What are Prosodic Resources? 10 Examples

Sherman Hoover
What are Prosodic Resources? 10 Examples

The prosodic resources They are tools used in oral expression that help to convey the message correctly. They allow to give an exhibition more dynamism and manage to capture the attention of the listener. They are used in free oral expression or in reading aloud from a written document.

There are several existing prosodic resources:

1- intonation

It is the variation or modulation of the tone of the voice, applying or subtracting strength in certain words to accompany their meaning and give the exhibition different nuances.

A love poem cannot be recited in the same intonation as a speech at a political rally, since either of them will be a resounding failure..

The volume of the voice, the intensity with which some words are pronounced and the softness of others, will help to convey the exact intention of the message in terms of thoughts, feelings or emotions.

2- Emotion

Here the histrionic capacity of the speaker plays a very important role, in terms of the emotion that he can impress on his speech, which, in short, is nothing more than an interpretation or performance..

The emotion will achieve empathy in the public; that is, it will make the listener engage with the message from the emotion. It is a highly effective and compelling resource.

3- The volume

Something that seems obvious, but that often determines the success or failure of an exhibition.

The appropriate volume is determined by the characteristics of the room (size, height, acoustics, external noises), the number of people and the type of message itself.

4- The rhythm

Various variables such as flow and pauses come into play here. As in dance, in oral expression you must have a great command of these two tools to ensure a successful speech.

A steady, monotonous beat will bore the audience. Likewise, it is important that the speech feels spontaneous and fluid..

Pauses add drama to the message, as well as giving the listener time to process the information properly.

Someone who speaks with too many pauses can bore the interlocutor and cause him to be distracted, losing communication effect.

On the contrary, someone who speaks too fast without adequate pauses will confuse and exhaust the listener, who will consume too much energy trying to assimilate all the information. Pauses are therefore essential, but good handling is an art.

5- diction

It has to do with the correct pronunciation of words and taking just enough time so that all vowels and consonants sound clearly.

Here it is also important to take care to separate each word from the next, to ensure the correct interpretation of the message as a whole..

It is recommended that the speaker perform certain vocalization exercises prior to his speech, which will allow him to relax the tongue and the maxillary and facial muscles.

Likewise, a prudent -but not exaggerated- opening of the mouth is necessary so that the stressed and atonic syllables can be pronounced correctly.

As in written language, in oral language the correct accentuation of words is essential to convey a correct and univocal meaning.

6- repetition

It is a very useful resource when the speaker wants to highlight an idea and that it is fixed in the conscious of his audience.

It is also widely used at times when there are signs of fatigue or dispersion in the public.

7- Clarification or extension

They are verbal "parentheses" used to expand or better explain an idea. Extensions in spoken language should be short and concise, so that you can quickly return to the original idea without the listener being scattered or losing the objective of the main message.

8- The Metaphor

The metaphor is a semantic lexical resource, that is, it has to do with the meaning of what has been said. With metaphor you try to say or explain something without making direct allusion to that something, but using terms that share its meaning. It is an aesthetic resource that will be more or less effective depending on the cultural level of the audience..

Examples of Metaphor:

"The snows of time silver my temple"; In this case, snow has to do with gray hair, since in reality what is meant is that the passage of time that caused the hair to fill with gray.

"My heart dances when you see you and cries when you leave"; the heart cannot dance or cry, but the metaphor conveys the emotion of joy and sadness produced by the presence of the person referred to in the phrase.

9- Comparisons or analogies

Together with clarifications and extensions, they are resources that allow the speaker to better explain an idea and get the listener to fixate and understand it correctly.

It is not an exclusive resource for oral language and sometimes works better in written language, where the reader manages their time to understand the message.

In an exhibition you have to be careful with this, because if a good comparison is not chosen, it can confuse rather than clarify.

10- Hyperbole

It is another literary resource that can be transferred to oral expression with relative success depending on the skill of the user..

Hyperbole is a rhetorical figure that consists of exaggerating a fact in order to capture attention and give greater emphasis to an idea with respect to the rest.

It is important that the intention of the issuer is not mistaken when using hyperbole: it must be clear that it is an intentional exaggeration and not a hoax or a lie that could discredit or diminish its credibility or reputation.

Some examples of hyperbole: "My eyelashes hurt"; I love you to infinity and beyond"; "I repeated it a million times"; "We are the best country in the world".


  1. Virginia Acuña Ferreira (2011). Prosodic and verbal resources for the intensification of emotions in everyday conversation. Recovered from academia.edu.
  2. Rhetorical figures (2009). Recovered from rhetoricas.com.

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