Analysing Conversation: An Introduction to Prosody

Author(s): Beatrice Szczepek Reed

Reference & Language

Spoken interaction is impossible without prosody. Intonation, pitch register, tempo, rhythm, pausing, loudness and voice quality all contribute to the spontaneous negotiation process that is everyday talk. This highly accessible introduction to the prosody and analysis of everyday conversation explains basic concepts and methods of interpretation using a wealth of examples from real-life conversations. Readers are introduced to the many conversational practices prosody plays a part in through sample analyses, all of which are available to listen to as downloadable audio files on the accompanying companion website: Packed with authentic examples, practical suggestions for analysis, suggestions for further reading and a helpful glossary, this clear and comprehensive guide is essential reading for students and researchers alike.


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Beatrice Szczepek Reed has written a lucid introduction to English prosody for scholars working with interactional data. This is an invaluable resource for both students and researchers like myself who appreciate the importance of prosody and phonetics for understanding social interaction in English but who need much more grounding in the concepts, terms and techniques of this highly sophisticated area of study. Crisp audio clips enliven Szczepek Reed's examples and offer essential exposure to details of prosody in common varieties of English.' - Cecilia E. Ford, Professor of English and Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

BEATRICE SZCZEPEK REED is Lecturer in TESOL at the University of York, UK. She is the author of the monograph Prosodic Orientation in English Conversation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), and numerous articles on prosody and talk-in-interaction. Her research explores prosody as an interactional resource, cross-cultural aspects of turn-taking, the interface between speech and singing, and teaching pronunciation to learners of English. Her main teaching specialisms are phonetics and phonology, conversation analysis and English pronunciation.

List of Tables and Figures.- Acknowledgements.- Preliminaries.- Pitch: Introduction.- Pitch: Intonation.- Pitch: Range and Register.- Time: Sound and Syllable Duration.- Speech Rate.- Speech Rhythm.- Pauses.- Loudness.- Voice Quality.- Outlook: Future Issues in Research on Prosody in Conversation.- Answers to Exercises.- Appendix: Transcription Conventions.- Glossary.- Notes.- Bibliography.- Index.

General Fields

  • : 9780230223455
  • : Palgrave Macmillan
  • : Palgrave Macmillan
  • : October 2010
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Beatrice Szczepek Reed
  • : Paperback
  • : 272