Intonation In English: Nouns And Adjectives Are Stressed Differently Than Verbs
Listen and Learn: Nouns and Adjectives one way; Verbs another
Chinese has “tones” but all languages have their own special intonation. The “music” of a language is its intonation and it is perhaps the most important element of a correct accent.
A “ggod” accent is not only a question of good pronunciation. Many people think that pronunciation is what makes up an accent. It may be that pronunciation is very important for an understandable accent. But it is intonation that gives the final touch that makes an accent correct or native. Often we hear someone speaking with perfect grammar, and perfect formation of the sounds of English but with a little something that gives her away as not being a native speaker.
Therefore, it is necessary to realize that there are three components to an accent, pronunciation, intonation, and linking. In other places we will examine pronunciation, the proper formation of vowels and consonants, and linking, the way that syllables within a word, and the beginning and ending of words come together.