contours on the pretonic segment, and the
substitution of a p+ dominant tone implies even more ’forcefulness':
//p+ WHY don’t you MAKE up your MIND//
However, within Halliday’s system the equivalent of the p+ tone, tone 5,
attaches to its own secondary pretonic tone and is glossed as
'awestruck or disappointed':
//5 LOOk at that MARvelous old STEAM engine//
(p. 33)
These examples demonstrate that great care needs to be taken in
separating intonational effects from the effects of the lexical items
themselves. In the following example of Halliday’s tone 1 with a
’bouncing’ pretonic, it is difficult to assign a 'forceful or querulous’
interpretation:
//p JOHN’S deCIDed to beCOME a DOCtor//

42
Again, the interpretation seems to be more like some kind of concern
with the way the message is being said as though it were being quoted
or somehow distanced from the speaker largely due to the effect of the
multiple prominences. Intonation clearly has an affective component
(Bolinger, 1988); however, there is a danger in applying too many
precise labels and unnecessarily complicating the tonal inventory. This
is particularly true of affective meaning, as there are many other
prosodic and paralinguistic variables that are invariably involved, such
as loudness, extra-heavy stress, rate, tension, choice of lexis and
kinesics (Crystal, 1969; Tench, 1996). In addition, there is the issue of
separating universal indicators of some kind of emotional effect from
language specific conventions (Bolinger, 1988; Vaissiere, 1983). Certain
prosodic features such as a change in volume or an increase in tempo
may be universally recognizable, whereas other more subtle effects may
be more language specific. In the discussion of this example given
earlier: //p+ NO//Just go ON// PLEASE//, it was suggested that the
effect of rudeness was at least partially conveyed by the use of
dominant p+ tones by an unequal participant. In the same context, in a
language other than English, the attitudinal effect conveyed by this
contour may be very different. At the very least, discussion of
intonational correlations with affective meaning show that examples
should be analyzed as they occur in individual speech communities, and
in authentic contexts of interaction.
In summary, this brief examination of Halliday’s model suggests
that intonation choices should be interpreted independently and

43
uncoupled from grammatical categories and attitudinal labels in order to
investigate their contribution to discourse.
Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg (1990)
This second more recent model has also been used in the
comparative analysis of NS and NNS discourse (Wennerstrom, 1997, 1998).
In agreement with Brazil, Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg propose an
independent system, based only on phonological form, which assigns a
primarily pragmatic function to intonation choices:
We propose that a speaker chooses a particular tune
to convey a particular relationship between an
utterance, currently perceived beliefs of a hearer or
hearers and anticipated contribution of subsequent
utterances.
(1990: 271)
Unlike the tonal contour analyses discussed above, the model comprises
a series of static tones or tonal targets that together with a series of
phonetic implementation rules, determine the shape of the Fo contour.
There are two groups of tones: pitch accents and boundary tones.
There are six pitch accents (H*, L*, H* ♦ L, H + L*. L* ♦ H, L + H*)
which occur on stressed or 'salient' syllables and mark the information
status of the item. For example, high pitch accents mark the 'new'
information on the following example:
The train leaves at seven
H* H* H* (p. 286)
The second group of tones are those that associate with the right
edge, or closing boundary of either intermediate phrases, or intonational
phrases (L%, H%). Phrases are identified by phonetic criteria and
pausing. As the end of an intonational phrase is also the end of an
intermediate phrase, this creates four possible 'complex’ tones at the

44
end of an utterance. The following example exemplifies a typical
declarative contour:
The train leaves at seven
H* H* H* L L% (p. 286)
Final boundary tones also indicate whether a section of the discourse is
complete (LL%), or if further discourse is required for its interpretation
(HH%). Finally, a number of automatic phonetic implementation rules
also apply. Two of the most significant are an upstep rule which raises
a L% boundary tone after a H phrase accent, and a catethesis rule
which causes a gradual declination of pitch across a phrase.
Many of the tonal combinations that are identified by
Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg and the values attached to them bear a
great deal of similarity to Brazil’s interpretations. For example, the
following contour - an H* pitch accent followed by an L phrase accent
and a h% boundary tone - is said to "convey new information” in much
the same way that Brazil's proclaiming tone adds a new variable to the
background:
Legumes are a good source of vitamins
H* L L%
(p. 272)
If the L phrase accent is followed by a H% boundary tone, the contour
becomes equivalent to Brazil's mid termination referring tone which is
synonymous with Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg’s gloss of "when S
believes that H is already aware of the information, if S wishes to
convey that it is mutually believed" (p. 290). The next example was
spoken by a young woman who was asked after a movie if she liked it
and is made up of both a H phrase accent and H boundary tone:

45
I thought it was good
H* H* H Ht (p. 290)
This is glossed as T thought it was good, but do you agree with me?’
and corresponds to Brazil’s interpretation of the adjudicating value of
high key (T would like a yes/no response’). In a final example, the
authors suggest the L+H* LH% marks background information:
A: What about the beans? Who ate them?
B: Fred ate the beans
H* L L ♦ H* L H% (p. 296)
The gloss here is 'as for the beans, Fred ate them’, and this fall-rise
pattern corresponds to Brazil’s referring tone for information already
established in the discourse.
Final boundary tones also play a less defined, but similar role to
Brazil’s termination choices. For example, Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg
suggest:
An H boundary tone indicates S wishes H to interpret
an utterance with particular attention to subsequent
utterances. An L boundary tone does not convey such
directionality. (p. 305)
An example of this is given below:
a. Attach the jumper cables to the car that’s running
L H%
b. Attach them to the car you want to start
L H%
c. Try the ignition
L H%
d. If you’re lucky
L H%
e. you’ve started your car
L L% (p. 306-7)
With the operation of the phonetic implementation rules, phrases (a) -
(d) end with a mid termination, and (e) ends with a low termination
corresponding to Brazil’s pitch sequence closure.

46
At this level of comparison, there is clearly a strong resemblance
between the two models in their mutual conception of the function of
intonation in discourse and some similarities in how these are realized
by Fo values. Both also claim that only salient or prominent syllables
make up the meaning-bearing elements of the contour, although P & H
also account for the phonetic variations between these syllables. Finally,
both also recognize that intonation structuring extends beyond
individual tone units and that this is signalled by the final choice(s)
made in the unit.
However, there are also some notable differences in the
interpretation of phonological constructs and in the recognition of
boundary tones, two of which are discussed below. In the P & H model,
pitch accents apply to individual salient items, and an unlimited number
of syllables can be stressed in any given intonational phrase;
consequently, there is no discussion of the possible effect of multiple
prominences. Returning to an earlier example, 'the train leaves at
seven’, the high pitch accents would be analyzed under Brazil's system
as //the TRAIN LEAVES at SEven/A an utterance only likely to occur in
a situation where someone is being particularly insistent: "you know the
TRAIN LEAVES at SEven (and you’re going to miss it unless you hurry
up') and interpreted as a change in orientation as the speaker
'pronounces' the information. This level of interpretation is not
discussed by P & H, as they are largely concerned with describing the
status of individual items rather than the effect of prominence choices
on the unit as a whole.

47
Finally, there is no discussion of phrase initial, left edge
boundary tones. The boundary tones proposed by Pierrehurabert &
Hirschberg only apply to the end of utterances, and there is no
suggestion of the possibility of equivalent initial boundary tones.
Consequently, there is no discussion of pitch concord, or of the
possibility of a larger phonological paragraphs marked by both initial
and final pitch values. While Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg do suggest
that a low boundary indicates some kind of closure, they do not
examine this issue any further. In summary, the interpretive model
provided by P & H up to this point, offers less insight into the larger
prosodic units currently being in investigated in discourse.
Summary
This limited comparative discussion of two models of the intonation
system in English emphasizes the importance of recognizing prosody as
an independent structuring device interacting with, but not necessarily
defined by, other language systems in the discourse. In addition, it
highlights the importance of an interpretive system that can offer
insight into the larger prosodic units currently being investigated in
discourse. For these reasons, I conclude that Brazil's model provides
the most comprehensive and explanatory framework for the analysis
conducted in this study.
Additions to Brazil's Model
In this final section, I discuss two additions to Brazil’s original
model that are used in the analysis presented in the following chapters.
Both are included as they apply specifically to the data used in this
study. They offer additional insight into the structuring of classroom

48
discourse by native speakers and incorporate previous findings
regarding the prosodic features of typical nonnative speaker teaching
discourse.
Sequence Chains (Barr, 1990)
In recent work that applies Brazil's model to the analysis of
native speaker lecture discourse, Barr (1990) identifies a unit of
intonation structure termed a sequence chain. Sequence chains
formalize a group of pitch sequences. The opening boundary is indicated
by the use of high key or one of the lecturing frames typically found
in teaching discourse, i.e. OK, NOW, SO; and the sequence chain closes
with a low termination:
[The sequence chain] is above the pitch sequence and
is defined as a string of pitch sequences such that
the first pitch sequence and only the first sequence
begins with a high key...Thus minimally, a sequence
chain consists of a single high key-initial pitch
sequence, but maximally, a sequence chain consists of
indeterminate numbers of pitch sequences such that
any non-initial pitch sequence is either mid/low key
and therefore additive or equative to the previous
one. (p. 11)
Barr suggests that sequence chain boundaries will begin with an
introductory topic expression and are coextensive with the level of
lecture organization found in the layout of prepared visuals such as
overhead projections, the blackboard or handouts. Sequence chain
boundaries may also parallel changes in discourse plane (Sinclair &
Brazil, 1982); that is, shifts in the area of attention of the discourse
such as a movement from talk about the content of the class to talk
about the organization of the class. In the example below, a sequence

49
chain consisting of three pitch sequences marks a typical plane
0
change:
ALready
(7) ////P and i've MENTioned//o
what their MAIN decision
IS///
///it’s this inVESTment//p in SHARES//o
whether to BUY//o whether to SELL//p
SHARES
///o and i WANT to take that//r ARGument
//p a STAGE
FURTHer///
The boundary between this and the following sequence
chain marks a change back to the content of the
lecture:
CISion to in
(8) ////p the de VEST//
which is the beginning of another content chunk.
(Barr, 1990: 15)
As this study also investigates teaching discourse, I have decided
to include an analysis of potential sequence chain structure. However,
because of the particular style of classroom discourse examined here,
there was a difficulty in applying Barr’s criteria of co-occurring visual
cues as support for sequence chain interaction with other levels of
discourse organization. Barr’s data consists of concept-based lectures
where professors used a variety of prepared visual aids. The data in
the present study are typical of the style of short prelab presentations
given in introductory science laboratory classes (Jacobson, 1986). They
8
Pitch sequence boundaries are marked by *///' and sequence chain
boundaries by '////’.

50
are much less formal in nature, and there are no accompanying prepared
materials. TAs used only the blackboard as a visual aid, usually in a
less systematic manner than might be found in a longer, more formal
lectures. For these reasons, it was not possible to draw the same
parallels between visual aids and SC structuring in the discourse.
In place of Barr’s original criteria, I have drawn on the
transaction structure proposed by Coulthard & Montgomery (1981) and
Shaw (1994) to investigate co-occurring cues at other levels of discourse
organization. A transaction is a "chunk" of discourse containing a
unifying topic and defined by prospective and retrospective markers at
its boundaries. In an analysis of NS teaching discourse in university
engineering and business and management classes, Shaw suggests that
typical focussing markers include both verbal and non-verbal cues. For
example, lexical phrases such as 'for the first part’, micro-markers such
as ’ok’ and topic length pauses while the professor scans her notes or
scans the audience. Shaw’s analysis of the phonological structuring of
transaction boundaries, however, is limited to a brief discussion of the
use of rising or falling intonation on micro-markers. In this analysis I
propose to unite both Barr and Shaw’s findings and investigate the co¬
occurrence of phonological cues indicating sequence chain structure with
transaction boundary cues. Places where these are coextensive are seen
to be evidence of the speaker’s intention to organize the discourse for
the benefit of the hearer by providing a series of cues at different
levels of discourse organization. Where Barr’s original criteria do apply,
their relationship to co-occurring transaction boundary cues as well as
sequence chain structure is discussed.

51
In the example given above for instance, the high key lexical
phrase 'I’ve already mentioned’ is a prospective focussing marker. The
high key on the lexical phrase unites cues at different levels of
discourse to indicate a structured boundary related to a change in
discourse plane. The same applies to the low termination on the
retrospective marker 'I want to take that argument now a stage
further.' Additional visual cues coinciding with the second sequence
chain would be a possible further addition to the constellation of cues
highlighting this boundary.
In summary, Barr’s sequence chain structure formalizes a final
level of intonation structure that can be incorporated into Brazil’s
original framework and provides further evidence of intentional use of
the intonation system by the speaker organize the discourse.
Pause Analysis
The second addition is pause analysis, and is included in order to
complete a comparison of the prosodic structure of NS and NNS data. In
production and perception studies of pause boundaries in Dutch and
English, Swerts & Gerlykens (1994) and Swerts (1997) found that pauses
are longer for major than minor topic shifts and that longer pauses
increase perception of boundary strength. Vaissiere (1983) suggests a
universal tendency for pause defined units in spoken discourse, with
pauses between sentences being longer than pauses within sentences.
Analyses of nonnative speaker data show a qualitative difference in both
placement and length of pauses which can materially affect the overall
prosodic structure of the discourse. In a pilot study of two parallel
lecture extracts, one given by an NS TA and the other by a Chinese

52
ITA, I found that pauses in the NNS data were both longer and more
erratic than those in the NS data and tended to regularly break up
conceptual units.
In agreement with Rounds (1987) my data were also characterized
by empty pauses, regular moments of silence unrelated to boardwork or
for dramatic effect, which Rounds suggests artificially increase the
amount of silence in the discourse, creating a negative perception of the
ITA. In light of these differences in pause structure between NS and
NNS TAs, and its potential to disrupt the overall prosodic structure of
the discourse, as well as the use of pauses to cue transaction
boundaries, I decided a principled discussion should be included in the
present analysis. Brazil does not elaborate on pause patterns apart
from noting that they may and frequently do coincide with tone unit
boundaries; however, one group of researchers (Brown, 1977; Brown,
Currie & Kenworthy, 1980; Brown & Yule, 1983) has developed a model
identifying pause defined units in discourse. They identify three major
groups: pauses of 0.8 seconds or longer constitute topic boundaries and
"clearly coincide with major semantic breaks" (p. 56). These are called
topic pauses. The second group vary between 0.6 and 0.8 seconds and
are referred to as substantial pauses which tend to coincide with single
contours. The third and final set, very short pauses, vary between 0.2
seconds and 0.4 seconds and are identified as a 'sub-set of the contour
pauses’. This final group frequently co-occurs with incomplete syntactic

53
structures. This model will be taken as a first approximation for pause
Q
analysis in the data.
Conclusion
The model outlined in this chapter allows the analysis and
interpretation of pitch movements over time within a principled
framework uniting both the form and function of intonation in English.
It proposes a hierarchical system of prosodic units which together
provide an independent layer of structure to the discourse and
contribute to the pragmatic message contained within the discourse as a
whole. The identification and interpretation of phonological paragraphs,
and their interaction with other levels of discourse organization is a
relatively recent undertaking; however, it is clearly a potentially
powerful organizational tool used by speakers in their production and
interpretation of discourse. Lastly, in providing a comprehensive
framework with which to describe the intonation structure of native
speaker discourse, the model offers a way to undertake a systematic
comparative analysis of prosodies in nonnative speaker discourse.
Figure 2-1 summarizes the systems proposed in Brazil's model.
Q
These researchers are working with spontaneous speech not lecture
discourse, and different genres can affect prosodic patterns such as
pause structure (Crystal & Davy, 1969).

54
DISCOURSE
////SEQUENCE CHAIN////
Pitch defined conceptual units bounded by a high key or
lecturing frame and low termination
///PITCH SEQUENCE///
Pitch defined conceptuaUy related units bounded by two
low tonic syllables
//TONE UNIT//
Pitch defined units, may coincide with syntactic/pause
boundaries. Each unit contains 1 or 2 prominent syllables
TONIC SEGMENT
ONSET
Key choice
TONIC SYLLABLE
Termination & tone choice
Low key: Equative
Mid key: Additive
High key: Contrastive
O tone: neutral
P/P* tone: new content
R/R* tone: recoverable
Particularized
content
Figure 2-1. A Model of Discourse Intonation (Brazil, 1997; Barr, 1990)

CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY
Database
This chapter describes the procedures used in the collection and
analysis of the data investigated in this study. More specific
information regarding individual teaching presentations will be given at
the beginning of each section of the analysis.
The study is based on 56 minutes of data from teaching
presentations given by 16 male teaching assistants teaching introductory
labs in chemistry, physics, and electrical engineering and a pre-calculus
math discussion section. The TAs represent three language groups:
native speakers (NS), non-native speakers (NNS) and speakers of an
indigenized variety of English (IVE) (Sridhar & Sridhar, 1992), and
Indian English (IES) as shown in the table below.
The groups of nonnative and Indian international teaching
assistants (ITA) were chosen based on their score on the ETS SPEAK
test and their language backgrounds. All ITAs received 45-50 on the
SPEAK am, which categorizes the speakers' communication skills as
"somewhat to generally effective" in terms of the ETS guidelines. ITAs
with overwhelming problems in one area of linguistic skill such as
segmental pronunciation were not included. AH the ITAs were the sole
instructor responsible for their lab or discussion section and were
recorded in their first semester of teaching. The six nonnative TAs
were from mainland China, and their first language was Mandarin
55

56
Table 3-1. Teaching Assistants
TEACHING ASSISTANTS
NUMBER
NUMBER
OF
MINUTES
NUMBER
OF TONE
UNITS
NATIVE SPEAKERS:
NORTH AMERICAN TAS
6
22
634
NONNATIVE SPEAKERS:
CHINESE
6
20
530
IVE SPEAKERS: INDIAN
4
14
438
Chinese. The four Indian TAs were from both North and South India
and their first languages are Tamil (1), Urdu (1), and Bengali (2).
These TAs also spoke Hindi and a number of local Indian languages to
varying degrees of competence and were educated in English medium
schools from an early age. Native speaker TAs were contacted through
the supervisors of the courses in question. All the TAs in this native
speaker group were described as "relatively experienced" but none were
specifically described as "model" TAs.
Where possible, the 16 TAs were recorded on the same day or in
the same week in order to compare parallel teaching presentations. This
was possible in all but two cases, and parallel discourse extracts are
shown on the table below. The two presentations with no parallels are
marked with an asterisk. The data represent a cross-section of typical
functions performed by TAs in these prelab presentations, including
giving theoretical background to the experiment, reviewing homework,
explaining relevant terms or equations and demonstrating experimental
procedures (Jacobson, 1986; Axelson & Madden, 1994).

57
Table 3-2. Teaching Presentations
SUBJECT
TOPIC
PARALLEL
PRESENTATIONS
TEACHING
ASSISTANTS
Chemistry
Unknown
Analysis
3
1 NS TA
2 NNS TAs
Thin Layer
Chromatography
2
1 NS TA
1 NNS TA
Physics
Torques and
Forces in
Equilibrium
4
2 NS TAs
1 NNS TA
1 IES TA
Math
Exponential
Growth and
Decay
3
1 NS TA
2 NNS TAs
Electrical
Engineering
Drawing a Bode
Plot
2
1 NS TA
1 IES TA
♦Ideal and
Practical Diodes
1
I IES TA
♦Using the
PALasm
Program
I
1 IES TA
Data Collection & Analysis
The data were recorded in the classroom on audio and videotape
using a Sony TCD-D8 Digital Audio Tape-corder, a Sharp VL-L490U VHS
Camcorder, a Telex FMR-150C Wireless system, and a Telex SCHF745
Headset microphone. The wireless sound system and headset microphone
allowed the TA complete freedom of movement while the researcher
remained at the back of the room with the sound and video equipment.
This method of collection produced high quality sound and video
recordings appropriate for instrumental analysis, without the problems
typically associated with natural data collection in a classroom. DAT
recordings were transferred to a Kay Elemetrics Model 4300

58
Computerized Speech Laboratory (CSL), and fundamental frequency (Fo)
traces were computed for all the data using the pitch extraction
function of the CSL at a rate of 10,000 samples per second.
All data were subjected to both auditory and instrumental
analysis. Brazil’s original model was based on auditory analysis, and his
published work includes only a few examples of oscilloscope traces
produced in the laboratory. Although a number of analyses of natural
data using the model have since been published (e.g., Hewings, 1990)
none of these have included any discussion or presentation of
instrumental work. As is true of any model where a fit is attempted
between theoretical categories and actual data, particularly where this
involves gradient characteristics, the researcher must make numerous
decisions regarding whether a given phonetic realization constitutes a
variation within one category or a change of category. The addition of
instrumental evidence provides a permanent visual record of the basis
for these decisions and addresses the issue of internal reliability, i.e.,
"the degree to which other researchers given a set of previously
generated constructs would match them with the data in the same way
as the original researcher" (Edge & Richards, 1998: 9). For these
reasons, Fo traces have been included in the analysis as pictorial
representations of the constructs proposed in the model and to show
how gradient Fo movements have been analyzed.*
Some examples from this data set tire given below to show how
typical transcription choices were made. The diagrams tire printed out
* Precedents for using both auditory and instrumental analysis to
investigate intonation structure in discourse can be found in Watt (1997)
and Schuetze-Coburn, Shapley & Weber (1991).

59
directly from the CSL and show amplitude and Fo readings from portions
of these data. Pitch level and movement are indicated by the dotted
lines in the lower box on the diagram (marked PITCH). Voiceless
segments cause breaks in the Fo contour, and the articulation of both
voiced and voiceless obstruents can cause noise which results in
pockets of random dots at a higher frequency than the actual Fo
contour (see, for example. Figure 3-2). Figures 3-1, 3-2 and 3-3 contain
samples of key and tone choices and Figures 3-4 and 3-5 show examples
of hesitation markers. Momentary coding problems causing false starts,
hesitation markers, filled pauses and so on are typical characteristics of
spontaneous or partially planned speech. In agreement with Hewings
(1990), I continued to use Brazil's conventions to transcribe these
features. For example, prominent hesitation markers such as the one
shown in Figure 3-5 were transcribed as level 'o’ tones. Finally,
several of the speakers in the data set occasionally exhibited creaky
voice or vocal fry. As shown in Figure 3-6, the pitch extraction
function of the CSL was unable to read this data. In these cases,
auditory analysis was used for transcription decisions.

60
â– 8>PITCH
0.97670< 0>
in
n
»
T
S.
ques
Cion
chree
d .977
Tine (sec )
2.175
THREE//
//QUEStion
Figure 3-1. An Example of the Transcription of Key Choices in a Series
of Adjacent Tone Units, a) The first tone unit begins with
a low key choice on 'question', and moves up to a mid
termination on 'three'; b) The second tone unit consists of
a mid key marker 'ok'. The following unit begins in a high
key on 'find'.
FIND the HALF LIFE of UH/7
//OK//
Figure 3-1, continued.

61
â–  B>P ITCH
7.91580< 156>
in
n
y
w
expoNENtial
growth and
decay
L
7.915
Tine (sec)
9.322
expoNENtial
// GROWTH and //
deCAY
Figure 3-2. An Example of the Transcription of Key and Termination
Choice in a Single Tone Unit.'ExponentiaT and 'growth' are
transcribed as high and mid key prominences. This is
followed by a low termination on 'decay'.
//p+ WHEN //
//p Che MEter stick is in BAlance //
Figure 3-3. An Example of the Transcription of P Tone Choices. There
is a rise-fall P+ tone on 'when', followed by a falling P tone
on 'balance'.

62
//uh//
Figure 3-4. An Example of the Transcription of a Short, Non-prominent
Hesitation Marker 'uh’ at the Beginning of the Tone Unit.
// UH //
Figure 3-5. An Example of the Transcription of a Prominent Hesitation
Marker. This long hesitation marker 'uh' is transcribed as
a level tone.

63
Figure 3-6. An Example of the Effect of Creaky Voice. There is no clear
Fo contour for the phrase 'because it'll be balanced’ as the
CSL is unable to effectively read the data.

64
Transcription Conventions
All data was transcribed according to Brazil’s transcription
conventions with the addition of the conventions used by Barr (1990) to
indicate sequence chains, and my own to indicate pause structure. A
summary of these is given below:
Onset Syllable:
Tonic Syllable:
Pause boundary:
Length of pause:
Pitch Sequence boundary:
Sequence chain boundary:
H: high
M: mid }
L: low
Tones: p, p+
r, r+
o
YES
YES
//
[ ]
III
////
key & termination choices
proclaiming tones
referring tones
neutral/level tone
In order to simplify the reading of the examples used in the text,
some transcription features have been excluded if they are not
immediately relevant to the discussion.

CHAPTER 4
ANALYSIS OF NATIVE SPEAKER DATA
Introduction
This chapter presents the analysis of the native speaker (NS)
data. The analysis shows evidence of a systematic and independent use
of prosody by the speakers in this sample, which supports both the
structure and interpretation of intonation in discourse proposed by
Brazil. Choices within the systems of key, termination and tone are
consistent with the hypothesis that the teaching assistants intentionally
use intonational cues both to mark structural boundaries in the
discourse and to negotiate a common ground with their students. The
analysis also suggests that intonation structure consistently interacts
with other levels of discourse organization, and that prosodic cues
operate in conjunction with other structural cues to assist the listener
in the interpretation of the discourse message. Based on these results,
it is argued that intonation choices should be viewed as interactive in
nature, i.e., organized for the benefit of the hearer and as contributing
independently to the overall comprehensibility of the discourse.
The results of the analysis are divided into three areas of
intonation structuring: sequence chains, pitch sequences and discourse
markers, and lastly, tone choice and orientation. The chapter begins
with a more detailed description of the data included in the native
speaker group.
65

66
Native Speaker Data Set
A summary of the NS data set is given below, followed by a brief
description of the content of each of the teaching extracts:
Table 4-1. Summary of NS data
LAB/DISC.
SECTION
NATIVE
SPEAKER TA
TIME
NUMBER OF
TONE UNITS
CHEMISTRY
MK
4 MINS
100
SN
4 MINS
113
PHYSICS
KN
4 MINS
141
LE
4 MINS
100
ELECTRICAL
ENGINEERING
BD
4 MINS
109
MATH
BL
2 MINS
71
MK. The opening of a chemistry prelab presentation. The students
are about to begin an unknown analysis for which they first have to
complete and hand in a scheme, i.e., a plan of how they will conduct the
analysis. The TA is reviewing the procedures that should appear in the
unknown analysis scheme.
SN. The opening of a chemistry prelab presentation. The students
are beginning a Thin Layer Chromatography experiment. The TA is
demonstrating the procedures and equipment the students will use.
KN. The opening of a physics prelab presentation. The students
are conducting an experiment investigating torques and forces in
equilibrium using a meter stick and some weights. The TA is explaining
the procedures, the physics equations the students will be testing, and

67
pointing out a potential confusion the students may encounter near the
end of the lab.
LE. The opening of a physics prelab presentation. The students
are conducting the same torques and forces experiment as in (KN)
above; however, in this extract, the TA is reviewing a question the
students had difficulty with in the prelab homework.
BD. This extract comes from the middle of a 45-minute prelab
lecture the course supervisor asked the TAs to give in electrical
engineering. Students are about to conduct an experiment testing a
mathematical equation that relates Input to output voltage. One subtopic
was chosen, in which the TA explained how to plug the experimental
results into the equation, and graph these findings using a Bode Plot.
BL. For the pre-calculus math discussion sections, students
complete a set of problems for homework prior to the class. Students
then choose a number of these problems they would like the TA to
review on the board. In this extract, taken from the middle of the
class, the TA reviews a question from a section on exponential growth
and decay. Each problem is presented as a complete discourse event
bounded by long pauses as the TA erases calculations from the board,
checks the next question in the textbook and so on. Therefore,
presentation of one problem only was chosen for this analysis.
Sequence Chain Structure
The reader will recall that the sequence chain (SC) structure
proposed by Barr (1990) suggested that larger prosodic units bounded
by a high key or lecturing frame and a low termination could be found
in teaching discourse. Her analysis also proposed that SCs coincided

68
with shifts in discourse plane and the layout of prepared visuals such
as overheads or handouts. As noted in the previous chapter, due to
the lack of prepared materials in these prelab presentations, this
analysis will focus on co-occurrence with plane changes and transaction
structures.
Sequence chain structure was readily identifiable in the data set
analyzed here. There were 36 SCs in total1 (between 5 and 9 SCs were
found in each extract). 15 of the SC openings began with a mid or high
key lecturing frame such as //SO//. //oK// or //NOW// and the
remaining with a high key. SCs closed with a low termination on a
content word or a structural discourse marker such as //oK//, and in
one case (discussed below in Figure 4-2) a low key filled pause. The
length of SCs varied between 12-25 tone units across speakers and
typically consisted of a focussing boundary or frame in one tone unit
followed by a number of tone units containing a topic expression and
development and a final tone unit or small group of units forming a
closing boundary. SC boundaries did coincide with changes in discourse
plane, and the majority were clearly coextensive with transaction
boundaries denoted by other non-prosodic criteria.
Typical examples of SC structures coextensive with shifts in
discourse plane are Illustrated in Figures 4-1, 4-2. and 4-3. Figure 4-1
shows the final tone units of the first SC in MK's presentation and the
opening tone units of the second. The SC boundary separates the first
part of the presentation concerned with the organization of the class
1 The final SC in MK and SN were not analyzed in their entirety as
they were very long. In both cases, I stopped the transcription at a low
key pitch sequence boundary.

69
from the presentation of the main content 'for our unknown, we have
seven ions we have to test for’.
H
M //r p section FOUR everybody’s there GOOD// [0.07]
L RIGHT alright
H
M //p that’s about as far as it’s necessary// [0.5] //r cos i’m
L
H
M BAsically only gonna go over our Positive IONS// [0.73] //p and
L
H FOR our
M BRIEfly over the ////o p but
L NEgative ions// [1.0]
H
M unKNOWN we HAVE em//[1.7] //r SEven ions we have to TEST for//
L
Figure 4-1. Co-extensive Sequence Chain and Plane Change Boundary in
MK's Presentation.
Figure 4-2 shows a series of two adjacent sequence chains from
LE’s transcript. The first SC begins with a high key focussing
expression ’so you guys had problems with the prelab right’, followed
by LE reading aloud the problem question. This SC closure is the only
example in this data set of a low key filled pause being analyzed as a
SC boundary (note the mid key choice on ’zero’). Support for this
analysis is found in a number of co-occurring cues such as the shift in
discourse plane as LE moves to the blackboard to explain the problem
('the way this thing goes is'), the topic length pauses either side of
the fiUer and the behavior of the TA who clearly scans the audience
before moving toward the blackboard. Finally, figure 4-3 illustrates a

70
shift in discourse plane and co-occurring SC boundary as KN moves
from talking about the content to initiating a direct exchange with the
students.
H ////p p r+ so you GUYS had PROBlems with the PRElab RIGHT/
M
L
H
M //o o MS the FIRST question WAS uh// [4.42] //p QUEStion ONE
L
H
M was// [0.77] //p for the exAMple on pages four and FIVE// [0.4]
L
H
M //p FIND out TORques// [0.92] //p r+ for an AXis at x equals ZEro
L
H
M and show that their SUM is still ZEro// [1.95]
L //? UH// [4.85]
H ////the WAY this// [0.7] //p r+ thing
M GOES IS we...
L
Figure 4-2. Coextensive Sequence Chain and Plane Change Boundary in
LE's Presentation.
Shifts in discourse plane occur frequently in the classroom as the
teacher moves from 'telling something’ to 'talking about telling
something’ or to 'asking something’, and the sequence chain structuring
illustrated above increases boundary strength at these points in the
discourse.
Turning now to the co-occurrence of sequence chains with
transaction structures, there was a marked correspondence between SC

71
H
M //p r+ and this is the CENter of
L MASS aGAIN// [0.5] //o UM// [2.0]
H ////p P P if you were to HANG SOMEthing TEN CENtimeters
M aWAY//
L
H
M //o p how much MASS would you have to HANG so that THAT would
L
H
M be in roTAtional equilibrium// [2.85] //r* does anybody KNOW//
L
Figure 4-3. Coextensive Sequence Chain and Plane Change Boundary in
KN’s Presentation.
boundaries and a constellation of cues marking a transaction boundary.
24 of the 34 complete sequence chains were also marked as transaction
boundaries and coincided with both prospective and retrospective
marking by non-prosodic means. A further four SCs coincided with the
kind of shift in discourse plane illustrated in Figure 4-3. The six
remaining SCs co-occurred with either prospective or retrospective
marking. Transaction boundary cues were identified using Shaw's (1994)
criteria, and a brief description of the examples found in this data set
is given below.
The most typical of the 28 prospective markers found in the data
were high or mid key lexical phrases (10)
FIRST thing you wanna do is//
// the
the WAY this thing
// GOES IS//
THIS
//in case//

72
or high or mid key lecturing frames (15) such as: //SO//. //oK//, or
//NOW//. In three cases, the boundary was marked with a non-
prominent //ok//, followed by a high key topic statement.
The 29 retrospective markers found in the data were divided
fairly evenly between recapitulation statements (7) in a mid or low key
with a low termination:
//that’s just a sorta explanation of the
FIRST OUEStion //
//so that’s the BAsic gist of the
LAB//
or lexical micro markers (11) such as //oK// and //SO// in a low key.
Speakers also used topic length unfilled pauses accompanied by a
preceding low key choice (10) as they scanned the audience and the
o
board.
Figure 4-4 illustrates coextensive transaction and sequence chain
boundaries. This shows a series of two adjacent sequence chains and
the beginning of a third from SN's presentation, in which the structural
markers separate a series of instructions given to the students
concerning the equipment they will be using for the experiment. The
first SC begins with two prospective focussing markers in a high key
'ok for TLC you’re gonna need several pieces of equipment’ and 'first
off’, and the final transaction and sequence chain boundary co-occur
with the recapitulation 'you’re gonna make your own little developing
chambers’ ending in a low termination and accompanied by a topic
length pause. The second SC, as SN moves from discussing the
developing chamber to the chemical solvent, is marked with a non-
2
The final case is the filled pause in LE’s transcript discussed above.

73
prominent focussing marker and a high key 'ok the solvent you're
gonna use’. Again, this ends in a recapitulation 'so it’s there if you
forget what solvent system to use’, ending in a low termination.
As with the shifts in discourse plane, the constellation of cues
provided by the co-occurring transaction and SC boundaries indicate
places of maximal disjunction in the discourse, i.e., points where the
language organization binding one group of pitch sequences or tone
units is completed.
Regarding Barr’s original criteria based on prepared visual
materials, there was one teaching presentation (MK) in which ’real-time’
boardwork always coincided with a new SC boundary and was used to
emphasis structural boundaries. This is shown on Table 4-2. In the five
other presentations in this data set, while SC junctures frequently
marked a change in teacher activity such as writing on the board (see,
for example, Figure 4-2), boardwork illustration was used to exemplify
items described in the discourse such as particular equations or
diagrams of equipment rather than to additionally mark structural
boundaries in the discourse. As noted earlier, there were six SC
structures in the data that did not coincide with both prospective and
retrospective transaction boundary markers and exemplified two further
features of typical classroom discourse. First, the kind of teaching
presentations found in this data are examples of partially planned
spoken discourse that is subject to the effects of 'online production’
such as hesitation phenomena and repairs. Figure 4-5 shows BD
initiating a repair structure from the low key 'take the mag(nitude)’ to
the high key ’take the twenty log of the magnitude’ which then begins

74
H TIC you’re gonna need SEveral// [0.68] //p pieces of
M ////P ok for
L
H FIRST OFF// [0.17]
M eQUIPment// [1.2] //p ok //o o you’re gonna
L
H
M NEED one of your two hundred and FIFty milliliter BEAkers//
L
H
M //p and one of your WATCH GLAsses// [0.5] //ok this is gonna be
L
H
M now your deVEloping CHAM her for the// [0.45]
L //o UM// [0.74]
H
M //p TlC//[0.57] //p you're gonna make your OWN little developing
L
H SOLvent you’re gonna
M ////P ok the USE to
L CHAMbers//// [1.14]
H PLATES// [3.6] //p is ethoLAcetate// [2.4] //r and
M deVElop the
L
H this IS in the NOTES// [0.4]
M //p SO// [0.82] //p it’s THERE if
L
H
M you forget what SOLvent system to ////p oK//
L USE//// [0.82]
Figure 4-4. Coextensive Sequence Chain and Transaction Boundaries from
SN’s Presentation.
a new sequence chain. In this case, it is not clear whether the SC
opening is an intentional structural boundary or a result of a rise in
key typical of repairs initiated by a speaker to ensure correct

75
Table 4-2. Visual Cues for Sequence Chain Structure in MK's
Presentation
OPENING TONE UNITS OF 3
SEQUENCE CHAINS (MK)
BOARDWORK
//but FOR our unKNOWN we
HAVE em// SEven ions we
have to TEST for//
Na+, K+, Nh,+, 0H-, NO,-,
C1-, HsO,-
//one of the FIRST things
that we did was a FLAME
TEST//
1. Flame test
//the SEcond set of TESTS
we did was that
cobaltiNItrate TEST//
2. Colbaltinitrate test
interpretation of the message (Cutler, 1983). Earlier in his presentation,
BD has already made it clear that it is important that the students
remember to take the twenty log of the magnitude, suggesting that this
is may be the reason for this particular high key choice. As Sinclair &
Brazil (1982:31) note, spoken discourse is made in real-time, and many
different considerations can lead to occasional ambiguous or
indeterminate utterances.
The five remaining SCs coincided with activities outside the text
itself. In a typical classroom setting, there are a variety of activities
that accompany the presentation of the informative content. These are
described by Coulthard and Mongtomery (1981) as forming a
paradiscourse subtext Paradiscourse includes activities directly related
to the content such as boardwork and demonstrating equipment and
3
The second sequence chain in BD’s presentation focuses on this
point: 'The reason they have the twenty log times the magnitude of the
function is because whenever you take the log of something, instead of
multiplying you can just add’.

76
H ////p p p TWENty
M LOG of the
L //so if you TAKE the mag-// [0.2]
H
M MAGnitude of BOTH sides of THIS// [1.0] //eQUAtion then you just
L
H
M GET// [1.24] //p p TWENty LOG of K ZEro//
L
Figure 4-5. A Sequence Chain Boundary Following a Repair Structure in
BD’s Presentation.
more incidental actions such as opening windows or asides commenting
on the lack of chalk or an eraser. Coulthard & Montgomery suggest
that these actions can also shape features of the discourse text,
particularly prosodic organization.
In this data, the five SCs which did not co-occur with transaction
boundaries were directly related to this paradiscourse subtext. A
typical example of the interaction between a procedural aside related to
the boardwork and SC structure is shown in Figure 4-6 from MK's
presentation. The first SC boundary coincides with the prospective
marker and topic statement 'alright, the second set of tests we did was
that colbaltinitrate test’. This is followed by a combined pause of more
than seven seconds while he writes this on the board and adds the
chemical notations. It closes with a low terminating procedural aside 'I
think that's right' directly related to the equation he has written on the
board. The high key on 'remember' signals the end of this aside and
technicaUy begins a new SC although this is clearly the same topic.

