This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
Intonation in the Grammar of English is written for scholars interested in language but not necessarily linguists or phoneticians. An introduction covers speech sound, locating it in relation to other phenomena and disciplines, discussing its representation and interpretation, and introducing the systems and strata which frame its analysis in terms of systemic functional linguistics. The three kinds of meaning -- textual meaning (relating language to its ever changing context), interpersonal meaning (allowing us to enact our social exchanges with others) and ideational meaning (construing the logic through which we represent the world we live in) -- are each achieved in part through intonation. We make these meanings through choices: in terms of locating the main rise or fall in an intonation contour; in terms of fitting an intonation contour to part of a clause, to a whole clause, or to more than a clause; and in terms of the shape of the intonation contour. A CD ROM integrated with the book provides examples as the systems of intonational choices are presented, and also gives examples of these systems being drawn on in different dialects of English, and in the many different exchange situations in which speakers find themselves in the course of a day.