Time

Time adverbials are currently left out of focus at the end of the utterance. Cruttenden (1990) considers that deaccentuation is for them the unmarked option. If, on the contrary, they bear the nucleus some sort of contrast on the adverbial is involved. He provides the following comparison:

(228) sound_loud_speaker I listened to music for three hours.

(229) sound_loud_speaker I listened to music for three hours.

The statement in (228) seems to be the neutral option, while (229) sounds more emphatic, a marked utterance.

It is also interesting to note how IPs can be lengthened by the addition of adverbials while the nucleus remains the same, all the circumstantial information constituting the tail. This is what happened in Halliday’s example (186) cited by Ortiz-Lira. Drawing on that idea, let’s consider the following sequence:

(230) sound_loud_speaker It’s hard to stay out of debt nowadays.

(231) sound_loud_speaker It’s hard to stay out of debt when you’re a student.

(232) sound_loud_speaker It’s hard to stay out of debt when you’re a student and you depend on your parents.

(233) sound_loud_speaker It’s hard to stay out of debt when you’re a student and you depend on your parents, I’d say [1].

Of course this accentual pattern is not obligatory, but it is a possibility that the speaker may decide to choose.

There is also an alternative pattern for adverbials of time and place where they have their own IP and rising intonation is used. As Ortiz-Lira explains rising intonation is associated with information of subsidiary nature.

This option complies with the LLI rule.

(234) sound_loud_speaker I went to see your mother / yesterday.

(235) sound_loud_speaker It doesn’t seem they’re doing very well / in your country.

Now here are some examples of final time adverbials which are deaccented. The nucleus goes on an earlier lexical word:

(236) sound_loud_speaker And how was he received in Ireland at the time (Deborah Treisman, literary editor of The New Yorker, born In Oxford, UK, raised in Vancouver, Canada).

(237) sound_loud_speaker I remember thinking that [2], when I was a kid (Roddy Doyle; Dalkey, Ireland).

 

(238) She said that you two might be going to the country for the weekend (Barbara Hershey; Hollywood, California, US).

 

(239) That’s a great kid right there. Except he got in a fight at school the other day (John McGinley; New York, US).

 

[1] See  sentence adverbials.

[2] See indefinite pronouns.

 

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