77
H SEC- SEcond set of
M [2.43] ////p o r afflIGHT er the TESTS we did was
L
H TEST// [4.9]
M that cobaltiNItrate //r* i THINK
L //um// [3.6] that’s
H reMEMber when you
M ////P P r+ if you
L RIGHT// [0.55] //er// [0.66]
H
M DID that it WAS a it formed a yellow precipitate for both er
L
H aMMOnium// [0.92]
M poTAssium and
L
Figure 4-6. An Example of the Typical Interaction between a Procedural
Aside and Sequence Chain Structure from MK’s
Presentation.
Figure 4-7, taken from SN’s presentation, shows a high key on
'pour it in there' after a low terminating aside directly addressed to the
students regarding the chemical he is using in the demonstration, 'this
is not etholacetate, don't use it’. Again, although this technically begins
a new SC, the topic is clearly a continuation of his discussion of the
etholacetate solvent. Interactions with the paradiscourse subtext occur
throughout the presentations in this data set and affected all levels of
prosodic structuring investigated here (sequence chains, pitch
sequences and tone units).
These examples highlight the interactive nature of discourse
organization and the need to take into account different levels of
structuring on a moment by moment basis in order to give a principled
account of any one level. When viewed in conjunction with the

78
paradiscourse subtext, key changes which resulted in SC structuring
apparently unmotivated by co-occurrence with transaction boundaries or
obvious shifts in discourse plane could be reasonably explained and,
presumably, reasonably interpreted by the hearer(s).
Summary of Sequence Chain Structure
The analysis of sequence chain structure found in the NS data
suggests that this unit of prosodic organization is used consistently by
the TAs in this sample to organize the discourse for the benefit of their
students. Points of maximal disjunction in the prosody bounded by high
key or lecturing frames and low termination were matched by a number
of other focussing boundaries which together operated to divide the
discourse into a series of "chunks" usually coinciding with topic
boundaries.
H TAKE the ethoLAcetate this is
M //p o r+ then NOT ethoLAcetate
L
H ////p POUR it in
M THERE// [1.0] //so it
L DON’T USE it// [3.47]
H JUST// [0.05] //o COvers the
M BOTtom and you've got MAYbe// [0.5]
L
H
M //p r+ OH a CENtimeter or SQ//I0.51 //p or a little bit LESS than a
L
H
M centimeter of SOLvent on the
L BOTtom//
Figure 4-7. An Example of the Typical Interaction between a Procedural
Aside and Sequence Chain Structure from SN’s
Presentation.

79
Prosodic structuring of sequence chains was also shown to reflect the
online nature of spoken discourse production and a close relationship
with the paradiscourse subtext which forms an integral part of
classroom discourse. For the purposes of this analysis, intonational
features have been discussed largely independently of lexical content;
however, it is clear in the majority of cases that lexical content and
choice of key support each other, particularly in the kinds of high key
lexical phrases that are often used to open transactions and the low key
markers that signal their completion.
One final point should be made about the interaction of SC
structuring and topic structure in particular. As noted by Levelt
(1989: 385) in a discussion of intonational phrases which I think applies
equally well here, "[A] break decision is under the speaker’s executive
control". The speaker’s intent can outweigh any other considerations
and will create exceptions to any patterns that can be established in the
data. A typical example is shown in Figure 4-8. This is the only
example in this data sample where SC structures extended no further
than a focussing boundary and a topic expression. The opening of BL’s
H ////p oK// (0.7] //p Exponential
M GROWTH and deCAY//// [3.4]
L
H
M ////P oK//[0.32] //p this is Exponential
L GROWTH// [1.57]
Figure 4-8. Two Short Sequence Chains Coextensive with Topic
Pronouncements from BL's Presentation.

80
presentation is divided into two topic announcements. First the overall
topic of the section 'exponential growth and decay’, and then the
subgroup this problem is part of 'this is exponential growth’. Each SC
acts, in effect, as a ’pronouncement’ of the topic using proclaiming
tones and lecturing frames. The choice to present the information in
this way creates an unusual series of short sequence chains compared
to the rest of the data in this sample. However, it is likely that were
more data analyzed, equivalent exceptional cases would be found.
Examples such as this reflect the independent nature of intonation
structure which need not be defined by other levels of discourse
organization. Speakers may choose to exploit any part of the system
within the given parameters.
Pitch Sequences and Discourse Markers
This section is divided into two parts. The first part will focus
on the pitch sequence (PS) structure found in the data and the
relationship between PSs and their internal tone unit structure. The
second part examines discourse markers, and particularly, the speaker’s
choice of key on these markers and how this interacts with pitch
sequence closure.
Pitch Sequences
Pitch sequences consist of a group of tone units bounded by low
termination choices. The number of pitch sequences per sequence chain
varied quite widely both within and between speakers (between 1-12
pitch sequences per sequence chain); internally, PSs ranged in length
from one tone unit containing a low key marker such as //oK// to
longer pitch sequences containing a number of tone units. This

81
variation meant that quantitative comparisons were not as productive as
a qualitative analysis of the kinds of information typically associated
with pitch sequence structure and how this was reflected in choice of
key. To exemplify this, I have used Coulthard and Montgomery’s (1981)
classification of classroom content.
Coulthard & Montgomery (1981) divide classroom discourse into two
overall types of content: main and subsidiary. Main discourse consists
of the informative content of the presentation, and it may be
interspersed with various kinds of subsidiary content such as the
comments relating to the paradiscourse subtext that were discussed in
the previous section. The category of subsidiary content subsumes a
variety of teaching purposes from short glosses or asides that enlarge
upon, exemplify or recapitulate informative content, to much longer
chunks of discourse concerned with the organization of the class.
A typical example of this kind of subsidiary content is illustrated
in Figure 4-9. This figure shows the first sequence chain in MK’s
presentation, which is made up of subsidiary content, followed by the
beginning of the second sequence chain, which marks the boundary
between this and the beginning of the main discourse, or informative
content 'for our unknown we have seven ions we have to test for'. The
first PS can be glossed as "getting the students attention" by first
framing and focussing a topic expression 'Ok, begin about today’, and
then adding a mid key 'invitation' to the students to gather round the
board. The second mid key pitch sequence adds further subsidiary
content described by Coulthard and Montgomery as a gloss, i.e., a
comment on previous information often containing an attributive term; in

82
this case 'it’s a great time to see if you like it’. The following mid key
unit consists of a procedural aside to check the students are ready to
begin the unknown. A high adjudicating key is used for the yes/no
question 'everybody has made it up to at least section 4 on lab 2?’ and
this is followed by a mid key repetition. This pitch sequence ends with
the low key aside 'except for you’. MK’s use of equative low key
reflects both the parenthetical nature of the comment which is
addressed to one student in particular rather than the whole group, and
that he is evidently aware that this student is behind the others based
on his nonverbal reactions. As is typical following a low key aside, MK
raises the key of his next tone unit which opens a new pitch sequence
directed back to the group as a whole. The final pitch sequence ends
the direct exchange with the students using a typical concurring
response ’good’ given in a mid key and a falling tone, and adds a final
comment regarding what MK will cover in his presentation. Immediately
after this pitch sequence closure, MK opens the new sequence chain
marking a shift in discourse plane from class organization to class
content. Within the first sequence chain, the PS structure marks the
boundaries between ’talking about telling’ and ’asking’ and further
distinguishes between comments directed to one student and to the
group of students as a whole.
This extract is the most complex example of relationships between
different kinds of subsidiary content and PS structure found in the
data. More frequently, pitch sequence boundaries separated one piece
of subsidiary content from the main content surrounding it as shown in
Figure 4-10. In this sequence chain from SN’s presentation, there are

83
two pitch sequences. The first begins with the high key focussing
marker 'now the first thing you wanna do' as he begins telling them
how to mark the TLC plate. The main content continues until the tone
units containing 'and there's rulers in the stockroom’. This second unit
ends with a low terminating aside 'and I don’t have a pencil with me’ as
SN realizes he does not have a pencil to demonstrate exactly what the
students should do. This closes the pitch sequence and SN then rises
to a mid key to complete the informative content. The mid key choice
reflects the continuation of the topic, i.e., 'the first thing to do with
your plate is to mark it’ which was cut short by the aside.
A connection between pitch sequence closures and low key
equative asides mirroring boardwork was also a consistent pattern and
on several occasions, two low terminations marked the boundaries of a
"paradiscourse" unit, i.e., a unit of structure consisting solely of
boardwork. Figure 4-11 shows an example from BD’s presentation where
there were several extremely long pauses (close to 60 seconds) while he
wrote on the blackboard. The low termination following the boardwork
functions as a final boundary cue and is followed by a new sequence
chain marked by a lecturing frame.
A final pattern that emerged from this data was groups of low key
units directly following each other forming a series of separate pitch
sequences. This pattern is not discussed in Brazil’s work or that of his
colleagues. Brazil (1997) suggests that "pitch sequences having initial
low key tend to be short, often amounting to no more than one tone
unit in length" (p. 124). While this is mostly true of the low key PSs in
this data, particularly in their most common use to mark procedural

rsíc r 2 se r2* r r 2 a: r 2 ee r 2 se r 2 ac r 2 se r 2 k
84
K
////P O
em// p r beGIN about
toDAY i'm just gonna go over our
unknown aNAlysis SCHEME//P cos it'll BEnefit anybody who’s going
to need to be WORKing on it//pp so if you wanna gather ROUND
gonna do it up here on the HAVE ONE it’s a
BOARD/// ///p p if you
great time to check to see if you ///P o o r uh before i
LIKE it///
Everybody has TWO//
START MADE it up to at LEAST section FOUR on lab
TWO everybody’s made it at LEAST that
//r p r+ section FOUR on lab
FAR RIGHT// p exCEPT for ///r p section FOUR everybody’s there
YOU///
///p GOOD// p that’s about as FAR as it’s NEcessary//
RIGHT///
//r cos i’m BAsically only gonna go over our Positive IONS//
Figure 4-9. An Example of the Interaction between Main and Subsidiary
Content and Pitch Sequence Structure from MK's
Presentation.

85
H FIRST thing you wanna //WITH your tic
M ////p now the DO// PLATE
L
H HOPEfully you’ve got a
M PENcil// r+ o alRIGHT and they’ll there’s
L
H RUlers//
M //p r in the STOCKroom and i don’t have a PENcil with
L ME///
H MARK// p at least a ONE
M ///p but what you wanna DO is you wanna
L
H centimeter
M LINE// p down the BOTtom of this PLATE//
L
Figure 4-10. An Example of the Interaction between Pitch Sequences
and Low key Subsidiary Content from SN’s Presentation.
H
M ////p SO//
L //p EM let’s SEE// [45 seconds - boardwork] //p ok//
Figure 4-11. A Paradiscourse Unit Consisting only of Boardwork from
BD’s Presentation.
asides, several times in the data an extended pattern of low key initial
units was found which was unrelated to the paradiscourse text. Examples
are given in Figures 4-12 and 4-13. Figure 4-12 shows the second
sequence chain in BD’s presentation. The first sequence chain contains
the topic announcement and a definition of a Bode Plot:
The Bode plot’s just a plot of the twenty log of the
magnitude of the frequency response against omega.

86
The next sequence chain, shown here, marks a shift in discourse plane
(i.e., a shift in the area of attention of the discourse) as BD talks about
what the presentation will cover. It begins with a lecturing frame and
focussing marker followed by an mid key enlargement 'we’re just gonna
H
M ////p SO// p so toDAY// p we’re just gonna LEARN how to PLOT//
L
H
M //p SIMple//p SIMple//p er BOde plots of the FREquency
L
H
M
L //p p p p and THEN/// you can LEARN/// about the Other KIND///
H
M
L ///in your CLASS/// p that are a little bit MORE COM plicated///
H
M ///p p for this LAB THIS’U
L ///p NOT MUCH/// but// DO///
Figure 4-12. A Series of Low Key Pitch Sequences from BD’s
Presentation.
learn how to plot simple Bode Plots'. The prominence choice on ’simple’
projects an existential paradigm in which 'simple Bode Plots’ contrast
with other types of Bode plot. The series of low key units that follow
confirm this paradigm. The sequence of mid and low key units can be
loosely glossed as: ’I’ve told you we are going to look at simple Bode
Plots today, and I assume you understand that this means there are
other kinds of plots, but I wiU repeat this already understood
assumption now’. The low key units consist of this reformulation and a

87
low key gloss 'that are a little bit more complicated, not much’. When
the focus returns to the main content, i.e„ what the students will need
for this lab, BD rises to a mid key 'for this lab, this’ll do’.
Figure 4-13 shows a similar kind of reformulation in a series of
low key units from BL’s presentation. The sequence chain begins by
describing one of the three variables the students will use to solve the
equation (hence the use of the high key to distinguish R from the other
two) and the definition of this variable constitutes one pitch sequence.
The following PS begins in a mid key, enlarging on the first 'it’s
getting bigger’ and providing a specific example ’you’re getting more
money’. This is followed by a series of low key units that personalize
the previous example ’you want that, you want more money’. As in BD’s
extract, when BL returns to the main content, i.e„ the distinction
between a positive and negative R, he moves to a mid key.
In summary, this analysis showed that speakers’ made key and
termination choices that created pitch sequence structures which
were related to each other within sequence chains, and internally
between tone units. PS structure emphasized the boundaries between
main and subsidiary content and demonstrated a similar kind of
relationship with other levels of organization as that seen in sequence
chain structuring.
Discourse Markers
The analysis of pitch sequence structure also highlighted the
speakers’ use of discourse markers; particularly, what have been called
frames or micromarkers such as SO, NOW, OK, rather than the longer

88
lexical phrases also used to mark transaction boundaries. In analyses of
H ////p and R’s what’s
M CALLED// p it’s a GROWTH
L CONstant///
H BIGger//
M ///r if r's Positive the THING'S getting //r you're
L
H
M getting MORE MOney// //r+ RIGHT//
L //you WANT// r r* you WANT
H
M
L THAT///you want your money to GROW in a BANK/// ///pppp
H
M NEgative the STUFF is
L getting more bacTEria/// whatever if R is
H
M is getting SMALler it’s deCAYing//
L
Figure 4-13. A Series of Low Key Pitch Sequences from BL’s
Presentation.
teaching discourse and particularly those related to this model, only
high and mid key markers appearing with a proclaiming tone and termed
framing devices are discussed (Sinclair & Brazil, 1982; Barr, 1990).
Other research investigating these markers in transactional discourse
suggests that framing devices Eire part of a larger set that combines
both pragmatic and semantic functions and can operate as both
structural boundary markers and logical connectors (Flowerdew &
Tarouza,1995; Nattinger & DeCarrio, 1992). Nattinger and DeCarrio
further suggest that lexicaUy equivalent markers operate differently in
discourse structure depending on tone choice. For example, OK realized

89
with a falling intonation and followed by a pause indicates a topic shift,
whereas the same OK marker with a level intonation and no following
pause marks a summary of the preceding information. In addition, they
include a rising tone on the same lexical markers which indicates
clarification is being sought from the hearer by the speaker.
Analysis of the discourse markers in this data confirmed that high
and mid key frames formed part of a larger set of lexically equivalent,
but prosodically distinct markers along the lines suggested by Nattinger
& DeCarrio.4 Five lexical markers, Alright, Right, Ok, So, and Now
appeared throughout the presentations and produced a total of 63
markers in this data set. The prosodic composition of these markers is
summarized on Table 4-3.
Both the high and mid key proclaiming, or in a few instances level
markers, functioned as typical frames usually in sequence chain or pitch
sequence initial position, in the manner suggested by Brazil and other
Table 4-3. The Prosodic Composition of Discourse Markers in the NS DAta
Set.
P TONES
R TONES
0 TONES
HIGH KEY
4
MID KEY
20
10
3
LOW KEY
7
16
3
teaching discourse researchers. However, approximately a third of the
discourse markers appeared in a low key or with rising tones. Looking
4 Only markers that had an obvious structural function (whether that
was combined with a semantic function or not) are discussed in this
analysis.

90
first at the low key markers, analysis of pitch sequence structure
suggested that in approximately half of these examples (12 cases)
markers operated not only as structural markers indicating transaction
boundaries, but also as dummy tone choices (Brazil, 1997) to end pitch
sequences which showed a mid key termination on the prior tone unit.
While Brazil suggests that pitch sequence closure may be achieved
through dummy tone choices, this is not included as a possible function
of discourse markers. A typical example is given in Figure 4-14.
In this sequence chain, SN is working with the equipment as he is
speaking, and this additional call on his attention appears to cause a
momentary problem with linguistic coding shown by the hesitation and
flattened intonation. The informative content 'one plate’ finishes on a
mid key termination and SN indicates a structural boundary by the
addition of a low key falling marker. It is clearly the speaker’s intent
H these PLATES are BIG enough that you can
M RUN your entire exPEriment//
L
H
M [1.24] I/O ON// [0.86] //p ONE PLATE// [0.4]
L //P OK// [0.9]
H NOW that you've NEXT thing you wanna
M ////p p so DRAWN this the DO//
L
Figure 4-14. An Example of a Low Key Dummy Tone Choice from SN's
Presentation.
to mark a boundary here as the following tone unit indicates a new
sequence chain with the high key 'now that you've drawn this the next

91
thing’, and it is possible that the additional focus on the equipment
interfered with the intonation structure SN intended to project in the
final unit of the sequence chain. Reconstruction of speaker intent at
this level is clearly difficult to show. Even the speaker himself would, in
all likelihood, not be able to recall this kind of online decision.
However, the number of similar cases in this data suggest that low key
markers maybe used to fulfill this function.
Turning now to discourse markers exhibiting a rising tone,
Nattinger & DeCarrio suggest these indicate the speaker is seeking
clarification from the hearer. Certainly this notion can be subsumed
under Brazil’s definition of referring tones by suggesting that rising
markers are a cue to the listener that the speaker is asking for (or will
be seen as asking for) confirmation of her belief that speaker and
hearer have negotiated a common ground, i.e., that the speaker is right
in assuming the hearer can Interpret the discourse message. An
example from KN’s presentation is shown in Figure 4-15. KN completes
the answer to the problem he has worked through on the board, and
then follows this with a low rising OK marker followed by a long pause
in which students could confirm their understanding or ask any
questions they have.
I noted above that rising markers could be seen as asking for
confirmation, rather than genuinely asking for confirmation as in Figure
4-15. Figure 4-16 shows another rising marker 'right’ from BL’s
transcript. In this case the marker is followed by a barely audible
pause (0.08 seconds) and there is clearly no "wait time" for a student
response. In this case, I suggest these markers are acting rather as

92
H
M you’re BAsically gonna SHOW that// [0.27] //p p p the SUM of the
L
H
M TORQUES is equal to ZEro and that's when it
L BAlances// [0.27]
H
M
L //r oK// [0.7]
-igure 4-15. An Example of a Rising Confirmation Marker from KN’s
Presentation.
solidarity markers. They indicate to the hearer that the speaker is
aware of her audience and imply that the speaker is directly confirming
common ground. It is suggested that this is a technique used to create
solidarity with the hearers by acknowledging their participation in the
discourse, and it may be that frequent use of rising markers will
encourage more participation indirectly by giving this impression.
H BIGger// [0.35]
M //r if r’s Positive the THING'S getting //r you're
L
H
M getting MORE MOney// [0.3] //r+ RIGHT// [0.08]
L
Figure 4-16. An Example of a Solidarity Marker from BL’s Presentation.
It is probable that these markers are not discussed in Brazil’s
work or the teaching studies that stemmed from it (Brazil, Coulthard &
Johns, 1980; Sinclair & BrazU, 1982) because of the different nature of
the classroom discourse used in these analyses. Brazil and his
colleagues worked with primary or middle school data, and much of this

93
involves "telling" in proclaiming tones. When "asking" is included, it is
usually in the context of tightly structured IRF exchanges such as the
following in which the teacher is asking for the correct response only:
T: What’s the annual rainfall here?
P: About thirty inches
T: Yes, good. (Sinclair & Brazil, 1982: p. 57)
In addition, the status of the teacher as controller of the discourse in
these classrooms is invariably absolute, and confirmation of student
understanding is often achieved through the kinds of display questions
exemplified above rather than by direct appeal to the students. In
contrast, in university classrooms, especially those taught by TAs, the
relationship between the teacher and students can be more open to
negotiation and more fluid (Shaw & Bailey, 1990; Tyler, 1995). One
manifestation of this recognition of the TA as more of a "facilitator" is
the use of 'asking' rather than 'telling' and evidence of negotiation cues
such as the use of rising markers.
Summary of Pitch Sequences and Discourse Markers
In summary, pitch sequence structuring was consistently used by
all the speakers in the sample to mark relationships within sequence
chains and between tone units. Pitch sequence boundaries frequently
marked changes between main and subsidiary content by alternations in
key choice and interacted with other levels of organization such as the
paradiscourse subtext. Discourse markers marked both sequence chain
and pitch sequence boundaries, and the prosodic features of these
markers suggest that key choice is an important part of understanding
how these markers work. There is some evidence to show that low key
markers sire multifunctional, acting both as structural boundary markers

94
and as dummy tone choices to complete pitch sequence closure. Finally,
low key markers and rising markers are added to the original set of
frames proposed by Brazil, and it is suggested that these reflect the
particular type of classroom discourse constituting this data set.
Tone choice and Orientation.
This section investigates tone choices made in the data. The
reader will recall that the system of tone choice realized both an
information function (adding new information or marking information as
assumed to be known) and also a social function in expressing
relationships between participants in the discourse (exemplified above in
the discussion of rising markers). In addition, choices in the system
projected speaker orientation. In direct discourse, i.e., discourse
oriented toward the hearer(s), speakers negotiate a state of convergence
using R and P tones. In oblique discourse, marked by 0 and P tones,
the context of interaction is temporarily suspended and orientation is
toward to the language sample. This section is divided into two parts.
The first part focusses on direct orientation in the teaching
presentations and the use of R and P tones. The second looks at the
use of 0 tones and evidence of oblique orientation.
The four-minute extracts taken from the prelab presentations in
the laboratory classes each contained a lower limit of 100 tone units;
therefore, tone choices were counted as percentages for the first 100
tone units of each presentation. The math extract was only two minutes
in length, and a count was made of the first 50 tone units, which was
then doubled for the purposes of describing the numbers of tone
choices across the data set. This decision was made on the basis that

95
presentations of each math problem in the math discussion sections seen
by this researcher are virtually identical in their organization and
composition, and the features found in the presentations given by this
TA also match those found in analyses of similar math discussion
sections conducted by other researchers (Rounds, 1987; Byrd &
Constantinidies, 1990).
Direct Orientation: R and P Tones
The following table summarizes the tone choices made in the first
100 TUs of each teaching presentation. The table is ordered by the
amount of R tone choices found in each presentation.
The tone choice counts show a predominance of P tones. This is
typical of classroom discourse which is largely involved with "telling".
Table 4-4. Percentage of Tone Choices in the First 100 TOne Units in
Each Presentation in the NS Data.
TA
% OF P TONES
% OF R TONES
% OF 0 TONES
BL
(doubled)
62
34
4
MK
57
31
12
LE
43
29
28
KN
66
17
17
SN
72
14
14
BD
75
13
12
i.e., using proclaiming tones to present new information to the students.
The use of R tones separates the six presentations into two groups
based to some extent on the amount of information the TA can assume
the students know and what is assumed to be new. In the first group

96
containing approximately 30 R choices, BL, LE, and MK’s presentations
till cover material the students have done before. BL and LE's students
have completed the material for homework, and MK's presentation
reviews procedures the students have covered in previous labs which
they will use again in the unknown analysis. The second group, each
containing less than 20 R choices, are presentations of new experimental
procedures the students are about to perform for the first time.
In the first group, the area of presumed convergence at points in
the presentation, i.e., the information that both the TAs and their
students know, is assumed to be greater, and tone choice reflects
"confirming" or "reminding" as opposed to "telling". A typical example
is shown in Figure 4-17. This extract, from MK's presentation, reminds
the students of what they found when they conducted flame tests a few
weeks earlier. The discussion transcribed here forms part of a longer
discourse extract which focuses on the three possible results of the
flame test: an orange flame indicating sodium, (discussed in the SC
preceding the one shown here), a purple flame indicating potassium, or
no particular color indicating no positive ions. The possibilities are
realized using a series of directly oriented R and P tones interspersed
with occasional level tones.
The extract begins with an 0 tone, associated in this case with a
typical organizational marker, followed by three R tone choices that
parallel the reminding function clearly intended in the tone units 'you
remember potassium gave a purple or a violet flame’. MK then tells the
students how this should help them using a P tone 'that helps you

97
in two different ways’ and switches back to an R tone to repeat the
earlier, assumed to be known, information that the purple flame means
potassium. The 0 + P tone combination shown on 'because sodium would
have been...bright orange' marks a typical template construction often
used by teachers to encourage students to "fill in the blank" when the
teacher believes the answer is recoverable. In this case, it is a direct
reference back to information contained in the preceding sequence
chain. The final choice in the extract is an R tone which again refers to
student experience in the set of flame tests they have already
completed. Therefore, this group of tone choices project a context in
which known information comes from the both the text itself and the
prior knowledge held by the students.
Brazil suggests that the difference between R and P tones can be
summarized as "what is projected on behalf of the speaking T, and
what is projected on behalf of the participating 'we'" (1997:79). The
concept of 'participating we’ incorporates both the notion of shared
information such as that seen in the example above, and the idea of
shared situation. In other words, R tones project a context which
highlights what Sinclair and Brazil (1982) call a community aspect in the
classroom, i.e., a projection of solidarity between teacher and students.
An example of this kind of projection was noted in the previous section
in the discussion of the use of referring tones on discourse markers
such as 'right' and 'ok'. The extended series of R tones shown in
Figure 4-18 creates a similar effect.
In this example, BL is explaining the last of the 3 variables the
students will need to understand the equation used in this problem.

98
H
M //o r+ r+ now of COURSE er you remember poTAssium was PURple
L
H
M a PURple or a Violet flame// r you MIGHT see that as WELL//
L
H
M //p and THAT helps you in TWO different ways// r so if you see a
L
H PURple flame you know there’s
M poTAssium// p but you ALso know there
L
H
M CAN’T be ammon- or SOdium//o because SOdium would have BEEN//
L
H
M //p bright //r+ and the THIRD possibility is that there
L Orange//
H
M be no color at ALL//
L
Figure 4-17. An Example of Tone Choices that Project a Context of
Known Information from MK's Presentation.
H //p and R’s what’s
M CALLED// p it’s a GROWTH //r if r’s
L
CONstant//
H
BIGger//
M Positive the THING’S getting
//r you’re getting MORE MOney//
L
H
M //r+ RIGHT//
L //you WANT// //r r+
you WANT THAT you want your money
H
M
L to GROW in a BANK//
Figure 4-18. An Example of the Use of R Tones from BL’s
Presentation.

99
The first 2 TUs 'proclaim’ the new terminology 'R’s what’s called a
growth constant’ as this is the first time the variable R has been
mentioned. The following R tone choice 'if R’s positive, the thing’s
getting bigger’ is something the students should know from completing
the homework, and the continuing referring tones 'you’re getting more
money', including the rising marker, draw connections between the math
problem and the students’ real world experience. The total effect can
be loosely glossed as T am telling you that R is called a growth
constant. I assume you understand that if R is positive the element is
increasing. Let’s think together about what that means.' These kinds of
examples demonstrate how the teacher can use the intonation system to
reduce the distance between the material or themselves and the students
by projecting a context in which material is accessible and the teacher
is approachable.
The second group of presentations presumed a lesser degree of
convergence; however, all three used R tones in situations where
information was assumed to be recoverable from the preceding discourse
or from knowledge outside the direct context. In Figure 4-19, the R
tone choices on 'you can just add, right’ suggest BD considers this to
be the kind of general knowledge the students should already know,
and it is followed by a rising marker to confirm that this assessment is
correct.
The majority of R tones in these presentations, however, were
restricted to references to something that was immediately
"conversationally in play" within the direct context of the discourse,
i.e„ something written on the blackboard or equipment that they were

100
H
M //p inSTEAD of Multiplying// p r whenever you
L //p and THEN//
H
M take the LOG you just ADD RIGHT//
L
Figure 4-19. An Example of the Use of Rising Tones from BD's
Presentation.
demonstrating at that moment. Figure 4-20 shows a typical example from
KN's presentation where the final R tones coincide with clear gestures
toward the diagram on the board.
H
M //p o ok BY the WAY ANY time you HAVE// p an OB.iect// and you
L
H
M see how it’s NOT// //p r+ r+ it it's disTRIbuted over the
L
H
M LENGTH of the meter STICK the MASS IS//
L
Figure 4-20. An Example of the Use of Rising Tones for Items that are
Currently 'In Play’ in the Discourse from KN’s
Presentation.
In summary, all the TAs used a combination of R and P tones to
mark the informative content in their presentations. As expected in
teaching discourse, the majority of tone choices were proclaiming tones
marking the new information given to the students. R choices were
used in all the presentations; however, where assumed area of
convergence was seen to be greater, R tones were more frequent.
Referring tones were used to establish a sense of mutual participation in

101
the discourse by making reference both to shared information and
shared situation. Rising discourse markers were used to create a sense
of negotiated convergence between teacher and students and establish a
sense of solidarity.
The use of 0 Tones and Oblique Orientation
As a choice of 0 tone places elements outside the context of
interaction and indicates a withdrawal by the speaker from negotiation
with the hearer, they are an unlikely tone choice for teaching discourse;
yet in four of the six presentations, the number of 0 tone choices
matched the number of referring tones. An analysis of where these
tones appeared showed that the level tone was consistently used by all
the speakers in the sample for specific kinds of language activity.
First, 0 tone choices represented isolated occurrences in the
discourse. None of the presentations contain a long 'chunk' of content-
based discourse presented with an oblique orientation, i.e„ with a
combination of 0 and P tones. The only time a chain of three 0 tones
appeared in succession, these marked a listing structure in which 0
tones are commonly used (Brazil, 1997). Second, choices rarely appeared
on tonic syllables that formed part of the main content and where a
direct tone would be expected; rather, 0 tone choices appeared at
points in the discourse anticipated in the model such as at moments of
orientation change due to linguistic coding problems or on precoded
language. All the TAs used 0 tones under certain conditions, and these
could be grouped into a small number of categories that applied across
the data and are shown below:

102
1. Paradiscourse: Places where the TA was simultaneously talking
to the students and writing on the board or demonstrating
equipment.
//so if you HAVE// (KN)
//you ALso might HAVE// (LE)
//how to PREP// your little JAR// (SN)
2. Linguistic coding: Momentary orientation changes where there
was evidence of problems with linguistic coding or evidence that
the TA was planning the next utterance.
//AND// //UH// //Actual urn TLC// (SN)
3. Idioms or lexical phrases: Precoded expressions that are
frequently found in any extract of teaching discourse.
//in Other WORDS// (LE)
//as you see HERE// (SN)
//now of COURSE// (MK)
4. A definitive expression of a truth: Expressions such as
equations or formula.
//whenever you find the transfer function
of a// CIRcuit// (BD)
5. Template structures: Template questions or analogous
structures.
//because SOdium would have BEEN//
bright Orange// (MK)
//you can write H omega// AS// (BD)
6. Listing: Lists of equipment, chemicals or equation variables.
//M one IS x ONE m ONE// (LE)
With the addition of the 0 tones found on discourse markers,
these categories described the level tones found in the data. Where the
amount of 0 tones are greater, for example in LE's presentation, the
numbers were inflated by a larger amount of filled pauses and a
frequent use of level tones while he wrote on the blackboard.
In addition to a combination of 0 and P tones, oblique orientation
can be cued by the use of multiple prominences (more than two

103
prominences per tone unit), particularly for precoded language that may
be 'quoted' by the speaker. This use of multiple prominence occurs
when the tone unit carries no individual sense selection, i.e.,
prominences do not select from a paradigm. In this case, Brazil suggests
that prominences maybe assigned in a "more or less automatic way to
the open-class words...In a way that presupposes engagement with the
language system" (1997:146). As with the use of 0 tones, all the TAs
showed examples of multiple prominences (24 in total) that suggested the
use of a 'citation’ tone, particularly on lexical phrases or technical
expressions. Examples of these are given below:
1. Listing: // let’s see ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE// (SN)
2. Technical Expressions: //Exponential GROWTH and deCAY// (BL)
//ONE PLUS J omega TAU// (KN)
3. Boardwork: //point ZEro SIX T// (BL)
There were also several places in the data where multiple
prominences in a particular tone unit were the result of direct rather
than oblique orientation. These were clearly motivated by the TA's
intention to make contrast relationships between certain items explicit or
to emphasize a particular point:
//cos i'm Basically only gonna go over our Positive Jons// and
BRIEFly over the Aíügative Ions// (MK)
//THIS TORQUE is trying to rotate it// COUNterclockWISE// and so
it's gonna be BAlanced with the TORQUE that’s gonna rotate it
CLOCKWISE// (KN)
//and this IS IN the NOTES// (SN)
Summary of Tone Choice
Analysis of tone choices found in the NS sample showed that TAs
made intentional choices between R and P tones based on assumed area

104
of convergence. In addition, R choices could be exploited by speakers
to project informative content as accessible to the students and to mark
solidarity between the speaker and the hearer(s). The use of level 0
tones and multiple prominences was restricted. Level tones marked
momentary changes in orientation related to precoded language and
momentary coding problems; and language activities unique to classroom
discourse such as template structures and interactions with the
paradiscourse text. Tone choice in this data set is consistent with prior
research concerning teaching discourse, and suggests that the choice of
tone by teachers follows typical patterns unique to the speech event of
classroom discourse.
Conclusion
There is quite a substantial body of literature concerning
classroom discourse. Researchers have recognized a number of typical
features such as shifts in discourse plane, the use of a small number of
markers to emphasize topic structure and typical patterns of
interactions between teachers and their students. The present analysis
contributes to that research by investigating the typical prosodic
composition of native speaker teaching discourse. Based on the results
of this analysis, I propose that NS teaching discourse is characterized
by a number of prosodic features that contribute to both
comprehensibility of the discourse and relationship-building between
teachers and students. The intonation system is organized into a series
of hierarchical levels that are used intentionally by the speaker to
create an independent layer of discourse structure which interacts with
other linguistic and paralinguistic systems.

105
One of the most important patterns to emerge from this data was
the use of phonological paragraphing structures such as sequence
chains and pitch sequences. These were shown to co-occur with cues at
other levels of the discourse to create 'chunks’ of information and
thereby increase discourse comprehensibility. This kind of overall
design is particularly important in teaching discourse, as the teacher
primarily controls the negotiation of the discourse message.
Patterns of tone, key and termination clearly demonstrated the
interactive nature of intonation choices. The TAs in this sample were
seen to project a context of interaction based on their understanding of
the assumed state of convergence between themselves and their
students. Choices of tone particularly, showed the importance of
assessing choices within the situated context of the interaction.
Assumed area of convergence between discourse participants changed on
a real-time basis and extralinguistic activity frequently shaped choices
on a moment by moment basis and could be reconstructed satisfactorily
only when these considerations were taken into account. Finally, the
speakers in this sample also demonstrated how choices in the system
could be exploited to build a positive rapport between themselves and
their students. This was particularly evident in the use of rising
solidarity markers, but also in the use of referring tones to directly
infer a mutual participation in the discourse despite the lack of overt
participation on the part of the students.
The analysis is clearly constrained by the limited nature of the
sample; however, I have included a number of the less typical patterns
found in the data, such as the analysis of all the sequence chain

106
structures that occurred and specific types of pitch sequence
structures, as it may be that these will be found more frequently in a
larger sample. In addition, care was taken to ensure that this subset of
presentations were typical of the larger group of prelab presentations
given in the introductory science laboratories. The less rhetorical style
and partially planned nature of the six presentations discussed here
matches the typical examples given by other researchers investigating
similar data.

CHAPTER 5
ANALYSIS OF NONNATIVE SPEAKER DATA
Introduction
This chapter presents the analysis of the nonnative speaker
(NNS) data. The analysis shows that the NNS TAs as a group do not
use the same systematic and independent prosodic structure to
consistently mark structural boundaries in the discourse or to negotiate
a common ground with their students as seen in the NS discourse.
Breakdowns at each level of the hierarchical system proposed in the
model contribute independently to problems in the overall
comprehensibility of the discourse and a mismatch with NS expectations
in the use of organizational cues. The analysis also shows that despite
variation among the speakers in terms of individual prosodic features,
certain intonational cues are used more consistently than others
throughout the data set (e.g., high key to mark sequence chain
boundaries and proclaiming tones), and that these contribute to the
perception of a typical 'prosodic composition’ in NNS discourse. Based
on these results, it is argued that the prosodic features found in the
NNS teaching presentations have a detrimental effect on both discourse
comprehensibility and rapport building between teacher and students.
Parallel to the discussion of the NS data given in Chapter 4, the
analysis is divided into three areas of intonation structuring: sequence
chains, pitch sequences and discourse markers, and finally, tone choice
and orientation. Throughout the discussion, examples from the NNS data
107

108
set are compared to parallel extracts from the NS teaching presentations
and where appropriate, the reader is referred back to sections of the
NS analysis.
Nonnative Speaker Data Set
A summary of the NNS data set is given below followed by a brief
description of the content of the teaching extracts. Each of the NNS
teaching presentations parallels one from the NS data set. The
equivalent NS extract is indicated in the final two columns of the table
below.
Table 5-1. Summary of NNS Data Set and Parallel NS Presentations
LAB/DISC.
SECTION
NON¬
NATIVE
SPEAKER
TA
TIME
NUMBER
OF TONE
UNITS
PARALLEL
NS
PRESENT
NUMBER
OF TONE
UNITS
CHEMISTRY
KC
4
MINS
103
MK
100
TY
4
MINS
120
MK
100
JA
4
MINS
101
SN
113
PHYSICS
XG
4
MINS
105
KN
141
MATH
BG
2
MINS
50
BL
71
SM
2
MINS
51
BL
71
' Ite first language of all six speakers is Mandarin Chinese
KC. The opening of a chemistry prelab presentation. The
students are about to begin an unknown analysis for which they first
have to complete and hand in a scheme, i.e., a plan of how they will

109
conduct the analysis. The TA is reviewing the procedures that should
appear in the unknown analysis scheme.
TY. This extract is the same as (KC) above.
JA. This extract comes from the middle of a 40 minute prelab
presentation given by the TA in a chemistry lab. The TA is discussing
the principles and procedures of Chromatography experiments. One
subtopic was chosen, in which the TA demonstrates the procedures and
equipment the students will need to complete a Thin Layer
Chromatography experiment.
XG. The opening of a physics prelab presentation. The students
are conducting an experiment investigating torques and forces in
equilibrium. The TA is explaining the physics principle and pointing out
a potential confusion the students may encounter near the end of the
lab.
BG. This extract comes from the middle of a pre-calculus math
discussion class. The TA is reviewing a question from a section on
exponential growth and decay. One problem was chosen from this
section.
SM. This extract is the same as (BG) above.
Sequence Chain Structure
The reader will recall that sequence chains (SC) are larger
prosodic units (or speech paragraphs) bounded by a high key or
lecturing frame, and a low termination. A SC structure, based on these
phonological criteria, was readily identifiable in the NS data. In
addition, SCs consistently co-occurred with non-prosodic cues such as
changes in discourse plane or transaction boundary marking. In the NS

110
extracts, this created points of maximal disjunction in the discourse
marked by multiple cues at all levels of discourse organization which
"chunked" the information contained in the presentation.
A prosodic SC structure was also identified in the NNS data.
However, the SC analysis was hampered by a compression of overall
pitch range in the NNS group compared to the NS data set. Although
individual movements between the three levels of key varied both within
and between speakers in the NS group, the overall pitch range of all 6
speakers was approximately 250hz-50hz, with a median frequency of 100-
150 hz.1 In addition, as suggested by Wennerstrom (1998) and Lehiste
(1979), SCs often began with a heightened pitch value or at a level
higher than any value internal to the SC, which contributed to the
impression of a maximal boundary. In contrast, overall pitch ranges in \
the NNS data were more variable and tended to be smaller. Three of
the speakers (SM, BG, and JA) had reduced pitch ranges of 200hz-100hz,
170hz-75hz, and 200hz-75hz respectively. Both KE and TY had an
equivalent top range (approximately 250hz) but showed less distinction
at the bottom end of the range, falling to approximately lOOhz. Only
one TA (XG), used the same pitch range as the NS group. There was
also virtually no use of heightened pitch at the beginning of SCs in the
NNS data. TY occasionally employed an extra-high key (up to 300hz);
however, these high key prominences did not appear at SC boundaries
marked by a preceding low termination. Therefore, although high, mid
and low key choices were identified in the NNS analysis, the pitch
1 Crystal (1987) notes that the typical fundamental frequency of an
adult male is around 120hz.

