0254 – Inflection Definitions

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0254 – Inflection Definitions

INFLECTION AND INTONATION DEFINITIONS

Definitions for words surrounding different parts of speaking are many, varied and often interchangeable. For clarity I shall use:


Inflection – the overall sound of a language. Listen to someone speaking in a language that you do not understand and the overall rise and fall of their sound, its musicality, is the inflection. ‘Cadence’ or ‘prosody’ could be considered other words for ‘inflection’.


Inflection is the ‘sum of all the parts’ of all the elements in the various chapters here: the intonation of words and phrases + the projection + the tone + the pitch + the speed – all of which are nuanced in their own variety.


We all have slightly different inflections because of our upbringings and personalities but in general, yours will sound one way when talking to a toddler, and another when talking to your boss. It will sound one way when explaining something complicated and another when you are recounting a funny story.

For instance, a rising inflection would be heard in a sentence with a question: “Did you really just say that to him?!” when the pitch gets increasingly lighter.


A falling inflection as you might suspect, shows finality: “I did – and I’m not worried and I’m not worried one jot”.


Some sentences include a rise and fall: “But when she finds out about it – you could get fired” – in which you start with a rise in tone through to “about it” (which suggests that neither the story nor the sentence is finished), and then a falling inflection through to the serious finality word “fired”.


A circumflex inflection is when there is a rise and a fall (or a fall and a rise) within a single word or even a vowel within a word. Think that sounds complicated? Well, actually we do it all the time. “There’s absolutely no wa-ay you’re gonna get away with it!” Yes, you could naturally just colour those two words either higher or lower, but in a tone of incredulity you’re more likely to bend each of them. (There’s more on this later in the chapter.)


Audio recording script and show notes (c) 2021 Peter Stewart

Through these around-5-minute episodes, you can build your

confidence and competence with advice on breathing and reading, inflection and

projection, the roles played by better scripting and better sitting, mic

techniques and voice care tips... with exercises and anecdotes from a career

spent in TV and radio studios. If you're wondering about how to start a

podcast, or have had one for a while - download every episode!

And as themes develop over the weeks (that is, they are not

random topics day-by-day), this is a free, course to help you GET A BETTER

BROADCAST, PODCAST AND VIDEO VOICE.

Look out for more details of the book during 2021.

Contacts: https://linktr.ee/Peter_Stewart

Peter has been around voice and audio all his working life and

has trained hundreds of broadcasters in all styles of radio from pop music

stations such as Capital FM and BBC Radio 1 to Heart FM, the classical music

station BBC Radio 3 and regional BBC stations. He’s trained news presenters on

regional TV, the BBC News Channel and on flagship programmes such as the BBC’s

Panorama. Other trainees have been music presenters, breakfast show hosts,

travel news presenters and voice-over artists.

He has written a number of books on audio and video presentation

and production (“Essential Radio Journalism”, “JournoLists”, two editions of

“Essential Radio Skills” and three editions of “Broadcast Journalism”) and has

written on voice and presentation skills in the BBC’s in-house newspaper

“Ariel”.

Peter has presented hundreds of radio shows (you may have heard

him on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, Virgin Radio or Kiss, as well as BBC regional

radio) with formats as diverse as music-presentation, interview shows,

‘special’ programmes for elections and budgets, live outside broadcasts and

commentaries and even the occasional sports, gardening and dedication

programmes. He has read several thousand news bulletins, and hosted nearly

2,000 podcast episodes, and is a vocal image consultant advising in all aspects

of voice and speech training for presenters on radio and TV, podcasts and

YouTube, voiceovers and videocalls.

The podcast title refers to those who may wish to change their

speaking voice in some way. It is not a suggestion that anyone should, or be

pressured into needing to. We love accents and dialects, and are well aware

that how we speak changes over time. The key is: is your voice successfully

communicating your message, so it is being understood (and potentially being

acted upon) by your target audience?

This podcast is London-based and examples are spoken in the RP

(Received Pronunciation) / standard-English / BBC English pronunciation,

although invariably applicable to other languages, accents and dialects.

Music credits:

"Bleeping Demo" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/7012-bleeping-demo

License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

"Beauty Flow" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5025-beauty-flow

License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

"Envision" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4706-envision

License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

"Limit 70" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5710-limit-70

License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

"Rising Tide" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5027-rising-tide

License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

"Wholesome" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5050-wholesome

License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license


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