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Intonation, when used in a narrow sense, refers to fundamental frequency (henceforth F0) patterns in speech that convey information beyond lexical meanings. In a broader sense, intonation also includes other suprasegmental patterns such as duration, intensity and voice quality, etc., that also convey non-lexical meanings. This article will focus mainly on the former, because, as will be seen, F0 is the main carrier of no…

Cite this page
Yi XU, “Intonation”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 17 February 2019 <>
First published online: 2015

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