Ill
intervals between prominent syllables were less distinct and pitch peaks
were often less pronounced.
In a study of advanced Dutch learners of Greek, Mennen (1998)
also reports that even very advanced learners showed a significantly
narrower pitch range, and she suggests that this contributes to
accented speech. Within this analysis, while it is not clear exactly what
effect such phonetic differences may have on listener comprehensibility,
both SM and BG were judged by two naive listeners as difficult to
follow at least partially because there was no "variation" in their
speech.3
In the NNS data, there were 37 SCs in total (between 3-10 SCs
3
were found in each extract). Eight of the SC openings began with a
mid key lecturing frame and the remainder with a high key on a content
word. The majority of the SCs (28) closed with a low termination on a
content word and nine ended with a structural discourse marker such
as //OK//. These numbers are essentially comparable to those found in
the NS data set (34 SCs); however, SC openings are less well defined in
the NNS group. There were 15 frames in the NS group including four
high key frames. This difference contributed to a qualitative and
quantitative reduction in initial focussing markers in the NNS data.
This will be discussed in detail below.
9
This judgement was obtained from two undergraduate listeners.
3 Despite reduced pitch ranges in some of the NNS data, it was
possible to identify higher key choices within each individual range.
These were used to determine SC structure.

112
The length of SCs in the NNS group varied from 2-41 tones units
in 36 of the sequence chains*, compared to 12-15 units in the NS data.
This crucial difference reflected the fact that, in the majority of cases,
SC boundaries identified using Barr’s phonological criteria were either
not matched by non-prosodic cues indicating transaction boundaries, or
that the transaction structures themselves were not comparable to those
found in the NS data. Therefore, where boundaries did occur, they did
not necessarily indicate points of maximal disjunction or speech
paragraphs marked by multiple cues. The discussion below will focus on
problems of boundary marking and transaction structure.
Tables 5-2 and 5-3 below show the number of transaction
boundary markers in the NNS data set compared to those found in the
NS group. As the tables show, the NNS group approximated the NS
model in their use of boundary marking although there were fewer
focussing markers overall: 82% of initial boundaries and 85% of closing
boundaries are marked in the NS group, compared to 51% of initial
boundaries and 62% of final boundaries in the NNS set.
Where prospective and retrospective markers did occur, they were
similar to those used by the NS group. Prospective marking included
mid key lecturing frames such as //SO// and //NOW//, and high or mid
key lexical phrases:
SEcond step I think is//
//and the
ONE CASE is that you are
// //
* The fined SC in TY’s extract consisted of 74 tone units and will be
discussed separately.

113
Table 5-2. A Comparison of Prospective Markers in the NNS and NS Data
Sets.
PROSPECTIVE
MARKERS
DATA SET
LEXICAL
PHRASE
HIGH KEY
FRAMES
MID
KEY
FRAMES
TOTAL
NNS (37 SCs)
9
0
10
19
NS (34)
10
4
4
28
Table 5-3. A Comparison of Retrospective Markers in the NNS and NS
Data Sets.
RETROSPECTIVE
MARKERS
DATA SET
RECAPITULATION
PHRASE
LEXICAL
MARKER
PAUSE
BOUNDARY
TOTAL
NNS (37 SCs)
7
9
7
23
NS (34 SCs)
7
11
11
29
Retrospective marking included the use of topic length pausing, low key
discourse markers and recapitulation statements such as:
//THAT is the defiNItion of
HALF LIFE//
// you'll GET a deVEloped TIC
PLATE//
Despite the similarities however, in addition to the drop in
numbers of markers, they were also less prosodically distinct in the NNS
discourse; for example, there are no prospective high key frames in the
NNS group. This particularly applied to retrospective pause boundaries.
As suggested by Rounds (1987) and in my original pilot study, there
was a qualitative difference in the nature of the pause structure in the
two data sets. Following Rounds, longer topic length pauses in the NS
teaching group ([0.8-1.0] seconds and above) were classified as either

114
administrative or strategic. Administrative pauses occurred when the TA
was writing on the board or handling equipment. Strategic silences
consisted of "wait-time" after the TA asked the students a direct
question, pauses appearing as part of template structures (e.g., 'because
sodium would have been [1.0] bright orange’), and pauses following
structural markers at the beginning of SCs (e.g., 'Ok [1.0] P is the
amount you have to start with'). Retrospective pause markers in the NS
data set were classified as part of this strategic pause group, and as
topic length pauses only appeared at points in the discourse described
above, they were considered to be reliable indicators of a boundary.
In contrast, the NNS data was characterized by frequent, random
silences of varying lengths which could not be classified as strategic or
administrative. These "empty silences" (Rounds, 1987:652) included topic
length pauses internal to SCs causing retrospective pauses to be less
reliable cues for boundary marking. This was particularly the case with
two speakers (XG) and (KE) who used pause boundary marking to close
SCs which contained a number of topic length pauses. Figure 5-1 shows
an example from XG's presentation.
The SC begins with a prospective marker, 'one case is that you
are’ followed by a one second pause and a redrafting of the initial
marker, 'basically you always have the center'. The remainder of the
SC contains a number of problematic tone units such as 'to be the, to
be the' and topic length pauses [1.0], [0.82], [0.92], [0.92] unconnected
with administrative or strategic work, before closing with a low key and

115
H ONE CASE is that //P P BAsically you
M ////p o one YOU ARE// [1.0]
L
H
M Always have the CENter// [0.82] //p MEter stick CENter// [0.92]
L
H
M //p the
L //o to BE THE// [0.2] //o to BE THE// [0.53] //the//[0.53]
H
M Pivot POINT but er// [0.34] //p p in in the LAST CASE in the
L
H //p r+ the MEter
M compreHENsion QUEStion// [0.53] //r+ FIVE// [0.92]
L
H STICK CENter
M is NOT// [0.34] //o SO
L //p in the CENter// [0.68]
Figure 5-1. An Example of Sequence Chain Internal Topic Length Pausing
from XG’s Presentation.
a sentence length [0.68], rather than paragraph length, pause, followed
by a mid key prospective marker beginning the next SC.
Figure 5-2 from KE’s presentation, also contains a number of topic
length pauses within the SC [1.67], [0.95], [1.0], [0.99], [1.14], [0.95]
before closing with a low key hesitation marker surrounded by similar
length pauses. In addition, there is some confusion with the initial
boundary marking of this SC. The first tone unit, 'this two step is
very easy’ is uttered with a high key and mid termination which is a
prosodic indication of a prospective marker. However, the content of
the marker refers back to the previous SC, and the more appropriate
topic marker for the material in this SC is the following high key unit,

116
'then you make solution’. In the analysis of boundary marking in the
NS data the lexical content of markers and choice of key consistently
supported each other. In this case, in terms of lexical content, KE’s
opening marker is more like the kind of retrospective comment that
appeared in the NS data in a mid or low key such as 'so that’s the
basic gist of the lab’. This kind of mismatch between prosody and
content also contributes to difficulties in determining transaction
marking. As Rounds suggests, long silences will confound the listener
rather than help to focus their attention. This is particularly the case
when there is a mismatch in organizational cues. In both of the
examples given above, SCs close with a low termination and include some
discourse marking; however, other prosodic features obscure this
pattern and reduce its effectiveness for native speaker hearers.
In addition to the problems in assessing boundary marking,
transaction structures co-extensive with SCs were often ill-formed in
terms of topic structuring in comparison to the NS model; for example,
the topic expression did not match the material in the SC, or the SC
consisted of only a partial topic expression and no development. In the
NS data, SCs typically consisted of focussing activity at the opening
boundary followed by a topic expression and its development, and a
closing boundary; hence the consistency in the length of SCs across the
data set. No such systematic pattern was found across the six speakers
in the NNS data, and this accounts for the wide variation in SC length
found in the NNS group. An example from KE’s presentation is shown in
Figure 5-3.

117
The first SC functions as an attention getter as the students
gather at the board. This is a well formed SC, and has both a
prospective marker, 'ok students’ and recapitulation statement, 'just wait
a minute then continue your lab'.’ The second SC consists only of the
H TWO step is very
M ////P this EAsy// [0.4]
L [0.85] //p SO// [1.17]
H
M //p THEN you make soLUtion// [1.67] //p do pH TEST//[0.18]//o to
L
H //r* p 0 h Minus and //o p THIS
M TEST// [0.6] H o four Minus// [0.95]
L
H THIS// [0.14]
M one should be Ph equal to THREE// [1.0] //if //p if your
L
H Ph is THREE// [0.26] //p er thirTEEN// [0.99] THIS one
M //p that means
L
H
M NOT there// [0.48] //r
L
H the SAME
M TIME// [0.66]
L
H means THIS// [0.48] //p THIS should be ALso
M THERE// [1.14] //p p that
L
H means THIS is
M NOT there// [0.95] //because THIS// [0.26] //p these two
L
H
M canNOT preSENT at the SAME
L TIME// [1.7] //p AND er//
Figure 5-2. Problematic Pausing and Topic Structure in Sequence Chains
from KE’s Presentation.
THIS one canNOT// [0.33] //p preSENT
because
Ph is// [0.26] TOO that
//if your //p aROUND

118
topic statement, 'today we make two sample for your unknown test’, and
appears to indicate a plane change between the administrative
organization of the lab and the actual chemistry content. In fact, in the
third SC, KE returns to the organization of the presentation and
reminds the students that they have covered this material previously.
SC 4 begins with a repeat of the earlier topic statement, ’first you will
have two samples’ which is again followed by administrative instructions,
’because this is a time limit so I suggest you make sure how to do this
first’. Finally, the same topic expression is repeated for the third time,
’you get two sample it’s a solid’ and does mark a plane change to the
chemistry content of the presentation, ’the first step you do is flame
test’. This constant repetition of the same introductory statement at the
opening of three of the SCs followed by unexpected shifts back to
administrative procedures clearly contradict any sense of topic
development and would not allow the native speaker listener to
accurately predict what information may follow the SC opening statement.
In the parallel presentation given by MK (shown in Table 4-2 and
Figure 4-9) opening statements given in the first three SCs clearly
divide the organization of the presentation into administrative
procedures, ’ok begin about today i’m just gonna go over our unknown
analysis scheme’, topic announcement ’but for our unknown we have
seven ions we have to test for’, and the steps in the experimental
procedure 'one of the first things that we did was a flame test’.
A second characteristic of several of KE’s opening SCs which contributes
to the lack of development is their brevity, particularly the
second sequence chain, which consists of only two tone units.

rsa r 3: ¡x r 2 * r 2 sc rss r 2 s rsa r 2 sc rsa rss
119
H ////P oK Students//
M //p just WAIT for a MINute// uh//
L
//p r+ p please pay aTTENtion for THIS unKNOWN SCHEME// uh//
//o eSPEcial for
YOU// r+ p DO this unKNOWN uh to DAY// p it’s
ALso good for you to do
NEXT WEEK// if you// o SO// p just wait
toDAY we MAKE
MINute then conTINue your// p er ////P er
LAB////
have TWO
SAM pie// p for your
////THIS a all
unKNOWN TEST////
STUFF is a// p o p we have LEARNED from aSSIGNment ONE and
THIS my suGGEStion for
aSSIGNment TWO// p r+ er THIS unKNOWN//
THINK itss it will
//p TEST// p uh i SAVE you ////p uh
TIME////
FIRST you WILL er have
TIME Limit
TWO SAMples// p p because this a
SURE how to do this FIRST//
so i sugGEST YOU// r+ you make
Figure 5-3. Problematic Topic Structuring and Sequence Chain
Boundaries from KE's Presentation

120
H
M TIME limit is a// p you
L
DON’T get
SAMple// ?p after i’ve FINished
H
M this
L TEST////
TWO SAMple it’s a
////P SO// p p you get
SOlid//
H
M //p p the
L
FIRST
FLAME TEST for// p SOdium ion//
STEP you do is
Figure 5-3, continued.
The reader may recall that there was only one similar case in the
NS data set in BL’s presentation (see Figure 4-8) where the first SC
was co-extensive with a ’pronouncement’ of the overall topic. The
equivalent topic announcement in KE’s transcript is less effectively
organized as it is followed by the continued repetitions discussed above,
and is therefore less clearly motivated.
There were a number of similar examples in the NNS data where
prosodic boundary cues divided clearly related units and created
’truncated’ SCs. Two examples are given in Figure 5-4. In the first
example from TY’s presentation, the low termination at the end of 'the
ions contained in the sample are’ is followed by the low key hesitation
marker which divides the topic statement into two SCs as the second
part 'possibly these eight ions’ begins in a high key. In the second
example, from XG’s extract, the TA is moving from a review of the
overall procedures in the lab which are quite straightforward, to one
particular question near the end of the lab which may confuse the

121
students. The SC opens with a high key comment, T don’t think you will
have any problems' which is followed by a series of mid and low key
(a)
H unKNOWN// [0.04] IONS
M ////p er for //o UM// [0.6] //p p p o the
L
H
M conTAINED in the SAMple ////P r POSsibly
L ARE// [0.57] //o ER// [0.57]
H
M these EIGHT IONS//
L
(b)
H ////p i DON'T think YOU will have any
M PROBlem// [0.32]
L
H
M //exCEPT in a// [1.5] //p o in a Final
L //o WELL in A// [2.16] AND//
H ONE CASE is that
M ////one YOU ARE//
L [0.98] // er// [0.18]
(c)
H
M //p so that's the BAsic gist of the //p toward the
L LAB// [0.32]
H
M lab THOUGH//I0.23I//O UM//p p you're gonna be doing SOMEthing
L
H
M a LITtle bit //p again you have your MEter STICK//
L DIFferent//[5.6]
Figure 5-4. Examples of Disrupted Sequence Chains and a Comparative
NS Example, a) TY; b) XG; c) KN.

122
units interspersed with topic length pauses as the TA redrafts the SC
opening. A new SC begins with a high key prospective marker, 'in one
case...'. Neither of these examples coincide with interference from the
paradiscourse subtext, and both appear to be caused by difficulties in
online verbal planning.
The disruption to the overall discourse message can be seen more
clearly in the final example in Figure 5-4, which shows the equivalent
section to XG's (NNS) extract from KN’s (NS) parallel presentation. The
first SC ends with a mid-low key recapitulation statement, 'so that’s the
basic gist of the lab’ followed by a clear high to mid key prospective
marker, 'toward the end though you will be doing something a little bit
different'. The 'urn' hesitation marker surrounded by short pauses does
not materially affect the organization. These comparative examples show
that despite the appearance of a SC structure in the NNS presentations,
phonological cues in many cases do not actually mark maximal points of
disjunction and could not be used reliably by the native speaker
listener as an organizational cue.
As the above analysis suggests, SC structure across the NNS
group was subject to variation both within and between speakers.
Within one presentation, a TA could produce one or more interpretable
SCs followed by a sequence of structures in which the specific nature
of the difficulty varied, but which illustrated a mismatch of
organizational cues on some level. In TY's presentation, for example, the
final SC (consisting of 74 tone units) includes three typical classroom

123
exchanges (Initiation-Response-Feedback) with the students.5 Although
Barr does not specifically discuss IRF exchanges, they are equivalent to
a plane change, i.e., the teacher moves from "telling something" to
"asking something". Brazil (1997) suggests that teachers
characteristically treat the IRF exchange as a pitch sequence, and as
the dominant party in the teacher-student interaction, the teacher will
initiate closure with a low termination. A typical example of this pattern
from an earlier part of TY’s presentation is shown in Figure 5-5.
Following the student's response, TY repeats the correct answer
with a mid key and proclaiming tone indicating agreement, and closes
the exchange with a evaluation, 'right'. In the final SC in TY’s extract
H
M what’s the FIRST STEP you// [0.48] //p you WANT to TAKE//
L
Student Response: Flame Test
H
M FLAME TEST
L //o p p ER RIGHT//
Figure 5-5. A Typical IRF Exchange from TY’s Presentation.
however, key and termination choices throughout the three IRF
exchanges continually extend the SC in terms of phonological boundary
cues. This is despite a number of lexical discourse markers which do
suggest a series of shorter transactions. The complete SC is too long to
quote in its entirety and can be found in the appendix; however, Figure
5 See Chapter 2 for a discussion of IRF exchanges within Brazil’s
model.

124
5-6, taken from the middle of the SC, exemplifies the typical difficulties
found throughout this section.
TY has just covered the first step in the unknown analysis
procedure, the flame test to investigate sodium ion. It is only possible
to check potassium ion with the flame test if sodium is not present, and
the section shown here begins where TY reminds the students of this:
'if this test is positive for sodium ion you need uh you you can’t er get
er potassium’. In addition to verbal planning problems which break up
the tone units, this section ends with a mid key statement 'you need to
do a further bit'. This is followed by a [2.3] second pause and a mid
key marker 'SO' which would normally cue a new SC or transaction
structure: however, the previous mid key termination does not meet the
phonological criteria for the end of a SC. In the next section, TY
reviews the first step in the procedure and asks the students what the
second step should be, 'and what’s the second step?’. One student
responds with essentially a repetition of TY’s earlier point that it
depends on whether sodium is present and suggests that if there is
sodium in the sample, they will have to do a solution test to find any
g
potassium that may be there. TY responds to the student with high
key, dominant rising tones, 'directly then, you mean here you want to
prepare solution now'. The combination of the high adjudicating key
and dominant tones effectively limits the student's response to a Yes/No
answer. This was clearly given hesitantly and in a flat 0 tone,
C
It was not possible to transcribe the key and termination choices of
student responses as the headset microphone worn by the TA did not
record this data. Transcription of the student responses was made from
notes taken by the researcher at the time of the recording.

125
H //p if THIS test is Positive for// [0.43] //p SOdium ion// [0.06]
M
L
H
M//o you NEED// [0.53] //o UH// [0.09] //you you CAN’T er// [0.09]
L
H
M //GET// [0.06] //p er poJAssium// [0.4] //r+ RIGHT// [0.43]
L
H
M //you NEED to DO a// [0.95] //p FURther BIT// [2.3] //p SO//
L
H //p WHEN you receive a SAMple// [0.22] //p the FIRST STEP is
M
L
H to do a// [0.22] //p FLAME test// [7.2] //p p THIS
M ONE you
L
H QUEStion mark HERE// [0.8] WHAT's the SEcond
M have a //and the
L
H
M STEP//
L
Student Response: It depends on if you have Na in the sample or not
in the flame test/ if you have Na then you can’t tell if you have
potassium so you have to do a solution test for potassium/
H //r r+ diRECTly THEN// [0.09] //you MEAN// [0.2] //p r+ HERE you
M
L
H
M want to prePARE soLUtion RIGHT//
L NOW
Student Response: Yeah (silent beat, flat tone)
Figure 5-6. An Example of a Mismatch in Discourse Cues from TY’s
Presentation.

126
H
MAKE soLUtion//
M DO THAT//
L //o p p UH oK you can
[1.2] //o SO
H
//p HOW to make
M [2.8] //p make soLUtion// [0.55]
L
soLUtion//
Figure 5-6, continued
indicating withdrawal on the part of the student who was probably
surprised by the unusual 'interrogation’ style of the questioning. TY
responds with a prominent low key hesitation marker followed by a mid
key unit 'ok, you can do that’. The hesitation marker, realized with an
0 tone, is likely to be understood by the student as an implicit cue to
mean that TY is withholding his assessment because the student’s
response is incorrect. The following mid termination (as opposed to a low
key confirmation) in conjunction with this hesitation marker, leave the
hearer with a sense of a lack of closure at the end of this exchange.
Yet the following mid key discourse marker 'SO ’ and high key
statement ’make solution’, indicate a new section of the discourse. This
choice of mid or high key termination continues for some time, thereby
producing this very long SC.
The interesting aspect of this exchange is that TY’s intonation
choices probably reflect the fact that the student response is wrong.
The second step should be a volatile test for potassium rather than a
solution test. Later in the SC, TY makes this point 'but before you
make solution you can do ammonium (volatile) test...j’ust between these
(the flame test and the solution test) you can do ammonium test simply
by adding sodium hydroxide’. However, by this point he has

127
compounded the difficulty by his discussion of how to do the solution
test directly following the flame test. In one sense then, the long SC
does in fact cover one topic in four subsections, i.e., (1) the second
step in the solution (2) the incorrect response which TY accepts (3)
discussion of the third step and (4) a return to the second step. The
end result however, is a long confused piece of discourse where the
mismatch in discourse cues reflects the mismatch in the overall
organization of the content. In addition, TY's intonation choices in the
teacher-student exchange clearly disconcert the student, possibly
contributing to problems in rapport building between the student and
TA.
There is an equivalent section in MK’s parallel presentation where
a student gives an incorrect response to MK's question about a step
they need to take later in the procedure. The exchange is shown in
Figure 5-7. MK’s response to the incorrect answer is both clear and
non-threatening. He also uses an initial 0 tone, which temporarily
withholds assessment and implicitly indicates a problem. This is then
confirmed in the following mid key referring unit directed toward the
student in which he validates some part of the response, 'and it will tell
us some things’, before he explains the problem. The exchange
continues until MK is given the correct response, which he affirms by
closing the exchange with a final low key proclaiming ’yeah’.
Discontinuities, such as those found in the example from XG’s
presentation shown above in Figure 5-6, were also a recurring pattern
in the NNS data. Linguistic repairs and disfluencies caused disturbance
in the prosodic structure at every level of the analysis. Figure 5-8

128
H
M //p what COULD we
L TRY// r+ any suGGEStions//
Student Response: pH
H
M //o p pH d- we'U HAVE to do that eVENtually but// r and it will
L
H
M TELL us some THINGS//P but it’s BEST to keep that//p OFF to the
L
H
M END cos we'll just adDRESS what//pp Everything should affect how
L
H
M //p p what aBOUT how would we TEST
L Everything should affect the ph//
H
M for NH FOUR specifically//
L
Student Response
H
M //r well if you reMEMber that didn’t WORK too well// p we had
L
H
M to do SOMEthing other than just HEAT it//
L
Student Response: Put hydroxide in it
H
M
L //p YEAH//
Figure 5-7. An Example of Matched Discourse Cues in an IRF Exchange
from MK’s Presentation.
shows consecutive SCs from KE's presentation. The first sequence chain
begins with a clear prospective marker, 'and the second step I think is

129
volatile test for NH4* followed by a single mid-low key unit, and closing
with a low key filler. The second SC begins with a high key and
attempted topic statement, 'use red red lis paper about the red crucial'.
On the basis of a later statement that appears in the third SC, 'don’t
use blue lisma paper use red lis paper’, this initial statement is
probably meant to read: "it is crucial that you use RED litmus paper
and not BLUE litmus paper". In fact, the second sequence chain closes
after four tone units with a low key hesitation marker and topic length
pausing. This typically indicates a boundary although KE returns to
the topic statement in the third SC.
It is important to note that this kind of reconstruction based on
later redrafting or repetition was only available to the analyst and not
to the listeners at the time of the original utterance. In the real-time
of these presentations, the hearer will rely on prosodic cues to make
sense of the discourse organi2ation at the moment of speaking. Miscues
in structuring devices will require the listener to make constant online
revisions regarding information structure. A parallel can be drawn
between the extra effort required on the part of the hearer to
reconstruct the overall structure of the discourse, and Chafe’s concept
of activation cost. In his discussion of sentence accent placement, Chafe
(1994) proposes that new (inactive) information will be accented by the
speaker in order to activate the referent in the listener’s mind. Given
(active) information will usually be unaccented as it is assumed to be

130
SEcond step i think is
////p p p and the volatile test for nh four
//P P you JUST use some SAMple and HEAT it in the
PLUS// [1.0] CRUcible//
RED m// [0.3]
//use the //p p RED lis PAper
[0.65] //o ME er// [0.7]
LOT of SMOKE comes//
about the RED CRUcial// [0.58] //p if you see a
LITmus PAper will//
[0.1] //p OUT// [0.88] //p the
//o ME er// [1.0]
[0.13] //p RED lit PAper// [0.3] //p p p DON’T
//p will TURN BLUE// [1.1]
use RED lis
BLUE lisma PAper use PAper//
Figure 5-8. Problematic Topic Statements and Sequence Chain Structure
from KE's Presentation.
7
currently active in the discourse. If the information state projected
by the speaker does not match the knowledge state of the hearer, e.g.,
if an inactive referent is Introduced in an unaccented form, the
activation cost for the hearer will be high, i.e„ the hearer will be
required to adjust her knowledge state retrospectively in the absence of
the expected cue from the speaker. The same concept of retrospective
adjustment applies here. Native speaker hearers must continually
7
Chafe’s full proposal includes a three-way distinction: active, semi¬
active and inactive. For the purposes of this comparison, only a
partial description is needed. See Chafe (1994) for a full discussion.

131
reassess the validity of cuing devices used by the TA, and
comprehensibility comes at a 'higher cost' to the listener.
The analysis of boundary marking and transaction structure given
above shows that there was no simple correlation between the NS and
NNS data sets, i.e., no features that consistently appeared in the NS
group were consistently lacking in the NNS group. Rather, due to the
variation in the NNS group, individual SCs were problematic for a
variety of reasons and interpretable SCs also appeared in the data set.
In total, using both the phonological and transaction based criteria
suggested in the analysis of the NS model, 15 of the 37 SCs (41%) in the
NNS group were considered to be interpretable for a native speaker
participant. These included the first SC of each of the six speakers
(which often consisted of no more than a brief introduction to the topic)
and the two complete math presentations which are discussed separately
below.
Both of the math presentations divided into 3 SCs respectively
and covered the same problem from the exponential growth/decay section
in the same way. The decay problem, finding the half life of radium,
requires the students to write up the formula, apply a decay constant
(rather than a growth constant in the NS parallel presentation) and then
solve for T using the natural log method they have used before. Both
BG and SM divide the problem into three stages which correlated with
the 3 SC structures as shown below:
Stage 1: Aj = A0 e when k = .00043
Stage 2: iAQ = A0 e 'kt

132
Stage 3: Natural log of both sides
Both TAs cue SC boundaries with a low termination followed by a
high key or a mid key marker. In two cases, there is an additional
plane change as the TA asks the students to give him the next step in
the problem. An example from each transcript is shown in Figure 5-9.
The example from SM’s extract shows the boundary between the
first and second SC. The first SC ends with a low key marker followed
by a topic length pause [1.25]. The second begins with the high key
statement of the next step immediately followed by a shift in discourse
plane as the TA asks a question to the students, 'find the half life of
radium what's that mean half life?’. The second example, from BG’s
extract, shows a similar plane change between the second and third
sequence chain, in addition to the low termination and high key start.
Both the TAs are following a logical sequence exactly as it is given in
the textbook, and have used this predetermined pattern to frame their
discourse organization. As noted earlier, however, pitch boundaries in
these two presentations are particularly weak, and the actual
differentiation between key choices was slight in comparison to other
TAs across both data sets. It is possible that these boundary cues are
less easily perceived by the hearer, who may rely rather on the non-
prosodic criteria such as plane changes and lexical content.
These presentations do suggest, however, that if an organizational
framework is in some way pre-imposed on the spoken discourse, overall
structuring may improve. This is supported to some extent by several
of the SC boundaries in KE’s transcript. KE was the only TA in the

133
(a)
H
M //p ZEro point four three T// [0.96]
L //p oK// [1.251
H HALF HALF
M ////p p find the LIFE of RAdium WHAT’s that mean
L
H
M
L LIFE//
(b)
H
M//p E to the POwer of//[0.47] //p NEgative//[0.85]//p point ZEro
L
H WHAT shall we
M ////P so DO//
L ZEro// [0.47] //p FOUR THREE T// [2.47]
Figure 5-9. Sequence Chain Boundaries Coextensive with Discourse
Plane Changes, a) SM; b) BG.
NNS sample who had prepared the chalkboard prior to his presentation.
The major steps the students needed to take were listed on the board,
and he referred to them during his presentation. The opening tone
units of three SCs (5-7) and the equivalent boardwork is shown below
on Table 5-4. As the table shows, these SC openings exemplify Barr’s
original criteria in that they coincide with divisions in the prepared
visual material. It is possible to speculate that had KE also written up
some of the administrative details he covered at the beginning of his
presentation, he may have avoided the initial SC structures discussed
earlier and shown in Figure 5-5.
It is important to note, however, that in aU three of these
presentations (SM, BG and KE) these "outside" organizational resources

134
Table 5-4. Visual Cues for SC Structure in KE’s Presentation
OPENING TU(s) OF 3 SEQUENCE
CHAINS
BOARDWORK
////you get TWO SAMple it’s a
solid// the FIRST STEP you do
is FLAME TEST
Flame Test Orange
////and the SEcond step i think
is Volatile test for nh4+//
Volatile Test
////use the RED// RED lis PAper
Red litmus Paper
only appeared to improve sequence chain structuring, and in KE’s case,
only to a limited degree. All three TAs exhibited a number of problems
at other levels of prosodic organization, such as pitch sequence
structure and tone choice, and KE's considerable disfluencies at SC
openings (see Figure 5-8) lessened the effectiveness of these visual
cues.
Summary of Sequence Chain Structure
The analysis of SC structure in the NNS data set revealed a
number of difficulties interpreting this level of prosodic structure.
Although intonational cues appeared throughout the data and were
largely similar to those found in the NS presentations (e.g., prospective
or retrospective markers accompanied by the appropriate choice of key),
they frequently did not match the organizational cues at other levels of
the discourse and therefore, did not indicate points of maximal
disjunction. This applied particularly to the relationships between SC
and transaction boundaries which often were confused by unintelligible
topic statements or a lack of topic development. When both problematic
SC and transaction boundaries were taken into consideration, fewer than

135
half of the sequence chains found in the data matched those found in
the NS data. In addition, high and low key marking in the majority of
the presentations were phonetically less distinct due to a narrower
overall pitch range, and pause boundaries were less effective
organizational cues in light of the amount of "empty" pauses that
appeared throughout the data. There was some evidence to suggest
that if an outside structure was imposed on the content, e.g., prepared
visuals, this did assist the overall organization of the text; however,
difficulties encountered in verbalizing this organization remained. In
summary, although many of the prosodic cues found in the NS model
were also evident in the NNS data, they did not consistently cue
phonological paragraphs that would assist the native speaker hearer in
their comprehension of the discourse message.
Pitch Sequences and Discourse Markers
This section is divided into two parts. The first part will focus
on the use of pitch sequence (PS) structuring the NNS data, and the
effect of tone unit structure on these sequences. The second part
examines the use of discourse markers by these speakers, particularly
the rising solidarity markers found in the NS model.
Pitch Sequences
Pitch sequences (PS) consist of a group of tone units bounded by
low termination choices. In the NS model, this level of structure was
used within SCs to distinguish main (informative) content from
subsidiary material such as glosses or asides, or to divide the topic of a
transaction into smaller subtopics. Pitch sequence patterning reflected
the speakers’ use of key to distinguish contrastive or ’particularized’

136
statements (high key) from additive (mid key) or equative (low key)
material.
In the analysis of the NNS group, the number of pitch sequences
per sequence chain varied between 1-15 PSs per SC. This is within the
range of the NS model (1-12 PSs per SC) where it reflected a wide
variety of possible subsidiary content, from short paradiscourse-related
asides, to much longer recapitulations or exemplification. In the NNS
data, however, pitch sequence boundary cues did not necessarily
indicate a principled grouping of tone units along the lines described
above. In some cases, prosodic disturbance due to linguistic repairs or
disfluencies made an overall pattern difficult to establish; and in others,
there appeared to be no apparent motivation for PS closure by the
standards established in the NS data. In the case of one TA (KE), this
level of structure was virtually non-existent, as only one of eleven SCs
in the presentation contained any type of pitch sequencing. In the
discussion below, I will use parallel extracts from the NS and NNS data
sets to exemplify two issues: first, differences between the two groups
in the use of PS cues; and second, the relationship between this
prosodic unit and other levels of discourse organization, such as content
structuring and the paradiscourse subtext.
Figure 5-10 shows part of the parallel opening sections from MK
NS) and KE’s (NNS) presentations (shown completely in Figure 4-9 and
Figure 5-3). Both TAs have a similar objective, which is to suggest the
best method for the students to use to complete the unknown analysis
scheme. MK’s extract consists of two PSs, an initial high key unit to
open the presentation and invite the students up to the board, followed

137
by a mid key additive unit which functions as a kind of 'gloss’ or
comment on the previous unit, 'it’s a great time to see if you like It’.
The parallel extract from KE’s presentation is characterized by a
consistent return to a high key, which creates SC rather than PS
structures. The highlighted units in this extract, 'this my suggestion for
the unknown test, I think it will save you time' together form a similar
kind of comment structure to that shown in MK’s extract. However, the
conjunction between the units themselves, and between this comment and
the surrounding discourse is obscured by initial high key choices. The
high-mid pattern shown in this extract characterizes much of KE’s
presentation, effectively excluding a pitch sequence structure and
creating a series of short SCs. As SC boundaries and high key choices
cue points of maximal disjunction, prosodic cues frequently do not match
the content structure or non-prosodic cues available to the hearer, and
may negate the effectiveness of high key choices where they are used
appropriately to indicate material that is contrasted or somehow
particularized.
Figure 5-11 shows a similar comparison using roughly equivalent
extracts from KN (NS) and XG’s (NNS) presentations, which describe the
overall objective of the physics lab. KN begins with a high key lexical
marker, 'basically what you guys are gonna be doing...’ followed by a
series of mid key units describing the procedures which end in a low
termination and close the first PS. The low key confirmation marker 'ok'
marks a second PS boundary and the final PS consists of a typical mid-
low key recapitulation or retrospective marker, 'so that's the basic gist
of the lab’. Throughout this extract, KN’s key choices reflect content

138
based relationships between tone units and are reliable cues to
information structure. In contrast, XG’s extract shows evidence of a
similar kind of structuring, but this is complicated by a number of low
terminations and truncated tone units. The first PS begins with a high
key topic statement,'the physics principle is quite easy’, followed by a
mid-low key repetition which closes the unit. The second PS begins
appropriately in a mid key and restates the physics principle in less
technical language. This closes with a low key discourse marker 'SO'
which is immediately followed by what can be interpreted as a third
statement uniting the information in the first two PSs. This final
section, however, is fractured by a series of alternating mid and low
terminations and disfluencies that break up the content into a series of
short PSs for the listener, 'torque one is/// so you just try to,
calculate torque one/// and calculate torque two and uh make them
equal and you can find some/// measure some variables/// based on
this’. The prosodic structure of this final section in conjunction with
the lack of any kind of pause boundary between the second and third
PS boundaries, makes this three-part content structuring very difficult
for the hearer to establish. The "empty silences" found in the NNS data
and discussed in the sequence chain analysis, also interfered with
internal PS structure. As with the NS data, pauses related to the
paradiscourse subtext appeared throughout the NNS presentations;
however, these were interspersed with both topic length and sentence
length empty pauses (0.6-1.0 second) within PSs. Two examples are

139
(a)
H K em// [0.88] //p r beGIN about
M //p o toDAY i’m just gonna go over our
L
H
M unknown aNAlysis SCHEME// [0.14] //p cos it’ll BENefit anybody
L
M going to need to be WORKing on it//[0.07]//p p so if you wanna
L
M ROUND i’m gonna do it up here on the //p p if you HAVE
L BOARD// [1.17]
M ONE it’s a great time to check to see if you
L LIKE it// [2.42]
(b)
H ////p er toDAY we MAKE have TWO
M SAMple// [0.09] //p for your
L unKNOWN
H
M
L TEST// [0.94]
////THIS a all
STUFF is a// [0.09] //p o p we have
M LEARNED from aSSIGNment ONE and aSSIGNment TWO//[Q.571//p r+
L
H my sugGEStion for
M THIS unKNOWN// [0.28] //p TEST// [0.57] //p uh i
L
H THINK itss it will
M SAVE you
L TIME// [0.94]
////p p uh FIRST you WILL...
Figure 5-10. A Comparison of Pitch Sequence Structure in NS and NNS
ParaUel Chemistry Presentations, a) MK; b) KE.
shown in Figure 5-12. In the first example, from JA's presentation, the
highlighted pauses indicate breaks which coincide with equipment

140
handling or writing on the board. The first mid key PS contains a [1.2]
second pause as JA draws a line on top of the jar he has drawn on the
board, 'then you [1.2] close the cap’, and the following low key unit
consists only of the repetition, 'close the cap'. In the third PS,
however, two topic length pauses which sire neither administrative or
strategic, break up the internal structure of the unit: 'and watch [1.8]
watch the advance of the solvent; when the solvent’s [0.9] reached
here’. The example from TY’s presentation does not coincide with any
paradiscourse activity, but is characterized by frequent pauses of
varying lengths which then create a series of minimal or truncated tone
units constituting the only unit of prosodic organization.
Analysis of the NS model showed that effective pitch sequence
structuring relied on the principled use of the three key choices
available to the speaker, and particularly, the specific combinations of
key and termination choices within tone units, e.g„ a high-mid, mid-mid
or mid-low pattern. Although this kind of patterning could be
established in the NNS data, key and termination choices were more
often determined by other factors. In some cases, reconstruction
suggested that linguistic coding problems or some kind of habitual
pattern (such as KE’s consistent returns to a high key) prompted these
choices; however, in others it was less clear whether outside factors
actually motivated or only exacerbated problems with key choice. This
was particularly true of the two math presentations (BG and SM) which
centered exclusively on the TAs work on the board. Both adopt what

141
(a)
H //p p BAsically what you guys are gonna be DOing is you're gonna
M
L
H have this
M MEter STICK// r p and you’re gonna FIND the center of
L
H HANG it//
M MASS and you're gonna //p p from the KNIFE EDGE by the
L
H
M CENter of MASS// p and then you’re gonna be ADDing MASses//
L
H
M //p to EACH SIDE of it// p at DIFferent distances aWAY//
L
H
M //p and you’re BAsically gonna SHOW that// p p p the SUM
L
H
M of the TORQUES is equal to ZEro and that’s when it
L BAlances///
H
M ///p so that’s the BAsic gist of the
L ///r OK/// LAB///
(b)
H //p p the PHYsics PRINciple is
M QUITE EAsy it’s JUST the
L
H
M ler// [0.63] //o p the TORQUE ONE Equal TORQUE TWO//
L
H
M [0.82] //p p PHYsics PRINciple just
L TORQUE ONE Equal
Figure 5-11. A Comparison of Pitch Sequence Structure in NS and NNS
Parallel Physics Presentations, a) KN; b) XG.

