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Wrong Pronunciation




A Frenchman who had learned English at school, but had half forgotten it, was staying in London on business. It was in the month of November, and the weather was most un­pleasant, disagreeable, damp and foggy.

The Parisian, not being accustomed to the English climate, had caught a severe cold, and was coughing day and night. At last he decided on getting a remedy for his cough but as he did not remember this English word, he looked it up in his French-English dictionary. There he found that the English for it was cough. Unfortunately his dictionary did not tell him how to pronounce it. Remembering, however, the pronuncia­tion of the word plough, he naturally concluded that cough must be pronounced [kav].

So he entered a chemist's shop and said: "Will you, please, give me something for my cow!" The chemist, thinking he had misunderstood him asked politely: "I beg your pardon, sir?"

The Frenchman repeated his request for some remedy for his cow.

"For your cow, sir?" replied the chemist. "Are you a farmer then?"

"A farmer?" answered the Frenchman rather indignantly. "What in the world makes you think so? Oh, no, I came from Paris, from beautiful Paris," he added proudly.

The chemist now almost began to think that he was dealing with a madman. In great bewilderment he asked again: "But your cow, sir? Where is your cow?"

"Here!" cried the Frenchman, coughing very loud and point­ing to his chest. "Here it is! I have a very big cow in my chest!"

Luckily, the chemist understood him and gave him the remedy he wanted.

SECTION FOUR. Intonation Pattern XI
(LOW PRE-HEAD + ) FALLING HEAD+ HIGH FALL (+ TAIL)

Model: How are you finding your new job?
— æ Liking the `work im`mensely.

The High Fall starts from a higher pitch than the preceding syllable of the Falling Head.

If the head contains only one stressed word the High Fall starts from the level of the stressed syllable.

е.g. How nice!

This intonation pattern is used:

1. In statements, conveying personal concern, sounding light, airy, warm but without the disgruntled effect of Pattern X.

е.g. Why don't they work in the evenings? — `Some of them `do, I believe.

2. In questions:

a) In special questions, sounding interested, brisk, business-like.

е.g. I've just seen that new musical. — `What is it `called?

b) In general questions, conveying mildly surprised acceptance of the listener's premises; sometimes sounding sceptical, but without the impatience of Pattern X. (The ques­tion is put forward as a subject for discussion.)

е.g. Shall we try again? — Well 'would it be any `use?

3. In imperatives, sounding lively; suggesting a course of action to the listener.

е.g. The tea's too hot. — `Put some more `milk in it.

4. In exclamations, conveying mild surprise but without the affront of Pattern X.

е.g. Look, it's snowing. — `Oh, `yes!






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