1.2. Intonation

Information concerning TFA cannot always be obtained from the written context. An important indicator of TFA of a sentence is its intonation, which is inseparably linked to the meaning of the sentence in given context.

The annotation of TFA has to take into account also the spoken form of the sentence. In a particular context, every sentence has a natural pronunciation, and we suppose that as people can spontaneously produce sentences with appropriate word order and intonation, they are able to comparatively well assign the correct intonation to a written sentence.

Identifying the intonation of the sentence is a clue for determining the contextual boundness of individual expressions in the sentence; based on the correct identification of the intonation the following key components of TFA are assigned: focus proper (see Section 3.1.1, "Focus proper") and contrastive contextually bound expressions (see Section 2.2.2, "Contrastive contextually bound expression (value c in attribute tfa)").

For the assignment of TFA, it is essential to identify from the intonation of the whole sentence:

1.2.1. Intonation centre

By the intonation centre of a sentence we mean the word (prosodic unit) that in the spoken form carries the "sentential" stress . It is the most important prosodic unit of the sentence, usually placed at the end. It is characterized by a falling pitch contour and increased volume, but it is constituted also by other factors (speech tempo, voice timbre and others). Every complete sentence contains an intonation centre.

We suppose that the intonation centre in a Czech sentence signals its focus proper (see Section 3.1.1, "Focus proper"). If the sentence ends with a nominal group (noun phrase), the intonation centre can be placed on its last member instead of the focus proper.

(In the examples, the intonation centre is marked by capital letters.)

1.2.2. Contrastive stress

Contrastive stress is a specific stress characterized by a rising pitch contour. In the sentence it signals contrastive contextually bound expressions (see Section 2.2.2, "Contrastive contextually bound expression (value c in attribute tfa)"). Contrastive contextually bound expressions do not have to be signalled by a contrastive stress, contrastive stress is optional (the presence of contrastive stress is governed by other factors, primarily by the speech tempo and the carefulness in pronunciation).

We suppose that an expression on which a contrastive stress can be placed in the spoken form of a sentence is contrastive, contextually bound.