142
H
M //o in Other words it MEANS the// [0.38]
L torque TWO// [0.38]
H COUNter
M //p the CLOCKwise// [0.34] //p should Equal the CLOCKwise
L
H
M TORQUE// [0.77] //p+ WHEN// [0.04] //p o the MEter stick is in
L
H
M BAlance TORQUE one is// [0.8] //so you JUST try to//
L SO///
H
M [0.18] //o p p o CALculate torque
L ONE/// and CALculate torque
H
M TWO and er MAKE then Equal and you can
L FIND SOME/// [0.14]
H
M ///p p MEAsure some
L Variables BASED on THIS//
Figure 5-11, continued.
Rounds (1987) describes as a "talking-textbook" style of problem solving
frequently found in math discussion classes given by NNS TAs. There is
minimal framing and elaboration, and the TAs simply say what they are
writing on the board. This particular style of presentation also
appeared to largely dictate choices of key and termination. In the two-
minute presentations, there were only two examples of high key in SM's
presentation, both appearing at SC boundaries, and only four in BG’s
extract. Prosodic structure was largely made up of a series of phrasal
units exhibiting either mid-mid or mid-low key and termination choices
which were "coUected" into SC structures rather than pitch sequences.

143
Figure 5-13 shows the opening section of BG's presentation. In
the first stage of the presentation, BG checks the problem in the
textbook and writes it on the board. After an initial template type
structure, 'for number three the formula is...’, breaks between tone
units are dictated by the speed at which the material is written on the
board. This creates a series of minimal tone units made up of only key
or key and termination choices with no proclitic or enclitic material. As
BG reaches a break in the boardwork, he drops to a low termination,
creating a number of short PS structures. The second stage begins
with the mid key unit, 'and we want to solve for T’ and this is again
followed by a series of short units alternating between mid and low
termination choices. These key choices produce an undifferentiated
prosodic structure which is compounded by the large number of
prominent constituents. There is little evidence in either presentation
of a structured prosodic unit below the sequence chain. Extended tone
units are rare, and low termination choices mark the boundaries of
phrasal units as opposed to PSs. In conjunction with the relatively
narrow pitch range exhibited by both TAs, these features provide the
native speaker hearer with few prosodic structuring devices beyond the
SC boundary marking discussed in the previous section.
The two math presentations offer a particular insight into the
connection between content and prosody in comparison to the parallel NS
extract. Both Rounds (1987) and Byrd & Constantinedes (1990) report
that the most important characteristic shared by less successful NNS
TAs in math discussion classes is that classroom talk is limited to a
"minimal narration of the problem". In contrast, successful NS TAs

144
(a)
H
M //THEN you// [1.2] //r+ p CLOSE the CAP THAT’S very ImPORtant//
L
H
M ///r+ and
L [0.78] //p OK/// [0.3] ///p CLOSE the CAP/// [0.56]
H
M WATCH// [1.8] //p WATCH th- the adVANCE of the SOLvent// [0.54]
L
H
M //p when the SOLvent's// [0.9] //o REACHED HERE// [0.65]
L
H ImMEdiately take
M //p you THIS plate
L OUT//
(b)
H //p so Mixture// [0.23] //p ONly// [0.33] //o when THERE is
M
L
H NO// [0.65] //p SOdium// [0.1]
M //o you CM er// [0.1] //p CHECK
L
H
M OUT er// [0.09] //o poTAssium ion// [0.09] //p o SIMply by FLAME
L
H //p if THIS test is Positive for// [0.43]
M TEST but// [0.43]
L
H //p SOdium ion// [0.06]
M //o you NEED// [0.53] //o UH// [0.09]
L
H
M you you CAN’T er// [0.09] //GET// [0.06] //p er poTAssium//
L
Figure 5-12. Examples of the Typical "Empty Silences" Found in the NNS
Presentations, a) JA; b) TY.

145
tended to incorporate a range of additional material into the problem
solving, such as hints on general problem-solving strategies, connections
to other homework problems, or to the outside world. In the data
analyzed here, this combination of various kinds of content in the NS
presentation also coincided with a more varied prosodic structure that
distinguished it from the two NNS extracts. The NS math presentation
(given by BL) is discussed in detail in Chapter 4; however, one section
is repeated here for the purposes of comparison. Figure 5-14 shows the
two sequence chains immediately following the opening topic
announcement. The three variables in the problem, 'P is the amount you
have to start with’, 'A is the amount you end up with’ and 'R's what’s
called, it’s a growth constant’ are introduced with a high key and
exemplified in a series of mid key additive units such as, 'whatever, it
could be money, maybe it's growing’ which connect the variables in the
problem to the outside world. In the case of the constant value R, BL
indicates that this can be positive or negative using a contrastive high
key choice followed by a number of examples given in a lower key, 'if R
is positive the thing’s getting bigger’; 'if R is negative the stuff is
getting smaller’ thus connecting this exponential growth problem to
others in the growth and decay section. This kind of framing and
elaboration is entirely absent from SM and BG’s presentations; therefore,
it is not simply a lack of prosodic structuring which separates the two
groups, but the omission of a ’layer’ of discourse organization which in
turn has additional ramifications for both the prosody and content.
Both SM and BG fall into a category Bailey (1984) describes as
"mechanical problem solvers". One characteristic of this group is an

146
H FORmula
M ////p oK// [0.42] //p o for NUMber THREE the IS// [0.42]
L
H
M //p A of T// [1.0] //o is Equal //p A NOUGHT// [2.0] //E to
L TO// [0.47]
H
M the //o NEgative// [0.9] //o POINT// [0.47] //o ZEro
L POwer of// [0.75]
H
M ZEro //p p and we WANT TO um
L ZEro// [1.0] //p o FOUR THREE I// [3.0]
H
M SOLVE I// [0.44] //p solve T for //p so WE HAVE//
L HALF LIFE// [0.9]
H
M [1.24] //p A T// [0.94] //p is Equal //p HALF//
L //o UM// [0.5] TO// [1.4]
H
M [0.04] //p A
L NOUGHT//
Figure 5-13. Examples of Minimal Tone Units and Consistent Mid and Low
Key Choices from BG's Presentation.
overall passive teaching style which includes "little or no difference"
between the volume and pitch used throughout the presentations
regardless of whether the TA is writing on the board or talking to the
students (p. 114). This is consistent with the narrow pitch range found
in both these presentations, and in addition to effects on volume and
pitch, this data suggests that the identification of units of prosodic
structure below the level of SCs are also adversely affected by this
style of presentation.

147
In summary, this analysis showed that clear pitch sequence
structuring in the NNS data was difficult to establish from the
perspective of a native speaker listener. In addition, the amount of
prosodic disturbance at this level of organization made any patterns
difficult to interpret. Pitch sequences and tone units were less
comparable than SC structures to those found in the NS data, and in
the case of one TA (KE), this unit of prosodic organization was
essentially missing. There was some evidence to suggest that individual
speakers preferred certain key choices, e.g., a frequent high-mid
pattern (KE) or a mid-low pattern (BG, SM) which then precluded
effective use of key choice; however, this may also have been the result
of interference from the paradiscourse subtext, particularly in the math
presentations.
Discourse Markers
The analysis of discourse markers such as SO, NOW and OK in the
NS data demonstrated that lexically equivalent but prosodically distinct
markers were used by the NS TAs to perform a variety of functions.
Markers operated as framing devices, particularly at SC/PS boundaries;
as dummy low tone choices to end PSs; and when used with a rising
tone, as solidarity markers acknowledging the students’ mutual
participation in the discourse.
Discourse markers were found throughout the NNS data set;
however, there were considerably fewer markers overall and the range
of functions they performed, particularly solidarity marking, was more
limited. Four lexical markers appeared across the data set, RIGHT, SO,

148
H //p p P is the
M //p this is Exponential ////P oK//
L GROWTH////
H
M aMOUNT you have to START ////r+ oK// p r+ WHATever it COULD
L WITH//
H
M be MOney//r MAYbe it's GROWing//r+p r r+ p r+ you have INterest
L
H A is the
M or it COULD be bacTEria maybe they’re Doubling or whatEVER
L
H aMOUNT you end ////P and R’s what’s
M UP WITH//
L //r oK// r END aMOUNT//
H
M CALLED// p it’s a GROWTH ///r if r’s Positive the THING’S
L CONstant///
H BIGger//
M getting //r you’re getting MORE MOney// r+ RIGHT//
L //you WANT//
H
M
L//rr+ you WANT THAT///you want your money to GROW in a BANK///
H
M NEgative
L///pppp you’re getting more bacTEria/// whatever if R is
H
M the STUFF is getting SMALIer it’s deCAYing you have
L THINGS like//
H
M
L //p radioACtive THINGS// r oK//
Figure 5-14. An Example of the Interaction between Matched Content and
Prosodic Structure from BL's Presentation.

149
Q
NOW and OK. This produced a total of 37 discourse markers in the
NNS group compared to the 63 in the NS group. The prosodic
composition of both these sets of markers are compared in Table 5-5
below.
Two important differences between the NS and NNS groups
emerged from this comparison. First, looking only at the 0 and P
markers, the combined total of these two groups is similar across the
data sets: 37 in the NS data set, and 29 in the NNS data. These
markers also appeared at SC and PS boundaries. In some cases,
however, the lexical content of the marker was the primary
Table 5-5. Prosodic Composition of Discourse Markers in the NS and NNS
Data
TONE
CHOICE
P
TONES
0
TONES
R
TONES
SPEAKER
NS
NNS
NS
NNS
NS
NNS
HIGH
KEY
4
MID KEY
20
8
3
7
10
7
LOW KEY
7
8
3
6
16
1
TOTAL
31
16
6
13
26
8
% OF
TOTAL H
49
43
10
36
41
21
boundary cue as its phonological shape, or the key and termination
choices surrounding it were difficult to interpret (see for example, the
There was also one //r+ YEAH// token (in BG's extract) which
functioned in the same manner as a //r+ RIGHT// marker.

150
discussion of TY's final SC in Chapter 5). There are also qualitative
differences between the 0 and P markers in the NNS set compared to
the NS set that reduce the overall effectiveness of this group. There
are no high key frames in this group, and 45% of the markers appear in
an 0 tone as compared to only 16% of the markers in the NS group.
The reader will recall from the discussion of orientation in Chapter 4
that the use of an 0 tone indicates a withdrawal from the context of
interaction on the part of the speaker. The 0 tone is the preferred
choice for filled pauses and hesitation markers in the NS group of
speakers, as it projects the item outside of the directly oriented tonal
structure constructed for the benefit of the hearer. Consequently,
where discourse markers are used to mark boundaries for the hearer, in
the majority of cases, the NS TAs use a falling or 'proclaiming’ tone to
assert the organizational break for the hearer. The more equal division
between 0 and P tones in the NNS data contributes to the overall lack
of clarity in boundary marking for a native speaker hearer discussed in
the previous two sections of this analysis.
Low key 0 and P markers were also used by the NS speakers as
dummy low key choices to complete PS units. Across the NNS data set,
there were five occasions where the reconstruction suggested that NNS
TAs were also using discourse markers to perform this function (see for
example. Figure 5-11 where XG inserts a low key 'SO' between the
second and third statement). However, the effectiveness of low key
markers was compromised in several presentations (KE, TY and XG
particularly) by the number of prominent low key hesitation markers

151
found in the NNS data which interfered with PS structure (see, for
q
example, Figures 5-4 and 5-8).
The second crucial difference between the two data sets, shown in
Table 5-5, is the paucity of rising solidarity markers in the NNS data
set. It is this difference that causes the overall drop in the total
number of markers between the two groups of speakers. In the
analysis of the NS data, it was suggested that TAs used these markers
to seek confirmation that the teacher and students had negotiated a
common ground, i.e. that the speaker is right in assuming the hearer
can interpret the discourse message. It was further suggested that this
technique had a rapport-building function, creating solidarity between
teacher and students by acknowledging their mutual participation in the
discourse. The eight rising discourse markers found in the NNS data
were used in a similar manner to those found in the NS data. One of
the markers coincided with a SC boundary followed by a [1.26] second
pause in which the ITA scanned the audience. In six other cases, the
TA made direct eye contact with the students, although the following
pauses (between [0.22] and [0.7]) were not long enough for the students
to respond. This was also a characteristic of a number of the markers
found in the NS data, and it was suggested that these continued to
perform the same rapport building function by acknowledging the
importance of student comprehension.
The crucial issue is the overall paucity of these markers across
the NNS data set, particularly as the eight markers were distributed
q
Only one TA in the NS group (LE) had an individual tendency to use
a prominent //AND/// in either mid or low key as a hesitation marker, and
these appear without an additional prominent //UH// filler.

152
among only three of the speakers (JA, TY and BG). A recurring theme
In much of the ITA literature is the perceptible 'distance' between IT As
and their students. Researchers have suggested a number of ways in
which this can be decreased, and a perception of solidarity with
students can be increased. Techniques based on NS models include the
use of inclusive pronouns to refer to teacher and students and more
direct eye contact (Rounds, 1987; Bailey, 1984). As shown in the
analysis given above, rising solidarity markers were rarely exploited by
the ITAs in this data set to build rapport with their students. This
previously overlooked prosodic feature may be another characteristic of
NS teaching discourse that NNS TAs lack, and which may contribute to a
perception of increased distance between the TAs and their students.
Summary of Pitch Sequences and Discourse Markers
In summary, the analysis shows that this level of prosodic
organization was difficult to establish in the NNS TA data in comparison
to the NS model. The NNS group did not consistently use high, mid and
low key choices to distinguish between main and subsidiary content or
to mark pitch sequence boundaries containing related tone units. Low
termination choices, which typically indicate PS closure, often appeared
unmotivated in light of the criteria established in the NS data or were
the result of prosodic disturbance due to linguistic coding problems. As
a result, from the perspective of NS listeners, pitch sequence patterning
was difficult to interpret. Taken In conjunction with the findings
regarding sequence chain structuring, this shows that phonological
paragraphing was considerably weaker in the NNS presentations than in
the parallel NS group. Regarding discourse markers, while the NNS TAs

153
did use markers at SC and PS boundaries, they were fewer in number
and less powerful in their phonological shape. This applied particularly
to the R tone solidarity markers found in the NS data which were used
to build rapport between the teacher and students. Only three of the
six NNS TAs used these markers, and then, only infrequently. It is
suggested that this limited use will contribute to a 'distancing' effect
between the TA and students in the same way that other researchers
have proposed for some lexical and paralinguistic features.
Tone choice and Orientation
This final section of the analysis will investigate tone choices
made in the data. The system of tone choice is used to project speaker
orientation. In direct discourse, i.e., discourse oriented toward the
hearer, speakers negotiate a presumed area of convergence using R and
P tones. These choices realize both an information function (adding new
information or marking information assumed to be known) and a social
function in building rapport between the participants in the discourse.
This division is approximate, as the use of R tones to project material as
accessible incorporates both the functions of "reminding" or
"confirming", and the notion of simultaneously projecting a context of
shared situation or a community aspect in the classroom. Oblique
orientation is characterized by a combination of 0 and P tones and
indicates that the speaker is temporarily oriented away from the hearer
and toward the language sample. This part of the NNS analysis is
divided into two sections. The first part focuses on direct orientation
and the use of R and P tones, and the second will discuss the use of O
tones and evidence of an oblique orientation. In line with the NS data

154
set, each of the NNS prelab presentations contained a lower limit of 100
tone units. The two NNS math presentations contained a lower limit of
50 tone units and tone choices were then doubled for the purposes of
describing the percentage of tone choices across the data set.
Direct Orientation: R and P tones
The table shown below summarizes the percentage of R. P and 0
tone choices made in the first 100 TUs of each NS and NNS presentation.
The table is organized by the number of R choices in each NS
presentation and grouped so that parallel presentations appear next to
each other.
Table 5-6. Percentages of tone choices in parallel NS and NNS
Presentations
SUB
MAT
CHEM
PHYS
CHEM
E.E
D.S
NS
! NNS
NS
! NNS
NS
! NNS
NS
! NNS
NS
TA
BL
! SM
BG
MK
â– kH
TY
LE
KN
! XG
SN
! JA
BD
% R
34
¡4
6
31
i6
10
29
17
! 8
14
! 19
13
% P
62
1 82
68
58
¡ 85
68
43
66
! 67
72
leu
75
% 0
4
lil
26
12
i
! 9
22
28
17
14
i
! 13
12
SOB = subject; D.S = Data Set; MAT = Hath; CHBt = Chealstry; PBY = physics; E.E. = Electrical Engineering
Looking first at the directly oriented tones, the most common
choice in both data sets is clearly a P tone. In all but one presentation
(LE), P tones make up well over half of the total tone choices in any
given presentation. As was noted in the previous chapter, this is a
typical characteristic of classroom discourse which is inevitably largely
involved in asserting or 'proclaiming' new information. As shown on the
table, the crucial difference between the two data sets is a considerable
drop in the use of R tones in the NNS group (note that the highest

155
number of R tones in the NNS data set (19%) is in the range of the
lowest number in the NS set (13%)). This was confirmed by a T test
which showed a significant difference (p < .05) between the number of R
tones in the two groups (NS: M = 23, SD = 9.36; NNS: M = 8.83, SD =
5.38).
The reader will recall that the use of R tones in the NS data set.
particularly for information functions, separated the six presentations
into two groups. The first group (BL, LE, and MK) containing the
highest number of R tones, covered material that was accessible to the
students, i.e., information that had been covered in earlier labs or for
homework. The second group, on the other hand, (KE, SN, and BD) were
covering new experimental procedures and contained less information
that could be assumed to be known. In these presentations, the
information function of R tones was largely used to refer to items that
were outside the direct context of the interaction, but were assumed to
be common knowledge, or that were currently 'in play' in the discourse,
i.e., being introduced on the blackboard or in a demonstration.
No such division was found between the presentations in the NNS
data set. Rather, in the parallel presentations to the first NS group (SM,
BG - parallel to BL; KE, TY - parallel to MK),1® R choices are virtually
omitted from the tonal system altogether. In particular, there is no use
of the information function of R tones to project material as accessible
to the students. However, in three of these four presentations (TY, SM,
18 XG was not considered directly parallel to LE in this particular
respect as LE is specifically going over the prelab report the students
have already completed, while XG is reviewing the lab the students are
about to begin, which parallels KN.

156
and BG), the TAs do assume a greater area of convergence but exploit
the students' knowledge by substituting an alternative questioning
strategy. Both SM and BG ask the students at one point to tell them
what the next stage in the solution should be, 'so what shall we do?';
'what we do next?’, and TY includes a number of questions designed to
elicit information the students should be able to recall, 'What’s the first
step you wanna take?’; 'What ion can you check out simply by flame
test?’. Therefore, in these three presentations, there was no simple
correlation between a lack of R tones and a lack of recognition on the
part of the TA that at least some of the material should be accessible to
the students. However, the analysis of the complete NNS data set also
showed that with only one exception, R tones were never used to
perform this information function.
The exception to this pattern was found in JA's (NNS) extract and
is shown in Figure 5-15 along with the parallel section from SN's (NS)
presentation. Both TAs are discussing the micro capillary tubes the
students will need to use to 'spot' their samples on the silica TLC
plates. As the students should use only a very small amount of the
sample, they must first melt the micro capillaries in a flame and then
pull them out to create a very fine point. From SN’s brief review, it is
clear from the content and the use of an R+ tone in the final tone unit
that the students have already done a similar procedure in a previous
lab, 'what you do is you take an open ended capillary and you pull it
out exactly like making a bore pipette, one of those real capillary bore
pipettes.’ The equivalent structure in JA's presentation is much less
clear in terms of content, and the "reminding" function is expressed

157
through the R+ tone and the use of the rising marker rather than any
explicitly worded statement, 'but here is too wide, you’d better to make
the thin, make the thinner, ok’. In fact, although the reconstruction of
JA’s probable intention is supported by his final appeal to the hearers,
it is far from clear and was only noted after I had reviewed SN’s
parallel presentation. In the NNS data, the only other use of R tones
for an information function was for items that were currently 'in play’
in the discourse. This applied particularly to JA’s extract, where It
accounted for his remaining R tone choices. An example is shown in
Figure 5-16 where the three R tone choices coincide with a diagram JA
is simultaneously drawing on the board.
The social function of R tone choices is most clearly seen in the
use of rising solidarity markers which directly acknowledge the
participation of the hearer. As was noted in the previous section, these
markers were used by the NNS TAs; however, there were feu- fewer
tokens across the data set (8 in the NNS data compared to 26 in the NS
data), and three TAs (SM, XG, and KE) used no rising markers. As
these TAs also exhibited the fewest number of R tones, the three
presentations contained no obvious negotiation moves toward the native
speaker hearers. The few remaining R tone choices in the NNS data
appeared in IRF exchanges between the TAs and students in typical
question intonation patterns, 'Do you have any idea?’ (XG); 'Does anyone
else have any idea?’ (TY); 'So you mean here you want to prepare
solution now?’ (TY), (see also Figure 5-6 and accompanying discussion of
TY's problematic rising tone choices in this exchange).

158
In summary, R tones were used infrequently by the NNS TAs.
Where there was evidence of NNS TAs projecting information or social
functions through the use of R tones, these were isolated occurrences
scattered across the data rather than consistent patterns of use.
Analysis of individual R tone choices suggested that some TAs had
acquired some of the information and social functions shown in the NS
model, such as the use of R tones to refer to items that are currently
in play in the discourse or for solidarity marking. However, this
applied to individual speakers rather than the group as a whole, and
this is reflected in the different percentages of R tones in each
presentation shown on Table 5.6.
The results of this analysis are in basic agreement with an
investigation of NNS data and R/P tone choice conducted by Hewings
(1995). In the Hewings study, a group of NSs and advanced NNSs from
Korea, Greece and Indonesia recorded a scripted dialogue which was
then transcribed for direct tone choices using Brazil’s framework.11
The results show that while the NNS group used rising tones to indicate
referents that had recently been introduced into the discourse, R tones
were not used for any of the social functions demonstrated by the NS
group. For example, in places where NS informants used R tones to
express contradiction or to withhold agreement in order to mitigate their
disagreement, NNSs consistently used proclaiming tones. Hewings
suggests that whUe NNS speakers appear to be largely familiar with the
information function of R tones, the "exploitation of the Rising/Falling
11 The NNS group were international postgraduate students studying
in Britain and appear to be a roughly equivalent group to the international
graduate students studied here.

159
(a)
H ////p P so NOW that you've NEXT thing you wanna
M DRAWN this the
L
H
M DO// is you wanna GET// p little Micro CApillaries//
L //r alRIGHT //
H
M//pi’ll SHOW you how to make those LAter what you DO is you TAKE
L
H
M a// p Open ended CApillary// p and you PULL it OUT// p exACTly
L
H
M like making a BORE piPETTE one of those real// r+ CApilliary bore
L
H
M PÍPETTES//P it’s the SAME THING it's a little EAsier and OUICker//
L
(b)
H ////THEN take a//p CApillary// p it SHOULD like of
M THIS//
L
H
M //p but HERE is TOO //r+ you'd BETter to make the
L WIDE//
H
M THIN// p MAKE the THINner// r+ oK//
L
Figure 5-15. An Example of the Use of R Tones for a Reminding Function
in ParaUel NS and NNS Presentations, a) SN; b) JA
opposition for socially integrative purposes is rarely found in the NNS
readings" (p. 262). Although the data used by Hewings are quite
different from the teaching presentations shown here, the results of the

160
H
M //r+ you put in INto the JAR// [1.0] //r+ this is BOTtle// [1.7] //p
L
H
M THIS your //r HERE your STARting LINE//
L PLATE// [0.9]
Figure 5-16. The Use of R Tones to Refer to Items "In Play" in the
Discourse from JA’s Presentation.
two analyses support a general finding that NNSs may not typically
produce sociaUy oriented tone choices in English.
Use of O tones and Oblique Orientation
Returning to the percentages of tone choices given in Table 5-6,
the numbers of 0 tones in individual presentations show some variation
(from 7 in SM to 25 in XG). This was also the case with the NS group:
however, as there were significantly fewer R choices by the NNS TAs,
this resulted in a higher number of overaU O/P combinations across the
NNS group, and in all the parallel presentations (with the one exception
of JA and SN where they were roughly equal, see discussion below).
The crucial difference between the use of 0 tones by the two
groups emerges from a qualitative analysis of where these tones appear.
Rather than the isolated occurrences of 0 tones found in the NS data,
choices in the NNS data created long passages of oblique orientation in
the NNS teaching discourse. The reader will recall that 0 tone choices
place the material outside the direct context of interaction and indicate
a temporary withdrawal from negotiation with the hearer(s). Analysis of
the NS data in the previous chapter showed isolated uses of the 0 tone
at points in the discourse anticipated by the model, such as momentary

161
changes in orientation while the TA is working with equipment or for
certain structures common in teaching discourse, such as listing or use
of the template technique. In contrast, in the NNS data, entire passages
of informative, content based discourse were presented with an oblique
12
orientation, i.e., with a combination of 0 and P tones. An example is
shown in Figure 5-17 from JA’s presentation. In the first unit in JA’s
presentation, the initial r+ tone, 'this the TLC is used as JA holds up a
TLC plate for the students and is an example of the use of a rising tone
for an item currently in play in the discourse. In the remainder of this
extract, JA begins instructing the students on the procedures they will
follow, including a warning that they must remember to use a pencil
rather than a pen to mark lines on their TLC plate. This entire section
is comprised of 0 and P tones, and the tonal structure shows typical
features of an oblique orientation, such as the use of 0 tones at points
of potential completion and P tones at actual completion points. For
example, in the opening statement, 'the first thing you have to do in
this experiment is to mark a starting line on this plate’, the natural
break is marked with an 0 tone at 'experiment' and completed with a P
tone 'on this plate’. However, it is also clear that tonal structure is not
consistently guided by even this principle, as the final clause is divided
into two separate units with proclaiming tones '//p mark a starting
LINE// //p on this PLATE//’.
12
This was particularly true of SM and BG’s math presentations.
Therefore, when listeners complained that there was no variation in their
speech, it is Ukely that this was a result of tone choice as well as a
narrower pitch range.

162
H FIRST
M //r* THIS the TIC// [0.42] //p the THING// [0.25] //o you HAVE
L
H
M to DO// [0.09] //o in THIS exPEriment//[0.37] //is to MARK about//
L
H STARting
M //mar-// [0.6] // MARK// [0.28] //p a LINE// [0.47] //p on
L
H
M //p USE your PENcil// [0.04] //DON’T use your// [0.14]
L PLATE// [0.7]
H
M //o p PEN or BALLpoint WORK// [0.52]
L PEN// [0.33] //p that won’t
H
M //beCAUSE// [0.33] //p THAT contain some orGAnic COMpound//
L
H
M //p that wHl GET some MEssy//[0.8]//o because the you will SEE//
L
H
M [0.09] //p the BLUE COlor will ALso move
L UP//
Figure 5-17. An Example of Informative Discourse Presented with an
Oblique Orientation from JA’s Presentation.
Prosodic organization is clearly affected by linguistic coding
problems throughout this extract, (e.g. // MARK about// //mar-//
//MARK//) and this was also a cause of momentary orientation changes
in the NS data (e.g., //o Actual urn TLC// (SN)). However, even at
points where the TA seemed more comfortable with the actual
verbalization of the message, it was confused by tone choices. For
example, in his warning to the students at the end of this extract, //p

163
that won’t WORK// //beCAUSE// //p THAT contain some orGAnic
COMpound// //p that will GET some MEssy//. the combination of the
syntactic structure and proclaiming tones divide the message into a
series of separate propositions which must then be reconstructed by the
hearer. This was also a recurring pattern in the NNS group. In KE’s
presentation, for example, although there are relatively few 0 tones (9%),
there are also virtually no R tone choices (6%). This resulted in a large
number of short, proclaimed minimal tonic segments which did not reflect
the relationships between the propositions contained within them.
Figure 5-18 shows an example from XG's presentation where the
prosodic choices reflect problems in linguistic coding. The extract is
made up entirely of 0 and P tones apart from the final unit '//r+
FIVE//’ where the rising tone refers to the immediately preceding
referent 'the last case’. There are clear signs that XG is having some
difficulty coding the message, '//o WELL in A// //p o in a Final AND//:
//o to BE THE// //o to BE THE//, and this in turn causes this part of
the informative content to be presented with an oblique orientation.
Passages such as the two shown here characterize the discourse
structure of the NNS group as a whole, and suggest that the TAs in
this group are Ukely to be primarily oriented toward their production of
the linguistic sample as opposed to being oriented to their listeners.
In addition to a combination of 0 and P tone choices, obUque
orientation can be cued by multiple prominences in a tone unit, i.e..
13
It was this difference between the tonal expression of informative
content that separated JA and SN (the parallel NS TA) despite the similar
number of 0 tones that appear in their presentations.

164
units where stress may be assigned automatically rather than based on
any particular sense selection. This suggests the speaker is 'citing'
or 'quoting' language that falls outside the direct situated context of
the interaction. In the NS data, the 24 cases of multiple prominences
H DON’T think YOU will have any
M //p i PROBlem// [0.32] //exCEPT in a//
L
H
M [1.5] //p o in a Final
L //o WELL in A// [2.16] AND// [0.98] //er//
H ONE CASE is that //p p BAsically you ALways
M //p o one YOU ARE// [1.0]
L
H
M have the CENter// [0.82] //p MEter stick CENter// [0.92]
L //o to BE
H
M //p the Pivot POINT but er//
L THE// [0.2] //o to BE THE// [0.53]
H
M //p p in in the LAST CASE in the compreHENsion QUEStion// [0.53]
L
H
M //r♦ FIVE//
L
Figure 5-18. Oblique Orientation due to Problems in Linguistic Coding
from XG’s Presentation.
found in technical expressions, in a group of items that formed a list
(including items written on the board), and in a few instances in places
where the TA wished to make a contrast relationship explicit, or to
underline an important point through the use of emphatic stress. In
the NNS data, there were 63 cases of multiple prominences, and only 27

165
of these (43%) were comparable to those found in the NS presentations.
This group included very similar examples to those found in the NS data
set:
1. Listing: //FOUR FIVE SIX// (KE)
2. Technical Expressions: //the HALF LIFE of RAdium// (SM)
3. Boardwork: //ZEro ZEro ZEro FOUR THREE 37/ (BG)
4. Emphasis: //DON’T use FLAME TEST// (KE)
5. Contrast: //the COUNter CLOCKwise// should Equal the
CLOCKwise TORQUE// (XG)
However, over half of the multiple prominence patterns in the NNS
data did not coincide with any of these functions, and speakers simply
assigned stress to any open class word in the tone unit. Some examples
are shown below:
//GET a PLATE REAdy// (JA)
//you NEED a PIECE of PAper// (JA)
//WATCH the adVANCE of the SOLvent//(JA) //REpreSENT the
WHOLE efFECT// (XG)
//toDAY we MAKE TWO SAMple// (KE)
//i THINK it will SAVE you TIME// (KE)
//so you JUST LOOK at the BOARD// (TY)
//GIVE you aNOther CHANCE// (TY)
//TAKE the NATural LOG of BOTH SIDE// (SM)
When the total number of tone units in the NNS data (530) is
taken into consideration, this may not appear to be particularly
damaging. However, the pattern is exacerbated by the number of
minimal tonic segments and truncated tone units that appear In the

166
presentations. In other words, even tone units that contain only key
and/or termination prominences also contain very few unstressed content
words, which increases the amount of overall stress in the NNS data in
comparison to the NS group. In particular, this is likely to negate the
use of contrastive or emphatic stress in the NNS presentations, as its
effect is diminished by the additional stress surrounding it. In a
comparison of NSs and NNSs from Italy, Pirt (1990) reports the same
findings regarding oblique intonation choices and prominent words in
her NNS data and states that:
Non-natives evidently have no difficulty in producing
minimal tone units: that is to say, in placing
prominence on as many words as possible. They do,
however, have trouble with non-prominence, (p.152)
Pirt also suggests that the NNSs are "saying rather than meaning the
words" (p. 154) as the predominant tone choices will suggest an
orientation toward the language for the NS listener.
For the native speaker hearers in the data presented here, this
means that much of the informative content is presented outside of the
context of the interaction, and there is little sense of a negotiation
between the speaker and hearer toward a common state of convergence.
Rather, hearers must attempt to suspend their implicit understanding of
the communicative value of tone choice, as these cues are frequently
unreliable or inexplicable within the parameters of the NS model.
Summary of Tone Choice
Taken as a whole, the NNS group do not produce a tonal structure
that oriented material toward the hearers through the use of direct R
and P choices. Both a significant drop in R tones and an increase in 0

167
tones to express informative content in the presentations created a
largely oblique orientation. In agreement with the NS model, the
majority of tone choices in the NNS data were P tones; however, these
did not necessarily indicate a direct orientation, as they often obscured
rather than highlighted the relationships between propositions. All the
speakers in this group showed some evidence of an ability to exploit
either the information or social functions of the R tone choice; however,
these were isolated occurrences which were limited in the range of
functions they expressed, and breadth of use varied widely between
speakers. For example, only three of the six speakers used solidarity
markers, and, with the exception of one example in JA's presentation,
NNS speakers did not use R tones to negotiate common ground with
their hearers.
The most common use of R tones in the data was to refer to items
currently in play in the discourse. In conjunction with the use of R
tones for solidarity markers by only some of the speakers, this suggests
that as a group, the NNS TAs have learned to effectively use individual
functions of tone choice as a "chunk". Finally, the use of prominence
patterns, although complicated by linguistic coding problems, suggests
that the NNSs have difficulty discriminating between word accent and
sentence stress. There is a clear tendency across the speakers to make
any content word prominent rather than to make any kind of sense
selection. While there appears to be evidence that some speakers will
also use prominence patterns to mark contrast relationships or for
emphasis, it is difficult to be certain of this analysis and perception
based on the surrounding prominence choices.

168
Conclusion
The analysis of the NS data given in chapter four showed that the
prosodic features of native speaker discourse are systematically
organized in a hierarchical model, and contribute independently both to
information structuring and rapport-building between teacher and
students. The analysis of the NNS data given in this chapter shows
that speakers approximate the NS model on a number of levels but do
not consistently exploit prosodic choices for either information or social
functions. As a group, the six NNS presentations were characterized by
breakdowns in every system proposed in the model. The analysis
revealed a general pattern in which prosodic structuring devices
(sequence chains, pitch sequences, tone units) became, for the most
part, progressively more difficult to interpret the further down the
model they appeared. Of the two phonological paragraphing devices,
pitch sequences were the most difficult to establish, suggesting that the
NNS TAs may be unable to make the finer distinctions between key
choices needed for this level of structure.
A similar pattern was also found in the analysis of the tonal
structure. The NNS TAs showed limited use of the tonal system. As
direct tone choices were far outweighed by combinations of 0/P tones
across all six speakers, tonal structure in conjunction with minimal tonic
segments and a heavy use of prominence, created a typical prosodic
composition, or ’accent’ that was recognizably nonnative.
Both individual variation among the speakers and features that
characterized the group as a whole suggest that a simple explanation of
prosodic choices, such as LI transfer, is unlikely. Based on this

169
analysis, at least three factors are contributing to the intonation
structure found in the discourse, only one of which is LI transfer.
Transfer effects will be discussed in detail in chapter 7 along with
other possible causes of the prosodic structures found in the nonnative
data; however, the two additional factors are briefly outlined below.
The first is obvious problems with linguistic coding. Online verbal
planning clearly accounts for many of the truncated tone units and some
of the O tone choices found in this data. Ochs (1979) suggests that if
the cognitive demands of one language function are high, this can
constrain the speaker’s ability to maintain planned production even if
the discourse is essentially a ’planned' performance. This factor may
contribute to the improved sequence chain boundaries found in BG, SM
and KE's data, as the overall design is in some way preplanned.
However, this does not necessarily help with the actual exposition, which
is clear from the problems which occur in structures internal to the
sequence chains.
The second factor is the speakers' unfamiliarity with the prosodic
system in English. As both Pirt (1990) and Hewings (1995) report
similar results to those found here with speakers from different LI
groups, it is possible that many L2 learners are unaware of some of the
social and informational functions of intonation choices. For example, it
is unclear if the NNS TAs who use solidarity marking understand the
communicative value of the tone choice on some level or whether these
are formulaic, as there are so few tokens in the data set. There is
certainly an argument to be made that the prosodic system is one of the
least taught aspects of English in most formal settings.

170
Whatever the causes of the intonational features that characterize
the data, the result is a detrimental effect on discourse
comprehensibility for the native speaker discourse participants. Clearly,
prosodic structure is only one level of discourse organization; however,
miscues in the prosodic system, in addition to mismatches with
organizational cues at other levels of discourse structuring, will have a
cumulative effect and contribute to an overall lack of clarity. Tyler
(1992) suggests that similar kinds of miscues contribute to a lack of
"explicitness" in NNS discourse. As she points out, while there is no
established rule for how discourse relations must be made explicit to
ensure comprehensibility, it seems reasonable to assume that the
hearer(s) will be guided by expectations based on a typical NS model of
spoken discourse. As the comparison between the two data sets shows,
a NS hearer is likely to be perplexed by many of the choices made by
the NNS TAs. For example, on the basis that the hearers will assume a
direct orientation in the situated context of classroom interaction, they
will be required to constantly make retrospective adjustments following
oblique choices of tone and prominence.
In addition to issues of comprehensibility, prosodic cues also
affect the maintenance of a social relationship between discourse
participants. In her article entitled "Inscrutability Revisited", Young
(1982) suggests that Chinese speakers transfer LI discourse strategies
which can frustrate American English hearers. Chinese speakers may
not use initial topic statements, preferring to reason with the speaker
before 'coming to the point’. Young argues that we need to look
further than grammatical structure to uncover potential areas of conflict

171
between Chinese and American discourse participants. The typical
prosodic choices found in these data may also contribute to underlying
tension in these cross-cultural interactions. In one example given in
the preceding analysis,^choice of key and tone by the Chinese speaker
lead to the perception of an interrogation rather than typical classroom
questioning. Less dramatic, but equally important, is the overall sense
of a lack of interest and commitment to the students created by the
ITAs' oblique tonal structure. Choices in the NNS discourse, for the
most part, do not project a sense of mutual participation. In fact, they
tend to increase the distance between the speaker and the hearer(s)
and the hearer(s) and the material. This becomes particularly important
in the context of a teaching situation. Students are likely to feel that
they have considerably more at stake than the TA, and this may result
in increased resentment and hostility.
14
See Figure 5-8 and accompanying discussion.

