Functional possibilities of intonation contours of the Lithuanian language
The general functionality of intonation is characterised by its ability to perform different functions — representational, expressive (emotional), appelative and stylistic. From the viewpoint of the systematic analysis, intonation is perceived as a whole consisting of its separate elements — intonation contours, intonation center, syntagmatic segmentation and pause. The degree of functionality of intonation and at the same time of every system member is determined by the interaction of all concrete linguistic elements (lexis, grammar, intonation, and context). In one case intonation may be the only means of content expression (e.g. model type of a sentence), in other cases — content is best conveyed by lexical-grammatical linguistic units. The investigation has demonstrated that intonation contours are characterized as having the greatest functionality in the Lithuanian language. They are able to perform the majority of functions attributed to intonation as well as to be present in different situations of speech act. Compared to other elements of the system, intonation contours are distinguished by a variety of non-emotional and emotional realizations of utterances, frequency of use, function of affect making as well as cases of intonation synonymy. The conducted study has shown that the functional possibilities of all seven contours differ — IKL-3 is distinguished by the greatest possibilities of expression, IKL-7 — the least possibilities of expression.