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Book: Phonology in Systemic Functional Linguistics

Chapter: Giving Shape to an Oral Text: Textual Meanings

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.38990


This chapter will describe the role of intonation in organizing an oral text. Phonological prosody constitutes the clue that tells listeners about logico-semantic relations in texts and about the structure of the oral text, whether they should interpret what they are listening to as something new, or whether the text is coming to an end. Phonological prosody also indicates what information is being foregrounded or backgrounded, what constitutes major information and what is subsidiary.

Chapter Contributors

  • Lucía Inés Rivas ( - lrivas) 'National University of La Pampa, Argentina'