CHAPTER 6
ANALYSIS OF IVE SPEAKER DATA
Introduction
This chapter presents the analysis of the prosodic systems used
by speakers of one indigenized variety of English-Indian English. This
final analysis comprises a sub-study of Indian English speaker (IES)
data. In comparison with the NS and NNS groups, the IES data set
includes fewer speakers and less actual discourse in terms of the length
of the extracts taken from the teaching presentations. In addition,
unlike the NNS group who were all Mandarin Chinese speakers, these IE
speakers represent three different first language backgrounds (Hindi-
Urdu, Bengali and Tamil). Possible effects of first language transfer
will be discussed later in the analysis; however, it is noted here that
due to the limited amount of data included in this sub-study, this
analysis can only suggest possible areas of future investigation (see
Pickering & Wiltshire, in prep.).
Despite these different LI backgrounds, the analysis of this group
suggests that Indian English has a number of systematic prosodic
conventions that differ from the American NS model. These differences
center particularly on the phonetic realization of key, tone, and
intonational phrasing. Unlike the previous two groups, some of the
typical phonetic patterns found in this data set could not be adequately
described within the transcription system used in this study.
Therefore, in this analysis, I have included additional transcription
172

173
diacritics in order to exemplify these characteristics. This is discussed
in detail in the opening section of the analysis. These phonetic patterns
reduce the effectiveness of prosodic paragraphing units for American
hearers (sequence chains and pitch sequences), and tone unit structure,
and contribute independently to problems in overall comprehensibility of
the discourse and a mismatch in organizational cues. Taken together,
they also contribute to the perception of a typical 'prosodic composition’
in IES discourse. Based on these results, it is argued that the prosodic
features found in the IES teaching presentations have a detrimental
effect on both discourse comprehensibility and rapport building between
teachers and American students.
In line with the discussion of the data in the previous two
analyses, following an initial discussion of the unique pitch
characteristics found in this group of speakers, the analysis is divided
into three areas of intonation structuring: sequence chains, pitch
sequences and discourse markers, and, finally, tone choice and
orientation. Where examples from the IES data set are compared to
parallel extracts from the NS or NNS teaching presentations, the reader
is referred back to the appropriate sections of these analyses.
Indian English Speaker Data Set
A summary of the IES data set is given below, followed by a brief
description of the content of the teaching extracts. Two of the four IES
teaching presentations parallel two from the NS data set. The
equivalent NS extract is indicated in the final column of the table below.
KK. This extract comes from a physics prelab presentation. The
students are conducting an experiment investigating the torques and

174
forces in equilibrium using a meter stick and some weights. In this
part of the presentation, the TA is explaining how to plug the
experimental results into the mathematical equation.
Table 6-1. A Summary of the IES Data Set
LAB/DISC.
SECTION
IES
TA
FIRST
LANGUAGE
TIME
NUMBER
OF
TONE
UNITS
PARALLEL
NS PRES.
NUMBER
OF
TONE
UNITS
PHYSICS
KK
BENGALI
3.5
MINS
102
KN
LE
141
100
E.E.'
UT
BENGALI
3.5
MINS
122
BD
109
SF
HINDI-
URDU
3.5
MINS
106
NONE
SH
TAMIL
3.5
MINS
108
NONE
* Electrical Engineering
UT. This extract comes from the middle of a 50-minute prelab
lecture in electrical engineering which the course supervisor asked the
TAs to give. The students are about to conduct an experiment testing a
mathematical equation that relates input to output voltage. One subtopic
was chosen explaining how to plug the experimental results into the
equation, and then how to graph these findings using a Bode Plot.
SF. The opening of an electrical engineering prelab presentation.
The students are conducting an experiment investigating rectifier
circuits using a diode. In this extract, the TA is introducing and
comparing the characteristics of an ideal and practical diode.

175
SH. The opening of an electrical engineering prelab presentation.
The students are conducting a simulation using a computer program.
The TA is reviewing the procedures the students will need to use.
particularly those that have appeared on exam questions in the past.
Unique Pitch Characteristics in IES Data Set
As noted above, it became clear as the analysis progressed that
there were a number of pitch characteristics that were unique to this
group of speakers. These features affected both transcription and
interpretation of the prosodic systems proposed in the model. They
included the phonetic realization of prominence (and, therefore, key and
tone identification), intonational contours, and tone unit division. While
several of these features varied between individual speakers and will be
discussed throughout the analysis, two pitch movement patterns which
were not found in the NS model characterized the group as a whole. As
these patterns could not be accommodated within the transcription
system used in the previous two analyses and outlined in Chapter 3, I
have used additional diacritics in the transcriptions of these
presentations.1
In this section, I will describe these patterns and the alternative
transcription system I have used where they occurred. The
transcription devices are used as a descriptive tool to highlight those
phonetic patterns that interfere with interpretation of the prosodic
As most transcription systems are designed to describe NS prosody,
De Bot (1990) suggests that they are unable to accomodate the atypical
movements that may be found in second language intonation. This was the
case with regard to the patterns discussed here.

176
structure based on the NS model. They do not constitute a proposal for
2
an alternative prosodic model unique to Indian English.
The first pattern concerns the realization of prominence on
stressed syllables. In the NS model, the prominent syllable is
distinguished from the surrounding syllables by an Fo peak on the
3
primary stressed syllable of the word. Enclitic syllables following a
prominent tonic syllable continue the direction of the tonal movement,
i.e. continue a rise or fall in the Fo contour. In contrast, many of the
prominent syllables in the IES data are realized with a drop in pitch on
the syllable bearing the primary stress (indicated by a 'dip' in the Fo
contour) or a low level pitch, followed by a rising pitch or higher, level
pitch on the following non-prominent syllables. Parallel NS and IES
examples are shown in Figures 6-1 and 6-2 from an NS TA (ST) and IES
TA (SF).* Figure 6-la shows two adjacent tone units from ST’s
presentation:
// in ORder to find VOLtage// given a CURrent//
2
The limited amount of data used in this sub-study precludes this
possibility; however, the probability of a conventionalized IE prosodic model
will be discussed in the final section of this chapter.
3
Brazil suggests that the 'minimal specification’ of pitch is sufficient
to recognize the meaningful choices inherent in the intonation system. This
study does not include a formal investigation of amplitude or length.
However, Bush (1968) suggests that stressed syllables in IE speech have
a shorter consonant to vowel duration ratio than those in American
English (also see Pickering and Wiltshire, in prep.). Several of the
examples shown here include amplitude readings to show how pitch and
amplitude typically interact in NS and IES realization of prominence.
*ST was originally recorded as a parallel NS presentation to SF.
However, ST only gave a few short statements and student input was so
frequent, it was not possible to use this as a parallel discourse extract.
It was possible to analyze a few of the tone units for a comparison of the
prosodic patterns under discussion here.

177
These exemplify the typical NS pitch pattern found on prominent
syllables. Figure 6-lb shows an energy reading (a contour showing the
variation of the speaker’s amplitude over time) for the same tone units.
Note that the amplitude pattern matches the pitch pattern and the
intensity drops on the non-prominent syllables of ’VOLtage’ and
'CURrent'.
Figure 6-2a shows a comparative example from SF’s parallel
presentation. These two adjacent tone units are transcribed:
tage across a ode D // is
// the VOL DI V Given AS//
The italic print is used to indicate the very different phonetic
realization patterns on the prominent syllables. VOLtage. Diode and
Given are characterized by a drop in pitch which remains level or rises
on the prominent syllable. The Fo peak appears on the following non-
prominent syllables which then either fall in pitch or remain level. In
the prominent 'VD' pattern, the primary stress should fall on the 'V;
however, the higher pitched, level Fo pattern on the 'D' creates the
effect of an 0 tone. The amplitude reading of these tone units, given in
Figure 6-2b shows that in some cases, the pitch drop is matched by a
drop in amplitude (VOLtage and Diode), while in others amplitude
remains the same on both syllables (VD), or is stronger on the lower
pitched syllable (Given). In comparison to the American English (AE) or
British English (BE) phonetic realization of stress, these constitute
mismatches in pitch and amplitude which make it more difficult for the
NS analyst to assess which syllable is prominent. A second parallel

178
example from the same two presentations is given in Figures 6-3 and 6-
4. Figure 6-3 shows two tone units from ST's presentation,
//for any given Id// I can find Vd//
Both the Fo contour and amplitude reading show peaks in pitch and
amplitude on the tonic syllable followed by a drop in amplitude and
sustained pitch movement in the same direction on the following non-
prominent syllables. In a comparative example from SF’s presentation
shown in Figure 6-4, the primary stress on T coincides with a drop in
pitch and the amplitude is the same for both the prominent and non-
prominent syllable.
Figure 1. Instrumental Readings of Typical NS Prominence Patterns from
ST's Presentation, a) Pitch Pattern; b) Amplitude Pattern.
Figure 6-1, continued.

179
These phonetic patterns do not create what we might typically
think of as a 'word accent’ problem, i.e., volTAGE rather than VOLtage,3
as there is typically no reduction in any syllable in the word, or
reduction in one parameter, such as amplitude, is not matched by other
parameters such as vowel reduction or pitch lowering. In some cases
there is a perception of equal stress on polysyllabic words, i.e.,
VOLTAGE. When this pattern is multiplied over a stretch of discourse,
the AE/BE listener may find it more difficult to identify tonic segments
and intonational phrases.
Both Gumperz (1982) and Spencer (1957) also refer directly to the
pitch drop pattern found here on prominent syllables: "the tendency in
South Asian English is for stressed syllables to be accompanied by a fall
C
in pitch and this to replace stress" (Spencer, 1957:74) . It is also
possible that this is the cause of some of the perception problems noted
by other researchers, as suggested by Mohanan (1986) in his discussion
of low-pitched prominence patterns in the Dravidian language group:
speakers of [AE/BE] English tend to perceive the low
tone as an absence of stress and high tone as its
presence, which makes them hear stress on the last
syllable instead of the first. Those phoneticians who
are trained to hear stress in terms of English
patterns do likewise which is one of the reasons for
the amount of confusion reigning in discussions of
word stress in Indian languages, (p.126)
’Word accent problems do appear in the data; for example, SF
frequently consistently pronounces 'imPEdance' with prominence on the
first syllable so it is perceived as 'IMpudence'. These examples are far
outweighed by prominence patterns displaying the pitch characteristics
discussed here.
“Cited in Bansal (1967).

180
The second pattern which characterized the group as a whole and
affected interpretation of the systems in the model was a constant shift
between levels (or register) in a given speaker's range, often in place
in place of tonal movement. The reader will recall that the speaker
selects a key (high, mid or low) for each tone unit. Movement between
this key choice and the termination choice in the same unit is subject to
Figure 6-2. Instrumental Readings of Typical IES Prominence Patterns
from SF’s Presentation, a) Pitch Pattern; b) Amplitude
Pattern.
Figure 6-2, continued.

181
an adjacent level constraint, and typically, there are no sudden shifts
in pitch register within the tonic segment. In the IES data, there were
frequent abrupt changes in pitch level on individual syllables, both
within words and across tonic segments. Parallel examples are shown
from LE (NS TA) and KK in Figures 6-5 and 6-6. In both extracts, the
TAs are 'talking through’ the formulas as they write them on the
blackboard. Figure 6-5 shows three tone units from LE’s presentation
transcribed as:
The Fo contour shows a construction similar to the template pattern
used by the NS TAs and discussed in Chapter 4. There is a rise in
pitch level from low to mid as LE highlights the three variables, and the
intonation phrase ends with a falling contour from mid to low on the
final tonic syllable. In contrast, the three tone units from KK's
presentation, shown in Figure 6-6, are characterized by 'leaps’ in pitch
rather than a gradual movement between levels. These are transcribed
as:
â– B>PITCH
42.93120< 0>
in
n
2
1;
u.
♦•••* *\~.*"***-... .
•* .....
•
for
any given
ID I can
find a V D
s
42.931
Tin*
45.833i
Figure 6-3. Instrumental Readings of Typical NS Prominence
Patterns from ST's Presentation, a) Pitch Pattern; b)
Amplitude Pattern.

182
Figure 6-3, continued.
IS two ñus C
//this ONE // X MI // X //
The sharp rise on 'IS’ contrasts with LE’s level syllable, and is followed
by a series of pitch drops and peaks on the remaining syllables that do
not form a unified contour. Another example of both jumps between
pitch levels and the pitch drop stress pattern is shown in Figure 6-7
from UT's presentation. This is transcribed as:
IS POINT
//and the gle // // //
AN TEN FIVE
Both the prominent syllables 'ANgle’ and 'TEN' are realized with a low
key pitch drop and are followed by sharply rising R+ tones. Again,
there is no sense of a unified contour as the pitch shifts consistently
between a high and low key.7
7
This particular
from UT and KK's LI.
pattern may be based on a conventionalized contour

183
These unique pitch characteristics and mismatches in phonetic
features which normally work together in the AE/BE realization of stress
create prosodic patterns which do not match NS listener expectation, and
there is no sense in which prosodic cues consistently operated in the
same way as those found in the NS data. Brazil (1997) suggests that
"language users must be presumed to operate within an area of
tolerance where intonation is concerned" (p. 155). It is proposed that
the phonetic features described above will fall outside any acceptable
range of variation that may be anticipated by native speakers of AE and
BE. Previous research reported in the IE literature supports this
proposal. Although these studies rely on impressionistic rather than
instrumental analysis, they include a number of references to difficulties
on the part of AE/BE speakers in assessing prominence or nucleus
placement, substitution of pitch register shifts for tonal movement, and
the lack of a unified intonational contour (Bansal, 1967; Gumperz, 1978,
1982, 1983; Mishra, 1983).
Figure 6-4. Instrumental Readings of Typical IES Prominence Patterns
from SF's Presentation, a) Pitch Pattern; b) Amplitude
Pattern.

184
Figure 6-4, continued.
Figure 6-5. Instrumental Reading of a Typical NS Fo Contour from
LE's Presentation.
Sequence Chain Structure
The reader will recall that sequence chains (SC) were larger
prosodic units (or speech paragraphs) bounded by a high initial key
and a low termination choice. In the NS analysis, SCs consistently co-

185
occurred with non-prosodic cues such as changes in discourse plane or
transaction boundary marking. In the NS extracts, this created points
of maximal disjunction in the discourse which "chunked" the information
contained in the presentation.
A sequence chain structure was also identified in the IES data.
Although there was some interference related to the pitch patterns
described above, this level of structure was the least affected by these
characteristics of the prosodic systems investigated here. All four TAs
signalled points of maximal disjunction using both prosodic and non-
prosodic cues. In addition, three of the four TAs used boardwork
throughout their presentations (KK, UT, SF), and interaction with the
paradiscourse subtext heavily contributed to boundary marking.
â–  u>
PITCH
IS.69S80< 0>
!
-
and Che
an gle
s ten poinc five
3 7«W
r<~. <••«> n.-m
Figure 6-6. Instrumental Reading of a Typical IES Fo Contour from KK’s
Presentation.
Figure 6-7. Instrumental Reading of a Typical IES Fo Contour from UT’s
Presentation.

186
In the IES data, 30 SCs (between 5 and 10 SCs in each speaker)
were identified using the prosodic criteria of an initial high key or
discourse frame and low key closing. Four of the SC boundaries co¬
occurred with shifts in discourse plane, and an example from SH’s
extract is shown in Figure 6-8. The SC boundary separates SH’s
discussion of the procedures the students should follow regarding
prelabs, 'try to come prepared for all the labs’, from the presentation of
the main content, 'these statements’, which is written on the board.
H ////p r r+ but IF at ALL if you are not
M prePARED for the
L
H
M PRELABS it’s ok as i TOLD you CLASS// [0.43] //p but
L LAST
H ////o THESE
M try to come prePARED for
L ALL the LABS// [1.57]
H STATEments// [0.13] //r+ you may be fa¬
it faMIliar with...
L
Figure 6-8. An Example of a SC Boundary Coextensive with a Shift in
Discourse Plane from SH’s Presentation.
The majority of the SCs were also marked as transaction
structures, and transaction boundary marking coextensive with SC
structure is shown in Tables 6-2 and 6-3 below. Prospective markers
were similar to those found in both the NS and NNS groups and
included lexical frames such as //SO// and //NOW//, and lexical phrases:

187
Table 6-2. Prospective Markers in the IES Data Set
PROSPECTIVE
MARKERS
LEXICAL
PHRASE
HIGH KEY
FRAMES
MID KEY
FRAMES
TOTAL
IES (30 SCs)
11
1
88
20
Table 6-3. Retrospective Markers in the IES Data Set
RETROSPECTIVE
RECAPITULATION
LEXICAL
PAUSE
TOTAL
MARKERS
PHRASE
MARKER
BOUNDARY
IES (30 SCs)
3
3
22
28
//for PART
(SH)
//and about LAB
Retrospective markers also included typical low key //OK// markers and
recapitulation phrases:
//so this is HOW you make the
STATEment//(SH)
As shown on Table 6-3, the most common boundary marker was a
low key termination accompanied by strategic or administrative pausing
at transaction closings. Unlike the NNS presentations, these boundary
markers were not compromised by 'empty silences’ appearing within unit
boundaries, and pause structure in the IES group was similar to that
found in the NS data. Administrative pauses frequently directly
connected the paradiscourse sub-text to transaction structures as shown
in Figure 6-9. The first SC closes with the tone unit, 'it's gonna be
something like this’, followed by a [1.2] second administrative pause
This includes two non-prominent discourse markers, //ok// and
//so//, which are followed by high key topic statements.

188
while SF draws a graph on the board. The new SC begins with a high
key as the TA begins to explain the graph, 'at zero input voltage’.
Topic length pauses internal to SCs (such as the [1.64] second pause
between the final two tone units in Figure 6-9) occurred only when the
TA was writing on the board, as strategic silences preceding or
following lexical markers, or while the TA scanned the audience.
Only one of the 30 SCs was not also marked with a retrospective
transaction boundary, and this is shown in Figure 6-10. This extract
H ////P if you SEE the RlStics of an
M CHAracte IDEAL Diode// [0.23]
L
H ////o at ZEro INput
M //p it’s gonna be SOMEthing like
L THIS// [1.2]
H VOLtage// [0.09] NO// [1.64]
M //o there is //p CURrent at
L ALL//
Figure 6-9. An Example of Administrative Pauses Connected to the
Paradiscourse Sub-text from SF’s Presentation.
begins with the end of the first SC in SH’s presentation. There is a
clear low termination pitch boundary at 'aBOUT' which is followed by a
SC opening on the high key, 'but IF at ALL'. The [0.4] second pause is
not topic length, and does not constitute a coextensive transaction
boundary. This second SC consists of only four tone units and appears
to be added as an afterthought (Chafe, 1994: 142). According to Chafe,
an afterthought is a supplement or brief additional focus connected to a
topic that has already been stated. In this case, SH tells the students
that he will check their prelabs as they are working; however, in this

189
particular class, the prelab is not mandatory, i.e., it does not form part
of the grade on the experiment. It is possible that SH uses a high key
to begin the 'afterthought' to correct a mistaken impression he believes
he may have given to the students, 'but if at all you are not prepared
for the prelabs it's ok as I told you last class’. This short SC is
followed by the plane change and clear transaction boundary discussed
in Figure 6-8 above.
Turning now to opening SC boundaries, seven of the SCs were not
marked as either coextensive with a plane change or a prospective
transaction marker. These SCs were marked with high key topic
statements such as those shown above in Figure 6-9 (’at ZEro INput
VOLtage’) and Figure 6-10 (’but IF at ALL). The lack of an initial
H //?r+ 0 r+ r+
you can KEEP it
M
REAdy AND uh when i COME to
L
H
M YOU just i’ll
what have you
L
SEE DONE it aBOUT// [0.4]
H ////p r r+ but IF at ALL if you are not
M
prePARED for the
L
H
M PRELABS it’s
ok as i TOLD vou CLASS// Í0.431 //d but
L
LAST
H
M try to come prePARED for
L
ALL the LABS//
Figure 6-10. A Short Sequence Chain with no Coextensive Transaction
Boundary from SH’s Presentation.

190
prospective marker tended to coincide with places in the discourse
where the TA was focussed on boardwork rather than 'talk' to the
students, suggesting an orientation change toward the paradiscourse
sub-text. On the whole, boundary marking in the IES group more
closely approximated the NS model than the NNS data. In conjunction
with shifts in discourse plane, SC structures in IES presentations co¬
occurred with points of maximal disjunction indicated by other features
of discourse organization in 80% of the SCs found in the data, and there
was a clearer perception of boundary marking in the IES presentations
in comparison to the NNS group. Despite this closer approximation of
the NS model however, SCs in the IES presentations differed from the
NS model in their internal structure. In the NS data, apart from the
short topic announcements given in BL's presentation, SCs varied in
length between 12-15 units. In the IES data, there were 2-37 tone units
per SC, which more closely approximates the pattern found in the NNS
data (2-41 TUs per SC). However, a qualitative comparison of the SC
structures in the IES and NNS groups shows different underlying
causes for this similar pattern. The following section will compare the
structure of SCs in the IES data to those found in the NNS and NS
groups.
Analysis of the NNS teaching discourse revealed two major
problems with SC structuring. First, prosodic SC boundary markers,
e.g. low termination and high pitch, were often not matched by non-
prosodic criteria; in other words, SC boundaries did not necessarily
indicate points of maximal disjunction in the discourse message as a
whole. Second, where transaction structures were co-extensive with

191
SCs, they often did not match NS expectation; for example, the topic
expression was incomplete or did not match the material in the SC (See
Chapter 5, Figure 5-3).
In the IES group, when SC structures were viewed in conjunction
with the way in which the content was divided and the paradiscourse
sub-text, neither of these problems applied. There were 12 short SCs
(2-8 tone units in length) in the IES model. One was described above
in Figure 6-10 from SH's transcript, and a further eight SCs consisted
of the same kind of topic pronouncement as that found in BL’s
transcript or were truncated due to interference from the paradiscourse
sub-text (see Figure 6-9). Therefore, these were SC patterns that were
also found in the NS model. Figure 6-11 shows two examples of SCs
coextensive with short topic pronouncements from UT’s presentation.
The first SC describes the two kinds of Bode Plot the students will
learn in the lab, and the second announces the particular subtopic the
TA is about to discuss, 'first I’ll explain what is an amplitude plot’.
H TWO types of
M ////o r NOW there are BODE PLOTS// [1.33] //o ONE is//
L
H
M [3.79] //r a plitude PLOT// [1.63] //r+ SEcond A// (2.25]
L AM IS
H plitude
M //p PHASE [3.58] ////o ok NOW// [0.1] //p AM PLOT//
L PLOT//
H
M //p FIRST i’ll explain what IS an plitude
L AM PLOT////
Figure 6-11. An Example of Two Short Sequence Chains Coextensive with
Topic Announcements from UT’s Presentation.

192
The remaining three short SCs reflect the unique pitch patterns
found only in this group of speakers. One is shown above in Figure 6-
7 from UT's presentation, and two are shown below in Figure 6-12. In
this part of the presentation, KK is explaining the equilibrium equation
used in this experiment (Force = Mass x Acceleration). The two SCs
refer to the masses on each side of the meter stick. Each SC has a
similar prosodic structure, and both end with a sharply rising R+ tone
followed by a low key falling tone which completes the SC, 'times the
acceleration due to gravity’. The Fo contour for both these final
patterns is shown in Figure 6-13. Both contours are characterized by
the pitch jumps shown in the earlier examples in Figures 6-6 and 6-7.
In the second example in Figure 6-12, the falling tone on 'gravity'
is preceded by a short [0.4] second pause, and a similar [0.24] second
pause occurs in the example shown in Figure 6-7, 'and the ANgle is TEN
POINT// [0.24] //FIVE//. This structure sounds similar to the template
pattern used by the NS TAs and discussed in Chapter 4. The template
construction is often used by teachers to encourage students to "fill in
the blank" when the teacher believes the answer is recoverable. It is
characterized by the use of a level tone and a short pause, followed by
a single or compound item given in a low key with a falling tone. An
example from MK’s presentation is given below:
H
M o because SOdium would have BEEN// [0.44] //p bright
L Orange// (MK)
The difference between the NS and IES pattern lies in the dramatic
shifts in key prior to the final tones, and the rising tone that precedes
the pause. However, it is a recognizable approximation of a pattern

193
H ////r NOW// p for THIS to be in FORCE
M EQUILIBRIUM// ?r+ the
L
H //r* IS// MASS// r+ p TIMES the
M DOWNWARD// //r+ uh THIS acceleRAtion
L
H ////r THIS
M due to //r* RIGHT// CASE// r r+ the
L GRAvity// //and//
H WILL BE// r+ this MASS// r+ TIMES//
M force DOWNward //?r+ the
L
H TO//
M acceleRAtion
L DUE //p GRAvity//
Figure 6-12. Unique Pitch Patterns Resulting in Short SC Structures
from KK's Presentation.
used by the NS TAs to close pitch sequence or sequence boundaries,
and may be interpreted as such by the NS hearers.
There were also examples of very long SCs (between 20-37 TUs in
length) in each of the four IE presentations. With the exception of one
speaker (SH), the SCs in the IES data were divided into PSs which
tended to coincide with the paradiscourse sub-text and create a sense
of prosodic paragraphing. Only SH did not use regular SC boundaries.
In addition, SH’s presentation had the highest word count5 of this
group, and the TA did not use the board; therefore, there were
comparatively long stretches of discourse which contained few prosodic
paragraph breaks. Again, this was related to the unique pitch patterns
0
Word counts for the four presentations were as follows: UT, 337
words; KK, 381 words; SF, 462 words; SH, 626 words.

194
associated with this group of speakers. Although there was no evidence
of the kinds of pitch leaps shown in Figures 6-6 and 6-7, SH frequently
used the pitch drop pattern on final prominent syllables in conjunction
with a rising or high level tone at the end of intonational phrases which
raised the Fo contour at transaction closing boundaries. A typical
example of this pattern is shown in Figure 6-14. In this part of the
presentation, SH is reviewing the information the students must include
in their computer simulations. He discusses two topics, the equations
and the simulation statement. Following the initial high key marker and
opening phrase, 'and similarly, if the equation’, SH initiates a repair and
begins a new clause, 'normally when you do the programming.
Prominence patterns are characterized by a drop in pitch on the
prominent syllable and a rise on the non-prominent syllable. Repair
structures in the NS data are typically indicated by a pitch peak
accompanied in some cases by a short pause, (see, for example. Figure
4-5). Consequently, SH’s comparatively unmarked repair is likely
Figure 6-13. Instrumental Reading of the Sharp Rising-Falling Fo
Contours from KK’s Presentation.

195
Figure 6-13, continued.
to be difficult for AE listeners to perceive in the real-time production of
the discourse. In the following tone units, prominence is frequently
realized by a drop in pitch and there is a continual upward movement
at the unit boundaries. This is particularly clear at the end of the
discussion regarding equations, 'so doctor Schwartz asked us to cut one
mark for that and similarly for this’, which drops to a low key on
prominent syllables and then rises on the final termination to a mid key.
The Fo contour of this section is shown in Figure 6-15. The mid key
termination is followed by a [1.54] second topic pause in which SH scans
the students. The series of low key units prior to the mid key
termination, in addition to the strategic pause boundary, suggest a
transaction boundary for AE listeners which is not marked as a SC
boundary because of this final rise in pitch. As shown in Figure 6-14,
the topic changes to a discussion of the simulation statement at this
boundary point, and SH uses a high key to announce the new topic,
'regarding the simulation statement’ (although this is again

196
compromised by a pitch drop on the first prominent syllable). Much of
SH’s presentation is characterized by similar patterns which prevent SC
or PS closure and provide little relief for the NS hearer.
H //// r* r* and Similarly if the quation's MALly
M E NOR
L
H when you do the gramming// [0.47] //?o r the quation's
M PRO E
L
H
M PART wiU be READY cified in
L AL SPE PAL-asm program you are
H TIME
M //but// [0.3] //p p in
L going to DO THAT// [0.47] LAST
H
M when there was a QUEStion like they THE// [0.42]
L ALL WROTE
H QUATIONS
M //?p r+ E that are QUIRED but they didn’t WRITE
L RE
H
M anything about the eQUAtions// [0.42] //?p ?r+ o ?r+ so
L
H
M DOCtor
L SCHWARTZ ASKED us to CUT one mark for THAT and SIMilarly
H ulation
M THIS// [1.54] //and// [0.16] //?r regarding the SIM
L for
H STATEment//
M
L
Figure 6-14. An Example of Mid and High Termination Choices Preventing
SC Closure from SH’s Presentation.

197
so doctor schwarz ask us to cut one mark for chat similarly for this
16.128 Tim <»«e) 20.313
Figure 6-15. Instrumental Reading of an Fo Contour from SH's
Presentation. SH Drops to a Low key and Rises to a Mid
Termination.
Summary of Sequence Chain Structure
In summary, IE SC structure more closely approximated the
patterns found in the NS discourse than that found in the NNS data set.
The majority of SCs marked points of maximal disjunction, which were
also indicated at other levels of discourse organization. Where boundary
markers were absent, this usually coincided with interference from the
paradiscourse sub-text. In terms of internal structure, however, IE SCs
differed from both the NS and NNS data sets. Unique pitch
characteristics resulted in a number of SCs which were either shorter
or longer than those found in the NS data. While several short SCs
approximated the template pattern found in the NS teaching discourse,
unique pitch drop prominence patterns, in conjunction with rising or

198
level tones, created difficulties in interpreting prosodic paragraphing
which were most evident in SH’s presentation.
Pitch Sequences and Discourse Markers
In line with the previous two analyses, this section is divided into
two parts. The first will focus on what evidence could be found for a
interpretable system of pitch sequence (PS) structuring in the IES data
compared to the NS data, and the second examines the use of discourse
markers by this group of speakers.
Pitch Sequences
Pitch sequences could be identified throughout the IES data, and
like sequence chain structure, PS structuring more closely resembled
the patterns found in the NS group than those in the NNS data set. In
the NS model, this level of structure served to distinguish main
(informative) content from subsidiary material such as glosses or asides,
or to divide the topic of a transaction into smaller subtopics. Pitch
sequence patterning reflected the speakers’ use of key to distinguish
contrastive or particularized statements (high key) from additive (mid
key) or equative (low key) material. There were clear parallels between
the use of PS structuring for these functions in the NS and IES data
sets. Several examples are given below.
Chapter 4, Figure 4-12 shows a PS from BD’s presentation (NS
parallel to UT) in which he explains to the students that they will learn
how to draw a simple Bode plot in this class, and more complicated plots
will be covered later in the semester. This PS begins with a mid key
which is followed by a series of low key units as BD adds the
subsidiary, parenthetical information regarding the more complicated

199
plots. This is followed by a rise to a mid key as he returns to the
informative content. Figure 6-16 shows a roughly equivalent example
from UT’s presentation. Just prior to this extract, UT has explained to
the students how to find the frequency response for a single frequency
using the appropriate formula. The simple Bode plot is a graph of a
number of frequency responses, and this is what UT is about to explain.
The SC begins with a series of high to mid key units outlining this
topic, 'but we’re required to find H of J omega for all frequencies, we
don’t want only for one frequency'. This is followed by a mid to low
key summary statement which closes the PS, 'we want for different
frequencies'. UT then produces a series of PSs which function as low
key reformulations or extensions of the earlier statements and list
possible frequency values, 'twenty, thirty, forty, hundred, then go on
til thousand’. This subsidiary material is followed by a mid key rising
confirmation marker, and UT then returns to a low key to complete the
reformulation, 'then I’ll go on increasing for different frequency’. This
pattern is also very similar to the low key extensions used by BL, to
connect a math concept to the real world, 'you want that, you want your
money to grow in a bank’. The final two units in UT's extract
constitute a separate PS beginning in a mid key as he returns to the
main, informative content, 'so we need to draw plot’. Although examples
like these clearly parallel extracts found in the NS data, it should be
noted that there is some interference in the perception of this overall
PS structuring due to the phonetic realization of some of the prominent
syllables in this section, and unusual level changes on consecutive

200
words or syllables within tone unit boundaries (indicated by the use of
italics).
H III/r+ BUT// p r we’re reQUIRED to
M FIND// (0.2) //r H of j gall
L oME
H //p for ALL DON’T ONly for
M FREquencies// r p we WANT ONE FREquency//
L
H
M //r we WANT FOR ferent// //r+ oK//
L DIF //p FREQUENCIES/// //r like
H
M
L TEN/// r r r o TWENty THIRty FORty HUNdred// r then go ON til
H
M //r+ oK//
L THOUsand/// //p then i’ll go ON inCREAsing/// p for
H
M ferent //r* so we NEED to DRAW//
L DIF FREauencv/// //p PLOT///
Figure 6-16. An Example of Pitch Sequence Structure and Main and
Subsidiary Content from UT’s Presentation.
Pitch sequences also marked the boundary between the main
content and brief asides related to board work as shown in Figure 6-17
from SF’s presentation. The first PS (coextensive with a SC), introduces
the graph the TA is about to write on the board, 'if you see the
characteristics of an ideal diode, it’s gonna be something like this’. The
second PS, also coextensive with a SC, coincides with SF graphing the
line of the current on the board (hence the [1.64] second pause). This
is followed by an additional mid to low key tone unit, ’ VI characteristics

201
H ////p if you SEE the RIStics of an
M CHAracte IDEAL Diode// [0.23]
L
H ////o at ZEro INput
M //p it’s gonna be SOMEthing like
L THIS// [1.2]
H VOLtage// [0.09] NO// [1.64]
M //o there is //p CURrent at
L ALL///
H
M [0.14] //p p r* i CHAracteristics these are CALLED the v
L V I
H
M characteRIStics of a oK///
L Diode
Figure 6-17. An Example of Pitch Sequence Structure Coextensive with
Boardwork from SF's Presentation.
these are called the IV characteristics of a diode’ as SF briefly
references the axes of the graph he has previously drawn on the
board.18 This is something that should be familiar to the students, and
this unit in conjunction with the following rising ’OK’ marker, can be
loosely glossed as, 'by the way, the names of these axes are the I and V
characteristics of a diode, and we know that don’t we’.
As noted in the previous section, three of the four presentations
were focussed around information the TA was writing on the board, and
there was a close relationship between PS boundaries and the
organization of the paradiscourse sub-text. The example shown above in
Figure 6-17 Is similar to the "paradiscourse" units found the NS data,
®My consultant for the electrical engineering course suggests that SF
repeats the statement as these are normally referred to as TV’ rather than
’VI’ characteristics.

202
i.e., a unit of structure consisting virtually solely of boardwork, and
highlights the necessity for a method of analysis that can show how
activities outside the text may shape the text itself, and allow it to be
reasonably interpreted in its situational context.
Figure 6-18 shows a short series of PSs from the opening of SF's
presentation which connect the prosodic structure to breaks in the
content and boardwork presentation. The presentation begins with a
mid to high key statement of the topic, 'what’s a diode, a diode is a two
terminal device’, followed by a [0.84] second pause as SF begins to draw
a diagram of a diode. This is followed by a template construction ’the
circuit symbol for it is...’, which is completed on the board. This
boardwork is reformulated in a final mid to low key unit, ’this way’,
which completes the first PS. The second mid key, additive pitch
sequence describes the labelling of the two nodes at each end of the
device, ’this node is called the anode and this terminal is called the
cathode’. The final PS marks a new subtopic as SF describes the
difference between a diode and a similar device the students have been
working with in the previous lab which also involves an electrical
current, ’it’s a passive device but the difference between a diode and a
resistor is that...’. This PS closes with a low key and [1.18] second
pause as SF scans the students. In each case, the PS boundaries match
shifts in the content as SF moves to different parts of the diagram on
the board. Like the previous examples however, there is also evidence
of interference in the prosodic cues from prominence realization. This
is particularly evident at the boundary between the second and third
PS. I have marked this as a pitch sequence boundary as it begins with

203
H DIODE is a TWO TERminal
M //p r+ p ok WHAT’s a Diode a deVICE//
L
H
M [0.84] //o the CIRcuit SYMbol for it IS// [0.1J //p THIS
L WAY///
H Mode// [2.62]
M [0.84] //r+ this node is CALLED the //p and this
L
H deVICE
M TERminal is called the //?p it’s a PASsive
L CATHode/// [3.31]
H
M but// [0.63] //r+ p the DIFference between a Diode and a reSIStor
L
H is THAT// [0.63] //o o o o p it has got INFINite IMpedance in the
M
L
H reVERSE diRECtion ZEro IMpedance in the
M AND almost FORward
L
H
M
L diRECtion//// [1.18]
Figure 6-18. An Example of Pitch Sequence Structure Coextensive with
Boardwork and Content Divisions from SF’s Presentation.
a mid key choice realized on 'passive^ however. SF then rises to a high
key termination on ’device’, and he maintains this high key across the
following group of tone units. This suggests a stronger SC boundary,
particularly in light of the topic change. It is difficult to assess the
initial key choice as the prominence on 'PASsive' is realized by a dip in
the Fo contour foUowed by a level, mid pitch on the second syllable. It
is proposed that this particular case can be reasonably interpreted by

204
the AE hearer(s) as either a SC or PS boundary as the prosodic break
clearly matches a point of disjunction at other levels of discourse
organization.
There were also PSs which could not be so easily determined due to
the unique pitch patterns found in this group of speakers. Unlike the
NNS data however, where disfluencies and repair caused widespread
problems at the level of PS structure, these difficulties tended to be
localized and directly related to phonetic patterns. Therefore, the
relationship between content and prosodic "chunking” was easier to
retrieve in the IES data.
A typical example from KK's extract is shown in Figure 6-19. Just
prior to this extract, KK explains how the weights of the masses the
students are placing on the meter stick are converted into variables for
the equation they will calculate at the end of the second part of the
experimental work:
This one is tau CC and this one is tau C/
this should be equal/ for the equilibrium.
This explanation closes with the low key //o SO// marker shown at the
beginning of Figure 6-19. The following tone units, which begin with
the mid key lexical phrase, 'for part two', are clearly a recapitulation of
this information. Several of the tone units in the first PS, however,
contain unusual prominence patterns which consistently drop key choice
to a low key before the low termination boundary, 'and also find out the
pacentage difference of tau CC and tau C'.11 The second PS is an
nThe spelling of 'percentage' reflects the incorrect prominent /a/
vowel which appears on the first syllable of this word.

