Definition: The use of pitch or tone in a sentence to convey meaning or emotion. Although the term when strictly used applies only to the pitch of speech, it is sometimes used loosely to indicate also the emphasis and pacing used in the spoken language.
Also Known As: entonación in Spanish
Both English and Spanish use a rising intonation to indicate that a sentence is a question. In other words, a sentence in which the pitch rises toward the end is probably a question. Thus a sentence such as "my mother is at home" (mi madre está en casa
) would sound different and have a different meaning as a question ("My mother is at home?" or ¿Mi madre está en casa?
) than it would as a statement, even though the words are the same.