Inflectional Changes

Record the following exercises and then listen critically to see if you can hear the difference in the way you interpreted the meaning of the words.

Say the word “YES” to indicate:

  • Certainty
  • Doubt
  • Indecision
  • Sarcasm

Say the word “NO” and, by changes of inflection, indicate the following:

  • Definitely not.
  • Well, maybe.
  • I’m surprised to learn that.
  • I’m annoyed to learn that.
  • I’m pleased and surprised to learn that.

Say the sentence “I’ll be there.” so that the following attitudes are implied:

  • Determination
  • Pleasant agreement
  • Surprise
  • Annoyance

Say the sentence “I like Bill.” to bring out the following:

  • A direct statement of fact. You mean literally what the words say.

  • A contradiction of the literal meaning of the words. You definitely do not like Bill.

  • Irritation and surprise that anyone could conceivably accuse you of liking Bill.

  • Indecision as to your feelings about Bill.

  • Specific indication that your liking is for Bill and not for anyone else who may be present.

  • Your answer to the question “Who likes Bill?”

  • An aggressive and emphatic answer to the question “Who could possibly care for a man like Bill?”

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