205
H
M TWO// [0.25] //you have to FIND out this
L //o SO// [0.4] //r for part
H C// [0.6] C// [0.6]
M [0.16] //r+ TAU c //r+ and 7141/ //r+ p and so
L AL
H
M find out the centage ference of TAU cc and //p this
L PA DIF TAU C///
H
M SHOULD be //r* oK// [1.88] //p p in PART THIS is
L Equal/// [2.0] ONE
H
M a //p p for the PART
L Diagram/// [0.7] TWO of the exPEriment// [5.25]
H THREE//
M //r and for PART
L
Figure 6-19. Pitch Sequence Structure from KK's Presentation.
’afterthought’ following a strategic topic length [0.9] second pause, and
consists only of the mid key additive tone unit, 'this should be equal’.
Following a rising confirmation marker, KK completes the recapitulation
in a series of mid to low key units that form separate PSs. This
particular section is problematic as the low key terminations and pause
boundaries do not match the content. The AE listener would expect:
//in part one// this is a diagram for the part two of the experiment//.
This is a repair construction similar to that shown in Figure 6-14, as KK
begins with the phrase 'in part one’, but then goes on to talk about
part two. The low key termination on 'diagram' and [0.7] second pause
make this difficult for the AE listener to interpret in the real time of
the discourse. Finally, there is a clear point of maximal disjunction

206
indicated by the low key termination on 'experiment' accompanied by a
[5.25] second pause, and a new SC begins with the lexical phrase, 'and
for part three’. This extract shows KK to be making key and
termination choices which, for the most part, reflect the nature of the
content, i.e., mid to low key choices for the summarized material, and a
return to high key when he moves to the third part of the experiment.
However, low key prominence choices interfere with this overall pattern
and render it less effective for the AE hearer(s).
The most consistent difficulties with the interpretation of PS
structure occurred in SH’s presentation. When compared to the NS data,
there are far fewer clearly marked prosodic paragraph structures in
SH’s presentation as boundaries were affected by this TA's frequent use
of rising or high, level tones on termination choices at the end of
intonational contours (see for example. Figure 6-14 and 6-15). Drop-Rise
patterns appear throughout the presentation at tone unit boundaries
and are often further accentuated by the use of an R+ tone:
H //r+ they THOUGHT it maybe a ONE//...
M Minor
L
H
M //r+ an Uve high or an tive LOW//...
L AC AC
H aSSIGNment//...
M //r+ in the PIN STATEment or
L
The Fo contour created by these level changes does not resemble
the patterns found in NS discourse. In the NS data, a typical contour
exhibits a gradually falUng baseHne combined with pitch peaks on

207
â– fl>PITCH
6.felS30< 0>
10
n
-
T
" ’ * "•
*.* *• *•**. *• * '»« ... m,*
L
U
• .... .......
uh do ic properly
Chat is because Chey choughc a minor one
ic maybe
6.613
Tt r»« <««c> 10.177
Figure 6-20. An Example of the Drop-Rise Pattern Found at Tone Unit
Boundaries in SH’s Presentation.
â– B>PITCH
40.76030< 0>
in
n
7
■ ,w. •
•*'*•***/
Í.
u
when ic was an
accive low signal ic should specified slash
s
be wicha
40.760
Tin* <%ma> 44.022
Figure 6-21. An Example of the Drop-Rise Pattern Found at Tone Units
Boundaries in SH's Presentation.
prominent syllables. In SH’s extract, these drop-rise patterns
consistently return the pitch values to the same height both in
prominent syllables and at the ends of tone units. The Fo reading of
two such patterns are given in Figures 6-20 and 6-21. In 6-20. the Fo
contour shows a downward movement toward ’Minor’ followed by a rising

208
tone on the final termination which returns the pitch height to a high
key. In addition to a similar upward movement at the end of Figure 6-
21, there is also a very clear low to high jump in pitch on the
prominent word, 'Active'. This gives a sense of a lack of completion
of prosodic units which is compounded by problems in assessing tone
choice.
Summary of Pitch Sequences
In summary, PS structure in the IE data more closely resembled
the NS data than the NNS group. Low key boundaries were used to
separate subsidiary material such as asides or other parenthetical
material from the main, informative content of the presentation, and low
key reformulation patterns paralleled those found in the NS discourse.
The paradiscourse sub-text was a more influential organizational factor
in these presentations compared to the other two groups. However, in
general, the relationship between PS boundaries and paradiscourse
activities paralleled that found in the NS discourse. As with SC
structure, PSs were affected by the unique pitch characteristics found
in this group. The pitch drop pattern found on prominent syllables
interfered with low key boundaries in some instances, and this was a
more consistent problem in SH’s presentation.
Discourse Markers
In agreement with both the NS and NNS data sets, the IES
speakers used a closed set of lexically equivalent but prosodically
distinct discourse markers (SO, OK, NOW and RIGHTj12 for a variety of
12
There was also one //r+ CLEAR// token (in UT’s extract) which
functioned in the same manner as a //r+RIGHT// marker.

209
functions, i.e., as framing devices, dummy low key choices, and rising
solidarity markers. The overall number of markers found in the IES
data is not comparable to the other two groups, as there are fewer
speakers and shorter extracts in this data set. However, a comparative
analysis does show more similarities between the IES and NNS group
than between the IES and NS speakers. Compared to the NS data,
discourse markers in this set appeared less frequently and were very
unevenly distributed among the speakers (particularly rising solidarity
markers). The number and prosodic composition of the discourse
markers in the IES data is shown in the table below. As the table
shows, there is an overall lack of discourse markers across the data set,
and particularly in SH and SF's presentations. The only marker in SH's
presentation appears at the very end of the extract analyzed here and
acts as a dummy low key choice to close the SC following a mid
termination.
H
M //r+ any other QUEStlons//
L //p oK// (SH)
SH appeared to substitute non-prominent sequencing markers such as
'and' and 'so' for clearly defined discourse markers which contributed
to the lack of overall structuring found in this particular presentation.
In the remaining three presentations, discourse markers were divided
into two groups; those realized with O and P tones, and rising solidarity
markers.
Discourse markers exhibiting 0 and P tones appeared most
frequently at retrospective transaction boundaries, or within pitch
sequences, primarily at boundaries between the text and the

210
paradiscourse sub-text. Where they appeared, they fulfilled the same
functions as 0 and P tones found in the NS and NNS group, although
six of the eleven discourse markers were realized with prosodically weak
Table 6-5. Discourse Markers in IES Data Set
TONE
CHOICE
P
0
R
TOTAL
KEY
H
M
L
H
M
L
H
M
L
SH
1
1
SF
3
1
4
KK
2
1
4
7
UT
2
2
1
8
1
14
0 tones, and the only proclaiming tone markers appeared in a low key.
Turning now to discourse markers realized with a rising tone, as
the table shows, most of these appeared in UT’s extract. These tokens
clearly functioned as solidarity markers in the same manner as those
found in the NS data, i.e„ to be asking, or to be seen to be asking for
confirmation of student understanding. Two examples of //r+ oK//
markers are shown above in Figure 6-16; one is followed by a [1.23]
second pause in which UT scans the students, and the other with a
much shorter [0.2] second pause as the TA briefly turns towards them.
The ten R/R+ discourse markers in UT's presentation also included one
high key frame //r+ NOW// which opened this discourse extract:
H //r+ NOW//
M [0.04] //p using the CALculator// (UT)
L

211
There were no examples of frames appearing in a rising tone in the NS
model ; however, in this case, the same general principles regarding
the communicative value of the R tone appear to apply here also. The
token appears after a clear SC boundary, and is followed by a barely
audible [0.04] second pause as UT turns towards the students
suggesting the possibility that the marker is multifunctional and
operates both as a discourse frame and as an acknowledgment of
student participation in the discourse (but see discussion of KK’s
presentation below).
There is only one example of a rising confirmation marker in SF’s
presentation and this is discussed in Figure 6-17. The four rising tone
markers which appear in KK’s extract include two R tone frames similar
to the one found in UT’s presentation, and two solidarity markers. One
example of each is shown in Figure 6-22 below. During the initial //r
NOW// mid key frame KK continues to look at the board, and it is less
clear that this is oriented toward the students.
Summary of Discourse Markers
In summary, unlike prosodic paragraphing, discourse markers in
the IES discourse more closely resembled the NNS group than the NS
data set. Like the NNS TAs, the IE speakers have acquired a set of
prosodically distinct discourse markers which perform a number of
functions; however, the IES use fewer markers overall, and these have a
weaker phonological shape than those found in the NS data. It should
also be noted, however, that 0 tone markers in the IES discourse may
13
Nor can I find any In the NS classroom discourse given by Barr
(1990).

212
be more effective than those in the NNS presentations, as there are far
fewer prominent hesitation markers also realized with an 0 tone.
H THIS to be in
M ////r NOW// [0.46] //p for EQUILIBRIUM// [0.26]
L
H FORCE //r* IS// [0.57]
M //?r+ the DOWNWARD// [0.98] //r+ uh THIS
L
H MASS// [1.77] //r+ p TIMES the
M acceleRAtion due to
L GRAvitv//
H
M [2.0] //r+ RIGHT// [1.2]
L
Figure 6-22. Two Rising Discourse Markers from KK’s Presentation.
Finally, discourse markers are also unevenly distributed among the
speakers. In two of the four presentations, there is a lack of solidarity
markers similar to that found in the NNS group, and in comparison to
the NS group, there is less evidence of these rapport building devices
in the IES presentations.
Tone Choice and Orientation
This final section of the analysis will investigate the tone choices
made by the four speakers. In line with the previous two data sets,
each of the IES presentations contained a lower limit of 100 tone units,
and raw counts of tone choices were converted to percentages.
However, there were two important differences regarding analysis of the
tonal system in the IES data that distinguished this group of speakers
from the NS and NNS groups. First, unlike the previous two data sets,

213
the unique pitch patterns found in these data caused occasional
difficulty in identifying tone choices in three of the four presentations
(SF, UT, KK); and this was particularly the case with analyzing SH’s
extract. During the transcription process, it became clear that some
tone choices could only be resolved by reference to the Fo traces, as
the perception of an O, P or R tone was unclear from the acoustic
analysis. As the original NS hearers clearly did not have access to this
analytical tool, these tone choices were considered difficult for the
target audience of AE speakers to interpret, and are marked with a
question mark (?) in the transcribed examples (these will be described
in more detail below).
Second, in the previous two analyses, the teaching discourse could
be characterized by a projection of direct orientation (the NS group) or
oblique orientation (the NNS group), and this could be generalized
across all the speakers in a given data set. In the IES data however,
the tonal system was subject to wide individual variation which, for the
most part, made these kinds of generalizations impossible. Therefore,
the four speakers were grouped based on the predominant tone choices
(R, P or 0 or combinations thereof) found in each extract; for example,
SF’s extract consists primarily of oblique 0 and P tones, whereas UT
and KK’s extracts contain largely R and P tones and virtually no 0 tone
choices. In fact, this divides the four speakers into three subgroups
which parallel a division that could be made by first language (SF,
Hindi-Urdu; UT and KK, Bengali; SH, Tamil). As there is an insufficient
number of speakers overall to make any firm statements regarding LI
transfer, I will refer to individual speakers as opposed to LI. However,

214
where applicable, the analysis includes discussion of the possible
contribution of LI transfer effects, and UT and KK’s presentation are
discussed in the same part of the analysis. Consequently, following the
breakdown of tone choices across the data set shown in Table 6-6, the
analysis is divided into three parts: analysis of tone choices in SF’s
presentation: analysis of UT and KK’s presentations, and finally, analysis
of SH's extract.
Table 6-6 summarizes the percentage of tone choices found in each
presentation. The final column indicates the percentage of tone choices
that were difficult to interpret in each presentation.
Table 6-6. Percentage of Tone Choices in the IES Data Set
TA
SF
UT
KK
SH
% OF P
TONES
58
36
27
27
% OF R
TONES
11
59
66
49
% OF 0
TONES
31
5
7
24
% OF
PROBLEM
TONES
11
4
10
42
Teaching Assistant: SF
SF’s presentation contains the highest percentage of 0 tones
found in any extract across the three data sets. In combination with
comparatively few R tone choices, this creates an oblique orientation
throughout much of this presentation. In addition to these tone choices
which are oriented toward the Language rather than the hearer(s), SF
works at the board throughout this extract, uses only one rising

215
confirmation marker, and rarely scans the students. A typical extract
from SF’s presentation is shown in Figure 6-23. This figure shows a
complete SC in which SF is explaining the differences between a
practical and idealized diode circuit. The SC begins with a comparison
between the two circuits in which SF uses an appropriate high key for
the contrasted items, '/deal' and 'practical'. However, the phonetic
realization of the items reduce the effectiveness of this prosodic cue.
Both items occur with the low to high Fo pattern found on many of the
prominences in these presentations, and this is compounded by the
perception of equal prominence on each of the syllables in ’practical'.
This is shown in the Fo contours given in Figure 6-24. The Fo contour
also shows a break in intonational phrasing between the falling nucleus
on 'Diode' and the following phrase; however, this proclaiming tone is
unclear (hence the question mark), due to the lower rising pitch on the
first syllable and the sustained higher level pitch on the second syllable
before the Fo fall. The following two tone units form a template
construction, 'there’s gonna be some current flow which is called the
reverse saturation current’. Again, there are shifts between
pitch levels on the prominent syllables; however, the pattern is
recognizable because of the short pause and level 0 tone. SF continues
to use 0 and P tones throughout the remainder of the SC. P tones
rather than 0 tones were often used at points of potential completion,
and P tones which marked clause final boundaries were obscured by
prominence patterns. Figure 6-25 shows the Fo contour for the second
problematic proclaiming tone choice which appears later in the SC, 'and
the anode is grounded". On the nucleus, 'grounded, there is a low flat

216
pitch on the first prominent syllable and a peak followed by a falling
pitch on the non-prominent second syllable. As with the examples
shown in Figure 6-24, it is difficult to interpret this pattern as one of
the termination choices found in the NS model. The difficulties
encountered in the recognition of tone choices on tonic syllables were
further compounded by problematic tone unit boundaries. Following the
template construction shown above, there is a series of tone unit
boundaries which divide well-formed phrases or clauses:
That is when the// cathode is connected to the// positive voltage
V and the// anode is grounded// there’s gonna be some reverse
saturation current flowing though the// diode in the reverse
direction//
These do not form template constructions, as the tone unit boundary in
these cases is followed by the remainder of the phrase or clause rather
than a single item.14 In addition, tone choices tend to fall on function
words rather than content words; for example, such as 'connected TO' or
'through THE’. Each of these problems contributes to both difficulties
in assessing tone choice, and to a reduction in the effectiveness of the
toned system for AE listeners. R tones were used infrequently by SF
and made up only 115» of the tone choices. Where they did appear, they
were used to refer to items that were currently 'in play’ in the
discourse, i.e„ items that had been previously introduced into the
discourse, or appeared on the board.
h'here is one approximation of the template construction with an R+
tone similar to the pattern found in UT and KK’s presentation (see Figure
6); however, this is also followed by an incomplete phrase: //r+ WHAT i’m
DOING IS// //i'm conNECTing some VOLtage at the cath- NEgative//...

217
For example, 'diode' is introduced in the opening unit of the
presentation with a P tone (//p WHAT’s a Diode//), and is then referred
H Ideal Diode there’s
M ////?P P I for an NO CURrent FLOW
L BUT// [0.56]
H CASE of TICAL
M //p in PRAC Diodes// [0.62] //p o there’s gonna be
L
H rent FLOW which is //p reVERSE
M some CUR CALLED THE// [0.05]
L
H satuRAtion IS
M CURrent// [0.62] //p THAT WHEN the// [1.52]
L //er//
H ode is nected TO the// [1.35]
M [1.0] //p CATH CON //o o Positive
L
H
M VOLtage V AND THE// [0.04] ODE is
L //?p AN GROUNDed// [0.84]
M //o there’s gonna be some REverse SATURATION CURrent flowing
L
M THROUGH THE// [0.73]
L //p p Diode in the reVERSE diRECtion//
Figure 6-23. 0 and P Tone Choices from SF's Presentation.
to using a rising tone on two other occasions in the first SC (//r+ p a
Diode is a Two terminal deVICE//: //r+ p the DIFFerence between a
Diode and a reSIStor is THAT//). As noted above in Figure 6-15, SF
also used one example of a rising confirmation marker. This use of R
tones closely paralleled the typical pattern found in the NNS data where

218
rising tones appeared as isolated occurrences scattered across the data
for the same discourse functions.
â– B>PITCH 30.98980< 0>
in
n
7
41
U
s
.
/*"***. ‘ "V’’—y"' •»„ ***’•♦. ^
I for an ideal diode there's no current flow but
30.990 Tin* <••<=> 33.638
Figure 6-24. Instrumental Readings of Low to High Prominence Patterns
from SF's Presentation, a) Ideal Diode; b) Practical Diodes.
Figure 6-24, continued.
Finally, in addition to O and P tone choices, the reader will recall
that oblique orientation was also signalled by the use of multiple
prominences within tone units. In the NS data, multiple prominence

219
patterns occurred as a 'citation' tone in a limited number of contexts
such as in technical expressions or lexical phrases. In contrast, in the
NNS group, the number of multiple prominences virtually tripled, and
Figure 6-25. Instrumental Reading of the Fo Contour of a
Problematic Termination Choice from SF's
Presentation.
less than half were comparable to NS choices. It was difficult to make a
precise comparison between the IES data and the NS and NNS sets
because of the unique prominence patterns found in this group of
speakers. However, in comparison with the NS presentations, tone units
tended to be shorter and contain more prominent syllables, or syllables
that exhibited problematic pitch patterns and were therefore
distinguished from the surrounding material (see, for example. Figure 6-
24).
This was not only a feature of SF’s presentation, however, but
applied to all four speakers regardless of tone choice. Gumperz (1982)
suggests that this is a prosodic convention of Indian English. In his
analysis of IE data, he notes that "the sentence is divided into several

220
prosodic pieces corresponding to English phrase rather than clause
length units...thus, at least internationally, almost every content word is
highlighted" (p. 121). Gumperz also proposes that these patterns may
stem from LI transfer. All the data used in his analysis comes from
Northern Indian speakers whose LI is Hindi, Gujerati or Punjabi, and he
notes that in Hindi, a sentence is divided into "syntactic pieces", e.g.,
an NP or VP, each of which is realized with a "sub-contour". Each sub¬
contour shows a series of rises to a level pitch with no one syllable
clearly indicated as a nucleus. Regarding stress patterns, he notes that
there is less difference in intensity between stressed and unstressed
syUables, and that stressed syllables will be high or rising in pitch.
There are clearly paraUels here with SF's prosodic structure; most
particularly, with the notion of sub-contours and intensity readings (see
Figure 6-3). However, these patterns were also found in the speech of
the three other Indian language speakers. The pattern of rising to a
level pitch was found in both SF and SH’s presentations, and although
there are clear rises in pitch on some prominent syUables, there are
also many examples of the use of a low level pitch to indicate
prominence as opposed to a high pitch. Gumperz foUows this discussion
with an analysis of typical IE patterns of prosody, and there are clear
parallels here with aU the speakers analyzed in this group. In the
foUowing sentence, for example, 'do you want a cup of tea or do you
want a cup of coffee?’ (p. 124), Gumperz suggests that the material is
divided into a series of small phrasal units which exhibit a "sharp
downward pitch movement" on their initial stressed syllables foUowed by
a pitch register shift upward on the final accented syUable of each

221
phrase. This can be transcribed using the conventions I have adopted
as:
// you WANT// a // of TEA//
DO CUP
As noted earlier, in the conclusion of his analysis, Gumperz also
suggests that these features are generalizable across IE speakers
regardless of first language:
There is preliminary evidence to suggest that the
peculiarities of Indian English described here will hold
for most native speakers of Indo-Aryan languages
such as Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and Guj'erati, as well as
for speakers of the genetically unrelated Dravidian
languages such as Telegu. (p. 128)
The data set discussed here certainly supports this preliminary
evidence.
Summary of SF's Tone Choices
In summary, SF’s presentation consists largely of 0 and P tones
and is characterized by an oblique orientation. R tones are infrequent
and with one exception, where they do appear, they mark items that are
currently 'in play' in the discourse rather than marking any of the
other information or social functions found in the NS data. The effect
of these oblique tone choices is further compounded by tone unit
boundaries which break up single propositions into short phrasal units
which exhibit multiple prominences. These last characteristics regarding
tone unit division apply to all four speakers in this group, and suggest
that conventional choices in IE English differ from those found in
American English. For the NS hearer(s), these features combine to
produce a level of prosodic structure which is difficult to interpret
within the parameters of the NS model.

222
Teaching Assistants: UT and KK
In contrast to SF’s extract, tone choices appear to be directly
oriented in UT and KK’s presentations. Both speakers use few 0 tones
(UT, 5%; KK, 7%), and where these do appear, they match the citation
tone found in the NS data set:
1. Pause fillers: //o AND// (KK)
2. Discourse markers: //o SO// (KK) //o ok NOW// (UT)
3. Listing: //o FORty HUNdred// (UT)
4. Boardwork: //o M...// (KK)
However, more than 50% of tone choices transcribed in UT and
KK’s presentations were R tones (UT, 59%; KK, 66%). These two extracts
exhibited the highest percentage of R tones across all three data sets,
and virtually double the highest amounts found in the NS presentations
(BL, 34%; MK: 31%). In other words, although tones appeared to show a
direct orientation, how and where R and P tones were used in UT and
KK’s presentations differed from the NS model. Turning first to the use
of R tones in the two extracts. Figure 6-26 shows a typical example of a
series of R tones. The SC begins with an initial organizational phrase
which forms the first PS, 'uh as you see for, just take this example’.
This is followed by a succession of minimal R+ tone units as UT
describes the example written on the board. The tonal pattern in
several of these units, 'one is THE// AMplitude//’, 'Other is THE//
ANgle//', is similar to the approximation of the template pattern shown
in Figure 6-6; however, the initial unit is completed with a sharply
rising, rather than falling tone. Sample Fo contours are shown below in

223
Figure 27. There are also two examples of the template approximation,
one of which closes this SC.
H
M //r r+ that PLOT is CALLED AS// AMplitude
L //p the PLOT//
As noted above, these may be more readily perceived by NS hearers as
finality contours based on the NS TA's use of the similar template
pattern; however, this does not appear to be the guiding principle for
the speaker, and this is not a reliable prosodic cue for the NS
hearer(s). Immediately preceding this final closing pattern, UT uses a
template approximation which closes with a low key, but is followed by
an additional mid key unit:
H
M //r* it means i Plot the DIFferent// //p AM //p at Different
L plitude//
H
M freOUENcies//
L
A similar pattern of tonal structure is found in KK’s presentation:
H ////r THIS WILL BE//
M CASE// r r+ the force DOWNward //r+ this
L
H MASS// r+ TIMES// TOJ/
M //?r+ the acceleRAtion
L DUE Up GRAvity//
The initial R+ rise, 'force downward will be', is followed by three short
additional R+ units before the final falling tone.
Both these presentations are also characterized by the use of
extremely short tone units often consisting of only one or two prominent
syllables and little unstressed material. As with SF’s presentation, this
creates a series of 'sub-contours', or small prosodic pieces, rather than

224
H //// uh as you SEE for// [0.04] //p JUST take
M THIS
L exAMple//
H reSPONSE// [0.5] //r* at
M [2.26] //r* THIS is THE FREquency
L
H quencyl/ [0.36]
M FRE Hr* TEN RAdians per SEcond// [0.46]
L
H TWO ponentsll [0.92] THE// [0.32]
M Hr* it HAS COM //r* ONE is
L
H plitude // [0.46] THE// [0.32]
M //r+ AM //r* Other is
L
H gle// [0.97]
M l/r* AN //r* RIGHT// [0.13] //r or the PHASE//
L
H IF I PLOT// [1.52]
M [1.24] //p now //p IF i PLOT// [1.57]
L
H
M //?r AMplitude// [1.46] //p VERSUS// [1.36] //?p p
L
M FREQUENCY or say i //r* it means i PLOT
L WRITE oMEga// [1.3]
H ferent// [0.1]
M the DIF //p AM HP at DIFferent
L pliTUDE/l [0.7]
H THAT PLOT
M freQUENcies// [0.48] //r r* is CALLED AS// [0.87]
L
H
M AMplitude
L //the PLOT//
Figure 26. An Example of a Series of Short Rising Tone Units from UT’s
Presentation.

225
Figure 6-27. Instrumental Readings of the Fo Contours of Rising
Tones from UT’s Presentations, a) One is the
Amplitude; b) the Other is the Angle.
a unified contour. The break between these pieces is further amplified
in UT and KK’s presentations by the abrupt pitch level changes
resulting from the R* tones.
There is nothing in principle to prevent a speaker from using a
series of R/R+ tones if she believes or wishes to imply that the

226
information is accessible to the hearer.1^ In both the discourse samples
shown above, the items are currently 'in play' in the discourse, i.e.,
written on the board, and there are clearly appropriate individual R
tone choices such as rising confirmation markers. In addition, in UT’s
sample, he remains facing the students, and is clearly scanning the
students during the long pauses between tone units. However, at the
level of tone unit organization, there is clearly a different structure
from that found in the NS data, and these samples suggest that Fo
patterns used by UT and KK are not necessarily based on an
understanding of how the tonal system operates in American English.
Although R tone choices found here can be interpreted within the tonal
system (for example, the rising tones on discourse frames in these two
presentations), based on the overall tonal patterns found throughout the
discourse extract, and their phonetic shape, it is equally likely that
these are conventionalized patterns as opposed to meaningful tone
choices.
This proposal is supported by the possible effects of first
language transfer. In an article describing Bengali intonation patterns,
Hayes and Lahiri (1991) describe several patterns that are similar to
those found in these discourse extracts. In Bengali, Hayes and Lahiri
identify a nucleus inventory of eight possible patterns. In half of
these, stress is assigned to focussed constituents with a low tone, i.e.,
realized with a low pitch, which parallels the pitch drop pattern found
here on many of the prominent syllables. Two of these patterns, which
15 For example, Brazil (1997) suggests that story-telling often begins
with this assumption: //r+ a GREAT while aGO// r+ while there were still
Giants on the earth// (p. 92).

227
the authors call "downstep nuclei", consist of a rising head (i.e., the
initial part of the tone unit) followed by the main stressed syllable
which sounds "distinctly lower than the preceding syllable and begins a
pitch fall that continues to the end of the sentence" (p. 70). This
pattern sounds very similar to the template approximations found in
these two presentations, and it is certainly possible that the
construction may originate from this first language pattern. As further
1C
support, this downstep pattern is found only once in SF's
presentation and does not appear in SH’s discourse. However, as with
patterns described in the previous section, research reported in the IE
literature does suggest that downstep nuclei may be more generali2able
in IE and found across both North and South Indian English. Bansal
(1967: 146) includes several examples of this pattern in his discussion of
17
IE spoken by Hindi and Telegu speakers:
I’m learning an East African language/ that is known
as/ Swahili/ (Hindi)
Have you got/ a pen/ (Telegu)
An explanation for these findings is suggested by Bansal, who proposes
that certain features may be more pronounced in speakers from
different regions, presumably due to LI effects, but that a number of
consistent features will characterize Indian English speakers as a group:
Indian English, even Educated Indian English, varies
from region to region, but it retains certain common
patterns which mark it as distinctively Indian.(p. 167)
16
Downstep’ is a term taken from phonological theory, particularly
theories concerned with tone languages where it refers to tonal targets.
It is used here only as a descriptive label for the specific contour found
in these data.
17
The diacritics are glossed as follows: .main accentual stress or
pitch prominence: .low rising pitch: .falling rising pitch.

228
As shown on Table 6-6, the predominant use of R tones in these
two presentations considerably reduces the number of P tones found in
these extracts in comparison to both the NS and NNS groups (UT, 36%;
KK, 27%). Where P tones do appear, they are primarily used to close PS
or SC boundaries, particularly as part of the downstep pattern, or can
be interpreted as 'proclaiming’ the information within the tone unit. In
the short example shown below from UT's transcript (also shown in
Figure 6-10), the TA pronounces the new topic using successive P tones:
H plitude
M //o ok NOW//p AM PLOT//p FIRST i’ll explain what IS an plitude
L AM
H
M
L PLOT//
The speakers’ use of low key falling tones to close prosodic units
suggests an awareness of prosodic paragraph structures. In addition,
the phonetic realization of final termination choices at these points in
the discourse frequently differs from phonetic patterns found within
SCs; for example, a tonic syllable is realized with a pitch peak on the
prominent syllable followed by a fall, as opposed to a pitch drop
10
followed by a level or rising tone. However, these tone patterns also
differed from the NS model. In the NS data, paragraph final, low key
falling tones co-occurred with a gradual declination in pitch and a
falling baseline, whereas UT and KK’s final units were largely
characterized by abrupt changes in pitch between key and termination
’This also applies to SF’s presentation where the typical realization
of VOLtage (see Figure la), is reversed at the end of prosodic paragraphs.

229
choices. This was particularly evident in KK’s extract as R+ tones could
extend to 280hz-300 hz which was the highest Fo value of any speaker
across all three data sets. As noted above, this created a series of
sub-contours which were not found in the NS data.
Summary of UT's and KK’s Tone Choices
In summary, both UT and KK used directly oriented tones and
primarily R tones throughout their presentations. The analysis
suggested, however, that many of the choices may be conventionalized
patterns as opposed to meaningful choices within the tonal system
proposed in the model. This applied particularly to the use of the
downstep nucleus, which may be based on a similar pattern found In the
LI of these speakers. In addition, the downstep pattern and register
shifts shown on prominent syllables create a unit closing pattern which
does not match declination contours found in the NS data. Finally, the
majority of tone units were minimal tonic segments with multiple
prominences which separated single propositions. This mismatch between
information and prosodic structure, also found in SF’s presentation,
caused a breakdown in the organization of the discourse at this level of
structure.
Teaching Assistant: SH
SH’s discourse extract was distinguished from the other three
presentations in this group by the number of tone choices that were
difficult to interpret. 42% of the tonic syllables transcribed in this
presentation (including R, P and 0 tones) were identified largely from
the Fo contour produced by the instrumental analysis. One section of
SH’s extract that demonstrates the typical problems found in identifying

230
tone choice is shown in Figure 6-28. This is the opening of SH’s
discussion of the informative content of the lab which begins with 'these
statements’ as SH points to the blackboard. The Fo contour for the
opening tone units is shown in Figure 6-29. As the contour shows, both
syllables in 'statements’ begin at the same pitch height and there is a
short fall followed by a slight rise on each syllable. Although this is
not the typical Fo contour found with a level tone (see, for example, the
NS example in Figure 6-5), the perception of equal stress on both
syllables and the slight pitch movement, most closely resemble a level
tone for the hearer. The second problematic tone is also shown in
Figure 6-29. This tone is heard as a probable R+ choice because of the
rise on the prominent syllable, 'WRITten'. However, R+ choices in the NS
data continue the rising movement on the following non-prominent
syllable, whereas here, the contour is level followed by a sUght faU
which makes the actual tone difficult to determine. The following three
tone choices are shown in Figure 6-30. Both 'statements’ and ’program’
are heard as probable R tone choices because of the ’dip’ in the Fo
contour found on the first prominent syUable. However, this perception
is confused by the mismatch of pitch and intensity found on these
syllables. As the figure shows, although there a sUght drop in
intensity on the second syllable in 'statements’, this is counteracted by
the higher level pitch. In the phonetic reaUzation of 'program' the
sUght drop in intensity coincides with the prominent first syllable, and
the sUght increase in ampUtude on the second syUable contributes to
the difficulty in assessing tonal movement. The third tone on ’beCAUSE’
is more clearly read as an 0 tone due to the level pitch on the second

231
H ////?o THESE STATEMENTS// ?r* you may be fa-
M faMIliar with
L
H
M but i’ve WRIT ten// ?r ?r o CERtain STATEments which are USED
L
H //?r p last during
M for the PAL-asm PROeram ceCAUSE// 7LAST
L
H seMESter in the
M exAM// ?r+ there were certain QUEStions//
L
H
M //p usually i THINK// you may NOT//
L //?r BOther much aBOUT
H specific questions on
M //o but THERE are THIS which
L it//
H //?o r+ uh it PROperly that is
M of them didn’t// DO
L MOST
H beCAUSE they THOUGHT it maybe a ONE//
M Minor
L
Figure 6-28. An Example of Problematic Tone Choices from SH’s
Presentation.
prominent syllable and matching increase in amplitude; however, again,
there is a distinct dip in pitch that distinguishes the first non-
prominent syllable from unstressed material. The following two tone
choices in this section are shown in Figure 6-31. The first tone is
obscured by the abrupt drop in pitch on the immediately preceding
prominent word ’last’ and jump upwards in pitch level for the tonic on
’semester’. The perception of an R tone comes from a drop in pitch on

232
â–  B>P ITCH 38.2MSK 3>
in
n
H
r
«
t.
u
o
these statements you maybe fa- familiar with but I've written
38.243 Tin* (tac) 42.107
Figure 6-29. Instrumental Reading of the Fo Contour of Problematic Tone
Choices from SH’s Presentation.
the middle syllable in ’seMESter’ which is not shown on the Fo contour
due to the voiceless segments; however, the surrounding pitch
movements undermine this movement. The P tone on 'exAM* is easier to
perceive because of a clearer fall in pitch on the prominent syllable,
although again, there is a drop on the first non-prominent syllable and
this does not sound equivalent to unstressed syllables found in the NS
data. Finally, Figure 6-32 shows the following problematic tone choice
on 'QUEStions*. The difficulty in assessing this tone choice again comes
from the low-high pitch pattern on the two syllables and no drop in
amplitude.
As with UT and KK, these low-high patterns of stress may be at
least partially the result of LI transfer. In a discussion of word
melody, Mohanan (1986) states that Dravidian languages exhibit a LH
(low-high) pattern in which primary stress is indicated with a low tone.
In conjunction with Hayes and Lahiri’s proposals for Bengali, this
suggests that both North and South Indian speakers may use this

233
pattern to realize prominence. Gumperz (1982) suggests that the same
pattern may be found in Hind-Urdu speakers, and it is possible that
this feature, stemming originally from Indian languages, has become
conventionalized in Indian English. Figure 6-32 also clearly shows the
'sub-contour' patterns found in SH’s discourse which matched those
found in the other three speakers. Each tone unit, 'there were certain
questions// usually I think// you may not//’ forms a separate prosodic
phrase, and these break up the structure of the sentence.
Although percentages of particular R, P and 0 tone choices are
given for SH in Table 6-6, the problems described above applied to
virtually half the tonic syllables transcribed in this presentation as
compared to 10% or less in the discourse extracts of the other three
speakers. Based on these difficulties of interpretation, it is unlikely
that they are perceived by the hearer(s) as meaningful tone choices. It
is also assumed, however, that the hearer(s) will attempt to make sense
of the prosodic structure within the parameters of the NS model in much
the same way as I have done in the transcripts shown here. In this
case, prosodic cues will hinder rather than assist comprehension of the
discourse structure.
With this caveat in mind, across the discourse extract, there were
more approximations of R and 0 tones, than falling P tones (0 and R
tones made up 73% of choices). When combined with the lack of
prosodic paragraph boundaries found in this presentation and discussed
earlier in the analysis, there was little sense of clear unit closing
boundaries in the prosodic system and the hierarchical organizational
structure found in the NS data was very difficult to identify in this

234
â–  B>PITCH 42.1B67B< B>
s
in
o
jr
.—‘ •. \ \ * —
u
certain statements are used for the Paiasm program be cause
o
which
42.107 T i H4 <»4C> 43,592
Figure 6-30. Instrumental Readings of Problematic Tone Choices from
SH’s Presentation, a) Pitch Pattern; b) Amplitude Pattern.
Figure 6-30, continued.
presentation. There was some evidence to show that SH used tonal
patterns for functions similar to those found in the other speakers in
this group and the NS group. In the two examples shown below, SH is
referring to items written on the board using (approximate) R tone
choices:

235
//?r» so HERE i HIGHlighted them//
//?r o ?r* HERE for exAMple Pin TWO is INput//
â– B>PITCH
4S.59200< 0>
IT
n
*
y
\ •* ** *'* . * \
***•—-••
i.
u
last
dur- during last semester in the ex am
«
43.392
Tt«* <«ac>
48.606
Figure 6-31.
Instrumental Reading of the Fo Contour
Tone Choices from SH’s Presentation.
of Problematic
â– B>PITCH
48.7S480 < 0>
K
n
N
y
** ***’• ** • *** '
i.
u
there certain ques tion usually I think
you may not
were
s
»8.793
Tl r*« (tflc >
31.809
Figure 6-32. Instrumental Readings of a Problematic Tone Choice
and Sub-Contour Patterns in SH’s Presentation,
a) Pitch Pattern; b) Amplitude Pattern.
However, these examples are often ineffective due to the phonetic
realization of surrounding syllables. In the example given below, every

236
Figure 32, continued.
content word in the tone unit is made prominent, and the LH prominence
patterns on 'INput' and ’OUTput’ and ’Active’ detract from the final
tonic syllable.
H
M //r+ SPEcified the put or put is an tive LOW//
L IN OUT AC
Summary of SH's Tone Choices
In summary, almost half of the tone choices in SH’s presentation
are difficult to interpret due to the manner of phonetic realization.
Prominence was primarily realized with a LH pattern that resulted in
abrupt shifts between pitch levels. Termination and key choices often
exhibited a level or slight rising movement on the final non-prominent
syllable rather than a continuation of the Fo contour in the direction of
the tonal movement. In addition, mismatches between pitch and
amplitude confused prominent and non-prominent syllables. As tone
choices were so difficult to determine, it was difficult to identify
meaningful choices within the tonal system proposed in the model.

237
However, overall, there were more approximations of R and 0 tones
which contributed to the sense of a lack of clear unit boundaries.
Conclusion
Gumperz (1982) suggests that IES speakers have their own
systematic conventions of prosody, and the analysis presented here
supports that proposal for a number of prosodic features. The IES
group frequently use a LH word melody rather than a pitch peak on
prominent syllables, and shifts in pitch register rather than tonal
movement on tonic syllables. Another feature common to all the
speakers in this group is a break up of clausal units into short phrases
which are matched by intonational 'sub-contours’. In agreement with
Bansal (1967) and Gumperz, I suggest that these characteristics form
part of General Indian English prosodic conventions which stemmed
originally from contact between English and Indian languages. These
features now characterize this indigenized variety through a process of
'nativization' described by Kachru (1985).
As the final section of this analysis shows, these data also show
individual variation between speakers. The downstep nuclei found in UT
and KK’s discourse do not appear in SH’s presentation, and the
substantial difficulty noted in assessing tone choices found in SH’s
presentation was not the case with the other three speakers. As noted
earlier, the explanation may lie at least partially in the effects of LI
transfer. This was particularly the case for the downstep pattern found
in UT and KK’s presentation, as a similar pattern is described by Hayes
& Lahiri (1991) in BengaU. The authors suggest that this pattern is
used as a finality contour in BengaH, and it is also possible that these

238
speakers have adapted the template pattern they have heard in NS
teaching discourse by 'mapping’ their roughly equivalent first language
pattern onto this construction.
Throughout the analysis, SH has been distinguished from the
other three speakers. There is less evidence of prosodic paragraphing
in this presentation, and considerable problems with tone choice. He is
also the only South Indian speaker in this group, whose first language
is part of the Dravidian language group. Research into the prosodic
structure of South Indian languages is relatively scarce and occasionally
contradictory. The two analyses I have found of Tamil contradict each
other and the data found here. Balasubramanian (1972) suggests there
is no stress in Tamil, and Ravinsankar (1994) states that stress in Tamil
is realized in the same manner as in English in all contexts except
where an emphatic or contrastive pattern is used. This accent does
have the same LH pattern as that found on contrasted items in SH’s
presentation, for example:
put or put
IN OUT
however, it also appears in non-contrastive contexts throughout SH’s
discourse. The difficulty, of course, is that only one Dravidian speaker
is analyzed here, and the particular features found in this discourse
extract may be idiosyncratic. Variation may also be the result of a
different proficiency level for this particular speaker. Kachru (1985)
points out that English proficiency in India is subject to a "cline of
bilingualism" (p. 70), and individual speakers may show varying ability.
Although these four speakers have similar backgrounds and all

239
completed their secondary and undergraduate education in English
medium schools, teachers and regional varieties of English may have
varied widely (Sridhar & Sridhar, 1992).
Despite these unique characteristics, three of the four speakers
organized higher level prosodic structures in much the same way as the
NS group, demonstrating some familiarity with this particular aspect of
the prosodic system in English. Prosodic paragraphs usually marked
points of maximal disjunction at other levels of discourse organization,
or activities outside the text itself. For the most part, this also marked
the difference between the NNS and IES speakers in terms of familiarity
with the language itself. There was no evidence in the IES discourse of
the consistent disfluencies and difficulties in online verbal production
found in the NNS data which seriously disrupted these prosodic units of
organization.
Even with this closer approximation of the NS model, however,
prosodic cues in the IES data, particularly at the level of tone unit
structure, were less reliable, less explicit, and therefore less effective in
this group compared to the NS discourse extracts. It is difficult to
assess the precise effect of these features on discourse
comprehensibility: however, it is clear that prosodic cues did not match
listener expectations in terms of the NS model, and created a unique
profile of prosodic composition. Bansal (1967: 92) suggests that the
rising tones used at the ends of statements, found particularly in UT,
KK and SH’s presentations, will sound "unusual" to NS hearer(s).
Gumperz (1982: 121) describes IE as sounding either "full of stress and
staccato, or droning and monotonous", both of which imply difficulties in

240
assessing information structure. Discussions of comprehensibility in the
Indian English literature are often obscured by the researcher’s own
position regarding the perceived 'value' of indigenized varieties of
English. In an analysis of certain features of IE, for example, Parasher
(1992) concludes that "it is in deviant lexical and stylistic usage of
Indian English that its most characteristic features lie" (p. 163). In the
same volume, Sridhar & Sridhar (1992: 45) state that comparisons with
NS varieties of English are "irrelevant and misleading", presumably in
reaction to the kinds of comments made by Parasher and others.
Ultimately, intelligibility of IVES or any non-native variety must be
based on listener expectation. Smith and Nelson (1985: 333) suggest that
"intelligibility is not speaker or listener-centered but is interactional
between speaker and hearer". Nelson (1985: 59) further states:
Being intelligible means being understood by an
interlocutor at a given time in a given situation.
This definition presumes participants, people who may
not be from the same community...The extent to which
their languages share phonological and grammatical
features will determine the degree to which they are
"intelligible".
In this case. It is these differences that affect the
comprehensibility of the discourse extracts analyzed here. NS hearer(s)
will attempt to interpret prosodic patterns within their understanding of
the system. This may be further compounded by the fact that IE
speakers do. in some cases, use more familiar patterns than non-native
speakers. However, analysis of tone unit structure and tone choice
particularly, show that these patterns are not easily interpretable within
an NS model and presumably for the NS hearer(s). In addition, Nelson
suggests that intelligibility includes not only the linguistic aspects of

241
competence, but also social aspects. In these data, the IES TAs more
closely resembled the NNS group in the lack of solidarity marking and
rapport-building devices found in their presentations. This further
contributes to a lack of negotiation between these TAs and their
students in a context where the hearer(s) would expect a direct
orientation in discourse structuring.

