staircase english

polap   Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:23 am GMT
how can you have native speaker's staircase quality in your spoken english?
it just doesn't come naturally to me....
is nonnative's only choice only to immitate it?
Jim   Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:10 pm GMT
What do you mean?
Damian in Edinburgh   Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:02 am GMT
I haven't the faintest idea about the meaning of "staircase quality" - in the context of language, or anything else for that matter. All I can think of is the need for learners to take the study of spoken English on a step by step basis and for treachers/native speakers of the language to do the same in order to simplify the process. I can add no more on this one.
polap   Sat Dec 01, 2007 2:23 am GMT
maybe I should have said staircase intonation rather than just staircase quality....
Guest   Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:47 am GMT
I think you should check out Ann Cook's oneline website. I think she used that staircase term. Type American Accent Training on Google.
polap   Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:56 am GMT

ESB said "LOL. Guys, I'm Russian.

beneficii, I definitely have an accent, because people always ask me where I'm from, almost immediately. I've talked to a language expert who said that my main problem is intonation, I have a deep neutral voice and don't vary it enough (per the American "staircase" intonation). Maybe this recording wasn't the best, because I just chose a random news article to read, the way I talk socially is not as monotonous.

But is there something specific I should focus on, in terms of consonants/vowels?

Regarding the earlier question about why anyone would wish to lose an accent -- this isn't the topic of this thread, but in many ways it's a social barrier, it can be bad for one's confidence, and I'm tired of having to answer the question "Where are you from?" whenever I open my mouth."
polap   Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:17 am GMT
i desperately need the staircase quality in my english
Guest   Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:27 am GMT
I am a native speaker and I often don't vary my tone much. It might just be the way you are.
Humble   Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:48 am GMT
Right, polap, I've often noticed that in long and very long sentences each syntagma is a step higher than the previous - graphically it would really look like a staircase. But those were British speakers.
polap   Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:52 am GMT
what's a syntagma?
Humble   Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:19 am GMT
syntagma - a syntactic unit or a word or phrase forming a syntactic unit.

To put it simply, I'd say it's a group of words in a sentence that has some independent logical value, a logical unit. Normally we don't pause inside a syntagma.
yglory   Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:40 pm GMT
hi polap
have you read the book"american accent training"?i'm a l2,i'm studying on the staircase pattern,my msn,maybe we can share some experience.