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Definition

Verbal intonation

Verbal intonation refers to the emphasis someone gives to words or phrases that conveys meaning.

To illustrate how intonations can change the meaning of a message, suppose that a student asks an instructor a question. The instructor replies, “What do you mean by that?” The student’s reaction will vary, depending on the tone of the instructor’s response. A soft, smooth vocal tone conveys interest and creates a different meaning from one that is an abrasive and puts a strong emphasis on saying the last word.

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