CHAPTER 7
CONCLUSION
Summary of the Analyses
This study has compared the prosodic structure of 16 parallel
extracts from the lecture discourse of three groups of speakers of
English: native speakers, nonnative speakers (Chinese), and speakers of
an indigenized variety (Indian English). A qualitative, interpretative
design was chosen in order to conduct a microanalysis of the complete
pitch and pause structure of each of the discourse extracts recorded
for this study. The data were analyzed using both instrumental and
auditory techniques, and interpreted using an existing model of
intonation in discourse (Brazil, 1997). This analysis was set within a
larger framework of cross-cultural interaction based primarily on
Gumperz (1982). Prosodic structure is interpreted as one layer of
discourse organization, which combines with lexical, syntactic, and non¬
verbal information to create the communicative value of the discourse as
a whole. The results of the analysis of the NS data reported in Chapter
4 support the hierarchical model of prosodic units proposed by Brazil
(1997) and Barr (1990). Speakers systematically used key and tone
choices to organize the discourse at both the paragraph and sentential
level. The interpretation of these choices also provided comprehensive
and purposeful explanations for the intonation patterns found in the
data, and define a role for intonation as a device used both to structure
242

243
the content of the discourse and to build rapport between discourse
participants.
The results of the comparative analyses of the NNS and IES
speakers reported in Chapters 5 and 6 showed that neither group of
speakers consistently produced the same prosodic patterns as those
found in the NS group. Despite individual variation among speakers
within groups, each group could be characterized by a typical prosodic
profile which marked speakers as deviating from a native speaker
standard. Analysis of key and tone choices highlighted precisely where
these differences occurred, and interpretation within the larger context
of the discourse revealed why these differences both reduced discourse
comprehensibility for the AE hearer(s), and negatively affected rapport¬
building between NS-NNS participants. The remainder of this chapter is
divided into five parts. In the next three sections, I will briefly
summarize the important findings of each of the analyses and their
implications for each group of speakers. Following this, I will discuss
the role of prosodic structure in the comprehensibility of L2 discourse
and possible implications for ESL teaching. Finally, I will suggest
possible areas of future research.
Results of the NS Analysis
Two of the most important findings from the NS analysis concern
prosodic paragraphing and tone choice. Each of the data extracts was
divided into a series of sequence chains marked by a high key and low
termination at their boundaries. Within sequence chains, pitch sequence
boundaries marked with either a mid or low key at their opening and a
closing low termination created smaller prosodic paragraphing

244
structures. These findings contribute directly to the discussion of
prosodic paragraphing in the literature discussed in Chapter 2 of this
dissertation. As research shifts towards consideration of discourse
structure as well as the intonational phrase, more and more researchers
in both discourse analysis and speech perception recognize the major
paratone, or sequence chain, as a valid unit of prosodic structure (Yule,
1980; Couper-Kuhlen, 1986; Wennerstrom, 1997). As a result of their
analyses, some investigators have also suggested the possibility of a
minor paratone, or internal paragraphing unit which would be consistent
with the pitch sequence structure shown here (Yule, 1980; Couper-
Kuhlen, 1986). This analysis depends on the recognition of key or a
relative onset level. Using this system, the speaker can distinguish
internal paragraphing boundaries following a low key from points of
maximal disjunction indicated by high key sequence chain boundaries.
The analysis of both sequence chain and pitch sequence
boundaries is supported by organizational units at other levels of the
discourse structure. Over 80% of the sequence chains found in the NS
data either coincided with changes in the area of attention of the
discourse, or were also marked as transaction structures identified
using non-intonational criteria, such as lexlcalized framing moves and
non-verbal signals. Pitch sequence boundaries coincided with breaks in
the discourse related to the paradiscourse subtext or with subdivisions
in the substantive content of the lectures themselves. The results of
this integrated analysis offer clear support for a multiple cuing system
operating concurrently at different levels of the discourse structure.
By interpreting these signals within the situational context of the

245
interaction, the hearer(s) identify manageable "chunks" of related
information and maximal breaks between them.
Turning now to tone choice, these data both confirm previous
findings regarding the use of the tonal system, and add a new
contribution with the discussion of solidarity marking by the teaching
assistants. In agreement with recent analyses given in Hewings (1995)
and Thompson (1994), rising tones were used by speakers in these data
to indicate information already assumed to be accessible to the
hearer(s). This function is described by Nevalainen (1992: 420) as the
use of the R tone as a "deictic cohesive device," and it is defined by
Thompson as follows:
The deictic function of the rise leaves it to the
listener to locate the material, entities and relations
referred to and to infer the contextually relevant
contribution made by its use. (p. 72)
In these data, speakers used the deictic function of the rise to
refer to experiences shared by these participants in previous labs, as
well as to items currently 'in play’ in the discourse. In fact, this
particular use of the rising tone separated the six presentations into
two groups based on the speakers' assumptions of presumed shared
knowledge between themselves and the students. The results of the
analysis also highlighted the social function of the rising tone,
particularly in the use of what I have called 'solidarity marking’.
Throughout the NS data, the teachers combined typical lexical markers
such as 'right' and 'ok' with a rising tone to affirm the hearer(s)
participation in the discourse. These findings provide clear evidence
for the multifunctional nature of these lexical markers when their
prosodic composition is taken into consideration.

246
The significance of both the deictic and social function of rising
tones is to support a view of discourse as a co-operative achievement
between participants regardless of whether the hearer is able to
verbally respond to the message or not. Interpretation of R/P tones
point directly toward an assumption on the part of the native speakers
of an on-going negotiation between themselves and the hearer(s).
Deictic reference, for example, requires the hearer(s) to "fill in the
gaps," and solidarity markers were frequently not followed by a wait¬
time sufficiently long enough for the hearers to respond, yet fulfilled
the same social function as those that were. This interactional approach
to spoken genres which have been traditionally considered as monologic
has significant implications for the notion of discourse comprehensibility,
which will be discussed in more detail in below.
Results of the NNS Analysis
The NNS data set consisted of six discourse extracts, parallel to
those in the NS group, given by Chinese speakers of English. In all
respects, these ITAs needed to communicate the same information to
their students as their NS counterparts. Prosodic choices were analyzed
within this situational context and compared to the NS data. Analysis of
the NNS data showed that these speakers were able to approximate
prosodic patterns, but unable to consistently use key and tone choices
to create the units of organization found in the NS discourse. When
prosodic analysis was integrated with transaction structure and the
paradiscourse subtext, for example, only 41% of sequence chains were
comparable to those found in the NS data.

247
Individual variation between speakers in this group was largely
concentrated at the higher levels of prosodic structure. Both BL and
SM’s presentations, for example, consisted largely of mid or low key
choices, while KE showed a marked preference for high or mid key
choices. In KE’s presentation, this virtually excluded a pitch sequence
structure and prevented sequence chain closure. On the whole, these
speakers showed a limited ability to manipulate the key system, and
prosodic cues were phonetically less distinct than those found in the NS
data due to a narrower overall pitch range. At the lower levels of the
prosodic model, all six presentations demonstrated a typical prosodic
composition consisting of minimal tonic segments, an overuse of
prominence, and lengthened unit internal pauses.
The speakers were also characterized as a group by their use of
the tonal system. The NNS presentations consisted almost entirely of 0
or P tone choices regardless of the information value contained within
the tone unit, and speakers demonstrated little or no use of the social
function of the R tone. This is exemplified in the lack of solidarity
marking found in this data set (8 rising markers compared to 26 in the
NS data).
As noted in Chapter 5, it is probable that several factors
contribute to this overall prosodic profile. The most immediate is the
likelihood of LI transfer. As Mandarin Chinese is a tone language, pitch
variation is used to distinguish lexical tones on individual syllables.
However, Chinese linguists have also consistently recognized the
imposition of an intonation structure on tonal movement (Chao, 1933; Ho,
1976; Tao, 1996). Originally, this was thought to cause a successive

248
change to the Fo value of individual tones; for example, phrase final
rising tones will rise higher and falling tones fall lower (Chao, 1933).
However, more recent investigations using instrumental analysis suggest
that the change in Fo is cumulative rather than successive; for
example, a falling tone may fall less sharply in an interrogative
environment, while a rising tone may flatten slightly in a declarative
sentence (Ho, 1976; Shen, 1988). As this cumulative change produces
only marginal changes in pitch movement on phrase final syllables,
Mandarin Chinese speakers may have more difficulty producing nuclear
stress on the tonic syllable in English. In addition, Eady (1982)
suggests that in contrast to the one or two prominent Fo peaks in each
tone unit in EngUsh, the lexical tones in Mandarin Chinese result in a
greater number of local pitch movements within intonational phrases.
These typical pitch movements in the LI may contribute to the overuse
of prominence in the nonnative data, and to the consequent difficulty
for the NS analyst in distinguishing key and termination syllables.
Both Ho (1976) and Shen (1988) also found that grammatical
contrasts in Chinese were signalled by changes in pitch register rather
than tonal movement, i.e., interrogative sentences had a higher overall
pitch level than declarative sentences. However, Tao (1996) found no
similar contrast in his investigation of natural data and suggests that
these pitch register changes may be an artifice of the decontextualized
data used in these experimental designs. Tao found phrases beginning
in a high register in non-interrogative environments and suggests
researchers should investigate interactional discourse functions similar
to those discussed in this study. There is a danger in applying the

249
possibility of LI transfer too widely to L2 discourse, particularly when
research in LI natural data is scarce, and without reference to other
important factors involved in L2 development. Chun (1987), for example,
suggests that Chinese speakers of English will probably use a wider
pitch range based on the register changes proposed in the grammatical
intonation studies of Mandarin Chinese. This possible interlanguage
feature was not found in the NNS speech; in fact, the opposite effect
was found throughout most of these data.
In addition to LI transfer, there is evidence that a second factor
contributing to the particular prosodic patterns found in these data is
on-line verbal planning. This can be addressed using cognitive accounts
of second language development such as Anderson’s (1983) Adaptive
Control of Thought (ACT) model.1 Anderson proposes two basic types
of knowledge, declarative and procedural. Declarative knowledge is
essentially a series of facts which can only be activated with acquisition
of the required procedural knowledge or skill. This involves the
"development of procedures that transform declarative knowledge into a
form that makes for easy or efficient performance” (Ellis, 1994: 338).
Anderson proposes that procedural knowledge will occur gradually in an
associative stage of development which will lead ultimately, given
practice, to a final autonomous stage. As declarative and procedural
knowledge are independent of each other in the sense that gains in the
former do not necessarily lead to equal gain in the latter, L2 learners
1 This is taken from the discussion of Anderson’s model in Ellis (1994:
388). As Ellis points out, the ACT model is complex. A full description is
not attempted here as the purpose is only to point out possible
contributing factors to prosodic development.

250
may remain in an associative stage which may affect actual language
production. Researchers have looked particularly at temporal aspects of
production such as speech rate, hesitation markers, and pause structure
for evidence of speech planning, or development of procedural skill
(Raupach, 1983; Lennon, 1989). In these data, typical characteristics
found across the group such as minimal units bounded by long pauses,
use of a level tone, or even drops to a low key which are unmotivated
by topic structure, may be the result of this associative stage of
development. These particular characteristics were also found in a
roughly equivalent group of Chinese speakers investigated in
Wennerstrom (1998), and importantly, in a group of Italian speakers in
Pirt (1990). This suggests that these may be broad developmental
features related to the acquisition of fluency in the L2, and therefore
may not be the result of LI transfer.
Finally, the results of this study, in addition to the studies noted
above, suggest that while certain aspects of the prosodic system in
English, such as declination or juncture features, may be universal,
others, such as the tonal system, are not. While some speakers in this
group, for example, approximated some uses of R tones such as rising
solidarity markers, usage suggested acquisition of "formulaic chunks" as
opposed to an understanding of the R/P tonal system. In current ESL
practice, the intonation system is still largely taught in isolation, and
priority is given to grammatical contrasts or attitudinal effects (Levis,
1999). Within the framework suggested here, intonation forms part of
discourse and pragmatic competence, as well as overall linguistic
competence, and when we begin to teach intonation with this in mind, we

251
will more able to assess the contribution of these individual factors to
L2 acquisition of prosodic systems.
Results of the IVE Analysis
The Indian English (IE) data set consisted of four discourse
extracts, two of which were parallel to presentations in the NS and NNS
groups. The speakers themselves had similar IE backgrounds, but three
different Lis: Bengali, Hindi-Urdu and Tamil. In the results of the IE
analysis, there was some evidence to show that the Bengali speakers had
transferred a 'downstep' pattern from their LI in similar discourse
environments, and unique pitch patterns in the Tamil speaker data may
also be related to LI patterns. Clearly, with only one or two speakers
from each LI group and the possibility of varying proficiency levels,
these findings remain to be tested further. As a group, however, these
speakers exhibited a number of characteristics that suggest that IES
speakers have their own systematic prosodic conventions which create a
typical General Indian English (GIE) prosodic profile. These results
both support previous findings regarding GIE, and add a new
contribution to the discussion of sub-varieties of Indian English. In
agreement with the proposals made by Gumperz (1982), Bansal (1967),
and others, these data show that tone units are typically shorter,
phrasal units are matched by intonation 'sub-contours’, and tonic
syllables are frequently indicated by pitch register rather than tonal
movement. In addition, all four speakers used a LH word melody rather
than a pitch peak on prominent syllables. This LH pattern has
previously been connected specifically to Dravidian language speakers
(Mohanan, 1986); however, these data suggest that it may also be a GIE

252
characteristic, as it appears throughout the presentations given by the
Indo-Aryan language speakers.
Prosodic paragraphing structures in the IE data were considerably
clearer than those found in the NNS data, and usually marked points of
maximal disjunction in the discourse organization in a manner similar to
that found in the NS group. They were also subject to less disturbance,
particularly from long, unit-internal pausing. If we think of these
differences in terms of Anderson's ACT model described in the previous
section, they may be evidence of differences in procedural knowledge
between the NNS and IES groups. The IE speakers have considerably
more experience communicating in English than the Chinese speakers,
and differences in temporal production features such as pausing or
hesitation phenomena may reflect an autonomous stage of production.
This will include, however, proceduralization of those GIE characteristics
which differ from American English as is found in these data. This is
clearly demonstrated in the analysis of the tonal system, which also
suggested a combination of GIE characteristics such as placing
prominence on phrase final function words, and individual variation
possibly based on LI patterns.
Throughout the IE literature, there is general agreement that the
prosodic system reflects both GIE features, and a 'varietal continuum’
based both on regional characteristics such as LI or learner model
(Hancin, 1991; Chaurdhary, 1989; Mohanan, 1986), and attitude towards
English (Sridhar, 1996; Aggarwal, 1988; Kachru, 1982). In this sense, the
NNS and IE groups of learners may approach the acquisition of features
of a native standard model such as American English very differently.

253
Sociolinguistic studies conducted in India (Sridhar, 1996; Sahgal, 1991)
suggest that speakers prefer to use a GIE model. Sahgal found that
47% of educated people in Delhi preferred an ordinary Indian English
model, and Sridhar suggests that speakers who come too close to a
British or American model of speech are considered to be "fundamentally
suspect," "phony," "affected," or "snobbish". Whether this identification
with the local reference group changes when learners move to America,
as is the case with the group of speakers studied here, is an open
question. However, as most of the IE ITAs will ultimately return to
India, and may have an ambivalent attitude toward adopting a native
model, this may also affect their language production.
The Role of Prosodic Structure in the Comprehensibility of L2 Discourse
Traditionally, comprehensibility was considered to be synonymous with
intelligibility, i.e„ the ability of the hearer(s) to recognize individual
words or utterances. More recently, however, the term has been used
to describe intelligibility and interpretability of the discourse message
(Gallego, 1990; Smith & Nelson, 1985; Nelson, 1982). Interpretability
refers to the illocutionary force of the message and subsumes pragmatic,
discourse and linguistic competence as they apply to the context of a
given interaction (Nelson, 1982). In line with changing definitions of
discourse as 'co-constructed' between participants, comprehensibility is
also viewed by many as interactional between speaker and hearer(s).
Smith & Nelson (1985), for example, suggest that a listener who expects
Only 2% of IE speakers chose American English as their preferred
model.

254
to understand a speaker will be more likely to find that speaker
comprehensible than one who does not.
In light of the NS analysis given in this study, prosodic structure
clearly plays a crucial role in interpretability. In terms of discourse
competence, the systematic use of prosodic paragraphing devices
contributes directly to the coherence of the discourse message, and unit
internal choices of key and tone create cohesive ties between related
propositions. At the pragmatic level, choices in the prosodic system are
used to build rapport between speaker and hearer(s), and most
importantly, to directly orient the discourse toward the hearer(s) by
taking into account the specific context of the interaction. When this
analysis was integrated with co-occurring non-prosodic criteria, it was
clear that prosodic cues worked in conjunction with léxico-grammatical
information to create a multi-layered discourse organization. For
Thompson (1994), this multiple-cuing system suggests that speakers may
choose between linguistic systems and 'pick’ the one most likely to
benefit the hearer(s):
Speakers can draw on some or all of these systems in
order to help them in creating monologues which
trigger a coherent representation of text in listeners
mind. (p. 65)
However, for two important reasons, it is probably more
productive to think of cues at different levels of discourse organization
as operating independently but equally for the hearer(s). First,
prosody is an integral part of spoken discourse. The speaker will use
pitch variation of some kind, and assuming Grice’s (1975) co-operative
principle, these movements will presumably be interpreted as 'choices'
by the hearer(s) within their understanding of the system. Therefore,

255
it is more likely that the hearer(s) will attempt to reconcile cues in the
prosodic system to those given at other levels of discourse organization
and interpret the message as best they can, rather than assign less
weight to this particular system. Second, a multiple-cuing system
creates a certain amount of redundancy in message transmission that
many researchers now believe to be an essential element in successful
communication. Wright, Frisch & Pisoni (1997) for example, suggest that
a reduction in redundancy will "increase the processing load and
greatly increase the potential for unrecoverable error on the part of the
hearer." (p. 4). The reader will recall the body of experimental work
cited in Chapter 1 from both discourse analysis and speech perception
that defines a role for prosodic cues in listener perception of
organizational features of discourse structure such as boundary marking
and information flow.
If we now view the analyses given here of the NNS and IES data
in light of this discussion, it is clear that prosodic characteristics found
in these presentations will detrimentally affect discourse
comprehensibility. In the NNS data, for example, sequence chain
boundaries frequently did not match topic boundaries, and points of
maximal disjunction were difficult to recognize. NNS use of P (falling)
tones frequently divided related propositions, and an overuse of
prominence blurred the distinction between content words selected from
a paradigm and those the hearer(s) could predict. In the IES data, tone
unit boundaries frequently broke up syntactically related units, making
it more difficult to parse the information contained within them. In
addition, shifts in pitch register suggested a contrastive or

256
particularized value where none was present, and the phonetic
realization of prominence and in some cases, tone choice, was difficult to
interpret.
These characteristics constitute a series of miscues that will
increase the processing load for the hearer(s). They violate listener
expectation and require the hearer(s) to make continual adjustments to
their representation of the text and predictions as to what will follow.
There is a loss of redundancy and explicitness in the discourse that
increases the chance of error in message transmission which neither the
hearer(s) nor speaker may be aware of. Even when the hearers are
aware of comprehensibility problems, they may not take any immediate
action to resolve the misunderstanding, particularly in the context of a
classroom situation where students will most often report, rather than
address, such difficulties. The comments shown below, for example, are
taken from student evaluations of an Indian ITA teaching a physics
lab:'*
I often have a hard time understanding what he’s
saying. I have to really concentrate to get 75%-90% of
what he’s saying
I can understand about fifty percent of what he’s
saying, speak more clearly or express that on the
chalkboard
I concentrate on trying to understand his English
rather than trying to understand the concept of what
he is saying
In addition to problems with information flow, both groups of L2
speakers under-utilized the pragmatic functions of the intonation system
3
This ITA is not one of the speakers used in this study: however,
the evaluations are representative of typical undergraduate reactions to
comprehensibility problems.

257
such as the use of rapport-building devices, and showed little or no
evidence of negotiation with the hearer(s). The NNS discourse
particularly, was characterized by an oblique orientation that is
incongruent with this particular situational context, and may signal to
the hearer(s) that the TA is disinterested and uninvolved. This further
distances the message from the participants, who frequently then also
withdraw from the interaction and begin to talk among themselves or
read newspapers while the ITA is speaking. Ineffective use of prosodic
cues is particularly important in this respect, as NS participants are
unable to compensate for miscues in the same way they may be able to
for grammatical or lexical errors. A consistent use of abruptly falling
tones in combination with a lack of solidarity marking is more likely to
lead to negative personality judgements about the speaker than to a
recognition of limited language proficiency.
In light of this and similar studies investigating the role of
prosodic structure in discourse, most current materials in use in ESL
programs are extremely limited in their approach to teaching
suprasegmentals. Most texts focus exclusively on grammatical or
attitudinal aspects of the intonation system, and include no discussion of
discourse functions. As most texts also include mainly sentence
repetition exercises or short dialogues, students are not shown how the
prosodic system operates in discourse nor encouraged to practice longer
stretches of speech. This, of course, presents a particular problem for
nonnative teachers. While materials designed specifically for ITAs do
tend to include subject based paragraph readings for students to
practice (see, for example. Smith, Meyers & Burkhalter, 1992), there is

258
no accompanying explanation of what the students are aiming toward, i.e.
how the system works. There is also little or no discussion of how
prosody typically interacts with other discourse features. For example,
NS TAs used lexically equivalent but prosodically distinct discourse
markers to indicate topic initiation or completion, or to acknowledge
student participation in the interaction. With little or no input in a
formal context, students are not given the tools they need to develop
this aspect of their communicative competence. It is particularly
important for ITAs that we develop materials which reflect native
speaker use of prosodic structure in this situational context. An
awareness of how the system works should lead to improved discourse
competence, a more effective teaching style, and improved classroom
management.
Suggestions for Future Research
Investigation of the discourse functions of prosodic structure is a
relatively new area of discourse analysis. Based on this study, areas
that merit future study Include prosodic paragraphing, tone choice,
interaction between different levels of discourse organization, discourse
markers and rapport building devices between participants. An
additional area of investigation concerning NS discourse is the use of
key and termination choices by the speakers to cue backgrounded or
foregrounded information4. Characteristic uses of pitch level by the NS
speakers suggested a relationship between high key and termination
choice and foregrounded material (i.e., the informative content of the
4 This area of future investigation only took shape after the analysis
of the data was complete.

259
presentation or directives), and low key and termination choice and
background information (i.e., subsidiary information such as glosses,
asides, or repetitions).
As an initial test, extracts from four of the NS presentations used
in this study (MK, SN, KN, BL) were converted into written text divided
into pause based units. Three linguistically trained raters who had not
seen the videotapes coded the information in the text as either
background or foreground material. The results of the coding were
then compared to the key and termination choices made by the speakers
in each unit. The results of the testing are shown in Table 7.1 below.
A chi-square test (N = 80.46, X2 = 13.816, 2 df, p < .001) shows that this
result is significantly different from chance, and suggests that there is
a relationship between the speakers' choice of pitch level and the status
of the information in terms of foreground and background. It was also
the case, however, that all three raters agreed only 63% of the time, and
as this discourse genre consists primarily of foregrounded, substantive
content, raters found a relatively small amount of background
information. Although these initial ratings are not as strong as one
might wish, the initial intuition is supported, and warrants further
investigation.
Regarding L2 discourse analysis, variation between the NNS and
IES groups suggests that both LI transfer and developmental aspects of
second language acquisition will be productive areas of future study.
This study was set within a framework that focussed exclusively on
pitch and pause analysis; however, the method of data collection allows

260
further comparative analysis of additional prosodic parameters such as
length and amplitude in NS and L2 discourse. In light of the LH word
Table 7.1. The Relationship between Foreground and Background
Material and NS TAs Choice of Key and Termination
HIGH KEY OR
MID KEY OR
LOW KEY OR
TERMINATION
TERMINATION
TERMINATION
FOREGROUNDED
(193 units)
76
103
14
BACKGROUNDED
(49 units)
2
17
30
Total number of pause based units contained in the sample: 383
Total number of units agreed upon by all three raters: 242
melody pattern found across the IE group, for example, in Pickering &
Wiltshire (in preparation) we further investigate the effect of different
first languages on the production of stress in IES discourse. Regarding
developmental patterns, at least one previous study, (Pirt, 1990),
suggests that as learners gain fluency in the L2, tone units will become
longer and there will less overuse of prominence on content words.
There is clearly a need for studies which test a larger population of
learners drawn from different proficiency levels in order to investigate
the development of this aspect of linguistic competence.
While this study focussed on only one discourse genre, research
into the prosodic features of conversation (e.g., Wennerstrom, 1997;
Couper-Kuhlen & Selting, 1996), shows that intonational cues are used
by native speakers for a number of 'interactional' functions such as
indicating turn completion, turn yielding or holding the floor. L2 data
from the lecture discourse and conversational discourse of the same
speakers should be analyzed in order to see if their use of the prosodic

261
system in English varied across genres. Factors such as how individual
ITAs view their teaching role (i.e., as a facilitator or a traditional
lecturer) may affect their language production. This kind of research
would give us more insight into how L2 learners may develop
competence in relation to prosody, and also suggest ways we may
approach teaching the intonation system in ESL. Finally, there is the
issue of native speaker perception of prosodic structure in nonnative
speaker discourse. This is a difficult problem to address, as the
researcher needs to find a way to separate perceptions of
suprasegmentals from other features in the discourse, and find an
objective measure to assess the intonation structure. Previous studies
have disagreed on the importance of prosodic structure in the
perception of NNS discourse. In a study in which native speakers rated
various components of NNS discourse for comprehensibility. Gallego
(1990) suggests that intonation made up only 4.5% of pronunciation
errors. Similar comprehensibility studies by a number of other
researchers (Anderson-Hsieh, Johnson & Koehler, 1992; Anderson-Hsieh &
Koehler, 1988; Johansson, 1978) reach the opposite conclusion and
suggest that prosodic structure is the most significant pronunciation
variable in incomprehensibility in extended speech.
It is probable that these different findings are at least partially
the result of using impressionistic measures of intonation. The largely
tacit nature of intonational cues, for example, may make them less salient
for some raters. In addition, researchers used different methods of
rating. Gallego looked primarily at intelligibility, and asked untrained
raters to stop the tape every time they did not understand a word or

262
utterance; these points in the discourse were then coded by trained
raters for linguistic error. Anderson-Hsieh, Johnson & Koehler asked
trained raters to listen to the entire tape and rate only the
pronunciation.
Generalizations are difficult to make in light of methodological
differences and varying definitions of comprehensibility. Where prosodic
structure is rated impressionistically, this leads to unreplicable results.
Perhaps more importantly, none of these studies consider listener
variables in terms of situational context. In these experimental studies,
listeners have nothing to gain or lose. This contrasts significantly with
the situation on university campuses where undergraduate students are
concerned with their ultimate success in the class. Models of intonation
such as the one used in the present analysis can help resolve some of
these problems by providing an objective measure of intonation
structure. Once the discourse has been transcribed for intonation
structure, an approach similar to Gallego’s may be more effective in
highlighting where ineffective prosodic patterns are contributing to
listener confusion. It should be remembered, however, that prosodic
structure will always be perceived by the listener in a particular
situational context, and in combination with other discourse cues.
Therefore, a combination of both experimental and qualitative
contextualized studies are needed to improve our understanding of how
prosody is used by both speaker and hearer in a discourse context.
In a recent book on cross-cultural communication, Scollon & Scollon
(1995) state that "spoken English makes relatively little use of pitch
alone to make meaningful differences" (p. 71). Statements such as this

263
reflect the continued currency of outdated models of prosodic structure
which treat intonation within sentence grammar. When pitch movement
is tied virtually exclusively to grammatical categories, it is difficult to
see its relevance to the broader communicative competence of nonnative
speakers. In this dissertation, I have used innovative models of
discourse prosody and cross-cultural communication to establish the
relevance of pitch movement and pause structure to successful
communication between interlocutors.
Intonation clearly has a crucial pragmatic function in discourse,
and plays an important role in discourse comprehensibility. As this
dissertation demonstrates, it is only possible to gain these insights when
the role of prosodies is systematically investigated as part of discourse
structure. This dissertation has also emphasized that prosodic structure
reflects the underlying nature of discourse as a mutually constructed
system of communication between participants. In other words, hearers
assume that linguistic choices are made in light of the situational
context of the interaction and interpret them accordingly. In lecture
discourse, this responsibility lies with the primary speaker and is
realized partially through intonation choices which acknowledge the
participation of the other party in the interaction. In cross-cultural
interaction, participants use different conventionalized prosodic systems
to communicate this acknowledgment and as these assumptions are
largely of a tacit nature, when they are violated, this is invariably not
recognized as linguistic error. Rather, prosodic miscues can negatively
effect listener perceptions of the speaker’s intellectual ability,
intentions, and personality. Continued research using a pragmatic.

264
discourse approach to prosodic structure such as the one demonstrated
here, offers a practical method to assess and improve this critical
component of L2 discourse competence.

r s x r x * r 2 eg r 3: ac rsa r 3: sc r 2 sc rsa rss
APPENDIX A
SAMPLE MATHEMATICS TRANSCRIPTS
BL's Transcript (NS)
////P oK// [0.7] //p Exponential
GROWTH and [3.4]////p oK//
deCAY//
[0.32] //p this is Exponential //p oK// [1.0]
GROWTH//// [1.57]
//p p P is the
aMOUNT you have to START //r+ oK//[1.68]
WITH// [0.65]
//p r* WHATever it COULD be MOney// [0.05]//r MAYbe it’s GROWing//
[0.2] //r+ p r r+ p r+ you have INterest or it COULD be bacTEria
A is the aMOUNT you end
they’re Doubling or whatEVER UP WITH//
////p and R’s what’s
CALLED//
//r oK// [0.27] //r END aMOUNT// [3.37]
//p it’s a GROWTH ///r if r’s Positive the THING’S
CONstant/// [1.78]
BIGeer// [0.35]
//r you’re getting MORE MOney// [0.3] //r+ RIGHT//
H
M
L //you WANT// [0.26] //r r+ you WANT THAT/// you want your money
265

rss r 3: te r 2 a r 2 ® r 3: ac r 2 ac r 3 3: r 2 k r 2 3: r 2 3: r 2 3; r 3: as
266
to GROW in a BANK/// [0.04] //p p p p you’re getting more bacTEria
NEgative the STUFF is getting SMAller it’s
whatever if R is
deCAYing you have
THINGS like// [0.22] //p radioactive THINGS/// [0.1]
///p o p r so FAR as Positive it's GROWing it’s
//r oK/// [0.3]
NEgative it’s exponential deCAY// [0.44]
Exponential GROWTH as far as
///PP WHAT’s the STARting amount how much does
//o yipPEE/// [0.5]
DOLlar// [1.2]
///p ONE //HOW much DOES
BREAD cost NOW/// [0.93]
GROWTH
BREAD cost// [0.3] //p LAter// [1.67] //p do they give us a
CENT so that’s
RATE// [2.0] //p p p SIX per WHAT as a
DEcimal/// [1.5]
//p p AND we wanna know how many years it’ll take
BREAD to get to
////?p oA// [1.0] //p p r+ uh what do we DO
THREE DOLlars// [1.13]
ONE TIMES it DIFference// [1.5] //o can i
DOESN'T make much of a

rss r 2 sc r 2 sc w r 2 sc r 2 k rsa r 2 sc r 2 sc r 2 sc r 2 sc r 2 sc r 2 sc
267
//r+ LOG// [0.2]
reWRITE this THING as a// [0.2] //r p oK so i get
WHAT//
IIIIr r+ i get
NATural log of
THREE Equals// [0.2] //p point ZEro SIX
I// [0.8] CALculator// [1.88]
//r+ THIS you can PLUG into the //r r+
IS it’s
whatEVer it NAtural log of THREE/// [0.9] //p p o and i'U
NAtural log of three is
diVIDE it POINT zero SIX aBOUT// [0.8] //r+
HEAD// [2.0]
i DON’T know off the top of my //r+ r+ ONE point oh nine
eight SIX/// [0.16] //r+
YEARS//
aBOUT eighteen
//r+ gives me
divided by POINT oh SIX// [1.9]
[3.0]
//p EIGHteen YEARS come back and
TELL me
if BREAD is three DOLlars//
1’s Transcript (NNS)
//FIND the HALF life
THREE//// [5.83] //p oK// [0.05]
//QUESUon
of uh// [0.66] //p RAdium// [0.3] //p TWO hundred twenty six which
deCAYS according to the FUNCtion// [0.45] //p A T the FUNCtion

268
H
M is A 1// [1.0] //p Equal// [0.05] //p A ZEro// [1.16] //E to the//
L
H
M //p NEgative// [0.15] //p ZEro POINT// [0.1] //p ZEro ZEro// [1.16]
L
H HALF
M ZEro point four three T// [0.96] ////p P find the
L //p oK/// [1.25]
H
M LIFE of HALF
L RAdium WHAT’s that mean LIFE// [5.65] //p WHAT’s that
H
M
L MEAN//
Student Response
H
M
L //p oK// [1.25] //o HALF of THE///
Student Response
H
M HALF of this
L //p yeah that's RIGHT/// [0.26] //p so that’s mean A
H
M ZEro// [1.0]
L ZEro/// [0.9] //r+ equal A //E to the// [1.7] //p four
H
M eRASE THIS we //p
L three T// [0.85] //p p so here you HAVE// [0.1]
H
M HALF// [0.7] ////o SO// [0.8]
L //p Equal/// [0.53] //o E// [4.48]
H
M uh we TAKE uh// [1.7]
L //o wh- WHAT we do NEXT//
Student Response

rsa r s a r 3: a rsa rsa c/5 rsa r 2 ac rsa
269
//so TAKE the// [0.16] //p p NAtural
//p THAT’S RIGHT/// [0.26] LOG
WHAT’S THIS //p what’s THIS
BOTH SIDE HERE what’s SIDE// [3.0] SIDE
Equal//
tudent Response
//p p THAT'S RIGHT i its Equal the exPOnent// [1.7] //p p p so Equal
//o so our
NEgative ZEro point ZEro ZEro ZEro four three T/// [1.0]
T will //THIS uh// [0.18] //p uh NAtural NAtural
BE just uh// [0.7]
LOG// [0.09] //p ONE HALF// [0.42] //p divide by THIS
NEgative
NUMber// [0.47] //o SO// [1.3] //p oK//

rsa t- 2: a: r 3; 3; r 3: a: r 2 a: r 2 a: rss r 2 a: r 2 a:
APPENDIX B
SAMPLE ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING TRANSCRIPTS
UT's Transcript (IVE)
[0.04]
//p using the CALculator// [0.3] //r+ you can
FIND//
[0.09] //r the VAIue// [0.7] //r* which COMES out BE// [11.36]
to
H POINT
//p CALculations you’ll get of J TEN//[0.31//r+ r+ is SEven two
EIGHT// [0.4]
//p ANgle ten point //roK// //p
FIVE// [2.5] [0.33]
MEANS// [0.86] //r* AT// [1.4] //p TEN
RAdians per SEcond// [0.86]
Etude MUCH// [1.4]
//r+ the AMp is THIS //r+ MAGnitude// [0.33]
IS
//r+ r+ and the ANgle
POINT// [0.24] ////r+ BUT
TEN
//p FIVE// [1.54]
reQUIRED
[0.28] //p r we’re to FIND//[0.21//r H of j o ga //[0.62]//p
ME
ALL DON’T ONly for
FREquencies/ [0.86] //r p we WANT
ONE //
[0.62] //r we WANT FOR ferent// [0.24]
DIF //p FREQUENCIES// [1.1]
270

r 2íc r 233 r 3 as r 2a r 2 a: r 2a r 2 k r 3: dc r 2 a r 2 a r 3: 3C r 3: a r 2: sc
271
//r like TEN// [0.42) //r r r o TWENtv THIRty FORty HUNdred//
//r+ oK// [0.2]
//r then go ON til THOU sand// [1.0] //p then i’ll go
//p for ferent // [0.63] //r+ so we
inCREASing// [0.1] DIF FREquency
to DRAW// [0.2] PLOT// [0.37] //r+ p ?r
//p PLOT// [1.9] //p ok and NOW a
SENTS
which REpre H of j oMEga for DIFFerent FREQUENCIES//f0.631//p
BASically//
CALLED// [4.52] //r+ oK// [0.74]
//p a BOde PLOT// [3.45]
THIS IS CALLED
[0.3] //p p VAlue h of J TEN// [0.81] //r+ THE// [7.58]
quency SPONSE
//r FRE re //[2.0] //r+ AT// [0.3] //r+ oMEga qual TO//
E
//r+ TEN// [0.92] //p RAdian per
SEcond// [0.1] //because// [0.2] //r+ p
POINT //o but WE would LIKE to
at THIS oMEga is TEN// [0.92] HAVE
[0.4] //r+ frequency reSPONSE at DIFferent// [0.1]
//p FREQUENCIES//
//r+ so we GO FOR// [0.6] //r+ oK// [0.4]
//p BODE PLOTS// [0.92]
TWO types of
//o r NOW there are BODE PLOTS// [1.33] //o ONE is//

rsa r 2 nc rsa r 2 ac r 3: tc r 3: ffi r t-2 sc rss rsa r 2 ® r 2 p: r 2 p:
272
//r a plitude PLOT// [1.63] //r+ SEcond A// [2.25] //p PHASE
AM /S PLOT//
plitude
[3.58]//o ok NOW// //p AM PLOT// [0.06] //p FIRST i’U
[0.1]
//uh as you SEE for// [0.04] //p JUST
what IS an plitude
AM PLOT// [1.6]
THIS // [2.26] //r+ THIS is THE FREquency
exAMple
reSPONSE// [0.5]
//r+ at quency// [0.36]
ERE //r+ TEN RAdians per SEcond// [0.46] //r+ it HAS
TWO ponents// [0.92] THE plitude
COM //r+ ONE is // [0.32] //r+ AM //
THE gle
//r+ Other is // [0.32] //r+ AM // [0.97] //r+ RIGHT// [0.13] //r
IF / PLOT// [1.52]
the PHASE// [1.24] //p now //p IF i PLOT// [1.57]
//?r AMplitude// [1.46] //p VERSUS// [1.36] //?p p FREQUENCY or say
ferent
//r+ it means i PLOT the Off' // [0.1] //p AM
oMEga// [1.3] pliTUDE//
THAT PLOT
[0.7]//p at DIFferent freQUENcies [0.48]//r r+ is CALLED AS//
MEANING ting
[0.87] AMpUtude ////r+ i’ll be PLOT // [0.6]
//p the PLOT// [1.36]
TEN
//r+ the AMplitude at say // [0.43] //r* then the AMplitude at say

