Sunday, December 4, 2011

Intonation and Indian English

 However I'd like to mention an interesting usage that is common among Indian English speakers (those from the Asian subcontinent, not Native Americans)… the use of a rising inflection followed by a pause on the word (usually an article) just before the key word of the sentence.
Could it derive from a habit of schoolteachers testing students' knowledge or memory with just such an intonation: "it's aaaa ….. RABBIT!" (or whatever). Students from another language background, taught in English-only schools, would have been exposed to frequent use of this intonation and might have concluded this was normal for declarative speech in English.

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