273
H ONly
M TO£My//[0.43]//p amplitude at THIRty//[0.051 //p the AMplitude//
L
H WON'T JUST
M [0.05] //p I PLOT //r* ?r if i PLOT the plitude
L BOTH// [0.6] M
H OVEN A
M at DIFferent FRE cies //[0.92]//?r+ it is CALLED //[0.27]//p
L
H
M
L PLOT// [1.1] //p OK// [0.43]
Student response
SIMilarly WHAT PHASE
// p will be PLOT//
H
M //p GOOD// [1.42]//r* you PLOT//11.0] //r the PHASE//\1.72\ VERSUS
L
H FRE JUST
M [0.7]//p the QUENcy//[0.2] //r+ THAT is you’U be PLOTting//
L
H
M //p THIS //T* CLEAR// [0.8] PLOT
L PART//! 1.01 //o WHAT is a AMPlitude //
H
M PLOT //r+ any QUEStlons
L //r and WHAT is a PHASE //]1.62]//r+ RIGHT//I7.72I
H NOW
M up til // [5.38] FINE
L //!•♦ it's // [1.01 //P oK//
BD’s Transcript (NS)
H
M //p NOW i’U show you how to do the BOde PLOT//i42.81//p p oK SO//
L [1.3]
H BOde PLOT’S just a //p TWENty
M //p p the PLOT of the// [0.9] LOG//
L
H reSPONSE// [1.0]
M //r of the MAGnitude of the frequency //p aGAINST oMEga//
L

rsa r s sc r 3: sc r 2 sc r 2 a: r 2 a: r 2 a: r 2 a: r 3: sc r 2 sc r 2 sc r 3: a: r 3: sc
274
[0.25] //r the FREquencv// [1.0] //p o SO THIS is in dBS// [1.35]
//p the FREquencv is in// [0.54] //p o RADians per SEcond
OR//
//p HERTZ if you //p SO// [2.32] //p so toDAY//
CHANGE it// [1.18]
//p we’re just gonna LEARN how to PLOT// [0.14] //p SIMpie// [0.9]
//p SIMpie// [0.5] //p er BOde plots of the FREquencv response//
VPPPP and THEN you can LEARN about the Other KIND in your
CLASS//P that are a little bit MORE COMpUcated//[0.34] //p NOT ///
[0.44] //p p for this LAB THIS’ll //p SO// [0.3]
//but// [2.18] DO// [2.0]
GENeral you can
//o r+ in WRITE H oMEga// [0.6]
//o AS// [1.581
//P SO// [1.35] //p p
//p EM let's SEE///I45.0 -boardwork] //p oK//
YOU find the TRANSfer FUNCtion of a//[0.7]//o CIRcuit//[0.6]//p you
always put it into THIS FORM// [0.3]
//p ONE way or the Other// [1.7]
//p ONE way or the Other// [1.7] //o p AND so once you get it into a

a at a a s a a s a rs# asa a s a a 3 a rs* asa asa as* asa as*
275
that looks like THIS// [0.4] //p you SEE you
HAVE the//
//r ONE
[0.52]
J omega TAU// [0.72] //p and then TAU// [2.6] //p TAU’s called
IS// [0.63]
//p ONE over omega C// [0.7] //p and oMEga C// [0.97] //r is called
BREAK FREquency// [9.48] //p SO// [1.0] //p i GUESS//
//r oK// [2.76]
TWENty
//p p p the REAson that they have the LOG times the MAGnitude
the FUNCtion is// [0.28] //p p beCAUSE whenever you take the LOG
SOMEthing/Zf0.921 //p inSTEAD of MULtiplying// [0.28] //r* you can
ADD// [0.63] //r+ RIGHT// [0.86] //p p o so if you TAKE
//o SO// [3.6]
TWENty SIDES// [51.2]
LOG of the MAGnitude of both
//o ok SO// [1.8]
////P P P TWENty
LOG of the MAGnitude
//so if you TAKE the mag-// [0.2]
BOTH sides of THIS//U.01 //eQUAtion then you just GET// [1.24] //p
TWENty LOG of K ZEro// [0.17]
//p and THEN// [1.0]
//p inSTEAD of
MULtiplying// [0.46] //p o whenever you take the
LOG you just ADD//

r 2 sc r s sc rztc r s sc r s sc r 2 sc r 3: sc rss rsa r 2 * r 2 a: r 2 sc r 2 s
276
//p p SO you just ADD/ [0.6] //
TWENty
LOG// [1.0] //p the MAGnitude
of THIS// [0.9] //p p plus TWENty LOG
the MAGnitude of THAT one//
//p and just KEEP on going all the way UP//[0.23]//p unTIL you get
the B0Ttom//[0.95]//p and then you subTRACT//[0.83l//r+ RIGHT//
//P
p r+ so you start subTRACTlng minus TWENty LOG of the
MAGnitude//
//o of EACH of each of the TERMS//[6.241//p SO//1Q.351 //p if you
PLOT a// [0.4] //p BOde PLOT// [0.7] PLOT//ÍQ.41 //p
//p you can just
one of these SEParate TERMS// [0.47] //p SEParatelv// [1.0]
//o p and
exAMple
ADD em all UP// [0.35] //p p p on a DIFferent GRAPH SO like in our
aBOVE// [1.48]
//p let’s SEE// [10.0] SO in our exAMple you
//r p p oK
PLOT// [1.74] //uh// [1.0] //r+ TWENty log ONE// [8.84]
//r p oK SO//
THIS
//p p so our exAMple aBOVE we just plot QNE//I0.31 //p which is
BE just a ZEro//[1.64] //p aU the way OUT and THEN// [0.1] //p we

rsa r 3: sc r 2 sc r 3 sc rsa r 3: ac c/3 r 2 ac r 3: a: r 2 a: r 2 a: r 2a r 2 sc
277
THIS ONE// [1.43] //p o on aNOther SHEET of paper
AND/
[1.13]
//so
ONE// [1.64] //p looks SOMEthing// [2.26] //p like THAT// [2.98]
Total you just
[0.82] //p SO// [1.54] //p p p and then to GET the ADD
all add em BOTH UP// [2.46] //p so you can
DO it THAT way// [0.1]
//P
you can DO it the EAsy way// [0.8] //p which i’ll
SHOW you how to do
NOW//
8’s Transcript (IVE)
LAB TWO this is
//p p and about deSIGNED //r+ to HAVE an iDEA
UH// [0.45]
about PAlasm//[0.4]//rp and for the exAMple which you are TAken
HAVE wri- i
decoder// [0.5] //p o i THINK all of you have
//?r+a BcD
YOU who have not
prePARED with the PRElabs// [0.05] //?r+ o r+ and THOSE of
SUBmitted your rePORTS for the previous LAB you PLEASE keep it
[0.3]//o?r+ that’s the NORmal procedure like when you COME for the

rsa r 2 sc r 3: sc rsa r 2 ac r 2 sc rsa r 2 sc rsa r 2 sc r- 2 sc r 2 sc
278
rePORTS//
just KEEP your class re- rePORTS//[0.55]//o and the LAB
LAST
//p PRELABS//[0.11//?rt o r+ r+ you can KEEP it
READY AND uh when i
to YOU just i’ll
what have
SEE
you //P
DONE it aBOUT//[0.4]
IF at ALL//
r r+ but
if you are not prePARED for the PRELABS it’s ok as i TOLD you
LAST
//?o THESE
CLASS//10.431 //p but try to come prePARED for
ALL the LABS// [1.57]
STATEMENTS// [0.13] //?r+ you may be fa-
faMIliar with but i’ve WRITten//
//?r?ro CERtain STATEments which are USED for the PAlasm PROgram
// [0.43]//?r p last during seMESter in the
beCAUSE ?LAST exAM//
//?r+ there were certain QUEStions// [0.26] //p usually i THINK//
//you may NOT// [0.26] [0.4] //o but THERE
//?r Bother much aBOUT it//
specific questions on //?o r+uh
THIS which of them didn’t// [0.72]
MOST
it PROperly that is beCAUSE they THOUGHT it maybe a ONE
Minor //

f 2 a r s a rsa r s a rsa r 2 a t- 2 a r-2a r 2 a r2a r2a r-2a r 2 a
279
//r+ so HERE //?r+?r+ WHEN you make
i hi- HIGHlighted them Uke// [0.11
aSSIGNment about the
INputs or OUTputs// [0.72] //o p r+ it’s uh in
THIS
exAM or even in LAB it is SPEcified like that INput should be an tive
AC
high or an tive LOW//[Q.381//o that you NORmally DQ//[0.161/?o r+ in
AC
aSSIGNment//[0.44]//?r o HERE for PIN TWO is//
pin STATEment or exAMple
//?r+ INput//[0.16]
//?r which is SPEcified in the common- Comment STATEment
//?p p ?p THAT is tive HIGH
[0.55] //and// [0.18] AC beCAUSE there is
I/O ?p and THIS
HERE// [0.76] //and// [0.56]
SLASH that i HIGHlighted
NORmally everyone has
DONE during LAB but// [0.09] //o r+ when it
LAST
tive LOW SIGnal it should be SPEcified with a SLASH// [0.6]
an AC //o that
of the PERSONS have not so you should be fui about it when
DONE CARE
LOW
[0.38] //r* SPEcified the put or put is an tive //[0.66]//?o
IN OUT AC
SURE
should make that it’s an tive //?P so this is HOW
AC LOW// [0.47]

r 2 nc rss r x a: rsa r s ffi r s a: r s sc rsa r r z k r 2 sc r 2 ac r 2 a
280
Similarly quation's
make the ////r+ r+ and if the E NORmally
STATEMENT// [1.0]
when you do the gramming// [0.47] //?o r the quation’s will
PRO E PART
READY cified in
AL SPE PAl-asm program you are not going to DO THAT//
TIME
//but// [0.3] //p p in when there was a QUEStion like they
LAST ALL
QUATIONS
THE// [0.42] //?p r+ E that are QUIRED but they didn’t
RE
anything about the eQUAtions//10.421//?p ?r+ o r+ so DOCtor
SCHWARTZ ASKED
THIS// [1.54] //and// [0.16]
CUT one mark for THAT and SIMilarly for
ulation STATEMENT// [0.7] //THIS// [0.16]
//?r regarding the SIM
//p o o p SIMuiation also comes out in the
PAlasm PROgram but in the exAM
supposed if it’s ASKED you are supposed to write THIS simulation for
THIS TOO we CUT one //?r+ r so the simuLAtion
MARK LAST TIME// [0.58]
TRACE ON// [0.28] //p and //r i don’t know whether
TRACE OFF// [0.77]
SAME question may COME for THIS// [0.24] TOO but//
//o exAM for your exam

281
H
M [0.2] //p you’ll be ful about //r* have you got any
L CARE THIS// [0.38]
H
M tions on THIS//
L QUES
SS Question: I have a question about the check statement, what-
H //p ?r o ?r+ yeah IT’s uh the STATEment is
M CHECK iVOAnally Given in
L
H
M SIMvllation PART like you SET some INput and OUTputs//[1.0]//p ?r+
L
H SET some puts
M THEN you uh SORry uh y- IN for the eQUAtions which
L
H
M ready FINE// [0.28] //?r+ THEN you are CHECKing them WHAT//
L AL
H
M //?r+ wiU be the put you // [0.52] //p to HAVE acCORDing to
L OUT WANT
H
M
L eQUAtions//
SS Question: it won’t do anything if
H //o ?r+ NO actually BAsically it is
M
L
H
M nals that// [0.16] //?p you to // [0.28] //is// [0.16]
L SIG WHAT WANT HAVE
H
M //p ?r aCCORDing to the eQUAtions which are ten //THAT
L WRIT THERE// [1.8]
you don’t put a check statement?
LT//[0.08] //?r+ to SEE whether
ON

X X X * T J ® S _J SS J S X J a T J
282
will be reFLECTed on// [0.1] //r in the ulatlon PART// [0.1]
SIM
//?r+ when you see the put//[0.63]//p o r and if there is any
OUT
STATEment then when you SEE the put of THAT(?) in the History
OUT
TRACE FILE// [0.36] //o r+ then if it’s WRONG it’s not if it’s NOT in
eQUAtion
aCCOfidance with the // [0.33] //p THEN it will give a QUEStion
//r* any other QUEStions// [1.96]
MARK// [1.63] //p oK//

rss r a: a: rxi r* a: * r* x 33 r* as * r 21 r x sc r x =c r1 x *
APPENDIX C
SAMPLE PHYSICS TRANSCRIPTS
XG’s Transcript (NNS)
DAY
//? o/p we can START// o/p good MORning// o SO UM// o/p to
um// p use the METer STICK as a BAlance// ?
//p o meter STICK as a BAlance //p p to DO some exPERiment
TO// [1.0]
TORQUE// [0.3] //p p the PHYsics PRTNcipie
about the
//o SO// [0.09]
is QUITE EAsy it’s JUST the ler// [0.63] //o p the TORQUE ONE Equal
TORQUE TWO// [0.82] //p p PHYsics PRTNcipie just
TORQUE ONE Equal
//o in Other words it MEANS the// [0.381
TORQUE TWO// [0.3B]
//p the COUNter
CLOCKwise// [0.34] //p should Equal the CLOCKwise
TORQUE// [0.77] //p♦ WHEN// [0.04] //p o the MEter stick is in
BAlance TORQUE one is// [0.8] //so you JUST try to// [0.18]
SO
283

* X _] as J * £ _1 SB T J 33 S >-] S3 X J SB X J 33 X J S3 X _I X X ,J XXJ X X J
284
//o p p o CALculate torque TWO and er
ONE// and CALculate torque
MAKE then Equal and you can //p p MEAsure some
FIND SOME// 10.14]
//p 1 DON’t think YOU
VAriables BASED on THIS// [0.9] //o UM// [0.7]
will have any
PROBlem// [0.32] //exCEPT in a// [1.5]
//o WELL in A//
ONE
[2.16] //p o in a Final //P o one
AND// [0.98] //er// [0.18]
CASE is that //BAsically you
YOU ARE// [1.0] ALways have the CENter//
[0.82] //p MEter stick CENter// [0.92]
//o to BE THE// [0.2]
//p the Pivot POINT but er// [0.34] //p p
//o to BE THE// [0.35]
in in the LAST CASE in the compreHENsion QUEStion// [0.53]
//r* FIVE// [0.92] //p r+ the MEter STICK CENter is
NOT// [0.34]
HOW would you CALculate the//
//o p SO
//p in the CENter// [0.68]
[0.43] //p p TORQUE Given by the// [0.67] //p WEIGHT of this MEter
STICK// [1.0] iDEA// [5.8]
//r+ DO you have ANY //the// [0.62]

rsa r 2 a r 3; a r 2 a rsa r 2 a r 2 a c/5 rsa r 3: a r 2 a rsa rsa
285
//p r+ p p p IF the CENter
IF the of this MEter STICK is NOT at
IF it is at the
the PIVotal POINT Pivotal POINT everybody
knows we DON'T need to consider this //p it’s JUST
TORQUE// [0.33]
ZEro// [0.43]
//p but if it's NOT at the CENter what// [0.52]
//p HOW do you
CALculate//
tudent Response
//o SO you THINK THE// [0.16] //p the FORces act on the
CENter//
[0.48]
//o and ER// [0.2] //p p r+ the LEvel arm is the Distance
GOOD GUESS//
from the CENter RIGHT// [1.34] //p yeah that’s a
ACTuaHy
[1.58] //p it’s RIGHT// [0.6] //o but EM// [0.48] //p p
it STILL needs
someTHING in matheMATical
PROVEment Uke// [0.28]
GRAvity// [0.7] //p p is ANY where
//p beCAUSE the ON this MEter
FORCE HERE you have FORCE
STICK// [0.93] //p p p p so YOU have

rss: rsa rsa r s sc rsa rsa rsa rsa r 3: sc r 2 cc r 2 sc r 2 sc
286
H HERE
M you have FORCE HERE and you ALso have
L FORCE HERE// [0.6]
PROOF// [0.8]
!/o and IF YOU// [0.09] //p do some matheMAtical
//p p o BAsically all the WHOLE efFECT of this
FORCE can be
REpresented by ONE// [0.56] //o this ONE//
THIS// [0.09] //r* only
[0.9] //o p o GRAvity
FORCE ACT on this and Acting on the CENter
JUST use this
//r+ r+ p you can ONE TORQUE// [0.15]
SO// [0.32]
//p to REpreSENT the
WHOLE efFECT// [0.6] //o SO// [0.36]
//P P P it’s the SAME THING like in kila- kilaMEtrics we can
EAsy to
//p p so it’s SEE
JUST use the CENter// [0.67]
but it STILL need some
PROVEment// [0.46] //urn// [0.92] you
//o p i i DON’T think
just remember [0.2] remember this em//
IN
there is any //p and
WAY just reMEMber this reSULT// [0.3]
comprehension question ALso
ONE we// [0.46] //p p you can

pjs rs* t-src rxs r s a rsx r sa r x * r s s r s * r s sb a r s a
287
use this KNOWledae to
aNAlyze the comprehension question ONE//
I’s Transcript (NS)
ANYboáy know what the EquiLIbrium
//p o does conDItion IS// [0.4] //r+
er roTAtion// [2.44] //p p p the equilibrium conDItion is when the
of the TORQUES is IF you
Equal to ZEro// [0.7] //r oK// [0.2] //o so
HAVE
//p SOME SORT of a// [2.24] //p of a OBject like a MEter stick
[0.5] //r ok and it’s got a CENter of MASS// [0.9] //p and preTEND
TEN
that’s VERtical//[1.42] //o and if you HANG// [0.5] //p like a GRAM//
//r mass from THIS SIDE//[3.67]//p FIVE centimeters from the Pivot//
//p r+ and this is the CENter of ////p p
MASS aGAIN// [0.5] //o UM// [2.0]
if you were to HANG SOMEthing TEN CENtimeters
a WAY// [1.0] //o p how
MASS would you have to HANG so that THAT would be in roTAtional
equiLIbriuum//
[2.85] //r+ does anybody KNOW//
Student response: 5 grams

rsa r 3; s rsa: r 2 sc rsa r 2 a r s a rsa r 2 sc r 2 sc r 2 a: r 2 32
288
REAson that IS//
//p FIVE GRAMS// [0.8] //p RIGHT// [1.0] //p and the
this TEN GRAM
//o is beCAUSE// [0.98] //p p MASS// [0.28] //P EXerts
a TORQUE// [0.5]
//p about this POINT HERE// [0.75] //p p r+ oK and
TORQUE is of MAGnitude the FORCE// [0.65] //p times the Distance
the Pivot//
//r FIFty// M [0.6] //p oK SO// [0.28] //p the TORQUE//
[1.27] //r in THIS
//o IS// diRECtion// [0.37] //r oK// [0.32] //o and SO//
[0.98] //p THAT’S gotta Equal// [0.42] //p p the TORQUE that’s trying
to rotate in the Other direction in other words THIS TORQUE is trying
to rotate it// [0.46] //o COUNTER clock //o p and so it's
WISE// [0.4]
gonna be BAlanced with the TORQUE that’s
gonna rotate it CLOCK //p o so it’s just gonna
WISE// [0.63]
equal TEN// [0.46] //p TIMES X// [0.52]
//p and OBviously// //X//

rsi r 2 ae rsa r 2 a r s a rsa rsa rsa rss r 2 sc rsa r 2 a:
289
//p VERY SIMply// [0.28]
[0.86] //p Equals FIVEZ/p SO um// [0.52] //p
[0.46] //p o um now
what you guys are gonna be DOlng in this LAB//
THINGS CAN get a little more
COM plicated if YOU// [1.0] //r+ o r+ r+ if the
SAY//
is NOT at the CENter of MASS of the MEter stick [0.4] //p CUS//I0.341
//p p BASically what you guys are gonna be DOlng is you’re gonna
this METer STICK// [0.63] //r p and you're gonna FIND the center of
HANG it// [0.52]
MASS and you’re gonna //p p from the KNIFE EDGE by the CENter
of MASS// [0.73] //p and then you’re gonna be ADDing MASSes//
//p to EACH SIDE of it// [0.23] //p at DIFferent distances aWAY//
//p and you’re BASically gonna SHOW that// [0.27] //p p p the SUM
the TORQUE is equal to ZEro and that’s when it
BAlances// [0.7] //r oK//
END of
//p so that’s the BASic gist of the //[0.32] //p toward the
LAB
lab THOUGH// [0.23] //o UM// [0.6] //p p you're gonna be doing

r s a rss rsa r 3 a rsa rss r 21 r 3: a r 2 a r 2 a r 2 a r^a rsa
290
SOMEthing a LITtle bit //p again you have your METer STICK//
DIFferent// [5.6]
[0.26] //p and LET’S SAY// [0.97] //o p the MEter stick WEIGHS FIFty
//p o ok BY the WAY ANY time you HAVE// [0.2] //p an OB.iect//
// and you see how it’s NOT// [0.4] //p r+ r+ it it's disTRIbuted over
LENGTH of the meter STICK the MASS IS// [0.45] //o you can
all MASS to be at it's CENter of
MASS// [0.65] //p p oK as far as the
HANG it// [0.7]
TORQUE is //p now LET’S say you //p by
conCERNED// [0.45]
HERE// [0.65] //p oK which is// [0.84] //p TEN CENtimeters// [0.97]
from the CENter let's say this is AT// [0.4] //p p FIFty CENTimeters
along the meter stick THAT’S the CENter// [0.37] //p and you HANG it
//if YOU were to if LET’S say
at Sixty// [0.65] //r+ oK// [0.7] //o NOW// [0.98]
aNOther
had a //p r+ FIFty gram MASS// [1.36] //p where THIS Distance//
//o o HOW
[0.47] //p r was ALso TEN CENtimeters// [0.75] //r oK// [1.5]

rsa r3¡a rsa rsa r 3: as r 2 cc r 2 a r 2 a r 2 k r 2 x r s a: r 2: a
291
much
MASS would you have to ADD// [3.57] //p
TEN centimeters
distance
away from this Pivot// [2.27]
//p to MAKE that
//p i mean
BAlance// [1.6]
it’s the SAME PROBlem basically// [0.9] //p
p it SEEMS Eke it’s
a
more conFUSing because
NOW// [0.34] //p THIS mass is the MEter stick//
[0.73] //p p and you’re gonna RUN into this LAter and it’s gonna be
THINK of it as another
conFUsing LAter// [0.4] //p p BUT just MASS// [0.73] //p r
THIS
the SUM of the TORQUES on SIDE of the Pivot// [0.22] //o ARE//
//p FIFty// [0.68] //r TIMES TEN// [3.3] //p PLUS FIFty// [1.64] //r
TIMES TWENty// [1.2] //p Equals//[0.54] //o TEN//[0.5]//p TIMES M//
//r+ oK// [0.54] //so it’s JUST// [0.5] //r p FIFty plus a hundred a
and FIFty// [0.54] //p o divided by TEN so M is gonna BE// [0.4] //p
HUNdred and FIFty
GRAMS// [0.88] //r oK// [5.0]

r s se r ac a rsa rsa t- s ac r s a rsa rsa r s a r-s a r s a csa
292
KK’s Transcript (IVE)
//r in PART
STICK// [1.88]
//r say this is the ter
ME //o and
THIS//
[1.54] //this uh// [0.2) l/v* this susPENded like [0.14] //this the
poSITion// STICK//
CENter of// [0.82] //lr* MASS //r of this MEter
[0.62] //and// [0.58] //this OME is// [1.45] //r part three this one is
NOUGHT// [0.82]
//p you see THIS one STARTS at
ZEro// [1.64] //p for
PART ONE //r+ thirty FIVE// [0.4]
two say PART two this is at// [0.58]
//?r+ centiMEter// [1.0]
//o AND// [0.94] //p this one X
ONE//H.241//P
TWO //?p is a sixty FIVE
// [0.78] CENti
MEter// [0.82] //this is the//
HANGer// [0.28] RAVger//[0.861
[0.24] //r* r+ CLAMP plus the //r+ r+ CLAMP plus the
GRAMS// [2.9]
//r+ r+ and you PUT some MASS here this one TWO hundred
//r+ ONE//
//r+ you have to FIND this MASS// [0.16] //o M// [0.99]
BE BE ONE//
//r+r+ total MASS will M// [0.4] //r+r+ one TOtal WILL M

X £ J X 3E J X X J X X J X X J XXJ X X J X X J X X J XXJ X X *J X X J
293
HANger// [0.78] //p PLUS the
//r* PLUS MASS of the CLAMP// [0.57]
HERE// [0.05] MASS// [1.0] //r+ will be THESE two
//r♦ the TOtal
hundred GRAMS// [0.72] //r* PLUS// [0.46] HANger//
//r+ the MASS of the
THIS to be in
//p PLUS //r NOW// [0.46] //p for
CLAMP// [2.9]
FORCE //r+ IS//
EQUILIBRIUM// [0.26] //It* the DOWNWARD// [0.98]
[0.57] //r* uh THIS
MASS [1.77]//r+ p TIMES
the acceleRAtion due to
THIS
[2.0)//r+ RIGHT//U.2] //r CASE// [0.4]//r r+ the
//and//[0.43]
WILL BE// [1.33] MASS// [1.8] //r* TIMES// [0.47]
DOWNward //r* this
acceleRAtion
TO// [0.4]
DUE
//p GRAvity// [2.0]
//r NOW// [0.35]
SYStera to be in
//r for the EQUIUBRIUM//[1.0]//r* you KNOW THAT//
ALL to
//r* p the sum of TORQUES// [1.45] //p equal is EQUAL to
ZEro//
//TORQUE// //r HERE// [0.63]
//P SO// [0.3]
//r* you’re READing
THIS
H MASS G// [1.4] TUM//
M diRECtion [2.0] //r+ r+ is this M two //?r TIMES the moMEN
L

r 2 ec r 2 ec r 2 ec r 2 ec r 2 ee r 2 ec r 2 ec r 2 ec r 2 ec r 2 ee r 2 ec r 2 ec r 2 ec
294
Distance// [0.63]
//?r this is THIS
C
//o p the distance is X Minus X
VA1 ue// [1.16]
ONE [3.25] //r* it’s the ABsolute //r* this is should be
QUAL in THIS diRECtion
E TO// [1.27] //the// [0.46] //the FORCE// [0.17] //?r
ONE T G// [1.0] THIS
//P is TO //p TIMES th- Distance// [1.0]
tal// [2.0]
IS two SUS// [0.2] C
//r+ ?r+ this ONE X MI //p x _// [5.95] //o this
£// [1.0] IS
[2.0] //r* is TAU c //r* and this ONE // [0.08] //p TAU//
//p this should BE //r+ for the equiLIbri
//P £// [0.58] Equal// [0.4]
UM
TWO
//o SO// [0.4] //r for PART
// [0.25] //you have to FIND out
C// [0.6] C// [0.6]
//r+ TAU c //r+ and TAU //r+ p and so find
AL
centage ference of TAU cc and //p this SHOULD be
PA DIF TAU C// [0.9]
[2.0]//r+ oK// [1.88] //p in PART THIS is a //p p
Equal ONE DIAgram// [0.7]
THREE//
the PART //r and for PART
TWO of the exPEriment// [5.25]
//part THREE i’ll NOT// [0.04]
//?r draw the DIAgram// [1.0] //r it is

SEJ XXJ
295
sim- something SIMilar like THIS ONE// [0.7]
//o AND// [0.6] //p YOU’LL
//?r thing MORE// [0.06] //p
able to DO it// [2.0] //p SO// [1.98] NO
H
M you can
L START//

rsí r sc se r 3: a: r ss r 3: se r s * rs» rss r 2 se r x a
APPENDIX D
SAMPLE CHEMISTRY TRANSCRIPTS
MK's Transcript (NS)
K beGIN about
//P o em//[0.88]//p r toDAY i’ra just gonna go over our
unknown aNAlysis SCHEME//I0.141//P cos it’ll BENefit anybody who’s
going to need to be WORKing on it//[0.07]//p p so if you wanna
round i’m gonna do it up here on the HAVE ONE it’s a great
BOARD// [1.17] //p p if you
time to check to see if you //p o o r uh before i START
LIKE it// [2.42]
Everybody has TWO // [1.8]
MADE it up to at LEAST section FOUR on lab
TWO
//r p r+ section FOUR on lab everybody’s made it at LEAST that FAR
RIGHT// [0.36] //p exCEPT for //r p section FOUR everybody’s
there GOOD//fO.Q71//p that’s about as FAR as it's NECessary//
RIGHT alright
[0.5] //r cos i’m BASically only gonna go over our Positive IONS//
296

rsa r 2 3J rss r 2 ac rsa r 2 a: rsi rss 2a r 2 as r 2 ac r 2 an r 2 ac
297
FOR our
//p and BRIEFly over the //o p but unKNOWN
NEGative ions// [1.0]
we HAVE em// [1.7]//r SEven ions we have to TEST for//[ 13.4]//p r+
just gonna COver our Positive ions the SOdium poTAssium and
//p p p that was the FIRST thing we did in lab TWO so everybody
should have FINished that and everybody should be faMIliar with L
FIRST things
i’m gonna //r one of the
TALK about// [0.66] //um// [0.73]
we did was a flame TEST// [1.3]
//p and that would be an OBvious place
DUE to//[0.12]
start OUJ with// [0.8] //and// [0.7] // // there’s a
that// [0.48]
//r p p your unknown will have a SODium imPUritv and if
DOES it's gonna look like it has SOdium in there no matter what you
EASILY
[0.73] //p pop you can TELL that when you do
DO //and it's a// [0.48]
a FLAME test on your SOLID cos if you reMEMber when you burned
sodium chloride SOlid your flame lasted forEVer and you had to cut

t-2 a rsa rsa: r 2 as r 2 a r 2 sc r 2 a r 2 a: rsa r s tc r 2 a r s a rsa
298
DO a flame test on your solid unKNOWN
WIRE off//[0.73]//r p well if you
gonna last forEVer if it's SOdium there//[0.36]//pp and you’ll HAVE to
CUT your wire off or TURN it around and use the other
END// [0.6] //p p so
TELL for SURE if it's SOdium it’ll be Orange forEVer// [0.36]
how you
//r o r+ but if you do your FLAME test on your SOlid and your
Orange FLAME
SEConds// [0.9]
FLAME only lasts for maybe FIFteen //p THAT’S just a TRACE//
//ppp and THEREFORE you DON’T wanna USE It PUT that down on
SENSE to Everybody// [0.37] //r+
unKNOWN// [0.44] // r+ that make
TRACES//o r+ p if it's Orange and only lasts for FIFteen SEConds
DON’T put it on your unknown //p p p it IS SOdium but it’s NOT
CARD// [0.6]
really supposed to
BE there it’s JUST a a TRACE// [1.3] //r HERE we
//o r+ r+ now of COURSE er you remember poTAssium
Orange// [2.0]
PURple gave a PURple or a Violet flame//[0.76]//r you MIGHT see that

rsa r* 3 ¡s r 3 as t- 3 a r 2 sc r 3 r 3 * rsa r 2 ss r 3 * r 3 w r 3 a r 3 *
299
as WELL//[0.571//p and THAT helps you in TWO different ways//[0.5]
PURple flame you know there’s
if you see a poTAssium//[0.5] //p but you
know there CAN’T be ammon- or er SOdium//[Q.441//o because SOdium
would have BEEN// [0.44] //p bright //r+ and the THIRD possibility
Orange// [1.0]
is that there be no color at ALL//U.01//P o r and if there’s no color
ALL there CAN’T be SOdium there can’t be poTAssium//[0.7]//p p the
Positive ion you could possibly HAVE is //r p and THAT may
aMMOnium// [2.0]
or may not HAP pen you might get LUCky and have that
HAPpen// [0.88]
//op and if that DOES you probably should still CHECK to make sure
SHOULD have at least one
HAVE ammonium//[0.76]//p p i mean you Positive
it’s great to double check your //p o r alRIGHT er the
SELF// [2.43]
SEcond set of TEST// [4.9]
TESTS we did was that cobaltiNItrate
//um//
reMEMber
//r+ i THINK //p p r+ if you
that’s RIGHT// [0.55] //er// [0.66]

r 2K r s sc rss r 2 sc r 2 sc H r 3: sc rara r 2 sc r 2 sc r 2 sc r 3: sc r 3: *
300
when you
DID that it WAS a it formed a yellow precipitate for both er
aMMOnium// [0.92] //r+ so if you did that at THIS STEP in
poTAssium and
GAME// [0.14] //o p it MAY or may not TELL you //p r
ANYthing// [0.87]
TAssium there it’s
KNOW there’s po DEFinitely gonna CHANGE// [0.43] //p
it doesn’t TELL you anything about
amMOnium//[0.72]//p r+ so it’s DEfinitely
not a good way t to second STEP then RIGHT//] 1.941 //p so inSTEAD
THAT// [1.9] //p what COULD we
TRY// [0.24] // r+ any suGGBStions//
”s Transcript (NNS)
aTTENtion WILL// [0.08] //p er TALK about the//
//p r oK Everybody PLEASE i
[0.32] //p o unknown SCHEME
SO// [1.0] //p p would you PLEASE yeah pay
aTTENtion to
//p p o IF you want to go
THIS// [3.2] //o UM// [1.4]
to assignment THREE
THESE er two QUEStions //p p p uh MAYbe
UH// [0.6]
have PROBlem with LOOK at the BOARD if
THIS so you JUST er
you
HAVE

301
H unKNOWN// [0.04]
M [0.57] //p er for //o UM// [0.6] //p p p o
L QUEStions//
H IONS //p r POSSiblv
M conTAINed in the SAM pie
L ARE// [0.57] //o ER// [0.57]
H
M EIGHT IONS// [0.3] //p er THREE CATions and er// [0.52] //er
L FIVE ANions//
H WHEN you reCEIVE
M [0.77]//o S0//[0.2]//o p o UM ER// [0.18] //p an unKNOWN
L
H
M SAMpie what’s the FIRST STEP you// [0.48] //p you WANT to TAKE//
Student response: Flame test
H //p o BY FLAME
M FLAME TEST //p SO// [0.26] TEST
L //o p p ER RIGHT// [0.48]
H
M ER//[0.3]//p what ION can you CHECK OUI by//[0.13]//p SIMply by
H
M FLAME TEST//
L
Student response: Na
H
M //p THIS ONE// [0.98] //p HOW about THIS one//
L
Student response: multiple responses
H
M //r you CAN// [1-0] //p oK// [0.92] GOOD// [0.52] //p so for
L //p p oK
H Mixture//\0.23]//p ONly////o when THERE is NO//[0.65]//p SOdium//
M
L

302
H
M [0.1]//o you CAN er//[0.1]//p CHECK OUT er// //o poTAssium ion//
L
H //p if THIS test is Positive
M [0.09] //p o SIMply by FLAME TEST but// [0.43]
L
H for// [0.43] //p SOdium ion//
M [0.06] //o you NEED// [0.53] //o UH//
L
H
M you you CAN’T er// [0.09] //GET// [0.06] //p er poTAssium// [0.4]
L
H
M //r* RIGHT//I0.431 // you NEED to DO a// [0.95] //p FURther BIT//
L
H //p WHEN you receive a SAMple// [0.22] //p the FIRST STEP
M //p SO//10.2]
L
H to do a//[0.22]//p FLAME test//[7.2] //p p THIS QUEStion
M ONE you have a
L
H mark HERE// [0.8] WHAT’s the SEcond
M //p and the STEP//
L
Student response: It depends on if you have Na in the sample or not in
the flame test/ if you have Na then you can’t tell if you have potassium
so you have to do a solution test for potassium.
H //r+ r+ diRECTly THEN//[0.09]// you MEAN//[0.2]//pr+ HERE you want
M
L
H
M prePARE soLUtion RIGHT//
L NOW
Student response: Yeah (silent beat, flat tone)
H
M DO THAT// [1.2] //o SO
L //o p p UH oK you can
MAKE soLUtion// [2.8]

r 3 sc r 3 sc r 3: sc r 3 sc r 3 sc r 2 sc r 2 sc r 3 3: r 2 sc r 3 sc c/5 r 3 sc rsi
303
HOW to make //p WHAT's
//p make soLUtion// [0.55] //p soLUtion// [1.5]
VOLume// [0.26]
//p you want to MAKE//
tudent response
ANYbody £XS£//[0.42|//r+ has any iDEA//[3.781
//r+ yeah er //p oK//
//P i/Sually you USE// [0.07] //o TEN to// [0.3]
//o ER// [0.35]
//p fifTEEN millUiters of WATER// [0.63]
//and er//[0.23] //o USE//
TWO THIRDS// [0.15] //p of your SMple// [0.9] //KEEP another
//p about
THIRD//[Q.231//P to GIVE you aNOther CHANCE//[0.4]//ppr+ in CASE
you make any misTAKES you CAN yeah do it aGAIN RIGHT////o SO//
//p p but beFORE you make a- MAKE soLUtion YOU can do aMMONium
test// [0.35] SEcond STEP you// [0.57]
//p FIRST// [0.13] //r just the
//r just between THESE// [0.13] //o aMMONium TEST//
//o you can DO// [0.2]
[0.6] //SIMply by// [0.08]
//o ADDing// [0.4] //o sodium hydrox- hyDROxide

r s sc rsi r z sc r s sc r* 2 sc
304
to IT// [0.66] //p and use the LITmus PAPer// [0.14] // yeah// [0.36]
//p to CHECK out THIS one//[0.47]//beCAUSE//[0.23]//pp by checking
THIS FIRST you can
KNOW that//[0.52] //p in the SEcond// [0.14] //p in
FOLlowing part// [0.6]
//p IF you need to BURN// [0.32]
//P or
NOT//
solution//
//r+ RIGHT// [1.26]
//P OK//

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Lucy Pickering was born July 6, 1966, in Essex, England. She
completed her B.A. (Hons) in Related Arts at the West Sussex Institute of
Higher Education in 1988. Between 1990 and 1992 she taught English as
a Foreign Language in Hungary and England. She began her master of
arts at the University of Florida in the fall of 1992. At that time, she
author also worked as a teaching assistant at the English Language
Institute. She began her doctor of philosophy in applied linguistics in
1995, and she worked as an instructor for the International Teaching
Assistant Program at the University of Florida.
315

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Diana Boxer, Chair
Associate Professor of
Linguistics
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
íly. Caroline Wiltshire, Cochair
Assistant Professor of
Linguistics
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
or of
Andrea Tyler
Associate Profe
Linguistics
Georgetown University
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctpr of Philosophy
Howard Rothman
Professor of
Communication Sciences
and Disorders

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree o'
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty
of the Program in Linguistics in the College of Liberal Arts
and Sciences and to the Graduate School and was accepted as
partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
August 1999
Dean, Graduate School

LO
1?8l
1993
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08556 6866




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